so a client of mine (thanks sarena) brought it to my attention that TIME magazine (a highly respected publication) actually published an article entitled “WHY EXERCISE WONT MAKE YOU THIN” by John Cloud.
im not going to really spend a ghastly amount of time on this as it is completely ridiculous, however, what angers me is the idea that this writer creates for people. that exercise is actually at fault for obesity in our country.
he states that we actually eat more if we exercise more. yes, we use calories we need to replace with calories. not rocket science. hes talking about people who consciously make the choice to eat donuts, or muffins or in regards to him a “blueberry bar” post work out. ummmm, still not rocket science…you will not lose weight if you replace calories burned with the same amount if not more calories post workout (especially high fat-calorie content foods). ok, lets take a donut- an original glazed from krispy kreme (i prefer shipley’s myself, although i havent had a donut in probably 10 yrs) according to findings on the web 200 calories, 22 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of fat. i believe this to be quite modest but we’ll go with it. he also mentioned eating french fries post workout. so lets check it…
Serving Size: 7oz
Amount per Serving
- Calories 610Calories from Fat 260
% Daily Value *
- Total Fat 29g45%
- Saturated Fat 5g25%
- Cholesterol 0mg0%
- Sodium 390mg16%
- Total Carbohydrate 77g26%
- Dietary Fiber 7g28%
- Sugars 0g
- Protein 9g18%
- Vitamin C40%
Est. Percent of Calories from:
Fat 42.8% Carbs 50.5%
so…..yah. and i took the liberty to supersize considering fast food restaurants make it so worth our while to do just that. these stats are mind-blowing! and an actual attack was made on the playgrounds at fast-food restaurants being the reason for overweight kids and not on the actual food being served. really, Cloud, really? i retrieved this nutritional index off livestrong.com, thanks, lance for that. he [Cloud] didnt offer a solution by switching these devilish choices with say, chicken breast rice and veggies, or a nice healthy lean low sodium sandwich (which are all tasty choices, mind you). a diet revision offer wasnt put on the table.
so im just going to leave this train of thought for a moment and be completely candid with you about my personal life.
almost everyone in my family is over-weight. and not just a few pounds here and there, but dangerously over-weight. i stay up at night thinking of ways i can con my parents into miraculously deciding to eat healthy. i will praise them for the choice of soy milk over dairy, and doing without the favorite fried-eggs and bacon breakfasts (this was my staple as a lass).
however, my dad’s got bad knees, high blood pressure, history of diabetes and heart disease on his side of the family. my mom has had gastric bypass, and has also had both hips replaced, and im unsure of any other possible ailments. they are both over weight and their joints take on the brunt of carrying that weight.
obesity is a very sensitive subject for me to address. it actually pains me. i hope i can impress upon you how angering this article is for me. it lets unassuming, innocent people think that there’s a cop-out. if i didnt know any better i would think twice about showing up to the gym. why? its not gonna do me any good, right? WRONG. adhering to this article, people are being led to slaughter.
let me preface by saying this- i, in no way, feel that i am a “better” human being than my family members who are over-weight. if anything, i am continually trying to help and educate them the best way i can and feel i am failing miserably. but i am “pre-disposed” to be over-weight. if we were to go according to my familiar statistics i should be severely over my ideal weight. i am not. i make choices everyday to not have the super-sized french fries or the donut or the bag of chips, which all the fore-mentioned i could obliterate beautifully. i have known my way through an entire bag of chips. i am also no stranger to two whoppers two large fries in a sitting either. (wow, did i just really admit that). and i know that if i have french fries today, i will want them tomorrow and the next day. so i just cant do it.
if anything, i know my weaknesses. i know i have great potential to be addicted to food. food is a tricky bitch, it soothes physically, mentally and emotionally. i have had to do extensive training on my knee-jerk reaction with food. would i like to be one that says, “food isnt an issue for me, i can eat whatever i want”? yeah, but im not. do i enjoy myself? yes, im from the south, and people from the south know their way around a good meal. but have i had to make choices? hard choices as a life-style? yes! food and exercise are in that choice repetoire. this is that “will-power muscle” that he [Cloud] talks about that weakens with use…are you kidding me? did he really write that? in contrast, the more i flex my “will-power muscle” the stronger it gets (much like an actual muscle). why? because it fuels me to want to continue that winning streak, if you will. it boosts my confidence and self-esteem when i knowingly make a good choice for my own personal well-being. thus, i dont want to break that chain. do i make the choice to have heavy mexican food, or order dessert from time to time…yes. and then i try not to obsess about it because then that does no one any good. BALANCE is the point im trying to get to. people in my life know how much i love food, i would not live a life not enjoying myself. i do, but i do it gingerly.
we have an epidemic on our hands. from children to the elderly. he [Cloud] says that evolutionarily speaking, we as humans were not meant to exercise. who is this guy? just the words human and evolution evoke a visual for me of people running from predators, then turning to prey on those predators for food and clothing, women tasking over hot fires cooking, kids climbing trees, carrying water receptacles on their heads and shoulders…i could go on. that my friend, is exercise. the definition of “exercise” or several definitions for that matter, are as follows:
1 a : the act of bringing into play or realizing in action : b : the discharge of an official function or professional occupation
2 a : regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ b : bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness
3 : something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill
4 : a performance or activity having a strongly marked secondary or ulterior aspect
so, here we go.
1a: simply being active. hunting for food= being active 1b: official function or occupation= staying alive and keeping the family alive and safe was their main and most important job, EVOLUTIONARILY speaking
2a: regular use= climbing mountains, building huts 2b: bodily exertion for the sake of maintaining=ya, i doubt the heavy, sluggish, over weight guy escaped the panther…that wouldnt be “maintaining”.
3: something performed or practiced= practicing the skill of staying alive (the performance of a lifetime, really)
4: activity or performance having a secondary aspect: well, lets see, the initial aspect would be staying alive and keeping your family alive and fed, the secondary aspect would be those really strong legs, arms and torso we see depicted in the primal artwork of the ages.
in my deduction to all of this is such…we dont have to scavenge for our food, we just go buy it or better yet have someone serve it to us for a small price. we dont have to run to escape anything unless you have an unfortunate stalker situation you dont care to mention. and we dont need to be able to outrun a cheetah, unless you live in LA where the cougars run wild. all this, the primary and secondary reasons for “exercise” have merely swapped places. we seek the look of what “worked” muscles give us- svelte and beautiful, strong. we crave to have an ass like a greek god(dess) and we want legs that look like a thoroughbreds. we dont need to have these aesthetics. but what we do need just like in primal times is to be active for survival. will we die tomorrow from not exercising? probably not. but the sedentary life-style we have so severely adopted (and the symptoms birthed from it) in this country is killing us on a grand scale. this can not be ignored. and it affects every part of us- emotionally, mentally, physically. i doubt a cave-man had time to be depressed. his endorphins and adrenaline were probably so at a constant state of release that he didnt even have the chemical make-up to be depressed even if he wanted to be.
what im trying to say is this, exercise, take the stairs on occasion, and try to implement one better food choice a day and see if you dont make a difference. small steps. rome wasnt built in a day. just be aware of how you feel when you make that better choice. that can in turn be what it is that you crave. ill make the pact to do it with you.
come on people, exercise is so easy, “even a caveman can do it”…
sorry i had to.
if you get anything from this…just sweat, sex is included in that.