Tipping the Sacred Cow

I expect that this post may upset some people, but at this point I am over some of it and I really need to speak my mind. Let me start by saying that I believe 95% of the people that roam social media do not do it to cause waves, or to intentionally hurt people’s feelings, but there is that 5% that seems to live to irritate and divide people. I am not sure what causes this need in some to post statements, or send tweets, with forethought of causing trouble, but they are out there. We all know them. These are the people that post comments on a Facebook string about an article they have not even taken the time to read. I acknowledge that “this is America” and we are entitled to our opinions, but if you are part of a group, whether in Real Life or in Web Life, you have a slight obligation to “play well with others” and if you don’t the room “owner” has the right to remove you. The problem is that, more often than not, these are the same people who are the sacred cows; the inner circle. We are not only not allowed to remove these people, we are also not allowed to question their motives nor (God Forbid) disagree with them without facing the onslaught of their minions.

This happened to me a few years ago after Rich Roll interviewed Durian Rider on his podcast. I don’t listen to Rich all the time because, to be blunt, his manner is a bit plodding and dry for my taste, even though he normally has good insight and information, but I did purposely go to this podcast because I wanted to hear his reaction to Durian Rider. For those that don’t know, Durian Rider is a fruitarian advocate and states (key word being “states”) that he eats 30 pounds of bananas each day. After listening to the episode I was a bit … unfulfilled … because I felt that Rich let him off easy and threw a lot of soft ball questions at him. I understand the point that you respect your guest, but I think you have an obligation to your audience to call out “wrong thinking” when it is presented (by this I mean stating things that are not backed up by science or scientific studies). If you do not openly and clearly disagree with a guest, then your audience assumes you agree with them … obviously not the case here. So I went to the Rich Roll website and voiced this opinion on the episode comment string.

Holy Christ you’d think I shot the pope.

How DARE I question the GREAT Rich Roll?????

So, anyway, I have felt myself getting heavier over the last two years and have had a hard time breaking below 260 pounds. I could get to 260 point something, but inevitably the next day I would be back to 261 or so. As someone who has been heavy a great deal of his adult life, we know when the weight is coming back on. We feel … off. So last Sunday I stepped on the scale. Sure enough, it read 263.3 pounds. That is 3 pounds heavier than I weighed the week before. Now I know 3 pounds doesn’t mean that much, but when I stopped weighing myself I had already noticed an upward trend. I had gotten down to 237 a few years ago but since then had started to creep back up on the scale. All of this while eating very clean and training consistently.

As one person put it on Facebook, I am the ideal example of “the Calorie Myth”.

Obviously my mindset at this moment is not that great. I addition to regular life issues not going my way, family, relationships, work, it is very frustrating, especially since my diet and training is shared quite openly with the social media world. I don’t mind sharing, because I always looked at it like I was putting it out there in the hopes that it would help others see that they were not alone in the struggle and that you can have these struggles and still participate and compete. It’s not an excuse to give up, plop on the couch, and waste away the rest of your life. Regardless of what you may think or feel, the majority of us DO have people that care about us, depend on us, and need us to be around as long as possible, so contributing to an early demise is a bit selfish in my mind.

The problem with sharing, though, is it elicits responses, and normally from people who don’t really know you. Personally, I love reading the responses most of the time, because I know that they normally are trying to help. Yes, you do get the few assclowns on occasion who try to be funny or snarky, but they are rare, and even more rare since adopting the practice of removing, blocking, and unfriending those that choose to be negative or condescending. The frustration is that most comments come from people who have no idea about the thyroid cancer or the hormonal issues they cause, so they focus on the caloric intake number. I have tried to explain many times that I eat when I am hungry. I don’t eat just for the sake of eating or because I am trying to hit an arbitrary calorie number. This may be “wrong thinking” on my part. A friend actually brought up a point in one string that has made me start thinking hard on it, that my brain is so used to caloric restriction that I may have programmed myself to not eat enough and to feel full even if I am not. I think there may be some validity in that comment and I am reading up on it and thinking hard on it.

