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DREESE0421 Posts: 21
7/9/13 12:35 P

I sympathize with you. I have always been overweight. I really cannot tell you how much I weighed at 11, but I can tell you I was not skinny or even close.
It is very easy to look at someone and want to be that way. But what you have to realize, what I had to realize, is that we have allowed ourselves to eat and act in unhealthy ways. Now I can blame my mother from the way she allowed me to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and not demand that I be active. I believe she did the very best she could but she did me no favors either. Now since I allowed myself to continue on that same cycle for so many years, I have to understand that it is going to take time before I see the results I desire.

This is not my first time trying to lose weight. I lost 80 pounds and kept it off for a couple of years. Then I got married and went back to my old ways. I even tried SparkPeople a couple of times, but sabotaged my efforts.

Now it is different. I can feel it. I have not lost that much weight the past three weeks but I feel healthier. I am determined to continue tracking my food and exercising no less than six days a week. But I am NOT going to overdue it so I hate exercising. I will commit to exercising 30 minutes a day. I understand I will have difficult days, but I am committed to not give up. God is my source of hope and He desire me to be healthy. So, I desire to be healthy. For me, it is about pleasing my heavenly Father. He has blessed me beyond measure.
So, whether I see evidence or not, I will stay strong and be obedient to Him. You can do it too. I will be glad to encourage you along the way because I have been where you are and still struggle. Even when I get to my goal weight of 150 pounds, I know that I will still struggle, but I am worth fighting over. So are you.
Good luck. You can do this!

Edited by: DREESE0421 at: 7/9/2013 (12:37)
FLUFFYBUNNY81 SparkPoints: (3,652)
Fitness Minutes: (511)
Posts: 77
7/9/13 12:23 P

For some reason I never realized what I needed to be doing to be fit and healthy. I spent my 20's envying others - I'm tired, and do not want to do the same in my 30's. Unhealthy food and being lazy isn't worth it. I still envy others, but I'm working at it and don't do it as much now - in fact, I feel less hopeless and more comfortable with myself and my success.

JENSTRESS Posts: 4,997
7/9/13 11:36 A

Hungry Jess,

First, I think that it is admirable to admit how you feel.

I do want to tell you that I have read many articles and finally saw a celebrity who has a wonderful body say what they do to maintain their weight. She joked that many were on drugs, diet pills and purged. Then she said that what it really takes is eating right and exercise daily. (For her)

I also want to tell you that you would have to walk a mile in people's shoes. Here is the thing. When I started this journey, I was buying my breakfast before work (donuts, not kidding) then I see a thin woman checking out. I was jealous and thought, "I wish it was me, it must be nice." Then I noticed what she was getting for her breakfast, and you can be SURE it wasn't donuts. I can also tell you that the interview where she says that she goes on walks and that is it, well, not only is it an INTERVIEW (so she may not (and likely isn't) being honest) but it has also been edited. Maybe her answer also talked about a specific training regimen with a celebrity trainer and they couldn't get the trainer to approve the comment. There are a lot of things that celebrities say because they are told to by agents, publicists, and people who have their hand in the till.

I also have a friend. She has gained weight over the last few years as well. She was pretty thin, but she worked out way more than she does now. And with time has gone some weight gain. She gets very jealous of her younger sister who seems to eat everything she wants (she eats a TON of not healthy normally fattening foods) and is beautifully thin. Then her sister came into town. After every meal that her sister ate, she would go to the bathroom. One time she came out and was tlaking to me and I realized, she purged. She might eat whatever she wants, but she doesn't digest it. I'm sure she is in terrible health inside. But my friend doesn't know this about her sister.

I'm not telling you your friends or these actresses all do this. They might not! I'm just telling you that sometimes the bodies that you wish you had aren't nearly as healthy!!!

