Chicks in Control - IE - observing normal people




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Wannabeskinny
02-25-2014, 10:06 AM
How has your perception of thin people changed since starting IE? I have found that the way I perceive skinnies is dramatically different than before.

Before, I sometimes believed that they were lying about liking foods. I thought surely they like food but never allow themselves to eat it. Now I realize they do eat it but no compulsively.

Before, I thought that they were secret starvers, the opposite of being a secret binger. Sure sure, they eat when they're in front of me but behind closed doors they're avoiding food altogether.

Before, I thought that their metabolism was genetically miraculous.

Before, I thought that they didn't have any problems, but now I realize that they are only different in the way they cope with their problems.

Before, I thought that their appetite was extremely low. Now I'm starting to realize that their appetite is the same as mine, but they are more attuned to their level of hunger and satiety.

**Please excuse my use of the word "skinnies" it's just the way I refer to people who have no debilitating issues with food or weight control. I mean no derogatory assessment of anyone who is thinner than I am :^:


thirti4thirty
02-25-2014, 11:19 AM
It's all about about the complexity of human nature. Within the general group of "skinny" people, there are many subgroups. Skinny people with/ without appetite.
skinny with/without great metabolism etc...
The problem is that you can't put every one in the same category. I have a skinny friend who actually only drinks boiled hot water throughout the day (as food I mean)!! She enjoys it so much and can't have any food. I think it's partially due to the fact that she's always having problems with her throat, bla bla bla and most at times she says she can't feel the smell or taste of food when she's eating so she doesn't see the point in eating. She virtually eats like a bird.
My brother is thin as well and I swear he eats in a meal the equivalent of what the rest of us in the family (fatties for the most) eat all together.

Mazzy
02-25-2014, 11:29 AM
I'm not sure...most of the people I know are trying to lose weight or eat healthy in one form or another, so I'm not sure which ones are "normal" eaters, and just because someone is thin doesn't mean they have a healthy eating style.


Wannabeskinny
02-25-2014, 11:33 AM
I'm not sure...most of the people I know are trying to lose weight or eat healthy in one form or another, so I'm not sure which ones are "normal" eaters, and just because someone is thin doesn't mean they have a healthy eating style.

Very true. Although I should clarify that the people I'm observing most are the people that I KNOW, not acquaintances or strangers. For example, my husband, my mother, and one of my best friends in particular. I know these people well, I think of them as skinnies, and I have made some rather absurd assumptions about them based on how they eat that suddenly through my newfound perspective on food seem totally valid to me. They are not lying, or denying themselves, they're eating all foods and not being weird about any food the way we dieters are about food. They don't villainize food and now I realize how absurd I must have seemed to them when I was tooting dieting advice to them "oh you shouldn't eat so many carbs" lol.

mars735
02-25-2014, 03:01 PM
I think research is starting to catch up and debunk a lot of sacred myths about why some of us weigh more and eat more than is healthy. Appetite and eating behaviors are heavily influenced by genetics, brain chemistry, early childhood/infancy environment. Skinny people are able to "eat one or two" and put away the rest because they aren't bombarded by biochemical signals to keep eating them like many of us. Watch how long someone can avoid drinking water once they feel thirsty--that's what many overweight people experience.

Wannabeskinny
02-25-2014, 03:15 PM
I think research is starting to catch up and debunk a lot of sacred myths about why some of us weigh more and eat more than is healthy. Appetite and eating behaviors are heavily influenced by genetics, brain chemistry, early childhood/infancy environment. Skinny people are able to "eat one or two" and put away the rest because they aren't bombarded by biochemical signals to keep eating them like many of us. Watch how long someone can avoid drinking water once they feel thirsty--that's what many overweight people experience.

I totally agree, but I don't think that this is something we have to take lying down. I do think that I'm wired to eat in order to comfort myself. Whenever anxiety hits, or loneliness or boredom, I've trained myself to turn towards food. Because it's there? Because it's comforting? Because every time a baby cries they want food and I'm not past it? I don't know. I just know that whenever an uncomfortable feeling arises I perceive it as a signal to eat. I won't call that hunger anymore but many of us do perceive it as hunger. I'm having real success at meeting my hunger and questioning it. To me, hunger is like the hydra monster Hercules tries to battle. When you chop of one head 3 more grow in its place. We all tiptoe around hunger by trying to trick it, placate it, preemptively eat to avoid it, and are all around petrified of it. I do notice that normal eaters don't fear hunger and I'm pretty sure that if they can do it I can do it to. So I'm hankering down on hunger, learning all about its ugly heads, trying to savor what it feels like so that I recognize it in its many forms, and not shying away from the feelings that it brings with it, whatever those may be... for me those are primarily anger, frustration, anxiety, and loneliness.

Those biochemical signals you're referring to that tell us to eat eat eat - I'm Hercules, I'm taking them on.

Mazzy
02-25-2014, 04:29 PM
like you, I think I'm wired to eat out of a need for emotional release. However, I have found that sometimes when I'm stressed/anxious/whatever, I will find myself NOT wanting to eat. So, I'm not sure what the difference is!

But, what I have noticed is - strange as it may seem - I will be less motivated to eat from stress/anxiety/emotional release if I've been exercising regularly. Almost like eating is my way to vent anger. If I'm exercising, I'm getting the anger energy out, so no need to eat.

I wish I knew more people who had "normal" eating styles. I have almost no frame of reference. My mother, father, brother, cousin, most of my friends - have all been on diet after diet. The only one I know that hasn't is my husband, and he eats sandwiches and cereal most of the time, won't eat half of the things I like that are considered healthy. He is thin for the most part, with a bit of a belly, but I think that's due to lack of exercise more than anything.

pixelllate
02-25-2014, 05:33 PM
I find that when I just eat enough to feel satisfied, no emotional attachment, I could probably be at a satisfactory weight for some people - slightly overweight. Sure I can look at thin people who eat as much as they want, but when I see other people who also eat the same, but their idea of "as much as they want" might be the full burger instead of half of one, but I try and look at other people too who are normal eaters - normal eaters can range in size. They might not necessarily eat a whole pizza or cake, but they might grab a bigger slice than a smaller person who is also following appetite cues, not emotional cues. I think that its important to look at everyone who is a normal eater, and not everyone is thin. Perhaps not health-debilitating large, but perhaps bigger than where some of us may want to be.

