Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

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Old 01-19-2014, 11:14 AM   #76  
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I always had this "obesity" from my childhood but my parents are not fat at all.I think it is your metabolism how it works.If its broken then it starts storing more fat then a healthy person.I have come to know about this from a weight loss program which helped me immensely to lose weight.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:04 PM   #77  
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I have this conversation a lot with some people I know who are always "looking to lose" or "planning to start dieting next week" or "trying but I get so hungry." I know that there are genetic factors that influence my metabolism and my hormonal state. I know that people in my family tend to gain easily, and that we are all apples. Some people in my family rest on that knowledge, and don't accept ANY of the blame for their health problems. However, I feel that despite any other innate factors of my metabolism, my weight is my fault.

I spent years knowing that I needed to eat fewer calories and exercise more, and not doing it. Those two things have been totally within my control and I didn't do them, so none of the other contributing factors really matter. The bottom line was that I wasn't doing my part to mitigate those factors.

It certainly sucks that I am short, and I don't have a great metabolism. It sucks that for me to maintain a healthy weight will require a low intake, about equal to what taller people reduce their intake to when they're trying to lose. It sucks that I have to work so hard to make any progress. But it's not an excuse, and it's time to suck it up.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:18 PM   #78  
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I've read many but not all the responses but I have to disagree with many of them. Obesity, to me, is never just the persons fault. Now the solution IS very much personal, but not the 'condition'.

I am reading Salt, Sugar, Fat by Moss. It details much of the food industry since the 1940s. American companies have very conciously created the most addictive foods possible. They even have a name for the search for it, 'bliss point'. Food companies were behind the ridculing of sugar as a cause for heart disease and demonizing fat. Americans have followed advice and gotten sicker and bigger.

I often hear food companies just give people what they want. Really? Then why advertise? People want your stuff anyway right? Did you know for the past 30 years or so Phillip Morris, yes that one, owned Kraft and General Foods? They don't now but they did.

On the other hand I have heard people mention genes a lot. I think this is way overplayed. VERY few people were obese 100 years ago. Genes do not change that fast. I do think there is carb sensitivity but it is probably 80% of the population. We were never meant to eat that amount of sugar/carbs we do now. But that is great news. We are not fated to be overweight.
If we change our eating and move more.

It was very powerful to me to understand how toxic the food environment is. Especially in America. It gave me extra incentive and frankly anger to 'resist'. Now I still had to change. I cant wait for the food companies to 'play nice'. They aren't. But knowing they are trying their best to make me a food addict was incredibly powerful for me to resist them.

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Old 05-09-2014, 03:07 PM   #79  
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Like a lot of people, I think it's 50/50.
There were things I could have done to take responsibility, but our society also makes it so hard to resist temptation at every turn. For example, I've lived in Japan before. It's so easy to be thin there without trying because of the way the Japanese live!

Originally Posted by diamondgeog View Post
On the other hand I have heard people mention genes a lot. I think this is way overplayed. VERY few people were obese 100 years ago. Genes do not change that fast. I do think there is carb sensitivity but it is probably 80% of the population. We were never meant to eat that amount of sugar/carbs we do now. But that is great news. We are not fated to be overweight.
If we change our eating and move more.
It was very powerful to me to understand how toxic the food environment is. Especially in America. It gave me extra incentive and frankly anger to 'resist'. Now I still had to change. I cant wait for the food companies to 'play nice'. They aren't. But knowing they are trying their best to make me a food addict was incredibly powerful for me to resist them.
This is totally me. I have a lot of anger towards the food companies and big pharma/medicine industries for doing everything in their power to keep me blind for so long. I've always had a "rebel against the status quo" streak.

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Old 06-22-2014, 03:38 PM   #80  
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What an interesting discussion. I think "blame" is such an angry word. Pointing fingers has never done anything to help me lose weight. It just made me angry. And "fault" is an aloof word. It implies that there is a source. Out bodies just do as they do, they're obedient little creatures and they go with the flow. Give them too much food and they'll store it for you. Give them less and they'll start to need less.

