Thursday, 16 April 2015

I'm not lucky to be skinny

People occasionally remark on my weight saying I'm very skinny though I'm actually a healthy 9st 8lb (137lbs for you Americans) at the moment, which isn't super skinny and it's not overweight/chubby either. I'm in the healthy BMI range and I'm fairly happy with my body and how much I weigh. However, it bothers me when people say I'm lucky to be "skinny". Yes, when I was younger, I had a fast metabolism, I was about 8 stone and I ate more than I do now. That was a bit of genetic luck but most people have super fast metabolisms when they're young. When I turned 16, my metabolism started slowing down and now things get stored as fat more than they're digested. I also have quite a lot of muscle which could be down to the fact that I have weak joints. My muscles have always had to work harder so they've grown and I ultimately burn more calories than someone with less muscles. Again, it's not luck, it's something out of my control and having weak joints (possibly EDS) isn't fun - dislocations, soreness, subluxations, aches, clicking and weakness is not fun.

I'm not constantly on a diet, I'm just conscious of what I eat. I have three, decent sized meals a day and they aren't ever a big plate of vegetables or salads, I never eat those. I even have fast food on a fairly regular basis. I eat what I like... but in moderation. I now rarely eat between meals, unless it's something small and fairly healthy like yoghurt or fruit. I've drastically cut down the amount of crisps I eat (I used to eat them every day, up to three packets!) which inevitably makes you stop craving them - it does happen! Crisps are my favourite thing to eat but we stopped buying them so they weren't there to snack on and I didn't like spending money on them in college so I stopped eating them. I rarely get the urge to eat a packet of crisps, even if they're in the house, but if I'm really craving a packet, I will have one. It's not going to make me gain 5 pounds, it's just one packet in a month or two, not several, which is where some people go wrong.
I've cut down the amount of sugar I have in my tea. It used to be two, then it went to two and a half and up to three. Sometimes the tea would be too sweet to drink! After learning about the negatives of having large amounts of sugar in your diet, I've adapted myself to two small, leveled out teaspoons of sugar. Those are the two main changes I've ever made to my diet and only because I was having too much of them. Crisps full of fat and sugar filled tea every single day are not healthy choices.

As I've got older, I've had less interest in chocolate and sweets. I often feel repelled by them and other days I crave them. I still haven't eaten my last Easter egg, but half of my Easter eggs and chocolate were shared out to my family! Even then, I can have a chunk of the chocolate and put it away for the next day, something my mother remarked on. She said she wished she had as much self control as I did and I think that's the main reason behind my weight. I don't know where my self control came from but I know when to stop doing something. Sometimes I'll be eating a whole packet of onion rings and after some time, my brain's telling me to stop and I ignore it sometimes. I usually listen to it which helps keep my calorie intake under 1500 a day, but even super fit people who go to the gym almost every day, have "cheat" days where they eat fattening food. It shouldn't ever be banned entirely, it'll make you grumpy!

Aside from this, I do exercise at least once a week, as well as walking around college each day and working weekends. I'm active almost every day. I did a cardio and tone full body work out yesterday which I'm really feeling today (ouch!), that makes you drip with sweat. That full body workout is simply a programme I recorded on the TV, for free. It takes half an hour but it works every muscle, tones them and helps you lose weight. I did it yesterday morning, before I went to college. I did yoga for the first time this evening, which surprisingly made my heart pump and get some sweat pumping. I'm going swimming tomorrow and working on Saturday. That's not an average week but it shows that I'm still fairly active each week, doing a range of activities. We now have an old exercise bike someone threw out, which I sometimes go on when I have the time and energy. Up until recently for about two years, I went kick boxing once or twice a week which can burn up to 800 calories in one hour. I know if I didn't do all this activity and I continued eating like I did in high school, I would be a lot heavier than I am.

A few weeks ago, I weighed about 10st (141lbs), the heaviest I've ever been, though I hadn't changed my diet or the level of exercise. After I was ill, I dropped to 9st 5lb (133lbs) within a couple days but I'm now back up to normal. Sometimes weight just fluctuates. A pound of muscle weighs the same (possibly more) than a pound of fat. If you've worked out a lot, you can gain weight through water retention and muscle building so you shouldn't always trust the weight that's shown on the scales.

You may always see skinny people eating a large fattening meal every lunch time but when they get home, they might be having fruit smoothies and doing intense workouts. Overweight people seem to think that skinny people who eat a lot (when they're around to see it, that is), eat that much all the time so they do it too, not realising that actually, you need to exercise in order to eat that much. A couple of my overweight friends say I (and a couple others) eat a lot but don't gain weight and that "it's unfair". In some cases it is a fast metabolism but I work out and don't eat every minute of the day, my other friend works out and the other eats very little. The way my overweight friends talk about food, it's obvious that it's a big part of their lives, when food never is for me. Some people have said that eating is the favourite part of the day which is probably when addictions start. To my knowledge, my overweight friends do not do any intense physical exercise each week, they eat a lot as well as having large portions so it's no surprise that they're overweight.

I'm always open minded towards overweight people. I don't immediately put it down to being lazy and eating too much but sometimes, that is just the case. When I'm in work, I have breakfast (cereal) before I go, then about 5 hours later, I'll have lunch (poached egg on toast), then I'll work until about 9pm and have a small tea. If I'm really tired, I'll bring a sandwich around with me to nibble on, to give me energy. My co-worker is severely overweight but again, I didn't judge. We went to a call and after the call, she got into her car and she immediately pulled out this massive share size bag of crisps and took a handful. It was clear that she was munching on these crisps in between calls, the whole packet was probably about 500 calories. Now I think, she'll probably go home and have a big tea and eat more junk food. It was obvious she wasn't very active and didn't have a good diet.

When you work out and want to bulk up, you're expected to eat about 3000 calories a day so if you see a skinny person eating a ton of garbage, consider the fact that they're probably trying to bulk up, meaning they're burning it off and turning it into muscle when you're not around to see. They're eating according to what their body needs (which everyone should do) in order to achieve the look they desire. I know that in an average college day, I mainly need breakfast to get my brain working and to prevent myself from hunger pangs and headaches. I don't need much energy so I'll usually have a small lunch, like crackers, a yoghurt and some fruit. It's all about asking yourself what your body will need that day and not exceeding that on a daily basis.

Anyway, what I'm trying to is say that people who are thin are usually thin because they work at it. Being thin isn't a physical thing, it's about your mentality to your food, temptation and moderation. You can lose weight but if you don't have the correct mentality towards those three things, you will most definitely gain the weight again. Don't tell skinny people or people you view as thin as lucky or that it's unfair that they get to be thin. Or even worse, don't tell thin people to eat more. That's like telling an overweight person to eat less, that would be considered an insult and fat shaming and believe it or not, saying it can make a thin person feel just as bad as an overweight person would. Thin people are usually a perfectly healthy weight, eating enough calories to keep them going and don't need your input!

Check out; Overweight People Are In Denial

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