I'm also telling you that it is likely that they are working hard and are used to working hard. My sister is tall and thin. She is taller than me, and I am tall. I struggled with my weight, she never really has. She is gorgeous! However, she regularly watches what she eats and comes in her healthy calorie ranges and works out. I didn't. I ate garbage and sat. Now that I eat healthier and workout, I am losing. Trust me, unless you walk a mile in the people's shoes, you have no idea how "naturally" thin they are.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (80,279)
Fitness Minutes: (85,382)
Posts: 2,489
7/9/13 8:38 A

Maintaining a low weight is easy to do if you just don't eat enough but being *healthy* is a lifestyle and requires even more work and commitment. You can be thin and eat garbage as long as you don't eat more than your body burns. Does that mean you're healthy? Probably not. You can also eat healthy most of the time and still enjoy a cheeseburger and fries once in awhile. Just don't eat it every day! (To be completely honest, I'd pass up a soggy cheeseburger any day of the week for the food I eat now. I eat like a king.) That's what's so great at looking at this like a lifestyle. Could you make it to your goal weight without having chocolate cake... sure, that's doable. Could you go a lifetime without chocolate cake? I couldn't! How you look at this will shape the decisions you make and the lessons you learn. It will shape how you feel about yourself. You may not be able to be in your healthy weight range today but you *can be HEALTHY today!*

Just keep making strides and setting new goals for yourself that will lead you to a healthier you. Look at your small achievements and small improvements and over time what seems like something so insignificant (such as walking an extra 10 minutes) may one day snowball into running on a treadmill in a year from now. The weight will come off subsequently.

Focusing on health over appearance will lead you to success. You could weigh 120 lbs and still be envious of super models who weigh 110 lbs soaking wet. Still be over critical of your problem areas and be just as hard on yourself as you are today. (Believe me, I've been there). You know, those really thin girls that get all tragic because their size 1 pants feel a bit snug today and they say they feel fat and you feel steam coming from your ears? It won't matter what you weigh or how thin you are because a number on a scale will not give you your self-confidence/esteem. What will... your achievements, your progress, your commitment, reflecting on how hard you work, how you treat yourself and your body and caring about yourself.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/9/2013 (08:55)
DASHKATH Posts: 861
7/9/13 5:21 A

My weight has fluctuated most of my life. When I am thin it is because I work at it. I have maintained my weight loss for 5 years now. I work at it and I work hard. Being "skinny" doesn't come from eating fast food and laying around watching TV. It comes from making healthy food choices and being active.

EJWOODWARD SparkPoints: (11,809)
Fitness Minutes: (1,949)
Posts: 18
7/6/13 3:47 P

There's a sparkteam called Never Been Skinny, or something like that. You should check it out. Surround yourself with people who understand you and want to help you succeed. That's what a support system is all about! :)

PDAN04 SparkPoints: (21,311)
Fitness Minutes: (15,886)
Posts: 502
7/5/13 9:50 P

I have abs but it would be nice to be able to see them... darn those guys that are born chiseled!

HUNGRYJESS SparkPoints: (294)
Fitness Minutes: (280)
Posts: 36
7/5/13 5:43 P

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the responses.

First off, I just want to say that I don't mean to be cold when I talk about so-called naturally thin women. It's just I grew up around a lot of skinny people and am still surrounded by people who are skinny yet eat burgers and mac & cheese. In fact, one of my friends just came over yesterday and had a burger and onion rings and she's so thin!

It's hard to come to terms with all of that because I've never been skinny. Like I said, I weighted 130lbs when I was 11. I'm also short and stout. Not teeny enough that I'm adorable and not tall enough that I'm this long-legged beautiful being. I have short arms and short legs.
And I just look at my friends and these other girls and I think "How do they look like that?"

I also broke my foot so it's hard for me to do any exercise except for short fifteen minute walks.

I just want to feel good about myself. I know it doesn't help to look at other people and actresses. For instance, yesterday, my friend (the one mentioned above) and I had a Vampire Diaries marathon. I know the girls in that show workout. I know Nina Dobrev runs and does yoga. But, that's something I'm unable to do right now. Plus, I hate running and it's difficult for me to get the hang of yoga. Nevertheless, I think she's beautiful. She's got these long limbs and she can wear things like short shorts and tank tops. Not that I would wear short shorts all the time, but it'd be nice to know I have the option.

It's just hard for me to get the hang of the fact that losing weight is a lifestyle change, not some competition to look as great as my friend or the celebrities. I'm more of an instant gratification kind of girl. And I don't know how to think otherwise.


KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (33,336)
Fitness Minutes: (16,011)
Posts: 1,100
7/5/13 10:50 A

Oh the green monster of jealousy and envy. I used to fight that, and at times, I still kind of do. I see girls who have smaller legs, stomachs, etc than I do and wish I could pull off xyz that they're wearing.

