The studies conducted and discussed in the documentary validate a lot of the notions that overweight people have about the difficulties they face and the fact that there are people who are "naturally thin" who do not face those difficulties and are either genetically gifted or lack genetic handicaps when it comes to weight. Here are some of the conclusions one can make based on the results of the studies:
- Some people can eat a tremendous amount of food and not gain weight commensurate with the number of calories consumed.
- It is physiologically impossible for some people to become obese regardless of how much they eat.
- Fat children will gain weight much more easily as adults than children who were thin. Regardless of their lifestyle habits as adults, they will always put on weight more readily than people who enter adulthood thin.
- The tendency to continue to eat attractive foods despite being full manifests in young childhood indicating that self-control is a matter of early disposition than an exercise of conscious will.
- Some people can eat a tremendous amount of food and gain muscle instead of fat even though they are not exercising.
- There is a genetic marker for people who are likely to gain weight because they are not signaled to stop eating when their stomachs are full.
- Some people do not have to "exercise willpower" to stop them from eating appealing food. Their bodies signal them such that they have absolutely no inclination to eat once they are sated regardless of the food options.
- It is difficult to escape your body's high "set point" for weight unless you are willing to live in a constant state of hunger.
- Naturally thin people sometimes experience a metabolic boost even when sedentary which helps them maintain their weight without increased activity or later adjustments to diet.
- There may be an actual viral component to the "obesity epidemic" that explains why more people are fatter than ever before.
Seeing this documentary did not do anything to dissuade me from the choices I'm currently making, nor does it inspire a sense of hopelessness in me. Indeed, it makes the challenges clearer and the path I have to pursue easier to visualize. The difficulties I have encountered are in line with the study results, and knowing the fact that my difficulties are unique to overweight people (rather than something that thin people overcome and fat people fail at) increases my patience and tolerance of any perceived "failure". In essence, I think that knowing the hurdles improves the chances of coming up with coping strategies to get over them rather than making the "race" appear impossible to complete.
I'm also mindful of the short-term nature of the studies and am still left pondering whether or not one can slowly curb natural biological tendencies in the long run. It is still my hope that I can "re-program" my body to adapt to a lower weight and reset it's weight set point in the very long term. That is not to say that I ever expect to be skinny or very thin, but I do hope to force my body to adapt to a comfortable, healthy, lower weight than it may naturally gravitate toward. I also have a reinforced desire to use psychological conditioning methods in order to cope with the challenges of being what I now conclude is the tendency to be naturally overweight.