One of my most historically high frustrations came from an actual professional resource, Mr. Jimmy Moore. I enjoyed Jimmy’s podcasts and own a few of his books, and always learn something from him. The issue started with a question (via Facebook of course) from someone else about thyroid issues (which always peaks my interest). They tagged him in the string to get some input from him and he posted a few links to episodes where he had talked about thyroid health. All well and good, but I jumped in at that point and asked about the issue of having no thyroid gland at all, explaining (once again) that I had cancer and the gland was removed entirely.

His response was “Well, you’re all good then!”

What the hell kind of response was that?? Talk about being dismissive of a pretty serious, at least to me, issue. It was a little disturbing.

I did not respond, but I had back up. Another friend responded to him that it was not helpful to post that response and that she just wished if people didn’t know they would just say “I don’t know”. I agree with this. But I am TIRED of getting the response “well … you’re a tough case”. I know I am a tough case, but is there seriously no one that understands the issue?? No one??

I guess I am just a bit on edge lately. Maybe it’s a post event blues type of thing, but my energy is just low right now, and I am walking around feeling like I have been gut-punched. I have been getting out and training but it’s not with the effort I would like to have (even though my times and paces seem to be improving … go figure) and I can feel the weight on my frame. Something needs to change. I think I may tweak a few workouts to start including some Higher Intensity intervals and some different types of weight training. Maybe this will re-boot the engine and get me back to a higher energy level. I know something is off though. After dealing with this crap for so many years I can tell when my body is “not right”.

I have set a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) of losing 50 pounds by 10/30/16 (the date of my next Century Ride). I started this on Monday, lost 4.1 pounds, and broke 260 this morning. In order to meet this goal I would have to lose on average .36 pounds each day. So I should have lost 1.1 pounds by this point. I’m ahead of the game. I have started trying intermittent fasting to see if that kicks it into gear, and it is not as hard as I thought it would be. We will see if the trend continues.

I just hope it is fixable …

Swim Calm
Bike Strong
Run Steady

2 thoughts on “Tipping the Sacred Cow

  • June 23, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Great conversation on the podcast guys. I enjoyed listening to you discuss things that you have different opinions on than I do. As a counter to a few of your points (I tried to summarize your point for the sake of brevity) I provided some responses below.

    1. We have sharp teeth like a carnivore. Gorillas and Hippos both have very much more pronounced “canine” teeth than we do and they are both herbivores. If you compare the size of our incisors in relation to our other teeth there is not the size variance noted among almost all other animals.More anecdotally, we don’t rip and tear with our canine teeth. We use utensils to cut the food into smaller pieces and then use our molars to grind it. We also have a bottom jaw that allows for lateral movement, nearly all carnivores do not.

    2. We need 20% of our calories from protein. John to your point how is a study, if performed correctly, from the Vegan Society and less credible than the USDA recommendation? Are we to assume that the USDA, a government agency, isn’t highly influenced by lobbyist? I’m not a scientist at all, but the things I’ve read is the original protein requirements were set 2 standard deviations above the normal protein requirement as a means of making sure that the “requirement” would cover 98+% of the population.

    3. The refernce to “complete protein”. I agree that meat has a more complete amino acid profile. If that was the strict driving force then the logical step would be cannibalism b/c that would be the absolute perfect combination in the perfect proportions. That was a joke and not my actual belief. However, who just eats 1 food for each nutrient? I personally don’t care about the complete amino acid profile because I’m never just going to be eating 1 food. Foods have combinations of macro and micro nutrients. Nobody just drinks milk for calcium. Whether you like it or not you are also getting the fat, sugar, hormones (even organic has the bovine hormones b/c it’s designed to plump that calf up quickly). You don’t just get amino acids from steak, you are getting heme iron, dietary cholesterol and all of the other stuff.

    I totally agree with you guys that zealots are the worst and do little if anything to help actually lead things in a quality discussion that has the chance to actually help.

    • June 23, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      All very good counter-points Adam. As for #2, I never meant to imply the ADA study is more credible, just that we should look at who is funding these studies. In both cases, the funding must factor into the result (much like the huge study showing sugar is not bad for you funded by Coca-Cola). Both are automatically flawed in my view.

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