Skepticism

AI: Think thin

Supermodel Kate Moss hit the headlines recently for saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Lots of people were upset and outraged because her comment was deemed irresponsible as she’s a role model for young girls. While I fully support supermodels’ right to say what they believe and let the world judge them accordingly, critics may have had a point given the quote instantly appeared on pro-anorexia websites. My first thought when I heard it wasn’t so socially responsible. I immediately thought “you’ve never had my roast potatoes then, Kate”. Because for the average woman who doesn’t make a living being thin, the opposite of what Kate claims is true. Lots of things taste better than skinny feels! Cake, dammit! A hot dog with the works. Four samosas. A whole baked camembert with warm crusty bread. Christmas pudding and custard. Apple cinnamon donuts. A reuben with six pickles on the side. That’s rather the point. If being skinny felt better than a whole packet of chocolate chip cookies, then dieting wouldn’t be the universal pain in the ass that it is.

I speak with some authority about what tastes better than skinny feels, because I used to be dangerously underweight. In my early 30s now, I’m happy to be “skinny with curves” and too much flab around the belly that some exercise would correct if I found the time, but up until my mid-twenties I was far too thin. Aged 16 I was so skinny I couldn’t get a boyfriend. There is such a thing as ‘too thin’ and my health suffered greatly until I started to eat properly.

Skinniness is as much about genetics as diet. Some people will never be shaped like Kate Moss unless they are starved, just like I’ll never be extremely fat unless I eat nothing but fries for the rest of my life. Being fit and healthy should be the ambition, and you can carry a little extra weight and still be healthy. Either end of the scale, too thin or too fat, are not good for you, but Ms Moss doesn’t seem to appreciate that without the money, fame, adoration and perks of being a supermodel, being skinny doesn’t particularly feel better than eating freely.

Do you fight with your own willpower when it comes to ‘tasty’ versus ‘want to be thinner’, or are you happy in your skin?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

Related Articles

70 Comments

  1. My biggest fear is being the guy who comes home at night, plunks two six packs and a bag of potato chips beside his LaZBoy and watches television until he passes out and gets up the next day and earns just enough money to do it again. To me exercise, a good diet, and a drive to get things done outside work are what saves me from this fate. Extra pounds are a warning sign that I’m slipping. I don’t dread being fat, but I do dread being a fat, useless, lump. I cannot separate the two. I think about this before asking for another beer or a slice of cheesecake.

  2. I wouldn’t mind losing ten pounds, but I’m not willing to forgo the yummy that is food long enough to accomplish that. PLENTY of things taste way better than skinny feels, and Feast Week is coming up at work. No way would I miss out on that!

    You can be happy and healthy and comfortable without being rail-thin -and I really don’t have much incentive to lose my own weight when my co-habitor won’t do a sit-up, and there are so many potatoes in the world…

  3. I’m one of those lucky ones who eats whatever they want and my super-metabolism never seems to let it catch up to me. I don’t exercise as often as I’d like to because of this, so I’m a bit wimpy (which I don’t like) but otherwise I’m 5′ tall and weigh about 100 lbs.

    I think that makes me a bit biased in answering this question. Right now I can easily say that hell no does skinny taste better than being thin/in shape! But if all of my eating habits catch up with me one day, I don’t know if I’d feel the same.

    I’d like to think that I won’t care to the point where I’d ever deprive myself of delicious, sweet, buttery foods of goodness – but I’d probably work harder to throw in some more laps around the block and have oatmeal instead of bacon for breakfast (the horror!)

  4. When I was in High School I was incredibly insecure. I wasn’t fat in the slightest (although I thought I was at a whopping 5’4 and 125 lbs). At some point I got it into my head that I needed to lose weight — and I did. I ate a yogurt and piece of fruit for lunch (or maybe a nonfat frozen yogurt), practically nothing for breakfast, dinner and some sort of junk food.

    I wasn’t, but part of me really thinks I was bordering on an eating disorder. Luckily, it corrected itself when I evidentually shifted out of depression.

    When I was going through that phase though, I had hair down to my butt and it looked like crap. You could tell from my skin and hair that I wasn’t getting what I needed in my diet whatsoever and even then I still felt fat.

    So no, sometimes skinny doesn’t feel that good.

    On the other hand, it’s nice to have just had a baby 3 months ago but to be able to fit in my preprego jeans. I like being healthy now and I love cooking. Nutrition interests me a lot and I don’t like to eat certain things that lack in any type of nutrition (ie: I try not to eat white bread if I can help it). It has nothing to do with wanting to be thin but because I love feeling like I am fueling my body with the top grade stuff rather than the regular unleaded :-P

    I like to exercise (run), sorta, it helps me feel good mentally and I like being able to avoid all of the cookies and snacks during the holidays (because I am vegan mostly but I do bake my own goodies and eat too much sometimes.)

