Why are you thin?

Inspired by the ‘why are you fat?’ thread.

If you self-identify as thin (not average weight, not ‘not-fat’) at this point in your life, please vote. I know people define ‘thin’ and even ‘skinny’ vastly differently.

I picked the first option as I have never had a BMI over 17 despite eating quite a bit for someone my size and several lifestyle changes in the last decade (going from being sedentary to quite fit, consuming large amounts of junk foods in an attempt to gain weight, a couple stints of vegetarianism, a recent switch to being nearly a carnivore). My father and two sisters are also skinny and small-boned and my mom and her side of the family are on the slimmer side of average, so there’s a large genetic componant at play here. We also, as a family, tend to eat pretty well compared to most people I know (enjoy cooking, eat mostly unprocessed foods including plenty of animal products, and think sugar is bad for you).

Because I’m broke.

Hmm… my choice of words would be “slim”. I’m active and eat fresh foods (we don’t eat processed foods), lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and fish. We’re vegaquarians - mostly vegetarian with the exception of seafood to keep our protein intake up. (And probably our mercury intake too.)

ETA: I voted “take care of myself” but it’s not that I do so in order to be slim, rather we’re active and eat right (for body fuel) and being slim is a by-product of that lifestyle.

Fuck. I don’t know what happened to my poll.

ETA: Oh, there it is!

appolonia, I can’t believe I forgot an option for PEOPLE WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO EAT. Duh. And, I’m sorry.

I chose the “naturally thin” option, but really it’s because I don’t eat very much. I don’t “monitor” my eating; mostly I just skip breakfast because I’m not hungry when I wake up.

I voted the first three.
One, I can eat just about anything without repercussions. Two, I tend to eat more health food than crap.
Three, I don’t have an eating disorder, but I do have some attitudes and behaviors that are not 100% in line with reality.

I’m kind of with you if by monitoring the OP means “keeping track of.” I don’t really think too much of or track what I eat, but what it boils down to is I don’t eat a lot of food, and very little of the food I do eat is junk. I’m not a gym freak, but I do move around a bit. I was really excited that the weather was so lovely this weekend (finally!), and put some air back into my bicycle tires and went for a ride.

Edit: Maybe I should have picked more than one thing. Maybe I shouldn’t have voted at all! I wouldn’t really describe myself as “thin,” but I could be quibbling a bit too much over the definition. I’m thinking of thin as bony, which I’m not, but I’m not overweight and am in good shape. I’m rambling. I picked the second option.

Obesity runs in my family. Both my parents and all three siblings are obese. With my siblings, all older, they were slim until high school. Around eleventh grade or so they started gaining weight more easily. Being the youngest, I learned from their mistakes and started being more conscious of my dietary habits around that point in my life. The biggest difference I can tell between how my family eats and how I eat is quantity. I stop eating when I’m no longer hungry. They regularly don’t stop eating until they’re complaining about being stuffed. I used to eat like that too, but I trained myself out of the habit.

I think being disposed towards a small appetite/moderate activity level and being thin falls under the ‘naturally thin’ umbrella. For the second option I was thinking of people who make a concerted effort to maintain their weight (and often will put on weight unless they do).

I chose “naturally thin,” “I take care of myself,” and “another reason.”

Genetics work in my favor since I got my dad’s tiny bone structure. He’s about 5’6 or 5’7 and has weighed under 120 lbs for his entire life. I’m about 5’6" and 105 lbs at my heaviest since I’m female and lack his muscle build.

Aside from genetics though, I also take care of myself since I’m not a teenager anymore and my metabolism will probably eventually slow down. I’ve started exercising more in the last year or so and I still try to eat as healthy as possible. I’ll still eat burgers and pizza and all types of unhealthy food, but I try to moderate what I eat and get in some salads and vegetarian meals to balance it out. It really helps that I enjoy eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits and that I have a good sense of portion control.

Another reason was chosen because my tastes have been changing and I don’t crave sweets like I did when I was little. I’ll still eat a good cake or dark chocolates, but my desire for sweets is usually so low that anybody waving bucket-loads of donuts and pastries wouldn’t get a second look. Oh, and because I’m lazy too. I make a rule that I don’t eat cookies that I don’t make (or aren’t homemade) and I’m usually too lazy to bake.

