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Happy New Year 2018

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Instagram: fitnessanarchist

Better late than never, right?

A little update: I’ve retired my formerly official business website, and as of now my blogspot is the official DHPT Sports Nutrition & Weight Management website & blog.

Therefore I’ve imported a bunch of my old entries from the other blog and added them to the blog here. And I’m in the process of reviewing them and making sure they all make sense and have no broken links or missing images or any other problems.

For those interested in Online IIFYM & Flexible Dieting Coaching the best place to learn more is still via the Flexible Fueling website. Really there’s a lot of people offering this service online now, but you only have to look at most of their social media feeds to see that they’re still just suggesting “eat less and less and less, no one has ever not been eating too much or needed to eat more”. Your boy is still the Originator & the Innovator when it comes to this stuff, and very few have even caught up to where I was when I wrote the free program on this site, much less to where I am at now.

You should follow my Flexible Fueling page on google+ to be sure that you never miss an update here or on blogspot.

 

 

 

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What you shouldn’t put in your vagina: 2017’s greatest hits

Honestly I thought Gwyneth Paltrow was bad enough back when all she was doing was shilling for fitness charlatan Tracy Anderson but wow… just wow.

Dr. Jen Gunter

It seemed as if the medical Internets of 2017 was as the mercy of a random vagina-woo generator. No sooner had I written an impassioned plea about why substance X shouldn’t go into the vagina I was getting tweets and Facebook messages about object Y.

I blame Gwyneth Paltrow. I mean why not, but if we are going to strive for accuracy (which I always do) it does seem that GP birthed this vaginal lunacy trend by treating us to vaginal jade eggs in January of 2017. While GP breathlessly claimed that when she finds “something that works” she wants to share it she couldn’t answer any question about the “practice” of jade eggs when Jimmy Kimmel inquired. Imagine claiming that bringing good health to people is your mission, your full-time job no less, and then when you are asked a question about something you have both endorsed and sold…

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The Pathological Liar

Fiona O'Leary

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I recently watched the new film about Andrew Wakefield titled the Pathological Optimist, you can see my video review here.

The film is very badly presented and has zero input from Autistic people as usual.

The other Wakefield worshiping film Vaxxed From Cover Up To Catastrophe did this also, read my review of Vaxxed here.

The director of The Pathological Optimist Miranda Bailey spent five years making this film which basically portrays Wakefield as a victim and someone we should all feel sorry for.

Wakefields daily life is documented with scenes of him at the Gym and chopping wood etc.

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Wakefield and his family are interviewed and unveil one sob story after the other.

Wakefields corrupt and fraudulent behaviour is not delivered in a balanced way throughout this film.

Wakefield is a documented FRAUD!

Learn about Wakefield here.

His lies continue to maim and kill children all…

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Report: Attendance at a Pseudoscience Lecture on Gerson Therapy

All forms of quackery are reprehensible but the exploitation of the potentially terminally ill, and the dissuasion from pursuing actual medical treatment is especially heinous.

DrAlice.blog

On Tuesday the 15th of August at a Holiday Inn conference room in Liverpool two of my colleagues from the Merseyside Skeptics Society and I attended a talk entitled “Censored for Curing Cancer”. Also in attendance were around 70 members of the public – some of whom were cancer patients.

The talk had been promoted as a tell-all in spite of censoring and was open to any member of the public through Eventbright ticketing for £20 in advance or for a cost of £30 on the door. The speaker, Patrick Vickers runs the Northern Baja Gerson Centre clinic in Mexico where, as Patrick described it, “we’re treating advance terminal diseases. Not just cancer but virtually every single disease we’re successfully treating, and we’re doing it with Gerson Therapy”.

I heard about the talk through social media, the poster was shared around by alternative medicine proponents with promises of an…

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The Case Against The Case Against Sugar

Taubes continues to be garbage.

The Science of Nutrition

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As I read through Gary Taubes’s The Case Against Sugar – or as I sometimes refer to it “CAS” for short – one question kept popping up in my mind: Was this a book that needed to be written? The answer is a resounding NO.

Why do I say this? Is it because I have some personal grudge against Taubes? No. Rather, I say this book doesn’t need to exist for the following reasons:

  1. Is anyone under the impression that we need MORE sugar in our diets? That we would be healthier if people drank MORE high-calorie sugar water and ate MORE Oreos? Are doctors and nutritionists and policy-makers saying things like “In order to fight this obesity epidemic, all we need to do is get people to start adding cokes, cookies, candy, cake, cream-puffs, and corn syrup”? Of course not.
  2. But for the sake of my introductory argument…

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No, I will never “acknowledge my fit privilege”

Where do I even begin?

