Born on Third, Think They Hit a Triple

Clearly I’m not above using adorable pictures of a baby to get people to look at my blog…

I was talking to a friend of mine who had asked permission to ask me a question that would “probably piss me off”.  This is always a good time.  I actually don’t mind at all, I’d rather people ask me their fat people questions than just wonder.

Sure, what’s on your mind…

“I eat ok but I have dessert and french fries.  And I exercise sometimes but not a lot. I’ve never dieted but I stay within the recommended BMI, so it seems like most fat people would just have to eat a little better and exercise a little more and they would be thin.”

There are about a hundred things wrong with this and I’ll break it down in a second but I think that it’s indicative of the way that some naturally thin people feel about fat people.

There’s a saying “Born on third, thinks he hit a triple”.  It refers to someone who has made the mistake of thinking that their behaviors are completely  responsible for where they are in life, especially if it’s obvious that person had distinct advantages.  I think that this is what happens with a lot of naturally thin people.  Often they don’t mean it intentionally – they don’t even realize that they are doing it, but they make the assumption that what keeps them thin would keep everyone thin.  And that brings us to our quote breakdown:

“I eat ok but I have dessert and french fries sometimes.  And I exercise sometimes but not a lot. I’ve never dieted and I stay within the recommended BMI, so it seems like most fat people would just have to eat a little better and exercise a little more and they would be thin.”

First, she is assuming that all bodies react to foods the same, and that anyone bigger than she is must be eating more and exercising less than she does.  It’s just not true.  Two people can have the same diet and very different body sizes.  Two other people can have vastly different diets and the same body size.

Second, even if it was true that all people bigger than her are eating more and exercising less, it assumes that eating less and exercising more will result in long-term weight loss.  Based on all the available science, intentional weight loss based on caloric restriction and increased activity has an abysmal long-term success rate.

This kind of attitude also assumes that fat people haven’t tried these things already. That always kills me – people who suggest that I add exercise as if there’s no way I could have heard of it before.  Most of the fat people I know have spent a huge portion of their lives dieting.  Which brings me to my final point:  I think that the key sentence here is “I’ve never dieted”.  We know that food deprivation (aka dieting) changes people psychologically and physically. And it appears that the earlier it starts, the more it affects us. Since this woman’s parents didn’t put her on diets at 8, she probably had a better chance at being whatever size her body is meant to be naturally – in her case thin.

If being thin comes easily to you you might want to consider that you were born on third, not that the rest of us haven’t swung that bat.  Regardless, it doesn’t matter what behaviors someone credits with their body size – that doesn’t obligate anyone else to do the same thing.  Personal responsibility doesn’t mean that I’m personally responsible to do what someone else thinks I should do or to look like someone else thinks I should look.

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Published in: on September 4, 2011 at 3:46 am  Comments (41)  

41 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like a little fundamental attribution error at work. (I love, love, love social psychology. 🙂 )

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error)

    Maybe with a little sprinkling of self-serving bias too?

    THANK YOU for all you do.🙂

    • Good one!

    • Oooh, I love this! Thank you🙂

      ~Ragen

  2. I was quite thin throughout childhood and my twenties but I didn’t think it was because of anything I was doing, just the way the dice rolled. I got to see first hand how true that was in my thirties when I started to gain weight without any change to my eating habits or exercise routine. my weight went from 120 to 165 which at 5’3″ put my BMI firmly in the obese catagory. I am happy to say that I took it in stride and spent some time learning to love my new fatter body.

    I love your blog, it resonates with me so much and I point friends and family to it all the time. Thank you.

    Emmie

  3. I think there was a short period of time where I thought all bodies reacted to food the same way mine did, until I realize how much I ate more than my friends who were bigger. Well, maybe I didn’t always eat more in quantity, but I definitely have always ate foods higher in fat than a lot of my friends growing up.

