Diet Scams

I'm so gonna eat that.* … Or maybe not!

Author Archive

Some Things That Screwed Up My Back

with one comment

Mr. Athletic
I have screwed up my lower back a number of times through acting like a body builder or professional athlete. I used to be able to carry *hundreds* of dollars worth of groceries up the stairs. But then one time I had a small tick in my back and a pop. Thinking nothing of it I continued on my way. On my way to work the next morning my back started hurting more and more along the way until I was laying on the frozen concrete crying. I was in the military back then and they assumed that when I went home with pain killers that day that I would show up for work bright and early the next morning. But I actually found it hard to get out of the bed and go to the bathroom or grab a water. I couldn’t really walk…I could only lean on stuff and/or crawl.

I started getting in shape a few months before I first was in contact with my wife. I had a personal trainer that stacked me to the moon with weights right off the start. I had a pop in my back and the trainer said “pain is weakness leaving the body.” I kept lifting and yet again I had another magical week of broken back.

When I met my wife she was beating me at tennis, so I started serving like a professional tennis player. And that lead to the same outcome…I needed about a week of laying in bed before I could walk again. She was impressed by that serve until I was mr. sleep and totally immobile!

Broken Chairs
About a year after we met my back started hurting again. She was flying out to the Philippines about a week before, and I actually had to push around a luggage rack so I could lean on it. When she was gone and I was home alone the pain was still immense. I switched out my Aeron chair for her chair and within a day my back was better. The Aeron chair had worked for years, but the cross member back support broke and with it gone my back had no support until I changed chairs.

Just recently my back started hurting up a bit again. My computer got a blue screen of death, and while I was changing out the computer I saw one of the chair’s 5 small wheels fell off. After I fixed that my back started doing well again. My wife, being an eternal sweetheart, bought this wedge thing that is supposed to support your back by encouraging proper posture, but after about a day of using it when I woke up the next morning and went for a walk I found it hard to stand up straight (leaning forward quite a bit). I got rid of the wedge and all was well once again.

Lots of Travel
I try to catch up on everything before we travel. This often means a couple trips down to the recycle bins and/or garbage coupled with a few trips of bringing stuff down to the car. I still have that pig-headed mindset of trying to take everything at once and a couple times while traveling my back went out. Once it was in the Denver airport on our way to NYC. We were supposed to do fun stuff in New York City and I let my wife down because it was excruciatingly painful to walk for the first week there. Luckily my back healed on our anniversary day. After losing my back 2 or 3 times on travel I now know to slow down a bit.

Being Overweight
I still am ***way*** overweight, but my back hurts surprisingly little for how much I have been sitting down and how little I have exercised. As long as I don’t try to be too athletic and don’t sit in a broken chair I do well enough most of the time 🙂

Written by admin

April 7th, 2009 at 4:23 am

Posted in dieting

The Secret to Conquering Buffets Guilt Free – Asian Food

without comments

Last week my wife and I went to an Asian buffet in Oakland, CA called Buffett Fortuna. And they were impressed with how low priced the food was for a buffet…whereas that just made me all the more suspicious of the establishment. These people are serving sea food and fried shrimp and desert with drink at under $10 a head in California after taxes? hmm

Throughout the meal the family said stuff back and forth, often in Tagalog…their native tongue. The most frequent word was something like uneyen (sp)…which was them asking each other “what is that” … must have been asked 30 times in a one hour period. Ask that once or twice – no problem. Ask 30 times? Yet another signal of questionable food quality.

The chicken was not delicious, with some of the sauces seeming like they came out of a ragu can. The shrimp was cooked in oil that was at too low of a temperature, causing the breading to absorb a ton of nasty tasting oil. The mustard that I dipped the shrimp in was the single hottest mustard of my life…it was almost as if it was Wasabi brand.

The food was too exotic and nasty for me that even the corn and mac and cheese started looking appealing.

I ate way less than at any other buffet I have ever been to. Looking for a bit of salvation I tried desert. First was a delicious looking cookie that had coconut in it. That grossed me out. So then I tried to grab my mini Crème Brûlée, but it was not Crème Brûlée … it was some other coconut dish, one with more coconut which almost made me puke. My wife felt a bit sorry for me an grabbed me a couple bite-sized mini flans/egg tarts. The first one tasted a bit plain, but unlike the prior 4 or 5 dishes, it was not offensive. I then bit into the second one and it was raw…with this gewwy raw egg stuff seeping into my mouth.

gross dessert

It was probably one of the worst meals I have ever had, and some people on Yelp agree. My favorite review was:

Stay away from this place!

