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Okay, ignore the tongue-in-cheek title. Obviously people of all sizes are human. But as I’ve written before I spent a long time thinking that any person who was skinny (and by skinny I actually mean fit and trim or someone who can button up their jeans without feeling like they’ll pass out) was naturally that way and didn’t have to work at it. And while I even claimed to understand that slim people actually work hard at it, I didn’t realize just how much effort they put into it until recently.

In an effort to go beyond the standard advice that my plate should be 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein and 1/4 carbs, I decided to swallow my pride and hit up some of the healthiest people I know for advice. And boy was it eye-opening. One of the biggest things I heard, over and over again, was to simply not buy sweets and snacks. Every single healthy person I know has said that they don’t have any more willpower than I do, they just know that they can eat healthier if they don’t keep unhealthy foods in the house. The rest of what I was told was even more surprising. I thought I might be subjected to some stock advice about using low fat salad dressing over full fat. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead I learned that my friends are eating things like steamed chicken and veggies, having a single tiny portion of a sweet snack and throwing the rest away and engaging in bootcamp style fitness classes.

I really shouldn’t have been surprised by all this but I was because I truly didn’t know how hard it was for these people to stay in shape. In a way it made me feel better because they aren’t just adding a few extra veggies to their plates. They are constantly working at it. I now know that food journals and measuring out portions aren’t just for fat people, they are for everyone. It might sound crazy but it really does help knowing that I am not the only person struggling to control my weight and that pretty much everyone has to put some effort in.