100 lb. Club - Trying to wrap my head around "naturally thin people"

11-15-2009, 09:49 AM
Lately I've been thinking about how I just don't understand how everyone isn't overweight (I guess I mean in countries like the US, where food is overly abundant). I look around as I go through my day, and I just don't get it. Why doesn't everyone at the coffee shop have a fatty latte and a big yummy muffin or cookie? Why wouldn't you buy 3 bags of Christmas candy that seem to have taken over the stores and eat them all? You can! No one is stopping you! And the possibilities go on and on...

I just don't get it. I have to fight the urge to buy and eat so many different things, constantly. I'm always thinking about it, and I'm always faced with a new food possibility, and telling myself no all the time is so difficult. I just don't get how those who aren't overweight think!

Any thoughts? Any "normal weight" people behavior that baffles you?

11-15-2009, 10:06 AM
And what about those people who eat half a sandwich and turn down a piece of pie and if they do happen to get some candy, keep it for months. That is just the way they are. Not me , put a bag of candy in front of me and I will eat it. Or did, that is the reason I have to diet. We all have different metabolisms. Mine likes food, especially if it is sweet, cake, cookies , pies, ice cream, now that is my idea of the basic food groups !

11-15-2009, 10:09 AM
Yes! Keeping the candy for months! I never understood those people who say things like "I think I have a bag of chips around here somewhere..." Because if there was a bag of chips in my house, it would either be full because I just bought it, or empty and in the trash!

Bargoo, you said we all have different metabolisms...do you think that plays a role? It's all so weird!

11-15-2009, 10:11 AM
I have a cousin who doesn't eat cake on his Birthday because he "doesn't like sweets" He been that way since he was very young. So it really is just the way he's wired.

11-15-2009, 10:33 AM
I don't get people with perfect metabolisms who can eat all of the junk and not have any consequences. Case in point, my best friend - she hardly eats breakfast (much to my chagrin), eats something like a funnel cake or wings for lunch, and will have pasta for dinner. Whaaaaaat?

11-15-2009, 10:42 AM
I think the whole nature vs. nurture thing comes into play here. So many of us grew up with unhealthy attitudes from our parents towards food, and that feeds into our choices and our control. Remember, everyone has vices, be it food, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, shopping, the list goes on and on. It is good to remember too that just because someone is naturally thin does not mean that they are healthy.

It may be mean, but I always think it is sweet justice when someone who eats badly and never gains weight all of a sudden packs on the pounds. Hmmm, I guess I should qualify that. People who have done that who tend to make comments that losing weight is easy, "just eat less, etc"

11-15-2009, 11:13 AM
I sometimes marvel at how different my attitudes are toward food and alcohol. I can take or leave alcohol-- if offered a drink I may take it and forget to finish it. I seem to know just when to say when if, for example, wine is being served with dinner. I know that for an alcholic those things woud be a daily struggle. For me, it's food.

11-15-2009, 11:44 AM
My partner is a naturally slim person. She has never had to diet, and her weight, although it's gone up since she was 20, just always stays right around 130.

I have watched how she eats. She seems to have a different attitude toward food than I do. Yes, she eats whatever she wants--but she doesn't eat past being full. I have seen her stop eating with half the food that was put on the plate still there. Also, she eats really slowly--no shoveling the food in. And when she does eat "treat foods" like ice cream, she usually orders a small cup. Not a cone, not a double or a triple. The reason isn't that she's "watching her weight," it's because that's all she wants... Get it? :dunno:


11-15-2009, 12:06 PM
The weirdest thing has happened to me over time as I changed my eating habits. When I go to a resuatrant or make lunch at home, I am one of those who order half a sandwich, or say no thanks to pie. I always order a small whatever, I often cut portions in half. Instead of 13 crackers because it is a serving, I take 6. And it is because that is all I want. Not deprivation, just realizing that a smaller amount is satisfying, or a piece of pie is not that great. In fact I have had a box of my favorite candy in my cupboard for a couple of months. I forget about it. I have had one piece but don't really think about it or care about the rest.

And I was always a person who, if there was a scrap of chocolate in the house, it was GONE. If there was a chip, I ate it. If I COULD have something, I had it. And now it is not just about weight. It is about a different mindset. So just know, it is possible to change the way we think and feel about food (although I admit it has taken me a very long time to get to this point, where it is no longer a battle daily).

11-15-2009, 01:30 PM
It still amazes me as well. I do try to mimic those as well -- sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. It's a total mental game. I am hoping that same day like those I will be able to not worry so much about eating but eat yanno what I mean? Just be able to consume the food and not have it totally consume me.

