As I posted on Monday, I was motivated to lose a few pounds this week that I had gained in Australia and during my Birthday week.  After a week of mindful eating, I said to roomie last night, “I ate so well today.”

He looked at me and asked, “Who keeps track of that?”

“I do! My readers do.  Writing down what you eat is like the top tip for losing weight.  You are one of those annoyingly naturally skinny people who has no idea what it’s like to want to lose weight or have to work at maintaining your weight.  You don’t think about it because you don’t need or care to,” I snapped back.

“Well then, don’t think about.”

“Seriously?” I realized he just did not understand and stopped at that.

This was not an eye opening experience for me but rather a frustrating one.  I admit it’s hard work to maintain my weight.  Most of you know, I love cocktails and cupcakes.  If I ate how I wanted 24-7, I would be much heavier.  My weight fluctuates 5-10 lbs on a regular basis.  Roomie on the other hand, wants to gain weight and has never had to watch his diet a day in his life.  We all wish we were like this, right?

Who doesn’t want to be naturally healthy, skinny, fit or lean?  

I never thought twice about what I ate until 7th grade health class.  I didn’t really restrict myself but was mindful of what I was eating and stopped getting the Dunkin’ Donuts maple glazed coffee roll for breakfast every Sunday on the way to church.  I don’t think I kept track of eating well at this point.

Then one warm April afternoon Sophomore year, a best friend of mine said to me while tanning in our sports bra’s on my deck, “Kate’s sister said I was skinnier than you.”  

Just a pic from Senior Year

From that day on, I was officially no longer naturally thin.  I began to keep track of how well I ate.  Pizza and chicken fingers were no longer apart of my world without the stigma of not eating well.  I still ate them, but they caused me to feel guilty.  And truth be told looking back, I might have weighed more but I had much less fat and more muscle.  I actually have a picture from that day still and I’m baffled to think I cared so much.  Above is a picture from Senior year.  Just like in Glee we wore our uniforms to school… but only on game day.

So who cares, right?  I had a friend that had her own eating issues.  My point is that maybe while we are tackling this obesity epidemic, we are also creating a body image self-hatred norm.    

Education creates awareness but does it change a persons behavior?  Caitlin at Operation Beautiful has a good thing going on building girls’ self-esteem.  It’s a small step in a positive direction but still there are a growing number of children who are obese.  Where is the line where we educate children how to make healthy decisions but do not cross a line that changes their naturally skinny mentality?  

I wish I was still naturally thin, and although the hopes of ever finding it again may be lost, I’d like to think that one day, when I have a daughter I’ll be able to preserve hers.

Do you think you are naturally healthy?  Can you remember an exact time when your perspective on food changed like mine?  Let me know in the comments below.

Also, thank you to Garlic Gold for sending me a few samples.  I am officially obsessed with the parmesan/garlic on my steamed veggies.  Yes, steamed veggies were a staple this week in my efforts to get back down to my happy weight.

When Do We Lose Our Naturally Skinny Mentality?

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  • Julia

    I was kinda chubby as a kid. My family, friends, school teacher used to tell me I was chunky a lot. I lived in Eastern Europe where people are very blunt. I didn’t really care about the teasing and I used to say that I like being fat and that when I grew up I would find a chubby boy who would like me chunky. Things involving food and diet were so simple for me back then.
    I remember the exact moment when this mentality changed for me. I was around 7 or 8 years old. I was in my building’s elevator with my mom and she took out a tic tac to eat. As she did this she told me it only had one and a half calories. I asked what calories were and it was downhill from there. Over the years I grew out of my baby fat, I am not chubby or underweight and I do a lot of exercise mostly because I love the runner’s high. I’ve been a vegetarian (now vegan) for 11 years because I love animals and I can’t bring myself to cause them suffering… I would feel like I am eating my own puppy or something. That being said, I can’t for the life of me get rid of this obsessive counting of calories. Every day, I know exactly how many calories I have consumed and I make sure to keep it within a certain range. If I go over, I cut out more the next day, or workout extra hard. I know this sounds a lot like what many young women do today, and many people wouldn’t think this is a problem, but I feel a little trapped. I hate the idea of having to do something because I have no control over it. Counting my daily calories consumed is the only way I know to maintain my body weight. I almost feel like if I don’t count, then that chubby little 7 year old girl will return. Maybe one day I’ll get a life and stop obsessing but I am definitely not ready to let go of my calorie counting safety blanket. 🙁

