Being skinny, at least for me, sucked. It was impossible to see when I was in it but I actually made skinny look pretty good – my nephew has this quality, and it was through seeing him as a young man (he’s sixteen) that I first realized that there was actually a reason that I had those pretty girlfriends when I was a kid. Still, I felt ugly, even if I wasn’t.
So there’s a girl who goes to Yale – she’s skinny, and after the campus medical staff saw her for something else they decided to try to help her out and bulk her up. Ignorantly. According to reports, they put her on cookies and ice cream twice a day and get her to stop taking the stairs and opt for the elevator instead. In other words, their cure for skinny was to tell this person to start doing the things that lead to obesity.
Now I’m just going to come at this from my perspective – a once skinny guy who happens to be lucky enough to have experienced the heavier side as well, a little later in life after the metabolism slowed down a bit. Doctors and other medical pros take note – if what you read here sounds “odd”, then you need to change the way you look at skinny people.
First of all, I knew good and well that I was skinny – that I was “blessed” with a high metabolism and I was active enough to keep that humming right along. I also knew that for a person to get ripped (muscular), low body fat was a requirement. Knowing that I’m blessed to have that low body fat to begin with, the last thing I’m going to do is screw that up with a bunch of crap that I know will only have the end result of making me chubby – thus screwing up my chances of that fit, muscular look. Cake, ice cream and cookies may sound awesome to someone who would love to eat them but abstains to keep from getting fat, but here’s the news flash: We skinny folk already know that if we eat that crap we’ll go straight from skinny to fat. Sadly, no amount of factual evidence to the contrary will bust through that. While someone else might think we’re too skinny, we’ll choose that over fat any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
See, back when I was in my mid-20’s, I weighed maybe 145 pounds (I’m a 6’0″ tall male) – I was 130 pounds when I quit drinking at 22. My normal dinner would be the equivalent of one hot dog, a vegetable (green beans or something, just a handful) and a glass of milk (I’m using a hot dog so you get and idea of “portion size” – my mom fed us a lot better than hot dogs when I was a kid). That would fill me up. Seriously, I’d be stuffed on what I now call a mid afternoon snack. To make matters worse, I always had active jobs up until I was late in my 20’s.
First, all of the weightlifting in the world wouldn’t have done me any good because I wasn’t eating enough to fuel muscle growth. Bullshit calories wouldn’t have done any good either because I’d rather have stayed skinny than get fat. What I needed to do was over-eat the good stuff just a little bit. I needed to change my perception of “full” so that I could grow muscle, stay healthy and remain active – and thus, gain weight.
Today, I’m no more active in the middle of cycling season than I was in my early 20’s but I maintain a healthy 165 to 175 but that dinner (for equivalency’s sake) is three chili-dogs and a salad. In other words, I had to learn how to eat more so I could maintain more weight.
Now, as far as labeling the attempt to help someone, who is obviously too skinny, gain weight “shaming”, I find that just silly. It was a shame that I was skinny – just as much as it was a shame that I was overweight for a short period of time. The answer to aiding skinny people is not to puff them up with crap though, because we know that skinny beats fat any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The answer in my case was to gain healthy weight by working out hard – and to learn to eat more good food.
Just my two cents.