I can't claim to understand genetics. Maybe someone has inherited a medical condition that requires a type of medication that is known to cause gain. I can accept that, that could be something to blame for sure. But I fear that the vast majority of people who say that their genetics play a role the source is their problems are actually behavioral. Last week I took my kid to chucky cheese and happened to see a family who were all obese right down to their 7yr old son. Maybe this family has genetic predispositions for obesity, diabetes, and blonde hair. But I am pretty sure that none if them are genetically predisposed to eat one large pizza each. So when someone says "all the women in my family are obese" it generally means that everyone on that family shares a lifestyle that contributes to their weight. I'd say it'a possible that genetics plays a role if everyone in that family was physically active and ate a healthy diet and was still obese. Yea that would suck genetically - but is that plausible scenario?

The over abundance of processed food and sedentary life styles are solely to blame for why so many people gain weight. The diet culture is another. On one side you have food companies flashing lights and telling you to get in your car and go but as many of their food as fast as possible. On the other hand you have the gazillion dollar diet industry telling you not to trust yourself around food, just eat what they tell you to eat, and when to eat it. Then sit at your computer and get all your Christmas shopping done with the click of a button. Obesity is NOT that complicated.

Eat some real food. Eat it when you're hungry. Stop when you're full. Enjoy it as much as possible. Forget it when it's gone. Go take a walk. These are the rules I live by.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:53 PM   #81  
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Just kind of skimming through. And yeah there are a lot of factors that played into my weight gain. Somethings I had control over and some I didn't.

But here's the thing...I don't think it's anyones or anythings fault that I am obese. I do think it's my responsibility though.

A few months ago a coworker did some really stupid and incompetent things that doubled my work. There were many people putting pressure on me to deal with the mistakes that my coworker made. I could have refused to add the extra work on my plate with variable results, but I would have passed the stress on and I probably would have continued to receive pressure from people about the issue. Instead I chose to deal with it, which in turn created more problems. The whole month of may was extremely stressful and I dealt with it by eating gummy bears.

The stress wasn't my fault. In fact I do a lot in my life to avoid stress because I don't deal well with it. But even with that, I don't live in a vacuum and a lot of my work is influenced by other people doing or not doing their jobs correctly.
I know that stress is a food trigger for me. I also know that stress messed with hormones and make you hungry. And quite frankly my will power was very weak.

But it was my will power. I did choose to eat gummy bears even though I knew they had no nutritional value to me.

So the questions isn't "whose fault is it". It's "what am I going to do next time?" I don't have the answer to it, but I am thinking about it.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:24 AM   #82  
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Well, my weight crept slowly up on me over the years. I had been thin in my youth, never yo yo dieted, and though I was still bullied and was diagnosed with depression at 14 I was never concerned about my weight. Ever. I was approx 130 when I married, I got pregnant with my first child on my honeymoon, and when I got back from said honey moon my mother, at age 45 was diagnosed with lung cancer and my weight skyrocketed. But again I didn't think much of it because I had never thought much of it. I never ate bags of chips or pigged out on cookies and cakes. I rarely drank alcohol. I never drink soda. I never did or ate all the typical things that people usually blame for weight gain so I remained unconcerned. I never lost the baby weight and my mother's death 2 years later saw me gaining even more. (This was a recent discovery for me at the time I didn't see the correlation.)

Is it my fault that I gained weight. Yes. But truly I never thought about the consequences of my innattentiveness to my body at a young age. Fast food three times in 3 years. I wasn't binging. It had to be my thyroid right? Nope. There was no reason, that I could see why I was gaining weight.

