Thursday, September 08, 2011

atb2: the thin commandments

I am beyond excited to announce that Darryl Roberts, director of America the Beautiful (ATB) is at it again. This October, Roberts will officially premiere America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments (ATB2). In case you don't remember, I wrote this post about ATB back in 2009. I'm glad that Roberts decided to pursue a follow-up to ATB. While I don't know Roberts personally, I did meet him at a screening and exchanged a few emails with him regarding his films. I consider him a kindred spirit of sorts. If I were a filmmaker, these are the types of films I'd be doing.

ATB2 addresses America's obsession with thinness. For a synopsis of ATB2, go here. It's definitely an issue that is near and dear to my heart, as I firmly believe that fat does not necessarily equal unhealthy and skinny doesn't necessarily equal healthy. Health is way more complex than that. I'm embarrassed for people whose understanding of health is a simplistic as this.

This brings me to a related issue. Recently, I was engaged in a conversation with someone about health and eating. In the course of our conversation, I shared that I've been actively working on changing my eating habits and such. I then admitted that on the road to healthy eating, I eat very little rice (as a Filipino, this deserves some major kudos), noodles, pasta, and bread. Though I follow a mostly primal menu, I still have my fair share of cravings for sweets. In particular, I have a weakness for dark chocolate. Granted, I'm not perfect. I like a sweet every now and again and as you may know, I'm a cupcake girl - especially with good company. There are different ways of understanding food. On one hand, food can be seen as fuel. On the other, food is part of a greater social experience. As an island girl, I have absolutely no objections to this second point. However, with my old age and state of health, I just can't have desserts the way that I used to. These days, I can literally feel my body swell with certain foods (especially anything cake-y or bread-y or rice-y or noodle-y or pasta-y). Though challenging at times, I try to monitor my sweet intake. As I was mentioning this, I was actually kind of proud of myself because compared to three years ago, I eat WAY less sweets and processed foods.

In this conversation about health and eating, this person proceeded to accuse me of being a junkie, and declared that I am addicted to sweets - especially dark chocolate. She then said that if I truly cared about my health, I needed to learn to handle my addiction.

(shaking head while resisting every urge to grab a machete to violently chop someone's head off) W.T.F. Really? ME? A junkie-dark chocolate-addict? Whoa.

Technically, I should brush this off my shoulders. For some reason, I can't. When she accused me of being a junkie, she made me feel like a half ton misanthrope who spends her nights alone in a corner hating life while diving in head first into vat of ice cream while violently chomping on an array of fast food from KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. She made me feel like a heartless barbarian who would give up a member of her own family for a slice of cheesecake. She made me feel like my eating habits are so out of control that I need to be locked up in an institution because I'm such a menace to society.... In short, she made me feel ugly and that I deserved to be a fat.

According to, the definition of addiction is as follows: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. For the record, I can assure you (and this person) that my days and weeks without dark chocolate or sweets does not cause me or anyone around me "severe trauma." Further, I'm not enslaved by my occasional desire for sweets or dark chocolate. While food addiction may be a reality for some, I'm positive that I do not fall in that category. Just because I value food and happen to be fat, doesn't mean I have an uncontrollable addiction to it.

Perhaps food isn't the issue at all. While I can't easily change someone's ignorant views on food and health. I can certainly be mindful and keep better company...

Monday, September 05, 2011

taubes on oz

Hello September! (Yes, I know it's a little late.) Apologies for lagging on the blogging. Things have been hectic, as I enter yet another phase in my life....

For starters, I re-located and now live in not-so-sunny South San Francisco. This means a few things: (1) I had to suspend my One World membership because I can't figure out how to commute to the gym (plus, my car is about twelve years old and can barely handle the current commute I put it through). (2) I miss my One World family! (3) For the time being, I'm going to have to Globo Gym it for a while.

Before you judge or make fun, I will say that the Globo Gym I signed up for is quite nice. There are LOTS of classes and I'll be taking advantage of their spin, kettlebell, yoga, dance, and bootcamp courses. They also have several CrossFit-esque classes, which should be interesting. Also, I kinda miss just walking into a gym and doing whatever. I'll let you know how it goes:)

Outside of personal stuff, did any of you catch Gary Taubes on Dr. Oz recently?! In case you didn't know, Gary Taubes is the author of Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories, two books that are staples in anyone's paleo/primal book collection. He's also written a few major articles in the New York Times: What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie and Is Sugar Toxic? The Dr. Oz segment is quite entertaining. The title of the segment alone should draw you in: The Man Who Thinks Everything Dr. Oz Says is Wrong. Why yes. My interest is piqued. If yours is too, here are links to the segments.

 The Man Who Thinks Everything Dr. Oz Says is Wrong: Part I
 The Man Who Thinks Everything Dr. Oz Says is Wrong: Part II
 The Man Who Thinks Everything Dr. Oz Says is Wrong: Part III
 The Man Who Thinks Everything Dr. Oz Says is Wrong: Web exclusive!

Admittedly, I have some strong feelings about the segment, which I'll cover at another time. For now, I'll let you know that Taubes did indeed take a cholesterol test. His blog post about it is here.

I participated (very slowly) at last week's Giant Race.
FINALLY, in a previous post, I mentioned that I was participating on a "Road to the Half" challenge, where I would commit to some kind of exercise for 30 minutes everyday starting September 1st. Well, I failed miserable on the first two days. However, by September 3rd, I went right on track. Here's my progress so far:

9/1: No workout
9/2: No workout
9/3: Rowing/Biking at Globo-Gym
9/4: Run 10 miles
9/5: Stretching to recover from 10 mile run

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
Regarding the 10 mile run, I conquered it in two segments: a 4 mile run and a 6 mile run back to back. For breakfast, I had Canadian bacon and a slice of cheese for my pre-run workout. After the first four miles, I was POOPED and wasn't sure I could continue. However, the SO bought me a luna protein bar and some sharkies. For long runs, I'm used to having snacks like that to sustain energy. I'm not sure how paleo diets go with endurance runs. From this weekend, I can honestly say that I do need a piece of fruit or snack to keep me going. No. nuts and beef jerky don't quite do the trick. I say this because when I did the Giant Race, which was a few weeks ago, it was only a 5K and I was knocked out for the afternoon. However, when I did this 10 miler with a few snacks, I could continue with no problem. Also, when I came home, I didn't conk out for the rest of the afternoon (unlike I did with my previous 8 miler and the 5K). Hmmm... Will have to see what Mr. Cordain says about nutrition and endurance sports. I'll also have to look up some things about endurance athletes and paleo eating.