Genetics are not the reason, but an excuse: My 300-pound weight loss story


In one of the most popular episodes of our Genetic Jackpot Podcast, Shannon spoke to Emily Brown of Genetic Garden about how your genetics can impact your diet and overall health.

First, I would recommend listening to it and consider it. It’s a good interview and it’s a subject that’s worth exploring for a few reasons:

1. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that genetics can have an impact on obesity. Whether it’s family history or how you behave, there are plenty of credible studies to suggest there’s a link – ranging from various institutions, including the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. You can read more here.

2. There’s also growing evidence to suggest that genes may be linked to the type of food you like – and obviously, that shapes your diet. If you hate vegetables, that may discourage a vegan or vegetarian diet. If your body does not react well to meat, it’s the other way around – you’re most likely going that route.

3. Obesity is the single most important health issue facing the United States. It adds billions of dollars in health care costs every year. The military is having issues expanding its size due to possible recruits being out of shape. Obesity is a national security issue and an issue that needs to be address. Any possible solution or theory that brings the topic of weight management up is crucial and needed.

With that said, however, I’d like to propose this: While genes can be a reason for obesity, they are not THE reason.

About six years ago, I weighed over 550 pounds. I wore size 56 pants. I wore 4XL – 5XL shirts.

As of today, I have lost over 300 pounds. At one point, I had dropped 327 pounds, but I have gained some back in the form of muscle following a four-month weight-lifting program.

Now, I have not taken a DNA test for various reasons. I don’t know if I have the obesity gene or not.

But I can tell you this – it did not matter if you make dieting, exercise and weight loss a life choice. If I have the obesity gene, magically it did not matter these past six years because I’ve been shredding weight and fat.

If you’ve seen the movie Back to the Future, think of genetics like you might time traveling – your future is not pre-determined. You may have some disadvantages, but you also have some advantages.

Before and after our interview with Emily, I spoke about my weight loss journey and shared some of my story on this podcast. I also wrote a book earlier this year about weight loss.

I explore some of those themes below. If you enjoy this podcast, check out our other episodes below.

Listen to The Genetic Jackpot Podcast! Episodes below.

You can also listen on our iTunes page here

Episode 9: Exploring the link between weight loss, diet and genetics

Episode 8: The backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

Episode 7: Chicago news anchor’s journey to Africa for answers

Episode 6: Helping younger generations become aware of DNA

Episode 5: DNA’s Role in the Golden State Killer Case

Episode 4: Opening up the “Pandora’s Box”

Episode 3: Pets and DNA

Episode 2: To test or not to test?

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