Re: It's His Job

1

Much better.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:39 PM
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No shakes?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:41 PM
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This is a minimum plan. He could always go above it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:41 PM
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The guys I knew on the high school swim team were always eating. They said they needed 7000 calories a day just to maintain weight.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:43 PM
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Rowing in the winter term was pretty much the same deal. Being 4 inches from the water when it's clammy and 35 degrees has a way of doing that.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:44 PM
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In fact they say that the fact that body temperature stays relatively low when you're swimming (or rowing in the winter) accounts for a lot of the hunger you feel after doing those things.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:46 PM
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During school sport seasons, I ate constantly during the day, but not in the evening until around 10pm (and would continue until around midnight). Because of the timing, my parents never witnessed me eating.

They thought I had an eating disorder.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:47 PM
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But I thought someone said somewhere along the line that swimming wasn't a good way to lose weight. I thought that was odd at the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:48 PM
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There was a show on TLC called "I Eat 33000 Calories Per Day." It's amazing you can do when you set your mind to it.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:48 PM
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When you swim as much as Phelps, it's probably a good way to lose weight.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:48 PM
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10: That did occur to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:50 PM
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It's not a good way for most people to lose weight because it makes them so hungry that they pig out and eat more than they normally would; it's not that it doesn't burn a lot of calories.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:51 PM
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they say that the fact that body temperature stays relatively low when you're swimming...accounts for a lot of the hunger you feel after doing those things.

I guess ogged would be a much nicer person if he'd just switch to something like hot yoga.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:52 PM
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7: Something similar happened with me in college. I've mentioned this here before. A friend was studying eating disorders, and here I was, coming off practice too overheated to eat, drinking a glass of skim milk, a glass of Gatorade, and playing with some cereal or celery at dinner with my friends (classic behaviors!) So she surreptitiously asked me out for a smoothie; I declined because I was working. Avoidance behavior! So then she had an intervention for me. It was very cute, and I was touched, but I laughed.

At the time I was 135 pounds. And eating! At night, after I cooled off, I'd scarf pizza bagels.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:52 PM
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14: Careful what you call a "bagel", Cala. There are purists afoot.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:56 PM
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A friend of mine hiked the PCT; one rode his bike across the country. Both complained that it took an hour for them to eat dinner. Not food prep, not cleaning after. An hour of solid eating, every night.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:58 PM
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Cala, that's hilarious.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:59 PM
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15: Okay pizza carbohydrate-hockey-pucks.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 9:59 PM
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An hour of solid eating

You probably meant a solid hour of eating, but we'll let it slide, because that's the kind of forgiving blog we run here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:01 PM
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I bet they ate solids.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:03 PM
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I hate skim milk. I hate that bluish tinge on the glass, and I purely despise that fussily self-righteous celebration of a lack of goodness and flavour. I don't care if real milk makes me run to fat, I never signed up for citizenship in the New Jerusalem.

When I was carrying my son, skim milk made me retch and want to run screaming from the room, but whole milk made me feel good again.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:05 PM
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because it makes them so hungry that they pig out and eat more than they normally would

Right, so you have to offset the hunger while not pigging out. Popcorn. Popcorn is the answer. Rice cakes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:05 PM
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skim milk made me retch and want to run screaming from the room, but whole milk made me feel good again

IA applies for her job writing ad copy any day now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:06 PM
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23 is funny.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:07 PM
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25

I drink 2% now and I've discovered Greek yogurt. Low fat is for the birds. (There is no correlation between the yogurt and the post-wedding 10 lbs.) But skim milk in college tasted pretty much like water and I could drink it like water for the calcium.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:07 PM
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26

I hate milk. I can't remember the last time I drank a glass of milk. It's been years.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:08 PM
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27

Extremely thick greek yogurt, some walnuts, some honey, life is good.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:16 PM
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28

I'm hungry.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:16 PM
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29

I'm eating.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:19 PM
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30

I should probably drop those ten pounds.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:20 PM
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31

Thank god.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:20 PM
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32

I'm with 26. I was lactose-intolerant as a kid, so I never developed the taste for drinking milk. Even putting milk on cereal took me a long time; when I was young I'd eat cereal with Coffee Rich instead.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:20 PM
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Sumo wrestlers could eat Phelps for breakfast. This piece from Slate a while back is pretty entertaining.

The wrestler Takamisugi became an immortal for downing 65 bowls of the stew--or 29 pounds of beef--in a single sitting. He stopped because his jaws got tired... In his youth, Konishiki would routinely lunch on 10 bowls of chanko, eight enormous bowls of rice, 130 pieces of sushi, and 25 portions of barbecued beef. And he'd still have plenty of room for dessert.
Konishiki was truly mountainous.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:23 PM
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34

I feel absolutely confident that 31 was not to 30.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:24 PM
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35

I never signed up for citizenship in the New Jerusalem.

IA has had some especially fine turns of phrase recently. Cf. "imperial adventures of heartbreaking grandeur."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:26 PM
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IA is a beautiful writer who should re-start a damn blog already.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:27 PM
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33: I think I played that level in We [Heart] Katamari.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:32 PM
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21: Amen.

Speaking of ad copy, my daughter the other day:

"That's the thing about milk. You drink it, you taste it - you love it!"

She is exposed to virtually no commercial copy. Apparently this is her Gift.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:34 PM
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39

She is exposed to virtually no commercial copy.

Or so the mullahs would have you believe.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:36 PM
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Either that, or ad copy intentionally mimicks the diction and phrasing of four-year-olds.

got milk? I GOT MILK.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:38 PM
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41

Hmm, maybe I should swim again. New job comes with access to olympic size pool. But then I'd have to read the swimming threads, so I don't think it's worth it.
I think I mentioned long ago that I used to be a lifeguard, and now I can barely do a hundred yards of crawl. I lost about 10 pounds and started playing hockey in the interim (=more leg muscle), so the lower half of my body is much less buoyant. Is it a common thing to lose swimming ability in such a manner?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:38 PM
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Why hello.

I don't have enough work to keep me busy at my job and I have no real hobbies, so I think I'd like to become an Unfogged commenter.

That's all.


Posted by: lemuel pitkin | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:39 PM
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43

Except, that is not the thing about milk. You (or I, anyway) love it because it exists in some weird space between having and not having a taste.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:40 PM
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44

Is pitkin one of the sane or insane CT commenters? I can't remember.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:45 PM
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45

43: Eh? Of course milk has a taste -- it's just that most Americans aren't aware of any tastes other than 'sweet' and 'salty'.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:45 PM
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46

it's just that most Americans aren't aware of any tastes other than 'sweet' and 'salty'.

There's "defeat at the hands of savages with AK-47s." They've been getting used to that taste since the 70s.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:48 PM
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47

If Mikhail Kalashnikov had been killed at the Battle of Bryansk, would we have won in Vietnam, I wonder?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:52 PM
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45: A fair charge. And I have even less developed tastes than your average American.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:53 PM
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47: "It was a tie!"


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:55 PM
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50

I


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:57 PM
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51

Arrrgh. I <3 Kevin Kline.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 10:58 PM
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44: worse than that, I can't remember if pitkin is one of the insane or sane Poor Man commenters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:05 PM
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53

I guess we'll find out soon enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:16 PM
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54

IT IS I, @§©¡¡-†®À§H!


Posted by: @§©¡¡-†®À§H | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:22 PM
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55

Converting 10,000 calories into Universal McDonald's Units, we find that the following meal plan would suffice:

Also known as "Super Size Me: The Director's Cut"


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:30 PM
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56

Seriously, if you burn so many calories swimming, how can it not be a good way to lose weight?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:30 PM
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57

All the CT commenters are insane. This is a grammatical statement.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:34 PM
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58

So not fair. Americans have widely varying tastes. For instance: I love my deep-fried twinkies dipped in melted caramel, but my wife does not!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:42 PM
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59

Does she prefer them with ketchup instead?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:42 PM
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60

I just got Jandek tickets.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:47 PM
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61

Yay?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:50 PM
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62

She prefers dulce de leche.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01- 9-08 11:55 PM
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63

In Chile, dulce de leche is known as manjar, which we gringos used to jokingly pronounce with a J as in "jam." Open commenter name: Manjar!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:04 AM
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64

Manjar!

The container that Mandom comes in.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:05 AM
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65

I just got Jandek tickets.

I'm sorry. Maybe if you right to TicketWeb right away and tell them their mistake, they'll be willing to give you a refund.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:07 AM
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66

Oh snap. Right instead of write. That really took the zing out of that one.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:08 AM
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67

No way dude. Manhattan Tuesday is great. I'm really curious as to who will be accompanying the representative from corwood.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:08 AM
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68

back to the post, that meal plan seems a little monotonous. He could mix it up by every now and then eating 22 McRibs.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:20 AM
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69

or 210 chicken nuggets


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:24 AM
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70

That diet and no sporting made me look like the Greek god I look like today.

(But furrfu, was that article overblown. Is all swimming coverage like that in the States? Would explain a lot.)


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:34 AM
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what's really amazing is that Phelps is requiring more calories per day than the running the Sahara guys, who were running an average of 2 marathons a day, continuously, through, you know, the desert. (They were at 6000-9000 Cal.)


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:35 AM
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72

Do you think if I put a comment on EVERY SINGLE BLOG ON THE INTERNETS asking for The Poor Man to come back, that it would magically reappear to delight me and remind me that I am not alone once more?