But I definitely agree with PPs saying that it is just as hard if not harder the smaller you get to maintain that size. A year and a half ago, I was undereating and overworking myself but then was too afraid to eat more for fear of putting weight back on. I was "skinny fat." I didn't have a lot of muscle, and was in no way doing anything the healthy way.

Now, I am older and wiser (haha) and have incorporated ST into my workouts. I've accepted the fact that I won't ever be a size 2, and that is WAY okay with me. Now when I see skinny girls (I work with a few too) I find myself wondering what they eat to maintain that physique. I'll take my muscular arms and legs (even if they add a few pounds!) over non-curvy stick-thin limbs any day.

Keep your chin up and do it for YOU. You're not there for them; you're doing it because it makes YOU feel better!

EJWOODWARD SparkPoints: (11,809)
Fitness Minutes: (1,949)
Posts: 18
7/4/13 4:51 P

Time to stop comparing apples to oranges.

One of the things I love about Spark is that there are so many different kinds of people here. I get a lot of inspiration from reading about and friending people whose journeys have been much like my own. I look for someone who started out at about the same weight, or has similar goals, or similar challenges to me. And I keep tabs on them and cheer them on. And yes, sometimes I do compare myself with them. But then I'm comparing myself to someone who's in the same boat as me. I'm not comparing myself to an orange.

Whatever the reason why a person seems like they've been skinny all their life isn't the point. Maybe they work hard for it, maybe they don't. It really doesn't matter. Their life is about them, and yours is about you.

So find yourself a realistic role model. Or several. People who share your goals, who support you. If looking at someone is discouraging you, stop looking at them.

Edited by: EJWOODWARD at: 7/4/2013 (16:53)
WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,048
7/4/13 12:32 P

Hi there!

When I was young, I was ridiculously thin. At the time, it was effortless. But not because I was genetically skinny or had any kind of advantage like that. The reality is I was just plain active. I lived on a farm and lifted and carried bales of hay around since feeding the horses was one of my chores. So was working in the greenhouse and garden. My parents didn't give us a lot of opportunities to sit on the couch and watch TV. When I wasn't working, I often just went for really long walks with the dog - think 4 or 5 miles a day after school - mainly so Mom couldn't put me to work doing something else. I also played the odd sport and kept active that way as well.

When I moved away to go to school, I started gaining weight without all of the work I was doing. Plus, I'd never watched what I ate because I didn't have to. Not because I just was born with a higher metabolism. No, I was born with parents who made me work and didn't buy junk food.

It's somewhat convenient to blame genetics or a slow metabolism, but for the most part, that is within your control. People at school probably looked at me and thought that I didn't work at being skinny. And they're right. I never once did ANYTHING for the purpose of being skinny. I did it because I had to in most cases. I was lifting bales of hay that weighed more than I did while other girls were in the weight room at school flirting with boys but not actually DOING anything. Don't ever think that being that size didn't require work.

It's easy to look at skinny people and think that it's really easy for them, but you really don't know. It's possible that they undereat to maintain that size. They may eat the way we should, even if they'd rather eat the way we DO. They've made sacrifices to be at that size. I can guarantee they did not do it eating a giant bag of Doritos 3-4 nights a week like I used to. The don't do it by eating fast food regularly.

So, it's easy to think that they have it easy, but don't ever think they aren't working at it.

For me, when I look at other people, I've forced myself to stop being jealous and start focusing on them. Is that how I'd like to look? Maybe I'd like a better defined calf, or maybe I'll have that whether I want it or not because of what I do for training. I've often wanted to ask someone what they do for workouts because you can tell they spend time in the gym, but I figure that's rude :)

I know you're struggling. I'm the one at the gym who is totally red in the face and sweating all over anything within 3 feet of me. Sometimes I'm pretty sure the looks people give me are more of concern that I'm about to have a heart attack. When I lose the weight, some day, someone is going to walk into the gym and see me leaving a yoga class with dry clothes. They'll see me finish an easy run and think that I don't have to work at it.

I will know how hard I worked at it though. And that's all that matters. everything I achieve is my own personal victory and I wouldn't feel as good and as proud as I do if it were easy. It came easy for me at one point in my life and I neither appreciated it nor had any pride in what I did. I like it better this way.

BRITOMART Posts: 7,705
7/4/13 11:51 A

Why people are thinner or heavier is very complicated. It can have to do with their
--relationship with food
--lifestyle choices
--relationship to exercise
--genetic heritage/metabolism, just to name four.

