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  #51  
Old 03-15-2017, 01:48 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
But see that's part of what we've been talking about. Might the thyroid hormones be what's making you want to eat too much?
I don't think so. Food has always been my greatest love so it's mostly emotional for me.

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Originally Posted by CarmaChameleon
Here it is: You are in control of you, and that includes your mind and your body. But you are in control, and will learn what you need to learn, and then, if your spirit and soul are strong enough, YOU WILL TAKE CONTROL OF IT ALL.

If you will ignore that FACT, then "something else" will control ALL of YOU.

The ball is in your court now.
I'm happy that something works for you and that you are able to make a lifestyle change. But calling everything else "horse-crap" and essentially calling for will-power again (in different words, but the same idea) isn't helpful.
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  #52  
Old 03-15-2017, 02:20 PM
manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Unfortunately, the only thing that really works for long term obese people is bariatric surgery (gastric bypass). As much as I know, it is not really understood why this works, although a few of the hormones involved, neural pathways and feedback loops are known, and more are very intensively researched
I thought it worked by making the stomach smaller, thereby reducing the amount of food intake?
  #53  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:34 PM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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I had a related thought the other day. I've known various Holocaust survivors over the years - guys who've gone through concentration camps, not to mention various Nazi ghettos on starvation diets - and they've had a tendency to thinness. Certainly not in the other direction. And if there was anyone who metabolism you would think would have learned to slow down and become more efficient it would be these guys.

One of my kids suggested that because I've tended to know these people when they were old, it might be that they're not representative, in that the fatter people died off earlier. But we couldn't come up with anything else.
  #54  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:58 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Maybe for the rest of their lives they unconsciously "conserved food" like they never knew if or when there'd be more?
  #55  
Old 04-19-2017, 01:15 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Maybe for the rest of their lives they unconsciously "conserved food" like they never knew if or when there'd be more?
One of my nieces was a Korean orphan adopted at about age 2 or 3 (they don't know for sure). Even when she was 7 or 8 she was still in the habit of hiding food under her bed (where it would rot) an instinctive behavior learned at a very early age due to starvation. So I'd be inclined to think concentration camp survivors would probably be more inclined to worry about food for tomorrow than gorging today?

In "The Case Against Sugar" the author suggests that what foods you eat are probably more relevant to causing obesity that how many calories. (Guess what he blames for obesity?) He suggests that "all calories are equal" is a myth.

I know (anecdotal evidence again) I went from 235 to 208lb with the Atkins Diet when it was first a fad; but that could have been exacerbated by reduced caloric intake, since it was difficult to eat much following the diet, and it certainly eliminated a lot of snack opportunities. Of course I put it back on after. Cross country skiing 30km a weekend or hours rollerblading did not do much for my weight, nor did swimming a kilometer several times a week - my weight was pretty steady. On a recent vacation I went from 275 to 256lb simply because we eliminated snacks to a great extent, and tended to eat a lot less (share a Big Mac or a split a clubhouse dinner from rooms service); walking 20km to 30km a day also probably helped.
  #56  
Old 04-19-2017, 02:39 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
I had a related thought the other day. I've known various Holocaust survivors over the years - guys who've gone through concentration camps, not to mention various Nazi ghettos on starvation diets - and they've had a tendency to thinness. Certainly not in the other direction. And if there was anyone who metabolism you would think would have learned to slow down and become more efficient it would be these guys.
Could their metabolism have been screwed up due to starvation?
  #57  
Old 04-19-2017, 06:20 PM
DSeid DSeid is online now
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
I had a related thought the other day. I've known various Holocaust survivors over the years - guys who've gone through concentration camps, not to mention various Nazi ghettos on starvation diets - and they've had a tendency to thinness. Certainly not in the other direction. And if there was anyone who metabolism you would think would have learned to slow down and become more efficient it would be these guys.

One of my kids suggested that because I've tended to know these people when they were old, it might be that they're not representative, in that the fatter people died off earlier. But we couldn't come up with anything else.
Possibly related, I don't know, but male Holocaust survivors tend to live longer than same aged peers.