    But there was another period of time where I felt that some fat people, the ones who were trying to lose weight, would claim that they eat very little every day and gained so much weight just by eating salads, soups, and sandwiches. I thought, “It’s not genetically possible to eat next to nothing every day for a month and gain 50 lbs at the end of that month, especially if you are working out properly and burning calories.” I really don’t know the details of their diet and lifestyle but I just wasn’t sure of how far I could trust what they were saying, kind of like maybe they were in denial. I mean, I eat a lot and it’s hard for me to gain weight, but I felt like the equivalent of their claims would be the same as me saying, “I had 5000 calories today and I lost weight” That’s just not going to happen, unless you have a serious terminal illness attacking your body at the moment.

    Nowadays, I realize that’s really none of my business what others weight or how much they are gaining or losing weight.

    • I think you’ve hit on the reasoning of a lot of naturally thin people. From their experience they believe they know how people get/stay fat(helped along by tv shows/movies like half-ton mom or shallow Hal, which give such a ‘realistic’ image of how all fat people live), and their confirmation bias drives them to distort or ignore contradictory evidence. Hence, fatties must be in denial/lying. “Because if you’d just eat sensibly and exercise a few times a week like I do, you’d be thin like me! ” Uh huh. Right.

  4. I am so grateful to have stumbled across your blog, and I am passing it on to as many people as I can. I really appreciate the way that you have with words. You say stuff I know and feel but I could not say it as eloquently as you do.

  5. Human variation is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? We accept it exists for intelligence, talent, singing voice, athletic ability, you name it… but not for fat.

    • Exactly, even feet sizes. People are allowed to have feet that are long and narrow, short and wide, long and wide, short and narrow, but our bodies all have to fit a very narrow range?

      • Well, I have to go to a special store to buy shoes for my weird feet, but nobody tells me if I change my habits that I could have “normal” feet, and that if I don’t my weird feet will kill me someday.

  6. Bless you.

  7. I was the fat girl put on a diet when I was 8. 33 years later after 19,873 diets, bulemia, diet pills and wls, I’m still fat(or truthfully fat again, I was thin for about 6 years after surgery)
    I can’t do what you do. My activism while fueled by a desire to educate, I am getting to the point that I want to start poking people’s eyes out when they make assumptions about people’s body size. Whether someone has ever tried to lose weight or not is immaterial on whether everyone deserves respect(unless they are mean, stupid shaming people, those types don’t in my book). But the assumptions do hurt greatly those who have a lot of trouble recovering from body dysmorphic thinking, eating disorders and other issues, who think people by looking at them have no idea what they’ve done to get thin.For those like me who have tried everything to lose weight but still end up fat and I’ve made my peace with that. I am not saying truthfully I love it but I will not harm my psyche or body trying to get a weight my body is saying it doesn’t want to get to at this point because I’ve cause so much damage physically and to my metabolism with my history.
    From a size acceptance and fat acceptance activist point, I can say either gently or scream til I’m blue in the face “That you cannot tell by looking at someone either what health they are in by the shape of their body (compliments of Kelly Bliss) or my corrupted version which is “You have no idea by looking at someone what they’ve done to their health that’s destructive because we live in such a fat phobic society to get thin and stay there and still end up fat, so stop your assumptions and judging”. People look at me like I am saying that the next president of the United States is going to be the Geico getko….
    I know being angry or hurt doesn’t solve anything, but you in your what seems to be infinite wisdom do you suggest? It seems while there are so many people who are trying get size acceptance, well accepted, is it really working? I still cannot believe how fat phobic society still is and sometimes it just seems like it’s getting worse not better. How do you maintain your positivity then. I don’t want to be an angry activist but I am activist that is becoming demoralized that these types of assumptions and the prejudices seem to be growing not diminishing. I can fight a fight with no end in sight, if it’s a battle to me worth fighting for I just don’t know why respect for acceptance body diversity has to be this much of a struggle.

