A Challenge and A Tofu Recipe

Hi guys! I hope you all had a great weekend :).

Today, I have a challenge for you guys:

A week and a half ago when I wrote my post about current body image, Lindsey wrote a comment that really got me thinking and that I completely agree with! She said:

…when people say “You look so skinny!”, and I know they mean it as a compliment, but I do not take it as one. Since when does looking skinny = looking good? It shouldn’t. There is more to looking SKINNY. I want to look HEALTHY. I think if everyone thought like this we would have far fewer people with a negative body image.

I absolutely agree with her! There used to be a time when all I cared about was looking skinny- I didn’t care if I looked healthy in the process, or even fit for that matter. Now, however, I want to look fit and healthy. I want to have some muscles and definition and tone. Most of the time when I hear skinny I think of tiny models and actresses because that is how it is portrayed in our society.

I think it is so important to embrace and promote looking healthy rather than skinny. When a person says, “You look so skinny!” to another person, it can perpetuate an already dangerous mindset that skinny=beautiful. I think this could be detrimental to someone with a negative body image or eating disorder.

Plus, I always wonder if someone is actually trying to compliment you when they say “You look so skinny”. I sometimes think that is said for several reasons- to get the same “compliment” in return, because they are envious, or they actually do think you look so skinny but they are saying it more out of concern. I’ve seen people use that phrase when talking to a friend who is trash talking their body. I also have several friends that are naturally really skinny and tiny. Whenever they are told “you look so skinny” they actually get kind of worried that people think they have an eating disorder, yet they are completely healthy

It would be awesome it we could change the mindset of our society so that looking healthy was thought of as beautiful, but unfortunately that would be really hard to do. So here is my challenge for you:

From now on, try to give people compliments about how healthy, fit, beautiful, or good they look instead of about how skinny they are! You never know, it may help that person appreciate something about their body even more :). You could also compliment them on something else (intellect, style, kindness, etc.)!


Last night I made a super tasty dinner, so yes, I have another recipe for you!

Thai-Style Noodles and Tofu

Serves: 4-6

Tofu and Noodle Ingredients

  • Water
  • 1/2 lb whole-wheat spaghetti noodles
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into slices
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into slices

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup water


1. Bring water to bowl in a large part; add noodles and cook for about 10 minutes

2. Combine sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until creamy; set aside

3. Mist a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add tofu and spread garlic and soy sauce evenly over the pieces. Saute tofu, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

4. While tofu is cooking, spray a medium skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp of water into pan and immediately cover with lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the peppers are tender and slightly blackened.

5. After tofu is cooked, add sauce and turn heat to low. Stir once or twice as the sauce thickens, for a minute or two.

6. Serve peppers and tofu over linguine and enjoy!

It was delicious :).

Hope you guys have an awesome Monday! I have fieldwork all week so I’ll be out observing OTs all week instead of going to class!

**Go enter my Rocco DiSpirito book giveaway if you haven’t yet!!**



What do you think about the phrase “You look so skinny”?


About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on October 24, 2011, in Bloggers, Body Image, Dinner, Health, Recipe. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance

    That’s such an interesting point! Of course we’re all brought up loving the idea of being “skinny” because we subconsciously know that it’s what society thinks is “beautiful.” Now whenever anybody tells me that, I’m going to really think about what their really saying. I want to be healthy! Skinny is not where my aim is

  2. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance


    ..It’s early 😦

    • I have definitely people to tell me that I look skinny, but then when I really think about it, I would actually rather look healthy! That is such a better way to look anyway 🙂

  3. I completely agree with you on the phrase “You look so skinny” – I don’t like it at all. Our society and media has such a disoriented mindset on what is truly HEALTHY. No wonder there’s so many eating disorders and disordered eating habits within our world! It’s really quite sad and also frustrating. I love your challenge!

  4. I think the phrase “you look so skinny” has different meanings for different people. For someone who is naturally slender, they may take it the wrong way. I’ve had friends who are bone thin, but eat more than I do, take offense to that comment. When someone says to them “wow you look so skinny” they take it as that person telling them they should eat more, or insinuating something along the lines of them not being healthy.

    BUT when I get the compliment “you look so skinny” I’m on cloud 9 for DAYS! 😉 I’m also someone who is self concious about my weight and my curves, so whenever I receive a comment like that I take it to heart and genuinely appreciate it 🙂 I love being told “You look so skinny!” but I think it depends on each individual persons preferences!

    • You are absolutely right! It does depend on individual preferences…I think I was just trying to get across that being “skinny” shouldn’t be something that we strive for, but being healthy should!

  5. I’ve never thought of salsa + pb. Sounds like it’s worth a try!

    I like the skinny compliment, but I know some people don’t take it well. My mom lost weight a while back, and she hated that comment. She prefers a more curvy look on women, and she thinks of “skinny” as an insult. To each his/her own, I suppose.

  6. This recipe seriously sounds amazing! Great pics 🙂

  7. Lindsay, this is a fantastic challenge! For so long I’ve been chasing skinny, and last week, for Love Your Body Day, I decided to stop counting calories, stop chasing skinny, and start chasing healthy and happy.

