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Your food habits compared to a "normal" eater's food habits...

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Old 05-31-2013, 11:41 PM   #16
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I don't think the semantics are the important issue (normal vs. not normal), but the range of responses to food among humans. I don't think all humans struggle with the same food issues. Perhaps most of us on this board do, but years of observation have made it clear to me that there is a subset of people who don't find it difficult to moderate their eating and don't have food on the brain very much.

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Yes! Let's not get caught up in the semantics of normal. It's pretty obvious what OP meant.

I also have the problem of eating simply "because it's there". I don't see food as fuel, it's really exciting to me, it makes my day, if I'm sad I get a donut, if there are snacks in my house I eat them. If I get a craving for something I absolutely obsess over it.

My brother is the opposite. He sees food as fuel. He can excited/happy if we have something that is special to him, but he enjoys it in the moment and then never thinks about it again. I wish I was more like him.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:54 PM   #17
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Me too. And I also find them incredibly annoying -- way too "sensible" for me. I've said this many times, but I think they key difference between "naturally thin" people and the rest of us is that the thinnies just don't WANT food the same way we do. They may be receiving the same hunger signals, but they interpret them differently. They may be smelling or looking at the same delicious food, but it doesn't have the same allure for them.
Precisely!

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There are many, many differences between the way I think and the way a normal eater thinks. One is that I will actually think about and plan the goodies I want to eat. For instance, I have it in my mind that tomorrow after CrossFit, I will be going to a bakery to buy an artisan salt bagel. Next Friday, I plan to go to a gourmet cheese store / cafe in my area because they have a new, gourmet macaroni and cheese every Friday. This probably has to do with calorie counting and "saving" my calories for food like that.

As for those who are questioning what normal is, to me the definition of that as regards eating is not being obsessed / overly focused on food, especially when one lives in a country where it is plentiful. To me, it seems abnormal to have an almost "survival" attitude toward food ("I must eat now!" "I must eat this entire bag of [fill in the blank]" etc.) in a country where such an attitude is unnecessary.
Yes, this. Also I'll add the observation I've made of people who can take or leave dessert! Say what?! I can go for a healthier dessert, but to just stop at the end of a meal and not need something to "get the taste of it out of your mouth" which are my mother's exact words, don't ask me where she got that but I internalized it as the norm.

And like you, lin43, I "get my stomach all set" for something - or maybe it's really my tastebuds that get set but I think of it as my stomach. And if there's something else at the last minute, say a friend wants to have something else that I'm not that enthused about, or even dislike, I feel this ridiculous cheated feeling! And am not above sneaking what I really wanted at the first opportunity.

Now there have been some times when I'm doing well with my system (Martha Beck's 4-Day-Win) that I am less this way. I think I need to get her book out and re-read it.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:05 AM   #18
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I could probably go back to my child hood, and write you a book about normal.

However, it would not be normal. My mother always has been and still is obese. However, she did make an effort, to try to teach us kids better.

We grew up on a farm, back in the late 60's and early 70's. We were then what the "ORGANIC" folks are trying to be now. Go figure.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we need to slow down, pay more attention!

Eat meals together, shut off the Tv, and the X box, and the computer and facebook, put "DOWN" the cell phone and tablet!

When I was a kid, meal time was somewhat about food, but it was also about family time! We sat at the table, we said "Grace", we took our time, we visited, we passed the food, and said please and thank you!

Granted, after a long day, of wheat harvest, or moving cattle, or working with 4-H calves or breaking horses, or swathing hay or whatever, you might be fricking starving, you still said "Grace", and you still had to be polite, and pass, all the dishes around, and it was so "TABOO" to begin to eat, until all dishes had made their way around the table!

To this day, we still eat at the table, we still say "Grace", pass the food, and the salt, pepper, etc., and are mindful, that it's not polite to begin eating, until every thing has made the rounds!
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:00 AM   #19
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And am not above sneaking what I really wanted at the first opportunity.
Wanna hear something totally ridiculous? In March I was with my teenage son at the Dallas airport, on our way back to Toronto. We had quite a while to wait for our flight (it was a stopover), so had dinner at a nice restaurant. I wanted to get the caramel cheesecake for dessert, but decided not to. After we'd left the restaurant and gone to our gate I changed my mind, so I told my son to wait and I'd be back in a few minutes. Went back to the restaurant, stood in line at the takeout counter, finally got my cheesecake, sat down somewhere and ate it. This took a little longer than I'd anticipated, and by the time I got back to the gate it was 10 minutes before flight time and my son had just had me paged.