Some of us use food simply as fuel, eat only what the body needs, and don't feel deprived. Others of us use food as a crutch, or as a 'friend,' and eat what they want for reasons other than nutrition. That often results in a lifestyle of over-eating and over-weight. Or the choices of what foods to eat aren't as good as they could be...the list goes on.

Some people who are slender, in good shape, and healthy have enormous psychological problems related to body image and self-respect. Others don't. But to say that thin people aren't 'real' isn't quite fair. We each have our own issues, our own sorrows, and no one else can know quite what it feels to walk a mile in our skins.

Edited by: BRITOMART at: 7/4/2013 (11:54)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (80,279)
Fitness Minutes: (85,382)
Posts: 2,489
7/4/13 9:42 A

It doesn't *quite* work that way. You see, your RMR (resting metabolic rate) is not a static number. Many factors affect it, weight being number one. If anything, these girls have to work even harder to get the same calorie burn as overweight/obese individuals. The less you weigh, the less calories you burn so if anything these girls would have a low RMR. Meaning they can't eat as much as someone who weighs more to maintain their weight and have to workout more and eat less to maintain.

Another important factor that effects metabolism is lean muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat at rest. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your RMR. That's why strength training is so important.

Eating too little can affect RMR. When you're on a prolonged calorie deficit from your maintenance needs, your metabolism slows as your body tries to compensate and burn less fuel for what it believes is a time of famine. So perpetual dieting can cause a slow metabolism. You can minimize the affects of this by losing weight slowly (not creating too large of a calorie deficit) and eating at maintenance here and there (or calorie cycling seems to help).

Diet is the most important factor. You can spend hours in the gym but if you eat more than the calories required to maintain your weight, you will gain weight. If you eat a lot of highly processed/refined foods you are more likely to consume more calories than you need because these foods do not keep you full compared to whole foods high in fiber, adequate protein and healthy fats.

There really is no thing as "naturally skinny/thin" except maybe with active ectomorphs (tall people) because they require more calories to maintain their weight and may have difficulty eating enough to maintain a healthy weight. It comes down to whether or not you consistently eat more calories than your daily calorie needs, eat just enough to maintain your current weight or eat less than your calorie needs.

How many calories you need depends on your age, gender, height, weight, activity level, lean muscle mass and the amount of calories you burn through exercise. Eat consistently under this amount, you lose weight. Eat consistently above it, you gain weight.

A person with a faster than normal metabolism when compared to another person of the same age, gender, height and weight would be due to carrying more lean muscle (lower body fat percentage) which can be achieved through strength training and whether or not they eat enough (they are not consistently on a calorie deficit or dieting). That person would have a higher RMR (faster metabolism) than a similar individual who lacks lean muscle or is perpetually dieting.

So yes, no such thing as naturally thin. There are people who don't consistently eat at a calorie surplus to gain weight. Or keep their weight in check when they do start gaining even a little by exercising more/dieting before it gets out of control. But maintaining weight can be just as difficult as losing weight. It still requires proper diet, staying active and exercise. Even more exercise because like I said, you burn less calories when you're thin and you burn less calories the more fit you are. You have to work even harder to maintain a decent calorie burn. They have to run themselves in a sweaty pulp to get the same calorie burn you do, walking.

BENTOGYRL Posts: 151
7/4/13 8:18 A

Hello HungryJess,

First of all, I am so sorry that you are feeling alone, it totally sucks, and I'm glad that you came to spark where there are so many people who can help you.

I read your entry, and I get where you are coming from, but I want to give you the opposite side of the spectrum.

A lot of people consider me 'skinny' or at least 'healthy'. I'm 5'6" and have never been 'obese', the worst I ever got was 'overweight' and that was a 'mere' 170 lbs.

But on my BMI, and in my clothes, and in my pictures, and in my energy levels, and in my health problems, and in how I felt about myself? It was not good. It was not pretty. It was awful. I hated my body. I have a genetic condition where I pass out a lot and when I wasn't exercising? It would happen at least 2 times a week and that was doing GOOD! I couldn't walk for longer than 20 minutes, running a block was impossible, and doing a pushup? Heaven help me. I thought no one would ever love me, that I was ugly, and that ultimately I was worthless. Those are not fun feelings to have. :)

It was super hard for me to lose those thirty lbs, yeah, it was only 30 lbs, not like 100, or 200, or even 300 that some people face, but it was HARD. It took me two years of work and even now I have to push every day, every week to not creep back up. I have to make sure to exercise everyday, I have to make sure to track everyday, and I have to keep pushing myself to get better, and to be stronger.

