Friday, December 21, 2012

10. These are Weighty Matters

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We all know there is an obesity epidemic in the US.

Ahhh, actually, no, we don’t know this.

Yes, the “average American” is more likely to be classified as obese now than they were 30-40 years ago, but that isn’t an obesity epidemic.

Some interesting facts:

The government lowered the number that qualifies a person as “obese.” Why? According to the panel responsible, they were under extreme pressure to align America’s official standard with the World Health Organization’s standard (note that they did not say they were bringing America in line with any research.)

Why did the WHO set their standard where they set it? Political pressure to align with the International Commission on Weight’s standard.

Who is the ICW? A political action group funded by the two pharmaceutical companies that make the majority of weight lose medicines.

Does anyone else smell something fishy?

So one morning a large number of Americans who were “normal weight” when they went to bed woke up legally obese so that the drug companies could sell more weight loss medicines.


Minorities have always averaged a higher weight than whites in America. Over the last few decades, the white birth rate has fallen to such an extent that minorities are making up a bigger and bigger percentage of the population. This means that, though no one is necessarily any fatter, the “average” weight is higher.

It is simply natural for some people to be bigger than others, just like it's natural for a 10" tall bull dog to weigh more than a 10" poodle. It is also natural for poodles to live longer. You won't extend a bull dog's life by starving him to the size of a poodle. You won't extend the life a genetically large human by starving them to the size of Twiggy. 

I once picked up a toddler that was the same age and height of one of my toddlers. I nearly launched the child into space! You see, though that child looked the same size as mine (actually, he had more of a belly than mine did and looked heavier), his genetic muscle density was much lighter than my child's. Mine just naturally weigh more at the same size.

My great-great-grandpa was a photographer, so I have several pictures of my great-great- grandma and her mother (late 1800's). Both women were about 5' tall but obviously weighed around 250lb. Now, I can guarantee both women ate organic, whole foods (since nothing else had been invented yet), were not lazy (they were not rich enough to have servants and automatic washers, dryers, etc had not been invented yet), and exercised quite a lot (they walked. Everywhere.) So why were they fat? Because it was natural for them to be fat. Perfectly normal.

Did you know flat chested women get to carry more in the belly than more well endowed women? Big breasts (a genetic trait) can weigh as much as 5 pounds more than little ones, allowing the flatter woman to carry more weight elsewhere and still meet the "healthy" weight on the charts. Real fair there, right?

If there is an actual average weight gain in America (and we aren’t really sure yet), there are several possible causes:

We no longer have times of famine. This is a GOOD thing for overall health, even if we do have to wear a bigger size dress.

We have great house heaters. It takes less energy to keep warm in the winter, so we use less to stay alive than we used to, again, much better for overall health than nearly freezing to death every winter.

We don’t really have any idea what vaccines do in the very long run. We do know that populations who are vaccinated have a way higher rate of type 2 Diabetes, obesity and cancer. Type 2 Diabetes is caused by our cells refusing to take in insulin.

Why are American cells suddenly insulin resistant; and at about sixty years after mass vaccination took place, too? It is the taking in of insulin that allows us to burn calories (The most resent research suggests that our cells quit taking in insulin BEFORE we gain the weight associated with Diabetes. It is the Diabetes that is causing the weight gain, not obesity causing the Diabetes.)

Is it that the vaccinations themselves are causing diabetes, or that the money that allows us to afford vaccinations also allows other habits that cause obesity and diabetes? We don’t know yet.

The vast majority of babies have been fed artificial breastmilk (formula) for several decades now. It is a known fact that one (of many!) advantages of breastfeeding is lower obesity rates as adults.

Meat producers give their animals estrogen in order to make them gain weight faster.

Dairy farmers give their cows estrogen in order to make them produce more milk.

Doctors give women estrogen in order to keep them from having babies (the major components of The Pill are estrogen and progesterone). These hormones are then peed into the water supply by the women.

Pesticides, herbicides, and most household cleaners contain chemicals that our bodies interpret as estrogen.

Many processed foods contain soybeans which are very high in phyto-estrogens.

Now to repeat the first sentence in the last paragraph; Meat producers give their animals estrogen in order to make them gain weight faster. Can we all say a collective “Duhhhh”?

Meat producers also feed their animals corn to encourage weight gain.

Corn (especially in the form of corn syrup) is now in all of our food from our sodas to our spaghetti sauce to some kinds of potato chips. It is processed faster in the human body than other grains, not giving time for the body to use the calories before it has to do something with them. So the body stores them.