What's especially ridiculous about the whole incident is the mentality underlying it: THIS IS THE LAST DAY OF MY VACATION, SO MY LAST CHANCE TO INDULGE BEFORE RETURNING TO REAL LIFE. (I'm sure Kaplods would have a thing or two to say about that.)

I haven't revealed what I did to anyone IRL, including my son.

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Old 06-02-2013, 11:19 AM   #20
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What's especially ridiculous about the whole incident is the mentality underlying it: THIS WAS THE LAST DAY OF MY VACATION, SO MY LAST CHANCE TO INDULGE BEFORE RETURNING TO REAL LIFE. (I'm sure Kaplods would have a thing or two to say about that…

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Anything I might say at the moment would by casting stones. The walls of my glass house are especially fragile right now.

I'm trying to re-lose about 10 to 15 lbs, and I keep gaining and losing the same 10 lbs.

And while I can blame a little bit of that weight on stress and medication, the bigger portion is due to surrendering to that crazy little inner voice that says, "You deserve this. Yeah, it'll make you sicker in the long run, bu right now, at this moment, you deserve to feel the way only the "deadly trio" can make you feel. The deadly trio being the addictive flavor combination of salt, fat, and high glycemic carbs, as talked about by David Kessler in The End of Overeating (I don't think he actually used the words deadly trio, but it's how I think of them).

I currently have an extremely itchy face, with several huge pimples (one is almost large enough to consider a boil) because I decided yesterday that I "deserved" some of the pizza that hubby bought for his gaming party. I used a knife and fork to avoid the crust on the first slice - and threw away the crust. I then took a second piece ( and feeling so virtuous from the first slice) and decided that I deserved a nibble of the crust. That nibble turned into eating the whole crust.

Knowing better is the easy part, following through, especially with all the inner voices trying to convince me (myself, really since the voices belong to me) that "just this once," is valid reasoning, especially when the just-this-onces are piling up into small and not so small obstacles to the ultimate goal.

It's so frustrating to me that a bit of medical relapse has undone so much hard work, and it could easily become so much worse (I don't know what I'll do if I have to be on extended courses of prednisone - and that's what will happen if I don't reign in the cravings and ingestion of unhealthy carbs).
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:04 PM   #21
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WORD to the "feeling cheated" issue of getting a food idea fixed in your head and then not being able to have it. It is so silly, when you think about it, and I am so 100% guilty of it more often than I'd like. My day-to-day diet is pretty good, but take-out is still my frenemy. And once I think I want Thai (or whatever), that's that. We even went out for Thai two nights ago and I intended to get pad thai, but got talked into trying something else at the last minute (we're still testing out a new place). The dish was good, but part of my brain is still sassing me about the fact I didn't get to have pad thai. Be quiet, brain!

I feel like I have to re-learn my lessons from time to time when my commitment and motivation fades. It has a teeny bit to do with memory issues for me, I think, because this happens in a lot of other parts of life -- my brain just can't hold onto all my hard-won knowledge. When things are starting to go awry, I'm trying to go back to sources that got me really inspired (books, blogs, etc).... plus I spend extra time here. When I do, it's a lightbulb moment - "Oh, of course!" Colleen - no judgment because I know that scenario all too well. Hugs and hopes that you can re-ignite/find your way back to your path soon.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:04 AM   #22
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For the life of me I can't figure out how people eat a sandwich without chips. It's absurd eat a sandwich without chips. I feel incomplete without it. Hence, I don't eat sandwiches anymore because it makes me crave chips too much.

When I step into my car the first thought that comes to my mind is "which drive thru?" Most times I can resist but sometimes I can't. It's just ingrained in me.

People are made up of habits. You break a habit, you make a habit, that's all it is. My husband is the same as you describe above, he can go all day and not eat and not think about it and be fine. Me? I'm a raging lunatic if I miss a meal by 10min.