  • Hanna

    When I was little I was really skinny. I could eat whatever I wanted, I liked to be outside but I didn’t any kind of particular sport. We always had fresh homemade food at home and we where really healthy as a family. When I was 14 and puberty started I eat the same amount of food as usual but I gained weight. Not much but I gained it. And at the age of 16 I really had to watch what I ate. However it wasn’t so bad. But then I had to leave home to go to university when I was 18. I started to cook for myself and also if I love cooking I just had so little time that I ate much junk food. Now I am 22 and still have no controll about what I am eating. Luckily I am doing really much sport and it keeps me at a healthy weight but still I have my goal weight. I just want to weigh under 60 kg! I have my lovehandles, and my Jeans are too tight and they ripp all the time. I just can’t stop eating and I am just sick of it. I looove eating! The taste of food, the feeling of eating but there is always the guilt and the self-hatred afterwards. I am just always sad when I go to bed because I know I screwed it up again….
    I just feel lost and often I walk by the mirror and say to myself: you did it again! I just hate you today!!
    I miss the days when I ate when I was hungry and simply stopped when I was full….

  • Anida

    I like ti think that I grew up before the “obesity epidemic” or at least before people began talking about it. My parents always told us as we were growing up that children dont need to lose weight or watch their diet. I remeber my mother would worry about it but thank G-d I remained a happy and healthy child. Me and my sisters would run around alot and play different games since we did not have a Tv in our house. We would always be outside and would never think about food. It was’t until I was 14, in the summer before starting highschool that I noticed a change. I would stay up all night doing random different things such as reading and snacking and would sleep all day. I think the combination of lack of sleep and unrestrained eating was the cause of my 20 lbs gain in the summer before freshman year of highschool. During that year i worked hard to lose it but the bad habits were hard to break and I kept on losing them and gaining them back over the next few years. Think back over the process, I think that there are several components to weight loss. Besides for eating healthy foods in the right amounts, and getting enough sleep at night, a person needs to be passionate and enthusiastic about other things in their lives, whether it is a career, an artform, hobbies, one’s own family, community service or some other form of dream, focusing and channeling energy will take a person’s mind off of food and provide a higher source of accomplishment and pleasure. This method always worked for me and the the times which I was solely focused on losing weight and being healthy that weight loss became slower and harder. Being busy with something that is enjoyable and fufilling helps a great deal and I think brings a certain control to living since food no longer becomes the center and focus of your life. Best of luck!

  • Arielle

    I was 160 pounds my junior year of high school ….I never thought twice about how big i actually was until my senior year. I would eat whenever, and whatever I wanted. Being a 3 sport athlete i thought i could indulge all the time, but that quickly changed. I put myself on a treadmill and lost 20 lbs in 2 was great and to hear everyone compliment me was even better. the only problem that comes with weigt loss is the satisfactory. I am always self concious I have the same 5-10 lb problem too ( and i workout like crazy), now im just trying to find a happy medium and love myself and be the healthiest i can be. I would have appreciated a healthier education growing up, but hey what can you do!

  • Leila

    I was always really skinny as a young child. When i entered kindergarten, my parents and grandmothers saw how little i was compared to the other children (I played outside a lot, and didnt think eating was as much fun as tag!) , so they started persuading me to eat more. I remember my mother making me “icecream” which was really pediasure, or the equivalent- for me to gain weight. We started going through the drive through pretty often, and i put on a couple pounds. All while i thought i just got the good end of the deal, i was actually being instilled with terrible eating habits! I didnt think twice about anything until i moved to a ritz-y neighborhood at the age of 12. There everyone was so SELF- conscious. I remember this kid brought in chips to give to the class for his birthday, and as he passed them out, i turned them down because i had just eaten lunch. As he passed my desk he muttered “It looks like you’ve had enough anyways!” -- I was shocked and burst into tears, running to the bathroom. Over the years i had recovered my self esteem, but it was quickly shut down again when my aunt this past Easter saw me getting a piece of pie and said “Calories! Calories! Calories! I can just *see* the fat building on you now!” (if this wasnt bad enough, she had a video camera and was panning slowly from my toes to my chest, zooming in on the plate i held.) I was crushed, that my own AUNT would say that to me. Thats when i lost my skinny girl mentality (although i knew i wasnt the skinniest, it hurts the most when other people verify that.) -- its really none of anyone elses business, anyways!

  • Trisha

    I think that people in our country have a troubling relationship with food. We over indulge and then feel guilty about it. For me I have been working out and trying to lose weight for like 3 years. I’ll do really well for a while and then have a soda or eat some cookies and give up for a bit.. then hate myself and diet again. The diet aspect of our lives makes us give something up and feel like we are doing something terrible. In order make a lifestyle change we would need to learn to love the food that is beneficial and nutritious for our body. In our society not only do we struggle with the skinny girl mentality but how to get skinny. Crash diets, over exercising, being obsessed with fitness and healthy living etc.. therefore we have a struggle between how we as humans should eat to live well or how much we should exercise for a healthy body. Ugh it is such a struggle. I hate it! Thanks for your blog:)

  • Nia

    I think for me it was actually the reverse… I never really had a skinny girl mentality to begin with. My mother remarried when I was pretty young and my stepfather didn’t ever really make an effort to restrain himself from making comments about my weight. I remember my mother would go out to run errands and he would force me to go to the nearby park that had an Olympic sized track and pool and make me do a bunch of exercises that were completely out of my range. I wasn’t severely overweight but I’ve always carried baby weight with me, I was active at school, I did synchronized swimming for about 6 years, and tae-kwon-do for the same amount, and then one day in 7th grade we were getting changed in the locker room for phys ed and one girl goes “Jesus, so it’s true what they say.. you really are fat”.. and from then on it was downhill. I weight 130lbs then and ended up at a whopping 170lbs for my height (I was 4’11”) by the time 8th grade was over due to emotional eating a general lack of motivation to go out of my comfort zone. So needless to say, much of my skinny girl mentality was out the window for the most of my childhood, it wasn’t however until last summer when I dropped back down to 120lbs with a lot of diet and exercise that I really noticed a difference in my and other peoples behavior.. People were nicer to me. They were more willing to open doors and offer help when I went shopping.. it was sooooo weird.. Like people would be nice in a general kindness that I’d have heard of but never experienced and I would look at them like “:o! for me?!!?” As far as myself, I feel more comfortable in my own skin, I go to the beach all the time now, I’m more social… I feel like I’m making up for all the years in my shell but part of me sometimes is still like was I not good enough when I carried that weight with me? Was I not deserving of respect and good customer service?

  • kamila l.

    Hello everyone
    i know all about yo-yo effect of dieting and trying to control it. i was naturally thin until my friend said lets try a diet. i said ok , as i thought i could alaways go back to my normal eating. i was so,so wrong, i was wrong 4 years and about 20 lbs over my pre diet weight.
    i was.
    until in a desperation was looking AGAIN for a cure. my lost secret to naturally thin.
    i was 6 months pregnagnt and i found it. it was a book with the title that warmed my heart!!!!!
    Jean Antonello ” Breaking Out of Food Jail -- How to Free Yourself from Diets and Problem Eating, Once and for All “, i read it and it was like i remembered myself from those naturally thin years. am practicing this advice for the last 8 years. lost the weight and keep naturally thin. no hunger- unsless am to lazy to prepare food!!!

  • Jen

    I was always the ‘skinniest’ in my group of friends. Whenever we would buy clothes everyone would comment on how amazing i looked in clothes they wouldnt dream of trying on. Then the summer of 8th grade year i didnt make the varsity volleyball team so i decided to quit all sports and became super lazy. I started to gain alot of weight because my metabolism was no longer where it used to be. I tried counting calories and all types of fad diets but none worked. I felt horrible about myself and stopped hanging out with my old friends because i was always depressed and they were all varsity players in either cheerleading, basketball or some other sport. I am now a junior and still struggling to lose the few extra pounds.

  • stephanie

    I never had a second thought about my weight until one day in year 7(english first year of secondary school) and i went to see the school nurse for a routine height and weight check which i had never had before and the nurse said to me ‘your a little on the heavy side’. since that day I have always been aware of my weight and constantly strive to improve it.

  • relaxed boredom

    I feel sorry for your naturally skinny friend. That’s a bitch way to act. I am a skinny person who is tired of people like you who try to make me feel guilty for being how God made me: naturally skinny.

    I am sorry for any thin little girls in your family. i can totally imagine you being one of those banking on her about how much you wish you were like her or even worse how much more gravy she needs on those mashed potatoes so she can fatten up and be a real woman.

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