Re: Body maintenance, gender issues, romantic duplicity or honesty, the toll of parenting and age

1

I want a doughnut now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:19 AM
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The more troubling kind of man has a caveat about a woman's thinness. She must not be "obsessed" or "overly concerned" with it. Or at least not visibly so. She mustn't always order salads or freak out when she doesn't make it to the gym.

To be fair, a lot of these men in the 21st century are obsessed with going to the gym themselves. Superficial in search of superficial.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:26 AM
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This line made me kind of sad: "Strength training causes more calories to burn while at rest but too much produces a muscled look, literally hard evidence that this is not the thinness of a carefree woman." A very artificial look.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:28 AM
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I think you missed the point of the sentence. A gym-obessive who wants a gym-obsessive is one thing. The "more troubling kind of man" wants someone who looks like a gym-obsessive but is offended that her looking that way isn't effortless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:28 AM
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I read that totally wrong and thought the more troubling ones were the ones who insisted the woman be obsessed. Sorry.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:32 AM
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I keep gaining weight without increasing the size of clothes I wear. This is either because I'm becoming more densely muscled or because a belly can stay above the waist of pants and men's shirts have enough extra fabric for three fat guys on mopeds to be able to ride at their ease.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:46 AM
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This line made me kind of sad

The whole thing should make you kind of sad.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:49 AM
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Does the article really answer why? She lost a bunch of weight, and that meant she got a lot more male attention, but she doesn't sound particularly happy with the kind of male attention she's getting.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:55 AM
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9

I want to be sympathetic to her, because she is right that there exists a strain of thought that says that the ideal woman is a size zero and thin but not athletic and just loves candy and burgers,

but.... I kinda want to say that she should try not dating assholes. I know plenty of men who are into Crossfit and like crossfitty girls, plenty of men who are happily married to women who aren't fashion models, and men who are aware that their wives exercise and are happy that their wives are fit. She needs a better class of man.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:56 AM
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The whole thing should make you kind of sad.

Blurg. I do most of what she does--it's a choice; you don't actually have to be that way to be loved or to mate or whatever. You might decide that there's some "good" that you want and decide to work hard to get it. For some people it's a house, or a car, or money, for others it's an athletic body. And everybody knows this right until the moment they're angling for a book deal.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:57 AM
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I have a solution.


Posted by: Opinionated Tapeworm | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:58 AM
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9 - Maybe she should look at the dating pool she's got and ruefully whisper to herself, "#notallmen."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:58 AM
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She needs a better class of man.

Or at least smarter assholes. They should know that the obsessive is much more likely to stay thin than the "naturally" thin person who eats like a tailgater.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:59 AM
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9: The impression I got, and this is not really directly addressed in the article, is what being thin gets her is a quantity of male attention: that she's got some investment in having the experience of being head-turningly attractive. Not that she couldn't find a relationship with an individual man at a higher weight, but she wouldn't have the same kind of identity as a beauty. And yeah, I think that's probably not a goal that anyone should be chasing if they actually want to be happy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:00 AM
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8: Honestly, I just couldn't figure out how else to end the sentence. I knew it didn't hold up to scrutiny. SHUT UP WHATS WITH THE THIRD DEGREE.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:01 AM
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Anyway, she comes to the right conclusion in the end (which is another clue that the piece is basically a performance): just be upfront.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:02 AM
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Also, from looking at her blog, she's probably 27 or so. Totally age-appropriate to be learning these sorts of lessons, and probably at some point she'll reconsider whether it's worth it to be a size zero.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:03 AM
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17 - also means many of the dudes in the article probably hadn't thought through the whole "what does it mean that my girlfriend puts in the effort to be super-thin" thing. (Thinking of the guy who says "can't you skip the gym for once", not the guys who make fat jokes. Fuck those guys.)


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:14 AM
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God I hate the "takes care of herself" formulation. You mean, flosses daily and visits the dentist regularly? Diligently moisturizes and applies SPF 45? Gets plenty of fiber, stays hydrated, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink too much? NOPE! You mean thin.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:14 AM
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The other thing: sometimes she's dating jerks, but the longer story is about basically how she's obsessed with staying thin, and that means she can't do fun things like snuggle in bed or eat food that isn't lettuce, and she thinks that the relationship failed because he wanted someone who could be thin effortlessly, and I'm thinking maybe he just wants to snuggle in bed, and he might be okay with her being ten pounds heavier, and maybe she'll learn that, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:15 AM
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20 - although alternately he could end up saying "wow you've really let yourself go" N years into the relationship.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:18 AM
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"I can tell you take care of yourself"

"You are so right. I never miss a dose of heroin."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:18 AM
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20: I think she's probably right that the level of thin she's maintaining is getting her something: quantity of attention; praise; freedom from negativity directed at her body. She'd been heavier before, and doesn't say that she couldn't find a relationship heavier -- she got thin after a bad breakup. So she's probably not confused about whether she can find someone to snuggle with even if she returns to a higher weight.

The question is what exactly is it that the thin is getting her, and is it worth it to her, or will it keep on being worth it to her?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:19 AM
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what exactly is it that the thin is getting her

But this stuff is almost never about getting something specific. It's usually about being able to think of yourself as a particular kind of person, whether that's a rich person, or a hottie, or someone virtuous. I guess I'm just taking issue with "getting," because I agree that it's worthwhile for her to think about why being thin is important to her.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:23 AM
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It's specifically about getting positive attention, no? If she hadn't felt like she'd gone to a new planet, she wouldn't have worked so hard to stay there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:26 AM
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I'm pretty willing to believe that the thin is getting her an objectively significant difference in the feedback she gets from men around her -- I've heard exactly that from other women, that dropping below a particular weight threshold was like flipping a switch in terms of the quantity and type of attention they got. (Never experienced it myself, but I've got that big-boned thing going on. There is no weight at which I am appealingly waifish.) So, is feedback from men something to "get"? I'd agree that it's very much worth evaluating why it's desirable, but I doubt the whole thing is in her head.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:30 AM
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I want to be sympathetic to her, because she is right that there exists a strain of thought that says that the ideal woman is a size zero and thin but not athletic and just loves candy and burgers manic pixie dream girl.

From the context it seems that this woman is at least in her late 20s. Why is she apparently dating college students? 'Compliments during sexual encounters that were once full of the word "beautiful" became dominated by mesmerized declarations about me being so "little" and "tiny,"' she says; she should ask herself which of those is the better compliment.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:31 AM
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about getting positive attention, no?

Maybe. I thought she got thin, then realized she was getting a bunch of attention, but it wasn't clear whether she kept exercising because of that, or just because. I should look at it more carefully.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:32 AM
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28: She likes the overall way she gets treated.

"But not anytime soon, I'm totally and completely obsessed with staying thin now that I know that the world is handed to me on a silver platter."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:37 AM
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Watching her eat a cheeseburger--or better yet, a steak--even oddly enthralls him.

I don't know that I'd call it enthralling exactly, but this sure is something.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:37 AM
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She received attention when she lost the weight because she sent out signals that it was important for her to receive admiration for her size.

I'm a thin person, I always have been, and I've never received a lot of attention from men due to my weight. Attention, yes, but almost none of it because of my body size and mostly I think that's because I sent a strong signal that I would not respond to that kind of attention.

It's fine for her to seek out attention based on her size but she also doesn't get to be upset when people give her what she's asking for.


Posted by: scantee | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:39 AM
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32

world is handed to me on a silver platter

Ah, ok.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:39 AM
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Couldn't implants get her pretty much the same effect, but for much less effort.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:43 AM
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30. Do you think she enjoyed her meal?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:43 AM
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She received attention when she lost the weight because she sent out signals that it was important for her to receive admiration for her size.

If by this you mean dressing in a trendy-Urban-Outfitters style, then yes, I think she does exactly that. (There are photos in her blog.) If you mean something more desperate and cloying, I doubt she changed much from when she was heavier, and she seems socially adept enough not to be too obnoxious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:43 AM
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Well she more or less states outright that she would rather be thought of as thin than beautiful. That seems to me to be one fucked up aesthetic.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:48 AM
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There were subtle ways for her to signal that her size was important to her. All the stuff about iceberg lettuce, and just not being hungry, and enjoying being active, both she and her dates knew what was going on with those comments (that she has to work at being skinny but doesn't want to completely put that out there) and they were enough of a signal to her dates to give her the kind of attention she wanted.


Posted by: scantee | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:48 AM
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I'd be inclined toward 9 if I were feeling charitable but I think Ogged has it right that this is a performance.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:53 AM
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Nah, the attention precedes the clues.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:53 AM
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31: I'm a thin person, I always have been, and I've never received a lot of attention from men due to my weight. Attention, yes, but almost none of it because of my body size

Are you sure? I mean, it sounds as if you haven't had the sort of 'crossing a threshold' experience she talks about, where you've been both very thin and not.

But generally, yeah, having that experience of being a beauty and treated as such is very much about self-presentation. "Doesn't get to be upset about it"? Eh, people are upset by what upsets them; even if you're actively participating in a dynamic, you're still allowed to think of it as being fucked up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:53 AM
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Somewhere in TFA Megan has a vivid description of the male attention she'd get when she was in the near-starvation phase of making it into a lower weight class for TKD (reminded me of one of Dick Francis's jockeys).


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:53 AM
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Dick Francis's jockey, singular. He may have different names in different books, but he's always exactly the same guy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:55 AM
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No, in some books the jockey is a different guy, Dick S. Francis.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:56 AM
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If the attention precedes the cues, then I don't know how to square that with my own experience as a thin person who has received very little attention based on my weight. I think that when women lose weight it often becomes important to them to receive attention for that and that attention isn't something that is completely external to them, they seek it out in both directly and indirectly.


Posted by: scantee | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:58 AM
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This is not a complicated chicken-egg problem. She gets thin, starts getting some attention, realizes she's crossed into "hottie" territory, starts acting like it, and then gets a lot of attention.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:01 AM
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46

The first sentence of 45 is dickish. I was just signaling to the ladies who like that sort of thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:02 AM
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47

Ogged with the poultry neg.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:04 AM
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48

Which came first, the chicken or the neg?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:04 AM
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49

I'm finding it super interesting the direction this conversation has taken.

I was struck by the strong impulse towards female solidarity she expresses. She describes vividly the smallness of the space a woman can occupy and she experience, as LB said "freedom from negativity directed at her body", but from that space she rejects complicity in the negativity directed at other women's bodies and hypocrisy re what it takes to maintain a certain aesthetic for her own body.

Having skimmed this thread earlier this morning, as I surveyed the generous array of "nude" eye shadow in the bathroom cabinet, it occurred to me that the accusations of juvenility towards the men she portrayed were perhaps not entirely warranted...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:06 AM
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44: I don't know how to square that with my own experience as a thin person who has received very little attention based on my weight.

