My extended response to “10 Things ‘Skinny’ Friends Can Do to Help”

Two weeks ago on Healthkicker an article titled “10 Things ‘Skinny’ Friends Can Do to Help” was featured. I read it,  trying as hard as I could to get through the entire post before reading the comments, and it turns out that I’d developed the same opinion about it as the comments: …Is she putting the blame on her skinny friends? This is my extended response to her post, and by extended I mean a longer response than just recommending comments I agreed to that were posted by other users.

Her post is basically a list of pointless “poor me”‘s (in my opinion) and her blaming her skinny friends and virtually asking them to eat less, not finish their plate, etc. for the benefit of her because she’s overweight and trying to lose weight. People replied to her post simply stating their honest opinions, and although I feel for her (merely in the way that she was trying to get her point across and it instead ended up going all wrong) she hasn’t once mentioned she worded anything differently – just that said feedback givers are “heartless”.

Here were/are my thoughts to her list:

  1. So I can’t finish my food? You have no idea what’s even going on with me on the inside because you’re clearly too high strung for me to tell you. Did you know that my weight was commented on when I was growing up? Oh, wait. YOU DIDN’T. Therefore, you don’t know that I bounce back and forth between a healthy weight and an underweight (which only happens after doctors ask about my diet/eating habits/etc., thus making me feel very insecure about it).
  2. No right choice of words for this.
  3. …So you want me to ignore your feelings and put you down, yet I’m supposed to care about your feelings and act differently around you? Am I reading this right?
  4. Then why are you telling me I need to change the way I am? Don’t assume I can sit around and eat whatever I want all day, and don’t assume I’m happy with my body just because I’m smaller than you.
  5. What if I want something sweet? Need versus want are two totally different things, and you’ve NO RIGHT to tell me what I need and don’t need…
  6. If you don’t express interest, how am I supposed to know you want to go walk around the neighborhood or something? I currently have health problems that don’t even allow me to stretch; Friday night I stretched a little and the next thing you know I’m barely able to move and waking up from pain on Saturday morning. I look fine and okay and good because I’ve learned how to fake being okay.1
  7. When I worked at Walmart I spent most money on gas and food, and the rest was on bills. Eating healthier seems more expensive at first, but in the long run it’s cheaper. One can of fruit/veggies is more expensive than the actual full-sized vegetable… Frozen veggies are usually available in a bigger quantity and just a few more cents… What “healthy” food are you buying? There are also coupons…
  8. …You’re saying you’re unhealthy, and yet you’re giving me health advice? Uh, no. And just because my problems aren’t as visible as yours doesn’t mean you have a right to call me out on them.
  9. See #2.
  10. #5, #9 and #3 – and now #10 – contradict each other in my eyes.

And then she asked for people’s opinions, so I dipped down to the comments. I admit I’d want to do everything I could to help a friend out, but if I had to change my entire lifestyle and/or the way I act, then I wouldn’t/couldn’t do that. Most of her post [in my opinion] is simply her assuming many things. I could be wrong; but that’s just my point of view. She reminds me a lot of my mom and lard, mostly lard, who wanted all of “us kids” (if that’s the appropriate term) to go on a diet because we needed to be healthier and so on, even though Chris, Mary and I were perfectly fine. Probably Cody, too, I don’t know; don’t really remember much. Anyway, her comparisons aren’t even appropriate comparisons for this situation, and another user agrees.

What’s your opinion? Do you think she’s trying to put the fault on someone else (i.e. her friends)? Do you think she’s being ridiculous?

My best friend in high school never asked this of me; I think she actually always got mad because I hadn’t eaten much and needed to eat more, so she encouraged me to eat and would always tell me I need to stop worrying about her and just eat if I was hungry.

  1. Grandmama has realized my voice is different, though, so I can no longer fake it around her… I didn’t even realize it was different.

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Susi’s gravatar

AWESOME POST!!!!!!!!! I totally agree with everything! OMG, girl, that post you linked to is awful. It just seems to me like a long list of reasons why she can’t do anything herself to change her situation? YES, she is putting the blame on her friends. And YES, she makes lots of assumptions that may be wrong. Lots of old clichés about “you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight”. What does she know about them????

I’m one that people call skinny (I don’t agree though, because it’s only the part above the belly button that looks skinny). And I hear so much. Stuff. (Less skinny) people think they have the right to say whatever mean things about people who are skinny, or even worse, are muscular (like my sister who is a body builder). But if we even think of uttering a word about being overweight, that is the worst thing that you can ever do, and you should burn in hell forever. Sort of. But hmm.. they have the right to say whatever about us? That pisses me off, a LOT. Shouldn’t we all respect each other, overweight, skinny or whatever??
I’ve never had overweight friends who talked like the girl in the post, and I’m really glad for that. I don’t know how I would handle it.

