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Re. Watching Thin People Eat

 
 
Reply Tue 30 Oct, 2007 04:41 pm
Just went to my 20th high school reunion and while some people changed a lot (got heavy, went bald...) most people were the same; essentially looked the same and were the same weight.

How is this possible? I am a heavy person (size 12-14), not huge, but heavy and fought this all my life. I have observed my friends, family....and have found one thing to be consistant and that is that people who were born thin tend to stay thin. Sure, maybe when they go through menapause or become elderly they will get heavey, but those who I've known who are thin have always stayed that way and their weight has not changed one iota all these years. These are my friends who never dieted or watched their weight. After watching my friends eat to their hearts content eating chocolate, pizza, doughnuts....and wondering why the same foods made me balloon up I finally concluded that it is NOT calories in calories out. It is NOT necessarily how active or inactive you are. It IS your body, your individual body and how it responds to food.

I know many heavy people who eat close to nothing and still they are heavy and struggle endlessly while my old friends pushing 40 those who never had any weight problems, after have 2 or 3 kids are STILL as thin as they ever were, even after gaining X amount of weight during pregnancy....never changed their weight more than 10 pounds all their lives.

I think the thing that is so aggravating for heavy people like myself is the unfairness of all of it. Food is one of the great pleasures in life and yet we are forced to struggle with it, whether it be rejection because of being overweight or denial of foods we love while we watch our thin counterparts eat all they want without a care in the world. The whole thing to be honest just f'ing stinks. Period.

I personally have found that the ONLY way to maintain my weight (maintain my size 14, without gaining or obsessing) is to think "like a thin person" and just forget about food and calories and eat what I want, when I'm hungry only and stop silly diets. While this may not make me thin like I desire it HAS been the only sane way of dealing with food and the ONLY way I will know full and well that day to day, week to week that all my clothes will fit and that my weight will not be all over the place indicating to other people that I am some sort of kook.

I think the worst of is is the guilt and shame overweight people are forced to carry around as if they being heavy is such a disappointment to friends, family....as if this was completely in their control. I assure EVERY thin person that if any fat person had the choice they'd CHOOSE to be thin. It's easier. It's more fun. it's just better, but the fact of the matter is that fighting your weight often feels as futile as trying to change the color of your eyes. It just feels impossible to change it and make it stick. It's like all those friends I knew from way back. They were thin all their lives without giving it much thought or effort because that is their nature, just as it is my nature, like it or not to be a size 14. Not fun, but it is what it is.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 4,807 • Replies: 34
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Oct, 2007 05:47 pm
I don't think anyone's going to argue that people are different in how easy/hard it is to stay thin. Some people have to work harder than others. And some people are morbidly obese thanks to genetics.

On the other hand, if you were to religiously exercise the proper way, stay consistent with that and a healthy diet that supported it, you could be smaller than a size 14 without starving yourself.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Oct, 2007 05:49 pm
I just hate thin people, Skippy, especially those that can eat all they want of what they want.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Oct, 2007 06:12 pm
So are metabolisms slowing down in America? How come there are so many more fat people than ever before in our history? Americans have tilted towards obesity in last 30 years because of easy access to abundant, cheap food and a sedentary lifestyle starting in early childhood.
I do believe metabolism and age play a role in what we weight, but diet and exercise play even a bigger part. Obesity based only on metabolism is rare.

Skippy, if you just increase your daily activity to burn an extra 200 calories and decrease your daily eating by 200 calories, you can probably maintain a size 10 without torturing yourself. It's true you might have to starve yourself to be a size 6, but most people can make modest changes to drop a size or two.
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Builder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2007 12:00 am
roger wrote:
I just hate thin people, Skippy, especially those that can eat all they want of what they want.


Don't hate on me. Very Happy

Is it my fault I was born like this?

But honestly, I sometimes wonder what happens to all that food....

Like, I just ate an hour ago, and I'm starving again. Reading a book, sitting in the sun, must really burn off those carbs. :wink:
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2007 04:01 am
skippylarue- Welcome to A2K! Very Happy

Like you, I have been battling my weight for my entire life, which has been much longer than yours.

