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Old 03-18-2013, 02:48 PM   #16  
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Great idea for a thread!

My husband, who I have known since he was a teenager, is a naturally thin person. He works a very physical job, but there has been times over the years where he is out of work, or he takes on more of a management position, and yet his weight stays consistent.

One thing I've noticed, and discussed with him, as I've started looking at my own attitude towards food, is that he doesn't have the same emotional attachment to it I do. When I'm stressed the first impulse I have to is to seek out comfort food, that doesn't even occur to him.

He loves food of any kind (I'm a professional cook and he's a very happy man for it) but he doesn't shy away from high caloric foods at all. He's known for his donut obsession. But he doesn't feel guilty about them, he just decided somewhere along the lines that he really likes them and they are worth the indulgence.

I also realized a few years back that I was waiting for any excuse to eat. It's breakfast that means I can eat! Lunch time; well that's the whole point of the noon hour isn't it? It seemed so strange to me that he wasn't hungry when he woke up so he didn't eat, or if I made a big breakfast for us he often wouldn't eat until dinner.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #17  
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My husband is thin (way thinner when we met, but still thin for his frame). I watch him eat. He literally feeds half his food to the dog, a little here & a little there while he is eating and gives her the plate when it is half empty. He also forgets to eat. He says it is from his time in the military where when they say it is time to eat, you eat. Other than that, you don't. He will be shaking and be like "what is wrong with me?... Oh I forgot to eat today!" I will never understand that. When he gets hungry it is like an emergency. He misses all the hunger cues until he is just ravenous and physically shaking.

He is thin because he eats an appropriate amount though. It all balances out.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #18  
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My cousin is super skinny. She graduated high school at 98 lbs. No, she did not have an eating disorder and would in fact eat way more than I at any given time. She used to make cakes, rice krispy candy, caramel popcorn, and tons of other sweets daily that we'd both sit around and snack on. When she got pregnant, she went up to 120, but as soon as the baby popped out, she was back down to 98 lbs. (He was a big baby when born too LOL )

She made me sick just to look at her. (Although when pregnant, it was like a bean pole with a basketball taped to the middle LOL ) I hated going shopping with her for at that time she was a size 0!!!

Come to find out.... She has a thyroid condition that makes her metabolism super fast and in turn has caused other hormonal health concerns. I envy her thinness, but I do not envy the cause of it. At one point she was so skinny she was trying everything she could to gain weight, most of which was very unhealthy. Three kids later, she's still a size 1 or 2. Her sister OTOH, well, she's in my boat. Hard for us both to lose and we both are heavy set.

All my other thin friends are thin exactly for the reasons the OP said; they eat right, splurge occasionally, and exercise naturally. They really don't look at food like I do, or did. My relationship with food is changing dramatically every day. I eat when hungry and focus on other things in life when not. They occasionally have the ice cream binge day or something, but it's not all the time and it's fairly balanced.

And some like an ex boyfriend, just have a killer metabolism that lets him eat donuts and cake and red bull all day and not gain a thing. Meh
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #19  
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My daughter is one of the slim people I watch with facination. A little background: She's only 7 and we've managed to protect her thusfar in and out of the home from negative messeges. Even though I'm trying to lose weight - I've never allowed her to see/hear a negative body image/hate talk and have always stressed energy/health/etc rather than fat/thin. When I'm fasting (I practice IF as part of my plan) I'll just say I'm not hungry at the moment or whatever. We homeschool so she doesn't get it from that end. So, as much as one can be 'immune' to the diet culture, she is at this point.

Anyway, she is naturally slim with no food issues at all. I love it! I observe her and she truly only eats when she's hungry and stops when she's satisfied. Another thing she says to me if I ask her if she's hungry (if she hasn't eaten breakfast yet or something) is that she knows she's hungry because her "belly is rumbling". As in, that's her personal cue that signals she'd like to eat. For me, the "belly rumbling" point is like OH NO I'M STARVING lol. In other words, she is obviously okay with feeling slight hunger during an activity or whatever without it signaling a major emergency stop-everything-eat-now reaction.

The other thing is that she doesn't stick to a schedule. She eats when she wants, stops when she's done. One day she won't eat enough to keep a bird alive, the next day she will eat like a truck driver -- but it evens out and it's all self-regulated. Some days she doesn't want breakfast, some days she eats a big breakfast. Things like that. She also very often puts a half-eaten bowl or plate of something in the fridge for later, or will offer the rest of her portion to dh.

She also doesn't have any emotional weirdness or attachment to food. She doesn't have any "should or shouldn'ts" in her world. The other day she ate an ice cream sandwich for breakfast....but then the kid didn't ask for anything to eat until like 2pm. She simply wasn't hungry until then. If that were me, I would have eaten the ice cream sandwich, plus 3 more, then hated myself and guilted myself into oblivion...then thought I'd blown the day, berated myself some more for making an unhealthy choice, then swore to eat salad all day to "make up for it". Whereas, she just.... asked for an ice cream sandwich...ate one... didn't eat again until later and had something healthier. I also notice if my daughter indulges.... let's say she goes to a birthday party and has cake/ice cream etc she will eat very little the next day until mid-afternoon or later. Again, all self-regulated and without any judgment/input from me either way. I have always told her I trust her to eat when she feels hungry and stop when she feels satisfied and I will provide healthy/tasty food.

It's really facinating to watch I tell ya lol

ETA: In fact, one of the reasons I explored intermittent fasting again is because I ate that way at my slimmest and I observed that my daughter and slim best friend unknowingly do sort of versions of that.

My best friend, same thing. She's been slim her whole life and I've observed very similar behaviors to my daughter.

Last edited by 35X35; 03-18-2013 at 03:29 PM. Reason: to add something
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:44 PM   #20  
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I was watching an interview with Barry Manilow and the interviewer turned the conversation toward his weight (he's super slim and always has been) and she asked him how he stays so slim and he basically said he hates food :O like the only reason he eats is because he starts shaking and realizes he forgot to eat, he is just not into food AT ALL.
i'll never forget that!
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #21  
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I live with 2 naturally thin people. My husband and my mother in law.

Well, my mother in law has gained in the last decade, but no one would call her heavy and she was thin for 67 years, so ill call her a naturally thin person.

She has never, ever dieted in her life. But, she is very "busy". A can't sit still person. And, she will eat a ton (like a whole California Pizza by herself) but will follow it up the next day with eating a quarter portion for dinner. She will skip days of no eating because her stomach hurts. She will skip here and there and think nothing of it. But when she wants that full chocolate bar, she'll eat the whole bar. Her diet is atrocious actually, lots of sweetened fruit juices and sweetened yogurt, but overall she balances out. In her mind, if you eat too much, then you just don't eat. She says that is what we all should do.

My husband is another naturally thin person and more of a sedentary type, but he will have one cookie. One beer. One helping of anything yummy. He will want more (he says so) but he resists the temptation.

Also, he loves health foods and isn't drawn to fatty, not so nutritious foods. Put a huge salad or a kettle of lentils in front of him and he's in heaven. Put Mac and cheese or the like in front of him and he's not happy - and not just that it will make him fat, but he doesn't like the taste.

Just like with fat people are fat for various reasons, thin people are not all the same in how they stay thin.

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Old 03-18-2013, 04:12 PM   #22  
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I know quite a few people who if you go solely by what and how much they put in their mouths (and not just occasionally), should be much bigger than I but look like they could model. I also know people who put a great deal of discipline into what they eat and how they treat their bodies. I've learned a lot from both.

There is one lady that I work with who told me that when she "decided she wanted to maintain her figure" she knew she was going to have to give up on dessert. Now that's not unique, a lot of people forgo sweets, but it was the way she worded it. She DECIDED she was going to maintain her figure. So she works as hard as a lot of us do at her diet, she just never had to bounce back from obesity. I also have an aunt that's extremely conscious of her weight (and the weight of others - My two cousins were pretty glad when I was around because I took the heat off them). While she is disciplined as all get out, she also comes across as just as food obsessed as I was. She remembers every single event by what food was served. And she comfort eats, she just comforts herself with a Chai latte and a piece of dark chocolate, whereas I used to comfort myself with a family size penne rose.

My best friend has a gorgeous figure. She really shouldn't. She's a couch potato and I've seen her eat an entire large pizza by herself and then polish of a double big mac two hours later. Water never enters her system without having been used to make vodka or coffee. But she's naturally blessed... at least for a little while. I've met her family and eventually her habits will catch up with her. I know enough to know that she's a rarity; She has the same food dependency issues that I've always had, she just never packed on the extra 250 pounds. I still use her as a "don't" model.

In general though, what I have taken away from thin folk I've observed is that they have a "stop" signal. They have the control that I lacked to put the fork down even if there is something left in the bowl.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:12 PM   #23  
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I find that I don't have count calories as obsessively as before, and maintain pretty easily because I honestly find most food either "gross" or "not worth it". I have developed a sort of food-phobia and will not eat anything with trans fat or HFCS. Granted, I could theoretically still eat a stick of butter, but I obviously don't. Eating mostly whole foods and being picky in general, it really limits my choices. I often get bored with eating. Before I lost the weight, I didn't eat frequently, but when I did, it was almost always very calorie dense.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:40 PM   #24  
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So just exactly WHY are thin people thin? Lots of folks think it's just in their genetic makeup. With some possible exceptions, I respectfully disagree.

I think it's because they don't have the "love, hate" relationship with food that many of us do. For them, food is fuel.

Ever watched thin people eat? Again, with some exceptions, they don't gobble it down. They eat it slowly. They really TASTE it. Many times, they leave food on their plate. Why? Because they are really in tune with their hunger signals. They know when to stop. Chronic dieting, OTOH, can lead to people no longer being able to distinguish when they are truly full.

I see a lot of people writing "they can eat whatever they want and as much as they want" without gaining weight. Well, that's a true statement. That is EXACTLY what they are doing. The key, however, is this - they do eat as much as they want....and no more. THEY KNOW WHEN TO STOP.

I also see people writing "they eat a LOT more than I do!" Well, if you're on a diet, that's probably a true statement as well. But I rather doubt that they have always eaten more than you have when you WEREN'T dieting. Their eating is consistent. Long-term chronic dieters have taken part in more of a "feast or famine" type of eating. Over the course of months, years, and decades, this results in the overweight person actually having consumed a LOT more calories during that time.

I also believe that thin people are just more active. I know that I am a LOT more active when I'm a normal weight. Even losing just a few pounds gives me more energy. I've seen others here make that same statement.

I challenge you to closely observe your thin friends and relatives when they eat. If you can get them to honestly open up to you about their eating habits, you'll discover that they generally only eat when they are sufficiently hungry. Unfortunately, so many thin people who have overweight friends like to lord it over them and you'll often hear them say things like "I eat ALL THE TIME and I never gain weight" or other similar lines - but that's just not true. They honestly don't KNOW how much they eat. They just don't think about it that much. So you will learn more about their TRUE eating habits by observing them over a period of time - preferably without them realizing it.
I agree 100% with every word. I've also had the experience of living with thin people who declare they can eat to their heart's content and never gain weight. When you're in such close quarters, you learn how these people actually eat. Without exception, I've found they eat a lot less than they let on (or believe). They may have a huge dinner, but "forget" to eat breakfast and lunch. They may order a gigantic plate of nachos at happy hour, but pick away at it and just end up having a few bites. Etc.

And this is just a pet peeve of mine, but I always bristle a little when people attribute their obesity to a slow metabolism. Deep down I believe that differences in metabolic rate play a much smaller role in fatness and thinness than commonly assumed. Neither obese people nor thin people can outsmart the first law of thermodynamics. I think it's "so easy" for some of us to gain weight because our bodies let us consume large quantities of food and our minds take great comfort in food. I can eat 4,000 cals per day without feeling uncomfortable in the slightest -- and enjoy every bite. The naturally thin people I know can't do this. Their bodies won't let them.

Freelance

Last edited by freelancemomma; 03-18-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:50 PM   #25  
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i just do not get full as fast as the average person, even eating slowly and deliberately and that pretty much sucks.
Same here. I never feel full unless I've overeaten. I think this is where humans vary the most, not metabolic rate.

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Old 03-18-2013, 04:59 PM   #26  
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I agree 100% with every word. I've also had the experience of living with thin people who declare they can eat to their heart's content and never gain weight. When you're in such close quarters, you learn how these people actually eat. Without exception, I've found they eat a lot less than they let on (or believe). They may have a huge dinner, but "forget" to eat breakfast and lunch. They may order a gigantic plate of nachos at happy hour, but pick away at it and just end up having a few bites. Etc.

And this is just a pet peeve of mine, but I always bristle a little when people attribute their obesity to a slow metabolism. Deep down I believe that differences in metabolic rate play a much smaller role in fatness and thinness than commonly assumed. Neither obese people nor thin people can outsmart the first law of thermodynamics. I think it's "so easy" for some of us to gain weight because our bodies let us consume large quantities of food and our minds take great comfort in food. I can eat 4,000 cals per day without feeling uncomfortable in the slightest -- and enjoy every bite. The naturally thin people I know can't do this. Their bodies won't let them.

Freelance
As usual, Freelance, I agree with you 100%. I, too, could (and have) easily pack down 4,000 in a day and feel satisfied, but not overfull. My husband probably could, too, but if I really estimate the number of calories he eats per day, it's about 2500 or so (sometimes less). He's 6 ft, and about 180, and has a lot of muscle tone (never works out but gets a real laugh when he's asked, "So, how much do you work out?"). He NEVER snacks during the day. He'll have breakfast (sometimes big, sometimes just a roll & butter), skip lunch (doesn't feel like making it), and eat a nice-sized dinner. If we have dessert in the house, he'll eat it only if he happens to remember it is there or if I remind him. In short, he is not focused on food. I am. That's the biggest difference.

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Old 03-18-2013, 05:10 PM   #27  
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I Without exception, I've found they eat a lot less than they let on (or believe). They may have a huge dinner, but "forget" to eat breakfast and lunch. They may order a gigantic plate of nachos at happy hour, but pick away at it and just end up having a few bites. Etc.


Freelance
I totally agree with that. And it works in much the same way with *some* overweight people who say they barely eat anything when in reality they eat quite a lot yet they just don't realize it, or don't want to (there's a UK series called "Secret Eaters" that is about that very thing).
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:12 PM   #28  
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Same here. I never feel full unless I've overeaten. I think this is where humans vary the most, not metabolic rate.
What is this word Full? It is not something I've ever personally experienced.

My husband, however, left a single pea on his plate last night. Honestly, one single pea. When I made some mocking comment about not being able to force that down, he responded that he was full. It is not something that I will ever understand, so I manage my weight by using math instead. The results are the same, but I'd give anything to have his thought process.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:17 PM   #29  
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What is this word Full? It is not something I've ever personally experienced.
Exactly this. Even if I felt like I was going to burst, I could still fit more. It might be something else vs. what I was going to burst on, but seriously, there was no off/closed/overflow button that ever lit up for me.

Now that I am on a meal plan, I eat what I am "supposed" to and I am quite satisfied and sufficiently nourished, but I am never ever full.

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #30  
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I've asked some thin friends about this and their response was much like what 35X35 said about her daughter. They just feel in tune with their body and give it what it asks for. They don't eat because it's meal time. They don't eat something because it's there and it looks good. They don't eat certain things because they're healthy or avoid other things because they're unhealthy. They just have some intuition that guides them to do what is best for their body.
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