Weight Loss Support - "It's my metabolism."




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LovebirdsFlying
05-19-2010, 07:26 AM
My grandchildren's father is one of those people who can eat like there is no tomorrow and not gain an ounce. He is so thin that people have accused him of being a meth or crack addict, yet I've seen him eat stacks and stacks of pancakes, dripping with butter and syrup. According to my daughter, this is the way he eats all the time. He says it's his metabolism and that he has always been like that. His older three children are the same way. We don't know yet about my daughter's year-and-a-half old son, or baby upcoming, if they are going to inherit that fast metabolism, or my family's slow one.

What I want to know is this: When people are prone to be so thin, no matter what they do, and they say "it's my metabolism" nobody questions it.

But when someone prone to obesity, who can gain weight reading a cookbook and has a hard time losing it despite excruciating work, says the same thing, they are told they are making excuses. Why?

Now, I'm not going to say we should just lean back and claim "it's my metabolism" while eating badly and failing to exercise, but I want to know why the metabolism plea is so much more believable coming from someone who is thin as a whip, than it is coming from someone who is inclined to be fat?


christinemariep
05-19-2010, 08:28 AM
You make a good point. I guess the difference may be that when one has a slow metabolism, that person does have the option of eating less, whereas the thin man who eats like a linebacker can only do so much to put on weight. Both people may have screwy metabolisms, but unfair as it may be, the person with the slow metabolism needs less food. Of course, since being thin is seen as desirable by our society, the overweight individual will receive the criticism. Stinking double standards!

ThicknPretty
05-19-2010, 08:56 AM
That's a good question...never thought about that. I've always just envied those with fast metabolisms and felt ashamed of my own normal speed one, like it was my fault. I do think that society is slowly becoming more aware of the fact that some people DO just have slower metabolisms or a tendency to gain weight more easily.

But that is just another example of how being thin is considered the norm and even unavoidable for some people while being overweight is shameful and all our fault!


rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 09:02 AM
Ummm, I don't buy it. Sorry. I could never be convinced that someone is eating stacks of pancakes 3 meals a day (or similar foods), and snacks and remains thin.

So for me, I don't buy the metabolism plea - on the thin side or the fat side. So it's not more believable to me in the way that you described.

Maybe it *appears* from outsiders looking in that he eats this way *all the time*. I betcha he perhaps eats one big meal, every now and than, maybe even most days, probably leaves most of it over and eats a couple of crackers and a chicken drumstick the rest of the day. He's not eating like that all day long, every day. No way, no how. He also could be one of those who is CONSTANTLY on the go. Can't sit still, always moving around, even when he sits he fidgets.

As opposed to the opposite, those who gain weight just looking at food (exaggeration of course)- well that's not the greatest is it? But if you know that this is what you are up against, that you are just a person who requires less calories to live, then you've got to adjust your lifestyle to meet that. If one if overweight (whatever that may be), one if overfeeding themselves. They're taking in more calories than their body can burn off and forcing the overage to be stored as fat

It just may be that the next person CAN eat more (somewhat) and not gain weight, but that's just the way it is. All bodies do not function the same way. It's up to us as individuals to find the right *mix* for ourselves. No charts, no government guidelines, no doctors, no dietitian, no nutritionists, no physic readers can tell us for certain what the right caloric intake number is - it's all up to us to find that out through trial and error.


http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/living-maintenance/187674-interesting-conversation-always-thin-man.html

This above link is from a thread I started awhile ago. I think it's fitting to this subject. Here's my original post from it:

I mentioned on another thread recently that I was in the midst of planning an engagement party for my daughter. Well my husband and I went to see the caterer last week, a very friendly, VERY slim man in his upper 30's, and while discussing the menu, my DH mentioned that I was very health conscious, I cook amazing low calorie, healthy foods all the time (how cool is that?), he even asked for my salad recipes and I gave several of them to him. He tells me how health conscious his wife is, in fact she just had a baby and 6 weeks later, 6 WEEKS LATER, she's down to her old slim self, they have a treadmill in the home and she sees a personal trainer 3 times a week, he was even complaining about the cost (though not the results).

It then comes up how slim he is and he mentions how he eats like, his words - "A PIG, A PIG, A PIGG!!", (yes he was shouting this at me). And I tell him, "it's impossible, just impossible." He says he has a great metabolism, although it's slowed down a bit, that he REALLY used to be skinny (I can't imagine him weighing any less ).

Okay. He continues to say eats like a pig. I'm refusing to believe it - me being me - I delve. He says, "Oh yeah, I can sit down in the kitchen (the catering kitchen) and devour 3 chicken bottoms and 2 potato bourrekas (knish-like, mashed potatoes in puff pastry dough) in a matter of minutes." Not that that's unheard of, but I say, "but I bet you do that once in a while, maybe twice a week". And sure enough, he says, "yup, twice a week is about right". And I said, "I bet you're one of those that forgets to eat till 3:00 in the afternoon", and he says, "yeah, that's true too, sometimes, later." And I said, "I bet you can barely look at most of the food you prepare", and he says, "yeah, I haven't in years." And I said, "I bet you hit that treadmill first thing in the morning every day", and he said, "oh yeah, everyday, first thing in the morning, always have, always will".

There you have it. What one skinny man describes as "eating like a pig". At least he didn't say "I eat whatever I want." Although essentially it would have been the same thing. He just doesn't *want* all that much. Not that that's how I would have ever wanted to be slim, but it would have beaten how *I* ate like a "pig" back in the day.... 3 chicken bottoms and 2 potato bourekas - ha. Interesting, no?

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 09:19 AM
Yup. I have to agree with Robin. I have a colleague who is 60 and very slim. She said "I eat all the time..." And she does. But what does she really eat? Her maintenance calories are similar, or lower than my weight loss calories....

My brother was a professional athlete-- he used to "eat all the time" but he trained for 6 hours a day. Now, in his 40s, he still works in an athletic career, but he doesn't train like he used to. But he developed an "I can eat whatever I want" mentality, when he was in training, and now, he struggles with his weight.

My close friend is a celebrity. She's 5'8" and weighs in the low to mid 120s. She "eats whatever she wants..." all the time out at restaurants. I used to believe her. When I started my weight loss journey, she started to share more with me. She only eats dinner. The rest of the day all she does is drink tea. And if she puts on 3 pounds she immediately skips her meals out and diets it away. Oh, and she works out like crazy. She just doesn't talk about it with friends who have weight problems, because she doesn't want to rub it in their faces...

I mean, don't get me wrong. People absolutely DO have different body types. Not every shot putter could equally thrive as a long distance runner-- but those are differences within the range of normal-- they are not differences that push you into the range of morbid obesity....

We get there by a combination of eating too much and not moving our bodies enough. The beauty of that is that we have a choice to lose it....

Believe me, there was nothing about "me" that suggested I was capable of losing 90 lbs. I had been morbidly obese for 20 years, during which time I blamed a lot of stuff. Turns out, it was my habits that was making me fat, and habits are changeable.

Tonyia
05-19-2010, 09:25 AM
When I was thin 110 or so everyone always said "How can you eat like that and stay so thin?" I never knew how to answer but looking back on it now I do know the answer.

Back then I smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes a day and drank coffee all day long, I ate one big meal a day and nothing else..when I got hungry I smoked. I was so unhealthy it was unreal.

Now the thing about that is when I finally quit smoking I gained a bunch of weight and here I am now.

So it was never my metabolism, ppl said it was and made comments about it being that but in reality I was just horribly unhealthy and never fed my body like I should have. I heard on TV the other day where they said they see more and more thin ppl who are obese on the inside because of the things they eat and when/how they eat them.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 09:35 AM
Uber mentioned the "I eat whatever I want" phrase.

The thing is, *these folks* just don't want all that much!!

I have no doubt I wanted more than the average person. I wanted more and I allowed myself to have it. I was like a spoiled, irresponsible, immature child. I didn't realize that just because I wanted it, didn't mean I had to have it.

Robsia
05-19-2010, 09:50 AM
The thing is, *these folks* just don't want all that much!!


Bingo!!!

My OH is a naturally slim 6ft tall man who "eats what he wants".

Eating what he wants involves no breakfast, no lunch, an evening meal maybe 1.5 times the size of mine (so about 500-600 calories), then maybe a bar of chocolate and a packet of crisps in the evening.

Plus endless cups of coffee and tea with full fat milk and sugar for energy during the day.

And he smokes.

So, even adding in the full fat milk and sugar in his drinks, he eats just about enough calories to keep going.

He said that when he gave up smoking a few years ago he did put weight on, going from a 32" waist to a 34" waist but he said he felt like a "fat b*****d".

Eliana
05-19-2010, 09:56 AM
I have lived these two extremes:

I have a "naturally slim" son and "naturally chubby" son...until you really look at them. Our slim son is on the go all day long, all day, all day. :dizzy: When it's sledding season, he's out there two hours after all the other children have gone inside!! Our other little guy is a little couch potato. He doesn't work off what he eats at all. (He's starting to, but for him, it has to be regular and scheduled exercise. He's not interested in playing.)

My brother and me...My slim brother "ate whatever he wanted" usually PBJ's and Doritos. But he was active all the time, like my slim little guy, never coming inside. Now that he's an adult, he has slowed down to near couch potato status and has put on significant pounds. I grew up the less active, chubby child. I was up and down in weight. When I was active (hello band camp!!!) the weight melted off. When I was inactive, the weight piled in. I was a slim summer, fat winter person.

Now I'm active again and monitoring my calories and look...fifty pounds down.

ThicknPretty
05-19-2010, 09:59 AM
I still kind disagree. I've lived with people who really do eat whatever they want and are still slim. My dad's entire family is this way. And I was that way until I had my son, really. Growing up, I was skinny as a rail and could eat all day long. I've seen how much my father eats on a normal day...and I've seen how he's maintained or even lost weight throughout his life, he has never been overweight. And trust me, he is not a one big meal man...he's hardee's for breakfast, meat and potatoes for lunch and pizza for dinner, candy bars in between. (I know...horrificly unhealthy)

Some people DO have faster metabolisms and CAN eat whatever they want.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 10:34 AM
Some people DO have faster metabolisms.

