class-warfare coffee Dean-Karnazes diet Harry-Knowles Health heated-seats Heath-Ledger How To Humor Movies obesity Post Starbucks the-joker weight-loss

How to Fat Smash and Become an Ultramarathon Man, Pt. 2

Had a weigh in for the competition recently and I’m down 30 lbs. total. 30 lbs in two months and I haven’t done anything unhealthy to lose it. I’m getting positive comments on my weight daily. Chuck and I finally got to run his neighborhood again this weekend and challenge the monster hill of doom. End result: 5 ½ miles and one conquered hill. At the risk of going all Tony Robbins, I want to share how I’ve been able to achieve all of this in such a short time. I was completely and utterly disgusted with myself but now I’m confident that someday I’ll be able to achieve my goals. So read on, and see how you too can achieve what I have. Give yourself multiple pieces of motivation. If you read my last post, my weight loss kicked off with a bet. A sizable chunk of money ($180) was waiting for the winner. And that money was great motivation to start. But once the contest was over, what then? I wanted to make a serious life change. Short term goals might get you moving, but changing the way I ate in the long term meant I needed long term motivation. My first motivation was running a marathon. I knew I couldn’t get in that much shape during the three short months of the challenge. I also knew that in order to run a marathon, I had to get down to where carrying my weight wouldn’t be too huge a burden on my legs. My second motivation was to get more, ahem, “attention� from my wife. My wife is into tall, skinny, gay guys out of Japanese comics. I fit in only one of those categories, the least I could do is fit into two. Just to be clear, the two categories are tall and skinny. My third motivation is this tight knit turtleneck sweater that I’d look bad ass in if I didn’t have a gut. There will be pain, but it won’t last. Biggest and best thing I did was cut soda out of my diet. A bottle of soda is two servings, and you run some 180-260 calories per serving. One soda is a meal! All I used to drink was soda. And beer. Mmmmmm… beer. Anyway, stopping the soda intake meant stopping the caffeine intake. Which meant withdrawal. Which meant three solid days of splitting headaches. But doing it that way was better than the alternatve. One of my fellow competitiors slowly weaned himself off of Mountain Dew, and put himself through two weeks of mild headaches. I’m a get over it and get going kind of guy. The other pain was the hunger. This too will pass. The American Obesity diet plan is all about big portions that you don’t need. Your primitive survival instincts always want to pack on fat because you don’t know if your tribe will be able to find a berry patch or hunt down a wildebeest tomorrow. So when you cut your calorie intake below what you burn in an average day (which is the only way to lose weight), your body starts to look to replenish its fat stores. Don’t give in. It takes about ten days to get used to the smaller portions. You have to break down to rebuild. I didn’t realize I was on the Fat Smash Diet until I browsed through the book three weeks in. Much to my surprise, I was following the same program they do on Celebrity Fit Club. Fat Smash is a diet in the scientific sense… you don’t go on it and then off it, you make it your diet for life. Much better then destroying your kidneys on Atkins, or starving yourself on the new fad diet and then gaining it back when your done. To start off I cut my calories way down, ate pretty much purely healthy stuff. Total fruits and vegetables, no red meat. Did I get rid of carbs? NO! Carbs are energy. I hate this low carb culture we’ve created. It’s bullshit. I ate subway A LOT. That bread has a lot of carbs. Here I am, 30 pounds later. I ate 1000-1200 calories a day for about two weeks. Spark People, a free diet website was a huge help during that time period. I really suggest you give them a shot. The amount of calories is not good long term, but I had no intention of staying there. It was a purging. I was so used to consuming 1000 calorie meals, that just to cut some food here or there would never work. But using that as a base got me used to portion control, and when I slowly built up to a safe 1600-1800 I felt like I was endulging myself. I am dead serious here about YOU MUST WORK UP TO A HEALTHY INTAKE. It actually helps you lose weight. When you stay at that low a level, your body goes into starvation defense, kills your energy level, and throws on as much fat as it can because it thinks it needs to keep you alive. Water is your best friend. Remember how I stopped drinking soda. Well I started drinking water. Non stop. And I used to hate water. I also used to have the driest, most cracked skin in the worl. Now girls ask me how much I moisturizer I use to get my baby botttom smoothness. Water is awesome on so many levels. It has 0 calories. It is is vital for metabolizing fat into energy… in other words, the more you drink, the more fat you burn off. It keeps your skin healthy. It cools you down. You MUST drink at least 8 cups a day. Do better. Drink 10. Make that 12. Yes, you will pee every hour on the hour. Make it a game. If you don’t pee clear, you didn’t drink enough water. If you’re thirsty, you aren’t drinking enough water. I got up in the middle of that last sentence to drink more water. On a side note, drink tap water. Don’t fall for the bottled water is cleaner scam. The water coming out of your tap is monitored by local, state, and federal organizations. It has all sorts of rules. Bottled water falls under a loophole that considers it on the same level of soda and does not have the same stringent codes. So in the best case, they filled it out of the same tap you did, and only ripped you off by charging you $2.00 for a plastic bottle that cost them half a cent. In the worse case you are drinking spring water that was downstream from where the bears crap… and the bears have dysentery. Eat a breakfast of Champions I never ate breakfast. I had diarrhea about three times a week. Coincidence? Not really. Eating a high fiber breakfast every day is great on so many levels. Every morning I pour Post Raisin Bran into a measuring cup. Pour said cup into a bowl. Fill measuring cup halfway with soy milk (8th Continent or Silk). Pour said cup into bowl. Voila. This plus eating takes me five minutes and destroys my old “I don’t have time for breakfast argument�. I love Raisin Bran. The fiber does two things. First,it jump starts my metabolism. Second, it keeps me regular. I haven’t been regular for years… probably since my Mom stopped making me eat breakfast. Total caloric intake at breakfast: under 300. Several times a week I throw in a banana and make it 350. So that just about covers my diet. Next time I’ll discuss my exercise plan. Good Luck!

