Fat Guy in a Depression

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JAG's picture
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Fat Guy in a Depression

I would like to bring up a subject that is near and dear to my heart.... obesity.

By all of society's standards, I could be judged to have a "weight problem". Its a fact of life that I have dealt with for pretty much all of my adult life, and have actually come to embrace. While I have effectively battled it in the past to great (but temporary) success, I have found personal value in taking a contrarian approach relative to nearly all of modern society's paradigms, the "health" paradigm being a major one for me. 

As a medical professional, I'm more than aware of the empirical health risks associated with obesity. I'm also aware of one important factor in obesity, genetic predisposition. Somewhere in my genetic history, the ability to store fat gave my ancestors a survival advantage that allowed propagation of those genetics to eventually find there way to create me. Up until this point, being overweight in this society has been a disadvantage in all respects, but I think things are going to change in this regard in the years ahead.

There is a reason the last great famine in this country occurred during the great depression, and it can be found in the cycles of nature. So going into what can only be accurately described as a global super-depression, I'm confident that my genetic programing will serve my physiology well. While the mesomorphs and ectomorphs will be catabolizing muscle tissue to survive a famine, us endomorphs will be making efficient use of our fat stores.

My approach to being overweight has always been that if it doesn't interfere with my functioning, I'm not going to stress over it. How is my current functional capacity in regard to a survival context?

  • I can work for hours in the garden in 100 degree heat and unbelievable humidity.
  • I'm capable of modifying my environment to better suit the needs of my family (construction & maintenance of our home).
  • If attacked, I'm still capable of applying my considerable PSI to an opponent's anatomy.
  • And in a food crisis, I will still have the blood sugar available (via gluconeogenesis) to enable good decisions in protecting my family.

So there I am, out of the closet, a fat guy among you. Just thought I would let you know that us endomorphs are listening, so please be careful with your categorical judgements of us, we just might be your best friend in the uncertain future ahead.

Thanks.

 

 

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

 Bear in mind, JAG, that in a protracted crisis, you may wake up one morning, go to the mirror and think "And who is *this* svelte *stud*?!!"  Just be ready, so you don't think some guy snuck into your bathroom overnight to ambush you upon awakening and apply that PSI to the mirror.  

Viva -- Sager

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

 Too funny Sager! Thanks for the input.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Pretty clever Jag. There are advantages & disadvantages to most everything. Personally I rather stay around normal body weight because being too large just slows me down & gets in every bodies way. This use to be a free country & I could care less what people do with their own body mass except when I have to be taxed to pay for it. I wonder if the Govt will put a fat tax on our society before long.

They will be desperate to tax anything they can find.

What really bothers me about obesity is when I see people on food stamps buying up all this unhealthy food & mass consuming it. Then guess what our tax dollars have created some 400 lb 20 something year old that is a wash in health problems? Some even go on disability over....over eating??? I don't care who they blame for it (genes,blah...blah) as long as they pay for what they created & accept responsibility like you obviously are.

Free food & free healthcare lead many down this path but who pays for free?

One thing IMHO you are a very bright guy that would be an asset to anyones community.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

JAG,

You're definately correct! Mesomorphs especially will have a hard time "sustaining" their bulk and strength on a lower diet, whereas Endomorphs and Ectomorphs will have biological imperitives that keep them at a relatively "stable" rate.

In the military, I see lots of young men who're muscled to the point of absurdity, and I wonder; how will they fare with a drastically reduced diet? What will this do to their metabolism?

More importantly, what will it do to *my* metabolism? (I am an Ectomorph, but a heavy one - a "hard gainer")
I've been adjusting my diet for the last year to focus basically on foods I can grow, and get my body used to eating things like barley, chicken, potatos, fruits and vegitables.

I've changed my eating habits to frequent small amounts and frequent exercise to "sustain" my weight.

As an endomorph, you'll be in a unique position to weather (literally) colder climates, make better use of your body mass during long periods of having less food, and will have better defenses against injury.

I've seen people who are "large" who in stellar physical shape.
If you can maintain your cardio, you'll be at no disadvantage.

Health has a lot more to do with ability, endurance and what "fuel" you use than stomatotype.

