"You must put on some weight, because you're too skinny."
"Why do you want to drink less sugar? You need it if you want to put on weight."
"You should eat more."
"How often do you eat? Once a week? Once a month?"
"Who would trust your review of a restaurant? Look at you."
I've always been a tiny child. Tall, but skinny. It made sense when I was younger because I had a bad relationship with food. For some reason I saw eating as a waste of time, a point of view that perhaps stemmed from never knowing what it was like to go hungry. My meals would last somewhere between 2-3 hours, and it was a struggle for everyone who knew me as a child.
At about the age of 10 I began to realize that there were a lot of pleasures to be found in food. And for the last 12 years I have been actively seeking out and growing in my repertoire of what I found to be enjoyable. This led to a dramatic change in my eating patterns, an exceedingly unhealthy one. For years I had anything I wanted at all times of the day in the attempt to make myself put on weight. I ate Oreos and chocolate cake for breakfast, KFC with extra helpings of skin for lunch, fried rice and extra fatty pork for dinner. I gorge sweets and sugar, fat and oil to my heart's content, keeping away from anything green. And because everyone around me encouraged it, I saw nothing wrong with that (even though let's be real here, that's really bad). But no matter how much I ate, how much butter I drank or whipped cream I swallowed, I never put on weight. The scale mocked me, day in and day out and the reflection in the mirror soon followed.
Some of you may think, skinny is beautiful. But when you've been told every day of your life that "it doesn't matter what you eat, as long as you get some meat on those bones", and fail? It took a toll on young Fung. My mother would joke about going for opposite-liposuction, where they would pump fat into my body and I would laugh along, all while longing for such a thing to exist.
You need to understand that when I looked into the mirror at 17 years old, I didn't see a beautiful, tall, slim teenage girl. I saw ribs and bones, the area around my chest severely lacking, tiny wrists and tiny ankles. I saw a ghost so pale the blue-green veins on my face looked like webs of a monster. I saw what everyone has told me all my life to see: a weak, unhealthy, anorexic-looking child.
For those of you that struggle with weight, I am not here to rub my metabolism in your face. Or to tell you that being overweight is better than underweight. I am not here to judge, or be judged. I am only here to share with you why I have a problem with people commenting on my weight.
It wasn't until the last year or so that I have finally come to the conclusion that... As long as I work out, and eat three balanced meals a day, it doesn't matter that I am skinny. That's just the way God made me and the way I am at the moment. My metabolism will slow down in time and maybe I'll finally be able to look like all the other girls - curvy and beautiful, but for now I am too, skinny and beautiful. It was only in the last year that I could look at myself in the mirror and instead of seeing the shadows that shouldn't be there, I see a happiness and contentment that had not existed to this point. Now I can go out in a sports bra and not be afraid I might get mistaken as a boy, or eat a salad for lunch and not care what others would say.
Maybe my friends and loved ones would read this post, and maybe not. Maybe some of you guys will take heed of the words you spew out into this world, and maybe not. But somehow, we live in a society and culture where people think it's fine to comment on another person's body, on what they should or should not look like. Too pudgy here, too thin there, I can see your bones, I can see your muffin top. Why does it matter? Why should it matter? If you are healthy, if you are doing your best to take care of the temple that God has given you.
The above comments are an example of the things that people say to me, people from my parents, to my friends' parents, to friends that know me well, to people who don't know me at all. All in the last 2 weeks alone. And each time its been said, it chips at me. Admittedly, I know that none have been said to me in malice, I know that no one means any harm and once explained, they are all quick to apologise. I have had a lot of practise building up a thick iron shield around my insecurities and hence, these comments have been pretty easy to brush off. But really, I'm writing this in an attempt to maybe help educate. To maybe help that other 10 year old girl whom has been told all her life she doesn't look good enough. To maybe stop people from judging situations that they don't understand.
Please do not get me wrong. I am not saying sure go be 400lbs and sit on the couch all day and be proud of yourself. I am not saying it's okay to develop an eating disorder. I am not saying any of those things. I am just saying, watch your words. Watch what you say to others.
And please, from the bottom of my heart, stop telling me to eat more.