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Talk with me...how do some women stay so thin? - Page 2

post #21 of 117

I think a lot of it is due to genetics. Some of it is also due to your eating habits though, if you're constantly eating you're going to gain weight. I make sure to keep busy so I'm not just sitting around and eating out of peer boredom. Also make sure you're drinking enough water, try and drink a cup of it before you eat and it will fill up you a bit so you don't over eat. Also make sure to keep working out, I believe this is one of the best ways to stay healthy!

post #22 of 117

For me....I lost 100 lbs back in '99.  I maintained my super fit physique until just before I became pregnant (so 7 years).  I was able to do this by spending 2-4h a day at our home away from home....the gym.  Hubby and I loved it and truly we spent up to 4h a day at the gym and ate dinner there about 5 d a week.  Rest day was still time doing cardio in the gym and going to the park and dancing the night away.   Wellll when pregnant with ds I gained about 100lbs.........yeah here I am 4 years later and still have to lose the weight....can I spend 3-4h a day in the gym now? No.  I am still active and go to the gym about 3x a week but for me it isn't enough.  I also am not as strict with food (I never starved in past though-1500-2000cals). 

 

So I think for some people it requires tons of dedication.  Also the more fit you are (more muscle) the more efficient your metabolism is.

post #23 of 117

I'm 'thin' because I work hard to stay this way.   I don't really think of myself as 'thin', but I hear it a lot.

 

So anyway - I work out constantly to an intense level and I watch what I eat.  I haven't eaten ketchup in probably 10 years.

 

Sure genetics plays a part in how well my body responds to exercise and weightlifting....but I don't want to diminish the work I put in.

post #24 of 117

I'm glad you posted. I'm struggling with a different issue myself and considering whether to reach out or if I'll sound whiny!

 

There's a thread over in TAO about food. A LOT of people have serious issues around food. I mean it's shocking. I've heard estimates that 30-50% of women on college campuses have some kind of eating disorder. Your thin friends may seem happy and well-adjusted and all, but well..... I dunno how many of them really have a healthy relationship with food. 

 

Having said all that, I'm naturally thin like everyone in my family and I think I do have a healthy relationship with food. My mom was classic pear-shaped and after 4 c-sections she had a huge venus de wallendorf belly and dangly breasts. But she never, never, never denigrated her body. That's just what it looked like in her 40s after all of the children. She was 5 feet 2 inches and a size 6 until her 40s and then settled into a 10 or 12. It's just what she looked like. THe point I'm getting at here is that she knew she was so much more than her body and she really taught that through example to her 3 girls.

 

After all of that, though, I think genetics plays an awful big role. I don't watch what I eat, I'm not careful, I have a huge appetite and I'm just thin. For both pregnancies, I gained about 50 lbs (from 100 lbs to 150 lbs) and a lot of the weight stayed with me through that first year with all of the breastfeeding. Now that my second is closing in on 1 year, I'm within 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight - but it really took this long. I swear I'm not eating any different. Baby is just breasfeeding less so my body has decided it doesn't need to hold onto the weight. I think some people are just inclined to hold onto more weight.

 

But I'll tell you what - when/if I get my mom's pear shape - I'm going to celebrate it just like she did!

post #25 of 117

Well, I'm probably not someone who you'd hate because I'm so thin.  I'm on the high end of the healthy range of my BMI, but I'm very petite and fine boned.  I too struggle with appetite.  I can eat a LOT.

 

One tool I have used to lose weight in the past is tracking/calorie counting.  I have done a restricted calorie program and it was extremely educational.  For instance I learned that I personally can never, ever drink juice - every time I did, I ended up using up a ton of my calorie budget without feeling satisfied and wanted to 'cheat.'  On the other hand, a few squares of dark chocolate didn't seem to throw off the whole program.  I learned to eyeball proper serving sizes, and realized that when I was hungry, I needed to pick a food that met the health guidelines of the program - for instance, if I hadn't had my dairy requirement for the day I tried to tick that off, or if I hadn't eaten a lot of fruits and veggies, I had some.  That helped with hunger a lot, even though I never ever really craved the 'right' foods...I craved a giant muffin every single time.  Even if you don't want to restrict your calories, tracking calories and nutritional information might be very revealing.

 

Right now I am trying calorie restriction again (trying to lose 10lbs) and the little things really do add up.  For me to change my normal eating habits into weight-loss promoting habits it's a matter of no sugar in my coffee, no butter on my rice, and cutting my dinner portion of rice in half.  Not a huge deal but not something I would ever think to do if I wasn't counting.

 

Other things that have not been mentioned yet are adequate hyrdation and sleep, which can really affect your appetite as well.  On my mat leaves when I have had more control over my lifestyle, I have always maintained or lost weight with absolutely no effort.  When I am working and need to get up at the crack of dawn, I need to be more careful.

post #26 of 117

I certainly don't have the answer (if I did, I'd be rich!), but I heard an interesting radio segment a while back with a doctor who specializes in obesity, and has done some research of his own. He has hypothesized that there's another mechanism in play when it comes to the severe weight gain you see these days. It's not just calories in/calories out & it's not just genetics. He said that those things do cause weight gain, but not the 600 pound type. I'm personally carrying about 10 extra pounds now and that's because I eat too much, I eat when I'm bored. Try as I may, I'm not getting much fatter or much thinner. There's a setpoint, and somehow we are disordering our metabolisms so that they don't listen to our natural setpoint. He has been trying to scientifically determine a factual basis for metabolic disorder and trying to figure out what triggers it. 

 

My own personal feeling is that refined sugars have something to do with it. That's because of how I feel when I eat them. With me, they are very addictive AND once I eat something with refined sugar, the rest of my eating for the day is out of whack. Not only do I overeat the sugary treat, I overeat everything else and do not feel satisfied although I can feel my stomach is full. It's not enough. 

 

It sounds like you eat a healthy diet and are active. I mean, what else can you do? Does your body feel strong, healthy and capable? If so, maybe focus on that, and if not, work towards that goal rather than weight loss? 

 

I also had a thought last night that's kind of relevant to what you're saying. I have a physical trait that I hate that I can't do anything about, it's just there. I can obsess about it at times. Last night, while obsessing, I suddenly realized that it doesn't affect my life at all. Not at all, except in my mind. I have an awesome husband, a wonderful baby, a beautiful home, a community I like to live in, I'm healthy, etc...and this "flaw" doesn't have any bearing on any of that. So WHY am I wasting my energy on it?

post #27 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post

I'm 'thin' because I work hard to stay this way.   I don't really think of myself as 'thin', but I hear it a lot.

 

So anyway - I work out constantly to an intense level and I watch what I eat.  I haven't eaten ketchup in probably 10 years.

 

Sure genetics plays a part in how well my body responds to exercise and weightlifting....but I don't want to diminish the work I put in.


Bolding mine.

 

I wanted to come back to this thread because I've been thinking about it a lot lately.  I think it is so important to acknowledge that a good number of people who are thin are that way because they are diligent in eating right and exercising.  It's not some random occurrance.  They put a priority on taking care of their physical health.  If I am honest I need to loose 15 maybe 20 pounds and start building more muscle mass.  I've been trying to figure out what it is in my head that puts health so low on the priority list.  It would be easy to blame it on how busy I am with the kids but the reality is that I have never taken an active interest in my physical health.  Until I had kids I was one of those women who was naturally thin.  Age, metabolism, whatever, I just was.  Having kids has changed the landscape of my body.  Things are softer, lower and jigglier.  I envy other moms (no use comparing myself to teenage girls) who have flat stomachs and beautiful lean legs but that is on ME not them.  I know I could be toned and thin if I made it a priority.  Choosing for fruits and veggies, smaller portions, better snacks would help but I think the main thing is making it a priority just like I do with my spiritual, emotional and mental health.

post #28 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post

I think people who are "naturally" thin use food the way it was intended ~ to provide energy.  Not to drown sadness, not to celebrate, not to fill bored spaces in life or for any other reason other than to nourish the body.
This.

I don't believe for a second that 90% of it is genetics. My mother, my father, my sister, various extended family members are all overweight or obese. I'm not.
Before kids I was so active I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and I stayed fit. After my first baby, I had weight to lose just like every other woman on the planet. I plateaued at 12 lbs pre-baby weight. I had to start watching what I ate and how much of it. I had to sugar detox. I had to portion control. I had to use (this is crazy) self-discipline. I was the only one in control of what was going into my mouth so whether I succeeded or failed was all up to me.
Now years later after putting in the effort and building healthy habits, I can sit back and relax. I "naturally" no longer have a sweet tooth. Soda is one of the most disgusting things you could put in front of me. I crave veggies over fatty foods. My stomach is used to healthy portions. But I had to reprogram myself to be this way. I'm not starving myself. I'm not wishing I could have that cake. I'm happy and healthy. I'm eating what I want to be eating and the amount I want. I used to think I had IBS. Now I know it was just garbage in, garbage out.