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I actually think there might be a "normal" only in the sense that it's how our bodies are meant to operate. The more I read about insulin resistance and carbohydrates and sugar, the more I think that there's something PHYSICAL about my overeating. I have plenty of willpower in every other part of my life, and I just can't believe that people who don't overeat are just naturally more virtuous than I. (Especially since I watch plenty of my thin friends drink more than they should, spend excessively, etc.) There's gotta be a physiological component that makes some of us have so much trouble with this.
You're absolutely right. If food is fuel, then it makes a big difference what kind of fuel you put in your body. Sure, we can all fit in a day of 1600cal in junk food, who hasn't done that and felt like "well I'm within my calorie range for the day so I'm fine" but didn't lose a pound and felt awful afterwards? I know I have. The foods we eat have a physiological effect on us. If I eat sugar today, I'm going to binge tomorrow. That's not a theory, that's a fact that I've proven over and over and over again. The more nutritious the food, the less I crave junk.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:45 AM   #23
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It's funny that I would see this topic today! The issue of feeling "cheated" has been one that I've talked about a lot with my therapist. I have distinct memories of being a kid and being served a meal that I hated - lamb chops, broccoli, most kinds of green vegetables - and feeling resentful of the fact that I had to eat all of it. It was yucky and I didn't like it, and my dad was big on the "clean your plate" mentality.

So because I didn't get what I WANTED, and I was forced to consume what I didn't want, I would feel justified in sneaking down to the kitchen later and eating bags of chips and cookies and candy. It's funny how that feeling of resentment never goes away, and even now when plans change or the food I was planning on ordering/cooking doesn't turn out like I want it to, I can use it for binge justification.

(I'm not sure what I'd do with my own kids - definitely they wouldn't have to clean their plate, but I can't deal with making individual dishes for everyone in the house. Guess it's good I don't have any yet - more time to figure it out!)
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:48 AM   #24
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. I guarantee you that if I had not, he would have waited until dinner. I asked him how it is possible that he wasn't hungry. His reply: "I am hungry, but so what? What's the worst that could happen if I don't eat? I pass out? I doubt that will happen." Amazing!
I think that THIS is a HUGE and understated difference in all of this. I believe that in the slight chemical variations our bodies all have from one another, some folks brains get MUCH more wired to keeping emotional balance based on hunger/full signals.

My Dad and Brother are awesome, great men, but they are both very very susceptible to bad mood swings if they are hungry. They will get temperamental and cranky and in general be a headache to be around. Also, they get to where they don't want to eat b/c of their bad mood, etc. Neither one of them 'wants' food when they get in these moods, but the only way they will snap out of it is to eat.

I can't tell you how many times my mom (and later myself) has just said, 'okay, this party stops until you eat something' because the mood was quickly becoming hostile.

And when they eat, grumbling the whole time, they will literally become new people within like 30 mins! I think it's their man equivalent of a woman having a good cry! LOL

For people like your husband, this simply is not the case, his mood is not that connected to his hunger signals. His brain separates the two much more effectively.

He doesn't 'need' to eat to feel better. Eating only makes him full, it doesn't dramatically alter his mood or emotions.

I really think that is the key to so much of this. The mental separation of hunger from emotions and other bodily chemical dependencies.

How much we can effect that I do not know. If our brains have created those pathways, I don't know if we can alter them or not. Or is it a matter of just putting ourselves into enough hunger situations for our minds to accept it's should not create the dramatic reaction that we have become accustomed to.

I don't know.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:10 PM   #25
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I'm curious to know if anyone has found their own food habits have changed as they've adopted a healthier lifestyle?

I was at one point over 200 lb and my weight would fluctuate depending on if I was working and what season it was. When I was working I know I didn't engage in as much mindless eating and when the seasons were warmer I was just more active.

When I consciously decided to develop a healthier lifestyle I knew a big part of the reason I was overweight was how differently I approached food compared to my husband. Like so many others he didn't feel the need to eat just because it was breakfast/lunch/dinner, he didn't even feel he had to eat when he was HUNGRY (wth?).

I dropped down 20 lbs, which wasn't a huge amount but I was happy with the progress and decided I wanted to see if I could maintain the loss. I've found in the time since that my attitude/habits with food changed and I have had very little problem staying at 160 (even while pregnant).

I do still eat for pleasure instead of fuel, but somehow being aware of this means I limit it much more. I no longer feel a compulsion to eat just because it is a certain time of the day and if I actually tend to just eat food in proportion to how hungry I am.