Every single one would have to be different, or the Machines that Run the Universe would decide I was spam and make it known unto me that I am viewed with withering contempt.

I am totally opposed to capital punishment. If they catch the bastard who murdered Fafblog, I would pull the lever myself.

A strategy which only works for those mistaken as spam. The real ones feel important and grow bolder.


Posted by: david tiley | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:37 AM
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73

I eat my cereal with orange juice instead of milk.

However, I love milky coffee for breakfast.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:33 AM
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74

31 -> 72, obvsly.

25 or 6 -> 4, canonically.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 4:57 AM
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75

73: I knew someone who ate his cornflakes with diet coke instead of milk, because he was lactose intolerant.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 5:59 AM
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76

71: He's probably maintaining much more muscle mass than the Sahara guys -- I'd assume that's a little wiry person's sport.

While I've mentioned before how much fun the sports-created appetite was for me, 7K calories sounds like you'd spend literally the whole day chewing. I wonder how he manages it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 6:06 AM
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77

I've mentioned that I had to work really hard to get to 165 in college, right?

I dont eat anything like I did then and yet I am 210. Darn the youths!!!! Darn them! (Yes, I include you Cala and teo!)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 6:26 AM
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78

Phelps is simply amazing.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 6:44 AM
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79

re: 76

I'd imagine if you eat quite calorie rich foods, it's not so hard to get through 7K. When I worked out how much I eat in a normal day [and discovered the source of the expanding paunch] it was easily 3.5K, or more, without any effort at all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 6:49 AM
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80

Possibly. I've always wondered how people manage to have any idea how many calories they eat -- unless you literally weigh everything, I can't even begin to imagine. I could perfectly well be eating that much and have no idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:21 AM
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81

My dad liked to tell a WW2 joke in which, after the Anglo-American armies linked up w/ the Russians in 1945, a Russian, British, and American general were comparing notes on their troops' diets.

The Russian general proudly said, "In Soviet army, soldier guaranteed 1,500 calories per day!"

The British general said, "Well, that does seem a touch low compared to our chaps, who consume about 2,200 calories a day."

The American general said, "By Yankee standards, all your boys are underfed. My troops each get 3,500 calories a day."

At this, the Soviet general got all mad, and sputtered, "You lie, American! No one can eat entire sack of potatoes in one day!"


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:28 AM
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re: 80

I used a website which had software tools where you can put in weights but also standard portion sizes, etc. Assuming you're not eating really unusually sized portions, it's not that hard to work it out.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:31 AM
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83

Seriously, if you burn so many calories swimming, how can it not be a good way to lose weight?

I've heard that it's hard, if you're not a good swimmer, to keep your heart rate high enough to burn those calories.

There was an article a couple weeks back about how if a food measures 100 calories in the lab, a person who eats it might get anywhere from 70 to 130 calories out of it, based just on their own personal gut bacteria.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:36 AM
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84

This is how swimmers make sure that they get enough calories:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z7flgeNKk4


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:41 AM
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85

I may just either have worse estimating skills than most, or less faith in my skills. Dinner the other night was a bowl of some kind of bean glop made with leftover pork roast (the recipe called it cassoulet, but I've had cassoulet, and made cassoulet, and this wasn't it. Good, though.) The bowl probably holds a cup and a half filled to the brim, maybe I ate a cup of it (could be two cups and I ate a cup and a half?). Of that amount, there was a lot of meat in it but I couldn't tell you the percentage of cooked beans to meat; I assume the onions and such are noise from a calorific point of view, except that they were cooked in pork fat that also went into the dish. Cooking the beans in meat broth rather than water? I have no idea, but broth has to have some food value, doesn't it? And so on.

The range of possibilities seems to me like it would introduce something like a 100% error in anything homemade unless you treated it like lab science and weighed all the ingredients and the final portions, and did a lot of math. I can imagine knowing how many calories you eat accurately if you're a crazed obsessive, or if you live mostly on packaged foods with nutrition labels. Short of that, it seems like it would be really hard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:42 AM
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86

I don't think you're unusual in that regard, LB. Krista over at stumptuous recommends, if you're trying to hit a certain number of calories, actually weighing your food until you train yourself to recognize the portion sizes.

Even if you had packaged food, it would be hard. Ever notice that a bizarrely high proportion of foods have 150 calories as a serving size? Looks mostly like a marketing tactic to me but the end result is that 'serving size' and 'what people are likely to eat' don't line up (and I don't think it's the fault of the people for overeating.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:49 AM
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87

what a beautiful human
i mean his photo is great
just wonder why his diet is this boring, all macs and macs, but may be he is so concentrated on what he does, so he doesn't mind what he eats
or may be it's just to illustrate his calories intake, not literally his real diet


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:49 AM
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88

Sadly, No converts to other units; I've lost my touch.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:49 AM
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89

Ooo, and has a truly excellent comment thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:51 AM
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90

87: Yes read, I think that's not his real diet, just an illustration.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:53 AM
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91

and has a truly excellent comment thread.

shame we can't manage that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:54 AM
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92

i read the post again and got that it says converting,
now i'm like upset
well, not really, coz was reading like skipping words or sometimes even full abzats
weird habit, if i concentrate i can surely get the meaning, but still :(


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 7:58 AM
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re: 85

It's a lot easier than you'd think. A lot of sites let you define a recipe, put in the ingredients, and then it'll give you calorie figures for portions of that. The math is handled for you. You just need to put in '1 medium sized pork chop, 1 cup of dried flageolet beans, etc'.

Estimating quantities isn't that hard, either.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:02 AM
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94

Who wants to live like that?

Work out. Eat. If you are getting fatter than you want, eat less and workout more. Adjust according to desired level.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:05 AM
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re: 94

Bollocks. If you have no idea how much food you are eating, how much you are getting from what, then 'eat less' is meaningless. There are all kinds of ways of working that out, obviously, and strict calorie counting is only one of them.

But 'eat less, work out more' is vacuous. The devil is in the details. The people who say things like 'eat less' tend not to be people who've had experience of being fat.

It takes me approximately 5 minutes to work it out [daily], max.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:08 AM
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96

I can imagine knowing how many calories you eat accurately if you're a crazed obsessive, or if you live mostly on packaged foods with nutrition labels. Short of that, it seems like it would be really hard.

Part of the magic of the Weight-Watchers approach is that it dispenses with calories as a measure of food consumption and converts everything to "points" (in which certain "empty" calories like sugared drinks and alcohol are burdened with a higher point weighting). The points reference book is damn near encyclopaedic, and you can reasonably easily figure out a point value for anything you make at home.

Of course, there is more to the program than calculating points. Discipline on portion sizes is emphasized (as per 86, they encourage you to weigh your portions until you get a proper sense of the serving size). There is the accountability aspect of recording everything you eat in a diary, then participating in the weekly weigh-in. And there is the peer pressure / social support of the group meetings.

Taken together, the program strikes me as remarkably sensible (leaving aside the packaged foods that use the Weightwatchers brand under license; they're kind of bogus), and I'm not surprised that it works as well as it does.

Ever notice that a bizarrely high proportion of foods have 150 calories as a serving size?

This is especially insidious when the portion size is a ridiculous fraction of the whole: e.g. a Snickers bar that contains 1.4 servings.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:10 AM
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The people who say things like 'eat less' tend not to be people who've had experience of being fat.

Did you just call me skinny??!??! Keep slandering me like that I will send Dsquared and his band of ruffians to go drink all of your beer!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:11 AM
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98

Milk: objectively gross. That I am mildly allergic to it has in no way shaped this opinion.

(Soy milk: objectively awesome.)


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:12 AM
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99

98 gets it exactly backwards.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:13 AM
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100

98 gets it exactly backwards.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:14 AM
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101

An effective diet and exercise plan combines deprivation and exhaustion:

Join up to 11 other students and three staff members for 28 days to explore Southern Utah's breath-taking Boulder Mountain and glorious canyon country. Leaving the high tech, modern world behind, you explore the desert washes and mountain trails with little more than a knife, a water bottle, a blanket, and a poncho. You can't get much more immersed in the natural world than on this course. The mental, physical, and emotional challenges may leave you 10 to 20 pounds lighter at the end of the course, but the greater sense of self and life-long memories that you gain are priceless.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:14 AM
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102

Whoa.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:14 AM
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103

94 works for me, but is not the experience of many of my friends, who find it helpful to count calories. And there's reasonably strong scientific evidence that people's natural weight ranges are relatively fixed, so at some point, exercising and eating less will no longer lead to weight loss.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:15 AM
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104

You know, what KR describes in 96 sounds like a fair representation of the Weight Watchers plan, but I have to say that just reading it there on the page makes it look like an eating disorder with better packaging and a cult.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:18 AM
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105

apostropher is in excruciating pain and feels compelled to repeat untruths as a mantra.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:18 AM
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106

And there's reasonably strong scientific evidence that people's natural weight ranges are relatively fixed, so at some point, exercising and eating less will no longer lead to weight loss.

I don't think that international comparisons bear this out. Tendencies to fatness or skinniness may be hereditary, but lifestyle plays a role.

