Monday, June 22, 2009

Re: Weight Cycling

I sent on the post The Weight Cycle to my mom and I thought I'd share her response:
Very well said my beautiful daughter! So riddle me this one....why each and every time I go to my primary care doc am I told to "lose some weight". Followed by a resounding "at-ta boy" each time I drop 10 or so pounds below the weight of my last visit, even though it appears to be the same 10 pounds over and over again. However, he never advises against the harm to my health this constant "yo yo"-ing might cause. At what % above your ideal weight would it be better to just remain at that weight as opposed to going up and down above and below it? Why does no one discuss that? What would happen to Oprah's image if she said "I'm staying put - live with it"? Well, I'd support her running for president, wouldn't you?

My rather uneducated response to my mom:
I think that doctors try to steer their patients towards healthier lifestyles and there has been a great deal of research that shows at the very least a corelation between being overweight and many harmful medical conditions. Also, we really like one-size-fits-all solutions in our society, so we have that great height/weight chart that only allows a small window of weight which is acceptable, regardless of body type, age, or anything else. Now there is a movement, especially in the fat-acceptance community, to stop equating weight with health, instead focusing on being active, eating healthy, and not really caring about weight. I think they do have some medical and academic support but not a great deal of it.

As for the yo-yo-ing aspect of things, a quick internet search pulled up a couple articles about the dangers of yo-yo dieting, they restrict to meaning using a quick fad diet to lose the weight and then one puts it back on quickly when you go off the diet. This isn't exactly what I was talking about, but the more general regaining of weight after a diet, though I think the studies that the articles cite seem to address what I was talking about too. It seems like the "weight cycling slows your metabolism" is widely regarded as a myth, but there are corelations between weight cycling and a supressed immune system, higher risks of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and gallbladder disease. This article says that we should go on dieting because there is a higher corelation of more health conditions among overweight people than there are among (I'm assuming, not currently overweight) weight cyclers.

*Eyeroll* I'm not sure how much I believe that it is better for my overall person - physical, mental, spiritual - for me to continue to weight cycle and feel shitty about my body. So I think I might try a combination of the fat acceptance route along with the "gotta die from something" route. Especially right now, as I'm seeing someone who actually prefers bigger women, women bigger than me.

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