How many times have you heard an overweight person, who’s been unable to lose the excess fat despite years of “trying everything,” insist that “people come in all sizes”?
As a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, it makes no sense to me that people should come in all sizes.
They did NOT come in all sizes before the advent of machines that did all our work for us, and the proliferation of fast food places, Dairy Queens and the computer.
Our robust ancestors came in only one size: lean. It was how they survived.
“Because of the practice I’ve chosen (fitness-based weight management), I have certainly become more understanding of the plight of individuals struggling with excess weight,” says Dr. Richard Kelley, MD, a bariatric physician, author of “The Three-Hour Appetite” and the ebook, “The Fitness Response ‘Diet’ for Women.”
A bariatric physician specializes in obesity treatment and fat loss, and I consulted with Dr. Kelley specifically for this article.
Dr. Kelley recognizes that weight loss is not easy, but he also says it’s not impossible long term.
“People do come in all sizes and always will,” he says, adding that some people have a greater genetic tendency to gain fat than others, and there are even those who (thanks to great genes) can have excess weight and still live a long and disease-free life (though this is the exception).
Dr. Kelley also explains, “I believe that for most of us, overweight and obesity carries with it an increase in medical risk.” This includes knee pain and energy level.
Dr. Kelley talks of a woman who came to the ER during his residency training. “She died for no other reason than the fact that her excess weight made finding a vein impossible when she needed it most.
“A team of highly trained and experienced healthcare professionals working frantically on this patient, were never able to deliver the IV fluids and medications this woman required.”
This experience highlighted for Dr. Kelley the criticality of maintaining a healthy weight.
“I continue to work in the emergency department outside of my clinic practice and daily see the pathology that excess weight brings with it.
“Being grossly overweight or obese often leads healthcare workers on a fruitless ‘search and find’ mission when it comes to finding vascular access.”
If you’ve been trying to lose weight and have been unsuccessful, do not give up and subscribe to the myth that people should come in all sizes. They DO come in all sizes, but “do” does not mean “should.”
“I am a strong believer that each of us should have the freedom to choose how we will lead our lives,” says Dr. Kelley.
“Choices have consequences, however, and that’s what I try to teach my own patients. Complacency and acceptance sometimes backfire and result in an outcome we never predicted. When that happens, it is often with our regret, especially when deep down inside, we knew that there were alternatives.”