If I were to lets say eat like 2 cartons of ice cream in 1 sitting, that is one thing and I may have an issue there, but if I were to eat my regular desired amount of food like finishing a sundae, eh id be happy in the food eating dept but not hte clothes-fitting one.

I'm more of a natural Anne Burrell/Sunny anderson than a Melissa Clark (New york times food writer), so I just try to sometimes satisfy my personal food-eating cues, but not always - that way I can look like a melissa clark even though I'm an anne burrell on the inside. For me, that is my intuitive goal, but I don't get there through 100% following my personal intuitive eating.

Wannabeskinny
02-25-2014, 06:48 PM
I find that when I just eat enough to feel satisfied, no emotional attachment, I could probably be at a satisfactory weight for some people - slightly overweight. Sure I can look at thin people who eat as much as they want, but when I see other people who also eat the same, but their idea of "as much as they want" might be the full burger instead of half of one, but I try and look at other people too who are normal eaters - normal eaters can range in size. They might not necessarily eat a whole pizza or cake, but they might grab a bigger slice than a smaller person who is also following appetite cues, not emotional cues. I think that its important to look at everyone who is a normal eater, and not everyone is thin. Perhaps not health-debilitating large, but perhaps bigger than where some of us may want to be.



I don't think skinny is the ultimate goal, not for me. Skinny is more a state of mind for me to tell you the truth. Some days I feel skinny, some days I feel fat, both days of those days my weight is the same on the scale. If I had to choose between being a skinny person who fusses about my weight rather than a plump person who no significant food dysfunction I'd choose the latter any day. My ultimate goal is to be free of food as a stressor, a stress release, a stress causer, an emotional outlet etc. And so that's where I'm focusing my energy, and thus observing those that I wish to be like.

freelancemomma
02-25-2014, 08:46 PM
Now I'm starting to realize that their appetite is the same as mine, but they are more attuned to their level of hunger and satiety.

I agree with much of what you say, but not the above. My observations of naturally thin people have led me to believe that they do have a significantly smaller appetite than I do. They feel full sooner and find it physically uncomfortable to keep eating beyond that point (unlike yours truly).

F.

freelancemomma
02-25-2014, 08:50 PM
I saw a video of an interesting experiment on kindergarten children. Researchers surrounded them with plates of brownies, chips, etc., while the kids were going about their school business. Even at age 5, kids differed markedly in their behaviour under those circumstances: some of them grabbed a brownie or two, then lost interest. If a researcher offered them more food, they would decline or move away. Others kept on grabbing food for the duration of the experiment. For them, the taste and comfort factor of food clearly overrode the sensation of satiety. I agree that genetics, or at least neural wiring, probably has a lot to do with our proclivities to stop or not stop eating after the physiological "enough" point.

F.

kaplods
02-25-2014, 10:58 PM
I've met thin and fat people with all sorts of appetites, hunger levels, and eating and exercise habits, to the point that I believe there is no "normal."

If I tried to eat like a few of my thin family and friends do, I'd weigh 1100 lbs by now. Yet if I ate like my obese grandmother did when she was alive, I'd probably be thin. My grandparents lived with us for most of my childhood, and she wasn't a secret eater, but she did have multiple health problems including endocrine issues.

I can't eat or think like anyone but myself, so copying a thin person not only isn't practical, it's probably not even be possible.

Luckily, I don't have to copy anyone to succeed at weight loss. I only have to eat fewer and burn more calories, than I currently do. That's a lot easier than trying to find the "right" thin person to model my behavior after.

By making changes based on my current behavior, I don't have to worry about mimicing a thin person who has a freakishly high metabolism (like my brother or my dad before middle-age. I've never seen anyone, of any size eat as much as they did).

All of my life, both of them would tell me how "easy" it was to lose weight. Now that they've both experienced and struggled with middle-aged weight gain (even though only 15-30 lbs), they've stopped talking about how "easy" weight control is.

Being normal (if there is such a thing) is beyond my capabilities, but I can do better, and I don't have to mimic anyone to do it. Some of the things I have to do, to make better choices are downright deviant. Weighing twice daily is vital for me, but I wouldn't call it normal by any definition. It's just what I need to do, to keep heading in the right direction. When I give up daily weighing, I inevitably start gaining, mostly because I convince myself that I can eat "like a normal person."

mars735
02-26-2014, 01:50 AM
I totally agree, but I don't think that this is something we have to take lying down. I do think that I'm wired to eat in order to comfort myself. Whenever anxiety hits, or loneliness or boredom, I've trained myself to turn towards food. Because it's there? Because it's comforting? Because every time a baby cries they want food and I'm not past it? I don't know. I just know that whenever an uncomfortable feeling arises I perceive it as a signal to eat. I won't call that hunger anymore but many of us do perceive it as hunger. I'm having real success at meeting my hunger and questioning it. To me, hunger is like the hydra monster Hercules tries to battle. When you chop of one head 3 more grow in its place. We all tiptoe around hunger by trying to trick it, placate it, preemptively eat to avoid it, and are all around petrified of it. I do notice that normal eaters don't fear hunger and I'm pretty sure that if they can do it I can do it to. So I'm hankering down on hunger, learning all about its ugly heads, trying to savor what it feels like so that I recognize it in its many forms, and not shying away from the feelings that it brings with it, whatever those may be... for me those are primarily anger, frustration, anxiety, and loneliness.

Those biochemical signals you're referring to that tell us to eat eat eat - I'm Hercules, I'm taking them on.

You go girl!!
Btw, my point isn't that anyone should passively accept their 'eating fate'. More like, it's easier if you know precisely what it is you're fighting to change. I often wondered why eating a tiny bit of sweets seemed to turn on a switch that made me want more. Or why I was constantly hungry when I was very overweight, eating a lot more than I do now. Then I read about insulin resistance and how hormones and neurotransmitters affect whether I feel satiated. It's empowering to have another way to to view my relationship to eating, rather than simply a lack of self-control.

