Friday, November 13, 2009

Sheeple Watching - FUPA

The second in a series of random observations and fleeting thoughts that flit through my mind lately whenever I walk about in public and observe the average, brainwashed, indoctrinated and oblivious American Sheeple.

The Definition of Insanity

Most people have heard of the old "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting it to come out different."

The old maxim popped in my head the other day while I was standing in line at the grocery store, watching a FUPA in front of me loading up her purchases onto the checkout stand's conveyor belt.

For those unfamiliar with the term, FUPA stands for Fat Upper Pubic Area. In other words...not typically overweight people, not even obese people...but morbidly obese folks.

And it seems like there are more and more of them everywhere I go.

Now lest you think I'm taking this opportunity to cruelly point the finger of ridicule on the morbidly obese, let me make myself clear: seeing such people makes me sad and angry. I'm NOT engaging in an exercise of cruelly indulging in personal character-diminishing schadenfreude here.

I'm sad and angry that we live in a society and culture for which lies and propaganda propagated for a wide variety of reasons, has resulted in a populace of people that have been slowly poisoning themselves to death on foods under the mistaken notions of what is and what is not a nutritious and healthy diet.

And while I do feel pity at the victims of these lies and propaganda, I still hold people to a standard based on my own values of personal accountability. Which brings me back to my observations of the FUPA lady piling up her assorted grocery choices onto the conveyor belt at the checkout stand and my opening quote about the definition of insanity...

Why can't this lady, like millions of other people out there who are morbidly obese, make the connection between all of the food products she's buying and consuming, and her state of extremely ill health?

Her cart was overflowing with diet cola, fat free frozen "Weight watchers" dinners, fat free dessert cakes and crackers and chips, and fat free yogurt and fat free ice cream, along with meat and produce.

How many years can such people continue to buy and eat this garbage, and see the kind of results that look back at them in the mirror every day? Is it not INSANE?

Take a look at any packaged, processed food item found on the shelves of the grocery store...most of these products have some sort of label indicating "fat free" or "Lite" or "Low Fat."

As I've written extensively on in the past, one of the biggest lies ever promulgated by the giant Food processing industry was the implications via marketing slogans and promotions on their labels that eating "FAT" makes you fat. There are literally thousands of products in grocery stores that all promote this absolute lie.

Hell, you can actually buy ground meat that is CHEAPER because there's more fat in it's content.

And you have people, herded to their grocery stores like sheep, mindlessly buying these products and eating them...thinking they are at least trying to do something about their dreadful health problems associated with morbid obesity...and actually contributing further to their problems.

Than they get desperate and resort to literal modern day butchery procedures like bariatric surgery, to try and fix a problem...rather than actually deal with taking an objective look at their dietary choices and come to the rational conclusion that eating all of this fat free and lite foods ISN'T WORKING!

But I guess the conventional wisdom and current zeitgeist as promoted endlessly by our mass media culture is too powerful a force to overcome.

There's a reason why large scale dairy producers have a vested interest in selling and promoting all of this 'fat free' and 'lite' dairy products: all of the butterfat is the primary ingredient in producing the highest quality ice cream and butter..which of course sells at a premium price.

And what better way to make a fortune off of both ends of the spectrum than to take the fat from the dairy to produce a premium priced dessert foods and taking the leftover, de-fatted, de-flavored, and de-vitalized by-products, add a bunch of sugar and perhaps natural and artificial flavors, and than sell it as health food? And millions of fat and obese people buy this stuff thinking it will help them in their futile battle of the bulge that they are so obviously losing...

The situation here is absolutely ludicrous...I still have a hard time accepting that people are so deluded and brainwashed by marketers and duplicitous government agencies that have colluded with processed food manufacturers and giant agricultural corporations into promulgating such dietary lies, that they are unable to make the connection between their ever expanding waistline and all of that fat free, lite "food" they're buying and eating?

I almost wanted to grab this lady by her shoulders and point to her grocery choices and than point to her FUPA and ask her if she can't figure out why she's buying all of this "health" food and not getting healthy? HELLO?!?!? IS THERE ANYBODY HOME?

It disgusts me.

Worse yet, I cannot be too judgemental, because it was only about 4 years ago that I myself awakened from the blue-pill reality of our matrix-like existence.

I was developing my own unhealthy deposit of belly fat and a double chin while shopping exactly like this lady I was observing.

I was drinking diet soda every day.

Eating "low fat, low sodium" turkey bacon.

Ground Turkey substituted for all of our recipes that called for ground beef...because they were "leaner."

Sustitute sour cream. Fat free yogurt. Substitute sour cream that was "lite." Fat free Coffee Mate "cream." Fat free soy milk instead of real milk. My wife and I were buying and consuming this artificially produced CRAP for YEARS.

I graduated from High School weighing 155 lbs.

Only when I hit 220 lbs. at 32 years of age, and had to begin contemplating buying new clothes to accommodate my expanding waistline, did I finally take a good hard look at my diet and come to the conclusion that something wasn't quite right...I finally asked the questions about the conventional wisdom I had unwittingly followed for years:

What if it had all been a big fat lie?


Silas Reinagel said...

That link at the end of this blog is quite eye-opening.

While I've never personally worried about my weight or put excessive thought into figuring out my diet, reading all of this stuff now definitely will help me to make properly informed dietary choices once I reach middle age (and before, of course). Additionally, having a solid article like that is great for helping show others where they've been deceived.

Aaron B. said...

It's a wonder the FUPA had any meat and vegetables in her cart at all. Usually the really huge ones end up subsisting on almost nothing but carbs, because that's what their climbing insulin levels demand, and proteins and fats fill you up too quickly to really pack in the calories fast the way you can with simple carbs.

If people like that NY Times article by Gary Taubes, they should check out a couple of his talks on YouTube, and ideally read his book. He blows the conventional wisdom away with piles and piles of evidence.

luvsic said...

Can you provide an example of common staples of your diet?

Keoni Galt said...

Fat. Lots of wholesome, saturated fat.

Grade A butter.
Whole Milk Organic Yogurt.
I cook everything either in saved bacon grease or butter, or Extra virgin oils: coconut or Macadamia Nut...and use Walnut and Olive oils for salad dressings.

Also eat lots of protein, with the fat/grease in it. For instance, when I cook bacon or sausage, I don't try to absorb all the grease on a paper towel like a lot of folks do. I leave it on there. More flavor, more filling.

Oh, and a whole lot of fatty nuts like walnuts, pecans, macadamias, almonds, etc...always dry roasted.

And lots of vegetables - and a little starchy vegetables. I limit the potatoes, rice and other starchy carbs...but eat lots of fiborous/deep greens like broccoli, zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, etc.

And a little fruit for dessert. Once in awhile I'll eat some dark chocolate, but other than that, I've cut the sugar almost completely out of my diet.

In short, I've basically adopted a loose version of the "Primal Diet."

Pete Patriarch said...

You've hit the nail on the head here hawaiian. I myself have been on a high protein diet since last year and it has done wonders for my body composition. Although after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, I wonder how much of the blame goes to the food processing industry. Even a Zone Perfect High Protein snack bar is still a highly-processed snack bar.

Keoni Galt said...

Long time no see, Pete!

TheNakedArab said...

Have you seen "Food Inc."? Goes into what you are saying. Also, "The Informant" with Matt Damon centers on Monsanto, which is the huge soybean/corn conglomerate they discuss at length in Food Inc.

Pete Patriarch said...

Yeah, it's been long enough, man. Thanks for the welcome!

Hestia said...

Your diet sounds like ours. Eating this way was a taste bud adjustment at first, but now I could never go back to the processed foods I ate in the past. The food not only taste good but is enjoyable to prepare as well. Chopping veggies, kneading sourdough bread & shaping loaves, roasting beef bones to make stock, and picking berries right off the bush are all parts of my life I've come to enjoy immensely and joys I would have never discovered had my eyes not been opened about food.

Hestia said...

P.S. have you ever tried coconut flour? A friend recommended this flour to me, as it's gluten free and low carb and we've really enjoyed it. Coconut flour can be used in all sorts of baked goods, as well as savory foods like meatballs. The recipes require a good deal of eggs though, as without gluten the flour needs a binder of some sort. If you might be able to get your hands on some, you might enjoy it, KG.

Anonymous said...

I was eating a lot of chicken and hitting the gym about three times a week about five months ago. I got to 110 kg and said to myself, "Some of this is muscle, but too much is flab. What is my problem?"

The only high-quality meat I could get was stir-fried chicken. I cut it out and I eat whole boiled eggs, protein powder, and fruit. I do cardio five times a week and just a little lifting. Somewhere along the line I stopped eating rice and beans - tastes great, but too many calories.

Now, five or six months later, I'm 82 kg. I haven't gained any strength, but my cardio endurance seems to have increased a bit. Was it worth losing the muscle mass? I don't know. I can lift the same amount. My face looks skinny. I'm a de facto vegetarian (assuming that eggs aren't meat). Everybody tells me that I look thinner.

Yeah, I could get desperate and try cooking at home, but even the time it takes to boil a bunch of eggs is really more time than I like to spend.

This week, I'm going to experiment with eating six boiled eggs a day instead of five. We'll see how it goes.

I encourage everyone to eat high-protein, high-vitamin, high-fat foods such as boiled eggs. I would eat more fatty foods (such as olive oil) if I could get decent quality, but for the moment, eggs are the most affordable - $0.134 USD per egg. I can live with that price for high-quality protein. Meat ... might be too expensive for me.

Anonymous said...

Just two observations about fat people. I think people over eat because they are unhappy and bored. This is hardly a new insight but I do think it explains more that thinking people don't know what they are doing.

Also women are greedy. They really are. They are addicted to endless instant pleasure and the idea of self restraint is alien to their thinking.

Onasendai said...

I think the biggest problem towards individual food health is the fact that people have no real grasp on what to eat. A few of the commentators brought up "Food Inc" and "The Omnivores Dilemma". Until I had read those two books I had no idea what high fructose corn syrup was or what the long term affects of it usage are. Another problem I see is that some people actually don't value the time that actual cooking takes. I wish I could count on one hand the people I know who's freezers aren't filled with lean cuisine, digorno's pizza, or some other garbage meal. It all comes down to realising that you definitely are what you eat.

Anonymous said...

See also the comedy-documentary "Fat Head".

dienw said...

This is one reason a person needs to locate an independent butcher in his neighborhood. I grew up eating meat that came from a German butcher; and I have lived in a town for the last twelve years that has a German butcher which I purchase all my meats.

G said...

Who is aware of the PALEOLITHIC DIET ?
It is based on evolutionnary principles, wich seems very interesting...

Kamal S. said...

I also love butter, though Indian style Ghee is better. Hard to find unless you have an immigrant community nearby. Coconut Oil is pretty good. I distrust plastic bottles, if I can find it in glass then I buy it.

The "Paleolithic diet" interests me. Some things caused me to loose a good deal of the chub I carried around for a while, while making me more vibrant.

-Intermittent fasting. I grew up with yearly lengthy religious fasts. Some years ago it dawned on me that there may be physical health benefits (beyond moral discipline, and an aid to contemplation) I ran into Ori Hofmekler's book "The Warrior Diet" it began to click. His ideas resonated with what I experienced doing religious fasts, but brought some science to the table. I realized much of what I thought of as old religious and cultural habits had real health benefits, reflecting a more primal, less artificial age. Our ancestors adapted to consuming specific foods, and dealing with feast and famine cycles.

Hofmekler's research made me take up regular short term fasts, back in 2004. It worked well enough, but I improperly understood some concepts. I did enjoy under eating during the day, and eating a balanced meal at night. It felt like an echo of the feeling I imagined was my birthright.

Last year I ran into some blogs on Primal "Paleolithic" eating and exercise. I discovered Brad Pilion's "Eat stop Eat" - putting in layman’s terms concepts behind intermittent fasting that I previously missed, when reading Hofmekler. Here, it all came together.

I combined the concepts. Abandoned my vegetarian diet, ate more fruits with a low glycemic index, leafy greens, meat, fish, nuts, eggs, and some roots/tubers. I periodically fasted 24 hours. An easy thing: just eat one one arbitrary meal a day: say a late lunch or early dinner. Eat nothing else until the same meal time the next day. I cut most grains. (Kept a bit of oatmeal now and then) while lightly eating in daytime, on non-fast days. I took a larger meal at night. Cut, were most beans/legumes (including peanuts), and most dairy (I love cheese). This mimicked, for a sedentary Westerner in the 21st century, an archaic diet.

My hunger pangs vanished with time, I realzied they were just conditioned. I felt disciplined vital and powerful. In control of my instincts.
You will not go into a starvation mode, there are many studies out there on this, you may very well feel more vital.

I added a daily hour long walk, and some weight resistance training (bench press, dead lift, and squat) with non sissy weights. And do a few 20-30 second sprints every couple of days followed by a walk. Walking is key, daily or every other day, for an hour (or even a half). It works for me - I'm flat footed and have a slightly sketchy knee. Walks put me in a philosophic mindset. I eat clean food - if Organic stretches your budget then clean your veggies religiously.

When at home I just used heavy dumbbells, for shoulder presses, some curls, and body squats. Throw in one or two pull ups in the morning on your door frame, and try to get a couple of weight bearing workouts at a gym or home twice a week. Sleep at least 6 hours a night, more if you can.

With PATIENCE and determination, in the last 6 months I've not only tightened up my frame, but feel much better. Start light, cultivate a good form, slowly but progressively add weight to the bar. Others see the differences more than I do, I still see a modest figure. But recently I've started getting complements, and middle age women have started awkwardly hitting on me during my walks, which is rather peculiar... though flattering.

It is naive to think for a moment that those industries foisting toxic crap on us, from childhood up, have no idea of the effects, nor that there were not overarching matters of social engineering at play beyond than simple pure profit. Have I proof? No. Inductive reasoning on abounding circumstantial evidence suggests many possibilities, including this one.

Keoni Galt said...

Have I proof? No. Inductive reasoning on abounding circumstantial evidence suggests many possibilities, including this one.

I'm in the same boat Kamal. In fact, it was my questioning of the conventional wisdom of diet and nutrition that inevitably lead me to question EVERYTHING I had been inculcated with in today's Brave New World Order.

John Smith said...

reminds me of my job at a grocery store in college, all the unhealthy food that qualified for purchase with working people's tax dollars, all b/c of food can buy CANDY and GUM with food stamps.....