Gym Stuff.
You know what annoys me? People that offer unsolicited nutrition and exercise advice without knowing anything about me. Somebody recently suggested that I increase my carb level since I’m doing all that long distance running. Newsflash! I’m not doing the running anymore. I’ve been on a weightlifting program for over a month. I do cardio training but only for short periods (working at a target heart rate). Also – how do you know how many carbs I’m eating? I mean honestly. Some people doing Atkins (the ones in Lifetime Maintenance) eat up to 100 grams of carbs a day! “Eat more carbs” is vague advice based on nothing but assumptions. I eat plenty of carbs. I just choose to ingest them in the form of green vegetables instead of white flour. I’d certainly consider changing my diet if I expected to run a marathon anytime soon, but I don’t. And besides, it’s not like I’m an Olympian or anything…

…Which seques nicely into this long article on the effects of banned substances in athletes. It’s fascinating. The author actually subjects himself to many of the popular drugs and steroids to see what happens. Some of it sounds awful (especially the possible side effects), but I was surprised to see his positive experience with human growth hormone. Who wouldn’t like to see better and have scars disappear? Reminds me about all the supposed benefits of the DHEA my thyroid doctor put me on. (For the record, I haven’t really noticed any side effects beyond the fact that I’m not cold all the time anymore, which was the whole point of taking them.) Right now I’d love some sort of muscle steroid; I pulled the hell out of my shoulder in Pump class on Saturday and it’s not getting any better. Any ideas that don’t involve thousands of dollars worth of synthesized hormones? (For the clueless, yes, this is a solicitation for advice. So comment away!)

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  1. all that long distance running? i believe it was “…especially if you’re going to consider doing an endurance event – even a half marathon or a 10k.”

    GOING TO CONSIDER being the operative phrase, there.

    you have just publicly embodied my theory that some diets, like the one apparently in question, turn people into crazy, overly defensive pod people.

  2. I didn’t quote the e-mail, but if you want me to, here’s the first sentence from that section: “i have decided that at this very moment, i must recommend that you start increasing your carb intake, at least slightly, asap…and maybe modify your diet a little to include a little more.” My point is that you have NO IDEA how many carbs I’m actually eating, so how can you say I should eat more?

    And don’t even get me started on the snotty vinyl pants question. I should’ve just let it go, but you have no idea how much your comments really hurt sometimes. It’s like you have a vested interest in me being overweight.

  3. Everyone seems to know the best way to live / eat / exercise and we’re never shy about giving advice, are we? And sad as it is, there’s that little part of us that hates to see someone succeed on a different path. Jealously, that evil green eyed monster.

    You know this of course, Kris, but just wanted to support you that only you know what’s right for your body. If I’ve learned anything from trying different diets, it’s that I have to take what works for me and leave what’s not working, and that’s going to be different for me than it is for others.

    Thanks for linking the Outside article. I heard the author interviewed on NPR last week. What I found most interesting was how he said he didn’t feel the same sense of accomplishment after doing well on a ride because of the steriods – athletes being ones who push themselves to their very best, not ones who take the best drugs.

    I work with a woman who competes in “natural” body building competitions (no drugs, strict testing) and her theory is that if a sport isn’t actively testing for banned substances (major league baseball), everyone’s probably taking them so that they can compete.

  4. i thought the fact that unsolicited advice is rarely well received was a well-known fact. apparently not so much. i’m starting to think that dietary habits are a bit like religion and sexuality—as long as you’re being healthy and taking care of yourself, your life, your business. by the same token, i would expect the same courtesy from other people.

    did i tell you about the time that my [then future] mother-in-law responded to my disclosure that my two siblings were also vegetarians with “do your parents ever wonder where they went wrong?”

    i can’t recall how i managed to dance my way around that one, but i can tell you that if not for my love for her son, i would have exhibited a whole lot less restraint.

  5. Thanks for your comments, guys. I shouldn’t have posted this to the site but I was upset. I’ve really appreciated all the support folks have given me over the past year, even the ones who don’t necessarily agree with the Atkins plan. It really makes a difference. I’m a long way from home and my traditional support system, and these online connections mean a lot to me.

    Awww, wasn’t that sappy. 🙂

    And Brigita, I’d have laughed in her face! I can’t BELIEVE she would actually say that to you! It’s like a bad episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. 🙂

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