We have neighbors who have several horses than are as thin as rails.  Several people have tried to tell them that these horses need groceries, but they are quickly rebuffed and told the horses are in great shape.

Don’t we all know people who have dogs or cats that are pushing maximum density?  Yet, the owner will insist the animal is a healthy weight.  Part of the reason for this is that the person doesn’t see the pet as the rest of us do.  Another reason is that they don’t recognize the pet is overweight.  The pet is portly or fluffy.

We hear similar characterizations about people’s own weight.  A very common self-description of the overweight is, “I’m big-boned.”  When I was younger, I imagined a large skeletal system, with really big bones and an expansive ribcage.  I hate to admit it but it wasn’t till I was watching CSI years later that I began to question that whole ‘big-boned’ theory.  These guys would constantly be finding skeletal remains which had to be identified.  The remains never looked much different though.  Granted, it is television, but it did make me question the whole thing, so I did my own research.

I’ll share with you what I found.    Frame size makes very little difference.  If you were to fast forward the decomposition of an individual whose weight was ideal, and that of an individual whose weight was morbidly obese, assuming their height and sex were the same, you would see very little difference between weight of one skeletal system and the other.  Generally speaking, the skeleton of a woman should weigh about 12% of her ideal weight, despite the weight she really is.  A man’s would be about 15%.

skeletal system sameThis means a couple things.  One is that excess weight, no matter if it is fat or muscle, is a strain on the skeletal system, period.  In fact, it is a strain on the whole body.  While it is true that a person who is very muscular, think competitive bodybuilder, might have the strength to carry the extra weight, the skeleton is the same.  Something else to consider is that the organs are the same size.  They may have a thicker coat of fat surrounding them- constricting them- but the organs themselves are put under more stress when asked to perform their workload for the regular body and then the excess body on top of that.

Imagine the heart.  Its job is to pump blood to all parts of the body.  The outer extremities and all the parts between the heart and the top layer of skin  must receive blood.  The blood carries oxygen to and waste away from all parts.  When a body is carrying excess weight, the heart works harder to pump the blood all those places.

Ok, so where was I going with this?    Hang on a second… hmmm…. Oh, yeah… So, any excess weight is adding to the burden of the body.  The body will begin to feel the stress of that burden immediately, even if the mirror shows only a little fluffier belly.  You can call it fluff, big-boned or curvy, but the body is still burdened.

Losing weight is easy if you live in balance. -and that balance is mental, emotional and physical.  Obviously the physical is proper diet and exercise, but the mental and emotional aspect is often more difficult to grasp.

Part of the mental is having a good vision of your goal.  It’s more than a little black dress.  Part of that vision is a powerful body, blood flowing easily, strong core, lean firm limbs….  clean lungs, clear mind… balance.

I have found that looking at pictures of the inner workings of the body has helped me to focus and be clear about my goals and really understand them.  That may or may not work for you.  Find what works for you.  There is something that blows your skirt up.  Some vision that keeps you focused and balances your mind.  Find it, seize it and maintain it.