Again, are you sure? That is, if you put on twenty points and a couple of dress sizes, does it seem terribly unlikely to you that it might not change the amount and type of feedback you get from men?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:06 AM
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If the attention precedes the cues, then I don't know how to square that with my own experience as a thin person who has received very little attention based on my weight.

My guess is that you dress and carry yourself in a way that communicates that fashion and the "scene" aren't your number one priority? I'm not saying you dress in an unflattering way or anything, but that you probably don't come across as a scenester who wants to go drinking downtown on a Tuesday night?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:07 AM
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if you put on twenty points

She'd be more attractive to the elderly.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:09 AM
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49.2: That, I found disconcerting and interesting. That is, her analysis of what's going on seemed reasonable, feminist, and sane. Her continued investment in staying thin to keep having the world handed to her "on a silver platter" seemed really weird in light of her capacity to do that analysis -- like, someone who could write the article generally, I would have expected to take the next step to "Fuck it, I'm having brunch, I don't need the silver platter that badly," and it's surprising that she didn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:10 AM
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52: Whoops, "pounds".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:10 AM
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51: c'mon, Heebie, you know that everybody on unfogged is wearing the same drop-dead stylish clothes they wore in 1991.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:11 AM
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Yes, exactly. This is particularly interesting in light of her quite perceptive references to the inevitable toll pregnancy, childbirth and aging will have on her or any women's body. And yet still she concludes with a vow to never relinquish control of her body. That's where her youth showed for me, mire than anywhere else.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:13 AM
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it's surprising that she didn't

She's probably shed her own early shellshock at finding herself thin and desired, and is navigating it in a way that makes her happy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:15 AM
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56: I feel like I'm missing something. Are the references to pregnancy and childbirth somewhere else in this blog, besides the linked piece? In that one I just see the reference to "illness, injury, or age".


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:16 AM
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59

in a way that makes her happy

?! Does this lady sound happy to you? She sounds fucking miserable to me.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:20 AM
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That is, her analysis of what's going on seemed reasonable, feminist, and sane. Her continued investment in staying thin to keep having the world handed to her "on a silver platter" seemed really weird in light of her capacity to do that analysis

I don't find this surprising at all - it seems to me that's what being 27 years old (and single, in a sense) is all about. I had the same disconnect for much of my twenties, I suppose.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:20 AM
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Here:

Eyes that had been looking at me affectionately all evening became fearful and he asked, "Do you think you'll ever gain it back?" Flattering as it can be to know that a man has already considered our long future together all the way into "ever," I was mostly appalled at the transparency of the question. I considered the life expectancy of healthy women and the statistical probability of me having children and nodded my head. "Yeah," I said, refusing to add, "But not anytime soon, I'm totally and completely obsessed with staying thin now that I know that the world is handed to me on a silver platter."

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:20 AM
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"I considered the life expectancy of healthy women and the statistical probability of me having children..."


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:20 AM
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Or at least smarter assholes. They should know that the obsessive is much more likely to stay thin than the "naturally" thin person who eats like a tailgater.

Dumb asshole here. My formerly size two girlfriend, who delighted me by eating calorie-rich foods with gusto and not obsessing about exercise, is now my size 12 wife who gorges on pizza and is sedentary. I never give her a hard time about her weight, but I can't say it doesn't bother me. Ironically, after our first date, I remember telling my friend about her, "She's already XX years old and is still thin, so there's no risk of her getting fat."


Posted by: Francisco Franco | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:22 AM
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59: Realistically, though, could she sound happy? Nobody would read it if the only thing she had to say was "thin and loving it".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:26 AM
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65

Let me be the first to say: fuck you, Generalissimo.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:27 AM
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66

How have we gotten this far into the thread without someone posting the relevant quote from Gone Girl?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:27 AM
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67

She sounds fucking miserable to me.

Well, two things: this piece is mostly retrospective, and all we get is a final paragraph that says she's dealing with her desires with less subterfuge, which I assume makes her less miserable. Second, when people make sacrifices for things we don't value, we tend to think they're being foolish, so I wouldn't assume that she's miserable because you think it sounds like an incredible drag to live as she describes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:27 AM
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68

I'm pretty sure if I described my life, she'd think it was an equally incredible drag.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:28 AM
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64, maybe if she gave more details about the benefits of being thin. She has the silver platter line, and says that relationships are just the tip of the iceberg of benefits. But she describes relationships that sound shitty and gives no other specifics.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:30 AM
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In a vacuum, from only the internal evidence in the article, I could read it like 67. In the context of the world around me, my guess is that she's pretty miserable. Or, maybe not miserable exactly, but that there's a lot of negative emotion going on around this stuff.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:31 AM
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Perhaps the only smaller space to occupy in US culture than that of a woman maintaining thinness out of a desire to attract men is that of a woman maintaining thinness out of aesthetic preference. The latter space seems to be literally unimaginable to anyone, while the analogous male space seems quite real.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:32 AM
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65: You're welcome to your disdain, but I don't think my discomfort is the least bit unusual, even in these enlightened ranks. I love her at any weight, but a weight gain of ~50% of her initial body weight is hard to regard with equanimity, not least because of its implications for her health.


Posted by: Generalissimo Forgetful | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:32 AM
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I read the "silver platter" line as somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Having a baby was something of an eye-opener regarding the intensity of ... how to put it... how much women's size is noticed and policed? So. many. comments. About weight gain during pregnancy, about weight loss afterward, nuts.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:33 AM
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66 - I hate that quote. In your face, Oudemia!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:34 AM
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Oh my generalissimo you have been insufficiently vigilant re your civilian identity...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:34 AM
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Shit, would someone please redact 72 before I find myself in divorce court.


Posted by: I M SMRT | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:34 AM
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and 76!


Posted by: Francisco Franco | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:35 AM
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72: Okay fine, but you're patting yourself on the back for not giving your wife a hard time while implicitly giving the women of unfogged a hard time, you know? I suspect we have some size 12+ women around here, especially given the recent babysplosion.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:36 AM
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So! This is another thing I found interesting about the piece. Thought experiment: what if the writer found herself in a culture where maintenance of a certain body aesthetic was a shared cultural ideal, but without the hypocrisy re what is involved? Would she be happier?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:39 AM
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71: the analogous male space seems quite real.

Hrm. I would say that the analogous male space isn't all that tightly analogous; being much more about strength than about deprivation. That is, I'd believe a body-obsessed guy dieting some and working out an extraordinary amount, but the "no, really, the only thing I like on this menu is iceberg lettuce" seems implausible from a man.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:40 AM
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It's hard to say who's more clueless, her or me (I'll admit I can be pretty clueless), but for someone who has mostly always been thin, I can't ever think of a time when my thinness was mentioned much by men. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention or took it for granted but it does not loom large in my mind as the primary source of my allure.


Posted by: scantee | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:40 AM
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I think that's where she's getting to at the end of the piece - that she's just going to own the effort and quit faking.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:40 AM
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83

82 to 79.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:41 AM
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As a metacommentary on the phenomena at issue 72 et seq. were brillianly done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:41 AM
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85

Observing the Prime Directive of Arrested Excavation from here on out.


Posted by: Francisco Franco | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:43 AM
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80: perhaps I hang out with too many dandies! But exercising and controlling food intake to maintain a certain look seems if not ubiquitous among the men I know but certainly not at all uncommon.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:43 AM
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87

She calls her regimented routine "brutal", but most of the stuff she does sounds perfectly reasonable and familiar:

"declined food during a camping trip where everything seemed to come either on a potato bun or drenched in mayonnaise."

"not just a matter of what you eat and burn but also of making sure you've planned sufficient time for both, carefully anticipating social engagements, unforeseen late nights at the office, and illness."

"goes to find a refrigerator staple like butter, I can claim I simply ran out the first time but I must eventually admit that I don't keep it in my home."

I also don't have butter in my fridge, don't eat white bread or mayonnaise, and am constantly planning ahead to make sure I don't end up stranded somewhere without food that I like. I'll bet a fair number of other people here do all those things as well. Would she call us borderline diseased?

Arguably this is trolling, but reading that piece, it felt like her neurosis and obsession was the unhealthy part, not the actual physical steps she took to stay thin. I also think she overrates the extent to which a little bit of strength training would compromise the look she's going for.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:44 AM
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86: One of the things I like about Pittsburgh is that it's pretty uncommon here. In my personal case, I realized that I either have to stop drinking for real or accept that 'not technically obese' is all I'm going to get for my fitness efforts. This isn't a hard choice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:45 AM
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89

She makes it sound in the piece like "I'm withholding the dirtiest details, the ones that would convince you I've got a full-fledged-needs-treatment eating disorder". That may be for effect, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:45 AM
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78 How gendered is this? It's not unheard of for women to feel unhappy if a partner goes from active and toned to seriously overweight and completely sedentary.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:46 AM
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I agree to an extent with 87 - what she's doing probably won't keep her at a size 0 in another fifteen years. It'll just keep the otherwise relentless weight gain at bay.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:47 AM
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Fruity Rudy in Generation Kill wanted to move to San Francisco because there are no fat people there, so at least one Marine concurs wth dq.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:47 AM
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Must say that 65 and 78 don't seem like a productive way forward on these issues. Just ignoring the real problems with a life partner gaining a lot of weight I think makes the problem worse (and this really is an issue that cuts across the sexes, women get angry when their husbands gain a ton if weight and don't do anything about it, even agreeing wholeheartedly that these issues are quite different for women).

I think any real conversation on these things needs to start by acknowledging that these issues are real. My own view is that "weight" by itself is a terrible proxy for not only health, by also fitness, sexual attractiveness, etc, and that the emphasis on weight per se is a disaster. But it's certainly possible for people to be more or less fit and active, and there's also for sure a link between that and attractiveness. Just shutting down conversation on the issue as sinful doesn't ultimately help anyone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:48 AM
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87: I'd go with "borderline diseased", but that's because I think the border between being healthy and obsessive is porous for a lot of people.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:49 AM
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86, 87: it felt like her neurosis and obsession was the unhealthy part, not the actual physical steps she took to stay thin.

It's hard to tell the difference between reasonable and unreasonable deprivation. But her description of her regime, while not in the sort of exhaustive detail that would let you say "Whoa, that's globally crazy" did seem to be heading in that direction. Like so:

I did not say that I had already splurged on grapefruit juice instead of my usual seltzer the night before. I did not say that I would double my cardio all week in anticipation of not being able to ask what my food was cooked in or to have egg whites in front of him at brunch the following week.
.

Maybe there are a lot of men who eat that way to maintain a look, maybe a fair number of people here do too. But I don't think so.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:50 AM
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89: Agreed. Also scheduling lots of time around going off by oneself to the gym really can cut seriously into time for doing anything fun and carefree, especially if combined with a regular 8:30-6 kind of job and other constraints on schedule (e.g. must eat in very specific times and ways).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:50 AM
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80.last/86: Not to over-generalize, but if we read "dandies" as "young gay men in a certain part of the subculture", then yeah, there's a lot of that going around.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:50 AM
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87 is nonsense. She doesn't give particulars about how much she exercises or how little she eats, so how can you judge whether it's brutal? I mean maybe she's working out hours per day and on a 1200 calorie diet.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:52 AM
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Also, yeah, I'm really happy I don't feel like drinking grapefruit juice is a huge splurge.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:52 AM
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95: The really crazy part of that quote is the "double my cardio all week". Everyone knows cardio's shit for weight loss! </halford>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:52 AM
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95: I drank a lot of seltzer last night, LB. I did, okay. I admit it!

