Monday, June 27, 2011

Eat like a pig

"Boy, you must be HUNGRY!"

When I was a resident, a female attending made the above comment to me during lunch when she saw what was on my tray. Way to make me feel self-conscious. What was on my tray:

--chicken salad sans dressing
--cup of cottage cheese
--one hard boiled egg (for salad)
--small bag of freeze dried fruit
--bottle of water

Admittedly, it did look like a lot of food because everything came in its own little container and the cafeteria just got a stock of new GIANT plates. But it was just some lettuce, cottage cheese, and fruit. The guy next to me had a salad that was as big as mine plus a whole plate of spaghetti and meat sauce drowned in parmesan cheese. So why did I get the irritating comment?

(Okay, I confess: there were like five croutons on the salad too.)

My other favorite comment that I got as recently as last week:

"How do you eat so much and stay so thin?"

I don't know, I guess I must have super duper special fast metabolism that allows me to eat like a pig and still never gain weight. Is that what you want me to say?

My husband, who eats dinner with me every night and knows that I generally eat about a quarter of what he does, would never ask me a question like that.


  1. Since you say you're thin, I'm not sure exactly why the first comment bothers you (you can always say "Yes, I am hungry.")

    The second comment genre bothers me since when is it ok to comment on the other person's weight? Even if you are thin, it is pretty rude.

  2. I get "now I know how you stay so skinny" from friends at parties when listing off my food restrictions as I try to find something on the table that I can eat. I have a pretty extensive list, and once I get to the end of it I always get something to the effect of "no wonder you're thin." Yeah... a medically induced diet will do that to you...

    Before I got sick, I used to get the "how can you eat so much/so unhealthy and stay so thin" comments and they annoyed the hell out of me. It's rude.

  3. It's sad that we live in a society in which there is so much judgment towards women's bodies and what they put into them. It seems to be even worse in medicine, where it's viewed as a badge of honour to skip meals to work. I hate to think what that attending would've said to me if she'd seen me eating a slice of pizza and a Coke....

  4. OMDG: I am on the thin side, but I'm not a stick or anything and I'm not flat-chested, so I don't have that rail-thin look. I've had periods in my life like college when I was heavier. So her comment made me feel like I was overeating and I felt self-conscious.

    serakit: I've also had some intermittent health issues the last few years that have caused me to drop a good amount of weight. I also am the kind of person who can't eat when I'm stressed or upset. So I think I have the right to have a big meal on the rare occasion that I feel up to it, without the commentary.

    Solitary Diner: I think the first comment would have bothered me less if she hadn't singled me out as the only other female at the table, when I actually had the least food on my tray. Why do women do that?

  5. About your last comment to Sol Din. It's jealousy and pointing out other people's issues makes them feel better. These are the same people than live for TMZ and the details of other peoples lives because seeing minute flaws in others brings them joy. I get the same thing since I'm (a lot) bigger than most people and I eat really healthy. I'll go out to eat, order a salad, fish and vegetables instead of burgers and fries. Never fails that I'll get called out and be the butt of jokes all night about being a health nut and a meathead from guys who are 50-75 lbs overweight and on the fast track to T2-diabetes. Now that I'm training for bodybuilding it's even worse so I too have become a solitary diner because it's easier to eat my food w/o the ridicule.

  6. Sol Din -- TOTALLY. It makes me insane when I hear my friends who just started residency complaining -- but really bragging -- about how they no longer have time to eat. It's like residency has given them an excuse to indulge their latent anorexia. It's seriously disturbing, and I wish people wouldn't do that. So NOT HEALTHY. Not to mention that being hungry sucks and turns nice people into mean bitches (self included).

  7. OMG! My best friend has the same thing. She's SO thin, and she eats bigger than me. I was like: How can you eat so much but still be this skinny? And she says: Must be a high metabolism or something. Me on the other hand eats smaller than her and I'm chubby.