Son of Grok

The Guy on the Right must be "Too Skinny"

The Guy on the Right must be "Too Skinny"

*p.s. those are supposed to be PG rated moobs (also known as man boobs). We keep things family around SoG.com

I cannot count the number of times that I have heard the following:
“You are too skinny”
“You need to put some meat on you”
“You need to come over so that we can feed you”

To be perfectly honest, I am absolutely SICK of hearing this. Sick sick sick. This usually comes from someone overweight too.

Lets get something straight, I am NOT too skinny… I would actually consider myself acceptably “beefy”. There are other people around too that are far skinnier than I am that I don’t hear being subjected to this rubbish. Is is because I used to be fat (?)… by comparison maybe I look very skinny from what people are used to seeing me as. That is the best that I can figure. OR maybe we as a society have gotten so overweight that being healthy DOES look too skinny.

When someone tells me that, I am half tempted to rip my shirt off, flex my abs and dare the person “Call me to skinny now! I dare you!”. Unfortunately this usually happens to me at work where this would be a wholly unacceptable practice.

Speaking of unacceptable… when did it become socially acceptable to make a comment to someone like that?Would it be acceptable to respond to someone who tells me “You are too skinny. You need to come over so I can feed you” by telling them “You are too fat. You need to come over so I can put you through a workout and feed you some real food.” No, this would be considered completely out of line. I would have HR and lawsuits up my butt faster than Richard Gere with a gerbil (I think that was the urban legend when I was a kid).

You know what though?Next time someone tells me something like “You are too skinny” (which seems to be an at least weekly occurrence) I am going to say something that I probably shouldn’t (or actually probably should). I will let you know how it goes.

33 Responses to “Quickie for today: Don’t call me skinny”

  1. Sarah

    Hate to sound like a broken record or cliche, but it’s usually because they’re jealous. And yeah, it gets annoying to hear that sort of thing (esp if you’re hearing it a lot), but just try to take it with a grain of salt – you’ve achieved what a lot of people wish they could and don’t believe they can, so they feel like they have to comment on it. If anything, try to put a good spin on it (mentally translate into “You look awesome”) to keep you from saying something you’ll regret.

  2. Chris - fitnessfail.com

    Take it as a compliment. It means you’re a threat to them, you’re reminding them of their own insecurities.

    It’s amazing the lengths people will go to make excuses for their own failures.

    You see this all the time – anytime someone is successful in nearly any walk of life, people around them will start making excuses explaining why they couldn’t do it. If they can rationalize it to forces outside their control it frees them from facing personal responsibility for it.

    “You’re only so skinny because you have good genetics.”
    “You’re only a business success because you know the right people – it’s all your connections”

    It couldn’t possibly be something you were solely responsible for – because then they could do it too, which would force them to put out some effort.

    I think I feel a blog rant of my own coming on here…

  3. suzanne

    I agree it is annoying!!
    My husband when he was at his highest was called fat, told i don’t know how many times he should lose weight.
    Well now he has and people just keep telling him he’s too skinny, does he starve himself!!
    People need to mind their own business :) Get a life!!

  4. Son of Grok

    Sarah and Chris,
    Very good points. People just feel the need to tear people down. They think it makes them feel better about themselves or something. They need to go primal and balance those hormones. Then maybe they would be be able to just be happy with themselves and encourage and take pleasure in other peoples success as well! Thanks for hearing out my rant.

  5. Son of Grok

    Suzanne,
    It sounds like your husband is going through the same thing I am. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I guess I would rather be damned with good health though!

  6. Troy

    “You are too fat. You need to come over so I can put you through a workout and feed you some real food.” That was awesome.

  7. Angel

    Actually, you could interrogate those people further. “Okay, you think I’m too skinny. Who do you consider to be ‘just right’?” That puts the ball back in their court in a non-defensive manner (if you keep your tone neutral and polite). If they really do care about your health (versus just feeling jealous) you might end up having a productive discussion on what constitutes “looking healthy” and maybe get in a bit of promo for a primal diet and proper exercise.

    If they are just jealous – remember, it’s a form of fear. If you wouldn’t yell at a dog cowering in a corner, then don’t yell at people expressing fear (in whatever form). Calm and assertive “I appreciate your concern, but I’m very health conscious and I’m just right for my body type.” Calm and assertive is boring and a lot of work, but is more effective in the long run than getting defensive or angry.

    Here’s some good reading about assertiveness and disagreement:

    http://www.melindaelliottcoaching.com/article_assertiveness.html (these skills and rights are from “How to Be an Adult” by David Richo, a really great book!! The assertiveness chapter is particularly useful.)

    http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html

  8. Natalie

    Ha! Dude, don’t whinge. I WISH people would come up to me and tell me I’m too skinny, in fact it’s something I’m working towards with my new Paleo lifestyle.

    When people tell you you’re too skinny it means you’ve succeeded where they have failed. Just smile and keep doin’ what you’re doin’ :)

  9. hq

    Dude, next time someone says that either make sure you have the web page open with your
    300 picture on display, challenge them to a burpee contest or tell em to F off and die.
    You look great!

