For someone who has essentially been obsessed with losing weight since childhood, I’m surprised by how much I still need to learn about the actual mechanics of weight loss.
I mean, sure– I know about weight loss. Aside from everything I learned in school, I’ve spent years upon years absorbing all kinds of information about the subject. However, it seems as though there was one critical tidbit I completely glossed over: Where fat goes when we lose weight.
It seems as though I learned the answer to this question once upon a time, but had long since forgotten it. Well, I got a wakeup call today, and you know what? I’m absolutely mortified. 😳
It all started when I was looking up information on something totally unrelated to fat cells.
You know how it can be on the Internet though. One click leads to another click, which leads to a video that then prompts you to start swiping all over the place on Instagram. An hour and a half later you may be watching a documentary on poison dart frogs in Brazil. Who really knows?
Anyhow, while conducting my research, I came across a CNN article that caught my eye. It was entitled, “When you’re losing weight, where does the fat go?”
With my curiosity instantly peaked, I clicked the link. After all, I couldn’t recall the answer to that question. I wanted– no, I needed to know where all of this stubborn fat heads off to once I finally manage to shed it from my body. You would think I couldn’t care less where it goes as long as it’s not hanging off one of my body parts, but I’m like a walking encyclopedia.
I must know all the things.
Of course, having the attention span of a squirrel in a foil factory, I genuinely couldn’t be bothered reading each and every word of the article. Skipping from word to word, only scanning for particularly relevant and interesting phrases, I attempted to find the answer to the then burning question.
And then I saw it: The fat cells never leave; they only shrink.
No, I thought, instantly panicked. No, no, no, no, no! This can’t be right. That’s not right. Fake news! Fake news!!! What do they mean? Of course the fat cells leave. I mean, they have to leave. I want them to leave! I need them to pack their crap, get an Uber, and vamoose. They don’t have to go home, but they sure as heck can’t stay here!
All shock aside, it’s totally true.
The fat cells you develop only shrink during weight loss. So while your body size decreases during weight loss, the cells themselves are still there, lurking about, waiting to balloon right back up the next time you can’t control yourself around the donuts in the break room. 😂
I had actually known all of this, but had somehow blocked it out of my mind. Still, having it yanked out of my unconscious was pretty traumatizing. I didn’t want it to be true back when I first learned it anymore than I do now– especially since thoughts of fat cells waving goodbye keep me motivated as I work out. LOL.
That’s not even the worst of what I read! The article also stated that the average human has 10 billion to 30 billion fat cells; this was disturbing enough. However, they went on to report that obese individuals can have 100 billion fat cells taking up residence all over their bodies. 😧
This was news to me. I was hardly enthused to hear it. I mean, it just left me feeling gross, like when I used to watch shows where people who were trying to lose weight would be shown buckets upon buckets of fat to show just how overweight they were. Now I’m constantly going to walk around wondering how many billions of fat cells terrorize me on a daily basis like I’m trying to guess how many jellybeans are in the jar.
Ugh. Today went all School House Rock on a Saturday morning on me for no good reason at all.
I’m not going to lie, this article was a real eye-opener. It shouldn’t have been considering I sort of knew this already, but even so, it has almost “grossed” me straight. Although I was already repulsed by my extra pounds, this has truly changed the way I view my entire weight loss journey.
In some ways, the information has drudged up a fresh, big ole’ batch of anxiety, which I will have to discuss next week sometime. I don’t know what it is, but the idea of the fat cells remaining in the body bothers me something fierce. I don’t want that. Shrinking is simply not enough.
Even though I know our bodies need fat to function properly and that body fat serves a helpful purpose in the right quantities, the idea of retaining all of these extra fat cells bothers me tremendously. I think I would constantly be worried that any little thing I do or eat would cause them to “reactivate”, like they’re a freaking Transformer.
This really leads me to think about liposuction and all of the other various fat removal methods that are out there, which do allow for the physical removal of fat cells. I’ve actually been planning to talk about this particular topic soon, so I guess this article came at an apt time.
My opinion of these procedures already teeter back and forth between genuine curiosity and skittish disgust, so remembering that fat cells can’t go away on their own has definitely caused the plot to thicken.
What do you guys think about this? Does it bother you to know that fat cells are basically squatters that require drastic measures to truly evict? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!
As for me, I know exactly what I think. I want to tell my newly shrunken fat cells to kick rocks like:
Today Was Day 47.
Friends don’t let friends develop fat cells. 👫
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