One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


The Pesky Perfection Gene and Habits as it Related to Weight Maintenance

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I had a surreal conversation with the husband last night.

Me: Hey! I’m food journaling again on MyFitnessPal — we should be friends.

(He started a food journal a few weeks ago to help reach his goal of losing 25 pounds this year)

Him: Oh. I stopped using it. I figured there was no point since it wasn’t that accurate.

Me: No. No, no, no, NO!

Him: What?

Me: OK, let me ask you a question. Does it matter, really, if it’s THAT accurate? What’s the point of the journal? Is it to make you more conscious of your food choices or be a super accurate calorie account? I hate to tell you, nothing is really accurate. You will never REALLY know how many calories you’re consuming or burning or even need. Don’t get caught up in those pesky details because what you do need is a little accountability to stop snacking so much at night. That’s what the food journal does. It opens your eyes and makes you consciously decide if that 2nd cupcake or 3rd Twix bar is worth it.

You’re using the accuracy of it as an excuse, aren’t you?

Him: Looks at me with a guilty-ahh-shucks expression. 

The fact that he wants to drop a few pounds, attempted food journaling and is playing similar mental games that I used to when I wanted to lose weight is really mind blowing. He has always been the kind of person who ate when hungry, stopped when full and now I see all my old patterns of thinking in him — the excuses and the overall sense of desperation.

The interesting thing is he was always a “naturally slim” person. I even wrote a post 8 years ago comparing his habits to mine based on an article I read in Prevention Magazine — click here to check it out.

His experience (and mine, really) have me thinking that it’s our habits that matter most. Sure, there are different body types, but if you really look at someone who wants to lose weight and compare them with someone who’s considered “naturally thin,” their habits probably play a major role and those habits can change over time — it happened to both of us in different ways.

Of course this doesn’t explain everyone’s struggle with weight loss or gain but there’s no doubt habits are one of the variables in play.

Don’t you think?

In other news…

  • We had a snow day here today!

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There are 7 comments so far.


    February 17, 2015

    I never thought of logging in that sense! I always tracked every thing I ate and have been so concerned with macros and all that crap. I might be looking at it in a different light now!

    P.S.-Kids looked like they had a fun snow day! Ended up being one for the kids here too.

      Running librarian

      February 17, 2015

      i feel like I need to start logging my food again. I did it a few years ago and lost weight. I’m usually good about logging for a while and then fall of the wagon. Ugh.


    February 18, 2015

    Ahh-shucks- BUSTED! It’s nothing but a ballpark figure, the only accurate part about it is how it shows up on your body, that’s where the undeniable result needs to be evaluated. This morning, you are accurately wearing what you ate last night, calorie accuracy not withstanding. Jeez, I love snow! It was 89F yesterday in SoCal.


    February 18, 2015

    I once watched a documentary where they tracked two best friends, one who was “naturally” skinny and one who was a bit heavier. They both insisted that the skinny one ate all the time and the heavier one barely ate at all, and they were convinced that it was genetic or metabolism or something. So, they gave them both this calorie tracking water to drink every day (don’t ask me…it seemed like crazy technology to me and was slightly horrifying!) and measured how much each of them was REALLY eating in a day, and sure enough, the skinny girl ate significantly fewer calories than her friend. I’m sure there are exceptions, but most people who are overweight eat too much. Including me. :)


      February 18, 2015

      Yes, folklore, wive’s tales, bro-science. I would venture a certain demographic group would fight to make this true, eventhough there is no proof. Recognition is the 1st step so you are well on your way! I trust I’m not patronizing by my comment.

    Karen P

    February 19, 2015

    Oh, I would never compare myself to a “normal’ person after 40 years of obesity, and 3 years of normal weight. I won’t ever be a “normie”. God bless them! But if I took their advice, I would have regained my weight by now.

    I did compare myself with others in “recovery” from what is likely food addiction. And I looked at people in solid weight maintenance for more than 3-5 years. Those two things were very helpful.

    I use MFP often, most days. I find my weight slowly creeping up over time without it. Only 5-20% (depending on the data set) will have kept the weight off over 3-5 years. I plan on being one of them.

    Here’s to habit and behavior modification. And comparison to the right set of people who have made changes.

    I don’t know how many times the CDC has to say it, or how many studies have to come out that support it: people that food log are (1) more likely to lose weight and (2) more likely to keep it off. I’m also a huge proponent of weighing things to the gram versus estimating size/amount.

    It really resets your brain about what you’re really putting in your body. You wouldn’t go to the gas station and use a pump that didn’t have a meter, would you?