Your guide to the dozens of fruity flavors of feminism

Perhaps you’ve heard of the various waves of feminism.  For your convenience, these are:

  • First wave:  These ones were pretty moderate, and notable for being the last feminists who were really interested in equality.
  • Second wave:  Feminism was coopted by cultural Marxism and became a hate group.
  • Third wave:  They saw how nutty second-wave feminism was and tried to be less nutty, with very spotty results.
  • Fourth wave:  Feminists glued to their iPhones, barely distinguishable from Social Justice Warriors.

Actually, they might as well have stopped with the second wave, because after that, they all sounded pretty much the same.

Even so, that just scratches the surface of the multiplicity of their various kooky sects.  On the sidebar for the feminism article on Wikipedia – the Source of All Human Knowledge (snicker) – dozens of variants are listed.  Confused yet?  I’m here to help you out.  I read through all those dreary articles so you don’t have to.  First I’ll get the particularist forms out of the way, then all the others.

Racial feminism

  • Black:  Feminism with a side of sweet potato pie.
  • Chicana:  They love tortillas.
  • Indigenous:  The natives are getting restless.
  • Native American:  Squaw wantum be chief.
  • Womanism:  Like Black feminism, but somehow different.
  • Womanism (Africana):  More redundancy.

Religious feminism

  • Buddhist:  Does Bella Abzug have Buddha nature?
  • Christian:  Jesus loves Andrea Dworkin, because nobody else does.
  • Neopagan:  They love to sing the “Isis Astarte” song.
  • Neopagan (Dianic Wicca):  Neopagan feminists are orthodox, Dianics are extra-crispy.
  • Neopagan (Reclaiming):  Mixing religion and politics is awesome, as long as it’s not the right-wingers doing that.
  • Hindu:  Men should be required to wear the dots too!
  • Islamic:  They certainly have their work cut out for them.
  • Jewish:  (((They))) sure seem to be pretty influential.
  • Orthodox Jewish:  Can we finally quit using the hole in the sheet, already?
  • Mormon:  We demand magic underwear that’s fashionable!
  • Sikh:  If women can’t have turbans too, then nobody can!

All others

  • Amazon:  Xena for the win!  Yes, really.
  • Analytical:  They have a philosophical focus, therefore can form coherent arguments, unlike almost everyone else.
  • Anarchist:  Silliness and more silliness.
  • Anti-pornography:  Fighting the 21st Century’s great time-waster.
  • Anti-prostitution feminism:  Fifty IQ points higher than “Pro-sex worker” feminism.
  • Atheist:  Better not chat one up in an elevator!
  • Conservative:  Proof that unicorns do exist.
  • Cultural:  They believe in the existence of a feminine nature, making them more sensible than most here.
  • Cyber:  Are you ready to be plugged into The Matrix?
  • Democratic Confederalism:  Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten…
  • Difference:  They’ve concluded that men and women aren’t the same, and the difference is that men suck.
  • Eco:  Don’t burn your bras; recycle them!
  • Eco (Vegetarian):  They frequently suffer from tofu overdoses.
  • Equality:  This is what most people think feminism is.  The reality is they haven’t existed since the 1950s.
  • Fat:  This is feminism with lots of pizza and coffee-flavored milkshakes.
  • French:  Elles sont folles.
  • French post-structuralistIntellectuelles à la noix.
  • Gender:  These ones are reincarnated harpies, evil on a stick, frequently indoctrinating college students.
  • Global:  Same as transnational feminism, but somehow different.
  • Hip-hop:  They like rap music.
  • Hip hop:  They don’t like rap music or dashes.
  • Individualist:  Independent-minded thinkers somehow clinging to feminist ideology which promotes us-versus-them mentality.
  • Labor:  For all those ladies in steel mills and coal mines.
  • Lesbian:  Good only if they make exceptions, otherwise thanks for nothing.
  • Liberal:  Show me a feminist who isn’t.
  • Liberal (Equity):  Same as equality feminism, straight from the Department of Redundancy Department.
  • Lipstick:  Some feminists are kind of cute.  Who knew?
  • Marxist:  Followers of two bankrupt philosophies.
  • Material:  These girls are Madonna fans.
  • Maternal:  Recognizes the nurturing side of femininity, from the days of yore when feminism wasn’t a hate group.
  • Neo:  They fight Agent Smith in the Matrix, and totally kick ass because they’re strong, empowered women.
  • New:  A moderate, realistic position which of course hasn’t been seen for eighty years, so not quite new then.
  • Post:  Feminists who’ve discovered that feminists are fruitcakes.
  • Postcolonial:  Same as global feminism, but somehow different.
  • Postmodern:  Gender is only a social construct, yada yada yada.
  • Pro-life:  Do they even exist?
  • Pro-sex worker:  Exploitation is awesome!
  • Post-structural:  Nutty intellectuals.
  • Radical:  Q) How many radical feminists does it take to change a light bulb?  A) One, and that’s not funny!!!
  • Radical lesbian:  Six inch strapons, twelve inch chips on their shoulders.
  • Separatist:  We want to live apart from men, but first we need robots to open jars and parallel park cars.
  • Sex-positive:  All aboard the carousel!
  • Social:  Moderates who don’t exist any more, like most moderates.
  • Socialist:  Ladies, let’s produce more coal to fulfill the Five Year Plan!  Hey, why is everyone leaving?
  • Standpoint:  Marxists who have a problem with objective reality.  This is pointless.
  • Third world:  Same as postcolonial feminism, but somehow different.
  • Trans:  Either crazy or the new normal, depending on whether you’re using the DSM4 or the DSM5.
  • Transnational:  Same as global feminism, but somehow different.

