How To Think Like A Thin Person

by Charlotte on December 30, 2008 · 58 comments

See this person? They are not normal either. Inside I am Hello Kitty Storm Trooper too.

Tell me truthfully: Do you think that thin people actually think differently than heavier folks? (Avoiding for a moment the very real point that thinness does not necessarily bring happiness as evidenced by this Special K survey where the top 4 happiest – both with their looks and their lives – groups of women were sizes 10, 8, 6 and 12 respectively.)

I like to watch people eat. I stare. I’ll admit it gets awkward occasionally. But, contrary to what they often think, I’m not mentally tallying the calorie count of their food or passing judgment about what put on their plate. What I’m doing is studying them. I’m trying to figure out how normal people act around food so that perhaps if I act like them, I’ll eventually be normal too. So do thin people think differently? For myself, I don’t know. What I do know is that for whatever reason many people of all sizes have a much happier relationship with food than I do. And I’m guessing that it might have to do with how they think.

Dr. Judith Beck agrees with me. Her father, the late great Dr. Aaron Beck, pioneered the field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Any of you who have e-mailed me for advice about your own issues with food and/or compulsive exercise (despite the fact that I am not qualified to give anyone advice about anything, bless your hearts) probably got to hear a lot more than you wanted to know about CBT. I love it. I credit Dr. Beck the elder with helping me pull out of a serious depressive episode my freshman year of college. And now his daughter has adapted CBT principles to weight loss.

The basic premise of CBT is that to change your actions, you need to change your cognitions, or thoughts. You know the old saw about if you are unhappy then smile until you feel happy? It’s sort of the same. You practice thinking and writing (there’s lots and lots of writing involved in CBT) the thoughts you want to have and replacing your old destructive thoughts with the new ones. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a little labor intensive at first but it does get better until at last the new thoughts are habitual. I know it all sounds a little hokey but there is a substantial body of research to support it.

A few years ago Dr. Judith Beck came out with a neon pink – ’cause women love pink, get it? – little hardcover by the name of “The Beck Diet Solution.” I was immediately skeptical as I am of anything using the four-letter D word but hey, I was in Barnes and Noble and you all already know about my dirty little secret about that store. So I read it. And then… I bought it. I think the Barnes and Noble sales person actually fainted when he rung me up. I loved it. It turns out that Dr. Beck was promoting a way to never diet again. At least in terms of highly restrictive food plans that cut severe calories or restrict whole food groups. In fact, it wasn’t about dieting at all but rather about how to change your thought patterns to “think like a thin person.”

She immediately dispelled the favorite myth of dieters everywhere that nobody has to watch what they eat except the poor sap on a diet. She contends that thin people are actually very careful with what they eat; they just don’t think about it in terms of deprivation. Like I said earlier, I don’t actually know how non-disordered eaters think. So I’ll have to take Dr. Beck’s word for it. But I would like to find out!

Dr. Beck has since come out with a sequel to her Diet Solution called The Complete Beck Diet for Life. This incorporates all the same skills as in the first book but adds a little more direction. The new book includes actual recipes and tips for maintaining your weight. All in all it is one of the most sane “diet” books I have ever read. And the best part is that you don’t need any equipment fancier than a pencil and paper to do it!

That and you have to really decide that you want to do it. Trust me: at first you will think “I don’t need to do all this writing nonsense; let’s get to the good stuff!” This doesn’t work. The whole point of CBT is that you have to ingrain it your brain through repetition. So skipping the repetition is like wearing Lindsay Lohan’s “presidential” leggings and thinking that automatically entitles you to a Washington D.C. internship.

Tuesday’s Great Fitness Experiment Giveway
What do you think? Do thin people think about food differently than not-thin people? Have any of you switched from one mindset to the other? Anyone stuck in a particular mindset? Leave me a comment on your take and you will be entered to win your very own copy of Dr. Beck’s new book!