    I find, for myself, all of the cookies, cakes etc. are incredibly good at the moment, but when I start eating too much of them my body becomes sluggish and I am tired all of the time. Not that I eat disgusting food every other day — to the contrary! I like to cook, but it tends to stay on the more healthy side. My Mom even said she could be vegan if she had me to cook for her everyday, lol.

    So, I think I would change that Kate Moss quote to say this: “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels” but a double chocolate chip cookie sure comes close :-P

  5. Well, Kate, skinny may “feel good” for you, but I always found you marginally attractive at best. Give me a woman with curves, who’ll go with me down the pub and scarf a cheeseburger and drink a pint of Guinness with gusto. That’ll make me happy way before skinny. I’ll never understand why so many men find these skinny models so sexy, I find it disturbing that we, as a culture, promote such an unhealthy body. I have a friend who married a catalogue model, and the first time I saw her in a bikini I felt more like offering her a sandwich than anything else.

  6. Nothing tastes as good as “Not Quite There”.

    You’ll never be “there”. You’ll always find some other problem once that last problem gets taken care of. But, this next one will be the last one, I swear.

    I gave up on that long ago. I wish I could look like a twink, and have a nice bubble butt, but, lets face it, not going to happen. I’m just going to be slightly overweight, and I’m ok with it. Just try to not pig out on any one thing, and pass the bacon!

  7. As a dude, I almost feel improper commenting on this issue because I think we’re often written out of this conversation. But that said:

    I’m in my late 20s, now, and am STILL a very thin man. I am not bragging when I say that I eat whatever I want and don’t really put on weight… it’s not as much of a problem as obesity would be, but it’s close.

    Odds are that being this thin costs me, because it’s hardly considered manly or attractive for a man to be scrawny (unless he’s a hipster or glam rocker, which I am not :-P) But I am not willing to put in the great effort it would take to put on weight in a healthy way, so I have to be more or less content until my metabolism slows down, as it should soon enough.

    But, somewhat hypocritically, I am among that group of men who don’t particularly find it attractive for a woman to be super-thin. In fact, there are times I’ll be watching TV and I’ll see a pretty actress, but will then be put off when I notice how very, very thin she is. This is no different than the painful judgment I’ve seen women make towards me, although my preference flies in the face of the supposed “norm” that theirs supports.

    At then end of the day, though, it’s best for men and women both to be happy in their own skin… within reason. If the only way to be “happy” is to meet some externally-defined ideal, that’s bad for everyone. But if you can be healthy and happy with a reasonable body image, while still eating the things that please you… that’s the best case :) Self confidence, reason, and contentedness trump all!

  8. I’m about 80lbs overweight. This qualifies me as a “fat fuck”. I had an epiphany about this the one time I went to a (work-paid) Weight Watchers meeting.

    The leader asked us each, in turn, why we thought we were fat. Most people talked about will-power, or stress, or being “hungry all the time”. When it came my turn, I realized something, and immediately said it out loud:

    “I’m fat because I enjoy eating tasty things far more than I enjoy being thin.”

    I then got up, left, and never went back. I actually *lost* about 20lbs in the weeks after (kept it off too), simply because I no longer felt guilty about eating things like walnut-crusted salmon in lemon-butter glaze, which meant I no longer felt the need to “pig out” when I ate good food.

    Yes, I know I’ll die younger because I’m overweight – but what’s length of life if I don’t enjoy it?

  9. @Garrison22: I’ll never understand why so many men find these skinny models so sexy, I find it disturbing that we, as a culture, promote such an unhealthy body. I have a friend who married a catalogue model, and the first time I saw her in a bikini I felt more like offering her a sandwich than anything else.

    I honestly don’t think a lot of people can make that “well she looks good on TV” connection. It seems like a person could look healthy on tv but look disgustingly thin otherwise. This is why it drives me CRAZY that we do this as a society. I saw the movie Paranormal Activity and I remember thinking it was great to see a nicely built, normal sized woman on the screen — stupid me desided to mess around the imdb forums and everyone was yapping about how “fat” she was. It makes me sick.

    My husband always told me he loves curves and any man who says they want a skinny girl is lying or doesn’t really understand what that means. Nine times out of ten, attractive curvy woman on the street (that does NOT look like Kate Moss) is seen a “skinny.” I’m not saying that’s not accurate, but I don’t think the Average Joe/Jane is looking for Kate Moss.

  10. @Garrison22: Give me a woman with curves, who’ll go with me down the pub and scarf a cheeseburger and drink a pint of Guinness with gusto.

    The first time I read this as “go down on me” and spent a few entertaining seconds wondering how a cheeseburger and a Guinness added to the experience.

  11. I was once skinny… actually, I’ve been skinny a bunch of times. But at one time in my adult life I was 100 lbs at 5’7″, and was unable to find any stores that made clothes small enough for me to wear and strong enough not to be shredded by my protruding bones.

    Now, I’m not so much that… I’m about a size 18.

