this is my first contribution directly on site. not that it matters, but welcome to what i believe you will deem a valuable source of input on various fitness and wellness issues that are current in the lay and professional literature.
the holidays are upon us and many things are cropping up in the gyms and papers and mags about how to manage let alone lose weight during the next several weeks. see this piece in the NY Times – http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/
the gist of it is that there are genetic links to our body size, shapes, and propensity to weight gain (and loss). well who didn’t know this, right? but the article is based on the role exercise can play in mitigating the fat gain that our genes may be pushing us toward. follow up studies on the FTOgene, the culprit which many of us have, suggested that few people with the gene – ~25% – exercise regularly. but they also found that not everyone who had expressions of the gene were obese: exercise “reduced the effect of FTO by about 30 percent,” Dr. Loos, one of the authors of the study, noted.
so again, exercise, despite some of my other posts’ negative conclusions might suggest, can reduce the effect of genetics. is this an indication that other studies or even my own conclusions are wrong? not so fast.
the reality is, genetics is a major determinant of various aspects of our outer and inner worlds. some of us are inclined to be depressed, some ugly, others muscular hunks of athletic prowess. but we all have some control over how much either of these potential manifestations actually manifest themselves, and how. furthermore, just because one is any one thing – ugly, strong, beautiful, sad, etc – does not mean that has to define WHO we are. we can be overweight, ugly, sad people who eat properly, exercise regularly, dress nicely, and smile in good cheer without being other than who we are: we become who we choose to be. and genetics are simply roadblocks or speedbumps along the way toward or from this person we choose to be.
now, not trying to get metaphysical or psychological here, what i’m suggesting is that there are mathematical and scientific reasons that some with the FTO gene will be fatter than others, and exercise is just one element of that formula. is it enough to make one svelt enough to model in NYC? probably not, not without extreme measures. but one could be a model citizen for one’s peers and kids by swimming against the tide, and accepting the results with equanamity, and pride. there are many odds against us, but we should not let our genes be the cause for acquiescence to the environment and culture in which we live. there’s not a gene that i’m aware of that says you have to be stupid, foolish, self-destructive, and lemming-ish.
but maybe we will find that gene someday, too.