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Do you work hard to avoid being overweight or obese?


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It is hard for me.  I do have hypothyroid and IR.  It's not just that though it's the mental/emotional work.  I would love to go on beautiful hikes and such all the time, but that is not really possible.  I do actually like exercise/fitness.  Mostly exercise means running/walking around the neighborhood though or less time crunched days going to the local close by walking trail.  Still it all gets boring and I'm one to enjoy that sort of thing.  Then the mental energy of eating proper portions and abstaining after that point is reached.  I tend to be crunchy as far as choices, but I can only eat small amounts.  The really excrutiating part is social gatherings.  I like wine and appetizers and it's hard to be around that and really want to enjoy it but to only just sip and nibble while others partake freely.  I love parties and so does my family so saying no to those experiences would be ridiculous.   It's just a non stop battle of the brain.  

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I see it differently too. I can walk up our local mountain, but I wouldn't call it a hike. It's a pleasant experience and the view from the top makes it worth it too. But I do consider it hard work. It's a fun thing to do, but definitely not easy. Are you discerning between easy and hard? Is that is what is defining your idea of work, that it's only work if it's something hard and unpleasant?

 

No, it is not the distinction between easy and hard. I have done easy hikes, and hikes that were definitely very hard- but they still were not "work", because I chose to do them for pleasure.

 

The same hike, if somebody forced me to do it against my will, if it were part of a mandatory team building exercise, or if I were doing it solely with the goal to shed pounds, would be work.

 

I think the Mark twain quote pretty much nails the difference, for me at least.

 

Edited by regentrude
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I looked up the definiton of work for kicks and giggles :

 

 
activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
 

 

 
Whether or not one enjoys something doesn't diminish the amount of work done, but enjoying it sure does make it easier to stay motivated. Of course when you are out of shape it takes a while to enjoy activity. I know when I get lax it takes some work to get through the soreness and such to get to the point where 
 

 

 

 

 

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Up until about age 33, I was naturally fit (muscular) and slender at size 6. Now at age 40 (41 a month from today), I have to work very hard to stay below 190lbs. I fluctuate between 175 and 187. My feel good normal was 145. I would love to get back down to the 150s but I'm not even sure it's possible without starving myself. I eat very healthy and avoid excess sugar and carbs. I exercise daily and break a sweat but still I struggle. I wear a size 8 or 10 and I do have a lot of muscle under the flab, but I hate the flab and the double chin! I feel your pain!

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I looked up the definiton of work for kicks and giggles :

activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result

 
Whether or not one enjoys something doesn't diminish the amount of work done, but enjoying it sure does make it easier to stay motivated. Of course when you are out of shape it takes a while to enjoy activity. I know when I get lax it takes some work to get through the soreness and such to get to the point where 

 

But what about an activity that is done NOT "in order to achieve a purpose or result", but just for its own sake?

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That's it! I'm moving to the Himalayas!! :lol:

 

 

Right. I do enjoy my exercise. It is enjoyable. It was not at first, but now it is.

 

But, that doesn't mean I don't work hard at it. I turn down other activities -- frequently -- to keep my exercise schedule. I turn down parties and events that involve food to stick on my eating regimen. I spend HOURS planning food just to make sure that I don't go off track. And it's not like this is something I'll do for a month or two to drop 10 lbs and then I can back off. I CANNOT BACK OFF. EVER. I have to be "on" mentally and physically 24 hours a day, or I will gain weight.

 

I'm fortunate that I have the time and ability to do this right now. When I worked full-time, it never would have happened. It is a full-time job in and of itself.

 

I have to say, I am absurdly jealous of anyone who is so active and naturally drawn to a healthy diet that it is all play and no work. ABSURDLY jealous.

 

This is me.  I'm not sure it's all worth it.  I spend so much time and energy on exercising and thinking about food/weight/size and I don't think it's healthy.  I'm worried that someday I'm going to be on my deathbed and regret it.  Years ago, I read a book that described a woman like me and it said that her tombstone should say, "Wanted to be thin."  That scared me - I don't want that to sum up my life.  I feel like I should be relaxing more and enjoying treats with my family and friends, spending more time in bed with my husband instead of getting up early to run, etc.  I'm not sure if I'm making sense - I just don't want to use up my life worrying about the size of my body. Life is too short.  

 

Erica

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No, it is not the distinction between easy and hard. I have done easy hikes, and hikes that were definitely very hard- but they still were not "work", because I chose to do them for pleasure.

 

The same hike, if somebody forced me to do it against my will, if it were part of a mandatory team building exercise, or if I were doing it solely with the goal to shed pounds, would be work.

 

I think the Mark twain quote pretty much nails the difference, for me at least.

 

I think it's wonderful you live that life. But I have to admit I am a little skeptical that ever single person you know only ever chooses to - for example - go running because it brings them pleasure.

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Another thread has me thinking.....

 

I fight tooth and nail for my weight to fall in the upper end of normal on the BMI chart because my body so desperately wants to be severely overweight.  Sometimes I can't even keep it that low. If I continue to eat healthy but slack on really watching my intake or stop exercising then I pack on weight fast. As my mama always said....life ain't fair. It sucks, it isn't fun. I feel like so many others around me are either naturally thin-to-average sized or they embrace being large and make condemning comments about my efforts ("is it really worth it?"). I guess if I could somehow obtain an ideal body in the process then others would consider my efforts as valuable.  Sometimes I feel like I just work way too hard for my size. 

 

This is MY choice but I do not judge those who are in my position and choose not to fight it.

 

I must either eat strict paleo/whole 30 OR track every morsel that goes into my mouth.

I need to hit it hard with weights and cardio for about 1-1.5 hours a day, 4-5 days a week.

 

Why? When I let the weight creep up I am uncomfortable. I can hardly breathe and life is just harder. I don't like the feeling and tiredness it brings. It really isn't about vanity for me.

 

I'm curious to hear from others who battle this issue. What measures do you take to keep from being overweight (food or exercise related)? Why is it worth it for you to fight this battle?

