10 Things Only Skinny-Fat Guys Understand
I’m skinny-fat. Neither skinny nor fat, but somewhere in the middle. A pale, fleshy purgatory of flab that lends itself to a multitude of pokes and prods from my friends and family who are quick to offer their opinions about how to solve my slight paunch. While I’m lucky in the sense that I am not overweight, I don’t consider myself healthy. I’m comically un-athletic, prone to moments of social anxiety and consistently frustrated by my wardrobe. Over the years of living with this Ford Taurus of a body, I’ve come to accept some things about myself that I urge all people—skinny-fat and beyond—to realize and move on.
1. It's impossible to find a t-shirt that fits
You're not a small, you're not a large, but rather somewhere in the middle. But also not a medium. You always have to ask yourself whether you're aiming to buy loose-fitting clothing that will fit right now or after the lifestyle change you probably won't make.
I bought two medium shirts from American Apparel yesterday—one fit and one didn’t. An alternative tactic is buying large shirts and drying them in a pottery kiln so they shrink to fit.
2. You never go to a gym
While there are certain aspects to your thin but plush figure that can be attributed to genetics, it’s pretty obvious that we're the way we are because of an inability to commit to an exercise routine. Why? Good question. Personally, I’ve boiled it down to anxiety and the fear of failing. Of course, that’s just me; not everybody goes through full psychotic breakdowns when trying to minimally improve my life.
3. You will never get rid of that godforsaken gut
The tell-tale sign of a skinny-fat dude is the signature paunch that sits above his jeans like one those tiny little remora fish that attach themselves to sharks. It’s a gut we've probably had since childhood that may never go away, no matter how hard we try. Sometimes it shrinks when we cut down on the booze, sometimes it balloons up from excess Chinese food, but it’s a part of us like a giant hairy benign tumor.
4. You feel like a full-on "Monet"
Yup, from Clueless. As UrbanDictionary puts it, a full-on Monet is “someone [who’s] attractive from afar, but when you get close you see that said person is not as attractive as they appeared from a distance.” I don't know about you, but when someone gets too close to me, I can feel their eyes moving from the top of my head to my lumpy midsection, silently questioning if my shirt is too small or my body is too large.
5. Winter is your best friend
Summer's fine, but winter is the greatest season. Why? Layers, baby! There’s no better boost for confidence than hiding your body inside a button-up, sweater, scarf, and gigantic jacket combination, like a human Big Mac. Because the skinny-fat man has a face that’s deceivingly skinny, fraternizing with other people during the chilly seasons is a total breeze as there’s no bodily anxiety attached...unless you, uh, go inside.
6. Beards are like safety blankets
Like me, you may tell myself that you keep facial hair long to appease the ladies love of a well-groomed beard. But behind those active follicles, there’s an ulterior motive. It’s simple: a thick beard hides a double-chin. I personally get serious satisfaction from shaving, so it’s really a battle between my physical and mental comfort on a day to day basis.
7. Sitting down is the worst
Yeah, it sounds like the musings of a crazy person, but every skinny-fat person will agree that the act of sitting down f*cking sucks. Your jeans tighten up around your thighs and make them look like elephant dicks, your gut rolls over the top of your boxers like the top of a muffin, and all that excess weight on your chest and stomach will inevitably make your slump forward in your seat. Oh! I just got it! Muffin top!
8. Actually, running kinda sucks, too
I’ll always remember the words of a fellow skinny-fat from who I met in Boston long ago: “I never run for trains or buses, dude. Nothing’s worth running for.” These words that I repeat to people whenever they see me power-walking towards a train platform. I don’t run, not because I adhere to the beliefs of my friends, but it just sucks to feel all that fat sloshing around.
9. People think you're a nutjob
Honestly, there are more reasons than the aforementioned list to point to me being crazy, but I firmly believe in my words. When you're caught finessing yourself in the mirror or complaining about calories, you get called out for being a nut. People tell me I’m overthinking it or even going as far as to fake my anxieties, but it’s something that I feel.
Along those lines, people often think you're lying about my weight. When I reveal my true weight (somewhere between 175 - 185 pounds) the same stock question follows: “where are ya hidin’ it?!” I follow this with a stock pouty grimace.
10. This is who you are, and that's fine
I've said it once and I'll say it again: it could be worse. Considering there are billions of people out there with actual problems, it's an understatement that we have it easy. At the end of the day, these are our bods and it's something we could change...if we really wanted to. But if it ain't broke, why fix it? Because society tells us we're broken? Bah. Society should leave everyone alone. So we've got a little extra dough, some people like it—my girlfriend says I remind her of a tube of cookie dough in an Oxford shirt. I love cookie dough! Everyone does! In the words of Kim Kardashian, purveyor of butt-related things: "Can I live?!"
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