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Old 11-28-2010, 10:41 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 3,938,759 times
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This post is directed at general ignorance in our society and not any one individual person in CD.

I understand what I am about to post is very personal to me, may be controversial and most of you may not understand it. However, it is on my mind a lot and I feel the need to express my feelings and opinions on the matter...I do not understand why the majority of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, yet there is a general mentality among the general population that it is as simple as a lack of individual willpower.

I am a morbidy obese male at 380 pounds. Despite what many may think of me, my weight problem is largely medical in nature. For example, I am in physical therapy right now for walking difficulties. My therapist actually finds me HIGHLY MOTIVATED despite my disturbingly high weight. When the therapists says do 8 minutes on the hand bike, I do 10. When he tells me to go on the Nustep Machine at level 5, I do level 6. Always at least a little more than what he says is necessary. Why? I want to get better and if I can still physically do more, I will do it.

However, other medical problems get in the way of proper weight management. First of all, I am a Binge Eater. It is an eating disorder that the pycological community is well aware of. In fact, I believe it will be in the next DSM, the index of all psycological disorders. Basically, the sufferer has VERY POWERFUL urges to overeat until it is physically impossible to eat anymore. One with this Binge Eating Disorder or BED downs food very rapidly and for a short time, the binge is very pleasurable, despite knowing it is destructive. (A top Bariatric doctor in New York once told me overcoming this disorder is even harder than an alcoholic overcoming alcoholism due to the fact that unlike an alcoholic, one has to eat. One can't simply stay away from temptations like an alcholic can avoid alcohol-serving establishments.) Anyway, after the binge is over the sufferer feels depressed and ashamed of their actions, which is why they often binge alone. As someone who had dealt with this disorder, I understand it all too well. Note: It is only after a year of professional help that I have only recently got some degree of control over my urges to overeat.

Secondly, yes, not all obese indivduals are binge eaters or even emotional or psychological overeaters. But the body is DESIGNED TO EAT and CONSUME. It goes back to the days when we were caveman and we had to store food during times of famine. Problem is that this is no more famine. Outside of these times of famine, two top bariatric doctors told me that our bodies are actually designed to gain 10 pounds a year, for those times of famine. Also, after we do gain weight, internal mechanisms ensure that it is very rare that someone can lose weight for more than 1 1/2 years. That is why when people get bariatric surgery and dramatically lose weight, they stop losing the weight after 18 months! That is why they lose the majority but not all of excess body fat. The MDs have told me that the medical community does not understand exactly why this happens, but the body just will not lose anymore weight past 18 months.

As for people who lose weight for up to 18 months without surgery, they tend to regain it back after 18 months. Out of 100 people that try to lose 100 pounds...5 will succeed and 1 will keep it off. Why? The body is designed to eat,consume and gain weight NOT lose it. Medical research into the subject time and time again shows us how much the odds are against the individual to lose weight and keep it off. This is true even for the most determined of all dieters. You can just say "they did not keep it up and lost willpower." Sorry, but the medical community is not looking at it like that anymore. The problem is that the general public still does and this is preventing us from further developing better treatments for obesity.

My story...When I reached 360 pounds in 2006, I went on a diet prescribed by a professional mainstream nutritionist. I followed it to a T. I began to exercise a little bit, then more, then became a gym rat. I would get 1 hour and 30 minutes of vigorous cardio, but strength training every other day. I became popular in the gym partially because my exercise routine was so successful. I dropped 120 pounds and went down to 240 pounds. I was happy as a kid on Christmas. I could finally do things that I could not do in a long time. In fact, at 28, I was in the best shape of my life. I even did a lot of hiking, which I really missed doing when I was too heavy. I really actually ENJOYED THE CARDIO WORKOUTS! I loved the endorphine rush.