I will start by saying that I have long since lost interest in trying to convince people who aren’t interested of why they should want to train, or why they could be successful if they tried. There are things I’ve been quite passionate about in my past that I’ve moved on from, and I get irritated when people try to pressure me into “getting back into it and giving it one more try”. I can only imagine how much more irritating it would be to be trying to live your life and pursue your interests and mind your own business, and to keep hearing “ok but you’re a fat person and you should try not being fat anymore, you could not be fat if you really tried” as if nothing else you do counts if you don’t and as if it’s any of anyone’s concern in the first place.

I will continue by reminding you that I have written countless blog and social media posts to the tune of “quit acting like training makes you better than everyone else. You took an interest in something, gave it a try, found that you liked it, and now here you are” especially in response to those obnoxious “what’s your excuse?” type posts that go viral for all the wrong reasons every once in a while. What’s their excuse? Why do they need an excuse for not pursuing something they don’t have an interest in? Why do they owe you a justification or explanation? What’s your excuse for not knowing how to rebuild an engine or play classical piano?

No one is asking “what’s your excuse for not knowing how to play an instrument?”, but on the other hand no one is telling the serious musical enthusiast who learned the theory and practiced the technique for hours every day to “acknowledge their musical privilege” even though others might not have been so fortunate as to have access to a good teacher or to afford a decent instrument. Because to do so would be ridiculous.

I think it is probably important that people in the fitness industry acknowledge that weight stigma is a thing that people experience and probably only the tip of the iceberg. This entry does not deny or mitigate the fact that weight stigma exists.

Fit Privilege though? Really?

The way I’m reading into this… it’s as if the suggestion is that the only reason anyone is in “fit” shape is because that was always the most likely thing for them, and that they’ve had an easy time of it all along, and if anything should probably feel a little embarrassed and a little bit guilty about how much harder other people have got it.

Really though? That’s a load of garbage.

People get into fitness for different reasons. Perhaps they got started after a health scare and on doctors orders. Perhaps they just decided one day “I don’t suppose I’ll be very good at it or very successful at it, but it’ll be nice to have something to do after work other than just veg out in front of the tv”. Often people have become passionate about fitness because it was something that got them through a dark chapter of their life when it seemed like nothing else was going right for them. Perhaps unemployed, bereaved, following a difficult relationship breakdown, while struggling with poor mental health, or any combination of these and other issues.

If you’re someone who has used an interest in fitness as a coping mechanism when you were unemployed, unloved, trying not to give in to depression and despair, and trying to channel your energy into and focus upon some positive outlet… to be informed that “you have fit privilege” is incredibly insulting and offensive.

“Acknowledge your privilege?” How about acknowledge that you could have just as easily turned to self destructive behaviours, could have taken your issues out on others in an abusive or manipulative manner, and quite possibly might not have overcome those hardships at all?

I would suggest this applies to many, many people. And even to those that it doesn’t apply to, how is it in any way helpful to insist that they “acknowledge their privilege” as if they are selfish and their interest and success in pursuing their fitness goals is something they are undeserving of?

That’s how it comes across to me anyway.

Now, the issue here isn’t that everyone has to be impressed by or give credit to people for pursuing their fitness goals. I feel like most fitness enthusiasts aren’t actually asking for that. I feel like most people just want to be left in peace to pursue their interests without the uninvited negative opinions of others trying to rain on their parade, and that applies to people of different sizes with different interests as well. Regardless of your shape, size, education, economic status, whatever… there are certain people out there whether strangers, on social media, or people you are acquainted with or related to, who just do not want to see you happy on your own terms and who want to control how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself. Anyone who has achieved any level of success in anything or any level of happiness in general has had to deal with and over come this.

That said, this notion that anyone who is in “fit” shape as an adult must have been someone who excelled at and was encouraged in sports from a young age, who never experienced difficulty around “healthy eating”, never had a medical or mental illness that would preclude them from being successful… I can assure you I’m the opposite of all of those things.

Why this really matters though is not about me or about other fitness enthusiasts being given credit for trying their best and overcoming adversity in their lives. It is actually about the people who might like to take an interest in training but lack the confidence or the belief in themselves to do so.

Splitting people into groups of “people who were always going to end up in fit shape because it’s easy for them” and “people who were never likely to end up in fit shape no matter what” only discourages those who are interested and could benefit from encouragement. It disempowers those who need to be empowered. It will be one more young woman who started out thinking she wanted to lose 5kg who by the time she comes to me is more like 30kg overweight with a binge eating disorder because she identified as a “fat person” rather than a “fit person” and so believed she would need to restrict her intake to a half or a quarter of what would be minimal for someone else with the same goals. Or something like that.

