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SuperSize Me

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Old 10-24-05, 02:54 PM
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SuperSize Me

I know I'm kind of behind the times, but we were watching the movie SuperSize Me in my Kinesiology class today. It's the first time I've seen it.


With that in mind, I just thought I'd pass along a couple websites here:

This one will help you calculate how many calories fast food meals contain:
http://www.nutritiondata.com/

And here's McDonald's Nutritional calculator:
http://www.mcdonalds.ca/en/food/calculator.aspx

I just added up a meal consisting of a large coke, double quarter pounder with cheese, and large fries (similar to the meal the guy in the movie couldn't eat on the first day) and it came to 1610 calories. I believe McDonald's has gotten rid of their SuperSize menu, and that's what he was trying to eat, so it would have probably come to something close to 2000 calories ... all for one meal!! That's more than the amount most people should eat in a whole day.
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Old 10-24-05, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I know I'm kind of behind the times, but we were watching the movie SuperSize Me in my Kinesiology class today. It's the first time I've seen it.


With that in mind, I just thought I'd pass along a couple websites here:

This one will help you calculate how many calories fast food meals contain:
http://www.nutritiondata.com/

And here's McDonald's Nutritional calculator:
http://www.mcdonalds.ca/en/food/calculator.aspx

I just added up a meal consisting of a large coke, double quarter pounder with cheese, and large fries (similar to the meal the guy in the movie couldn't eat on the first day) and it came to 1610 calories. I believe McDonald's has gotten rid of their SuperSize menu, and that's what he was trying to eat, so it would have probably come to something close to 2000 calories ... all for one meal!! That's more than the amount most people should eat in a whole day.
Haven't had one bite of fast food in the last 3 years for these very reasons.
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Old 10-24-05, 03:17 PM
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Still haven't seen it, but I would really should get to it. If I have to eat fast food, which thankfully does not happen much, I try to find a Subway, and if that fails I will sometimes go to Taco Hell and get a chicken fajita or something simple.
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Old 10-24-05, 04:08 PM
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In many of the later scenes, I noticed that Spurlock was also double-fisting drinks. Like a large milkshake along with a supersized soda! Those two alone would've been close to 2000 calories!

That little picture on the McDonalds website: "Stairway to Health"... yeah right...

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Old 10-25-05, 08:33 AM
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I think fast food is generally terrible, and only partake in it once every couple of months or so, but IMHO SuperSize Me was a totally unobjective and skewed movie. It served it's purpose, and I'm glad, but I'm also really happy that it's now not legally possible to sue fast food corps for making unhealthy food. A young lady also made a movie/study about only eating McDonalds (I cant remember the name, but I'm sure that anyone who is interested can google it), and she lost weight because unlike Spurlock, she ate the healthy fare that they serve (it's there, you just have to look and custom order it), whereas he didn't. I realize that Morgan was coming from the point of view of the every-man on the street in choice of diet and excercise, but I felt like he put too much focus on the food industry, and not enough on education and the importance of personal responsibility. The movie made a much larger impact because of this, and that's fine, but I can't help but feel like maybe the real problem wasn't addressed, and maybe people didn't come away from it with the right message.
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Old 10-25-05, 08:57 AM
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I agree with vespatterns. McDonald's offers plenty of healthy choices that are also tasty.

I can just as easily walk into an expensive sit-down restaurant and suck down as many calories in a meal as are contained in a burger and fries and a Coke at McDonald's. In fact, at a lot of restaurants, I could actually eat a burger (3 times as large as a McDonald's burger), a huge helping of fries, and a big glass of Coke with free refills. People sue easy targets, and McDonald's is an easy target.
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Old 10-25-05, 09:47 AM
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Yeah this stuff is not as cut-and-dried as it seems. There was another claim recently of a woman who *lost* something like 100 lbs by eating at McDonalds (choosing lower-calorie, "healthier" menu items, basically the opposite extreme of Spurlock).