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

 Are you sure you can generalise your experience to the whole of the obese population?

 us endomorphs are listening, so please be careful with your categorical judgements

Sounds like you want to be categorised.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Quote:

 Then guess what our tax dollars have created some 400 lb 20 something year old

I understand the antipathy toward the welfare state we all share, but an obese 20 year old has something far deeper going on that is worth seeing through the lens of compassion...otherwise we miss the human in front of our eyes.  just like the false fight between left and right, the fight between taxpayers and taxconsumers just keeps people from coming together and fighting the govt/Fed system which is the real problem...taxconsumers aren't the reason we're paying taxes.

 

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Just as I don't believe there are too many atheists in a foxhole, there probably aren't too many over-weight people in a real depression.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

No need to worry until the skinny little chicken-necks start banding together with spears and go off hunting down the "larger" folks in the community for food.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Jon Brooke wrote:

 Are you sure you can generalise your experience to the whole of the obese population?

No, obviously not. But the negative perspective on obesity is so ubiquitous, that I thought it might be productive to offer an opinion that is contrary to the mainstream.

Sounds like you want to be categorised.

Yes I actually do, because I can use such a preconceived notion to my advantage, if needed.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

No need to worry until the skinny little chicken-necks start banding together with spears and go off hunting down the "larger" folks in the community for food.

Great point Dogs...,but then again, if that was the case, the "fat guy" genetics would have never made it this far.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Aaron Moyer wrote:

If you can maintain your cardio, you'll be at no disadvantage.

Yes, that seems to be a key factor in survival. And "cardio" and obesity seem to be inversely correlated, so I think its very prudent to make a daily effort to improve cardiovascular capacity.

If you can't move, your dead.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

I don't mean to upset anyone but do we really need threads like this that are so far out from the 3-E..s?

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
idoctor wrote:

I don't mean to upset anyone but do we really need threads like this that are so far out from the 3-E..s?

Your absolutely right. Thanks for indulging me in this bit of speculation. I will cease and desist on this subject.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Fat storage is energy in a environment with less food due to a broken down economy. This topic includes all 3 E's if you ask me.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Fat storage is energy in a environment with less food due to a broken down economy. This topic includes all 3 E's if you ask me.

Ok now I get it now....I am just a litttle slow today & this was a form of energetic entertainment LOL.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Idoctor:

 

Its 2 more weeks til the California Bar Exam and my brain is about to EXPPLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

 

In the past week ive studied civil procedure, community property, wills and trust law, and legal ethics. 10 hrs a day average. Includes learning obscure rules of law, exceptions, exemptions, factors, presumptions, standards, past bar exams, 1000's of multiple choice questions.

 

Mind torture spanish inquisition style

 

 

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Aaron Moyer wrote:

JAG,

You're definately correct! Mesomorphs especially will have a hard time "sustaining" their bulk and strength on a lower diet, whereas Endomorphs and Ectomorphs will have biological imperitives that keep them at a relatively "stable" rate.

In the military, I see lots of young men who're muscled to the point of absurdity, and I wonder; how will they fare with a drastically reduced diet? What will this do to their metabolism?

More importantly, what will it do to *my* metabolism? (I am an Ectomorph, but a heavy one - a "hard gainer")
I've been adjusting my diet for the last year to focus basically on foods I can grow, and get my body used to eating things like barley, chicken, potatos, fruits and vegitables.

I've changed my eating habits to frequent small amounts and frequent exercise to "sustain" my weight.

As an endomorph, you'll be in a unique position to weather (literally) colder climates, make better use of your body mass during long periods of having less food, and will have better defenses against injury.

I've seen people who are "large" who in stellar physical shape.
If you can maintain your cardio, you'll be at no disadvantage.

Health has a lot more to do with ability, endurance and what "fuel" you use than stomatotype.

Cheers!