There are over 108 replies that I've not read, but I do feel your frustration with weight. For me it is age coupled with a decade of little to no activity from age 35-45. Before kids, I was extra, over the top active, slim and could eat anything I wanted. Once I stopped being active the weight crept up. No matter what I did, the weight crept up. I got active again, and still my weight was at the top of the BMI chart. My weight increased no matter what I did. Then I went on vacation. I just didn't eat much, like hardly anything, and I wasn't hungry. I walked hours each day. I was excited about traveling around. I dropped 15 pounds in three weeks. Dropping that weight kick-started my sluggish metabolism. I've kept 10 of those pounds off for nine months and it would be easy to drop those five pounds. I don't eat any more or less than I did a year ago before my trip. It seems to me that being on the verge of overweight the body just wants to keep those pounds and add more. Now I pay attention to what I eat, exercise vigorously 3-4x a week, and can fit into my jeans again. Was it worth it, Yes! My blood pressure is lower thanks to the weight loss.   

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But what about an activity that is done NOT "in order to achieve a purpose or result", but just for its own sake?

 

Isn't an accomplishment a purpose or result? You may absolutely adore an activity and do it for it's own sake, but you are still doing it with a stop in mind. I see that as an accomplishment. It's accomplishing a loved activity. And that's still work. But that's ok. You don't see it as work and that's lovely for you. I work every day, I enjoy some housecleaning activities but they are still work. DH truly enjoys his job and all the stuff associated with it, but it's still work. I'm seeing the definition of work to be doing something regardless of the reason. You can characterize work such as hard work, easy work, pleasant work, unpleasant work, miserable work. But it's still all work to me!

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No, not a single person I associate with ever mentions being on a diet or does weight watchers or exercises obsessively. (ETA: with the exception of my obese friend who is going through hypnosis therapy for weight loss)

 

I am in a small town in the Midwest. My friends are mostly either college professors or "crunchy" homesteaders.

Everybody is physically active in some way (hike, bike, kayak, run, garden), likes good food and disdains processed crap - but no, I have not ever heard anybody mention dieting or even trying to lose weight.

 

ETA: I am sure there are people in this town who are dieting and talk a lot about weight, but none of those are in my circle.

We are not in a particularly health conscious place like CO or CA; I know that there are overweight and obese people in town, but even in the wider circle of the entire university campus, I see relatively few obese people. May have to do with socioeconomics; there are links between educational attainment and weight - but I am not sure anybody completely understands why there would be a correlation.

 

2ndETA: Thinking about this some more: I think there is a cultural component that is important. With my crunchy female friends, a big emphasis is on embracing oneself, feeling good in one's body, honoring our bodies by giving them healthful nutrition, and a very supportive atmosphere. There is no group pressure to adhere to certain beauty standards, and a high standard of interpersonal interaction - nobody would feel it acceptable to make a snide remark about somebody's body shape. So I could imagine that in a group like this, women would feel much less pressure to compete for being "slim" and feel accepted and supported as they are. I could easily imagine that a group culture with big focus on appearance, possibly driven by consumption of popular media, etc would drive women to be obsessive about their weight.

Your world sounds so utopian...

 

I don't have a single female friend who hasn't either talked about weight or body image in a negative way at some time or made significant effort through diet or exercise to change it.

 

I do think income can play some role in this. For example when I go to a museum or zoo and I haven't been able to take a packed lunch, what do I buy? I look at the nice salads and work out the I need to buy one for each of us in the family at $10 each... Or I can spend $10 and feed all of us on chips. I would rather the salad but I can't afford it. When I'm at home I prepare healthy foods but if we are out and about I can't afford them even if it's my preference.

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Your world sounds so utopian...

 

I don't have a single female friend who hasn't either talked about weight or body image in a negative way at some time or made significant effort through diet or exercise to change it.

 

I do think income can play some role in this. For example when I go to a museum or zoo and I haven't been able to take a packed lunch, what do I buy? I look at the nice salads and work out the I need to buy one for each of us in the family at $10 each... Or I can spend $10 and feed all of us on chips. I would rather the salad but I can't afford it. When I'm at home I prepare healthy foods but if we are out and about I can't afford them even if it's my preference.

 

 

I also live in the midwest.  Most of my acquaintances are upper middle class with incomes above 100K, which in central IN is very comfortable.  I have 2 good friends who are obsessed with weight with unhealthy habits- one maintains a barbie figure.  I have many friends with normal fit physiques and plenty of fat friends.  NONE of them "never" talk about weight.  Most of them clearly say no thank you when they'd rather indulge.  Many love good healthy food as well as some iffy ones.  A few might have an issue with alcohol consumption.  Or at least a daily habit.

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No, it is not the distinction between easy and hard. I have done easy hikes, and hikes that were definitely very hard- but they still were not "work", because I chose to do them for pleasure.

 

The same hike, if somebody forced me to do it against my will, if it were part of a mandatory team building exercise, or if I were doing it solely with the goal to shed pounds, would be work.

 

I think the Mark twain quote pretty much nails the difference, for me at least.

 

It also comes down to culture and available time. I enjoy hiking but it's hard work for me because I have to organise my kids to go whether they want to or not and if I want to do it with others I have to motivate them to go.

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It also comes down to culture and available time. I enjoy hiking but it's hard work for me because I have to organise my kids to go whether they want to or not and if I want to do it with others I have to motivate them to go.

 

 

For me hiking is work bc my resting heart rate is 100 and I have asthma.  When fit as heck I still shot into 180s easily (HR) and was completely gassed by running 5K.  My bp is 117/ something normal.  I had a heart work up.  Im just terrible at breathing.  LOL

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I also live in the midwest. Most of my acquaintances are upper middle class with incomes above 100K, which in central IN is very comfortable. I have 2 good friends who are obsessed with weight with unhealthy habits- one maintains a barbie figure. I have many friends with normal fit physiques and plenty of fat friends. NONE of them "never" talk about weight. Most of them clearly say no thank you when they'd rather indulge. Many love good healthy food as well as some iffy ones. A few might have an issue with alcohol consumption. Or at least a daily habit.

Yep: and I definitely don't always make unhealthy choices because of cost sometimes it's just the pleasure of it. But there are definitely times when that's the driving factor/

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I'm a lazy skinny person. I eat what I want (though I'm picky about what I like--When I refuse wine or chocolate cake at a social function, it's because I don't enjoy those things, so I don't need much self-control.). And exercise... um... sometimes. A bit. Not too hard. I do get bored quickly unless it's something like a scenic walk. Don't hate, though: you hard-core exercising folks will probably outlive me by some years, overweight or no. I believe it's foolish to judge people's health or character by their appearances.

 

I see many other slender women around town (who may or may not be working hard, however we define that) as well as many overweight women (ditto).

 

Some factors to keep in mind that go beyond individual choices are

- food prices (e.g., the tax-funded subsidy of corn syrup but not carrots),

- advertising ("You deserve..." [food reward], say so many commercials, as if we are Well-Trained Sheepdogs),

- urban design that is car-centered (lack of proximity between destinations; lack of sidewalks and bike lanes),

- private ownership, prohibitive fee for use, or closure of community resources such as ice rinks, swimming areas/pools, etc., that can promote physical activity for all (or most) ages.

 

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It could be that Regentrudes friends will think others will look down on them if they speak of such things. Most social groups have certain things they can and can't talk about and if the social climate is like she is making it out to be I would be surprised if people were open if they struggled with this issue or any related issue. 

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regentrude and poppy and frogger and sorer, and the discussion of enjoyment/supportive cultural surround/habits, are getting toward something I've often thought about but haven't quite put to words...

 

 

I was going to say it reminds me of the, "Is Marriage Hard Work" threads, a lot is in the way you frame things. 

 

Reguntrude says her friends don't work hard, but they are active and eat real foods. Some people consider those things to be very hard, obviously as so many people don't do either.  

 

I was talking to someone a while ago and they were talking about joining a gym as a family so they could be active. I couldn't wrap my brain around that. We do a ton of family activity, no gym required but I don't think that thought is unusual. I read an article this morning that said a study last year said that only 3% of people live a healthy lifestyle- including eating a fruit and veggie rich diet, physical exercise, no smoking and normal weight (I think there criteria is a bit strict personally but I think eating well and being active is far from the norm judging by everything I've seen). I just read another article talking about the rise in ADHD diagnosis, kids are rewarded for their ability to sit the longest, interestingly a study they did showed that only 1 in 12 kids had normal strength and balance. 

 

 

 

I live in an area where the cultural norm is pretty active/pretty healthy food habits/pretty fitness focused.  Most families have CSA shares or go to the rotating farmers' market days, most families go on regular hiking/biking excursions, women make dates with one another to meet up at yoga or spin classes or to go walking together, men and women meet up to play tennis/squash etc, families meet up at the Y or swimming hole or various pools/tennis facilities around town and hang out.  That's the culture.

 

I'm in several book groups and volunteer organizations; when we have meetings the refreshments typically include coffee/tea, seltzer water with citrus slices, if t's at night maybe wine; and perhaps small snacks like nuts, grapes, maybe crudités with hummus.  People take a polite bite or two; the plate is rarely consumed.  That's the culture.

 

When people have dinner parties, or meet at restaurants, it's typically only kids who have sweet desserts.  Adults maybe have a bit of fruit, or just coffee.  That's the culture.

 

I literally do not know one person in my town who smokes.  (Of course it's possible some people do so at home but not in social spaces.... but if so the point remains, the culture does not condone smoking.)

 

 

 

And that cultural surround shows.  The norm here for most people here is fairly fit to very fit.  I know a number of people who regularly run 5k- actual marathons; most others fit some sort of regular exercise into their lives.  People -- particularly those of us over a certain age, lol, aren't necessarily thin, but obesity is rare here.  It is noticeably different than many other parts of the country we've visited.  I expect it would be rather uncomfortable to be obese here.  (Not arguing that's a good thing, BTW...)

 

But I don't know that most people experience such fairly-healthy-eating habits and fairly-regularly-exercise-patterns as Very Hard.  I don't, myself.  People generally don't talk about "dieting," or frame yoga as part of a "fitness" plan -- just eat reasonably healthy and meet up socially at moderately active events.  

 

 

When the cultural frame is supportive of health habits (a good thing), and the strong social expectation is that people stay reasonably fit (more mixed, perhaps), it doesn't feel like HARD work... more akin to the level of effort it takes to keep the lawn/garden in reasonable shape :lol:  , or as soror says, the effort we invest to keep our marriages healthy.  Yes, it takes intention and a degree of effort, but a supportive cultural surround goes a long way to making it easier...

 

 

 

 

 

Note -- my point here is about healthy-habit cultural surround and how that makes certain lifestyles easier.... not to comment on the real difficulties of some individuals to lose weight / maintain fitness regimens.  I empathize with the complexity of such struggles and recognize the host of variables that come into play.

 

... just highlighting one piece here, which has shifted my own thinking a little bit over away from the Individual and a bit more towards a Public Health frame.

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Ok, so about work....

 

For me it is just as much about time.  I need to make a conscious decision to carve time to track and exercise.  I'm very busy, work part-time, homeschool and volunteer, etc.  It is work to make the time, if nothing else.  Ok, for me it is work.  period.  I wish it wasn't but it is.

 

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regentrude and poppy and frogger and sorer, and the discussion of enjoyment/supportive cultural surround/habits, are getting toward something I've often thought about but haven't quite put to words...

 

 

 

 

 

I live in an area where the cultural norm is pretty active/pretty healthy food habits/pretty fitness focused.  Most families have CSA shares or go to the rotating farmers' market days, most families go on regular hiking/biking excursions, women make dates with one another to meet up at yoga or spin classes or to go walking together, men and women meet up to play tennis/squash etc, families meet up at the Y or swimming hole or various pools/tennis facilities around town and hang out.  That's the culture.

 

 

 

 

I want to move where you live :001_wub:

 

Ya'll would be in complete and utter culture shock here.    â€‹

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Pam in CT thanks for sharing about your life. I think that is certainly true, depending on your culture having a healthy lifestyle can be harder OR easier. I see that in the upper classes around where I live especially- but not generally those who are poorer. It is certainly easier when you have more money and more time. I know I feel jealous of the SAH ladies who can go workout every day whenever they want, it is certainly more challenging even being a hs'ing mom, let alone a full-time working mom.

 

A healthy lifestyle is a HUGE priority for me so I incorporate it into our day. We enjoy doing active things as a family. I would say my friends generally enjoy being active they aren't super active. I have 1 kind of friend that is really into fitness but can't seem to get friends as into it as we are, wish I could. It sure makes it easier and more enjoyable to share it with others.

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In Britain, how overweight people are is very much tied to class.  The children at my boys' private school look like the children when I was at private school in the 1970s - one child in thirty might be overweight.  The state school (free public education) has many more overweight pupils.  Similarly, within the university where I work, the academic staff are more likely to be slim than the support staff.

 

I suspect that the difference is more a question of food culture and activity environment, rather than intentional work.

Edited by Laura Corin
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I live in an area where the cultural norm is pretty active/pretty healthy food habits/pretty fitness focused.  Most families have CSA shares or go to the rotating farmers' market days, most families go on regular hiking/biking excursions, women make dates with one another to meet up at yoga or spin classes or to go walking together, men and women meet up to play tennis/squash etc, families meet up at the Y or swimming hole or various pools/tennis facilities around town and hang out.  That's the culture.

 

I'm in several book groups and volunteer organizations; when we have meetings the refreshments typically include coffee/tea, seltzer water with citrus slices, if t's at night maybe wine; and perhaps small snacks like nuts, grapes, maybe crudités with hummus.  People take a polite bite or two; the plate is rarely consumed.  That's the culture.

 

When people have dinner parties, or meet at restaurants, it's typically only kids who have sweet desserts.  Adults maybe have a bit of fruit, or just coffee.  That's the culture.

 

I literally do not know one person in my town who smokes.  (Of course it's possible some people do so at home but not in social spaces.... but if so the point remains, the culture does not condone smoking.)

 

And that cultural surround shows.  The norm here for most people here is fairly fit to very fit.  I know a number of people who regularly run 5k- actual marathons; most others fit some sort of regular exercise into their lives.  People -- particularly those of us over a certain age, lol, aren't necessarily thin, but obesity is rare here.  It is noticeably different than many other parts of the country we've visited.  I expect it would be rather uncomfortable to be obese here.  (Not arguing that's a good thing, BTW...)

 

But I don't know that most people experience such fairly-healthy-eating habits and fairly-regularly-exercise-patterns as Very Hard.  I don't, myself.  People generally don't talk about "dieting," or frame yoga as part of a "fitness" plan -- just eat reasonably healthy and meet up socially at moderately active events.  

 

 

When the cultural frame is supportive of health habits (a good thing), and the strong social expectation is that people stay reasonably fit (more mixed, perhaps), it doesn't feel like HARD work... more akin to the level of effort it takes to keep the lawn/garden in reasonable shape :lol:  , or as soror says, the effort we invest to keep our marriages healthy.  Yes, it takes intention and a degree of effort, but a supportive cultural surround goes a long way to making it easier...

 

 

Thanks for sharing this. You are putting this more succinctly than I have been able to.

 

I notice similar things - but only in the sub-cultures of my different circles, both of which, for different reasons, are somewhat counter-cultural to the overall culture of the town and county.

I see a definite contrast in food choices and leisure time preferences between different groups of people.

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I've said this before:

 

I wish that I drank soda so that I could just "cut out the soda and lose weight."  (I never have so my weight has nothing to do with that).

 

I wish that I didn't eat fruits or vegetables so that I could just add those in my diet for health and weight loss.  (I eat a mostly Asian diet - there are a lot of vegetables involved and always have been)

 

I wish that I drank juice or other beverages other than water so that I could just "drink water and lose weight".

 

I wish that I didn't do intentional exercise for an hour every single day 7 days a week so that I could "just intentionally exercise and lose weight".

 

I wish that I didn't eat the exact same things and amounts calorie wise that thin people have said that they eat (with the exception of a few outliers who eat very few calories or who eat tons of calories).  I've had three registered dieticians looks at my food logs.  I've had three or four doctors look at my food logs (though probably only one knew anything about nutrition).  I've had a personal trainer look at my food log.  The personal trainer decided that I must be lying about what I eat because how could I have a weight problem and be eating the way I do?  He is no longer my personal trainer.  And for the record, I was absolutely not lying.  And I wasn't eating differently just for the sake of looking good on paper. 

 

I've tried cutting out all gluten, all grains (gluten and non), all nightshades, all dairy, all sugar.  Nothing has made a single bit of difference to my weight or my belly or any other claims that people make when cutting out those things.  (And when I've cut these things out it was been for a six month period so that I could really see if it made a difference.)  Currently I'm not restricting any foods but am eating calorically the same as thin people and what I've been told to eat by professionals. 

 

I recognize that some people can make a series of small changes that add up to a big weight loss.  I'm glad for them.  But when you've done all those things (in my case, was already doing them before I packed on the weight), it is like a slap in the face when people automatically think that I must be "doing it wrong". 

 

The one area where I work very very hard is with physical exercise.  I know that I'm not normal in my physical struggles (though I'm not abnormal either in the sense that many other people in this world have physical struggles - some much worse than mine.)  I struggle with going from being a semi-invalid to clawing my way up to normal mobility/fitness and then back to semi-invalidism and then clawing my way up.  Last time I had clawed my way up to doing cardio kickboxing and leading Zumba classes 5x a week.  (I was still overweight.)  Then I got felled by pericarditis, costchondritis and infections that had me on antibiotics for 6 and 7 months with a short break between  Now I'm clawing my way up again.  I am literally hobbling around today on very swollen feet and legs that feel like they've been kicked by a horse because I worked out to the point where I almost fell down the stairs afterwards due to muscle fatigue.  What I can do right now isn't very impressive - I walked 3.25 km on a treadmill last night in my attempt to reach my goal of walking a 5k - but it is an appropriate goal for me.  If someone thinks that I am "doing it wrong" then they can just bite me. 

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I remember while listening to a podcast someone mentioned that smoking was something only lower classes do now. I wish we called them something else rather than "lower" but I will use that term since it is common. I stopped to think about it and it was true. I would have never smoked back when we were young and just getting on our feet but that didn't change the fact that everyone I knew who smoked was less well off and hung in social circles that thought it was acceptable. I happened to find out just by chance that a more wealthy person smoked after knowing them years and years and was really surprised. You see they realized it wasn't socially acceptable so hid it. They probably thought (I'm extrapolating here when thinking about smoking in many groups) that people would think them stupid or less self controlled even if no one would have been so rude to say so. Wine and beer probably more specifically microbrews are fine but smoking, not so much.

 

Obviously, smoking is more expensive than abstaining so it is not always money. Smoking is cheaper than backpacking or joining a club like gym though quitting would pay for a lot of trips to the Y or new running shoes etc.

 

Cultures are interesting to me. I manage to sneak into many different ones (separated by money, race, etc) though I must confess I avoid some as they make me uncomfortable. I live in a place where it is more conducive to do that (including very near the most diverse neighborhood in America according to some studies) even if the flock I tend to hang with tend to be healthy eating, outdoor loving, homeschooling, types.

 

So please don't think I'm saying it is because your friend group is rude or something. Regardless of how they take it or how kind they are to someone who admits a struggle with it that doesn't mean that people won't want to.

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I've said this before:

 

I wish that I drank soda so that I could just "cut out the soda and lose weight."  (I never have so my weight has nothing to do with that).

 

I wish that I didn't eat fruits or vegetables so that I could just add those in my diet for health and weight loss.  (I eat a mostly Asian diet - there are a lot of vegetables involved and always have been)

 

I wish that I drank juice or other beverages other than water so that I could just "drink water and lose weight".

 

I wish that I didn't do intentional exercise for an hour every single day 7 days a week so that I could "just intentionally exercise and lose weight".

 

 

 

 

I've said these exact things before.  I have had friends say that they lost 20 pounds cutting soda and then peeps like us are like "what soda?"  "what chips?"  "what cake?"  ugh. 

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On a totally different thought.....

 

 

People say I don't eat enough.  When I get over the mental hurdle of not eating certain foods or eating so much less than others, I'm actually not hungry very often.  I think I just have a super crappy metabolism.  I eat so little to stay overweight or on my best day/month/year in the higher end of my normal BMI (because of thyroid issues my weight is all over the place).  As I mentioned on another post....why does this bother people?  If I am healthy and not hungry/cranky/irritable then why do others feel the need to tell me that my problem is that I'm not eating enough?  I tried the "increase" that everyone keeps speaking of and I gained like mad.  It irks me that others can't accept that the average calories need by a woman my height is not intended for everyone?  I have friends who are skinny and eat a ton of calories - way over the recommended and no one tells them to stop.  Everyone can accept that they need to eat more because of a higher than normal metabolism.  Why can't they accept that my metabolism is shot? 

 

Rant over.

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I've said this before:

 

I wish that I drank soda so that I could just "cut out the soda and lose weight."  (I never have so my weight has nothing to do with that).

 

I wish that I didn't eat fruits or vegetables so that I could just add those in my diet for health and weight loss.  (I eat a mostly Asian diet - there are a lot of vegetables involved and always have been)

 

I wish that I drank juice or other beverages other than water so that I could just "drink water and lose weight".

 

I wish that I didn't do intentional exercise for an hour every single day 7 days a week so that I could "just intentionally exercise and lose weight".

 

I wish that I didn't eat the exact same things and amounts calorie wise that thin people have said that they eat (with the exception of a few outliers who eat very few calories or who eat tons of calories).  I've had three registered dieticians looks at my food logs.  I've had three or four doctors look at my food logs (though probably only one knew anything about nutrition).  I've had a personal trainer look at my food log.  The personal trainer decided that I must be lying about what I eat because how could I have a weight problem and be eating the way I do?  He is no longer my personal trainer.  And for the record, I was absolutely not lying.  And I wasn't eating differently just for the sake of looking good on paper. 

 

I've tried cutting out all gluten, all grains (gluten and non), all nightshades, all dairy, all sugar.  Nothing has made a single bit of difference to my weight or my belly or any other claims that people make when cutting out those things.  (And when I've cut these things out it was been for a six month period so that I could really see if it made a difference.)  Currently I'm not restricting any foods but am eating calorically the same as thin people and what I've been told to eat by professionals. 

 

I recognize that some people can make a series of small changes that add up to a big weight loss.  I'm glad for them.  But when you've done all those things (in my case, was already doing them before I packed on the weight), it is like a slap in the face when people automatically think that I must be "doing it wrong". 

 

The one area where I work very very hard is with physical exercise.  I know that I'm not normal in my physical struggles (though I'm not abnormal either in the sense that many other people in this world have physical struggles - some much worse than mine.)  I struggle with going from being a semi-invalid to clawing my way up to normal mobility/fitness and then back to semi-invalidism and then clawing my way up.  Last time I had clawed my way up to doing cardio kickboxing and leading Zumba classes 5x a week.  (I was still overweight.)  Then I got felled by pericarditis, costchondritis and infections that had me on antibiotics for 6 and 7 months with a short break between  Now I'm clawing my way up again.  I am literally hobbling around today on very swollen feet and legs that feel like they've been kicked by a horse because I worked out to the point where I almost fell down the stairs afterwards due to muscle fatigue.  What I can do right now isn't very impressive - I walked 3.25 km on a treadmill last night in my attempt to reach my goal of walking a 5k - but it is an appropriate goal for me.  If someone thinks that I am "doing it wrong" then they can just bite me. 

 

And what you describe, I would consider incredibly hard work.

I am sorry that your health makes things so difficult. Hugs.

 

 

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I've said this before:

 

I wish that I drank soda so that I could just "cut out the soda and lose weight."  (I never have so my weight has nothing to do with that).

 

I wish that I didn't eat fruits or vegetables so that I could just add those in my diet for health and weight loss.  (I eat a mostly Asian diet - there are a lot of vegetables involved and always have been)

 

I wish that I drank juice or other beverages other than water so that I could just "drink water and lose weight".

 

I wish that I didn't do intentional exercise for an hour every single day 7 days a week so that I could "just intentionally exercise and lose weight".

 

I wish that I didn't eat the exact same things and amounts calorie wise that thin people have said that they eat (with the exception of a few outliers who eat very few calories or who eat tons of calories).  I've had three registered dieticians looks at my food logs.  I've had three or four doctors look at my food logs (though probably only one knew anything about nutrition).  I've had a personal trainer look at my food log.  The personal trainer decided that I must be lying about what I eat because how could I have a weight problem and be eating the way I do?  He is no longer my personal trainer.  And for the record, I was absolutely not lying.  And I wasn't eating differently just for the sake of looking good on paper. 

 

I've tried cutting out all gluten, all grains (gluten and non), all nightshades, all dairy, all sugar.  Nothing has made a single bit of difference to my weight or my belly or any other claims that people make when cutting out those things.  (And when I've cut these things out it was been for a six month period so that I could really see if it made a difference.)  Currently I'm not restricting any foods but am eating calorically the same as thin people and what I've been told to eat by professionals. 

 

I recognize that some people can make a series of small changes that add up to a big weight loss.  I'm glad for them.  But when you've done all those things (in my case, was already doing them before I packed on the weight), it is like a slap in the face when people automatically think that I must be "doing it wrong". 

 

The one area where I work very very hard is with physical exercise.  I know that I'm not normal in my physical struggles (though I'm not abnormal either in the sense that many other people in this world have physical struggles - some much worse than mine.)  I struggle with going from being a semi-invalid to clawing my way up to normal mobility/fitness and then back to semi-invalidism and then clawing my way up.  Last time I had clawed my way up to doing cardio kickboxing and leading Zumba classes 5x a week.  (I was still overweight.)  Then I got felled by pericarditis, costchondritis and infections that had me on antibiotics for 6 and 7 months with a short break between  Now I'm clawing my way up again.  I am literally hobbling around today on very swollen feet and legs that feel like they've been kicked by a horse because I worked out to the point where I almost fell down the stairs afterwards due to muscle fatigue.  What I can do right now isn't very impressive - I walked 3.25 km on a treadmill last night in my attempt to reach my goal of walking a 5k - but it is an appropriate goal for me.  If someone thinks that I am "doing it wrong" then they can just bite me. 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  I've admired you for a long time. What you have to do to maintain your health and just get through a day is a mountain. And yet your days are actually exceptionally productive. 

 

I think this whole area falls under the "what doctors do when they don't know what is wrong." Often, they decide it is a psychological problem when what they should say is, "I am so sorry that I don't know what's wrong. I wish I could help you but I can't."  And I think we all need to acknowledge both that science doesn't "know" very much at all about permanent weight loss or even its effects on the body AND that different bodies may be different. It took a while for people to "get" that cancer, for instance, wasn't one disease, but many. Now people know that. Someday, I think we'll find out the same about obesity: there are different causes and therefore need to be different treatments and what worked for you may not work for me and vice versa. 

 

Keep on keeping on, Jean. Your exercise and high level of vegetable intake improves your health no matter what the weight. 

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On a totally different thought.....

 

 

People say I don't eat enough.  When I get over the mental hurdle of not eating certain foods or eating so much less than others, I'm actually not hungry very often.  I think I just have a super crappy metabolism.  I eat so little to stay overweight or on my best day/month/year in the higher end of my normal BMI (because of thyroid issues my weight is all over the place).  As I mentioned on another post....why does this bother people?  If I am healthy and not hungry/cranky/irritable then why do others feel the need to tell me that my problem is that I'm not eating enough?  I tried the "increase" that everyone keeps speaking of and I gained like mad.  It irks me that others can't accept that the average calories need by a woman my height is not intended for everyone?  I have friends who are skinny and eat a ton of calories - way over the recommended and no one tells them to stop.  Everyone can accept that they need to eat more because of a higher than normal metabolism.  Why can't they accept that my metabolism is shot? 

 

Rant over.

 

I think that people don't understand metabolism very well.  I mean - even doctors at this point.  I'm sure that people have heard that you shouldn't "put yourself in starvation mode" and are parroting that to you.  Even if it might not apply in your case.

 

I know that metabolism is probably a huge factor for me.  I don't really know how to flip that switch. 

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I think that people don't understand metabolism very well. I mean - even doctors at this point. I'm sure that people have heard that you shouldn't "put yourself in starvation mode" and are parroting that to you. Even if it might not apply in your case.

 

I know that metabolism is probably a huge factor for me. I don't really know how to flip that switch.

For me it's a constant mental reminder that I'm just not normal. I treat it like a diabetic with sugar. I just can't eat what others around me are eating and I know that if I allow myself to do that then I'm done. If I allow myself to think I'm normal then I'll eat normal and then It's all downhill from there. I treat a plate of cheese fries ordered as an appetizer to share just like turning down dessert for a diabetic. I mess up sometimes and it usually comes back to the fact that I've let my mental state slip and forget that I'm not normal.

 

Jean I'm sorry for your struggles. I could have written much of your post. I've been gluten free for years and paleo or autoimmune paleo for much of that time. It didn't change my weight at all. That plus serious exercise works when it does ... Until it doesn't because my thyroid goes haywire and I gain until we figure out what's going on and then we adjust and I fight harder until I've lost what I gained and seriously .... My weight yo yo's even when my diet and exercise remain the same.

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I totally agree that culture makes a huge difference. All the things we are talking about-exercise, whole foods, etc are mostly seen here as elitist, snobby, and ridiculous. For better or for worse they are seen as things " city people" or " rich people" or even worse liberals do. I don't think I can explain how deeply a dislike of those things runs.

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I totally agree that culture makes a huge difference. All the things we are talking about-exercise, whole foods, etc are mostly seen here as elitist, snobby, and ridiculous. For better or for worse they are seen as things " city people" or " rich people" or even worse liberals do. I don't think I can explain how deeply a dislike of those things runs.

 

LOL on the bolded. Maybe that's the explanation why I have slender friends... I run in very liberal circles.

 

But on a more serious note: why the hostility and deep dislike against healthy behaviors? Do you have any idea how they justify this?

