Question: Do “skinny” jeans really make you look “skinny” or is it totally dependent on the body put in the jeans?! (I think the latter!)
Another question: Is there really such a thing as a “fat” gene?
Last question: If there is a “fat” gene, and I have it, do I just accept my fate and live with obesity?
Inquiring minds want to know. At least I want to know! I really think I got short-changed when it comes to “skinny” genes. My dad and my two brothers have had a SUPER metabolism all their lives. We used to tease my youngest brother, Stephen, about how much he loaded up his plate. “Did you save any for the rest of us?” Literally, the plate was piled so high with food, that we thought it would spill over when he put a fork in it. He ate every bite of it, though. And never got fat! He has always been a big eater, but also very active. So, what part is just his high metabolism and what is his active lifestyle?
Now my mom was a different story. She struggled to keep her weight under control. Like mother, like daughter, right? Same family, but Mom and I seemed to store fat more easily. Of course, it could be argued that Mom and I were not as physically active as the men of the family. (Yeah, there’s that.) AND we loved our sweets!
Given these questions and the seemingly unfair distribution of “skinny” and “fat” genes, I embarked on some “fat” gene research this week. What I found is quite interesting.
Because of the obesity epidemic in the United States and around the world, scientists have been researching the link between certain genes and the way our bodies metabolize fat for quite awhile. An article in USA Today, Aug. 19, 2015, cited that researchers have identified a faulty FTO gene as the culprit for a predisposition toward obesity. This faulty gene “causes energy from food to be stored as fat rather than burned.” The article also informed me that “good” fat is brown or beige and burns calories, but “white” fat stores calories. Apparently, I have an abundance of “white” fat!
According to Frontline Genomics, Mar. 7, 2018, 500 FitnessGene conducted a study to “redefine” the link between the “fat” gene and bodyweight. Previous research had indicated a strong link between the presence of the ‘A’ allele variant of the FTO gene (aka-“fat” gene) and obesity. Was it a given that customers identified with this “fat” gene would have a higher body fat percentage and BMI than the customers without the “fat” gene? They analyzed a saliva sample from each of 500 customers, looking for the ‘A’ allele variant of the FTO gene. The results did find some customers had the “fat” gene. However, IF they were physically active, the presence of the “fat” gene did not appear to negatively impact their BMI or body fat percentage. So this study showed the correlation between the “fat” gene and bodyweight is negligible, if indeed the customer is physically active.
Ah, there you have it, folks. After all my research, it comes back to EXERCISE! Even if you have the variant of the FTO gene, or “fat” gene, and are predisposed to be obese, you can keep obesity at bay by being physically active and eating healthy. You just might have to work a little harder at it than those other people who apparently have the “skinny” gene!
I cry “foul!” No fair! Why don’t I just give up and be fat? After all, this is the way God made me, the genes He gave me.
But, we could blame a whole lot of things on “that’s the way God made me.” And make excuses rather than make the hard choice to be healthy in spite of the “handicap” in our genetic makeup. Being predisposed to obesity does NOT mean I have to be obese. I can choose to be healthy! And I do! NO EXCUSES!
I am excited to report I am on Day 10 of my 60-day journey to a healthier BFP (body fat percentage) and going strong!
Please celebrate my successes with me from these first 10 days.
Drank ICE beverage (zero calories) with pizza instead of a Coke.
Ordered unsweetened tea instead of sweet tea when eating lunch at a restaurant.
Exercised 10 days in a row (with a day off on day 7)!
Walked, biked or took a Trim ‘n Tone class at the YMCA for 30+ minutes 9 out of the last 10 days!
Listened to the entire book of Genesis on the YouVersion App as I walked (boy, do I have questions for God!).
Tracked my calories on My Fitness Pal App every day and stayed within my my allotted calories (every day but one). Great App for staying accountable with food, and it’s free!
Made several new healthy protein shakes.
Counted out my tortilla chips for a serving size at a Mexican restaurant and ate ONLY that amount!
Said “no” to buying a candy bar at Kroger’s.
I’m also excited to report I’ve lost at least 2 1/2 inches so far and 1.5 lbs! And just maybe, at the end of this 60 days, I will have the courage to put on a pair of “skinny” jeans and post a picture of the “healthier” me:-).
Thank you for giving me the strength to say “no” to unhealthy eating and “yes” to exercise for these 10 days! Continue to give me your strength and motivation to reduce my body fat and pursue a healthier me. “And lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
In Jesus’ name, Karen Renae
P.S. If you are on this journey with me, and have successes and/or strategies to share, I would love to hear from you! I look forward to reading your comments:-).