I'm male, 18 years old and nearly 6 feet tall. I've been very thin all my life. While I'm not in the habit of weighing myself regularly, I did for the purposes of this node; I'm about 58 kilos (around 130 pounds). It's plainly obvious when you look at me. Especially my wrists. I have very little visible arm muscle.

This of course, during primary school and earlier high school, brought derogatory comments. "Dude, are you anorexic?" People wrapping their fingers around my wrists to demonstrate how skinny I was. It didn't matter that I could just as easily wrap my fingers around their wrists. Nicknames like 'stick figure', 'chicken legs' and 'skeleton' stuck. At the time I thought it was stupid; why tease me for being underweight when there were people overweight by the same margin, not being teased at all? But as I figured out quite quickly, overweight people are a common sight. Underweights are usually only seen on TV in a humiliating documentary on how they're gradually being nursed back from the brink of death; distressing images of them being force-fed and immediately trying to either throw up or work off the energy.

I love food; I eat a lot, and constantly. When I get some time, I seriously want to learn to cook better (of course, being a geek sucks up all that time). For me, one of the best feelings is lying down in bed, with my stomach noticeably larger after a huge dinner. Of course, by that time I'm usually on my second or third dinner; I have a tendency to eat smaller amounts more frequently, rather than a large amount in one go.

One of the most humilating, yet most potentially fun situations I was placed in was several years ago during a school swimming meet. We had been doing laps, and it was a cold day. Of course, I got colder a lot quicker than everybody else. The teacher supervising us had noticed that (and the fact that the bottom of my ribcage pokes forward noticeably, almost like an additional pair of tiny breasts) and called me out of the pool. Of course, once I left the water I started shivering. I go up to him, and he says "What do you eat for breakfast? I don't think you're eating enough."

I was incredibly shocked. This is a teacher, someone who's supposed to be completely impartial, criticising my eating habits on the fact that I'm skinny. I was so shocked that I stammered "Umm... a bowl of Fruity-Bix". He then goes on to query me on my eating habits later in the day, suggesting that I eat several sandwiches for lunch, etc (most of which I was already doing anyway). I eventually staggered away, still shocked. It wasn't until about half an hour later that I realised that I should have said "How the FUCK is it any of your business?" and then threatened him with legal proceedings of some sort. At the very least, I could get my parents to call the school and get him in all sorts of shit. But of course I didn't at the time, so I missed my one chance to legitimately tell a teacher to fuck off. Oh well :-)

I don't know why I don't get fat. Maybe metabolism, maybe not. I never bothered to find out. I'm skinny, I can eat whatever the hell I want and not get fat. It's great. I can't imagine having to refuse to eat so that I don't put on weight. It would be torture to me.

As for strength, well... I'm not as strong as most people, in absolute terms. I'm plenty strong enough to carry computers around; once I left a LAN Party in a single trip; monitor on my left arm, case in the right arm, bag on my back. It's not something I'd do again, since the balance was crummy and I had to carry the lot down two lots of stairs, but I can do it. Computers are about the most taxing of my everyday loads.

My strength, in relative terms, is immense though. Lifting my own body weight with my arms is an absolutely trivial matter. I love indoor rock climbing, and even though I don't get to do much of it any more, I kick ass at it. One of the practice walls at the centre we used to frequent was a bunch of wooden blocks on an incline towards you; the idea is you climb it using just your arms. I got to the second top rung (about 1.5 metres above the starting point) before slipping off; I fell and nearly hurt my hip, because I'd forgotten to put the mat under me before I started. I can do chin-ups with three fingers of each hand. Awkward walls with large overhangs are fairly easy, since I can climb the difficult sections using just my arms. Relative to my own body weight, I am extremely strong.

Something I figured out recently: when I was about 8 years old I was on the bus to school. A woman gave me two dollars and said 'go to the shop and get yourself something'. I never figured out why that was, but I'm guessing she thought I was undernourished or something.