More than half of United States population will be obese by 2030
As the United States lurches toward having more than half of it's population morbidly obese by the year 2030, according to a recent 124 page report by The Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled, "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future," one element that doesn't get any mention is the sacrifices that overweight people make to their relationships. Whether people want to admit it or not, obese and overweight people have less intimacy and sex drive than those within moderate to average categories of weight profiles.
As an anti-aging expert, I've focused on hormone modulation, exercise programs, proper diets as well as systems to improve the romance profiles of those individuals who find that as they age, they have less interest and energy to get intimate with their partner. This is an unfortunate side-effect to aging without intervention. However, one of the most egregious areas that impacts our personal intimate relationships is the slow creep of weight gain and all of the inherent side-effects, non of them good, that take over.
If we're in our 20's and 30's, we don't pay any mind to slight weight gain from too much partying, an overly indulged vacation or side effects from drugs or an illness. We can usually get beyond the slight weight gain of some 10% of our body weight. However, as we age, our metabolism slows down. Our activity level is also impacted by our jobs, our relationships, perhaps our health and family. We may have gotten into some bad habits or some bad food relationships whether it's snacking or fast food. Indeed, our weight may have ballooned beyond a 10% level to over 20% and the desire to reduce that weight may be a far more daunting task then we remembered when we were in our 20's and 30's.
Our hormones are conspiring against us
So what happens in our 40's? It's quite simple. Since the production of our hormones drops off of a cliff, what used to be an easy prospect for most people, dropping 10 pounds, becomes a marathon. Unless we are completely committed and focused, changing our habits, lifestyles and food choices is almost impossible. In fact, our hormones are conspiring against us. What used to improve our libido's, clarity and focus, improve our lean muscle mass and other seemingly young aspects of our bodies like human growth hormone (HGH), testosterone, adrenaline, estrogen for women and so many other feel good hormones, just aren't being produced like they used to be.
One of the major side effects of not managing how we age, is weight gain and the loss of lean muscle mass and increase in body fat. Along with this obvious danger to our hearts, ability to exercise, bone density and afflictions of our other physiological systems (I know, it sounds grim doesn't it?), is a significant drop in desire and attraction that we had for our partners. It isn't that we don't love them anymore. Rather it is that our hormones are simply not sending us the messages to get together with our significant other. Can the spice in the relationship be gone? Sure! More likely it is the spice in our own consomme that is gone.
Our bodies betray us: Woman begin deteriorating at 37, men about 10 years later
So if our own bodies are causing us to get fat, what are we to do? Well, there are many side effects to this slow creep of age related obesity. You can see it in how our skin starts to sag and where fat starts to deposit on older men and women. The skinny legged senior man, with a big belly, small chest and long gangly arms is matched to the woman with a big waist, sagging breasts and skin as well as flattening rear ends (same for the man). Much of this deterioration begins in women at the age of 37 with the decline in her female hormones and testosterone and for men, it is almost ten years later at about 47 years of age when the slow creep of age begins to deposit more fat and strip him of his interest in intimacy.
It sounds like an inevitability and most of the Western doctors usually just say "it's normal for your age". Well you can just tell them to go to hell with that theory since you shouldn't accept it as inevitable. In fact there are so many ways to improve the weight gain and the side effects today, that most MD's don't even know what they are because they can't read fast enough! Obviously, as you age, you want to focus on muscle building diets and exercise to drop the fat pounds and add the deteriorating muscle pounds that will go a long way to kick-start the production of hormones that have long since been dormant. You see our bodies are fit and finished at their best when we are at our child rearing and raising years. It's by design, so when we are done with that period in our lives, the human body is essentially set to
self-destruct, getting into that awful self fulfilling prophecy of getting fat because we are getting older.
What's going on? At least 25% of seniors are getting intimate
Then getting tired because we are overweight and being to tired to exercise, or make good food choices. They may also be too expensive, so we opt for cheaper alternatives. Then we tend to lose our ability to sleep soundly and our muscles start to atrophy, so we don't have the strength we once did. We might become more forgetful because we aren't using our minds as much and the food we eat isn't keeping our brain as healthy as it could be. Clearly with all this going on, we aren't interested in getting intimate, despite research showing that elderly people engage in intimacy about 25% of the time. So despite the odds being against them, fully one third of elderly folks get it on! Good for them. Now for the other 75%, you can't be blamed because your bodies are conspiring against you.
Let's forget for a minute that our culture and population is driven by the young. It isn't only those folks that get away with being fit and trim since our culture is also one that is being driven into obesity, so everyone needs to pay attention. The march toward weight gain can also trick our systems into producing the wrong kinds of hormones and alternatively creating an environment for turning-off the intimacy switch in people under their 40's because they are overweight. Beyond the practical issues of straining the heart, the lungs and our muscles when we are overweight and engaged in sexual activity with out partners, the actual issues are far more substantial.
All of the issues faced by the elderly are also of concern for overweight people
All of the issues that I outlined for the elderly, also affect overweight people, so if you think you have a couple of decades left with a normal sex drive and you don't have to worry about menopause until that time too, well your dead (pun intended) wrong! With weight gain comes all of those issues. We know simple things like excess weight making a mans "manhood" look terribly small and being lost in there are true, but what about the fact that blood supply takes longer and the heart has to pump harder to get it there? How about your brains in-ability to process that information, you know the feel good kind of serotonin, dopamine, vasopressin and other hormones that we rely on (oxytocin and testosterone for women) when it is competing with the flood of hormones being produced by the excess fat stores required in your body. Those would include the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol that are just no good for our bodies, never mind our brains and other organs needed for a healthy sex-life.
There are always those that will be happy and obese, but intimate?
I know I'm going to get a flood of hate mail from the big contingent of our population, but facts are facts and hormone functions are clear as day. If we continue to grow bigger as a society, we will also lose our ability to be intimate. We will be tired, sick, find it difficult to get interested, suffer from excess stress, poor blood-flow and practical health issues like broken bones, tears of ligaments and other functional issues of intimacy. Can big people be romantic? Sure they can. Can they practice intimacy as efficiently, as often and as successfully as someone within the normal (yes, normal is a range, there isn't a true normal) wight, bone and muscle structure charts? Absolutely not.
You may believe, in your hormone afflicted mind, that you are happy and satisfied with the level of intimacy you have now as a big person. That may be a reality you are living in, but the facts are clear. Lose the weight and your testosterone, HGH and other "young" hormones start to perk-up. Eat more protein and lift weights and they perk-up even more. Soon, your interest in your partner will improve, your longevity, lubrication and other essential elements to a healthy sex-life will too and voila, the weight intimacy function will rove itself to you and your partner in one of the most wonderful ways we humans know how.