    Sure then I was happy people thought I was hot… but I was crazy. CRAZY. You know, the kind of crazy that happens when you eat 2-3 times a week, and keep that intake to under 200 calories per meal… and do a bunch of coke to keep your appetite at bay and your metabolism up… and swallow 75 laxatives a day. How the fuck I’m alive is beyond me. But seriously… CRAZY.

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I’m happy with the way I look. But I certainly don’t hate it. Which is odd considering I’m living my former nightmare. For the most part I’m happy with my life, and that’s far more important that being happy with my body. And I’m a much better person that I ever was while trying to be hot.

    If anyone thinks that looking like Kate Moss is better than treating yourself to a night on the couch with champagne and tiramisu, well that’s just the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

  12. The older I get, the more I understand (and act on) the idea that it’s about health, not weight. I’m currently on Weight Watchers (35 off, 30 to go), and my ability to succeed on this program is all about moderation – which leads to better health. I can still have a cheeseburger and drink a pint of Guinness (with or without the blowjob). Just not every day.

    Except for the blowjob, which are not fattening.

  13. I am 5’3″ and 190 lbs. or so. Everyone is always shocked when they find out I am almsot 200 lbs. I do not look it. It’s all in my ass, hips, and boobs, and the women on my mom’s side of the family tend to b short and solid. I have huge calves, and when I work out, I don’t get thin, I gain muscle.

    I wouldn’t mind losing a few lbs. I guess. I mean clearly I’m overweight (but I’m not “obese” as my BMI might indicate). But I’m healthy — I rarely get sick and have never had any major health problems. Even my psoriasis is almost non-existant, which is a sign that I am healthy (stress and an unhealty lifestyle will kick it into high gear). I eat ok — love fruits and veggies, don’t drink soda (makes my tummy hurt), not a huge drinker.

    But I loooove food, and I don’t really think, “Will this make me fat?” I eat it if I want to. Because food is awesome and I have some friends who can COOK!!

    I’m a size 14/16, though most of it is my hips. I think I was a size 12 at my thinnist, which is probably ideal for me, though I’m ok at a 14/16. I am not unhappy with my body. I do not have any reason to be. I have great tits, my (new!) boyfriend loves every inch of me, and I’m even getting used to my tummy. I also have a fantastic ass.

    So yeah, I just ate a huuuuge lunch with way too many sweets, and I am okay with that. I am healthy, even if many would consider me fat.

  14. @Surly Nymph: Know what I hate? When people dog on Kelly Clarkson, ‘cuz she’s not thin. She has a similar body type to mine (I have wider shoulders and bigger boobs, but otherwise I’ve got her ass, hips, and legs). When I saw her live in October, I was like — OMG! It’s ME! She looks like me! And she’s famous and loved the world over! And she doesn’t give a shit that she’s considered fat. I fucking love her. Seriously. She is awesome. Also, I’m totally in love with her.

  15. Just for the record, the full quote from Kate Moss was, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels- you try to remember, but it never works.” Which makes what these pro-anorexia site that probably don’t provide the full quote even more heinous.
    @Janiece: I’m with you on this one. I’ve started counting calories and trying to cut down my fat intake, eat more protein and vegetables, etc and the reaction I get from people when they find out is annoying. They think I’m just worried about my weight.

  16. @Expatria: For us guys, its kinda a double standard. You need to be built out. I’ve got a belly, and I feel very sensitive about it. It’s not sexy to have a belly, you need to have a six-pack, a rock, hard six -pack, like Geo. But, alas, I’m just too motivated by laziness to get up and work out.

    One thing that irks me is how when women are showcased as sex symbols, its sexist and demeaning to women. When men are showcased as sex symbols, nobody bats an eye.

  17. @marilove: Didn’t it bug you too when they had her on the cover of some magazine recently and airbrushed the shit out of her? It killed me that they were promoting the idea of feeling happy in your skin, etc. and yet they still felt the need to make her appear thinner.

  18. According to the BMI calculator, I’m just over the line into “overweight” territory. I’ve been a few pounds heavier; a few lighter. Where I am now seems to work.

    I like to eat but try not to over do it. Seems like I can keep things under control by keeping late night snack foods and sugary drinks out of the house. When I’m in the grocery store, I know I can rationalize that, if I take some snack foods home, I’ll be good and eat them in moderation. The truth is, though, the whole moderation thing goes out the window a few hours after dinner. Pity the poor can of cashews that crosses my path at midnight. Best not to have them around in the first place.

  19. @infinitemonkey: That’s not really how it works. Men haven’t been seen as objects for most of modern history, while women have.

    The double standard exists (sometimes), yes, but the context is completely different.

    That said, men don’t necessarily need to be ripped. Look at Vince Vaughn: He was fat (cute, but fat) in “The Breakup”. Jennifer Aniston was perfectly toned.

    Same with the show “King of Queens” or whatever — hugely fat husband hot skinny wife (who got RAILED ON in the media when she gained a bit of weight).

    This is typical: Fat schlub of a husband, but the woman must be HOT!!!

