General chatter - "Its Your Fault"...book talking about how fat people think vs fit people




GlamourGirl827
03-08-2014, 10:38 AM
Hmmmm, I'm not sure what to make of this. I'd be curious to read his whole book. The idea of the book is 101 ways that the thinking of fat people differs from fit people. This link shows a short interview of the author.

I have not read the book, so I'm giving my opinion on just a summery, but from what I saw of this I both agree with him and disagree.

I strongly support that food (sugar) has an addictive quality. I believe that the addiction is no different than cigarettes, drugs or alcohol, but that this is not mainstream enough for people like this author to understand that its not just about willpower. Now the cohosts do mention smoking (I believe eluding to the fact that there is an addictive component to eating) and the author agrees that smoking cessation is about mental toughness too. This makes me think that he is ignoring all scientific and social indications that willpower is not typically effective in stopping an addictive substance, so on that level I disagree with him and question his knowledge on the subject. I would be surprised if he actually did any research prior to writing this. Because of this, he loses quite a bit of credibility with me.

However, I do agree with him that there needs to be a stronger mentality among people trying to lose weight, myself included. While I believe that there are very large obstacles to weight loss, I believe that some people are over weight because they refuse to acknowledge these obstacles, take responsibility for their actions, and do not seek to change behaviors that have not worked or have failed them before, or put in the effort to employ those new behaviors in an effort to lose. This seems especially true if the behavior is out of their comfort zone or requires more effort than they want to give.

I do subscribe to the drill sergeant mentality. I find it motivating, though I realize not everyone agrees. But this is his approach. I have to admit though, that the drill sergeant approach typically isn't effective if the person being addressed doesn't already have it in them to respond to that type of motivation or they don't have the mental strength to use it to move forward rather than seeing it as criticism. In other words, I don't think his book is going to help a lot of fat people get fit.

What do you think?

http://www.today.com/id/32272548/ns/today-today_books/t/overweight-reasons-its-your-fault/#.Uxsyfr4o5jo


PatLib
03-08-2014, 10:54 AM
Hmmm, I think the 5 reasons are actually pretty accurate. When I weighed more number 3 (Fat people are waiting to be rescued from obesity) was my motto. That's why I took a lot of diet pills, I wanted to eat whatever and never exercise and still be thin without the work which what most people think diet pills would do.

I know a lot of people disagree but I am willing to guess at least 2/3 of obese people are that way because of emotional eating. The tricky thing with emotional eating is that you do it without realizing it, I mean even when I was happy I celebrated with food so it doesn't have to be about being sad.

JohnP
03-08-2014, 12:21 PM
From the little I just learned this guy is going about it wrong in my opinion unless the idea is just to sell books.

I of course agree that most people are deluded as to how fat loss works. The media coupled with people's mentality of wanting an easy solution has made a simple topic incredibly confusing. Having said that, in my opinion mental toughness is not the key and you certainly don't need 101 reasons that your thinking is wrong.

There are fundamental principles to weight loss. Understanding these principles and finding the easiest way to restrict your intake of calories over the long term is what matters. Mental toughness is not a long term solution.


PatLib
03-08-2014, 03:20 PM
There are fundamental principles to weight loss. Understanding these principles and finding the easiest way to restrict your intake of calories over the long term is what matters. Mental toughness is not a long term solution.

But willing to listen to fundamental principles and restricting your calorie intake does take mental toughness. I have known since I was 14 years old that I need to eat more vegetables and eat less but I didn't have both the maturity or discipline to control myself.

The truth is, our eating habits are given to us by our parents and if they were bad eating habits they are incredibly harder to unlearn and then learn better ones. Particularly if the person engages in emotional eating. It's great that some people can just read a book and suddenly eat and exercise without any set backs but there is reason a lot of people fail at diets so obviously not all of us (including myself) are like that.

JohnP
03-08-2014, 07:17 PM
But willing to listen to fundamental principles and restricting your calorie intake does take mental toughness. I have known since I was 14 years old that I need to eat more vegetables and eat less but I didn't have both the maturity or discipline to control myself.

