I just returned from a quick but fab weekend in Tabernash, CO visiting my freshman (1970) year RA at Vanderbilt University, Whitney, and his wife, Kathleen, with my lady friend, Kathy. And while no confusion ensued over common names, our conversations, meals, walks, work outs, and general just getting to know yous made for a memorable and meaningful experience overall.
But when Whit and I and Kathleen gather it’s not long before fitness, wellness, and exercise come up. Whitney is a superbly fit long distance athlete finding that the usta-coulda’s have started outpacing the abilities of today.
Kathleen, a little over 15 months post-knee replacement, while never quite an athlete, has had a middle age awakening whereby she has taken it upon herself to get her weight under control with healthful eating and exercise. Being residents of a state and a town where outdoor activities are not hampered by extreme cold and plenty of snow, the two of them are renaissance people in mind and body and spirit.
Upon return to my usual later evening existence- reading and eating – I came across this blurb in Health News Canal of a physician’s experience with weight loss and diabetes management. It, in itself, is not overly revealing but it is extremely important to comprehend among my fellow health and fitness professionals, and all those who keep themselves lean by living healthfully:
Just because the research says it should happen does not mean you will lose weight and improve your metabolic profile by lowering calories and exercising more!
Anathemic as this sounds it shouldn’t. And if you’ve read my many postings and newsletters over the past decade, you may understand when I say:
Weight loss is not simple arithmetic.
I have posted before on how the traditional 3500 calories = 1 lb of fat formula. That is, if you eat over time, 3500 cals more than you burn off you will gain a pound of fat. The obverse is also believed true: if you exercise 3500 cals over time, you will lose a pound of fat.
But studies show that, even in controlled circumstances – that is, provided meals and supervised exercise – many people will fall outside the bell curve of weight loss, with some gaining and some losing way more weight than would be projected. Much research has been done to determine why this happens, but that’s not the point here.
The point is, as this one man’s struggle suggests, the science is still not exact. And it’s just not that simple.
In other words, have a little heart, and a little faith. The images and impressions we have of overfat people is not just a function of calories in/calories out.