Morning everyone, I hope you are enjoying the improving weather (for us in the Northern Hemisphere and the fact that it is June after all….!) Here in the Land of Magnet things are proving to be enjoyable but I have to admit to an element of being perplexed by a story I was sent on Saturday about an Obese woman and her weight loss surgery refusal. This has vexed me so much that I am still no further forward in formulating a point of view on the story, now over four days on from being told.
Suffering from Idiopathic Oedema (water retention of an unknown cause) in her legs, along with her weight issues makes it virtually impossible for her to get around. She lives on benefits such as Disabled Living Allowance, Income Support and receives housing from her local Authority. All of her needs are met and it is not up to me to say whether she is entitled or not so I will not be going there. My concern is the way she has been treated in the press and the lifestyle she is leading impacting on her health.
Now the spin that has been put on this whole story is the fact that she has been offered an operation to help her lose weight. This is an operation she has turned down insisting that she is not eating too much food and only has three meals a day. This could well be true but if we consider the fact that she is sedentary, refusing to walk anywhere instead allowing a motorised scooter or a wheelchair to do the work, she is getting virtually zero exercise and therefore is burning no extra calories other than her Resting Metabolic Rate (which for someone of her size will be in the region of about 1600 or 1700 calories per day just to keep her body ticking over). It is easy to say all she needs to do is eat less than that and she can be as sedentary (as is her right to be whatever she wants to be) as she wants and the weight will start to come down, along with the reduction of the Oedema issues she suffers (these issues are proven to be closely tied with obesity), it may also lead to a reversal in her weight related diabetes.
But unfortunately the calories she consumes in a day will not be helping her situation. She states herself that she has a fry up in the morning (easily over 1200 calories), sandwiches and crisps for lunch (probably another 1000) and finally a pasta or potato heavy dish for her evening meal (easily another 1200) This means she is taking on at least 100% too many calories before she even allows for any of the sugary drinks, sweets, crisps or cakes that we are ALL guilty of indulging in occasionally.
And here in lies the problem. When you consider that to gain or lose one pound of fat (tissue, fluid etc etc) a person must consume between 2850 and 3750 calories (more or less) for each pound. Consider then if this lady is sedentary, she can gain a pound in as little as two days of unhealthy eating.
So how can we explain to someone that even if they think they are not eating too much that they are actually eating at a minimum, at least twice as much as they should be eating. How do we get that information across to this lady? It is a tough one to call and I personally have no idea because the way the story reads is that she has no desire to learn. I would dearly love to sit across from her and explain my story in an attempt to motivate her in a new direction but would that help? I really do not know but then as I say, I wonder if we have all of the facts or are they edited for maximum impact?
Then again, this mindset must be the same for someone who smokes and lives and because of emphysema, amputation or other circulatory problems they cannot work. What about someone who has drunk so much they have damaged their liver beyond repair and now cannot exert themselves without medical issues. Now both of these would be entitled to the same benefits as the obese woman but because drinking and smoking isn’t the in vogue subject (unless it has shock value due to maybe who it is happening to) the entire media focuses on the plight of the obese and their obvious benefit busting claims. Like I have said ever since I started banging this drum, smoking and drinking are choices that can be avoided, food is not.
Now I have said before that I agree there are certainly people out there in the world who give their demographic a bad name. But know this, a person can be lazy if they are thin, fat, drunk, sober, smoker or not. The simple fact is it is their present mindset that has no desire to put into the society we live in and they believe (incorrectly) that they are not doing anything wrong by displaying this kind of behaviour. The only thing I can offer is perhaps people such as this need re-educating or at the very least psychologically evaluating because its not just the benefits that they take now, it is the lifestyle they lead; and it is a lifestyle that will kill them only too soon which is where the BIG money comes into play, because trying to keep someone alive costs the NHS so much, any received benefits will pale into insignificance.
So there is my quandary, I cannot admonish this woman because I do not know the entire story and I certainly cannot back her as a candidate for freedom of choice because through her actions, she is impacting on her health and well being regardless of people being able to choose their own lifestyle
As for the benefits angle, I’m afraid that due to the newspaper and internet media shocking the country by highlighting the terrible lengths some claimants go to in order to get their extra allowances, this is a subject that never spins well no matter what way you look at it because our media has the entire world dancing to its tune, a tune where fat people are not entitled. Because if this, I could almost guarantee there are a great percentage of people out there who do not claim the benefits they are entitled to because of the stigma it now has.
A tough one to call for sure; and because you can illicit a different response depending on the tone you use when you tell a story, imagine how easy it would be for the newspapers and other media outlets to spin something like this positively and illicit sympathy instead of outrage.
Do not forget people, we are all just a heartbeat away from a different interpretation.
All I can say with total honesty is about me, myself and I.
I was in a bad way. My weight had gotten out of control and I needed help to get my life back. I hated being overweight because I was a naturally busy and active person and being overweight curtailed that. But when I saw the metaphorical lifeline of bariatric surgery being offered to me, I grabbed it with both hands and now I am never going to look back and because of this people congratulate me for doing something about my weight and turning my life around. I understand the figures and try to work to an (inaccurate, if I am honest) average of needing to burn an extra 500 calories per day in order to lose that one pound of fat (etc) each week. Now I already limit my intake to about 1000 calories per day and have increased my exertion so it is not unrealistic to imagine I have hit a 1000 calorie per day deficit which would allow me to lose a kilo per week. These figures are of course all speculative, but it is still the best way to show the reality of weight loss.
So why does this woman not want to do that? With a simple procedure and a small amount of effort on her behalf so could reduce her weight, cure or at least curtail some of her ailments such as Diabetes and in the long run vastly improve her life. The answer unfortunately is one that I don’t think we will ever know but I will say, whatever her reason and these are reasons she is entitled to, please do not let the media tar all obese people with the same brush.
FOOD DIARY: Monday 1st June 2015
|Qty||Measure||Food||Calories (gr)||Protein (gr)||Carbs (gr)||Fat (gr)|
|1||25gms||Rachel’s Greek Yogurt||32.5||0.9||3||1.75|
|1||100mls||Semi Skimmed Milk||49||3.6||1.8||4.7|
|Lunch||1||1/4 Bowl||T.C’s Awesome Chicken Barley Soup||55||7.5||4.5||1.5|
|Water||2||500mls||Sparkling and Still Mineral Water||0||0||0||0|
Yesterday the Gym looked like this:
- 3 x 15 Reps 30kg Abductor machine
- 3 x 15 Reps 30kg Adductor machine
- 3 x 20 Reps 30kg Abdominal Crunch machine
- 3 x 20 Reps 30kg Lower Back machine
- 3 x 15 Reps 25kg Cable Row
- 3 x 15 Reps 7.5kg Shoulder Press
- 3 x 15 Reps 30Kg Chest Press
- 3 x 20 Reps 30Kg Pec Deck
- 3 x 15 Reps 20Kg Tricep Pull Down
- 3 x 20 Reps 7.5kg Bicep Dumbell Curl
- 3 x 20 Standing Oblique Bar Twists
There was no bike or stepping machine due to a massive lack of energy. My walk was so slow I may as well not have bothered to be honest. My legs are heavy and my energy feels almost depleted so I shall have to speak to the dietician about this at the end of the week.
Because the weather yesterday afternoon was eventually much more pleasant than Monday, I was able to get a good walk in but only on an old airfield as the rural and grassy walks were just too wet after all of the rain.
After the walk and the trip to the gym, it left me with the final days jawbone reading looking like this:
Stay out of the fridge.