But wait!  There’s more!

There are other varieties listed on the main article, and elsewhere:  structuralist feminism, New Age feminism, cyborg feminism (yes, really!), LGBT feminism (where are they getting the “G” from then?), pacifist feminism, intersectional feminism (rolling up all leftist grievances into a big burrito). working class feminism, and Asian American feminism which apparently isn’t important enough to merit its own page.  My only question is, when are we going to get Smurf feminism?  Can you imagine how overworked Smurfette is making sandwiches for 100 other Smurfs?

The movements and ideologies page has a single sentence for the “Criticism” section, stating:

According to Linda Zerilli and Donna Haraway, “‘taxonomies’ of feminism … can create artificial dichotomies between feminist discourses that seriously impede constructive political debates about subjectivity for women.”

Well, who ever said feminism these days has anything to do with being constructive?

Your guide to the dozens of fruity flavors of feminism

The ugly American’s guide to the world

Trigger warning (hee hee):  if you’re offended by national stereotypes – probably including of your own country – then you might not want to read this.

It’s unfortunate that so many Americans are surprisingly ignorant about the world abroad.  To foster international understanding, cultural enrichment, and appreciation for the wonderful diversity surrounding us, I’m presenting a primer to help educate my fellow citizens about all that the world has to offer.  Hopefully this will help to bring about global awareness and enlightenment.

Africa – I’m afraid there’s been an unexpected holdup on your $25 million dollar remittance

North of the Sahara, it’s all Arabs.  Technically they’re not Arabs, but they all look like Arabs, dress like Arabs, speak Arabic, and pray toward Mecca five times a day.  So yeah, Arabs.  Egypt is by far the coolest place in Africa, because of all the things they built before they turned into Arabs.  South of the Sahara is the birthplace of humanity.  Technology has been slow to take hold there, since the natives are too busy with voodoo, picking coconuts, and getting eaten by lions.  The only large demographic owning computers are “419” fraudsters in Nigeria – the folks who email you promising millions of dollars, but first they need a small wire transfer to cover the “modalities”.  Other than that, Robert Mugabe owns a computer too, but all that Zimbabwe’s President-For-Life uses it for is spanking off to midget porn.