ReillyJ
02-26-2014, 03:36 AM
I saw a video of an interesting experiment on kindergarten children. Researchers surrounded them with plates of brownies, chips, etc., while the kids were going about their school business. Even at age 5, kids differed markedly in their behaviour under those circumstances: some of them grabbed a brownie or two, then lost interest. If a researcher offered them more food, they would decline or move away. Others kept on grabbing food for the duration of the experiment. For them, the taste and comfort factor of food clearly overrode the sensation of satiety. I agree that genetics, or at least neural wiring, probably has a lot to do with our proclivities to stop or not stop eating after the physiological "enough" point.

F.
That is exactly how i am, taste and comfort factor far exceeds satiety, in fact my personal satiety level, IMO, is way higher than the "average" person, i seem to need a lot more food to feel that comfortably full feeling. UGHHH :(

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2014, 09:08 AM
...I believe there is no "normal."

If I tried to eat like a few of my thin family and friends do, I'd weigh 1100 lbs by now. Yet if I ate like my obese grandmother did when she was alive, I'd probably be thin. My grandparents lived with us for most of my childhood, and she wasn't a secret eater, but she did have multiple health problems including endocrine issues.

I can't eat or think like anyone but myself, so copying a thin person not only isn't practical, it's probably not even be possible.

Luckily, I don't have to copy anyone to succeed at weight loss. I only have to eat fewer and burn more calories, than I currently do. That's a lot easier than trying to find the "right" thin person to model my behavior after.

By making changes based on my current behavior, I don't have to worry about mimicing a thin person who has a freakishly high metabolism (like my brother or my dad before middle-age. I've never seen anyone, of any sizw eat as much as they did).


Being normal (if there is such a thing) is beyond my capabilities, but I can do better, and I don't have to mimic anyone to do it. Some of the things I have to do, to make better choices are downright deviant. Weighing twice daily is vital for me, but I wouldn't call it normal by any definition. It's just what I need to do, to keep heading in the right direction. When I give up daily weighing, I inevitably start gaining (mostly because I convince myself that I can eat "like a normal person."

I never said anything about mimicking thin people. My experiences are completely different than yours anyway. I've never met anyone who didn't look proportionate to the amount of food they eat. As far as I have experienced, this is a fantasy to think to someone can be 300lbs and eat like a bird while someone else can eat thousands of calories a day and be thin. There is always a balance somewhere in energy input/output and that's all based on the people I know and see. I can't speak for anyone else of course but there are not too many people in family with serious health issues like that or debilitating endocrine problems that severe. Basically, you are what you eat.

How sad to think of oneself as never being normal. It makes me profoundly sad to hear it. I really don't care about being skinny, thin or anything like that. I long for having a normal relationship with food. Take the word "normal" to mean what you like, but I know exactly what it means to me. It means eating what I want, eating it when I'm hungry for it, and eating it until I'm full. You can call that mimicking another person but when I see people in my life that are happy with who they are (not necessarily skinny or overweight, just fine), and enjoy food without hating themselves then yes, I'm going to focus on being just that. I'm not going to live in a constant state of deprivation. Being happy = being healthy.

mars735
02-26-2014, 09:14 AM
.

How sad to think of oneself as never being normal.

Unexpected comment from the one who named this thread :D

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2014, 09:27 AM
Unexpected comment from the one who named this thread :D

Haha, sue me, I've only gotten through half my cuppa coffe yet lol. I guess that what I mean is that I'm striving to become normal. I've always felt that I am not normal and that I would always have an eating disorder but I'm finally believing that I can be normal, that having a normal relationship with food is well within my capabilities!

The operative word here is normal. It's charged with so much meaning for us all. Who here has not felt the need to be normal? Who here has not looked at someone else and not thought them normal or not normal? I suspect that the word has a slightly different meaning for all of us and that's why I'm trying to be very clear about what it means to me here.

NORMAL (as it pertains to one's relationship with food) - a person who is aware of their body's basic need for food. A person who does not measure their self worth based on the food they consume. A person who does not think too much about food and who doesn't take on extreme diets. A person who does not comfort themselves with food in an excessive way.

pixelllate
02-26-2014, 10:38 AM
I don't think skinny is the ultimate goal, not for me. Skinny is more a state of mind for me to tell you the truth. Some days I feel skinny, some days I feel fat, both days of those days my weight is the same on the scale. If I had to choose between being a skinny person who fusses about my weight rather than a plump person who no significant food dysfunction I'd choose the latter any day. My ultimate goal is to be free of food as a stressor, a stress release, a stress causer, an emotional outlet etc. And so that's where I'm focusing my energy, and thus observing those that I wish to be like.

That sounds fine, we all have our priorities. Skinny or fat or lean or whatever is subjective and I have my personal ideas (for myself) is as well as how I prioritize goals. I don't assume that we all have the same priorities/desires. As long as we are in tune with what makes us truly content, which might change over time, or might not, that is most important.

As far as NORMAL goes, I find that "average" aka what most are and normal are two different things. There are people who have normal ways of eating, but maybe abnormal habits in other areas. Most people I know are abnormal towards something. I don't have normal attitudes about a lot of things, but for the most part I don't really mind.

As far as food goes, I know that I am not any conventional sense of the word "normal" and I like that. I know some people who "eat to live" because whatever their chemical makeup is, they like food enough, but they don't get the food "ogazm" (hahahaha you knooow).

I also know that there are thinner or bigger foodies who also get the "food o" that I can get, and I am someone who needs a larger quantity than other "naturally smaller" people to get there, but the fact that I can feel such pleasure from food is AWESOME, even if it might lets say, require 2 slices of pizza vs 1. I love sensation, I love that I can get ASMR, frission, brain tingles, "food os" so as long as I can find a way to experience that (even if its not a regular thing) I embrace my food abnormality. That way I can get the sensation that I want and still fit into all my jeans! The thought of only being able to feel just normal levels of content towards food sounds so grey and boring.