Well sure some people have faster metabolisms than others. Sooooo what????

Some people have heart murmurs, allergies of all sorts, stomach ailments, kidney disease, hearing loss, poor vision, (and things way worse) - thing is they've compensated for this and do what's necessary to live their lives in a healthy manner (hopefully).

Would I mind having an extra few hundred calories to eat every day without gaining weight??? Heck yes!!! But that's not to be. I've discovered the *correct* calorie allotment that keeps me at a healthy weight and it's my job to keep to it, IF I want the advantages of being that healthy weight.

I could say it's not fair that this one gets to eat more than me, but you know what, maybe they have difficulties with reading or conceiving or other *issues* that I haven't. We've all got something. There are no two people alike. We've all got to deal with our own *issues* and not look at what other people are doing. It can drive you batty. :dizzy:

ThicknPretty
05-19-2010, 10:43 AM
Um.

I was responding to the insituation in SEVERAL posts above that it's not that these people have faster metabolisms, they must just eat one large meal a day or go go go all day long.

CorinneIrene
05-19-2010, 10:50 AM
I believe we are each prone to a certain metabolism based on genetics. I, for one, happen to have my father's very slow metabolism while my mother and brother both have very rapid metabolisms. My mother is 5'8" and 125 pounds and eats like you wouldn't believe! My brother can also chow down on anything and not fluctuate.

HOWEVER, I believe we can always improve out metabolisms. For me, to combat my slow metabolism, I work out first thing in the morning which is supposed to ramp it up throughout the day. I also am constantly moving to maintain it. I may never have one like my mother or brother, but I can make adjustments to make it work for me.

You just have to learn to deal with what you're given.

PeanutsMom704
05-19-2010, 11:00 AM
I do agree that people have very different metabolisms. There are plenty of people posting on 3fc who are eating hundreds of calories a day more than I do, and losing weight.

But I also believe that it's irrelevant at the end of the day. I am happy on a plan that works for me, other people find plans that work for them.

oh, I will say that age is a very big factor in this, in my observation. I do know people who were able to eat very large quantities of food and stay reasonably slim in their 20s but as they got into their late 30s and esp. after 40, they began to pack on the pounds eating the same way. So for all of you who are younger and are developing good habits now, way to go!! You will be so much better off down the road.

SouthLake
05-19-2010, 11:03 AM
I had a friend in highschool with a metabolic disorder. Essentially, his body just burned through calories like there was no tomorrow. Which sounds great, until you realize that when he wasn't playing soccer or exercising, his maintenance calories were somewhere in the range of 5000+ calories a day. And he didn't like junk food. It was actually a very interesting lesson in food. Simply put- when eating healthy foods- people just aren't hungry enough to eat too ignificantly over their calories. During training for soccer (he was a very competitive player) when they were practicing or conditioning for 6 hours a day, he said he could get to 4000. The rest of the time he was under 3000 unless he put lots of work into it. (Lots of "fat shakes" and other unpleasant looking weight gaining products that looked terrible) Keeping weight on was an absolute daily struggle for him.

But, I would agree that to some extent, most of the people who eat whatever they want just dont want that much. There are always a few exceptions to the rule (one of my roommates in college), but it does strike me that most people who eat whatever they want are either very active, don't really eat that much, or eat a lot of foods in healthy choices.

Renwomin
05-19-2010, 11:14 AM
I know that there are some people out there with faster metabolisms or medical conditions that help them burn more fat, but I do think they are far more rare then a lot of people believe. Like some of the other people mentioned we are most of the time not getting the full picture.

This reminds me of a part of a BBC show entitled "How to be Slim" (http://www.youtube.com/user/annawillpower#p/u/37/sSm1dWjMGeM) that gave smaller examples to emphasis larger studies. It specifically showed two female friends who claimed they ate the same amount of food and one was super skinny and the other overweight. This show is really worth watching!! (If you just want to watch the part on metabolism start at 7:23 on the linked video.)

There are so many things we can use as excuses to not lose weight. For me one of the excuses I used was a "slow metabolism" from PCOS. (We had a nice discussion (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-support/197733-personal-myths-excuses-not-lose-weight.html) about conquering myths a little while ago.) I can not in this journey afford to focus on what may be making losing weight more difficult for me then someone else, especially since what if it simply is not true. We can always come up with excuses. I believe to have lasting success in our journey was have to find a way to jump over, work around, or completely obliterate anything that is standing in our way.

Make no excuses! Take no prisoners! :rollpin:

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 11:31 AM
I really don't think there is much scientific data to back up the theory of people having "slow metabolisms..." or "fast metabolisms..." in the absence of a disease state. The thyroid hormone affects the metabolism, if you are hyperthyroid you are in a hypermetabolic state, which is harmful. If you are hypothyroid, then your metabolism is slow.

Also, PeanutsMom is right-- we DO need fewer calories as we age, a fact that many people don't make an adjustment for, leading to middle-aged weight gain.

But the other differences are due to intake vs. output. There is plenty of data to suggest that "naturally thin" people are naturally more active-- anything from jiggling a foot to pacing, to walking around more.

Being "naturally slim" does not mean having a faster metabolism-- it means being naturally better at balancing what you take in against what you burn.

I make an analogy to alcohol. Some people just can't handle alcohol-- they drink, they become alcoholics. Some people aren't alcoholics, but they are interested in alcohol and have to remind themselves to watch it and pace themselves. Other people (like me) just aren't that interested in alcohol.

I can drink part of a drink, set it down and forget to go back to it. I can't do that with a piece of cake....

So, yes, some people are better at maintaining their weight without giving it any thought, some people have to work at it, but it's doable, and others, like many of us 100lbers find it a struggle.

You can call that "metabolism" if you want-- but it's not like there's an underlying scientific process that "makes" some people thin and some people fat.

For me, that's a good thing. Because yes, I may have to be more conscious and less automatic to keep my weight in check, at least the process IS under my control, ultimately, and is not controlled by some random process that I have no control over.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 12:01 PM
Faster metabolism, slower metabolism... take 10 different people, heck take 100 and I'm fairly certain that they will all burn calories at different rates. Ummm, yeah...

Then you've got the folks who say they've *ruined* their metabolisms. What does THAT mean? Our metabolisms DO change throughout the course of our lives - yes of course due to age, which has been mentioned but other factors as well. It's still up to US to recognize this and ADJUST to it.

Heck when I had a BMI of 56 and was walking around with an extra 165 lbs on me, I burned calories waaaay faster than I do now. Yes, my metabolism has slowed down. Thankfully ;).

WarMaiden
05-19-2010, 12:11 PM
I definitely did not get fat due to a slow metabolism. I would guess that compared to the average around here, I probably have a slightly hotter metabolism--I need more calories to sustain what I'm doing. But in an obesogenic environment, where sugar was available cheaply and easily 24/7, my genetic tendency toward sugar addiction was expressed and that led to massive weight gain. THAT is the way in which genetic heritability interacted with environment to make me obese.

I see the same thing in my daughter, who is seven. She is naturally athletic and literally constantly moving--she barely ever even sits down. But she has an unbelievable appetite for sugar and would ingest it all day long if we let her. She is also able to eat large quantities of food when she wants to, but chooses to eat less when what we offer her is "healthy stuff" that doesn't feed her sweet tooth. (We actually joke in the family about her having a black hole in her stomach, because she can put away food like nobody's business.) Though most of the time, truthfully, we must force her to sit down and eat some protein and good carbs in order to prevent hunger-crashes...because stopping to eat is never on her list of things to do.

The sugar consumption is something we're going to have to watch carefully with her and make sure she's fully educated about, because if possible I really want to prevent her from going down the road that it took me 15 years to recover from. If she never begins indulging in the kind of sugar habit I had, then she will naturally remain athletic and relatively slim.

Beverlyjoy
05-19-2010, 01:01 PM
I had a friend in highschool with a metabolic disorder. Essentially, his body just burned through calories like there was no tomorrow. Which sounds great, until you realize that when he wasn't playing soccer or exercising, his maintenance calories were somewhere in the range of 5000+ calories a day. And he didn't like junk food. It was actually a very interesting lesson in food. Simply put- when eating healthy foods- people just aren't hungry enough to eat too ignificantly over their calories. During training for soccer (he was a very competitive player) when they were practicing or conditioning for 6 hours a day, he said he could get to 4000. The rest of the time he was under 3000 unless he put lots of work into it. (Lots of "fat shakes" and other unpleasant looking weight gaining products that looked terrible) Keeping weight on was an absolute daily struggle for him.

But, I would agree that to some extent, most of the people who eat whatever they want just dont want that much. There are always a few exceptions to the rule (one of my roommates in college), but it does strike me that most people who eat whatever they want are either very active, don't really eat that much, or eat a lot of foods in healthy choices.

Similar to this -We have a friend with a similar metabolism - he eats literally thousands of calories every day. He has been asked to leave some of the all you can buffet restaurants because he would stay for several hours. He works at Best Buy, so he's moving around all day - but, not heavy lifting. (actually, alot of standing around he says) He is skinny as a rail and also has a metabolism disorder. It's not his thyroid however - it's nothing that can be corrected with medication. He and his wife can barely afford to keep him in enough food. He has to eat those 'weight on' shakes.

I asked my cousin, an endocrinologist, about this. He said that it is possible to have a faster metabolism, but - it often has to do with a hormone imbalance. (he probably said it in a different way - but, that's my take on what he said).

I do agree, also...that for most of us, it's calories in and calories out and exercise and all the rest. We are all so different.


__________________

sweetnlow28
05-19-2010, 01:35 PM
This reminds me of a part of a BBC show entitled "How to be Slim" (http://www.youtube.com/user/annawillpower#p/u/37/sSm1dWjMGeM) that gave smaller examples to emphasis larger studies. It specifically showed two female friends who claimed they ate the same amount of food and one was super skinny and the other overweight. This show is really worth watching!! (If you just want to watch the part on metabolism start at 7:23 on the linked video.)



