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Old 03-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #31  
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It's hard for me to say, "thin people do x, and overweight people do y" based simply on what we observe.

Unless you're living with someone, I can't see how we can generalize about either based on a snapshot of what we see at a single moment in time.

If you saw me at a restaurant now, my appearance and what I had on my plate, would you have any idea of what my relationship with food and weight is? You might assume that I've always been this size, and always eaten a certain way.

We have no idea what happens behind closed doors.

Every individual has their own unique way that they maintain their body.

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Old 03-18-2013, 08:21 PM   #32  
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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.
This was fascinating - thanks for sharing! I hope your daughter is able to retain this "dieting innocence" forever!

Thanks for sharing, everyone -- really eye-opening! I think we can learn a lot from observing naturally thin people and trying to incorporate some of their behaviors. This is a GREAT thread!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:28 PM   #33  
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I was slim all my life until later on in college.

The truth is, I just never thought about food in any way except as fuel and "oh, I'm hungry". That's it. There was nothing more to it.

I think sometimes we can try and overcomplicate how "thin/slim" people view food/their relationship. A lot of times, it's just the absence of any thought/relationship.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:30 PM   #34  
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i wish they would come up with a "pill" or something to address WHY we (overweight and constantly working on it and issues with food) think about food the way we do.

Like..why do people like Barry Manilow or my husband or my "naturally" thin friend basically eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full? And someone like me would like to (most times, sometimes i actually am not hungry!) eat all day long? Why could i easily consume 4-5000 calories virtually every day? Why is my mindset like it is and most every day a form of discipline when it comes to my relationship with food? My mom is the same way. Why am i not easily satisfied with small portions? Why do i eat when i'm not hungry? It's like an internal drive, never mind the mental/emotional aspects of it all.... *sigh*
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #35  
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35x35 that was really interesting to read about your daughter.

My little one will be 2 in May and I've been watching to see what kind of a relationship she naturally has with food.

I really concentrate on having non-processed foods in the house and cook everything from scratch, but at the same time we have a take-out night once a week and she shares her father's love of donuts.

We hold back on saying anything that passes judgement on these less healthy foods and avoid praising her for eating the usual healthy fare we offer. We don't want to bog her down with our own emotional conflicts regarding food.

It's not unusual for her to take a few bites out of a donut and put the rest down on her table to eat at a later time. Despite the fact that the sweetest thing she usually has is fruit, she doesn't feel the need to devour the whole donut just because it's rarely available.

It's interesting to see that your daughter maintains her own healthy relationship with food at her age and hope mine will keep hers as well.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:27 PM   #36  
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Granted there ARE special circumstances on both ends of the spectrum -- those random people with freakishly high metabolism, those random people with freakishly slow metabolisms who are super sensitive to sugars and whatnot. Those are NOT the people I'm talking about. I'm talking about just average people with no medical conditions or super gifted or cursed genetics.
Totally! My husband is one of these 'special' folks - I've tracked his calories out of curiosity before and he eats 4000-7000 calories a DAY and is still 125-135 at 5'11". Since I live with him, it's hard for me to remember that not ALL thin people have freakishly high metabolisms - most of them just practice good eating habits without trying.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:42 AM   #37  
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My entire life, my mom has been slim and I have been overweight, even as a young child. For years, I didn't understand and I often got mad at her because she was so "lucky" and I was so fat, but we ate the same things!

Then, a few years ago I started noticing that while yes, we DID eat the same things, we didn't eat the same amounts. Yes, she and I would both have 3 cokes a days, and 3 cups of coffee with sugar and milk, AND the entire king sized Hershey bar right before bed. And yes, we ate the same meals, because she cooked them all. BUT, while she and I were consuming the same amount of "junk" food, she was eating much less real food than I did. I would eat all three of my pancakes in the morning, she would pick at one of hers. I would eat my entire hamburger steak with extra gravy and sides, she would eat 1/4 of hers and no gravy. I was eating large amounts at meal time AND all the junk. She just ate (eats) all the junk.

She is 56 now and still maintaining 120lbs at 5'4", while I have been between 145-200 my entire adult life.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:02 AM   #38  
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The little sub-American culture I'm a part of is very food oriented, and it's not healthy either. Like funeral potatoes? Omg. I freaking love that. Trouble is, one tablespoon is easily 200-300 calories. But they're so good I could eat half a pan or more by myself. Or fry sauce? I normally don't care for french fries unless there's fry sauce involved, in which case self control goes out the window. Donuts. Lots of donuts, cookies, brownies.
The thing I don't get is that despite being such a food oriented culture, and despite the fact that I eat so much less than the people around me, somehow I still manage to be the fatty.
Seriously, I sit in church and look around and think to myself, "I saw you eat three donuts yesterday and yet you are like a size 2." Or, "I swear you had three milkshakes last week and you look like that?!?! How? Do you gain weight?"
I don't understand. They eat so much, and exercise so little (yes, I know how little they exercise, we're so much into each other's business it's hard NOT to know each other's dieting and exercise habits).
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:56 AM   #39  
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I don't know anyone who really do eat massive amounts of food on a regular basis and are still skinny minnies. At least anyone who is over the age of 30.

Pretty much everyone I know does some type of exercise and watch what they eat.

I guess I don't see the need to model myself after a pre-pubescent boy who's still growing.

I'm "thin" now and have been for a decent amount of time. But I'm "nouveau thin". I don't think people who've been thin their entire life think about the fact that they're thin all that often. It just is. They don't weigh themselves everyday. They don't check to see if their pants are tighter on them or not.

The main difference between those who have been thin all their life and those who haven't is that those who've been thin all their life do not seek food to comfort themselves (they might seek out other things--it's not like being thin means your life is without flaw). They allow themselves the occasional treat or pigout without guilt. They don't associate eating "badly" with shame.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:55 AM   #40  
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I think thin people are just in tune to their body and their hunger signals function correctly. It involves brain signals too- there was that one study they did on biggest loser a few seasons back, where it showed an obese person has to eat much more than a thin person for the satisfied area of their brain to light up.

That's why I've accepted I'm going to have to count calories forever and fake the hunger signals that I don't have. It took me awhile to accept that fact, but I'm finally okay with it!

One thing I don't get is how they leave food on their plate! I portion things out and eat it all after I measure it. I had a best friend who pretty much lived with us when I was younger, and she was okay leaving half eaten cheeseburgers and stuff, while I've ALWAYS not only finished my plate, but had seconds to boot!
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:56 PM   #41  
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. . . those who've been thin all their life do not seek food to comfort themselves (they might seek out other things--it's not like being thin means your life is without flaw)
This part of your post reminded me of a book I once read called The Rules of Normal Eating (intuitive eating advice; I couldn't do it, but the book had some good pointers). The author made an obvious point but one that I had never consciously considered before: She said that those of us who are somewhat obsessive about food (either by excessive dieting, excessive eating, excessively thinking about it, etc.) tend to think of those who are "naturally thin" as perfect people. In reality, though, they're just blessed with a different mindset about food that allows them not to think about it too much and still maintain their weight. She pointed out that those people might have other areas of their life in which they're not intuitive---e.g., some could be horrible at keeping to a budget, or terrible at social cues, etc. The point she was making is that everyone has a struggle; ours just happens to be with food.

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Old 03-19-2013, 04:03 PM   #42  
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This part of your post reminded me of a book I once read called The Rules of Normal Eating (intuitive eating advice; I couldn't do it, but the book had some good pointers). The author made an obvious point but one that I had never consciously considered before: She said that those of us who are somewhat obsessive about food (either by excessive dieting, excessive eating, excessively thinking about it, etc.) tend to think of those who are "naturally thin" as perfect people. In reality, though, they're just blessed with a different mindset about food that allows them not to think about it too much and still maintain their weight. She pointed out that those people might have other areas of their life in which they're not intuitive---e.g., some could be horrible at keeping to a budget, or terrible at social cues, etc. The point she was making is that everyone has a struggle; ours just happens to be with food.

This is an excellent point, and you see it from time to time even on this forum. We (as in those of us with weight and/or self esteem issues) tend to look at the thinner, more attractive people, and assume that they've got it all. This really hit home for me a few years back, when I got to know my bf's sister. She and I were in the same class in high school, but she was thin, blonde, popular and attractive whereas I was a foot taller than everyone, built with a bigger frame than some of the guys, and always heavy. I didn't like her. But I didn't know her, so what was I basing this on? Her appearance. Solely. Well, fast forward about 7 years later, and I'm dating her brother, and we become friends. She isn't perfect. Not by a long stretch, nor was she perfectly happy. Her food issues went to the opposite end of the spectrum than mine did - but they were still unhealthy. I judged her based on her appearance and derided her for it, which is what I'd spent years crying about other people doing to me.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:05 PM   #43  
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If you saw me at a restaurant now, my appearance and what I had on my plate, would you have any idea of what my relationship with food and weight is? You might assume that I've always been this size, and always eaten a certain way.
I think about this all the time, in restaurants and clothing stores and doctors offices, etc.

I am hardly thin yet but I have made tremendous strides in the last 7 months. I am finally one of the thinner people in Lane Bryant vs. the biggest. But no one shopping there besides me knows this. This was fresh in my mind since me and another woman were going through the clearance rack this weekend, me through the 14-16s and her through the 26-28s. Only a few short months ago we'd have been fanning through the same clothes.

When I used to see ladies in the 14-16s, I was so jealous that they could just lose a few pounds and get into "normal" 14-16s. Now I judge no one, no one knows anything unless you have been there step by step.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #44  
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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.
That's hilarious. I can't fathom it either.

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Old 03-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #45  
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The point she was making is that everyone has a struggle; ours just happens to be with food.
I agree. And some of those intuitive eaters may have struggles with other substances such as alcohol or cigarettes. Different people find solace and oblivion in different behaviours, I suppose. I don't think it's possible to fully know why people gravitate toward one or another self-soothing behaviour.

I consider myself an intuitive alcohol drinker, if there's any such thing. I really enjoy my wine, but I never think about booze when I'm not drinking it and can keep hard liquor in the house for months without touching it. Who knows why. Truthfully I don't think I'll ever be this way with food.

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