EDIT-I should also add, I do think that this can coincide with your definition of normal, aka not eating for emotional comfort. I suppose the definition of normal can vary and also be subjective, such as lean or skinny or fat because the foodies I know, are considered amongst our group of friends to have an (amusingly) abnormal love of eating food.

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2014, 10:53 AM
No it doesn't sound boring lol. I'm actually a foodie. My friends clamor for invitations to my dinner parties. I take pictures of all my foods and post them on my facebook wall as obsesively as some post pictures of their babies. I go to the grocery store every day because I love being in the produce aisle. I've been asked many many times to start a cooking blog. I get emails and calls from friends all the time asking for recipes or menu advice. I visit cheese shops as a fun activity. I work on my knife skills and cooking techniques. I splurge on fancy kitchen gadgets. Cooking is a passion and it's one of the main reasons why I'm not willing to diet or cut out certain food groups. I don't think there is anything abnormal about this, lots of people are chefs without weight problems. I get the big O in my kitchen hehe!! I don't see anything wrong or abnormal about my passion for food. I just want to look more like Giada diLaurentis and less like Humpty Dumpty. And again that is why I'm being so specific about what the word normal means in this case, pertaining to eating.

All other forms of normal/not normal don't apply. I don't like Brad Pitt and I've been told that's not normal.

devadiva
02-26-2014, 11:22 AM
Interesting read, I look like a skinnie but fight to be there,I am a binger off and on and struggle with my relationship to food. That being said most people think I am skinny.....I know the person that weighed 50 lbs more....sometimes to obsessive with food and breaking the habit of binging and overeating.
Just remember we don't have a normal and we do not know everything that goes on behind closed doors or in peoples minds.

pixelllate
02-26-2014, 11:23 AM
I just want to look more like Giada diLaurentis and less like Humpty Dumpty. And again that is why I'm being so specific about what the word normal means in this case, pertaining to eating.

I thought you said that skinny wasn't ultimate goal to you, then again to me, Giada is skinny foodie, but maybe not to others. Its very possible to happen to be one and discover that you are, but then again, its also possible to not be one even after fully listening and engaging in normal eating practices. Besides Humpty Dumpty ...there are people who also have normal eating attitudes that don't look like Giada, who to me, is likely what females are (more likely) idealized to be at least over...a male Brad Pitt. If lets say, eating normally 100% leads you to the human equivalent of Humpty Dumpty, whatever that may be, would you be OK with that? Because as I said before, at least in my personal observations, I see normal eaters of all size ranges, maybe not extreme levels of obesity, but a range in sizes.

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2014, 02:24 PM
I thought you said that skinny wasn't ultimate goal to you, then again to me, Giada is skinny foodie, but maybe not to others. Its very possible to happen to be one and discover that you are, but then again, its also possible to not be one even after fully listening and engaging in normal eating practices. Besides Humpty Dumpty ...there are people who also have normal eating attitudes that don't look like Giada, who to me, is likely what females are (more likely) idealized to be at least over...a male Brad Pitt. If lets say, eating normally 100% leads you to the human equivalent of Humpty Dumpty, whatever that may be, would you be OK with that? Because as I said before, at least in my personal observations, I see normal eaters of all size ranges, maybe not extreme levels of obesity, but a range in sizes.

Of course I ultimately want to look better, I want to like what I see in the mirror. Plenty of women are extremely thin and still don't like what they see in the mirror. I will never look like Giada or Heidi Klum or anyone else for that matter. But I can tell that they like what they see in the mirror, that's what I want. That may happen soon, but at the end of the day I would like to weigh less for many reasons. Don't confuse wanting to look better with wanting to be skinny. I want to feel better inside and out and now I feel like everything I'm saying is being used against me. There's nothing wrong with looking at others and appreciating their gifts. There's nothing wrong with aspiring to be a certain way and look a certain way. As long as the path one takes there leads them through self acceptance then the end result will be good no matter what it is.

kaplods
02-26-2014, 03:43 PM
How sad to think of oneself as never being normal. It makes me profoundly sad to hear it. I really don't care about being skinny, thin or anything like that. I long for having a normal relationship with food. Take the word "normal" to mean what you like, but I know exactly what it means to me. It means eating what I want, eating it when I'm hungry for it, and eating it until I'm full. You can call that mimicking another person but when I see people in my life that are happy with who they are (not necessarily skinny or overweight, just fine), and enjoy food without hating themselves then yes, I'm going to focus on being just that. I'm not going to live in a constant state of deprivation. Being happy = being healthy.

Who said anything about living in a constant state of deprivation? I'm nearly 48 years old, and have been dieting since my parents offered me two pet turtles to lose eight pounds in kindergarten ( I never got my turtles, because when I had lost 6 of the 8 lbs, turtles couldn't be sold as pets).

I've been watching thin and fat people all of my life. I got a bachelor's and then a master's degree trying to learn how to think and act like a "normal" person.

Instead I learned that there is no "normal" except in the sense of "average," and that average is highly overrated.

In developmental and cognitive-behavioral psychology (my area of interest), the focus is on functionality, not normalcy.

I am much happier now that I have no desire or interest in being normal, because normal means average. The average thin person eats when they're hungry and what they're hungry for.

I can't do that. I've tried that many times over the course of the last 43 years, and it just doesn't work, because I'm hungry all of the time, for everything.

That doesn't mean I'm miserable or even just a tiny bit sad. It just means that deciding to become "the best me I could be" has become a lot more important than trying to be average.

I am happier than I've ever been, because I stopped trying to become like anyone else.

I used to envy people who could eat only a small portion of my "trigger foods" and not want more. I envied thin people who never seemed hungry and were easily satified with small portions. I didn't understand that kind of hunger because I only experience that kind of hunger on a no-carb diet, which I do find miserable for an array of reasons.

Now I'm just happy to be me, and I don't have to observe anyone to do it.

I'm extraordinarily happy with who I am, to the point that I wouldn't even bother with my weight and eating habits if it weren't for health issues. It's been decades since I disliked myself or my body or let my weight be a barrier to anything I wanted. Even at its fattest, my body has served me well all things considered.