Also possibly related is the impact on stress hormone levels of having survived the Holocaust and on their children.
  #58  
Old 04-19-2017, 07:02 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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If obesity was caused by genetics, then there wouldn't be a discrepancy between different nations. Yet, if you go to countries like Japan, France, Germany, etc. you'll find that everyone is (what Americans would call) skinny, on the whole. Men and women do start to get a bit of a paunch when they get older, and certainly there are some people who are overweight when they are young, but the median is much lower than in the US and the percentage of people who are overweight is significantly less. You would be hard pressed to find someone who is morbidly obese.

There was a man named Daniel Lambert, at the end of the 18th century, who was famous throughout the UK for being morbidly obese. It was something quite exceptional. In today's America, it is generally not going to be hard to find many individuals of comparable shape. And while it may be that these people have a slower metabolism than the average, it would require a change to the laws of physics for someone to put on weight without consuming more energy than they expend. While it may be psychologically or even physically uncomfortable to reduce calorie intake, reduced calorie consumption will always be sufficient for losing weight.

It's difficult to lose weight via exercise. Running (i.e. jogging) for an hour consumes about 400 calories. That's just not a lot when a single candy bar is 300 calories or a small bag of chips is 160. American foods are amazingly calorie dense compared to their size and our portion sizes are, on average, probably double what you get in Europe and Japan at the minimum. Cutting back means ignoring half or more of everything on your plate at every single meal, including snacks. That's a lot more than most people are expecting when talking about "cutting back".

Recommended calories are also vastly different from what they probably should be. I believe that the target values are based on soldiers, from the 50s. These are physically active people in their prime. Your average person today, even if they exercise for an hour, simply isn't going to be anywhere near as active as your average soldier. And anyone over ~30 is going to see their metabolism slow down significantly (ergo, the paunch that we see in other nations), so the recommended rate would change again based on your age.

I eat probably 1/3rd to 1/2 of the recommended calorie intake and I'm struggling to keep my paunch from taking purchase. It's far better to pay attention to what your body is doing than to the recommended caloric intake (unless you have an eating disorder). Though, do pay attention to the vitamin requirements.
  #59  
Old 04-19-2017, 08:01 PM
DSeid DSeid is online now
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
If obesity was caused by genetics, then there wouldn't be a discrepancy between different nations. ...
Full stop incorrect (barring the straw man position that obesity is exclusively caused by genetics).

What is clearly genetic is a relative resistance to and predisposition to obesity given an obesogenic environment.

This is not at all a controversial concept.

What environments are obesogenic, why, how that interacts with genetic, epigenetic, and endocrinologic factors, and how various countries are changing ... those are to me interesting questions.
  #60  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:10 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
What is clearly genetic is a relative resistance to and predisposition to obesity given an obesogenic environment.

This is not at all a controversial concept.
My argument was that obesity is principally an environmental issue, with genetics playing a secondary role in determining how much that factors in to things.

Your argument would seem to be that obesity is genetic, given an environment that encourages obesity.

Outside of terminology and word order, I'm not seeing any meaningful difference between your argument nor mine, let alone making an outright rejection of mine.
  #61  
Old 04-20-2017, 07:29 AM
DSeid DSeid is online now
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The outright rejection was of the construction of the "if-then" argument: no, a discrepancy between countries does not mean that genetics does not play a role.

There are also other basic misstatements in that post - for example, no, standard recommended daily calorie intake tables/calculators are not based on soldiers from the '50s. Studies validating different estimated energy equations, which are then used to calculate predicted energy requirements for different individuals are based on a large body of research over many decades, often using indirect calorimetry. They factor in activity levels from sedentary to active. That said none of the formulae are perfect, far from it. They are extremely rough estimates which may be off in either direction for any individual. And individuals' calorie counts in the real world are notoriously inaccurate. Someone who claims that they are eating less than half of the recommended daily calorie intake are are still struggling to prevent their paunch from growing is more likely just doing a poor job calorie counting than actually burning less than half of the calories estimated by those formulae each day.

Another (inconsequential) misstatement - the median in Germany is roughly the same as in the U.S. with total adult overweight/obesity rates not so far off from each other. (There are though more Americans who are obese and morbidly so ...)

Yes we can agree that obesity is a result of both environment and genetics and more. As individuals we can only impact our (and our children's) personal environments.
  #62  
Old 04-20-2017, 09:50 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
If obesity was caused by genetics, then there wouldn't be a discrepancy between different nations. Yet, if you go to countries like Japan, France, Germany, etc. you'll find that everyone is (what Americans would call) skinny, on the whole. Men and women do start to get a bit of a paunch when they get older, and certainly there are some people who are overweight when they are young, but the median is much lower than in the US and the percentage of people who are overweight is significantly less. You would be hard pressed to find someone who is morbidly obese.
Indeed, income effects are likely to be involved. Food is much cheaper (pdf) in the US.
  #63  
Old 05-03-2017, 10:19 AM
Diana2017 Diana2017 is offline
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it's important not to shame kids when they are overweight because it can cause them to become overweight in the long run. Instead, parents should focus on teaching healthy eating habits and increasing self-confidence.
https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/...childs-weight/
https://parentingpod.com/children-weight-loss/
  #64  
Old 05-03-2017, 02:44 PM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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I have Graves disease, which causes hyperthyroidism among other things. I recently ended up in the ER because of a thyroid storm. So, my doc & endocrinologist want to kill my thyroid with radioactive iodine. That's not news. My chief concern is I will automatically become hypothyroid, and every person I've ever known who was hypothyroid was obese. Every singe one. They assure me if I get the synthroid levels adjusted right, that won't be a problem.

Are they lying their asses off, or are obese people with hypothyroidism just not taking the right dose of synthroid, or are they just blaming their obesity on hypothyroidism they don't really have, because it's being treated?
The exact same thing happened to me four years ago. I took the iodine (which is an interesting experience...the endocrinologist handled the container with heavy gloves, I had to leave the clinic through the back door, and I couldn't be around other people, especially small children, for days) and basically ablated my thyroid through modern chemistry/nuclear physics.

I haven't gained a pound since then. But I have eaten sensibly for the last 10-15 years and continue to do so.

Smokers often say the same thing: "If I quit smoking, I'll gain weight." I suggest you consider that Graves can be pretty serious and simply plan on controlling your diet after the procedure.
  #65  
Old 05-03-2017, 09:04 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by levdrakon View Post
I have Graves disease, which causes hyperthyroidism among other things. I recently ended up in the ER because of a thyroid storm. So, my doc & endocrinologist want to kill my thyroid with radioactive iodine. That's not news. My chief concern is I will automatically become hypothyroid, and every person I've ever known who was hypothyroid was obese. Every singe one. They assure me if I get the synthroid levels adjusted right, that won't be a problem.

Are they lying their asses off, or are obese people with hypothyroidism just not taking the right dose of synthroid, or are they just blaming their obesity on hypothyroidism they don't really have, because it's being treated?
I have a sister who has been hypothyroid since her teens (she's almost 60 now). After her divorce her weight went up, and after one of her sons suffered a severe brain injury, but in both cases, after about a year or so, she hammered the weight back down.

So while she certainly is more inclined to be overweight/obese, MOST of her life she has kept her weight under control. This has required both attention to diet AND lots of exercise (she's a fan of 100 mile bike rides, for example) but it certainly is doable. If you want to keep your weight under control you can, but you will have to make an effort, and do so consistently. My sister's weight went up when she got careless (due to some really epic crisis situations) but like I said, she is able to control it outside of unusual situations.

Good luck, and better health.
  #66  
Old 05-03-2017, 09:19 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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I have a friend who had had a heart attack right around the time I met him, so he HAD to lose weight. Since then, he's occasionally talked about how difficult it is to lose weight and keep it off. He says he's always been on the stockier side--he's not obese, but a little bit overweight--and offers the usual refrains about how some people are just naturally stockier than others, and it's really hard for them to keep weight off, and gets very defensive when he hears one of these "it's just calories in minus calories out" arguments. Since getting married, he's definitely packed on a few pounds.

