British Footballer Sol Campbell was given a very hard time in the press recently when a photo of him appeared that showed a rather sizable paunch around his midsection. In fact, they were pretty merciless.
However, Mr. Campbell told them that he was a few weeks behind in his training with the team and that he was coming back from a vacation that included both a wedding and a honeymoon. He also blamed the jersey that he was wearing is making his belly look unnaturally large and being very unflattering when in real life it was nothing like that.
It is very true that the camera, as they say, adds twenty pounds. Often when we are photographed, certain angles or moments catch us unawares and in an unflattering position. So some leeway should be given in this situation before people go giving others a hard time about having developed a supposedly fat belly.
That said, perhaps we can learn to understand from this how one can acquire belly fat, even if they are in tip top shape and exercising like a fiend. Sol Campbell’s fat belly may not be as fat as people are saying it is, but his previous activities may have lent themselves to giving him a bit of a problem area to deal with around his abdomen.
People often wonder why fat seems to cluster more around the belly than other parts of the body. Why doesn’t it gather around the upper arms or the kneecaps? There are several reasons for this. One is that extra weight historically for human beings is easier to carry around the middle. It is the centre of gravity for people and therefore makes it easier to carry when you are walking around from place to place.
If Sol Campbell’s fat belly had been anywhere else, it would have thrown off his centre of gravity and made it much harder to move and exercise when he plays football. So there is a logical reason for its presence there.
Now, let us examine some of the reasons that belly fat exists in the first place. It is mistaken to assume that it is there just due to overeating or eating the wrong or unhealthy foods. There is a secondary reason and that is stress.
When we are stressed out we have a greater chance of developing abdominal fat like Sol Campbell’s fat belly (if it is indeed fat which it probably isn’t so much). This is because the hormone cortisol gets released when we have stress and it directs the body to start storing fat around the belly.
When we are stressed, our body reacts in old ways that mimic what is called the “fight or flight” response. This is a fear response. Back in the way olden days it might kick in if we were being chased by a herd of hungry and irritated wildebeests. Today, any number of stressors will cause the same physiological response in our bodies. One of them could be the stress of a wedding and honeymoon, which may have been a main contributor to Sol Campbell’s fast belly.