Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Emotional eating and extreme calorie restricting: obesity and deprivation links

Let's talk about obesity. In my nearly 58 years on this planet, I've been overweight, obese, normal BMI and even underweight. Obesity hit its worst, for me, in 2012 and how I lost 100 pounds, without gastric bypass and reversed that has a lot to do with TLC "My 600-lb Life." This gastric bypass reality TV show offers remarkable insights, not only in weight loss but in weight gain and obesity. 

Participants on "My 600-lb Life" usually act childish and immature. And Dr. Nowzaradan explains why: because they are adult children. They stopped developing emotionally the more obese they became. Research shows that an alcoholic's brain stops growing at the age they began chronic drinking. And the same seems true with morbid obesity. The age at which a person stops eating to live and begins living to eat (also called comfort or emotional eating), is about the age maturation stalls. 

"My 600-lb Life" backstories (and to some extent my own weight gain and loss) have roots in emotional eating. Many of the show's participants tell of hunger, poverty and deprivation as children. They never got enough food to feel satisfied. So when they could, they overate to compensate. I recall those feelings. I remember going to potlucks and just wanting to eat everything there. I recall taking, and eating, 6 desserts at a church function, to the shock of my friends. They probably thought I was a pig but I realize now, that deprivation made me food insecure, anxious and always hungry. 

When I was 8, I was put on a 1000 calorie diet because I was "overweight" (see top left picture). That was far too much calorie restricting for an adult let alone a prepubescent child. Even gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" are only put on a 1200 calorie diet. And our family history proves that we start as chubby children but lose weight in puberty. So my brain was literally starving for food. This is not to blame anyone. It's how they did things in the early 1970s. Thin was in and obesity was virtually unheard of. 

But we can learn from those mistakes. Extreme calorie restricting is NOT the way to lose weight but it is a good way to lose muscle tone and get or stay sick. During our Covid 19 illness, my husband lost 17 pounds in a week because he couldn't eat. He's not overweight. Now he is struggling to replace muscle tissue. Covid 19 taught us many lessons and the biggest was how deprivation defeats the purpose. 

Deprivation, hunger and weight loss make the body retain fat to protect itself (see my post on the many dangers of extreme calorie restricting). How I lost 100 pounds was with a 1200 calorie diet, moderation, portion control and mindful eating. I've kept my weight at a reasonable place. 

Thanks for tuning in! Left is me now and right was in 2008, before I lost weight. Subscribe to this blog for more helps and tips. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds being a heavy drinker: fat flush for weight loss

Hi pals! As you may know, if you've followed this blog, that my husband and I got very serious Covid 19 infections early in 2021 just prior to getting vaccine. (Yes, we social distanced, masked, sanitized, etc. Covid is a crazy illness that doesn't follow rules). We are long haulers and still struggling with "Covid brain" and exhaustion. And one MAJOR takeaway from this is the disastrous nature of long-term fever and cellular dehydration. 

You'll also know, reading this blog that I share a lot about  how I lost 100 pounds in 2014 (and kept most of it off). I have been exploring links to dehydration and obesity and discovered that part of how I lost 100 pounds was by being a heavy drinker. 👀😁 Not alcohol (though I do drink wine and have done throughout my weight loss process). Alcohol is dehydrating. And so, believe it or not, is plain water. 

Lemme splain. Now I do drink a LOT of plain water which is good for weight loss as it is a fat flush. However, alone, without electrolytes (particularly magnesium and potassium) it will actually dry you out. And that will cause water retention or water weight gain, the thing that people on "My 600-lb Life" so often blame their obesity on. True water weight gain, from dehydration, is completely different.

My MIL weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. She became dehydrated because she drank too much water and flushed out all her electrolytes. She collapsed and was hospitalized with delirium (another symptom we experienced in Covid 19 fever). The staff could not figure out why, until I mentioned that she had what looked like belly fat which she has never had. Turns out  it was pooled water that she couldn't expel, due to low potassium and magnesium (electrolytes which help the body utilize water efficiently). 

 So the solution to avoid dehydration, fat flush and lose weight is to consume proper amounts of electrolytes: sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The first two are easy, the last two, not. I became a label reader. And I found Gatorade, Powerade and other "hydration drinks" contain little to no magnesium or potassium. My drink of choice is BodyArmor (sugar-free kind, cuz sugar dehydrates too). Other coconut water works well too. Coconut water not only hydrates, the fatty acids fat flush too. 

So Slainte! Bottoms up on the coconut water, for weight loss and just general feelz goodz! Subscribe to my blog for more on how I lost 100 pounds and other happy pills. Love, mar and Emmett (top left, newest baby grand, isn't he handsome?) Top right is me in 2008 before weight loss, with lots of inflammation  in face (another sign of cellular dehydration). 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Fat-shaming or obesity entitlement, Reddit AITA wants to know

Hi fwiends, I've been seriously AWOL for quite awhile, so just popping in to update on weight loss (kept off most of the 100 pounds I lost 8 years ago, top is then, --> is now), long hauler Covid 19 (still lingering aftereffects) and to ponder a question that's been nagging me and apparently readers of Reddit regarding obesity. 

I've become addicted to Reddit AITA (Am I the A$$whole?), where readers ask, in moral/ethical dilemmas they've been encountered, whether they or someone else (or no one or everyone) has made bad choices or harmed others. Recently, a Redditor inquired whether she was fat-shaming by asking her obese SIL not to sit in a swing made to hold only 250#. And then to get angry when her 420# SIL sat in and broke said swing. 

I didn't weigh in (pun) on AITA but I will here. I agree with the consensus that the OP was not fat-shaming and that the obese SIL knowingly overtaxed the swing, was liable for the cost of replacing the it and should not even have had to be asked not to sit in it. She knew she was far too overweight for it to hold her. 

This is a case (which is becoming alarmingly more common) of what I call obesity entitlement. Instead of changing themselves to fit the world, more people are expecting the world to fit them. They expect that "handicapped accessible", "disability friendly" other ADA type goods and services should be made available to them, merely because they are so large that they can't utilize items made for average size people. They are not disabled, except by weight, or the effects of being overweight. 

And it comes at quite a cost to others. Many more establishments are having to make accommodations in the form of larger seating, more handicapped parking, etc, just to make room for larger clientele. This drives costs up. I'm in stores all the time as part of my Shipt job. And increasingly, store-provided mobility scooters are being used by larger people than by disabled or elderly people they were designed for. But if anything is said, or accommodations withheld, the fat-shaming card often comes out. 

This post itself may read as fat-shaming. Even as I write this, an inner voice is worrying that I sound insensitive, crass, etc. But be assured, I know, firsthand what it's like to be obese. Though I never expected nor needed accommodations, I can say that obesity is debilitating. My blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure shot up with my weight. Then I lost 100 pounds in 2014. I know that weight loss is challenging. But enabling or accommodating only makes it worse. Stay tuned for more on #howIlost100pounds. 


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