Skinny

Ok. So I knew I was thin…too thin for my tastes, but today at my annual Dr’s appointment, she confirmed it – “You know you’re a little thin, right?” She told me that I would have to weigh 136 to even be on her chart for a BMI of 19. I later got online to use a BMI calculator and came up with an actual BMI of 17.9. From what I’ve read, anything below 18 could be considered anorexic. Great. How attractive I must be, little skeletal me.I weigh 128 and am 5’11”. Sigh.

I told the doc I was vegan, but that really, I eat constantly. I do! I told her about the great egg experiment. I told her I’ve been breast feeding two kids for 5 years straight. She said she’s just concerned about what could happen if I get sick because I have absolutely no reserves. I agree. Wholeheartedly. If someone could just tell me how to put on a few pounds without contributing to animal suffering and cruelty, I’d do it. 

I looked up the fairy chicken lady again. Yep. She’s still around. (See my great egg experiment post). I could give it a try once more. I really don’t know what else to do. Clearly, my body needs some dense calories. 

Truly, I out-eat my husband easily. For lunch today, I had a generous bowl of lentil vegetable soup, a bagel with vegan margarine, vegan cr. cheese, three slices of vegan “chicken”, a bowl of collard greens, a cup of soy milk, and four chocolate chip cookies. It’s not like I’m low-cal or watching my fat grams. I say bring on the fat! 

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I see kids “thriving” on over-processed junk food, they do continue to at least grow on less than ideal diets. So why can’t I stay at a healthy looking weight eating a wide variety of healthy food? Doesn’t make sense. Could be my metabolism just needs a few animal products? I don’t know. There are studies on veganism proprosed or in process, but nothing that would give me the answer to this question yet.

I would hate to eat something that goes against my ethics. I’m raising my family vegan, for christsakes. I feel fine. I’m quite strong – strong enough to rip up my entire front yard, haul dozens of wheelbarrows of soil and rock and mulch and then garden all summer. I don’t feel run down or weak.

I’ve had this weird, disconnected feeling lately though. That I’m somehow disconnected from the cycles of nature because I’m in my little “happy vegan life- pod” not eating any creatures or their products, not contributing intentionally to any animal suffering (exception: cat food for my cats), and thus removed from the natural cycles of life and death.  I want to blog about this issue separately. 

What to do? What to do?

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    tinako said,

    I just looked up your BMI. Yes, you are “off the chart,” but have you looked at the chart? It puts “normal” all the way at the left. Off the chart in your case means you are just one click lower than “normal.” You would be an 18. According to wikipedia, normal begins at 18.5. Wikipedia also reports some shortcomings of BMI, including something about tall people that I couldn’t understand.

    I am 5′ 10 (or a tad higher) and weight 145, so 17 pounds more than you. I am a size 10 Tall and right in the middle of normal BMI but I do not feel slim – I am not where I would like to be. Before I went vegan I was 160 – still “normal” BMI but an uncomfortably heavy size 12. I lost about 17 pounds over about 6 months when I went vegan. That felt great, and I have a sense of what another 17 pounds would feel like. I still have a tum and I would love to lose more, maybe another 10-15 pounds. My guess at my ideal weight is very close to your weight. I run 7 miles a week.

    Maybe your body, your metabolism, is meant to be thin. Maybe you are beginning to see overweight people as the “new normal,” and so you can’t perceive that your body is just a little under normal weight. Maybe the BMI chart is misleading by calling minor heaviness “normal.”

    It sounds like you are eating plenty, and all the right things. It really is curious that you are not gaining on what you eat. I don’t really see how animal products would improve your situation – why would they? What was your weight like in the past?

    If it were me, if my doctor had a suggestion that my low weight was caused by disease, I would sit right up and listen. Has she looked into that? Thyroid, etc. Other than that, I never look to my doctor for nutritional advice.

    And that is my very uninformed comment.


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