PS> For an awesome interview with Dr. Beck about her book, head over to Cranky Fitness!

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. J December 30, 2008 at 3:17 am

I don’t know if thin people think differently, but I do feel that changing your view of and relationship with food will be very helpful for someone who is troubled with food issues. CBT can be helpful in doing this. Of course change takes some work, otherwise the person wouldn’t need help in the first place :-)

Very interesting and entertaining post, Charlotte. Thanks!!

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leanmoments December 30, 2008 at 3:20 am

Great post! It really got me thinking.

My brother is naturally slim. he eats unhealthy foods (lots of takeaway, not many veggies) but he has a really simple attitude to food and exercise.
When he’s hungry, he eats. When he is full, he stops, even if he is halfway through a plate of food. He wouldn’t say he exercises but he loves mountain biking with his mates and goes riding whenever he can. For him the exercise is incidental to the joy of the activity.

I would love to think this simply about my health, and for a few months I actually did! When I was in the swing of things it seemed so simple to go to the gym and eat healthily. Not because I had to but because I wanted to, and the more I did the better I felt. It was the one time in my life I didn’t feel like I was restricted by trying to be healthy.

I’ve been trying so hard to get back to that place! When some stressful situations came along in the middle of the year, I slipped back into my old familiar ways of doing things (which involved a lot of comfort eating and ridiculous justifications for my behaviour). The challenge for my is to deal with life and not revert to old comfortable habits and thought patterns in the process.

I guess I’m trying to say that I do think it’s possible to change your thinking, but it’s a lot of work and hard to maintain.

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aboyn3girls December 30, 2008 at 3:23 am

I don’t think anyone can know both mindsets unless you’ve been both “thin” and “not thin” at some point in your life. I’ve never been “thin” but I’ve also never been excessively “not thin”. I could stand to lose at least 25 pounds, but I’ve always been strong and healthy. I look at food with a love/hate relationship. I enjoy eating very much but because I have a horrible lack of self control, I also hate it. I really think the question is how the mindset is different between people who are naturally/genetically thin and those that really have to work for it. I think their different mindsets would be an interesting read.

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Anonymous December 30, 2008 at 3:36 am

I agree with this comment to a point made by aboyn3girls

I don’t think anyone can know both mindsets unless you’ve been both “thin” and “not thin” at some point in your life. I’ve never been “thin” but I’ve also never been excessively “not thin”.

I don’t think that you have ever been overweight to really know how we think, pregnant is not overweight. Gain some weight and then we can talk

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spunkysuzi December 30, 2008 at 3:37 am

I have to agree the people i know who are slim actually do healthy things without knowingly doing it! My daughter who is such a person, loves to rock climb, loves to ride her bike and her boyfriend is into a frisbee league :) Also i noticed that when she would get things like a small container of icecream or chocolate she is content to have a spoonful now and then and that was enough to satisfy her whereas me? I’d eat the whole thing!

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Debbie December 30, 2008 at 4:19 am

I can’t speak for thin people ( :P ) but I find that I always think about food – what I’m going to eat, how much of it, will there be enough, etc etc. And this thinking stays with me no matter if I’m on a diet (almost exclusively Weight Watchers) or not. Is it the chicken/egg argument? Maybe if I didn’t think about food so much I wouldn’t be fat, but maybe I got fat and from yo yo dieting I’ve developed such an unhealthy relationship with food/hunger.

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katieo December 30, 2008 at 4:20 am

The book sounds awesome, if I don’t win, I’ll be reading it for sure anyway.

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katieo December 30, 2008 at 4:31 am

(not to be nitpicky or anything, but I think that is a Hello Kitty Darth Vader, not a storm trooper.) ok that’s all. you know I just could not let that go. sorry.

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cannibalwarrior December 30, 2008 at 4:33 am

Thin people who have to manage their weight do. Thin people with ultra-metabolisms don’t.

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gus December 30, 2008 at 4:42 am

OMG.. I need to reread a few times. I do believe that repetition reinforces positive behavior and that when we smile, we do feel a lot better.

But having said that, it is hard for me to think about what “thin” people think. All the thin people I know eat lots of food and also a lot of junk food. They just seem to be blessed with the faster metabolism.

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) December 30, 2008 at 4:49 am

I've been on both sides, and thin people definitely think differently! Back the day, I didn't give a second thought about what I ate. Krystals (Southern version of White Castle) at 3 AM? Sure. You're not going to eat those chocolates? I'll take them.

Now, I plan out meals for the day in advance. If I know I have a party or dinner out coming up, I make sure there are healthy options available. I love the food I eat today – so tasty and good for my body. However, sometimes I miss those days when I would drop everything to join a depressed girlfriend for some Ben & Jerry's.

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azusmom December 30, 2008 at 5:03 am

I think CBT is one of the best things ever! Scientists who study the brain have found that changing our thinking creates new neural pathways, which in turn influence behavior.
I don’t know if thin people think differently. Many, MANY thin people I know are REALLY obsessive about food and exercise (often because their careers and/or relationships depend on their staying thin). I do know that “normal” eaters (like my husband) usually only think about food when they’re hungry. Then they eat until satisfied, and stop. And don’t think much about food again until they’re hungry again. And exercise for health, not to “work off” any food they’ve eaten.
That’s what I’m striving for.

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Getting Healthy December 30, 2008 at 5:31 am

I have a problem with putting all “thin” people in one group and all “not thin”people in another thought wise. I do not think it is that simple. There are variations in both groups. The CBT can help for some situations. But if the issues have been dealt with and there is still problems with losing it can led to frustration.
For myself I have been very thin and very heavy with a lot of “in between” times yo yoing (because of battling the gains in numerous ways). It is not always about the food. With eating clean the past two years there are no cravings or hunger fits but still fighting the weight. It is hard to think others want to pigeon hole a person into a set statistic by the outer package.

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Crabby McSlacker December 30, 2008 at 5:45 am

I love Judith Beck’s stuff and am a big fan of her father’s too. It’s great to hear how helpful CBT was for you, Charlotte!

I think the whole “think like a thin person” is complicated though. Many people are thin and have crappy habits, but have good metabolisms so they don’t have to deal with any “issues”. And plenty of people are fat and nevertheless still have a very healthy relationship with food and their bodies.

(But I can see how “Think Like a Person Who has a Very Sensible Attitude Towards Food and Body Image” might not be nearly as catchy a title for a book.)

And thanks for a great explanation of CBT!

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Tricia December 30, 2008 at 6:04 am

I have no idea, but I know that it is really hard to try to change thought patterns.

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Toots December 30, 2008 at 6:06 am

Those people that only eat one or two cookies have always confused me, and yes they are usually thin. Sometimes I would like to believe that everybody has problems with food like I do, but I know it is not true. My mindset has changed a lot, but I keep getting healthier and better, so over time it seems to be working for me, even if I’m not seeing the instaneous results promised by all the magazines I used to read.

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MizFit December 30, 2008 at 11:25 am

oooh late to the party here :(

and yes.

I do think that there is a small subset of thin people who intuitively think differently —-the rest of us?
train our brains.

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Christine December 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm

The biggest change in my weight loss journey – and more importantly my maintenance – has been changing the way I look at food and my body. At one point, I decided that I would no longer look at food or my body as an enemy.

I find I am much less self conscious about my body now that it is not an enemy and it’s been relatively easy to keep off the 35 lbs that I lost in 2002.

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Jill December 30, 2008 at 1:53 pm

I think naturally thin people DO think differently – I’ll use my husband as an example. Imagine if you will a plate of chocolate chip cookies still warm from the oven. My husband will eat 2 or 3 cookies with a glass of milk – and then not eat any more…for like a week. This baffles me. I will eat 2 or 3 cookies every day until they are gone, even if they are dry and crumbly. He eats what he wants, when he wants it, but then he’s done with it and it has no hold over him. I am acutely aware of the fact that there is delicious food nearby, and I am unable to resist it’s sweet call.

