My Weight Gain Experience: What I Did Wrong…

Posted: August 13, 2008 in fat, fat loss, fitness, health, life, Me, my life, weight, Weight loss
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been thinking about my last post for a day now and I think it would be helpful to post a list of the choices and lifestyle decisions that led me to go from 155lbs and 6% body fat to 206lbs and 26% body fat.

1. I left the fire department in 1999 and my activity level decreased significantly.  From that point on my workouts for the next several years were sporadic. RESULT= +5lbs (overall weight = 160lbs)

2. In 2000 a good friend introduced me to how to cook steak and mashed potatoes and I started eating steak and mashed potatoes all too often and consumed probably 2 to 3 portions of each since I rarely had anyone to share them with. RESULT= +5lbs (overall weight = 165lbs)

3. From 1999 – 2001 I found out one of my roommates also enjoyed professional wrestling and so we started watching both Monday Night Raw and Thursday night’s Smackdown- and chowing down on a pizza as we watched.  During the course of a show I would usually eat half a Dominoes pizza and several  bread sticks or cinnamon sticks. RESULT= +3lbs (overall weight = 168lbs)

4. Early in 2001 I had an emergency appendectomy and was off my feet for about 2-3 weeks.  Thanks to decreased activity with no corresponding decrease in my caloric I was adding on pounds quickly.  It was the first time in my life that I weighed over 170lbs.  RESULT= +6lbs (overall weight = 174lbs)

5. 2001 – 2004, law school was extremely stressful for both academic and personal reasons.  I also returned to my habit off too many steak and mashed potato meals. RESULT= +26lbs (overall weight = 200lbs)

6. 2003 I had a mysterious illness that lasted about 2 months during which I dropped about 30 lbs in a little over a month.  I was miserable, vomiting anytime I ate just about anything.  The only food I could keep down were small handfuls of Cheerios throughout the day.   Luckily, the illness simply disappeared on its own and left me at about 170 lbs- unfortunately it had robbed me of much of my muscle tone as well as my fat. RESULT= -30lbs (overall weight = 170lbs)

7. 2003 – 2004, I met my future wife and fell in love.  Both her and her mother were good cooks and I had just come off being so sick and eating so little I was determined to eat lots of food and enjoy it.  RESULT= +28lbs (overall weight = 198lbs)

8.  I saw myself blowing up and decided to lose weight for my wedding.  I went back to weight lifting and time on the treadmill’s fat loss program. RESULT= -23lbs (overall weight = 175lbs)

9. 2004 – 2007, marital bliss set in and my wife and I proved to be a great cooking combination.  I often found myself eating seconds and thirds of dinner.  I also didn’t exercise at all.  I spent most of my time at the archives doing research and ignoring my bodies need for physical activity.  RESULT= +31lbs (overall weight = 206lbs)

Then there I was, 206lbs and 26+% body fat. It was all too easy to see how I got there, but it was hard to see what it would take to get back to where I once was.

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Comments
  1. AndrewE says:

    It’s never an overnight gain eh. It creeps up on you.

  2. Teresa says:

    For me it was pregnancy with 100% bed rest (placenta Previa) that resulted in 100lbs gain.

    I lost 40 of that, but it was a MUCH bigger struggle than it really should have been severe dieting and exercise.
    Then there was the second pregnancy:
    60lbs gain. Despite continuing to exercise.

    Then, I got diagnosed with hypotyroidism, and got on Levothyroxin – 50 lb weight loss.

    This energized me to work out more and try the south beach diet. 40 more pounds gone.

    Then, a couple of winters ago I got phneumonia that I just couldn’t shake even with antibiotics.

    Gained back abut 30 pounds.

    Still working on losing it.

  3. Selena says:

    This is great and Skipper and I can relate. We just kinda adopt bad habits here and there and they become a way of life.

    PS I decided NOT to drink slimfast, but for some reason I am having a real hankering for steak and mashed potatoes! 😆

  4. Stiletto says:

    I like that you are honest with your introspection.

    So, what about those chocolate sprinkles in the morning? Did that contribute to any weight gain? hahaha

    Seriously though, what about eating steak again, except a leaner cut (assuming you didn’t before) such as sirloin or filet, and switching mashed potatoes for broccoli?

    Also, eating plain cheese thin crust pizza, or maybe thin crust pizza with ham and pineapple?

  5. “So, what about those chocolate sprinkles in the morning? Did that contribute to any weight gain? hahaha”

    Actually I didn’t start eating those until I started losing weight. When I was fat and unhealthy I didn’t eat breakfast. I ate a big lunch, a big dinner, and tons of snacks.

    Although to be honest when I was in the fire department I didn’t eat all that healthy either- lots of Ramen noodles.

    “Seriously though, what about eating steak again, except a leaner cut (assuming you didn’t before) such as sirloin or filet, and switching mashed potatoes for broccoli?”

    I cut most (but not all) of the steak out because while the protein is good, it simply isn’t heart healthy. I substituted lean chicken and turkey meat in its place. When I do eat steak I only eat lean cuts. I prefer to get my fats from nuts (primarily natural peanut butter, pistachios, and almonds).

    “Also, eating plain cheese thin crust pizza, or maybe thin crust pizza with ham and pineapple?”

    Kashi has an excellent veggie pizza that has 750 calories in a whole pie- so my wife and I split one for dinner. The ingredients are all top notch.

    Check it out here

    http://www.kashi.com/products/kashi_thin_crust_pizzas_roasted_vegetable

  6. Tiana says:

    I decided to check out your blog to see who I was dealing with. After reading this post I have reached the conclusion that you’re probably jealous of me because you have to do all that hard work in order to get what just comes naturally to me. By the gods, I must sound like one of those “ur jus jelus” trolls … but seriously, that’s not my intention. I understand you now. My boyfriend has the same problem with his body, except he gained weight due to after effects of starvation and side effects of medication. The difference is, he can clearly see that he’s still eating the same things as he used to.

    Wanna know how I’d explain your weight gain? Probably not. I’ll tell you anyway.

    15 lbs = normal weight fluctuation.
    30 lbs = aging + stress, exact relations unknown.
    the tiny rest = yo-yo effect.

    You’ve been working on this for a year or less, so I advise you to stop pestering self-accepting people on FA blogs until you’ve reached your goal weight and stayed there for five years. No one is arguing that it’s impossible to lose or gain weight (on purpose – we all know that this can happen accidentally), we’re arguing that it’s impossible to keep it off/on for five years. Good luck with that, but don’t get carried away by numbers. How you’re feeling is much more important.

  7. Tiana, thanks for dropping by. Now if I may address your comments.

    “After reading this post I have reached the conclusion that you’re probably jealous of me because you have to do all that hard work in order to get what just comes naturally to me.”

    So running 5ks comes naturally to you? Squatting over 400lbs comes naturally? If you look around you will notice that most of my goals deal with physical fitness, not weight loss

    “By the gods, I must sound like one of those “ur jus jelus” trolls”

    No worries, even if you were a troll (and I don’t consider you one) I wouldn’t censor you. Heck, I even let the crazy Holocaust deniers who come by here every now and again (Lord knows why) have their say. I am content to let those who read the comments section make up their own minds about the veracity and quality of the comments they read.

    “The difference is, he can clearly see that he’s still eating the same things as he used to.”

    We clearly are different since I don’t eat the same things I used to. I used to eat two big meals (with no breakfast) and tons of snacks with little portion control. I now eat six to seven times a day and eat reasonable portions of healthy foods. Heck, I didn’t eat my first salad until I started this fitness journey.

    “Wanna know how I’d explain your weight gain? Probably not. I’ll tell you anyway.”

    Actually I am interested. After reading your assessment though I can tell you that the 15lbs wasn’t a normal weight fluctuation since it directly coincided with significant decreases in my physical activity level. One burns a lot of calories lugging hose, climbing ladders, and carrying around 200lb dummies. While the 30lbs may have been impacted by stress (something I did discuss above) it was also due to my life having very little physical activity but my caloric consumption was way too high (probably about 2,700 to 3,200 calories a day). The Cheetos and Doritos from the snack machine at law school certainly didn’t help. Last, regarding the yo-yo effect, I have little doubt it played a role in the weight gain after my illness. When I was ill I dropped so much muscle it was ridiculous. I lost strength, endurance, and general vigor as a result of the rapid decline in my weight and my general misery at the time.

    “You’ve been working on this for a year or less”

    Actually since Feb 8th, 2007- about 18 months.

    “so I advise you to stop pestering self-accepting people on FA blogs until you’ve reached your goal weight and stayed there for five years.”

    To the best of my knowledge I haven’t commented on any FA blogs in quite a while. Our latest exchange- if you are who I think you are- was on a fitness related blog. Also, does this mean I should keep your email on my Rolodex so in another 3 1/2 years I can relate to you how I have maintained my weight loss? Will that change your opinion? Unless I crash into a eating binge from the depression of losing Ninja Warrior I am betting I will be sending you an e-mail 3 1/2 years from now.

    “No one is arguing that it’s impossible to lose or gain weight […] we’re arguing that it’s impossible to keep it off/on for five years.”

    Well then you have lost the argument. It isn’t impossible, it is just very hard to accomplish.

    “Good luck with that, but don’t get carried away by numbers. How you’re feeling is much more important.”

    You should cruise through the other posts on my blog. You might discover that I have long paved a road that runs between the orthodoxies of both the fatophiles and the fatophobes.

    For a few examples you might want to consider

    Fatophile vs. Fatophobe

    Are you Body Conscious or Body Obsessed

    An Excellent Fitness Indicator you Might have Missed

    Those are just a few.

    Even though we disagree thanks again for stopping by.

  8. Teresa says:

    Tiana,

    What? Where are you coming from?

    What a strange exchange.

  9. Tiana is coming from this thread over at BentlyR’s Improving Life blog

    http://bentlyr.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/dangers-of-fat-acceptance/

  10. Teresa says:

    TT,

    Oh! That explains it. Hey, I think I gave you that denialism.com link!

    That is a really good site in general. It has all sorts of good tools for recognizing denialism and crankery on a variety of subjects.

    I agree with you and tha author of the post you just linked to.

    FA has some good points, and some legitamate areas to push for change in. Too bad that some of them cant accept the limitations of the philosophy.

  11. “FA has some good points, and some legitamate areas to push for change in. ”

    I think that many in FA feel compelled to make the case that most (if not all) overweight and obese folks can’t lose weight since they fear their cause will be harmed (and it possibly is harmed) by the idea that fat people could simply lose weight. Moreover, the idea of acceptance seems to have grown to embrace an idea that health problems associate with obesity shoud be ignored or contended against.

    It seems that they think self-acceptance would be more difficult if they acknowledged the dangers of obesity. Moreover, in a world where health care costs are increasingly born by the government third parties have acquired a greater level of interest in their health.

  12. Tiana says:

    Oops, I forgot to come back here. As for pestering people on FA sites, I just remembered that I had seen your avatar before on another FA related post or possibly two and you threw a lot of arguments at me as if you did that frequently. Some of them not even relevant to what I said, but … I guess that’s what happens while discussing these things. Sorry if I got the wrong impression.

    So running 5ks comes naturally to you?

    Obviously not, but you should know that I was only commenting on the weight loss aspect. Considering where I came from, and all. 😉

    Will that change your opinion?

    Actually, yes. Only a little though because you’re only one person out of many, but I’m really, seriously interested in the other side’s viewpoint. As I keep repeating, I stumbled into FA while searching for evidence in the first place, completely neutral towards the subject. I went with it because it made sense to me and reflected my personal experience, but that doesn’t mean I’ve tattoed it all onto my forehead and will never change my mind again even if something else makes just as much sense.

    For example, I agree with the theory that naturally thin people’s bodies are simply ineffective and that not everyone needs as much food as they do. That one was a real eye-opener for me, but it troubles me that this is just one part of the puzzle and so many others are still missing.

  13. Tiana says:

    Also, I have read your other posts now and I still can’t get over the fact that everyone says FA people are promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, when in reality they’re encouraging everyone to exercise and eat healthy. Except their definition of healthy eating differs, but that shouldn’t matter since there are hundreds of those. Low-fat, low-carb/low-fat, low-carb/high-fat, vegetarian, vegan, carnivorous, raw meat only (that one still kills me – people DO that??), count-your-calories-no-matter-what-they’re-from, organic … the list goes on. Who are you to judge that out of all these, only intuitive eating is not a legitimate attempt?

  14. Thanks for stopping by again Tiana.

    “Who are you to judge that out of all these, only intuitive eating is not a legitimate attempt?”

    Who are you to judge that intuitive eating is a legitimate attempt and that other attempts are not? Good, now that we have that out of the way maybe we can talk about intuitive eating.

    Okay, I couldn’t resist. I am someone who has successfully dropped 40+lbs and kept most of it off for over a year. I’ve been an avid reader of fitness materials (magazines, books, etc.) ever since I was in my early teens when I had engaged in both bodybuilding/strength training and wrestling. Moreover, I’ve tried many of the above mentioned diets and read commentaries and studies on everything from Atkins to the grapefruit diet (I happen to dislike both since they are fads that center on unhealthy eating to achieve short term weight loss goals at the expense of long term health).

    I say intuitive dieting is not legitimate because its central concept defenestrates the most fundamental fact of weight loss- calories in, calories out. Moreover, the intuitive diet expects that instincts which developed in response to scarcer food supplies (when life was nasty, brutish, and short) can somehow be used to navigate a world of uber-large portions, easy to find food, and snacks with a caloric density and so devoid of nutritional content they would make Twinkies blush. In addition, when we know that eating habits are influenced by factors ranging from plate size to food presentation it is hard to believe that one can follow their “food intuition” and still eat a health diet.

    Thanks again for stopping by and responding to my response. I admire your willingness to stand firm in your beliefs- even if I don’t agree with you. As I said on the other thread, I prefer clarity to agreement. I stole that phrase some a radio personality who shall remain nameless.

  15. Tiana says:

    Who are you to judge that intuitive eating is a legitimate attempt and that other attempts are not?

    See, I never said that. It’s entirely possible that there is a better option. Just, until someone presents me with a study which proves that this one diet will definitely improve my health and make me live longer, I don’t know which to choose. For every single method, there are amazing numbers of people who swear that it’s changed their lives for the better. This clearly indicates that different things work for different people and no one can predict the outcome in any individual case.

    I’ve also heard that we don’t all require exactly the same amounts of nutritients; one person might need more calcium than average while another might need less. That makes the whole thing even more complicated, and how are we supposed to tell what exactly we need? Well, pregnancy has taught me that if I wake up with a crazy craving for water melon, I should have water melon or else I’ll be hungry all day, no matter how much I eat. It’s obviously not that extreme for non-pregnant people and I was back to normal soon after, but at the time it seemed to me that my body knew what it was doing. I also find that if I pay attention to my body, I don’t even want most of the heavily processed and/or calorie-dense foods that are available today – unless I’m so hungry that I really need the calories. If I don’t pay attention, I want these things on principle whenever I can get my hands on them.

    Last but not least, I think it’s interesting that according to the “thin people don’t absorb calories properly” theory, they can apparently eat as intuitively as they want. Because, I suppose, what with not absorbing all the calories, only their bodies can know when they’ve fullfilled their daily requirements – while fat people need to rely on mathematics. That reads like “thin people are defective, but in this time and place being defective is an advantage because humans were not made for the 21st century, and thus people with fully functioning bodies cannot be allowed to trust their instincts.” Fascinating.

  16. How about this Tiana, you seem to really like the idea of intuitive eating. So why don’t you forward on to me (if it isn’t too much trouble) two or three links that support intuitive eating as a valid option to promote healthy eating. I would be glad to read them.

  17. Stiletto says:

    I’d like to contribute my thoughts if you don’t mind.

    My former personal trainer used to commend me for being so in tune with my body and intuitively listening to what it needs. It has always worked for me unless I’m drinking alcohol and then my body wants whatever is around to sober up.

    This week, for example, I ate things I normally wouldn’t eat. I had intense cravings for chocolate and ice cream and cake, and even pasta. This usually happens right before the monthly cycle, and when that happens, I can’t eat at all -so my body is storing energy and nutrients the way a squirrel might store away food for the future.

    So I don’t think intuitive eating is a sham. But my family ate exceptionally well and healthy with most foods home cooked and we were not allowed soda or to much sugar or even sweetened tea. Nor did we have snacks. I think being raised this way helped fine tune the voice in my body that guides me to eat properly.

  18. “But my family ate exceptionally well and healthy with most foods home cooked and we were not allowed soda or to much sugar or even sweetened tea.”

    That would be another concern of mine. Is intuitive eating something that simply goes back to how well your family ate when you were young- those early eating habits? If so, then a lot of folks are in deep trouble.

  19. Stiletto says:

    Yes, I think there is a correlation and you are not too far off when you say a lot of folks are in deep trouble.

    People don’t seem to know how to control their portions or simply eat for fuel and not emotional reasons.

    In college I never understood why most of my classmates were tired after lunch. I always felt energized and it wasn’t til years later I realized that you had to really stuff yourself to get that sleepy feeling. I was always under the assumption food was for fuel – I mean, sure, I love to eat, but not at the expense of long term health.

  20. After reading this post I have reached the conclusion that you’re probably jealous of me because you have to do all that hard work in order to get what just comes naturally to me […] Wanna know how I’d explain your weight gain? Probably not. I’ll tell you anyway.

    What the duece is up with all of the hostility?

    This blog’s author has put himself out in the open here, and has revealed not only photos of himself TOPLESS, but also the secrets of his poor eating habits over the past few years in hopes of attaining some health and fitness goals for himself, perhaps through self therapy, and through writing.

    He has spelled out the exact habits that he knew was wrong. Are you trying to tell him he’s wrong in how he gained weight?? That seems rediculous. Are you saying that because of intuitive eating, that his body was telling him he needed pizza, steak, and potatoes? I love how your reasons for why he gained weight had nothing to do with food or activity levels, when it had everything to do with it.

    I understand you now.

    Are you serious?

    I have no doubt that he may have participated with you in one or more discussions in the “blogosphere” about an FA topic, but I highly doubt he pestered you or anyone else. There is a huge difference in having a difference in oppinion, and wanting to discuss the topic at hand, than pestering.

    This is a problem with FA blogs and supporters. They consider anyone that has a difference in oppinion to their beliefs a “Troll”, and is not allowed in on the “discussion”.

    I used quotes on “discussion” because while they may believe that that is what is going on over there, it most certainly is not a discussion. The only people allowed to comment are the ones that agree with them.

    As far as the intuitive eating concept, I think I will have to do a post about it.

  21. Tiana says:

    So why don’t you forward on to me (if it isn’t too much trouble) two or three links that support intuitive eating as a valid option to promote healthy eating.

    Have you read my comments? I’ll say it again: I did NOT decide to try intuitive eating one day because I’d stumbled upon evidence that supported it. I decided to stop following an eating plan because I couldn’t find any evidence which supported THAT. What happens if you stop following an eating plan? Right! You just … eat! Intuitive eating simply means that you pay more attention to your body than usual while doing so, which CANNOT be wrong. If anything, it is at least a little better than not paying attention. So this is basically no more than an advanced version of not doing anything at all, and the reason why I’m not doing anything at all is that I haven’t found any science to tell me WHAT I should do.

    I’m obviously not speaking for the whole FA movement here.

    Again, if you can provide me with some evidence that one of the many diets out there will actually improve my health and make me live longer … I might give it a go. Since you keep asking for it, I’ll see if I can find any research on intuitive eating now. I have no idea if there is any because this is seriously just “stop following a plan” to me. I didn’t know one should seek out medical information before continuing to act as always. I was more of the opinion that one should seek out medical information before actually making a change …

    Is intuitive eating something that simply goes back to how well your family ate when you were young- those early eating habits?

    I think that family eating habits can make intuitive eating a lot harder, especially if you were told to always clear your plate, to eat although you weren’t hungry, or to wait another two hours although you already were hungry. Artificial flavours can surely confuse the body as well, and then there’s the problem that we often base our food choices not on what we want, but rather on what’s available and easiest to prepare. If you’ve been living like that for all your life, you will most likely not be in tune with your body at all, but you can re-learn it.

    McBloggenstein … yeah. I’m really sorry about my condescending tone by now, believe it or not. I think I’ve been hanging around too many trolls lately. They’re catching.

    I also agree with you completely when it comes to FA blogs and the “trolling vs. serious discussion” issue. I never called totaltransformation a troll, by the way, because I don’t think he is one. Just like he doesn’t think I’m one, and we’re actually having a serious discussion here. I enjoy that.

    You have to understand that there really ARE a lot of trolls though, and someone who’s been blogging for years may not have the patience to put time into judging each new commenter separately anymore.

    As for this part:

    I love how your reasons for why he gained weight had nothing to do with food or activity levels, when it had everything to do with it.

    That’s where the serious discussion comes in. I believe that food and activity levels can influence a person’s weight to a small extent, up to 20 pounds or so – unless we’re talking about extremes likes binge eating or anorexia. So yes, 20 pounds out of those 30 that I labelled as “weight fluctuations” could be accounted to that. I just don’t think that a healthier lifestyle will automatically result in a thinner body.

  22. “What happens if you stop following an eating plan? Right! You just … eat!”

    Great, that is what got me to 206 lbs. If that is the case I will have to politely decline. 😉

    “Again, if you can provide me with some evidence that one of the many diets out there will actually improve my health and make me live longer … I might give it a go.”

    I am afraid you wouldn’t want to hear the latest news about the diet which centers on severe caloric restriction. Those guys look creepy, but they get tons of press. Can’t turn on G.M.A. without hearing about them.

    In all seriousness, I’ve already presented you with a more than fair amount of evidence that obesity leads various risk factors and a decline in the quality of life. Who wants to live to be a 100 if you spend the last 40 years of it unable to get around without a Hover Round scooter.

    “You have to understand that there really ARE a lot of trolls though, and someone who’s been blogging for years may not have the patience to put time into judging each new commenter separately anymore.”

    I’ve had my fair share of trolls from various camps (atheists, holocaust deniers, etc.) drop by the site. They can get annoying, but I find that true trolls are easy enough for the readers to spot, so I have a very lax policy on deleting posts. I only delete curse words.

    “I never called totaltransformation a troll, by the way, because I don’t think he is one. Just like he doesn’t think I’m one, and we’re actually having a serious discussion here. I enjoy that.”

    As I have enjoyed having you stop by, and not merely because I throw a party every time my hit counter goes up by one.

    “I just don’t think that a healthier lifestyle will automatically result in a thinner body.”

    Perhaps we can agree here. I would say that within a certain range of weight (depends on the person’s height, bone structure, body type [i.e. endomorph, ectomorph, etc.]) there is ample room for diverse body types that are healthy. Fat isn’t a simple subject since there is the interesting distinction between visceral and subcutaneous fat- the former being much more dangerous to one’s health than the latter. It is one of the reasons that sumo wrestlers can be so healthy while they are also so large.

    And while getting healthy doesn’t necessarily result in weight loss, weight loss is often a secondary benefit of living a healthier lifestyle. Especially when you are discussing individuals who are living a sedentary lifestyle and whose caloric intake is well above their BMR. Obviously things are different for those who suffer from serious eating disorders- whether the kind that causes them to over or under consume. I just don’t believe that most folks suffer from either condition. I think we (as a culture) suffer from a general lack of discipline in life that extends far beyond what we eat.

    Sorry if this response is a bit disjointed it has been a LONG day. My daughter didn’t get to take her nap and I suffered for it.

    Now, I am off to walk my dog and wonder in amazement as he moves his back legs. Here’s to hoping he will be up and walking on his own by Saturday.

  23. Tiana says:

    I’ve already presented you with a more than fair amount of evidence that obesity leads various risk factors and a decline in the quality of life.

    Yes, but that’s still not what I was asking for. I have yet to see

    a) proof that losing weight (as opposed to a combination of exercise and a varied diet without weight loss) will make the risk factors go away.
    b) proof that it’s the fatness itself causing problems, not various other factors such as stress and fad diets.
    c) a study that tells me which diet I, as a person who is not fat at all, should follow instead of intuitive eating.

    Who wants to live to be a 100 if you spend the last 40 years of it unable to get around without a Hover Round scooter.

    Aside from the fact that there are numerous other reasons for immobility than just fatness, this is really not about wants. Few people want to be fat, but some have discovered that they are even less happy when they’re dieting. Insteading of forcing themselves to diet anyway, they’re now learning how to be fat and happy at the same time. Sounds like a good solution to me.

    And while getting healthy doesn’t necessarily result in weight loss, weight loss is often a secondary benefit of living a healthier lifestyle.

    Aha! We’re getting somewhere now. So that is still the source of most disagreement between FA people and their opponents. Very interesting, seeing as intuitive eating plus fun exercise can often lead to moderate weight loss as well and nobody’s denying that. Apparently, the biggest problem that needs to be sorted out somehow is the question whether fat people who say they’re already leading a healthy lifestyle are wrong. If you acknowledge that some people remain more or less fat even after their lifestyle changes, how can you tell who’s a “good” fatty and who’s a “bad” fatty?

    I would also like to know more about visceral fat. I’m familiar with the general idea that visceral fat is supposed to be worse than subcutaneous fat, but that makes the whole thing even more genetic. I know this woman who has the fattest thighs I’ve ever seen, but her belly is very flat. I’m sure she didn’t choose where her body should store fat first, just like women with very big breasts don’t choose those over fat thighs. I’m researching the topic right now and it seems that contrary to popular belief, scientists still don’t know for sure WHY visceral fat is associated with worse health. Since high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can all run in families – even thin families, there is still the possibility that apple shapes and risk factors are simply inherited together.

  24. “If you acknowledge that some people remain more or less fat even after their lifestyle changes, how can you tell who’s a “good” fatty and who’s a “bad” fatty?”

    That isn’t my job, that is the job of their doctor.

    “I know this woman who has the fattest thighs I’ve ever seen, but her belly is very flat. I’m sure she didn’t choose where her body should store fat first, just like women with very big breasts don’t choose those over fat thighs.”

    Yes, from what I understand where fat is storied is genetically determined. For me the progression is love handles, belly, and then ascending up toward my chest, chest, butt, and then arms. Even at my heaviest I never carried much extra weight in my arms or my thighs.

    “I’m researching the topic right now and it seems that contrary to popular belief, scientists still don’t know for sure WHY visceral fat is associated with worse health.”

    From what I’ve read it has to do with the substances secreted by fat which are harmful for body. Supposedly visceral fat secretes more of these substances AND because of its location close to your vital organs these substances are in a better position to cause harm.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/30641.php

    http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/news/20030331/high-fat-diet-ups-dangerous-hidden-fat

  25. DR says:

    The reason behind body-fat distribution patterns is primarily caused by the type and distribution of your adrenaline and noradrenaline hormone receptors

    http://healthhabits.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/the-science-behind-spare-tires-and-thunder-thighs/

    So why the difference in receptor distribution?

    No conclusive answer yet.

    (Like most obesity research – theories but no proof)

    The most popular (amongst science geeks) theory concerns epigenetics and how a genetic predisposition in the fetus is affected by his/her environment – nutrients, stress, etc…

    Here is a study that looked at epigenetics and general obesity

    http://healthhabits.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/epigenetics-obesity-obesity-research-update-3/

    Hope that helps

  26. Tiana says:

    tt,

    so basically it’s all just about good old cholesterol again. Which would sort of make sense because cholesterol levels do run in families completely unrelated to weight, so perhaps it’s actually visceral fat that runs in families, thereby causing high cholesterol levels. Since one can’t SEE how much visceral fat a person has, weight becomes completely irrelevant. Conclusion: Everybody should exercise and be happy.

    DR,

    The folic acid theory boggles my mind. If that’s the “cure” we’ve been waiting for, why is no one screaming it from the rooftops yet? It would be too cool if that actually worked, seriously now.

    As for the advice that you give in your wonderfully friendly (ahem) post about apples and pears, what is it with healthy eating if the problem lies within cells that don’t release stored fat? How is healthy eating supposed to lead to weight loss then? Or are you actually saying that weight doesn’t matter so much after all and we should focus on health?? I’d be very surprised.

  27. Ann says:

    What led to my weight gain? Birth control pills. After three different kinds in two years my doctor finally decided that my body did not like hormones. The bad part was I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out but my husband was. My eating has been the same throughout the two years. Now that I am off the pill I am no longer gaining weight but I am having the hardest time losing it.

  28. It’s amazing how our health can get away from us.

    I took your challenge and did my first morning workout today. I don’t think i was really awake until the 1/2 mile mark, but that just made it less painful. I have to say that I felt great leaving the gym for work at 7am. It really felt like I had accomplished something.

    I’m hoping to add .25 to .50 miles to my jog each week, if I can stay ahead of the shin splints. The Louisville Mini Marathon (13 miles is in April. It’s a decent goal to put out there.)

  29. A mini-marathon- excellent. I will have to look for one close to me.

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