To be fat or not to be fat that’s a really good question

I have heard a lot recently that I am fat. I am. Didn’t used to be but things have gone from bad to worse in the last 10 years or so that are creating accumulated affects. Back in high school I was into weightlifting a lot. It helped keep me exercising and even had another benefit that I had never thought of. Years ago I read an article about insulin resistance and they said weight lifting with heavy weights can help combat insulin resistance. I don’t know the facts behind it but I can tell you from experience that if I quit lifting for more than a week my blood sugars started swinging back and forth, high and low, like Tarzan on his way to save Jane. Once I got back into lifting again it would stabilize. Due to job issues and the subsequent money issues that for some reason seem to follow them, I had to quit going to the YMCA and working out.

I can hear the next question already. Why can’t you just work out at home? I don’t have 700 pounds of weights or a hip sled or sturdy bench to use them with. Next question? Well then why not try running or biking to stay fit? From what I read in that article it does not have the same effect on insulin resistance. I did a little more digging into this and found some good reasons. Did you know that if you jog your metabolism goes up pretty high but after you stop it is back to normal in about 30-90 minutes? Lifting weight does not send your metabolism into orbit like running but it will stay elevated for 36- 72 hours. Why? Look at how weight lifting works on the body. You over strain the muscles which damages them. Yes lifting weights actually does tear muscle tissue. Now you body has to repair this damaged tissue and build it back in and this time with reinforcements to keep from happening again. It is not an over night process. It takes a few days to be back to pre-work out condition, ok better than pre work out condition.

The result of this lower standard in activity is very evident especially to me. Others who have known me for years can also see it. I never saw myself as huge or even strong. That is why I kept at it so hard. There is always someone stronger faster bigger. I had a slimmer waist. bigger arms and was way stronger than I am currently. My waist is almost 40 inches now and the stomach has Dunlop’s disease. For those of you who have never heard of this affliction it is when your stomach has “done lopped over your belt”. Can you see my hand in the air right now? Also at my peak which was only maybe 7-8 years ago I was benching 300 lbs. on the bench press and better than 800 on the hip sled. If you stuck a bench in front of me today I would be lucky to get better than maybe 160 off my chest. I am shedding a tear right now thinking about how far I’ve fallen.

The doctor has noticed my lack of exercise also.  My blood sugar graphs do a good rendition of a roller coaster on paper. Not good. Working 3 shift is not helping any. I have found myself sleeping a far different schedule than if I was working days again. Some days I get only 3-4 hours and then it catches up to me and I crash for about 10 hours. The job is only 8 hours but there is an almost 40 minute drive each way to get there and back. That 8 hour job is taking 10 hours out my life each day. Again not helping.

Of course food intake is very big factor in getting this fat. The first time I saw an endocrinologist he had me write down what I ate so he could get me back on track. He flipped out when he saw how much I was eating. I never added it up but from the amount of food listed I’d say it was around 4000 calories a day. A lot you say? I stayed at 210-220 for 10 years with that level of food consumption. I was that active. I have heard that body builders are so active that they are eating better than 5.000 calories each day. I’d have to say that at 6% body fat they are not over eating.

The reason for this little tirade this morning is an article I read that listed 2 competing theories on why people develop insulin resistance and its relationship to obesity. One says fat is caused by a hormone imbalance and the over eating and lack of exercise is not the direct cause but a symptom of the imbalance. The opponents say is from eating to many calories. A big difference is in the role insulin plays in this theory, One side says insulin suppresses appetite and the other says it amplifies appetite. Take your pick.

My personal issue with this is my own observations. It didn’t matter over the years what my weight was or whether I was buff or fat. I have always had a fat gut. Here’s the point I feel needs to be made. I have always taken the insulin in the stomach  and legs. Only places I can reach without learning to be a contortionist. That is where the fat seems to be concentrated. Again I have never been ripped like Arnold in his hay day but I was never very fat either. Why was the stomach fat so pronounced if the insulin didn’t have something to do with it?

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