Being underweight isn’t a license to get fat

Recently, my weight had dropped below 66kg, which is about a kg or two less than I ought to be. When my friends found out about this (since I advertised it on Facebook), many exhorted me to eat. EAT! I suppose much of it is said in half-jest, especially the ones which suggest merrily to me to eat something fattening. But I find it quite difficult to explain that it’s not so simple.

I’m losing weight probably because of muscle loss, as I’ve not been to the gym since the new year began. As I’ve written about before, it’s pretty easy to lose muscle mass – e.g. through lack of proper sleep/rest, not exercising, and not eating enough protein. It’s also very easy to gain fat – e.g. through lack of proper sleep/rest, not exercising… and eating too much fattening stuff.

I can feel my waist thickening, a sure sign of fat gain. I half-heartedly flex my arms once in a while, to see if my biceps and triceps still exist. These muscles are difficult to grow and maintain. I see them. But I can’t help but feel they’ve probably shrunk…

Even if I’m underweight, there is a right way to regain weight, and many wrong ways. The right thing to do is to gain muscle mass, not fat mass. A person’s weight is comprised of muscle mass + fat mass + bones/organs. To gain muscle, eat enough protein, exercise the right balance of muscle groups, and sleep enough for the muscle to grow. The wrong way is to gain fat mass. You can be the right weight, but still fat.

Many people praise me for my success in losing weight – I’m really grateful for it! Among the compliments I get are terms that I have never had the pleasure of owning before – “slim”, “skinny”, “trim and fit”.

Lately, it’s gotten “worse” – now people are starting to show me worried looks before exhorting me to “eat more!”, “don’t lose any more weight!” and even “don’t disappear”! Hahaha, if only I could.

I leave you with an image to burn into your brain:




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