Also some beer, but that doesn't count as calories.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:53 AM
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Yeah, whatever the diet she's on, grapefruit juice and eggwhites are her high-calorie splurges. That gets me to a belief that she's doing something I would perceive as pretty weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:53 AM
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and am constantly planning ahead to make sure I don't end up stranded somewhere without food that I like. I'll bet a fair number of other people here do all those things as well.

yes, but butter and mayonnaise are among the food that I like. And cheese. Yes, I am borderline obese and will probably die sooner than if I wasn't, but I enjoy good food and good drink, and I'm going to die eventually anyway.

When I was about 12 my dad told me the joke about the guy who goes to the doctor and asks what he has to do to live to a hundred. "Well," says the doctor, "Don't eat any fattening food, don't drink and don't have too much sex." "And if I do that," says the guy, "Will I live to be a hundred?" "No," replies the doctor, "But it'll feel like it."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:53 AM
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Who picks grapefruit juice as a splurge?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:54 AM
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103.1 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:54 AM
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Almost everything I eat has either cheese, mayonnaise, or butter on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:55 AM
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102: wait, I read the quoted passage as egg whites being normal, but her being unwilling to order egg whites (as opposed to just eggs, or something else) in front of dude as it would look diet-y.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:55 AM
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You could make the argument to file that type of egg whites-to-cardio calculation as neurosis rather than physical action, but if she actually follows through I agree that's the best counterexample in the piece to the "normal actions, unhealthy thoughts" view.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:56 AM
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You know what, though? I fucking love grapefruit juice, but I only get it when I'm having an extravagant restaurant breakfast, and never at home, because fruit juices are seven zillion calories from sugar. So I suppose I do consider it a splurge!

(Beer, again, doesn't count in any dietary calculation. Important to keep that in mind.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:57 AM
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102 - slight misread there - she doesn't want to eat egg whites in front of her boyfriend (presumably opting for regular eggs) because she doesn't want to put him off with her hard-core-ness.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:58 AM
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107: On rereading, you might be (probably are) right. But that still leaves the grapefruit juice as a splurge, and it still leaves her doubling her cardio all week in anticipation of one uncontrolled meal. Still weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:58 AM
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powned by 107.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:58 AM
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I read it the same way as Sifu.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:58 AM
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Too late! Nobody cares, Ogged!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:59 AM
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Couldn't implants get her pretty much the same effect, but for much less effort.

Speaking of, Ms. Lincoln has decided she wants to have a cosmetic surgery on her breasts (aka a "boob job"). Not to add size but to, um, restore their youthful vitality, basically. At first I thought she was joking, but she seems to be serious. I have been resisting because this seems wrongheaded to me; is she having issues with self-esteem and is there another way we could address it? I tell her that I'm not at all unhappy with her breasts, but she insists that she is. She's become self-conscious enough that she's started to always want to leave her bra on during sex, which makes me sad. I don't know where this sentiment is coming from. I'm not really sure what to do. Boob jobs seem so... unfeminist? But otoh... I don't love the idea, but if she really thinks it will make her happier with her body, who am I to object?


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:59 AM
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Fruit juices and basically pure sugar, but grapefruit juice has the virtue of not tasting very good at all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:00 AM
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114: 40 push ups for failing!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:00 AM
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Was thinking more of guys in their 30s through 60s actually, but it seems SF is poaching on LA's shallow, looks obsessed culture...just kidding meant affectionately LA people!

I think, based on purely personal and therefore limited experience that USians are bad at moderation, so it's either Signora Franco "gorging on pizza" whilst planted on the couch, or nothing but egg whites forever. And this is going to make it very hard for the writer to find a partner who will respect her personal body maintenance choices in an honest way without becoming himself obsessive in a way that does drive her firmly into an unhealthy miserable place.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:01 AM
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I fucking love grapefruit juice, but I only get it when I'm having an extravagant restaurant breakfast, and never at home, because fruit juices are seven zillion calories from sugar. So I suppose I do consider it a splurge!

Fair enough! I also don't drink fruit juice at home. I guess I just don't really think of food and drink I don't have just any old time in terms of "splurges." (Wow, "splurge" really is a hideous word, isn't it?)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:02 AM
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Doubling cardio for an entire week in anticipation of a small increase in one meal per week is basically the only way that cardio works for weight loss.

Also I just had a steak and three sausages for breakfast but since everyone knows the paleo diet is bullshit you should stick to eating measured portions of pasta salad.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:02 AM
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Ugh, this grapefruit juice splurged all over me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:03 AM
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I mostly want to push back against the view that it's impossible to be an attractive weight without also being insane and obsessive (though it might help in the short term). Like she's probably at the point on the marginal return curve where doubling her cardio is meaningless anyway. And Franco is totally justified to be unhappy with the situation. As for 115, I think you should keep your mouth shut and let her decide.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:04 AM
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guys in their 30s through 60s actually

Yeah, this is me and some friends. I was struck, the last time I got together with some friends, how much we talked about weight, workouts, and diets.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:05 AM
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I just had a steak and three sausages for breakfast

Still waiting for you to post your triglyceride levels, Infarction Junction.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:06 AM
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A cup of grapefruit juice is about 100 calories, says google. If that little is something she's spending effort accounting for/making up for, doesn't that seem weird even by the standards of the somewhat ordinarily health-conscious?.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:06 AM
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I mostly want to push back against the view that it's impossible to be an attractive weight without also being insane and obsessive

Interesting, because my first reading of your reaction was that you were saying "that's not insane and obsessive! It's just how you have to behave if you want to be an attractive weight!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:06 AM
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I mostly want to push back against the view that it's impossible to be an attractive weight without also being insane and obsessive (though it might help in the short term).

No one has made this claim, including the OP link.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:07 AM
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I don't want to be too much of a dick about this but since you asked I got a physical this year and cholesterol, triglycerides, etc were all super low. The doctor seemed kind of surprised. What Robb Wolf said came true.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:08 AM
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doesn't that seem weird even by the standards of the somewhat ordinarily health-conscious?.

Oh, for sure (you googled; doesn't that seem weird even by the standards of internet geeks?), but the queen of all dairy is right that Americans are weird about this stuff (it's not just what happens, it's the principle), and juice is a big bogeyman these days.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:08 AM
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A cup of grapefruit juice is about 100 calories, says google. If that little is something she's spending effort accounting for/making up for, doesn't that seem weird even by the standards of the somewhat ordinarily health-conscious?.

If she bought a fruit juice container at the store and it had 2.5 servings, then tacking on an extra 45 minutes for three sessions on the elliptical next week is probably what it takes to mathematically zero out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:08 AM
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120: I just have to say this to tweak you, but we had a musclebuilding/fat loss challenge at work, and I won the muscle-building portion by running and doing Pilates. I like to think I made a crossfit goon cry.*

*some of my best friends, etc.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:10 AM
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cholesterol, triglycerides, etc were all super low

Interesting! The other thing one hears about paleo is that markers of inflammation go up, but since I don't know what those markers are, I can't ask you to post them.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:10 AM
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125: that's probably like some tiny 6 oz cup, LB. If I get my grapefruit juice on I am demolishing a big gulp of the stuff while sobbing because FUCK YEAH.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:11 AM
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132: TNFα?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:12 AM
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Interesting!

Not that surprising, since apparently one of the most important things influencing blood chemistry is abdominal fat. One of the nutritionists at the diabetes class I took a few years ago was really sad when she told us about it; it completely went against everything she'd been taught in her entire career, but she was honest enough to admit it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:13 AM
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Abdominal fat is bad now?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:13 AM
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It's definitely weird reading stuff like this from the other end of the spectrum. I'm not even at my heaviest weight/worst shape of my life right now (although it feels like it), but I am courting all kinds of obesity-related death, and my day to day health is crummy (sleep apnea, fatigue, back & leg pain, gout, other arthritis symptoms). So I really need to do something, but it's hard to change a lifetime of self-replicating behaviors. Sigh.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:15 AM
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Ooooh baby, bad bad bad, yep, totally bad. I'm still waiting for SCIENCE to confirm that organ meats are the bee's knees, though.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:16 AM
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TNFα?

AKA my mortal enemy. (One of the meds I'm on specifically blocks response to it.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:16 AM
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"Boob jobs seem so... unfeminist? But otoh... I don't love the idea, but if she really thinks it will make her happier with her body, who am I to object?"

Boob jobs are one of the few things that increase long term happiness. There is apparently no hedonic adaptation to them.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:16 AM
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122: I mostly want to push back against the view that it's impossible to be an attractive weight without also being insane and obsessive (though it might help in the short term). Like she's probably at the point on the marginal return curve where doubling her cardio is meaningless anyway.

I may be just being pissy about pushing back against a reaction that I'm perceiving as "Maybe she's just crazy." But I think there really is a difference between being at "an attractive weight" which isn't necessarily a huge hassle, and being at a weight where you draw lots of attention for your looks (contingent, of course, on other factors as well) which may be much thinner. I've heard this kind of story before, about getting much more attention at a very low weight, and it doesn't sound implausible to me.

(As discussed above, I think there's a lot to be said about whether that kind of attention is worth it or desirable at all, but I don't think she's talking about nothing.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:17 AM
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Actually my semi insane gym owner has now switched to a 60% organ meat diet, for reals. And has also been working in Pilates.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:18 AM
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135: What about someone else's abdominal fat? Like, can I still eat lard?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:18 AM
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SCIENCE has cone through lately for me with lovely confirmation that whole milk is great, and the whole fermented frit juice thing has been good for some time. So I figure it just takes patience.

On the other hand persistent wretched insomnia seems to be pushing me once again towards temporary veganism, so that sucks.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:19 AM
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bad at moderation
is me. I have these moments when I realize I am eating tons of sugar and have to go basically cold turkey because moderation is hard. Last time it led to quick weight loss though I didn't keep it up long enough for it to be significant. This time it isn't doing anything. I don't know why I'm talking about it. I mean I do--I'm venting frustration, but depending on where I mention it, I'm often a little nervous that "wants to be thinner" will be read as "hates fat people."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:19 AM
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In that Gretchen Reynolds exercise science for laymen book, she talked a lot about how studies on cholesterol and triglicerides, etc, are usually done on sedentary people because it's easier to get a similar population, but that some studies show that exercise really prevents all the negatives of a high fat diet from taking hold.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:20 AM
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I'm feel good about my "do a ton of walking just kinda incidentally" strategy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:23 AM
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Lard has to be good because alternatives are all hydrogenated, right? Those are clearly evil. And besides - schnitzel. Can't have it without lard, schnitzel is objectively excellent, therefore lard must be wholesome.

