Why am I Obese?

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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:52 am

My dad uses John Peterson's plan, and he's in better shape than I am, and maybe even Peterson himself. It's not hard to do, but you need the will to keep at it. Figured I'd throw this out for anyone who's anti-gym.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:59 am

Dizik wrote:Ayou will be eating a whopping 1880mg of sodium! And that's only if the guy making your food is giving you the correct serving size (i.e. not likely). That's more than 80% of your suggested daily sodium intake! People don't seem to realize that you can be thin and "in-shape" but potentially hurting themselves (especially their heart) due to eating way too much salt.

Yup. I agree. But what provides the alternative in these modern days? Home cooked meals isn't always the most convenient you know... So one must OPT for fast food and eat as healthy as possible. Not my fault all these stupid ass places put 10x the amount of sodium into every item they make. There's no winning man. None.

Edit: yes, "fast food" and "healthy" in the same sentence is oxymoron/blasphemy. sue me.
Last edited by thegleek on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:12 am

Panera has some really good all around options, but you still have to be careful about your sodium intake with their food. Your best bet there would be, obviously, one of their salads. The Asian Sesame Chicken salad and the Grilled Chicken Caesar salad are probably the best options. You can make it even better by getting the dressing on the side and not eating all of it. There's also the option to do their "Pick 2" and get 2 of either a half sandwich, half salad, and/or cup of soup.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:17 am

I think the first problem is that people are offended when they are labelled "obese" because they think that "obese" means that they are "fat". It doesn't. "Obese" means that you are "overweight"--nothing more.

The second problem is that people think that being "well-muscled" or "ripped" is okay as long as that is what causes them to be "overweight". Unfortunately, it isn't. While "ripped" is definitely preferrable to "fat", our joints (hips, knees, ankles, etc.) and our circulatory systems are only designed to typically handle so much mass. Anything above and beyond a normal amount of mass, whether it is because you are fat or ripped, increases your odds of having troubles as a result of too much mass. The BMI isn't perfect but it is a pretty good way to determine if you weigh too much for you height, regardless of why you weigh too much.

The third problem is that, as a group, we are all getting bigger, or at least those that lead suburban Midwestern lives are collectively getting bigger. That makes it much more difficult to detect that what should stick out at us as being "obese" no longer does so because it isn't unusual. I live in Ohio. If I hop in my car and drive over to WalMart, probably 50% of the folks shopping there are "obese". Normally, that wouldn't even show up on my radar because that's what I'm used to seeing. If I go to Manhattan and take the same survey of the folks walking by me at high speed, it's probably like 10% obesity. I also know that they would be appalled by the humanity at WalMart. Point being that your "obese"-ness is relative and could be obscured by where you live and who you are surrounded by.

I'm sure I'll get super flamed. Everyone who is over their BMI attempts to justify why they are over their BMI. We all do that in some fashion when we fall outside the norm in a negative way. All I'm saying is that the BMI wasn't pulled out of a hat. Some smart people who knew what they were doing got together and cooked it up. It isn't pefect, but you should not dismiss it either.

One last thought: the day of reckoning is fast approaching for the "obese". Some of us that have health insurance that we at least partially pay for from our employers have already experienced this. Stats like your BP, BMI, etc. are now being used to directly determine how much you pay for health insurance. We get "bagged and tagged" once a year where I work. All these stats are measured by nurses. Refuse or fail the required numbers and the $$ out of your pocket per payckeck jumps dramatically. You can argue all you want that being over your BMI is not detrimental to your health. The stats say otherwise--and so do the health insurance companies.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:43 pm

The second problem is that people think that being "well-muscled" or "ripped" is okay as long as that is what causes them to be "overweight". Unfortunately, it isn't. While "ripped" is definitely preferrable to "fat", our joints (hips, knees, ankles, etc.) and our circulatory systems are only designed to typically handle so much mas


Only true at real extremes. Someone that regularly squats 800 lbs or something may have knee problems later yes. But you don't have to be that stout and ripped to hit obese on the BMI either. My kid brother is obese and he's not at all overweight--he's a roughneck nowadays, and weighs 260, is 6'1" with a 36" waist ad probably 10% body fat (40 hour weeks of physical labor). He's not huge to the point he's stressing his joints or anything. I mean yeah, someone like Bob Sapp may have health problems from his sheer size, but that's not all or even most of the muscular people that are obese on the BMI.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:52 pm

paulWTAMU wrote:
The second problem is that people think that being "well-muscled" or "ripped" is okay as long as that is what causes them to be "overweight". Unfortunately, it isn't. While "ripped" is definitely preferrable to "fat", our joints (hips, knees, ankles, etc.) and our circulatory systems are only designed to typically handle so much mas


Only true at real extremes. Someone that regularly squats 800 lbs or something may have knee problems later yes. But you don't have to be that stout and ripped to hit obese on the BMI either. My kid brother is obese and he's not at all overweight--he's a roughneck nowadays, and weighs 260, is 6'1" with a 36" waist ad probably 10% body fat (40 hour weeks of physical labor). He's not huge to the point he's stressing his joints or anything. I mean yeah, someone like Bob Sapp may have health problems from his sheer size, but that's not all or even most of the muscular people that are obese on the BMI.


