Tag Archives: diet

Me ripping on an innocent, well-intentioned person cowardly on the Internet

I found this adorable article while I was reading blogs about the season finale of Bachelorette 7. Well, okay, it’s not really an article. It’s just a list, and it’s titled “10 Things to say to a Friend Who Says “I’m So Fat!” In this post, I will be responding to a few highlights from the post.

  1. “Would you say that to me? Okay, so don’t say it to yourself.”
  2. “I think you’re hurting your feelings.”

So, you’re agreeing that they’re fat and just telling them not to admit it because it’s rude?

“Compared to what? Photoshopped magazine covers?”

Legitimately obese people are also “so fat” compared to Photoshopped magazine covers.

“You feel fat? I feel like it’s BS that we judge our bodies by how they look instead of what they can do.”

Bodies can generally do a lot more if they’re not overweight.

Okay, now that I sufficiently sound like a dick, I’ll try to add more clarity and perhaps even be constructive.

First off, if your friend is not actually fat, don’t come up with a line that may leave open the possibility that you agree with their assessment.

If they are fat… well… I realize that sometimes, people don’t want to hear the truth, and they just want to feel better about themselves. However, realistically, someone that is overweight isn’t being done much of a favor if all of their friends are reinforcing the message that it’s okay to be overweight. Aside from aesthetics, with obesity comes serious health risks, and if they want to reduce their risk of having to spend the rest of their lives measuring their blood glucose on a daily basis, they should probably consider changes in diet and exercise.

So what would I say? Well, if they’re male and have <15% body fat or female and <20%, I’d call them an asshole and tell them to F off. If they’re above that but not obese, sure, I’d probably use something in the article above (that doesn’t actually imply that I agree with their assessment of being “so fat.”) If they are actual risking their health, I’d probably ask them if they’d considered making some changes to reduce their health risks. Easier said than done, but that’s probably the right thing to do, right?

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Dieting–a look back at Full House

250px-FullHouseLogoDo you remember the episode of Full House where DJ develops body image problems and decides to go on a crazy diet and exercise routine? She pretty much stops eating and instead exercises really frequently. Toward the end of the episode, she passes out on the exercise bike, and the moral of the story is that it’s okay to be fat.

Looking back, that episode really bothers me. DJ’s diet and workout routine were just really not thoughtful, and it makes the entire dieting community look bad. Here are my complaints:

  1. They make it seem like it’s bad that DJ passed out on the exercise bike. Is this actually a bad thing? I mean, I usually don’t pass out, but I’m usually pretty nauseated by the end of my workout (if I’m working out hard enough), and generally at the end of my dead lift sets, I will see stars or get tunnel vision. If you’re serious about lowering body fat (without eating disorders), that’s just what you do. DJ probably should’ve just lowered the intensity or got some water or something until she was used to the higher intensity workout. If body image is something she really cared about, maybe she should’ve just toughed it out.
  2. DJ was just doing stuff that didn’t make sense. Huge calorie deficit + exercise bike? I don’t even understand why someone would do that. I mean, I suppose it could work, but if I were to go on a huge calorie deficit and attempt lots of cardio, I’d probably do exercise bike in the sauna (to cut water weight) or just run outside for a better cardio/full body workout. I’d also be very prepared to feel miserable all the time and on the brink of passing out during the workout. And why was she eating frozen ice pops? (Like actual ice cubes, not flavored stuff). That’s not even filling. I mean, okay I can imagine that Dexatrim may not have been readily available back then (or at least to minors), but ice? That doesn’t make any sense.
  3. Oh let’s all blame genetics! Okay, so I don’t actually remember the ending of the episode, but I’d imagine that it went like this: Danny walks in and says “DJ, you’re beautiful on the inside.” Everybody hugs and while nobody notices, DJ grows up to have an eating disorder. I mean, I’d agree that it’s probably not healthy for a girl DJ’s age to be working out and dieting that hard, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a legitimate goal to take fitness seriously and keep body fat low.

So yeah, it’s been about 20 years since I’ve actually seen that episode, so I probably got it all wrong, but uh… yeah I don’t know. The episode just bothered me.

And on that note, I’m just going to end this post. I actually wrote an additional paragraph, but it got a bit ranty, so I’ll just leave it here.

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Is your diet stupid?

