“But you’re so tiny!”

I was out for dinner with some friends a little while ago and one of them started talking about how he recently got back into swimming and that evolved into a chat about diet and exercise and wanting to get fit. I said that I was conscious about it and was starting to walk to and from work everyday and that I was on the hunt for a decent, reasonably priced gym. My friend looked at me and said “But you’re so tiny!”

Now, let’s be honest, ANY girl would take that as a massive compliment. It took all of me to hold back blurting out “You may think so but LOOK!” and then start jabbing and poking and making bits jiggle. Instead, I said “Thank you! But it’s not about weight for me. I just want to be in better shape so I can get out and do more things this summer – like surfing!” And that’s the truth.

The conversation then went to surfing, then how amazing the sushi we were eating was and then onto how ridiculous you look in a photo if you shake your head as fast as possible when the picture is snapped – aka “Shakey Face”. (Honestly, you will never look as bad as you do in one of those snaps!)

(c) Brandon Voges

Anyhoo… it got me thinking about perceptions. I know I have a distorted perception of myself. I see myself as bigger than I am most of the time. Smaller than I am some of the time… like when I somehow convince myself I can borrow my 5’4″ 115 lb friend’s jeans. I know I see myself as larger than my boyfriend sees me. And, apparently, as larger than my friends see me. (I would never call myself “tiny”!) I’m working on getting my perception of myself to be a little more accurate and a little less harsh, but it’s going to take a little while.

Do you find you have a warped perception of yourself? What do you do to help bring a little reality back into your views?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to ““But you’re so tiny!”

  1. I would not call myself tiny, but I am sure that many would not consider me overweight anymore either. But I know that my clothes don’t fit and I know that I am more comfortable when I am smaller. Such is life.

    • That’s the thing. I think I’ve very much in the “average” size… but I guess that’s a very arbitrary size! I don’t think anyone other than a modeling agency would consider my overweight. But I think because I know all these little things (like my cholesterol/glucose levels, etc) I know that I need to keep improving my diet and lifestyle if I want to be healthy – regardless of weight. Meanwhile, my friends will look at me and wonder why I’m not having a second scoop of ice cream. “You don’t need to be on a diet!” because all they see is a seemingly normal, healthy girl.
      I think paying attention to how we feel and keeping ourselves healthy is the most important thing.

  2. OMG! I have this same problem. I rarely tell people that I’m trying to exercise and eat right because they always say the same thing. I want to grab all my fat too 🙂 I think it’s all about feeling comfortable in your own body.

  3. Ugh – I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT!!! Right when I read your title I thought exactly what you went on to write – exercising and eating well isn’t ONLY about losing weight, it is also about being healthy.

    I would love to weigh 120-something like you, and even though you actually weigh less than my final goal I would NEVER TELL YOU THAT YOU WERE TOO TINY TO EXERCISE! That’s my pet peeve. But I think you responded to your friends perfectly!

    Anyway, to answer your question – I definitely have a warped image of myself. When I look in the mirror I see this huge blob of a person, but my husband assures me I look great. Even when I was at my smallest I still thought I was huge (looking back at pictures now I can admit I wasn’t huge)… our minds play mean tricks on us.

    • After this last weekend, I’m probably back in the 130-something but anyway… ha
      It’s crazy how differently we see ourselves. Maybe because it’s an absolutely constant thing or we’re just more honest/forgiving/neutral when looking at others? It would be amazing to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes – even just for a few minutes – and really get to see ourselves the way others see us!

  4. A COMPLETE warped perception of myself!!!! The big thing that has helped me is videoing my workouts and when I am editing them I am usually shocked at how I look. There’s no hiding how you look in a video…

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