Elsewhere availability of food is restricted by poverty, traditional family eating rituals, and the mechanics of storage and preparation (e.g., in many places food has to be bought by the day and prepared immediately before consumption.) None of these restrictions apply to most Americans, who often can eat all day long if they feel like it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:20 AM
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107

Isn't that what a diet is? I mean, if you're sanely trying to lose weight, and you can stop any time you want to, it's harmless (or beneficial) mimicking of eating disordered behavior. But it's still making yourself behave the way you would if you had an eating disorder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:21 AM
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108

107 is correct. What I love about Weight Watchers is their new "stop dieting, start living" bullshit ad campaign.

So you're not a diet. Riiiiight.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:24 AM
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105: What about my pain, my untruths, my mantra?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:24 AM
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The Milk Wars, again? It's delicious. Civilization was raised on the teat of the cow. Delicious.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:25 AM
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I like milk and tend to drink it frequently. Now I feel guilty about it. Thanks, Internet!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:27 AM
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Now I really, really want to do the 28-day course linked in 101, but I'd have to gain 10 to 20 pounds first.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:29 AM
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106: I'd agree with that, but there's practical considerations in there, i.e., most Americans aren't going to move to areas afflicted by famine or begin to hunt suburban deer for protein. (And I'd wonder about the wisdom of a program that said 'you can lose weight! after all, if you were starving in Africa you wouldn't be fat' as if starvation was something to strive for) Lifestyle plays a factor, but that's not the same as saying a person has complete control over it.

Plus, there's studies like the two reported here. It's a little more complicated than calories in, calories out.

108: It's like they read the science that said 'diets don't work, because people need to make serious lifestyle changes' and took away from that 'we should rename our program.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:33 AM
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I was looking at that. I have no idea how much the sheep-killing would bother me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:33 AM
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if you were starving in Africa you wouldn't be fat

The joke's going to be on them when their empty bellies bloat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:35 AM
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You know what a really good diet is?

Divorce! (or any heart breaking break up)

BR begs me to break up with her so she can lose weight. But, I am not letting her out that easy!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:36 AM
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What I love about Weight Watchers is their new "stop dieting, start living" bullshit ad campaign. So you're not a diet. Riiiiight.

With allowances for marketing hyperbole, it's not entirely false. One of the distinctive features of Weightwatchers (the Flex plan, anyway) is that it doesn't prescribe what you eat; it merely prescribes a reduced overall caloric intake. As long as you stay under the point totals, you can pick and choose what you like. The clever thing about it is that the point values are weighted in such a way that you can consume more food and feel fuller if you go for the healthier options (e.g. brown rice over white rice), so it creates a subtle pressure to improve the quality of nutrition as you reduce caloric intake.

The idea is that once you have reached your target weight and go into maintenance mode, you will have internalized a whole series of good habits (controlling portion sizes, choosing healthy foods, not mindlessly snacking) that will help you keep the weight off.

Having observed the success of the program up close, I am a believer.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:38 AM
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109: OK, so my brain saw two identical comments and didn't even register different posters. That is extremely freaky.

Milk obviously creates a dangerous hivemind.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:38 AM
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110 is ahistorical.

Every glass of milk drunk is a wasted chance for delicious cheese.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:39 AM
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BR doesn't need to lose weight. I deliberately ogled her at the party in order to help her feel good about herself.

Why don't you marry her, Will? Divorce will be the almost inevitable outcome, and you could even write that into the prenup and prepay it. She could get down to 72 lbs. easily that way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:39 AM
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So you're not a diet. Riiiiight.

I think that's just a mindset thing, and a sensible one. If you think of yourself as being on a diet, you feel deprived and obsess about all the good things you are not allowed to eat because you are on a diet. If you think of yourself instead as adopting new, healthier eating habits, it's all empowering and stuff. At least that's the way my psyche works.

(It's how I ultimately stopped smoking, actually. One day I decided "I'm not going to have a cigarette today; I'll decide about tomorrow when it comes." All the times I had told myself that I was quitting forever lasted a few weeks, tops -- because all I could think about was never, ever having another, and the loss that would be.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:40 AM
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Every glass of milk drunk is a wasted chance for delicious cheese.

Some days, I think soup biscuit and I are the same person.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:41 AM
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112: The 14-day Field Course was plenty tough, but I think I lost only about 8-10 pounds.

114: If we are at all similar, a great deal.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:42 AM
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Why don't you marry her, Will? Divorce will be the almost inevitable outcome, and you could even write that into the prenup and prepay it. She could get down to 72 lbs. easily that way.

This sounds like it makes sense, but it doesnt.

Remember, how the one who gets dumped loses the weight?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:43 AM
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Soy milk tastes awful. Rice milk tastes good.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:46 AM
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121: The terminology is pretty bad, and that probably doesn't help the psychology. Everyone has a diet, people who are trying to lose weight via `dieting' have a diet with particular goals. There are lots of other goals you might have in controlling your diet (better fiber content, less preservatives, less caffeine, yummier food, ... whatever you thing is `wrong' with yours). Fundamentally there is nothing different there --- but there's a billion dollar industry tied up in only one of these things.

I think your deal with today, today comment is quite generalizable. People generally do better psychologically on smaller scale projects.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:47 AM
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Moderately TMI medical question: When I woke up a little big ago I discovered that I have prominent red blotches/bumps over large parts of my body including arms, upper chest, and thighs. They don't itch. I feel totally fine. This has never happened to be before. I'm not on any medication except the tail end of antibiotics from when I was sick last week.

What the fuck?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:47 AM
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121: I agree with you about the power of perception, but I don't think that's what WW is doing here. I think the skepticism comes from it being a diet last week and a new, healthy, lifestyle change the next. Eating 1200 calories is not sustainable. It doesn't get to be the sort of healthy, long-term thing the nutritionists were talking about just by changing its name.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:47 AM
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128: Tell that to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:48 AM
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I briefly dated a swimmer in HS (all-state breastroke - insert your own joke here). We went to Homecoming together -- we had a nice fancy dinner before the dance and afterwards he ate an entire large pizza because he was so starving.

He was also always exhausted -- he'd come to parties and curl up in the corner and fall asleep by 10. He still always went to them, even though he knew he'd fall asleep, because he felt like he'd miss out otherwise.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:49 AM
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123: I once rode a bicycle about 3000km in a few weeks. Probably doubled my daily food intake, but still lost a little weight (not that I was carrying much extra when we started)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:50 AM
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There was an article a couple weeks back about how if a food measures 100 calories in the lab, a person who eats it might get anywhere from 70 to 130 calories out of it, based just on their own personal gut bacteria.

This is obviously true when you think about it, and negates the usefulness of the calorie-counting website. Just write down whatever you eat. Much like writing down all the money you spend, it'll soon make you want to do less so you don't have those embarrassing moments of recognition.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:50 AM
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Not itchy?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:50 AM
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You know what a really good diet is?

Divorce!

This is indeed true, though like most fad diets the weight loss isn't permanent. I lost a good 15 pounds in an inappropriate amount of time right before I filed, but I've since found almost all of them.

My obsessively dieting friend complained that I was so skinny without trying and she couldn't lose a pound no matter how hard she tried -- so I told her to give depression a try. After two miscarriages, an equal number of failed IVF attempts, and a family member's serious illness, she gave me a weak little glare and muttered, "You lied, I'm still fat."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:51 AM
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"Personal gut bacteria" is my new explanation for pretty much everything.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:51 AM
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124: Couldn't you just compete on the dumping part? You could dump her in an altruistic, Kantian, greatest-good-of-the-greatest number way. Surely that's what Jesus would do in your situation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:51 AM
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Nope, no itching at all. That's why I am very confused. If it was itchy it would be hives, right?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:52 AM
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130: Now that I remember it, my swimmer friends did seem more fatigued than other athletes. Combining that and the constant hair removal, the skinnier ones should have been often taken for leukemia patients.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:52 AM
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Eating 1200 calories is not sustainable.

1200 calories is a starvation diet. WW doesn't encourage that. The approximate caloric values of the points are quite reasonable, and intended to take weight off at a sustainable pace.

Maybe we're not disagreeing, I'm not sure.

Anyway, don't knock it till you've tried it. For someone who is basically in good shape but wants to lose the 10 extra pounds that crept up on them due to post-nuptual lifestyle changes, WW is pretty ideal, IMO.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:53 AM
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In fact, I know not itchy because I woke up and didn't notice it for the 20 minutes I was surfing the internet. I didn't see anything until I got in the shower and had to, you know, look at myself.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:53 AM
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Seriously, I find the studies linked in 113 (and similar ones that I've seen before very puzzling). I mean, they're convincing, partially because I generally trust respectably done science, and partially because they seem to explain why, despite the social desirability of being fairly lean, so many people aren't. If dieting were really a practical way of losing weight, surely it would work for more people.

And yet it doesn't seem to match up with personal experience. I had a reasonably stable premarital adult weight at one level, and now have a reasonably stable weight at another level thirty pounds higher. Gaining the weight was clearly the result of a lifestyle change, and was absolutely effortless. If it were really that hard to change your weight, shouldn't that not have happened? And likewise, statistically, there are more obese people than there used to be, but the gene pool hasn't changed. What gives?

I'm honestly flummoxed by this, because both sides of the argument seem absolutely convincing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:54 AM
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127: Change detergents or anything, recently? Could be some kind of atopic dermatitis. I don't think that those always have to itch.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:54 AM
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Anyway, don't knock it till you've tried it. For someone who is basically in good shape but wants to lose the 10 extra pounds that crept up on them due to post-nuptual lifestyle changes, WW is pretty ideal, IMO.