Australia – The home of Vegemite, the Food of the Gods

They’re the same as the British, except that they’re not all uptight.  Be careful in the countryside, since all their wildlife is venomous.  Even the kangaroos shoot poison darts.  They don’t let criminals visit the country, so don’t even think about buying that plane ticket if you have a record.  That’s pretty weird, since all their ancestors were pickpockets.  The sole exceptions are the aborigines, who are famous for inventing the boomerang and nothing else.

The People’s Democratic Republic of Canada – It’s aboot time that Calgary won the Stanley Cup, eh?

Most of them are decent folks.  Their austere environment – living in igloos and being hunted by grizzly bears – provides a healthy perspective.  They don’t use cyber-porn, because they have hockey.  They always make love doggie style, so they can both watch the game.  They invented the Sno-Cone, as an effort to deal with the surplus of their country’s most important natural resource.

China – Ni hao, xie xie

They have oodles of history here, going back 5000 years.  The bad news for travelers is that the language barrier is steep.  In fact, it’s pretty much a brick wall.  (The Chinese have lots of experience with walls; they built one to keep out barbarians thousands of years before Donald Trump came up with that idea.)  The good news is that these guys are smart.  They, the Japanese, and the Koreans might one day be the last intelligent people on earth a few centuries from now, the way things are going.

Europe – It’s the final countdown

Their English is usually pretty good, so it’s easy to forgive them for talking funny.  In fact, sometimes it’s kind of cute.  On occasion, they might get a little snippy, but that’s because they’re eager to get back to watching their soccer game, which they call “football” for some odd reason.  If you ever get the chance to visit, don’t drink the beer or you’ll never like American swill again.  The coolest country there is Iceland, the world’s number one exporter of Popsicles.  Also – word to the wise – the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, and get your Eiffel Tower lift tickets in advance.  Visit soon, because their politicians sold them out, and they’re turning into Arabs just like what happened with North Africa.

India – the international poster child for birth control

This was an awesome place a couple thousand years ago, leaving you to wonder what the hell happened.  They’re one of the most overpopulated places in the world; their national pastime must be sex.  A few do speak English, though most have a very limited vocabulary and talk like they have marbles stuffed in their mouths.  The British ruled them for 150 years and that’s the best they can do?  Many corporations have “offshored” their call centers there, which is a brilliant make-work program for the least competent of India’s society.  They should stick to things they’re good at, like taxis, motels, and gas stations.  They’re also the pushiest culture on earth.  Custer went after the wrong Indians, and talking to one of their call centers will make you hope Pakistan pushes the button soon.

Israel – your tax dollars at work

This country has lots of interesting sightseeing.  Israel isn’t all about spying, Ecstasy labs, and white slavery – who knew?  They’ll have a fairly thick accent, but their English fluency is good.  Unfortunately, they’re remarkably pushy.  Even so, these chutzpahniks are actually pleasant to deal with compared to Indians.

Japan – The birthplace of tentacle porn

The Land of the Rising Sun was once known for fierce warriors, and now it’s known for Pokemon.  Still, do not ever get into a bar fight with these guys; all of them have been studying karate since they were in diapers.  Other than that, this is the one place in East Asia where dog is not on the menu.

Latin America – Una mas cerveza, por favor

They usually don’t speak English very well, but it’s not insurmountable; knowing some Tex-Mex will help.  The weirdest part is their mailing addresses, which are usually something like “go down the main road, turn right at the big rock, and go 25 kilometers”.  This is where the world’s dope comes from, and coffee too, proving that coffee is a narcotic.  They have some awesome beaches and resorts.  If you go elsewhere, though, you’ll probably get kidnapped, shot by gangsters, or have your kidneys stolen in a hotel.

North Korea – Nork, nork, nork, nork…

The place is a starving Communist theme park.  Their Dear Leader eats half their food supply.  This kid’s so porky that Hillary could beat him in a 25 yard dash.  The mass of his ass creates a gravitational disturbance threatening Earth’s orbit.  His side job is starring in midget porn for Robert Mugabe.  The one good thing about North Korea is that we could ship all our Social Justice Warriors there, where they’d fit in.