  10. Son of Grok

    Troy,
    Lol, i am glad you enjoyed that.

    Natalie,
    There was a atime that i would have said the same thing but people manage to make it more insulting than you may think. Really cool blog you have btw… it is going on my read list immediately.

    Hq,
    I am leaning towards the last option you listed right now lol.

  11. Son of Grok

    Angel,
    Thank you for the links! Great advice.

  12. ttfn300

    totally jealous :) i think if there’s someone who I think is really too skinny, you don’t say anything b/c you fear they’d take it the wrong way… wish i had that problem!

  13. lm

    Must be genetics :)

  14. TrailGrrl

    I must admit that there are a few people that I see that I think really are too skinny. These are pencilneck types who usually have a hard time gaining weight which they compound by doing a lot of excessive running or cycling (think of a concave chest where you can see a lot of ribs), or they are women who are trying to fit into size ZERO (when did THIS become an honest-to-God clothing size???). There are also people who I refer to as “skinny fat” which means they are thin-looking in their clothes but essentially have no muscle tone, and for the men, cannot produce cut abs.

    You are definitely not too skinny… your arms and chest are there and you have traps that are visible. But of course I suppose wearing a shirt at work hides this. Can’t imagine why it’s a requirement.

    I have heard “wow you got skinny” and “hey there, Skinny.” It doesn’t bother me. I guess if people want to know if I just had chemo or am I sick then it might start to bug me. If asked, I just say that I don’t eat processed food. I might go a little further with people who are genuinely curious, and say no wheat, no dairy, no lite or diet foods and I eat a lot of protein.

    You may be a huge outlier for most people, especially at work. For an even bigger difference, look around the next time you are at the airport. You might really be an anomaly… some fit Alien who got beamed into their office space.

    I suppose wearing your “wife beater” to work so they can see the big guns is out of the question?

    TrailGrrl

  15. Rachel

    Oy, don’t even get me started on this one. Try being a short, small female. Do you have any idea how many people have felt perfectly comfortable either pushing unhealthy food on me or openly commenting about whether or not I have an eating disorder? Or buying clothes when you’ve been vanity sized out of existence (seriously, I buy a 0 now and according to patterns from the 1960s I’m more like a 4). Sorry to vent-my points are that you look great, ignore the naysayers as you already do, and you have my empathy :)

  16. Son of Grok

    ttfn300,
    I think the fact that it ticks me off so bad when people say it is proof enough for me that it can be taken the wrong way! lol

    lm,
    You can look at my parents and know its not genetics!

    Trailgrrl,
    I agree if it is said in that way then it is meant complimentary. But people at work legitimately try to tell me I am too skinny like it is an intervention or something. Going from suit and tie to wife beater really isn’t an option but once it warms up I will be riding the motorcycle into work. I can wear a tank then and put on a shirt when I head inside. Might as well get some vit D on the way in!

  17. Son of Grok

    Rachel,
    Appreciate the sympathy. Isn’t it obnoxious how everyone seems to know whats best for you? Being sized out of existence? I like that! I mean its not cool but I like th sound of it. It happens to me.. in order to buy shirts that are long enough, I end up with fat guy shirts that hang off me. The “big and tall” bit doesn’t usually come in just “tall”.

  18. emergefit

    This one kills me. I have actually taken to wearing big baggy t-shirts most of the time just to avoid this. The funny thing is, I’m not even skinny — there’s a huge difference between lean and skinny, and why people can’t make that distinction kills me. I’m 5 foot freaking 7 and weight a buck 75 — I carry some serious meat, but becuase I have low body fat, “I’m “skinny”. What’s more, Joe Fatasaurus has no appreciation for how hard I work at “skinny”. Sorry for the rant.

    BTW: Making Bacon Explosion with Bison meat tomorrow night for friends – pray I don’t f it up…

  19. Son of Grok

    Emergefit,
    “Joe Fatasaurus”! I like that. Even in my Joe Fatasaurus days, I certainly did not use that as an excuse to rag on other people. I have seen your pics and you are FAR from skinny. Definitely meaty. Don’t worry about the B Explosion… it is pretty hard to screw up. Worst case scenario you end up with a pile of jumbled deliciousness that will still be edible.

  20. Andy

    SOG, I hear that also. The commentors are horrified if I mention my eating regime (Paleo compliant). A common question is “Why are you on a diet?” Or “You don’t need to watch your calories.” I try to explain that I’m probably putting down 3500+ calories plus a day and that it is not the QUANTITY that matters, but the QUALITY.

    Anyway, it is annoying, but it doesn’t bother me too much. Some of the critics should join me for a day at the gym and we’ll see who’s laughing.

