Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Do you have metabol-envy?

Yesterday, I sat with a friend and she said if she could have one wish it would be to be able to eat whatever she wanted and not gain weight. I clarified “you mean instead of your family being healthy or world peace?” She said “well one wish or thing I could change about myself.” I think I believe that last part. The truth is,  I hear all about these friends, siblings or coworkers who can eat whatever they want.  I’ve sent the majority of session consoling clients over metabolic diversity (or injustice in their eyes).  “I have to work so hard at this” or “I am eating the salad while they are having fries” I’ve heard it all and have a few things to say about these “everything eaters”.

  • Oftentimes, they don’t always eat like this. Think of the celebrity with a giant burger or ice cream cone. Many people eat differently out versus at home or on weekends versus weekdays. And many don’t want to appear to watch what they are eating.

  • Chances are they will not be able to eat this way forever. When twenty-something clients tell me about their French toast ordering friends, I tell them to wait a few years.  Forty has a way of leveling the metabolic playing field. And know that’s it’s most difficult for people to watch their weight who have never had to think about it.
  • Everything eaters have arteries too. I worry about the insides of naturally thin people. I actually told my friend with the wish above that even if I could eat anything without gaining (and I can’t and never could) I would still drink green juice and eat wild salmon. Part of me likes it but part of me also likes how I feel and knowing I am taking care of my health (hello family history of heart disease).
  • At the end of the day, metabol-envy is just envy. There will always be someone who is taller, richer and more successful. Focusing on them really takes us away from our game.

If I have any form of envy it’s confidence envy. I would love (though maybe not since I turned 40) to be the person who parades around in a bathing suit or feels no need to cover up. My friend gave me some advice about this one. She said it’s all about practice. People who are super-comfortable on the beach aren’t generally on the beach a handful of days a year. So I'm off to plan a beach trip where I will watch what I'm eating. I have no problem being that person.

Do you have metabol-envy? Do you know an “everything eater”? If you could change one thing about yourself/your body what would it be?


  1. While I completely get the jealous feelings you describe, I agree with you that we're usually not seeing the whole picture when we're watching that super-thin person inhale a burger, fries, and shake. That's probably an 80/20 thing and the rest of the time she's eating salad with no dressing. That's what I tell myself anyway! I think if I could change something about myself I would change something like the constant cravings for sweets, or I would be more flexible (mentally, not physically - I'm actually ok in that category!). I don't think I would just eat whatever I wanted because like you said, even if you don't gain weight your arteries are not going to love you back.

  2. I always think that those people have their issues in other areas -- often anxiety. etc. I've noticed from the "everything eaters" in my life, they dont really typically eat EVERYTHING, they eat smaller amounts of a lot of things and are just not food focused... which i will never understand of course. Dont get me started on what to change, I can only pick one?

  3. Growing up I had a friend who's family had a whole draw dedicated to chocolates: kit kat, reeses, 100 grand, milky way (they still have it today!) and they are all thin! I never got it growing up because I struggled with weight (to be honest I ate everything, and over ate often). For a while I had metabol-envy as I got older, but reflecting for me it was just a reflection of my own insecurity and body image issues. Today, I really don't want the fries or the candy or any of the crap and it's not so much the body image but like you I've learned that I like how I feel physically and emotionally when I am doing what is best for my body.
    There is always something I want to change, today it can be my hair tomorrow it can be my legs. Mostly I just want to be happy with who I am which is hard with so much media!

  4. Happy with who we are, cheers to that.

  5. wait, wait there are people who aren't food focused?

  6. Let's tell ourselves that. And flexibility- that's such a good one. I think part of what makes me get things done is that I'm rigid but it also has its drawbacks.

  7. I work for a magazine, and interview lots of models and celebrities about their health regimes. Most say they indulge, eat chocolate everyday or - my favourite - cannot seem to put on weight no matter what they eat. But after a daily photoshoot spending 14 hours with them, all they have had is black coffee and maybe some fruit. Don't believe what you see or read.