Is there such a thing as a good weight?

Because of a ridiculously high metabolism, I was underweight most of my life. A good twenty or thirty pounds under, if you believe the people who decide these things. I was as shapely and voluptuous as an ironing board. Which would’ve been okay, if I’d been a twelve year-old boy instead of a forty year-old woman.

Last summer I, mysteriously, started gaining weight. A pound or two. Then twelve. Then thirty-four. Today, I’m big as a zeppelin. That’s right, a zeppelin. I went from a size 4 to a size 10 (give or take) in seven months. My old clothes are mementos now and way too small. Likewise the size 6s and 8s I bought to replace them. Even my shoes are tight. I think I’ve become inflatable.

Several years ago I broke an arm when I ricocheted down icy steps. The physical therapist would mutter about adipose tissue and its benefits during every appointment. At one point, overcome with frustration, she blurted, “eat a cheeseburger, why don’t you?” Well, I think she’d feel vindicated now. I could fall out a third floor window and bounce away, boing, unharmed.

Another annoying aspect of gaining weight is not being able to fit into my swimming suit. And, with my new-found girth, I seriously wonder if I can even fit into the pool. If I jump in, I could get wedged in there for days. Besides, the abrupt water displacement might injure poolside sunbathers. So I’ll stay in the shade and mold.

Yes, the new weight is hard to adjust to; I feel bulky and clumsy and awkward. On the other hand, being skinny made me feel insubstantial and flimsy and brittle. So which is better? I don’t know. Hard chairs are more comfortable now, but the tight clothes keep cutting off my circulation. Oh, hell, just shoot me into space. Where it’s weightless.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

8 thoughts on “Is there such a thing as a good weight?

  1. I was pretty skinny most of my life, too. I remember my high school English teacher taking me aside, frowning over her glasses and asking me if I ever ate. A little humiliating. Now I’m almost 41, have two kids and (you’ve probably guessed) I’m not thin by any stretch of the imagination. I think the nanosecond I turned 40, my thighs tripled in size. Just got to embrace the spread.


  2. I have always been underweight (and still am, for now) and it’s refreshing to know that someone else understands! I was actually thinking about writing my next post about the woes of the skinny girl. Nice post!


  3. I don’t know what’s better, it’s a tough question. I’m skinny as a rail, no amount of cheeseburgers or cheese diets even can help. I think the metabolism is 25 times faster than the rate I eat. >< i do feel awkward and gangly all the time, even when i think i look good, i always have the sinking feeling people are looking at me because I look so thin. It does suck, but then again, i don't want to become the opposite extreme. I am insanely jealous of girls with perfect figures.


    1. It’s frustrating, I know. People sometimes treated me like I was recovering from an accident or an illness. One of the commenters here suggested low weight could be the result of the thyroid. And, I suppose, it could very well be. And that can be easily corrected.


  4. I’m commenting again, for archive-diving: I am close to the same age, and have experienced similar weight issues. Come to find, it’s all due to an issue with my thyroid. Have you looked into that, by chance? It’s well possible you were unwittingly hyperthyroid for decades, and now the gland is shot, turning hypothyroid instead. I’m no doctor, but it would explain a lot. :)


    1. Hi, marypoppinsertraline. A friend of mine used to tell me it was my thyroid and I’d just nod, but you may both be right. It’s certainly something to consider. Thank you Dr. And thanks for commenting, too. I love visitors.


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