The truth is, our eating habits are given to us by our parents and if they were bad eating habits they are incredibly harder to unlearn and then learn better ones. Particularly if the person engages in emotional eating. It's great that some people can just read a book and suddenly eat and exercise without any set backs but there is reason a lot of people fail at diets so obviously not all of us (including myself) are like that.

You're making my point exactly.

I personally believe in strategy over mental toughness.

PatLib
03-08-2014, 08:38 PM
No, we differ in that I think being able is think strategically and maintain that strategy takes self-discipline (which is mental toughness in MY view point of the world).

Having a strategy? Easy. Following it through? HARD.

Wannabeskinny
03-09-2014, 10:25 AM
I disagree on many points. I don't agree that thin people eat strategically or that they don't eat for pleasure. The normal eaters that I know derive great pleasure from eating, cooking, talking about food, going out to restaurants and picnics and bbqs. There are very very few people I know who don't enjoy eating and frankly it's because they are plagued with their own disordered eating habits that are on the other side of obesity.

When I heard the interview of the author by the 2 drunk ladies I immediately thought "oh, he has a MANLY solution!" so typical of many men to break it down to such simple terms. Do xyz and quit your whining. Men can see things with so much simplicity that it does not appeal to me, it is indeed a little more complicated than that.

I do think eating becomes habitual and when people say they eat out of emotion we jump to a conclusion that this is a type of weakness. I don't think it is, I think it is an expedient solution on our part, we are taking care of ourselves in a way that feels natural to us and that's with food. Why is this such a bad thing? When a baby cries we feed it. We've come to understand that any sort of discomfort we have can be soothed by food. Obviously this is a very fundamental response even though it is quite immature of us. But for most of us we develop this coping technique while we are very young and unable to find a more mature response.

We begin to associate all discomfort with hunger. Then we start to blame and diet. I do agree that we start to blame the wrong things though, it's not a problem of too much fat, too much cheese, too much bread or what have you. All food contains nourishment in some way and by blaming one food group over the other is like trying to fix a broken radiator in your car by painting it another color. And then blaming your lack of willpower for it still being broken.

PatLib
03-09-2014, 10:51 AM
I disagree on many points. I don't agree that thin people eat strategically or that they don't eat for pleasure. The normal eaters that I know derive great pleasure from eating, cooking, talking about food, going out to restaurants and picnics and bbqs. There are very very few people I know who don't enjoy eating and frankly it's because they are plagued with their own disordered eating habits that are on the other side of obesity.

When I heard the interview of the author by the 2 drunk ladies I immediately thought "oh, he has a MANLY solution!" so typical of many men to break it down to such simple terms. Do xyz and quit your whining. Men can see things with so much simplicity that it does not appeal to me, it is indeed a little more complicated than that.

I do think eating becomes habitual and when people say they eat out of emotion we jump to a conclusion that this is a type of weakness. I don't think it is, I think it is an expedient solution on our part, we are taking care of ourselves in a way that feels natural to us and that's with food. Why is this such a bad thing? When a baby cries we feed it. We've come to understand that any sort of discomfort we have can be soothed by food. Obviously this is a very fundamental response even though it is quite immature of us. But for most of us we develop this coping technique while we are very young and unable to find a more mature response.

We begin to associate all discomfort with hunger. Then we start to blame and diet. I do agree that we start to blame the wrong things though, it's not a problem of too much fat, too much cheese, too much bread or what have you. All food contains nourishment in some way and by blaming one food group over the other is like trying to fix a broken radiator in your car by painting it another color. And then blaming your lack of willpower for it still being broken.

I agree, I actually find that most thin are the biggest foodies but for whatever reason they learned intuitive eating at an early age.

However, I do think mental strength/will power is needed if you were not given the tools at a young age to do intuitive eating. I personally lived in a house where every celebration revolved around food, if I was sad I was given chocolate, even if there was no emotion just watching TV we were snacking for no reason.