At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:23 AM
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Saturated fats are better than trans fats.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:24 AM
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149: Check your thin cis privilege, girlfriend!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:27 AM
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More like thick and juicy cis privilege! Mmm!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:28 AM
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I've described my favorite O-Chem joke here before, right? Sketch of a jumbo jet, with two wings on the left and none on the right, and the letters "CWA" on the tail?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:30 AM
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I'm no expert (and even an expert can't diagnose someone over the internet) but what the linked article is describing does sound to me like an eating disorder. Not even the particular food or exercise choices so much as the intense focus on the degree of self-control the author is exercising, and the equally intense focus on the reactions of her various partners to her demonstrations of self-control. She might be exaggerating for effect, of course, as others have noted.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:32 AM
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I'm having a lot of issues with weight. Went way up after college, and I strongly suspect it's true that your body processes food toward the aim of keeping weight constant, so reducing requires a level of effort I haven't been able to keep up with any regularity. (And I am genuinely unhealthily obese, 310 last I checked at 5'11"; if I were just overweight, I'd probably be content.)

Trying out online dating, I have not had the confidence to message anyone not at least a little overweight, trying to follow a rough matching principle, which is likely self-defeating in some cases but in a sense still playing the odds. The only people I dated through OKC were in the healthily-overweight category. But over time it became evident to me that if in the messagee's shoes, I would see my weight as a major issue and very likely to end up a deal-breaker overriding almost any other compatibility, and I don't message anyone now. Basically, I do find myself repulsive, and find myself thinking the same of women at the same relative weight as me.

Not sure how to healthily break this cycle. Joined a gym earlier this year; it's going as it normally goes, trailing off.


Posted by: Levi P. Morton | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:36 AM
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If this is the true confessions about body issues thread, here is mine: I gained a small amount of weight with pregnancy (5-10 lbs, maybe? depends a lot on the baseline). I am a) the laziest fucker in existence and b) according to the NIH calculator, at a normal weight, so AFAIK nothing social or medical obligates me to give a shit or try to lose weight. But I cannot stop thinking/feeling that I'm woefully unattractive now. I picture myself as Sra. Franco. I don't know what this resurgent-teenage bullshit is. I just can't shake it at all. The only things I could do to change size are the borderline-unhealthy activities in the article. But I really do feel repulsive 95% of the time. I never had any sense of myself as beautiful or sexy, just relatively thin, so thinness must have been the proxy source of romantic value. Is there any way out of this? It's an awfully stupid problem, but I honestly don't know what to do. I should probably just go ahead with the disordered eating and settle back into quasi-anorexic Control Mode, since the alternative where I don't want/enjoy sex is pretty lousy. I really don't know if I can wilfully alter my self-image at the age of [well past 27]. OTOH maybe it is really super easy to lose 10 pounds (and be underweight again), but it feels like capitulation.


Posted by: less hot Carla Bruni | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:46 AM
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I'm living in a yoga studio right now filled with bored, unhappy middle aged women with eating disorders, and never have thigh gaps looked so unattractive. I would rather be overweight than in a sexless marriage and not eat food after 3 pm.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:47 AM
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142: "switched to a 60% organ meat diet" and "is doing Pilates" are not remotely comparable in the "my, isn't that unusual" scale. (Is the second one worth mentioning because he's a dude or something? Isn't Pilates in fact good exercise?)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:48 AM
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Hi, I'm reading the thread backwards and think it's super important that you all know that I, too, fucking love grapefruit juice. Also good is cranberry juice mixed with Pernod but grapefruit juice, man, grapefruit juice. Sooooo goooood.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:51 AM
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If I had to do it all over again, I would emphasize sex drive way more than weight in looking for a partner. Basically -- fine, you're 25 pounds overweight. But are you a nymphomaniac? Will you stay a nymphomaniac? If we get married, I can always look at other women, but I can't have sex with them.


Posted by: Teddy Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:51 AM
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155: Eh. I go back and forth between feeling like a manatee and not, without changing weight much at all (which has been stable at right on the line between BMI normal and overweight since I had kids). Work on being globally more cheerful about things? Do whatever it take to make it feel as if your clothes are flattering? I would say get fitter and take pleasure in being stronger, but I get a weird reaction to getting in better shape where I'm paying more attention to my body and actually feel worse about it esthetically, so while it's generally a good idea, it might not help.

Adopt Halfordismo wholesale?

(and 154: Damned if I know. You're in a hard spot, and I wish I had something helpful to say.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:51 AM
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159: What if you go blind after you get married?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:54 AM
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155:
Could you take up an exercise that you really enjoy, not to lose weight, but just to use your body? I did competitive sports when I was younger, and there was something about actually using my body in a sort of intense way for a specific purpose which made it so much easier to accept how it looked, even though the exercise altered my body in ways that made me conventionally less attractive. Also, exercise is a mild antidepressant. I am also very lazy, so I sympathize, but if you can overcome the hurtle I would try. Actually, I would give this advice for 154 as well.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:54 AM
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155: I can sympathize. I felt woefully unattractive after having the baby because I felt like my body had changed so much. Exercise helps. Don't focus on weight at all; you're fine, as you say. But maybe focus on running a distance or getting stronger or something like that so you can use your body and enjoy being active.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:57 AM
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161: Married to a nymphomaniac, he shouldn't have occasion to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:58 AM
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154: Sympathies. It sucks to be in your situation.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:59 AM
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Losing weight seems easier for men than women.

men should:

1) cut out all calories from drinks
2) cut out all sugars
3) get on a non-calorie restrictive diet like paleo
4) might as well go to the gym and lift because of all the protein you are eating

Do it in that order and don't go to the next step until the previous step is a habit.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:02 AM
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155: My wife had a not dissimilar situation. It sounds like you have a fairly good grasp of your own behaviors. I'd suggest the question is whether you could think you could get back out of quasi-anorexic control mode when you're done, or at least recognize if you were failing to do that. If you think you'll be able to do that, and the only thing that's stopping you is that it feels like capitulation, you might want to just go ahead and forgive yourself for it in advance. If you're worried that you might not be able to get out of that head-space again, maybe try therapy if you have the resources? Either to work on adjusting your image to your current body weight or to have someone to watch you while you try to drop the 5-10 pounds.

It feels odd not also commenting on 154 after typing this but I don't have any suggestions to 154 except to say "I'm sorry, I hope you get to a better place, maybe try therapy or see a doctor if you have the resources."


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:02 AM
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Martha has been mostly-successfully losing a whole bunch of weight via calorie restriction. The issue from my point of view is that I do all of the cooking, so now I have to carefully measure all of my ingredients (instead of just splashing some oil into the pan, say), and write them down for caloric calculation, and similarly carefully measure the serving sizes I'm creating, and deal with lots of terrible raw/cooked unit conversions, and so on. I suppose it's for a good cause?


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:02 AM
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I second nosflow's love of grapefruit juice. It wins the Oscar for Best Vegetal Extrusion.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:07 AM
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What I want to say to 154 is to get pushy along the lines of 166 -- what have you tried in terms of weight loss that's sort of sane and non-misery inducing? But that seems intrusive and obnoxious, and I don't really know anything helpful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:09 AM
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All of you suffering through post child bearing body changes have this to look forward to in the slow slide to post fertility - being kept awake by some of the most intense and painful menstrual cramps ever, while simultaneously experiencing excruciating swings in body temperature. Fun!


Posted by: Eleanor Aquitaine | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:09 AM
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115: God knows why out of this whole thread, your comment stands out to me, but I can suggest why a boob lift/enhancement/whatever seems like a totally reasonable thing to want. Ladies' clothing is tailored for boobs of a certain size at a certain position. If you are not a person that has whatever they size clothes to (C-cup? no clue), everything tailored fits badly. Badly fitting clothes kind of reinforce any insecurity I have about a given body part. The worst clothes for fitting non-mannequin breasts are dress shirts and sheath dresses. Even T-shirts have a curvy aspect that men's shirts don't.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:11 AM
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Ladies' clothing is tailored for boobs of a certain size at a certain position.

Anything but ventral is a big problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:15 AM
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Really sorry to hear about 154. 166 is very good advice , I think. I 100% would fail (and have failed) calorie restrictive diets, so it's important to me to not have one of those. That does require being pretty strict about what you eat -- and cutting out 100% of nonalcoholic drinks besides water is a great place to start and you will likely see huge benefit from that alone.

Also important to be aware that weight loss is (a) hard and requires work and (b) largely a psychological issue about maintaining the psychology to make it happen -- the thing about going to the gym is not so much help for weight loss, but help for the general psychological attunement to your body that helps you stop feeling gross and unattractive. The key is to try and trick your mind out of the habits that caused the weight gain without feeling miserable about it. To do so you have to fight against a world, especially in the US, that's designed to both make you fat and make you feel guilty about being fat. So much advice just glosses over this problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:19 AM
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My wife should exercise more to have more energy and be fitter, and it would be nice to lose weight for mobility and comfort. But, her relationship to food now is so straightforward and untroubled, so free of all the thoughts and fears of this thread, that so long as she is fundamentally healthy, with no chronic conditions or high risks, I feel blessed.

I exercise naturally and easily and have never been seriously overweight or out of shape; when I put more time into it I get results quickly. I like the emergence of paleo not as a doctrine but as a corrective to all the health scare habits I've been lucky enough not to be affected by. I feel we're in a very good place.


Posted by: Wilfred Laurier | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:21 AM
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168: That or persuade her to see the virtues of reasonable approximation. I've managed to lose some weight using similar methods -- the counter apps for smartphones actually make it remarkably more feasible than it ever was (at least for me) before. But it does get really annoying if you're not approximating.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:21 AM
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I just sometimes wonder, and I know I'm going to sound like an idiot but this is really what goes through my head, if not everybody is cut out for exercise. In my experience, it never makes me feel good and usually makes me feel lousy. I get dehydrated weirdly easily and get a headache. I don't get perceptibly better at it. (Or anyway it is very, very slow. The only example I can think of is Couch to 5K, where after a number of deeply unpleasant runs, I got to the point where I could run for like three-minute stretches and one five-minute. It will go without saying I abandoned it and am probably back at the beginning.) Riding a bike on a mild grade such as the one going up Telegraph to Berkeley, I feel tired in a way that is less "hoo boy, what a hill!" than "I cannot sustain this and it feels bad for me." Riding a bike up an actual hill is like getting punched in the gut in terms of comfort. Honestly, I know that the way to get fit is to find a form of exercise I like but this sentence reads to me like "find a form of being hit in the face you enjoy and just, y'know, go with it!"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:22 AM
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154.2: To be fair, I've never actually been in the pool for online dating, but I've dated guys who weighed significantly more than I did (as in, guy was maybe 5'9"/280 lbs) without giving it a second thought. For some people, it's A Thing. For some, it's not. The boyfriend's collection of college roommates includes two guys who have the physique you're describing, and their girlfriends have varied from curvy to maybe a little more than curvy. Personality counts for a lot, I think. It's a shame you're unhappy, though.