The truth is that we now live in a culture where we are taught that fat is ugly at an early age to try to avoid fatness when we are older. I have seen girls as young as two berate themselves for being overweight in pretend play. I have seen boys who work out relentlessly in the gym for similar reasons. So we have young girls dieting, eating disorders, etc ets. Then we add on stress in the form of work where we have to accrue vacation days and work on holidays or someone else gets our job. Then we have kids, and school and a deaths in the family. Stress puts you into fight or flight mode and your body itches for energy to keep up. We can control how we deal with stress. Some turn to food. Other substance abuse. Others religion.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:06 PM   #83  
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Originally Posted by diamondgeog View Post
It was very powerful to me to understand how toxic the food environment is. Especially in America. It gave me extra incentive and frankly anger to 'resist'. Now I still had to change. I cant wait for the food companies to 'play nice'. They aren't. But knowing they are trying their best to make me a food addict was incredibly powerful for me to resist them.
Same here. "The End of Overeating" and "Nourishing Traditions" were both paradigm-shifters for me. When I reached the conclusion that big business (Ag, Govt (yes it's now just a business), Pharm, Med) were all in bed together to try to keep me just a little bit sick for as many years as possible and extract as much of my money as they could, I got angry too. As the quote goes, "When you knew better, you did better." As a result, I went digging, and now I do better.

I have never liked the word "blame". Nothing has ever been fixed because of it. Problem solving is a complex skill, and this problem has multiple root causes. Personally, if a finger is to be pointed, I would choose to aim it at the human failing of "Greed."
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:53 AM   #84  
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I think that children eat as much as their parents tell them to eat, and the family culture; what is considered a meal serving and whether seconds are involved, is also instrumental in creating a child prone to obesity. Child obesity is the fault of the parent. Feeding kids 16 ounce bottles of coke or apple juice. Feeding them adult sized meal servings. Having obese parents who do no exercise and encourage eating snacks while watching television. That is the parents fault.

On the other hand the person who grows up at a normal weight and then gets lazy, drinks tons of beer, eats huge amounts of food, does no exercise. Those people are responsible for their own weight gain.

On the other hand, think of the people who cannot walk around their own town or neighborhood for fear of violent crime. The poor people who have little to spend and who reason that they can get the best value in poor quality fatty foods. The society that makes vegetables cost more than dairy, starchy vegetables. The country that subsidises farmers to produce large amounts of high fructose corn syrup that finds its way into every food product. The country that grows tons of grains for the huge amount of animals slaughtered every year. The farmers that feed the cattle growth hormones that get into your body and (possibly have some bearing on whether you are gaining huge amounts of weight yourself). Society.

I guess you can say I feel it is a combination of reasons. It is so very complicated that blaming one or the other is not totally correct.

By the way, I now work in a school system. Do you know how many pieces of candy your kids get at school? They use them like dog treats to get the kids to cooperate. Its almost like the school system sabotages and undermines any parent out there trying to feed their children correctly.

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Old 07-08-2014, 12:13 PM   #85  
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This thread has been going for over a year and is a very interesting topic. There is no wrong answer, as different things cause obesity for different people. There are many medications that can cause weight gain. Family history has a lot do do with it, maybe not genetically, but if a child grows up in a family with a lot of obesity, they tend to follow that trend, too. The parents provide the type and amount of food. If the parents do a lot of snacking on salty snacks and sweets, the kids tend to, also. My family ate poorly. We didn't have a lot of snacks, but we ate a lot of carbs and fried foods because they were cheap and filled everyone up. I was not a fat child because I ran around playing outside and burned it all off. When I became a young adult, I didn't want to be fat. When I went out on my own I ate differently and exercised regularly to prevent weight gain. I was not naturally thin. I knew it was not going to happen without some effort from me. When I got married my lifestyle changed and my good eating habits and exercise went by the wayside and I am now obese. So, it was my fault. I could blame my husband, as he might have influenced me to eat poorly, but he didn't put the food in my mouth. I knew the processed foods weren't good for me but I ate them anyone. I knew I shouldn't be going back for second helpings. No one forced me. I had choices and I made the wrong ones. I can be around a roomful of smokers and still choose not to smoke. The same with alcohol. I can drink ginger ale while everyone else is having wine or beer. It's the same with food. It's up to me to eat the choices and quantities that are beneficial to me. I didn't get fat because some farmer injected his cattle with hormones or sprayed his crops with pesticides, not that I think it's OK. I got fat because I put more food in my mouth than I needed.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:08 PM   #86  
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Even blaming parents is a gross oversimplification. I was adopted as an infant and became the first and only person in my adoptive family to be obese or even overweight as a child. My parents did everything they could to try to help. They weren't highly educated, money was tight, and they made mistakes, but they did their best with what they knew and were told by my pediatritian.

Once, at the grocery store, a stranger stormed up to my mother and started yelling at her, ranting about how my mother should be ashamed of the way she was neglecting and "starving" my skinny baby brother and overfeeding me and that she should be feeding my brother instead of me.

I started crying because I was terrified that my mother would listen to the angry lady and would stop feeding me. I was already at 5 on a strict diet and was HUNGRY all of the time. My parents were always trying to get my brother to eat more (and more sugary and fatty "treat" foods) and me to eat less. We both had a treat jar at home (ceramic canisters, and I got the smallest one). My brother could have one a day and two on Saturday. I could have one on Saturday.

I snuck food whenever I could because I was constantly hungry which only made my parents more desperate and guilt-wracked, which only made me find more creative ways to sneek more food.

Because my mother was overweight, she got and took a lot of unearned blame for my weight. The blame only made it harder to get to the real issue - the metabolic and biochemical issues that were causing what I eventually (as an adult) would come to call the "rabid hunger" I felt all the time.

There were signs that I was carb sensitive (perhaps even carb addicted) and had insulin/blood sugar issues, but noone at the time thought to test prepubescent children for blood sugar issues.

Once a month or so, my parents would take us for donuts after church. Even as a small child I has learned that I couldn't eat sweets for breakfast without getting sick about 20 minutes later. So while my brother would have a huge filled donut, I would just have 1% milk. I could pick a donut or two, but couldn't eat them until later in the day (and I would pick french crullers because they were the lowest in calories and sugar).

Even today we have never had any overweight kids in the family besides me. In fact, no one under the age of 26-28 has had a weight issue. On my mother's side the women gain weight in their late twenties (and almost exclusively in the butt and thighs). On my father's side, everyone is slim, and noone is even a little overweight until retirement age.

I think assigning blame and fault only makes the problem harder to address.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:36 PM   #87  
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I believe genetics plays a big role, I guess that doesn't absolve blame, but it should absolve shame.

I have 2 kids, my son is naturally thin, if you wait an extra hour for lunch he won't even notice. My daughter however begs for food and snacks constantly, even right after big meals, all throughout the day. My son is going to be fine, but I can tell that weight is going to be a major challenge for her.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:53 AM   #88  
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I don't fully blame myself for my weight. Fact is, a lot happened when I was a kid and those are all things I can't blame myself for.

In our house, it was normal to drink cola each day, every day. My parents never drank water. Just, lemonade and cola (and I hate lemonade, so that became cola). Only other beverage choices included alcohol (which I obviously didn't drink), coffee (again, I didn't drink) and milk and chocolate milk. Not the healthiest of choices.

Although my dad ate breakfast, my mom didn't. As a kid I first did eat breakfast, but it was the wrong kind: those overly sugary cereals, advertized for kids as a healthy choice, but, trust me, they are NOT. It's wrong to advertize such cereals, chocolate milk and a certain kind of chocolate spread as a healthy choice for kids. To me, it's more than wrong, it's immoral and can never be justified. As I got older, breakfast got skipped as well. Another very unhealthy choice, mainly because my Mom didn't eat breakfast.

Then there were school lunches. In the beginning, they were doable, but as they changed the supplier of food, their food became really bad. So bad they forced everyone who stayed in at school, to eat those warm lunches. Bringing your own sandwiches was no longer allowed. Now, although my Mom's cuisine isn't exactly healthy, it's delicious and in school, food was terrible. I was 7-8 or so at the time and they would literally force the food down my throat. Two adults. One to hold me, the other to shove it down my throat. My relationship with food had taken a turn for the worst.

Not just that, but obviously when I came home at 4PM, I was starving. Since my Mom came home a little later, I was first at my granparents and as we all know, they have cookies and chocolates. So, I ate that. Not my fault, I was 8 years old, hungry as **** and there was nothing else to eat!

As I became older and more aware of my body image, my hatred towards food increased even more. Taking into account my father's accident at age 11, my Mom had little time to cook (often there were people visiting my Dad at our house, staying till 10PM, and then we still had to eat!). Now at secondary school, I could finally take my own food, which I soon traded for my Mom giving me money to buy a sandwich. Which I didn't buy. I didn't often eat normal at my home as well, so I skipped many, many meals and even days went by where I'd survive on a few cans of cola and no solid food, unless maybe a chocolate bar if the hunger became too big of an issue.

If you thought I was skinny at that time, you'd be very wrong. Because I obviously did still eat and when I did, it was unhealthy. Cola doesn't help either with losing weight. But I hated food and I just ate when I felt weak or when someone forced me or it was my favorite food (I love sprouts, fries, steak, cabbage,... So it's not all unhealthy, but when I ate, I overate.)

After a while, I finally started to eat more "normal", more "regular" again, but then my weight started to yo-yo for no apparent reason. I'd excercise less and eat more and lose weight. To slowly gain it, without changing anything. Heck, even "being careful with what I eat" made me gain weight. Then, suddenly, wham, lose weight again. Apparently, that's my thyroid not knowing whether it wants to be hyper, hypo or normal. Djee, thanks a lot, thyroid!

Then I quit smoking, gained a lot of weight again. My GP said: "Yeah, it's just your metabolism slowing down", thanks, doctor! Now I know why I'm getting FAT again. Later on, I was there for something else, and we talked about how I still didn't smoke, but I had gained so much weight, he said "You do realize it's still healthier with the extra weight?" Well, back then, it was the truth, but I gained again afterwards as well. So it's no longer true.

But, for the weight gain AFTER I moved in with my boyfriend, for those pounds I am fully accountable. I was 23 at the time and I should have been old enough to tackle my issues with food already. Which I thought I had, but that was in the form of "cutting calories till the point I can lose the weight of a once/week fastfood". Which, in my case, meant something like 500-700 kcal/day, and then once a week 3000+. No, I'm not proud of that. No, you shouldn't do it either.
But living with my boyfriend, meant I had someone who noticed how much I ate, so I could no longer do the restriction-thing. Meant extra weight. Meant being shown black on white (or on a scale) that I still had severe issues with food. No longer was I able to run from my issues. They were there, presented to me under the form of a decreasing health, fitness level, increasing blood pressure,...

That's why I say, I am not responsible for 50 pounds of my excess weight, but the other 60 are my fault and my fault alone.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:36 AM   #89  
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I am just plain flabbergasted by the earlier post where someone didn't know they should use a scale, and weight themselves, and the federal government should have told them. I cannot even comprehend living life without intellectual curiosity and the desire to seek out information.

As for blame - 70/30, with 70% being my own fault. Fault. Blame. Yes.

The 30% does come from upbringing; I was given large plates of spaghetti, and had to clean the plate before I left the table. Due to our religion, school sports were not allowed. I probably have a very middle of the road build and metabolism, but was always a bit chubby due to the way we lived our life.

But by age 18, I knew good and well that I needed to move my body and eat whole foods. So the 30lbs extra I packed on top of the 20 my parents gave me was all me. Did I have it a little harder than my peers who played soccer daily and were never taught to eat large portions? Sure. That is the 30%.

But anyone who told you life is fair was lying; we don't start on an even playing field. Some of us have a ton of work to do in order to maintain a healthy weight, and some of us don't. Some of us had to do 3 hours a night of homework to pass, and some of us got As without trying. That is life.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:04 PM   #90  
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I'm actually going to go against the grain here and say:

No, I don't think obesity is my fault.

Now, first let me qualify this: I am NOT saying it's out of my control. Now that I have the knowledge and tools to tackle my weight, it is absolutely my fault if I don't work towards being healthier, which means consistently setting myself up for success. But here are the reasons I personally could not have been expected to stay in a healthy weight range:

1. Food today is designed to be delicious and addictive, not necessarily healthy

We all know this. Even companies that market themselves as healthy put priority on tempting us to indulge, because that's how they make money. For example, Subway - well known for marketing itself as healthy and a place to go to lose weight - pumps scents into the air at their locations so you can smell it from down the street. They want to entice you in, and make your mouth water for their food. They're not the only ones who do it - just one example. (This is not to say that I think Subway is necessarily unhealthy or anything).

Similarly, snacks are loaded up with salt/MSG/other chemicals so they taste great. Salt also makes us thirsty, which is often mistaken for hunger, so we indulge in chips until we've eaten the whole bag.

There are SO MANY examples of how food companies try to make us eat more. Most of the time it isn't even unethical - they're just giving us what we want. But it's a problem, and we aren't necessarily aware of it because we don't know what to look for. Which brings me to:

2. Health care providers can't make up their minds

The story has changed SO much over the years: Fat is bad? No, carbs are bad. No wait, it's hydrogenated fats that are bad. Butter? Also bad. Eat margarine. No wait, butter is okay-ish. Ditch the margarine. Actually, you shouldn't be eating dairy at all - ditch the butter. HALT, the only fat you should be using is... olive oil? Wait, isn't it coconut oil now?

Studies change our minds about things all the time... I think the doctors are even fed up with it, because they know they look like traitors every time science tells us something new.

3. I never learned about eating healthy, or how to cook

When I was a kid, my mom (a single mom) was away constantly working 2-3 jobs. So every day I had whatever toast or bagels we had for breakfast, went without lunch, and every night I opened a can of baked beans and made a box of Kraft dinner (Mac & Cheese to you Americans), and ate that with my sister.

Similarly, no one ever taught me about handling money. I mean, I knew how money worked in a general way - enough to get credit cards, for example, but not enough about the consequences of not paying them off - but I didn't learn how to manage my finances so I could be successful into the future. That's something I had to teach myself very slowly, once I realized I had a pretty big, unhealthy problem.

It's exactly the same with my obesity. For a long time I said to myself "I guess I'm lucky, and I just don't gain weight" - but when I got into my 20s I wasn't equipped to deal with the weight that inevitably added up. I could no longer eat whatever I wanted and not gain, and although I had heard people say "careful, you'll start gaining weight when you're not a teenager anymore" no-one had equipped me to deal with that.


So overall, I don't think I ever received education about healthy eating, and importantly, I had no-one to set a good example for me. I think that's the case for a lot of us. Our parents' parents might have been a healthy weight, but then HFCS was added to the american diet and they gained a bit. And by the time our parents were born, that was a regular staple and it's what they grew up eating. But they've had no idea how to educate their children about food, so here we are.

It makes me bitter sometimes, but I think the key is that now I have enough knowledge and tools available to me to take some real action. I know to look at the ingredients on food labels, not just the calories, and I know to take it all with a grain of salt because the research keeps changing. I know that I need to work with my body to find out what works for me, and pay attention to the way I eat and live. And I know that as long as I'm always being mindful of my body and its real needs, I'm on the right track, which is good enough for me.
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