In the end it's your responsibility to monitor what you're eating, on the other hand it might make people sit up and take notice if they had to put calorie, sodium, and other nutritional information in bold type right next to the price or something, rather than buried in 4-point type in some brochure that you have to request by snail-mail.
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Old 10-25-05, 10:21 AM
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Yup, I'll admit I've grabbed a chocolate shake at McD's on some of my rides; works pretty darn fast and tastes good. Although 6 gels would probably not make me feel as bloated.

Spurlock was taking advantage of the sensationalism that was rampant with reality TV-shows and was offering the viewers a bit of humor and fun. I got interviewed at the Q's club when he was filming this show on binge-drinking... Hope he uses it, my view on alcoholism is quite a bit different than most others.

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Old 10-25-05, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
my view on alcoholism is quite a bit different than most others.
okay, I'll bite . . . let's hear it (new thread maybe?)
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Old 10-25-05, 11:11 AM
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Machka - did you happen to see in the "special features" section on the DVD (not sure what version you had of SuperSize Me) the experiment he did with the sandwiches and french fries?!?!? Holy you know what. All of you should really check that out. I watched it in horror and then MADE my husband and teenage daughter watch it as well. Since we saw that nice little experiment we have not eaten french fries of any kind. We sometimes have sweet potato fries - oven baked at home...but deep fried french fries from white potatoes from a fast food or any kind of restaurant. HECK no. seriously - go and watch it. It'll make you think.
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Old 10-25-05, 12:10 PM
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actually no, McDonald's doesn't have any truly healthy options unless you get a dry salad. Every single hot item has trans fat and is highly processed. Their fruit and walnut salad? Yeah CANDIED Walnuts. And their new deli sandwiches? Trans fat in those too along with other things that aren't good for one's body.
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Old 10-25-05, 12:20 PM
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I went into a McDonald's for the first time a year ago when they were giving out pedometers with a salad. The promotion had been going on for several months, but at this restaraunt, I was the first one to order it . . . the cashier had no idea where the pedometers were and what went on the salad. She said, 'no one comes in here and orders a salad. And, when they do, they usually balance it out with a shake, hamburger, and fries . . . or at least an apple pie and some cookies.' That made me laugh. She was actually talking about a "balanced diet" and used those words.

When I looked at the sodium content of the dressing and the meat after I bought it, it turned out I couldn't eat it.

As a result of watching the movie, I haven't touched a fry. I have a Pavlovian reaction and get a little whoozy when I overhear someone talking about McDonald's. I saw the experiment on the DVD features. Also, in the movie in general, it was hard to watch him deteriorate. His coloring and energy went so quickly. He looked like he had an illness. And, it took something like 4 or 6 months to lose the weight he gained in that month.

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Old 10-25-05, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
actually no, McDonald's doesn't have any truly healthy options unless you get a dry salad. Every single hot item has trans fat and is highly processed. Their fruit and walnut salad? Yeah CANDIED Walnuts. And their new deli sandwiches? Trans fat in those too along with other things that aren't good for one's body.
Only if you are such a health fanatic that any salad dressing is entirely forbidden can you not occasionally go into McDonald's for a meal without going ballistic on someone that you're being forced to eat unhealthy food. They have several salads and nobody is forcing the dressing on you; I've had a yogurt and fruit parfait there as a snack and it was good; they now have grilled chicken sandwiches with lettuce and tomato, and, again, you can order it without the dressing (I won't argue that the bun is good for you but this is fast food after all).

Besides that, ordering a cheeseburger and medium Coke and fries is a far cry from eating 2 double quarter pounders with cheese, a large fry, 2 apples pies, and washing it all down with a large chocolate shake. You don't have to eat at McDonald's to become a lardass from eating a pound of beef, 4 slices of cheese, 4 servings of white bread, 2 deep fried potatoes, 2 slices of pie, and 3 servings of ice cream in one meal.