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LOL on the bolded. Maybe that's the explanation why I have slender friends... I run in very liberal circles.

 

But on a more serious note: why the hostility and deep dislike against healthy behaviors? Do you have any idea how they justify this?

It is quite like the bias against education in some places/circles.

 

I don't think people really think about it logically, it is just a bias against change and things that are different. I think it is a bit guilt too, if you see people doing something you think you *should* be doing then it makes your feel guilty and people don't like that. (sometimes too people can get really obnoxious about such things, especially when first getting into them and the push back is deserved)

 

Personally I don't care to be counter cultural(seems that is likely a hs'er trait) but I'm sure it is harder for others. My dh has always been pretty good about it(that would be so hard to fight my spouse)- even though he doesn't care to eat as healthy as me he doesn't generally complain as he knows that real food is better for the kids- I can't wrap my brain around those that slam feeding real food to kids

 

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For me it's a constant mental reminder that I'm just not normal. I treat it like a diabetic with sugar. I just can't eat what others around me are eating and I know that if I allow myself to do that then I'm done. If I allow myself to think I'm normal then I'll eat normal and then It's all downhill from there. I treat a plate of cheese fries ordered as an appetizer to share just like turning down dessert for a diabetic. I mess up sometimes and it usually comes back to the fact that I've let my mental state slip and forget that I'm not normal.

 

Jean I'm sorry for your struggles. I could have written much of your post. I've been gluten free for years and paleo or autoimmune paleo for much of that time. It didn't change my weight at all. That plus serious exercise works when it does ... Until it doesn't because my thyroid goes haywire and I gain until we figure out what's going on and then we adjust and I fight harder until I've lost what I gained and seriously .... My weight yo yo's even when my diet and exercise remain the same.

 

:grouphug:  to you, too.  There should also be some kind of "invisible superhero" emoticon for those who fight a huge battle that no one can see---and yet one which people *think* they see someone choosing not to engage in because they can only see the outside. 

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I totally agree that culture makes a huge difference. All the things we are talking about-exercise, whole foods, etc are mostly seen here as elitist, snobby, and ridiculous. For better or for worse they are seen as things " city people" or " rich people" or even worse liberals do. I don't think I can explain how deeply a dislike of those things runs.

This can also be because those who are poor don't have the same access to whole food or have a safe place to exercise. Even worse is when gentrification happens and the wealthy/educated uproot those who are barely hanging on financially and/or with their health.

 

I also see a lot more of the poor/disadvantaged being mocked. They are almost "sentenced" to areas with higher crime because they can't make the amount of money it takes to get by in a safe and healthy neighborhood. When a crime happens people laugh and say "of course they are from xxxxx"

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LOL on the bolded. Maybe that's the explanation why I have slender friends... I run in very liberal circles.

 

But on a more serious note: why the hostility and deep dislike against healthy behaviors? Do you have any idea how they justify this?

 

It's not about "healthy behaviors;" it's about cultural clashes or class clashes. Anytime there is a culture or class clash, the potential for hostility is going to be there.

 

There are many cultures in which the food is a major part of the culture, so to challenge the food is to challenge the whole culture. "Southern" style food is usually heavy on frying and seasoning with fatty processed meat, for instance, accompanied by biscuits made with shortening (aka trans fats.) If that = "Southern" to you, it's not hard to see why some dm Yankee meal of baby spinach, broiled chicken, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar seems to be capitulating to the enemy. Same would go for someone who grew up on Philadelphia cheese steaks, Gino's pizza, and hoagies (subs) as standard fare. It's associated with hometown identify and pride. 

 

So to "attack" the food of a cultural niche as "bad" in some way is to directly challenge a person's identify and cultural connections. 

 

If you don't work manual labor that gives you exercise on the job and you are lower income, chances are you have little chance or money for "exercise." I can safely walk in my neighborhood, or drive 5-15 min and take a beautiful hike for free. I can also afford a gym membership and Zumba classes. And I am not totally exhausted at the end of a day just from trying to survive. Exercise can certainly be seen as elitist in some quarters. 

 

Additionally, on a certain income, "comfort food" may be one of the most accessible forms of comfort or pleasure. Comfort food is often cheap and certainly readily available. 

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I also think that when people have been raised eating a certain way, telling them that that is unhealthy is viewed as an attack on their upbringing and their caregivers who were, after all, only doing the best that they knew for their kids (in the main part). 

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Social issues and eating are complex and interesting.  Here's something I lived through when my kids were young.

My kids attended a private school their first few years of education before homeschooling.   Some of us crunchy moms tried to change some of the food items at lunch and also prevent parents from bringing in king size candy bars to the kindergarten on the parent reading day and all the cakes for birthdays.  It did not go well at all.  I mean some people were down right defensive and furious. This was an affluent subburb and school.

 

Later on though, I heard that in middle school the girls were not eating, or only eating plain popcorn for lunch.  I was at a gathering with some of these families later on and I notice that one girl who had been chubby was now very slim.  There were some chips there and I heard her mother tell her very firmly she better not touch one chip or else.    There are definitely food and social status issues.    All the kids were slim by middle school age.  Another mother who I really liked told me she liked her girls to able to eat ice cream and cookies when they were young because "they wouldn't be able to later on".  

 

I don't now what I'm trying to say, but I'm not so sure that it's totally effortless to be slim for a lot of people, but that they are conditioned from a young age to not eat.  They get used to it sure, but there's been work and mental conditioning to get there.

 

I've watched my food intake since being a teen, and I really don't know anyone who hasn't, but not to the extreme that I experienced at this school.  

 

 

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I've watched my food intake since being a teen, and I really don't know anyone who hasn't,

 

to me, the bolded is just bizarre - because it is so very different from any of my experiences.

(But I already know that people don't believe me)

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Oh I believe you. I believe a large number of your associates have healthy lifestyles and normal metabolism. It is likely that if someone had a problem though they wouldn't go around advertising it to all these fit people. Just like there are healthy people in other social groups who don't talk crunchy lifestyle around a group who simply can't relate.

 

It is probable the people on the other side of the aisle think your statements are bizarre also. 

