Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fat People Only Gyms? Not for me.

Check out this recent article in Time about a gym that has banned skinny people from exercising there. I read about this phenomenon in a Fitday article, where the question was asked, would such a thing be helpful or harmful.  I "weighed" in.
Here's my gut reaction:
It is a stupid idea.  What happens when that woman who is 50 pounds overweight loses her 50 pounds?  Will she be kicked out on her now-slender keister?  
No gym can sustain its existing clientele if the clientele's achievement of their health and fitness goals will mean that they are no longer welcome at the gym, either expressly or impliedly.  
It is a gimmick.  I suspect that these gyms are banking on the presumption that these overweight women will never reach their weight goals.  Now, that's a gym you can trust.  That's a promise of success you can believe in.  Not.
I am a woman who is carrying 50 extra pounds.  I go to a gym that is very inclusive.  I started going about 30 pounds ago.  Fat, thin, old, young, male, female - it doesn't matter.  Am I intimidated sometimes because I am not as athletic as some of the other people in my gym?  Certainly.  I am the kind of person who trips walking up the stairs.  But that's my issue, and I have to deal with it.  I am fat, and I am working on it, as evidenced by the fact that I am at the gym in the first place, sweating and panting.  I am not ashamed to be there.  
When I started, I would go to the gym first thing in the morning, to get the hang of working out before the gym got too busy.  I go now whenever I want to.
If you are big, and you want to go to a gym, enroll in one that you can afford and that will provide you with the resources that you need.  Meet the people who run the gym before you sign up, and if they treat you poorly, don't sign up.  Hold your head up and be proud, because you are trying.  That is half the battle.  If you try long enough, you just might be surprised at the results.  Just do it.
What do you think?  
I am not trying to be harsh, here.  I'm guessing that there are a significant number of obese people out there who would be comforted by a segregated gym.  It's just that segregation rubs me the wrong way.  
If you are an obese person, you are probably a very tough and strong person, because you have dealt with years of discrimination due to the extra weight you carry.  We both know that it is not easy being fat.  In our culture, FAT = LAZY and UNDISCIPLINED.  I've been there.  It is heart-breaking.  
Guess what?  It is not true.  If you are reading this blog, it means that you care enough to want to make a change in your health.  Exercising, no matter whether inside or outside of a gym, means that you are not lazy and undisciplined.  Watching what you eat means that you are not lazy and undisciplined.  Be proud of yourself for giving good health a try.  Remember that those thin people have probably never had to walk a day in shoes like yours.  
Face the world with your head held high.  You belong no matter where you go.  Most of the thin or athletic people you would see in the gym aren't even thinking about you.  If they knew you, they would be proud of you for trying.  They may not care whether you succeed, but they don't want you to fail.
Don't let fear motivate you.  Don't let it become just one more excuse for why you shouldn't help yourself.  
Do go and see your doctor before you begin a new fitness or diet regimen, and get their input.  You may need some extra help or oversight at first, and they can advise you of that.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

LCHF Recipe: Philly Cheese Steak Lettuce Wraps

I am enamored of lettuce wraps.  They completely rock.  I had my first one at California Pizza Kitchen - thai chicken and shrimp.  Yum.  Since then, I've been completely hooked.

Here's the basic technique: you saute finely chopped veggies, meat and then add some kind of sauce to bind the mixture into a not-too-drippy filling.  You then scoop the filling into an iceberg lettuce leaf.  Hold it like a wrap sandwich, and eat it.  I've done this with a bunch of flavors, including my own take on Asian chicken (very close to CPK's version), and traditional taco meat with toppings.  

Last night, we used the lettuce wrap technique to help us finish about 8 oz of left over rib eye steak from Monday's dinner.  It was so good, I took a picture (it tasted better than it looked, but you could pretty this up with some chopped scallions or something).  

Now, I'm sharing it with you.  

Here's how the recipe goes.  It will serve 2-4 people, depending on how hungry they are.  It would also be a phenomenal filling for stuffed mushrooms, if you are having people over.

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 8 oz left over rib eye steak, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, lettuce cups carefully removed

  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add veggies, sprinkle with salt and cook, without browning too much, until veggies are soft and aromatic.
  2. Add chopped steak to the skillet, and stir to combine.  Continue to cook until the beef is heated up.  
  3. Turn off the heat.  Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and shredded cheese, and stir until thoroughly combined and cheese is melted and well incorporated into mixture.
  4. Serve immediately in lettuce cups.  Delicious!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Your Unique DNA Signature

Today, on Living Social, you can buy a deal for a "DNA Self Discovery Kit" from ConnectMyDNA for $29, which will compare your genetic markers with living population groups around the globe.  It is cool, cool stuff, and can give you some insight into where your predecessors came from.  

Why is DNA Self Discovery relevant to you, and what are haplogroups and haplotypes?  Check out these links for more information:

First, there have been a number of scientific studies which have investigated the relationship with certain haplogroups and type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity (check the Google results here).  Note: this test does not promise to give you results that you can take to the doctor!

Second, there is discussion in the primal/paleo community regarding whether you should eat primal/paleo according to your haplogroup, i.e., eating as if you were a paleolithic European because your haplotype demonstrates that your people were from Europe, as opposed to eating foods that may have been available to paleolithic populations in Africa or Asia 40K years ago, because your haplotype demonstrates that your people were from Africa.  

Something to think about!  For $29, why not give it a whirl?


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