Old Fat vs. New Fat

I usually write about what I purport to know; or I write about what I think should happen. Instead I’m going to write about a metabolic and biological mystery. Fat.
I’m fat. I lost almost all of it when I was 19. Then it started to trickle back on. By the time I was 25 I was noticeably overweight and by the time I was 30 it was back in a big way. So how does fat work?

Theory A: Old Fat
Fat is a side effect of taking in too many calories. If your body is a warehouse then taking in too many calories means that the shelves start to fill up. Stock piles up and buries the old fat. Is this how it works? Is that buona calda from 1995 sitting on a thin layer on my midriff one sedimentary layer above that pizza from 3AM in 1993?
If that’s how it happens, then that would explain how the pounds can pile on as the years pass by. It explains why fat could be intractable. But what does that say about prolonged obesity? Doesn’t fat go bad? Isn’t that 20 year old fat now rancid? Hasn’t it gone toxic in some way? I have minor high blood pressure, but my cholesterol is good-- that pizza hasn’t chipped off and blocked my heart. Is my body really keeping those fat cells safe and numerous? I’ve heard that my skin cells sluff off. Hair grows. Bones regenerate and blood cells die. All of this happens, but my old fat stays as is, aging like fine wine?

Theory B: New Fat
I’m fat but it’s new fat. Excess calories somehow follow a metabolic take-a-penny leave-a-penny. The marbling on last weekend’s steak nudged the buona calda into the bloodstream to be worked out as burned calories? That would seem like a nice orderly system. But it seems so orderly shouldn’t it be pumping out the excess fat? There is a school of thought that our bodies in good repair will remain lean: too many calories means that you’ll be hyper-- super-charged with calories-- or the excess calories will pipe out of your system like that extra beer at the kegger.
If that’s the case maybe we’re looking at fat backwards. We’re not lazy and we pack on the pounds. We’re encumbered with fat and we don’t move much or well because of that baggage.
As I was 2 miles into my 3 mile walk today there was a girl ahead me: she was lean and a little over 20. In one hand she had a frappe. In the other a cheeseburger. She had just made the 300 meter sojourn to the mall’s food fair.
How does it work, that I’m on a perpetual diet and I exercise; and she’s chugging down 1000 calories as a pre-dinner snack? If the old fat model is about a warehouse with rancid bags of tallow, then the new fat is about some biologic pump action going on. If that’s the case and I’m not waddling around with 20 year old fat, then my body is pumping through fat. And part of what’s happening is that the my pump is faulty. Is that how it works?

So: who wants to point out all of my flawed logic? Who has links to demonstrate how dumb I am? Is there a dietitian bristling with what I’ve said and ready to burst my balloon? Bring it on!

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