Fat is barely about genes

“What’s increasingly clear from these early findings is that genetic factors identified so far make only a small contribution to obesity risk-and that our genes are not our destiny: Many people who carry these so-called “obesity genes” do not become overweight, and healthy lifestyles can counteract these genetic effects.”  The source of this quote is from an interesting article on the Harvard School of Public Health page.  Read more here if you wish

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post: Weight Loss Surgery: A Family Affair

Although 4 out of 5 of my grandmother’s daughter underwent bariatric procedures, 1 did not.  My youngest aunt is far from that point.  She’s in her late 40s and has always maintained a weight under 150 pounds, sometimes under 140.  During one of her recent visits I gave her a couple of dresses hanging in my closet that still have the tags on (I just can’t pass up on an awesome deal on a gorgeous maxi dress).   One dress was particularly painful to give away, a size 8 Tory Burch navy blue  long dress with red embroidery along the collar and sleeve.   It was in my closet since before I got pregnant and there’s been no sign of me slimming down enough to squeeze into it. I realize I’m a long way from fitting back into a size 6 or even 8 and I know she would make use of them. She is the reason why I stop myself from totally blaming genetics on my waist size.


The different between my youngest aunt and her 4 older sisters, including my mother, is lifestyle! Their lifestyles could not be different.  She never uses “I’m too busy” as an excuse for an unhealthy lifestyle, which has oftentimes been one of my favorite excuses.  She’s also leads a pretty busy life.  She got married young and has 4 kids.  She finished her bachelors and completed a graduate degree, all while she was a wife and mother.  She currently works full-time and still has little ones at home.

So what does she do so differently? Lots of things!  She’s enjoyed a long-term relationship with her local gym.   She’s enthusiastic about spin class ( as I once was during my grad school days), she’s a fan of HIIT, does pilates, and on days she can’t make it to the gym she runs.  I think she pretty much does everything except for yoga.

The most stark contrast is not between the way she exercises and the way they exercise…

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