If cutting down on calories is not doing it for you, you need to increase your activity level. Exercise will stoke the metabolic "furnace". It will allay anxiety, which is the cause of stress eating. You don't have to to anything fancy. A brisk walk for 1/2 hour 3-4 times a week will create differences in not only how you look, but how you feel. Now I said BRISK walk, not strolling. You need to get your heart rate up for the exercise to be effective as a weight loss catalyst. Check your pulse rate.

http://www.cchs.net/health/health-info/docs/0900/0984.asp?index=5508

There are ways to cut calories, to get more "bang" for your nutritional buck, without feeling deproved. Eat a lot of salads. They have few calories, and help you to feel full. Concentrate on chicken and fish, and have red meat only occasionally.

Watch your portions. A piece of meat should be the size of a deck of cards. Stay away from sugary sodas and fried foods. Take the skin off chicken and turkey. Most of the fat is there.

I could go on and on, but I think that you get the idea. Good luck!
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  2  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2007 05:42 am
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:
I don't think anyone's going to argue that people are different in how easy/hard it is to stay thin. Some people have to work harder than others. And some people are morbidly obese thanks to genetics.

On the other hand, if you were to religiously exercise the proper way, stay consistent with that and a healthy diet that supported it, you could be smaller than a size 14 without starving yourself.


Slappy, might be true much of the time, but not always.

Me, as case in point.

Metabolisms do change as you age, plus menopause for women, that honestly preclude you from getting under a certain size, regardless of your health activity level, or healthy diet.

In order to be any smaller than I am now, I would have to have an exercise program that would be totally unrealistic. As for food, I'd have to be one of those obsessed people that measure out every gram of food.

It's not always a matter of "trying harder"

There comes a point, if you are emotionally and mentally happy, where you do just say...."hey, I can be a 14 and happy, or a 12 and constantly battling 14, or a 10 and utterly miserable"

BTW, through most of my adult years between 20 and 35, I was a 6, going into an 8. In my 20's that was easy enough to maintain....older, there was a force like a glacier, which couldn't be stopped.

I don't want to be 90 years old, or older, and look back wondering why I worried about whether I weighed X or Y, or wore a size 10 or 14.
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tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2007 06:01 am
two theories on why people are fatter than ever:

1. food is more available than ever. i think it was in another thread here: we have the instinct to keep from starving but no instinct to stop us from eating (i imagine that is only partially true.)

2. a pepper has all the vitamins you need in a day (you need more than vitamins to live, i'm sure.)

if the pepper has no fat, you have to consume no fat to get those vitamins.

if the pepper has 4oz. of fat, you have to consume 4oz. of fat to get the same amount of vitamins. etc.

or, if the pepper has half the amount of nutrients, you have to eat two to get the same benefit.

i think it's somewhere between these two theories. or perhaps more people are more depressed than ever before? if that's the case, blame a culture of consumerism that will never make people happy (not even the rich.)
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2007 06:19 am
Not only is food abundant in this country, it is of such poor quality that our bodies dont know what to do with it but store it as fat.

McDonalds ( yes.. Im beating a dead horse.. just bear with me) is a prime example.
Our bodies are not meant to eat 500+ calories in one setting, nor are we ok with just as many fat calories in a day.
Yet, for cheap this is the kind of food readily available.

packaged foods contain so many unnatural chemicals that they DO slow the metabolism, damage the digestive system and alter our brain chemicals so that we dont always know when we are hungry.

high fructose corn syrup has been proven to make people ' feel hungry' causing them to eat more of what ever it is that they are currently eating.

MSG has been proven to ' make food taste better' and gives the eater a small 'high' which makes them want more.

Both of these ingredience are found in well over 70% of normal packaged foods. Even packaged foods that are supposed to promote a healthy diet.
Slim fast, uses high fructose corn syrup like it was going out of style.
Healthy Choice brand foods is swarming with MSG

Both of those ingredience also have been linked to cancers and other illnesses that DO slow the bodies ability to digest food and store healthy vitamins and minerals appropriately.

So, not only is it abundance that is making america fat, it is quality. And most people over look quality to find abundance because their body is just not used to meals that are not the size of a milk jug.. thanks to chemicals.