I don't thhink I've ever hated myself. Even as a child, I always thought of myself as a fabulous, even extraordinary person who happened to be fat. At least I felt that way when I wasn't trying to compare my body or appetite to normal/average/thinner people.

I feel beautiful and sexy, and not just because my husband thinks I am.

I weigh multiple times a day, not to punish myself, but because doing so keeps me grounded and aware of how much I'm eating on days I don't feel like tracking my portions some other way (such as calorie or exchange counting).

I love myself at any weight, so getting on the scale is only feedback, not punishment.

I enjoy food tremendously. Far too much. And if I tried to be average, I would be miserable.

My progress with my weight is extremely slow, because normal is outside my grasp (and I really couldn't care less).

In the past (when I wanted to just be average) I would give up on weight loss, because I could never conform my behavior to the norm.

Now I don't give a rat's patoot about normal. Who needs normal, when you have fabulous? I may never reach an optimally healthy weight, or it may take me twenty years. It doesn't matter, because my weight isn't who I am. It's just one thing I'm working on, just like my budget, my writing, my craft projects, and all my other hobbies and goals.

I just don't see the value in comparing myself to or modeling myself after anyone else. As I was trained in college and graduate school, improving my functionality, is a lot more important to me than normalcy. When I tried to be "normal" I usually failed, and even when I succeeded it felt fake and unnatural. Focusing on being a better me, at my own pace, without comparing myself to anyone (not even former versions of myself) works so much better for me.

kaplods
02-26-2014, 05:19 PM
I applaud you for having reached that point in your life where you are happy and love yourself. Maybe one day i'll get there.... But i'm the opposite right now...all i think is that i'll never be thin enough, pretty enough, doesn't matter how much weight i lose, i still could lose another 20-30lbs, i value myself by what the scale says and i don't beleive anything anyone else says...


I'm not sure I ever truly felt that my worth depended on the scale. I tried to believe that fat made me worthless, because that's what I was taught by all the self-loathing women in my life, but it's a load of crap, and deep down, on some level, I think I've always known it.

For some strange reason, our culture encourages people, especially women to be loving and compassionate towards everyone but themselves.

We would never treat or think of anyone, the way we do ourselves. In fact, if we even saw someone treating another human being the way we treat ourselves, we would intervene to protect the person being victimized.

All I'm suggesting is that it's possible to start treating youself as you would any other human being.

When you think about it, it's pretty arrogant (in a reverse-logic kind of way) to assume you deserve more abuse than anyone else.

Self-esteem isn't about thinking you deserve more than anyone else, it's about realizing you don't deserve less.

Do you judge others by their weight on the scale, or by the content of their character?

Do you hate and berate others for gaining a pound?

Would you stand by, and allow another person to be bullied, tortured and humiliated for being less than physically perfect?

If your answer was "no" to any of those questions, then don't let yourself get away with it either.

Stand up to your inner bully. Treat yourself like you would anyone else. When you say harsh things to yourself, scold that inner bully like you would a five year old picking on her baby brother. Compassionately, but firmly. Don't let her get away with it. Help her understand that the number on the scale has nothing to do with value, and say it until you believe it.

Or if you can't believe it, at least stop yourself from rubbing your nose in it. If you can't treat yourself as you would a best friend, at least stop treating yourself worse than you would a worst enemy.

We're taught that self-deprication is a virtue, but it's not. It's just self-torture without purpose. It doesn't make us better people, it just makes us numb and empty.

magical
02-26-2014, 06:14 PM
All I'm suggesting is that it's possible to start treating youself as you would any other human being.

When you think abojt it, it's pretty arrogant (in a reverse-logic kind of way) to assume you deserve more abuse than anyone else.

Self-esteem isn't about thinking you deserve more than anyone else, it's about realizing you don't deserve less.

Do you judge others by their weight on the scale, or by the content of their character?

Do you hate and berate others for gaining a pound?

Would you stand by, and allow another person to be bullied, tortured and humiliated for being less than physically perfect?

If your answer was "no" to any of those questions, then don't let yourself get away with it either.

Stand up to your inner bully. Treat yourself like you would anyone else. When you say harsh things to yourself, scold that inner bully like you would a five year old picking on her baby brother. Compassionately, but firmly. Don't let her get away with it. Help her understand that the number on the scale has nothing to do with value, and say it until you believe it.

Or if you can't believe it, at least stop yourself from rubbing your nose in it. If you can't treat yourself as you would a best friend, at least stop treating yourself worse than you would a worst enemy.

We're taught that self-deprication is a virtue, but it's not. It's just self-torture without purpose. It doesn't make us better people, it just makes us numb and empty.

If I can bottle your words and take them with me everywhere I go, I would.

The main reason I joined this site was because I was looking for a place that I could be myself and not be what I think society wants me to be - scales were always a trigger for me and unfortunately, they still are, coupled with the focus to be as thin as possible. It was this site over a pro-ana site.

Reading encouraging words like yours centres me again.

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2014, 07:04 PM
Who said anything about living in a constant state of deprivation? I'm nearly 48 years old, and have been dieting since my parents offered me two pet turtles to lose eight pounds in kindergarten ( I never got my turtles, because when I had lost 6 of the 8 lbs, turtles couldn't be sold as pets). To me, dieting is a constant state of deprivation. I have not been obese my whole life, a large part of my adult life yes, but not since childhood. I have been a dysfunctional eater since puberty though, a COE and binger precisely.

I've been watching thin and fat people all of my life. I got a bachelor's and then a master's degree trying to learn how to think and act like a "normal" person. I got a bachelor's and a couple of masters, but only to pursue my career, not normalcy.

Instead I learned that there is no "normal" except in the sense of "average," and that average is highly overrated. I can't identify with your definition of normal, I can only state what it means to me, which I have, above. I don't wish to be average and I know I'm not thought of as average by those around me.