173: Yeah, but they also need to be more thoracic than abdominal for things to work out.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:22 AM
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The last two sentences of 174 are very well put despite the fact that I am pretty sure RH and I agree on absolutely nothing else about food.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:23 AM
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cutting out 100% of nonalcoholic drinks besides water

As advised by G. K. Chesterton (sorry about the racism in the latter verses):

Feast on wine or fast on water
And your honour shall stand sure,
God Almighty's son and daughter
He the valiant, she the pure;
If an angel out of heaven
Brings you other things to drink,
Thank him for his kind attentions,
Go and pour them down the sink.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:25 AM
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I just sometimes wonder, and I know I'm going to sound like an idiot but this is really what goes through my head, if not everybody is cut out for exercise.

Yes. This comes up in The Sports Gene; people definitely differ in their response to training, and some people can exercise all they want with no real effect.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:26 AM
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181: No real affect in training and fitness; they still get all the health benefits.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:30 AM
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If I had to do it all over again, I would emphasize sex drive way more than weight in looking for a partner. Basically -- fine, you're 25 pounds overweight. But are you a nymphomaniac? Will you stay a nymphomaniac?

Alas, the future trajectory of spousal libido is no more predictable than body weight. And not entirely uncorrelated with it, either.


Posted by: Deceased Head of State | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:30 AM
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My approach to gym going is the same as that I adopted pretty successfully for getting up multiple times every fucking night to nurse the baby (not that I resented it or anything! really!). The goal was to never actually fully awaken, so that it all passed in a semi somnambulistic blur, only vaguely recalled. I go to the gym early and avoid human interaction, get the deed done and get out. Listen to something not too attention grabbing but sufficient to drown out the incessant auto tuned voices on the sound system.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:31 AM
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Personality counts for a lot, I think.

If people think losing weight when you're inclined to gain weight is hard, they should see how much effort I have to be into not being insufferable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:31 AM
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The writer is in her late 30s. I thought it was a great essay -- she's just being very aware and honest about the choices she makes. She doesn't strike me as a victim or disordered at all. The highly observant/vigilant/self-monitoring quality in her writing strikes me as connected to a certain pleasure in monitoring and exercising vigilance over her body. The one bit of the article that didn't strike me as quite true was the implication that her motivation is gaining male attention -- she strikes me as a bit of a control freak totally apart from male attention.

I loved exercise but got a series of gradually more severe injuries starting in my late 30s and then eventually just quit exercising altogether, followed by gaining 20+ pounds. It seems to me you have to be a little neurotic to stay at a healthy weight working a desk job in this culture.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:31 AM
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177: Have you tried long walks? Because I identify with everything else you're saying in that paragraph but I notice significant improvements in mood and in some level of fitness when I can fit an hour-long brisk walk into my schedule three or four times a week. Not that I have in fact been able to do this in the past few years, and the cardio people will still sneer at you of course. But, nevertheless.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:32 AM
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Further to 181: But is there any superficially negative feeling you enjoy on a deeper level? When I think about what I enjoy about exercise, it's in part the same physiological response I get from being stressed or anxious: increased heart rate, sweating, inability to breathe fully comfortably. The difference is the framing I put on it. (Same thing with riding a motorcycle or driving fast; if you don't enjoy adrenaline rushes, you won't enjoy those things.)

Does that make sense?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:32 AM
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Thanks for the advice, especially widget. The thought that 159 is my husband (not actually likely) is cracking me up. Maybe I should try those pole dancing workouts. Pilates has always appealed, actually, but seems really hard. I should also probably go ahead with my plan to cut out sugar, although it seems like it would be infuriating to get picky about, say, sauces in Thai food. "Severely restricted sugar intake," maybe?

Of course I felt bad posting after 154. One of my relatives has also been obese for a long time and often talks about gastric bypass surgery and stuff like that. I'm glad she hasn't done it, since it's risky, but I know that she's never had any luck with traditional weight reduction. And even if you do lose weight, even if you keep it off, it isn't as if you're suddenly Gwyneth Paltrow -- I remember reading a piece by a woman who had lost a ton of weight and explained that, although she got lots of praise and attention, she feels unhealthy and miserable all the time as a thinner person. It was poignant and kind of unsurprising. I sincerely hope for good things for you, whatever they are, though.


Posted by: less hot Carla Bruni | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:33 AM
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177 -- I already know this advice sounds annoying and will be rejected, but, why not give it anyway. Despite my sitcom persona here, I actually spent a long time thinking I was basically the same way, someone fundamentally not attuned to exercise.

Here is my advice: if you want to get more fit, put someone else in charge of your fitness. Your mind is not going to give you automatic endorphin reassurance that you like exercise. Plus you probably have decades of experience built up as an "I don't like exercise" kind of person. Those parts of your mind are not just going to melt into thin air at the sight of new running shoes, and it's unreasonable to expect that they will. But what you can do is pay someone to help compensate for that part of your mind and get you moving forward until it starts to become a habit and enjoyable, or at least more enjoyable. Get a trainer or get into some kind of environment where there's someone you can reasonably tolerate who will just tell you what to do and expect you to do it. Don't expect to self-motivate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:33 AM
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I appreciate the presidentials, as Franco specifically but also others are helping me think about what Lee thinks of me. I also appreciate Smearcase's brave stand against exercise and for grapefruit juice. (And I read this while drinking a glass of wine and eating leftover bibimbap, because I'm home with Selah and her sinus infection today. So there's that.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:34 AM
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The writer is in her late 30s.

The writer was in 5th grade when Nirvana was big. So she's maybe 32.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:37 AM
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I have the opposite problem from Smearcase. I LOVED exercise for many years, and now can't bear to do the half assed replacements for all the exercises I loved to do (like running) but can no longer do. Plus running is the ultimate easy-organization exercise (put on your sneakers and roll out the door) and anything else seems much more complex trying -- I got used to exercise being a kind of lazy indulgence. Basically I'm lazy as fuck and had the good luck for some years of having a form of exercise that didn't feel like work to me. I realize none of these are good excuses whatsoever...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:39 AM
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Or maybe she was hyper-aware of the Seattle music scene as a very young child.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:39 AM
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177: One thing to try might be drinking more water. I know I get headaches from dehydration sometimes.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:40 AM
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193 is what I like about running. I usually hate the first mile of running, but after that it usually starts to feel great, weather permitting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:40 AM
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Here is an article from three years ago where she says she is 35. That would make her 38 now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:41 AM
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177 is me to a large extent. I go to the gym three times a week and hate it, but I really like the results (improved mood most importantly, general physical health second). I splurged on a trainer to keep me focused and to get me out of bed (it's a lot easier when there's someone waiting for you). It's definitely been worth it. Just need to get the diet under control. Reducing alcohol consumption would help, too.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:44 AM
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If people think losing weight when you're inclined to gain weight is hard, they should see how much effort I have to be into not being insufferable.

And still he fails! But I do love him for trying!



Posted by: Mrs. Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:46 AM
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Here's an article from yesterday that says "One thing that Little Critter and I did not have in common until I reached senior citizenship last year when I turned 28 was forgetfulness."

Maybe she's being cutesy and means "I can't count the years", but I took it to mean she was 29.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:47 AM
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I think we're talking about different women.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:47 AM
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Your person (Autumn Whitfield-Morano) is the byline, but she's sharing the work of someone else (Alana Massey).


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:49 AM
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197: It's confusing because of the byline, but Autumn Whitefield-Madrano is the not the author, Alana Massey is.


Posted by: scantee | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:49 AM
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I'm thinking that if you want to make a living writing autobiographical lifestyle articles for women's magazines you probably need to be very flexible about your age.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:50 AM
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Yes -- I may be totally confused. I thought the author of the piece was Autumn Whitfield-Madrano, the name up top, but is it by that blogger Alana Massey? I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING I WROTE THEN. (Part of my view was colored by googling Whitfield-Madrano who is not actually unusually thin, although in fine shape and all).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:50 AM
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Grapefruit juice is the best of all juices, you lunatics.

Maybe she should look at the dating pool she's got and ruefully whisper to herself, "#notallmen."

It took a minute before I realized this wasn't "no tall men", but it sure did make a lot more sense once I figured it out.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:51 AM
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Meanwhile, Autumn S. Massey Morano-Whitfield is 43 years old.

This joke will never get old.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:51 AM
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I'm going to have to go do work shortly, so sorry for what may be an unfair parting shot, but:

186: she strikes me as a bit of a control freak totally apart from male attention

Yeah, I agree -- but that's exactly what makes me think she's on a spectrum that has a species of anorexia at one end. The disorder is (or can be, I won't speak categorically) about the control, not about the weight.

How far she is along that spectrum is pretty much impossible to say from just this article.

Compare 155's reference to "quasi-anorexic Control Mode."


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:51 AM
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cutting out 100% of nonalcoholic drinks besides water is a great place to start and you will likely see huge benefit from that alone.

You really just mean "don't drink things that are full of sugar (or artificial sweeteners)", right? Or is there something wrong with, e.g, unsweetened tea now that I'm unaware of?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:59 AM
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Long walks are pleasant but it's hard to get motivated to do them when it's possible they're not doing anything for one's fitness.

188 Does that make sense?

Honestly not really, not to me. The ability to enjoy increased heart rate, sweating, and especially inability to breathe fully comfortably doesn't compute here.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:00 PM
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210.last: maybe you are dying romantically from consumption


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:02 PM
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Seriously, put someone else in charge! The Smearcase brain won't exercise so you need to get someone else to control the Smearcase brain.