    I remember when Judge Satamayo (sp?!?!) was being critisized because of her weight — heavily so. And yet her male counterparts who were fatter than she is weren’t even talked about. Awesome.

    Anyway, you’re gay, so I can definitley see how it is difficult for you to have a belly — gay men can be just as shallow as straight men. But straight women? Most straight women really don’t give a fuck if their man has a belly.

    Let me add: Seth Rogan. Jason Segal. All huge stars and sex symbols within their own right. And fat. (Cute. But fat.)

    For the record, I prefer chubby guys.

  20. Tasty usually wins, but that doesn’t mean I feel good about it afterward. I’m not overweight, but I’m in the same category as Tracy – if I worked out and lost some tummy fat, I’d probably feel a bit better.

    I know I should be happy with how I am, but I was a fat little kid, and a lot of the teasing and harassment has stuck with me into adulthood. Bleh.

  21. @marilove: I will conceed your point about the history of things, but we shouldn’t make up for lost time.

    Additionally, I will agree that women are scrutinized by the media for their weight, but men aren’t getting off scott free. Not too long ago, there was a series of pics about male celbraties who “went from fab to flab”. Some, I can agree. It had K-Fed, who at one time was hot, but now looks like he cloned himself and then ate it. Most others just lost their amazing 6-pack.

    However, celebraties like Seth Rogen, I haven’t heard as being labeled a sex symbol. They may be a celebrity, but not to that level. Just like women like Margret Cho. She would be considered a celebrity, but not to the same level as, say, Jenifer Lopez (its friday afternoon, and I’m tired, so I can’t spell shor fit.)

    Remember the “controversy” about Cyrus and…Lautner (that guy from T:NM)? There was an uproar about her photo shoot, but the only uprour about Lautner was that there wasn’t an uproar.

    Also, when there’s a fat/heavy male character on TV/Movies, they usually end up making fun of his weight somewhere in there.

    I acknowledge that there is a double standard, and it applies to both men and women. Women are judged in ways men aren’t, and visa versa.

  22. I ate a lot and was crazy-skinny up through my early-20’s. The last 10 years I’ve been gaining a steady 3 lbs per year. It was cool for the first few years but now I would really like to put a stop to that trend and maybe back it up 10 lbs or so. I imagine it is my slowing metabolism, decreasing level of activity and increasing preference for fancy-ass beers and cheeses that are combining forces against me.

    I feel OK with where I am now but I am approaching feeling unhappy with my weight. If I could walk around naked in flattering lighting all the time, it would be fine but instead I have to deal with a little tummy roll over the jeans, calves that won’t quite cram into just any pair of cute boots, etc.

    I also have a lot of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. in my family history and would really like to avoid that for myself. So, I’ve been struggling with the willpower issue lately.

  23. @Jennifurret:

    Have you looked back on your kid pics?

    My eating disorder issues started when I was 10. I was mocked for being fat, but looking back at the photos, I wasn’t really fat at all. I was pretty normal looking… awkwardly proportioned in that way that most girls are while on the cusp of puberty. But not fat.

  24. Kate Moss angers me so much!

    I’m one of those annoying people who can eat tons and not gain weight (it took 3000 calories a day for and entire year of college for me to gain 10ish pounds and finally develop hips), and skinny can suck! Fainting because you didn’t get a chance to grab lunch one day? SUCKS. Having to make sure you always have a snack in your purse? SUCKS. Feeling generally cranky and lazy and grumpy because it’s 45 minutes past your dinnertime and your friends have just now finally decided where we’re all going to for dinner? SUCKS. Knowing that if your favorite retailers vanity size one more time you won’t be able to shop there anymore? SUCKS.

    Food, on the other hand? Food is wonderful and tasty and life-giving. It is a fundamental part of how we as humans socialize. Huge parts of our culture are caught up in food. Just the scent or thought of our favorite dishes can make us happy. I could go on this way for ages.

    Everything tastes better than skinny feels. (maybe I’ll change my mind if my metabolism finally slows down on the other side of 30, but I find that highly unlikely)

  25. I have always been too skinny. I’ve always hated it and I’ve spent the majority of my life feeling not only awkward but guilty about it. I used to wear too-big clothing to hide myself. I had to put forth extra effort to gain weight even when I was pregnant, and after I gave birth I immediately lost it all. I’m perpetually trying to gain ten more pounds and I feel like I’m always on the defensive about it with other women. I’m in that weight/height bracket Elyse described, but I eat three meals a day, and one of them is usually a cheeseburger.

    But, like you said, Tracy, I have to accept that this is just the way I am and learn how to like it. I’ve gotten much better at that within the past few years, but it took over twenty years for me to get there.

  26. @chistat: I also have a lot of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. in my family history and would really like to avoid that for myself. So, I’ve been struggling with the willpower issue lately.

    This is the story of my family. We tend to be thin while young, but fatter with age, and get the diseases that come along with it. Both my mom and dad proved that the worst of it can be avoided with good diet and exercise, but the level of discipline has to increase every year.

