It’s Not My Fault, It’s Genetics

Isn’t type 2 diabetes mostly genetic?

It surely can’t be my fault I have it, I come from a family of fatty’s who all have it…

There is indeed a role that genetics plays in obesity and type 2 diabetes. This is in fact undeniable as there are people who genetically have a smaller beta cell reserve in their pancreas, and if the eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) they will likely become obese and have a higher risk of becoming diabetic. However, it is not genetics that has driven the obesity epidemic across America which has also driven up the rate of diabetes. Just because your family has a history of obesity and diabetes, it does not necessarily mean you are doomed to the same fate if you make up your mind and choose not to fall into this trap.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes:

Sedentary lifestyle. Is there anything in the world that connects a sedentary lifestyle with genetics? I get that folks are born into families where there is no emphasis on physical fitness, yet this is not genetics.

  • If you sit on your ass all the time staring at the television, binge watching Netflix while eating bon bons, it’s entirely on you and not on your family history that you are fat and sick.
  • Are you the type of individual, who even on a beautiful day, will drive around a shopping center parking lot for 15 minutes looking for that parking spot closest to the door in order that you will not have to walk maybe an extra fifty feet or so across the lot? Nope, genetics are not at play here either.
  • Do you avoid physical exertion at all costs? C’mon, quit blaming your grandma, you know she is not to be blamed for your laziness.

Overweight. Obesity might run in your family, but ask yourself just who in the hell is shoveling spoonfuls of food down your pie hole. You can have control over what you eat if you choose to be disciplined about your dietary habits. You have personal choices you can make for your own benefit and well being if only you commit to yourself to make healthy choices.

  • Is there anyone forcing you to eat foods that are heavily laden with added sugar? Nope, it’s on you.
  • Do you willfully consume junk fast foods on a regular basis because you do not feel like cooking a wholesome meal?
  • Did genetics sit there with your phone in hand and then dial up the local pizza delivery shop to bring you a large, hand tossed meat lovers pizza, bread sticks with dipping sauce, brownies and cola or beer?
  • Do you track how much food you actually consume in a day?
  • Have you taken the time to find out how many calories a day your body actually requires for your basal metabolic rate?
  • Do you take personal responsibility for your dietary habits and weight?
  • Will you forego exercise in order to sit on your ass and watch a program on television?
  • Have you ever made an honest effort at giving up added sugars and processed foods for healthy whole foods you actually have to prepare?

Family history. Your entire immediate and extended family over several generations might be fat and at risk for type 2 diabetes. But this does not mean that you cannot be the one to break this ugly and vicious cycle if you make the personal choice to do so and then commit yourself to this choice. While your genetics might leave you susceptible to obesity, often the bigger culprit is cultural to the people you are surrounded by instead of genetics. Peer influence should never be underestimated. Instead of blaming genetics, you need to consider that the people you are surrounded by can be a bad influence with their approval and promotion of unhealthy dietary habits. Obese family and friends promote obesity to those they are associated with. If you do not believe this, next time you are in a social gathering with your obese family and friends, watch how they react when you turn down a slice of birthday cake or a dessert they went to pains to make. If you are going to a dinner, check how they react if you ask for them to have healthy foods instead of foods that have added sugars, unhealthy fats and preservatives.

Sometimes people will blame their obesity on having a large frame or being big boned. Here is a wake up call for you if you use the excuse of coming from a family of large framed individuals. First, just because you are big boned, it is not a valid excuse to be obese. Next, some people will often think they are obese because of their large frame, when the reality is they are not big boned, they are just fat.

Here is a simple measurement method where you can honestly know if you have a large frame. Simply measure the circumference of your wrist at the smallest point, just above the bone.

Another way to truthfully figure out your frame size is to measure at your elbow. Bend your elbow 90 degrees. Then measure the width of the widest part of the bone at your elbow. You can use your thumb and middle finger by touching them against both sides of the bone then measuring the gap between your thumb and finger.

Again, your frame size is never a valid excuse for obesity.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol. Yes, some people have genetics that make them prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. That being said, both conditions can be controlled very easily by a whole and healthy diet that does not include added sugars, unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium and preservatives. Couple good dietary habits with vigorous exercise and these issues can be entirely erased. It truly is as simple as that when you make the personal choice to live with healthy dietary and physical fitness habits. Granted there are indeed some folks who will still require some medications to help control these issues, most people can actually get completely off their meds

Yes, genetics can be a reason for obesity and type 2 diabetes if you do not make personal attempts to control your health. But genetics does not, nor should it be used as a lame excuse for you to not even attempt to live healthy. Of course there might always be someone out there who will point at an individual who has done everything right and still has problems with weight and diabetes, but you would have to question of they are even being truthful with themselves that they are doing everything right. It is not uncommon that people will underestimate how much they consume while greatly over rating how much fat they should be burning through exercise.

Always remember that the odds are stacked against you if you think you might be able to out exercise a bad diet. It may work in the short term, but almost never works in the long run.

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3 thoughts on “It’s Not My Fault, It’s Genetics

  1. Yes! And some of us are daily fighting to break those family patterns! I don’t want to be a prisoner in my own body. My parents both have high blood pressure and cholesterol; my bp was 112/70 at my last check and my cholesterol is low! It’s all about choices. I choose to live!
    My aunt recently passed away from COPD and one of the last things she said was that she would have taken better care of herself if she knew she would live that long. She was 61.
    Many, many thanks to you for your wisdom, truths and tough love!

    1. Hi Jen, I’m sorry about your aunt. COPD is tough, my wife has it.

      Thank you so much for your kind words of support, and congrats on the blood pressure and cholesterol. Good job, I’m proud of you.

      Keep making those good choices and experience a life that continues to improve.

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