A few weeks ago, Cassie and I had the fantastic opportunity to interview Dr. Kelsey Klausmeyer for our podcast. Dr. Kelsey has a different approach of looking at obesity and how it relates to the health issues of his patients than many other health care providers do. The hour we go to chat with him was one of the most validating hours of my life.
You see, I’ve spent the past 7 years working in the health and fitness industry – AKA diet and weight loss central. I was the black sheep that didn’t want to focus on weight loss with clients. I had this constant nudge telling me that there was a lot more to life and being healthy than the number of the scale and that the whole process people tended to follow in order to lose weight was complete crap. Spoiler – diets don’t work ya’ll, studies after studies have shown that. So I never focused on weight loss with my clients. I focus on building sustainable, healthy habits that people actually enjoy doing. I have the belief that if a body was meant to lose weight, it would lose weight (or not lose weight) as my clients focused more and more on taking care of themselves.
While I knew that weight gain and weight loss were a lot more complicated than simply the calories in vs calories out that so often gets thrown around in the health world, I didn’t have all the knowledge to know just how complicated it was. Dr. Kelsey helped shed some light on one of the many mechanisms in our body that affects weight loss – obesogens.
Obesogens were a completely new term for me (and I have my Masters in exercise science, I like to think I’ve got quite a bit of knowledge in the body and how fat tissue works) and as Dr. Kelsey explained what they were, lightbulb after lightbulb went off in my head.
Normally functioning fat cells act as an energy reservoir for times when you need a little bit more to keep you going, but these Obesegens are fat cells that have changed and don’t act in their normal way. They’re created by taking in a toxin that has entered your body in order to protect the rest of your body from said toxin. And because these fat cells have taken these toxins in, they no longer act as energy reserves, they just kinda sit there while producing a bunch of inflammation. Where do these toxins come from? Our environment. The chemicals we put in our yard, the ones we clean our house with, the ones we put in our food and in our beauty products.
By exposing ourselves to these toxins, we increase the chance that obesogens will be created in our body. The more obesogens we have, the less our fat cells work like fat cells and the harder it is to lose weight when you’re doing everything you’re “supposed” to do to lose weight like limiting the amount of food you eat and increasing the amount of exercise you do.
So when your doctor simply says “you need to lose weight and your symptoms will go away” that’s one – not so easily said and done, and two – not addressing the underlying problem. In our episode (which you can find here) Dr. Kelsey walks through all of the medical tests he recommends people to get to start digging deeper into what is systemically going on in your body. Go check it out if this is something you’re struggling with, because if you’re doing everything you “should” be doing to lose weight and aren’t – there may be a much bigger underlying problem going on.
I could honestly care less if you lose a pound – I DO care about you lowering the inflammation in your body that’s playing a role in keeping you feeling like shit. Your worth and your health are not about the number on the scale or the size of clothes you wear. You deserve to feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally and you can no matter the size you are at.