In developmental and cognitive-behavioral psychology (my area of interest), the focus is on functionality, not normalcy. There is nothing to be ashamed of if I want to find some normalcy in my life concerning my eating habits and I don't see how that is confused with being average. Observation is something that comes naturally, it would be strange if I wasn't aware of how people around relate to food. But now I've found a way to relate to those people in my life that doesn't involve me thinking less of myself.

I am much happier now that I have no desire or interest in being normal, because normal means average. The average thin person eats when they're hungry and what they're hungry for. I am much happier in myself now that I am finding normalcy and hope that my newfound self acceptance continues. I don't think one has to be average or thin to eat what they are hungry for when they are hungry. One just has to be observant of one's own hunger signals.

I can't do that. I've tried that many times over the course of the last 43 years, and it just doesn't work, because I'm hungry all of the time, for everything. I've thought that too. Again my battle is not as long as yours but I am finding out some rather surprising things about myself now that I am not dieting. It turns out that I am actually not hungry all the time like I thought I was. I'm still confused by it but learning to accept that. And if I am hungry it's not for food as I am also coming to find out.

That doesn't mean I'm miserable or even just a tiny bit sad. It just means that deciding to become "the best me I could be" has become a lot more important than trying to be average. I don't mean that you are sad, clearly you are not sad. I said I was sad.

I am happier than I've ever been, because I stopped trying to become like anyone else. Me too. I'm not trying to be like anyone else, I'm coming to appreciate everyone else that's all.

I used to envy people who could eat only a small portion of my "trigger foods" and not want more. I envied thin people who never seemed hungry and were easily satified with small portions. I didn't understand that kind of hunger because I only experience that kind of hunger on a no-carb diet, which I do find miserable for an array of reasons. I used to envy people like that too. But it turns out I am one of those people after all. And now I am enjoying it and I realize there's nothing enviable about it, it's just natural. I don't have a trigger food, eating is not dangerous to me anymore.

Now I'm just happy to be me, and I don't have to observe anyone to do it. I love observing people, I have many people in my life that I've learned so much from and not just about food. Mostly my mother, who is not without faults but enviably the healthiest fittest person I know. I observe my son who eats with abandon and chooses a variety of foods and loves his green peas as much as he loves his chocolate. And I can't help but observe that my husband won't put a single morsel of food in his mouth if he's not hungry no matter if it's his favorite food or not.

I'm extraordinarily happy with who I am, to the point that I wouldn't even bother with my weight and eating habits if it weren't for health issues. It's been decades since I disliked myself or my body or let my weight be a barrier to anything I wanted. Even at its fattest, my body has served me well all things considered. I'm glad. Health is the most important gift we have. And my greatest motivation of all is my son, who I wouldn't wish to burden with a mother with preventable health problems.

...Who needs normal, when you have fabulous? I may never reach an optimally healthy weight, or it may take me twenty years. It doesn't matter, because my weight isn't who I am. It's just one thing I'm working on, just like my budget, my writing, my craft projects, and all my other hobbies and goals.

I just don't see the value in comparing myself to or modeling myself after anyone else. As I was trained in college and graduate school, improving my functionality, is a lot more important to me than normalcy. When I tried to be "normal" I usually failed, and even when I succeeded it felt fake and unnatural. Focusing on being a better me, at my own pace, without comparing myself to anyone (not even former versions of myself) works so much better for me.

In answer to your question, me - I need normalcy in my life. It's not for everyone but one can be fabulous in every way. I'm just not a fabulous eater and that's what I'm working on. I accept who I am but that doesn't mean I can't improve. Having aspirations for how I want to behave around food, having a role model and having aspirations for how I want to look isn't so bad, why are you putting it down?

CindySunshine
02-26-2014, 07:19 PM
I agree want to bottle up those terrific words for a grey day. Excellent and so right on.

I, too, am generally thin. I've been really on a nice positive streak but tonight I tried on a pair of slacks and they really are just too snug. I go into this whole dialog with myself to get focused and I could make them fit in a few weeks, but I am trying so hard not to do that have been eating reasonably and not overheating and darn it I want to just "be" and sustain.

I am a foodie, too, love to cook and have dinner parties. I enjoy healthy food so much and it tastes good when well prepared. It's not that hard to eat well but I need ice cream and chocolate thrown in.

Anyway I'm having that dialog with myself tonight on wishing those darn white pants fit better and what I should do about it. Probably donating them to a thrift store would be the sensible answer.

kaplods
02-26-2014, 08:51 PM
In answer to your question, me - I need normalcy in my life. It's not for everyone but one can be fabulous in every way. I'm just not a fabulous eater and that's what I'm working on. I accept who I am but that doesn't mean I can't improve. Having aspirations for how I want to behave around food, having a role model and having aspirations for how I want to look isn't so bad, why are you putting it down?

I'm not putting it down, I'm saying that you can't always force yourself into the "normal" box, as much as you might like to.

You can follow a random thin woman around, eat only when and what she eats, do what she does, and sleep (or try to) when she sleeps, and it may not make you happier or thinner.

Food and lifestyle are only parts of the body weight puzzle. Sure if you're 150 lbs or more overweight like I am, you probably eat substantially more and move less than the average healthy-weight person, but if you have only 5-30 lbs to lose, how are you going to find the "right" person to emulate?

And what are you emulating? Eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're full? That won't work if you're insulin resistant or if your appetite and hunger isn't "normal" to begin with.

With all the dozens of variables that affect metabolism and body weight, how are you going to define, let alone conform to normalcy?

Many "normal weight" people keep their weight in check by smoking and other unhealthy behaviors, so do you take up those unhealthy habits as well because someone you perceive as "normal" does them.

The "normal" American diet is so terrible that "normal" is the last thing any of us should aspire to.

If emulating someone else helps you, awesome! But if you try to emulate a thin person and you don't get the results you hoped for, don't assume it's because you did anything wrong. You might just need to find someone else to emulate.

Even if you can somehow be average in every way, you still may get nonaverage results.

You can emulate anyone you want to, but it doesn't guarantee you success.

mars735
02-26-2014, 08:54 PM
I'm not sure I ever truly felt that my worth depended on the scale. I tried to believe that fat made me worthless, because that's what I was taught by all the self-loathing women in my life, but it's a load of crap, and deep down, on some level, I think I've always known it.