Aside from all this, how many McDonald's restaurants have you seen that don't have a sandwich store or some other non-fast-food restaurant--or, at the very least, a supermarket--within half a mile? I get a little peeved when people are suing a restaurant for fattening them up. I'm 23, 6'3" and I weigh 255lbs., and I've eaten some McDonald's burgers, fries, and pies in my time, but you're not going to see me trying to sue them for making me overweight; nobody forced me to go there, and they certainly never told me that their burgers and fries were healthy.
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Old 10-25-05, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sfontain
Only if you are such a health fanatic that any salad dressing is entirely forbidden can you not occasionally go into McDonald's for a meal without going ballistic on someone that you're being forced to eat unhealthy food. They have several salads and nobody is forcing the dressing on you; I've had a yogurt and fruit parfait there as a snack and it was good; they now have grilled chicken sandwiches with lettuce and tomato, and, again, you can order it without the dressing (I won't argue that the bun is good for you but this is fast food after all).
no I wasn't referring to dressing. Their chicken sandwiches have hydrogenated oil in them without any dressing on them. I guess you're right in that they have some light dressings but that yogurt parfait you had........loaded with sugar. So again, a dry salad or a salad with a light dressing is the only healthy thing you can get at McDonalds. And why should we give them a break on their buns for example, just because they are a fast food place? I was trying to make the point that since they are a fast food place, one shouldn't eat there.
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Old 10-25-05, 03:26 PM
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how about that sandwich they advertise for Burger King? the sandwich with ham, sausage and bacon for breakfast? It's disgusting! I'm not even a vegetarian but the thought of that turns my stomach. I like ham, sausage and bacon individually but still ewww... why even eat it? Why not just take the fat and inject it right into your arteries?
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Old 10-25-05, 05:03 PM
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As my youngest daughter was eating fast food, especially McDonalds, almost every day, I had her watch this DVD with me when it first came out, including the mummy like french fries extra. She hasn't eaten there since. She's also lost about 15 pounds and has become much more health aware. She even joined, albeit late, her 8th grade cross country team and can run multiple miles now at a bit under seven minutes a mile.

Of course, the film has a bias, what documentary doesn't. No matter what, a good documentary has to have a point of view. I'd say there's a definite justification for the ground upon which Supersize Me is erected. The hormones and additives slopped over fastfood is horrific.

As to their healthier fare, fine, yes it is there to choose off the menu, but that's not what 99% of the customers go there to purchase. Every once in a while is probably fine, but when it's every day, as happens with millions of teenagers and others around this country, that's too much!!! Luckily for my daughter, it was only a brief period of time she did this. Shame on me as her parent for even letting it go on that long.
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Old 10-25-05, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 'nother
okay, I'll bite . . . let's hear it (new thread maybe?)
I hope we're not alone here - I'm definitely curious.
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Old 10-25-05, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by yespatterns
but IMHO SuperSize Me was a totally unobjective and skewed movie. It served it's purpose, and I'm glad, but I'm also really happy that it's now not legally possible to sue fast food corps for making unhealthy food. I realize that Morgan was coming from the point of view of the every-man on the street in choice of diet and excercise, but I felt like he put too much focus on the food industry, and not enough on education and the importance of personal responsibility. The movie made a much larger impact because of this, and that's fine, but I can't help but feel like maybe the real problem wasn't addressed, and maybe people didn't come away from it with the right message.
Oh ... my class is getting quite a message from the movie ... and I don't think it is the one that was intended in the making of the movie!


Originally Posted by yespatterns
she ate the healthy fare that they serve (it's there, you just have to look and custom order it), whereas he didn't.

Actually, that's not true. SOME McDonalds have the so-called "healthy fare" but many do not. There was a small McDonalds near me when I lived in Winnipeg - one of the mini-versions of it. When the whole health kick came in they put up signs offering healthy food ... that lasted about a month ... then the signs came down, and when I asked about it, they told me they weren't making enough money from the "healthy food" at that outlet, so they weren't going to sell it there anymore.
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Old 10-25-05, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by yespatterns
I think fast food is generally terrible, and only partake in it once every couple of months or so, but IMHO SuperSize Me was a totally unobjective and skewed movie. It served it's purpose, and I'm glad, but I'm also really happy that it's now not legally possible to sue fast food corps for making unhealthy food. A young lady also made a movie/study about only eating McDonalds (I cant remember the name, but I'm sure that anyone who is interested can google it), and she lost weight because unlike Spurlock, she ate the healthy fare that they serve (it's there, you just have to look and custom order it), whereas he didn't. I realize that Morgan was coming from the point of view of the every-man on the street in choice of diet and excercise, but I felt like he put too much focus on the food industry, and not enough on education and the importance of personal responsibility. The movie made a much larger impact because of this, and that's fine, but I can't help but feel like maybe the real problem wasn't addressed, and maybe people didn't come away from it with the right message.

I know of one "anti-SuperSizeMe" film: "Super Slim Me"
I've *heard* of another but can't find the link.

I have to admit, I only saw SuperSizeMe about a year ago and it was a wake up call.
People DO eat like that - I was one of them though I sometimes skipped a meal a day.

I believe convenience & fast food IS designed to be addictive. It's not just that we think it tastes good - people develop physical addictions to it and the stuff is a marvel of chemical engineering designed to encourage repeat use.

I don't think I've had a McD's burger or fries in about a year. I can still remember just how it tastes - and I just started salivating thinking about it!
Ranger: 3 years is impressive. I don't know if I'd turn it down if offered. Danno: I'd like to hear that take on addictions too...
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Old 10-25-05, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
Still haven't seen it, but I would really should get to it. If I have to eat fast food, which thankfully does not happen much, I try to find a Subway, and if that fails I will sometimes go to Taco Hell and get a chicken fajita or something simple.
Taco Bell's nutritional calculator:
http://www.yum.com/nutrition/menu.asp?brandID_Abbr=5_TB
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Old 10-25-05, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AllieP
Machka - did you happen to see in the "special features" section on the DVD (not sure what version you had of SuperSize Me) the experiment he did with the sandwiches and french fries?!?!? Holy you know what. All of you should really check that out. I watched it in horror and then MADE my husband and teenage daughter watch it as well. Since we saw that nice little experiment we have not eaten french fries of any kind. We sometimes have sweet potato fries - oven baked at home...but deep fried french fries from white potatoes from a fast food or any kind of restaurant. HECK no. seriously - go and watch it. It'll make you think.
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We're watching it in class ... we're only half-way through now, so I'm not sure we'll have time to watch much more.
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Old 10-25-05, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
actually no, McDonald's doesn't have any truly healthy options unless you get a dry salad. Every single hot item has trans fat and is highly processed. Their fruit and walnut salad? Yeah CANDIED Walnuts. And their new deli sandwiches? Trans fat in those too along with other things that aren't good for one's body.
How else would you eat a salad? Most dressings taste horrible, in general, not just at McDonalds!! I don't use dressing on any of my salads except for the occasion ceaser salad with light dressing.

But those salads really aren't that good. If this link works, it is the link to the nutritional value of McDonald's salads. Most have WAY, WAY more fat and cholesterol than anyone should ever consume on a SALAD!! Even the basic side salad which is the only one without fat, has no nutritional value at all. You might as well go and buy a head of iceburg lettuce and eat it ... it would be cheaper and just as good for you.
http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_control....index1.html#3
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Old 10-25-05, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wabbit
how about that sandwich they advertise for Burger King? the sandwich with ham, sausage and bacon for breakfast? It's disgusting! I'm not even a vegetarian but the thought of that turns my stomach. I like ham, sausage and bacon individually but still ewww... why even eat it? Why not just take the fat and inject it right into your arteries?

Burger King's nutritional information:
http://www.bk.com/food/nutrition/index.aspx
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Old 10-25-05, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by af895
I don't think I've had a McD's burger or fries in about a year. I can still remember just how it tastes - and I just started salivating thinking about it!
Ranger: 3 years is impressive. I don't know if I'd turn it down if offered.
I really miss the old-style McDonald's fries that were dunked in coconut-oil! The vegetable-oil they use now is nowhere nearly as tastey!