Also, recent studies say that a corn derivative, High Fructose Corn syrup, suppresses the production of the hormone that tells our brains we are full and don’t need any more food.

Processing food removes fiber, B vitamins, chromium, iodine, magnesium and manganese. Fiber helps food move along and fills the tummy so you don’t eat as much. The vitamins and minerals are responsible for helping us to use the calories we take in. Without these nutrients the calories just sit around (in the form of fat) waiting for something to come along and use them.

Competition has caused restaurants to drastically increase portion sizes (remember when a quarter pound of meat was a big hamburger? Or a 12oz soda plenty for lunch? And we now eat at least four meals a week outside the home on average).

Dinner plates are now the size serving platters used to be. It is human nature to eat everything on the plate in front of you. My mom never made us “clean our plates,” but I will still eat until the plate is empty just like everyone else.

Dehydration and sleep deprivation can cause the metabolism to slow down and retain more weight. Americans are chronically dehydrated and sleep deprived.

We also exercise a good deal less. Since the invention of cars, computers and television, we have all become far more sedentary.

And don’t forget those "labor saving" devices we all have in our homes. They should be called "exercise stoppers" instead.

Just imagine how much more exercise you would get if cars and electricity were outlawed. With everything combined that is needed to produce, prepare, and clean up from our meals plus clothe our families, plus maintaining a basic cleanliness in our homes (no vacuum, remember. You have to sweep the floors.), we would get far more exercise and all the gyms in town would probably close.

Instead we all spend hours every day staring at a TV or computer and munching on empty calories. The amazing thing really is that we don’t have greater health problems than we do!

Add to all this that our bodies were designed to store extra weight to prepare for famine and when famine comes, our metabolism slows down, using fewer calories, in order to keep us alive until things get better. It does this by “eating” its own muscle. Since muscle takes more calories to stay alive than fat does, as the muscle disappears the body’s calorie needs fall. A simple and necessary survival mechanism.

Unfortunately, our bodies don’t know the difference between dieting and famine. When we quit dieting, we eat the same amount of calories we did before the diet, but now we have less muscle to keep alive. This is why we put on more weight after a diet than we lose during it.

Yes, you are not the only one who gains it all back. In fact, less than .5% of people who lose weight keep it off for five years or more.

In one study, those who had lost weight began putting it back on after just six months even though they were eating fewer calories and exercising more than when they lost the weight.

This is how powerful the mechanism God created to keep us from starving to death is! Our bodies will simply fight any weight loss with all their power. There really isn’t much you can do about it no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you deny yourself.

This is sure a Doom and Gloom section!

Good News #1: Being fat doesn’t mean you have a lack of self-control. 

Oh, once in a while you run into someone who really does eat enough for two or three people every day, but most of the time fat people don’t eat any more than skinny people, sometimes not as much.

In fact, those fat people I have known in my life are some of the most disciplined, health conscious, self-controlled people I have ever met. That’s actually probably why they’re fat; all the self-control applied to eating causes their bodies to continually be in famine mode, hoarding every possible calorie so they don’t starve!

The fact is that you haven’t failed at all! All the diets and programs you have tried have been flawed! They are what has failed!

Diets and weight loss programs don’t take into account that wonderful mechanism God has put in our bodies that keeps our weight at a steady point.

Good News #2: Being fat isn’t as bad for you as we are led to believe.

First of all, we must always remember where the money comes from no matter the issue. TV shows, including news programs, survive by attracting advertisers. If they offend their advertisers, they go broke.

Next time you watch TV count how many of the commercials are for drug companies (who all make a fortune on weight loss medicines). No TV program is going to tell you it’s OK to be “Pleasingly Plump” because they will lose a major income source if they do. Same goes for magazines. Any media really.

It seems that the markers for ill health (i.e. high blood pressure) only occur in those fat people who have dieted. Those in countries where obesity is a sign of wealth and intelligence don’t have high blood pressure or any other ill-health markers, no matter how fat they are.

A better marker for health is performance on a treadmill. Fat men who could perform at a “fit” level had the same death rates as skinny men who performed as “fit,” and LOWER death rates than skinny men who didn’t do well on the test. It’s the fitness level that matters, not the padding on the belly.

Why do studies say it’s so unhealthy to be fat? 

It seems our studies just don’t look at their evidence close enough.