So there ya go, that’s the difference IMHO.

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Steve Stenzel December 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm

I really think there is something between our thoughts and everything else in our lives (including eating). I haven’t awkwardly watched other people eat though…

p.s. Dome Running isn’t open this week – closed for the holidays…

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Leamur December 30, 2008 at 2:39 pm

I think even thin people can think about food in unhealthy ways. My always-skinny, some-bizarre metabolism-thing brother is just as obsessive about food as I am, just in different ways. He eats quite healthily for the most part, but is ostenatiously finicky about the perceived quality of what he eats. (I say “perceived quality” because I don’t entirely agree, of course, but whatever, he’s the skinny one.)

I’d really like to think like a more active person, since I think my main problem is how sedentary I am. In periods in my life when I’ve been physically very active, I had no problems with my weight just eating intuitively, but when I’m less active, I gravitate to poorer food choices and habits, get cravings for (bad) things, and get quite fat quite quickly.

I’m sure Dr. Beck’s techniques could be adapted to thinking like a more active person, so I’d love to get the book and try it.

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Emily December 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Well, this approach makes logical sense to me – the “simple” act of THINKING about what I eat has made a huge difference for me. So I’d be interested in learning what Beck has to say – I’ve still got far to go!

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Gena December 30, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Phew! I need to reread a lot of these comments, because some sound exactly like me!

I love to eat, but sometimes hate food because I lack the discipline to stop eating when I get full. I suffer from the “clean your plate” mentality, and while this hasn’t really affected my weight, it has affected how I feel about food and myself.

Changing habits and mindsets really does take a lot of work. But, if it’s an area you (the universal you) feel needs to change for the better, the effort is most certainly worth it.

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Loey December 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Very interesting. Up until my mid-twenties I was thin-ish, but never really thought about it. I exercised A LOT, but it was via sports or training for sports, so it felt different than just going to the gym for the sole goal of weight loss/maintenance. And in turn I ate what I want, and funnily enough that was usually pretty balanced.

Now I’m older, with a couple of injuries that took me out of action for several months at a time, past a bout (lasting years) of severe depression from a bad relationship, and just busier, and I struggle to find that balance again.

I’d be very interested in that book, and may add it to my Amazon wishlist.

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nicole p December 30, 2008 at 3:54 pm

you know I think you nailed it on the head when you said you didnt know what kind of thoughts a non-disordered eater has. Because I’ve been on both spectrums, anoroexic-skinny and morbidly obese and in both cases I had the same mindset just different focuses.

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DaniD December 30, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I have been thinner and thicker (right now, I’m thicker). Several years ago, I lost a lot of weight through running. I just upped and started to run. Did I think differently then? I’m not sure if I thought at all about it. I didn’t even really realize I lost so much weight until people started commenting. If I thought at all, it was “how do I improve on my running”? So, good nutrition followed.

I have since lost my joy of running, but I’ve picked up Krav Maga. Now, I think “How can I improve my punches and kicks?” So, that lead to weight training, pushups, burpees, and kettlebells.

Like I said, I’m thicker now, but I think I’m actually healthier than I’ve ever been. I’m not a naturally thin person, and I never will be. I will always have to work at it.

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Sagan December 30, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Oh Charlotte, we would have so much fun staring at people together! I love watching people eat, too- actually just people-watching in general- for the same sorts of reasons.

Am super intrigued by this book. It really IS all about the mindset. Once we’ve retrained our way of thinking, the rest follows naturally.

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Courtney December 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm

I think the reasoning for eating is different in a lot of thin versus not-thin people. I think a lot of larger people are disordered eaters in one way or another, and the thin vs non-thin thing shows when Thin has one cookie but Non-thin has five. Or when Thin decides the cake they’re eating isn’t so hot and doesn’t finish it, but Non-thin finishes it even if s/he doesn’t like it. I know my battle with food, even as someone who appears thin, is that compulsion and obsession towards food. Blah.

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SeaBreeze December 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm

I think the majority of people have a disordered relationship with food, period. My friend “SwimChamp” would be tiny from all the coaching and competitions she does, but she isn’t. She gets into funks and eats entire cheesecakes, but she’s still thin.

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mappchik December 30, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Great post and comments.

I started skeptical of the “think thin”. Somewhere along the way of reading your post, the interview with Dr. Beck, and couple reviews of the book(s), the lightbulb went off.

When I lost 30+ lbs, it was due almost entirely to three things:
1 – Eat at regular meal time.
2 – If it’s not meal time, wait 15 minutes before grabbing a snack.
3 – Eat a little dessert, every night.

That’s all behavioral, but I think my reasons for losing the weight were just as important as the how. It wasn’t so much how I looked, as how I felt a few years ago. I woke up one morning and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt like anything other than a slug. Always tired, always feeling almost sick.

My “new” eating patterns have become habits over the last four years, but I think Dr. Beck’s book would still be helpful. A victory parade of affirmation for what I’ve done so far, and guidance for making sure it sticks. (Keeping my fingers crossed for winning the book, but dropping it in my Amazon “for later” shopping cart, just in case.)

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Every Gym's Nightmare December 30, 2008 at 5:15 pm

ive been thin. Ive been normal thin, and Ive been painfully thin. It seems, the thinner i was in reality (even though I did not feel “thinner” in my head) the more unhappy I was.

Kelly Turner
http://www.everygymsnightmare.com

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Anonymous December 30, 2008 at 5:25 pm

My husband is a thin person. He eats what he wants when he wants. If I eat what I want when I want, I gain weight. Lots of weight.

How do you change the desire for wanting to overeat food? I’ve been from a size 6 to a size 16. Obviously, I’ve managed that desire better at certain times, but it’s always there no matter what my size. That to me is the difference between a thin person who is thin without effort. They don’t have to fight. I do.

mrss

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Quix December 30, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Having been a thin and extremely-not-so-thin person, I think it definitely boils down to eating only when you’re hungry and not because it’s there, and stopping when you’re no longer hungry, not stuffed. Craving healthy things instead of unhealthy things helps. Living an active life is important too – whether its by circumstance or by getting our butts to the gym when we should.

Seems pretty obvious, right? When I’ve been thin, these things have come natural and have been part of my life. When I’ve been thick, these things have been a struggle, just out of reach. I just hope I’ve learned my lesson for the last time…

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Lisa December 30, 2008 at 5:46 pm

I totally think they think differently. I have been overweight my whole life and I didn’t think about it much until I was in college. I went through all of high school not caring about weight. I wouldn’t say I was HAPPY with myself, because what teenager is? But weight was not the core issue I had. I think it has to do with how my parents raised me, although I couldn’t tell you exactly what they did to instill that into me. I just know I didn’t start caring about it and thinking it had an effect socially until I was in college. I feel like I have problems with weight because I don’t think about food the same way as others. That doesn’t make it an excuse as much as it just makes it part of the hurdle to cross.

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michellew December 30, 2008 at 5:55 pm

I can only speak for myself…having been ‘thin’ for most of my life, I’ve experienced at least two instances of not so ‘thin’ over the last 15 years. Nothing that would approach obesity, but certainly enough excess poundage for my frame to be noticeable. Reflecting on those times, for me, it was most definitely the absence of thinking that got me there.

I am now in a ‘thin’ phase again after a lot of hard work. I’m ‘thinking’ about every morsel I put in my mouth and every calorie I burn during exercise. It’s not an obsessive kind of thinking–more like a conscious awareness of the choices I’m making. Those not-so-thin periods in my life were most definitely characterized by a lack of awareness and/or an unwillingness to be aware of what I was stuffing down my face. Your mileage may differ.

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Caylyn December 30, 2008 at 6:33 pm

I do think thin people think different about food, because I think they don’t have the issues with food that I, the overweight, person does. It reminds me of something a co-worker said, when we were working together to lose weight. She referred to a nutty bar as “evil”. No, it’s not. And I don’t think a thin person, or someone with a healthy relationship with food, would think that way. But those of us who are overeaters tend to associate certain high calorie foods as evil, or the devil, or off-limits, but then not care or take action about it anyway. I’m vaguely familiar with CBT, and I like the idea of transferring it to a healthy attitude towards food and weight.

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Colleen December 30, 2008 at 8:17 pm

YAY! This just reinforces what I’m convinced of – people CAN change – I know I think of my body more as a temple than I used to. And exercise is non-negotiable on most days. These two things combined have helped me maintain a healthy weight. I do admit to having somewhat disordered thoughts about food every once in a while, but that can usually be reined in by just “choosing” not to bash myself anymore. That book sounds really interesting!!

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Anonymous December 30, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I do think thin people think differently about food and eating. They seem to have a very different relationship with food. One thin person I know enjoys food, but doesn’t think about it constantly and never feels the need to binge on it – they have a much healthier relationship with food. They also don’t use food to deal with emotions or because they are bored or whatnot.

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The Wettstein Family December 30, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Oh how I wish I could remember what I thought when I was thin. I have had my own experience with CBT. After a specific incident in college, my therapist suggested I read the book Feeling Good by Dr. David D. Burns, and I loved it. To this day I practice CBT thinking, “That person didn’t just cut me off because I’m a bad driver, have fat thighs, can’t do anything right, but because he was in a hurry.” YAY for me!

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Allie December 30, 2008 at 10:51 pm

For me, I enjoy good food, and I am aware of foods I eat which are not healthy, but I generally don’t worry about it as long as most of the food I eat is healthy.

I don’t know what it feels like to have a disordered view on food- but I would imagine that problems occur when you become too fixated on food and what you should or should not eat. I think that leads to feelings of deprivation and binges.

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30x30 December 30, 2008 at 11:02 pm

I have been interested in this for a while…it’s so hard to become honest about how much work this is. I so desperately want to change my food friendship.

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hepsmom December 31, 2008 at 4:41 am

I’d like a chance to win this book!

Thanks!

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Lindsey December 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm

I love your blog! I’m new here and find your writing informative and entertaining. I think thin people must think about food differently. (Or at least mentally healthy people…) They probobly don’t stress about following the “rules” such as eating every three hours always have carb/protein in each meal etc. I’m assuming … they just EAT. But I don’t know. I’m not one of them.

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Laura December 31, 2008 at 4:18 pm

I read the first Dr. Beck book and absolutely loved it… but I have to admit that I totally flaked on the repetitions and tried to just take the advice without doing the work. For anyone else who decides to give it a try, DO NOT follow my lead! Charlotte’s right on with that assessment :)

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Bethany December 31, 2008 at 5:18 pm

I’ve been interested in this book for a while. I think I used to have a pretty healthy relationship with food, but it’s gotten out of whack the past couple years. I want to get back to the place where I’m eating healthily and not obsessing. All the “naturally thin” people I know don’t have food issues. They eat what they want when they want it but don’t have the obsessive nature to overdo it. Maybe those of us who are “type A” are destined to struggle with these types of issues more than others???

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Ruth December 31, 2008 at 6:42 pm

I think that most overweight people are obsessed with food (the exception being overweight people who haven’t dropped their weight from pregnancy, who have metabolic disorders, etc.)

Some thin people are also obsessed with food, but these folks are usually either yo-yo dieters, or have an eating disorder.

I think naturally thin people, for the most part, eat healthfully, get daily exercise, and have an inner-life that is not dominated by thoughts about food.