Well, sure, if you arent going the divorce route. Maybe.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:54 AM
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130: I used to know a bunch of roadies (i.e. racing cylists) and a couple of international level athletes (triathlon, decathlon, cycling). They would eat prodigious amounts --- and constant snacking on bananas. One guy tended to boil up a box of pasta every day for dinner and ate it with only a little cheese. Broke, plus carbo-loading.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:55 AM
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"You lied, I'm still fat."

But funny!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:55 AM
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My optician told me that wearing skinny glasses would make me thin, but it didn't work.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:56 AM
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Newest Unfogged flickr posts:

pre-marriage picture v. post-marriage picture


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:56 AM
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141: Less exercise mostly, I suspect. The shift in obesity stats might be somewhat (largely?) due to processed foods.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:57 AM
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Heh. I went gawky to stocky.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:57 AM
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149: Don't underestimate the shift in metabolism due to aging. Most people have lost 10% at 35, 20% at 45 ... so exactly the same diet can easily creep your weight up a bit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:58 AM
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Skim milk is for drinking; whole milk is for cooking, or putting in coffee. Unless you believe that butter should be eaten completely on its own.

Will almost has it right. Exercise, eat. Have a checkup once in a while to make sure your cholesterol, etc., is okay. If you're looking fatter than you want to, get the fuck over it. Counting calories if you're not a competitive athlete is the mark of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:58 AM
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137: In my case hives don't itch after the initial outbreak, but take a while to fade, but if it never itched, probably not hives. Probably worth a call to the doctor, m.

139: Considering that the biggest post-nuptial lifestyle change has been snacking too much and not getting to the gym as often, I figure I'll start there before I get into developing a commercialized eating disorder.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:58 AM
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I think that the studies proving that parenting doesn't matter and that dieting doesn't work mostly prove that small intentional changes in lifestyle are usually overwhelmed by the invisible, unconscious 90% of the iceberg of -- the unchanged habits and attitudes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 8:59 AM
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If you're looking fatter than you want to, get the fuck over it you might be surprised what a difference cutting out sweets and/or cheese for a month or two can make.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:00 AM
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Considering that the biggest post-nuptial lifestyle change

Aren't you still in the first year???


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:01 AM
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151: Counting calories (without a concrete target, i.e. training) seems overkill unless you like that sort of micro-detail, but I'm sure a lot of people might be surprised if they log what they eat for a week or month --- just to see what is actually done vs. what your impression is. If you are thinking about things like exercise & nutrition, a little sanity check like that is pretty sane.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:01 AM
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cutting out ... cheese for a month or two can make.

Flippanter, are you high???


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:02 AM
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And likewise, statistically, there are more obese people than there used to be, but the gene pool hasn't changed. What gives?

They did change how they measured obesity.

But in your case, the difference between you and the studies is just time & two kids. Your metabolism isn't the same as it was 10 years ago.

147: Ha. I look exactly the same. I wouldn't even care except that I do like exercising (and I've been slacking) and that it's really hard to ignore the stark numbers on the doctor's chart.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:03 AM
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(I should say that while I'm talking big about the eating-disorderyness of dieting, I am myself at the moment half-assedly eating less and working out more, having right around DCon become slightly fatter than the level of stockiness I'd grown accustomed to. Bitch is still probably right, and this is moderately unbalanced of me, but I'm not claiming to be perfectly well balanced. And I'll be distracted by something shiny and forget in a week or two.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:03 AM
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I look exactly the same.

Shocking! You've been married under a year and you are 23? Wow. Most people gain so much during those times.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:05 AM
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155: Yeah. Most of what I've learned is that I really am not good at being married.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:05 AM
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Flippanter, are you high???

High on life. And America! Also, Ricola lozenges.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:06 AM
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Ooops. My assistant just asked who I called "bitch!"

After I typed my Cala comment, it must have slipped. (I said it with affection, cala.)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:06 AM
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They did change how they measured obesity.

Nah, come on. Anecdotally, and I'm sure I've seen like-for-like data, Americans have gotten fatter over the past several decades. If this isn't true, I'd need to see some serious debunking.

But in your case, the difference between you and the studies is just time & two kids. Your metabolism isn't the same as it was 10 years ago.

I dunno. Some, but this much? People have always gotten somewhat less lean as they got older, but they seem to do so much more these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:07 AM
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160: I'm 28.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:08 AM
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Some, but this much?

Doesn't seem remarkable to me. Older Iranians sure looked pudgier than younger ones; you get old, you put on weight--you just put on more in America.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:10 AM
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Some, but this much?... you just put on more in America.

Like I said.



Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:14 AM
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m.leblanc
i first also thought hives, but if it's not itchy
you recently had a sore throat, right?
not to scare you, but it could be something like rheumatic erythema nodosum
just to be on precaution side and check with your doctor?


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:15 AM
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164: Yes, the trend is real --- even if the definition of `obesity' is a bit fuzzy. The worrisome one is the marked increase in childhood obesity, because nobody really knows what the implications are but the trends aren't heartening.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:15 AM
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164: You did say 'statistically.' Statistically, they changed what counted as overweight. And isn't the average weight difference something like nine pounds? I can't find the cite, but I'm not convinced that the 'epidemic' is more the media really needing something serious to cover, hard to find in these times of peace and prosperity.

Anyhow, at the level of anecdote, I don't know what a 28-year old looked like 20 years ago well enough to say. They were old ladies then.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:15 AM
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I've been losing weight since I started eating cheese in place of other snacks. A small piece of cheese can last a lot time, whereas I used to exhaust bags of tortilla chips quickly.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:17 AM
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I started gaining weight at about 34. It coincided with exercising less, but before that time I didn't gain weight whether I exercised or not, and I always ate and drank whatever I felt like.

Since about age 58 or so I've lost all desire to exercise, and also have developed fragile legs. I'd probably gain even more weight except my appetite has declined too.

According to the authorities I'm at the borderline between overweight and obese. At my ideal weight I'd probably be at the borderline between normal and overweight.

I haven't tucked a shirt in since about 1984, when the weight gain became fully established.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:17 AM
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And what the hell is up with BMI, anyway? I'm not light on my feet, exactly, but I am not obese, as my BMI says.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:18 AM
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Yeah, the 'anecdotes' I'm thinking of are news footage from the 40's or 50's showing street scenes, where people just seem a lot leaner. I had a weird moment visiting my Army buddy at Fort Knox, who lives in a street of little brick houses for officers. Something about the street scene looked anachronistic -- at first I thought it was all the crewcuts on the men, but then I realized the total lack of heavy people made it look old-fashioned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:20 AM
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170, the "epidemic" doesn't have to do with the increased weight of the average person. It has to do with the increased number of people with a BMI above a certain level. Of course BMI is not useful for a lot of individuals, but on a population level it's as useful as any other measure. When you go from 5% to 10% of the population above a certain high level, that means there's a lot more people who are overweight to a certain extent.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:20 AM
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We had a discussion on one of the triathlon forums yesterday about best calorie burning exercises (of the three sports)... running > biking > swimming on a time basis, probably swimming > running > biking on a distance basis.

In other news I ran 11.5 miles of hills last night. Burning calories != making you feel better about life.


Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:21 AM
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BMI calls me 'overweight.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:21 AM
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173: BMI is a mess, but understandable as a correlate with certain disease risk, etc. So it makes more sense to look at over a population, rather than as a individual. As an individual, I guess it's a guideline but subject to so many factors that aren't accounted for I don't know how useful it is.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:21 AM
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And what the hell is up with BMI, anyway? I'm not light on my feet, exactly, but I am not obese, as my BMI says.

The whole idea of coverting the BMI into a word like "obese" is pointless, and it doesn't account for different body types/frames. But it's a valuable measurement on a population level.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:23 AM
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Oh, BMI is bullshit in either direction depending on frame size and musculature.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:23 AM
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162: I don't need drugs, I'm fucked up on Jesus!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:24 AM
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175: But they changed what counted as obese and overweight just a few years ago. I get that it's a population-level measure, but if I decide to start counting everything about BMI 22 as overweight, I can make the obesity epidemic explode overnight.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:26 AM
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Skim milk is for drinking; whole milk is for cooking, or putting in coffee.

Even better from drinking? A nice tall glass of half & half.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:26 AM
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Oh, BMI is bullshit in either direction depending on frame size and musculature.

TV: Hey! You need to get in shape fast?!? Wanna look your best?!? Tired the other guys getting all the chicks?!? Are you tired of being a 90 pound weakling?!?

Cartman: Yeah, I only weight 90 pounds.

TV: Then bulk up quick, with weight gain 4000!!

Cartman: Yes!

TV: With over 4000 grams of saturated fat per serving, its patented formula is designed to enter the mouth, and go to directly to the stomach where it is distributed to the bloodstream. Now available in stores everywhere. Get some today, and say with me: "Beefcake!"

Cartman: Beefcake!

TV: Beefcake!

Cartman: Beefcake!

TV: Beefcake!

Cartman: Beefcake!!!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:26 AM
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No measurement should be used as some sort of moral judgment without context, or interpreted as valuable for each individual that it describes.

Oh no that woman is only 85 pounds! A candidate for anorexia intervention! Oh wait, she's 4 foot 11.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:27 AM
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180: Right, but as noted it makes sense on a population level. It makes sense as an individual if you have a baseline, but clearly the statement: Your BMI is X so you are Y is either flawed or tautological.