You can eat quality calories , vitamins, minerals, sugars allllll day and not gain a pound.
Quality means little to no packaged foods . Fresh fruits, lean meat, veggies and grains are all ok to eat and eat in high quantities if you want to.
Though, I dont know may people who CAN eat alot of lentils rice or broccoli.. you tend to feel full rather quickly..
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2007 06:42 am
just playing devils adovocate here....

when I look at myself, I see my grandmothers (on my fathers side) body.

She was born around 1900.

Not fat, definately not thin. We share a peasants body, strong and stocky, made for work. Built to go long distances at a walk, built for having babies.

Not a small hipped body, not one that fits into pencil jeans, or wants to have arms bared in spaghetti strap tops.

It's a body that if it gets sick with a cold or stomach virus, I don't have to worry about loosing to much weight. I've got the weight to see me through a famine, when people wearing skinny clothes will be falling by the wayside.

It's moved me around this planet for 48 years, and done a good job.

It's a fine body. It's mine and it's my grandmothers.
She never worried about her size, I don't think I will either.

That's what I see when I eat what I consider well.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Oct, 2007 07:31 am
I can speak from the "thin" person side of things. I have always been thin from a kid until an adult and even after having two children. I am in my 40s now and still get the "you are so thin" comment.

I honestly believe metabolism is a big part of it. When I was growing up I would eat like a horse and never gain an ounce. It was actually difficult for me to gain weight. However, as I got older my metabolism changed - slowed down and I could no longer eat whatever I wanted.

So how did I maintain a thin frame? A couple of reasons - my appetite changed with my metabolism. I used to be starving and want to eat 3 portions of dinner - now I get full with less. I also listen to my body. When it says or begins to feel full, I stop eating. The second thing is I don't diet, but I do watch what I eat. I am fortunate that I actually love vegetables and don't have a big sweet tooth. I try to eat healthy without counting calories. I don't eat much processed food, but try to use fresh foods. I think my life style - just generally focusing on eating healthy foods and being active with my family - not a regular exercise routine, but just getting out and playing with my kids, all contribute to keeping me "thin."

I am not as thin as I was in high school, but I maintain a healthy weight. I think everyone's ideal weight is different depending on metabolism and body build - but the most important thing is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, weight and be happy with whatever body shape you naturally have. No one should be feel guilt or shame because they do not have an "ideal body shape or weight" - I am so called thin and believe me I am far from an "ideal body". To me an ideal body weight or shape is one that is your ideal body weight and shape to maintain a healthy life.
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maporsche
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 04:45 am
I understand the posters struggles, but I really hate it when I hear someone say "it doesn't matter how little food I eat, I still gain weight". This is just plain false. If you eat a strict caloric diet, that is below the number of calories you burn in a day, you WILL lose weight.

There are some calorie restriction diets that are too extreme, and will put your body into starvation mode, but that doesn't mean you stop losing weight, you just lose weight slower.

It IS as simple as calories in < calories out for weight loss.

And eating 5-6 small meals a day will help increase your metabolism.
Chai
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 06:35 am
Well maporsche, I'll assume, technically, that's true.

However, your choice of words, and exclusion of others, bothers me.

I feel using the word "strict" is falling in the realm of obsession. Unless you are a member of the Opus Dei, and are into self flagellation and mortification, I see no reason for the general population to be so concerned with their weight that they need to constantly self monitor themselves.

Of course, if you're diabetic, have allergies, other medical conditions, there are certain items you need to avoid.

All this talk of retriction, being strict with yourself....where's the joie de vive?

Rather than obsess about a clothing size, or a number on a scale, what's wrong with realism, moderation and the odd indulgence?

I'd like to ask a question of everyone looking at this post....please consider before responding...

If you woke up tomorrow, and the entire world suddenly lost the ability to discern whether other people were fat, skinny, attractive, ugly....(immediate health concerns aside, I'm not talking about morbidly obese) would you bother thinking about your size again?

One thing that would happen is that everyone would start wearing comfortable clothes.

I woke up one day, and I suddenly lost the ability to care whether other people though I was fat, skinny, attractive, ugly. I refuse to wear uncomfortable clothes.

Guess what, no one treats me any different, at least that is apparent to me. Except in one respect....