For me part of intuitive eating is also stopping and asking myself am I really hungry or just sad/happy/angry? If the answer is sad/happy/angry it takes a hellva alot of will power not to eat.

Actually I have more willpower not to eat when I am actually hungry than when I am feeling an emotion. I think that is what most people mean by emotional eating. It almost like Pavlov Dogs Experiment except instead hearing a bell and salivating, I feel an emotional and salivate. Which is really messed up!

JohnP
03-09-2014, 12:09 PM
No, we differ in that I think being able is think strategically and maintain that strategy takes self-discipline (which is mental toughness in MY view point of the world).

Having a strategy? Easy. Following it through? HARD.

If the strategy one is pursuing is "HARD" than maybe one should reevaluate one's strategy.

PatLib
03-09-2014, 12:34 PM
If the strategy one is pursuing is "HARD" than maybe one should reevaluate one's strategy.

WOW, thanks for being condensing. Look, I am really happy that losing weight for you was wonderful and easy but for most it isn't that way that's why a lot of people fail. And I don't think one of my strategies (to cut out carbonated drinks and other empty calories) was bad even though it was hard for me to do.

Just because something is hard and takes willpower doesn't mean it's bad or wrong. Apparently that doesn't fit it in with your view point of the world but I don't mind the struggle, I can feel it becoming less and less of the struggle as unlearn and learn better and healthier habits.

You respond if you want but I am leaving this thread so I won't be reading it.

JohnP
03-09-2014, 01:50 PM
WOW, thanks for being condensing. Look, I am really happy that losing weight for you was wonderful and easy but for most it isn't that way that's why a lot of people fail. And I don't think one of my strategies (to cut out carbonated drinks and other empty calories) was bad even though it was hard for me to do.

Just because something is hard and takes willpower doesn't mean it's bad or wrong. Apparently that doesn't fit it in with your view point of the world but I don't mind the struggle, I can feel it becoming less and less of the struggle as unlearn and learn better and healthier habits.

You respond if you want but I am leaving this thread so I won't be reading it.

My point may not be clear to you. My point is that most people can't will power or mental toughness through to success. You need to figure out a strategy that allows you to restrict calories with it feeling like you're pushing a boulder up a hill every day. The point is finding the right strategy is more important than mental toughness.

A personal example. When I started I read that I needed to eat every 2-3 hours to keep my metabolism humming along. This was extremely difficult for me. I kept it up for a several months but there is no way I could have kept it up for much longer. I didn't have the mental toughness to make this strategy work for weightloss and as a lifestyle it would be impossible. Now I eat 2 times a day. I still need the mental toughness to make reasonable choices when I want to make choices I will regret but it's manageable. The toughest part was the initial weeks of training my body to not miss breakfast.

Easy? I've never said it was easy. Certainly not on this thread. All I'm saying is that mental toughness is not the key. Finding the right strategy is.

Elladorine
03-09-2014, 08:30 PM
I haven't read this book myself, but it feels like a much harsher version of The Beck Diet Solution, which makes many similar points but offers guidelines to work with and reason through them rather than making unfair comparisons and pointing the finger.

The issues discussed in the above link are not a cure-all for everyone, but I think the general idea is a great foundation for more mindful eating and less excuse making. I do believe I've struggled with an addiction to sugar, but I've taken the time and effort to retrain myself to "think like a thin person" as Dr. Beck suggests. Not that I think that all fit people truly eat only for health or as a strategy, because some are lucky to enough to do it naturally or to not have been exposed to the same unfortunate experiences that added up to a 360-pound me. Others may love food but they might not all rely on it in the same way that I did! I felt helpless and blamed my childhood, my hormones, my lack of money, my emotions, my severe anxieties . . . but I found that changing my view from feeling helpless to being empowered drastically increased my ability to succeed in the past two years. Despite my anxieties, despite my addiction to sugar, despite my body chemistry, despite using food as my feel-better drug for an entire lifetime, I realized that I have to deal with the cards I've been dealt, that no amount of complaining or excuses is going to do anything to help me lose the weight I've so desperately wanted to get rid of my entire life.