I'll note for Cala also that while the definitions changed (that is, US normalized it's definition of `overwieght' and `obese' to WHO standards) the better trend data is done using the same raw numbers, so this is irrelevant. NIH has height & weight data back to the '60s anyway, for example.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:27 AM
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Whole cream is for putting in coffee.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:27 AM
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182: Well, only if you're reporting dishonestly. Are there really articles out there saying "Obesity rate doubles" on the basis of the definition change?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:28 AM
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In other news I ran 11.5 miles of hills last night.

Congratz. Just thinking about that makes me knees hurt.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:28 AM
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182: Note that this is *not* what happened (e.g. 186.2)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:29 AM
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The healthiest place to be on BMI, as far as mortality rates, is the low end of overweight. This suggests that the term overweight is not accurate.
Nutritionists have little toy models of what is a serving of typical foods. I'm sure laypeople can buy them too for use at home.
WW works for some people- I lost 20 lbs after gaining 10 sophomore year, my mom just lost 65 pounds last year.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:29 AM
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190-->186


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:29 AM
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I meant to 188, goddamnit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:29 AM
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188: I don't know. They just say 'obesity rates double!' in the news articles, but I'm sure they check their sources.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:30 AM
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Whole cream is for putting in coffee.

Correct. For health reasons, you shouldn't drink it by the glass too often.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:30 AM
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I think that my normal weight would be higher than the charts say it should be, but that doesn't acocunt for the whole 30-40 lb. difference. My lowest adult weight was about 70% of my present weight.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:30 AM
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141: Take a look at this. The Shangri-la diet works.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:31 AM
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186 gets it right. No researcher would actually believe in the existence of an "epidemic" of something without using the same definition of it at different time points. The redefinition of "obesity" from one BMI to another is the simplest imaginable version of this, which can become quite hard to get right in cases where the surveillance for something becomes better (e.g. prostate cancer), thus producing more people who are known to have the disease although nothing's changed in reality. There's no way to accurately say "OK this guy was diagnosed at age 40 thanks to our new methods, but he would have only been diagnosed at age 42 if he lived 20 years ago."

Alarmist press releases by for-profit entities, on the other hand...


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:32 AM
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My grandmother on my dad's side always serves half-and-half at breakfast for putting on cereal. Once, when my brother was staying with her, she was out of half-and-half at breakfast and made him wait while she took some whole milk and some cream (which she always has on hand) and whisked them together for him in a pitcher.

Yes, there is heart disease on that side of the family. But they enjoy their cereal.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:33 AM
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194: The shift in definition (1998 i think) was to match up with what a) most scientific literature and b) the WHO was using.

The trend data that I know of talking about the increased rates is not using the rates of obesity from different time periods, rather it is comparing the raw numbers.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:33 AM
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About LeBlanc's red bumps: which antibiotic? That same thing (non-itchy hives) happens to me whenever I take amoxycillin or erythromycin (or a relative -- like a Z-pack). It's not an allergy, per se, because it only happens once a concentration has built up in my body (not when I first take it) and I show up negative on allergy tests. But it predictably happens around day 4-6.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:35 AM
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201: Interesting. Does it clear up quickly once your course is finished?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:36 AM
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Bacon when I'm hungry, whiskey when I'm dry.

I found this BMI-sprawl correlation study pretty convincing.
A completely sedentary lifestyle is harder if you need to walk and use stairs occasionally. There's a causation question (lazy old people who would have gotten fat anyway move to Lisle), and fast-food correlation is complicated, but exurb-as-lifestyle covers a lot of ground.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:37 AM
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My mother and one sister never gained any weight. They were busy every minute of the day, by habit in my mother's case and by necessity in my sister's (single parent going to school and working, etc.) I wouldn't want to, and couldn't, live that way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:37 AM
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Also, home-whipped whipped cream!


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:39 AM
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205: Is there any other kind?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:40 AM
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201: Becks, I'm on amoxicillin, and yeah, I started taking it last week. I hope you're right, and it's not this. Fucking antibiotics.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:40 AM
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I lost weight once partly by walking 20-30 flights a day on the stairs.

In Taiwan obese (Chinese) people were so rare that if you saw one you'd speculate abut their life story (decadent son of rich man, usually). I was called daduzi "big belly" when I was only 20-30 lbs. overweight.

China has an immense symbolic and customary structure organizing the consumption of food, fostering both gourmet tastes and overall frugality. Chinese restaurant food is feast-day food. The few routine meals I had there were 1.) greens, tofu, rice, very thin broth and b.) a "grease-stick" pastry and a very thin broth.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:45 AM
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A summary of the link in 197: People have a weight set-point that determines their appetite levels. The set point can be changed over time, rather slowly (about a pound or two a week), and has to do (by one theory) with pavlovian conditioning on the flavor and calorie content of the food you habitually eat.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:45 AM
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or may be it was not you, LeBlanc
i recall many people here were having a cold and sore throat, so i confuse people may be
drug induced rash is also possible


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:47 AM
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Also, the separate evolution of lactase persistence in Europe, among the Maasai, and in north Africa is really neat


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:48 AM
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Independent of the claims of the study in 203, Figure 1 in the linked study is pretty sobering (Median BMI vs. age by gender).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:53 AM
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Without recommending the Adkins diet, met and protein seem more satisfying in some ways than carbohydrates.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:55 AM
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212: As is this CDC data: http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/images/figure1.gif

Which I found here: http://win.niddk.nih.gov/ --- certainly a site with a particular take on the data, but that doesn't affect the raw numbers. It would be nicer to see actual BMI over time there, too, but I didn't see it with a cursory search.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 9:57 AM
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202 - Yes, it clears up in a day or two after I stop taking them.

And LeBlanc -- doctors I've reported this to are usually flummoxed so I doubt it's something that happens to a lot of people. And the bad thing is that, although I'm not technically allergic to them and it's not more than an annoyance, doctors won't prescribe them to me anymore because hives = bad. Which means that very often my visits to doctors go like this:

Doc: You've got a bacterial infection. I'll prescribe you a Z-pack. Oh -- I see from your chart that you have trouble tolerating that. Well, I don't want to prescribe you Ceclor or Ceftin just for this. Try to fight it off. If you're still sick in a week, come back and I'll give you a prescription.

SUCKS.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:00 AM
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209: interesting. I definitely wouldn't have clicked on the link in 197 if the only information about it was "The Shangri-La diet".

213 gets it right. Every now and then I think "Why don't I just buy a big loaf of bread for $3 and spend all day eating it while I work on stuff?". I never stop being hungry. Or even worse, I know I'm not hungry but I never stop wanting to eat.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:01 AM
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Older Iranians sure looked pudgier than younger ones; you get old, you put on weight

Part of that is more shape-change than weight-change, I think. No one in my family has ever really gained weight after college, but my parents are definitely cursing softer waists and less muscle as they approach the mid-fifties.

LB, I've been pretty amazed at some of the metabolism changes I've seen in friends. It only takes a year or so, but they'll suddenly shift from one steady state to another that's 10-20, sometimes 30+ pounds higher. Usually you can see it coming from one of their parents, and the timing seems to happen around 20 or around 30 for most people. Who knows why it seems to happen so suddenly in some cases, but it doesn't seem uncommon at all.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:03 AM
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216b: I wonder how much of that is habituation.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:03 AM
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tweedle:

When is the next tri for you?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:22 AM
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Since about age 58 or so I've lost all desire to exercise, and also have developed fragile legs.

This struck me b/c my dad (about John's age) has developed these hideously skinny, atrophied looking legs though he exercises the muscles plenty (a good hour a day or more) and eats enough to have a sizable gut. Is there some particular feature of aging that causes the legs to wither away?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:31 AM
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Yeah, it's interesting. When I talk about both of my parents still being able to kill a waterbuffalo with a single blow, what I mostly mean is that at nearly 70, that hasn't happened to them -- they're both still similarly proportioned (and just about as strong and fit) as they were at 50. I don't know what triggers that transition to frailty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:36 AM
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My legs are still strong and thick, but more subject to injury. Much, much more -- I can't really run. The weight gain may be part of it. I also get occasional cramps.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:38 AM
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Jandek is laughing tunelessly all the way to the bank.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:40 AM
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peripheral neuropathy comes to mind
but may be it's just normal ageing
i'm always quick with grand diagnoses :)
this link you may find informative
just the first googled one
http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/003188.htm


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:41 AM
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My dad's only 55 and has been losing muscle mass and developing noticeable tremors. He's heading towards frailty and I don't know why, though I suspect depression. His dad probably could have killed waterbuffaloes in his late 70s.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:42 AM
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225: Absent significant disease, I suspect an awful lot of this is mental.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:44 AM
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Part of my nearing 40 is the realization that I really have to make a point of being more physically active if I'm going to stave that aging thing off. No more coasting on youth and lucky genetics.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:45 AM
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You're only 40?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:45 AM
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226: Disagreed; I think a lot of it is simple American inactivity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:46 AM
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227: This is true. When you're 40, it probably doesn't matter so much. But what you do in your 40s and 50s can make a huge difference to what your 70s are like, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:46 AM
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Not yet, dammit. I have 17 days left.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:46 AM
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kill a waterbuffalo with a single blow

Google video category? Maybe a mashup of excellent Hmong pop music and charmingk-accent european tough guy smash videos.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:47 AM
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229: That contributes, but what I meant is if you see someone suddenly go frail, particularly if they are pretty young, ime it seems to correlate very very strongly with attitude.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:47 AM
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Leave the water buffaloes alone, guys! They're lovable pets, like big dogs. Seriously, a lot of (non-vegetarian) Taiwanese won't eat beef for that reason.