Originally Posted by af895
I have to admit, I only saw SuperSizeMe about a year ago and it was a wake up call.
People DO eat like that - I was one of them though I sometimes skipped a meal a day.
Well, I kinda had a wake-up call from SuperSizeMe as well. I dropped out of bike-racing due to asthma complications; my buddy Dylan was majorly p*ssed off at me. But I did end up living it up during the dot.com era with major trips to big cities to party almost every weekend, ate out all the time and became a slob. After 10-years of eating 6-8 full meals a day, it's kinda hard to break that habbit of ordering anything and everything I wanted on the menu.

On one 6-week trip to the Philippines, I gained 20-lbs !!! . At first, we couldn't figure out why they all looked so svelte, thin and healthy over there (every other Filipina chic would be considered a HB9+ over here). So we thought it might've been genetic. We did a very informal sampling of our group. One white guy and one white chic remained the same. One white guy gained 5-lbs, and one other white chic has lost 5-lbs of weight. And me... the only Asian in the group, I gained 20 lbs. That counts out genetics as having anything to do with weight & obesity. Filipino food is similar to Chinese with lots of deep-fried meaty dishes, lots of tasty heavy sauces, yummie !

So over the course of 5-6 years after I stopped racing, I had piled on an extra 100lbs over my trim 145-lb 5% body-fat self when I was racing. I was at something like 50% body-fat, seriously obese. Some of my meals would've put Spurlock to shame! Just one month of pigging out? What an AMATEUR, HAH!!! Anyway, SuperSizeMe was a slap in the face as was a visit to my doctor in Dec.'04 where he showed me some tables of life-expectancies and heart-attack rates for people of my body-fat% and blood-pressure . It had been creeping up over the years, I needed meds right away. The doc even threatened to stop seeing me and was gonna take out life-insurance on me instead...

So... remember how traumatic it was for our family when my mum died early from an aneurysm complicated by hypertension, I figured I didn't want my brothers and dad to go through anything so gruesome so soon. Went through all sorts of medications for asthma, visited herbologists, accupunturists, chiroquackers and finally got cured it by cutting out all dairy and wheat from my diet. Long story short, from 245-lbs on 1-Jan. to 175lbs this last weekend, I'm coming back. Haven't really changed my diet that much really, just cut out all the dairy, wheat and meat and increased the carbs to match my workouts and that's about it. Got another 25-30 lbs to go by Feb. and I'll be back in racing shape. Personally, I really think it's a matter of self-control with the food, and picking out the kinds of food with the least amount of detrimental side-effects. It almost doesn't matter what you eat, it's how much you eat. The self-control is what leads up to my drinking story...

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Old 10-25-05, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 'nother
okay, I'll bite . . . let's hear it (new thread maybe?)
Originally Posted by af895
Danno: I'd like to hear that take on addictions too...
I think I'll keep it here since it's related to the obesity issue. Now the causes and symptoms of alcoholism is a hotly debated topic in research and scientific communities. The rates of alcoholism is 50% for kids with both parents being addicted. This rules out any kind of hereditary/genetic cause for it's not a 100% sure-thing like a dominant trait or a 25% rate for a recessive gene. The mental-health/psychiatric treatment group seems to have a better definition of alcohol-related and induced behavior that's detrimental to one's life. Simple way to describe it without ever having to truly identify a cause. Sure some, if not most if it, is learned behavior and external contributory factors like careers and relationship stresses.

That's why I think it has to do a lot with self-control and I think alcoholics get a bad rap. I've always thought that people tend to put down alcoholics as somehow being weak or that they have an illness or disease. Certainly not by the AMA's definition of a disease. They're reprimanded and taught that they have something incurable and there's no hope for them. Gee, that's really empowering for someone with an addiction huh? Anyway, I've always thought that this finger-pointing and blaming was ineffective and disempowering and the people doing it have no idea what it's like to be an alcoholic. I've always lived by the idea of walking in others' footsteps to truly understand someone before passing judgement. What better way to really know and experience the life of an alcoholic than to become an alcoholic, eh?