209 -- yeah, I guess. Coffee is also fine, if it wasn't I'd weigh 800 pounds.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:03 PM
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I drink great tons of coffee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:04 PM
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190 This seems like good advice and I don't reject it directly, but rather passively on the grounds of "can't afford it right now."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:05 PM
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I think the idea is that non-caloric beverages are functionally water, so tea without milk, black coffee, etc. There are loads of things I'd cut out, though, before giving up a bit of milk in black tea.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:06 PM
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214: try somnambulistic exercise! Then go home afterwards and have sweaty sex. Mood lifting all around!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:08 PM
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Alana Massey is

Ohhhhhh. I didn't catch that. Googled pictures. Ohhhhh. She's basically Christina Ricci: very pretty at a normal weight, strangely alluring when underweight. Also, she smokes, and she's very skinny, and yeah, it just might be an eating disorder.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:18 PM
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I've always been crap at most exercise and sports. I suspect I might have been good at something like shot putting maybe if I took up when young. I don't do any gym stuff anymore - never liked it much but did it anyway and now my back problems make a lot of it suspect (I can't be quite sure which things will make it flare up but anything loading the spine is a good candidate.) I did really enjoy hill walking both for the getting outside and for discovering that I actually had good endurance and just that I could go on past that feeling of "I'm dying". Also whereas I couldn't see much measurable improvement in most exercise things, a really long walk up and down hills every two weeks became noticeably easier over not that much time (but in a kind of punctuated equilibrium way, the walks were graded "slow" "medium slow" "medium fast" and "fast", I went up from 1 to 2 fairly soon but not up to 3 for ages. Any time I dropped out for months the same would apply when I went back.)
Now though four hours is usually outside the limits of what my back will take whereas that's the bare minimum of the group walks I'd like to go on. I miss it also because it was very social.
I would recommend Pilates especially a small class with a good teacher who will correct your positions. I get through the tougher bits on doggedness (discovered as above) rather than fitness. Some weeks that's my only exercise.
What I really love best is sailing which I am only okayish at after years of doing. (Only took it up in early 30s.) Not dinghies tho which are for athletic types. It does build up strength a bit and if I avoid one particular position / job doesn't hurt my back.
The other thing that could be good for a non sporty person is some kind of energetic dancing. I dropped the class I used to do partly because it clashes with the only Pilates class that's late enough for me to make it to.
Everybody tells me to go swimming but I am crap at it and never see any improvement from lessons and it does actually hurt my back - when very bad the frigging getting in and out of swimsuit is a recipe for a day's agony. (Same as why most painful / problematic thing ever for me is putting on tights when I try to get them on the second foot.)


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:21 PM
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As someone who thinks of himself as being in 154's boat (sympathies) but is actually an inch or so taller and about 20lbs lighter than the description of datable dudes in 178 I'm delighted by the latter.

If that was written badly it's because I'm in the middle of writing and rewriting cover letters for jobs I'll never get.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:24 PM
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I returned to New York from six months in Provincetown at what must have been my lowest-ever adult weight. My thyroid was in overdrive just prior to complete flameout, so I lost a lot of weight without even thinking about it. Also, in Provincetown in winter there is no place to get food. I noticed no uptick in flattering male attention, but several friends told me they were worried that I was too thin. I thought "What are you talking about? I can still stand up, can't I?" Anyway, it only lasted a year or two, and by the end I was too fatigued to walk home from the bus-stop. So that was a drawback.

This was in the mid-eighties. Maybe most people weren't as insane then? I don't think they even had size 0.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:25 PM
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I returned to New York from six months in Provincetown at what must have been my lowest-ever adult weight. My thyroid was in overdrive just prior to complete flameout, so I lost a lot of weight without even thinking about it. Also, in Provincetown in winter there is no place to get food. I noticed no uptick in flattering male attention, but several friends told me they were worried that I was too thin. I thought "What are you talking about? I can still stand up, can't I?" Anyway, it only lasted a year or two, and by the end I was too fatigued to walk home from the bus-stop. So that was a drawback.

This was in the mid-eighties. Maybe most people weren't as insane then? I don't think they even had size 0.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:25 PM
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Jesus, sorry, that went on a bit.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:29 PM
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221:

Maybe you just weren't expecting to be noticed for it, and weren't sending out a look-at-me vibe.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:30 PM
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Also, in Provincetown in winter there is no place to get food. I noticed no uptick in flattering male attention

There's something you need to know about Provincetown, mcmc.

[Yes, that joke requires a deliberate misreading of the comment. Indulge me here, OK?]


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:30 PM
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I don't think they even had size 0.

That, I think is vanity sizing; that the sizes of the 80s have drifted upward, leaving more room at the bottom. I think an 0 now probably would have fit fine in a 2/4 then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:37 PM
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201-203: BUT WHICH ONE IS SHELDON SILVER?!


Posted by: OPINIONATED NEW YORK TIMES | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:38 PM
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Emir! I'd love to hear more about how and why you got into sailing. I've thought about asking at the other place. I am also a member of the Worthless Back Club and it's no fun.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 12:39 PM
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Prozac Nation ruined Christina Ricci for me.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:03 PM
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I saw parts of some movie where she had a face like a pig. I got really confused and stopped watching it. If somebody is going to show a movie like that on the TV, they should have a little caption explaining things to people just starting in the middle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:09 PM
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It occurs to me that the Internet's comment sections would be a great deal poorer had the flat-affect, blind-to-nonverbal-cues-and-deaf-to-subtext style of personal essay never arisen.

Seriously, people, do we have to take so many of our daily-thinking-about-things marching orders from people on the Asperger's spectrum? Shades of Nick Denton [crosses self, touches garlic garland] remarking that people like Mark Zuckerberg "don't accept an autogenetic compassion of animal behavior. That's why he concluded up creating algorithms to explain it."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:11 PM
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I guess I don't accept that either, because I have no idea what it means. What is a compassion?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:17 PM
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Hell if I know. That's all of the quote I could find online from the New Yorker piece; I think a clause or two has been abridged out.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:25 PM
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Also, "concluded up creating"? I may be easily confused, but this looks like word salad to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:26 PM
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word salad

I splurged on it! Now I have to do an extra 2 hours of cardio!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:28 PM
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233: I understand exactly what it means (just replace "concluded" with "wound"), but it's so sloppy as to be insulting.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:30 PM
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The summer I was 31 I was getting over a broken heart. It was healing pretty well considering I'd just (April/May) been broken up with, by email, after 12 years (last 6 months long distance). It helped a lot that I was enjoying all the fun social things the ex was too dour to be party to, and that I'd spent Jan/Feb/March going regularly to the gym and sticking to an eating plan, topped by a very short two week can't-eat phase after the email. So I felt ok about my appearance.
My brother and his girlfriend (now wife) were going off to do a course learning to sail, and suggested I go too- the accommodation was hostel-style mixed dorms so I wouldn't be cramping their style. The crowd was mostly the same age and the week involved a lot of burning the candle at both ends. We had a reunion weekend that October sailing on an inland lake. I really loved the sailing as well as the fun and went back other times for less wild weeks - but it was a few years before I got into regular crewing - actually took up hillwalking in the meantime with a related group / club, since that didn't require an invite from someone with a boat. Went back at intervals over the years to do more courses and through friends of friends got into a regular crew slot. Now have a different regular crew slot because of non-overlapping me not sailing one year/ original friends not sailing another year etc.
Have done further courses which have been live-aboard cruising which I love best of all, more than racing. Also on 2 occasions holidays sailing in the Med with more experienced people but in fact the "real" cruising around Ireland & bits of England & Brittany has been way more satisfying. I am not a natural or talented sailor but I don't care and by keeping at it have developed modest abilities. They tend to fade away in the winter and have to be recaptured.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:30 PM
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this looks like word salad to me

Googling, I see it on a site that looks like it's been through a translator.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:34 PM
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230: What? This? Tell us where you find your browser.

Referring to moguls, he said, "What may be different is that in the past those people have been far more colorful and charismatic. They have embraced that side of themselves. But for people like Zuckerberg it's more like Asperger's, that they lack something essential and don't have an instinctual understanding of human behavior. That's why he ended up creating algorithms to explain it."

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:36 PM
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I like the idea of hillwalking. It doesn't seem to be an American thing. Trying to google up a local group brought me to the page of the "Explorers Club of Pittsburgh" which I couldn't possibly join entirely because of the name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:39 PM
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the sizes of the 80s have drifted upward, leaving more room at the bottom

Not if there's fruit hanging there.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:42 PM
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I believe membership comes with a complimentary pith helmet.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:42 PM
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239: Pittsburgh doesn't have any hills, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:43 PM
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234 made me giggle.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:47 PM
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My ex was size 0 in the early-mid nineties. She weighed ninety-five pounds.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:50 PM
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242: You have to drive about thirty miles east.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:51 PM
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Smearcase is very much my brother in "exercise is not for me" and I do think that walking a bunch has been worth my time. Obviously it has not made me a hardbody but it prevents me from being a doughy lump and it is good for my thinking. I am a happier person with more interesting things to talk about (and also I work through knotty problems in my work sooner and more consistently!) when I get a good long walk. UNLIKE SOME KINDS OF EXERCISE, which I hear lead people to talk about nothing but weight, workouts, and diets.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:55 PM
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in the early-mid nineties. She weighed ninety-five pounds

So she'd be around 30 years old now. What's your point?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:56 PM
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If I lived where Smearcase does now I'd probably be getting a fair amount of exercise. Lots of pretty landscapes nearby to hike in, some truly amazing ones easily available for weekend trips.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 1:58 PM
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247 She was in her early twenties at the time. She wasn't even super skinny - much less so than me back then, but she was five feet even at best.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:01 PM
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I was just calling you a child molester.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:04 PM
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I look awesome despite not spending too much time or stress on my body. All my self-esteem issues are tied up in my personality and career trajectory, or complete lack thereof.

More seriously, it's only true that I don't spend too much time or stress on it from a certain point of view. I agree with the consensus here: if the goal is just to lose weight and get fitter, the most important thing is just to find something you can stick with. If you can afford a gym membership and can incorporate regular trips there into your schedule, go for it. If you can't, find something else. Personally, I bike to work. It's quicker than taking the bus, especially during the colder time of the year, when I don't have to shower after I get there. It's not very intense at all, I have to stop a dozen times at stop lights, but it doesn't have to be; four and a half miles one way adds up. If that's not an option (you work at home or have knee problems or something), then anything vaguely physical you can do 5-10 times a week is probably better than nothing.

190
Despite my sitcom persona here, I actually spent a long time thinking I was basically the same way, someone fundamentally not attuned to exercise.

Evangelists often have a conversion narrative.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:04 PM
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Mr. Laurier might be my husband. Or rather, that sounds roughly like me, though I think I'm ok on the energy front.

As I have regularly attested, I too am an exercise hater. I'm fairly content with my current regime of an active job + walking most places, but I am gaining weight from excess calories (I think mainly alcohol, but also snacking). Eating is a definite hobby, and I've largely decided that if I make it, I can have it - perhaps not the healthiest of strategies but it makes me happy. I should probably skip the third glass of wine, though, for both my liver and my weight's sake.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:06 PM
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230.1 is right. It's a weird style, though. I wonder how it arose. Too many people reading Raymond Carver?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:13 PM
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I love exercise and I do not love at all how I've gained weight with each additional pregnancy. After #3, I didn't feel as awful as I did after #1 and #2, which I attribute to the power of muscles and Crossfit, and getting over the shock of seeing myself look overweight in photos. I still have moments days (here and there) of despair, though.