  21. holdenC

    SOG, just “stumbled” onto your blog and I absolutely love it. Keep up the great work. This “don’t call me skinny” issue is EXACTLY what I’ve been dealing with for the past year or so. I’ve gone from around 25% body fat to the low teens (with a goal of sub 10%). Since I hid my previous fat fairly well, people that have not seen me in a while are just amazed at how I look now (since they didn’t consider me “fat” before). Many people have asked if I’ve been sick. Others are encouraging me to eat more, etc…. I tend to agree with many of the responses so far but I’d also like to add that most people are good-natured and are genuinely “shocked” and “amazed” by these body transformations or “recompositions”. This concept is not in their realm of comprehension so the human mind automatically assumes “something must be wrong”. I must admit that looking at 1-3 year old pictures of myself (my driver’s license for instance), I look like a TOTALLY different person. Body fat takes up a LOT of volume (my entire wardrobe has turned over in 18 months for instance), and once you lose 8-10% BF from where you started your face looks really different to those that haven’t seen you in a while. BTW, this seems really shallow (and it is) but I sometimes like to wear tighter sweaters or knit shirts on casual fridays just to “show off” the low-fat, higher-muscle physique and prove that I’m not anorexic or have terminal illness. Nothing wrong with that I hope:)

  22. Son of Grok

    Andy,
    I used to take the time to explain to people what I eat in a typical day. People just don’t believe I really eat that much! Once I realised it was wasted energy, I kind of stopped doing that.

    holdenC,
    Welcome to the site! Congrats on your success. Definitely some good points you make there. I tend to try to do the same thing on casual Friday’s. I still have mostly the same old clothes though (I hate shopping) so I don’t have too many clothes to wear in that really “show if the goods” I guess you could say.

  23. Don't make people look in the mirror | Fitness Fail

    [...] yesterday Son of Grok had a great post talking about people referring to him as “too skinny” and his own response to it.  [...]

  24. Roger De Rok

    I only wish I had this problem.

  25. Carol

    I am very lean (10% body fat) and getting strong and I hear this all the time. “Can I tell you something without offending you? You are too skinny…” blah,blah,blah. I eat good food: meat, vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, some starches…I chow down at every meal and I’ve never been healthier…absolutely NO colds or anything like it this winter – thanks also to my healthy doses of fish oil. I love primal pizza and those primal energy bars…I have a few folks begging me for them! Thanks for the great recipes!

  26. Henrio

    I too am fed up with the “You’re Skinny!” commentary from work colleagues and unknowing acquaintances.

    My work clothes are size L despite telling the boss that I was a size S. His excuse was “you’re skinny and after a few months working with us that should all change, you’ll grow into it”. After this they all laughed together in unison as each staff member clutched their own enormous pot-belly. I’m a f***ing adult, how do propose that I grow into work clothes that are 2 sizes larger than me. It really is no wonder they think I’m skinny, my clothes are hanging off me like curtain.

    I’m actually very ripped and have a good amount of lean body mass but constantly come under the label of “skinny” or even worse, be accused of having an eating disorder (grr… no you fool, it’s called intermittent fasting, read up on the f***ing clinical trials!).

    Also starting to notice a distinct correlation between the people making the comment and the amount of visceral (belly-fat) situated above their hips. I see these same people struggle to reduce those wheat bellies with a diet consisting of factory-fresh-low-fat-diet-microwave meals.

    What gives me kicks is watching their jaws drop when I pull out something like an ultra-high-fat-triple-cream Brie and hook into it like its my last meal on death row. “I can’t believe you are not obese!” they say in total disparity.

    They ask me how to loose weight, I tell them how and show them scientific evidence (clinical trials, medical journals, countless testimonials) to back up my statements. The result of this conversation? A blank look of disbelief and continuation of their old eating habits.

    You see it’s not that I hate these people, I just hate their unrelenting ignorance in the face of cold, hard facts.

  27. Son of Grok

    Roger,
    Stick to it bud. You are doing great!

    Carol,
    I have a super recipe coming this next week I think everyone will enjoy! Congrats on your success.

    Henrio,
    Get your rant on! I love it. We have the same phenomenon around our office. people get hired and within 1 year, they gain 10 pounds easy. Heck… it happened to me to the tune of 40 pounds or so. Keep up the good work and don’t let them get to you.

  28. Linkage for last week | Balanced Eating and Exercise.

    [...] The SoG rants about being called skinny after you’ve lost weight- people don’t call us ‘fat’ pre-weight loss, so what’s up with the insults now that the weight’s gone?! He also had a little link love. Thanks SoG! [...]

  29. Konstantin Konstantinovs is Big. « CrossFit & Paleo

    [...] the complete other side of guys being huge, is a post I really appreciated from the blogger Son of Grok. It talks about people being perceived as too [...]

  30. Robert Collins

    I got my pot belly from drinking a lot of beer. now i have to do a lot of Cardio to remove my pot belly.”`”

  31. Olivia Smith

    Can anyone give more list of diet foods?–`

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    I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad. – Quote by George Bernard Shaw

  33. Heart Bracelet

    diet foods that are nutritious would be the best for our bodies, most diet foods are not very nutritious ;’,

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