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My Ice Cream Diary December 31, 2008 at 9:09 pm

This is really true. Back in my skinny days I didn’t worry or obsess about food. I ate all the ice cream I wanted, I just didn’t want it as much as I do now. I just really liked being healthy and enjoyed eating healthy. I would love to get that mindset back again.

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Laura January 1, 2009 at 12:39 am

I can’t speak for thin people or not-thin people; I’m kind of in the no-man’s land of slightly overweight, where I can’t be a supermodel, nor can I be an inspiring ‘I-lost-half-my-body-weight!’ story. Either way, I think about food ALL the time, what I should be eating, what I’d rather be eating, things I shouldn’t eat, but do anyway. I think about it even more when my weight is down, and when I stop thinking that way, the number on the scale creeps higher and higher. Sounds like a mind rut to me.

Thanks for the blog, and the give aways are awesome.

-Laura
selah(at)ku(dot)edu

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Ms Turtle January 1, 2009 at 12:55 am

I’m a fan of the earlier Beck book, and I couldn’t wait to try and win the new one so I went ahead and bought it for myself already ;). Typical impatient me. Ironic for someone who touts “turtle progress”! I’m going to be incorporating the strategies/food plan from the new Beck book into my current weight-loss efforts (which have mostly involved straight-up Weight Watchers so far).

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Karyn January 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I know that I think differently than I did before I began to successfully (but slowly) lose weight.

I now think about food more than I ever did – choosing carefully and making sure I eat at regular times, for one thing.

Does that mean that thin people think differently about food than obese people? I can’t be sure, but I think so…..based on my experience and observation.

I am very interested in this book and how it could apply to this and other areas of my life.

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Robin January 2, 2009 at 4:37 am

I’m not sure if thin and not-thin people look at food differently, but I definitely think that intelligent and less intelligent most definitely do. I don’t think intelligent parents would put Coke in their babies bottle, or give their children twinkees and marshmallow sandwiches for lunch. It amazed me to see the parents that buy all frozen dinner and 2 liter bottles of grape soda for their children. Poor or rich, you can afford to eat well.

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magpie January 2, 2009 at 6:49 am

I think (effortlessly) thin people think about food differently in that they don’t really think about it! They just listen to their bodies. I want to be like that someday. Hopefully soon.

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Ashley January 2, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I try to change my mindset but it hasn’t worked yet. Then there’s my husband who is naturally thin, and all he does is eat junk food and drink soda ( although he’s decided his new years resolution is to drink more water) and get bummed. I just need to relax and eat when I hungry and stop when I’m full. Although healthy options are best heh.

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gus January 2, 2009 at 11:07 pm
Gráinne January 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Thanks for this! Didn’t make many New Year’s Resolutions, but one of them was to sit down to eat…something Judith Beck said to do. Also intended continuing reading the Diet Solution as I got distracted a few chapters in a few months ago! Great to know there’s another book out. It seems like really good stuff. And I’m grateful for the motivation to get back into it…

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Rachel W January 4, 2009 at 4:08 am

I think some slim people, who have been slim their whole lives, and raised in families with a healthy attitude toward food, have “thin mindsets” that we might want to emulate. For example, many of my thin friends are good at eating only what they desire, stopping when full, etc.
But I worry that those of us with eating disorders/disordered eating mindsets will always think like that person, and not like a thin person, try as we might.

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Jane January 5, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I do the same thing you do; I watch people eat who don’t seem to do it naturally and normally.
It’s kind of mind-blowing to watch people who eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full, and eat what they feel like instead of staring at it in that “i’m-assessing-calorie-and-fat-content-and-already-planning-how-to-get-rid-of-this-before-i’ve-even-eaten it” look. I’m thin but not happy, and would rather be curvy and happy with myself and able to enjoy food in a normal, non-voyeauristc manner.

Confession: I guiltily youtube videos of people eating their birthday cake, or mc donald’s because I can’t imagine eating these things and envy the people who can without excess or deprivation.

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