What Is It Like To Be Naturally Skinny? How do skinny people think and interact with food that is different from the rest of us, un-naturally skinny people? How do skinny people stay skinny all of the time?
In the 11th Principle in our Think and Lose Weight series, let’s talk about the subconscious mind through unconscious competency. And how it can make you naturally skinny, too.
What Is It Like To Be Naturally Skinny?
Naturally skinny people don’t think about what they are going to eat or what they have already eaten. They eat when it is time to eat, and then they move on with the more important things in their lives. Naturally skinny people understand that food is only fuel for their bodies, and so subconsciously make healthier choices. They choose foods that makes them feel better. Often times, a naturally skinny person doesn’t even think about food at all. And may seem surprised when food is offered or that it is time to eat again.
For a naturally skinny person, eating a treat is a sporadic occasion, not a staple in their diet. A donut or a fancy coffee/milkshake isn’t something they stress about, because it’s not an everyday thing.
It’s an easy choice to say yes, because it’s not in the normal rotation of foods they usually eat.
A naturally skinny person has a different relationship to food than someone who is not skinny. Often times, this relationship is something they learned in their childhood, so is just the normal pattern of behavior.
But this can also be true for people like me, who have learned how to change this relationship as an adult to be categorized as “naturally skinny” by people who don’t know any better.
Only once I mastered the previous steps in our Think and Lose Weight series was I able to really make the leap from intentionally doing these things to doing these things subconsciously.
And that’s when I really started to hear the “naturally skinny” comments from those around me.
What Is Unconscious Competency?
Unconscious Competency is the last step in any mastery journey. At this stage, the tasks are done without thinking, and reaching a satisfactory level outcome is habit. There are fewer mistakes, because following each of the proven steps is a habit. As fewer mistakes occur, real progress is made.
This is the end goal of the journey, and when we make it to unconscious competency, we can really, truly just “Think and Lose Weight”.
When you begin to exhibit unconscious competency, people will start to refer to you as “naturally skinny”.
Is It Possible To Be Naturally Skinny?
It is definitely possible to be naturally skinny, even if you’ve been “naturally fat” your whole life.
The “naturally” part of being “naturally skinny” is really just reaching unconscious competency. At this point you are naturally making the healthy choices that keep you skinny – after you’ve done the really, really hard work of getting the weight off.
When I tell people, who’ve never heard my story before, that I used to be over 300 pounds, they look at me differently. And then there is always the “No Way” denial.
I’m way too naturally skinny to have ever been fat.
And only after I whip out my “before” pictures do they start to believe me that this “Naturally Skinny” lady was once “Naturally Obese”.
Yes, gastric bypass helped me to get the overabundance of excess weight off. But the hard work of regular, high intensity exercise, and a year of avoiding carbs, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar gave me a “naturally skinny” body.
Misconceptions About Naturally Skinny People
We need to be cautious about the way we allow our brains to think about others. I worked at a San Francisco start-up, called Sonder, for a while. And I learned the real meaning of the word Sonder, both in definition and in practice.
Sonder is defined as “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”, by Wikipedia’s Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (What a great name for a dictionary, by the way).
Our lives often feel like we are in our own version of an insane reality television series. And as such, we can become dangerously self-absorbed in our own problems.
When we think about how other people are traveling through their lives, we think they have it so, so easy. They couldn’t possibly relate to the real tragedies and hardships of our own experience.
But the truth is, that we are all living a life as vivid and complex as your own, just as the definition states. We are all worried about our own problems, and we are all striving for something. This is something I saw firsthand, as someone who lives in Denver, but worked for a start-up out of San Francisco.
These San Francisco folk were young, hip, and tech-minded. The office space was designed by the trendiest people. This set was chic, cutting edge, and rubbed elbows with the rich and famous. Most of them came from Uber, right after it went public, and were ready to disrupt the industry again.
We worked with people all over the globe, in the hottest cities, like New York, Rome, and Toronto.
Yet, for all their sophistication, education, and class, they were all, more or less, the same hot mess as me.
Life is hard, no matter how easy it seems for some people. Their life may seem easy, likely because they have already made it through their incredibly hard stages. But, they did it, and you can, too.
Related: How To Be Authentic In 5 Weird Steps
What Can We Learn From Our Naturally Skinny Friends?
We can learn how to treat food in our own lives by following the examples our skinny friends set for us.
For example, it is easy not to obsess over money as long as you have money. It is easy to make decisions when the resources aren’t weighing heavily on your mind all of the time. You can quickly make the best decision based on the outcome your want to achieve, without worry that you’re taking from something else.
I’ve found the same thing to be true about weight loss. It’s easy to make “healthy” decisions when you have already achieved weight loss.
If we think about the first law of Physics as it applies to our health, it is easier to stay on track when we are on the track and already moving.
The hard part is to get moving. And that’s where we have to take small, but forcefully incremental steps.
Unconscious Competency Only Comes After Hard Work
Think about the way you get a kettle ball rolling up an incline. You don’t just run at it, and then it moves easily with your momentum. There are other forces that you have to overcome, like gravity.
You have to dig in, and push with real might at the beginning. It is hard, and you might not feel like you’re actually making any progress for a long time.
“This is too hard.” “I can’t do this alone.” “This can’t be worth the effort.”
These are the things you hear or may even say when starting out.
Extreme effort is required to get that ball rolling. It won’t roll on it’s own, and if you give up too soon, the ball may actually roll backward on you.
Get The Ball Rolling
Once you actually get the ball moving, though, then it is so much easier to keep it moving. And even to speed it up.
It’s getting through that first big effort of change. Changing the way we think is hard. Changing our behaviors feels impossible.
But it can be done. You just have to keep doing the hard work of the small things every single day, with intention. Then, it becomes easy. You get better. And you’ll make fewer mistakes. You even start to see results.
And with results, comes stronger motivation and stronger commitments. And that strength is what you need to push that big ball up the hill.
Once you get it rolling, keeping it rolling, like in Newton’s First Law of Motion, is easier. Don’t let anything get in the way once that ball is rolling, and it will stay in motion. It can roll you right to your goal.
Starting Again After A Setback
Sometimes things DO get in the way, even though we have prepared for them. And we get off course, or our momentum is halted. It’s so frustrating!
But we must start again at some point, though it could be days, or even years later.
This is especially true if we lost the weight before, or were skinny once upon a time. And now we’re not.
There seems to be start-up amnesia, where we forget how HARD it was to get started on the right path. All we remember is that momentum phase, where we were doing so great! Things were easy, and we made so much progress – fast.
And then we wonder what on earth is wrong with us now. Why are we failing at this so much? We aren’t bad at stuff, so why are we so bad at this?
You Can Do This!
Your goal, regardless of what you may be trying to achieve, is to reach unconscious competency. You want to reach your satisfactory outcome because you are following every step as a habit.
Getting to that place takes the hard work of getting the ball rolling.
Work on doing all of the seemingly pointless small actions every time until they are what you do without thinking. These small things build up to create the big things. Our progress comes from doing the small things, over and over, and over again.
One day, you’ll look back at where you started, and think “Wow! I’ve come a long way.” Don’t give up.
Happy weight loss <3
"No Excuses Chili" is my Go-To weight loss recipe when it is cold outside, or I know I'm in for a busy day.
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