I really HATE hearing "You're so *lucky* you're skinny!" BULL. I had to work for this. I earned it. I could have given up and decided it was too hard and blame it on genetics or kids. But I didn't. And if a tired, dumb, busy single homeschooling mom like me can do it anyone can. (Baring freak health disorders that would be legit reasons for some people but NOT for the 75% of America that is overweight now.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post

I know that I am simply the fat woman who is eating too much.  And feeding my family too much.

I hurt today.  I am sad to be struggling with this.  I am sad to be doing so much and to still be so far from my goal.  

But think of how happy you'll be when you're done. Think of how proud you'll be knowing you guided your family towards being more healthy and breaking the cycle.
I'm already proud of you for acknowledging the problem and taking the first steps. We're here for you, Mama. smile.gif


Do one thing at a time. If you need to sugar detox, do that first. Worry about amounts later. Don't try to do everything at once so you get overwhelmed and freak out.
Start thinking about a food's purpose in your diet before buying it/putting it in your mouth. Try alternatives. You're craving something sweet and want a cookie, try an apple first and see if it satisfies that craving. HFCS has GOT to go.
If you're still hungry after eating healthy portions, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes.
I'm a big fan of the green smoothies. They're really filling and a great way to increase green leafy veggies in your diet. Getting the nutrition you need out of your diet will help with cravings.
I really dropped weight fast when I hit the point where I quit mixing meat and dairy. Having one or the other at a time cuts out so much unnecessary fat. (I don't do a separation diet completely but the weight seriously comes off when you start doing things like no cheese on your turkey sammich, no meat on your pizza.)
post #29 of 117


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy Alden View Post




Bolding mine.

 

I wanted to come back to this thread because I've been thinking about it a lot lately.  I think it is so important to acknowledge that a good number of people who are thin are that way because they are diligent in eating right and exercising.  It's not some random occurrance.  They put a priority on taking care of their physical health.  If I am honest I need to loose 15 maybe 20 pounds and start building more muscle mass.  I've been trying to figure out what it is in my head that puts health so low on the priority list.  It would be easy to blame it on how busy I am with the kids but the reality is that I have never taken an active interest in my physical health.  Until I had kids I was one of those women who was naturally thin.  Age, metabolism, whatever, I just was.  Having kids has changed the landscape of my body.  Things are softer, lower and jigglier.  I envy other moms (no use comparing myself to teenage girls) who have flat stomachs and beautiful lean legs but that is on ME not them.  I know I could be toned and thin if I made it a priority.  Choosing for fruits and veggies, smaller portions, better snacks would help but I think the main thing is making it a priority just like I do with my spiritual, emotional and mental health.


I don't work at my weight, period.  I am a "lucky" person who does not tend to gain weight, I am not overweight (nor am I especially thin.)  5'8" and 145 lbs with larger frame/base weight and consistent size 8 FWIW.  I have had ups and downs with my diet and have eaten more and less healthy at different times in my life.  I have dabbled in comfort/boredom eating but it isn't how I relate to food as a norm.  I have in fact never made an effort in all my life to lose weight and I have remained at nearly the same healthy weight before and after pregnancies for twenty years.  Now, that weight does not mean I am fit and healthy and I make more of an effort now with that than I used to.  I have never "needed" to be active for weight reasons but I definitely need it to feel healthy.  In fact an easy weight means I tend to feel satisfied with my appearance, so it's actually easier to allow myself to be sedentary and make little effort.  My muscles become weak and lack tone so I have to fight that. 

 

My mother and sisters have serious weight problems, but I have a different father than my sisters, who was very tall and very thin. Therefore I do believe it is hugely genetic, but I also believe a lot can be related to carbs as well.  Not just refined carbs and sugars, but also the overall consumption of wheat and hidden sensitivities to that.  Whole grain or not, a lot of folks eat wheat for breakfast lunch and dinner plus snacks or nearly that often.  It has a high incidence of sensitivities and the more we eat of one kind of food the more likely we are to trigger those sensitivities.   

 

We always ate lots of whole foods and a fairly healthy standard diet before, however, my very active and muscular dh's beer-belly type gut disappeared in two weeks when he cut out wheat and did low carb, and it has not come back after six months of a relaxed whole foods diet with nearly no wheat, low grains and carbs, and high fats.  I think for some people weight issues can be the only symptom of a wheat or gluten sensitivity that is undermining health efforts.  I am sure for plenty of people that is not the issue, but for some it's worth exploring.

 

I haven't even touched the subject of emotional eating and all, nor food or sugar addiction.  One of my sisters has this kind of problem as well and is 250+ lbs., has multiple allergies and a disabling autoimmune disorder but would not dream of giving up her cakes and chocolate and other sweets.  I try not to judge as I obviously do not have to face her disadvantages, but it is sad and I do not understand and I can't say anything that helps. 

 

post #30 of 117


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post

I'm 'thin' because I work hard to stay this way.   I don't really think of myself as 'thin', but I hear it a lot.

 

So anyway - I work out constantly to an intense level and I watch what I eat. 



I have a couple of good friends who are a size six but you know what? The exercise and the food consume their thoughts. It is almost an obsession with them. They haven't read the latest good book or sat playing in the sandbox with their kids because they perceive that time as time they could be working out.

 

I don't choose to live my life that way. I am 25 pounds overweight currently. I do make some effort to move around daily but  that's all. My hubby has gained the same amount in our marriage and we love each other just the way we are. Spring, we work in the garden. In the summer, we hike. In the fall, we bike. Winter, we put on movies and eat more cheese.

post #31 of 117

It's easy to assume that how you look and your personal health are basically the same thing. If you look like someone in a fitness magazine you're "healthy" and if you don't, you aren't.

 

I think the truth is more complicated than that. There are ways of being thin that are not healthy (and I agree with Philomom that obsession with food & exercise is not healthy!). There are ways of being healthy that don't make you look like someone in a magazine. Pursuing good health and pursuing a slim physique are not the same thing. I feel it's important to celebrate healthy bodies that don't fit the very narrow "look" that is marketed as "healthy."

post #32 of 117

True, CI Mama.  Of course the fact is some women have a huge uphill with weight as the very first step of being healthy, some have a minor challenge with weight, and some do not have to worry about weight as a central issue for their health or appearance.  They still need to care about being healthier but it doesn't take the same kind of effort.

 

When you are noticeably overweight/obese it is the first thing you see of your own physical fitness and what you know others will also notice first.  It is the first aspect of your health you need to think about when trying to improve your health.  When you are "naturally" slender you may have the luxury of thinking nothing about pounds and being able to step past that concern and address your other health needs instead.  Partly this is just the result of luck.  So I may be aware that I feel flabby and weak if I let myself go, but due to my luck I never actually get fat even when my behaviors are not healthy.  My appearance could be better but I think I still look great--as any overweight person can tell you they would consider themselves fortunate if they could be a healthy weight and out of shape and start from there with getting healthy.  I sometimes see women carrying a lot of weight apparently making lots of effort and healthier choices than me but not making progress. 

 

Yes, it takes a lot more than weight loss to be healthy, but it stinks to have weight be at the forefront all the time.  We certainly don't all face the same thing with this, and "working at it" ends up demanding a whole lot more effort from some people than from others and still can get less satisfying results.  I don't know why.  

post #33 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post

I think people who are "naturally" thin use food the way it was intended ~ to provide energy.  Not to drown sadness, not to celebrate, not to fill bored spaces in life or for any other reason other than to nourish the body....



Yes, yes, and yes.

post #34 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post


 



I have a couple of good friends who are a size six but you know what? The exercise and the food consume their thoughts. It is almost an obsession with them. They haven't read the latest good book or sat playing in the sandbox with their kids because they perceive that time as time they could be working out.

 

I don't choose to live my life that way. I am 25 pounds overweight currently. I do make some effort to move around daily but  that's all. My hubby has gained the same amount in our marriage and we love each other just the way we are. Spring, we work in the garden. In the summer, we hike. In the fall, we bike. Winter, we put on movies and eat more cheese.


i love this thumb.gif

post #35 of 117

your symptoms and those of your family fit the description of fructose intolerance. it is a simlpe hydrogen breath test. it causes weight gain, depression, digestive issues, mimics or occurs alongside dairy and wheat intolerance, causes auotimmune issues, leads to cancer of the colon etc, and metabolism issues, thyroid issues.

post #36 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post

I think people who are "naturally" thin use food the way it was intended ~ to provide energy.  Not to drown sadness, not to celebrate, not to fill bored spaces in life or for any other reason other than to nourish the body.  


I agree 100%. 

 

When people ask me how I "stay so thin," I shrug and answer: "I eat something delicious when I'm hungry. I stop when I'm full. That's about it."

 

 

 

post #37 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post


 



I have a couple of good friends who are a size six but you know what? The exercise and the food consume their thoughts. It is almost an obsession with them. They haven't read the latest good book or sat playing in the sandbox with their kids because they perceive that time as time they could be working out.

 

I don't choose to live my life that way. I am 25 pounds overweight currently. I do make some effort to move around daily but  that's all. My hubby has gained the same amount in our marriage and we love each other just the way we are. Spring, we work in the garden. In the summer, we hike. In the fall, we bike. Winter, we put on movies and eat more cheese.


But I am a size 6 who watches what she eats, works out hard, recently starting reading all the Pulitzer prize winners (just finished The Good Earth), play with my kids...however my house isn't as clean as I'd like it to be. It comes down to where you want to spend your time. But I definitely feel better when I am a 6 vs a 12. If you are happy that is good, but I wasn't happy 25 lbs overweight so obsessing about food, exercise for me leads to happiness.
post #38 of 117

[quote]

I have a couple of good friends who are a size six but you know what? The exercise and the food consume their thoughts. It is almost an obsession with them. They haven't read the latest good book or sat playing in the sandbox with their kids because they perceive that time as time they could be working out.

 

I don't choose to live my life that way. I am 25 pounds overweight currently. I do make some effort to move around daily but  that's all. My hubby has gained the same amount in our marriage and we love each other just the way we are. Spring, we work in the garden. In the summer, we hike. In the fall, we bike. Winter, we put on movies and eat more cheese.  [ 

[/quote]

 

For the record - I'm not obsessed.  At all.  And I'm about a size 0-2.

 I do work out 6 days a week and about an hour a day.  In the winter, I slack off and gain weight.  In the summer (bathing suit season) I work hard.  I eat what I want, but I do make smart choices.   I don't waste calories eating crap like ketchup when I can enjoy a delicious brownie later.  I also enjoy spending time with my children and reading books...... smile.gif

 

Life is about maintaining a balance.  I have a great balance with food and exercise and my kids reap the benefits of having a fit, happy and healthy mom.

 

 

 

 

 

post #39 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post

your symptoms and those of your family fit the description of fructose intolerance. it is a simlpe hydrogen breath test. it causes weight gain, depression, digestive issues, mimics or occurs alongside dairy and wheat intolerance, causes auotimmune issues, leads to cancer of the colon etc, and metabolism issues, thyroid issues.


I haven't heard of this.  We have a wonderful naturopath who has helped us diagnose my son's weight gain and stomach/GI issues.  I will talk to her about fructose. Taking wheat, eggs and milk out of his diet (and mine more or less) has made an impressive improvement in his skin and belly.   Thanks for the information. 

post #40 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post




I agree 100%. 

 

When people ask me how I "stay so thin," I shrug and answer: "I eat something delicious when I'm hungry. I stop when I'm full. That's about it."

 

 

 

 

I love to hear people say this -- it helps me feel that it really can be done.  I know lots of lovely people who simply eat enough, feel good about what they eat and stay at a very comfortable weight.  Sounds absolutely wonderful to me.  

 

 

I think I have come to the conclusion that I have a bigger battle than most when it comes to weight loss.  My body, my genetics, my behavior makes it so that I just have to work harder.  

 

And I have also decided that it is a worthwhile battle.  For me as well as my son who struggles in the same way.  

 

I spent the weekend with some Swedish friends (all piled in a youth hostel) and I got a chance to live and eat with other moms and their kids.  They all talk about food -- they study menus, they think about portion sizes, they cook well and eat well, and they are all concerned about maintaining a proper weight.  They diet a LOT!  Much more than I ever have.  They work at it.  It is not easy.  At least not for many of us.  

 

What I really noticed is that other women eat a lot less than I do.  They ate good food -- lots of potatoes and meat here -- but small portions with a lot of veggies.   Really small portions.  I don't think I could eat that little, but I do think I can cut my portion sizes a bit and have a "no seconds" rule for myself.  

 

It is time for me to really own up to my tendency to overeat.  Not because I am bored or sad or lonely, but because I really love to eat!  I love good food.   Love it!  

 

But being this heavy does make me feel sad and uncomfortable and I am very sad to hear the boys call my son fat.  So, changes need to be made.  We will maintain our wheat/dairy/egg free diet and start substituting some of our carbs with more green veggies and lean meats.  We have been exercising more simply because it is part of the lifestyle here and we will keep up with that and add more as the snow thaws. The extra exercise has all ready had an affect on all of us.  Just need to keep at it.  

 

Anyway, than you for all the comments.  I really do appreciate them.  I know that I will not be the 40 year old mom in a teeny bikini picture that I see so often posted on Facebook, but I do know that I don't have to live my life feeling like the fattest women in the room.  

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