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How many of us Chowhounds are fat? [Moved from General Topics]

I know that I am too fat because I love to eat things that taste really good.

I don't stuff my face with anything I can get my hands on, indeed I usually won't eat if the food's no good. But, (and this is the crucial "but") I do eat with gusto when the chow is good. And Chowhound doesn't exactly hamper me when it comes to finding good food. Like that uni risotto last night.

Just curious, are we a fat bunch?

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  1. Interesting question.. heh.

    I eat and drink whatever I want, and it is a lot; probably enjoy my wine a little -too- much as well. I'm female, 5'9", 130 pounds.. apparently that is around normal. However, I was 110 before my food obsession began, so that might say something.. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: NovoCuisine

      Hey! same here! 5'9" 130lb! But I've been like this before I became a chowhound.

    2. I'm six feet tall and weight 200 pounds. And I eat whenever and whatever I like.

        1. re: therealbigtasty

          I didn't say or mean to imply that it is.

          1. re: NovoCuisine

            That's cool. I didn't know. Some folks get all crazy...like me.

            I'm six feet and 200 and I'm always complaining of my weight...

        2. My BMI is around 27, so officially I'm "overweight," but I work out regularly so have more muscle than average.

          1. 5'11" here, 230 pounds...so yeah baby, I'm fat!

            1. Definitely a fraught topic for me. I'm 5'3" and 110 pounds, but I have long struggled with weight gain, largely because of my sweet tooth. For about five years now, though, I've found the right balance and am able to eat quite a lot and still stay thin.

              3 Replies
              1. re: lvecch

                What is your secret balance please?

                1. re: ZoeZ

                  Gosh, I wish I could say exactly. Limiting my sugar (re dessert) consumption is probably the greatest factor. You'll still see me eating sweets a couple of times a day (one former boyfriend used to say I ate dessert after every meal), but it'll be a few cookies, not half the bag. I also tend to snack more on things like olives, nuts (a small amount; it's neurotic, but I weigh everything), and edamame.

                  1. re: lvecch

                    I had the same experience as Ivecch. A few things helped me shed about 15 pounds, so that now I'm pretty lean though it does take some vigilance (it's been 5 yrs). First, I know I love a sweet around 4pm, so I tend to skimp a bit on breakfast (egg on toast or cereal, fruit, plain yogurt) and lunch (maybe hummus with carrots and crackers or a salad with tofu or chicken), then have my afternoon snack (like banana bread or a cookie and coffee) then a normal dinner with wine. I also walk a lot and hit the gym a few times a week. My food plan, of course, goes out the window somewhat on vacation or on weekends, but my metabolism usually handles it pretty well as long as I'm active. I do go out to lunch every couple of weeks and make desserts a lot, but I just try not to eat them every night; I find it's important not to deprive myself or get in too much of a rut. Maybe 3 nights a week or so I have dessert. Or I'll just have a couple of squares of good dark chocolate. It helps to have a husband who is very moderate-- when I weighed more I was dating a big eater which made it very hard for me to stay at a happy place with my body weight. I second Ivecch's snack options: nuts and olives. They are filling and satisfying. Periodically I also weigh and measure my food just so I don't forget what a normal portion is supposed to look like. And I've tried to eat more slowly-- that is a constant struggle for me, though.

              2. I struggle as well, but I never eat between meals and rarely eat sweets. But I love my carbs, and work out 4-5 times a week to keep a balance. Not fat, but no string bean either.

                1. 6' 300 here. I like food, maybe too much but I sure do enjoy myself. I used to be 230 and miserable worrying about everything I ate and how often I had to hit the gym, now I'm 300 and happy. I know many many will say that this is just terrible but I've found I rather enjoy being happy. I often take walks with my wife and avoid fast food and regular soda. Obviously that's not enough but . . .

                  1. I am 6 foot and 300 pounds. Yes, I am overweight/fat. Like Rick, I am happy. But people insist on telling me how miserable I must be because I am overweight. I then submit their names for a free Dianetics test.

                    When I go to my doctor, I see the height/weight chart on the wall and it says that I should be no more than 176 lbs. If I weight 176 lbs, I would look like walking death. I have been 176 lbs and friends thought I looked terrible. I felt terrible as well.

                    Life is short and misery is overrated.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Seth Chadwick

                        This is one of the funniest posts I've ever read. Love the Dianetics test idea.

                      2. I am 5'4" and just average. Not fat and not thin, though after the back trouble and sciatica I had all spring and summer,and the subsequent nausea, I've been told I don't need to lose anymore weight. I just don't want to gain any either. So the carbs are going to really have to be restricted again. Except for some really dark chocolate once in a while.

                        1. At 6'2 and 215 I am perfect, and gorgeous......

                          1. I'm not fat (132, 5'7"). And I think a big reason I am not fat is because I am a chowhound. i won't eat just anything like some people.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fara

                              I think this is a really excellent outlook. I completely feel the same way. I'm 1.778 meters and 59 kilos (5'10" and 130 lbs). I'm not fat because I'm a hound.

                            2. I am 5'8" and 150...used to be 350 though prior to gastric bypass. I still love to cook and enjoy good food, although, now I only enjoy much smaller portions of it. I love cooking so much, and often times, I am full just from the few bites I take tasting things while they are cooking. I have just learned over time how to not overdo things and this does not keep me from being a "chowhound" by any means.

                              1. 5'5 and 135. I work out like a fiend, about 10 hours a week so I can eat whatever I want. I don't do fast food or junk food which helps monitoring my weight much easier. I do watch my portions and sometimes I compromise between either dessert & entree or dessert & appetizer or appetizer & entree only. When I do overeat, I just tack on another hour of cardio to my workout schedule. This usually happens after tasting menus, I can't resist indulging there! After a big meal, my SO and I try and walk home, anywhere from a km to 6 kms. No food is off limits to us, just in moderation and it's counterbalanced with a workout. So far so good!

                                1. Ok, I'm fat, very fat. I think the doctor said last week that my BMI is 48 if I'm saying that correctly. However, we try to walk 30 minutes a night and I take medicine which suppresses my appetite so, it is kind of a mystery.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Velma

                                    I don't know what medicine you're taking to suppress your appetite but my friend was taking this one medicine for that and normally he's an even-keeled guy but on this drug he would be depressed and angry all the time. Finally the pharmacist told his wife when she was refilling it that there was an issue with people going suicidal on this drug. i'll have to ask my friend what the name of the drug was.

                                    My friend is now counting calories and losing weight. Boring but it's really the only thing that works since it's one of the most accurate ways of gauging what is going into your mouth. I tried it too and lost 10 pounds in 2 months which is a healthy loss they say.

                                  2. I am a Chowhound and a Weight Watcher. Interesting mix, I know. I used to have a BMI of 33, but now it's 24. And I just ate a double-double with grilled onions, so life is all good. :)

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: dustchick

                                      Being a WW chowhound is a challenge. I cook a lot, and I find that anything I prepare that I genuinely love is a *lot* of points. Lately I've been making a lot of Chinese food--white rice is murder on the points budget if you want to eat "enough" of it. Italian? Fuggedaboudit, too much fat in the cooking. I find I have to budget very carefully, have one "hound"-ish meal per day (or every other day) and eat fish fillets, turkey burgers, chicken breasts prepared every which way, etc. for the rest of my meals.

                                      I'm 5'8" and my weight fluctuates between 170 and 185, depending on how true I am to the WW program. I'm not fat, but I look good at 170 and I look Phil Mickelson-chubby at 185.

                                      1. re: Tom M of Durham NC

                                        I haven't cut out any foods, but have cut my portion sizes significantly. It also helps that my SO is willing to share meals when we go out to eat, which is frequently. I've also been happy to see that most of the Chowish restaurants serve appropriate portion sizes, as opposed to the national chains.

                                        Good luck!

                                        1. re: dustchick

                                          Right back atcha. Today was a perfect example of what I was saying, though: I made 1/3 cup uncooked jasmine rice and cut up 7 ounces of squid tube, which I stir fried in a teaspoon of oil with some ginger shreds, then finished it with a teaspoon or two of XO sauce. It was filling but hardly an extravagently large meal, and it was 9 points. That's a big chunk of my food budget. I'm not saying it can't be done, only that it's easier for me to fill up to satisfaction if I stick to dull fare like ground turkey, etc. Which, of course, I'd rather not do because I'm a chowhound.

