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Fat and Healthy?

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:39 AM   #1
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Another thread about being overweight and the burden caused to the healthcare system from overweight people has made me wonder if I'm an exception and just very lucky.

I'm 44 years old and consider myself healthy. I've never required treatment from my doctor for any chronic or long term conditition. I have never required the prescription of any drugs on a repeat or long term basis and have only ever required one surgical intervention in my life and that was totally unrelated to my weight (eye surgery). I have been overweight all my adult life with a BMI of over 30 since entering my 20s and over 40 for the last 10 or so years (I'm now back in the 30s). So by any definitition I have been obese for at least 20 years. In my 30s I had two pregnancies with two normal deliveries.

Is there anyone else out there who is obese and still healthy?

Kitty
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:24 AM   #2
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I feel exactly the same way. I've been obese most of my adult life, and unlike a lot of people I know (a lot of thin people to be precise) I've never been on prescription meds for anything. I work in an office full of people who are constantly running to the doctor for all kinds of things, constantly fulfilling prescriptions for something or other. They are a far bigger burden on our healthcare plan that I will ever be.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:43 AM   #3
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I am overweight and quite healthy although I do wonder how long that could last. I mean if I stay overweight maybe I woudl eventually develop some problems.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:47 AM   #4
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I am overweight and quite healthy although I do wonder how long that could last. I mean if I stay overweight maybe I woudl eventually develop some problems.
This is what I was thinking, too. I'm only 25, but I've not had any health problems due to my weight, and I've been well over 200 pounds since I was in 9th grade!

But just because I haven't had any problems yet doesn't mean I won't in the future. For example, even if I never develop diabetes or heart disease or high cholesterol or whatever, I would think the extra weight on my joints over years would be pretty bad by the time I reach 60+. Might as well reduce my risk of weight-related health issues while I can!

Some people smoke 2 packs a day and live to be 90+ years old. Just because they never develop cancer or emphysema doesn't mean it was a good way to live all along (in my opinion).
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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I am overweight and quite healthy although I do wonder how long that could last. I mean if I stay overweight maybe I woudl eventually develop some problems.
Which is precisely the reason I have been losing weight as I do think my good health wouldn't last forever being the weight I was. I do think I have good genetics as my Dad is 71 and doesn't have any medical issues but he's of normal BMI.

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Old 02-06-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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Everyone has health risks, and both healthy and unhealthy habits and behaviors. Being fat is just one risk. Food choices, exercise, stress, family history, diet, sleep, drugs, alcohol...... are some others. You can't take any one and make huge assumptions.

The person who is 20 or maybe even 50 lbs or more "overweight," but has a very healthy family history, eats a balanced diet (if maybe a bit too much of it), deals well with stress, exercises regularly and often intensely, gets good rest, has a great outlook on life, doesn't have healthy or risky behaviors like smoking, drug use, excessive drinking..... is probably going to be much healthier than most people, even those who are at a healthy weight, but have other bad habits.

Can you be fat and healthy? Probably, if you're not also inactive and stressed with a poor diet... How many risks are too many? I think it all lies on a spectrum, and is going to vary a lot from person to person.

If you smoke and have a family history of lung cancer, giving up the cigarettes might be a better place to start than trying to lose a few pounds.

Even with losing weight, how you lose it does matter. You can lose weight in very unhealthy ways. In fact, although I think the balance is shifting more toward health, the motivation for being thin in our society has been primarily aesthetic. Although more magazine diet articles are about getting ready for bathing suit season rather than lowering cholesterol levels, etc.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:21 AM   #7
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Even with losing weight, how you lose it does matter. You can lose weight in very unhealthy ways.
Absolutely! And those who are underweight have increased health risks for certain things, too. And, of course, you can be a "normal" weight and still be unhealthy. But I think 3FC does a great job of promoting healthy means of weight loss and dismissing severe/unhealthy methods, so if you're here, I think you're already on your way to a healthier body, even if you never reach a certain number on the scale
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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I agree that this site is refreshingly health-focused, and non-judgemental. When I was younger, I felt there was so much pressure on me to lose weight and lose it FAST, that I did very stupid things trying to lose weight, and then when my body or mind couldn't take it anymore, I'd gain it all back and the some. The rebound only made me more desperate to try some new even more extreme method, and I've been yoyoing like this since I was 5 years old.

I do have to wonder which played the bigger role in some of my current health issues, the weight or the stress and abuse I put my body through for years.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish the social pressure to be thin in order to gain acceptance hadn't been stronger than the desire to be strong, confident, and healthy. In many ways, dieting as a middle-aged married person is so much more difficult than when I was young and single (dealing with someone else's eating habits with a body that is definitely slower to cooperate), but in some ways it is easier. I'm not trying to fit into a bikini by summer, or make friends or find boyfriends. I'm finally TRUELY doing this for me. It's just that years of idiocy are hard to unlearn, and I still find myself making unhealthy choices because of old patterns.

If I could give advice to my fat young self, it would be not to be in so much of a hurry to lose the weight that I lost sight of my mental and physical health -- to concentrate on the overall healthfulness of my eating and activities rather than on the weight and how fast I could lose it.
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