As for muscle mass, the last time I lifted weights seriously (~age 55) I gained strength slowly if at all, and I worked out so hard that I developed some kind of permanent bursitis. (I was channelling my job rage into exercise.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:47 AM
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hmmm... now I think of it the causation could go the other way.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:48 AM
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That's OK ma'am, you don't need to show anything for the discount.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:49 AM
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My legs are still strong and thick, but more subject to injury. Much, much more -- I can't really run.

Ligaments loosen up and connective tissue becomes more brittle with age, particularly in the late 40s to 50s, I believe. That's why it becomes a lot easier to sprain something and scarily easier to suffer major joint or spinal cord injury. You just don't bounce like you used to, unfortunately.

My mom does a lot of work and research in this area, dealing with physiological changes throughout lifespan and how it affects movement and recovery ability.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:52 AM
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Now I want a water buffalo to go with my pony.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:52 AM
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226: He's been stuck out of town with work a lot (like 90% of the past seven years), all alone in a crappy corporate apartment, not seeing his kids or wife or house or making new friends. I suspect that makes it hard to care about whether one is eating properly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:54 AM
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I've been pretty amazed at some of the metabolism changes I've seen in friends. It only takes a year or so, but they'll suddenly shift from one steady state to another that's 10-20, sometimes 30+ pounds higher. Usually you can see it coming from one of their parents, and the timing seems to happen around 20 or around 30 for most people. Who knows why it seems to happen so suddenly in some cases, but it doesn't seem uncommon at all.

This happened to me. Seemed like almost overnight. 40lbs or so. Ironically I'm fitter now than I was then [I do more exercise and smoke and drink less], and I eat less junk [I used to eat loads of sweet and fatty food], but it was like some metabolic switch got flicked.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:54 AM
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Yup, me too. I put on about 50 pounds in my late twenties. I'm pretty sure it was connected to the advent of my heart arrhythmia and the cessation of exercise, but since then, I put on weight instantly if I stop exercising.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:03 AM
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I've heard that Czech women beat their men into shape.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:03 AM
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Ogged:

What do you weigh now?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:04 AM
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240: As I understand it, there (very roughly) is a metabolic switch when you stop growing, around 25. Can take a few years to catch up to you, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:05 AM
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Willard,

I weighed about 150 until my late twenties when I got to around 200, then I dropped that back to 150 by running a lot and dieting, and now I weigh around 170-175.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:08 AM
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I don't know what triggers that transition to frailty.

In the case of Father Flippanter, several heart attacks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:09 AM
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shivbunny's weight used to swing between 185 and 200, and now it floats between 195 and 205. For him to be traditionally thin would be about 170, but he realizes he'd have to exercise seriously to do that, and he's just not really interested in that while he has a physical job.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:12 AM
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he's just not really interested in that while he has a physical job.

Didnt we establish that it was inappropriate to refer to marriage as a job?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:13 AM
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Yeah I went from ~140 to ~180 in a few years. Thanks, grad school!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:14 AM
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Yes. A job is useful or productive. A marriage is a trial, a penance, an affliction, a burden, a dead-weight loss, or a mental illness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:16 AM
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In the case of Father Flippanter, several heart attacks.

You notice this a lot with people as they get older: they're fine until they have some health setback and they can never get back to their prior level of health/fitness, although they might have been fine for a long while if they hadn't had the setback.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:17 AM
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249: Properly executed, the grad student plan is to pack on 30-50 pounds in the first few years, then stress it all off in 6 months leading to your defense. It's sort of like hibernation, that way.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:20 AM
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re: 244

That might be it. Between about 20 and 25 I also put on about 40lbs, but it wasn't fat. It was muscle. So perhaps I was always eating more than I 'needed' to maintain weight, and then it caught up with me once the growth stopped.

re: 247

It's all about what's comfortable for you, isn't it? I'm happy anywhere between about 170 [slim] and 190 ['robust' but still not fat looking] but I know people who are about the same height and weight I am now [220+] and who are quite happy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:20 AM
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and who are quite happy.

IME this is highly dependent on having jeans that fit across whatever your natural weight shift is. You only really notice when you are 5+lb outside whatever that is. (either direction)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:25 AM
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But what you do in your 40s and 50s can make a huge difference to what your 70s are like, I think.

Ditto to this. My metabolic change didn't come until my mid-30s, and I was confounded. Then after a couple of health setbacks in the last few years, I realized that I was either going to accept this state of affairs for the duration, or get a move on.

Luckily, getting a move on has begun to help.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:26 AM
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Between about 20 and 25 I also put on about 40lbs, but it wasn't fat. It was muscle.

Likewise -- I added 15-20lbs in a year at 19, without changing sizes in anything, rowing crew while having been a complete non-athlete beforehand.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:26 AM
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I am about the same weight now that I was in college, when I gained about ten pounds while working out a lot. Dropped most of that after college since I didn't really need those muscles any more, and now the weight's back. Hrmph.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:29 AM
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Actual question: is weight bad per se, or just fat weight? From the cardiac point of view especially, is 30 lbs of extra muscle more benign than 30 lbs. of extra fat? Or does either one burden the heart?

I confess that I have almost no knowledge about the physiology and progress of heart disease.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:30 AM
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258: Fat weight is bad, at least insomuch as it correlates well with deposits in the arterial wall. Muscle is metabolically active, fat isn't, so the stuff you are carrying around elsewhere has different effect also. As I understand it, cardiac health is much more likely to be affected by lack of (cardio) exercise and of course localized deposits.

The localized deposits and calcification are not completely understood though, and thinking is changing on that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:35 AM
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re: 258

Abdominal fat is really pretty bad [from the heart disease point of view].

Apart from the cosmetic thing, I pick up more joint injuries [knees, ankles] when training/competing than I would if I was 30lbs lighter.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:36 AM
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I'm pretty sure that weight per se isn't bad at all. Fat can be an external sight of high cholesterol and fatty tissue inside the arteries and/or heart--which is bad. Lots of muscle, for someone with a weak heart, can lead to too much demand on the heart to provide blood to the muscle, hence heart attack. But the number on the scale itself isn't bad. At most, it might be an indirect symptom of a problem.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:36 AM
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From what I've read, both burden the heart, but having more muscle is good for you in other ways (being stronger, higher metabolism, etc.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:37 AM
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One other factor is (if I'm remembering this right) that fat tissue has a different effect on your body's production of insulin, so x pounds of fat are more likely to bring on diabetes than x pounds of muscle.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:38 AM
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259: Is it clear that fat is the issue, or the lack of cardiac exercise (associated oftentimes with fat gain?)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:39 AM
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Sorry, not the production of insulin, but your reaction to it. Still looking for a cite.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:43 AM
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A job is useful or productive compensated. A marriage is a trial, a penance, an affliction, a burden, a dead-weight loss, or a mental illness.

There, that looks better.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:43 AM
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He's been stuck out of town with work a lot (like 90% of the past seven years), all alone in a crappy corporate apartment, not seeing his kids or wife or house or making new friends.

Maybe he should have an affair.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:44 AM
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264: It's not very clear at all. Deposits in and around the arterial walls are definitely considered bad, but it isn't clear how this works with other body fat. The higher your % is, the more likely these deposits ... but as ttam points out all fat is not equal here.

Typically people with heart disease may have both poor exercise regimes and higher body-fat percentage than desireable; it's hard to seperate. And certainly fit people can have heart disease.

The real problem is that everyone agrees what the catastophic failure modes look like, but not how we get there. The screening methods etc. are a bit of a moving target now as understanding of disease progession changes (calcification scores are not though to be nearly as important as they were).

Some risk factors are pretty well established (lack of exercise, high abdominal fat, genetic predisposition) but that's about it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:45 AM
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I was actually just reading something about toxins and diet, that while aging naturally diminishes one's ability to process and eliminate toxins, maintaining a higher metabolism (i.e. exercise, more muscle) can counterbalance that to an extent.

Point being that it's not just that fat tissue contributes to diabetes, but that a low metabolism contributes to (especially) an unhealthy liver and thyroid, which contribute to accumulation of fatty tissue.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:49 AM
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Green tea, people. Anti-inflammatory foods. Blueberries. I need to look up more of these.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:52 AM
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265: Insulin Resistance.


Posted by: joe dokes | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 11:58 AM
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I do remember seeing something saying that exercise and fitness only reduce the ill effects of weight by a third. Rumor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:13 PM
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For what little it's worth, I've talked to a few of the top (worldwide) cardio researchers about this stuff, and they don't see consensus on a lot of issues. Everyone will agree that you should keep excess weight off and exercise `enough', but that's about it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:15 PM
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erm, 273 came out a bit wrong: I'm not expert in the area, and I didn't ask any of them about their formal positions; this is my impression from multiple interactions and related work.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:17 PM
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Since this is the exercise/ailment thread, I'll pop in a question. For awhile now, a year and a half, perhaps, I've had trouble with knee pain when running/biking. I try to be really careful in both; I have correct shoes (I think), and use low-impact techniques. I'm only 170lbs. But I've had serious pain, resulting several times in long periods of completely laying off. I wasn't even running really long distances. 7 miles at most, I think. Similarly, not a whole lot of biking.

