Is Obesity a Choice? - with Giles Yeo

on 12/4/19 1:19 pm
VSG on 06/11/18

Royal Institute talks are usually very good, and this one is no exception. It's a nice, balanced, compassionate, discussion of the role genetics plays in obesity. At the end there's a nice explanation of the phenomenon of the "desert stomach". (I thought that was something we humans invented, but other mammals have it too!)

on 12/6/19 3:24 pm

That was really interesting and informative, thanks!

on 12/9/19 10:20 pm

I enjoyed that talk. Thank you.

on 12/27/19 8:03 am

Give me the cliff notes. Is there victim/fat shaming? Some of us (like me) have PCOS. The deck was stacked against me. I tried YEARS to lose weight. I would have some success, like 40 lbs which is a nothing considering I was 300 lbs, but it would always come back after me trying so HARD. It wasn't until an endocrinologist told me "You will never be able to lose it on your own" did I feel that I had permission to undergo surgery and really consider it as a viable option and not a "cop out".

Given that fat shaming is one of last bastions of discrimination left in our society, I tend to forego "discussions" because it generally reduces to "they should just stop stuffing their pudgy moon-faces".

So save me some angst (and potential cursing at a computer), how does it REALLY go?

RNY Surgery: 12/31/2013; 

Current weight (2/27/2015) 139lbs, ~14% body fat

Three pounds below Goal!!! Yay !  

on 12/27/19 12:57 pm
VSG on 06/11/18

It is definitely not a fat shaming talk. On the contrary, after watching it I felt more compassion for myself, more understanding of how evolution shapes us to have certain eating habits. Those habits kept our cave dwelling ancestors alive, but are not so helpful in today's world of abundant calorie-rich food. He also talks about some metabolic and health issues that affect weight. I don't recall if he mentions PCOS specifically.

In my research I developed an artificial "species" I created that has artificial intelligence and evolves over time. That has given me a lot of insight into how vital and powerful a force evolution is, and why it's so difficult for us to act counter to it.

on 2/29/20 4:54 pm

I was not able to pull up the video but it really wasn't necessary for me to do so. I have been obese as far back as I can recall. I have lost 40, 50, 98, 130 pounds, you get the picture. Have I ever done emotional eating? Of course. I have also gone for almost an entire day and totally forgotten to eat. Saying that a person chooses to be fat is like saying someone chooses to be gay, or mentally ill, or any other kind of addict. I have done so much research on obesity, genetics, and other causes that could affect weight. If less calories in and more exercise is the magic answer then I must be a mutation. When I lost 98 pounds in one year on WW's, I followed the food program religiously, exercised 3 times weekly. I lost weight at first,but of course as we all know, I hit a plateau. So I exercised more which worked for a while. Then another plateau. So I ate less, exercised more...and every time I hit another plateau, of course, more exercise and less food. By the end of the year I was walking for over an hour every day and going to the gym for at least an hour every day as well. I realized that the quality of my life was abysmal. The moment I began eating normally and stopped living in the gym the weight came back. I had the Roux-en-Y out of desperation because I hoped if my physiology was drastically altered that I could get and keep the weight off. I was able to drop about 130 pounds but I also got on the gym treadmill again. At first it was 1 hour workouts 5 days a week, then 2 hours, then 3. I hit a plateau and no matter how many days and hours I spent in the gym, the needle on the scale refused to budge. After 5 years of this I finally decided I was through eating like a hamster and exercising like one as well. If I had to spend 3 hours a day in the gym 5 days a week and obsess about every bite I put in my mouth, I was done. At first, I slowly put 30 pounds on...and stabilized. Then there was a family tragedy and I did some emotional eating and another 20 crept on. I was very depressed and my weight went up by 30 more pounds. Finally I sought help from a psychologist and a psychiatrist and discovered I was dealing with ADHD, OCD, Bipolar, and complex PTSD. Once I got on a good medication regime, I dropped 30 pounds. I have also found that there is a definite link between obesity and several of the mental conditions that I deal with every day. So after 56 years of feeling like a fat, disgusting, weak-willed person, I feel, for the first time that the medical community is finally waking up and instead of blaming the victims, are actually trying to dig deeper to find plausible medical reasons for obesity instead of telling us to eat less and move more. I've done that all my life and if that was the true solution, I would be stick thin by now. Obesity is a much more complex issue than most people, doctors included know. Thank God there are medical professionals out there who have begun to question the archaic beliefs about obesity. NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE FAT!