I owe all of you book club peeps an apology! Last Friday I was having site issues that were not completely resolved until Monday morning. By that time, I decided I would wait until today and do a combined week 2 and 3 book club post. Only I forgot to let you all know. So, if you were here last Friday hoping to discuss Part II, my apologies. Thank you for all the great discussion and comments on Part I The Greatest Story Ever Told. I loved reading all of your insights as well as personal experience with weight loss.
If you are just joining us, first things first, get yourself a copy of Fat Chance.
Then catch up by checking out Part I The Greatest Story Ever Told.
As this is my first time organizing an online book club, I have decided to be flexible with how this is formatted as we go along. It seems after week 1, some of you were overwhelmed with my long list of discussion questions. My hope was that you would pick the one or two or maybe even three that spoke to you and discuss. You all did a fabulous job with this!
This week I am going to change it up and instead of discussion questions, I am going to share one thing from each chapter that I feel influenced me the most. Feel free to discuss in the comments or you TELL ME…
- what stirred up the most emotion
- what made your jaw drop
- what made your eyes pop out of your head
when you read Part II and Part III?
Part II To Eat or Not to Eat? That’s Not the Question
Gluttony and Sloth — Behavior Driven by Hormones
“Each of us is really two compartments: lean body mass, which burns energy; and fat, which stores energy. Every molecule of energy consumed has a choice: to which compartment does the energy go? Is the energy burned or stored? Your consumption of energy is never high enough to overwhelm both compartments at the same time; no one can eat that much. “
I would take this one step further and relate the food we eat to our overall health, not just weight. Food is not benign…meaning every bite we take has an impact on our health in some way, shape or form. It is the exact opposite of the, “come on, one bite won’t hurt” mentality. As the saying goes, “the foods you eat can be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
Food Addiction — Fact or Fallacy
“Although anecdotal reports abound supporting human “sugar addiction,” we are still not completely sure whether this is full-fledged dependence or merely habituation.”
This past May on the Low-Carb Cruise, I had the privilege of hearing Jackie Eberstein, RN, speak on the topic of food addiction. Jackie, who worked with “the” Dr. Robert Atkins for three decades, shared her own personal story of addiction with both cigarette smoking and sugar. When she polled the room with a question like, “who thinks they are addicted to carbs?” most in the room raised their hand. What this tells me, is that, while science may not agree, anecdotal evidence, and personal experience tells me that food can be addicting, with sugar and carbohydrates being the worst offenders.
Stress and “Comfort Food”
“There are boatloads of evidence that humans are more stressed today than we were thirty years ago. These stresses occur at home, in the workplace, and at school; in other words, all people all the time. Stress, depression, and excess cortisol are all linked to metabolic syndrome. One of the hallmarks of metabolic syndrome is excessive cortisol due to adrenal gland overactivation. These examples suggest that cortisol is a primary player in the development of metabolic syndrome.”
As someone who experienced severe adrenal fatigue I can personally vouch for what stress does to the body. If you want to get to know my story a little better, you can read my About Vanessa page. I will tell you, I was told I had insulin resistance, signs of metabolic syndrome, could hardly get off the couch, couldn’t sleep at night and had a terrible nighttime binging disorder. It took 4 years to turn my health around and I think it was nothing short of a miracle.
Part III “Chewing” the Fat
The Birth, Care, and Feeding of a Fat Cell
“The journey through obesity and chronic metabolic disease begins and ends with the hormone insulin, the energy-storage hormone. There is no fat accumulation without insulin. Insulin shunts sugar to fat. It makes your fat cells grow. The more insulin, the more fat, period. While there are many causes of obesity, excess insulin in some form is the “final common pathway” for the overwhelming majority of them. Block it, and the fat cells remain empty.”
This by far is my favorite chapter since I started reading the book! From the beginning to the end this chapter gripped me. The part about how a mother’s diet and environment influences the fat cells of their offspring is simply fascinating. I wish I knew this when I was pregnant with my own two children. However, I chose the snippet above because it encompasses my experience with living a low-carb lifestyle. Controlling my weight and (sugar addiction mentioned above) has never been easier since adopting a low-carb lifestyle in 2001.
The Difference Between “Fat” and “Sick”
“Any doctor will tell you that losing weight will improve your health, including me. And it’s a fact – except for two small problems: First, weight loss is next to impossible.”
I am going to stop right there with this quote from the book, because, while I have agreed with Dr. Lustig, for the most part thus far, I adamantly disagree with the notion that weight loss is next to impossible, well, because, it doesn’t have to be. Yes, I agree some are “metabolically broken” but they are the exception, not the rule. In fact, Dr. Lusting admits this himself in an earlier chapter. As someone who has been in the low-carb community for over a decade, I can think of countless people off the top of my head who have won their battle with obesity, it may be hard, but it is not impossible.
Metabolic Syndrome: The New Scourge
“You don’t have to be obese to have metabolic syndrome. After all, up to 40 percent of normal-weight adults have it! Obesity is a “marker” for metabolic syndrome, but not the only marker; it is not the cause. Whether it resides in fat people or not, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that insulin resistance is the hallmark of metabolic syndrome. And thin people can be insulin resistant, too.”
“There is early evidence, although by no means proven, that insulin resistance in the brain leads to dementia.”
My own mother, who is less than 100 pounds and has never been overweight in her life, is dying of a form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease. She is not old, in fact, she started showing signs in her late 50′s and officially diagnosed when she was 60. There is not a doubt in my mind her sugar, carb and Diet Coke addiction played a significant role in her disease. And just like so many other women, she didn’t stop to think how eating sugar could be affecting her health, because it wasn’t impacting her weight. There’s another saying, I don’t know who to credit it to, but it goes like this, “only the lucky one’s get fat.” Meaning, when we gain weight we are prompted to make a change. We can’t see dementia on the outside of our body and by the time we experience the symptoms it is too late.
Now it’s your turn!
Use the comments to start the discussion. I trust the discussion will stay on topic and be respectful of each opinion. It’s okay to disagree but no personal attacks.