Has anyone else found their own habits/attitude towards foods changed in their weight loss journey? Or does it feel for most people that they have a set view of food and that no matter what it doesn't really change?
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:48 PM   #26
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For people like your husband, this simply is not the case, his mood is not that connected to his hunger signals. His brain separates the two much more effectively.

He doesn't 'need' to eat to feel better. Eating only makes him full, it doesn't dramatically alter his mood or emotions.

I really think that is the key to so much of this. The mental separation of hunger from emotions and other bodily chemical dependencies.

How much we can effect that I do not know. If our brains have created those pathways, I don't know if we can alter them or not. Or is it a matter of just putting ourselves into enough hunger situations for our minds to accept it's should not create the dramatic reaction that we have become accustomed to.

I don't know.
I agree. I, too, get irritable if I do not eat. I'm wondering if it has something to do with insulin. I take after my father, and his side of the family is replete with diabetics. I've checked my sugar on and off for years,and I'm in the normal range, but I still wonder.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:52 PM   #27
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Wanna hear something totally ridiculous? In March I was with my teenage son at the Dallas airport, on our way back to Toronto. We had quite a while to wait for our flight (it was a stopover), so had dinner at a nice restaurant. I wanted to get the caramel cheesecake for dessert, but decided not to. After we'd left the restaurant and gone to our gate I changed my mind, so I told my son to wait and I'd be back in a few minutes. Went back to the restaurant, stood in line at the takeout counter, finally got my cheesecake, sat down somewhere and ate it. This took a little longer than I'd anticipated, and by the time I got back to the gate it was 10 minutes before flight time and my son had just had me paged.

What's especially ridiculous about the whole incident is the mentality underlying it: THIS IS THE LAST DAY OF MY VACATION, SO MY LAST CHANCE TO INDULGE BEFORE RETURNING TO REAL LIFE. (I'm sure Kaplods would have a thing or two to say about that.)

I haven't revealed what I did to anyone IRL, including my son.

Freelance
I'm so glad you shared this. You know that we all probably have a similar story to tell (i.e., "similar" in the sense that we have gone WAY out of our way to acquire some goody with the mindset that this is our "last chance" before [fill in the blank]). My sisters are the same. I remember once my younger sister came to visit me, and she, my husband, and I were walking through the mall, shopping. She and I spotted this cafe with some yummy looking cake in the window. My husband sauntered on, to Brookstone or somewhere. My sister said to me, "I'm having this cake." She bought a piece and sat down to eat it right then and there. I walked up to my husband, he inquired where she was, and when I told him, he was stunned that she would actually just stop in the middle of shopping to eat cake! LOL! He still tells that story.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:00 PM   #28
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Hey we aren't all (were) emotional eaters.... I just liked eating food too much. I just enjoyed it. Nothing to do with happy or sad, it just tastes delicious and I want more
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:34 PM   #29
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A friend of mine recently lost weight, and described her plan to me like this - "I watched what skinny people ate (or didn't eat, as it turned out) and copied them." I just love that.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:33 PM   #30
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A friend of mine recently lost weight, and described her plan to me like this - "I watched what skinny people ate (or didn't eat, as it turned out) and copied them." I just love that.
This could go very badly if you copy the wrong skinny people. I know I would personally be screwed if I copied the diets of my thin family members. As a child I didn't understand that metabolisms differ, I just knew that it wasn't fair that I couldn't eat the types and quantities of food that others in the family could.

I remember when I was in kindergarten a lady at the supermarket started ranting at my mother, because I was fat and my baby brother was so thin (underweight). She thought my mom was neglecting my brother and she actually told my mother that she needed to feed my brother the food she was feeding me (not knowing that even at 3, he was eating more than I).

I started crying, because I thought my mother was going to stop feeding me (I already was being encouraged to eat less and my brother encouraged to eat more).

BTW, my brother's hummingbird metabolism did eventually slow down, but even at 45, he has a physique and diet most men would kill for.

He and I are adopted ( and not bio-related). Our younger sisters (parents' bio-kids), have diets and weights that more closely resemble those of our parents (one taking after Mom and her side of the family, and the other taking after Dad and his mother's side of the family).
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