My Body

Over at the eclectic web magazine, there’s a discussion about how women’s body size is policed and judged by others. So I shared a story about my own weight:

I get concerned comments when I lose weight.

Like, when I started college I was 5′ 7.5″ tall and weighed 190 pounds. Not super fat but definitely doughy and in the overweight BMI range. I lost 15 pounds freshman year (that’s what the Freshman 15 is about, right?), mostly fat I think, because I was getting stronger, and when I came home for break, my mom blurted out, “You look gaunt!” I was still firmly in the “overweight” BMI category and had noticeable extra body fat. I was annoyed at not receiving, if not encouragement, at least silence.

When I lost another 15 recently, a coworker accused me of being anorexic. In jest, I think. He is also a pretty big guy so maybe he was anchoring on that. But it was kind of annoying, because it was literally the first time I’ve been in the “normal” BMI band.

I’m around 165 now, just at the BMI overweight/normal boundary, and I still have a noticeable amount of extra belly fat. (And again I haven’t lost strength.) I do have a thin face, so if you met me you might think I was skinny, until I took my clothes off.

Someone said it was refreshing to hear that kind of story from a man, so I figured I’d share it on the blog. There was more to this post before, but it was mostly kind of ill thought out, so I got rid of it.