  27. Weight issues have been huge in my family for many years. I’ve been struggling with this issue a little lately. I had gained a lot of weight when I was very depressed (and very poor, hard to afford good food), and struggled for three years to lose it all. I lost 55 pounds and was down to a very healthy weight (my BMI said I was still fat, but I felt -great-). I kept it off for a few years, but now I’ve put on another 20lbs. I did it the first time not by depriving myself, but ensuring I was balancing my diet, getting enough of the nutrition I needed. I don’t think a diet should be about denial and suffering, it should be about enjoying being healthy. Everything in moderation. Even moderation.

  28. Food is one of the great pleasures in life. I have a friend who says you should eat like you make love, with passion! At the same time, I find it very important to my wellbeing to exercise on a regular basis. I’m prone to getting chubby but Im totally willing to run an extra mile in order appreciate a delicious dessert or two. In the end being healthy is what is important to my happiness, not size.

  29. I’ve always been very thin. I have moderate curves now, but before I filled out with womanly bits I maybe looked a *little* too skinny, but there was nothing I could do about that. I’ve always watched what I ate to an extent because there’s a history of high cholesterol in my family. We’ve figured out now that my cholesterol is the kind of bad that diet and exercise won’t fix; the only thing for it really is medication. But before we knew that, I was a vegetarian for years, mostly through high school.

    Which brings me to a weird thing I’ve never been able to figure out: In high school a few of the heavier girls would ridicule the way I ate. If they saw me with “diet food” like baked chips or a granola bar or something they’d say things like “Why are *you* eating *that*? It’s not like *you* need it,” very scornfully and with disgusted looks on their faces as though I didn’t have the right to eat healthy food because I didn’t have to to stay skinny. And they’d accuse me of having bulimia or something.

    That’s a really annoying part of being skinny: people accusing you of having an eating disorder, as though that’s the only possible way to get/stay thin. Doesn’t happen now as an adult, but when I was younger it felt like I was constantly having to defend myself and my decision to eat baked chips.

  30. Don’t hate me, but I kind of agree with Kate. A craving passes more quickly than a huge gut. That being said, I love food. But I have struggled with chubbiness most of my life, so I do have to do a lot of self-moderation. When I am really tempted, I often repeat that same mantra, “Being thin feels better than that ____ tastes.” And even better than the feeling of being thin is the feeling of being healthy! There’s nothing wrong with pigging out every now and then, but I think it’s problematic when people fall into the habit of eating junk all the time and telling themselves that they enjoy life more because they don’t hold back. Since losing weight, I feel better, look better, and the tasty treats taste better because they are just that, a treat.

  31. @SJBG: That’s a really annoying part of being skinny: people accusing you of having an eating disorder, as though that’s the only possible way to get/stay thin. Doesn’t happen now as an adult, but when I was younger it felt like I was constantly having to defend myself and my decision to eat baked chips.

    I get this too. I am by no means “too skinny” but I am usually one of the thinner ones at work, etc. and people are constantly harassing me because I like to eat healthy. I also got this a lot when I was pregnant. The health of the baby was the most important thing to me so I watched what I ate and added the calories I needed too but because I didn’t gain above the healthy range (35 lb’s) people were always accusing me of not eating enough.

    I once had a friend tell me she didn’t want to go shopping with me because it was too weird having me there while she shopped at Lane Bryant.

    The same friend told me that Halavah (delicious Jewish sesame candy) was “skinny people” candy because it was too rich and she hated it.

    Oi! :-P

  32. I battle less with myself than when I started the latest idea my aunt gave to me. It did work to get me to my lowest weight in years. However, it really is a pain to go through with, especially when I moved back home (I was on the diet when I attended my technical school).

  33. Yes, I fight the desire for tasty foods, and I usually lose.

    I used to weigh 245lbs at 5′ 10″, and I was happy with myself. But in basic training I lost 50lbs, and I really don’t want to go back. But I REALLY love chocolate, sodas, and lots of other things that will put the weight right back on.

    marilove: I can only half agree with you. Certainly women get criticised for their appearence far more than men do, especially in the media. But overweight men still don’t get dates.

  34. During my 1st-6th Grade years I was chunky and then I hit a growth spurt and was thin until college. During college I became diabetic and for a couple of years after the diagnosis I was too thin because I had a very high metabolism and it took awhile to figure out how to eat properly.

    Since moving to Los Angeles in 1993 I have slowly but steadily been gaining weight. This Spring I was 205lbs and I did not like the way that I looked or felt and I decided to make a change. However, being a skeptic, I knew that no diet would work and that the only way to lose weight properly was to change my lifestyle. I now eat about 1/3 less than I used to and I don’t really miss anything.