11-15-2009, 01:38 PM
I sometimes marvel at how different my attitudes are toward food and alcohol. I can take or leave alcohol-- if offered a drink I may take it and forget to finish it. I seem to know just when to say when if, for example, wine is being served with dinner. I know that for an alcholic those things woud be a daily struggle. For me, it's food.

that's funny you put it this way, my parents had a liquor cabinet filled with bottles they got as gifts that stayed unopened for years on end. they just weren't big drinkers, maybe a screw driver on new years, or a beer or glass of wine at dinner or with friends.

food? forget it, my dad, though he never was really fat, could pack it away, and ate so fast you'd barely be able to see his hands moving (he is over 6 feet tall and a big guy, not fat though). in our house, if you had a dish of food at the beginning of the meal, it would be empty at the end. we didn't believe in not cleaning a plate (it wasn't uncommong to go back for seconds, then clean that).

it has taken me a lot of work to get my mind to the "that's all I want" point. and I screw that up sometimes too.

11-15-2009, 02:19 PM
My brother and I were each adopted as infants (we're not biologically related to each other, either) and our eating/weight habits are very different than our adoptive family. In our family, my dad has been thin and active all of his life (with a humming-bird metabolism due to the activity I'm guessing). After he retired he started getting some middle-aged spread (he started to look pregnant), which he lost fairly easily, once he stopped his cookie and icecream binges (he's a guy who all of his life, considered a dozen cookies or a pint of icecream a serving. It didn't catch up with him until he retired).

My mom (like her mom) started gaining weight in her mid to late 20's, the vast majority on her hips. She continues to struggle, and her weight tends to fluctuate between obese and overweight (she was morbidly obese for many years - but barely so).

One sister favors my dad. The only weight problem she's ever had, is after her third son, and even so she was only a pound or two over Weight Watcher's minimum weight for her height. She lost the pregnancy weight within three months. She's thin, active, and seems to be naturally so.

My other sister favors my mom, and started gaining weight in her mid 20's. She's more diligent, but she struggles to maintain a healthy weight. She's never been obese, but struggles between a healthy weight and overweight. Most of her weight is also in her hips and legs, like mom.

My brother has always been slender and extremely athletic. He went into the navy at 17. When he started training to be a navy seal (they let him go through all of the training, before telling him that he didn't qualify because of his eyesight) he started bulking up, and gaining weight (all muscle). Now that he's on disability after returning from Iraq he's gained a bit more, but still none of it looks like fat (he says it is). He's gone from the low end of a healthy weight to the high end of a healthy weight. He just has gone from lanky to "buff" - from basketball player to football player.

I started gaining weight at 5 years old, and was morbidly obese by the end of kindergarten, and super morbidly obese by junior high. I only approached a healthy weight once in my life (in highschool on prescription amphetemines).

We were all raised in the same family. I tend to believe there's a stronger genetic component than most people realize.

I'm not (as many people claim when genetics are mentioned) using it as an "excuse" to remain fat. If anything, realizing that there may be a genetic component has made me more willing to put in the extra effort - knowing that I'm not crazy or lazy - I really do have to work harder than some people (just as there are people who will have to work harder than I will).

11-15-2009, 02:24 PM
And what about those people who eat half a sandwich and turn down a piece of pie!

Haha, this comment made me :o. I'm guilty of eating half a sandwich (I get full very easily I've noticed now that I'm more aware of what I'm eating). The guilt part comes in when I eat that half a sandwich, am stuffed, and then someone offers me a sweet I can't resist. :D I normally eat it. I've been working on turning it down though. I can now usually equate eating goodies when I'm full with feeling sick. *thumbs up to that slow realization*

11-15-2009, 02:40 PM
Honestly, the bags of candy don't tempt me and I'd say I rarely bought a bag of candy even when I had no inhibitions toward food. Once in a while, I'd buy some reeses peanut butter cups if they were on sale but that was it.

I've also never bought a cookie or muffin at a coffee shop. For some reason, that never tempted me. That doesn't mean I wouldn't get something insanely caloric as I used to really like frappuccinos but the thought of buying a sweet never occurred to me.

I also never understood the attraction of fast food places. Even as a child, I thought they were horrid (although I did use to love taco bell bean burritos). I figured people were desperate for something quick if they ate fast food and not something people did purposefully.

So I think we are all different, fat or thin. The thin either have crazy metabolisms or their brains keep them in check somehow. I have neither :)

11-15-2009, 03:07 PM
When I hear the term "naturally thin" I don't think of people who are thin because they naturally make good choices, I think of the people (whom I knew a number of in high school, but it seems very rare past age 20) who eat large portions of unhealthy food and don't gain weight. My sister is totally one of those keeps a bag of candy for months people, but I don't consider her naturally thin. If she eats badly, she does gain weight. But she doesn't struggle like I do to make the right choices and she eats much smaller portions than I do.

The interesting thing though is that the confusion goes both ways. While I don't understand why making the right choices is so easy for her, she doesn't understand why it's so hard for me. She has one of those go, go, go personalities; she's never been depressed. I've tried to explain to her how sometimes it's like you just can't make yourself do anything even if you want to. That idea was beyond her. She has had to lose weight before (like 15-20 lbs), so she knows that it doesn't just come off. She knows it isn't quick or easy. But when she wants to do something, she just commits and does it. She doesn't understand why other people aren't the same way.

11-15-2009, 03:31 PM
I have thought over and pondered just about every point brought up here.

I don't have a clue as to why there are people who can eat all the 'bad stuff' and remain thin. I do get not eating when you're not hungry, although a few short months ago I was baffled by that concept. Now that I put into practice stopping at a certain point (that's enough calories, I'm full, that isn't tasting as good as I thought it would, etc) it's easier for me to understand. But the 'bad' eating on a regular basis and still being in good health is beyond me.

My husband loves bad food, eats it on a regular basis, hates vegetables, if you fry it he will come, skips breakfast, & lives on pepsi. Just went to the doctor: perfect weight, perfect labs, doesn't need to change a thing, he's in perfect health.

Life is not fair. Ugggh! Maybe it is genetics....or metabolism (although he's a hard worker he's always had a desk job)....or something special that I certainly don't have :?:

Some things I guess we'll never know!

11-15-2009, 03:32 PM
I am still a work in progress, but here is what I have noticed so far:
1. When I eat small amounts more frequently, I am much less tempted to eat something because I think it will taste good. I usually assess my hunger level and will pass on the food, or take it home for later.

2. I still have "trigger" foods. I can have a pint of ice cream in the fridge for months. I can have candy, chips, cookies etc. in the house and not be tempted. Now, if those cookies are freshly baked and warm out of the oven - I have a MUCH more difficult time not overeating them. Thus, I don't bake cookies very often.

3. The speed at which I eat - the MINDFULNESS in which I eat is critical. If I eat mindfully - experiencing and enjoying the food, I will usually stop before my plate is empty. I don't think I can explain it well but - here goes.

The obese me enjoyed the act of eating - often shoveling food in and thinking about the next bite - not the current one. She liked being full. Her brain equated eating and pleasure. She saw food as a reward, and thus eating any food she desired, sometimes in large quantities was a way of showing love to herself.

The thin me enjoys food. She enjoys each bite as she is eating it. She isn't looking for the next one until long after she finishes savoring the current one - and sometimes one bit is enough. The thin me does not like the feeling of being "full". She always stops eating before she gets to that place - which is now an uncomfortable place to be. The thin me does not equate food with love, acceptance, reward, or any other intrinsic value. The thin me sees food as fuel. It can be savored and enjoyed - but it is fuel none-the-less. The thin me knows that every calorie counts. She balances those calories to nourish and care for her body. She is far pickier about what she eats - virtually all potential foods go through a rigorous screening process and most just don't pass the test.

11-15-2009, 07:14 PM
Food makes me happy. When I bite into a particularly morish morsel, I get a massive hit of endorphins. All the happy chemicals in my head go sky high, and my brain says "Hey, that was good! Do it again, do it again, do it again!". And for over 10 years I did.

I don't think naturally skinny people get that. Often food is a hassle or a chore, or it's just vaguely pleasant, but quickly stops being pleasant when they've had enough.

11-16-2009, 02:20 AM
I had an office mte once who was "naturally thin". She bought a candy bar and it sat by her monitor for weeks and weeks!!!

Then once I had a student, buy a bag of M&M's eat some, fold over the bag and let let them just sit there until class was over...THE NEXT DAY!

None of that would ever happen with me!

11-16-2009, 04:36 AM
Lately I've been thinking about how I just don't understand how everyone isn't overweight (I guess I mean in countries like the US, where food is overly abundant).

I just don't get it. I have to fight the urge to buy and eat so many different things, constantly. I'm always thinking about it, and I'm always faced with a new food possibility, and telling myself no all the time is so difficult. I just don't get how those who aren't overweight think!

Any thoughts? Any "normal weight" people behavior that baffles you?

It doesn't really baffle me, because I understand it better now than I did about 5 months ago. I've been dialing down my portions and building up the ability to delay gratification through time and, while it's still not easy, it's at the tip of my fingers most of the time and often I can actually reach it.

Part of the situation is mental conditioning and part is biology. I don't mean that they are metabolically lucky or anything, but just that they listen to their bodies satiety cues more readily and that those cues are stronger in them than they are in "us" (overweight people).

I think eating patterns and ones relationship with food is something that can be adjusted slowly upward or downward. People of normal weight haven't adjusted their food "thermostat" upward. They tend to keep it stable or to turn it down if they feel they need to lose weight. Our eating is the equivalent of running the thermostat at a high temperature all of the time. We get so used to it that we feel "cold" (empty) at "normal" temperatures.