I probably didn’t even say half of what I was thinking on this topic but I suppose 1150 words is plenty.

Should you take nutrition advice from a body builder?

For the sake of hopefully avoiding controversy, I’m going to begin with the conclusion. As with many questions, the actual answer is “maybe, it depends”. People tend to prefer black & white, yes & no, good or bad, blanket statement type answers… *shrug* sorrynotsorry if you’re disappointed.

The quality of advice should really be assessed on the basis of the quality of the advice, rather than the description of the person it comes from. Any specific individual trainer, bodybuilder, nutritionist, dietitian, or other person may give good advice or bad advice. We may observe that generally speaking, one profession is more or less likely to give solid, factual, reasonable and helpful advice than another… regardless, advice is good or bad based on how solid, factual, reasonable and helpful it is, not based on who it comes from.

Diplomatic enough for you? Everyone still happy so far? No one’s feelings hurt? Good. Let’s continue.

Now then. Let’s agree that it makes sense to assume we’re talking about people with a weight loss &/or fat loss goal. Who knows more about how to maintain lean mass and shed fat than a bodybuilder? Few if any.

Or so it would seem. Someone may have done a body building contest and achieved a lean condition under the instruction of their coach. Does that necessarily mean they understand how to assess another person’s requirements, understand their circumstances and coach them to a satisfactory outcome? Hardly. This is unfortunately a common, and problematic phenomenon especially related to instagrammers who get lean for a show or a photo shoot, and then start charging for “clean eating” meal plans and so forth. I would avoid anything of the sort like the plague.

So, let’s consider that particular variation of the question resolved. Should you follow dietary advice from a person on the sole basis that they’ve competed in a bodybuilding show, or are otherwise in impressive & athletic shape? Absolutely not.

What about bodybuilding coaches though? As with anything, it’s a mixed bag but I personally know a few who I’m confident are knowledgeable, competent, and usually have a few tricks up their sleeve that are more than merely starving and burning calories.

With that said, I’ll start my list of red flags with the following:

Do they understand that there’s a difference between “contest prep” and appropriate, sustainable eating habits & advice suitable for fat loss and more athletic condition in a normal person?

What might be necessary for and reasonably expected of people in the final stages of contest prep bares little resemblance to what’s reasonable or helpful advice for the rest of us who are looking for sustainable results towards a more athletic condition while actually enjoying the rest of our lives as well. If your coach doesn’t understand this, you’re in for a bad time.

Are they on the gear?

A lot of the times people will present their own physique or that of their clients as evidence to support their views on nutrition and the superiority of their understanding of science. That’s fair enough, but if they’re using steroids then all bets are off. I’d argue that differences in results between enhanced athletes are far more likely to be down to differences in dosage or choice of drugs than due to which carbs they feel are “clean” enough to eat. And if they’re on gear and talking about “discipline” and how people should want to do it the hard way rather than “cheating” with enjoyable foods on an IIFYM style approach, they can fuck right off as far as I’m concerned.

Bottom Line On Nutritional Advice

I’d ignore any advice from anyone that comes with the suggestion that adrenal fatigue or leaky gut are a concern you should have in mind with your dietary choices. I’d ignore any advice of the “calories aren’t equal” or “carbs are not equal” variety as well. Advice of the “this is what I did and it worked for me” nature is next to useless, and for advice of the “this is what everyone should be doing, even though it’s not actually working for me” variety it almost goes without saying.

Hmm what are some other red flags? “Sugar is addictive”, “fruit has too much sugar”, “artificial sweeteners will make you fat”, and any reference to Gary Taubes, Sarah Wilson, David Gillespie, or the various gluten fear mongers.

The best advice is based on the understanding that people have varying requirements, and unique circumstances, tastes, and idiosyncrasies which will determine what is reasonable to expect them to adhere to. Being expected to have the “willpower” or “discipline” to adhere to something that does not suit the individual is entirely unreasonable, and advice that fails to take this into account is inherently poor.

The approach and the selection of foods that best empowers and facilitates consistent adherence in meeting but not exceeding an appropriate provision of total energy from a suitable ratio of macronutrients is always what is best. Whatever approach that may be for each individual.

Whoever you go to for nutritional advice had best understand this, and ideally have both knowledge and experience in successfully coaching others to draw upon when issuing that advice.