Make no excuses! Take no prisoners! :rollpin:


Interesting discussion! I just wanted to say thanks for the link to the video. It looks really interesting and I will watch it when I get some time later on ;)

Before I made any effort to lose weight , I used to feel jealous of every thin woman thinking she had a faster metabolism than me. I would see thin people eating at McDonalds and feel sorry for myself that I couldn't eat the same things and be their size. I did come to realize that these people probably didn't eat those things very often and they actually worked on maintaining their weight. I was so in denial of my weight issues that I wanted to blame it all on a slow metabolism and I felt like i was just designed to be fat. After losing a large amount of weight over the past couple years, I now know that my metabolism works just fine and my habits were to blame. I do agree that some people's metabolisms do work better than others and they may not be as prone to weight issues but almost everyone has to be cautious to their food choices to some degree to maintain their weight. I have a couple family members that were skinny as a rail as young adults and they felt they could eat anything. They both did eat very large fattening meals and sweets every day including 3 or 4 2l bottles of pop. Both men are no less active than they used to be and they both eat the same way they used to yet they are both overweight now with big pot bellies. I think their habits caught up to them in the long run. Anyway, I am just rambling and I have to run out the door for an appointment. Interesting topic though ;)

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 01:44 PM
When we say the we are overweight due to our metabolism (or anything else for that matter) and I'm not saying that anyone here has said that, it really is a shame - because then we give away our POWER. It makes us powerless to do anything about it - because well, "it's my metabolism's" fault. Nothing I can do about it. I am just destined to be fat. So people therefore don't even attempt to do anything about it.

It is always a choice to be overweight . Always. It's a choice to be fat, it's a choice to be thin.

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 01:45 PM
I mean, the thing is... what is a "faster metabolism"...

Are you guys talking about two people, confined to a bed, both fed the exact same number of calories. One wastes away and the other one becomes morbidly obese?

I very much doubt it.

Metabolism is the basic rate at which we burn calories when we are at rest. Add to that, the speed at which we burn calories when we move around-- that is going to vary with a lot of factors: how much movement, how much do we weigh, how fit are we...

The resting metabolism of the two people on bed rest, both fed the exact same diet and prevented from moving? Those will differ too-- the 6'3" 28 year old man will burn more calories just lying there than the 5'1" 58 year old woman....

But if you match people for height, weight, and age, the basic metabolic differences, excluding movement-based differences, are relatively small.

Two women of roughly the same age, weight, and prior conditioning, confined to bed and fed the same amount: they will probably lose or gain in a fairly similar manner-- not identical, but not enough to make one super-skinny and the other morbidly obese.

The point is, we are not confined to bed and fed a set number of calories-- our speed of burning calories varies based on age, gender, fitness, weight, and a number of other factors....

"metabolism" in most cases, is the absolute least important of those factors.

Beach Patrol
05-19-2010, 03:50 PM
What I want to know is this: When people are prone to be so thin, no matter what they do, and they say "it's my metabolism" nobody questions it.

Because, as a general "rule", society frowns upon fatness. Fat people are considered lazy, incompetent, and having no self control. Thin people are considered pro-active, smarter, industrious, having great self-control... :blah:

Is it fair? Heck no. But that's just society speaking. (society is a :censored: )

I've been both very thin and quite fat. I've been looked at differently (and by the same people, no less!) and treated differently on each end of the scale. When people who "knew me when" (I was thin) see me now.... well, let's just say a few of them have been very blunt with their WTF HAPPENED TO YOU!?!?!?! stance.

On the other side of that coin, I've had people who had never seen me thin and then see me after I've slimmed down, not only do I get compliments, but also that wide-eyed "how'd you do it?" questions and so forth. Almost like it was a miracle or something that I was able to lose weight, LOL. :dizzy:

All I know is that I was a very chubby infant/child... got very slim during my teens/early 20's... and have fought my weight ever since. And my skinny-all-his-life brother gained a BUTTLOAD of weight when he got married & his ever-so-slightly-chubby wife started cooking A LOT and going out to eat A LOT. After they divorced, and he got back into his singledom again, he lost the weight, seemingly effortlessly, even tho he enjoys a Coke Zero & Moon Pie every day as a treat. :rolleyes: :^:

mandalinn82
05-19-2010, 04:02 PM
When we say the we are overweight due to our metabolism (or anything else for that matter) and I'm not saying that anyone here has said that, it really is a shame - because then we give away our POWER. It makes us powerless to do anything about it - because well, "it's my metabolism's" fault. Nothing I can do about it. I am just destined to be fat. So people therefore don't even attempt to do anything about it

It's so funny, Robin, because to me it was the exact opposite. I had to acknowledge that I wasn't "like everyone else" metabolically to lose and maintain weight. I can't eat that 1800-2000 calories a day that average woman needs to maintain weight, or the average BMR calculated for me by all the calculators out there. They don't apply because my metabolism is slower than average. Acknowledging biological differences in metabolism empowered me to let go of my "but I SHOULD be able to eat 2000 calories a day, it's not FAIR" and move to "My body is not the same as everyone else. My body requires X calories, which is what I will feed it, because it is important to me to maintain my weight".

I have stayed with someone for 2 weeks with an ultra-fast metabolism. I watched what he ate at almost every meal. It was 3500-4000 calories, to maintain his relatively low weight (he had a 30 inch waist, not sure on actual pounds). He didn't eat a big meal, then almost nothing - he ate a big meal at just about every meal, plus snacks. I will never be that, because my metabolism is different, and that's OK.

It's also not accurate to say the actual differences aren't very big. Post-obese people (people who were obese and have lost weight) need 15-20% fewer calories to maintain weight than those who were never obese. It's not a minor difference...its the difference between 2000 calories to maintain and 1600 calories to maintain.

I never thought of it as something that made it impossible to lose weight! Rather, it was something I had to be aware of, long term, for weight loss and maintenance. It's not an excuse to acknowledge metabolic differences. It only becomes an excuse when you say "BECAUSE of this metabolic difference, I have no option but to stay fat forever".

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 04:49 PM
Ah, AManda, but you said you were overweight due to your metabolism and NOT that there's nothing I can do about it - but that I'm going to "work with what I've got" and am determined to find a way AROUND this particular *obstacle*." At least that's what I'm hearing from you. I think there are many who believe because their metabolisms are *slower* that that's it - nothing you can do about it. I suppose that's the ones that I made that particular (yes, very general) statement about.

I believe for ANY obstacle we face, there IS a solution.

We've got to look within and not look to or what others are doing.

I'm sure there's someone out there who requires even less calories than me to maintain their weight. Surely. Probably. Most likely. Somewhere.. anywhere... maybe... ;)

I didn't mean that to sound like a pity party (not too much anyway :))

mandalinn82
05-19-2010, 05:37 PM
Just one more thought...I don't think it's true that people who genetically have faster metabolisms and remain naturally slimmer get away with "it's my metabolism" without repurcussions. I have seen/heard frequently of people who are very slim being called anorexic, starving themselves, on drugs, etc (celebrities, but also lots of girls in my high school who ate regular, healthy diets but were very slim naturally). Just as people make unkind comments about the food intake of overweight people (are you sure you should be eating that??), people make unkind comments about very slim people as well (eat a sandwich, you're anorexic, etc.). It does go both ways, to an extent.

carter
05-19-2010, 06:28 PM
He is so thin that people have accused him of being a meth or crack addict,

...

When people are prone to be so thin, no matter what they do, and they say "it's my metabolism" nobody questions it.



If nobody questioned it they wouldn't accuse him of being a drug addict. ;) ETA: I realized after I posted that mandalinn made this point in the post above mine!

This isn't something we'll see a lot of on this board, but naturally thin people do deal with a lot of obnoxious comments and nosy prying into their eating habits. Just ask one, I'm sure they'll be delighted to tell you all about it - in my experience, naturally thin people feel they are not allowed to complain about this issue because we regular and overweight people roll our eyes and say "oh yeah I'm sure it's such a hardship being naturally thin."

A very close friend of mine is one such naturally thin person. She's constantly batting away comments and impertinent inquiry. As it happens, she'd love to put on some weight, it would be very healthy for her - but it's just not that easy for her. She doesn't have a huge appetite - never has, as long as I've known her. And on top of that, for the last several years she's been suffering from Crohn's disease, which puts very stringent limits on what and how much she can eat.

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 07:37 PM
It's also not accurate to say the actual differences aren't very big. Post-obese people (people who were obese and have lost weight) need 15-20% fewer calories to maintain weight than those who were never obese. It's not a minor difference...its the difference between 2000 calories to maintain and 1600 calories to maintain.

Well, I'm going to respectfully disagree here. There ARE differences in metabolism, based on age, gender, etc. and post-obesity may also represent a measurable difference.

There are differences between men and women, athletes and non-athletes, pregnant women, breastfeeders, etc. But if you match people based on those characteristics, then the differences are not great enough to explain why one person of the same age, gender, and activity level is skinny and the other is morbidly obese.

There will be differences, but that's why the normal BMI is a range-- a person who looks and feels good at a BMI of 25 is probably not going to change him or herself into a person with a BMI of 19, or at least not without a lot of pain and difficulty.

I don't know about you, but I did not become morbidly obese by eating 1600 or 2000 calories a day. I became morbidly obese by eating A TON OF FOOD AND STUFF THAT WAS BAD FOR ME day after day.

When I was younger, I was extremely active and ate a ton and I maintained a BMI of about 24-25. As I got older, I was less active, ate even more, and became morbidly obese.

My point is though there are small individual differences based on a variety of factors, the difference between skinny and morbid obesity is far greater and more complex than that. Metabolism plays a role sure, but not as significant a role as other factors.

mandalinn82
05-19-2010, 08:28 PM
Ubergirl - I don't know if I was clear. I am not disputing the fact that, if people have all of the same metabolism-influencing variables, their metabolisms won't be more or less the same...of course, if you're controlling all of the things that affect metabolism, you'll end up at about the same place. I wouldn't expect a big difference between people for whom all of the metabolism-affecting variables were controlled.

That said, we don't understand all of the things that can change metabolism, so much so that for many people, the calculators are literally useless. And just because we haven't identified the factor that caused my body to burn 1500 calories a day and someone else's to burn 2000 calories a day, that difference is enough to divide us by just about a pound a week. That'll level off, of course, as the one with the 1500 calorie burn gains weight and starts burning more, but that's still a significant difference, particularly over a number of years. And the fact is, there are many metabolic differences we don't understand yet, so your hypothetical experiment couldn't ever take place...we are incapable of controlling for all factors that influence calorie burn because science hasn't quite nailed down what they are.

You'll never hear me say that metabolism doesn't matter, because it does, in my experience...some people, for whatever reason, be it genetic, hormonal, or other, burn more calories than other people, for some reasons we understand, and for some reasons we don't. It's a key reason why I'm not able to ever compare what I eat to what others eat. What you WILL hear me say is, essentially, "so what?". So my metabolism is slower than a good portion of the population, meaning I have to eat less to maintain my weight or lose weight. OK, fine, that is worth the trade-off to me. But I don't see the danger in acknowledging that it is a tradeoff that people whose furnaces burn hotter don't have to make, you know?

Lyri
05-19-2010, 08:34 PM
This is a fascinating discussion. My husband has a great metabolism. I've lived with him for 11.5 years, so trust me when I tell you he eats WAY more than I could get away with, and he doesn't do it just once or twice a week. We're talking about a guy who can fill 5 plates with steak, chicken, and pizza from the bar at Golden Corral, then come home and eat a bag of chips in front of the TV. This is NOT uncommon. Even the other guys at work (where he is fairly sedentary) rib him about how much he eats. He's always been 6', about 180 lbs. Very handsome too! He's always saying he doesn't understand how I eat as little as I do and remain this weight.

But the fact is that we're all different. I gained weight due to anti-epileptic medication. I put on 30 lbs the first two months I took it. The medication affected my body processes. I don't claim to understand it because I'm not a doctor, but I lived it, so I know what happened. (I immediately took myself off the meds against doctor's orders.) Then I yo-yo dieted my way to a very stubborn weight set point. I've been exactly the same weight for the past six years, whether I eat like a pig or attempt any number of diets. (And my scale's not broken. The doctors' scales agree.) Again, I don't claim to understand it.

I've fortunately figured out that sugar is my arch-nemesis. Eating 1200 calories a day doesn't do a thing for me if part of those calories are from sugar. Now that I've figured this out, the weight is melting off. But each of us are different, and we each have to research our own issues and find unique solutions.

There are a wide variety of medical conditions that can contribute to obesity. Sure, these can be addressed, but it often takes time to figure them out, and in the meantime, it's quite normal to feel depressed and hopeless. We can't judge people harshly for giving up from time to time. I'll bet we've all done it. There are too many factors in this to paint us all with one big calorie-counting brush.

Petite Powerhouse
05-19-2010, 08:37 PM
I've been with my BF for 12 years. He just turned 49 and at 6' has never weighed more than 135 in his life. And I know he eats a ton, every day, much more than he ought to be able to to sustain his weight. I even work with the man, in the office next to his. I hear everything he unwraps to eat in there. I know when he visits the candy box outside my office. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together, and I see how much he consumes in alcohol and cookies and late-night "snacks." I see how much he eats when we go out. We go to the gym together: I know his workout. Nothing he does explains his metabolism. I know him, and I know his ability to eat and not gain weight is otherworldly.

In general I do agree that people who are "naturally thin" are that way because they eat and move in a way that makes them naturally thin. I am one of those people. But I also believe that some people just have freakishly fast metabolisms. And, in my BF's case at least, the doctors have never found any medical condition to explain it. It appears to be simply genetic.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 08:39 PM
The bottom line is, that no matter what your metabolism is (or isn't,) whatever changes life brings your way as, if you're overweight (whatever that means), you are over-feeding yourself. You're taking in more calories than is necessary, more calories that you require and your body can't burn enough of it. Therefore you are winding up with a calorie overage or surplus and it is being stored as FAT.

Lyri
05-19-2010, 08:49 PM
I think that it's important that anyone, overweight or underweight, discuss the situation with their doctor to rule out or deal with underlying medical disorders. Society has a tendency to oversimplify this issue... to our detriment.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 08:59 PM
I think that it's important that anyone, overweight or underweight, discuss the situation with their doctor to rule out or deal with underlying medical disorders. Society has a tendency to oversimplify this issue... to our detriment.

I actually think that there really aren't too many underlying medical disorders causing people to be overweight. :dunno:

mandalinn82
05-19-2010, 08:59 PM
Robin, I'd agree with your statement, if it included two factors...one, which is just a minor quibble, is "what your body requires AT THAT TIME", since metabolism is ever changing and we need to change our intakes with it, up or down. The second would be "More calories than you require of the foods you are eating" - my own experience and the experience of many here is that our burn - the "calories out" portion - must logically be higher when eating whole, unprocessed foods, because we can maintain on 1500 calories of whole foods but not 1500 calories of processed foods, even without taking into account appetite/satiety factors.

Lyri
05-19-2010, 09:17 PM
Robin, are you a doctor? If so, I accept your experienced medical opinion.

I think we can all agree that the body is a complex thing, and none of us can claim to fully understand it.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 09:42 PM
Robin, are you a doctor? If so, I accept your experienced medical opinion.
.

No, I'm most definitely not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV ;).

Are you? If you are, I'd be really curious to hear about all of these underlying medical conditions that cause people to be overweight.

I for one definitely wasn't giving a medical opinion and never claimed to. I have just found this to be the case through speaking with others who have lost a good deal of weight and those that need to lose a great deal of weight. The overwhelmingly large majority of them were/are overweight, is because were/are taking in too many calories, they were/are overfeeding themselves. I certainly was!!

As far as doctors go, my doctor wasn't able to help me. Granted I had none of these underlying medical conditions that you speak of, but my doctor told me that unless I got weight loss surgery that it would be impossible to get off all of the weight that I needed to in order to get to a healthy weight.


I think we can all agree that the body is a complex thing, and none of us can claim to fully understand it

Agreed. Glad we can see eye to eye on something. :smug:

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 09:48 PM
Robin, I'd agree with your statement, if it included two factors...one, which is just a minor quibble, is "what your body requires AT THAT TIME", since metabolism is ever changing and we need to change our intakes with it, up or down. The second would be "More calories than you require of the foods you are eating" - my own experience and the experience of many here is that our burn - the "calories out" portion - must logically be higher when eating whole, unprocessed foods, because we can maintain on 1500 calories of whole foods but not 1500 calories of processed foods, even without taking into account appetite/satiety factors.

Yes, I did kinda state the bolded underlined sentence of yours. , (not so clearly), when I said "whatever changes life brings your way".

Your second factor, ummm, I suppose, but I don't think that that is a major factor and didn't think it had to be stated. But I'm glad that you did- just in case. :)

juliastl27
05-19-2010, 10:21 PM
wow this thread lit on fire!

i dont really know for sure how much metabolism plays in here. i do know that when i was a teenager i could literally eat whatever i wanted and not gain a pound. now i cant remember well enough to know whether i just wanted less than i do now or not!

i also know that i gained most of my weight when i was on a medication which listed weight gain as a side effect due to several things, one of them being that it "depressed metabolism".

i think we all know that people lose weight at different speeds. if you and i are at the same starting weight and get on the EXACT same plan and i lose 1.5 lb, and you lose 3 in a week, that doesn't mean i didn't try as hard as you. it just means that my body loses weight more slowly. maybe the next week id have a "whoosh" and you'd stay the same. whether it's metabolism or not, we all just have to find what works for us and stop worrying about what we do vs. what other people can or cannot do!

Button
05-19-2010, 10:23 PM
I'm not going to offer my opinion on the medical side of this, but I do want to offer one thought: What if they just want to change the topic?

Maybe these people work really hard to remain thin and just don't want their habits scrutinized by someone who is nosy enough to ask "Why're you so thin?" in the first place. Maybe they are doing something unhealthy to remain thin and don't want to talk about it. Maybe they have a messy medical condition that keeps them from gaining weight. Maybe it is just an excuse, but unless we know these people we don't know.

I'm equal opportunity when it comes to this. Just as we shouldn't assume a fat person is stupid, lazy, etc. we shouldn't assume a thin person has an eating disorder, is a drug addict, etc. We should give people a chance to prove themselves, but sadly those chances are few and far between.

mandalinn82
05-19-2010, 10:25 PM
Well, thyroid problems reducing BMR is well known. I know of at least one other underlying medical condition that reduces BMR - PCOS, which has an estimated prevalence of 20% in overweight and obese women. So approximately 1 in 5 women who are overweight or obese may have an underlying medical condition that lowers BMR. Now, PCOS may be worsened by being overweight, but there are at least some genetic or environmental predispositions involved as well.

Adjusted BMR was 1,868 41 kcal/day in the control group, 1,445.57 76 in all PCOS women, 1,590 130 in PCOS women without IR and 1,116 106 in PCOS women with IR. Adjusted BMR showed a statistically significant difference between women with PCOS and control subjects, with lowest values in the group of PCOS women with IR, even after adjusting all groups for age and BMI.



http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(08)01008-X/abstract

As for the "what you eat" part affecting metabolism/calories out, I can only speak from my own personal experiences and what I have read here from others.

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 10:58 PM
That said, we don't understand all of the things that can change metabolism, so much so that for many people, the calculators are literally useless. And just because we haven't identified the factor that caused my body to burn 1500 calories a day and someone else's to burn 2000 calories a day, that difference is enough to divide us by just about a pound a week. That'll level off, of course, as the one with the 1500 calorie burn gains weight and starts burning more, but that's still a significant difference, particularly over a number of years. And the fact is, there are many metabolic differences we don't understand yet, so your hypothetical experiment couldn't ever take place...we are incapable of controlling for all factors that influence calorie burn because science hasn't quite nailed down what they are.

I don't disagree with this. The factors that go into metabolism are obviously complex and there are many factors that we don't understand very well...

And also, at least empirically, there certainly seem to be some people who are much more vulnerable to the obesogenic environment.

When I see a young child or preteen who is morbidly obese, I always think that some combination of factors MUST have stacked the deck against the poor kid-- some combination of factors that we don't yet fully understand from a scientific point of view.

My point is a little different.

I still don't think that differences in BMR between individuals are enough to explain why some people become morbidly obese.

And I think that in the absence of a treatable medical condition, such as hypothyroidism, it's a mistake to blame our weight woes on our metabolism.

That being said, I DO feel sorry for myself personally that I lose fairly slowly on 1200-1400 cals a day with vigorous exercise. Drat that metabolism.;)

kaplods
05-19-2010, 11:57 PM
I think there are more medical and physiological factors than is often assumed (and research seems to be finding and identifying more and more - though the scientific results seem to enrage people. Ignoring the truth that's discovered and shouting that it "gives people an excuse to stay fat.")

I found it easier to lose weight when I identified and dealt with those physiological factors. I did not use the information to stay fat - quite the reverse. Understanding the problem, helped me find solutions that were more effective.

Even acknowledging medical problems you can still say "all overweight people are overweight because they're taking in more calories than they need."

If a person can't lose on 1000 calories - I guess that means that 1000 calories are "too many."

If you eat nothing, you will eventually starve to death - losing weight in the process, so I guess that's proof that "everyone can lose weight by calorie restriction alone." If it takes 400 calories a day to do it, well sucks to be you.

I don't "blame my weight woes on my metabolism," but understanding my metabolism has helped me tremendously in finding strategies that do work.

I am hypothyroid (but not severely enough for most local doctors to treat. I could doctor shop until I found a doctor willing to medicate - or I could move to a location where the standards are different, but I'm satisfied with my doctor, so I just deal with the hypothyroid as best I can).

I'm also insulin resistant (as much a result as a cause of obesity, but it does slash metabolism, so once you're on the low metabolism train, you're kind of stuck there for a while. Good chance that I can get off with enough weight loss, but for now, I'm stuck with the metabolic effect of the IR).

For me, I really need a low-carb diet to be able to lose weight. Lot's of reasons for it, doesn't really matter what they are. Unfortunately, I never tried low-carb dieting seriously (only for short-term crash dieting, and then I'd "come to my senses" and get back on a "balanced" low-calorie diet that I never could stay on long enough to lose much weight).

I'm confident that if I had found low-carb dieting before I reached 250 lbs, I would have never reached 394, and probably wouldn't have reached 251, but that's not my experience.

I spent over 30 years trying to lose weight by force of will - "mind over matter." I didn't believe in the medical/physiological factors, so I never attempted weight loss that took them into account. I truly believed that it was just a matter of mind over matter (I still get sick of people telling me THAT's why I'm succeeding. I most certainly am not. If I hadn't found the physiological issues, I would still be gaining).

On one hand, it doesn't matter what metabolism cards you've been dealt. You've got to deal with them, regardless - but simple calorie control may not be enough. You may need medication and/or a special diet.

For me, metformin, the right birth control, and low-carb dieting is my "magic combo" and I think it works because it addresses the physiological factors contributing to my obesity.

Isn't my weight still my "fault?" You're perfectly welcome to do so (not that you'd need my permission, if you're of that mindset).

Personally, I don't use that word. It is my responsibility, but I don't have to blame anyone or anything (including myself, my parents or my metabolism), but understanding as much as I can, sure helps me find paths that are easier.

And weight loss is tough, finding ways to make it easier is nothing to be ashamed of.

rockinrobin
05-20-2010, 12:19 AM
Thyroid issues and PCOS were indeed the only two medical conditions that immediately came to mind when the underlying medical conditions topic first came up.

Even with those two conditions, and boy I don't envy any one with them, talk about making something challenging even more so, and yes, these factors should be looked into, still the overwhelmingly large percentage of overweight people *I've* come across, are not affected by these.

I bet if we took a poll here at 3FC we most certainly would run across many with those two conditions, but again, I believe the overwhelmingly large percentage would NOT be afflicted by either of them.

And yes, these conditions should be identified, it is never wrong to speak with a doctor. And for those with these conditions, you will still find them able to lose weight and not have to be morbidly obese/obese/overweight.

And of course, medications - but I for one in my mind didn't lump that into the underlying medical conditions category. It is a factor, but not a condition.

Do some people have more challenges than others? Yup, you betcha.

LovebirdsFlying
05-20-2010, 12:20 AM
*head spinning from all the responses*

The thing is, for me, I also tend to forget to eat sometimes. I often don't have an appetite and just don't want to eat more than a couple of snacks a day. Other times I'll eat a full meal, mostly lean meats and steamed veggies.

Before I was diagnosed diabetic, I used to starve myself for days, maybe weeks. Once I looked at the empty refrigerator, decided that now would be a good time to wash it out, bent down to get the crisper, and fainted. Now I know I have to eat to prevent a sugar drop (which is probably what happened then).

Sometimes when I starved like this, it was because I was out of grocery money but was ashamed to ask for help. I was afraid of being told, "Yeah, sure, you really look like you're starving." (I have never actually been told that, but a family friend was, when she applied for food stamps.) Other times, and I still think like this on occasion, I tell myself that with so much world hunger going on, someone as fat as I am has used up her right to eat and deserves to starve.

But I don't lose weight *easily,* no matter how little I eat. I ate (or didn't) like an anorexic, but sure as you-know-what didn't look like one. Whereas others can cut back maybe 100 calories a day and melt like butter.

Also, people tend to judge me if they see me eating, at all. When you're overweight, you're not supposed to put any food at all in your mouth, or else it's evidence that you're a pig and that's why you're so fat. Doesn't matter if it's a plate of lettuce with no dressing, if you eat you're being a pig.

On the other hand, there is a conversation I once had with an ex-in-law, who was the younger sister in her family. As a child she tended to be slim, while her sister tended to be plump. If Betty reached for anything to eat--anything at all--her parents would say, "Betty, you don't need that. Give it to Donna. She needs it worse than you do." So they'd pump Donna full of the food Betty "didn't need." And pretty soon, Donna didn't need it either....

So I understand that "metabolism" doesn't tell the whole story, but we don't all begin at the same starting point. Some of us have more challenges than others.

Now, final point: Why can't different body sizes be beautiful? Why do we all have to be the same size and shape, and have the same proportions? Can a 5'6" woman look good at 180 pounds? I think so, but society says she doesn't look good unless she's 130 or less. Narrow-minded, if you ask me.

Understand I'm not making excuses. I still need to eat healthy and exercise, no matter what challenges I have.

kaplods
05-20-2010, 12:52 AM
Thyroid issues and PCOS were indeed the only two medical conditions that immediately came to mind when the underlying medical conditions topic first came up.

Even with those two conditions, and boy I don't envy any one with them, talk about making something challenging even more so, and yes, these factors should be looked into, still the overwhelmingly large percentage of overweight people *I've* come across, are not affected by these.


Just because thyroid and PCOS are the only two medical conditions that come to your mind doesn't mean they're the only ones (I can think of at least a dozen - just off the top of my head. Some of them I've run across in my coursework in college and graduate school, and some of them I've run across in my independent study of obesity. Given a week and access to a university library, I bet I could come up with two dozen, maybe even three dozen).

Also, just because you assume that the overwhelmingly large percentage of overweight people you've come across are not affected by these (two or for that matter any) doesn't make it so.

You cannot guess by looking at someone what medical conditions (factors or whatever you want to call them) they may have. Obesity could be 99% physiological - and no one would know that by looking or guessing. You don't see what people eat, and how much - so you can't say whether they're eating more than most people of that size (or any size). You can't tell how they respond to which kinds of diets, either.

There's quite a lot of evidence that many factors affect obesity (social factors, emotional factors, genetic factors, physiological factors).

But our assumptions change how we treat obesity. If we assume it's only one factor, we're going to miss opportunities and ways to help people.

Before I had hypothyroidism, diabetes, and IR (possibly PCOS, possibly obesity-induced), I still may have started with a genetic disposition towards overeating. I definitely had hormonal issues (but fat can contribute to hormonal issues, just as it can be affected by them).

I started menstruating in 4th grade (I don't remember if it was first semester or second, so I might have been 10 or I might have been 9. I think it was 9). I had a heavy, severely painful 8-9 day period on clockwork regular 25 day cycle from the very start. I felt starved, no matter how much I ate during one week every month - and struggled most of my life to lose the weight I gained during that week. No doctor in their right mind at the time (or probably even now) would have put a 9 year old on birth control pills - but I would bet if my doctor had, I would have never exceeded 180 lbs. It's only a theory (an assumption, really), but I do often wonder "what if."

I suspect that genetics/physiology didn't put the weight on, but it "loaded the gun." I'm more and more convinced that physiology (perhaps even genetics) loads the gun, and environment pulled the trigger. If I had been born 200 years ago, unless I was born very, very wealthy, I wouldn't have had access to enough food (and sendentary lifestlye) to pull the obesity trigger.

There's no way to understand how many bullets are in the gun. We can't "see" a person's physiological factors. There's no skin color, there's no tattoo, there's nothing that tells you what your own physiological factors are, you certainly can't see or guess them in others - you can only wonder, guess or assume. I wish more people would wonder, and fewer would assume.

For most of my life, I was ignorant of my own physiological factors (and I'm still ignorant of most of them). There's absolutely no way for anyone to accurately guesstimate how much a role physiology actually plays - for any individual or on average.

You can assume it's "rarely physiological" just as you can assume it's "usually physiological," but the fact is either way you're guessing.

rockinrobin
05-20-2010, 01:15 AM
All of that is fine and dandy Kaplods (or not so fine and dandy as the case may be), but I still believe that most, not all, but MOST, cases of obesity are NOT caused by an underlying medical condition. Could I be wrong - well surely, without a doubt ,but I don't think so. I really, really, really don't. And I'm sorry if that bothers you and you feel the need to try to convince me otherwise.

Quite frankly, there are times that I disagree with lots that people say here - certainly when opinions are stated as FACTS, and I'm sure lots highly disagree with what I say - and that's perfectly okay. We can't all always agree or even *like* what someone else is saying. There are many threads that I will take a peek in, maybe even respond to and than not return to it, because I find what I deem as the mis-information too *annoying*. We're not doctors, we're not experts, we are just regular folks speaking about what each of us has come across in our own lives. :)

Transformer08
05-20-2010, 01:26 AM
Okay, wow, this is a super fun discussion, and clearly hits quite close to home for many of us given the fieriness (is that a word?) of replies!

Kaploids, I would be interested to hear your top-of-the-head dozen medical conditions causing obesity. I don't doubt there are, but I do wonder about the prevalence. In my experience, most of the obesity I see related to medical conditions is iatragenic (neuroleptics, steroids, the list goes on...). And overall, most obesity that can be *related* to medical conditions is not one of cause and effect but rather one piece in a multifactorial process.

Passionista
05-20-2010, 02:19 AM
One condition not mentioned here that contributes towards having a lowered metabolism is one of the most obvious...

DIETING!!!

Yo-Yo dieting, especially.

Now, I'm stepping away from the thread! ;)

kaplods
05-20-2010, 02:43 AM
All of that is fine and dandy Kaplods (or not so fine and dandy as the case may be), but I still believe that most, not all, but MOST, cases of obesity are NOT caused by an underlying medical condition. Could I be wrong - well surely, without a doubt ,but I don't think so. I really, really, really don't. And I'm sorry if that bothers you and you feel the need to try to convince me otherwise.


It neither bothers me, nor do I feel the need to convince you otherwise. I know your opinion on the matter, and I know it is not one that you will ever change, unless you experience some of these issues yourself (and maybe not even then).

I am just (as you justifiably felt the right to) disagreeing and stating my opinion - for no less valid reasons than you.

I still believe that MANY, perhaps even most, not all, but perhaps even MOST, cases of obesity ARE caused by an underlying medical condition or more often as a result of the interaction of a COMPLEX and NUMEROUS set of related, unrelated, and interrelated factors. Could I be wrong - well surely, without a doubt, but I don't think so. I really, really, really, really don't. And I'm sorry if that bothers you and you feel the need to try to convince me otherwise.

kaplods
05-20-2010, 02:50 AM
In my experience, most of the obesity I see related to medical conditions is iatragenic (neuroleptics, steroids, the list goes on...). And overall, most obesity that can be *related* to medical conditions is not one of cause and effect but rather one piece in a multifactorial process.

I am not arguing cause and effect. Even with PCOS and thryoid and other endocrine disorders. I too am arguing that obesity is a multifactorial process - one that can not easily be quantified. Which factors are present (genetic, physiological, environmental, cultural, social, socio-economical...), how important and to what degree the factors play a role, cannot be easily determined for any individual. Especially since we're not sure we've even identified them all, and we certainly don't understand the complex relationships between all of the factors.

The state of the research does not allow much more than theory at this point. Even the experts who have made obesity research their life's work cannot agree on the role and importance (and even the existence) of some of these factors. Assuming that we can draw conclusions when the scientific community cannot, is arrogance in the extreme.

We are guessing, and that's ok, but we need to acknowledge that we are guessing.

kaplods
05-20-2010, 03:04 AM
One condition not mentioned here that contributes towards having a lowered metabolism is one of the most obvious...

DIETING!!!

Yo-Yo dieting, especially.

Now, I'm stepping away from the thread! ;)


I strongly believe this is one of the most common, and one of the best documented and supported in the research.

Some of the most interesting research is on high school and college wrestlers as well as adolescent and young adult gymnasts and some military conditions (where yoyo dieting generally is initiated at a healthy, and even underweight condition).

When you put thin folks on restrictive diets (especially repeatedly) the begin to exhibit behaviors much like overweight and ED patient, experiencing cravings, food obsessions, food hoarding behavior, binge disorders and often eventually weight problems. (Wrestlers who have never dieted are less likely to become overweight than wrestlers who dieted to be able to compete in a lower weight class). Because there is a weight advantage, wrestlers who are at the low end of a weight class are often encouraged by the coaches to lose weight so they can fight at the top of a lower weight class. The more often, and longer a wrestler has yoyo dieted, the higher the risk of eating disorders, and obesity.

LovebirdsFlying
05-20-2010, 05:59 AM
One condition not mentioned here that contributes towards having a lowered metabolism is one of the most obvious...

DIETING!!!

Yo-Yo dieting, especially.

Now, I'm stepping away from the thread! ;)

I strongly believe this is one of the most common, and one of the best documented and supported in the research.

Some of the most interesting research is on high school and college wrestlers as well as adolescent and young adult gymnasts and some military conditions (where yoyo dieting generally is initiated at a healthy, and even underweight condition).

When you put thin folks on restrictive diets (especially repeatedly) the begin to exhibit behaviors much like overweight and ED patient, experiencing cravings, food obsessions, food hoarding behavior, binge disorders and often eventually weight problems. (Wrestlers who have never dieted are less likely to become overweight than wrestlers who dieted to be able to compete in a lower weight class). Because there is a weight advantage, wrestlers who are at the low end of a weight class are often encouraged by the coaches to lose weight so they can fight at the top of a lower weight class. The more often, and longer a wrestler has yoyo dieted, the higher the risk of eating disorders, and obesity.

Could be a huge contributor in my case. I matured early, was wearing a bra (A-cup, not a "trainer,") to the third grade, had underarm hair, and was at least a full head taller than any of my classmates. Naturally I weighed more too, which led me and others to the conclusion that I was "fat." I wasn't medically overweight until I started high school, but I was dieting since age 8, because I weighed 70 pounds when other kids my age weighed 60 or 65. Nobody took the other factors into consideration. Nobody told me that because I was taller and more physically mature, I was *supposed* to weigh more.

And when I was 12, pretty much my present adult height, had the body of a grown woman, and was still at the taller end of the spectrum, I thought I was fat because I weighed in the 120 to 130 range. Exactly what I should have weighed. My classmates still had prepubescent bodies and were less than five feet tall, and they weighed anywhere from 70 to 90 pounds. Did anyone take that into consideration? No. I weighed more, so I was "fat."

I now think I programmed myself to be fat by thinking I was fat, seeing myself as fat, believing other kids when they called me fat, and (not) eating accordingly.

So, I think it's possible that yoyo dieting from a young age contributed to lowering my metabolism, making it extremely difficult for me to lose weight. An excuse to go wild? No. All my fault? No. Not that either.

LovebirdsFlying
05-20-2010, 06:18 AM
(I think I got lost somewhere in this thread....)

GlamourGirl827
05-20-2010, 08:12 AM
I've read that there excluding people with a lot of muscle mass (like body builders) or say with metabolic disorders, that the difference in metabolism really is no more than about 100 cals a day, when you are talking about two people of the same height and activity level. That's really not much. I don't know how true that is though.
I saw someone posted how their 5'8" mother could eat more and stay slim, but the poster was listed as 5'2". Someone taller will be able to eat more and not gain as easily. Also, they have more "space" so spread out their weight.

I think the people that talked about those with "high" metabolism actually being more active are right. We don't follow them daily, and we may not see that they naturally chose the more active choices, like stairs over the elevator or stay active long after a heavier person has stopped moving.
Someone had said that they see people on this board listing much higher cal diets and losing weight, but again, its important to take in to consideration height, current weight (someone at 300 lbs will burn more than someone at 150 lbs), gender, age, and even workout.

My cousin used to say that when I dieted I was able to eat more than her and just lose weight, but when I diet I really put a lot into working out. I would (before kids) spends 2 - 3 hours at the gym. I'd jog, do the eliptical, step and spin classes and then about an hour of weights, and really bust my butt. One time we met at the gym together, and I saw why. Aside from the fact that she went only 2 -3 tims per week, she was there for about 30 minutes. She walked on the treadmill, read a magazine, didn't break a sweat, and left (while I stayed behind to finish my workout).
Since we can't go with other members of the board to their workouts, we can't see how hard someone's working out. Someone that seems to be eating more, mght be working out longer or harder than we are.

rockinrobin
05-20-2010, 08:53 AM
As far as dieting causing lowered metabolism, that's what we discussed - that metabolisms change throughout the course of our lives - for whatever reason, for many reasons. The rate at which we burn calories - that's all that a metabolism is, our set of circumstances, the way you live your life, either by choice or by chance is what it is. And it's up to US to adjust as the metabolism, that rate at which we burn calories, changes. We have to be on top of it and change along with it.

And as far as medical - well I have a daughter with a fairly bad chronic stomach condition. She can eat practically no fresh fruits (a nibble every now and then and often pays for it) and vegetables and slightly more (from time to time) cooked veggies. I feel for her beyond belief. It's so not easy for her maintaining a healthy weight AND eating nutritiously. It is quite the challenge! And my heart breaks for her. So is this a medical condition that *causes* her to be overweight? No, I don't think it is. She knows what she's up against, her circumstances suck and she has to adjust to meet her own specific needs. Just. like. we. all. do.

rockinrobin
05-20-2010, 08:54 AM
(I think I got lost somewhere in this thread....)

I am sorry for this. :hug:

ubergirl
05-20-2010, 09:57 AM
Lovebirds... I'm sorry you feel like you got lost. But it IS an interesting discussion.

Really, if you want to boil the discussion down to its bare bones, the essence of the question is this: if you are "naturally thin" or "tend to run fat" is that volitional or not....

Is your body weight the result of your personal choices that ultimately you control?

Or is your body weight the result of complex genetic, environmental, and medical factors, most of which you DON'T control?

And the truth, like most things, probably runs somewhere in the middle....

There ARE a complicated set of factors influencing our weight-- obviously many factors are combining right now to lead to an increase in global obesity. Obviously, a lot of those factors are NOT in our control.

On the other hand, clearly an individual CAN influence his or her own weight by controlling the CONTROLLABLE factors. Rockin Robin is a prime example of someone who has done so.

I know in my own case, I developed early, started dieting young, and by the time I got out of college, I was overweight. But when I moved overseas for several years and lived in a more or less "native" style in a country where the obesity rate was very low, I also became very thin-- the only time in my life I've maintained a BMI of around 22-- and I did so for almost 4 years with what I perceived as virtually no effort on my part...

I was very active because the only way to eat was to walk two miles to a village and walk home carrying a heavy basket. Food preparation was arduous-- if I wanted bread, I had to knead the dough. If I wanted chicken, I had to cut off its head, boil it and pluck it (I DID NOT WANT chicken very often) During that time I "ate whatever I wanted" and was rail thin.

When I came back to the US, I think I gained back 30lbs I had lost in the blink of an eye. A few weeks of driving everywhere and eating American food was enough to do it.

Environment? Genetics? Personal choice? I guess all of the above....

But the beauty of weight loss is that I still have that choice. I can find the combination of factors that will allow me to lose weight, and I can choose to do those things....

I can't choose to be taller, or more beautiful. But I CAN control my weight, to a reasonable degree.

LovebirdsFlying
05-20-2010, 10:09 AM
I am sorry for this. :hug:

:hug: Nobody needs to apologize. :)

Of course we all have to adjust to our own circumstances. I'm not sure anyone was ever really disputing that. Having a low metabolism doesn't give me license to eat like crazy and stop exercising, and then blame my body for the fact that I'm not losing weight. In that sense, "It's my metabolism" is no excuse. However, one can say correctly that his/her metabolism makes it more difficult to lose weight, and it's not just an excuse but a fact.

I think the ones saying that the higher-metabolism people are more active are right too, but the point I am making is that they seem to have more energy in the first place. My grandchildren's father hardly ever slows down, and his three older children, not biologically related to me or my daughter, are just plain hyper. However, none of them are making a conscious decision to get exercise. They don't follow any program. Besides obviously not caring what they eat or how much, they also don't think to themselves, "OK, I need some exercise, so I'm going to do this specific action for this amount of time." They simply have a lot of energy. While I have to watch everything that goes in my mouth, and deliberately set aside times to move my body in ways I carefully plan, this man and his children aren't even thinking about it.

Regardless of any physical factors, I think it's the "having to think about it" as opposed to "it comes naturally" that makes the most difference.

And it could be that the habits are formed so early in childhood that we aren't aware of them. I was my mother's first baby, and she was young. She fed me every time I cried, thinking I was hungry (when I probably had a tummy ache from being overstuffed) to the point that I was on two junior-sized jars of baby food *all three meals* by the time I was five months old. I've seen pictures of myself then. I looked like a little Buddha. Exercise? Nah. Our parents didn't encourage us running around and making noise. They preferred for us to stay in our rooms and be quiet. Maybe the bad habits were formed then, before I have any conscious memory?

One thing: If I was a fat baby, a fat teen, and a fat adult, how did I miss being a fat child? Especially in light of that old "finish everything on your plate" rule that so many children are raised with? From toddlerhood to about age 8, I don't remember weight ever being an issue.

mandalinn82
05-20-2010, 10:15 AM
Uber - total agreement. We all face our own challenges. But then doesn't that get back up to the OP's question...why is it that people who have slower metabolisms and are overweight are given a different reaction (eat less!, regardless of what they are actually eating currently) than those with hyperspeed metabolisms that are underweight?

I mean, sure, those people do sometimes get the "eat a sandwich" response...but often, they are envied (even if they struggle to keep weight on or are medically underweight, which has plenty of health risks, comparable to overweight) or, if they REALLY have trouble keeping weight on, pitied. I have seen very few reactions of outright scorn/implications that fixing the problem is easy to someone who is underweight due to a very fast metabolism.

So to loop back around to the OP's question, when the solution to the problem sounds easy (Eat more for the underweight, less for the overweight), but isn't so in real life (because the overweight person has to consciously restrict calories, and the underweight person has to consciously force them down), why do underweight folks get the envy/pity and overweight folks get the scorn? It sure isn't for health reasons (medical underweight is just as risky as overweight, if not a bit more, statistics-wise). I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that medical underweight is relatively uncommon, much less common than overweight, so it seems more like a "real" metabolic condition.

LovebirdsFlying
05-20-2010, 10:19 AM
Uber - total agreement. We all face our own challenges. But then doesn't that get back up to the OP's question...why is it that people who have slower metabolisms and are overweight are given a different reaction (eat less!, regardless of what they are actually eating currently) than those with hyperspeed metabolisms that are underweight?

I mean, sure, those people do sometimes get the "eat a sandwich" response...but often, they are envied (even if they struggle to keep weight on or are medically underweight, which has plenty of health risks, comparable to overweight) or, if they REALLY have trouble keeping weight on, pitied. I have seen very few reactions of outright scorn/implications that fixing the problem is easy to someone who is underweight due to a very fast metabolism.

So to loop back around to the OP's question, when the solution to the problem sounds easy (Eat more for the underweight, less for the overweight), but isn't so in real life (because the overweight person has to consciously restrict calories, and the underweight person has to consciously force them down), why do underweight folks get the envy/pity and overweight folks get the scorn? It sure isn't for health reasons (medical underweight is just as risky as overweight, if not a bit more, statistics-wise). I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that medical underweight is relatively uncommon, much less common than overweight, so it seems more like a "real" metabolic condition.

*stands and applauds*

rockinrobin
05-20-2010, 11:10 AM
But then doesn't that get back up to the OP's question...why is it that people who have slower metabolisms and are overweight are given a different reaction (eat less!, regardless of what they are actually eating currently) than those with hyperspeed metabolisms that are underweight?


But who's to say, how does one determine if they truly DO have a slower metabolism??? And by how much??? It could be minuscule.

As far as the original question, I personally never think that someone who *appears* to eat whatever he wants can *safely* do so because of his "metabolism". But, I'm sure there are many that do.

shortandfluffy
05-20-2010, 11:21 AM
I just tried to read through all this and I am sure I missed some of it, but I have to agree and disagree with things I read.

I think that genetics does play a part, I have people in my family to prove that. My sister and I grew up eating the same and pretty much doing the same things. She was always thin.. I wasn't. My dad is a small man whereas my mom and her sisters were all "fluffy" women.

I do think though that some people are thin because they are really active, while some people are overweight because they are couch potatoes. That isn't ALWAYS that case.

Society has made it more difficult for people that are bigger. If you aren't thin you aren't attractive. I think its total b.s. Health should be the concern, but it will never be that way. It really pains me to think about this.

I probably went off on a bunny trail... sorry about that.

PeanutsMom704
05-20-2010, 11:28 AM
Really, if you want to boil the discussion down to its bare bones, the essence of the question is this: if you are "naturally thin" or "tend to run fat" is that volitional or not....

Is your body weight the result of your personal choices that ultimately you control?

Or is your body weight the result of complex genetic, environmental, and medical factors, most of which you DON'T control?

Does it have to be either/or?

IMO, it's possible to have a metabolism that is legitimately slower than the norm for a person of the same age, weight, sex, activity level, etc, etc (in other words, matched on the variables).

But it's also possible to make the choice to override that, as several people have posted. Through trial and error, they have established the calorie level THEY personally need to lose or maintain their weight. It's irrelevant that the level is different than it would be for someone else, they have the ability to control it and eat only as much as their individual body needs, whatever the factors in play that determined that caloric need.

CJZee
05-20-2010, 11:52 AM
I do believe that many, if not most, morbidly obese people have metabolic and/or hormonal disorders that they must address that go far beyond "calories-in, calories-out". Gary Taubes in "Good Calories, Bad Calories" pretty much proved this to my satisfaction, and here is a great podcast which discusses it further. Link to podcast. (http://thehealthyskeptic.org/podcast-episode-i-interview-with-stephan-guyenet-on-obesity-and-weight-loss)

It is rather long but in my opinion, worth it. The podcast is with Dr. Stephan Guyenet, a young Ph.D specializing in body fat regulation. He also is not "wed" to any particular protocol. He just goes where the science takes him and sometimes changes his mind based on new evidence. (While this seems logical, it is upsetting to me how ideological some scientists are once they pick their path, they feel they can't deviate from it even in light of new evidence.)

That does NOT mean we are off the hook in our eating. What it DOES do is perhaps directs us to a way-of-eating that will minimize the pervasive hunger that so many of us feel, like we are fighting against our own body. We shouldn't have to do that, and if science can help us, we should let it.

What societal acknowledgment of underlying disorders for obesity would also do is something else: it would take away the horrible judgment and humiliation that can, and often does, accompany morbid obesity.

I think the successful weight losers/maintainers have hit on, perhaps by accident, the combination of type and quantity of food and exercise that works for them, perhaps healing or at least addressing their underlying disorder.

ubergirl
05-20-2010, 12:26 PM
I mean, sure, those people do sometimes get the "eat a sandwich" response...but often, they are envied (even if they struggle to keep weight on or are medically underweight, which has plenty of health risks, comparable to overweight) or, if they REALLY have trouble keeping weight on, pitied. I have seen very few reactions of outright scorn/implications that fixing the problem is easy to someone who is underweight due to a very fast metabolism.


Well, I hate to keep batting this back and forth, but I remain highly skeptical of the idea that there are people who would waste away and die if they didn't eat huge high calorie meals and drink protein shakes, etc.

I've spent a good amount of time in rural areas in the developing world, and believe me, there are many places where people routinely eat much less than what we would consider "adequate" and work far harder than we do, even when we work out... and yes, in fact, they're are skinny-- and some are skinnier than others. I'm not talking about malnourished, I'm just saying that the norm there is much leaner than here. An average well-nourished American looks big there. But the more hyper ones are skinnier than average .... but people are not starving and wasting away because they don't have access to protein shakes.... People can survive and thrive on far far less than what we think we need.

On the other hand, to get back to the OPs post-- I know that I used to actually wish that I suffered from anorexia, because I knew I had badly disordered eating, but my form of disordered eating made me fat. I perceived anorexia to be a prestige diagnosis, because it made you thin and thus got you attention-- whereas binge eating made you fat and then nobody cared... So clearly, I see where the OP is coming from. One of the hardest things about being fat is that it is highly visible and perceived to be self-inflicted. And that is a very difficult burden to bear.

LovebirdsFlying
05-21-2010, 12:05 AM
I just tried to read through all this and I am sure I missed some of it, but I have to agree and disagree with things I read.

I think that genetics does play a part, I have people in my family to prove that. My sister and I grew up eating the same and pretty much doing the same things. She was always thin.. I wasn't. My dad is a small man whereas my mom and her sisters were all "fluffy" women.

I do think though that some people are thin because they are really active, while some people are overweight because they are couch potatoes. That isn't ALWAYS that case.

Society has made it more difficult for people that are bigger. If you aren't thin you aren't attractive. I think its total b.s. Health should be the concern, but it will never be that way. It really pains me to think about this.

I probably went off on a bunny trail... sorry about that.

Well, that's the same bunny trail I've been hopping down. Glad to hop with you. I agree with every word you said.

We have three cats. All eat the same food on the same schedule. One is obese, one is tiny, and one is muscular. And the one with the high BP and history of stroke? Not the obese one, as might have been expected, but the tiny one. She has an enormous appetite but stays thin. Her thyroid has been tested. It is overactive, she needs meds for that as well as the BP. Score one for metabolism.

As for the obese one, the last vet we took her to didn't seem concerned, even though she waddles and she can't jump up on the furniture by herself. No tests were run on her. But we have a new vet now. The old vet didn't check the tiny cat's BP or thyroid either, but the new one did and it turned out to be the problem. I think when we get out from under *my* medical bills, we'll take the obese cat to the new vet. I'll bet anything that her thyroid is low.

Hubby also tells me that our obese cat starved early in her life. When his grandmother found her as a stray kitten, she was skin and bones. Did starvation lead to messed up metabolism in her case? Is that why she is obese while she and the other cats eat exactly the same?

And as for me, if there were a family reunion on my father's side, I'd be one of the slimmest women there. Some people say that when entire families in multiple generations are heavy, it is not genetics, but passing down the eating habits. No, I didn't simply learn their eating habits, since I didn't grow up with them.

Bottom line: genetics tells part, but not all, of the story. IMO.

LovebirdsFlying
05-21-2010, 12:14 AM
(snipped for space)
On the other hand, to get back to the OPs post-- I know that I used to actually wish that I suffered from anorexia, because I knew I had badly disordered eating, but my form of disordered eating made me fat. I perceived anorexia to be a prestige diagnosis, because it made you thin and thus got you attention-- whereas binge eating made you fat and then nobody cared... So clearly, I see where the OP is coming from. One of the hardest things about being fat is that it is highly visible and perceived to be self-inflicted. And that is a very difficult burden to bear.

I agree with everything you've said too, and I think you get my point exactly. Others have said it too. Thin people who "can't" gain are envied or pitied; fat people who "can't" lose are ridiculed.

Flashback from my childhood: With my parents out of town, my uncle was caring for us. When we got home from school, my brother (always slim, which is among the minority in my family) snacked on several slices of bread. Upon finding it gone later, my uncle turned on me with a scornful, "Was it good?" I was the pudgy one, so he jumped to the conclusion that I had eaten it. Then there's Mama Cass, who died of a heart attack, but urban legend has her choking to death. She was a large woman, so let's assume she left this world in the process of pigging out. Everyone knows that's what fat people do. Right?

Magrat
05-21-2010, 05:28 AM
When I was a teenager I was on a constant diet. I thought I was fat at 110 pounds because the other girls in my class were all around 100 pounds. I was also convinced that I had a slow metabolism because there I'd sit during lunch nibbling on lettuce leaves and melba toast while all around me the skinny girls were wolfing down cheeseburgers and brownies. How could they stay so skinny eating like that? I'd wonder. It never occured to me that they were also much more active. They played sports, were cheerleaders, paced and fidgeted during classes. They kept moving without, and this is important, not really making a conscious effort to do so.

I on the other hand, has to force myself to exercise and when I wasn't actually exercising I was sitting.

Flash forward thirty something years.

Now that same 110 pounds I used to think was fat is my goal weight. I am five pounds from goal, eating at least twice as many calories per day I did when I was a teenager. But I also move more . I have an active job, I power walk, I hike trails, I never use elevators etc. From the moment I get to work at 7 am to the moment I sit down to eat dinner at 8 pm I am in constant motion. And I lose weight on a calorie intake that would have caused weight gain when I was younger and my metabolism was supposedly faster.

And yes, sometimes now, people will see me eating a planned and accounted for high calorie treat and say things like, "How can you stay so thin eating like that? You must have a fast metabolism."

LovebirdsFlying
05-21-2010, 05:30 AM
:D Thank you Magrat, for that very interesting insight. I am learning something from each and every poster in this thread.

rockinrobin
05-21-2010, 05:58 AM
And yes, sometimes now, people will see me eating a planned and accounted for high calorie treat and say things like, "How can you stay so thin eating like that? You must have a fast metabolism."

Oh I get this ALL the time.

I DO have my planned splurges and they can be quite hefty and they are almost 100% done in front of others at social events and I get comments all the time, people saying to me, "how in the world do you stay so thin eating like THAT????" Someone actually said to me, "I didn't know you were now running marathons, otherwise how could you be so thin?"

Then I'll get it the reverse way too. I"ll be in front of others, at a social event and it WON'T be time for my planned indulgence, it'll be a time where I'm very much ON PLAN. There won't be very many good choices AT ALL. But luckily I ate a little something before hand, and I've got a snack with me if need be for the car ride home. And the only good choice I can find is a raw veggie tray, so people will see me ONLY eating the veggies and sipping some diet soda, and then I'll get the snide remarks, "no wonder you stay so thin, you eat like a bird, no thank you!". But of course they are totally unaware that my daily menu consists of a steady stream of voluminous, really splendid foods.

In either case, neither side is getting the FULL picture and are making assumptions - false assumptions.

Things are not always as they appear.

losermom
05-21-2010, 07:12 AM
I think the successful weight losers/maintainers have hit on, perhaps by accident, the combination of type and quantity of food and exercise that works for them, perhaps healing or at least addressing their underlying disorder.

For decades I felt that my obesity was due to my metabolism. I have diagnosed hypothyroidism and have been on medication for it for 13+ years. I also had many of the symptoms of PCOS. You would have thought that I would have lost weight automatically when I started on thyroid medication, when I was at my highest weight of 248. No. I still had to work at it. And I was only able to lose about 60 lbs over a 2 year period. I felt that while I was on medication that my thyroid was still compromised, that it still probably didn't work properly, despite regular testing by my doctor.

I wasn't until I believed, truly believed, that I was able to lose weight, that it was clear to me. I had to smash through the myths that I had created for myself. Slowly I found my way. I had to make this journey through trial and error. As many had stated here on 3fc before, we are all experiments of one. We have to find what works for ourselves.

Meg
05-21-2010, 07:35 AM
Loser, I was exactly the same way about my weight and hypothyroidism. It was my excuse for staying obese -- after all, I really do have a medical problem that affects my metabolism!

But my doctor was unsympathetic when I had my little pity parties about my weight and insisted that if my medication was correctly regulated, then I could lose weight just like someone with a normal thyroid. I would get so annoyed with her because obviously she was wrong. Heck, I went to Weight Watchers and took a walk outside every day. I just couldn't lose weight! It wasn't my fault -- it was my metabolism!

But dang it, she was right! When I finally got my head on straight and really tried counting calories and joining a gym, it worked (much to my chagrin :lol: ) I lost 122 pounds in a year, so clearly my metabolism was just fine. The problem had been me all along, not my metabolism.

Like Losermom, this was a myth that I had created for myself. It was my way of denying that I was responsible for being obese. All along I had the power to fix it, but I just didn't realize it.

I must be the only person in the world who doesn't pay attention to what other people eat and what they have in their shopping carts. :lol: When it comes to weight loss and maintenance, I have blinders on. All I care about is what works for me. After all these years, I know exactly, precisely how much exercise and how many calories it takes to gain, lose, and maintain weight. It is completely irrelevant to me what other people do, though I have to admit that metabolic calculators give me a giggle because they're so wildly inaccurate. :dizzy: Yes, my daily calorie needs are fairly low and I do a lot of exercise, but so what? My body is what it is . What works for other people doesn't mean anything about what works for me.

We can give each other support and encouragement, but at the end of the day, weight loss/maintenance is a solitary journey. We each are blessed with our own unique bodies, with all their strengths and weaknesses, and have to work within their parameters. We each have to find our own path, but I'm convinced that there is a way for each of us. :)

losermom
05-21-2010, 07:49 AM
Meg, well stated. It's clear that our path was similar in many ways. I too was a pretty regular exerciser. I was just not eating properly and too much of the wrong things! This weight loss journey has taught me that life does not happen to us, we create the life that we want.

Meg
05-21-2010, 07:53 AM
This weight loss journey has taught me that life does not happen to us, we create the life that we want.

And that's such an empowering realization!

LovebirdsFlying
05-21-2010, 08:03 AM
What's really funny is that I started out on my weight loss journey to prove my point. I knew that if I were caught eating sugary, fattening junk, even once, I would be giving someone room to say, "Now you see? You're fat because you eat like that." No way was I going to allow that. I kept it up in order to prove that it really is beyond my control, that I cannot lose weight even when I am careful to eat right and exercise.

Except... I now discover that I have been losing weight. :o

midwife
05-21-2010, 09:12 AM
This weight loss journey has taught me that life does not happen to us, we create the life that we want.


Words of wisdom that apply to so many issues besides weight loss and maintenance!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."~Ghandi

Beach Patrol
05-21-2010, 09:55 AM
Words of wisdom that apply to so many issues besides weight loss and maintenance!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."~Ghandi

Hey midwife! - just wanted to say I LOVE YOUR "DEXTER" AVATAR!!!!! That's my favorite show! :carrot: