Sep 262010
 
Authors:

I’m fat. Clinically obese in fact. Now, I’m not as overweight as I once was and not as overweight as I could be. But I am overweight.

I am not a big proponent of discriminating based on appearance, whether for race, weight or attractiveness, but reality dictates otherwise and I personally believe the time has come to recognize it.

Quick disclaimer: while it is somewhat true money can’t buy happiness, money can and does purchase attractiveness. If you are either overweight or unattractive, make yourself independently wealthy and you can disregard everything that follows.

C.C. Deville, guitarist for 80s hair-metal band Poison, gained a significant amount of weight after kicking a heroin addiction. He expressed amazement in an interview once at how much more socially acceptable it was to be a heroin addict than obese. I found the comment amusing, but also profoundly true.

I am not saying obese or unattractive people cannot be happy, not by any means, but the reality is most people find ‘fit’ attractive. Notice I said fit, not skinny. There is a significant difference.

CSU is trying to help.

Loren Cordain, professor of health and exercise science, is one of the world’s foremost experts in the “Paleo Diet.”

As I struggled with my weight in the past, all the advice I received was the popular belief all I had to do was create a calorie-deficiency and run harder. In short, “eat less, move more.”

But Cordain and his fellow-Paleo researchers have come to a different view. Our bodies are poorly designed to consume a diet as high in grain, dairy and sugar as the contemporary western diet.

This will come as a surprise to few of you, but the federal government of this fine country bears direct responsibility for the obesity epidemic they seem so concerned with fixing.

The USDA Food Guide pyramid is not based on what dieticians, doctors, physiologists or scientists believe you should eat. The pyramid is a reflection of which crop subsidies the government pays and how powerful the individual lobbies have become.

I point out the pyramid recommends 6 to 10 servings of grain daily. This means you would have to eat between 12 and 20 slices of bread to meet government recommendations.

Eliminate dairy, grain and sugar from the USDA Food Guide pyramid. What’s left: fruits, vegetables, meat, seeds and nuts, and fat. Everything you were told about a diet high in fat making you fat? Lies.

Take your diet back to the American diet pre-20th century. The list reads like PETA’s worst nightmare: eggs, bacon, game meat, fish, seeds and nuts, vegetables and some fruit. Nowhere near the amount of bread, sugar and dairy we consume today.

So what’s the problem? Well, usually when an addict is trying to make healthier decisions, they eliminate the source of their addiction. When we eat grains, sugar and dairy, the body’s blood sugar increases, triggering the release of insulin.

Insulin then moves sugar to the muscles and fat for storage. The more you eat of those three things without working out enough to create a caloric deficiency, the fatter you get.

Eventually the body develops an addiction to this response. Twelve years after you graduate high school you find yourself overweight, single and turning to something far less healthy than alcohol or recreational drugs: food.

However, I’m learning. After a 30-day commitment to strict Paleo this summer, I found myself 30 pounds lighter.

Seek information countering government suggestion. It won’t work universally, but in general, you’ll be better off.

In the meantime, if you’re overweight or worse, try to kick your addiction. Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.

I’m not there yet, but thanks to people like Cordain questioning and researching conventional wisdom, I have a better shot.

If you find yourself overweight, look into Paleo. It is not a gimmick; it is not a fad. Above all else, take responsibility to change the way you look and feel. Now that you’re informed, you have no excuse.

The hot girl or guy you like will pay much more attention to you if you’re fit. I promise.

Seth Stern is a senior journalism major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

 Posted by at 3:02 pm

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