    And the recipe looks great 🙂

  8. Thanks for a thought provoking post. I think its interesting that its normally girls that tell each other that they are skinny. Most guys would never say that to anyone! Your peanut sauce looks wonderful.

  9. I’ve never personally had an eating disorder, but my little sister has…it was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, so I can’t even imagine the state she was in….When we talk about it now (praise God–she won that battle), she tells me that when people would tell her “you look so skinny” she would take that as a compliment even though they meant it as a concern. She somehow had the mindset that the skinnier the better (this society sadly tells girls/women that every day) so this only motivated her unhealthy habits. My sister also told me that the first time she realized she might be at risk was when I told her “You don’t look healthy, and I’m scared for your future…”

    We have to choose our words wisely, and I couldn’t agree with you more. We have to compliment people on the healthy decisions they choose to make, not simply on what they look like.

    • Yes, we absolutely do need to choose our words wisely…and I think that taking the focus off how someone looks can help them stop focusing on it as well (at least I would like to think that)

  10. Lindsay I think this is a really important topic and challenge and I’m glad you brought it up. I just think that saying someone looks so skinny can be taken in a negative way and can trigger thoughts in the mind that maybe the giver of the “compliment” didn’t realize. Whenever I hear it a few different things happen. On one hand, I shrink on the inside. I take it as a negative and get very self-conscious about how I look and how people perceive me. On the other hand, I’m cheering inside, can’t wait to weigh myself, and hope the compliments keep coming. It’s scary. I think your challenge is wonderful and I hope people realize that telling someone how healthy, fit, and beautiful they look is so much better than focusing on fat versus skinny.

  11. What a great post! I think it is *so* important to shift compliments away from “skinny” and applaud strength and health in our friends and loved ones instead. Those should be the ideals we encourage in others and strive for ourselves.

    P.S. – Love your new tofu recipe! I’m hooked on Thai food and love peanut sauce. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Love this post Lindsay… it is such a great reminder of what I am realizing now is so important! I used to be fueled by the “skinny comment” to make myself even smaller than I already was. But now I am realizing I would rather look healthy and strong… and if that does not mean skinny, than so be it

  13. I think that tone really matters with that phrase. I have heard people use it towards me where it sounds that they are impying that I look bad, but I have also heard it used the opposite way where I am praised. I would much rather be told I look healthy and fit rather than skinny, which I associate with those starving models young girls unfortunately look up to 😦

    Maybe we can change that! 😀

  14. I completely agree. I don’t want to be skinny. I want to be healthy. And I hate how the two are so interchangeable to so many. Love the challenge!

  15. I agree with your thoughts! I don’t like when people tell me I look “so skinny”, because it makes me wonder what they thought I looked like before!

  16. I love this post, I think you are completely right!

    People definitely reinforce the whole skinny = beautiful mindset by complimenting people on being thin, I’m probably guilty of it too!

    I will definitely be making an effort to compliment people on their other qualities instead 🙂

    That really does look delicious! I never know what to marinate tofu in, your sauce sounds tasty 🙂

  17. Tofu still creeps me out but I could totally make this recipe with chicken instead, I love peanut sauce! And I agree with your thoughts on skinny – healthy and fit is so much more important!

  18. what a good point!!! skinny definitely doesn’t equate to being beautiful. in some instances, i think skinny can be really unattractive actually! it’s hard being a woman in our society.

    that thia noodle dish looks sooo good. pad thai is one of my favorite meals ever.

  19. When people ask me what my weight loss goals are, I tell them I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be healthy and fit. Skinny is not what I’m striving for.

  20. I completely agree with the “you look so skinny” phrase being unhealthy! Feeling skinny does not equate with feeling good and healthy whatsoever..I also agree that telling people they look skinny can be a dangerous message because then there is pressure to get skinnier so people will still tell you how “beautiful” you look..I have learned from past experiences and have realized that being healthy and having muscle definition is a lot more satisfying:)

  21. I LOVE that this has been brought up. Skinny SHOULDN’T be the norm of looking great or being appealing to everyone. I think telling someone they look cute, adorable, beautiful or gorgeous is the best way to compliment them!

  22. What an awesome post. I have definitely experienced something similar…and when I don’t hear someone say “you look skinny!” I begin to wonder why not…did I gain weight? I think it’s kind of triggering, and I’d much rather look strong and healthy…I mean, imagine giving an adolescent girl that “compliment.” No one should, so why say it to older women?

  23. Heyyy, thanks for the shout out! Well you know I totally agree with you. The skinny as a compliment definitely bothers me, and I thought you elaborated on that really well and brought up some really great points.

    I am not the biggest tofu fan, not gonna lie…but that pasta still does look delicious.

  24. great post lindsay! i have mixed feelings about it. i’m not going to lie and say i don’t feel good when someone tells me that i look “skinny” or “tiny,” but it can be triggering and lead to unhealthy perceptions of ourselves. thoughts like: if this is skinny, then what will i be if i gain more weight? will i only be “thin” or “average”? or, what was i before? did i lose weight? it brings to mind a lot of unnecessary questions. i totally agree with you in that i wish i could change my mindset!

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