Growing up, I’d have extended family members comment on my eating habits: “Wow, he’s so thin, you should really be feeding this boy more!”
And, a few hours later, same people: “I can’t believe you eat that much!”
The irony wasn’t lost on me. They apparently never saw it, which made it even funnier for me.
When I started counting calories, I noticed that I’d actually start losing weight on 2500 calorie diet. That was at ~6’ and 130 lbs. On the other hand, I have friends and family that can’t eat nearly as much as me without getting fat.
So there’s always the “you just have a high metabolism” theory. But I’ve been fairly sedentary most of my life, and I struggle with my energy levels. Sometimes tasks as small as getting up from the couch and emptying the dishwasher can be physically exhausting for me.
Then there was the “clinical depression” theory. Basically “I’m just not motivated to do these tasks, and therefore I perceive them as being energy draining.” I never bought the theory, and antidepressants pretty much did nothing. (I only got effects from one of them, and all it did was make things worse.)
So I tried eating more, better supplementation, exercising more, getting better sleep (been down the medical route on this one). But my energy levels are still very low, and I still have to eat A LOT just to add a few pounds.
All of that said, it makes me wonder, maybe I’m doing all the right things… but I’m just not absorbing stuff well? If someone else can eat food and gain weight, and I eat the same thing and lose weight… and they’re a higher-energy person than I am… does it mean I’m just not getting the calories out of the food?
Are there other skinny kids that say they eat a lot (and actually do), but never really considered that it might be an absorption issue?
And if so, how do you diagnose and treat it? (Or rule it out.)