It’s poverty, not obesity, that is unhealthy. Poor people can’t afford to live in healthier neighborhoods, buy organic (if any) fruit, join gyms and softball teams, and have many other factors that cause them to be both heavier and unhealthier. (If your child asks you for a bicycle, new coat, and a can of coke, and all you can afford is the coke, you will buy the coke, even if you know it is not really healthy for him. You simply can’t afford any other goodies, and it isn't good for a child to ALWAYS be told no).

It isn’t their weight that is unhealthy. It is the poverty that causes both the weight and the ill health.

Heavier people can stand high blood pressure better than skinny people (Of course, this could be because many doctors use too-small blood pressure cuffs for fat people giving false high readings. In other words, fat people who read with high blood pressure with a skinny cuff often read perfectly normal with a big cuff.) They have a much lower rate of both heart attack and stroke than skinnies with high blood pressure.

In fact, as our average, national weight has risen, our rates of heart disease have fallen, occur later in life, and have become more survivable. Only part of this can be attributed to better treatment. Some is the protection of the extra weight

Our goals should not be to get as skinny as possible. 

That’s Hollywood speaking.

Since fat is an ancient sign of wealth (and Americans really do hate the rich) and in modern times a sign of poverty (which Americans also hate and pretend don’t exist) our culture gets us coming and going with the result of simply hating anyone who is fat for the fat’s sake.

The dieting necessary for constant skinny robs our bodies of nutrients it needs to prevent ill health.

Our goals should be to be as healthy as possible. 

This is not accomplished by obsessing over food and exercise. That is a sign of the mental illnesses that fall under “eating disorder.” Think about it; if skinny people act like fat people about food or exercise, we say they are mentally ill and need help.

Our goals should be to be healthy. 

This means to eat right, exercise and have the right mental health.

A group of hotel maids had their health numbers measured. Then they were taught about the benefits of getting proper exercise. Half of them were then told how their everyday work met those exercise goals. This half saw significant improvement in their numbers within a couple of weeks without changing a thing they were doing. Just knowing they were already begin healthy, made them healthier. There’s that placebo affect again.

I would advise you to NOT have the weight lose surgeries. 

Again, they have not been around long enough for us to know the long term consequences twenty or thirty years down the road. There is a good chance they shorten your lifespan by reducing your absorption of necessary nutrients.

We do know people die from these surgeries and that some get very ill. An alarmingly high number of people put the weight back on after a few years. This all defeats the goal of being healthier, what we are supposed to be having the surgery for in the first place!

Some hints on what our focus should really be:

Many times we eat when we are really thirsty, 

so drink lots of water. Buy an ice water, tea, coffee or lemon ade when you eat out instead of a soda, and keep a glass of water by you throughout your day if possible. (I have heard of people losing all their excess baggage by just quitting the soda habit. Since soda is not good for you under any circumstances, the weight is really irrelevant by itself. It’s just a sign of a problem.)

Remember to slow down, taste your food, and enjoy the experience of eating. 

Play slow music. The beat will help you slow down. Not only are you less likely to choke, but you will absorb your food and nutrients much better.

Also, the emotional satisfaction of eating will be there sooner if you chew slowly and pay attention to the texture and flavor of your food. God made food pleasing and we need to enjoy it.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find myself gulping my food down without even tasting it (much like a vacuum cleaner!) then, later, I get the desire to eat something. Not hunger, mind you. An emotional need to put things in my mouth and chew.

When I take small bites, taste the food and notice the texture I seldom have that case of "munchies" later on. Munchies are often fulfilled with foods that disrupt health. They make you sick.

This goes for eating in front of the TV also. Those who watch the boob-tube while eating their meals have been scientifically shown to absorb fewer vitamins and minerals. In fact, making it a rule that no one eats, not even just a cookie, without sitting at the table with a plate, makes it even more memorable every time you eat and makes it harder to eat what you shouldn’t be eating anyway (and keeps the crumbs in the dinning room and kitchen making the house easier to clean to boot!)


Studies have shown that those who do not eat breakfast consume more calories per day than those that do. You will eat more for lunch and supper than you would have if you had eaten breakfast.

Even if you only have a cup of yogurt and a slice of toast, eat something!

Supper to lunch is way too long for your brain to go without fuel. Eating breakfast keeps your metabolism from going into starvation mode and slowing down. In fact, many have better success with weight control when they eat every two or three hours. This keeps the metabolism functioning at peak speed and keeps your brain running on an even keel.

