Saturday, November 07, 2015

Big Fat and Not

I have described myself in this blog as "a fat old man with palsy".

With drugs for the Lyme Disease, the palsy has much reduced, and my hands are much more steady.

And, since being on drugs for the Lyme Disease, I have lost a little over 50 pounds.  Twenty of  that was likely inflammation and just fell off easily, but more than 30 pounds of that was the result of a serious effort to lose weight.  It was a priority, that I planned, and  I executed.  Today, 50 pounds lighter, I feel 20 years younger.  I like it.

However, while the Lyme Disease is stable, it is not gone, and I have another 30 pounds to lose. Losing that extra weight will make it much easier to get rid of the Lyme Disease in a shorter period of time. From here, I am very sure it is worth the effort.

The best system/diet that I know of for losing a lot of weight rapidly is that devised by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  ( ) 

Other systems work, but Fuhrman's program gets more results with much less effort.  And, the weight loss is more likely to be permanent.  

I see a lot of fat spinners. They will die "young", and the un-deserving will acquire their stash! And, if you are fat,  you will be less fit, and less fit spinners spin more slowly, meaning that more of your stash will land in the hands of  the un-deserving.  If you intend to spin all of your stash, then get fit! If you have stash beyond normal life expectancy, then you need to be exceptionally fit so you can live longer than normal.  

Most fat folk will say that Dr. Fuhrman's program required too many sacrifices.  It is not really that bad. My wife really likes her meat and fat, and for years and years, she had bee trying all kinds of diets to lose weight.  With minimal effort, hunger, and discomfort, she has lost 20 pounds since July on the Fuhrman program, and now has a closet full of clothes that must be altered to fit.  That is this afternoon's program - go in for fittings to get things taken in.  On the other hand, the Aran sweater that she bought in Scotland 30 years ago fits better than it has since we got back from that trek across Nepal in 1991.  In those days, she was very fit.  

Folks like Dr. Weil will deny the health advantages that Fuhrman claims for very low BMIs. Fuhrman provides all the citations, and I encourage you to read them with care, and with a copy of a good text on statistics, sampling, and study design at your side.  Many of the studies accepted by Dr. Weil are biased by the loss of weight common in fatal diseases near end of life. People who (get and) stay fit live much longer. Fat people do not live as long as fit people.

Some folks will say that Fuhrman is too much effort to prepare.  I say that as you become accustomed to the program, and plan for it, it is no more effort to prepare than the Standard American Diet (SAD).    When traveling, you can get food compliant with the Fuhrman program at places like Tender Greens and The Cheese  Cake Factory. The "free continental breakfast" offered at many motels takes some picking and choosing.

While I had uncontrolled Lyme Disease, my lipid panel numbers were  as high as one would expect for someone a hundred pounds over weight.  Within 90 days of starting the Fuhrman program, my lipid numbers were at the low end of normal without any medication.  Likewise, my blood pressure has come back down to normal without medication.  Given all the side-effects of prescription medicine, this is a real advantage.

The real advantage is that I like the freedom that being thinner gives.  It lets me move more easily.  That alone is worth the effort.

There are a few errors and in inaccuracies in Fuhrman's books, but the program as described, is scientifically correct and it works for losing significant amounts of body weight.  It has fewer side effects than the surgery often used for  obesity. Unlike the surgery, it is easily reversible.  If you decided that you want to be fat again, you can always go back to SAD.


isabeau said...

"And, if you are fat, you will be less fit"

Sigh. You do realize this is hogwash? "Obese" people can be perfectly fit and healthy, thin people can be unhealthy, and in a number of obese+unhealthy situations it is a medical condition that causes obesity and not the other way around.

Aaron said...

Obese people are by definition not fit. E.g., show me an obese person that can pass any fitness test from military induction to public safety workers employment to a certification for work as an airline pilot or railroad engineer or ship's officer. Fat people have more cardiovascular events, and are more likely to require medication to control blood sugar, blood lipids, and blood pressure. These medications have side effects. Fit people are more likely able to perform physically activities for a sustained period of time.

Statistics (a large body of medical literature, not me) says that obese people do not live as long as people with normal weight.

I am very much aware that various conditions (such as Lyme Disease) can cause obesity. The Vertebrate Model says that in the face of a massive infection, the host's immune system will cause insulin resistance, so the immune system has priority to the glucose/energy. If the infection is sustained for any length of time, then host will likely end up fat (or even obese.)

I had the bugs, I got fat, I am now killing the bugs, but I am still fat. I am fitter now, than I was a year ago. Then, I was OBESE! (And I did not know why.) Now, I am merely fat. Being merely fat is better than being OBESE!

I like to walk. These days, taking a walk is easier than when I weighed 60 pounds more. Walking over Acalanies Ridge carrying 60 pounds of fat is harder than walking over the ridge without carrying the fat. It it the difference between doing 140 flights of stairs carrying 2 x 5-gallon pails of fat, and doing 140 flights of stairs without the pails of fat.

Now, tell me, what physical activity can you do carrying 2 big pails of fat, that you cannot do better without the pails of fat?

Having that fat inside your skin puts a strain on your heart. Just pumping the blood through all that fat puts a strain on your heart. It means that the heart must pump harder, and you are more likely to have high blood pressure. And, all that fat in your body means that you are much more likely to have arteriosclerosis which impedes blood flow through the blood vessels and increases the effort required by the heart. However, arteriosclerosis weakens the walls of the blood vessels so the extra effort by the heart is much more likely to rupture the blood vessels.

No obese or even just fat people are not as fit or as healthly as leaner people. And, if you delve into the statistices you see that people with BMIs in the range of 18 to 23 tend to live longer. A full set of cites is in Fuhrman. Weil does not offer cites and does not get all the conclusions correct.

Aaron said...

Let us just consider spinning. Fat does not help move your arms, but you muscles have to move the fat. Would you sit there and spin wearing heavy wrist weights? No, because the wrist weights would interfere with your spinning. Likewise, the fat in your arm interferes with, or increases the effort lift your arms as you spin. The fat ones just have not thought about it.

Who can spin as well or as long, or as fast wearing 5 or 10 pound wrist weights as they can spin without the wrist weights? Try it, then think about how much the fat in your arms weighs and how much easier spinning would be without that extra weight.

Who can go into the kitchen to get a cup of tea carrying 60 pounds of fat, as they can without the fat? It does not matter if the fat is inside the skin or in pails, it is still an extra 60 pounds that has to be carried by your muscles, bones, and joints.

I think it is easier to go get a cup of tea when I do not have to drag an extra 60 pounds of fat with me. I think it is easier to spin when I do not have to lift all that fat that was in my arms. I think life will be even easier when I have lost some more weight.

Aaron said...


Aaron said...

Listen the ads for Stanford atrial fibrillation program on PBS, then read

It turns out that weight loss is an important factor in reduced recurrence of
atrial fibrillation with all of its complications.

Aaron said...