    I am now much happier and healthier. I have lost nearly 40lbs and I am engaging in regular exercise. I still want to lose approximately 5 more pounds and get a little more muscle definition. Once I do I think I would be comfortable enough to pose for a future SkepDude calendar. ;)

    -Derek

  35. My BMI is hair over 25, and I’m trying to lose a little weight (my body type is such that most of my body fat sits at my waist), but at the end of the day its a cost-benefit issue. At the margin, a lot of things taste better than skinny feels, at least for me, and as such my goal of losing 2 – 5 kg is a long-term project.

    One thing I find helps is substituting quality for quantity. Have chocolate, ice cream, cake etc. less often, but when you do have it buy better quality stuff. That way you get a very good experience out of it and the price discourages you from buying it too often.

  36. @Steve: According to the BMI calculator, I’m just over the line into “overweight” territory. I’ve been a few pounds heavier; a few lighter. Where I am now seems to work.

    ————–

    Yeah, but according the BMI calculator, “The Rock” is obese.

  37. I’m not sure if skinny feels better than carrot cake or Reese’s Peanut Butter cups but I’m gonna try to figure it out. About four weeks ago I decided that with my 56th birthday celebration around the corner and carrying an extra 45 or so pounds I’d do something about getting in shape. It was a now or never decision.

    I’m not counting calories but I am being conscious of portion control and loading up on veggies and fruits, lean meats and whole grains. Sounds disgustingly healthy, I know.

    I also am getting at least 30 mins of exercise daily plus stretching and strength training. Can you imagine my doctor’s surprise when I tell her that I actually followed her advice?

    Anyway I’m 13 lbs down and more to go. Just want to see what in shape feels like for once.

    The thing is, I’m not sure if I can keep this up for the rest of my life. I’m afraid I’ll be another Oprah only male, unknown and poor…going back to fat after congratulating myself for “getting in shape.”

  38. I’m one of those lucky people that can have both food and be skinny. I’ve never been on a diet in my life and have been 5’7″ 120 lbs since high school. I love chocolate, wine and cheesecake but I also love hiking in the woods, walking my dogs and kayaking down a river. For the first time I actually have to watch what I eat. I’m pregnant and in my third trimester and am bordering on gestational diabetes. Now I actually have to say no to sweets. It’s so much harder than I thought it would be. I don’t think I’d say no to food to be skinny but I will always say no to certain foods to keep myself and my family healthy.

  39. I could stand to lose a few (score) pounds, but I’m fairly happy with where I am. I often comment that what I need in life to be happy is good food, pretty women, and stories about heroes. Being able to read in restaurants with good looking waitresses is more or less my favorite thing that can be done in public (on days other than May 1st).

  40. About a year and a half ago, I found I’d gotten too fat. So I did something about it. I exercised and stopped eating junk food and in a few months, I’d gotten into a better shape. It was an act of willpower, but it wasn’t as big an act of willpower as I’d thought it would be.
    Once I’d decided to do it, it was pretty easy.

  41. @Jimmy: Once you get into the habit of eating well and taking care of yourself, it feels so good you don’t want to stop. Though I’ve lapsed a little, it made me feel terrible. Now that I’m taking better care of myself, healthy feels better than cheesecake tastes.

  42. @Garrison22:
    Guinness is the beer you think of as being not low calorie? You do realize Guinness only has 125 calories per bottle, less than a Budweiser at 145. It’s nearly a light beer.

    @marilove:
    Which is what should be happening. Too many people get into exercise and dieting with the expectation of losing something (weight) and get discouraged after a while when this either doesn’t happen or starts to peter out. It generally leads to those people not continuing to exercise. One should exercise with the anticipation of gaining something, i.e. more energy, muscle, self confidence, etc.

    I am currently in the process of finishing off a family sized Digiorno pizza (serves 4). I am not what anyone would consider fat, nor do I have some kind of amazing metabolism either. I work at it, I eat right most days and I work out everyday. I don’t eat things that are not tasty, or at least not tasty to some degree, as I can not tolerate things that I find gross. In the words of Anton Ego, “If I do not like it, I do not swallow.” (that’s what she said). I think too often there is this idea that one must trade of good tasting food for being thin, or, preferably, healthy.

  43. I periodically check in to see what is going on here but it has been awhile since anything prompted me to actually post.

    There have been discussions in the recent past in which it seemed that vegetarians had to almost be apologetic about being vegetarian because of the vocal flesh-eating lobby so amply represented.

    For me, the discussion is a microcosm of how I see the healthcare “debate” (and the global warming debate to a lesser degree). The discussions in here from the bmi>25 and happy folk is a bit of a concern.

    The question is, as you leave your 20’s and 30’s and your health declines, are you prepared to pay even more for health insurance? Do you not see the relation between out-of-control healthcare and out-of-control calorie intake?

    What about the relationship of out-of-control calorie intake (attributed in large measure to fat intake, particularly from consumption of red meat, and global warming? (e.g., 40% more greenhouse gas from factory farmed animals than from transportation).

    Eating, particularly bad eating habits, are central to “big” issues in the world and people need to take them far more seriously than evidenced by some of the posts here – namely global warming and healthcare and the relation of these to bad eating habits.