Russia – Khuyim grushii akalachivayu

The women are breathtakingly beautiful.  The one good thing that Internet porn has done is to dispel the “Olga” stereotype.  As for the men, they’re pretty sour and drink a lot.  It’s hard to blame them; after the promise of freedom in the 1990s, financial whiz kids sold them a disastrous “recovery” scheme which caused massive hyperinflation and allowed wealthy globalists to buy their industry for kopecks on the ruble, leading to rule by oligarchs just as planned.  I’d be pissed off about it too.  Hopefully, one of these days Putin will get around to stringing these oligarchs up under lampposts.  They have the same bear problem as Canada, though the Russians can duke it out with these critters on even terms; vodka helps, and so does not being bitches.

USA – Team America, fuck yeah!

Now I’ll give some helpful notes for tourists abroad coming to the USA.  The economy sucks because our President is only good at reading from a teleprompter.  Our beer’s quality leaves much to be desired; you’ve been warned.  Don’t bother trying to date our women.  Feminism has made them so grouchy that all the men gave them up for cyber-porn.  Don’t visit longer than three months.  Overstaying your visa isn’t a big deal; that’s basically handled like getting a traffic ticket.  The real problem is that you’ll gain a few kilos a month from the junk food, our native cuisine.  We only speak English, but if you know Spanish, all you have to do is press 2 whenever you make a phone call.

The ugly American’s guide to the world

My Return of Kings postings

For benefit of my WordPress audience, here are my writings on Return of Kings.  Although I could repost them here, they look great there already.  To me, getting published on RoK was an achievement like getting into the New York Times.  The difference is that NYT – or any other mass media publication – certainly wouldn’t touch my political tirades.  Here are my RoK articles are thus far:

Actually, Stefan Molyneux made some videos about some of those I skewered with “The Ugly Truth Of Leftist ‘Heroes'”:

Anyway, enjoy if you like my political writings.

My Return of Kings postings

Fitness and diet, part 4 (final)

Here are some excerpts from my book Righteous Seduction, which I’m posting in serial form.  I’m presenting this to you for free, because this information is valuable to the public.  Being fit and healthy is a good thing; being better-looking is a cool side effect.

Again, the disclaimer:  This book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians.  You should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to your health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

Pitfalls of diets

One thing to remember is persistence.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  You didn’t pork out overnight, and you won’t get the body of a Greek statue overnight either.  Slow and steady wins the race here.  Not sticking to it is a big problem for a lot of people.  It goes about like this:

  1. Chubby Bubba plans a diet 1000 calories below daily maintenance
  2. At the end of the week, he weighs in and realizes he’s only lost two measly pounds
  3. He gets depressed because of the negligible progress after a week of sacrifice
  4. He says “hell with it” and eats a dozen Big Macs
  5. Now Bubba is right back where he started and decides he’d better get serious about it
  6. GOTO 1

If he had stuck to it for a year, he’d be a skinny Bubba, down 104 pounds!  Having moderate goals is a way to avoid this.  If a 1000 calorie per day deficit drives you up the wall, then pick something less ambitious if it will help you stick to it.

Here’s a negative feedback loop to avoid:

  1. You eat a donut and then feel guilty because you just ate junk food
  2. You eat another donut to shut up the guilt feelings – since you’ve already cheated your diet, one more won’t be so bad, will it?
  3. GOTO 1

So what happens if you cheat on your diet?  Don’t say “hell with it” and dive into more cheat food, thinking that it’s hopeless.  Instead, hit the gym!  If you’ve been dieting a while, you’ll be feeling a bit depleted, but this time you’ll have some extra energy for your workout to burn off.   Hit the weights hard.

Also, beware of the “tomorrow” diet.  Saint Augustine would pray, “Lord, give me chastity, just not yet.”  (I can imagine Jesus up in the clouds, groaning and doing a facepalm whenever He heard that one!)  Translated to dietary terms, this means “I’ll start my diet tomorrow.”  Nope, ain’t gonna work.  Pick a date and stick to it, because mañana won’t get there.  Better yet, start today.

