My Cross to Bear
Yeah, it would be great to have my saddlebags sucked out and some of the fat injected into my wrinkles but the idea of going under while somebody pokes around your insides with a vacuum tube or whatever it is they use while draining your body of what looks like they make French fries in not only is gross but downright frightening.
Especially since I have seen what happens to people who have had it and gained weight. The fat accumulates where the lipo did not get sucked. So, instead of ending up with a big butt again, you get more back fat or arm jiggle or jelly belly.
Which is why I decided long ago: No liposuction for me.
You can't lose for losing.
I'd heard many years ago that the number of fat cells in your body never decreases. That, if you put on poundage, you add to your fat cells. That, no matter how much weight you lose, the fat cells remain, although they shrink. And that, padding out your thighs the way they do, they sit around, shrieking to be refilled and re-plumped.
I started packing on the pounds at puberty, when I stopped playing hopscotch, put away my skipping rope and quit biking to school.
Now there seems to be proof of this depressing theory, as a new study out of Sweden indicates (registration req'd.)
The number of fat cells in a person's body is determined during childhood and stays constant throughout life, with about 10 per cent of fat cells dying and being replaced annually, according to study published in Nature yesterday (May 4).
Understanding the hitherto poorly characterized dynamics of fat cell production and turnover may help researchers target key processes in obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes.
"We are generating quite a few fat cells," said Kirsty Spalding, a biologist at Sweden's Karolinska Institute and first author on the study, "but it seems to be really tightly regulated."
Spalding said that both the expansion of the fat cell population and the arrival at what will be the final number of fat cells, or adipocytes, in the adult body occur at an earlier age in obese people. Fatter people experience a period of rapid adipoctye production around age two and reach their adult number of fat cells when they are about 16.5 years old, she said. Lean people, however, recruit fat cells most rapidly at about age six, with their fat cell population reaching its adult size at about 18.5 years old. "The expansion is definitely going on at an earlier age in obese children and at an increased rate," Spalding said.
The study highlights some important facts about the typical life of a fat cell. Once a fat cell evolves into a mature fat cell, it cannot return to its roots, even if one loses substantial weight.
"Therefore, though we have a seemingly infinite capacity to recruit new fat cells, we cannot get rid of them once they have been recruited -- sort of George Bush's ideal army," said Michael Rosenbaum, associate professor of clinical pediatrics and medicine at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Once fat cells reach a certain size -- that is, they become filled to capacity with fat content -- then new fat cells will begin to form.
"Thus, in most cases, weight gain initially reflects ... enlargement of existing fat cells followed by [an] increased growth of new fat cells," Rosenbaum said.
Obesity, the researchers say, is therefore determined by the number and size of the fat cells, which grow or shrink based on deposits from food.
New investigations into obesity may identify people with an inherited risk of weight gain, explain why crash diets often fail and address a danger period in childhood that leads to obesity in adult life.
Sifting through the genetic codes of 77,000 people, a British-led international team say they have found culprit variants in DNA near a gene already fingered in the molecular ballet that causes obesity.
Which suggests that, if you aren't born destined to be fat, getting overfed and under-exercised as a child will doom you anyway.
I should have listened to my Aunt Margo: ''A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."
We missed her last week while I was in Montreal for Passover and Greek Easter. She died five years ago April 23. If she'd been around, maybe she would have guilted me out of my week-long pig-out which began with Chocolate Chip Matzo cookies and ended with roast lamb on a spit.
Even though I hiked every day from six to eight miles up and down Mount Royal to the cross and back downtown, I still put on three pounds. And I got a shin splint in the process. Owowowow. That has impaired my ability to take off the weight since I have been back, as it hurts even when I walk the dog.
If it ain't a fat cell conspiracy, it's my guilt for overeating. Like I could atone for the feasting by running up and down the mountain to the cross and back.
Margo always said: ''Everything in moderation.''
Margo was always right.