Category Archives: body composition

Still Counting Calories? At Least You’re Not Working Out To Jane Fonda. Are You?

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Fad diets come and go with the times, as did leotards and fuzzy headbands– though leg warmers seem to be making an interesting comeback. (I still don’t know what to make of that.)

But something that needs to go away already is the useless practice of calorie counting. But. BUT. You’re going to say. And I’m going to wiggle my finger in your face because Nuh huh.

The control that calorie counting offers is more of an illusion, because it allows too big a room for unhealthy practices to be justified. “I’m 300 calories short for the day! This means I get to have a slice of chocolate velvet cake deep fried in butter stuffed with lard.” You know what I mean. If at the end of one day you discover you have consumed a smaller amount of calories than what your goal is it will be easier for you to convince yourself it’s totally fine to snarf down a bag of chips, raid the leftover cake, or finish the extra big chocolate bar. And it’s not.

I honestly believe counting calories sets you up for failure, because there is no specification about the quality of said calories. Two hundred calories of cookies is not the same as 200 calories of raw veggies. You know which one is the smartest option and yet, given the chance by having “spare space” in your calorie count for the day, you’ll choose the unhealthy sugary shit. You know I’m right.

Besides, tell me the truth: Do you really want to be a slave to counting that shit every day for the rest of your life? Do you think it’s  healthy mental practice to obsess about amounts and counts of this or that? Do you honestly want to be that person that brings their motherfucking scale to parties and reunions? Please don’t be. Those people suck the fun right out of getting together with friends.

BUT. You’ll argue. That’s what they do in The Biggest Loser, and they lose a lot of weight! And you’d be correct. But what you don’t see much of in the show is the kind of food they eat. They aren’t limiting their caloric intake and still consuming crap foods. They have a team of people showing them how to eat, when to eat it, how much to eat… it’s television and it’s in the show’s best interest that these peeps lose a lot of weight, and fast. Ratings, babeh. Their meals consist mostly of fresh food. REAL FOOD. Food that is alive and in turn gives life, because that’s the food that allows the body to shed unnecessary weight.  My guess is that thorough nutritional explanations aren’t what most of the population would describe as enthralling TV entertainment, and this is what they don’t show us much of that. Seriously, if you think they lose weight by pure magic of the brutal workouts they’re subjected to, you’ll be highly disappointed. It’s been proven time and time again, you can even repeat after me: You cannot out-train unhealthy eating habits.

You cannot out-train unhealthy eating habits.

You cannot out-train unhealthy eating habits.

YOU CANNOT OUT-TRAIN UNHEALTHY EATING HABITS.

Basically this means you can kill yourself in the gym, on the treadmill, or run your dog to the ground, and the changes in your body will likely remain insignificant for as long as you keep eating the same shit you’re still eating.

And this brings us back to the calorie conundrum. You’re right in that there are amounts of nutrients the body needs for optimal functioning, so how can we know how much to have of what? I’m glad you asked.
Enter the Calorie Control Guide, from the geniuses at Precision Nutrition.

FOR THE GUYS:

                                     FOR THE LADIES:

Click on either picture to be taken to the full article, with more reasons why counting calories sucks and to access printable versions of this guide. It’s very simple to remember! Everything you need is… wait for it… in the palm of your hand. Ba dum tss.

Could This Be? Men And Body Image Issues

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In a culture that’s saturated with information and judgment about how women should look, where we often hear about the devastation that media and Photoshopped images cause on young girls’ self-esteem, it becomes easy to forget men may feel as vulnerable about their body composition as their female counterparts.

In this unapologetic and direct article a man comes out and says enough.

Enough shame. Enough hatred. Enough self-attacks.

Some have argued– as explained in this The Globe and Mail article about Jezebel readers’ reactions to his decision to bare it all– that men have no business complaining because women get it so much worse, and thus inadvertently have turned this issue into a battle of who’s the biggest martyr.

More than the nudity, the exposure or the presumed offensiveness of his pictures, what I found very distasteful was precisely this: the self-entitlement with which some people can say to another You have no right to complain.

You have no right to feel sad.

You shouldn’t be whining because you don’t have it as bad.

This is as logical as me running over your dog and then rolling my eyes if you cry because think of all the other people who have lost pets in way more tragic ways, seriously. It makes as much sense as telling a mother whose child has died that she isn’t allowed to mourn because at least she’s not one of those women incapable of conceiving, I mean come on.

Since when did invalidating an individual’s emotions become the viable solution to a problem?

How in our minds do we justify that if we take what a person genuinely feels, throw it on the floor, stomp it over and piss on it, then it’s not a problem anymore?

As individuals we’re allowed to find joy or suffering wherever we choose, and invalidating a person’s feelings won’t resolve the greater dilemma represented here any more than it would help telling an anorexic girl to eat because think of the starving children in Africa. For all we know this exercise was exactly what this man needed to find his peace, and who are we to nullify his triumph?

And so yes. That’s a real human body. If you can’t handle that, don’t click.

“I don’t know how to fix the broken ways our culture talks about bodies. I don’t know how to make people love themselves. I don’t even know how to mend the disconnect between my sense of self and my physical shape. What I do know is how to confront fear and shame and self-hatred, at least for myself, and how you do that is head-on.”

I’m Stark Naked: Deal With It