No one ever said the world was fair.
- Some of us can eat and drink whatever we want…and never gain a pound of body-fat.
- While some of us eat healthy, eat small portions, exercise religiously…and still have to shop for Plus Size clothes.
NOT FAIR….especially in a society which:
- Rewards women (and men) who are lean, fit and have no need to squeeze into a pair of Spanx.
- Punishes obese women (and men) with lower pay, bad jokes and outright hostility by a growing army of douche-bags.
So, what happens when the world goes all Freaky Friday and a 39 year old woman who is naturally tall…naturally lean…while being naturally addicted to potato chips & pizza…suddenly gains 30 pounds in less than 3 months…without changing her diet or level of physical activity?
- Does she freak out and start snorting diet pills?
- Does she go into denial and pretend that she still fits into her uber-skinny “skinny jeans”?
- Does she morph into a rabid Fat Acceptance advocate denying that obesity is a symptom of less-than-optimum health?
- Or does she step back, look critically at the situation and start looking for causes, cures and support?
Here’s what happened
About two weeks ago, I got a call from Ms. Skinny/Fat to discuss her recent & unexpected weight gain.
She told me that how, after a brief period of denial (#2), she had become concerned that this weight gain might be an indicator of a hormonal imbalance or some other health issue…and that she had better do something about it (#4). She had already booked an appointment with her family doctor, but since she is friends with one of the world’s greatest weight loss experts (moi), she decided to solicit my opinion.
Over a cup of coffee with her and her husband, we discussed the past six months of her life…what she ate, when she ate it, her work life, her home life, her medical history, her stress levels, her husband, her plans for the next six months, etc…
We looked into every nook and cranny of her physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual aspect of her life…trying to find clues for why her body decided to stop being skinny and start being pudgy.
What we found was that a teeny-tiny dose of mirtazapine (1/4th of the normal starting dose – prescribed for anxiety) was most likely the culprit to have caused a significant shift in her appetite, metabolism, insulin sensitivity, leptin sensitivity and ultimately caused this naturally skinny person to get fat
After a quick consultation with her doctor, Ms. Skinny/Fat made 4 immediate changes to her daily routine:
- She started bleeding herself off of the mirtazapine
- She started taking a new prescription for anxiety
- She started a CBT/Mindfulness Mediatation program for anxiety
- She removed ALL starchy carbs from her diet in an attempt to compensate for any potential insulin/leptin sensitivty problems
- Her appetite dropped immediately
- Her weight gain stopped immediately
- After one week, weight loss has begun
The Moral(s) of the Story?
- It doesn’t take much for a naturally skinny person to get booted out of their excluisive little club. A slight shift in hormones or brain chemicals can have a drastic effect upon body composition.
- If you are the type of skinny person who thinks that fatties are fat because they are lazy and without self-control, you may want to put down your prejudices and give your brain a shake.
- Obesity IS a symptom of something going on in your body. A perfectly healthy body is NOT obese. Whether the cause of your obesity is easy to find and/or easy to correct is another question altogether. In this case, it was pretty easy to find and seems to be on its way to being corrected.
- If you are the type of obese person who blames their metabolism for their obesity, you might be correct in the diagnosis, but you are 100% wrong if you think the situation is hopeless. Obesity isn’t a curse. It’s a symptom of imbalance. Discover the imbalance and try to correct it.
- Effect of mirtazapine treatment on body composition and metabolism
- The association between antidepressant use and disturbances in glucose homeostasis
- Use of antidepressant medication and risk of type 2 diabetes
- Leptin plasma concentrations increase during antidepressant treatment with amitriptyline and mirtazapine, but not paroxetine and venlafaxine: leptin resistance mediated by antihistaminergic activity?