So I set out on a quest to become an alcoholic. This wasn't an approved research-project or anything, so I didn't write a thesis with testing-protocols and measurable results. I figured I'd just drink until I was an alcoholic. So I started out increasing my nightly drinking in the clubs, no one really noticed anything different, since I'm the same lively person sober or drunk (right up to the point where I pass out). I backtracked and started Happy Hour earlier and earlier over the course of several weeks. It was great because the party-scene was pretty dead after the dot.com crash, so all the pubs were more than happy to start serving me early.

I increased the martinis at lunch to 3-4, and on some days, I wouldn't even go back to work and would start Happy Hour right after lunch! Started drinking mimosas for breakfast, BAH! Skip the OJ, just down the whole bottle of champagne! I came up with innovative new drinks of old classics like black-russians, white-russians, and my own invention a brown-russian. Long-island ice-teas became a favorite because I get to have triple-shots in those. Making it two different kinds of rum (151+Malibu) and two kinds of tequila with root-beer instead of soda really makes for a smooth ice-tea!

After about a month of this steady +20% weekly increases (kinda like increasing mileage +10% weekly on a bike), I was ran into a problem with having enough room in my belly for the drinks. I had already cut out beer because it caused too much bloating and I didn't like walking around with a santa-claus belly after guzzling a 16-pack. Hard-liquor only from now on. I also slowly cut back on the meals to make room for liquor. I even tried the alcoholic thing with the 1st thing in the morning being booze. Irish coffees were added to my morning mimosas. Lunches were trimmed to small cup of soup with 4-5 martinis, afterburners, tequila sunrises & sunsets. Happy Hours were still my favorite and I found great companionship in Godfather and Godmother drinks (the Godchild was a little weak with a non-alcoholic filler). I got to know the bartenders in the pubs really well and was able to continue drinking after their 2am closing times. Often up 'til 4am when they finally left the place after cleaning up and doing the books.

Problem was, I starting to run out of money, I wasn't working as much since I was out drinking so much. I was thinking perhaps I was getting close to my goal of becoming an alcoholic where it would impair my life. However, I drinking with the boss every single time and he loved it, so I certainly wasn't gonna get fired. And I was building up an incredible tolerance to alcohol and it required more and more liquor to get me drunk. I decided I'd stop eating to save money and that would also leave more room in the belly for LIQUOR! Yay! A win-win solution! My relationships didn't suffer, if anything they actually improved, as my girlfriend was certainly happy that I spent more time out partying with her and her friends.

The other problem was the constant hang-overs, headaches and upset-stomaches I'd have every morning. And throwing up wasn't that much fun either. I kept on thinking back to those stories I heard about sorority bathrooms toilets self-destructing from all the puking the bulimic girls were doing.

After 2-months of constant and daily drinking, I could not get to the point where I CRAVED and WANTED liquor. I threw in the towel and resigned myself to the fact that my experiment failed. I couldn't get to the point where I sacrificed my job, my career, my family and relationships to liquor. Somehow, no matter how much I drank, it never became something that was #1 on my list. If anything, I got really, really disgusted with drinking. At that point, just the sight or smell of liquor caused me instant stomach pains and puking! It was like negative-reinforcement therapy!

So in the end, my experiment with drinking had the opposite effect. I was so completely sick and disgusted with drinking that I couldn't even look at liquor for the next 6-months! I'd throw up at lunch whenever the tray of martinis walked across the room. I'd throw up whenever someone ordered wine at dinner... Eventually, i got over it, I think it was just a mental self-control thing. Today, I still love the taste of liquor drinks like I've always have...

Oh, BTW, during this time, I also lost 5-lbs ! I guess because liquor is fat-free and it's got lower calorie density per pound or volume than a lot of greasy fast-foods.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-25-05 at 07:45 PM.
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