My Dementia Belt

my dementia beltMy wife and I are recently passed our fifteen year anniversary. I learned to cook when I got married, and the first few years of marriage and children saw my wife and I put on a lot of weight. I live a life of no regrets and we had a ton of fun living on bread, butter, sour cream, steak, ice cream, etc. But is has also taken me until now to take the weight off and I am still left with a stubborn spare tire that doesn’t want to go away.

My family is not a bunch of shrinking violets. We are self-indulgent Jews that talk, eat, and think like there is no tomorrow. My father, who fought with weight issues his entire life, died with dementia and though he suffered from many other things memory loss and repeating himself endlessly was something for his children to bear; he didn’t seem to notice.

I would prefer not to get dementia but you do not have to search for long on Google to find a number of studies correlating belly fat and Dementia. There are many types of fat, and different ways to carry fat (Are you an apple or pear?), and even fat that you don’t see but wraps around your organs. These aren’t all marker for dementia but there isn’t much good to be had from excess fat in the body, especially in the belly.

The head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Sorensen:

“We have all heard how a beer belly can be bad for our heart, but this study suggests carrying excess abdominal weight could also increase your risk of getting dementia. This is not really surprising as a large stomach is associated with high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes – all major risk factors for dementia.”

As I progress through the second half of my first century here on the planet, I know my priorities well—to live an active life without being a burden on my children in my latter years. A lot to ask for in this day and age but well within reach for the conscious participant. Unfortunately priorities most often need to be matched by commitment and it will require a good deal more perseverance to get rid of my not so friendly dementia belt and keep it off.


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