(I am clinging to the idea that staying in xfit shape during this pregnancy, rather than just peddling on the elliptical, will keep me at #3 levels, rather than yet again ratcheting up.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:21 PM
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"Pedaling"!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:30 PM
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You haven't seen me do it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:31 PM
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Singing 'cockles and mussels alive, alive oh'


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 2:49 PM
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Singing 'cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 3:38 PM
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I have always had issues with weight. I usually creep up the scale and then something happens to cause a 30-50 pound weight loss. Sometimes it's depression that results in inadvertent anorexia; sometimes it's very conscious calorie restriction bordering on anorexia. Gaining 53 pounds this pregnancy seems to have pushed me into being capable of full-blown conscious anorexia. I'm down 34.5 pounds 19 days postpartum. At first I just wanted to fit into my work clothes. Now I'm hoping that I can also get rid of the excess weight I had when I got pregnant.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 3:51 PM
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How is new motherhood going? Equal parts stress and joy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 3:53 PM
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258: Is that neckline historically accurate? It seems as if it would be impractical (although probably good for sales).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 3:54 PM
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260: Yes. She's a very easy baby so far and I'm incredibly aware of that. If I give her two ounces of formula at midnight in addition to what I can provide, she'll sleep until 4am. If I do it again at 4am, she sleeps until 7 or 8am.

Her complaints are all legitimate, like being hungry or having a messy diaper. I was so scared that she would have reflux or colic.

The only issue so far is that I can't produce enough milk so her weight is only in the 20th percentile. I'm experimenting with fenugreek, regalin, pumping, drinking more water, etc. It's helping, but her milk needs always outpace my production.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:05 PM
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I think a real 17th century woman would have a kerchief tied and tucked to cover a lot of that cleavage. The character is fictional anyway - the statue reminds me of the usual images of Nell Gwynne.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:06 PM
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261: Low side of normal, and lower allows more upper-body work. Most women in most decades would be covered sternum-up by a shawl or fichu, for warmth if nothing else.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:09 PM
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What is her length/height at? If she isn't very long/tall, then 20% for weight may just be her.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:10 PM
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265: She's 20 inches. She was born at 7 pounds 10 oz. After five days she dropped to 6 pounds 14 oz. and at two weeks she weighed 7 pounds 4 oz.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:12 PM
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You might want to ask at the doctor's office where she is percentage wise on length/height. My kid was off the chart on length and very consistently 45-50% on weight (after the initial bump down in weight). The chart they track him on is so steady it's ridiculous. He's just a string bean, and they've never been concerned. I've got friends whose kids are consistently 50% height and 25-30% weight, same thing just on a smaller scale. Anyway, might put your mind at rest a bit.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:16 PM
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That's encouraging, thank you. I will do some research.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:18 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts and advice, all. I've worked from the POV of changing habits in the past (though the concept of willpower keeps sticking its nose in the tent); maybe self-trickery is the next step, or an outside arbiter.

I'm sure 178.1 is true, but I have trouble internalizing it. (Recently hammered home by a cute, fit friend getting engaged to someone not far distant from my size.)


Posted by: Levi P. Morton | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:20 PM
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Guys have it a lot easier on this front than women. First, strength training that makes you have muscles is a plus for social esteem. The range of "okay weight" for guys is wider since women are more likely to not prioritize looks #1. It's easier for guys to lose weight (#notallguys, of course).

What has worked for me (not that I'm thin, I'm officially BMI near-overweight but used to be worse at times) is pseudo-paleo (fewer carbs, especially refined sugars, protein is good, and so on) and weight training and walking as much as possible, especially on hills and stairs.

Cardio did nothing for me when I tried it. The really hardest part is getting rid of the little stuff like acting as if the old adage "free food has no calories" is true (parties, leftover meeting food, etc.). I find having someone to partner with who can do the weight training is great, but it's not always easy, and many women you'd like to partner with (your wife, your girlfriend) may not have the strength to spot you no matter how much they work out.

I also believe women overestimate the number of men who care if you are a size 0 versus somewhat larger. The comment that maybe what was a problem for Massey's boyfriends was that her focus on her weight was making guys think she was (a) weird and (b) put them in second place. It's not that they wanted her to be thin without noticeable effort, but that they didn't like women who had borderline eating disorders and turned down sex/snuggling for gym cardio. Guys (not just Franco) worry about women gaining a lot of weight after marriage and pregnancies and never losing it. Having an obsession in either direction with food is kind of a bad sign there.

Disclaimer: as an old guy I perceive that more kids (20 Guys have it a lot easier on this front than women. First, strength training that makes you have muscles is a plus for social esteem. The range of "okay weight" for guys is wider since women are more likely to not prioritize looks #1. It's easier for guys to lose weight (#notallguys, of course).

What has worked for me (not that I'm thin, I'm officially BMI near-overweight but used to be worse at times) is pseudo-paleo (fewer carbs, especially refined sugars, protein is good, and so on) and weight training and walking. Cardio did nothing for me when I tried it. The really hardest part is getting rid of the little stuff like acting as if the old adage "free food has no calories" is true (parties, leftover meeting food, etc.). I find having someone to partner with who can do the weight training is great, but it's not always easy, and many women you'd like to partner with (your wife, your girlfriend) may not have the strength to spot you no matter how much they work out.

I also believe women overestimate the number of men who care if you are a size 0 versus somewhat larger. The comment that maybe what was a problem for Massey's boyfriends was that her focus on her weight was making guys think she was (a) weird and (b) put them in second place. It's not that they wanted her to be thin without noticeable effort, but that they didn't like women who had borderline eating disorders and turned down sex/snuggling for gym cardio.

Disclaimer: as an old guy I perceive that more kids (20 Guys have it a lot easier on this front than women. First, strength training that makes you have muscles is a plus for social esteem. The range of "okay weight" for guys is wider since women are more likely to not prioritize looks #1. It's easier for guys to lose weight (#notallguys, of course).

What has worked for me (not that I'm thin, I'm officially BMI near-overweight but used to be worse at times) is pseudo-paleo (fewer carbs, especially refined sugars, protein is good, and so on) and weight training and walking as much as possible, especially on hills and stairs.

Cardio did nothing for me when I tried it. The really hardest part is getting rid of the little stuff like acting as if the old adage "free food has no calories" is true (parties, leftover meeting food, etc.). I find having someone to partner with who can do the weight training is great, but it's not always easy, and many women you'd like to partner with (your wife, your girlfriend) may not have the strength to spot you no matter how much they work out.

I also believe women overestimate the number of men who care if you are a size 0 versus somewhat larger. The comment that maybe what was a problem for Massey's boyfriends was that her focus on her weight was making guys think she was (a) weird and (b) put them in second place. It's not that they wanted her to be thin without noticeable effort, but that they didn't like women who had borderline eating disorders and turned down sex/snuggling for gym cardio.

Disclaimer: as an old guy I perceive that more kids (20 Guys have it a lot easier on this front than women. First, strength training that makes you have muscles is a plus for social esteem. The range of "okay weight" for guys is wider since women are more likely to not prioritize looks #1. It's easier for guys to lose weight (#notallguys, of course).

What has worked for me (not that I'm thin, I'm officially BMI near-overweight but used to be worse at times) is pseudo-paleo (fewer carbs, especially refined sugars, protein is good, and so on) and weight training and walking. Cardio did nothing for me when I tried it. The really hardest part is getting rid of the little stuff like acting as if the old adage "free food has no calories" is true (parties, leftover meeting food, etc.). I find having someone to partner with who can do the weight training is great, but it's not always easy, and many women you'd like to partner with (your wife, your girlfriend) may not have the strength to spot you no matter how much they work out.

I also believe women overestimate the number of men who care if you are a size 0 versus somewhat larger. The comment that maybe what was a problem for Massey's boyfriends was that her focus on her weight was making guys think she was (a) weird and (b) put them in second place. It's not that they wanted her to be thin without noticeable effort, but that they didn't like women who had borderline eating disorders and turned down sex/snuggling for gym cardio.

Disclaimer: as an old guy I perceive that more kids (20


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:47 PM
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Well, that's a new trick for the comment interface. :(

Oh yes, I love grapefruit juice.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 4:48 PM
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I wish people took spotting more seriously, as a worthy activity of its own. I don't think you need a ton of strength to spot. At least, when I am maxing, I could hit the previous weight. We only added some relatively small increment, tens of pounds at most. If the spotter can lift the increment, the two of us can get the bar back on the rack. It isn't the case that the spotter suddenly has to catch the entire amount in free fall. Or if it is, the lifter and the spotter both fucked up somewhere before that point.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 5:27 PM
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I'm way too easily distracted to be a spotter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 6:35 PM
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You might want to ask at the doctor's office where she is percentage wise on length/height. My kid was off the chart on length and very consistently 45-50% on weight (after the initial bump down in weight). The chart they track him on is so steady it's ridiculous. He's just a string bean, and they've never been concerned. I've got friends whose kids are consistently 50% height and 25-30% weight, same thing just on a smaller scale. Anyway, might put your mind at rest a bit

I was 10-20th percentile for height, and not on the weight charts at all. I would have been diagnosed with failure to thrive, except I met all my developmental milestones fine. For concrete numbers, I weighed 6 lbs 11 oz at birth, 15 lbs at my 12 month check up, and 19 lbs at my 24 month check up. I was and still am totally healthy, just curiously light. Anyways, obviously if there are health problems or you're not producing enough milk that's an issue, but some babies are just very light.

Maybe this is a place to say re: 80s sizing, I've gained around 10 lbs since age 14 but dropped about 4 sizes. In the mid 90s I wore size 2-4, and now at standard American box stores I wear size 0-00, despite having more curves. If I shop at H&M or some place like that I'm sizes 4-6-8, which seems more accurate. I am slender and still kind of 'curiously light,' but I am not tiny and waif-like. I'm not sure what 90 lb, 4'10" Asian women do in the US.


Posted by: Imelda Marcos | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 6:55 PM
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274.last: they shop in the kids' department.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:09 PM
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In Seattle they wear actual Indonesian or Japanese clothes. This must be Internet-easier now; in the 80s there were a few importers and a lot of piggybacking on family visits. And for a few years they were from the future.

Piggybacking: have pigs ever been beasts of burden? Originally pick-a-back?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:18 PM
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266: As long as she's growing along a positive curve, it doesn't matter how big she is, most likely. Drink your water, and make sure you eat, and your body will probably figure out how to make enough soon enough. If not, supplementing with formula is totally fine.

The Calabat was in the 90th% at six months for weight and now is in the 15%th, as he basically stopped putting on weight. Doctor's a bit concerned in the "let's keep an eye on this" sense. He's getting taller, eating like crazy, but just a skinny little kid.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:24 PM
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275: You can see where I'd get confused.


Posted by: Opinionated Woody Allen | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:27 PM
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Echoing 277.1. Breastfeeding a newborn who needs extra milk is not the time to worry about your own weight. Avocados and full-fat dairy are more like it. Do you have a sense of how fatty your milk is? If you pump and let the bottle chill in the fridge, how thick a layer of cream rises to the top?


