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Two fat women (at 1,102lbs and 643lbs, respectively)

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This was just in the news:

India doctor to operate on '500kg' Egyptian woman--

An Egyptian woman, believed to be the world's heaviest woman at 500kg

(1,102lb), will soon be flown to India for weight reduction surgery. Her

weight has yet to be confirmed by Guinness.




Guinness has confirmed the weight of "Heaviest woman - living": The

heaviest woman living is Pauline Potter (USA) of Sacramento, California,

USA, who weighed 291.6 kg (643 lbs) on 13 May 2010.





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I know most think this is self inflicted, don't eat so much and you won't get so damn fat.  I used to have a similar view even while my weight was slowly creeping up to my own dismay while I was perpetually hungry.  In my case as I cut back on carbs my hunger diminished and weight loss has been far easier than I ever imagined possible.


I recently read Gary Taubes' book, "Why we get fat", and he argues well that obesity is often caused by hormone issues and people are compelled to eat more because they are getting fat.  A typical scenario being a high insulin level driving one's glucose into their fat cells, resulting in blood sugar falling low and an urgency to eat more, followed by another spike in insulin.  This seems to be the pattern I got caught in, in part because I believed the government/cullturally promoted message that carbs are good and fat is bad - perhaps true for some but it wasn't right for me.  Going cold tukey on high glycemic carbs broke me out of the pattern with a short period of moderate challenge.  Perhaps if I read the book first it would have been easier.


I don't believe obesity and all related ailments are growing at such frightening rates due to people becoming weaker willed or more self indulgent.  Hopefully attitudes will change.  And hopefully these women get the medical care they so desperately need.


Here's a very moving and inspiring TED talk by Dr. Peter Attia and the story behind his changes in diet and attitude.   He has partnered with Gary Taubes to create NuSI an organization witth a mission of conducting research to resolve this crisis.


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Mostly, I wager in extreme cases such as these, those folks are incredibly strong and resilient physiologically. The heaviest I've ever been in my life was for like a couple of months when I was on vacation in France and I went crazy sampling various regional cuisines - I was at 167lbs (BMI: 24.7) instead of my usual at the time 130lbs (BMI: 19). This was some 25 years ago before I went on CR. I had always been slim, except for those couple of months, and all that weight gain - close to 40lbs - was quite visible. I felt like absolute crap. I was short of breath. I had all sorts of gastric issues, felt very naseous after waking up in the morning to the point where it took a few minutes to get up as I waited for the nasea to pass. Food actually stopped tasting as good, despite going to top notch restaurants. Shortly therefter after I returned home, I shed all that weight and felt so much better. I honestly felt at the time - and still feel today - that I would not have survived those 40 extra pounds much longer, not to mention gaining even more. It's as if I'm not built to cope with a BMI of 24 and above. 


In contrast, I feel like folks at that extreme are just built differently and can handle all that weight somehow - maybe not beating any longevity or healthspan records obviously, but not dropping dead as I would long, long, long before I ever reached even a fraction of such weight. And that's true, I feel for other things too, like substance abuse - both alcohol and smoking. I'm not a complete lightweight drinkingwise, but I simply could not carry on drinking in quantity for weeks on end, or smoking for that matter. Meanwhile I've known alcoholics and smokers who drank or smoked or both in stupedous amounts for literally decades. I call such folks superhuman.


One such example - only because I happen to have known folks who were around him for decades who filled me in on the history - is Little Richard. Now, there's not much left there that one could call "health" at his present age - 84 - but nonetheless it is like something out of the realm of mythology or the supernatural. The absolute epic quantities of drugs and alcohol this man abused for decades and decades would be enough to kill absolutely dead a whole army of ordinary mortals. As he himself put it, he chuffed coke as if hooked up to a truck exhaust pipe. It is simply unbelievable that he survived his thirties let alone to an age such as 84! Many others were far, far weaker, such as a whole passel of rockers who dabbled in drugs or alcohol and checked out in their 20's. So these individuals, who somehow can survive epic amounts of abuse (another example: Hunter S. Thompson, who actually had to shoot himself to die), are a breed apart physiologically.


Nobody hits 500lbs and more unless they're just extraordinarily resilient and marvels of physiological strength (and obviously, pathological processes). I defy your ordinary person to even attempt to hit anywhere near such a BMI and live to tell about it. 


I think we are dealing with exceptional individuals in many senses of that word.

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I think we are dealing with exceptional individuals in many senses of that word.


That's a possible answer, such as, people usually die far before achieving such massive BMIs hence the outliers are the most resilient ones. In this hypothesis there would be no threshold to weight gain, the insulin-driven metabolic dysfunction would just bring about more fat tissue accumulation until death of the system.


Presence of some kind of metabolyc dysfunction is obviously involved, since most people do not manage to gain weight over some individual threshold.


Dr Attia was an endurance athlete so he was initially inclined to believe that such people cannot stop from indulge themselves, they lack of willpower hence are the source of their own afflictions and to a certain extent it is true.


Dr Attia also describes how he could not get rid of 40 pounds excess weight, notwithstanding gruelling physical workouts. He managed only after starting a low carb diet. So he had a proof that things are often not so simple as some think they are. That is, energy balance does not always govern bodyweight as a fundamental factor.


By the way, Dr Attia is no more in Nusi, He doesn't want to disclose why.

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...- but nonetheless it is like something out of the realm of mythology or the supernatural. 


Simply trying to compute the no. of longevity variables necessary to keep the machine going is, IMO, way, way beyond human science (and will be for a long time).

Gettin' real meta: if physical/conscience beings are tools and instruments and playthings for The Gods, then they can intervene as/whenever they wish. Certainly, the curiosity of outlier phenomenon -- all these odds defiers --  leads to interesting discussion. Maybe that's what The Gods want ;)

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