Thursday, October 11, 2012

Focus on Health, Not Obesity

I'm still ruminating about the pitfalls of listening to our overly weight-conscious society's judgments. I just read a blog by a Type 2 talking about how to lower the body's natural setpoint to the new weight, by bringing up studies that show that people who lose weight don't function metabolically like people of the same weight who have never lost weight. He mentioned that one year out from weight loss, the body is STILL reacting as if it were starving, and still striving to regain the lost weight. And that he would slightly increase his carbs in order to maintain his weight in the expectation that his body would eventually accept this weight as its new natural and become metabolically sound again.

This just rings false to me. I don't think there is any evidence that the healthy body will EVER become metabolically sound at a lower weight than that achieved by natural, intuitive eating. Of course, one should eat when hungry, and stop when full and not become overfull. And of course, it's better to eat savory foods, and not overdo the sweets. I think that's a given. But if a person follows that philosophy, maybe their body's natural setpoint will be above what the arbitrary BMI tables say is normal. And trying to lose weight down to a specified goal might actually be eating disordered. Dieting doesn't work for the VAST majority of people who try diet after diet in the hopes of permanently losing weight -- maybe that's because diets themselves encourage disordered eating?

I think it's time for us as a society to rethink just what we're talking about when we talk about weight. I think weight is not really the issue; health is. We're genetically diverse, so why is it a problem when our bodies are diverse in shape and size as well? I want to see the media portray in equally good light people of all shapes and sizes, not just the naturally skinny. Obsessing ALL your life on how to be skinny is really not a good way to live, and of course, Type 1's are susceptible to diabulimia, and that can be deadly. But anorexia and bulimia affect non-diabetic women as well, and if they don't die of it, they can get very sick, and never be healthy again. Let's concentrate on health and let weight take care of itself!

And PS the guy who wrote the blog just called it diabetes, and I mentioned in my response that he would do well to be specific about what type he was talking about, because it does a disservice to Type 1's who may NOT need to lose weight, to have their ignorant family, friends, co-workers, etc. nagging them to lose weight in the hope that it would cure their diabetes!

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