Fat people with diet books

March 16, 2014 by Joshua
in Fitness

I see nothing wrong with someone being fat, despite popular conception. Take Mario Batali, for example. He knows a lot about food and I presume about nutrition and something about health. As best I can tell, he loves eating and consciously and deliberately lives a lifestyle that makes him fat. I don’t know him, but I presume he’s happy with his choices. If so, I respect him.

Fat people with diet books seem like something else. I think diet books sell better than any other. And fat people outnumber non-fat people in this country. So there must be a lot fat people with diet books.

That implies a lot of people with conflict between their their intent and behavior. That’s a problem. I read once that reading diet books correlates with obesity. Maybe reading them contributes to obesity, which wouldn’t surprise me, since many of those books are about food and eating, which probably makes people think about eating.

Anyway, I’m thinking about fat people with diet books because my discussions about SIDCHAs led me to review a page called lift.do and the app attached to it. A friend uses it and says he likes using the app, which he says helps him do SIDCHA-like things. I asked him what and he listed around ten things. He finished some of them but most he didn’t. I was talking to him about creating a web site around SIDCHAs. The conversation led to conceive of a service that ended up just like lift.do. At first I thought someone beat me to the punch, but the more I thought of the service, the more I realized it was closer to the opposite of SIDCHAs.

The site gives you lots of options of things to do and helps motivate you to do them. It pairs you with others, sends email reminders, and so on. At first it seems helpful. The more I thought about it, the more contrary to the concept of SIDCHAs it seemed. Saying you need help with an activity implies it isn’t inherently rewarding. Ultimately, like if diet books contribute to obesity, that service seems to discourage those activities. Or to get people to look at them like dilettantes, sampling a bit here and there without making them parts of your life.

Actually, I have nothing against dilettantes either, except if people confuse sampling things with long-term change. I jumped out of airplanes a couple times and I enjoyed the experience. It doesn’t make me a different person any more than making yourself fit for a month before returning to a lifestyle that makes you unfit makes you fit.

SIDCHAs are different. They aren’t about encouraging you to do something. They are about doing something. Lift.do had a long section on how to meditate. SIDCHAs say if you want to meditate start with the activity. That’s it. End of story. Sit still for a period of time every day. Worried you might do it wrong? Then sitting there every day getting bored or worrying if you’re doing it wrong will lead you to learn about it. Between the internet and library, you have effectively infinite resources to learn how to do it better. The important thing is the activity and regularly doing it, not new resources to learn from. Like what I wrote yesterday

Also, having a smörgåsbord of habits seems counterproductive too, especially presented as short-term. They look like fad diets that promote obesity. SIDCHAs are about doing a small number of things regularly and long-term. You don’t have to make a big deal of them, though if yours benefit you like, say, my burpees do me, you might, like I do. The benefits most of the activities lift.do imply they’ll give—perfect abs, fit bodies, speaking other languages, etc—come from discipline and regular behavior, not sampling this or that while distracted to do yet other things.

At first I was discouraged to see someone created the web page I was thinking of for SIDCHAs, but on critically thinking about it, I’m more encouraged than ever and glad I didn’t pursue that direction. I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I don’t like it for myself. It reminds me too much of fat people with diet books.

Read my weekly newsletter

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

1 response to “Fat people with diet books

  1. Pingback: "You haven't even failed" - Joshua Spodek

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter