As everyone who has been outside their home in the last year knows, Americans are too fat. Some of us are fluffy, some are well-padded, and all too many of us are sofa-sized. I plead to fluffy, trending to (and from) well-padded.
Aside from the obvious imbalance between intake and exercise, no one knows exactly WHY we are so fat, but here are a few theories:
- Dwarf wheat hybrids yield two crops per year, not one. But, unlike other hybrids, they have four not two chromosomes. The popularity of this hybrid coincided with the strain on our belts.
- We eat addictive crap, don’t get enough exercise, and our kids aren’t outside playing. Selling soda at school was a dietary disaster.
- “Fake” foods are so lacking in authentic flavor, we overeat to get satisfied. Alternatively, the artificial additives are designed to be addictive.
- We are programmed genetically to eat whenever foods are available, as our ancestors would have to go without at times.
You probably know what your ideal body weight is, but what you may not know is that virtually every system in your body is designed for that weight. When you (or I) exceed that, we stress all sorts of systems: cardiac, skeletal, even our GI tracts. One of the reasons so many of us have reflux is that we put too much food down our gullets. If you twist your ankle at a normal weight, you might have a sprain. Do it overweight and you’re more likely to end up with a fracture. And so it goes…
Fat people have a mattress of fat between the skin and their underlying structures. I’ve scrubbed on many a case where the surgeon is up to his elbow in fat — before he gets to the organ hoping to escape from overuse. As well, our intestines are draped in a delicate membrane, like a garden hose draped with a veil. But in fat people, the veil is more like a down comforter of fat. This fat dumps bad things in the bloodstream. Inside every fat person is a skinny person screaming to get out.
We all know about yo-yo dieting. What’s more important is that people vary in why they are fat — and therefore, what to do about it. What works for me may not work for you.
Our parents weren’t fat — what happened? Well, they smoked (which kills your appetite anyway) and then belted back a couple of martinis. Some were too blotto to sit down to modest portions. Desserts were for weekends. Mom actually cooked; now we just zap things and Dad mowed the lawn. They moved.
As we age, we need fewer calories. I need … drum roll please … two-thirds of the calories of a six-year-old. And I don’t even like fish sticks and blue Jell-O. Why? The six-year-old is growing, running, and playing. I’m not growing, I can’t run unless something is chasing me, and sports are hard on aging joints. If I ate on a pound-for-pound basis what a newborn does, I’d snarf down 7500 calories a DAY. Just the thought of that is disgusting.
If you are wanting to lose weight, start please with your doctor’s office. You could have low thyroid or be an early diabetic — treatment for both of those will help you lose faster. And don’t take dietary advice unless someone has an R.D. after their name. ANYONE can call themselves a nutritionist and push some pretty wacko ideas.
And don’t worry about those pounds you’ve lost. I’ve found them … and I’d be willing to donate them to anyone who wants them.
Causes Dixie Swanson Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
YMCA of Greater Houston
Pen Bay YMCA
Action for Healthy Kids