September 20

Post Mortem of a 17 stone body



I apologise now for this post being a bit morbid and graphic, but if it motivates one person to see things different and take action, then it’s worth it.

I watched this program on BBC IPlayer last night.

Obesity – The Post Mortem.


This was the post mortem of a 17 stone woman in her early 60s, who had dedicated her body to science.

She had died from heart disease, and almost the first shot in the program was of her body, completely naked, with two pathologists about to cut her open to reveal how obesity had ravaged her body and lead to her death.

Just from the outside you could see there was a LOT of fat stored around her abdomen.

As they cut straight down through her body from her chest to the bottom of her abdomen, you could see just how thick the fat was under her skin. It was pretty shocking to see.

The pathologists took out her organs one ‘block’ at a time and examined each area.

Every organ was surrounded by fat, far more than should have been there for a healthy person.

Some of the things they found as they examined each area were:

– an extremely enlarged liver, which had been overworked from processing too many toxins, too many calories, and trying to support a generally unhealthy, under-exercised and over-fed body

– discolouration of the liver due to the amount of fat cells that had been formed inside it

– fluid in the lungs from heart failure

– a heart that had enlarged to weigh nearly twice the amount of a healthy heart. This was caused by trying to deal with the excess weight this woman was carrying and the high blood pressure that it had caused.

– heart chambers that had become visually weak and baggy as the heart exhausted itself and began to fail under the strain of supporting such an unhealthy body

– 60% more fat around the kidneys than in a normal healthy person

– clearly visible scarring on the surface of the kidneys due to high blood pressure

You hear about the risks of obesity and the problems it can cause, but we only really see the effects from the outside – just a bigger body. To see it like this; to actually visually see the damage from the inside, was shocking, scary, and really quite sad.

As the pathologist said, this woman’s body had become a total mess.

She was only in her early 60s. Had she lived a healthier, more active lifestyle, she could have had another 20-30 years of life on this planet.

She could have been there longer for her kids, seen her grandchildren grow up. Travelled the world. Enjoyed the freedom of retirement.

All that was taken away from her because she didn’t look after her health.

As someone on the program said, we always feel like we can put things off; that problems like that won’t happen to us.

We make excuses for not taking action.

‘It’s not the right time to start trying to lose weight’

‘I’m too busy to do more exercise’

‘I haven’t got the money to get the help I need right now’

‘Healthy eating is too difficult / boring / expensive / fill in the blank’

Obesity causes 30,000 deaths per year in the UK alone.

A lot of people who feel they need help but can’t afford it still manage to afford takeaways, bottles of wine, and other less-than-necessary purchases.

And even if you can’t afford it, there’s so many simple things you can do that don’t cost any extra.

Just 20 minutes of active walking each day can start to shift internal fat and make a huge difference to health and life expectancy.

Eating healthier foods doesn’t need to be more expensive, and usually if you cut down on other less healthy things, you save money there which can be spent on better things.

You get ONE body, and ONE life.

We all need to cherish the precious, amazing body that we are blessed with.

Nurture it, appreciate it, look after it.

Remember what’s on the inside that we can’t see.

It’s easy to think you’ve still got time. To dissociate from the warnings and bury your head in the sand.

But time goes by so quick, and it seems to get faster every year right?

The time to act is NOW.

It’s SO important to think about what’s going on in your body today, and the implications that might have on your future.
If you’re overweight, you CAN change.

You CAN adopt better habits, eat healthier food, be more active.

These things can be fun too, and most people find they start to enjoy them after the initial phase of getting used to doing things differently.

Even if you don’t enjoy eating healthily MOST of the time (you don’t need to eat healthy ALL the time), and you don’t always feel like doing exercise, isn’t it worth it?

To be healthy, fit, able, to have a strong and fully functioning body,
To live a longer and happier life?

If you’re in any doubt, watch that program. BBC Iplayer – Obesity – The Post Mortem.

If you need help to lose weight, please get in touch.


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