Sunday, October 12, 2014

Health and Weight: More is Not Necessarily Less!

Many of yesterday's truths become outdated as time goes on.

One of these truths is that being overweight and obese are BAD and will lead to disease, disability and death.

People who know me also know that I dislike generalities: one of my tenets in life is that absolutely everything is relative!  (Yes, I love the irony.)

I'm one of the many people who has "always" been overweight--well, since puberty, anyway.  There have been two periods in my life when I was near "normal" weight parameters: once after a several-month holiday spent on bicycle in Europe, and once after a marathon effort to lose some severely excess poundage.  In 2001-2002, I managed to drop from 112kg (247lb) to 78kg (172lb), mainly by eating more frequently, but smaller portions and and include optimal nutritional supplementation.  

That was a drop of almost one-third of my body weight!  Boy, was I pleased--and I felt SOOO good!  I regained some of that and popped back up into the 90s, but now manage to stay in the low-mid 80kg range (about 180lb), which is a BMI of just under 30.

Yes, I'm still overweight, especially since I'm only 165cm (5'5").  I've always said I have big bones and, apparently, I do: my lean body mass was calculated to be about 73kg (160lb). (My loving sister says it's because I'm so very dense!)

I do spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, but I don't smoke, very rarely drink alcohol, drink lots of fresh, clean water and use very high quality nutritional supplements (including dietary fibre) to ensure that my somewhat mediocre diet doesn't cause my body problems.  I'm still quite strong and have lots of staying power, though I don't do much exercise, per se.  

And, over the past few years, there is science coming in which indicates that making healthy lifestyle choices can provide enough benefits to counteract the negative effects of being overweight or obese.  

The four "healthy options" studied include 
  • eating enough fruits and vegetables,
  • exercise three times a week,
  • not smoking, and
  • drinking in moderation. 
With no healthy habits, obesity is hugely unhealthy; but with just two of the four habits, there's only a small effect and, with all four, virtually no effect.  (This graph is from the JABFM study cited below, which studied almost 12,000 people.)

I'm on no medication of any kind and have had no illnesses (not even a cold or flu) in more than a decade.  Several years ago I chose to make some healthy life options and to NOT worry about my weight.  I step on the scales every few weeks just to be sure I'm not sliding up, but am happy at where I am and my level of health and wellness.

"You can take control of your health by taking control of your lifestyle, even If you can't lose weight and keep it off" (Sandra Aamodt, see below). 

I'm still "fat", but boy, oh boy, am I fit!

For more information on this topic, visit 

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