Research your favorite fast food restaurants on the internet. 

They all have websites that detail their nutrient content.

It isn’t automatically bad to eat out. It doesn’t make a food less healthy because someone else prepares it. It matters what the food is and HOW it’s made.

Some restaurants are very unhealthy with nothing descent on the menu.

But some are down-right good for you.

For the type of things I eat, Wendy’s can be even healthier than eating at home! They make their salads with a variety of fresh greens I don’t keep around the house and their chili can only be matched at home by making it from scratch, something I don’t have the time to do often.

And Wendy’s uses a high fiber potato for their baked potatoes and French fries to boot!

Yes, you need to do the research for yourself and be an informed shopper. Few can avoid eating out altogether, so be prepared when you do to make wise choices.

Keep a journal of everything you put into your mouth. 

Now, I don’t want you to count your calories. I want you to record what you eat and how you feel 15 and 30 minutes later.

Do you feel tired or energetic? Happy or depressed?

This will help you to know what foods react well to your body. We aren’t all made the same, and foods don’t always do the same thing to each of us. Know what makes YOU feel best and stick to that.

When shopping, compare labels on everything. 

I like raisin bran for breakfast. But there are many different brands to choose from. By doing a little comparison I found out that:
  • Kellogg’s has 190 calories, 6.5 grams of fiber, and 5.1 grams of protein per cup.
  • Post has 187 calories, 7.7 grams of fiber and 4.7 grams of protein.
  • But Fiber One has 170 calories, 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.

So by choosing a different brand of the same food I am going to eat anyway I add 4.5 extra grams of fiber, a nutrient most Americans are seriously lacking in. This is enough fiber to hold off many digestive problems. And I discovered Fiber One tastes better to boot! (The lower protein doesn’t matter since the milk I add has more than enough).

Avoid preservatives and flavorings (buy organic if possible). 

They are added to keep the food from spoiling and make them taste better (because factory processing destroys flavors), but have the nasty side effect of stimulating the part of the brain that increases hunger.

This works well for the manufacturers because you then buy more food and they make a bigger profit. But the effect on you is, well, all too visible around the middle.

What should you actually eat? 

Should you eat carbs and limit proteins? Avoid carbs and indulge in fats? Only eat at certain times per day or eat certain foods together?

I have taken all the major diets (Atkins, Food Combining, Low fat, Heart Smart, etc.) and compared them. They all have a few things in common;
  • eat more fresh veggies, 
  • fresh fruits, 
  • whole grains, and (if you eat them) 
  • make your meats and dairy unprocessed (no cold cuts, lunch meats, American cheese, or “processed cheese foods” whatever that is; 
do grass fed and organic if possible. I don’t because I simply can’t afford it).

  • white sugar, 
  • white flour, 
  • “bad fats,” and 
  • things processed (don’t even allow them in your house. Very few cases of chocolate cravings are powerful enough to make you get in your car and drive to the store. If it isn’t in your house, you probably won’t eat it. And your kids get more than enough of them outside the house).

Exercise more.

If you just do these things you actually obey 90% of all the requirements of ALL the different diet plans.

So, what do you eat?

>Whatever you want (unprocessed breads, grains, fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, etc). Trust your body to tell you what it needs through your cravings (baring processed foods). If you are wanting meat, you need meat. If a tall glass of milk sounds good, you probably need the nutrients in it. Want an apple? You are needing some B vitamins.

>When you want, but not when you don't.

>Enjoy the variety of good foods God has made for us.

>And exercise more.

I find the human body fascinating. 

God sure did a good job when He made it.

Did you know that the human being is the only thing God called "Very Good" when He finished it? Everything else He just called "Good."

God gave you your body as a special gift, a house to live in for your whole life. It is not automatically broken just because it is bigger than the latest fashion model’s body.

It is your responsibility to take care of this house: do the maintenance, so to speak. He gave us everything we need to care for it.

Think about what Christ did on the cross for us. He took that special body He had and broke it to give us life.

I believe the Bible teaches us that that life is physical as well as spiritual. We are living under the curse of Adam right now. That is why we get sick and hurt and eventually die.

But our true selves are eternal. We can choose eternal death with no relief from pain and illness. Just constant dying. Or we can choose eternal life with Jesus. Never any more pain.

Christ provided that choice for us when He chose to die on the cross.

What do you choose?

Life or death?

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