                                          1. re: Tom M of Durham NC

                                            I think that a more reasonable portion is 1/4 c. raw rice and 3 ounces of protein. Add lots of veggies and you're good to go. Use good olive oil instead of butter, and add a bit of really good cheese at the end of cooking. These tweaks add lots of flavor, and few calories.

                                        2. re: Tom M of Durham NC

                                          Italian food is fattening? I would never think that.

                                          1. re: gini

                                            Certainly doesn't seem to be for most Italians.

                                      2. I'm a little fat. But I've been a little fat all my life, well before I was a chowhound. So I don't think it's related. I think how fat we are probably has a lot more to do with our genetic makeup and what our parents fed us as children than our chowishness (the number of fat cells we have is determined in childhood...as adults, we can only determine whether our pre-existing fat cells shrivel up due to less fat or swell up to hold more fat...but we are basically pre-set for a certain fat level). So I don't think I have biology on my side--I would have to think a lot about what I eat (or exercise a LOT, groan) to not be a little fat. And for me, all that thinking really takes away some of the joy of food...so I'd rather be a little overweight and worry-free.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Nicole

                                          I think you're right. I've been a big girl my entire life (was 'overweight' at birth and never slimmed down). I still fight it, but I didn't really start exploring different foods until 30 (I'm 35). I eat organic, no sodas, no fast food, skim milk only, probably too many homemade desserts and not enough exercise. But even with exercise and veggies and boiled chicken - I have never been thin. At some point ya wonder - why bother? My cholesterol is perfect, all my blood tests are "boringly normal" according to my last check-up two weeks ago, my blood pressure is normal and heart rate is steady, strong and slow. I look at tiny skinny, work out freak friends that eat like birds and can't keep their scary cholesterol levels or blood pressure down and just thank my lucky stars that all I have to complain about is being a fat girl.

                                          1. re: krissywats

                                            I too have good levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. Here's to being fat, happy, and healthy!

                                        2. I am very fat, but it's not from overeating. I am disabled, and unable to get any exercise. I am 5'5" tall, and I weigh about 269 lbs. I have gained all this weight since 1995, when I had my first stroke. Back then I weighed 126 lbs. I have had two more strokes since, and also have rhematoid arthritis. But I always tell people, I'm not fat, I'm just too short.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ClairfiedButter

                                            I like that. Maybe instead of trying to lose 20 lbs, I'll try to grow 3 inches.

                                            :)
                                            BK

                                          2. I would like to lose 10 lbs. but my chowhoundish ways are in the way!! oh vell!!

                                            1. I'm an Adonis! (I'm slightly bulged in certain areas due to increased age but that's not because I can't keep up with the 25-yo turks.) I also have three daughter-units that are taking their toll and coach girls' soccer teams so there _might_ be some grey.

                                              1. 5'4" and 110. I'm with fara; I'd rather go without, than eat something that doesn't taste good ;-)

                                                (Having said that, I'm blessed with a ridiculous metabolism: I actually eat A LOT, and deny myself nothing.)

                                                1. 6'2" and 220lbs. I have a very athletic build from ten years of being a professional outdoorsman/licensed wilderness guide, mountain climber, rockclimber, etc. and I always used to be thin, but the past three years I have carried about 10-15 lbs more than I like because of injuries hampering my physical activity levels. I got tossed around twice by an angry bull in winter 2003 when I worked as a artisinal cheesemaker and rustic baker on a dairy farm. I went through almost two years of physical therapy and then 8 months of surgery to rebuild both shoulders, both knees, both elbows, and my left hand. After the surgery I was offered a job as psychologist on a ship traveling around the world. I picked up three different bugs in Asia, Africa, and South America and they all hit me at the same time. I was stuck in bed for 4 1/2 months recovering and went up to 235. I am slowly dropping back to my prime weight of 205 lbs and should be there in another two months now that I am back in good health.

                                                  I eat whatever I want but have never liked sweet desserts, soda, or fast food, which I think is my saving grace weightwise. I cook 90% of what I eat so I know exactly what I put into my body. My one major fault is that I love fat, Mmmmm...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                    Yikes! Those are some crazy chow injuries.

                                                  2. 6' 0" and 220, more or less. Fat. Fatter than I want to be, for sure. I'm not into sweets much at all, a fact more than balanced by my notion of a perfect dessert's being third helpings of mashed potatoes and gravy, and by my everlasting affection for every sort of pork product.

                                                    We did the South Beach thing, followed it well and religiously, dropped about fifteen pounds with little effort...until I started having fevered dreams of grilled cheese sandwiches, of biscuits and gravy, of tuna-noodle casserole (for Pete's sake!!). We're still being more careful about sugar and refined carbs, but it's obvious we're going to have to crank up the exercise program, because diet alone ain't gonna do it!

                                                    1. Oh yeah, I'm certainly heavier than I'd like to be, but I'm not huge or sloppy. I've never been small, and I never will be. I never worse skinny jeans as a child. People would be surprised at how much I weigh. This is mostly due to an affinity for cheese, butter, meat, and mayonnaise. I don't even like candy or French fries (which many find un-American). My idea of heaven is cheese and bread, a filet with mushrooms, a cheese danish, or ethnic cooking like rich coconut curry or lamb grapeleaves dipped in lebne (full fat goat's milk yogurt).

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: sillyrabbit

                                                        Same here. I am about 100 pounds overweight, but whoever I tell responds with genuine surprise. No one can believe it. I carry it very well. I'm slowly losing weight (I walk everywhere, which you can do in NYC) but I can't really cook anything (I can cook, but I have no kitchen in which to do it) where I live, so I'm dependent on what I can pick up cheaply in restaurants.

                                                      2. Yep..I am overweight but have been losing steadily since joining a gym, getting a trainer, and watching portions. I am not cutting anything out...just cutting back.

                                                        I love carbs...good ones and bad ones.

                                                        1. 5'8" and 130 lbs here so I think not-fat. I eat what I like but in small portions with an emphasis on health and good nutrition. I'm active and exercise regularly. I think it better to eat well and enjoy my meals than worry about every calorie or carb and be conflicted with guilt/desire when I see a dessert. It makes no sense to me that people put on weight eating junk food - what's the point?

                                                          1. In response to whether hounds are a fat bunch: While some are overweight/obese (as confirmed in this thread and others like it), my guess is that the number probably reflects the percentage seen in the general population. Just because we are all food-obsessed doesn't mean that we have a higher proportion of heavy people. I've met a number of hounds, and we are a diverse bunch...

                                                            Me...I'm petite and have never had to think much about my weight. I used to be pretty underweight during college and grad school (I'd be the type to forget to eat when stressed), but I have definitely gained weight in the last couple of years since participating in CH and working in the food industry. I just love to taste new things now regardless of whether I'm truly hungry. Reading about food or watching food shows can also trigger cravings that I feel the need to sate.

                                                            I def. feel bigger than I used to, but I know that more exercise could get me all lean and trim if I wanted. Somehow I enjoy cooking more than exercise...or I rationalize that cooking is exercise. ;-)

                                                            Bottom line is that I eat what I want and don't worry about calories or carbs at this point in my life. I think it helps that I'm a relatively small eater, love all kinds of food, enjoy cooking, and am obsessed w/ farmer's markets. I def. know when I feel full, and my strong aversion to feeling overly stuffed keeps me in check. When I've had exceedingly rich or large meals, I don't have the desire to eat much for the next day.

                                                            1. I'm about 30 pounds overweight, more than I like. Definitely recreational eating is part of the problem. I'm off on an Alaska cruise in a couple of days, so I'm unlikely to gain/lose any ground there but back to the gym and off the sugar is top of my list when I get back.

                                                              1. Underweight and a total chowhound...actually weight loss co-incided with caring more about eating good food rather than treating is as fuel ;-)

                                                                1. I come from a chowhoundish family, so us kids fell in love with food at an early age... which, coupled with a child's lack of knowing when to stop, had given us all tires around the middle. But I finally found my balance thru a combo of South Beach, Weight Watchers, and going to the gym. Basically that translates to low carb vegetarianism during the week and not counting anything on the weekend (about 4 or 5 meals that don't count out of an average 19 or 20 total), and hitting the gym at least a few times a week. I've found that after my stomach quit complaining about the restrictiveness and got used to it, the size of the servings I can handle on the weekend has decreased.

                                                                  1. 5'6" and 150 #'s. Not really fat, but not thin, either. Not about to give up eating good food. Trying to eat less and excercise more -- but just not always possible. My DH tells me that he loved dating me because I had and still do have a great appetite and am willing to go out of my way to find the good stuff. Needless to say, he is a chowhound, too. And he used to hate taking someone out to eat and watching her pick around her plate, while he had spent good money to buy it. And, yes he is kinda fat. Oh dear!
                                                                    I wouldn't say we actually go on trips to other cities just to eat -- but we sure remember New Mexico while smacking our lips...

                                                                    1. Fat...YES...Happy..YES..am a total chowhound always looking for different new good things. I am slowly learning about better eating. I have to agree with Seth Chadwick those height/weight charts can be a bit ridiculous. I am a 5'10" woman I am buit like my 6'5" dad wide shoulders and all! If my weight was what the "recommended" weight was I would look like death...I do need to lose though. I have to do battle with the sweet tooth also. I love to bake and make homemade chocolates. My hubby is a hound too and(hangs head) we did plan a trip around food. We went to WDW for the food and wine festival and ate at most of the premier restaraunts there on the meal plan. Planned whole days around it I should be ashamed but was it ever tasty!

                                                                      1. I am a healthy weight (5'8", 160) and very muscular. I agree with the comment above that being a chowhound actually helps me keep my weight down, because I only eat food that's good. I eat almost no junk food, no soda, and only sweets that are worth the calories (like good chocolate or a nicely made dessert). But the biggest secret for maintaining my weight (I am the mother of two teenagers and have just hit the mid-century mark) is EXERCISE. I ride a stationary bike every morning; I bike for about 50 minutes and, according to the meter on the bike, that carries me about 18 miles and burns about 800 calories. That, more than anything, is what makes it possible for me to eat pretty much whatever I want and not gain weight. My partner, also a serious chowhound, does the same but a little more (60 minutes and 20 miles) and he, too, has found the first successful method of his life for maintaining his weight. So, fellow chowhounds, start pedaling! It's also miraculously helpful for maintaining your sanity. I should add that we don't eat a lot of carbs. Our dinners tend to consist of a protein and a lot of vegetables, rather than the old method of those plus rice or pasta or potatoes. But we enjoy good bread and other carbs when we want to, and I often have a bagel at breakfast.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: starfish

                                                                          I am in the same boat 5'8" 165. I work out 3-4 times a week, which i actually enjoy. i do not find it hard, i actually feel more relaxed and better during the rest of the day. What i think does keep me thin is i do not eat food that is crappy. Being a food snob really helps out here. I buy hardly any foods that are processed and when i eat out it usually is at good mom and pop places. I cook alot of my own food and i buy most of my vegetables at my local farm. I do have weaknesses that are fattening but i try to limit them to a few times a week. I love organ meats, skin, fat, butter, etc. My biggest problem probably are those 7-12% ABV beers that i like. I just found out how many calories are in a six pack of Anderson Valley IPA, yeesh.I also try to eat small portions, and rarely eat until i am stuffed. I also decided to cut out things that were unhealthy that i really dont love. So i try to avoid french friesas much as humanly possible. I switch to a salad when they come with tsomething

                                                                          I do not think that overweight and chowhound are synonomous. There are so many factors that come into play from gentics to exercise that should make chowhounders as varied a group as the rest of society

                                                                        2. Like Bridget Jones, I'm just a "little bit fat". I'm 5'1"m, 128 pounds. In a perfect world I'd weigh about 117. I work out irregularly and eat regularly. I also do not watch what I eat. I am also 42 and the metabolism I had in my 20's and 30's has gone out the window.

                                                                          1. "Fat" is all relative.

                                                                            I just consider myself content.

                                                                            Enjoy what you eat and eat only what you enjoy. Life is too short otherwise.

                                                                            1. I'm a swarthy looking 6'3" and 217 lbs. Myself and my whole immediate family have fought weight problems our entire adult lives. We love food. As an adult, I've weighed as little as 185 lbs and I still had love handles, something I've had since I was 9 years old.

                                                                              1. im 5 6 105 lbs. i guess im underweight. but i love good food.. it's just that finding good food is really really difficult. i rather starve than eat non-yummy food..

                                                                                1. Count me in too. I am about 25lbs too fat! It's so hard to exercise after work and I used to love to go for a 5 mile run.

                                                                                  1. I am 5'11". I grew up extremely skinny naturally. I was between 117-120 until I had my second child. Now 3 years later I am 142. Technically I am right where I should be, but I would prefer to be about 130-135. I am a size 6, so I am happy enough not to try to lose weight.

                                                                                    I refuse to diet. Never have and never will. If I do decide to lose weight I will have to work it off. I just love food too much. However, being a chowhound is a good thing I think. All real, whole, good foods. I do eat lots of butter, cream, animal fats. None of that gross processed crap. I also do not drink calories. Water or black coffee for me. I am sure that helps alot.
                                                                                    -Becca

                                                                                    1. 6'2, 220. Here's a photo: http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l85...

                                                                                      I'm in the camp of folks that says Chowhound contributes to health and fitness -- I pay way more attention to the quality and quantity of my food consumption since I've been active in this site.

                                                                                      p.s. (gratuitously patting myself on the back) I did a 95-mile bike ride on Saturday. I can darned well eat whatever I want for at least a month now. (Ha Ha)

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: MSPD

                                                                                        Good for you! I did 100kms/60 miles yesterday just to counterbalanced what I ate last week ;-) According to my heart rate monitor, it said I burnt 2058 calories. Yippee. That takes care of 3 desserts I indulged in over the weekend.

                                                                                        1. re: fickle

                                                                                          Congrats on the metric. I had a tough ride (equipment problem) but I was still alert enough to notice several intriguing chow places along the very rural route. I never would have driven these routes. Most were little burger-and-beer joints -- I plan on checking them out (via car). Further proof that chowhound and cycling addictions are a match made in heaven.

                                                                                          1. re: MSPD

                                                                                            Male, 6'4", 195lbs. I was as high as 220 a few months ago. I shifted my diet towards high-fiber and low-fat (not a zealot about it, however!), started cycling and the weight has dropped off pretty quickly.

                                                                                            My wife and I have done 40 miles on several occaisons. Last weekend we could have pretty easily done 50 if didn't have someplace to be that evening. I'd like to do a 50 miler this weekend if the weather cooperates. Hopefully we'll do a metric by the end of the month.

                                                                                            1. re: MSPD

                                                                                              I second the chowhound and cycling addictions. My SO is a cyclist as well (he rides about 300 kms each weekend, about to hit 4500 kms this season) and between the two of us, we have found some great eating places along our routes. Unfortunately or fortunately (?) we're always famished after our rides which means we get to indulge in a fabulous meal. Vicious cycle isn't it? Eat, ride, eat, ride...

                                                                                              1. re: fickle

                                                                                                YES! I'm the same. Not sure if cycling keeps me slim or just encourages me to stuff face.

                                                                                                Female, 5'2" range between (a rather muscular) 110-115 lbs depending on the time of year. And when you're that short, 110 means buying new bikinis and prancing around in front of the mirror admiring your abs...while 115 means waking up at night worried that this is it...my metabolism has changed and I'm destined to be cut out of the bathroom by EMS.

                                                                                                While it's true that being a hound keeps me from eating fast food and soda...I'm pretty sure that as much as I ride the bike and run, I would be completely buff all the time if not for being a 'hound. I mean, I raced a 10k, noticed a cupcake place DURING the run, hiked back, ate a cupcake, then went to lunch, drank 1/2 bottle of champagne, ate grilled calamari, and refilled the bread basket several times. Other runners ate the free muffins, I imagine, but I doubt they exceeded my calorie intake.

                                                                                                MSDP: I hope you meant to ride 95, and that a mechanical didn't keep your from finishing your century!

                                                                                                1. re: fickle

                                                                                                  danna,

                                                                                                  That cupcake story is funny. Anything made in a bakery is serious danger for me.

                                                                                                  Unfortunately, I *was* on a century ride (103 to be exact). I had rear wheel trouble at mile 34, kept fighting it with rim rubbing on brake pad for 60 more miles and the wheel failed at mile 95. Six hours of work and I crossed the finish line in a SAG van.

                                                                                                  Some good came of it: excuse to eat anything I want, a new wheelset (warranty) and I ordered another wheelset (much better than the original and warranty set). I'm also no longer procrastinating learning more advanced emergency road repair.

                                                                                                  1. re: fickle

                                                                                                    Ha--danna, I can really relate to your assessment of life at 5'2". We just don't have any margin for error, do we?

                                                                                                    I used to be a biking fanatic (before moving to a place where biking is equivalent to suicide). I did a couple of century rides and the AIDS ride and, during this time, I weighed about 120 because I was hungry all of the time and I was doing my rides through prime chow areas. When I got pregnant and quit riding and I lost ten pounds immediately and have pretty much been there ever since (with the exception for the year after giving birth when everything went haywire).

                                                                                                    Now I just walk and climb millions of stairs, never watch TV, and just generally strive and struggle and that keeps me where I should be, even though I eat what I want.

                                                                                                    Though one month of slack living in the US this summer put on that extra 5 pounds that you were referring to... Ha--I hope this isn't the "big one."

                                                                                            2. At 46, I've had to make some pretty big life adjustments around my weight.

                                                                                              I run or swim almost every day and am pretty active in general.

                                                                                              I'm 5'9" and about 155 pounds, but I've weighed as much as 185 when I stopped being so disciplined.

                                                                                              And regarding food, I eat very healthy all week long but allow one meal of choice every weekend, usually reserved for a great find here on chowhound or a personal favorite. But even then, I typically only eat half of what I'm served unless the portions are particularly small.

                                                                                              Portion size in the U.S. is absurd and most the time we all end up eating a lot more than we should.

                                                                                              1. 5'1", 95 lbs. I couldn't gain weight if I tried really hard! Some day I'm sure it will not be like that! I'm not like others though... I wish I were curvier! :-) The grass is always greener on the other side!

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                  You're welcome to some of my curves. I am 5'3" and an uncomfortable 130 pounds, as of this morning. And the scary thing is that I look relatively svelte compared to a lot of the people in my neck of the woods.

                                                                                                  1. re: jillp

                                                                                                    Same here Katie. I'm 5'3" as well and 120 pounds for the past year or so. And as jillp said, I look relatively thinner than some people.

                                                                                                    I used to weigh 10-15 pounds less 5 years ago, but then somehow my body started to react in a really bad way; like dizziness, shortness of breath when doing relatively little work, etc. Not a great experience, probably because ever since I was a child, I was chubby and my body can't handle the weight loss.

                                                                                                    1. re: chocokitty

                                                                                                      Thanks for the offer ladies! If only... :-)

                                                                                                2. 5-10. 170 or 175

                                                                                                  Not fat, but not thin

                                                                                                  1. 5 5 1/2 and 123.

                                                                                                    Was 5 6 and 117 in college. But I am about to turn 50. It all changes over the years. I could always eat whatever I wanted. No longer.

                                                                                                    *sighs*

                                                                                                    Chowhounding pales in comparison to the toll of the aging metabolism.

                                                                                                    BTW, I can't judge this stuff without the gender tag. I am F BTW.

                                                                                                    1. I'm female, 5'-6 1/2". A few years ago, I weighed in at 155. My weight had been creeping up year by year; I blame an ageing metabolism and a relationship with a man who is as obsessed with food as I am. When my size 12 clothes started getting tight, I decided I'd had enough, and went on Weight Watchers. Within 4 months, I was down to 125 and have pretty much stayed there for 3 years. It's a constant struggle, though. I work out compulsively, and carefully monitor my food intake. No fun at all, but I love the way I look and feel.

                                                                                                      During the weight loss phase, I had to stop reading Chowhound; I decided it was feeding my food obsession in a way that made it more difficult for me to control my eating. Now I'm back on the boards, but it sure doesn't make it any easier to keep the weight off. Ah, well, I guess this is the way things will be from now on, since I'm unwilling to give up either my new slim body or my chowhound boyfriend.

                                                                                                      1. Another thing to keep in mind is body TYPE - I have my father's muscular legs. Never do a thing to keep them in shape but they are always rock hard and muscular just from normal walking. I build muscle FAST and I'm sure there's a rock hard body under the layer of lovely softness.....I'm called an 'endo-mesomorph' body type - build muscle fast and can't lose weight easily.

                                                                                                        Do they have women sumo wrestlers? Sounds like I'd be perfect!!

                                                                                                        1. This thread reminds me of when I was single and looking at all the personals. No guy ever said he was anything more than "athletic" and I had girlfriends who were scolded in person for being larger than what the guy thought they should be ...at least one of them had the chutzpah to ask the guy what part of him, exactly, was it that he thought made him look like TOm Cruise...

                                                                                                          One of my joys in life is sharing good food with people and helping people to stop fearing or fighting with food. If I am hit by a bus tomorrow, I will die happy that I had a big bowl of pasta tonight with homemade meatballs and handmade from my butcher sausages. Two or three glasses of wine. Not a rice cake with a tablespoon of peanut butter.

                                                                                                          Yes, I could be thinner (and have been) but I'm not fat.

                                                                                                          Here's the news flash, when you eat what you want, drink what you want, and give up disciplined exercise...you do, in fact, gain weight. I guess I had to learn by doing, as per my usual m.o. Oh well.
                                                                                                          Here

                                                                                                          1. My interest in food developed in the process of falling into a disordered eating issue in college. Funny how chowhounds can be those who love food, and those who love-hate it. As a counselor then, I realized that such is the case for a lot of girls (and perhaps guys) like me, for whom an obsession against food masquerades as an obsession for cooking and reading about food.

                                                                                                            I heard echos of that in a few posts up there.

                                                                                                            Fortunately for me, I've since recovered and still am as interested in learning about food and cooking as before.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: amandine

                                                                                                              Didn't get into it here - but eating disorder issues here, too! Currently working towards healthy recovery - most of the seriously unhealthy behavior is over, just working on changing the insides and the repercussions. Thanks for sharing that!!

                                                                                                              1. re: amandine

                                                                                                                I also have an eating disordered past... I really admire and respect the enthusiasm and passion for food/cooking/etc. that I see here; it's inspiring.

                                                                                                              2. Fat? Hm...I'd say I'm averagely chubby at not quite 5'4" and 120-123 lbs.. I wear a size 2-4 (vanity) American, 40 Italian, and 38 European. My body has definitely been thinner, heavier, and about the same at different stages in my (relatively short, for some) life.

                                                                                                                I've had body image issues and frequently used to over-exercise and/or undereat (read: bulimia, non-purging type). But then again, I think that's pretty normal for the average woman my age-- highly motivated, competitive, educated, image/body conscious, etc.. It's hard to avoid it, you know? I agree with the above post about being fascinated by food while depriving oneself of it: I used to cook and bake (I pretty much hate flour) solely for others so that I could create food, "refuse" to eat it, and get vicarious satisfaction from watching others enjoy it.

                                                                                                                I pretty much always wish I could lose just another 5 lbs. (no matter how slim or heavy I am) and am rather careful about gaining weight. That does not, however, keep me from I enjoying what I eat. Actually, I pretty much eat what I want, and it doesn't necessarily cause weight gain. Although I feel better during and after exercising, I don't do it as often as I should. To be quite frank, I'd gotten so used to having structure (I used to fence, dance on a daily basis, and take other classes) and to having other people tell me to exercise that I've taken (too much) advantage of my free, coach-less status of late. I currently only go to the gym (20-40 min of biking) or do yoga (hour) 1-3 times a week, which is less than I should be doing. Oh, well.

                                                                                                                There are millions of people who eat "food" and are fat without being Chowhounds. Conversely, I also know lots of athletes, (fitting and ex-runway-turned-student) models, and wannabes-of-LA who're very slim and eat the most awful, disturbingly nutritionally-empty, calorically dense things. I eat pretty healthily by most standards-- that is, not to the point of drinking kombucha with spirulina on a daily basis, but you know...?

                                                                                                                1. My BMI borders on being obese, as it goes, but no one would look at me and say that as I am 5'7" and weigh 165 pounds. I am a bit on the soft side, and very curvy. Sure, I could stand to lose 25 pounds, and four years ago I wore size 8 pants but many, many things have happened in sequence that has caused the extra weight to steadily increase. And as genetics go, I look just like my mom did at this age so I am not freaked about it. I know I eat too much of the good stuff, thankfully I am not overweight because I consume junk. I speed walk almost daily, I rollerblade and I bike. And I am healthy as an ox....great cholesterol, great blood pressure, good skin and circulatory and many are surprised when I reveal I am 42. It's all relative, I think. If you are healthy, but with a little extra weight and you don't fill yourself with garbage then I don't think it's a problem.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: cooknKate

                                                                                                                    Just a note: your BMI means you are borderline between healthy and overweight, not borderline between overweight and obese. Subtle point. Hope you don't think this is too picky!

                                                                                                                    1. re: dustchick

                                                                                                                      not picky....i did mix it up so thanks for pointing that out

                                                                                                                  2. I'm definately getting chunky again, but I've kept lean the past seven years by running at least 10-20 miles a week. Lost 40 pounds by exercising like mad and eating very, very carefully 7 years ago.

                                                                                                                    Now I eat pretty much as I like (which favors rather fattening foods, its true). I try to moderate the intensely chubby-making. But there are few things as satisfying as sitting down and eating an entire box of Entenmanns chocolate covered donuts in one, uninterrupted sitting.

                                                                                                                    http://wesfoodie.blogspot.com/2006/04...

                                                                                                                    1. I'm 5'5", and I weigh around 128. It took a lot of discipline to lose all the pregnancy weight (I was up to 185 just before my last daughter was born). Since March, I have dropped from a size 10-12 to a size 4-6. I went to Weight Watchers for about 3 meetings, got the hang of the system, and have been able to maintain it ever since.

                                                                                                                      I love cooking and eating more than ever. Because I don't have the liberty to stuff my face with whatever is in front of me, I have become a very discriminating eater. I now enjoy creating desserts more than actually eating them. Or, more exactly, I can get a lot of enjoyment out of a much smaller portion, and take more pleasure in the skill of creating it. I almost never eat commercial desserts because invariably, I can make it better at home.

                                                                                                                      Over the years, I've become a lot less judgemental about extra fat that people carry around. When I was young, it was easy to be a "skinny" snob. Now that I'm older and have felt what it is like to be a larger woman, I appreciate how hard it is to carry extra pounds, and harder still to lose them. Unlike some anti-fat crusaders, I don't see extra weight as a moral failure.

                                                                                                                      1. I'm actually trying to reply to piccawika -
                                                                                                                        Olive oil actually has more calories than butter - for one tbsp, butter has 102 and olive oil has 119. While I agree that olive oil is definitely a better fat to consume, if you are trying to lose weight by counting calories (which is essentially what WW is) it wouldn't be any fewer calories.

                                                                                                                        1. I guess I share genes with Tony Bourdain and not Ina garton. Does that answer your question?

                                                                                                                          TT

                                                                                                                          1. Celebrated that wonderful 5-0 this year with a BMI of 27.1 (5'8" and 178lbs) and told myself gotta change. Six months, lots of hours in the gym and watched the fat and carbs and now down to 161 and a BMI of 24.5. The heck with the numbers. I feel much better.

                                                                                                                            I am careful for b'fast and lunch and have a reasonable dinner and still have my enormous bowl of ice cream 4-5 times a week.

                                                                                                                            To all the people who say they are fat and happy, you may think so and probably are, but you are doing enormous damage to your vital organs. You are borrowing time from the future.

                                                                                                                            1. I'm short and I should lose 10 lbs to get into skinny jeans. I've sometimes thought it is my chowhoundish ways holding me back, but actually, it's probably because I drink a lot of Coke. When I lived in England, Coke there tasted funny to me so I hardly ever had it, and I lost weight promptly even though I was eating a lot of fish and chips and pasties cooked w/lard and stuff like that.

                                                                                                                              i find i know a lot of skinny people who are really into food. they rather have a few bites of something insanely good, than a lot of mediocre food which is what snacking is all about. because when you eat something for three hours--the same thing--like potato chips--it really doesn't taste good anymore so you can't be eating for the taste. it's just a compulsion.

                                                                                                                              1. I have wondered about this for quite some time.

                                                                                                                                I am overweight (I hate admitting that), and it is primarily due to my major sweet tooth.
                                                                                                                                As my name says, I am absolutely obsessed with buttercream cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, etc.

                                                                                                                                I, too, do not eat sub par foods. You'll NEVER find me in a fast food restaurant, or at most
                                                                                                                                diners.

                                                                                                                                If anyone has any recommendations as to how to lose weight while still being a Chowhound,
                                                                                                                                please share. :)

                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Buttercream

                                                                                                                                  It's probably not on topic for this thread, but ditch the soft drinks and the alcohol and make your own healthier cakes. If you did nothing else, the weight will drop off.

                                                                                                                                  TT

                                                                                                                                  1. re: TexasToast

                                                                                                                                    Just not true. Depends on an individuals metabolism and how their body handles food. My brother cuts out the second cheeseburger and he drops weight. I stopped all fast food, sodas, make everything organic and at home and didn't drop a POUND because of it. Some people have to exercise their cajones off in order to lose an ounce. There is no ONE answer for everyone.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: krissywats

                                                                                                                                      Hear, hear.

                                                                                                                                      I work out for an hour a day. I don't eat between meals, and I don't stuff myself during meals -- but I am still fat. Very fat.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                        Great comments krissywats.

                                                                                                                                        Regarding the "work out for an hour a day", that may be evidence of your downfall. If you don't already, you may want to try different kinds/durations of working out. I've found that if I do the same workout routine, or pattern of routines for the same amount of time every day, it begins to lose its effectiveness. Your body and muscles become accustomed to the repetition. If my only mode of exercise was a one hour daily brisk walk, I'd start packing on pounds in about 2-3 weeks. My success in exercise is tied to constantly keeping my body surprised/off-guard.

                                                                                                                                        Do things that get you into different heart rate zones, use different muscle groups, vary intensity, duration, impact, whatever. If you do weight training, shuffle the order of your lifts.

                                                                                                                                        If, for whatever reason, all you can do is walk, find some hills, walk every other quarter mile backwards on your tip-toes, side-step for 15 minutes, do intervals of fast-walking/slow-walking. Take slow, long strides, then take short, quick steps. It's pretty simple to shake up the routine and, if you bear with the soreness of your new-found muscle groups, you might see a difference in your metabolism and/or success within a few days.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                          Oh, I'm perfectly capable of doing whatever... my fatness is a testament to my lack of willpower, not any medical condition. This means I have only myself to blame.

                                                                                                                                          I tend to lose weight when I'm exercising without thinking about the fact that it's exercising -- I think I get more out of my weekly tennis match than an hour in the gym.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                            I am replying to MSPD who mentioned to change the routine. I never quite understand this. Doesn't it take the same amount of energy to accomplish the same task? I can understand initially you might burn a little more because you are not as efficint at the task, wasting some energy, but I cannot imagine running the same 10 miles all a sudden takes only 600 calories instead of 900 calories. Surely we get accustomed to it in the sense we become more efficint but surely we can't all a sudden start to defy laws of physics. Or am I missing something?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                              mimolette,

                                                                                                                                              First a disclaimer -- I have no formal education in exercise physiology etc. I speak only from a layman's perspective, albeit one who absorbs as much information on the subject as possible.

                                                                                                                                              That said, it's not hard to recognize the logical POTENTIAL benefits of varying exercise routines:

                                                                                                                                              - Stimulates growth of new muscles
                                                                                                                                              - Increases range of flexibility
                                                                                                                                              - Working in different heart rate zones achieves different results (muscle build vs. weight loss). Aerobic activity (like running, high intensity biking, etc) involves fast twitch muscles/larger mitochondria which use fat as fuel. Anaerobic activity (lower heart rate like walking, yoga) components use blood sugar as fuel and produce different benefits.
                                                                                                                                              - Can help prevent repetitive use injuries
                                                                                                                                              - Prevents complacency and plateaus.

                                                                                                                                              For me, a lot can be said for the benefit of prevention of boredom. It's human nature to begin consciously or subconsciously seeking "shortcuts" or efficiencies in repetitive actions. If I'm limiting myself to the same running route, I start losing interest and motivation.

                                                                                                                                              Also important to me in exercise is the gratification from gained confidence and sense of achievement. If I bike 5 miles farther than I've ever gone before, or if I strive and train and succeed at biking up a mountain I previously thought was too steep, that sense of victory and accomplishment carries over as a huge confidence builder. It even goes so far as directly to willpower to resist that extra portion of food or extra scoop of ice cream. Similarly, I frequently enter events/races. I don't care if I've run 3.1 miles a billion times before, it's ALWAYS exciting/motivating to pass across a finish line, especially with others.

                                                                                                                                              The key is constantly shaking up the routine, pushing myself to new and/or different victories. It's a great confidence builder.

