Don’t B.S. Yourself

I got an interesting email from a reader today. The gist of this email is a theme I’ve heard before, and am sure I will hear again.

I want to lose weight but I can’t…it’s my genes.

Bull pucky.

Look, I agree that you can have a genetic tendency towards how much fat your body burns. I also think that people may have genetic tendencies towards how their bodies distribute fat. But as far as filling those fat genes…it’s all you, baby.

Fat genes be damned, genetic tendencies be damned; what you eat, how much you eat and how much (or little) you exercise is what determines your weight and what your body looks like. And YOU, not your genes, have 100% control over those factors.

If we look at ourselves as a society, we’ll see that the obesity rates are skyrocketing at 100 miles per hour. That’s not genetics, that’s a result of our habits, processed foods and portion sizes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s easy to lose weight and keep it off. What I’m saying is that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight if you won’t take responsibility for your own behaviors and are content to blame your genetics.

Now, having said all that, let me tell you that I believe that I have a genetic tendency towards being overweight. But every day, I chose to eat right and exercise. I may never look like a male model, but I like what I see in the mirror. Even more importantly, I wake up every day feeling GREAT. I have enough energy to play with my 2 year old grandson, work hard all day and still be a good husband to my wife.

You can have all that and more…as long as you don’t keep BS-ing yourself.


11 Responses to “Don’t B.S. Yourself”

  1. southernfriedfatty Says:

    We all needed to hear that.

  2. Bama Says:

    Totally true.

    I read an article from a trainer having fun with this idea. I wish I could remember the link.

    The gist of it was no matter what your genetics, weight loss is still a matter of calories consumed vs. calories burned.

    He said that if you are burning more calories then you consume and still don’t lose weight then we need to send you to NASA stat. We could solve world hunger.

  3. Chicken Girl Says:

    One major problem is that basically our entire society and everything in it might as well be conspiring against us. 90% of the stuff advertised on TV as “part of this balanced breakfast” or “great for a snack anytime!!” doesn’t deserve to bill itself as food. But people are basically raised to believe that eating gonzo portions and having junk food all the time is normal and to do otherwise is to deprive yourself.

    That, and most people either don’t read nutrition labels or don’t read closely enough or don’t understand serving sizes and are eating twice as much as they think they are in spite of themselves.

  4. loseweightwithme Says:

    SFF — Thanks!

    BAMA — you’re completely right…it’s all about calories in and calories out.

    CHICKEN GIRL — You make a great point about people not knowing how to read labels. I think it’s time I write a post about that.

    Thanks, everyone.



  5. Sandy Says:

    I totally agree with this. Not long ago I started looking at serving sizes on things just for fun…I was amazed that the bottle of Dr Pepper I was drinking at the time was supposed to be TWO and a half servings not one. We are talking about the 16/20 oz bottles you grab at the gas station when you pay for your gas. The ones you usually drink all at once and not put half of it away.

    If you looked at a bag of potato chips some of them will tell you that a serving size is X many chips…I am looking at a Doritos bag right now that I got at the minimart with my hoagie…it is the smallish size (20oz bag) and the servings are listed at 1oz/12 chips. TWELVE. There are about 3 servings per bag. How many eat the whole bag or at least half?

    If you go to a resaurant and order food…how much to they bring out? And you feel obligated to eat it all because it is so expensive. Top it off with appetizers and dessert…Yea, you can take some of it home…but some things do not reheat well (like Alfredo…ew). So, if you eat it out you want to eat all of it. We went to Red Robin the other day and a friend ordered a salad…the salad is served in a bowl the size of a serving bowl (Same think with Olive Garden and some of their dishes)! And of course you get unlimted fries there…

    You may be predisposed to fat…but that just means you have to work harder to watch what you put into your body and exercise! Park far away at Walmart instead of cruising for that close spot (hey…don’t knock it! I lost 20lbs that way!!!) and walk your cart to the cart return, don’t leave it in the spot next to you. That little bit of exercise is more than you think! You only “need” about an hour of exercise a week. An hour a week (got that from “YOU: The Owner’s Manual” by Drs Roizen and Oz”).

    You don’t need to do anything drastic…just do 10 minutes a day…I know you can find 10 minutes…I can and I have a 2yr old!

  6. gjosefsberg Says:

    Preach on brother! 🙂

    I keep telling this to my friends who ask “well, I want to get fit but I just don’t have time” or my favorite “you don’t understand, Italians are naturally overweight.” It’s all crap! Your weight, your health and your body are your responsibility. Accept it and improve or keep making excuses. It’s your choice.

  7. totaltransformation Says:

    “It is my genetics”

    Excuses like these suck. Why? Because while they are true, they are only true for less than 1% of the population that have severe problems (usually thyroid) that make and keep them fat. But the other 99.9% latch onto them as an excuse to avoid the difficulty that comes with change. They avoid pain and thereby avoid positive growth. They don’t like being fat, but truth is, they are comfortable being fat. To try to lose weight is to step outside that comfort zone. It means denying themselves the things they love, fighting cravings, fighting the desire to buy the food they see advertised, etc.

    The best approach is and has always been NO EXCUSES. Do you best without making excuses. Give it 100% of your effort. While you might not be able to attain a six-pack your genetics certainly don’t mean you have to be obese.

  8. thedietpulpit Says:

    You tell ’em Brian! That’s why we have the Honestly Challenge over on The Diet Pulpit — you have to be honest with yourself, so what if you can’t be a size 6 you can be a nice healthy size 14 or whatever — but get healthy and drop some weight. I have like 0 metabolism (years of yo-yo dieting will do that to you) and a laziness gene the size of New York – but I drag my butt out to exercise and do what I have to do. Genes are only one small part of the weight issue and can be worked around. Lady Rose

  9. loseweightwithme Says:

    Hey, guys — you’ve all had some interesting thoughts on this topic. I appreciate the fact that you are all sharing your thoughts.


  10. Tammy Says:

    Great Post – I have people in my life now that blame genetics on their weight even when I point out that they were never even overweight a day in their life until they hit 35 or 40 which was actually when that L gene kicked in. We may never know how much genetics alone play in our current weight but until we are eating clean and MOVING smart – we stay stuck. Now, I’m thinking that families do play a role in what we eat and how much but that’s in our mindset not our genes.


  11. totaltransformation Says:

    I know it has been a while since this post, but my comments on another blog elicited this telling response from one reader

    “Do a little reading on the actual science of obesity, dieting, body composition, etc. and you’ll find that weight loss is based on a lottery: the genetic lottery. Your weight has no moral dimension, so spare us all the lofty talk of ‘individual responsibility.'” [Comment by GirlNamedCarl]

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