Saturday, January 9, 2010

If you're the type to read "diet books", then you might take a look at Making Weight Control Second Nature by Susan Burke March, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE. (Disclaimer, Susan is a colleague and a friend.)
Susan makes an interesting point in the introduction to the book: She is very lean and people presume that she has been that way her whole life. She mentions that she was once 40 pounds heavier (wouldn't I love to only be 40 pounds overweight!)yet people presume that she is "naturally thin". Susan doesn't think anyone is "naturally thin" but that everyone who is thin works at it. Maybe some people don't have to work at it as hard as other but even people who've never been fat, don't gorge themselves on hot fudge sundaes and fried chicken every day.
I do agree with her. We've all seen a slender person eat a huge meal and that's what makes us think, "She's naturally thin. She can eat whatever she wants." Well, she can't eat whatever she wants and she doesn't eat whatever she wants all the time. That's the point. "Naturally thin" people, those who are lean and maintain their leanness throughout life, are probably much more mindful eaters than those of us whose weight fluctuates between fat and very fat.
Think about it. We base our belief that someone is naturally thin and can eat whatever she wants on occasional observations of the person stuffing her face. But what about how that person eats every day? Every month? I have no scientific evidence to back this up but I'm confident in my presumption that "naturally thin" people don't eat the way I do.
Take a look at Susan's book.


Susan Burke March Registered Dietitian said...

Thanks Sharon, you surely "get" what I'm trying to say! Remember when I began writing this book? I asked some of our weight management dietetic practice group (and diabetes care & education DPG) what they thought about that comment, "you don't have to worry about what you're naturally thin"--and it turns out, so many have gotten that feedback.

My book includes more than 20 different testimonials about this--they are inspiring. It's making choices "second nature", I have made it a habit to question much of what's around me, and not to let my environment rule me. It is not natural for me to overeat, it's NOT natural to be inactive; that would be "unnatural" for me.
It's definitely been a journey, from addictive unhealthy behaviors (smoking, binge eating, drinking too much) to today--and I mean, even it's been more than 25 years, it's a daily choice, a daily choice , and that's my motive in writing this book. To share with readers (and I hope that RDs and other counselors recommend the book to their clients and patients and friends and family) some of the really great experiences of my peers. And I offer some strategies,and information to help organize their thoughts and their lives to make them healthier. And, I think the book is fun to read, too!

I will send anyone a signed copy ...just email me!


Sue Cummings said...

don't forget the evidence for the set point, which really isn't a 'set weight' but a 'set range' or 'energy equilibrium. There are, due to genetics, variations in weight ranges that individuals' bodies defend. We all do have to make decisions every day about what we choose to eat, how healthy we choose to live our lives, but that doesn't mean thinness for all. there are people who can eat unhealthy and still be thin and others who may choose to eat healthy and never be at a BMI under 25 through diet alone. In a given environment, those with the genetic predisposition to obesity (and remember obesity is a polygenetic disregulation of the weight regulatory system) it is much more difficult. There is a difference between 'healthy lifestyle' and thinness. We all have to make decision in this environment, every day about our food choices and the level of activity, but this is so that we are healthy for our weight, not for thinness.