J Thomas wrote:That sounds pretty good, right? Only a 8-10 year reduction in lifespan, and they aren't particularly sure of it. However, someone who has gone from 120 to 300+ pounds is probably not representative of people with BMI above 35kg/m², unless she's something like six and a half feet tall.
She hasn't become obese yet. She's currently 5'4" and 120 or so pounds. Something like that.
I completely missed that. You said you were worried about her ballooning from 120 to 300 pounds and I thought she did that and you worried about it.
The way she eats, she should be extremely morbidly obese though; in addition she has a very sedentary lifestyle. The only thing I've been able to figure out is that she must have an extremely high metabolism, as she consumes half a stick of butter a day, quite literally, in her food, and an equally horrifying amount of salt and sugar. She consumes no vegetables (other than collard greens), and relies on multivitamins to compensate for any gaps in her diet. I am quite certain she will eventually become a diabetic and/or get high blood pressure. And I suspect once one of those two occurs, her metabolism will crash, and her weight will skyrocket.
There are various ways that can work. She might not eat as much as you think, so that the total number of calories just isn't that much.
She could have a metabolic defect that keeps her from digesting some of her food. If she doesn't absorb it, then her intestinal flora *will* consume it. That tends to result in large or frequent bowel movements with perhaps unusual smells. It's quite survivable unless we have a famine.
She could have intestinal parasites that digest much of her food before she can. Mostly harmless.
There are various diseases which can cause this which cause big problems later. If she has one of those then later you will probably think you should have known. But no, it doesn't help much for prediction. You can look that stuff up if you want to worry about it, but usually there's no point without other symptoms.
In the short run she's healthy, and you want to tell her to change her behavior in drastic ways because you predict her lifestyle will be bad for her. It's predictable she won't like that.
J Thomas wrote:I feel kind of silly saying a lot about your partner based only on what you said, but I will anyway. Very likely there is an identity issue involved. She feels like her diet choice is part of "who she is". Anything you do to encourage her to change that, she would interpret as you rejecting her personally.
How. The crap. Did you get that out of what I just wrote?
It's a method. It isn't the least bit impressive when you know how. Sometimes people don't like the result even when it's accurate.
She does consider a part of "who she is." Specifically, she considers it a part of her heritage. She takes immense pride in her american southern heritage, and feels like it would be inappropriate for her not to eat as a southerner. Which means everything fried. Everything butter. Everything salt. Bacon on everything.
Southern cooking traditionally involved lots of vegetables. Spinach. Cabbage as far into the winter as it lasted, often with fatback. Carrots or onions boiled into lots of dishes. Succotash. Tomatoes stewed, fried, baked, etc. Okra boiled, stewed, fried, pickled, steamed, breaded, etc. Green beans with onion and bacon. Sweet potatoes. Lots of beans, particularly since meat was not always easy to come by.
If you want her to eat more vegetables, you could try cooking southern vegetables and see if she likes any of them. You might find there is some deeper reason she avoids them, and southern tradition was just the reason she gave you.
J Thomas wrote:You want her to be healthy and live a long time; she considers that less important than being herself.
Well that one's wrong though. She considers it to be a non-concern. "I'm not fat, I don't have high blood pressure, and I don't have diabetes, why should I worry?" Even though she's only 31, and she has a near 100% chance of developing all three of those with the way she's eating, which will be very crippling for her later in life.
Diabetes is not as bad as it used to be, if you have good health insurance to pay for the expensive treatment. Obesity could result in quality-of-life issues, but it isn't so very life-threatening. If she's like the north europeans in the popularization I quoted, if she becomes obese by age 60 it will reduce her expected lifespan by 2 to 4 years. Obesity makes heart attacks and stroke and cancer somewhat more likely than for people who aren't obese, but still not that likely. Similarly with hypertension. Lots of people with hypertension live healthy lives right up until they die.
I think your worry is premature. You want your partner to change her lifestyle, It's OK to want that. It's a fine thing for you to invite her to try out things you think are healthy and see if she likes them. It has to be OK with you for her to say no. When you invite her to do healthy things that fit who she is, you are affirming her identity.
When you tell her that you worry about her continuing health, you are saying "I love you". Try to make sure she hears that, and not that you'd rather she be somebody else.
.... Having her to be a foil to my excessive caution and pragmatism, and me to be a foil to her excessive recklessness and dreamerismness, would be beneficial to both of us I think.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.