Changing my diet/workout routine, I pretty much have just one goal: get leaner while sustaining (or building!) muscle. It’s been approximately a week, and I’m about the same weight, maybe a bit leaner (I’ll have to compare photos later), and I probably had one of my best gym days in months. I completed my sets on the bench press (at a weight where I’ve been stalling for the past few weeks) and set new personal records on Squats and Deadlifts. But does this mean that my diet/routine was successful?

I often hear people tell me about how they swear by these diets that make no sense. Or sometimes they do make sense, but it’s really common sense (reducing calories + more cardio? Amazing!) added to some stupid fad that makes no sense. For this post, I’ll be asking myself questions that I’ll normally ask dubious dieters.

  1. Are you sure that the gains in strength weren’t caused by other things? Like being well rested or eating more? I don’t think that I was actually better rested since I normally bench maybe once or twice a week. This week, I hit the gym 4 times for weight training. I may have been better rested since I skipped all of my fighting stuff this week, but the underlying principles of the diet actually accounts for that. As for eating more, that’s pretty much what I did in the carb load phase. However, I did the lifting at the same weight as I did last week when I stalled, so you couldn’t really argue “oh he’s just stronger because he’s put on more weight.”
  2. Could it have just been the placebo effect that pushed you to the new PRs? Well, I guess realistically the answer is “yes” since I have no way to disprove that. I will admit that I’d been exciting about this diet and my workouts all week, so it’s probably a good chance that my attitude helped me. 
  3. Could your weight maintenance be explained simply by calories in = calories out? Probably. I tried doing the math, but there were enough gaps from guesstimating that the margin of error for my calories in and calories out is pretty large. I will say though that this diet doesn’t profess to make calories magically disappear as much as it attempts to help you lose stubborn body fat. The real test is whether I’m actually leaner down the road.
  4. Are you sure it’s not just a fad on top of really simple dieting principles (like adding exercise and eating less?) I’m pretty confident that this isn’t a fad. There aren’t lots of grossly simple analogies that explain how it works, and there’s no promise that it’s easy. It’s a hard diet, the workouts are brutal, and you’re never really just adding exercise and eating less.
  5. Do you naturally have a strong metabolism? Are you sure other, simpler diets wouldn’t work for you? I can’t answer the question about the metabolism because I don’t know, but I’ve never really been fat or thin, so I don’t think I have an especially fast metabolism. I will say though that I’ve maintained caloric deficits with cardio/strength training in the past, and I was able to lose some weight from that, but I stalled at the weight that I’m currently at.

So to conclude, is this diet effective? It’s week one, so it’s really hard to say. I’ve been pretty enthusiastic about it, so that probably helped me push a little harder on the workouts, and realistically, since it’s only the first week, I’m still trying to get used to the work outs and dieting, so it’s possible that I’m not even doing it right (and getting gains completely on enthusiasm!) I think I’ll have a much better idea of how my body reacts this diet after a few weeks of sticking to it.

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Adventures in Dieting—an intro post!

I’ve recently started a new diet + workout routine after reading Lyle McDonald’s Ultimate Diet 2.0 to get ready for beach season. Since then, I’ve had some interesting observations about dieting in general, so I thought I’d start blogging about it as well. Rather than start with a boring intro post framing what this diet’s about, I’m just going to jump right into my observations.

The following are two things that I’m doing for my diet that I never thought I’d do:

  1. Take pictures of myself shirtless in my bathroom. Now, if you’re a serious dieter or bodybuilder, this is actually a really legitimate thing to do to measure your progress. It’s recommended that you take a picture of yourself from different angles at the same time once a week so you can measure your progress. However, thanks to the recent activities of Greg Oden, Brett Favre, and a bunch of other creepy people who were important enough to end up on the news, it just feels dirty. I will not be posting any of these pictures on the Internet… but I’ll consider sending you a copy for the right price.
  2. Pee on a strip of paper to measure the ketone content of my urine. Part of my diet involves going into a state of ketosis where your body starts producing ketones from fatty acids due to the lack of glucose. One way to see if your body has entered ketosis is to pee onto ketosis strips. Now, the first time I read about ketostrips was from a friend’s dieting blog, and after reading it, I emailed him telling him that it was disgusting. I also read that there’s tons of variables (ketone concentration in the urine may vary due to muscles burning them up or being well hydrated), making the actual results of the test less interesting. However, the more I thought about it, the more curious I was, so I bought some.

And that’s that for my intro post. Next topic: dealing with hunger.

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