Honestly, I suspect I'm just not built for this stuff. But if anyone has any suggestions, I'll gladly take them.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:23 PM
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re: 275

There's lots of things can cause knee pain. Bad technique, meniscus tears, tendinitis, etc.

Generally, they recommend you strengthen the supporting muscles and work on flexibility [as a general precautionary measure]. But it depends a lot on the injury.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:26 PM
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A friend's father, who is a practicing doctor and professor in a medical school, is so convinced that diet has less impact on cardiovascular health than simply remaining active that he used to eat a bucket of fried chicken while presenting papers on the subject in order to drive home the point.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:26 PM
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Honestly, I suspect I'm just not built for this stuff. But if anyone has any suggestions, I'll gladly take them.

Michael, I know the answer.

You need to swim more. Don't forget to snap your hips!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:28 PM
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Trust me. My dad is a doctor.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:28 PM
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275: When biking, do you use clipless pedals or clips? If so, have you had your bike set up properly (or done it yourself)? Biking is so much lower impact that this suggests maybe an alignment issue (if not injury, etc.)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:30 PM
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I'm not sure I like swimming.

I use clips on the bike: i set it up myself. I looked stuff up, and also experimented with what was comfortable. I think there is was some problem there with position, which had to do with a bike failing. (namely, the seat post tended to fall a bit)

I thought for awhile that this was just an injury: I hurt my right knee back in high school. But then the left started being a real problem, too, when running. Tennis, curiously, has not caused problems.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:35 PM
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I've got knee issues myself, Michael, and the doc recommended exercises to strengthen the quads and hamstrings because those muscle groups provide support to the knees. My doc specified straight leg lifts, as opposed to bent knee, for the quads based on the different muscles involved. When I have followed medical advice, I found increased knee pain in the short term (week or two) and improvement thereafter. Of course, your knee problems may be nothing at all like my knee problems, so who knows.

The other suggestion would be to switch to something with less impact on the knees, like swimming. Probably good for strengthening the quads and hamstrings, in any case.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:38 PM
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a low metabolism contributes to (especially) an unhealthy liver and thyroid

I don't know about the liver, but for the thyroid this is backwards (at least in my experience). My metabolism was fine until my thyroid conked out. I used to be able to eat absolutely anything and it would burn off without any effort on my part. Sadly, not so any more.

Yes to green tea though.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:41 PM
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Biking is so much lower impact that this suggests maybe an alignment issue (if not injury, etc.)

I can't speak to Michael's knee problem, but does anyone have any sense whether biking (or swimming) are more or less stressful to the lower back?

I have degenerative discs in the lower back and can't do anything high-impact at all. Running's out. Anything involving a lot of (fast) bending at the waist is out (kick-boxing? heh).

I haven't been able to decide whether the sustained posture in biking, or the repetitious movement in swimming, would be alright, or which might be better. Yes, I should make an appointment with my physical therapist.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:45 PM
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thanks for the advice, guys.

DK, I was unsure what straight leg lifts are, google brought me to this page, which looks good. Does their definition match yours?:

Straight Leg Lifts: This is performed to strengthen the quadriceps. Lying on the floor. Flex one knee to approximately a right angle. Lift the other leg rapidly to between 30 and 60 degrees. Lower and repeat 10 times. Switch legs, repeat 5 times and work up to 10 sets of 10 repetitions.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:47 PM
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Parsimon, my dad has had serious lower back problems for decades now -- he can't do any bending or even much standing still or walking. His doctor recommended that he swim for exercise, and it works out pretty well for him.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:48 PM
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Yes, I should make an appointment with my physical therapist.

I think this is really the way to go in your case. Location (in the spine) matters a lot in back problmes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:49 PM
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I love McManly's friend's dad.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:49 PM
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mcmc, don't they have treatment for that? bad thyroid runs in my family, and the members who've gotten treatment for it, well, it works great.

parsimon, i don't know about swimming, but biking seems pretty easy on my back. you'll need to develop some support muscles, but i don't think it's anything especially onerous.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:49 PM
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So, we have agreed that swimming is best?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:50 PM
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290: It *really* depends on the back in question. I've known people in both situations: can't bike, and can't swim due to back injuries.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:51 PM
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speaking of jobs, I really should stop commenting here and do mine.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:52 PM
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285: Yep, with the added recommendation to add ankle weights.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:53 PM
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parsimon, i don't know about swimming, but biking seems pretty easy on my back. you'll need to develop some support muscles, but i don't think it's anything especially onerous.

So biking will be hard on the back until one does it enough to develop support muscles?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:54 PM
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294: This really depends on what your `core' muscles are like to start off with, etc. If you have really weak fundamentals, most things can be hard on you.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:54 PM
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294. yeah, to add on to what soup biscuit, who's about to get fired, said, I think a big factor is whether you have good posture in everyday life.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 12:57 PM
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soup biscuit, who's about to get fired,

Nobody wants that, I think. Just think of how much blather I could leave on this site then.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:00 PM
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bad thyroid runs in my family, and the members who've gotten treatment for it, well, it works great.

Yes, cheap and easy, but the doctors generally like to keep you in the mid-to-low normal range, which makes it hard for me to lose weight. When I've asked him to try to get me to the high normal level, my doctor says "oh, no, that will make you prone to osteoporosis." When I point out that I currently test in the 99th percentile for bone density, he changes the subject.

It's a minor problem, easily solved by living on cucumbers and tomatoes, so I should quit whining. But a lot of people will shop around for a doctor willing to increase their dose just because of the weight issue. I've seen message boards dedicated to the subject.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:01 PM
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293 to 292.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:04 PM
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295 and previous:

Yes, building core body strength first is key. I'm pretty good there now, not fantastic.

It's really a whole-core body issue: as long as the supporting muscles are good, there's minimal stress on the back. However, tire the supporting muscles (which is my concern with both swimming and biking), and the stress reverts to the back again, and even picking up the laundry basket is dire. The corker is that I rarely know when I've done something to overly compromise the balance until a day or two after the fact.

Alright then, get me back to the gym, and the physical therapist.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:05 PM
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I have a terrible time with the thyroid thing, too. Without medication, I'm in the "normal" range but my hair falls out and I stop having my period. On medication, I'm fine. But I can't tell you how hard it is to convince doctors that I need the meds when I'm "normal". I still suspect I should be on a higher dose than I am.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:14 PM
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mcmc, if you were in my town, I'd recommend you to my GP, who had her thyroid removed a while back, is on full-time medication of some sort, gained quite a bit of weight, later lost quite a bit of it.

That is, I'd recommend you to her only because she seems able to discuss pros and cons.

It's a tough position to be in. But "high normal" doesn't seem downright crazy, depending on your thyroid levels to begin with.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:15 PM
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Aw, c'mon Becks. who needs hair and periods? Lots of guys don't have either.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:16 PM
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Yeah, stop being so heteronormative, Becks.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:19 PM
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That's not what heteronormative means, Ned.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:22 PM
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Aw, c'mon Becks. who needs hair and periods? Lots of guys don't have either.

I was just thinking the same thing. Becks still has periods??? Doesn't she take the pill constantly like everyone else??


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:23 PM
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parsimon, maybe if you decide to do biking, take it slow. a few miles can be fun, and you'll be working your muscles even if you don't feel it. then add gradually.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:24 PM
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When I've asked him to try to get me to the high normal level, my doctor says "oh, no, that will make you prone to osteoporosis."

This really annoys me. If you think the benefits of the high normal level outweigh the costs of osteoporosis risk, why shouldn't that decision be up to you? Seriously, doctors are more than happy to dispense cholesterol drugs despite the risks of liver damage. So why should bone density get so much deference? (The weight thing doesn't bother me as much with thyroid issues, but I know I personally feel a whole lot better if I maintain a higher level. If osteoporosis is a risk, I can take calcium and do more weight bearing exercise.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:25 PM
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quit oppressing Ned with your proscriptive language, bitch.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:25 PM
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This really annoys me. If you think the benefits of the high normal level outweigh the costs of osteoporosis risk, why shouldn't that decision be up to you? Seriously, doctors are more than happy to dispense cholesterol drugs despite the risks of liver damage. So why should bone density get so much deference?

In a lot of these cases the top priority becomes the thing that is most quantifiable or easiest to predict.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:26 PM
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306 - I can't take the Pill at all, thanks to a weirdo side-effect I had the last time I took it.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:26 PM
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310 pwned by 309. Wait, that's not true.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:26 PM
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Bike or swim? Of course see the PT, but I do know that some who have back issues and cannot maintain the positions those type of activities entail who end up "pool walking". Damage to self image is probably the biggest danger, but it has the benefit of keeping your head up and out of the chemical soup. (And biking can be low impact for 99.999% of the time and then ...)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:27 PM
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306: When I take the pill, I still have periods. The power of my Womanhood is greater than your prescription medications, Will.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:27 PM
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I've been led to believe that a lesbian would welcome the loss of aggravating reproduction-related phenomena, not to mention the new frontiers in mannish hair.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:27 PM
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301: They do have a tendency to rely on the numbers, instead of looking at symptoms. But have you seen an endocrinologist? I've been told that the pituitary (or I forget, maybe the adrenal? all these glands look alike!) gland can be involved in the metabolism of thyroid hormone, so there are some other possible treatments.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:31 PM
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315: Which lesbian was that?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:35 PM
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I still have periods

They'll be stopping soon enough, old woman.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:37 PM
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301 - I did go see an endocrinologist but he was one of the "is it in the range? then you're fine." types. My GP put me on some thyroid medicine anyway so I didn't bother going around to doctor shop.