For some strange reason, our culture encourages people, especially women to be loving and compassionate towards everyone but themselves.

We would never treat or think of anyone, the way we do ourselves. In fact, if we even saw someone treating another human being the way we treat ourselves, we would intervene to protect the person being victimized.

All I'm suggesting is that it's possible to start treating youself as you would any other human being.

When you think about it, it's pretty arrogant (in a reverse-logic kind of way) to assume you deserve more abuse than anyone else.

Self-esteem isn't about thinking you deserve more than anyone else, it's about realizing you don't deserve less.

Do you judge others by their weight on the scale, or by the content of their character?

Do you hate and berate others for gaining a pound?

Would you stand by, and allow another person to be bullied, tortured and humiliated for being less than physically perfect?

If your answer was "no" to any of those questions, then don't let yourself get away with it either.

Stand up to your inner bully. Treat yourself like you would anyone else. When you say harsh things to yourself, scold that inner bully like you would a five year old picking on her baby brother. Compassionately, but firmly. Don't let her get away with it. Help her understand that the number on the scale has nothing to do with value, and say it until you believe it.

Or if you can't believe it, at least stop yourself from rubbing your nose in it. If you can't treat yourself as you would a best friend, at least stop treating yourself worse than you would a worst enemy.

We're taught that self-deprication is a virtue, but it's not. It's just self-torture without purpose. It doesn't make us better people, it just makes us numb and empty.

:bravo::bravo::bravo::cp::cp::cp:

Wannabeskinny
02-26-2014, 09:22 PM
I don't understand why you think I want to emulate, mimic, copy or pretend to be like anyone other than myself. I don't follow anybody around or pretend to eat like someone else. And with all due respect I don't see why my aspirations to be a non-dysfunctional eater are any less valid then your aspirations to be whatever you want to be. If you don't agree with what my definition of normal is then that's fine.

IAmTheGlue
02-26-2014, 10:56 PM
Actually, I understand what you mean about "normal". My husband is what I would call "naturally thin". I have done the same thing, tried to pay attention to what/how he eats to see what I'm doing wrong.

The bottom line with him is that he does not overeat. If he is full, he stops eating. He may love something but stops when he's full. He doesn't eat much junk. Soooo simple. I wish I could get it through my head. lol

mars735
02-26-2014, 11:06 PM
Actually, I understand what you mean about "normal". My husband is what I would call "naturally thin". I have done the same thing, tried to pay attention to what/how he eats to see what I'm doing wrong.

The bottom line with him is that he does not overeat. If he is full, he stops eating. He may love something but stops when he's full. He doesn't eat much junk. Soooo simple. I wish I could get it through my head. lol

It is anything but simple. His feeling of being full is controlled by his body's unique makeup just as yours is by yours. I suggest reading Fat Chance by Robert Lustig.

Wannabeskinny
02-27-2014, 10:12 AM
The purpose of this thread has gone slightly askew. I never meant to imply that we should observe others in order to be more like them. I'm simply stating that I see other people, mainly normal eaters (which I define as people of all weight and sizes who don't suffer from eating disorders or use food for purposes other than to nourish themselves) as equals to me. I've always felt inferior to others because I couldn't control my binges. I felt like something was wrong with how I abuse food, how I can't seem to control myself around food. And my perception of people that don't have these food compulsions seemed alien to me, they were gifted with a secret I was not privy to.

By adopting Intuitive Eating I'm learning how to tap into the very real and tangible gift of hunger. And I'm learning the skill of understanding my hunger. I won't say it's an easy thing to do, or that it will result in massive weight loss, but it feels more natural to me to be working on my a skill that I was born with than it is to research the bejeezus out of nutrition. Something that comes so easily to others shouldn't have to be such an uphill battle to me. And that constant battling of myself, my image, my body, my compulsions caused me to look at others in a very negative light. If I wasn't such a nutrition freak my husband would never even know what the word "carb' means lol, he's never really thought about it because he never had to - until I started drilling him ofcourse. It's the obsession with food that I'm fighting against and it's working well enough for me to start feeling normal around food, with much less anxiety, and with much less criticism directed at myself and others.

CindySunshine
02-27-2014, 01:37 PM
Fair observation, Wannabe.

My husband and sons are all very intuitive. What I notice with them all is they really do not settle with eating something they don't like, don't want, or isn't what they are in the mood for. Also, my son especially is extremely good at what the books call knowing your last bite fullness. He just pushes back his plate and he's finished. My husband on the other hand may eat past satisfaction but he then doesn't eat again for a long time until he is really hungry. He is absolutely not a grazer or snacker so he uses meals to get really full and satisfied. It works for him.

Wannabeskinny
02-27-2014, 02:13 PM
That's a good observation. Normal eaters have a good idea about when and what they want to eat, though their approaches vary. My husband too can go very long stretches of time between meals. I get antsy when mealtime comes and there is no food. I think it's his ability to observe hunger without it affecting him in a negative way where as if I wait too long I start to feel things beyond hunger.

Mazzy
02-27-2014, 05:05 PM
Bottom line: just eat. Hungry, stressed, just eat. Why all the fuss? In observing "normal" eaters, who I would define as those without some kind of disordered eating complex, they don't sit around asking questions about why they are eating. It's automatic.

If you say to me, I can't just eat away all my emotions, let me ask you, what's the alternative? If you tell me it's relaxation and deep breathing and meditation, well those don't work nearly as well as wolfing down a crunchy bag of chips or shoveling a pound of ice cream to alleviate the feelings. You think I'm nuts, but here's the deal...now be honest with yourself...sitting and meditating for 30 minutes may calm you for the moment, but you still have that cortisol streaming around in there. Action is what reduces it. Anger needs a physical outlet. So you either have to eat or run. In observing "so-called" normal people, I notice they not only don't stress about food, but they tend to be go go go. They tend to express themselves as needed in the moment. If a solution to a stressful situation needs to happen, they don't repress themselves in fear of failure, they boldly move and take action. I don't know too many "normal" eaters who have to spend 10 minutes calming themselves before they eat. They just really don't worry about it, and worry is just another stress no one needs.

