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BOSS61: would you swap out your genetic predisposition to overeat?

Sunday, October 20, 2013


If you don't follow BOSS61's blogs -- you should. What an entertaining and interesting guy! Above is one sample, a link to his blog about recent research proving what many of us pretty much knew anyhow: that some of us have a genetic predisposition to gaining weight.

Yeah. A difficult metabolism to manage.

So: supposing you had been behind the curtain when the genetics fairy was handing 'em out. And the genetics fairy had offered you a choice.

What would you have been willing to trade off?

Supposing (as I do) that personality is largely a genetic gift: would you have swapped out your not-so-difficult personality for an easier-to-manage metabolism?

Intelligence has a huge genetic component, so what about your above-average brain power? For an effortlessly slim body. A fair trade? (There are a lot of clearly dazzling intellects here at Spark: yes there are!!)

Or how about your other genetic attributes: your gorgeous brown eyes, your thick curly hair, your great legs, your dazzling smile. Supposing even that you had to give all of your best features, the ones you're secretly a bit vain about, for an easy-to-manage metabolism. Would you do it?

(BOSS61 wrote another recent blog asking us to acknowledge our best physical characteristics . . . surprisingly difficult to do, if like most of us you're accustomed to being hyper self-critical because you're not "slim", or "slim enough" or "effortlessly slim enough". Here's the link to that great blog too:


It would be lovely to maintain at size 6 or even size 8 without any tracking. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want. Oh yeah. What a fantasy.

Just let me enjoy it for a minute.

But no. No, no and no. Not if I had to give up some of the genetic benefits I already have.

After all, I can use my brain to make my life work. Including managing that tough metabolism. Even managing a difficult personality if I had one, which I'm not admitting (but sure I know there might be a few people out there who'd disagree.)

Without the genetic attributes I have, I'm pretty sure that the experiences which have meant most to me over my lifetime simply would not have happened: the particular texture of my own happy marriage, my own great kids, my own interesting work . . . not so likely. That quality of "me-ness", for better or for worse, would have been fundamentally altered. A naturally skinny self would be a very different human being than the self which has had to struggle to be fit and healthy.

Is it hard work, managing that genetic predisposition to overeat? That difficult metabolism? You know it. It is.

But . . . I'm OK with it. Most days. Because yup, the genetics fairy could have burdened me with a lot worse. And I know that too.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I like me! And I like you!...acceptance (and yes, celebration) of ourselves is the first step to living a more abundant life. Thanks for sharing.
    1698 days ago
  • KLONG8
    Yeah, we're one big package of quirks and realities. It's tempting to want to trade some of those in on a given day but in general....the whole package makes you who you are. Today, if the "weight fairy" asked, I'd be willing to give up some of my weaknesses (thinning hair anyone?) to be easily thin but not those bits that make me "me". Thanks for the interesting blog!
    1698 days ago
    Anytime I start to feel a tiny bit jealous about someone else's anything (body, house, hair, job, kids, husband, social circle...) I remind myself how lucky (?) I am to have a husband whom I adore (and who adores me) even after 45 years (and we were teenagers when we married), 3 semi-normal kids, a career I thoroughly enjoyed, and a wild and crazy huge extended family ( have 7 brothers and 6 sisters) that enrich my life to no end...
    Not to mention my (relative) good health and happy retirement (at 61).
    What more could a girl ask for?
    I would not trade a thing!
    1699 days ago
  • BOSS61
    Fame... fortune... and more Spark friends? Nope, the count of misbegotten souls remains more or less stable. One departed refugee for every single newcomer. Lately experiencing a small wave of newly-found-me misguided Canucks - and now I see why. Thanks! I think.

    Now as for the answer to the question - easily I'd trade my less-than-ample height for my overly ample girth. To be 4 inches taller and to typically weigh 40 less lbs would really be a win-win. Not sure you meant that, but it's the first thing I thought of.

    In the era of modern medicine, imperfect vision and imperfect teeth are challenges faced my many but few find them debilitating inconveniences or worse. Lasik, contacts, teeth whitening, etc. My no-glasses-til-almost 50 and never-a-cavity genes might be in the trading block for a naturally lanky and chiseled physique. You asked.

    My intellect (or lack there of) and horrible personality are not negotiable. To wit, just this evening I was twiddling around with the farshtunken (Google it) new Sparky home page. It allows me to customize personal goals. One of mine quickly was "make a fellow Sparky squirm with discomfort, daily."

    How did I do?

