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Old 07-13-2007, 11:11 AM   #21
Barry Cooper
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Mike,

I've been to Switzerland. It is very beautiful, if a bit claustrophobic at times for American (my) taste.

For the same reason that exercise is an integrated part of the day, you will rarely see really fat people taking the trains or subways in Chicago and New York. Walking 1-2 miles a day is built in to the schedule. This both requires at least a minimal level of fitness, as well as punishes extremes. If there are really fat people, they must pay the premium to drive themselves.

Still, over and above their daily routines, as you know many Swiss regularly go cycling, downhill skiing, and hiking. Me, I get up at 5:10am 5 days a week to do a 30 minute or so workout. I'm considering supplementing it with swimming. I eat potato chips with dip sometimes, I eat Cheetos sometimes, I eat Mexican food cooked in lard, and I apparently can drink a 12 pack without getting much more than a buzz.

Let's assume for a moment that all our cheap food is the equivalent to floating fresh donuts under the nose of someone on a diet. Let's say failure, while not inevitable, is made more likely by this.

What prevents that person from getting up every morning and working out for 30 minutes or an hour? Most Swiss are not hardbodies, but just healthy. Likewise, the goal here is not 50 pullups, but just reasonable health. Functionality. The ability to not be limited in your life experiences by your physical capacity.

In my view, only those fit to be free deserve to be free. Being fit to be free starts, I would argue, with WANTING to be free. With valuing it. And anyone who wants or needs to be told what to do with their freedom is not fit for it. That is why they go along with programs which do in fact reduce their freedom.

For most intents and purposes, I am a non-smoker (I pull a pipe out a few times a month when the mood strikes me, and enjoy cigars on occasion), but it made me mad when they banned smoking in my home town.

Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease, and how we choose to spend it should be our own business. If someone has told their insurance company the truth, then they have paid in advance for their own treatment, and have made no excessive demand on society. Why then should others, in a free society, be able to dictate their behavior? It makes no sense to me. This is a slippery slope.

We have accorded Science--understood as a monolith, rather than a conglomeration of fallible humans--roughly the same respect given the Church in the Middle Ages. And many scientists seem to be as indifferent to the willful abuse of that authority as were their ecclesiastical predecessors.

I am arguing that these articles, in sum, present good evidence of the philosophical overreach of some scientists, which dovetail with the political convenience of others.

Darren,

I took a CPR/AED class the other day, which was part video, part live instructor. She didn't do it exactly per the curriculum, but the intent was that we practice with the dummies (non-mentated human simulacra) while keeping up with an instructor on tape. At the end of one of the exercises, she (on the tape) says "Good Job!" to everyone.

How did she know we weren't drooling and doing bong hits? She didn't. She couldn't. But if she had been there, it would have sounded just the same. This sort of thing needs to be greatly muted, in my view.

Our expectation has become that we be commended no matter how mediocre our effort, and our teachers expect to be condemned if they actually enforce high standards. It wasn't like that as recently as the 50's.

One interesting perspective which could perhaps be brought to this is that much of the Self Esteem movement developed from the work of Nathaniel Brandon. In an interesting irony, he was the lover (illicit) of Ayn Rand. Life is quite funny.

I will add, before David or Lynne feel compelled to, that in my experience these sorts of complaints will generally be tolerated until someone starts blaming "them".
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:04 PM   #22
Tom Rawls
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Think of how much money is being spent to encourage us to eat and eat stuff that is unhealthy?

We can talk about individual responsibility, but today kids receive thousands--literally thousands--of messages each year encouraging them to eat stuff. The food propaganda machine is hugely successful. (As was the tobacco propaganda machine not long ago.)

There are no free markets (except perhaps black markets). All markets are governed by rules established by society, and ususually people set up the rules to lead to the results they want. We've set up rules for cheap food. After all, people like to eat.
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:23 PM   #23
Barry Cooper
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When I was a kid, I ate what my mother gave me. When I went to school, I ate what she gave me.

What has changed?
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Old 07-13-2007, 04:21 PM   #24
David Wood
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Matt's earlier post has been deleted. Yes, that *is* (or was) an example of a "political" statement, as would be any reference to specific political agenda or party as the sole source of some particular evil being decried. The use of a disguised obscenity was particularly touching.

I regret that earning a living kept me from noticing that post when it first went up.

As Barry noted, specific references to political parties or agendas ("them" (whoever they are)) as the source of the evil that you are currently riled up about tend to be what gets a thread shut down.

Matt's post above (about New Orleans) comes real close to getting deleted, as well (due to the heavily politically- and racially-charged nature of that debate).

The discussion board exists to talk about fitness (generally), and CrossFit (specifically), in as supportive a manner as possible.

We would like to believe that "big" issues, and social issues, can be discussed politely and without arbitrarily casting aspersion on the political beliefs of a large (or, for that matter, small) fraction of our membership.

As noted in another borderline thread recently, the Comments section on the main page is much more lightly moderated . . . you can say many things there that would get you dumped here (and many do, particularly every 4th day).
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Old 07-13-2007, 04:36 PM   #25
Tom Rawls
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One thing that has changed: The ability to satisfy a sweet tooth more cheaply.

Approx 530 million bushels of corn annually is made into 17.5 billion pounds of high-fructose corn syrup (hfcs), a new product introduced in 1980. Since '85 the avg. American's consumption of hfcs has gone from 45-65 lbs per person, consumption of added sugars has climbed from 128 lbs to 158 lbs person. (Stats from Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma.")

Approximately 51,000 calories in 30 lbs of sugar. How many burpees is that?

Cheap corn (a government policy) means cheap food, including chicken, pig, and beef. I also expect there is more highly processed food today at lower prices than in the good old days when kids obeyed their parents.

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Old 07-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #26
Alain Latour
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It's very easy to believe that obese or overweight people are weak. It's also way too easy to believe that us fitness enthusiasts are better than them. I think Emily was bang on that a mix of overabundance of cheap, unhealthy food has made America fat, and that today we have to be different if we want to eat healthy. It's ingrained in human beings to not want to be different. These two facts make it harder than ever to avoid being overweight. Who here has not been laughed at or told to relax when they ordered a chicken salad as opposed to a burguer and fries when going out with friends? Who can honestly say they liked that?

Cultural factors do not help either. In the US a very commercially inclined way of living (which has otherwise been great for the country) also pushed things such as "10 chicken wings for $1.50" and "weeknight specials" or a 10 lb burguer. Scientific studies show that human beings tend to eat more when more food is available. Even animals will do that. Millions of years of scarce food availability taught us to behavior, and companies have known to exploit it.

The following article (w/f safe) provides some scientific explanation as to how we're are tricked into eating more http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=weight.loss&cat egory=diet.strategies&conitem=bced0159bab72110VgnV CM20000012281eac____

Am I saying that obese people are in no way to blame for their situation? Not at all. But they need to be understood if they are to be helped, not diminished.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:29 PM   #27
Craig Van De Walker
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Helped also by the fact the the government and scientific "experts" tell people high carb is healthy, vegetarian is healthy, meat and fat is bad.

flour, corn syrup, processed stuff, mostly vegetarian, mostly high carb GOOD STUFF MAYNARD!
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:58 PM   #28
Franklin Shogie
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Perhaps Patrick saw something like the following foto. I took the foto in a duty free store in the airport in Madrid Spain.

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/23/44454.jpg
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:17 AM   #29
Brandon Oto
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Feyerabend, Barry?
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:22 AM   #30
Mike Gray
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Say - thanks for the discussion guys! I'm getting over a summer flu and can't work out, so this is just what the doctor ordered ...

* * * *

Going back to my European perspective stuff - and BTW, I'm an American citizen who grew up in Hungary and Italy and has been living in Switzerland for 12 years - a couple comments:

From my outsider persepctive, it seems possible that (a) a shift in the US public from personal responsibility toward government intervention and (b) a pervasive "new games"* mentality applied to life in general might be an aspect in the "fat American syndrome."

[*"New Games" was a 70s movement toward non-competetive games where "everybody wins." They are actually pretty handy games in certain group contexts. But they get boring. No points. And as Coach well knows, I'll die - in fact, I'll kill - for points. Anway ... ]

OTOH, the comparison with Europe indicates that one shouldn't over-emphasize those two aspects. European countries have, in general, a more pervasive and generally accepted wellfare system than the US. Even the more right-leaning political parties in Europe (the larger ones at least) would never dare to question it. I wouldn't know how to demonstrate that the "I'm OK-you're OK" mentality is actually *more* prevalent here than in the US, but I certainly can't see any signs that it is less so. (Note: It has come in for some pretty heavy and well-deserved criticism here, too!)

The fact remains that folks here are visibly slimmer. Hence, whatever, the role of the factors mentioned above, they're not the only ones at work!
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