Friday, August 25, 2023

Identity and weight loss

 I have written before about how the social history of an overweight person, in terms of bullying, or relationship problems, can affect how they feel once they have made some kind of nutritional and/or physical modification.  Put simply, once we lose the weight, it is very easy to apply the language applied to us -- "fatass", "slob" -- to people who have not.

I'm watching an interesting podcast by Andrew Huberman and Layne Norton, and another phenomenon around this came up: that is, that to make a sweeping modification to morphology, health...etc, it requires essentially a "new identity".  They are talking about how people like David Goggins, and Ethan Suplee, two individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight, and adopted fit identities, seem to focus on "killing off" previous identities.

Norton brings up addiction, and the necessarily different treatment for food addiction from say, gambling.  One cannot abstain from eating.   Could we then say to a gambling addict, "play this slot twice a day, but only that much", without some kind of radical change, essentially to their identity?   Alcoholics stop hanging out in bars, and change friend groups when sober.  It's not unfathomable that a high order bit in people who have had the ability to sustain weight loss, is their ability to effectively change their identity.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Progress Pic (Not there yet, but getting there)


The picture on the right was taken on July 10th 2023 (285lbs) , on the left was from 2017 when I weighed around 320.  I started a no sugar / no grains diet around November of 2022.

Fasting Panic

Even during a lightweight fast of 24 hours (dinner to dinner), I have noticed that hunger manifests not as just a growling of the stomach or hunger pangs, but actual anxiety and panic.  I had some experience with alternate day fasting a couple of years ago, and what I found was that once you got through the first fast, subsequent ones were much easier.  I think what is going on there is that you have to, in a sense, prove to yourself that you aren't going to die from not eating for 24 or 36 hours.   You are overriding your brain and your bodies intense desire to eat, even when it manifests as a deep feeling of dread and panic.

Consult with a fasting expert like Dr. Jason Fung, or your physician before taking on a fast.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

The phrase "everybody is different" is a cop out.

In discussing my weight loss with people, and the addiction model I use for sugar, I am constantly met with a really annoying cliche, "everybody is different".  I can pretty universally say though, that if you have a BMI of 45, _universally_ you should not have the caramel goo on top of your Starbucks drink.  I can confidently say you should _never_ have it.  

The "everybody is different" crowd gets offended by this, and it's tough to draw parallels between sugar and say cigarettes with them.  The result of this is that sane nutrition advice gets diluted, or outright rejected.  I have said over and over again that the weak strategies put forward by this crowd, like having a regular cheat day are actively counterproductive.

If you are intelligently proposing other approaches, then fine.  Veganism can work, calorie restriction can work...etc.  However the blanket, brain-dead application of "everybody is different" is bullshit.  All you have to do is look around the room at a restaurant.  "Everybody is different" is part of the prevailing wisdom, it's part of the bad advice that doctors and media are supporting.   All you have to do is look around to notice that whatever the prevailing wisdom is, isn't working.

So where does body positivity come into this?  I don't really have a problem with someone making a conscious choice to be fat.  I think though, that if you dig into most people's feelings on this, the vast majority of body-positive people have just given up because they have received advice that doesn't work throughout their lives.   Doubling down on body positivity because you don't have any other option -- you don't have any experience with approaches that actually work -- it's just sad.