Aaron

Aaron,

Actually the mesomorphs will maintain weight much better than the ectomorphs since their muscle mass is also stored fuel.  The endomorphs will lose fat but will also lose muscle and often weaken more quickly than the mesomorph (and weakness, as we know, does not lead to survival potential).  The endomorph has more insulation but the mesomorph has more heat generating muscle mass.  An endomorph will generally do the best in a water survival situation due to both insulation and buoyancy.  However, the mesomorph will usually come out on top in other situations due to physical ability and movement efficiency.  In so far as defense against injury, if your premise was true, there'd be more endomorphic fighters, stuntmen, etc.  There are not.  Muscles provide better protection than fat. 

Calorie sparing metabolisms and somatotype do not necessarily correlate.  Inuits, for example, have calorie sparing metabolisms which is why they so easily become diabetic on the typical white man's diet.  Ditto for most Native American groups.  To be healthiest, one should eat according to their metabolic type with the appropriate macro-nutrient ratios.  If you start drifting away from your ideal, you'll progressively increase your risk of various degenerative diseases as you age.

BTW, the Minnesota Starvation Experiment generated some interesting data as to how folks fare under food deprivation conditions.  It's an interesting read.

Like DIAP, my immediate thought was that if things get REALLY bad, endomorphs will probably be considered meat on the hoof.

JAG ... there's definitely a survival benefit to being endomorphic but I wouldn't necessarily say that endomorphs or anyone else survived because of their particular characteristics.  If we followed that line of reasoning, then there must be a genetic advantage to being foolish because the world sure seems overpopulated with foolish people.  And offhand, I can't think of a benefit to being foolish other than, perhaps, one not worrying about their fate.  But then we get into a debate about the theory of evolution.

Actually, I think this topic is very relevant to the Energy E since there's no more important energy than that which keeps you alive.

 

  

 

 

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
ao wrote:

If we followed that line of reasoning, then there must be a genetic advantage to being foolish because the world sure seems overpopulated with foolish people.

AO,

What a great point! You have single-handedly blown a giant hole in my theory! Oh well, easy come, easy go. 

Just to clarify my intentions for this thread, I'm not serious about defending the valor of being fat here. Things have been tense here on the site lately, and I thought this might bring a few laughs, even if those laughs come at my expense. Thanks everyone for indulging me.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

JAG,

Just make a T-shirt that says "Does not taste like chicken"! 

Thanks for a chuckle today,

becky

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Last time I was out at the shooting range I noticed that most of the guys there were very large.  I realized that in a shoot out, they would have a serious disadvantage since they had twice the profile as a normal healthy person.  I didn't think much more about that until I got home and looked in the mirror!   I'm not too much overweight but I would make a larger than average target!   I think it's time to diet again!

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

 

There are 3500 calories per pound of fat. The average daily calorie burn is between 1200-2000.

So, if you had 10 pound of fat that would be 35000cal divide that by 2000 = 17.5 days.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Mr. Fri wrote:

Last time I was out at the shooting range I noticed that most of the guys there were very large.  I realized that in a shoot out, they would have a serious disadvantage since they had twice the profile as a normal healthy person.  I didn't think much more about that until I got home and looked in the mirror!   I'm not too much overweight but I would make a larger than average target!   I think it's time to diet again!

Good point.  I've often wondered if one of the reasons Audie Murphy was one of the last two men left in his company was because he was a little guy.  A small, quick target is harder to hit.

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On Protein and Foolishness

 

Hi, folks;

OK, I'll weigh in on this one, too . . .

First, I think it is a very relevant topic, and one that I've given some thought to.  Going into this collapse, we are working to be in the very best physical condition possible, as defined by our own personal "ideal" weights, and clearance of as much of our historical toxin load as possible.  Nutritionally, we want to have optimal mineral and protein stores, and optimal cardiac, liver (and gall bladder), kidney, and intestinal function.  These health considerations are as much a part of our emergency preparation as food storage is.  In a very real sense, this is energy storage, for the future.

I think it is also important to dispel the notion that one can thrive off of their fat, under starvation conditons.  In the intensive care unit, even morbidly obese patients are "fed" intravenously, or by nasogastric tube, within 24 to 48 hours of being unable to take nutrition orally.  This is not only because they need optimal ("well rounded") nutrition to heal, but also because burning fat exclusively causes ketosis.  Ketosis is a metabolic imbalance caused by a byproduct of metabolism (ketones).  It is the cause of coma in severely out-of-control diabetics.  It is not a survival advantage. 