Also, there's been some controversy about what the thyroid range should be, with the recommendations being changed but many doctors and labs not following (and waiving off when you bring up) the new guidelines.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:37 PM
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For me, it was hooking up with someone who appreciated good food - previously eating was a chore, done only under duress. I went from 140 to 180 in 5 years.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:45 PM
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314:
306: When I take the pill, I still have periods. The power of my Womanhood is greater than your prescription medications, Will.

You may have a double uterus like my SiL, in which you can be quite far along in pregnancy before you notice.

:-)

(If not here, where? Emoticons have their place.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:47 PM
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Of course see the PT, but I do know that some who have back issues and cannot maintain the positions those type of activities entail who end up "pool walking". Damage to self image is probably the biggest danger

"Pool walking"? Self-image is the least of my concerns in these matters. I already have something like that in place anyway: speed-walking several miles (self-image, pish), therapeutic pool work, gym work.

As for my PT, he has some misguided sense that I'm younger than I am, or thinks I can be much better physically than I am, which I think is biased by a visual assessment, the fact that I move well and look younger than I am. He pushes me. He's like a freakin' coach. Stand on your own two feet, woman, he seems to say. I get no sympathy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:55 PM
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In a lot of these cases the top priority becomes the thing that is most quantifiable or easiest to predict.

I'm not getting it. What is the distinction in terms of quantifiability between thyroid/osteoporosis and cholesterol/liver damage?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 1:57 PM
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When I take the pill, I still have periods. The power of my Womanhood is greater than your prescription medications, Will.

Bitch cannot be denied.

When is that birthday? Any day now, isnt it?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:01 PM
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When I take the pill, I still have periods. The power of my Womanhood is greater than your prescription medications, Will.

Don't most people?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:02 PM
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Something I've wondered on. If you had to choose one for aging, would it be cardio for heart or strength-training for muscular/skeletal? Assume same weight.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:02 PM
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326: Why would you choose one? Cardio seems to be more important, at least in the sense pretty much anything you'll do for cardio will give you some skeletal benefit. Maintaining muscle tone is also important. Mass not much afaics.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:06 PM
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Per soup biscuit, I can't imagine why you'd choose one. You need both, and one gets boring without the other.

Strictly for aging? Again, undecidable.

If it's a question of feeling you don't have enough time for both: alternate days. You should anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:12 PM
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Although cardio doesn't necessarily need to be a particularly time consuming thing -- if HIIT type training works as claimed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:13 PM
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327- You wouldn't. But it's a matter of weighting the two. I've been on a program in which I've mostly strength-trained with a little running, and vice versa. In the conventional sense, maybe I'm in better shape with marathon training, but I feel better when emphasis on strength training. I do know that with strength training, metabolism is raised for longer periods.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:13 PM
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anything you'll do for cardio will give you some skeletal benefit

That's interesting. I once read of a study that concluded that cycling did not have skeletal benefit. That you had to run to get that. Surprising.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:19 PM
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but I feel better when emphasis on strength training. I do know that with strength training, metabolism is raised for longer periods.

Same here. If I had to choose, I'd go for strength training with a little cardio. I have a feeling this is personal preference and circumstance, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:20 PM
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331- Me.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:22 PM
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330: All goals are not equivalent though. Feel good this week vs. improve my time/weight/heigh at X vs. avoid bone density problems 30 years out vs. reduce heart disease risk etc., etc.

Strictly from a highest odds of improving your life long-term point of view you are probably best to mix it up a lot. Don't skimp on cardio, but never do high impact (injury and overuse risk). Do strength, but never aggressivly (injury and overuse risk). Do loads of flexibility work, maybe more than strength (reduced injury risk). Do load bearing exercise (for skeleton) and eat a good diet. Lower your metabolic rate if you want to live longer...... etc.

But you have to ask yourself what all this stuff is for; no good if it isn't fun, right?

331: Depending on what you do, it might not be much benefit. That wasn't a suggestion, but a comment about if you only had one thing to do. Which is sort of a silly premise.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:23 PM
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Lower your metabolic rate if you want to live longer...... etc.

Is this right? I thought the opposite.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:28 PM
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1,428 servings of male ejaculate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:29 PM
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336, see 88, and that makes two of us.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:30 PM
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335: I think the literature is pretty spotty, but the only consistent longevity results are for near starvation level inputs (in mouse models, anyway).

I was not really serious about that one actually, because it pretty much violates the following comment on things being fun. Even if I could guarantee you a statistical bump of say 5 years if you never had a really good meal again, would you take it?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:32 PM
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(there could be contradicting research now, too, not like I've really searched)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:33 PM
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I should start reading these comment threads again.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:34 PM
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What, like the whole thread? Nobody does that, do they?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:35 PM
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In my defense, it was sort of a swimming thread so not reading it was SOP.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:36 PM
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Even if I could guarantee you a statistical bump of say 5 years if you never had a really good meal again, would you take it?

But I could still drink, right?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:37 PM
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343: water.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:38 PM
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Way back to Michael at 275: I have two twingy knees, one that seems to have developed bursitis* and had a meniscus injury in college. And the surest sign for me that I need to get back to the gym and strengthen my legs is when my knees start bitching at me. Squats work for me, but knees are goofy enough I'd check with a doctor before plunging into any strength training. But chances are, strengthening the muscles around the knee is what they'll recommend.

As to the rest of it, I can't take the impact of running. Body not designed for it.

*The doc says it's bursitis, but it doesn't hurt.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:40 PM
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A sig line of an acquaintance of mine:

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit...what a ride!"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:41 PM
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I would pick strengthen training over cardio for a couple reasons: a) cardio bores me b) lifting is fun. But both are needed, alas.

Guaranteed statistical bump of 5 years? Not worth never having a good meal again.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:46 PM
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The tricky part about 346 is trying to get everything to wear out at roughly the same time.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:46 PM
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346- As long as you actually die when you're totally worn out.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:48 PM
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348: Exactly.

The apparent opposition between trying to live longest by avoiding risk, and paying little to no attention at all in the interest of the ride, is bullshit. The task is in the balance.

Dudes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:50 PM
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350 Indeed. Like on the exercise/diet front the trade offs between fun/good for me/risky and long term/short term benefits.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:52 PM
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Actually, life's journey _is_ to arise safely in a well-preserved body. After all, that's the body you get on Judgement Day. And don't listen to those namby-pamby "Christians" who will try to tell you that it'll be fixed up in any way. Ogged is meeting his maker with missing organs and everything.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:56 PM
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348, 349: Exactly. Ronald uh whatshisname, DO NOT WANT.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 2:57 PM
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God fixes it!! Perfected bodies! Unless you commit suicide and then you get a perfected thorny tree with bonus Harpies!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:03 PM
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and then you get a perfected thorny tree with bonus Harpies!

I keep reading this as: bonus Hippies!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:10 PM
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I hate my primary care physician. This HMO thing sucks! Of course they can't see me today or tomorrow, and then I am flying to Utah for a funeral.

What, am I supposed to go to the ER because of a fucking rash?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:13 PM
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a fucking rash

Maybe you should try lubricant.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:14 PM
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356: They'd probably end up denying coverage anyway, because it's not a real emergency...

Try calling back and sounding all frantic and tell them about how you are going to Utah and you are really worried and what if it's contagious and what if you die...? Never underestimate the power of making someone realize that you aren't going to quit annoying them until they squeeze you in.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:25 PM
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348: I, hundred year cart.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:25 PM
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God fixes it!! Perfected bodies!

I know a woman who, after the death of her young son, was willing to donate his eyes, but not any of his other organs. She figured she could lead him around heaven for eternity, but she didn't know how he could spend eternity without a heart or stomach.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:28 PM
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170 counts as skinny?
but may be for men, their bone is heavy i suppose
i for example converted my 58 kg and got 128 lbs
my diet is skipping breakfast, eating whatever it is in cafeteria lunch and whatever it is in the fridge dinner
i often forget to eat, which is not good coz it's a sign of low gastric acid and people with low gastric acid tend to have gastric cancer


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:29 PM
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Golly. Who'd want to spend eternity with no eyes?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:32 PM
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361: 170 is fairly skinny for a 6ft man, typically.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:36 PM
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6'3" so, yes, skinny.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:40 PM
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aha,
this summer i got then i thought tick bites, so i went to the DOC and they prescribed me doxycycline and told me to go to ER
because it really looked like erythema migrans and i was worried that i'd get lyme disease, which once it gets advanced is pretty hard to treat
but tick bites are i think an emergency everywhere
and the serology lab was so expensive i paid 350 myself
insurance covered like 16 dollars only, though they adjusted the payment from 5 hundred something


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:42 PM
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Michael is skinny, but baby got back.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:43 PM
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but usually skin rash may be not an indication to go to ER i suppose
i forgot to say


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 3:47 PM
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that's right, baby, there's junk in my trunk and i shake it like a polaroid picture


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-10-08 10:13 PM
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