Journaling helped me a lot with "retraining" myself to think like a "thin person," to detach my emotions from eating, to remind myself that food, while comforting and wonderful, is not an answer to my problems. It was especially difficult in the beginning when I had to learn to adapt to new coping mechanisms aside from food, to not aggressively wonder why it seemed everyone else around me was able to eat anything they wanted seemingly without consequence, to not lament every time I had to pass by candy whenever I hit a checkout stand. All I can do is focus on the positives for myself and work on being accountable for my actions. Which, to me, seems to be the gist of what's suggested in the link. Learning to tell myself "no" to excess (and even to certain foods) was one of the most difficult things I've ever done, but I don't want my addictions to control me: my health is more important.

I'm the co-leader of a local weight loss group, and I've witnessed more excuses than you can throw a stick at. And I'm not judging as I've certainly been there! I've had so many weak moments of not being able to turn down the bread basket (it's the restaurant's fault for offering free rolls!), of caving in to an ex's demands of gorging with him (his fault I ate all that cake!), of taking the elevator because I didn't have the ability to climb the stairs without avoiding embarrassment (everyone else's fault for making me feel self-conscious!). And heck, I remember actually complaining that the booths at McDonald's were too small (shouldn't they cater to their larger customers?)!!! I ate sugar by the spoonful directly out of the sugar bowl as a kid and I used to sneak off to buy cans of frosting . . . it's no wonder I ended up obese and addicted to sugar. It used to be all I could think about! But I'm a grown-up now and the only one who can dig myself out of this hole.

Just my take anyway. I do realize that a lot of people have additional medical issues that makes weight loss difficult, or simply other issues in general, but we all have to educate ourselves to the best of our abilities so we can find our own paths. The above approach, while harsh, doesn't seem like an overall bad idea to me. However, I think it's best to shift your mindset to your own personal best rather than directly compare yourself to the fitter people around you.

Wannabeskinny
03-10-2014, 09:22 AM
I agree, I actually find that most thin are the biggest foodies but for whatever reason they learned intuitive eating at an early age.

However, I do think mental strength/will power is needed if you were not given the tools at a young age to do intuitive eating. I personally lived in a house where every celebration revolved around food, if I was sad I was given chocolate, even if there was no emotion just watching TV we were snacking for no reason.

For me part of intuitive eating is also stopping and asking myself am I really hungry or just sad/happy/angry? If the answer is sad/happy/angry it takes a hellva alot of will power not to eat.

Actually I have more willpower not to eat when I am actually hungry than when I am feeling an emotion. I think that is what most people mean by emotional eating. It almost like Pavlov Dogs Experiment except instead hearing a bell and salivating, I feel an emotional and salivate. Which is really messed up!

Thin people ARE foodies! I have so many friends that are thin that have food blogs and take cooking classes and love to dine out at restaurants. That's why I'm willing to disagree with this guys wholeheartedly, he's out to make a buck by providing shock value. I see the thin people around me really enjoy their food. Like I said before, I have a couple of friends who only eat to fuel, they actually disdain food and something about that does not seem normal to me. I suspect they have eating disorders.

But you hit the nail on the head right there, that was eyeopening thank you! It's true that physical hunger is very tolerable! Since I've started doing IE I've been paying close attention to my "hunger" and most of the time it's just not hunger at all, it's an uncomfortable feeling that I automatically transfer to hunger. By eating I'm making that discomfort go away temporarily but it always comes back, that's why it's so easy to confuse it with hunger.

BettyBooty
03-10-2014, 10:54 AM
Personally, most of the people I know who believe food is nothing more than fuel are all former fatties. Most thin people I know don't think about food (nutrition/calories/fat/carbs) nearly as much as us fat, or formerly fat, people do.

I know I obsess at times over the nutrition in a meal, and a few times I've mentioned that I won't eat something because of the calories in it, and just get a shrug from a thin friend.