One more peril is the yo-yo diet.  It goes like this:

  1. Lose 20 pounds over a few months
  2. Celebrate with a huge meal of all the goodies you couldn’t eat before
  3. Nom nom nom over a few months
  4. Oh shit, now you’re 10 pounds heavier than you started!
  5. GOTO 1

Here’s a factor that can make the yo-yo diet quite destructive.  When you’re dieting, your caloric requirements start lowering to compensate for your reduced intake.  The body is good at that; these metabolic adjustments helped us survive ancient famines.  Remember that if you cut the calories down too far, your body scavenges protein from your muscles to keep yourself running.  That lowers the number of calories you burn on a daily basis just by being alive (in scientific terms, the resting metabolic rate), as well as making you weaker.  Here’s how it can go.

  1. You notice that you’ve been putting on weight.
  2. You figure out that you’ve been eating 2800 calories a day on average.
  3. You look at a chart and determine that your normal caloric requirement is 2400 calories a day.
  4. You overreact and go on a dangerous crash diet of 800 calories a day.
  5. After being on that crash diet too long and not getting enough protein, you burn off muscle tissue and your daily caloric requirement becomes 2000 calories a day.
  6. After reaching your goal weight, you start eating 2400 calories a day
  7. You’re putting on weight again – surprise!
  8. GOTO 1

One reason people go on crazy crash diets is because they want to see results fast.  Still, the better thing to do is go with a modest caloric deficit, then transition to a maintenance level of calories, which will be lower than when you were porking out.

How to do it right

One tends to lose a little muscle on a regular diet.  Overdoing it makes it far worse, because you’re not getting enough protein.  (Hint:  Get enough protein, and don’t overdo things.)  High-protein crash diets do exist – the protein sparing modified fast – but they must be medically supervised.  Going way below one’s normal caloric intake for long periods of time also causes starvation responses to set in.  Even modest dieting eventually causes one’s metabolic rate to slow down.

There’s a way to avoid it, and best of all, and you might like this!  That is the cheat day.  Pick one day every other week where you eat normally.  By “normally”, I don’t mean go for a pile of Big Macs; I mean eat a regular amount of calories.  This allows for special occasions, and helps keep you from going too nuts with constant deprivation.  People tend to want what they can’t have, so the cheat day allows you to alleviate this urge in moderation.  Also, this helps prevent starvation responses from setting in and undoing all your hard work.

You might be curious – can you gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?  Actually, I’ve done it before, but practically speaking, that’s very difficult.  Although the drop in scale weight was aggravatingly low, I was able to fit into a pair of pants that would have required power tools to get me into before.  There’s another lesson – pay more attention to how your clothes are fitting, and how you’re looking overall, than what the scale says.  Again, gaining muscle while losing fat is pretty hard to do; also, dieting will tend to make you lose muscle, but this is less so if you do it right.  Bodybuilders have to do bulking and cutting phases to get ready for a contest.  You can adopt a similar strategy when you’re nearing your goal weight.  For now, hit the gym hard on those cheat days.  You’ll probably be a bit fatigued on the others.  Remember, a hard workout is also useful for “accidental” cheat days, so you can do something productive about it rather than pound on the carpet and weep because you goofed.

Some of you may be curious about the controversy between low fat versus low carb diets.  This is medically controversial, so that’s between you and your doctor, just as everything else here is, of course.  The rationale for low-fat diets is because fat has roughly twice the calories per weight as do carbs and protein.  Further, carbs and protein are inefficient energy sources, because half the energy is burnt up processing them.  On the other hand, fat is 98% efficient, thus a double whammy.  Yes, that cheesecake does go directly into your spare tire.  Note once again that you shouldn’t cut all fat out of your diet; you still need some of that, especially the Omega 3 variety; you’re probably not getting enough of that unless you take supplements, or eat only health food and grass-fed beef.  That being said, you’ll have to watch those calories; if you ate a bushel of cotton candy – zero fat content – it wouldn’t be good for you!