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:41 PM
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Yeah, nine months on, nine months off. Plus, in my experience, the weight started to fall off like crazy when the baby hit his five month growth spurt. My advice would be not to worry about your weight at all, seriously. It'll either come off with nursing, or it will hang on until you wean and then you can lose it when you can fit into a sportsbra. In the meantime, eat well (you don't want to be at risk of postpartum osteoporosis -- the baby will get what she needs; nature screws you.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:48 PM
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weight is only in the 20th percentile

No "only" about it--being on the chart is normal. Only precipitous changes are really cause for alarm. That said, if you think your kid is hungry, like Cala says, there's formula, and if you're anti-formula, there are hippy-dippy recipes on the web for alternatives (I wouldn't do this, but people do) and, although this sounds weird, if you know other moms with kids around your age, they just might have frozen breast milk they're not going to use (my wife gave away a freezer-full of breast milk that she'd pumped before we knew our kid had allergies).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:59 PM
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if you know other moms with kids around your age, they just might have frozen breast milk they're not going to use

It's like wet-nursing at a distance.

Hey, now I have an idea for a business...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:03 PM
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Thanks everyone, that's very comforting.

279: There is a fatty layer maybe 0.5cm thick with the rest being clear. I had no idea that was a thing and yet.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:15 PM
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282.last: Call it Uder.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:19 PM
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That may have been me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:20 PM
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I have to demur and say that much of the weight gain that Martha is currently undoing was acquired while nursing; despite not gaining much during pregnancy, she was a ravenous eater during the first year while nursing and put on way more than she had while carrying.


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:21 PM
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Hey George, see Gaining 53 pounds this pregnancy seems to have pushed me into being capable of full-blown conscious anorexia. I'm down 34.5 pounds 19 days postpartum from 259. 286 seems a little cruel as a conversational follow-up.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:33 PM
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286 seems a little cruel as a conversational follow-up.

Seconded.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:34 PM
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Yeah. Look, bodies are different. But if one's losing weight, hungry, and worried about supply, seriously, restricting is not going to help matters. Eat nutritious foods, and give yourself time.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:37 PM
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283.2: IANALactation consultant, but that's very much in line with my experience. Sounds like your body is already doing a good job of getting what fat is available into your milk for your daughter. But eat, and drink lots of water, and go easy on yourself for a while yet, and your body will have an easier job.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:57 PM
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Fleur had good results drinking non-alcoholic beer (Clausthaler) to promote milk production (as advised by a lactation consultant, who specifically recommended German beer for the hop content). YMMV. Whether or not there's any truth to the claim that the hops stimulate lactation, the fluid and carbs couldn't have hurt.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:21 AM
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Non-alcoholic seems a little sad. Plus, a nice IPA is going to have more hops.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:25 AM
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||

Another kind of body maintenance.

I went for an annual physical and then got a $25.00 co pay bill. I called the hospital's billing department and said that it looked like I had been billed twice. They said that the 2nd MD visit listed was the facilities fee. Then I said that there should be no co-pay for an annual physical. They did some research, and they asked whether I had discussed anything that wasn't preventative at the visit. Give me a break.

I knew that togolosh had a similar issue with his plan's coverage of colonoscopies. It's absolutely ridiculous. It took no extra time at all to talk about the ergonomics of my desk set up.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:53 AM
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I wouldn't worry about sticking to non-alcoholic beer, unless you feel like binging.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:02 AM
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Also, if the kid's drunk, she'll sleep better. This was established during the 18th century gin craze.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:10 AM
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Also give the kid a bit of coffee when it gets constipated in a few years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:13 AM
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I was going to ask if they were still recommending beer for nursing mothers.

I'm sure our first-born's reluctance to take formula was completely unrelated.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:19 AM
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I personally have taken to avoiding fruit juice in favor of eating the fruit to get the fiber.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:52 AM
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It would take so damn much beer to get a baby drunk from breast milk. I'm not even sure how much; LizSpigot should try it and report back. Maybe start with a twelve pack?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:54 AM
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299: It would be unethical probably to try to inebriate the baby. She should try Mr Spigot instead


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:59 AM
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They did some research, and they asked whether I had discussed anything that wasn't preventative at the visit. Give me a break.

Fucking infuriated me to get a $140 bill for an annual preventative check up, because the doctor had asked how things were going and I said "fine, seasonal allergies are bothering me but no big deal." I'm not on any medicine for the allergies (not even anything OTC). But we talked about it for a few minutes (incl. whether I needed any medicine to deal with symptoms) and apparently this flipped the entire visit from purely preventative checkup to a preventative checkup with a consultation about allergies, so not preventative at all and I'm stuck with the bill. Fuck you. Absolute bullshit. Actually that was a few years ago and it pissed me off enough that I haven't been back to a Dr. since. I hate health insurance.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 7:09 AM
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301

That is such fucking BS.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 8:27 AM
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On the OP,

The more troubling kind of man has a caveat about a woman's thinness. She must not be "obsessed" or "overly concerned" with it. Or at least not visibly so.

Is this really troubling, though? I think a lot of women and men would probably subscribe to some form of "I like romantic partners with quality X, but I don't like it when they are obsessed or overly concerned with attaining or maintaining quality X." Whether that's wealth, or nice clothes, or good shoulders, or a slim build, or cultural knowledge, these are all qualities that generally require some degree of effort to get or keep.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 3:49 PM
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Whether that's wealth, or nice clothes, or good shoulders, or a slim build, or cultural knowledge, these are all qualities that generally require some degree of effort to get or keep.

Right, which is why it's problematic when people expect their partners to have those qualities without putting in the effort.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 3:57 PM
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There's a difference between "putting in the effort" and "being obsessed or overly concerned", though. Maybe you like well-dressed men; you'd still like them to be able to talk about something other than clothes, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:26 PM
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Well, sure, but in this context she seems to be implying that these guys say they don't want someone "obsessed" with staying thin, but what they mean is that they don't want to see any evidence of effort at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:34 PM
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I think it's more than that -- I read the argument as that certain men (#notall, of course) are attracted to a degree of thinness that actually requires obsession to maintain. So it's like looking for a prospective partner who is always wearing the absolute latest thing from Paris or Milan (or wherever, I don't know) and then criticizing that person for how much he spends on clothes and the fact that he's always talking about it at dinner.

(So, is the analogy ban enforced at the IP level, or do I just need to launder my pseud?)


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:40 PM
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SPREZZATURA IS THE ULTIMATE APHRODISIAC. AND COMMUNISM--WAIT DON'T TELL ANYONE YOU HEARD ME SAY THAT


Posted by: OPINIONATED KISSINGER | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:52 PM
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I'm not quite sure how to phrase this, but there's some complicated interplay here with age.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:54 PM
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Is hillwalking a concept in any way distinct from hiking? I just did three days of the latter and certainly didn't lose any of my post-fatherhood weight, though following redfox, beginning on the second day I did get my thoughts out of their usual round of short-term-obligation-meeting and narcissism-of-small-differences-glowering.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 5:00 PM
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I think hiking is a broader concept. In Ireland at least hillwalking usually involves part or most of the walk not being on a set waymarked route / trail and also a bit more up and down than those trails usually have. Ireland has very few such though in comparison with the UK (rights of landowners stronger and rights of the public weaker).


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 4:11 PM
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I finally read the original article and am very curious about what the *non* dating part of her life that's handed to her on a silver platter is. Professional? Family respect? Other social standing?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 4:49 PM
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Fitting through small doors?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 4:51 PM
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293/301: I just got a letter regarding my upcoming physical that basically said "Watch out, the insurance company is going to charge you twice!" So, nice to be warned I guess.

Thanks, Obamacare!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:22 PM
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I just got a physical recently and was not charged anything for it. Thanks, Obamacare! #notallinsurancecompanies


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:40 PM
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Yep, I bet she could just slither right through a sump pump. Into Moria.

I was annoyed that a mammogram wasn't `preventative care' to my insurance. OTOH, nothing scary found, so I was cheerful, and if something scary had been found the cost of the mammogram would have been the least of it. I resent that the insurance co has probably calculated that all out beforehand.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:42 PM
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I read the argument as that certain men (#notall, of course) are attracted to a degree of thinness that actually requires obsession to maintain.

That requires obsession to maintain for a large number of women. People have different natural builds. Even an utterly diet-obsessive Samoan isn't going to be able to get down to the size of, say, a Vietnamese who just eats whatever the hell she wants.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 2:31 AM
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re: 310

In Scotland at least, it'd often involve buggering up and down a Munro.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munro

But that can be a fairly gentle stroll on a marked path, much of the time. Or something quite steep and involving scrambling.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 2:55 AM
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Although, saying that, when I used to go walking, it was mostly in the Ochils [nearest to my house] or in the southern bits of the Trossachs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochil_Hills

And I don't think anywhere I walked actually counted as a Munro. Still quite uppy-downy in bits, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 2:58 AM
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Are those elevations from sea level? Because the lower of those peaks don't seems particularly high.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:20 AM
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Those are sea-level heights; no, the Ochils are not particularly high. No Scottish hills are particularly high by global standards. Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK, is only 4409 feet high. Nor are they particularly technical; only one Munro requires rock-climbing equipment (the Inaccessible Pinnacle, on Skye).

Hiking, I would think, tends to be on a path from A to B, rather than up a hill and down again. But it's very difficult to walk anywhere in northern Scotland and not go up and down hills.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:31 AM
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ttaM, you've never climbed a Munro? Unfogged Mountaineering Meet!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:31 AM
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I can't find an easy to read topographical map, but it looks like Pittsburgh's rivers are at about 790' and the highest parts a little over 1,200'. So, you couldn't really walk up a 350 meter slope but you can be 350 meters above sea level without a problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:33 AM
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Neb Siven?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:35 AM
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The highest peak in the local area, Blue Knob, appears to have a nice set of trails. I could try to walk to the top of it. Or just drive up it, because America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:49 AM
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Harrowing tales of the ascent of Blue Knob.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:51 AM
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Bagging the highest peak in Florida.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:56 AM
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Blue Knob looks a lot smaller when you've finished it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:01 AM
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Still, sounds more comfortable than nearby Pine Knob.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:02 AM
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re: 322

Not that I remember. A few of the next smaller class. And quite a lot of the Ochils and Campsies and similar. As those are sort of cycling distance from where I grew up.

re: 320

No, the Ochils aren't high. They do rise up out of a very flat part of central Scotland, though, so the front side of them looks more hilly than they really are. It's basically a single solid escarpment. Some of the glens on the front face are steep-ish, but the whole thing is walkable by families with kids. We aren't talking proper mountains by any stretch of the imagination.*

* although people still get screwed by the weather, if they go up there in winter unprepared, and there is a mountain rescue.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:08 AM
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This is some random dude's photo of them [via an image search]:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/77943298@N02/8193209040/


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:15 AM
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People get screwed by winter weather if unprepared on the plains. Even without meth, but meth really can speed things along.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:19 AM
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331: Very scenic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:20 AM
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At my conference in the Lake District we had a couple of guides along to make sure we didn't wreck ourselves walking up the hills. It was a little bit humiliating but then it turned out they also were carrying mimosas and biscuits for us so I got over it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:41 AM
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The weight of all that orange juice seems unnecessary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:44 AM
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