That's a little myopic. Why do 16 year old drivers pay more for car insurance? Why do smokers pay more for life insurance? Why is weight one of the metrics that health insurers use to determine your health insurance rates? Insurers don't sit around and make up rates. They have smart people who spend lots of time crunching data to determine who is more of a risk and who is less of a risk. It doesn't matter whether your 260 pounds is 100% muscle or not--in the absence of a full physical every so often, their stats are telling them that 260 pounds is going to cost them more in the long run and they want to pass that cost along to you.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:01 pm

Let's just all remember that this insurance discussion can rapidly turn into an R&P topic.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:23 pm

I must admit that I do like these kinds of discussions. They force us to face ourselves and reality--and sometimes reality can be very, very hard. I'm 44 now. I don't know precisely what my expected life span is (probably a lot lower if I keep on jabbering here), but let's say it's 81.7, just for fun. If I take a survey of every 44 year old I encounter and ask them if they will live longer than that or less than that, I suspect about 95% of those 44 year olds would tell me that they would live longer than that 81.7 years. The cold reality is that only 50% of them will live longer than that. The other 50% will die before that. The same logic applies to BMI. No one ever wants to think that they weigh more than they should, but statistics never lie, unfortunately.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:25 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Let's just all remember that this insurance discussion can rapidly turn into an R&P topic.

Thanks for listening.

the discussion of obesity should have long been an R&P topic! ;-)
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:27 pm

Nit pick: Average life expectancy includes people who died young, so given that you've already made it to 44 your odds of making it past the average are better than 50%.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:28 pm

Short answer: Because your diet sucks and you don't exercise enough.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:28 pm

steelcity_ballin wrote:Short answer: Because your diet sucks and you don't exercise enough.

^ all you do is win
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:33 pm

just brew it! wrote:Nit pick: Average life expectancy includes people who died young, so given that you've already made it to 44 your odds of making it past the average are better than 50%.


Point taken. It does not, however, detract from my point that no one ever likes to think of themselves as a statistic--or as being subject to them.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:04 pm

just brew it! wrote:
thegleek wrote:Then I give up. I am trying to curb my normal ways of eating into something that resembles a healthier option. Carbs is something (impossible) to cut out completely. If I am removing all white starches (grains, rice, bread, etc) from my diet, what's the harm in that? It's basically close to a low glycemic diet.

I'm sure it is 10x healthier than what you were doing before!


This. It is quite unrealistic for most people to pull a 180 deg change in lifestyle overnight. More importantly, if you hold yourself up to such a high standard right off the bat, you'll likely find yourself getting too frustrated with yourself when you find you are not able to stick to the plan. On the other hand, obviously, if your modifications are too minor, and more importantly not directed toward some reasonable long-term goal, you'll not see any changes for a long time (if ever) and you'll get frustrated as well and just go back to status quo.

The key to lifestyle modification for most people is setting reasonable short and long term goals. Where do I want my diet and exercise levels to be in 6 months vs what is reasonable for me to accomplish in 6 weeks. Sure we've all heard the cold-turkey hard core overnight before/after stories. However, for most this simply doesn't work (and is often BS to begin with). I would even add that it is more important to set lifestyle goals rather than anthropometric goals. Ie, you will likely get further with setting a goal such as "I want to run 20 miles per week three months from now" (while setting up shorter-term goals to get there) rather than, "I want to lose 20 pounds in three months".
Last edited by cynan on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:11 pm

Yes, I tried the "cold turkey" approach a number of years ago. Axed nearly all fat, red meat, refined sugars/starches, and beer from my diet for several months. I dropped ~30 pounds, and felt like absolute crap.

Clearly there needs to be some sort of middle ground!
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:15 pm

just brew it! wrote:and beer from my diet for several months.

clearly the key is to NEVER give up beer. ever! give everything else up!
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:18 pm

thegleek wrote:
Dizik wrote:Ayou will be eating a whopping 1880mg of sodium! And that's only if the guy making your food is giving you the correct serving size (i.e. not likely). That's more than 80% of your suggested daily sodium intake! People don't seem to realize that you can be thin and "in-shape" but potentially hurting themselves (especially their heart) due to eating way too much salt.