    • Hi Lisa,

      First, thanks for telling your story, I think that’s really important. I feel your pain and your anger and trust me when I tell you that I have plenty of rejected blog posts where I just rant for a while before I say something constructive! I’ve found that when I get angry and emotional, then I’m just an angry emotional fatty and I’m not taken seriously. I don’t know where the end of this fight is. For me, I think that the first step is to get fat people to believe that they deserve respect – I think that the most difficult thing about doing this work is the number of fat people who believe that they deserve to be treated badly. So I write and interact with the population far more than I worry about changing anybody’s mind. As a bisexual woman I’m inspired by the GLBT journey for rights. We’re in the middle of it, it’s taken a long time, and people died for the rights that I have today as a queer woman in America. It’s not just that it’s worth it, it’s about – what other choice would I make. I choose the good fight – not because I’m sure I can win, but because it’s the good fight so I can be proud even if some days it feels like I’m losing. (Do you know the song “I know where I’ve Been” from Hairspray? That always helps me) Sorry to be so wordy, maybe I’ll turn this into a blog post…

      ~Ragen

      • You are apologizing to ME for being wordy? Heh… Not necessary, Ragen, apparently I’m contagious today.🙂 One of these days I will respond not only concisely but without 5 trillion errors, my writing is atrocious! Thank you for your thoughtful response🙂

  8. YES! – “Personal responsibility doesn’t mean that I’m personally responsible to do what someone else thinks I should do or to look like someone else thinks I should look.”

    I think it was great of this person to tell you what they were thinking. Her thoughts really boil down to the essential problem of modern body culture which is that food/activity is for IMAGE and not HEALTH.

  9. I first went on a diet at age 5. My parents made me go on a diet. I’ve ranted about that in the comments before, so I don’t need to elaborate on how f’ed up it made me. Nearly 20 years later, I still struggle. Daily.

    I’ve been slipping back into the hating my body cycle lately and I’m struggling so hard to keep myself from falling in completely. I’m glad I read this today. After I finish typing this, I’m off to visit my grandmother, who was born on third. She put her daughters through hell growing up, and as the only fat grandchild, I too went through hell too (as if I needed it from my grandmother as I was already getting it from my parents and doctors). Even throughout her younger daughter’s battle with breast cancer, my grandmother warned her that she needed to lose weight or she’d suffer from “the diabeetus”. So much for that warm and fuzzy grandma from the movies that makes you cookies and loves you unconditionally.

    I’ve gained about 5 pounds in the past month, mostly because I think I have undiagnosed PCOS and I just went off the pill for a short period because I didn’t have a prescription and I’ve ditched my doctor. I’m worried that my grandmother will say something, but I’m glad I read this post today, and I’ll be thinking of it while visiting my family. I’m healthier and happier now than I have ever been, and I plan on stating that simple fact if I get flack for my size 14 ass today. (which is only ONE size bigger than I was when people were ooh-ing and aah-ing over my weight loss, which was a result of diuretics, compulsive exercise, and starvations. so yeah…)

    • Only a size 14??? Gee, I wish I were that tiny…;) Well I kinda know how you feel, I was a size 14 when i started college and my roommate was a size 4 and a “former” bulimic. She would stand in front of the mirror and bemoan how fat she looked. She didn’t rag on ME, but her complaints made me wonder how ginormous I must be in her eyes… Here in the fatosphere size 14 doesn’t seem like much but to many people it classifies one as a whale.Of course I’m also in a weight-obsessed family who talks about it a lot. bleah. For the PCOS, check out this book: It’s My Ovaries, Stupid! by Dr. Elizabeth Vliet. Great title, huh? Caught my eye in the library, heh. This is a great book with tons of info about our hormones and what can go wrong with them. In fact it saved my life, if not for this book I wouldn’t have figured out the link between my cycles and my depression and would almost certainly have committed suicide years ago. Seriously, get your hands on this book! It will tell you what to look for and what kind of tests you need.