    Two books I think are interesting: “The End of Overeating” – which discusses the addictive power of high fat/sugar/salt processed food. That food chemists mix and alter food for palate and addictiveness is something one should at least be aware of.

    The other book is “Eating Animals” – which looks to be chock-full of fact checked data on the state of factory farming.

    At the beginning of 2009, I started on a 1-year plan to become a vegetarian – because of my concern for the environment and the damage that red-meat consumption brings to the planet. The fact that being a vegetarian also has fringe benefits of improved health and animal compassion is just icing on my vegan brownies…

    Just as an aside, because I cannot let it go, BMI is known to have limitations for athletes in overestimating body fat and underestimating body fat for eldery – neither catergoy seems to be over-represented in the posts I have read.

    But to return to my first question, if I do invest time and “willpower” to improve my health and lower my risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease (I am a dude, if I were a woman I may discuss lowering my risk of stroke), should I have to pay for those people who undermine their health and increase their risks?

    Chow,

    YSG

  44. Over the last decade, I’ve gone from 115 at 5′ 4″ to 150 and back…I’m now at about 125-130.

    To be perfectly honest, I feel fat at any weight. I really can’t tell just how fat I am objectively-I feel more or less the same now at 130 as I did at 150.

    I can tell the numbers on the scale, but that’s the only solid reference point I have.

  45. I love being skinny and I love eating. My weight is easily managed, I eat semi healthily and I exercise with the venom. So I’ve stayed at the same weight since I was 18. You can be skinny and eat basically whatever you like. Just run, skate, swim, walk, surf, snowboard it off after.

    Diets don’t work, exercise does.

    Oh yeah the guy who invented BMI said it shouldn’t be used to gauge obesity. Someone has probably already said this but everyone keeps quoting their BMI levels. Mine says I’m underweight but that’s bollocks.

  46. well yeah I’ll take diet advice from Kate. Hey Kate, does being skinny feel better than cocaine?

    Or how about poor choice in boyfriends? Do they make you feel great?

    The only thing she is good at appears to be appearing thin.

    I’ll take my fat failings and she can be thin for the both of us. Good man, aversion to drugs, and kids that don’t see mom on a tabloid cover. Life is good and so is quiche. Extra cheese quiche made with heavy cream and bacon.

  47. I’m stoked atm.

    About a month and a half ago, my girlfriend slung a tailor’s measure around my waist. I needed a new belt, and she went to buy me one when she went into town.

    I was also getting a bit chubby. Just turned 25, and I’m starting to notice it.

    I started to really savor my food when I eat it – to enjoy it instead of just mindlessly consume it. In the process, a lot of the things I was eating regularly weren’t actually all that enjoyable, really. They fulfilled cravings, true. But there’s not actually a hell of a lot of enjoyment in a Big Mac unless you’re craving one first.

    I cut out the excess salt, all fizzy drinks, and fast food. I’m still naughty every once in a while – but if I eat mainly from my own fridge and pantry, and don’t fill that fridge and pantry with all that crap, then I can’t eat it in the first place.

    If I crave something fattening, I make sure I fulfill that craving by actually cooking something myself. Onions + mushrooms + garlic + a handful of bacon + cream + rue + chicken stock + pepper + handful of cheese + a splash of white-wine vinegar over pasta kicks the shit out of fatty-food-cravings far more effectively than a damn quarter-pounder. And when you add everything up, you can get about four or five meals out of it for the cost of two or three McD’s takeaway combos.

    Anyway, after doing this for about a month, I now need a new belt. The tightest setting on the belt my girlfriend got me a month ago is now too loose – there’s scratch-marks all the way down the belt to where I need another hole or two. Maybe three.

    ^_^

    Cut out the crap and rip out a damn frying pan. Coke isn’t that great – you don’t even miss it after a fortnight. Same with McD’s.

  48. I should warn those under 30 who are in the “I can eat what I want and stay thin” category, just you wait :D I used to be the same, now the cakes linger.

    Something I’ve noticed – it’s socially acceptable for people you don’t know well to comment if you’re thin, but not if you’re fat. For example, I can recall several times when I’ve said I’m cold, and someone has said “it’s cause you’re so skinny”, but imagine saying you’re warm and someone replying “it’s cause you’re so fat”. Doesn’t happen.

    Different standard, and yet skinny people feel hurt when comments are made about their weight just like fat people do. I guess being skinny is deemed so desirable that all manners go out of the window. Who could possibly object to a comment about ‘slipping down the drain’ when everyone would love to be that thin? (hint: me).

  49. @Tracy King: Isn’t that the truth. I’ve had complete strangers come up to me and tell me to eat something. Like, at a store or mall, not even in a restaurant. I don’t go around telling people they should stop eating. Also, I get that cold thing all the time. I seriously avoid talking about these issues with other people, especially women. I’m so sick of being beat up about it.