    1700 days ago
    Enjoyed the blog. Good question. For years I would have given up 10 (maybe 20 or more) points of IQ, a degree, thousands of dollars, friends. I did do stupid things (like that protein-sparring fast, hormone shots, pills) to try to achieve slimness, risking my health. I resorted to wearing a tight belt to bed to remind me not to eat from the moment I woke up. I spent lots of money on gyms and gadgets and programs and therapy. My sister resorted to stomach stapling surgery; she gained it all back within a year. At least I didn't try that one. I tried to solve my oral fixation with a pacifier and tried to kill my appetite with vinegar and frozen cigarettes frozen to puff on. I have been totally, totally desperate to find something, anything, that would make me slim. Had I been in that imaginary genetic line in my teens and twenties, I would have given myself away in order to not be fat. Good thing it's imaginary. Who would have believed that what it takes is eating less and moving more? So simple. So hard.
    1700 days ago
    Here's to the pluses and minuses of our heritages!
    1700 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Ah my head hurts this morning, you make great points. I do like the gene fairy
    Would I trade and get rid of my "me"ness? No, this is the hand I was dealt and the hand I will play.
    1700 days ago
    I think we are all on a journey. My journey does not include being naturally skinny. The things I have learned so far on this life path have all played into the person I am today. Without having this particular struggle, I don't know if I would have had the wearwithal to overcome some of the other challenges God has put before me. They have all contributed to my journey and continue to shape the person that I am. So no, I don't think I would trade anything for being thin. Its all part of the life experience. Thanks,
    1700 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I like his blogs also. You are right to celebrate yourself as you are with all of the wonderful traits you have. The fantasy of being able to eat whatever you want, simply isn't a part of a healthy existence for those of us who need to work hard on maintenance. We can however, celebrate the genetics attributes that we do have!
    1700 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Not a question I would even be thinking about really. I guess I never really cared about my personal appearance or how others viewed me because I had so very much to deal with from a very early age. My health woes started right from a baby when constant ear infections led to partial hearing loss. It didn't stop from there. I guess being in and out of hospitals my entire life, being bullied, abused, and from a 'single parent' home, having one or most of the time no friends at all, you get an entirely different perspective on the world. Personal attributes matter so little really. The holy grail for me would be simply to live pain free and do activities any normal person would take for granted.. Nope, the gene Gods were quite cruel to me in all ways. But when I set my mind to something, better get out of the way ;) You pick the battles where you can have a chance at winning. Weight loss is one anyone can do -one forkful at a time, no excuses.
    Thank you for the links to this gentleman's blogs!! One of my Spark friends had to do a challenge to list daily three things they like about themselves. Can be quite hard as you say, when we are so used to criticizing every little thing about ourselves..
    Thank you for the lovely goodie, quite enjoyed, yummy :)))
    Have a good work week! Spark On!
    1701 days ago
    I enjoy that fantasy, too! But I wouldn't trade away the things I like for something I can control (with a lot of effort, but it IS within my control.)
    Thanks for introducing me to BOSS61's blogs.
    1701 days ago
    Don't you just love Mark? I do!

    I grew up with a deaf uncle. And I remember telling my mother, at about age 9 or so, that if I had to choose between being blind or deaf, like my uncle, I'd pick deaf. Because I could see, even at that tender age, that being deaf allowed a person to be so much more independent than a blind person might be. My uncle could drive. He could travel around on his own. He could cross a street without a cane, or dog, or companion. No, he'd never hear music, or waves on the shore. But he could easily live independently, and that seemed like a better option to me. (Especially since I'm an art person, which means my sight is my most important sense to me.)

    So I'm thinking that yes, I can live with being chubby. I can live with counting my calories, limiting my portions, controlling my nutrition, trying to lose a few more lbs, and staying very active.

    Especially if it means I keep my thick and wild hair, my pale hazel eyes, my artistic ability, my memory, my wit (I think I'm funny, anyway), and my joy for life. Plus my strength, my shapely legs, my ability to dance. My cheery disposition, my thirst for knowledge, my curiosity, my smile that charms others.

    Yup, I don't think I'd give any of those up to be a size 6. I can live with the body of a Russian peasant. It goes with everything else.
    1701 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Interesting questions. Thank you for introducing me to BOSS61.
    1701 days ago
    Everyone has his or her own burden, imperfections, challenges. If I change or "wish away" one one of those I become someone else.

    So no, I wouldn't change anything, because I am familiar with my own limitations and have had a great life. I know how to make the adjustments necessary to deal with my shortcomings. I am not sure if I could cope as effectively with new or different burdens, imperfections, or challenges!

    The best part of getting older, in my mind, is coming to terms with the idea that we will never be perfect. And that's OK!
    1701 days ago
    But you can do it. Don't ever give up. emoticon
    1701 days ago
    Yet another great blog! You are on FIRE, girl!
    1701 days ago
    I would not trade ANYTHING! Why? Because in my own little corner of the belief systems of life, we are each here with an individual mission and curriculum of things to learn and do. Everything I've had to struggle with? It's something I was meant to learn from.

    So, as you answered above, "no, no, and no." As the years pass, I am more and more content that I am doing JUST what my higher power would have me do: stumbling blocks, tragedies, and triumphs and all.

    A thought provoking topic, for sure.
    1701 days ago
    That's a good decision you have made, Ellen, because you have it all now anyway!

    Thanks to that intelligence and personality that you already have, you now have thinness conquered. You don't have any need to swap anything out.

    It might be hard work for you sometimes to manage your metabolism, but you do make it happen - while still keeping all those other qualities you would be unwilling to give up.

    That is a real success!

    I'd say that is is also success to like all those other parts of yourself so much that you would be unwilling to give any of them up to get rid of the cravings and tracking and feelings of hunger, and just general annoyances that go along with conquering the metabolism you already have - that we all have.

    1701 days ago
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