Posted by: Daisy | October 20, 2008

Thin Thoughts

In my everyday life, so many people ask me what I eat and how I stay thin and sometimes, I’m so tempted to say, Big Mac Meals with Diet Coke.  However, instead of the flippant answer, I typically give the truthful one – that it isn’t just about what I eat, it is the lifestyle I choose to live.  I choose to eat relatively healthy meals, 70-80% of the time and I exercise all the time.  Genetics is a factor too, but you can’t control your genetics, so let that one slide and just work on the controllables.

I have to admit, one of the most annoying comments I have heard from someone who was significantly overweight was, “You are so thin, you disappear.  I know you eat – tell me, were you born this way?”  Wow.  I could have punched her with my fist if I didn’t already have my coffee that morning.  Okay, so perhaps that’s a little too graphic, however, people using genetics (an uncontrollable) as a solution is cheating themselves.  It’s just their excuse for rationalizing a decision they have already made. 

So, you may be wondering why I would take offense to this comment.  You see, I have a sensitivity to being called ‘thin’.  I know others may think this is a compliment, however, when you spend a good part of your life hearing the ‘rail-thin’ comments, along with veiled ‘anorexia/bulimia’ questions lingering in the air, they start to grate on you.  It would be like me saying to the overweight person “You are so fat, you’re the same width all around.  I haven’t seen you stop eating yet – tell me, were you born this way?”

No one would dream of saying that.  Okay, I’ve dreamt it but can’t say it aloud.  Yet, she wanted to assume that the only way I could be thin and eat was through genetics.  The real truth is that yes, genetics is on my side, however, to really stay in shape, I work hard at it.  In addition to the exercise, you’ll notice that foods I choose to eat compared to the ones she chooses to eat on a regular basis are quite different.  If you look at the caloric intake and expenditure of me compared to her, you’ll note there is a big difference.  I can eat that much and not put it on because I burn that much.  She sits all day, everyday.

There’s really no comparison, and it’s hard for me to answer her in a way that would make sense since she has absolutely no concept of the kind of lifestyle I choose.  Does she really believe that my genetics would be able to overcome a high fat, high calorie, low activity lifestyle.  In the end, I smiled at her and said, “yes, genetics helps, but I also eat well and am a fitness instructor too”.  I saw my words literally go in one ear and out the other, and I’m sure she still thinks its genetics.  She’ll probably pass on the same lifestyle to her children and blame their weight on genetics too.

I think you have to overcome what you were born with – the good, the bad and the ugly – and take yourself mind, body and soul to a new level.

– Daisy



  1. My husband is thin. His mother was extremely thin when she was young. My son and daughter are thin. Yes, part of it is genetics. However my hubby eats well, runs, takes the stairs whenever possible, and goes for walks every evening. My son and daughter eat well, and are incredibly active. So diet and excercise do play a factor.

    My genetics do not leave me with a tendency to be thin. I am a healthy size 12. I eat right, I excercise, and I’m happy. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I would never be a size 8, and I will always weigh more than my husband. I could weigh less, I suppose, but I’ve been there, and I was not happy, and in fact I was miserable and a tad obsessive about food/weight/body image. My life revolved around my weight, and it was extremely unhealthy. I did not blame others, I blamed myself. I may have cursed genetics now and again, but I truly blamed myself. I’m actually healthier today at 39, than I ever was. Even my doctors agree. It happened when I became comfortable with who I am, and taking care of me.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say, is in a way I agree with you. People need to take responsibility for themselves. Not place the blame on anyone or anything. If you truly excercise and eat right, then you will be healthy in mind and body, no matter what size. Jealousy is a poor motivator for most people, I think.

    Did I make sense, or am I rambling, as usual? 🙂

    Great post!

    Mrs. V – Thank you so much for commenting on this. You don’t know how much I appreciate it. You know, I try to be very positive in my life, and when I wrote this and reread it, I thought, darn – people just might not really take well to this.

    I did remind myself that it is about acceptance of who you are, and when I finally accepted who I am – it all just became easier. However, accepting who I am and actually writing my opinion are 2 different things. So thank you thank you thank you! You make me feel a little better that I wrote and post it.

    I too am healthier today than ever before. If you’re interested, I wrote about this on my other blog:

    Exactly – I love the way you summarize it – if you lead a healthy lifestyle, then you’re good to go, no matter your size or shape!

    Did I thank you enough yet? 🙂


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