It's really hard to make the adjustment so that you don't act on your urge to eat whatever you want whenever you want, but it can be done. Your body is going to fight you all of the way, as is your psychology. As you say, no one is stopping you so you can do what you want. I think the fact that we think like that speaks to a certain psychological state in people who are overweight. We think that only other people should stop us because perhaps we place control of our behavior outside of ourselves. Somewhere along the road to adulthood, we didn't internalize the fact that we are in charge of ourselves.

I'm not talking about "self-control" or the so-often-overcited use of "willpower". I'm talking about locus of control. It's not that we can't control ourselves, but we feel others are in control of us in one way or another and that they deserve or simply possess that power. Someone has to stop us because someone has always stopped us, or told us when to start. There are probably all sorts of reasons for this, but part of it is probably related to issues of esteem and not trusting ourselves. I think people who are not overweight have an internal locus of control (among other things). I'm sure that they don't understand the way we think either, and I think that's part of why they judge us so harshly.

11-16-2009, 11:08 AM
I always thought naturally thin people were immune to all the temptations we are, but that's just not true. They might not hear the voices screaming to eat it LOL but they still want it and choose not to eat it. Some people don't have to think about it, they eat a handful of M&Ms and that's fine. Other people say "wow i'd like this, but better not" and then there's how I used to be "OMG if i don't eat this entire family-sized bag of M&M's who KNOWS when i'll be able to have it again??" LOL

Food is a weird issue for a lot of people, a lot of my always-thinny friends just NEVER and i mean NEVER, buy chocolate or chips for the house, cuz they'd eat the lot. But they make the choice to not be tempted, they choose not to act like a spoiled child and shovel everything and anything they want into their gullet

11-16-2009, 07:50 PM
I think there are two types of "naturally slim" people being discussed here:

1) People who have the natural ability to control their food intake;

2) People who eat junk in massive quantities and remain slim.

The first batch are my heroes - I want to be like them! The second batch are the "baffling" bunch IMHO. I've seen lots of them (including my DH and daughter). When I was in the Navy, I went on deployments and we'd get care packages from people filled with junk food. My roommates ate it like there was no tomorrow, did not exericise, and remained slim and healthy (as judged by their ability to pass the Physical Readiness Test with minimal preparation). I had to refrain from the junk and run daily to stay just a smidge inside the weight/body fat maximum for my height and barely pass the run portion of the PRT. After years of seeing this happen day after day...I finally got the message - life isn't fair. We just gotta learn to play with the cards we were dealt!

11-18-2009, 04:21 PM
I used to be a naturally thin person--one who could eat half a sandwich, leave candy in the cupboard for weeks, etc.--until I made the mistake of thinking I wasn't losing my after-baby weight fast enough and started my first DIET.

That did me in. I got on the diet roller coaster 32 years ago, and have been battling ever since. I have so many issues about food, eating, and body appearance, it's not even funny.

I'd caution anyone, if you're naturally thin, don't ever start dieting. Don't even start playing around with trying to cut your calories or anything like that, because even though people try to say that it's a "lifestyle change", it's still a diet, and it'll still set you on the path of losing your naturally thin habits.

11-18-2009, 04:25 PM
My brother-in-law is one of those weird thin people who can turn down food. He never, ever over-eats, and some days just "forgets" to eat at all. He doesn't like chocolate and rarely eats sweets. To him, food is now and always has been something he HAS to have so he won't starve. There are few things he wants or craves. And he's never had a weight problem.

11-18-2009, 05:04 PM
My mom is one of those interesting combos. She adores food, eats pretty much whatever she wants, but often "forgets to eat."

Here's a thread I posted last year where I "interviewed" her specifically for 3FC!


11-18-2009, 06:08 PM
I sometimes marvel at how different my attitudes are toward food and alcohol. I can take or leave alcohol-- if offered a drink I may take it and forget to finish it. I seem to know just when to say when if, for example, wine is being served with dinner. I know that for an alcholic those things woud be a daily struggle. For me, it's food.

I feel the same way. I don't consider myself a non-drinker, but it never occurs to me to do so, I don't crave it, I don't love it or hate it when I do drink, and I rarely finish a whole drink. Food is a different story. I crave it, think about it all the time, love it even when it's not that good, and eat every crumb when others seem to be able to leave a little. It's my addiction.

I had a friend growing up who would forget to eat and when she did eat, she'd give up after eating half of it because she just wasn't interested. It wasn't an eating disorder. Her mom said as a newborn, she'd have to wake her up to eat. She just wasn't born with much of a hunger impulse and derived little enjoyment from food. I used to wish I could be like her, but now I can see that she is missing out on a big pleasure in life.

To me, it's all brain chemistry. Sometimes it works in your favor, sometimes it doesn't.