One benefit of a low-carb diet is that you experience less hunger once you get past the first two or three days of climbing the walls; exercise shortens that process.  You consume 40g of carbs or less in a day, and eventually the stores of liver glycogen run out.  (This, along with the water bound to it, results in a drop in scale weight of about 10 pounds, give or take.  That part isn’t permanent and will come back when you start eating normally.)  At this point, ketosis sets in.  Note that this is not the same as ketoacidosis, and there’s a lot of ignorance about that, confusing even to some in the medical community.  Ketoacidosis is a much deeper level, a dangerous condition typically happening to Type 1 diabetics.  As for benign dietary ketosis – the non-dangerous variety – your body converts fats to ketones as an alternate energy source since the carbs are gone.  This is an inefficient conversion, and – as I understand it – effectively you’re burning off each gram of fat as 7.5 calories rather than 9.1 calories.  One drawback is that you might feel hungry until you adjust, then maybe a bit fatigued later.  This is because the brain has to run on carbs, which must get processed out of protein.  (You are getting enough protein, aren’t you?  Living on pork rinds and sticks of butter won’t work!)  Again, you’ll still have to watch your calories, though this is likely to be easier.

Track your progress.  There will be times when the scale doesn’t move.  If you hit a plateau, that’s a time to take a good look at what you’re doing.  People often grossly underestimate how many calories they’re eating.  Try changing up something, like hitting the weights a little harder.  On the other hand, if you’re wiping yourself out at the gym on a regular basis, it’s possible that you’re overtraining.  Don’t give up, and eventually the scale should move in the right direction.  Take some “before” pictures with your shirt off, and on at least a weekly basis.  No sucking in your gut!  That should provide a good indication of your true progress.  Be sure you’re getting adequate vitamins and minerals too.

If you need some extra motivation, watch Supersize Me.  If that doesn’t get you to swear off junk food, nothing will.  Also, you can watch some of those Youtube videos about people who ate themselves to death.  Chances are you’re not quite that big, but it will put things in a different perspective.

Finally, beware of the “extinction burst”.  It’s a slightly complex subject, but generally this means that if you break a habit, your normal cravings may go into overdrive.  This is where those temptations and cravings come from.  Trust me, that burger doesn’t taste quite as good as you’re imagining it will.

Posts in this series

  1. Fitness and diet, part 1 – My journey, and why you should get the body you want
  2. Fitness and diet, part 2 – How to get started lifting weights
  3. Fitness and diet, part 3 – Nutrition 101
  4. Fitness and diet, part 4 (final) – How to avoid diet pitfalls

See also my first 50 posts and the main page

Fitness and diet, part 4 (final)

Fitness and diet, part 3

Here are some excerpts from my book Righteous Seduction, which I’m posting in serial form.  I’m presenting this to you for free, because this information is valuable to the public.  Being fit and healthy is a good thing; being better-looking is a cool side effect.  Stay tuned for more.

Diet:  your favorite four-lettered word

Other than exercise, another important element in losing the spare tire is nutrition.  Without getting that right, you’ll end up good enough in the gym to have a decent powerlifting score yet look more like an off-season linebacker than Charles Atlas.  (Take it from someone who knows…)  To show off your new musssscles, you have to get rid of the layer of blubber covering them.  If you have six-pack abdominals already, awesome; you can skip this chapter.  If not, read on.  I bet you’re still reading.