                                                                                                                                              Since exercise is fun for me, I constantly try to learn more about how my body works and when I started understanding techniques like variation in exercise and the different forms/outcomes of exercise, I saw marked improvements in my ability to manage my health, fitness and weight. I don't pretend it's the solution for everyone, but I always encourage people to try it, shake things up or at least seek more information.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: krissywats

                                                                                                                                              Just wanted to commend you are your use of the word 'cajones'... my Mexican husband would be proud! ;-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                                                                Hmm... Cajones means "drawers"--as in the drawers in your dresser--a big chest, or a box-like instruments used in flamenco music. I think the word the poster was looking for was cojones (though from what I can tell, most people who have them would rather carry around a few pounds than risk losing them through excessive exercise!)...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                                                                  Ahh... didn't know the correct spelling!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: krissywats

                                                                                                                                                    I think I see the problem. Organic has nothing to do with weight loss, but it is delicious and your home cooked food is certainly much more delicious than crap from a fast food place. Thus, you eat more. At least that's how it works for me. Cutting out things I don't like anyway has very little effect ;-)

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Buttercream

                                                                                                                                                  There is no one correct answer for everyone, but for me the answer is WeightWatchers. I've learned so much about portion control. Between that, exercise, and eating with people who are happy to share appetizers, etc...I've gone from obese to healthy while being a Chowhound. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Buttercream

                                                                                                                                                    Read the book "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink. A great read, very different, and it might just change your life.

                                                                                                                                                  2. About average but I have to be more careful these days. It wasn't something to be concerned about until I was 40!

                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm 5'7, size 8, 140 lbs (BMI 22). I'm currently training for my 5th marathon. I've been as low as 123lbs, and that was difficult to maintain - in fact, my eating at that time was obsessively disordered. Now I would say I'm more healthy for a lot of reasons. I could probably lose a few by avoiding treats and alcohol, but I mostly enjoy them in moderation. I eat and cook, and eat and cook some more. Then I run, walk, bike, hike, anything physical to get myself moving - and I enjoy it, which I know I'm lucky for, since some find exercise and movement quite a chore.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thenurse

                                                                                                                                                        Similar story here.

                                                                                                                                                        I'm 5'6" weigh about 180 right now, but at my lowest weight when I was running long distance, 145 lbs, I was so in over myhead with disordered eating/body image thoughts, and dealing with over exercise.

                                                                                                                                                        As much as I hate to admit it, i think that was easier than dealing with my size 14+ body and the feelings of guilt that I have all the time for not being able to stop myself from eating.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rbc

                                                                                                                                                          just curious, so you thought the ovre-exercising was preferable to being overweight? i don't REALLY understand that impetus to keep eating, i do eat emotionally sometimes, more so at different stages in my life, but sometimes i have to stop b/c i am too full. i also am sensitive to sugar, all lucky i guess. but i also wonder if these are not so much physiological differences as that i work out emotional problems in other ways (not superior ways, just different outlets or preferred vices i guess).
                                                                                                                                                          i wonder if the feelings of guilt couldn't be dealt with through some type of counseling, even if not eradicated you could at least be more in control of them. dont' mean to preach, i just find it interesting how everyone copes w/their own problems and insecurities, and i know it's not that people are all that different deep down, fundamentally they are similar issues.

                                                                                                                                                      2. lol, this post sounds like a personals ad...

                                                                                                                                                        "GWM 23/mo, 165 lbs, 6ft"

                                                                                                                                                        lol ^_^

                                                                                                                                                        1. I am 5'2 & I weigh 120, it's a bit more than I want but I have started to run outside for 1 - 2 miles (in FL) and then I have the great reward of going swimming right after (doesn't feel so much like exercise). I have also cut all fast food out of my diet for the past 2 years and I only eat organic and mix in lots of meat-free foods. It's allowed me to eat 'more' if I want. My only one, real vice is soda. =x If I kicked that, I'd propbably lose 10 lbs this year.

                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: andlulu

                                                                                                                                                            what about really high end water - plain and fizzy?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                              Oh yeah fara, Michelle Pfeiffer lived on apples and fizzy mineral water so that she could fit into her Catwoman costume.

                                                                                                                                                              TT

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                eck. I always feel like Im drinking peroxide.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: andlulu

                                                                                                                                                                  i'm not on a diet by any means. but i love perrier and pellegrino. sparkling i should have said.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                    The taste just bothers me, it's a salty taste to me. But I drink water more than anything else, and a soda every couple days. I'm eating/living the most healthy I ever have, so... in the big picture - it's not so bad.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: andlulu

                                                                                                                                                                that sounds wonderful. I did something similar this summer. I normally ride my bike 3 days and run around 4 miles 1 day. This year, I started getting up in the morning before work and running just 1.5 miles...then getting in the pool for a few minutes (instead of a shower!) It was fantastic...and it helped me get back to my "summer weight"....but now,even in SC, the pool is a little too cool...and it's already too dark for me at 6:30. Sniff. I'm already seeing the pudge creep back on.

                                                                                                                                                              3. I swear one reason it's easier to keep my weight down is I get to come to chowhound land and think about all of this great food rather than having to go somewhere and pay money to buy it -- and to have paying for meals be the main source of information about new food combinations and ideas. If I dream up a cornmeal-crust pizza that sounds particularly nice, or I read about someone else's, it's almost as good as making and eating it, and oh so much easier! But that said, there ARE times I end up making what I think of, so that's why I never lose any more weight. But that's okay with me.

                                                                                                                                                                1. i love food and drink and am most certainly not fat. 5'2", 115lbs. none of my friends who also love food and drink are really fat either.

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jjb75

                                                                                                                                                                    How old are you? Up until 35, this was me...5'1" 102 pounds. At 42, it's a different story.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                                                                      i'm 31. so in 4 years it's all going to hell, huh?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jjb75

                                                                                                                                                                        No, I'm thinner at 35 than I was at 30... I think it depends a lot on your general activity level. The minute I slow down from my everyday frenzy (on a vacation, for example), the pounds start accumulating.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. gee, female, 5'8", 140, BMI 23, not as active since leaving nyc (i miss the walking!), but still use bike as my sole means of local transport. but everyone is right... i eat when i want, what i want, and while i've got a slight winter layer, it's nothing kicking my cheese habit wouldn't depose. mmm... cheese. it's all just knowing what is worth eating. i was a vegetarian for 11 years and haven't had any fast food in 13, and i never drink soda. i know i feel good, and love food...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 5'3", 110 lbs. I used to work out obsessively during college, not so much anymore (try to get in a 2 mile run a couple of times a week and an hour of racquetball on the weekends). Between working full time and going to grad school part time, something had to give and it was exercise.

                                                                                                                                                                      I think being a chowhound keeps me at a healthy weight. I get lots of inspirations to cook at home and I never eat fast food because there are so many other options. Also non-chain restaurants are much better about (smaller) portion sizes than chain restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh and the one rule that always works if you choose to diet/not diet, exercise/not exercise, don't eat anything (or drink anything with calories) 4 hours before going to bed. It's an easy trick, but it always works.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: donnaaries

                                                                                                                                                                        I respectfully disagree on not eating 4 hours before going to bed as a hard and fast rule. In fact, and this is just my opinion, I pretty much caution anybody on employing any trick or tactic without an understanding of how it will meet your individual needs.

                                                                                                                                                                        From just about every reliable piece of research available, the key to maintaining weight is to achieve caloric balance (amount of fuel used = amount of fuel consumed). One of the easiest ways to achieve caloric balance (from the consumption side, not the output side) is to even out your consumption across as wide a part of the day as possible, accounting for SMALL rises and dips due to activity/inactivity.

                                                                                                                                                                        It makes sense to limit consumption of fuel-rich foods leading up to periods of sleep or inactivity, but a fiber and nutrient-rich meal or snack before bed is perfectly fine (and in my opinion a good idea) for most people looking to maintain or lose weight. Skipping meals or running on empty, even when sleeping, signals your body to switch into calorie STORAGE mode vs. burning (a.k.a. starvation mode).

                                                                                                                                                                        Another consideration is for exercisers or athletes. My exercise periods are late evening and early morning, both of which require thoughtful nutritional planning. Post-workout protein and carbohydrates are essential for muscle recovery -- if I exercise in the evening, it requires a nutritious, portion-conscious POST-workout meal or snack. Likewise, if I expect to exert any energy at 7 a.m. and haven't eaten anythig since 7 p.m. the night before, I won't be the least bit effective.

                                                                                                                                                                        After keeping a steady input of several smaller meals throughout the day, almost every night I eat a piece of 15-grain toast with a heaping tablespoon of honey, Nutella or peanut butter a short time before I go to sleep. I might throw in a bowl of high-fiber cereal if I know I'll be hitting the bike or gym early in the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MSPD

                                                                                                                                                                          I am the same way. I have to eat quite a bit at night to workout in the morning. Working out with breakfast in the stomach is distracting.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. 5'9" and 140 or so. Definately not fat. Pretty normal.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Interesting read! Tomorrow (Oct 2), I begin a special exercise/change the way you eat program through the Kinesiology Dept at our nearby University. It will be very structured and I will be closely monitored. Never was much for exercise although I was (still am somewhat) a climber/hiker/backpacker. I've gained 40 pounds in the last 6 years 12 of it living with my now fiance for a year. What is a chowgirl to do?! I would rather lasso a cupcake than an apple any day! :( KQ

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Here's my favorite line from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

                                                                                                                                                                            They've just robbed the second train and another train comes up and lets out a huge posse.

                                                                                                                                                                            The gang rides away, and Paul Newman shouts "Split up."

                                                                                                                                                                            Newman and Redford go one way and the rest of their gang another.

                                                                                                                                                                            Newman asks Redford "How many of 'em are are following us?"

                                                                                                                                                                            Redford looks back and says "All of 'em."

                                                                                                                                                                            * * *

                                                                                                                                                                            All of us, too, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm 5'8", 235 lbs and just turned 52. I'm not fat, just short for my weight.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I am positively average-sized and I happily eat a lot. Except no soda and few sweets. My indulgence foods are mostly salty.

                                                                                                                                                                                However, my in-laws are all big, but I see they eat dessert with every dinner and sometimes with lunch too. I'm talking about cheesecake, creamy pies, whipped cream...every day! They love it. To me, those things taste good, but not that good.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vicki_vale

                                                                                                                                                                                  Starve . . . and die. Eat . . . die. Either way you slice it (pun intended) you're gonna die. Might as well go out on a [sugar] high!

                                                                                                                                                                                  TT

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I eat really healthy 90% of the time and splurge the rest. Any splurge I have must be "calorie-worthy." Or, as my friend put it, I'm a food snob about that part. I'll eat raw veggies out of a bag and not care about how they taste because that's for health but if it's not healthy, it has to be worth it. If I didn't eat this way, I could be an oompa loompa, especially as I get older.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm over 40 and have been eating this way for a long time. For the most part, I like the healthy foods I eat but they might not be my first choice if they weren't good for me. I LOVE the food I splurge on. But, would I eat boneless skinless chicken breast, raw broccoli and whole grain rice if it were really bad for me? No. But, I do eat cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My height 5’4” and weight 125 age 31. I hate to cook but I love to eat!! I do eat anything that I like; lots of meat and carbs. But I also have a very high metabolism. The only time I ever gained weight like crazy was when I was pregnant the 1st gained 76 and the 2nd 46, both times made it to 186!!! From 110, that was a lot. But I ate anything that was not moving, I even out ate my husband who is 5’9” and weighs 230!!! But someone else posted here we are going to die some day, let me eat anything I want and be happy!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Im 5'2'' and 115lbs...I eat whatever I want and def dont stop at one glass of wine. The last 5-6years my weight has never changed I'd always been told that my metabolism would slow down....never believed anyone until within the last year I have gained 10 lbs...which for me is alot. I eat what I crave which isnt always a the best choice...but work out enough to treat myself when I want...Besides I find my I'm happiest when my time is spent eating a good meal with a bottle of wine and people I care about.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I am 5'11" and used to way close to 220 (really fat for those of you that couldn't tell) I am now 175 and think I eat more now than I did then. I started going to the gym 5-6 times per week and the weight fell off. Oh yeah, I also gave up bacon. It was a sacrafice and I still don't ever eat it. I feel like a recovered alcoholic because I am worried if I have a bite I may not be able to stop!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I'm 5'5" and weigh about 120. Two major factor keep down my weight:
                                                                                                                                                                                            1)I live in NYC, so walk a lot.
                                                                                                                                                                                            2)I'm always on a limited budget.

                                                                                                                                                                                            However, I'm starting to think there's a third factor. I'm beginning to believe in the (French) concept that if you don't worry too much about food, you don't get fat. I eat a lot of sugar and fat, but it somehow seems to balance out in the long run.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I recently discovered that some people who consider themselves to be "chowhounds" are indeed anorexic. I am not kidding. They love to talk about food, cook food, write about food,learn about food,teach about food, go to culinary school..but they just don't want to eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't wrap my brain around it...but I swear, I've met a few.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: melly

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mimi Sheraton said the same thing in her book. She even said some TV food show hosts are. I had an anorexic friend who cooked a lot for other people but never ate her own food. Sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Glencora

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lora Brody called them the "Thin Ladies" in her book "The Chocolate Diet". Great book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: melly

                                                                                                                                                                                                  my sense is that the interest in learning how to cook and learning about food (i.e. what's in it) is all about control and knowledge about what's going into one's body. being surrounded by food, looking at magazines, talking about it... sounds a bit like "food porn," doesn't it? obsession, addiction, denial. same principle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I have struggled forever with my weight and at 4' 11" the extra pounds really show. In the last few years I've packed 30 pound back on! I can't say I worried too much last night when I was enjoying that crostini with goat cheese! But, come January when I go to the doctor's and haven't lost the 10 pounds I promised, I'll be sorry!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Me too. I am 4'11 as well. If I were taller, I'd look great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 5'8 129 BMI:21 For the 1st time in my life I'm trying to put ON a few pounds!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 5'10", around 160 pounds. I'm at the age where I do have to pay attention to how much I work out and eat, but working out four times a week for about an hour seems to be enough to eat whatever I want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 5' 10" 168 lbs ... 30 years old. At 21... I was 162 & ran 5k races right around 15:30. At 23 I was 170 but muscular (retired from competitive running)... I now have a little bit of a gut & have taken up running again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Not to incur wrath, but I spent six months last year trying desperately to put on twenty pounds. Accomplished it, too, through an insanely high-protein diet (one gram of protein daily per pound of body weight, even though my sister---an IFB professional, personal trainer and nutritionist--- recommended two grams per pound [Daily!] for optimal growth) and twelve hours a week in the gym lifting a variety of objects, over and over again, that were clearly more fond of stasis. (BTW, I defy anyone outside of competitive eaters to consume two grams of protein a day per pound of bodyweight, or even one. For me it was harder than the lifting.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then I took a new job and the eighteen-hour days and six-day weeks eradicated those gains with a quickness. So I'm right back to Male, 37 years, 6'0" and 170. Though as a consolation prize I kept the six-pack and obliques. Which are also probably going the way of the Dodo. Time for more bacon and crunches I guess ( oh lord...)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          And no, I haven't had the time (or the courage) to find out what this little experiment did to my cholesterol, but I'm betting that it ain't good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Your six pack stuck with you after how long? If I stop doing my situps for even two weeks, I can feel a loss of muscle. Worse, a bit of fat starts collecting in front, so that the muscle not visible anymore -- it's just a gut. Do you have like a glandular problem or something? At 37, to need protein to put on weight... well, let's just say I don't pity you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And yes, protein shakes are disgusting. If you make the mistake of getting vanilla flavor, it tastes like sawdust and glue. Of course, I haven't needed protein shakes since I was 21, but whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Female. 5'11, 140#. Athlete. Part-time glutton. Mother of two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. nope...not fat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                wouldn't mind putting on a few pounds(as I've thought veritably my 33 years)...but doubt that'll happen w/o some sort of bs dietary(quantified caloric intake...pfffttt!) work

