Remember that fatphobic asswipe Jaime O’Neill, whose clever solution to Americans engaging in gross overconsumption of natural resources was: fat people should diet? So then, uh, we won’t have to be reminded of how oil-dependent we are or something?
Yeah, he’s my new best friend, compared to journalist and personal trainer Robert Haddocks. This article is unbelievable.
There’s a guy in my gym who tickles me. Every day he walks in with his short shorts that we wore 20 years ago and a tank top. This guy spends at least 30 minutes doing crunches, sit-ups, hanging leg raises —- and for that he should be commended.
But the guy probably has a 40-inch belly protruding over his mini-shorts. I don’t get it. He tries hard but unfortunately, he’s a bit misguided. He can keep doing all that ab work, but what he needs to do is kick up the cardio and cut down on the calories and fat.
Gee, how nice that that tickles you. Nothing funnier than a fat guy exercising in outdated clothes! (Except, of course, a fat woman!) And oh, what a knee-slapper it is that he’s doing the wrong kind of exercise if he wants to lose weight! Which of course he must, because, you know, he’s fat. And the only possible reason why anyone would do crunches and sit-ups and hanging leg raises is because he wants to lose weight and just doesn’t know how. There’s no chance that he simply enjoys that kind of exercise, or is doing it because his priority is actually strengthening his muscles, to make other forms of exercise easier or rehabilitate a back problem or simply get the myriad general benefits of core strength. There’s also no chance whatsoever that he walks, runs, cycles or plays soccer outside the gym, where you don’t get to monitor his exercise routine. If he did that, there’s no way on earth he could still be fat. No, clearly, he’s just clueless.
Then Haddocks tells us about the eating habits that “work for him” — and his dad — followed by, “We’re fortunate in that we don’t have a tendency to pack on pounds.” Ya think? And you think maybe people who aren’t so “fortunate” won’t get much out of your astonishingly simplistic advice?
Oh, wait, of course we will!
Those who do might need to keep a closer watch on their caloric count and follow a stricter diet. You know yourself and your body better than anybody. So eating, like a lot of things, comes down to common sense…. I firmly believe that most people are overweight by choice.
Hmm, I’m confused. According to you, I know myself and my body better than anybody. So, evidently, does the guy doing crunches in his short-shorts. And yet, we have somehow failed to miss that the key to not being fat is following “a stricter diet” and doing cardio. ‘Cause if we did that, we wouldn’t be fat, duh. We would be choosing not to be fat. Choosing not to be fat, even if you have fat genes, “just requires a bit more determination and dedication and making smart choices.”
For real, y’all. We’re fat because we’re dumb.
It gets better.
And mothers, those babies you had —- oh, six and eight years ago —- sorry, you can’t use them as an excuse anymore. You’ve exceeded the exercise statute of limitations! I see plenty of women in the gym with two or three kids that look great.
There is really no reasonable response to a statement like that other than, FUCK YOU, JACK. And I don’t even have kids.
And oh wait, it’s not over yet.
Despite my commentary on smoking and lighthearted gym observation, my intent in this column is one of positivity and to motivate folks to be active and live healthier lives.
His LIGHTHEARTED gym observation. Was that the one about the deluded, unfashionable fatass doing crunches, or the one about the mothers with young kids who’ve “exceeded the statute of limitations” on not looking great? Or the one about fat people choosing to be fat, because they don’t want to exercise?
Bob, do you think it’s just possible that you don’t see more fat people at your gym because IT’S FULL OF JUDGMENTAL ASSHOLES WHO LAUGH AT THEIR CLOTHES AND THEIR EXERCISE DECISIONS?
Way to motivate people in a positive way, dude. Keep up the good work!
Moving right along, you must check out Louise Burke’s “My size zero diet nightmare.” This time, the article is terrific, though the outrage it provokes is no less fiery.
Burke was a perfectly healthy, thin woman with a good body image, who decided to participate in an extreme diet (for a reality show, natch), just for the journalistic experience. She lasted 5 weeks. Here’s the short version of what happened:
Before: 9st 3lb Body mass index, 22.3 l percentage of body fat, 27.7 l shiny, strong hair l energetic l healthy sex life l good body image l cheerful, even-tempered l clear skin l mentally alert l highly motivated l balanced attitude to food and diet l good fitness level
After: 8st 3lb Body mass index, 19.9 l percentage of body fat, 18.5 l limp hair l weak l no energy l low sex drive l bad breath l depression/mood swings l skin rash l unable to concentrate l demotivated l obsessed with food and calories l bad posture l pallid face
The long version of what happened is well worth a read. I can hardly pick out just a few choice quotes, because the whole thing is a choice quote. But here are a few anyway.
My body was in shock from the sudden drop in calories (from roughly 2,500 calories a day to 1,600). Lunch and dinner were restricted to a palm-size portion of protein and twice that in vegetables or salad.
I was so hungry that I’d eat very slowly, savouring every mouthful. Food never tasted so good – even lettuce and tinned tuna (a meal I’d usually turn my nose up at).
It got worse.
Did you notice that 1600 calories counts as a the beginning of an “extreme” diet? Or that, when she was perfectly healthy and thin, with a BMI of 22.3, she was eating about 2500 calories? (And not exercising much, evidently, since she says the gym habit is the only good thing she took away from the nightmare diet?) Isn’t it supposed to be only fat people and athletes who eat that much?
Burke restricts her calories even more after that — and remember, such extra restriction is exactly what Robert Haddocks and others like him believe fatties must choose to do if we can’t lose weight by eating and exercising like “normal” people — and this is what happens:
At work I was putting in minimal effort.
My writing was not up to scratch, but I didn’t have the energy to think and make it better.
If there was a minor problem, I couldn’t cope.
People said I was constantly frowning, as if something was wrong. They were right. Something was very wrong – I wasn’t eating.
I fantasised about cheeseburgers all day long.
I couldn’t cope with even normal day-to-day activity.
Climbing escalators in the Underground was a no-no, and I had to persuade a colleague to take a detour home so she could help me carry my bags of salad – hardly the heaviest of shopping.
My editor commented that she’d never employ someone in my state because she couldn’t depend on me to carry out tasks independently.
But hey, she’s losing weight! THAT’S THE IMPORTANT THING.
And then there’s this observation, which I could kiss her for:
The only thing I did talk about was food. I was a useless bore.
Also, this one, about going off the diet:
I didn’t return to normal eating patterns straight away as I had expected.
I binged for at least the first two weeks, which was pretty disgusting, although it took me a while to realise that.
As I gradually got back to a healthy eating plan, I was able to start thinking about things other than food and reclaim my passion for life (and my boyfriend!).
I don’t think there are any long-lasting side effects, but ask me again in ten years.
A-fucking-men. And here’s the thing: the only difference between Louise Burke and a fat person who diets and exercises like that? Is that the fat person will still end up fat.
But, you know, it’s a choice. You just have to stop making excuses.
Either that or you have to stop listening to people like Robert Haddocks and reread the famous Campos quote:
Remember that particularly clueless right-wing acquaintance of yours? The one who believes that anybody in America can become rich, because he thinks about poverty in a completely unscientific, anecdotal way, which allows him to treat the exceptional case as typical? The one who can’t seem to understand the simplest structural arguments about the nature of social inequality?
The next time you see some fat people and get disgusted by their failure to “take care of themselves,” think about your clueless friend.