I sat down with my full plate, and about 5 bites in, I have to stop to pull something weird out of my mouth. It was a big wad of plastic, what looked like the wrapper on the little peppermints you get after your meal at a lot of restaurants. I called for the manager, who was extremely apologetic, and said he would replace that batch of chicken. He quickly gave me my money back, but only after I requested it. They tried to tell me that I could stay and eat still, but I was out of there quick, and I had no stomach to eat any of that food anymore.

Even if you don’t find foreign objects in your food, I still think it’s a waste of your $8.99.

It used to be called Continental Buffet, until they closed down in June or July. They remodeled the place, and proceeded to remove their Mongolian BBQ station, the sushi station with sushi chefs preparing the piles of nigiri, and even the dim sum. Any hint of freshness to their food was replaced with steam trays and additional seating. The only addition was a fountain drink stand and a soft serve machine. The food looked worse, tasted just as boring, there was a noticeably smaller selection, and the price was the same as before they closed. They just made more room to cram in as many hungry people as they could.

I will only go there again if I feel an extreme need for dieting!

Written by admin

April 7th, 2009 at 3:59 am

Posted in dieting

Latent Pain

without comments

In 2007 I was in great health, but I got comfortable, lazy, and then overworked. At every corner exercise was sacrificed as justification that I could do it tomorrow. I also hurt my back nearly constantly due to having a chair with a messed up back support and going to the golfing driving range often (which was stupid given my character).

In September of 2007 I dropped my wife off at the airport because she was flying out before me and I was literally curled over a cart pushing thing like an old lady. When I got home something made me try my wife’s chair and within a day or two my back went from being brutalized to working normally. Life was well.

Well 2008 is over…and I will remember it as the year I traded in my physical health (and perhaps a bit of my mental health) for material wealth. Throughout the latter half of the year my body simply started breaking down…particularly my back. The back pain from 2007 was from my chair and my stupid golf escapades, but the back pain in 2008 was from a lack of exercise and dramatic weight gain (I could write a book on gaining weight!)

I flew to New York with my wife for a hedge fund conference and our anniversary and in Denver during a layover my back went out. I tried standing up and simply fell to the ground on all 4s. I said “I am fine, don’t worry.” Then I tried getting up and I physically felt (and heard) a disk slip in my back. I was pretty-much laid up for about a week. I luckily was able to hobble down to make my speech and was able to go out for dinner on our anniversary…but I generally let my wife down by taking quasi-vacation time and making it primarily a hotel room only event. 🙁

About 2 weeks ago my wife and I went to Lake Tahoe for a break. The trip was short and rushed…but yet again I managed to throw my back out. Luckily this time I caught it a bit quicker when it first started to spasm…fell to the ground quickly, and then was fairly ginger with it – laying down.

That night I went to an outdoor hot tub. It was hot and presented a nice contrast to the 35 to 50 mile an hour gusts, dropping snow, and 0 degree temperature. I had one of the heat jets point at my back and that helped a lot. By the next morning I felt like my back was almost perfect. Yippie.

But that hot tub is probably why I am now sitting here enjoying the flu (or a really bad cold)! And thinking about that helped me come up with the concept of latent pain. I didn’t end up throwing out my back because I was really active…that was only a symptom. I threw out my back because my weight gain and physical sloth simply stands a good chance of catching up with me whenever I actually am active – latent pain.

A big part of that weight gain was stress from trying to grow too fast…spending too much and then hoping to make enough before tax time comes around…investing about double what I made the year prior into growth…changing my business model to a more time intensive and interactive model without hiring enough staff (dumb)…and building out tons of other websites.

Near the end of the year we almost bought real estate, but it turned out the multi-unit we looked at was a total pile of crap on the inside. I am glad we did not buy it because…

  • real estate offers such limited returns compared to the web
  • real estate prices are still well above historical norms
  • I didn’t want to carry any debt in this economic environment
  • buying with cash would have caused us to spend about all we have (and perhaps part of our tax money, which would have required the float again)
  • the additional stress would have probably been enough to simply break me down and make me quit working so hard and seclude myself from society

Another secret to my dramatic weight gain was that my daily routine did not include exercise (dumb of me) but included a daily pearl drink/boba run…where I would get Jasmine green milk tea with starch tapioca balls in it. Tapioca is all starch, and that strategy was one filled with empty calories.

Different people have different motivations. I think part of what made me work so hard was trying to impress my wife, though I imagine she would have been more impressed if I lived more balanced, worked less, and was not often in pain.

I really despise being compared to others because the ceiling is never high enough. Never do you get compared to a homeless guy and say “hey I am doing pretty good.” I don’t know a single other person that works anywhere near as hard or as long as I do, and I always cringe when we spend our earnings buying overpriced material possessions – you can never keep up with greed and it must be discouraged early and often. Everyone has their own value systems, and none of them justify turning yourself into a slave. I would prefer to be in better shape and my wife would prefer that I spent more time with her.

Worse yet on the material and economic wealth front, at the highest levels of our government are war criminals who confiscate our work via inflation and taxes and give it to bankers who lost trillions of dollars due to utter incompetence, greed, and fraud. It is one thing if I am paying hundreds of thousands in taxes to pay for building a country’s infrastructure, but it is quite another for me to trade in my health to pay interest on war debt and give money to criminals.

We have ok cash flow, ok savings, and really do not need to focus on the economic front…that is not the weakness. The weaknesses are life-balance and physical exercise. I bought an elliptical machine about 6 months ago…hopefully when I get healthy in the next couple days I will finally use it.

Written by admin

December 31st, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Posted in dieting

The Meatrix

without comments

I have always joked about being a meatatarian, though for a period of time when I was a health nut I ate little meat. If one wanted to cut meat consumption (which is something I should want to do at my current weight!) then one of the best things to is watch The Meatrix.

Follow that by reading up on how some Fox investigative reporters were fired for wanting to report on health issues (including cancer) caused by giving cows rBGH.

Written by admin

October 20th, 2008 at 2:17 am

Posted in dieting

How to Overcome Food Addiction – Eating Tips, Help, & Strategy

without comments

Just about every form of illogical or off balanced behavior can be made into a disease to have drugs sold against us to cure us for being human. But it turns out that overweight people tend to “think” that food will be more rewarding than skinny people do. And then when they eat, it turns out to be less fulfilling than expected, which causes them to eat more. This process repeats itself many times with larger food portions needed each time to get the same food “high.” WebMD reports:

“Of course it is a vicious circle,” says Pothos. “A person says, ‘I do not get pleasure from high-energy food, so I am eating even more but getting less pleasure, I don’t know what to do. So obesity and weight gain may result from what we may call addiction to high-energy food.”

The term “addiction” isn’t a metaphor. Stice and Pothos note that the same vicious circle, involving the same brain circuits and the same underlying genetic susceptibility, occurs in people addicted to drugs.

The long-term effect of drug abuse it typically the opposite of the short term influence. If you take a drug that speeds you up then when you are not on it you feel more slowed down, etc. Eventually drug abuse can create a self-fulfilling prophecy which makes the user keep doing more until something happens.*

*That something is usually when the destructive behavior places large social, economic, or legal strains or issues on the individual or people they come in contact with.

Metabolic function also plays a role in obesity, but for some people it is simply harder to stop eating. Weight issues can be driven by either (or both) of them. But if you try improving at both it certainly can’t hurt (has anyone ever went to the hospital for living too healthy?)

What are some potential solutions to offset the over-eating issue?

  1. Over time if we eat healthy our reward circuitry goes back to normal. So the key is to start a pattern/trend of healthy eating that you can stick with.
  2. There are a variety of ways to curb unhealthy eating in the short term, though many of us need different strategies. Here are some options
    • If you feel you overeat to compensate for depression or stress you may want to consider increasing your physical activity level, taking up an art, or taking something that boosts your serotonin levels – like 5-HTP.
    • If you feel you make poor eating choices because you have junk food in the house and/or skip meals then ban junk food and stop skipping meals.
    • If you feel you need a motivational aid to start eating healthy and losing weight, consider changing how you view sugary and/or fattening foods by equating them with toxic poisons that kill you. Maybe that is too dramatic, but you could always watch Supersize Me (only $6 at Amazon) or put a 5 pound block of fat on your desk.

5 pounds of body fat.

Written by admin

October 18th, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Posted in dieting

Another Dieting Blog

without comments

About 4 and a half years ago I created a weight loss blog. Since then I got in great shape, then gained back way more than I lost. My mom runs the old blog, and has been losing weight…but after spending too much time at the computer for the last few years I need to start losing weight again.

It is selfish to be as chubby as I have become and my wife deserves me to be happier and goofier…which I think I am more likely to be if I am in better shape.

Written by admin

September 19th, 2008 at 9:23 am

Posted in dieting