However, after 18 months, I started to have my old problems of binge eating. No matter how much I loved the cardio or wanted to stay within a reasonable weight, I REGAINED ALL MY WEIGHT BACK AND AN EXTRA 20 POUNDS WITHIN two years. The desire to eat was VERY powerful and only then did doctors explain to me that my brain chemistry or some other internal mechanism is not letting me to continue to lose weight anymore. I am now being told that although the eater disorder may be a root cause, it is far from the only cause. Brain chemistry, genetics (my mother is obese), metabolism, etc. are part of a series of factors at play that determine what someone weights. NOT WILLPOWER ALONE. I can not weight to see if I can get back into shape again. I dream of being 240 again and walking again. Since I had two back surgeries, my back cannot support my weight for walking anymore. Watching a nature show burns me up with anger and depresses me, because it just reminds me of what I can't, though really want to do. I can not go shopping, climb stairs, hike, ski, swim, walk around the mall, walk in a park, etc. largely due to this DISEASE. Yes, it is a disease and a condition, NOT a matter of me not being able to put down a fork. If it was as simple as a lack of willpower I would probably be a marathon runner...People do not assume that when they see me. They are usually still in the stage of "he's fat and lazy and does not want to even move." I want to get up. I want to exercise, but I am going up against thousands of years of evolution.

Now I know some lazy people that do not exercise. They are either skinny or 15 pounds overweight. Yes, there may be some people like that. They often have genetic or biological factors on their side though. However, when you see someone 100+ pounds overweight, that is a MEDICAL CONDITION and NOT A LACK OF GENERAL WILLPOWER. Why does the average Joe think that a 380 pound man can not even put down a fork or does not even know how to eat properly? Why do people think the explanation is that simple when more and more people are having that condition? When more than half of the population has a medical condition like being overweight (though not necessarily by 100 pounds) you would think that people would be able to grasp that something else is going on. Why is there not more public awareness about this matter? That kind of ignorance is not helpful to developing better treatments towards obesity. (though I am slightly hopeful that the new Contrave drug will be approved by the FDA on December 7th. It may be able to allow weight loss past the 12-18 month limit should the drug be approved) I just do not understand how so many people can be so clueless about weight issues. ( I was VERY disappointed to read other postings in CD on weight issues.) Why do people know so little but have such strong opinions on weight issues?
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:50 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,240,196 times
Reputation: 21263
I am overweight. The reason I am overweight is because I am not at the place mentally or emotionally where I am willing to make the sacrifices necessary to lose it. Although I am getting closer every day.

Your issues are more psychological than dietary, IMHO. Your obesity is a symptom of your illness. Until you get your demons taken care of you will not achieve lasting success with your weight issues.

I do agree that it is difficult to lose weight...however, millions of people have shown that it is infinitely possible. Obviously, you are in counseling for your eating disorder, however, I caution you that often counseling only provides us with excuses to not be accountable for our actions. They provide the psychobabble that we need to justify "why" we are a certain way, instead of EMPOWERING us to change.

Like me, you simply have to make your mind up. That's all it takes. And that is the hardest thing of all.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:53 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 3,938,759 times
Reputation: 959
20yrsinBranson - I did make up my mind to change, but it got me nowhere but twenty pounds heavier. My mind was always there. In fact, tomorrow I am getting a recumbent bike delivered to my house. So you see, my mind was always there and set.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:58 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,240,196 times
Reputation: 21263
Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
20yrsinBranson - I did make up my mind to change, but it got me nowhere but twenty pounds heavier. My mind was always there. In fact, tomorrow I am getting a recumbent bike delivered to my house. So you see, my mind was always there and set.
Then nothing can stop you.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:08 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 3,938,759 times
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20yrsinBranson - I do not think it is that simple.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:12 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,240,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
20yrsinBranson - I do not think it is that simple.
yes, lentzr. It is exactly that simple. You have a brain and a body. You are in charge of both. Not aliens from another planet or dimension. Not the 6 o'clock news. Not your mother. You and only you decide what goes into your mouth. You have the ultimate power over what happens. In fact, you are the only person who does.