Around the same time I lost that ability in fact, I felt more respect being directed to me in certain areas of my life, because any concern over my appearance was not getting in the way with the task at hand.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 07:00 am
Chai wrote:
RIf you woke up tomorrow, and the entire world suddenly lost the ability to discern whether other people were fat, skinny, attractive, ugly....(immediate health concerns aside, I'm not talking about morbidly obese) would you bother thinking about your size again?


Yes, but this may fall into the realm of immediate health concerns....

My story is similar to Linkat's except I'm older and my metabolism has continued to slow. What was 5 lbs of easily lost weight in my 30s became 10 lbs of not so easily lost weight in my 40s and is now 15 lbs of downright almost impossible weight to lose at 50.

Appearance aside, I discovered a few years ago that my blood pressure is directly tied to my weight and that certain weight set points exist for my bp levels. I'm tall so my heart has to work hard to circulate blood long distances. Circulation problems (phlebitis and pulmonary aneurysms) run in the family as does high bp. The first time I was told I had high bp was when I was 45 and I was told to control it with diet and exercise or go on meds. I was at my all-time high weight at the time and went on a strict regime to lose weight. I got back to my high school weight and then slowly (6 years) put it all back on.

I was within 2 lbs of that same weight two weeks ago as we were about to leave for a long weekend in New Orleans (where I always gain about 5 lbs) and sure enough my bp is elevated again. For me, I'd rather struggle with the weight loss than go on meds so I'm back on a regime of eating and exercise that will hopefully allow me to lose the 8 lbs I need to lose to drop my weight below the set point.

I'd be lying if I said I don't look in the mirror and dislike what I see. Not because of what others can see, but because of what I see myself (which isn't the me I want to be). Besides, I gave away all my clothes from a few years ago and don't want to replace the wardrobe.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 10:47 am
I agree with JPB.

Medically measurements (blood pressure, cholesterol) show my body is much more content at 116 pounds than 120 and up.

I feel happier in terms of animal well being and have more energy when my weight is "normal".
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 11:11 am
Your blood pressure changes with 4 lbs?
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 11:23 am
Chai--

At 124 my blood pressure starts rising.

My weight fluctuates between 116 and 120 because of water retention. I've had two rounds of radiation therapy to treat cancer and both times survived with damaged "normal" tissue.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 12:16 pm
Chai wrote:
Your blood pressure changes with 4 lbs?


Yep, about 10 points for each 4-5 lbs.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 01:08 pm
Re calories in, calories out, here's an interesting recent article -

http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/health/story/0,,2198879,00.html
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Nov, 2007 01:52 pm
snippets from osso's link...

Quote:
Just last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine published joint guidelines for physical activity and health. They suggested that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week is necessary to 'promote and maintain health'. What they didn't say, though, was that more physical activity will lead us to lose weight. The best they could say about the relationship between fat and exercise was this: 'It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis is not particularly compelling.' In other words, despite half a century of efforts to prove otherwise, scientists still can't say exercise will help keep the pounds off.

<snip>

As for the authorities themselves, the primary factor fuelling their belief in the weight-maintaining benefits of exercise was their natural reluctance to acknowledge otherwise. Although one couldn't help but be 'underwhelmed by' the evidence, as Mayer's student Judith Stern, a nutritionist, wrote in 1986, it would be 'shortsighted' to say that exercise was ineffective because it meant ignoring the possible contributions of exercise to the prevention of obesity and to the maintenance of weight loss that might be induced by diet. These, of course, had never been demonstrated either, but they hadn't been ruled out.

<snip>

As for the authorities themselves, the primary factor fuelling their belief in the weight-maintaining benefits of exercise was their natural reluctance to acknowledge otherwise. Although one couldn't help but be 'underwhelmed by' the evidence, as Mayer's student Judith Stern, a nutritionist, wrote in 1986, it would be 'shortsighted' to say that exercise was ineffective because it meant ignoring the possible contributions of exercise to the prevention of obesity and to the maintenance of weight loss that might be induced by diet. These, of course, had never been demonstrated either, but they hadn't been ruled out.


Interesting...

And my regime above is a regimen, of course.
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