Can Someone Help Me Deal With Well-Intentioned Skinny People?

Or, rather, my reaction to them.

I am really not bashing skinny people – after all, I want to be one of them, right?

But if another well-intentioned skinny person comments on the quantity of food that I eat, I may scream.

I sat down to a meal recently with a friend of mine and brought out three raw cabbage roles (made with beet and carrot slaw and cashew cheez). All total, that meal had 255 calories in it, max.

My companion exclaims: “Wow, that’s a lot of food!”

I immediately get offended.

I remind them of how it annoyed me when my other friend had made a similar comment about my (“Wow, that’s a lot of smoothie”) Green Smoothie. I then defensively (and this was probably my mistake) pointed out that it only had X many calories and was extremely healthy.

“Oh, I get that,” they responded. “I just couldn’t eat that much food. My stomach’s just not that big.”


In less than 2 seconds I went from someone who was feeling pretty darned good about herself physically, to feeling like the 800 pound guy in the pie eating contest at the county fair.

I literally got sick to my stomach and pushed the food away. At that moment, you couldn’t have paid me to eat that food. I seriously thought I was going to throw up.

Luckily, my friend and I are very close and they are incredibly supportive of me. In fact, we were able to resolve it pretty quickly, even though my appetite never did come back.

Essentially, once I was able to breathe, I was able to tell them what was wrong (and why I wasn’t eating).

I first expressed my anger and annoyance.

I also mentioned how strange I think it is that people (and it happens a lot) comment on what I eat. And, because I do admittedly eat large portions of super low calorie food, the amount.

I also asked, quite pointedly, when’s the last time they heard me comment when they have McDonald’s fries or 1/2 a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (or both)?

I also expressed my hurt and even used the 800 lb. guy at the pie eating contest as an example.

Then I expressed my deepest and most irrational fear: is that what you (and everyone else) think of me when you see me sit down and eat a big plate of SALAD?

And then my other deepest fear, that is, granted, slightly less irrational: if I get judged for eating lots of healthy food (by volume, not calories) by my friends, then how am I supposed to feel good about adopting a lifestyle that (by definition) requires that you always have food – lots of food – with you, wherever you go?

Has anyone else come across this? And, if so, what’s the best way around it with everyone’s dignity in tact?

P.S. Now, admittedly, I did razz my father some over the holidays about eating bologna and white dinner rolls, though (at the time) I saw it more as a health issue than as a food issue! Note to self: call your father and apologize.

5 comments so far

  1. Deena Kay on

    LOL I wanted to share something with you after I read your post. I am one of said “skinny persons”. I’ll spare you what I ate for lunch… pretty boring. Not much different than what you’re friend ate.

    On that I will say this, we too feel bad when our larger counterparts comment on how “we need a sandwich”. It’s my body, let me worry about it. LOL I can’t eat a lot of stuff because of digestive abnormalities. I’ve caused myself a lot of damage over the years from starvation/binge/purge/start over.

    Many of us who pay close attention to what we eat in public, often pay a lot less attention to it in private and loathe that we can’t just eat whatever we want and feel good about it. We all have our moments because our bodies aren’t designed to survive, long term, on rice cakes and the like all the time. We all should probably have at 1500 calories a day on average. She probably went home and raided her icebox. Just a guess. 🙂 I will agree it was a thoughtless remark but she probably made it very absent mindedly.

    I just wanted to share that at 105 pounds and 5 foot 3, I’m thin, no doubt and my grass isn’t any greener than yours. 🙂 It can be really hard no matter what side of the fence you’re standing on.

    Feel good that you can truly enjoy what you’re eating. We often dont. 🙂 Next time, just say “Whatdya jealous??” and smile at her. 🙂 She probably is. hehe

    Don’t tell me to eat a samich damnit or you’ll be walkin’ home with my carrot someplace you dont want it! LOL

    Take care!


    • KJ on

      Thanks for commenting! And making me laugh!

      It was an absent minded remark and not a malicious one. Mainly because they haven’t ever worried about their weight – lucky them!

      And thanks for pointing out that the grass isn’t greener on your side. I learned that when my friend (a size 2) in graduate school kept complaining that she’d gained five pounds. I can’t remember what I said (but I’m sure it lacked sympathy) and she turned to me in said: No matter what size you are, if you’re clothes don’t fit, you’ve got a problem.

      After my friend and I are had our breakdown of what happened, they actually helped me come up with some stock replies so that if (when) if happens again – not necessarily with them, but people seem to be incapable of not commenting on food – I can have a ready response.


  2. Deena Kay on

    Oh one last thing, The samich comment and the carrot, that wasn’t meant for you! Just FYI, hehe 🙂 I dont wasnt trying to offend anyone. That’s what I want to tell people who tell ME to eat MORE 😉

    Besides, sounds like you eat really good stuff…. NEVER feel like the 800 pound guy when there’s people like me envying that you can eat normal amounts. 🙂

  3. Deena Kay on

    LOL sounds like you’ve got some wonderful friends! 🙂 There will however always be nasty, thoughtless people with ill intent because they’re haters. Some of them may very well be us “skinny folks”. I’m a size 0 and a 1 on my heavier days ( water weight from Aunt Flow). I’d like to be around 2 or 3 but just can’t seen to get there while also having a proper body composition. I “gots” me some bad feet and knees so running and many excersizes are just not going to work. I guess in the end, be happy with who you are and be happy that you have friends that you can talk to about those things and who empathize.

    Hell I worked with a group of women and they all started some nasty rumor that I was a drug addict and that’s the reason I was thin. Sucky women, we come in all sizes! 🙂 Happy to know you aren’t one of them and nor are your friends! 🙂

    Big smiles!


  4. Deena Kay on

    With my last comment, yeah my posts/comments are long windy. I always continue thinking about my last whatever until said “Oh something shiny” new comes along. 🙂 I am however a subscriber to yours! 🙂

    On a more serious note, I thought I’d share what can happen when people, mainly women but occasionally men, care to much about our weight and size. This was a “half drunk challenge” from a blog called Momalom. I was most definitely drunk when I wrote it and had never shared it before I posted it. Now that I have I feel like it might actually help somebody, somewhere, sometime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: