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If you used to be thin but aren’t any more...

(56 Posts)
MoonBabysMagicalKalimba Fri 26-Jun-20 11:45:35

There’s usually threads on here along the vein of “if you are slim, tell me all your secrets/what you eat in a day/how you think about food” etc and they are always really interesting. Usually started by an OP who has spent years, perhaps their entire life, struggling with their weight.

It got me to thinking about others like me, who were always effortlessly thin as young adults but then that changed. Why did it change? How did it change?

I was a size 8 up until my mid 20s, when I slowly started putting on weight. Up until the age of 25, when I got weighed at the doctors I was always told “you don’t want to lose any weight”. I’m now 35, 2-3 stone overweight and a size 14-16.

I’ve spent years writing it off by saying “well I’m older now, my metabolism has slowed down, I’ve had a baby” etc but I have been lying to myself. When I honesty look back at my thin days, a few things stick out:

- if I ate a massive dinner, I wouldn’t eat much the next day. Not deliberately, I just wasn’t hungry and I’d listen to my body. I’ve stopped listening to my body and will eat just because “it’s breakfast time” even if I’m not hungry.

- I would eat loads of takeaways, but I’d either buy small portions (my Chinese order at uni was just a portion of egg fried rice and some sweet and sour sauce) or I’d only eat a small amount and then have the rest as leftovers. A medium dominoes pizza would only have half eaten and the rest in the fridge. Same with curries. Now, I’ll eat the lot.

- I never really thought about what I ate. If I wasn’t hungry, I wouldn’t eat and I’d stop when I was full. I now just eat for the sake of it and clear my plate even if I’m not hungry.

On an emotional level, I went through a huge life upheaval in my mid 20s which I think led to me turning to food for comfort in a way I never had before. As a teen and in my early 20s, when I had a breakup or other upsetting experience, I’d lose half a stone as I couldn’t eat. A switch flipped at this age, and I started turning to food for comfort in a way I never had before.

I’m interested to know if anyone else was thin in their younger years but are now overweight, what happened? Can you pinpoint how, when and why it changed?

Let this also be a warning to those of you who are thin now, to not make the mistakes I did!

OP’s posts: |
DaffyDaffy Fri 26-Jun-20 11:54:36

I'm similar to you size wise both then and now.

I think family mealtimes don't help here, in the past I could skip meals or just grab something very light but now I cook for the family every night, and sit down with them and eat it.

I also don't want my kids to see me skipping meals because I'm overweight.

DaffyDaffy Fri 26-Jun-20 11:55:33

Also, parenting is hard and sometimes I shut myself in the kitchen and eat the biscuits.

wheresmymojo Fri 26-Jun-20 11:56:29

I had a breakdown in my early 30's and developed binge eating disorder.

I basically think my body (in the absence of any medication) used lots of food as a type of self-medication for the dopamine hit in the same way alcoholics use drink and addicts use drugs.

I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and am now on medication and reasonably stable.

I put 6 stone on in 5 months!

That was about 7 years ago now and I've had a battle since to try and recover. I think I'm there now (helped by lockdown actually) but the real test will be when I'm back out and about more...

Shedtheload Fri 26-Jun-20 11:57:00

I have always had binge eating issues but managed to stay within normal range of BMI until about 30, so about 6 years ago. There were a few things that triggered the 3 st weight gain (but lost more than half of it so far).

- first was going on 5:2 diet to lose some weight. It triggered extreme hunger and severe binge eating and I rapidly gained absolutely everything I’d lost and more. I blame it for fucking up my relationship to food even more than was already the case.

-leaving London and getting a job where I didn’t have to walk a lot. I became way more sedentary and the weight started to creep on.

- getting prescribed antidepressants that caused me to gain even more weight. I am off them now.

- getting a new job about 18 months ago which was stressful, moving to a different part of the country, feeling depressed and triggering more binge eating.

I feel so much better now though. Over halfway to being back to the weight I was in my 20s. I was never super skinny but I don’t want to be and am happy at a size 10-12.

PAND0RA Fri 26-Jun-20 11:58:55

I had three pregnancies close together and then developed an under active thyroid.

Before that I was a size 8.

emptycup Fri 26-Jun-20 12:01:53

I relate to this a lot. I was a size 8-10 up until around 20 then I got comfortable with my now DH and the weight has just crept up over the years plus 2 babies. I'm 30 now and I'm a size 14 and 13 stone.
My eating habits sound the same as yours. Just this morning I went to get a yogurt for breakfast and then thought actually I'm not even hungry! I definitely have a "clear the plate" mindset now and eat well past being full. Just like you I eat just because it's a certain time of day.
I want to get back on the road to losing weight just need to get my head in the zone.
I think being a SAHM doesn't help me because I'm home most of the day and it's so easy to graze and snack. When I was younger I was out a lot more and working so I had more important things to be doing than eating

Elzbells Fri 26-Jun-20 12:04:01

Having children and starting to work from home. Sit on my arse all day being very inactive snacking on crisps. I also drink much too much wine. I'm 11st 7 at 5.5ft.

Pre children I was 9.7, was always out, still drank but would also dance the night away. Smoked 20 a day but was always on the go - practically had a suitcase of clothes in my boot as my social life was so busy.

Now I'm bored really, use food as a distraction and have spent 10 years on one crash diet after another gradually getting bigger.

NellMangel Fri 26-Jun-20 12:04:19

Pre kids if I mentioned losing weight people would be incredulous and tell me I was daft.

None of that now!! Just nodding and asking what diet I will folllow.

Pre kids I wasnt healthy but was slim. I could skip meals if I was busy. I had no car so shopping trips were a workout. I could eat 3 chocolate bars in a go if I fancied.

But now, I would feel sick if I skipped a meal, I barely move, the usual mistake of clearing the kids plates.

I'm currently following slimming world and doing couch to 5k so some weight is coming off but I hate the fact I have to work at it now!

goteam Fri 26-Jun-20 12:21:56

I was a size 8-10 until around 35 after my second child but I think my eating habits had already begun to change from 30 when I met DH and my clothes just stretched with me! I was pretty active so no hugely noticeable change in weight until post kids. 5 years on at 40 I am usually around 11 stone at 5 foot 5 and a size 12 if not 14 with some shops /styles. I would like to lose a stone and be a comfortable rather than straining at the seams size 12 but it does get harder to find the time to exercise. I dont eat breakfast until I'm hungry and trying to make healthier choices mainly to get rid of my post baby belly (youngest is 5!)

I'm aware that an overall weight loss is what needed to lose the tummy and in my 20's I was slim but not particularly active. I just didn't focus on food so much and placed more of a value on looking that version of attractive we have in our 20's - looking good in skinny jeans and vest tops etc. I was also too busy to eat a lot of the time whereas now I work from home, have a lot of takeaways with DH and have more disposable income for eating out. I hate jogging and never get on with yoga or pilates so struggle to find exercise I like apart from swimming which is obviously not possible right now but even in normal times requires more logistical planning than a run and factoring in travel to and from the pool I only ever managed once a fortnight. I walk a lot though.

I have never had enough weight to lose to make a concerted effort but some recent photos of me are giving me a reality check! Weight goes to my face and tummy unfortunately. Many could carry off my weight with the right hourglass figure as I'm only slightly overweight but I look dumpy as it's all in my face, neck and middle. Rethinking the fish and chips planned for lunch now!

goteam Fri 26-Jun-20 12:22:40

Oops that's long!

BreconBeBuggered Fri 26-Jun-20 13:00:55

Another former skinnymalink here. I don't think I ate much less at actual mealtimes back then. I never skipped meals or had a lighter snack after over-indulging. Possibly the only difference would be that I was careless about eating breakfast, so my first food of the day would be lunch more often than not. The big differences for me are eating more crap as well as planned food, and, due to poor health, being unable to burn off as much as I used to. For instance, I'd take a sandwich, and crisps, and a huge bit of cake to work, but I'd be walking around for 8 hours so it wouldn't matter. I wouldn't eat that much now but it still clings to my arse.
For years I thought my hourglass figure was holding it up okay, but the mirror now doesn't say curvy. It doesn't even spin it and call it generous. It's bloody stout. Urgh.

Cocobox Fri 26-Jun-20 13:31:50

Interesting. In my 20s and 30s I weighed between 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 stone. I distinctly remember if I weighed 8 1/2 stone I stopped accepting invitations. I also remember having 31 inch hips. There was a sale on and I bought a Jean Muir skirt, very tailored. The sales assistant told me a dozen women had tried it on and it was too small, she measured my hips out of curiosity, sounds weird but that’s how I know!

Had my children late, in my 40s the new norm was 9 st. I am 50 now and feel 9 st is perfect for me but I am currently 10 st and trying to lose a stone. My hips are now 39 inches and worst of all my waist is 34 or 35 inches. I am small boned and look plump and matronly at this weight.

Why have I gained?

1. I am a SAHM and don’t need to fit in my work clothes.
2. I now drink wine, quite a lot. In my 20s and 30s I drank maybe a glass of wine a week.
3. I eat more often and big portions. In my 20s I was always rushing to something and wanted to wear something trendy. I also didn’t eat 3 times a day. Typically I wouldn’t eat if I was going out for dinner which I did a lot. On Sunday I might meet friends for brunch in a cafe and then not eat again that day. I very much eased off the day after a big meal. I felt much better than I do now.

Davodia Fri 26-Jun-20 14:58:16

Family meals are a big problem for me. Left to my own devices I’m too lazy to cook a meal and will just have a couple of sandwiches for dinner. But I have to cook a proper meal for DH and DC every night and I end up eating it.

DC are another problem. For the first few years of motherhood I was too tired to diet and kept reaching for sugary snacks and caffeine to keep me going through the exhaustion.

DH is a problem too. He brings unhealthy snack food into the house and I end up eating it. He has alcoholic drinks and I end up having one. When he cooks he adds a ridiculous amount of oil or mayo etc and gets annoyed if I refuse to eat it. And he serves up stupidly large portions that I stupidly ate for far too long. Basically I married a fat person and his bad habits rubbed off on me.

EasyLifer Fri 26-Jun-20 15:10:45

I went up a dress size each decade. Size 8 in teens, size 10 in twenties, size 12 in thirties etc. Now size 16-18 in my fifties. I walk everywhere as I don't drive but as I've got older I've worked closer and closer to home so don't get as much exercise. I also seem to have got hungrier, or possibly just more greedy with age, I don't eat too much crap or snacks but I do like big carby meals and teas/coffees with lots of sugar.

SisyphusAndTheRockOfUntidiness Fri 26-Jun-20 15:14:59

Similar to the OP. Until late 20s I was modern shop size 6-8 (dressmaking pattern size 10 I think) & around 8st 4lb - 8st 7 (I'm under 5'3"), then got pregnant, put on masses of weight, never lost it. And I've developed chronic pain (due to disability) as well, difficult to exercise properly or regularly. Now late 30s, around 11st. Not sure on size because shop sizes are all screwed up - according to current sizing I'm a 12 but surely not. According to dressmaking patterns I'm closer to an 18 or 20.

I used to eat small portions. Very small. But I'd eat quite often, every couple of hours. I only ate until the hunger feeling ceased, then stop - it's actually better, as you never get that "I ate too much" feeling, you always have room for a few bites of dessert afterwards if you decide you do actually fancy some. My shopping bills were less! grin And my skin was clearer because I really paid attention to my diet, nutrition, etc. For the past few years I've felt like I spend my life mindlessly chewing, like a cow. I don't like it. It's a really hard habit to change.

EasyLifer Fri 26-Jun-20 15:18:28

Good idea for a thread btw. I must admit I've always assumed that women just naturally put weight on as we age, hence calling it middle aged spread!

goteam Fri 26-Jun-20 15:39:06

@Davodia I relate to being too tired to diet. Also, if I don't eat regularly I feel a bit light headed and that's obviously not great when responsible for young children out and about. I got into the habit of eating when I could when breastfeeding but kept the habit when I finished...still doing that!