      • And thanks for the book recommendation. Ultrasound and blood work last year found small cysts and follicles on my ovaries and higher than normal testosterone, respectively. But I was just told but both doctors that I saw that I was just Fatty McFattersons and it was my own damn fault. I just needed to either a) work out three hours a day and go on the South Beach Diet, or b) eat 1200 calories a day for the rest of my life and never work out ever again as it might make me hungry. :-/

    • So sorry to hear that. Nobody should go through hell just because they don’t fit a certain standard. I’m a size 14 too! Also because my parents took me to a doctor when I was 14 I developed an eating disorder because when I went for the first weigh in I hadn’t lost a pound though I had really really tried….it really saddens me to hear about people hating their bodies especially women and young girls since nobody seems to care about our feelings! They offer ‘advice’ and criticism freely as if extra pounds are what we’re made of and can’t see anything past that. Anyway I hope you’ll get past this soon and stay strong!

    • Thank you both, emi and Ioana. emi, my friend is the same way, and I feel the same thing. I went to visit her a while back and was actually nervous about going because I was worried about how she might see me, a size 14, when she freely criticizes her size 6 body and the bodies of, well… everyone else! I just try no to think about it.

      I hate it when people tell me that the only way to feel better about myself is to lose weight. X-P

      • Boy, I’m tempted to come over and slap your doctors for you. Grrrrr. Apparently it’s not unusual for doctors to dismiss PCOS and just recommend weight loss(as if you’re going to have any luck with that when your hormones are going nuts!) Believe it or not, the book I recommended actually discusses that very issue. Anyway, I figure you can’t have too much info when it comes to your body, especially when your doctors don’t take it seriously. Ovarian hormones in particular seem to be the no man’s land(pun intended) in medicine. Endocrinology focuses on endocrine organs…all but the ovaries, which are considered to be the gynecologist’s domain. But gynecology is a surgical specialty and focuses on surgical problems and the reproductive effects of hormones, not how they affect the rest of our bodies. So these issues don’t get the attention they should. I was blessed to find doctors willing to listen and work with me. Keep up the fight, you deserve better than than the crap they’ve been shoveling on you. PCOS can have very damaging effects and you deserve proper treatment. I hope you can find a good doctor. Keep looking, don’t give up.

  10. I can honestly say that I know more about dieting than many people. Even though I am fat. If there’s been a diet, I’ve either read about it or someone (usually the woman who raised me) has passed it along. I know about nutrition and calories. I know about increased exercise: weights, cardio, etc.

    But it just doesn’t work for me like other people.

    I’m pretty sure no one believes me…

  11. The effects of diet and exercise on weight have proven very unpredictable in my life as well. My housemate in college and I, for instance, shared basically the same high-quality vegetarian diet (she ate a little dairy, while I was vegan) and walking-intensive lifestyle, and we were about 300 lbs different in weight (I was the one born on third). Then, when I stopped being vegan after 7 years on that diet and went back to eating a much higher-fat, more meat-intensive diet, I lost ten lbs, which has stayed off for 10 years. Oy.

  12. Way to go!!!

    Just had a blast hooping in the park, its always a fun to see all the different shaped folks loving it. Today a guy wandered up (in the middle of class, no less) to ask one of the the thinner students how to do a hoop trick. She was all. “Like I know? Today’s my second class!” and then proceeded to ask me. His face changed a bunch when he realized I wasn’t his chosen dating demographic, and that I was there to hoop out with my students, not to wait for some dude to hit on me.

    xo
    rowan

  13. The strength of the myth that you’re fat because you eat like a pig and sit on the couch all day is absolutely mind-boggling. Then add on the myth that weight loss simply depends on eating fewer calories than you expend (“eat less, move more”) and it’s a perfect storm of prejudice and hate (both self-hate and hatred of others).

    The “born on third” metaphor is just priceless. Sad, but priceless.

  14. That is so true! What about genetics? Every time my mother speaks to my thin friends (most of them are very thin, it’s not my choice they just happen to be that way) she tells them about how she was 100 pounds and pregnant with me. Whereas she was even skinnier in her youth. BUT my father is fat and has been for a big part of his life. So it isn’t my fault genetics decided to work that way for me.

    Everyone is programmed to be one way since birth and I honestly do believe that most kids aren’t fat because they eat fast food and whatnot but are naturally inclined to be one way or another. Of course anyone can sell their beauty products and say you can look EXACTLY like a celebrity. Well, guess what? That celebrity was born thin, with a pretty face and good skin. That diet won’t make you look like him/her.