Continuing with the ICU analogy, research shows that the strongest predictor of survival of any given critical illness (once the parameters directly related to that illness, as well as age and preexisting conditions are controlled for) is the patient's nutritional status, as measured by serum albumin, which is a measure of protein stores.  Because of this, we are consuming more high-quality meats (organic) than usual . . . When this thing hits hard, I want our protein stores to be optimal.  We're also not holding back on physical work (gardening, building, etc.), both for the practical advantages, but also to encourage muscle development (another store of protein). 

Additionally, fat is poorly perfused; that is, it has less vasculature.  Therefore, fatty tissues are more prone to refractory infections, as delivery of immune factors to the site of the infection is problematic. 

Secondly, I think that there is a survival advantage to being (or at least looking) foolish.  Sadly, the way power is structured in the world, being just competent enough to get by provides the best survival protection, in social terms.  Think about it this way:  How long does one last in a job (or how likely is one to obtain employment, in the first place), if one is obviously more competent than their boss?  Likewise, during political upheaval, who are the first to be "disposed of" by the new regime? . . . . It's always the ones who have demonstrated that they understand what is going on, and might be in a position to oppose the new regime, including the intellectuals.  It was Hitler's purging of the intelligentia that led to the infamous "Pollack" jokes.  The "fool" who presents no threat, but has some value as a worker (energy) is integrated into the new structure.  This is not to say that I would advocate taking a shut-up-and-save-your-behind stance, but rather to understand that their are certain risks inherent in being no fool.

 

 

 

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Check out

 

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

C1oudfire,

Do you have a "height/weight" index that can help a person determine their stomatotype, and further, ideal weight?
I know there is a lot of variance, but it's nice to have a rough "guide".

Cheers,

Aaron

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

I have periodically given some thought on energy consumption in a food constrained environment, particularly because I consume more calories than average.  From what I can tell a LOT of that seems to go into producing lots of body heat, and I would have to assume that a good portion also goes to maintaining extra muscle mass (I don't do regular weight training, it's just how I'm built).  I've never been on a severely calorie-restricted diet before, and am pretty sure I don't want to give it a try.  I've never been a heavy meat-eater, but I do realize that if times get hard I may have to eat more meat and fish to keep from losing too much muscle and to stay warm, especially in the winter when calorie requirements are higher (on the plus side I wouldn't mind losing the 10-15 'extra' pounds that I've got).  I'm hoping by September I'll have a healthy supply of salmon in the freezer, and with any luck some wild game too.  I don't necessarily see my body type and metabolism as a big disadvantage, just something I may need to plan for.

- Nickbert

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

JAG

great topic

I live in upstate NY.  If our food distribution network breaks down during the winter time, we'll be in big trouble.  Those that are obese, IMO will have an advantage because they will be able to sustain themselves for a longer period of time without food.  During starvation, fat stores are depleted first, then muscle tissue.  Obese people are just following their primal instincts to obtain and consume food while it is available.  Some people are storing food in their basements.  Obese people have elected to store food and energy in their bodies. 

I do believe that their is a genetic component to obesity, but not so much a metbolic issue as differences in the satiety centers in the brain.  Certain people are highly motivated to eat while others make it a lesser priority.  ie my wife who is quite thin, will skip dinner and go to bed if she is tired.  I will always eat dinner even if I haven't slept in 24 hours.  This could be a learned behavior, but I can already see the difference in our two young children, one who is an "eater" and the other who is a non "eater"

Weight loss/weight gain is ultimately related to calories in and calories out.  There are a couple of studies in the recent medical literature (sorry I dont have a reference right now), that have randomized patients to various weight loss programs (ie low fat diet, low card, weight watchers, etc).  conclusion - all diets work as long as the diet is adhered to.  When multivariate analysis is performed, the only factor truly making a difference in weight loss is total caloric intake.  ie a 2000 calorie oreo cookie diet will work just as well to lose weight as the adkins diet, assuming the same number of calories consumed.  

 

Bluestone 

 

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Mr. Fri wrote:

Last time I was out at the shooting range I noticed that most of the guys there were very large.  I realized that in a shoot out, they would have a serious disadvantage since they had twice the profile as a normal healthy person. 