I understand that lots of weight seems utterly insurmountable, but weight loss is hard for everyone, it doesn't matter if it is 300 lbs, 30 lbs or 3 lbs. It's hard.

As for walking 30 minutes a day not being enough to lose weight? is. As long as you are eating properly, it's sufficient to lose weight, and sufficient to maintain long as you are eating properly. :)

Don't get discouraged, and don't compare yourself to anyone else, be they small or big.

When you go to the gym, really observe those girls, not just how they look. Watch them. How long do they work out? Are they doing the movements properly? One thing I've noticed is that the girls who look awesome and wear makeup are generally only there for 10 minutes or so. They may be doing a hard machine, but they usually aren't sticking it out long enough to really make themselves healthy. Whereas you, the go to sweat and workout no matter how hard it is person, stick it out for 30 minutes to an hour or more. You are burning more calories than them, you are probably healthier than they are and regardless, you are working on yourself to make yourself better, and that is all that matters.

As for celebrities, they're so airbrushed, and taped and plastic surgeried and botaxed that they are completely fake. I mean have you ever seen them in a tabloid shot that was candid? They don't look nearly as good then. :)

HUNGRYJESS SparkPoints: (294)
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Posts: 36
7/4/13 12:14 A


I have an issue comparing myself to others. I've never had a good metabolism. I was 130lbs at 11 years old. And I'm 5 ' 4. The other girls had flat stomachs and I never did. Of course they all played soccer or softball or gymnastics. But I think there was something else, I think they had fast metabolisms, like many girls do around that age. So it's like I want to compare myself to someone who didn't have to try very hard to get the body they are in. It's like I'm amazed at how skinny certain girls are, certain actresses are, and it's unrealistic because most of them weren't that heavy to begin with.

For example, I go to college in LA and the girls at my gym are gorgeous. Some even wear makeup before they go to the gym. They look amazing! And I know obviously they work out. I see them on the really tough machines like the stepper or running on the treadmill while I'm walking on the treadmill, at a very slow pace I might add. But, I don't think these girls have much to worry about weight wise. Because they aren't working out to lose weight. I'm pretty sure by the looks of how perfect they look that they are just working out to maintain their figures. But, I don't think they ever had to worry that much about losing weight when let's say they first started working out. I think they were already skinny, and decided to work out to maintain the bodies they had and because everyone in LA works.

Or take Hilarie Burton. She's an actress. She was on One Tree Hill. She is so skinny. It looks like she's naturally skinny. But then she showed her arms a couple times in interviews, one talking about how yard work bulked her up, and another when she was asked who has the better arms- HIlary Swank or her, and her arms look good. Like she has worked them out.

Also, she's talked about using workout DVDs in her home.

Nevertheless, I believe she's always been naturally skinny. If you look at pictures of her over the years she looks like that. She had a baby about two years ago and she's skinnier than ever now. She looks the same if not thinner than before she was pregnant. And because her pregnant was secret, I never saw what she looked like as pregnant but I'm sure she wasn't that big.

She was asked in a SELF magazine interview what she did to lose the weight and she said just walking thirty minutes a day. Walking 30 minutes a day to get THAT BODY? I don't think so. That kind of exercise is what you start out with. Not to maintain your skinny figure.

The thing is, I don't think she had much weight to lose after her pregnancy. Again, I just think she's naturally thin.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel kind of alone. I know it's unrealistic to compare myself to these women, not just because it's unhealthy but because it's just plain impractical. My metabolisms are different from theirs. And I think that's part of the reason I get sad about this stuff.

I see these girls and these actresses and think they have no idea how to be 220lbs over weight and start from square one. I can't relate to them at all.

I feel really lonely because of that. What am I doing??? I feel like I'm never going to lose weight. I don't have the metabolism or the body type. I feel like if I work out and eat right I'll never look like those girls. I just want proof that I can lose the weight even though I have a really slow metabolism and a really short and stout body type and short legs. I want proof that I can look good and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

These girls. They aren't real. And that's why I feel alone.

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