CatRamsey Fri 26-Jun-20 15:42:57

I'm still only mid twenties and feel like I'm wasting away what's supposed to be the best years of my life.
I was about 10.5st when I was 18, in a UK size 10-12. I had been smaller than that but that could just be due to being young although I did go through puberty very early.

At 18, I passed my driving test and instead of walking everywhere I drove everywhere. I also met my ex partner at this age and we would order takeaway alot or go out to eat.

At 19 I started a new job, a desk job. I had previously been in a retail job in the shop floor on my feet all day.

It basically went downhill from there. I'm now 24 and 15st 10lbs. UK size 22. I'm miserable as fuck. I do have depression and OCD which don't help, I genuinely don't like 'healthy' food and love sugary treats. I live by myself and can't be bothered cooking or planning meals so just eat crap all the time. I also have PCOS. I hate exercise and love gaming. Because I'm so miserable I just eat even more to comfort myself.

I dread getting older, it seems most people only seem to gain more weight as they age and children/families are added into the mix. I feel like I'm at an advantage right now that I'm young, single and free, and that if I'm struggling to lose weight now then I'm definitely not going to do it in the future. I also don't really feel like I have a future since no one is going to fancy me looking like this so I'll never meet someone.

Apologies for my woe is me story!

xyzandabc Fri 26-Jun-20 15:51:29

This is me. I'm 5'5 and was just over 8 stone, size 8-10 until age 29. Had 2 children and was then about 9.5 stone. Had 3rd child at 34 and the weight has crept on since then, now about 11 stone and size 12-14. I hate how I look in photos which is obviously what I look like in real life too.
I too eat far more than I did back then. I used to eat 2 X Weetabix for breakfast, a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch with s chocolate bar, then a normal portion of whatever dinner, nothing particularly healthy but not junk food. I rarely snacked and only had pudding/dessert if out for a meal. I ate for fuel rather than pleasure.

Now I eat far too much chocolate mainly and bigger portions, though definitely more fruit and veg than I used to aswell. If I went back to my old diet, I could be slim again with a bit of effort I'm sure.

Lula11 Fri 26-Jun-20 16:00:02

I was very slim in my 20’s.
What I remember is, I never really thought about food much.
And I didn’t used to notice until I was absolutely starving, then I used to eat just enough so I wasn’t starving and then it was onto the next exciting thing. I was far more focused on what fun stuff was happening that day or night.
Also I was always marching here, there and everywhere in a rush, and of course the all nighters as a social life.
After having kids, your whole life revolves around mealtimes and what is for lunch/dinner.
Being knackered for years on end it’s easy to become addicted to sugary treats. I’m a few stones bigger than I was in my 20’s hmm

Flittingabout Fri 26-Jun-20 16:01:53

Interesting reading this.

I think I used to have an unhealthy relationship with food and in order to look good whilst avoiding exercise would basically just eat one meal and then scraps back in my teens and 20s.

BabyLlamaZen Fri 26-Jun-20 16:16:32

Changes were worrying about when I'd next get to eat and therefore filling up a lot more, frequent snacks. For me was slowly.
Being active and busy meant I was exercising but also not eat. Being trapped with a baby starts creating a viscous cycle.

LadyEloise Fri 26-Jun-20 16:23:00

Yes I was thin when younger.
I never had to think about my weight.
It gradually crept up. I think it was using my car rather than cycling that initially put it on( or had held it in check)
Then comfort eating and being a stupid sugar addict wreaked havoc.

Grasspigeons Fri 26-Jun-20 16:25:09

I was slim right up until 35ish (size 8). I actually blame dieting for making me gain weight some of it. I gained a small amount of weight (in hindsight) due to lack of mobility. Then i tried to lose it and ended up fatter that before. I did this twice. Im now a size 14. I dont seem to change weight now.
I do think pregnancy and breastfeeding messed with my 'feeling full' switch and i think my contraception makes me feel hungry too.

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