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. arhg i used to be one of these people. i remember once at the bellagio buffet in las vegas we were eating brunch and i thought it was really cool how they kept on bringing out different kinds of things. only after we left did i realize they did it because we had stayed thru till dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i noticed that thin people who say they eat whatever they want are only telling half the story. I have yet to meet a really thin person who says s/he eats whatever s/he wants and then actually witness them eat huge amounts of calories day after day. generally i noticed they eat relatively lightly and they seem to prefer things that are lower cal. they buy water from the vending machine, or diet coke, and not regular. (well actually i do know someone who coulud eat steak and ice cream every day w/ wild abandon but she had a thyroid problem and she says no you do not want that problem)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have thus incorporated such techniques like drinking lots of water, not eating (as many) sweets and filling up on the veggies and it works to fill me up somewhat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I've just read this entire post(I know, get a life) and it is amazing that while there are many that are overweight, very few are obese. The national averages are that 30% of us are obese. This tells me two possibilities. Being a chowhound is not associated with overeating and a number of posters alluded to this (good food instead of lots of food or obese chowhounds are self selecting out. Given the honesty of the posts and the anonymity of teh site, I think it's the former. So Cheers to chowhound good health and good eating. BTW, in interest of full disclosure: male, 49 yo, 5'5", 155 lb (BMI 25.8) overweight and noticeable given the height but not too bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 6' 165, so no, I'm not overweight, but I work to maintain it for sure. I think being a chowhound aids in the healthy life. I can feel so much more satisfied with a small portion of great food than with loads of generic junk. Of course, I did have a giant apple fritter for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 5'8" and 145 and my doctor says I'm not the least bit overweight. I lift fairly heavy weights and kickbox and am very muscular. I'd like to lose 10 pounds, but my tendency is to not eat when I'm stressed out, so I'd rather be happy and wearing a size 8 than miserable and in a 4. I spent ten years at 115 and looked awful. I'm much happier where I am now, and my family all says I look tons better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I prefer the term "zaftig."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interestingly, I was ripping down structures last summer at my dad's house last summer when he was ill and the property needed to be cleared up. I worked all day but ate nothing but junk food (Domino's, Wendy's, Chick Fil A, etc.)--and still lost weight and had total strangers asking me if I worked out (sledgehammers are great exercise--I had shoulders like a swimmer). I went back to my desk job and ended up with more weight and less muscle tone than ever before a few months later. Conclusion: My job makes me fat--er, zaftig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Im overweight. Dont need to be more specific than that. Id say there are a goodly number of us with weight issues of some sort, judging by pix I have seen of get togethers. Not all, not even most but a substantial group. Main problems? (1) I have to try EVERYTHING, (2) if the food tastes good, portion control goes out the window, (3) clean plate club training.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Not only am I Not Small (I'm 5'11''...by the way, constantly teased for being the tallest girl in my class all through school)...I don't weigh myself. If my clothes (I'm a 14/16/18 depending on the brand) get too tight (and I keep clothes for years), I cut back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Truthfully, I am wary of people who "eat to live". You know what I mean? It seems like... a kind of a frigidity. Not that every meal has to be like a scene from Tom Jones, but eating for me is a sensual act, meant to be savored and enjoyed. And I mean that for an awesome orange as well as for a well crafted bowl of gnocchi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Probably the waif who drinks a diet coke for lunch and nukes a lean cuisine for supper will live longer than I. But damn it, I will use butter and eat red meat occasionally and TASTE the damn food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And by the way....I gain weight when I eat "bad" food. I see trends in a week I eat "junk" food, or stray from my hobbies of cooking as fresh and from scratch as I can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Food, like life, should be an adventure. I feel for the kids who are growing up today thinking Powerade is the proper breakfast drink and that Stouffers ain't lying when they claim "nothing comes closer to home". Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thegolferbitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm with you... I don't own a scale. I'm 5'3" and I have size 6 "barometer jeans"... when they start to get tight, I cut back on the super rich foods and add 15 minutes to a work out. Seems to do the trick!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thegolferbitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the diet coke and lean cuisine girl will not live longer than you. healthy food is just as important as being under the "obese" BMI, which you certainly are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Im slim, 6'1", 170. Former line cook... I eat whatever I want,steak, lobster or crab with butter, etc. I alos cook with butter, and eat fast food, and junk food. and never gain much weight. However Id hate to see what my cholesterol count, or my arteries look like....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I've been curious about this very topic. I'm 5'4", 105. I eat whatever I like, but only because I run every day (6-14 miles). I'm a different breed of chowhound: I run to eat. Haw!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not virtuous ('cause I do love pie) but I stay away from fast food, junk food, anything that has had the kiss of grease.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Can one practice moderation and still be a true chowhound?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cuppamud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure that a true chowhound could practice moderation, but then, everything should be in moderation, including moderation!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with the posters upthread who say weight is all relative. It's how it's put on your body that counts, too. I am 5'3", 155 lbs. and 49 years old, but if you saw me on the street, you'd see a nicely curvy, 5'6" woman (3" heels at least) who looks in her late 30's, early 40's. Could stand to lose weight, but life is to enjoy rather than deny. If I can just learn to enjoy exercise!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm 5'3" 135 pounds, down from 211 pounds 2 years ago, thanks to WeightWatchers and getting my fat butt off the couch and exercising almost daily now. Strangely enough, though always a lover of good food, I feel like I've become more of a foodie since my weight loss. Now that I don't eat "mindlessly" I enjoy food even more and am constantly on the search for great food experiences. I've also learned that as long as you don't eat a pint of Cherry Garcia every night you can eat all 4 dessert courses at French Laundry without fear. I'm very interested in the intersection between being a healthy eater and a foodie. My biggest dilemma: when is it appropriate to ask for dressing on the side, no mayo, etc. and when is it just a crime? My husband hates when I ask for dressing on the side. I think at diner-type restaurants it's o.k. but I'd never do it at higher-end restaurants. We saw Anthony Bourdain speak last night and I was going to ask him what he thought of "dressing on the side" people, but thought better of it because I knew what his answer was going to be!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jldrussell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dressing on the side? Who cares? You're the customer. You're not putting anyone out unnaturally--no one will have to rearrange their schedule, leave their mother's deathbed, or donate blood/organs to satisfy your request. Frankly, you did something amazing, and if dressing on the side helps you to maintain your routine or healthy habits, I don't think anyone should give you any grief over it. They should be ESPECIALLY accomodating at higher-end restaurants where you're paying a lot of money for an experience that is pleasing to YOU. And I'm sorry but your husband needs to get a thicker skin--asking for dressing on the side is hardly the equivalent of chewing with your mouth open. Most of the women in my family have struggled with their weight (including me, see "zaftig" post above) and they ALWAYS ask for their dressing on the side wherever they are. Sorry if I've been overly obnoxious in my reply, but for some weird reason this struck a nerve with me. I guess I feel strongly about the right to have my dressing on the side:-) But anyway, kudos to you on your success!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought about the dressing on the side bit for a while last night (hey, I get bored on the elliptical machine at the gym). Unless the dressing is an inherent ingredient to a unique, chef-created dish, I don't see any reason why this would even raise an eyebrow. You aren't inconveniencing anyone. You aren't insulting some chef's "creation". Think of the word "dressing" itself -- it even implies a diner-added implement (I liken it to "window dressing").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I suspect Bourdain would have snickered at the question and said, "who the F**K cares". Unless you're bastardizing their dish by asking to substitute beef for skate wing or ketchup to glop on your cassoulet, they don't care. The chef wouldn't even know about it when it happens unless it's a tiny, tiny restaurant with one guy doing everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jldrussell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good for you on your weight loss! Wow. I agree w/ others that it's not an issue. I don't know what kind of vibe I give off, but I've had waiters ask me if I wanted to dressing on the side ("You want the dressing on the side, right?" sometimes with a wink). Um, okay. Anyway, sounds like you've learned the key to eating well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. 5'3" 125 lbs, and trying to lose about 10. Its not easy.. especially when you live in new york city and love to eat. water. drink LOTS of water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i'm the same boat as you. would love to lose 10lbs, but i refuse to go back on the south beach diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            did it 2 years ago. got all the way down to 110 and didn't feel like me -- probably the lack of carbs. i could wear pretty much anything i wanted to. . .but inside i was craving pasta, cheeseburgers. imagine eating asian food without rice! never again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Not me. I'm 5'2" and weigh 115. A couple of years ago I was close to 200lbs and lost over 80lbs while still eating out several times a week and even squeezing a few tasting menus here and there. I have maintained my hound status throughout. It took me a long time to realize that it's all about quality (in reasonable quantities of course)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm 5'9" and weigh 145, but my body fat is 19%. I have no idea why people think weight alone is a good indication of how healthy or how fit a person is. The woman who said she is 5'9" and used to weigh 110 is almost unbelievable unless she had an illness or is a pre-teen who hasn't yet developed an adult body. When I weighed 130, I was gaunt and looked unhealthy, and I have a small body frame; I'm 26.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Well I am and have no problem with it...lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am 5'7 and I weigh a bit over 400 lbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have been this size for the past 12 years(I am 27)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm 5'1" and weigh between 108-110 now... My fighting weight is 103, but haven't been there for the last 2 years or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Even though my husband jokes that I "must have hollow legs" whenever we eat, I definitely cannot pack away food like I used to. I blame it on my lack of exercise - used to work out lots but barely have a routine now. I'm not about to change my chowhound habits, darnit!