Yup. I agree. But what provides the alternative in these modern days? Home cooked meals isn't always the most convenient you know... So one must OPT for fast food and eat as healthy as possible. Not my fault all these stupid ass places put 10x the amount of sodium into every item they make. There's no winning man. None.

Edit: yes, "fast food" and "healthy" in the same sentence is oxymoron/blasphemy. sue me.


As far as I know, I wouldn't worry too much about sodium unless you have issues with high blood pressure. Links between high-sodium and heart-disease that are blood pressure-independent are tenuous at best. So if you are worried, buy yourself one of those home blood pressure monitors and check yourself once a month (or if you live near to a pharmacy or have membership to a fitness center that offers this for free, even better). Also, regular exercise goes a long way to manage sodium, especially cardiocentric exercise where you sweat for long periods (as much sodium is lost through persperation). For example, an hour of cardio activity (causing you to sweat a lot) can result in losses well in excess of 1000 mg of sodium.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:28 pm

cjcerny wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Nit pick: Average life expectancy includes people who died young, so given that you've already made it to 44 your odds of making it past the average are better than 50%.


Point taken. It does not, however, detract from my point that no one ever likes to think of themselves as a statistic--or as being subject to them.


But most people don't live in a vacuum and can estimate an approximate life expectancy based on factors such as: How long did my parents and grandparents live? What is the burden chronic disease in my family (ie, Do I have family members that have succumbed to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers, etc, and at what ages).


cjcerny wrote:
paulWTAMU wrote:
The second problem is that people think that being "well-muscled" or "ripped" is okay as long as that is what causes them to be "overweight". Unfortunately, it isn't. While "ripped" is definitely preferrable to "fat", our joints (hips, knees, ankles, etc.) and our circulatory systems are only designed to typically handle so much mas


Only true at real extremes. Someone that regularly squats 800 lbs or something may have knee problems later yes. But you don't have to be that stout and ripped to hit obese on the BMI either. My kid brother is obese and he's not at all overweight--he's a roughneck nowadays, and weighs 260, is 6'1" with a 36" waist ad probably 10% body fat (40 hour weeks of physical labor). He's not huge to the point he's stressing his joints or anything. I mean yeah, someone like Bob Sapp may have health problems from his sheer size, but that's not all or even most of the muscular people that are obese on the BMI.


That's a little myopic. Why do 16 year old drivers pay more for car insurance? Why do smokers pay more for life insurance? Why is weight one of the metrics that health insurers use to determine your health insurance rates? Insurers don't sit around and make up rates. They have smart people who spend lots of time crunching data to determine who is more of a risk and who is less of a risk. It doesn't matter whether your 260 pounds is 100% muscle or not--in the absence of a full physical every so often, their stats are telling them that 260 pounds is going to cost them more in the long run and they want to pass that cost along to you.


It's not really that myopic at all. The reason (or at least the logic on which it is based) why insurance companies might charge higher premiums for 260 lbs people is 100% to do with health statistics which show that people over a certain weight, on average, have higher incidence of disease (which costs money to treat/manage). And while you might get a few body builders who, due to smaller stature to begin with, were more extreme at 260 lbs, or who achived that weight unhealthily (ie, overusing creatine, steroids, amphetamines, etc), over 99% of the 260 lb people who experience adverse health outcomes do so because of energy imbalance (eat unhealthily and/or are overweight/obese). So it is perfectly fair to say these higher premiums exists almost solely due to the link between being overweight and chronic disease.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:40 pm

My suspicion is that, percentage wise, the number of people that are "obese" in the nature of my brother are just so vanishingly small it isn't worth redoing the paperwork and guidelines and setting up stuff like body fat percentage testing to account for it. I mean, I'm sure every 1 of him there's 100 people that are fat. Hell I'm at about his weight (250), and while I'm in better shape (more active and eat better) than a lot of people my size I'm still fat too.

It's not myopic at all--it's recognizing that insurance companies act on statistics, that statistics apply a very broad brush and that such a broad brush, while not invalid, is limited. I'd love to see a study of people that are obese on the BMI with a body fat percentage of 18 or less long term, but I"m unaware of such a study being done. You'd also have a hell of a time with controls for injuries and stuff--professional athletes would probably make a non-trivial percentage of that group and they DO get a hurt a lot--but it's because many sports just have that sort of risk (getting tackled, checked, whatever) rather than simply being big.
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Re: Why am I Obese?

Postposted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:07 pm

paulWTAMU wrote:I'd love to see a study of people that are obese on the BMI with a body fat percentage of 18 or less long term, but I"m unaware of such a study being done.

Yeah, probably doesn't exist, maybe some college student did it but it'll never be publicly available. Oh well, this may provide good reading:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/dat ... weight.pdf

...or not. you're choice.
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