The thing is, a few years ago, we went on a road trip together, and so for the first time, I was around him 24/7 for a week, and thus couldn't help but observe his eating habits. And wouldn't you know it: we'd stay at a hotel that offered free breakfast, and he'd get eggs, bacon, a waffle, yogurt, a bowl of oatmeal, a muffin, and whatever else they had, filling up 2 whole plates with food. Then we'd stop for lunch and get big, meaty submarine sandwiches. Then we'd stop for gas around 3-4PM, and while we were at the gas station he'd say "man, I'm hungry" and go inside and buy a bag of chips or pretzels. Then we'd stop for dinner at a sit-down restaurant; I'd still feel full from the big sandwich I had for lunch and would often get something light, but he'd get a big entree, often with an appetizer.

It's amazing how blind people can be about what they eat.
  #67  
Old 05-03-2017, 09:44 PM
jjakucyk jjakucyk is offline
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Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
It's amazing how blind people can be about what they eat.
The whole point of all the discussion above is to show that people aren't blind to what they eat, they have different body chemistries. If your friend felt full after that lunch sandwich like you, he wouldn't be wanting to eat such a big dinner. For the most part (Thanksgiving excepted), people don't eat when they're not hungry. The whole problem is feeling hungry when you shouldn't be. If a little salad can hold you over for 10 hours, good for you, but that doesn't mean everyone is like that.
  #68  
Old 05-03-2017, 10:12 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
The whole point of all the discussion above is to show that people aren't blind to what they eat, they have different body chemistries. If your friend felt full after that lunch sandwich like you, he wouldn't be wanting to eat such a big dinner. For the most part (Thanksgiving excepted), people don't eat when they're not hungry. The whole problem is feeling hungry when you shouldn't be. If a little salad can hold you over for 10 hours, good for you, but that doesn't mean everyone is like that.
But he is in denial about how much he's eating. If he eats that much and scoffs at calories-in-calories-out, he's not honest with himself about how many calories-in he's taking. I would guess that if you asked him at the end of the day what he ate, he would not be accurate at all. He would likely say the portions were smaller than they were and he would forget about other things. He would be 'blind' in some sense to the amount of food he was eating.

I saw a documentary about weight management where they showed people who could not lose weight even though their food logs showed they were eating low calories. The camera crew followed them throughout the day, and the problem was clear. What they called a serving was many servings. And they would underplay how many calories things had. They said they had 'a serving of spaghetti', but it was a whole package of spaghetti and a jar of sauce. Their 'serving of rice' was a plate of Chinese fried rice. What they had in their food log was a misrepresentation of what they were actually eating. The people seemed like they were being willfully ignorant rather than lying.
  #69  
Old 05-03-2017, 10:14 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
The whole point of all the discussion above is to show that people aren't blind to what they eat, they have different body chemistries. If your friend felt full after that lunch sandwich like you, he wouldn't be wanting to eat such a big dinner. For the most part (Thanksgiving excepted), people don't eat when they're not hungry. The whole problem is feeling hungry when you shouldn't be. If a little salad can hold you over for 10 hours, good for you, but that doesn't mean everyone is like that.
What filmore said. I get what you're saying, but my friend is one of these people who claims he doesn't eat that much, complains of how hard it is to lose weight despite not eating that much, and resents being compared to people who can stay thin despite eating (what he thinks is) the same diet he eats.
  #70  
Old 05-04-2017, 05:52 AM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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However, there is one indicator that is correct for your body and that is your weight (body fat). If it's high, then you're eating more calories than you're using. That may be explained by low metabolism or highly efficiency, but the end result is the same. Either you need to eat less or exercise more.
This is the correct answer.

Regardless of anything else, if you're fat then you're eating too much. You can swear all day long that you're not eating too much, but the truth is that you're consuming too many calories. If you consume less calories you will lose weight.
  #71  
Old 05-04-2017, 07:14 AM
jjakucyk jjakucyk is offline
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This is the correct answer.
That's way too black and white, because for one thing people on starvation diets have been shown to gain weight due to severely decreased metabolism. That's a pretty rare scenario, same with those whose body chemistry is super messed up for various reasons, so don't say something is 100% correct when it's not.

Regardless, I don't think many people here are trying to argue that overweight people aren't eating too much. The question is why and how to control it. Saying "put down the fork" is condescending and ineffective. *HOW* does someone who's overweight eat less and/or exercise more without constantly being hungry, irritable, and frustrated?