How to Fat Smash and Become an Ultramarathon Man, Pt. 1

When you surpass the weight of Homer Simpson, you began to develop an elephantine disgust with oneself. I had done this several months prior, yet kept engorging myself with foodstuffs through the holidays. It is a lucky bit then, I suppose, that ultimate collision of several motivating entities that drove the forging of both form and mind. With continuing fortitude, I shall hammer myself into an ultra-marathoner. What a load of pretentious drek that was… In all seriousness, I had previously heard that the only way the vast majority of people who achieve a drastic change in body type manage to do so is the mindset that comes along with absolute abject misery towards the state of their body. To paraphrase: I was a disgusting fat body. I felt my fat had gained enough experience to go up a level. Somewhere between 230 (Homer’s weight) and my peak of 252 I had slipped into obesity. You can feel this. Your bulges no longer seem to be a part of you, but almost as though you are wearing a coat of lipids. The underside of your arm touches your chest before it’s supposed to. When you sit on the toilet, your gut takes a nap on top of your leg. You sense your wife’s growing abhorrence towards your naked form. I would like to think that that was the kicker, that my need to please the love of my life was enough to push me to better health. For the sake of not delving into the darker, more honest portions of my psyche, we’ll leave it at that. Luckily, several other things simultaneously occurred, the first being that several of my teammates at work expressed a similar desire to shed a few pounds. Competitive nutcases that we are, a bet was formed. Money was put on the line, big money. The second motivating factor was Wired magazine publishing an article on Dean Karnazes. Dean is known as the “Ultramarathon Man� This guy ran 50 marathons in 50 days. He’s ran a marathon at the south pole. He’s won the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135 milerace from Death Valley up a mountain… in the middle of summer. I was awed at what he had done, and inspired. If this guy could push the limits of human endurance as far as he had, I certainly could push myself 1 50th of the way there. And I could give myself 2 years to do it, which would give a nice milestone of running a marathon when I’m thirty. I plan on covering the grueling steps to get where I’ve gone, and where I’m going. But right now I’ll just settle for telling you we had our second of 3 weigh ins for the bet. I’ve lost 30 pounds, more than twice the competition. I can run 5 miles on a hill climb program when I’ve never been able to run much more than 1 flat, even when I was in my weight lifting football years. I bought a belt yesterday because I was on my old belts last notch and my pants were slipping off. Best of all, I’ve had a lot of women tell me they can tell I’ve lost weight and I’m looking good. And one of those women happens to be my wife.

Dunkin donuts will rot your teeth and America

Dunkin Donuts, for those of you who don't know, serves more cups of coffee a day than any other retailer in the US, including Starbucks. The chain, which is more prevalent in Boston than any other and maybe all other food franchises together, boasts the slogan "America runs on Dunkin." This clever ad campaign uses a lot of catchy "They Might be Giants" songs, which have nothing to do with coffee or America, but never the less draws attention to the TV or Radio and more importantly to Dunkin Donuts. When I first moved to Boston in January I didn't get caught up in the hype too much. I wasn't a coffee drinker, rarely ate breakfast, and couldn't even tell you where the closest Dunkin' was to my house. Soon though, I became sucked in. After a few months of heavy drinking in my new city, I decided I needed a new cheaper vice. First, I contemplated cocaine, but decided that wouldn't be much cheaper or very convenient. Second I tried self-asphyxiation; it provided a nice buzz, but several times I blacked out and/or broke blood vessels in my eyes. Then in a moment of weakness to mass marketing, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and bought my first Iced Coffee or "The Ice" as I've come to call it. Oh the joy! The sweet cold elixir ran easier down my throat then up the oversized straw they provide. The sudden infusion of caffeine to an otherwise caffeine desolate body created a huge rush. I could work faster and longer with better concentration than before. The Ice even provided the shakes that I was beginning to miss from my days as a functioning alcoholic. I was hooked. I couldn't start my day without Dunkin or The Ice. First it started as only a small cup every morning, but as my body built a tolerance to caffeine I had to increase my dosage of The Ice. Soon it was a medium Ice, then a large Ice. I'd grab a cup before I got on the subway and then again when I got to work. The Indian guy (dots not feathers) at my local Dunkins knew I was hooked and began pushing the extra shot of espresso on me. "Large Ice, cream and melted sugar" rang in my head as I slept. I frequented the Dunkins close to my house and work so much that the employees who didn't even speak English had memorized my debit card number. I was hooked on Dunkins and I loved it. But, like all love affairs this one must come to an end. Yesterday I had a root canal; a very painful and expensive procedure. Basically, they fill your cheek with Novocain. Then they begin to drill. If you are not numb enough, they will give you a second shot of Novocaine, but this time in the nerve of the tooth itself. Once you are so thoroughly numbed that your eye on that side won't focus, they begin the removal of the nerve pulp in the center of your tooth. All-in-all it wasn't the worst procedure I've been through. The Endodontist who performed the procedure was very nice, although he was a little surprised that I had brought my own dental dam. In fact, the most painful part was the bill at the end. For 45 minutes of agony I was presented a bill for $1050.00. Holy Shit! For that much money I should be allowed to kick the Dr. in the nuts or at least be allowed to give him a blow job. Where does this fit in with Dunkin Donuts you're asking? Well obviously, it's not my fault I needed a root canal. So it must be the food item that I consume the most; Dunkin Donuts and "The Ice". That sweet sweet goodness must be responsible for my pain and agony. It couldn't have been the years of not brushing and flossing properly, or the fact that I let a bad filling go for over 6 months. Just the idea that this problem wasn't anyone's fault but mine is ridiculous. It's my tooth and my money so I should decide to where to place the blame, right? Not only that, but pointing the finger and placing blame is probably America's favorite past time. If our president and politicians and business leaders can obviously redirect blame and fault from their own laps onto others', why can't I? It's not like I'm telling the world that Dunkin Donuts is responsible for the deaths of thousands because they didn't prepare for a hurricane (not that I can prove anyway), or that Dunkin Donuts started a war because it thought that Iraq (A country that does not have any Dunkin Donuts) was harboring weapons of mass destruction. I'm just saying that my addiction to their Iced Coffee has caused my tooth problems. So does America really run on Dunkin like the ads say? If America runs on Dunkin by drinking its caffeine laced drinks and eating its fat filled breakfast sandwiches, then I don’t know. There are only 3 Dunkin Donuts in Cleveland that I can think of compared to the 4 I walk by just on my way to work in Boston. Or does the slogan "America runs on Dunkin" a metaphor for how Americans are so proficient at placing blame and redirecting fault? America runs on Dunkins because it sleeps better at night knowing that nothing is ever their fault? America runs on Dunkins because it knows most of the time it will not be held responsible for its actions? America runs on Dunkins because our government has established a history of using scapegoats for very serious crimes? This question is one of debate and importance that may never be answered. All I can say for sure is that I need to run out to grab some Tylenol for my tooth, and some of "The Ice" for my conscious. Š

Batman 2: Broke Bat Mountain

Well its official the lead villain for the next Batman movie will be the Joker, and will be played by none other than…. Heath Ledger?!? First off am I supposed to believe that this was the director’s first choice. There are literally dozens of other actors I can think of who would be far more likely to be cast, Hugo Weaving, Crispin Glover, Bruce Campbell, anyone else really. This leads me to my assumption that the casting was studio driven. Batman is a huge franchise and millions of dollars have already been invested in it. So obviously the studio wants a bad guy who will appeal to a large audience, and not necessarily be the best fit for the part. Obviously coming off of the successful movie Broke Back Mountain, Heath ledger would be high on their casting lists. He has high female appeal, which would in their minds help a movie with a primarily male audience. Obviously no one at the studio has ever read a comic book, they were probably too busy in school getting laid, so they don’t have an idea what the Joker is like and why Heath Ledger will suck as him. First off Heath Ledger is fat. I’m not saying he’s overweight, but the Joker is a tall and thin character, while Heath is a dumpy, fatty fat fat. Unless Heath can lose like 60 lbs. and grow 6 inches before shooting he won’t look the part. Secondly Heath is too handsome. The Joker has a long angular face with a sharp pointed nose. He also has a wide mouth and a sinister smile. Heath has a square jaw and a wry, sarcastic smile that women find attractive and not frightening. Unless they do serious make up, i.e. cut off his head, he’ll just look like a male model with white make-up and green hair. Lastly Heath does not have the personality to be the Joker. The Joker is a true sociopath who kills at random and for his own amusement, he is completely insane and irrational. Heath is a smiley happy guy who everyone likes. What type of experiences will he draw upon for the role, that one time a girl broke up with him and then he got another girlfriend two seconds later, boo-hoo, poor Heath your so dark and tormented. Heath Ledger is just another pretty boy who used to make fun of nerds who read comics in high school and now will make millions portraying a comic book character. I for one will not support Heath as the Joker and will instead keep to my comics who are written by authors who actually care about and understand the character.

Burn Your Fat, or I’ll Burn You…Fatty

For the past few months, I have been thinking about working out. After many searches, I decided to join a club exclusively for women. I'm generally not usually into all the girly "Girl Power!" stuff that they do, but it fits my purpose and it's literally up the street, so I have no excuse not to go. This past Monday I went to the branch that is about a 10-minute drive from my house because my branch was closed. I was half-heartedly greeted by an fat employee. Now, I don't have any room to talk because, according to every BMI chart (and my mom), I'm classified as overweight, the category just above "normal" for women. However, if I'm classified as "overweight", then this employee is definitely classified as "morbidly obese." Being half-heartedly greeted by this employee was a little discouraging...and made me a little angry. It's not like all the employees at my home branch are in the greatest shape, but at least you can see that they are making an effort to work out and lose weight and inches. They are all also very motivational, which everyone can use once in a while. Maybe it's because it was Labor Day and she didn't feel like working. Whatever. Deal with it...fatty. On the days that you want to get a really intense workout, you put on a little pink dot which lets the employees know that you want your chops busted on that particular day on all the machines. I usually don't take the dot because I don't do well with people barking at me as I'm trying to concentrate on exercise. I just try harder on the circuit. Well, several people walked in putting the pink dot on their bodies. This same employee acknowledged that they had the dot on, and went back to sipping her diet pepsi behind her little desk. WTF! Wrong on many, many levels! So, there was no one on the circuit even making sure that any of the ladies were even doing the exercise correctly. Thank Buddha no one had a heart attack, because the employee wouldn't have even noticed and I would have had to revive them with my nursing super powers. I'm not asking for all employees of this franchise to be like the lame Xenadrine commercials that are out there. I'm not a fan of the other exercise franchises that cower you into buying a membership and then when you end up working out (on the days that your self-esteem is willing to take several blows), you are surrounded by sweaty people working there muscles hard, neckless men (and some women) making love to his/her own image in the mirror while working the dumbbells, and the employees busting your chops at every single machine that you attempt (when they're not doing that, they're making fun of you with other fellow employees). But I digress. Shouldn't there be some kind of weight restriction on employees of major exercise franchises?