Mr Fri - very true, except for one thing... If these are the guys you always see at the range, they're probably also the ones most likely to be able to hit what they're aiming for.  Until you see more skinny people practicing, you can probably still say the odds are on the side of the accurate.  That is, unless we're talking zombie wars, then all bets are off.

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression

Correcting a few 1960's myths.

bluestone wrote:

During starvation, fat stores are depleted first, then muscle tissue. 

not true, during "starvation" the human body will initially extract energy from muscle tissue first (for a few days) prior to dipping in to the fat storage. This is why "starvation" diet's fail to reduce body fat % until they are unhealthy, you actually increase body fat percentage for the first few days as some of your muscle mass is consumed. Over an extended period then the fat stores will be depleted, however this is an incredibly unhealthy mechanism, as C1oud points out you enter ketosis, which will seriously mess with your mental and physical well being. Consuming even small quantities of food helps to prevent this.

bluestone wrote:

Weight loss/weight gain is ultimately related to calories in and calories out.

As long as the personal metabolism, calories and their chemical composition are taken into account yes.

Personal metabolism is very sensitive to changes in diet, and the specific compositions of foods consumed, not just strict nutrients Carbs, Protein, Fats, but also from the food sources they are derived from. For instance if I go on a strict vegetable protein diet I will lose muscle mass, even though technically I am consuming the same or more "theoretical' protein and same calories than with animal products, my suspicion is that for me at least animal protein is more bio-available for my metabolism.

I think that the assumption that human "metabolism' is consistent across the species is one of the greatest medical blunders of the 20th century. It obviously is not, however it does make agriculture considerably easier assuming that it is consistent. Unfortunately in my experience, of 40 years of fitness, loss of fitness, and regaining fitness again, I've found that it's not just the underlying content that is important, but the delivery mechanism too. For instance, if I take in the majority of my carbohydrate as wheat/corn I'll increase body fat (all other things being the same), if I substitute potatoes or rice, then I will not increase body fat, and tend to drift down to normal body fat percentage of about 12%.

YMMV

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Re: Fat Guy in a Depression
Aaron Moyer wrote:

C1oudfire,

Do you have a "height/weight" index that can help a person determine their stomatotype, and further, ideal weight?
I know there is a lot of variance, but it's nice to have a rough "guide".

Cheers,

Aaron

Hi, Aaron;

There are lots of guideline tables . . . The best of them is based on BMI (body mass index), which is calculated from your height and weight.  Here's one:  http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/.  Just plug in your stats and it'll calculate your BMI.  Then refer to the tables on that site to determine if you're over or under weight.

BMI is a good guideline, but I prefer to go on that, plus some subjective data, such as the weight at which my back feels best, my body feels graceful in movement, my energy and stamina are optimal, and so on.  I'm 5' 6.5" tall.  When I was younger, my ideal was at about 123 pounds.  Now that I'm older, I like to carry my weight at about 133 pounds.  I generally carry more weight in winter than in summer, which is fine, as it's functional, as well.  Also, from my experience in the ICU, I also like to carry a few extra pounds, in case of illness.  I've already mentioned the problems with obesity in critically ill people, but there's also risk in getting very ill while carrying only the bare minimum weight.  Many disorders result in higher than normal caloric expenditure, due to fever (infection), muscle spasm (seizure), healing (fractures, crush injuries).  These can chew up the reserves in a matter of a couple of days (or less).  Without supplementation, starvation and poor healing occur if the person cannot take nutrition orally.  Immobility is another factor that can wreak havoc on the body.  For each day of complete immobility, a person can lose 10% of their muscle mass.

So, put succinctly, I like to see folks come in with just a bit of padding, and decently well developed muscle mass.  That gives us a bit of a buffer before the person slides into a cachexic condition (Think: Auschwitz) for us to get it right and reverse the slide.  In the absence of complex healthcare, it would be all the more important.  I've found that there is a certain "look" that severely malnourished patients get, from which they just don't come back . . . There's literally too little left to effectively use whatever we give them by IV.  It's kind of like the diminishing returns of post-peak oil . . .

 

 

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