I've said this before, but "just eat less" is no different than saying "just ignore your broken leg, the pain's all in your head." There's millions of years of evolution that has wired our brains to not not eat, and those impulses can't be simply turned off.
  #72  
Old 05-04-2017, 08:04 AM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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people on starvation diets have been shown to gain weight due to severely decreased metabolism.
This is not true. If you severely restrict your caloric intake you will lose weight. I am not saying a "starvation diet" is healthy. I am simply saying you are factually wrong. Holocaust survivors agree.

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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
Regardless, I don't think many people here are trying to argue that overweight people aren't eating too much.
There are many, many people who (wrongly) think fat & obese people are not eating too much. I have even encountered these folks on the SDMB. These people are in severe denial. There is no sense in discussing how to lose weight if basic facts are not acknowledged.

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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
The question is why and how to control it.
The "why" is extremely simple: being fat or obese is unhealthy. It also drives up medical costs for the rest of us. The "how to control it" question is a separate topic. There are many methods, suffice to say.

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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
I've said this before, but "just eat less" is no different than saying "just ignore your broken leg, the pain's all in your head."
This is not correct. Hunger pains are nothing like the physical pain of a broken leg.
  #73  
Old 05-04-2017, 09:21 AM
filmore filmore is offline
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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
Regardless, I don't think many people here are trying to argue that overweight people aren't eating too much. The question is why and how to control it. Saying "put down the fork" is condescending and ineffective. *HOW* does someone who's overweight eat less and/or exercise more without constantly being hungry, irritable, and frustrated?
You're absolute right that is the crux of the issue. I feel for many people, their food issues are similar in many ways to an addictive behavior. We can't just tell the drug addict to just stop taking drugs, the alcoholic to just stop drinking, and the gambling addict to just not gamble. Once the brain's pleasure loop has been hijacked, it takes a lot of effort and behavior modification to break out of it.

As for food, people need to be honest with themselves and their situation. If they feel hunger, they need to critically consider if their body is craving nutrition or trying to stimulate its pleasure center. But, of course, the same brain that is needed for critical thinking is also hijacked trying to seek pleasure through food. The brain will come up for some justification as to why it must have the large meatball and cheese sub rather than the small turkey sandwich.

One way I think could help is to not each such rich, delicious, pleasurable foods. Don't link food to pleasure so much. Eat simpler, blander food so that your body doesn't get a rush from eating. Eat plain oatmeal with almonds rather than pancakes. Of course, people will say something like they don't like oatmeal, but no surprise there. Their brain is trying to convince them to eat pancakes instead. At some point, the conscious part of the brain needs to step in to break the cycle.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:57 AM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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You're absolute right that is the crux of the issue. I feel for many people, their food issues are similar in many ways to an addictive behavior. We can't just tell the drug addict to just stop taking drugs, the alcoholic to just stop drinking, and the gambling addict to just not gamble.
The goal of drug/alcohol addiction treatment is to fully remove the addictive substances from the person's life. "Food addiction" is much more insidious because the goal of treatment is much more nuanced. You can't just stop eating. You still need food. So the challenges seem much more pronounced with food addictions.
  #75  
Old 05-04-2017, 12:54 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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The goal of drug/alcohol addiction treatment is to fully remove the addictive substances from the person's life. "Food addiction" is much more insidious because the goal of treatment is much more nuanced. You can't just stop eating. You still need food. So the challenges seem much more pronounced with food addictions.
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
One way I think could help is to not each such rich, delicious, pleasurable foods. Don't link food to pleasure so much. Eat simpler, blander food so that your body doesn't get a rush from eating.
My understanding is that Overeaters Anonymous goes this route, urging its members to essentially abstain from sugar. Not because of a view that sugar intake is a magic bullet, but because it provides a focus and an attainable goal (since abstaining from "food" is impossible) that consequently helps create the discipline and habits that can lead to weight control.
  #76  
Old 05-04-2017, 05:39 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Should anyone who has never lost and kept off a large amount of weight have a say on the matter?
  #77  
Old 05-04-2017, 05:48 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Should anyone who has never lost and kept off a large amount of weight have a say on the matter?
Yes. What would define "large amount" anyway? Who gets to make that decision? 20lbs isn't a large amount but 25 is? (for example)

Last edited by Ambivalid; 05-04-2017 at 05:48 PM.
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