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?

Episode 10: How secure is your genetic information online?

MyHeritageBlog

Data breaches are all too common today, ranging from retails to credit companies.

In June, we learned that MyHeritage had a data breach that impacted 92 million users. How serious was the database breach and how can you fight back and prevent the damage?

In this episode, we talk to Burton Kelso, a cyber-security and technology expert out of Kansas City to discuss data breaches and possible solutions.

Listen to The Genetic Jackpot Podcast! Previous episodes are 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?

Episode #1: An introduction to The Genetic Jackpot

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

How important are your genes when it comes to fitting in your jeans? In this week’s episode of Genetic Jackpot, we explore how genes can impact obesity and the food you like.

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We speak to Emily Brown of Genetic Garden about how your genes, diet and overall health can be connected.

We also have a discussion about the obesity gene and while it may exist, it doesn’t serve as a permanent road map to your life and Nick shares his story of his 320-pound weight loss journey.

PREVIOUS EPISODES

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?

Episode #1: An introduction to The Genetic Jackpot

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

downloadFor many, online records and databases can serve as our primary source of research into our families following a DNA tests.

Many others, unfortunately, do not have that option. WGN anchor Cortney Hall spoke to us about her journey to Senegal after a DNA test revealed she was of Senegalese Mandinka ancestry.

She shares her story with us, then we chat about the unique difficulty African-Americans can face when researching their own history.

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

220px-Original_Night_Stalker-East_Area_RapistFor years, authorities in California have pursued an individual believed to be responsible for at least 12 murders, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries.

This week, a suspect was arrested after matching crime scene DNA with genetic material that was stored by a distant relative on GEDmatch.

The case has garnered compliments for crafty police work, but also generated some privacy concerns.

Joining Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan in this special episode to discuss the Golden State Killer case is Michael Tabman, a retired agent from the FBI and security consultant.

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

205362_317911191636887_2008363276_nA Chicago area biologist discovers he’s related to a world famous pop band from India! We were joined in this episode by Robert Sliwinski of DNA Explorers to talk more about this.

DNA testing can be simple….but it can also lead to complicated results.

“Here’s the thing, it is a Pandora’s Box, you may learn something you don’t want to know.”

Have you opened your box?

Let us know if you made any discoveries (good or bad) after DNA testing!

Episode 2: To test or not to test?

Access to DNA testing has become more available across the country and many have taken advantage of it – but others have not. Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan dive into why that’s the case and discuss their own thoughts on DNA testing.