Screw you metabolism!
Just a show of hands, how many of you have tried putting on weight by overeating or working out religiously at the gym?
If this were a public seminar on the topic of weight loss, that is the question I’d be asking the audience. Nowadays, fat-shaming has become the ultra hot potato that has had it’s fair share of rounds on social media and even on mainstream news media. But what about discrimination against skinny people? Why is no one talking about how scrawny people always get bullied in school and on the streets? Why is there so little media coverage on people who grew up facing remarks like, “Look at you. You’re so skinny. Why don’t you start eating more and hitting the gym?” or “You’re paper-thin. Go put on a couple more pounds before you come talk to me.” If you’re scrawny and you’re reading this article right now, then you’ll know what I’m referring to.
There was a short phase during my teenage years where I was completely obsessed over working out at the gym just so that I could walk right up to my haters and flex my biceps in their faces. I started doing research into hypertrophy bodybuilding workout routines and tried to put together my own workout routine with the exercises that I felt would work best for me. I subscribed to various YouTube channels like Elliott Hulse and Bodybuilding.com. My idols were Ronnie Coleman and Aziz Shavershian. I bought tubs of whey protein powder and would make it a point to drink my daily protein shake – a blend of whey protein powder and fresh milk. And when this wasn’t doing enough for me, I went on to mass gainer supplements, but to no avail.
All this while, I also knew that diet was key to gaining muscle mass. So, I would stuff two or three plates of rice and a platter of meat down my digestive tract hoping to see some significant change in the weighing scale reading. However, as much as I tried to pack my schedule with meals and workouts, I wasn’t going anywhere. My weight hovered around 60kg and I remember vividly how I got so upset everytime I lifted up my shirt and saw my ribcage bulging out of my sides.
It was at this moment that reality dawned upon me. My failure to gain weight had had nothing to do with my workout plans or diet. It was because of my intrinsic metabolic rate that was so high, the calories that I put into my body very quickly burned up and soon, there was only a little left to go into muscle-building. I hated myself for it. I hated the fact that I was born an ectomorph. And I absolutely detested the fact that I was being made fun of because of who I am. That’s the saddest part. You don’t get to choose your body type and you can’t really change the long-held belief that being skinny is akin to having cancer. Both are pretty much permanent and hard to accept.
Friends and relatives would chide me for not eating enough. They’d say that you had to be chunky in order to look good and attract girls. But this wasn’t who I wanted to become. I knew that if I wanted to become meatier, there’d have to be a very, very convincing reason for me to put myself through the torture of constantly binging on my food and dedicating my afternoons and nights to working out in the gym. But I couldn’t find any compelling reason to make me want to gain weight, apart from the fact that people associated to me, in one way or another, kept on encouraging me to put on weight.
I’m utterly sick and tired of hearing the same remarks over and over again. I wish they would stop. The last thing I want to see happening is for me to end up destroying my own self-image and go down a spiralling road of depression. Enough with the ‘reverse fat-shaming’. Enough with this unhealthy obsession to see skinny people become fat. I’m already healthy as I am. A good blood pressure, no diabetes, no hypertension and definitely no obesity. Liposuction? No thanks. You can have it. But I won’t be needing any of that for now. I am staying skinny just as my body wills it to be and no one has the right to tell me otherwise.