The Fat Cell 2: Three Shades of Fat
Beginning the Jail Break
Fat comes in three colors (so far): brown, beige and white. Beige fat cells (which used to be lumped with the brown fat cells) have a few more mitochondria than white fat cells while brown fat cells are fairly seething with them. Since mitochondria are little energy factories, cells with more mitochondria churn out more heat - which, unsurprisingly, turns out to be the main function of brown fat cells.
White fat cells are mostly storage units, brown fat cells are thermodynamic, and beige fat cells are the most interesting of all. Like brown fat cells, they take lipids and turn them immediately into heat without storing it, but beige fat cells can be transformed from white cells which - the studies keep coming in - helps with all sorts of metabolic/obesity issues. The transformation from a storage cell to a thermodynamic cell can happen in several ways. Cold temperatures can do it. Certain drugs can do it, like beta3 agonists or PPAR-gamma agonists, or . . . drum roll . . . exercise. Anyone want to work out? In a refrigerator?
A week into this new lifestyle, I have lost two pounds. Basically, spoons in hand, Kathryn and I have begun to chip away at the cell wall in order to make a jail break. Kathryn is down 3.8 pounds!
If a stray observer (you) passed by the cells late at night, they would find my large, striped pajama-clad rear end protruding from a shallow tunnel; moving on to the next cell, Kathryn's, same view. Jailbreak in progress.
My escape plan is as follows but every fat cell captive will break out in their own way. These are my instructions to be pasted on the walls of my tunnel.
1. Vegan - It's not as hard as I thought. I'll explain why in a future article. I kind of had a head start at this.
2. Gluten Free - I have gone gluten free off and on and I always feel better, plus I feel psychologically for me it is easier to remember to go whole grain if wheat in general is out. Forgetting my own rules is an issue.
3. Whole Foods - But I am not ditching monounsaturated oils. I just can't right now. I love olive oil. Maybe later if I am not losing weight I will lose the oil, but it will be hard.
4. Exercise - I began exercising this week and was wonderfully sore. It was only for ten minutes a day. (Just because I exercised for a living as an aerobics instructor does not mean I always loved it.) At only ten minutes a day I probably haven't metamorphosed many white fat cells to beige (I'll be doing way more research on this!); but I am changing ten years of sitting on my rear to the rest of my life as an active, energized individual. Getting the habit started at all was the most important point. I told myself I could do ten minutes - which got me moving. I'll make it longer once the habit kicks in.
Here's a short ten-minute workout I found in the hopes of inspiring another inhabitant of a fat cell, an inhabitant who may be great with the food but isn't entirely thrilled with the idea of exercise. I am naming no names. I found the perfect video! Coach Kim is positive, even inspiring, without being annoying, and it is a perfectly doable ten minutes for anybody. Promise.
5. Rewards - Every five pounds, I am buying myself a pair of earrings or a bracelet. I like rewards.
6. I love Kathryn's ten-meals-a-year to eat whatever I want. It means that when I smell something obviously drenched in cheese, which is all the time due to this crazy culture we live in, I don't get all cranky thinking I will never eat that again. That's ridiculous. I am definitely eating cheese again; I am just choosing not to do it now. Right. I'll save it for really special social occasions, in which case, I'm bringing the Brie. And the Gouda. And the Camembert. Oh, and the Limburger. Oh, cringe not my non-German friends. My grandmother Wurzelbacher taught me to eat it with an onion slice on a cracker. Divine.
Smelly. Obnoxious. But Divine.
6. At least once a week, cook something from Kathryn's site. I actually made several things on my own this week. Not all of them were terrible.
About the Creator
D. Thea Baldrick
By wedding two strange bedfellows, bachelor degrees in Biology and Literature, the resulting chimeric offspring are stories laced with science. I publish with thecollector.com and Underland Arcana. Unearth at dthea.com
Ok - when I get up on Sunday (because I'll be back from upstate New York and visiting my father) - I'm going to try Coach Kim! But, usually for me to succeed in exercise I have to do some gamification. Which is why as a teacher I try to include games when we are learning the vocabulary of a new language. I understand gaming - which unfortunately is mostly a sitting sport unless you use the Nintendo Switch and their get-up-and-move games: Yoga, Just Dance and I promise I will learn how to use that weird game - the RingFit which I bought and have never used (two years at home in December and still in the box)...