Thoughts on supersize vs superskinny

I’m not really sure what it is about reality shows that gets people into them. Maybe it’s because for a moment we get to “unplug” and be someone else – someone with completely different lives and problems. It’s a time for us to go into someone else’s shoes and be them for a while, without the pressure of actually figuring out what they should do in their lives.

A show I’ve been watching a bit of recently is Supersize vs Superskinny. I don’t have a good moral reasoning behing watching it, other then the fact I’m morbidly curious about how skrewed up our diets can get. I like it because when I watch it I just unplug, zone out and enjoy the silliness.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s based around 2 people (a supersize overweight person and a super skinny underweight person) who get put into a feeding clinic for a week long diet swap. The participants are asked to swap diets for a week, in hopes that living of each other’s diet will teach them a thing or two about where they’ve been falling short. The whole thing is overseen by a “doctor” who highlights the dangers of their current diet and coaches them on their way to health.

This show is definitely a “reality show”. It’s cheesy, obviously pre-scripted and not exactly “true to life”. But one things that has stood out to me is the participants wiliness to participate and tackle new, and often obscene food choices. Someone that eats 1000 cals a day will switch to a 4000 cal a day diet, and although they ALWAYS initially struggle, they generally manage it in the end. One thing they definitely don’t lack is commitment and a real motivation to see it through.

Of course TV is TV and in real life I know these things would look very different. But it made me think a bit about me and my situation at the moment. I still consider myself underweight, I don’t particularly like what I see when I look in the mirror. And yet forcing myself to eat more is REALLY difficult. I think a lot of it has to do with my fear of overeating (something I used to do pretty regularly in the past). I like being energetic and full of life, and I generally put a LOT into my breakfasts and dinners – but since snacks and lunches are sort of “grab and go” I don’t particularly go out of my way to make them the nutritional powerhouses they should be.

Why is that? I have the motivation – I look in the mirror and I know if I had a bit more “meat on my bones” I’d look and feel better. But when it comes down to actually doing it something holds me back. It could be my irrational fears of binging, it could be my monetary budget limit (I know this plays a big role), it could be just the fact that I need some outside help. But I know I should and can do better – I just need to figure out how.

Another question that watching this show has brought up in my mind is how much would I be willing to give in order to be the weight and shape I want to be. If someone gave me a diet full of foods I don’t feel comfortable eating and said “Eat this and in x amount of time you will be where you want to be ” – would I be committed enough to go for i?. I have made huge strides in changing my eating habits – I know that as a fact, but has it been enough? Where does that extra little push need to come from in order for me to make really lasting changes to my diet and lifestyle?

If someone put something like this in front of me for instance - I don't think I'd be strong/commited enough to eat it

And so now’s the part I ask for your help. I know you guys don’t know me in person, and it’s hard to give advice without seeing the full picture – but an outside perspective is always appreciated. Obviously there will be some things I can do, and some things I can’t do – but the point is that I want to change, I want to do better. I want to be strong, muscular, curvy (still a bit hard for me to say that) and beautiful again!

Here a few tips they give on the show in order to encourage healthy weight gain:

– Never go without breakfast. Definitely something I stick too (maybe even to the point of being obsessive)

– Add healthy snacks to your diet. I usually have about 2 a day – having one right now 😛 (a granola bar, a bit of yogurt and carrot sticks). But they’re not always this nutritionally balanced – must work a bit more on that.

–  Pack in the proteinthis I’ve had a hard time with, but I think I’m doing better by adding lots of PB, lentils, eggs and yogurt to my diet as of late.

Enjoy the taste, texture and color of foodhmm well let’s just say that right now I eat more for practicality and economy then for pleasure. I generally enjoy breakfasts, but the rest of my meals are kind of whatever I have on hand/whatever is the cheapest option at the moment. I definitely see room for improvemnet on this front

PS: As a side note I also wanted to mention that the pictures of “meals” I post on my blog are never the “full deal”. Usually there’s about ½ already eaten, or a dessert, appetizer consumed before. I just want to avoid coming across as someone who eats tiny portions and then wonders why they don’t gain weight. I may not eat 100% enough, but it’s better than it looks.

PPS: And Katy if you’re reading this – I’ve already tried to take your suggestion and am eating homemade granola bars along with my fruit for snacks. Thanks for mentioning that to me. Those are the kind of practical suggestions I really need to hear 🙂

Looking forward to all your imput and personal experiences on the subject. Enjoy the weekend!




  1. I can very much relate to this post, I myself know when I look in the mirror that my arms shouldn’t show certain bones when I a using dumbells, but like you it is hard to actually eat more. The one thing that has helped me is meal planning, or aiming for a certain amount at each meal, snacks. my mainproblem is my current part time job where even if I work 6 hours from 5 till 11pm i don’t get a break and i am on my feet all the time so burning calories that way and only get chance to sneak some cereal bars in when I go toliet and some dried fruit in the glass wash area (work in a bar). High calorie snacks are good though, maybe make some healthy muffins that you can take, or increase portion sizes.

  2. I definitely understand where you are coming from with this post. Even when I look back at pictures of myself from when I was at a healthier weight, I can see that I look better than now. Its definitely not easy to gain weight, or even maintain but eating things that are calorie-dense and not terribly filling help. For example, ice cream. You can get it pretty inexpensively (if you buy a 1/2 gallon) and its easy to eat. Also having nuts, whole milk & chocolate milk, dried fruit all can be easy ways to add calories. Thanks for the honesty on your post, everyone is here to support you!

  3. You are so strong lovely, I really admire you with all that you are doing and the way you really try! You say you’re not sure that you would be committed enough to make the change but I really do think you would! It’s never easy but I have complete faith in you 🙂

    I can’t really offer much help other than to just make sure you keep eating healthily but that you just eat more and that you allow yourself treats! This is essentially what helped my sister to gain weight.

    It’s funny because today I posted something that is very similar and yet very different from this. I know this is difficult, I really do empathise with you. I really appreciate the support you have already given me and I hope that you get something from my post today! ❤

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