September 21, 2010

Good News About Those Few Extra Pounds

I can't cite the source, but when I was a teenager, my mother said she had read a quote from Ingrid Bergman where she said that there comes a time in every woman's life where she has to chose between her face and her body. I remember what brought it up. We had just seen Murder on the Orient Express and Mom was commenting on how great Bergman looked at nearly 60. Ingrid had chosen her face over her body, and didn't mind carrying a few extra pounds as she got older. Sure, she was a little heavier than she had been at the peak of her career, but she was still beautiful.

Source: Google Images
I have always thought that made sense, but I nearly did cartwheels when The Wall Street Journal presented evidence in support of Ingrid's theory last spring, in Why Carrying an Extra 10 Pounds Might Not Hurt.  The  article was based on a study published in February in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study included about 9,000 men and women.

The article explains that a little extra weight does more than fill in the lines:

A little extra fat may also act as a natural face-lift. Last year, the Archives of Dermatology published a study that said, as women grow older, those who are overweight appeared younger than those who were normal or underweight. That is because a little fat provides more structure for the skin which can combat the sagging that comes with age.

What's more, it can help with osteoporosis, which I've long suspected. It just seemed to me that carrying a few extra pounds would be the equivalent of walking with weights. Apparently doctors are coming around to my way of thinking, that one way to strengthen your skeleton is to avoid looking like a skeleton.

It's not a free pass to let ourselves go. Too much belly fat is still bad. A healthy diet and exercise will always be important, but we don't have to take it to the level of an obsession. We don't have to stress over 5 or 10 extra pounds. Hallelujah!

Click here to read the full article.

Until next time,

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~ Psalm 139:14 (NIV)


  1. Wow! Then I should be set until I'm well into my 90s :-)

    Ok, I'm joking. Just a little! You are absolutely correct - the belly fat has to go, a well-balanced diet and exercise is necessary for good health - but we don't all have to be lean/mean Sara Connor of The Terminator fame fighting machines.

  2. Yes, a doctor friend once told us that all one had to do to see who lived longest and looked the best was to look at all the little old women packing a few extra pounds who just seemed to go on and on. It helps to have a few reserves, I guess. And I agree. Who looks worse than a woman of a certain age who goes on a weight loss program until her face has a chance to catch up? I figure that I am going to stay looking very youthful as long as I get to hold my neck up. Ha! Oh, and when you discover the benefits of some tummy flab, please post.

    (BTW, I have giggled myself silly so many times over a comment I left last time I visited about being single for sixteen years. Though I was young, I was not a child bride. Sixteen years between one marriage and the next was what I meant to say.)

  3. You've brightened my day! haha I've never liked the way women over 50 or 60 looked when they were thin. Now I know why :)

  4. I saw the picture you posted of yourself, and you don't look very heavy. Just right, in fact. Do you ever watch Mad Men? The actress who plays Joan (Christina Hendricks) is the heaviest of all the women, and also the most beautiful. Men don't like skinny women. :-) Even younger women, if they are too thin, look older than they are.

  5. I was thinking about this last night when I was watching The Rachel Zoe Project. When Rachel was sitting next to her older sister, I was thinking how much younger her sister looked. Skinnier isn't always better.

  6. Hallelujah indeed! I'm all for it!!! :)

  7. Jo - I'm happy with my weight, but I am pushing the envelope on BMI. I can't afford to gain much, but I'm not interested in losing weight either.

    I was thinking about women when I posted this, but as I was watching Bill Clinton in an interview this morning, I wondered when he started looking older - and then I remembered that he lost weight for Chelsea's wedding. I know he needs to watch what he eats for his heart, but I think he looks like he may have gone a little overboard on the weight loss. Somehow Bill Clinton looking old makes me feel way older, too. And that's just not right. ;-)

  8. This is exactly the kind of knowledge that I should probably not have. (Of course, it is 10 pounds ... not 25 or 30.)

    But my other question is: What if neither face or body is good? What choice do you have then?

  9. well this is just about the best news i have heard
    in a looooooong time!

    bless you, my sister.

    vee's comment about not being a child bride of
    16 made me smile, which is my equivalent of
    everyone else's "lol!"

  10. I can definitely see evidence of those principles all around...I choose a tad bit and just a tad, mind you, of extra