First, another disclaimer.  This book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians.  You should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to your health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

The fact is, about 2/3 of Americans are considered overweight, and 1/3 are to the point of being obese.  Much of the rest of the world is catching up, too.  This has been a growing trend over the decades.  In times past, the majority of Americans were farmers, and during the Industrial Revolution, many became factory workers.  These days, family farmers are steeply on the decline, losing out to corporate farming, and factory jobs largely have been exported overseas.  The effects have been pretty bad for the economy, as well as our waistlines.  Most work these days – for those of us fortunate to be employed – is in sedentary positions or low-intensity jobs:  retail, bean counting, tech support, etc.  Add to that the fact that many of us eat crap diets:  processed food, often with excessive portions.  A hundred years ago, all food was organic; these days, you can get that still, but it usually costs twice as much.  Most of us drive everywhere and don’t even have to walk to a bus stop or subway terminal.  We’re parked in front of our computers more than ever, or glued to the TV.

This is particularly alarming for young people.  Kids are glued to their video games and social media, and are less interested in sports than in times past.  Back when I was a little brat, we had video games of course, but you had to walk or bike to the arcade, you usually stood while playing, and eventually you ran out of quarters.  These days, some kids are getting type II diabetes, which used to happen only to adults.  Even teenagers now sometimes exhibit the early stages of arteriosclerosis, a disease of old age.  The only glimmer of good news is that having a great physique is one way you can stand out from the others.  If you look like Jabba the Hutt, then it’s about time to change this.

Nutritional basics

Begin by banishing junk food from your diet.  It’s evil, and not even evil in a good way.  Start reading labels, and avoid anything that says “partially hydrogenated” anything.  Whoever unleashed food additives like that onto the public should have been deep fried in oleomargarine or vegetable shortening.  Here’s what you do need in your diet:

  • Essential proteins
  • Essential fatty acids (particularly omega 3, of which we usually don’t get enough)
  • Essential vitamins and minerals

Notice that “carbohydrates” – sugars and starches – isn’t on the list.  There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate, so cut down on them.  If you’re getting all the essential stuff, then you don’t need the empty calories.  Just read that dang nutrition label!  Simple carbs are sweet and will bounce your insulin and leave you hungry soon.  Complex carbs take longer to digest but are still just extra calories.  Fiber is carbs that don’t get digested, so there’s really nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it’s sort of a good thing, as it makes you feel more full, among other digestive benefits – and I’ll leave it at that.  Some diets banish carbohydrates nearly entirely (such as Atkins) or greatly reduce it (South Beach or the Paleo diet, for instance).  These are a bit controversial; more on that later, but do the research if you’re interested.  Other people have success reducing total calories by cutting down on fat intake.  There is no One True Way to diet; different things work for different people, so figure out what works for you.

Note that you do need fats in your diet, so don’t banish it entirely, but keep it modest.  You could probably get by okay – for a limited duration at least – with ten grams of fish oil or flax oil a day.  Quality counts here too.  Trans fat additives are horrible, and I’ll repeat:  avoid anything that says “partially hydrogenated” like the plague.  If in doubt about a product, go to the company’s Canadian website and look up the grams of trans fat; they have strict reporting requirements (0.2g, versus the American requirement of 0.5g) and less wiggle room to fool you.  Saturated fats are best kept to a minimum.

Now for a word about alcohol.  In my boring high school health class, the teacher explained that it’s empty calories.  He was right; I should have paid more attention.  (Speaking of empty calories, it’s a bit ironic that all but the heaviest beers actually have fewer calories by volume than sticky soda pop, which typically contains that lovely compound, high-fructose corn syrup.  Although fruit juice has vitamins, it’s also calorie-dense.)  I’d be the world’s biggest hypocrite if I told you to avoid beer, though.  The key is moderation.  Limit yourself to two a day at most.  If you guzzle a six pack of liquid bread every day, it will catch up with you sooner or later, causing more problems than just excess calories alone.  If you really must get wasted, limit that to once a week.  (Make sure you have a ride home too, especially if you don’t like going to jail or the hospital.  This shit’s real.)  Getting wasted on the weekend is still bad for you, but not as bad as pickling your liver every single day.

One pound of fat is about 3500 food calories, or kcal to be scientific about it.  So, if you eat six Big Macs with one medium side of fries (and a diet Coke to wash it down, of course), then you will gain about a pound.  It will take several hours around the jogging track to burn it off; the exact number depends on the running speed and your body mass.  Or, if you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day after your binge, you’ll lose that pound in a week.  Reducing by 1000 calories a day means two pounds lost per week.  You don’t want to go any lower than that, or else starvation sets in, which will be counterproductive and bad for you in general.