    It must have been very frustrating for you to hear that question but then again, that’s what most people think and want to make us believe the same thing. After all, fat people end up feeling inadequate in the end, not them.

  15. Meaghan,

    Size 14? Girl, you’re not fat; you’re the average American woman. Someone has filled your head with lies. 60 years ago you would have been a sex symbol (which says more about the state of our uber-modern culture than I want to think about). I’ve been a size 18 for the past 14 years or so, since I was a junior in high school. It’s like my body decided that’s where it wanted to be and it stuck. I’ve never dieted, and decided as a teenager that I was NEVER going to hurt myself like that. I watched my mother yo-yo diet to extremes while I was growing up, and it damaged her body to the point where now her metabolism is totally shot; she suffers from fybromyalgia and restless leg syndrome; and her thyroid developed a huge goiter that was just recently removed after years of being misdiagnosed.

    Instead of focusing on weight (and thankfully my family doctor is of the same frame of mind), I focus on eating healthy (I love fruit and veggies, so eating like a health nut is tasty and enjoyable to me), and moderate amounts of exercise (walking, hiking, and swimming). I have a vary labor intensive job that I love, and most of my daily activity actually comes from that. I do have a hearty appetite and an annoying sweet tooth, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I just try to really focus on what I’m eating and really enjoy it, instead of just eating mindlessly. I’m a culinary professional, so that’s very important to me.

    Every physical I’ve had for the past 8 years or so, my health numbers have been top-notch, and that’s all I really care about. I always want the focus to be on health and feeling physically good (like you can take on the world with one hand tied behind your back), not a body size that doesn’t mean anything. There is as many unhealthy thin people as there are unhealthy fat people, so focusing on weight and size is meaningless.

    • The saddest thing is that yes, I am the same size as the average American woman, and yet my insecurities are also very much the same, which means the “average” woman in this country has these negative feelings. The average woman is constantly being told that she isn’t thin enough and therefore she is wrong. Someone HAS filled my head, and many other heads, with lies, damned lies.

  16. I actually laughed out loud when I read that quote. She isn’t just applying her own experience to other people; she’s trying to feel superior to them. People do all kinds of comparisons just like this – hair, skin, teeth, you name it. Because if they actually stopped to think about how little control we have over our bodies, they’d probably find it profoundly upsetting. And then, god forbid, they might actually have to show compassion toward others, because it could just as easily be them in that position.

    My mother, who never experienced weight problems, would always derive a slight sense of superiority from the fact that my aunt gained weight easily. My sister and I had a similar issue growing up, but with hair. My hair is very straight; hers is not. I never teased her about it, but it was pretty much agreed that I had the “good” hair, which was often attributed to my fastidiousness rather than my genes. After years of trying to get her hair to look like mine, my sister finally realized that what worked for me didn’t work for her and that she could have “good” hair too if she stopped torturing it and actually paid attention to what her hair needed.

    If someone is trying to make me more like them, I just assume it’s because they’re narcissistic or they’re sick of looking at their own reflection. Either way, it’s their problem. My mother didn’t go through the trouble of having me just so I could become a mirror for someone else.

  17. I saw a wonderful photo of a younger Sophia Loren in a bikini a short while ago. She looked magnificent! And then someone commented that she was “plump”. In those days she was a “normal” size, if I can put it like that, ie, she wasn’t artificially thin but looked luscious. I – and many others – filled the writer in on the fact that it’s only in today’s society that unrealistic notions of women’s size and weight have traction and they’re crap. In my youth, a size 12-16 was considered okay. And the idea of a size below 10 would have been laughed into the ground. I am fat but I’m always getting complimented on how I look and dress, no-one has ever made an adverse comment because I know I look as if I wouldn’t tolerate adverse comments. Great to see your above comments because they reflect the Sophia Loren image and the stupid comment made about her.