By that definition I am naturally thin, but it said “regardless of habits” which is what made me not select it. If I changed my habits, I’d gain weight. My cite is gaining a little bit of marriage weight in 2006, but then (thankfully :)) losing it.

I made a poor choice of words in the second choice - obviously most people who try to live a healthy lifestyle don’t do so just because they want to be thin.

I take great care with my diet lately, but it’s not the reason I am thin. My weight hasn’t changed significantly since I was 16 or so (I am 24).

ETA: MeanOldLady, I think people’s posts will end up being much more valuable than my poll!

When you say average weight do you mean according to a height/weight chart? If I’m reading this correctly you are looking for answers from people who are technically underweight?

I’ve always been naturally thin, and my eating habits are truly despicable. I despise fruit, I eat more junk food then good food and the good food I eat isn’t even all that great. The only thing I have going for me is that I like vegetables, but only cooked, won’t touch ‘em if they’re raw. I should have been a fat little kid, but I graduated high school 5’7’’ 130ish. I’m now 29 years old, 5’7’’ and about 150. I’ll admit it’s caught up with me a little in that I have a small gut, but other then that I’m still pretty skinny.
What’s funny is people would always talk about how I could eat anything I want and never put on a pound, but one thing I’d always wanted is the ability to put on at least a little weight.

Or in the words of Shane Mauss
“I’ve always been freakishly skinny because I have a hole in my butt”

Chose “take care of myself” but I do it differently than most people think when they see that phrase - I avoid sugar, wheat, grains, starch, etc. and eat lots of meat, egg etc. for the last few years. I was quite hefty from high school to college but lost it VERY slowly by exercise and cutting calories, but that does not work now. Best thing I ever did was start weight training in college, the benefits are still coming in my late 40’s.
I have much more sympathy for overweight people now as they are given the wrong information over and over, and chastised when they fail.

No - anyone who identifies as ‘thin’, whatever that means to you. I know to a lot of people there are only two ways to be: thin or fat. This isn’t how I think of it at all though. Average weight for adults in the US is slightly overweight as per the BMI and I think most people realize that intuitively - most people don’t regard other people who are overweight per BMI as fat by looking at them (even if they are carrying some extra fat).

My boyfriend is slender in terms of body composition and I think of him as such, yet he is on the cusp of overweight by BMI. He has a larger frame, while I have an exceedingly small one. The BMI equation is hugely wrong about our body fat percentages.

I voted “I take care of myself”.

Left to my natural inclinations (a vigorous appetite, a fondness for fried things, a propensity towards sitting a lot), I’d be a lot heavier than I am now. So maintaining a healthy, aesthetically pleasing size is an act of will for me. Not exactly a Herculean act, mind you, but an act nevertheless. I’ve never been overweight, but if you were to compare pics of me as a teenager–when I didn’t pay attention to exercise and diet–with my present state, you would see that I was well on my way to fat. At a certain point in college, I realized that I needed to wake up and smell the adipose deposits slowly but gradually accumulating on my body. It was then that I started tracking calories and exercising.

I figured that’s what you meant. I answered it as if it said simply “I’m thin because I enjoy a healthy diet and/or active lifestyle.”

ETA: It would be an interesting sub question though.

  1. I take care of myself with good diet and exercise

a) specifically to control my weight
b) I just love activity and my weight is low as a result

“I take care of myself” and “other reasons.”

I take care of myself, do cardio for an hour several times a week on top of a ton of walking, and eat a good, balanced vegetarian diet. But I also acknowledge that much of the reason I’m thin is just a family tendency toward being slim; I was overweight until I was 16, then lost ~75 lbs. without trying, and have been thin for the last 19 years, even in the years that I seriously didn’t care for my health. The taking-care-of-myself thing is to stave off the inevitable slowdown in metabolism and such.

Genetics - I have my mother’s and grandmother’s body. For a male that is quite embarrassing.