Friends. Photography. Adventure.

Lightweight, part two

A couple of months ago I wrote Lightweight, exploring the issue of weight when there’s less of it. At the time I said I wanted to cover this issue more and I have spoken before about wanting to see more men on Exposing 40. Last night a friend read out a Facebook post from one of her male friends. As soon as she started reading I just knew I wanted to post it here. Happily he said yes, so I am very honoured to repost some very powerful and important words about male body positivity.

Anders, by Wolfgang Tillmans

Anders, by Wolfgang Tillmans

I had a busy couple of days this past weekend, (heck, the last couple of weekends), but I’ve had a lot of time to think in between and there have been a few things stuck in my head, bouncing around, that I’ve thought about sharing including one very personal thing about my journey to get in shape. This week I crossed a threshold that I’ve never crossed before in my entire life. Today I weighed in at over 150 lbs for the first time ever (152 to be exact). I don’t like to talk about my weight and almost never mention it because it usually comes with someone making a comment about me being lucky or “I wish I had that problem” but I’ve struggled with my weight all my life; not getting rid of it, putting it on. Growing up, and even in early adulthood, I was constantly inundated with people telling me I need to eat more or saying I look like I was starving and need to put on some weight or any number of beanpole references. I didn’t even break 100 lbs until I was almost in college.
One time when was about 16 I went to a friend’s relative’s house for dinner. She kept insisting I eat more because I was so skinny. She plopped seconds on my plate and pushed dessert in front of me. I tried to politely refuse but ended up giving in, and shortly after dinner threw up in the bathroom from eating so much. I never told my friend or his mom, but it felt horrible. I was so embarrassed and felt unbelievably ashamed. It was like that at a lot of dinners when I was a kid, although thankfully not with my close family. People saw my weight as a problem they needed to fix or at least tell me how to fix.
Being the skinniest boy in Junior and High school also meant I was voted most likely to get my ass kicked for no reason other than most people could. As an adult it got slightly better but still had its issues. For my first real professional job, I had to shop in the boys section at the department store to find dress pants that would fit me.
Needless to say I’ve had a pretty bad body image almost my entire life, but I never talk about it. Partly because I know so many people struggle with losing weight and see being skinny as the perfect way to be, and partly because no one takes it seriously. I’m not trying to say that what I’ve gone through is harder or worse than what anyone else has gone through regarding any body shaming but what I felt was and is real nonetheless.
But today I’m proud. Today I’m happy for me. I smiled at a scale for the first time in my life. And it was a real scale! The kind with the sliding weights and everything. And I didn’t have shoes or heavy clothes on either. This was legit.
I share this because for the first time in my life I’m starting to feel good about my body, and that’s something that guys (and particularly skinny guys) never ever talk about, but I can assure you there are lots of us who feel it. We just can’t and don’t talk about it.
I love my body right now and it makes me happy, and if I can share my happy and cause someone else feel that way too, then sharing is worth it.


  1. cherrytartblog

    It’s good that you’re happy with yourself now 😀
    It’s strange how this body image thing works. If you were a girl people wouldn’t have so much of a problem with you being skinny, but because you’re a guy? It’s no wonder so many people end up feeling bad about themselves.
    I have three boys who never, ever put on weight. They would eat twice as much as me, but until the age of about 15 were small and skinny. Around that age they’d shoot up about a foot but still not put on weight. I know one of them wanted to be a bit bigger but it was never really an issue because close family and friends never made it one. That’s just the way they are, one now 17, still only weighs 9 stone (about 126 pounds) and the only problem is finding trousers to fit as he’s 5’8″. He may bulk up like the older ones, he may not, but as long as he’s happy I’m happy.
    I just really wish people would stop with making people feel bad about themselves.

  2. sassycoupleok

    Good for you, none of are perfect. Acceptance is a wonderful thing. My hubby and I don’t have perfect bodies, far from it. But as a nudist couple we enjoy sharing them with our friends and enjoy their sharing as well. This works because we all accept each other as we are.

  3. HappyComeLucky

    Thank you for sharing. I think it is easy to skip past these issues and assume thin = happy/ok. It’s sad how much of the issues with weight and body image are caused or exacerbated by other people’s attitudes and attempts to fix it. A little understanding would go a whole long way.

  4. Modesty Ablaze (@ablazingmodesty)

    I always feel it’s the heart . . . and the mind . . . that matters. Not the containers they are housed within!!!
    Wonderful post!
    Xxx – K

  5. Malin James

    This is beautiful. I’m so happy he wrote it and that you reposted it here. Honestly, I’m a bit too emotional to say more about it right now, but suffice it to say, that it hit a nerve in a very good way!

  6. Marie Rebelle

    I think it’s important to talk about this too, because people need to understand how hurtful it is when they judge without knowing the full story. I have a cousin with a heart condition and she can eat whatever she wants, she doesn’t gain weight. She needs to gain as it will be better for her, health-wise, but she just can’t. The same with a colleague, she would love to gain some weight but she too is very thin. Thank you for sharing your experience and I hope more people will read this and know that it’s not always ‘nice’ to be so thin.
    And, I am happy for you!
    Rebel xox

  7. angelagoodnight

    Always a difficult subject. When Peter and I got back together in 2010 he was over seventeen stone (238lbs). After about a year together I knew he wanted to lose weight and no diet really worked. It came off, but went back on again and the period on the diet was unhappy. We both love our food.
    Around 2013 he tried the 2:5 diet which is 2 days at 600cals and normal eating on the other five. The weight came off rapidly with no hardship, but then stalled. Today he does a 4:3 which is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on about 800cals. It works fine and he has lost over 40lbs, is happy sticking to the regime and we eat fabulously three days a week.
    I’m so lucky I weigh the same I did at 18.
    We all have to find our own weigh through this problem and as long as you are happy as an individual that is all that matters. Actually being pleased putting it on is how Peter feels about taking it off.

  8. Life of Elliott... and all that jizz

    Sinfully Skinny… Fabulous!!!

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