  18. Some posted this on my FB feed recently. They are saying people who are naturally thin but don’t engage in healthy behaviors, as in your above example, are suffering from “normal weight obesity.” http://www.active.com/fitness/Articles/Why-Being-Skinny-Doesnt-Mean-Youre-Fit.htm?cmp=17-7-1212

    I know I’ve probably said this in a comment before, but I went from being a size 4/6 to a size 16 over the course of a few years. And while I have struggled to love my body, I definitely acknowledge how much healthier I am now then I was then. The article just seems to highlight that the “obesity” concept lacks a serious referent.

    I know that you sometimes take questions from readers — I wonder what you think about how to introduce people to SA/HAES. There are a couple of friends and my younger sister who I think could really benefit from reading blogs like yours, and books on the topic. But I don’t know how to do it without being hurtful.

  19. You wrote: “…I think that it’s indicative of the way that some naturally thin people feel about fat people.”

    The really horrible thing is that it’s actually indicative of the way a lot of fat people feel about fat people. My brain knows the research and the facts, but my heart just remembers the shame and the “pretty face” comments and the “if only you would just TRY” attitudes I grew up with. Thank goodness I believe I’ve broken the chain with my four beautiful, size-accepting kiddos, but every time I see myself in a mirror or am offered a piece of birthday cake or whatever, I still hear the voices sneering at me. I’m almost 50… I despair of ever really truly KNOWING I am OK just the way I am, dancing and eating well and playing with my family.

  20. Oh if I had a dollar for every time I heard “Why don’t you join a gym?” or “Should you really be eating that [insert food type]?” I’d still be scraping the cents together after spending it all on the various weight loss programs, diets, dieticians, gym memberships, etc. I was 8yo (according to my mum) when I started putting on weight and now, at 41, have finally broken free from the self-loathing, financially draining world of being a fattie who has to lose weight because society expects me to.

    I have done everything short of WLS to lose weight because that’s what everyone expected me to do. And yet, a lot of the time when I was actually on a diet or slogging it out at the gym people would still think it appropriate to pass comments. The looks of disbelief on their faces when I tell them about the time I spent 12 months of my life miserable, going to the gym 4-5 times a week and only to end up leaving because I actually gained 1.5kgs and still wearing the same sized clothes, used to say it all to me. It didn’t matter what I did, it was like people were always going to show disappointment in me. These people, BTW, were usually family and friends.

    Not anymore … I am who I am and I’m the only person who has to live with me. What I do to MY body is MY business, and mine alone. I don’t have to justify myself to nobody! And neither do I feel guilt or shame for eating what I want and sitting here reading all these fabulous fat activism blogs, when the ads on tv are telling me to drink this low calorie beverage or join one of the weight loss centres (which shall remain nameless!)

  21. A while back, I started thinking about it this way: I have beautiful skin. I always have, and I really have only my genetics to thank for it, because my “beauty routine” for my skin consists of washing my face in the shower every morning with Ivory soap and then applying sunscreen. It would be as disingenuous of me to extrapolate that EVERYONE could have clear skin if they would just wash their face once a day with harsh commercial soap and then dab on some sunscreen. If I tried to peddle that, people would think I was nuts. And yet diet books that similarly tell one person’s story are huge bestsellers. Makes no sense…

  22. I’ve been lurking for a while, but this really hit close for me, so I’m finally commenting. Everyone close to me blames my weight on my diet and lack of exercize, but until my thyroid started acting up, I was actually at a fairly “healthy” weight by societal standards.
    See, I try to eat well, but even with my anxiety causing me to fidget and pace, exercise is very difficult for me – I have fibromyalgia, so even when I’m sitting still, I’m in a lot of pain. People also assume that my high blood pressure is because of my weight, but even when I was much thinner, my blood pressure was high because being in pain causes a rise heart rate and blood pressure. I had dizzy spells from it in high school (I was 118 lbs back then; that is NOT a weight issue!) and college, and they’ve gotten much better with medication without my weight going down.
    These things are not always about weight! I get very frustrated and hurt when friends and family tell me I “just need” to eat better and move around. Hearing this makes me feel terrible about myself, which does NOT make me want to run marathons and walk runways! It gives me zero motivation to improve. When I feel that way, all I want to do is curl up in bed and stay there.
    Why not tell some one how nice they look today instead of giving them advice for changing the way they are? Why not appreciate different kinds of beauty than the only one that gets shoved at us? Why not study how to become HEALTHY instead of just how to be THIN?

