In my last post I mentioned that there is more to live for than the fear of subcutaneous fat, something that most can probably relate to. We live in a society that has demonized this very valuable and necessary tissue. We pinch it, poke at it, grimace at the sight of this harmless tissue on our bodies. We hide beneath baggy clothing, scoff if it hangs over the waist of our pants, cut it out of pictures, and waste endless hours trying to burn it away, only fighting against the natural balance of our bodies. I’ve perhaps spent more time than most engaged in these self-centered pursuits, and for what? My reasons are somewhat biologically based and rooted much deeper in my eating disorder, but that doesn’t excuse these behaviors. I am most definitely not healthier, stronger, or more beautiful for any of it. Indeed I am less healthily, have lingering physical problems and at the ripe old age of 29 I have osteoporosis.
Subcutaneous fat is not the devil it is made out to be and in fact 70-80% of our fat is subcutaneous! It is NOT the cause of illness or disease. This is caused by visceral or abdominal fat which is what is packed between organs. This visceral fat raises the levels of free fatty acids in the bloodstream which can then go on to clog arteries, causing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, or other health issues.
Visceral Fat vs Subcutaneous Fat
Someone who has little extra subcutaneous fat (to which I’m now just referring to as fat) may be healthier than someone who exists at a low body fat percentage. A lack of fat can cause problems with metabolism, hormones, a susceptibility to getting sick, they can bruise easily, and for women a lack of period and low bone density. Fat is protective and much needed!
A female typically deposits their fat around their hips, thighs, and buttocks and having fat shouldn’t dictate our feelings towards ourselves if we can’t fit into skinny jeans designed for a 10-year old. Should we starve ourselves or exercise our bodies into the ground to hear the satisfaction of the zipper closing? I think not.
In other totally unrelated news my phone had an interesting message the other day I’ve been getting a plethora of signs from the universe sine I’ve arrived home from Bristol. As I sat in a waiting room at the doctor’s office I pulled out my phone to play a word game where you connect letters on a 5×5 grid, however my phone had better ideas. Smack in the middle of the screen were the unmistakable words:
Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up.
Photo Credits: thelifeathletic.com, dnfitness.wordpress.com