GlamourGirl827
03-10-2014, 04:24 PM
Very interesting opinions. I agree with anyone that said this guy is likely just trying to sell books. Ultimately, I think that is his main objective. Not that everyone that writes a book is only trying to make a buck, I think some authors really do care about helping others, but I just get a bit of feeling that this guy is not personally invested in helping people lost weight. I may be very wrong, but that's just the sense I get.

If I may make an analogy to weight gain and being fat. Think of all the people that did not go to college after high school. There are likely many reasons.
*Unable to afford it, although there do exist many ways to find assistance, even if through loans.
*May not have had to encouragement growing up to go, told that college wasn't for them.
*May not be intelligent enough to handle college courses.
*May be smart, but lack good study habits/does not want to apply self.
*Life circumstance may have resulted in not being able to, maybe had to work fulltime and care for ill relative for example.
*Simply didn't want to.
*Lacked the resources, no family support.
*Associated with group in high school that did not go to college, so their was no peer influence to go.

Now I'm sure these aren't all the reasons, but see how many different reasons there are? And I'm sure there are many people that DISPITE these reasons, still went on to college. So for some people one of the reasons is enough to keep them out of college, while for someone else, its just an obstacle they work through to get a college degree.

Now we can make a sweeping statement and say non-college educated people are not tough enough, they need to toughen up and apply themselves and go to school. For some that will be true. For some it will come down to the fact that they were lazy about it, but not for everyone. And because everyone will have a different reason they didn't go, a different set of resources to over come that reason, and a different level of motivation and self discipline to attend college, its hard to have a one size fits all approach.

Now if we ask everyone to give the reasons they believe they are overweight, I think that would help create to more clearly defined groups: Those that are truly facing something within their life that is hindering their weight loss to a reasonable degree AND those that could be more successful if they were able to approach the situation with a bit more mental toughness and determination to overcome the obstacles that are keeping them from losing weight. But of course deciding who is in what group would still be subjective. I'm willing to bet that most people do not attribute their extra weight to lack of trying to lose. Its seems this author just wants every one to try harder but if people could just up and do that, wouldn't they have lost the weight already?

Koshka
03-10-2014, 08:06 PM
There are times that I've heard (in real life) or read (on forums) people who really do have excuses for being overweight and who do blame being overweight on things that others have done. Sometimes, people don't acknowledge that, regardless of those external things, they still have to be the one to take responsibility to lose weight. That taking responsibility can be doing a lot of different things. It might be calorie counting, or doing WW, or eating low carb, or exercising more, or undergoing weight loss surgery. On the other hand, some people do just make excuses for being overweight and don't do much to change things (I've been in that position myself).

On the other hand, I think the linked article paints with too broad a brush. I do know thin people who eat for pleasure, for example.

It is interesting to me to contrast myself with two of my kids who are both underweight and trying to gain weight. Some of the differences:

1. They do enjoy certain foods, but they usually only eat if they are hungry. They don't eat for something to do or because they are bored or because they are upset. They eat when they are hungry.

2. They don't get hungry very easily. And, they know when they are full and stop eating when they have had enough. They have no hesitancy to eat 1/3 of a restaurant meal and then just stop eating.

3. They are both very picky eaters who don't like a lot of variety. They eat the same things over and over and won't eat something they aren't interested in. So, because they are so picky at what they eat they aren't remotely tempted by the 95% of foods that they aren't interested in.

4. They both have a lot of things they like that aren't junk food. They like fruit, for example, and are just as happy to eat fruit as eat chocolate. They do like some junk food, but they stop eating when they are full and they get full very easily.

Vex
03-11-2014, 02:14 PM
I'm not a fan of excuses, but I'm not a fan of this guy's sweeping generalizations either. For instance I have never been an emotional eater.

There's a personal, individualized reason that someone is overweight that takes a personal, individualized strategy (as John said) to overcome it.

For example:

Maybe someone is overweight because they eat too much at night? Is there a way they rearrange their intake during the rest of the day to help with that?

Perhaps someone has difficulty losing weight due to a medication they're on? Maybe there's an alternative med without the side effect.

But to say ALL 'fat people do or think this' and 'fit people think this', is just flat out wrong.