Wannabeskinny
02-28-2014, 09:40 AM
Bottom line: just eat. Hungry, stressed, just eat. Why all the fuss? In observing "normal" eaters, who I would define as those without some kind of disordered eating complex, they don't sit around asking questions about why they are eating. It's automatic.

If you say to me, I can't just eat away all my emotions, let me ask you, what's the alternative? If you tell me it's relaxation and deep breathing and meditation, well those don't work nearly as well as wolfing down a crunchy bag of chips or shoveling a pound of ice cream to alleviate the feelings. You think I'm nuts, but here's the deal...now be honest with yourself...sitting and meditating for 30 minutes may calm you for the moment, but you still have that cortisol streaming around in there. Action is what reduces it. Anger needs a physical outlet. So you either have to eat or run. In observing "so-called" normal people, I notice they not only don't stress about food, but they tend to be go go go. They tend to express themselves as needed in the moment. If a solution to a stressful situation needs to happen, they don't repress themselves in fear of failure, they boldly move and take action. I don't know too many "normal" eaters who have to spend 10 minutes calming themselves before they eat. They just really don't worry about it, and worry is just another stress no one needs.

A lot of good points here. The ultimate goal is to eat without thinking about it too much just like normal eaters. The problem is that one has to build the skills necessary to do this quickly. So for me, I do have to stop and think. I have to stop and acknowledge "I'm feeling like I want to eat now, what is this feeling exactly, I know it's some kind of discomfort, but is it real hunger?" And then I go do as you say, something active to take my mind off it. At home with my son I can't go out and punch anything lol, but I can do some ironing, or wash the dishes, or fold some laundry or mop the floor or do some squats, or go for a walk etc. And then I have to reassess that feeling again. I won't eat until I feel like it's actual true hunger. Sometimes I realize that it's not physical hunger but then I'm left with not knowing what to do to aleviate that discomfort and that can get very difficult.

I wouldn't say I spend time calming myself before I eat. But I try to eat calmly now. With plenty of breaks. Like I'll eat half a sandwich and then stop for a few minutes and reasses how I feel. If I want to I continue eating, if I don't want it I stop. Of course it would be nice for all these things to be automatic the way they are for non-dysfunctional eaters, but they learned these skills somehow and this is how I'm learning those skills too.

Mazzy
02-28-2014, 03:36 PM
...So for me, I do have to stop and think. I have to stop and acknowledge "I'm feeling like I want to eat now, what is this feeling exactly, I know it's some kind of discomfort, but is it real hunger?"

I read somewhere (can't remember where), that awareness is the first/biggest step, and that you can eat through the emotions as long as you acknowledge you're doing so (sometimes even out loud to yourself), that eventually that awareness will translate into a more "automatic" switch to better emotional regulating activities.

In other words, if you're prone to putting pressure on yourself to do it perfectly, there's no reason to.

I've read that intuitive eating sometimes gets misunderstood as the "hunger/fullness" diet, so that you won't "allow" yourself permission to eat until your stomach starts to gnaw at you, that you're never allowed to overeat, or that you're never allowed to eat for any other reason. But, I don't consider the hunger/fullness diet to be "normal eating." There is a happy medium, one that is "human."

It could be that I've somehow gotten through some of it and now I'm getting to be on the side to where I can say, "Just eat and don't think so hard." Maybe I've come a long way? Not sure. Or it could just be one of my mood swings. How do you really know? How do you measure your progress?

In any case, I will say I've gotten more mouthy at work since I'm not plugging up with food - LOL ;) Oh well, fire me!

Wannabeskinny
02-28-2014, 03:52 PM
I read somewhere (can't remember where), that awareness is the first/biggest step, and that you can eat through the emotions as long as you acknowledge you're doing so (sometimes even out loud to yourself), that eventually that awareness will translate into a more "automatic" switch to better emotional regulating activities. Yes, and I think it's working. The awareness of why I'm eating does not change why I eat. I allow myself to be fully aware when I'm over eating. Which essentially means I'm over eating with purpose. I read in Overcoming Overeating that this observation is crucial as long as you acknowledge it. Like I say to myself "wow, I am surely eating though this entire plate of french fries and I don't want to stop myself. This feels like the only way to make myself feel better" I'm not judging myself for it, I'm just allowing it to happen. Granted it's not happening as much or as often as it did when I was abstaining from french fries, and this type of observation allows me to not hate myself which is the whole purpose of IE anyway.

In other words, if you're prone to putting pressure on yourself to do it perfectly, there's no reason to. Right now my thoughts continuously turn to guilt and I'm continuously redirecting them towards compassion. It's a skill not to berate yourself.

I've read that intuitive eating sometimes gets misunderstood as the "hunger/fullness" diet, so that you won't "allow" yourself permission to eat until your stomach starts to gnaw at you, that you're never allowed to overeat, or that you're never allowed to eat for any other reason. But, I don't consider the hunger/fullness diet to be "normal eating." There is a happy medium, one that is "human." I think you're right, I think most assume that normal people only eat because they're hungry but this is not true. "Normal" eaters eat things for reasons other than hunger/fullness just like we do. But they're not compulsive about it and they can get that same euphoria from just a little food, if you want to call it euphoria at all.

It could be that I've somehow gotten through some of it and now I'm getting to be on the side to where I can say, "Just eat and don't think so hard." Maybe I've come a long way? Not sure. Or it could just be one of my mood swings. How do you really know? How do you measure your progress?I don't know, I'm not the right person to ask this. I'm too new to this. I try not to think about the results yet, I'm thinking about it one day at a time. Although my husband did remark to me that I seem calmer lately. That's not something he's ever accused me of before so to me that's progress. But I think that learning how to read our hunger signals is like learning how to read. Once you become literate you can't undo it. Once you start to feel your hunger signals there's no unlearning that.

In any case, I will say I've gotten more mouthy at work since I'm not plugging up with food - LOL ;) Oh well, fire me!

I like that, not plugging up with food. :dizzy: