WEIGHT ISSUES AND MIND GAMES, PART 3:
Exposing the Secrets of Those Naturally Skinny Friends that we all LOVE TO HATE.
Do you have any of those friends that are just naturally skinny? You know–the ones you love to hate. WE all seem to have a few of them in our lives. The people who may have their own issues or struggles, but weight just never seems to be one of them. They eat anything they want, and they NEVER gain weight.
Can I challenge your assumptions about those friends?
If you could, I’d like to suggest that you follow one of those friends around for a full day, and take careful notes.
Because guess what?
MOST OF THE TIME (Not always, but almost always--) those so-called “Naturally Skinny People” are not any more naturally skinny than you or me.
Like I said–There are exceptions, but here’s what I am convinced of:
Those people we know who seem to eat ANYTHING THEY WANT and stay skinny without even trying–they really aren’t eating that much at all. In fact, often times, though they may not eat very healthy foods, often these friends are the ones who eat less than those of us who focus so much energy on eating healthy.
And that is actually the key–The part about “focusing our energy.”
Those of us who have had, or still live with food and body obsessions simply put more of our focused energy into all of it. What we eat. When we eat. How much we eat. What we didn’t eat. When we’ll eat again. Does this sound familiar?
And these skinny people–Somehow in their growing up and living life years, they simply didn’t develop those issues with food and weight (like I said, they might have other issues, just not this one.) But these naturally skinny people simply never developed a habit of obsessing over diet and exercise. It’s probably never been an issue, and so FOOD isn’t an issue, and an EXERCISE PLAN certainly isn’t an issue, and guess what–in their FREEDOM, they aren’t really thinking about food all of the time, and therefore, they end up eating LESS.
Someone tell me you get this.
Here’s two examples from my own observations:
Back in college, when I was still struggling with my own body image issues, I was a serious runner. I was competing in cross country and living on frozen yogurt and salads….Well, I remember being particularly bothered by a certain roommate. She was naturally skinny. Now granted, she was a Pepperdine volleyball player, and she was tall and thin and probably really did have the genetic makeup to remain skinny her whole life.
But it used to kill me to watch her live with SUCH FREEDOM. Almost every morning, she would get up and eat a bowl of sugared cereal.
AND that drove me crazy.
Because I started my day religiously with fresh fruit or fat-free sugar-free yogurt or some other unsatisfying but “low-cal” option. And by ten AM I was super hungry and already dreaming about what I might “get to” eat next and when and how much and the thought process alone was really consuming.
And every once in a while for breakfast I would indulge in a bowl of very healthy (fiber-filled grainy kind) of cereal. And when I did I would usually fill the biggest bowl I could find with that cereal and often fill it again after the first bowl was finished. I LOVED IT. It was a guilty pleasure to me.
And then one day it occurred to me that this “naturally skinny” friend really didn’t have a very big bowl of sugared cereal at all. And she filled a normal size bowl ONCE, and ate her cereal and then put the bowl in the sink, and went on with her day.
And I have a funny feeling that she didn’t think about food again until she sat down to eat a very normal lunch.
Do you see the difference?
That skinny friend didn’t work out very much except during volleyball season.
Volleyball was fun for her, so she trained when she needed to.
I, on the other hand, worked out six days a week. Religiously.
And I would have told you that “I HAVE TO do this or I will put on weight.”
One more example: One of my dear friends, Christie, entered our life as one of our kids’ baby sitters. She was a gorgeous, young, twenty-something, living the college life in Hawaii. I’ll never forget how I would glance in the back of her car when she arrived at our house, and almost without fail I would see TWO THINGS: Tiny little bikinis, and either Dunken Donuts bags, or fast food wrappers.
I hated her for that. (In the love-hate way, of course. ;))
Fast forward ten years to today, and Christie has experienced a major life change. She learned more about nutrition and in a very short time–like overnight–became VEGAN… Now she eats extremely clean, exercises regularly, and feels 100 X better than she did in her donut-dunking, fast food days. But her weight has remained very similar to what is was then. Her changes had nothing to do with body image issues because she had none. And now she enjoys her healthy lifestyle because she was never “IN LOVE” with food to begin with.
Do you have naturally skinny friends?
Have you ever closely observed what they eat in a typical day?
I’m going to make a bold guess that their skinniness has less to do with WHAT they eat, than it does how much they eat and how much they think about it.
They may chose some unhealthy things, and that might make it appear that they eat SO MUCH, but really–they don’t. They probably leave half of their food on the plate, because it just isn’t that big of a deal to them.
There was a time where I was so obsessed with when and what I ate that I would lie in bed and recall the calorie count of the day and determine how positive or negative of a day I just had by how well I did.
No longer. (Thank God!) For over ten years I have been free of that.
Now I eat freely. I chose healthy food MOST OF THE TIME, because I know it’s good for me and I want to live a really long time feeling as good as I can. But I don’t count calories. And I eat what sounds good, which quite honestly changes every single day.
I do not think about food very often at all, unless I am blogging about it, or cooking food for others–which is even very different than it once was. I’m not tempted to pick at the food I am cooking, because it isn’t “off limits.” No more “forbidden fruit” to make me want more and more.
I know that I have the FREEDOM to eat anything I want, so suddenly food loses it’s pull on me.
I don’t have the compulsion to overindulge just because I have already eaten more than I need or after I’ve eaten something unhealthy.
I also exercise MUCH less than I used to, but I still do what I can to be fit. I never stress out if I cannot get a workout in.
These days, I THINK OF MYSELF AS A THIN PERSON. Skinny? No, but I don’t want to be.
Healthy, fit, and happy? Yes. It’s just who I BELIEVE MYSELF to be, and so I live a lifestyle consistent with a person who IS HEALTHY, FIT, and HAPPY.
What I ask you is: IF YOU BEGIN TO THINK OF YOURSELF DIFFERENTLY, DO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT LIVE UP TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOURSELF TO BE?
One more note: The little bit of fat on my body–I do have a bit! :)–I have actually begun to associate with the fact that I live a full life which includes occasional indulgences, like a good steak and potatoes, or real ice cream. (I can no longer stand fat-free anything any more.)
Thanks for listening guys. I’ve been excited to share this one!
I think I have one (maybe TWO) posts left to share on this subject. That is, if you want me to. (Let me know–especially if there is a specific area you’d like me to address!)
Now–go spy on all of your naturally skinny friends, and PLEASE tell me if I’m right!!!