  50. Interesting food for thought, Tracy. I know–terrible pun. Seriously, though, as the father of three daughters I’ve gotten concerned from time-to-time as they’ve grown up when they’ve fixated too much on weight. Now that they’re all adults, they watch the pounds but all seem reasonably comfortable and appear to have dodged the anorexia bullet. Insofar as my weight is concerned, I do seem to watch it more as I age, but try to follow a reasonably healthy diet (beer is definitely a component) along with appropriate physical activity, so I’m content.

  51. @Jen: I don’t go around telling people they should stop eating.

    —————–

    Wait, though… isn’t this basically what Kate Moss is being accused of doing?

    I agree though, it’s a double standard. People probably mean it as a compliment.

  52. @YourSkepticalGuy: The discussions in here from the bmi>25 and happy folk is a bit of a concern.

    ————-

    Again: BMI is an absolutely meaningless measure developed long ago and far away for purposes having nothing to do with calculating your weight loss needs. It is total, complete, unmitigated woo.

    Research does not support the idea that a BMI < 25 results in a longer, healthier, or happier life. BMI is not a meaningful measure of anything. It does not measure muscle mass. It does not measure body fat, cholesterol, VO2 Max, resting heart rate, blood pressure, or any other metric that means anything in the world of fitness. It does not account for differences in frame size, assuming that we all have shoulders, chests, and hips of the exact same dimensions.

    There is no reason to accept the hypothesis that BMI is a valuable measure of whether one is "healthy" or "overweight".

  53. I don’t understand why so many people think healthy and tasty are mutually exclusive. There is a huge happy medium between all rabbit food and all dessert. Seeing how my very slim parents just ballooned around the age of 40, I started reprogramming myself early. There are alot of foods that I ate just out of laziness and habit – meals consisting only of instant pasta and cream sauce, potato chips, soft drinks, etc. Once I eased those types of things out of my diet, only to be had on occasion, I really didn’t miss them. I also experimented with cooking different types of food at home, and eating different types of food out. I discovered a whole world of delicious food that is healthy. I actually like most of it better than the heavy food I was eating before. Now I only eat heavy food on occasion, and I when I do I make sure it’s high quality (fast food burgers are just a waste) so that I get maximum enjoyment out of it. I think the key is not to demonize rich foods, but to think of them as treats and indulge occasionally. That can really get rid of the guilt and cravings that cause eating disorders.

    On another note, I’ve always been skinny. It’s genetic. As I’ve gotten into adulthood, I’ve filled out a bit, but I’m still not even on the BMI chart yet. I actually got rid of a doctor who harassed me about that and told me I could stand to gain 30 lbs. She didn’t even ask me about my eating habits! I eat 3-6 times a day, with a mix of types of foods and I exercise moderately/sporadically. It drives me *crazy* when people say that skinny is an unhealthy body type. It’s just *a* body type. There is no one body type that is appropriate for all people. I think most disgust aimed at skinny and overweight people is driven by the assumption that they are unhealthy and/or abusing their body in some way.

  54. Arg. Well, all my life I had been skinny without trying, but when I hit 30, I gained 15 pounds. In 3 months. And it shows no sign of stopping. I know what is healthy for me to eat, but since I never had to exersize restraint, it seems like a superhuman effort is required. Also, I am the laziest person on the planet, and every form of exercize makes me cringe.
    So, at the moment, as my self esteem has taken a huge nose dive and I’m floundering at my new weight and none of my clothes fit right, it’s true that nothing tastes better than skinny feels.

  55. @sethmanapio: I don’t think people mean it as a compliment. There’s such a huge backlash culture that assume super skinny women automatically have eating disorders or attitudes like Kate Moss and deserve to be derided for it. Believe me, when I hear this type of thing from people, it’s not complimentary. It’s judgmental and disapproving and completely ignorant of the background and context of the individual who is targeted. It’s designed to make me feel guilty and for many years, it did. I dislike being made to feel I should be otherwise than I naturally am just as much as naturally larger people dislike being told that. It’s wrong when it’s done on both sides.

    Also, whatever what Kate Moss is doing or saying, it should not be taken out on me or anyone else but Kate Moss.

  56. Just to repeat a key point: Kate Moss’ *actual* quote was, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels- you try to remember, but it never works.” Completely different attitude conveyed here in the full version.

  57. @dorabora: I had to trick myself into exercising through dance classes. I’ve tried the whole gym workout thing and it is painfully mindnumbing. Finding activities that could be fun was really important…and also, having them be group oriented so that I would commit to a schedule of when to show up and pay a fee per class so that it couldn’t be put off and I knew I was missing something I’d paid for if I didn’t go.

  58. I constantly struggle with this. I was a little overweight in high school, and during college I sort of fluctuated between being really fit, and a little fubsy. My weakness is all the food during the holidays, and I love to bake. I have a sweet tooth, so when something delicious is in front of me, it often takes more willpower than I have to not eat it. And why not? I can always burn calories…I can’t always have warm, moist pumpkin bread baked by somebody else.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Enjoy

Close
Close