Now, if your psychological issues are overpowering you, then you need to get that taken care of first - you are not "at the place" you need to be until that happens. So take it one step at a time. Don't put the cart in front of the horse.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Terra firma
1,374 posts, read 1,311,757 times
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I agree. It's very difficult to lose weight and even more so to keep it off. Those of you with high metabolisms count your blessings.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:58 PM
Status: "Bountiful pine needle harvest" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Near Manito
19,273 posts, read 20,155,339 times
Reputation: 13358
Hmmm. My metabolism suffers a relapse every time I drink a six-pack and wolf down half a pizza. Funny how that works.

Seriously, though -- I was obese for many years following my success (after many tries) at quitting smoking -- until I learned the secret of weight loss and control:

1. Eat whatever you want, but LESS OF IT. Observe common sense, of course. It doesn't take Einstein's I.Q. to realize that fatty foods should be consumed in moderation.

2. You MUST find and religiously follow a regular exercise regimen -- it makes no difference what that is, but it must involve moderate exertion, and last an appreciable period of time (say, 30 minutes). I chose swimming, and it's become a pleasant part of my daily routine. Other folks like jogging, walking, yoga, whatever. Move yo body!

3. Do not expect results immediately or even very soon, but over a period of months and years. MONTHS AND YEARS. Weight loss and maintenance is a lifelong job...

I have nothing but the utmost sympathy for smokers and for the obese, having been a member of both of those groups. But anyone who is looking to justify his or her problem by cloaking it in medical terminology is achieving only rhetorical success.

It's tough. It takes a long time. Your efforts must continue for your whole lifetime. BUT IT CAN BE DONE.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:02 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,240,196 times
Reputation: 21263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeledaf View Post

2. You MUST find and religiously follow a regular exercise regimen -- it makes no difference what that is, but it must involve moderate exertion, and last an appreciable period of time (say, 30 minutes). I chose swimming, and it's become a pleasant part of my daily routine. Other folks like jogging, walking, yoga, whatever. Move yo body!
Alas this has been my waterloo. I read a book which touted..."Find some kind of exercise that you ENJOY". yikes. There is absolutely NO exercise that I enjoy.

I am hoping that simply eating less calories and better quality food will do the trick.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Terra firma
1,374 posts, read 1,311,757 times
Reputation: 1094
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeledaf View Post
Hmmm. My metabolism suffers a relapse every time I drink a six-pack and wolf down half a pizza. Funny how that works.

Seriously, though -- I was obese for many years following my success (after many tries) at quitting smoking -- until I learned the secret of weight loss and control:

1. Eat whatever you want, but LESS OF IT. Observe common sense, of course. It doesn't take Einstein's I.Q. to realize that fatty foods should be consumed in moderation.

2. You MUST find and religiously follow a regular exercise regimen -- it makes no difference what that is, but it must involve moderate exertion, and last an appreciable period of time (say, 30 minutes). I chose swimming, and it's become a pleasant part of my daily routine. Other folks like jogging, walking, yoga, whatever. Move yo body!

3. Do not expect results immediately or even very soon, but over a period of months and years. MONTHS AND YEARS. Weight loss and maintenance is a lifelong job...

I have nothing but the utmost sympathy for smokers and for the obese, having been a member of both of those groups. But anyone who is looking to justify his or her problem by cloaking it in medical terminology is achieving only rhetorical success.

It's tough. It takes a long time. Your efforts must continue for your whole lifetime. BUT IT CAN BE DONE.
Sure, everything you said makes total sense and it's exactly how I got in shape, but it's not the same for everybody. I had a buddy in the Army who literally ate everything in sight and yet somehow stayed lean and muscular. We trained together and ate together and I swear this guy ate twice as much as I did at every sitting: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and miller time. And despite all of this he had the body of a Greek God. Whoever first uttered the words that life isn't fair sure wasn't kidding.
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