    • I really sympathise, Kyrie, because I’ve got fibromyalgia too. It affects people differently, I know, and I call it the Fibro Follies because you never know what sort of pain you get from day to day or when fatigue will bring you to a grinding halt. I’ve been very lucky with my doctor who signed me up for a health support programme run in Australia. I saw an exercise consultant who, thank god, knew all about fibro and suggested simple exercises taking into account the need not to over-stress muscles. I also saw a nutritionist who told me mostly what I knew anyway, but her enthusiasm and support, plus the exercise advice, have helped me move from 5 minutes a day to 20 minutes walking, along with using arm weights (light ones). My blood pressure has dropped from 159 over 99 to 131 over 88, which I’m well pleased with, plus I’ve dropped three dress sizes as I’ve lost fat, although my weight has remained the same as I’ve put on muscle. No-one mentioned that ghastly word “obese”, which I find loathsome, the whole exercise has been about getting fitter as and when I’m able. I’ve never been bothered about the weight issue, simply about getting healthier. The best thing I did was to buy a pedometer and slowly, very slowly, step up my activity every day. I’ve had setbacks, pratfalls and so on, and my big lesson has been to be kind to myself and only do a half or a quarter of what I think I can do, which helps me stay on a relatively even keel. I have wonderful friends and family who’ve never been bothered about my weight, but I have had people say; “Oh, you really don’t eat much, do you?” so you know they’re silently judging you about your weight and are surprised to find you eat normally! Anyway, I hope the above might help you a bit. Take care.

  23. To extend the baseball analogy: diets are pitches thrown outside the strike zone. Some folks might be able to somehow nail them and get an extra base hit, but the majority of the time you’re going to get out. Whereas if you just leave them alone, sooner or later you’re going to take a walk and get on base.

    I think that analogy also fits extremely well for the general assertion of the moneyed Republicans to the poor/unemployed, but that’s another matter for many other blogs…

  24. I remember how much it hurt when my grandmother said to me while I was staying with them a few months “How could I stay so fat and eat so little?” First off, I wasn’t even overweight. I was normal weight according to the standards of the day and even the lower standard of today. Second off, it was kind in a way that she didn’t assume that I was using the little money I had to eat elsewhere. I didn’t eat more than the food that she served me. I ate the small dinner that was served and I didn’t eat again until she served breakfast. I did eat lunch out the days that I worked, but she didn’t assume that it was any larger than the breakfast or dinner that she served me. I really did stay fat, in her opinion, on less food than she feed herself since she ate snacks while I didn’t.

  25. Ragen… I think I get it. I mean, I think it dawned on me why we’re, collectively, getting bigger. We’re dieting earlier and earlier. As you’ve said many, many times, dieting doesn’t accurately predict weight loss, but it does predict weight gain, and that yo-yo dieting alters your body. If we’re starting to diet younger and younger, it wouldn’t shock me in the least if the result is that by the time we’re fully grown, we’ve become that big size we were trying to avoid in the first place. Obviously I don’t have any scientific evidence to back this up, but if it’s true… how painfully ironic.

  26. Forty years ago, I was sent to boarding school. All the girls were given the same food and we were forced to eat it all, we were not allowed to refuse food because we didn’t like it or were full. We stayed as boarders for three months at a time and spent a month at home. There was a huge variety of body shapes from very thin to very large, petite, tall and athletic etc. None of us dieted and we all kept the build we had throughout our time there. You could say the time spent at home made the difference, but I don’t think so. In those days, in that place, we were just left to be our natural shape.

  27. Sometimes I wish I could go back and never go on a diet just to see what my body would have done of its own accord. And what I could have done with all that freed up mental space.


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