Regarding me being skinny, it wasn’t a sign of being healthy. It was because my body never absorbed nutrients properly. Not for 36 years, until I got really sick, was finally diagnosed with coeliac disease and started eating gluten free. My gut was simply too damaged to absorb the food I ate. Healthy? Hmm, not really…. but would that girl care about that? Skinny can be as unhealthy as fat. Just in other ways.

Sorry for a super long comment 🙁

Cat’s gravatar

I thought that article was ridiculous, and I agree with your responses to it. For #1 and #5, instead of trying to control how others eat, she should have more control over herself. I feel like it contradicts how she says people have different metabolisms in #4. That’s the reason people eat different amounts!

I also don’t understand #7. As long as I’m buying things in season, I save more money buying fresh than canned or frozen meals. There are also tons of healthy meals that don’t take long to prepare. I think putting effort to research these things is well worth it in the long run.

I understand her intent in the article. I definitely find it easier to be healthy and fit when people around me are doing the same thing, but I don’t think this article was on the right track. There are other ways to motivate yourself and control your eating instead of asking your friends to change around you.

Dorine’s gravatar

I feel that it’s rather absurd, this post. Trust me, I feel fat (I’m of healthy weight, though) and yeah, it sucks seeing my friends being skinny and all. But I don’t ponder on it. We all are different. There are things I can do if I want to be like them. If I have the determination, I’ll attain my goal. And well, article writer should just go and do the things she can to lose weight and be healthy inatead of wasting her time writing that silly article.

And wait a minute… how would she know if her skinny friends think of her like this and that?

Lissa’s gravatar

I think everybody has to deal with themselves first instead of complaining about others. Okay, as friends and family you can support each other but it’s the person him/her-self to deal with the diet or whatever they’re working on. Don’t compare yourself too much with others. Focus on your main goal. :3

Liza’s gravatar

I wasn’t really comparing myself… I was simply pointing out my point of view to the post and how absurd I found it to be.

Kari’s gravatar

I can’t read the original post for some reason, but your commentary on it makes it seem ridiculous enough. As someone who is very skinny and really can’t help it…her post seems incredibly ignorant. I hate it how people get so offended if someone tells someone who is overweight that they’re overweight, but people tell me how skinny I am in a patronizing way that offends ME and I’m not allowed to offended.

It’s ridiculous that someone would ask her friends to act like this around her, too. As for the food thing, the only thing I can think of is the fact that you can get a meal for 1$ on the dollar menu at McDonalds which is obviously cheaper than buying healthy food or other food at a grocery store, and it’s one of the growing issues in our country and really quite sad…however for most people this isn’t the case and they can afford to buy things at a grocery store, like healthy food like you said.

Liza’s gravatar

@Kari, I don’t know; maybe she needs the on-brand of something and can’t have the off brand? However, she could always decline her friends’ offers for a girl’s night out; she doesn’t have to accept each one.

And YESSSSSSSS. A lot of people tell me I’m skinny and such, but there’s a difference between being one thing and actually believing one thing. I may be skinny in some people’s eyes, but I don’t feel it. …What the hell is “skinny”, anyway?

Liza’s gravatar

@Kari, Also, I’m having trouble viewing the article as well… My status bar keeps saying “”, so maybe it’s something having to do with that? When it finally loads after about five or so minutes, the CSS is all out of whack and everything is pretty much just in plain text format.

tiff’s gravatar

Wow, I think that’s a pretty weird topic to write about (not you, her). I mean, some of it makes sense and I get why she’s pointing them out, BUT if she actually wrote this for her friends, it’s definitely a good indicator that she needs new friends. She’s just asking the people she hangs out with to be more supportive of her weight and her goals to stay healthy, but she’s totally wording them the wrong way.

Stephanie’s gravatar

I read through the article, and your post, but didn’t read people’s responses. I have to say that I disagree with most of the 10 things mentioned in the article. The only ones that I agree with are #4 and #9. Weight comes off slowly, and some people are large for reasons that might be unrelated to eating well. However, I have no numbers for that. As for #9, I found that when I was trying to lose weight, my parents (who are borderline obese) accused me to be obsessive and controlling (and blah…) and forced me to eat more even though I was the one being healthy. (Guess who’s at a perfectly healthy weight and who’s still borderline obese!) On principle, I would never force someone to eat more or less unless they told me that they wanted to.

For all the other points, whoever wrote the article needs to realize that her life is her life and other people have their own lives too. If her skinny friends want to eat ice cream, then they should go ahead. If everyone was overly sensitive to other people’s needs, we’d all wind up depressed and unproductive! (Well, I don’t know that last bit for sure, but if I gave a shit about everyone I met, then I would not be a happy person.)

Becca’s gravatar

oh.. body issues. everybody has got them. I got through two points on her list and stopped reading because it’s awfully insensitive to go around telling people what they should and shouldn’t do with their diet (unless you’re a certified nutritionist then I suppose it’s ok to give advice)

the bottom line is… if you’re not happy with your body, do something about it. WHINING never got anyone any more healthy than they are!

I would just go around eating donuts and making sex sounds in front of her… to spite her for that silly list 😉