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I totally agree that culture makes a huge difference. All the things we are talking about-exercise, whole foods, etc are mostly seen here as elitist, snobby, and ridiculous. For better or for worse they are seen as things " city people" or " rich people" or even worse liberals do. I don't think I can explain how deeply a dislike of those things runs.

 

 

Because many liberals and upper class do come across as snobby and elitist and put people on the defensive. Not all ,to be sure, but just as people remember at the end of the day the nasty driver not the 60 regular drivers they came across or the prideful, gossipy Christian rather than the ones quietly doing good or the fool from the opposing party (there are plenty on both sides) they focus on that. As long as you are focusing on other's faults, you aren't focusing on your own and that is a comfort. 

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to me, the bolded is just bizarre - because it is so very different from any of my experiences.

(But I already know that people don't believe me)

 

Maybe it is bizarre.  Women have hard to attain standards set before them and sadly we are not happy without tyring to attain the ever slimmer figure these days.   I would like to say I'm above that, but I so very clearly am not.  It's hard to get down to the weight I like and then to maintain it is also a challenge.  I feel like it is like a part time job constantly preparing food, shopping for food, cleaning up food.  Aghh,  and when other things pop up in life, as it always does, it makes it harder still.  

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I do work hard but not necessarily to keep from becoming overweight.  Although I like my scale where it is and work hard to *keep it there* (maintain).  I lost a lot of weight after my 4th child and worked hard to get to where I am. 

I love to workout.  Love it!  I wake up super early every day to run.  I run hundreds (literally) of miles/month.  I run marathons (Boston... LOVE) and I'm an utra-runner (won my first 100 miler last July).  I run 2-3 times/day when possible.  My morning runs are rarely less than 10 miles (only takes 75'ish minutes to run 10 miles).  I also love strength/weight training and have a sweet set-up in my garage (and spend 45-90 minutes/day working out in there).  Did I love running when I first started?  LOL, no ... but over time I fell in love and it became something I can't live without. 

My neighbors ALL around me think I'm crazy though. :( They ask lots of questions but nobody close by works out from what I can figure out.  I did see one neighbor jump on his bike the other day. Loved that!  Most of my afternoon/evening runs I will see MAYBE 6 other people out (rarely running, mostly dog walkers or older people walking).  This town is not active at all and it's not super small (20,000 people).  I would LOVE to see people riding bikes (also rare) and sidewalks filled with people running, walking, rollerblading, etc...! I have actually had people stop me at grocery stores, the mall, a gas station and ask if I'm "that girl that runs all over".  LOL! :huh:  

I eat so that I am able to run and workout.  My meals are planned so I get enough carbs/fat/protein (I do not count calories at all).  I spend quite a bit of time every Saturday doing some basic meal prep for the upcoming week. My children are all active and eat healthy (for the most part, lol). It's just become a normal lifestyle for us.  However, because I get up so early and my weekends are filled with long runs we do miss out on parties or events frequently.  It's just what works for us...

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I think the culture of non-health is all of the things we've addressed. I can only speak about the specific folks I know. Most are farmers, the guys do manual labor and the women have low paying factory or customer service jobs. My town has about 1000 people and is surrounded by farms. Grocery options are a couple shelves at the gas station. There is a McDonald's five miles outside of town and a bar. Getting food you didn't make a plan for is not super easy unless you want to drive 20 miles. I think it's a combination of being told what you've always done is " wrong" so you must be stupid, a general feeling that the government and wealthy professional types look down on them, habits, lack of time and the reinforcement of everyone in your peer group behaving a certain way. I brought a spinach salad to a church carry in. It went untouched and I got 3 different comments that I hadn't brought my brownies. Message received! Most people like to be validated, fit in with their " tribe", continue comfortable habits and have all that be the path of least resistance. I, of course, am the odd duck who must swim up stream.

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I think the culture of non-health is all of the things we've addressed. I can only speak about the specific folks I know. Most are farmers, the guys do manual labor and the women have low paying factory or customer service jobs. My town has about 1000 people and is surrounded by farms. Grocery options are a couple shelves at the gas station. There is a McDonald's five miles outside of town and a bar. Getting food you didn't make a plan for is not super easy unless you want to drive 20 miles. I think it's a combination of being told what you've always done is " wrong" so you must be stupid, a general feeling that the government and wealthy professional types look down on them, habits, lack of time and the reinforcement of everyone in your peer group behaving a certain way. I brought a spinach salad to a church carry in. It went untouched and I got 3 different comments that I hadn't brought my brownies. Message received! Most people like to be validated, fit in with their " tribe", continue comfortable habits and have all that be the path of least resistance. I, of course, am the odd duck who must swim up stream.

 

In this context, avoiding obesity would be a whole lot harder than it is in my area.

 

 (We d@mn Yankees are all bringing spinach salad and broiled chicken with balsamic, lol, you'd fit right in.  And quinoa.  Quinoa = very hot this year.  Last year, kale   :ack2: .  So glad when the kale craze was over.)

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No. I eat what I want (tend not to want a lot of junk though) and don't exercise. I don't overeat often, but I am a late night eater. I am 49, so I may hit an age when I have to work harder, but I am at the low end of a normal bmi.

 

I never notice that overweight friends eat more or exercise less than I do. I definitely don't think I 'deserve' to be thin or earned it, and I don't think many heavy women deserve or earned that. And even if they eat more, I don't think anyone calls God and asks to be a craver, asks to be an emotional eater, or asks to be born in a family with an unhealthy lifestyle.

 

I know most people can make a difference with diet and exercise, but it takes effort. I don't like that kind of effort and don't blame people who fail to always manage that.

 

I don't know if it's good genetics, but I don't think we all have a level playing field. I also think there are some things I do struggle with more than many and genetics that are not in my side. But I don't think the good and bad are evenly distributed in the end.

Edited by Danestress
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No; only because working hard (as typically defined to lose weight) doesn't actually help me lose weight.

 

I am diligent about eating (approx. 80%) in a healthy manner.

 

This school year, I've walked 1-2 miles 5 times a week.

 

My jobs are not sedentary. Well, the private practice is but the full times are not.

 

The "fat and lazy" meme is sprinkled throughout this thread.

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