Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jump Around

207.4lbs. I think 205lbs will be my bitch this week, I think. No time to get cocky.

There is a dark side to losing weight and it's not the kind of dark side where Darth Vader cuts you in half if you don't follow your diet (Yay! I just lost half my weight!). The dark side of which I speak is a bit different. It's the suspicion (cue ominous descending chords). I have never encountered suspicion until now (more ominous music - note: the italics further make the point, don't you agree?).

I have had this happen twice so far and the most recent occurrence happened last night. My neighbors who used to live across the street and who were renting out their old house showed up because yet another tenant had screwed them over. I feel sorry for them because they are such a nice couple and they just have the worst run of luck when it comes to renters. Anyway, my old neighbor Kim said, "It looks like you have lost some weight." The printed word does no justice to that last sentence. It was not said with a curious tone but a suspicious one; one that said, "So? On meth now or is it coke?" I don't think she truly meant to say it that way but it did make me do an odd thing, I quickly brushed over it with a quick response and a change of subject.

Now I could have simply said, "Why yes I have lost weight and this whole regimen I am on really really works." I could have then went into the whole explanation of what I am doing since Kim probably deserved more of a response than "Yep". But I also know where she is coming for because we know each other fairly well, people losing weight in her life have not been a good thing. For Kim, without reading too much into it or telling tales out of school, quick weight loss is the canary in the proverbial coal mine.

Was I somehow ashamed of my weight loss? Well, sort of. I felt guilty that it has been this easy so far. I really have put very little effort into the whole thing and I know my friend Kim has struggled with her own weight issues and has done exercise and some very extreme diets in the past. So I would feel awful saying, "Yeah, I have just done this thing for several weeks where I ate like a pig and lost a lot of weight." One particular thing about that, I won't recommended this thing I am doing offhand to someone I am not very close to. It's the equivalent, in my mind, of saying, "Hey fat ass, try this!"

What I wonder is why aren't we just as suspicious when people gain weight? It might be that gaining weight has nothing to do with drugs even though that thought is a fallacy of epic proportions. It all depends on your drug of choice or your physician's whether you gain or lose weight. Steroidal treatments will most certainly pack on the pounds. Certain drugs prescribed for mental disorders can cause weight loss or weight gain. It's interesting to think that there might just as big a social stigma against losing weight too quickly as there is being obese. Luckily everyone in my office seems to know what is going on, they have to endure the smell of cheap balsamic once a day.


GLUT-4. I know I have mentioned this once before without providing much detail. But as I thought back about a grade school gym class I once had it made me want to revisit the subject. Does anyone else here remember having a thing called isometrics in gym class? Well I do and I really thought it was stupid at the time. Why am I doing a push up standing up against a wall? Why am I jumping from a crouched position? The gym teacher declared: isometrics! The same bastard who made us do crab soccer and play tackle football in a gravel lot never mentioned that it would be really really good for us. Then again, in his defense, he probably knew nothing about GLUT-4 transport - isometrics just seemed like a really healthy idea at the time.

So what the hell is GLUT-4? Well the short version is this: it is a gene that can be switched on and off to transport glucose into the muscles where it is used. More specifically, when you do short burst of isometrics before eating something that contains glucose, you flip the GLUT-4 gene on and allows your muscles to consume the glucose. Normally, your body will try to store this glucose as fat. It was long thought that several days of exercise was what prompted this important gene to engage and start feeding your muscles with energy to burn. But we are talking about doing as little as possible to achieve maximum effect. Do 60 seconds of isometrics before your next meal and you will thank me (and Tim Ferriss - 4-Hour Body). It's sort of interesting to think that you can switch a gene on and off. In the end, you are the best genetic engineer you know.

"Word to your moms I came to drop bombs, I got more rhymes than the Bible's got Psalms"


  1. I've long had a theory that one of the reasons Mike Johnson has stayed fairly muscular and thin (aside from the more ominous, obvious reasons for the thiness), is his insistance on constantly sucking in his gut and puffing out his chest. He walks around constantly flexing. Sort of his own version of isometrics without even knowing it. Try it. It is actually very tiring. Your muscles will feel it. Weird. 'Course who knows what that does for your health, since you're never in a 'relaxed' state. :-)

  2. I was reading a an article last week on this constant tension type of training. Besides all the weird references to punching people in the butt, it made some sound points. A lot of hardcore military and martial arts training is focused around using your muscles as armor. A tense muscle suffers far less damage than a relaxed one which I find interesting (not to mention it protects internal organs and other soft tissue). Houdini was able to do this sort of thing and was very fit most of his life until that one time he wasn't tensed up and was socked in the gut. That was the end of Houdini.