Synchronicity and the BMI

I believe in synchronicity because many times when I am ruminating about an issue up pops the information that I need.

The issue that I have been thinking about for a while is weight gain and obesity in older people (women in particular). And how obesity is defined by the use of certain parameters like the BMI.

I have noticed that as I get older I have accumulated weight with hardly any effort and find it very hard to lose the weight. There are many factors that contribute to weight gain in older women besides just overeating. Let me list a few.

Some of the factors are decreased metabolism, or we don’t need as many calories and don’t burn up the calories as efficiently. This also makes it difficult to lose weight by reducing caloric intake. I know with me my metabolism seems to slow down even more if I restrict calories. Another factor is the natural loss of muscle as we age. Muscle helps our bodies burn calories. Stress from worrying about weight loss, among other things I worry about, can cause increase cortisol which then results in my body wanting to hold onto weight. Many older women have hypothyroidism which again affects the metabolism. And there can be a genetic predisposition and your body’s natural make-up that leads to being a larger size.

For all these reasons and more older people (women) many times end up in the overweight and obese section of the weight chart at the doctor’s office. I say that there needs to be a change at the way we look at weight, and older people should not be compared to younger people when it comes to defining obesity.

There can be dangers with dieting. Dieting often leads to muscle loss instead of fat loss. It is actually dangerous for older people to lose muscle because this can affect balance which can lead to falls and worse. Studies have shown that low weight is worse for recovery from surgery than being overweight.

So today I found a great article on Next Avenue that really resonates with what I have been thinking called ” Why Our Culture is Obsessed with Thinness,” by Patricia Corrigan.

Here is just one of the many excerpts from the article I loved about how nutsy we are about diet that even when women were in hospice with cancer they refused to eat desert.

Consider this: A hospice chef in Wisconsin told a science journalist that many of the dying women who were still able to eat “refused bread, salad dressing, butter, chocolate, desserts and other ‘fattening’ foods.”

You’re on your last lap, and you think it is imperative to pass up salad dressing and say “no” to chocolate?

Another point Patricia makes, which I have been thinking about as well, is that people naturally come in all different shapes and sizes with different genetic make-ups and it is unrealistic and wrong to expect everyone to fit into these narrow parameters that are considered normal by our society.

She also shares information about another author who has written a book about this topic, Harriet Brown “Body of Truth,” which I intend to read. In fact, I could quote Patricia’s whole article verbatim but I will let those interested click on the link above to read for themselves. I will share this information in the article from Harriet Brown’s book:

  • dieting and weight cycling (aka yo-yo dieting) leads to unhealthy physical and psychological effects
  • physical and psychological damage comes from being rigid, chaotic and fearful about eating
  • people unhappy with their weight are more likely to give up on health-positive activities than heavy people who are satisfied with their weight
  • whether you diet or don’t, you are going to die

Patricia and others have made the point that weight loss has become a big industry with pharmaceuticals and all kinds of diet specialists and diet foods. I suggest, along with Patricia, Harriet and others that we take a critical look at the current cultural spin on weight  and start to “change the conversations about weight and health with ourselves, our families, our friends and our doctors.”

I intend to take her article with me to my next doctors appointment.

16 thoughts on “Synchronicity and the BMI

  1. Silver Threading

    What a great post! If you factor in issues with your thyroid (I no longer have one) it makes losing weight even harder. I read a post today that talked about donuts and I know I gained a pound just from reading! No, seriously. It is difficult as we age. I try to walk and watch what I eat based on how I feel. I recently had to go gluten-free because I felt better not eating bread, etc. For me, it all about moderation… and I struggle with that. Thanks for the great article. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thanks Colleen ❤ and you are very welcome. I have been getting ready to get on my soapbox about this issue for quite a while and was just talking about it with a close friend last night and up popped this article in my Email today. This was my synchronicity experience. So it inspired me to write about it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. silentlyheardonce

    This is such a freeing post. I feel comfortable some days and some days not. But I would like to be smaller for one main reason. I’m always afraid if I need an ambulance to get me out the house the paramedics won’t be able to lift me. It happened five years ago when I broke my leg. They had such a hard time getting me out and had to call another truck.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I am glad you found this post supportive. I think that weight is a very complex issue and we are all so different. The reasons we carry weight and have trouble losing it are different as well. People should not be so quick to make snap judgments either.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  3. Dan Antion

    Thanks for this Deborah. I know that even in men, dieting can make your body think it’d starving and react differently than you hope. I think the preoccupation with “thin” is dangerous for men and women.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. Audrey Meltzer

    Another good one, Deborah! Thank you. Something nutsy happened to me when I was about ten or eleven. We were having recess in the playground, and a few of the kids had a plan to hold a (mock) wedding with the two most popular ones. Literally, out of the blue, one of the young boys came up to me and said, “That could be you if you lost a little weight.” I don’t think I ever honestly got over it emotionally!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thanks Audrey <3. We don't realize what statements can affect us for a long time afterward and maybe for our whole lives. I hope someday we will see a time when no one has to be ashamed of their body. And all shapes and sizes are fully accepted.

      Like

      Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thanks Lia ❤ And yes it is sad about those dying women not being able to go off their diets and enjoy something. But I think it is a great illustration of how exaggerated our beliefs about diet have become.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Pingback: SOCS-The Information is Out There | Notes Tied On The Sagebrush

  6. annanolan2014

    A fabulous piece, Deborah! It’s extremely important to feel comfortable in one’s own skin. It has taken me a long time to get there, but I think I have succeeded. It’s fabulously liberating not to be afraid of food – including the odd treat.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thanks Anna <3. I agree it is important to achieve self-acceptance and I think it is wonderful you have done so. Yes, and important to be able to enjoy food and not be afraid of a few treats. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s