Posts in this series

  1. Fitness and diet, part 1 – My journey, and why you should get the body you want
  2. Fitness and diet, part 2 – How to get started lifting weights
  3. Fitness and diet, part 3 – Nutrition 101
  4. Fitness and diet, part 4 (final) – How to avoid diet pitfalls

See also my first 50 posts and the main page

Fitness and diet, part 3

Fitness and diet, part 2

Here are some excerpts from my book Righteous Seduction, which I’m posting in serial form.  I’m presenting this to you for free, because this information is valuable to the public.  Being fit and healthy is a good thing; being better-looking is a cool side effect.  Stay tuned for more.

Once again, the disclaimer:  The information herein is meant to supplement, not replace, proper weight training.  Like any sport involving speed, equipment, balance, and environmental factors, weight training poses some inherent risk.  I advise you to take full responsibility for your safety and know your limits.  Before practicing the skills described here, be sure that your equipment is well maintained, and do not take risks beyond your level of experience, aptitude, training, and comfort level.

Get ‘er done

So, onto the specifics.  There are a great many exercise routines out there, which can lead to a bit of information overload, but there is no One True Way to do this.  I’ll give you something to start with, and you can and adapt it to whatever works for you and your lifestyle; just be sure to get off the couch and do it.  This will be a split routine, four days a week.  Two of the days, work out your upper body, two others, work out your lower body.  Like this:

  • Monday:  uppers
  • Tuesday:  lowers
  • Thursday:  uppers
  • Friday:  lowers

This will give you some time to rest and recover; you’ll need it.  Workouts should be at least half an hour, but no more than an hour long; overtraining is counterproductive.  The exercises will consist of one or more sets, each with a fixed number of reps (repetitions) or until you can go no further.  Between each set, rest for a minute for uppers or two for lowers.  On each rep, extend for two seconds, hold for one second, then contract for one second.  My personal technique is a little more “explosive”, but I’m just impatient that way.  I’ll spare you a long discussion about muscle fiber types.  Between sets, rest for one or two minutes, or start working on something else.

There’s a huge debate on cardiovascular training – aerobics, running, swimming, etc. – versus weight training.  I’ll cut it short and give my view.  Here are the differences:

  • Cardio:  Burn some calories at the gym for an hour.
  • Weights:  Burn some calories at the gym for an hour.  Eventually, your muscle mass increases, causing you to burn more calories at rest.

To me, the answer to the debate is pretty obvious.  If that doesn’t convince you, consider that both types of activities will get you slimmer, but only weightlifting gets you those musssscles!  The thing that cardio has going for it is that it doesn’t give you much of a workout burn later.  However, boosting your metabolism through weight training is an acceptable payoff for the pain, and looking muscular is better than just looking skinny.  Leaving it out just won’t get you the same results.  Still, if you want to throw in a day or two of cardio in addition to your weight training sessions, that’s cool too.  If you go to the aerobics class at your gym, you’ll probably be the only guy there, but that isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, now is it?  Likewise for yoga and pilates.

So start with the four day split given above, and see how it goes.  For uppers, this will include barbell curls, tricep extensions (such as “skull crushers”), bench press (get a spotter for that one, or use a bench with lockout bars!), chin-ups (or pull-downs if you ain’t there yet), and rows (either a machine, or pulling up dumbbells while crouched over a bench).  For leg day, go with either squats (place a barbell on your shoulders, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, and stand up again), deadlifts (lift a barbell from the floor and set it down again), or a leg press machine.  Give each two sets of ten reps, vary as needed.

There is a lot of debate about high-intensity versus high volume.  Here are a few methods:

  • On the high volume end of the spectrum is German volume training.  This involves ten sets of ten reps, at 60% of the maximum amount of weight you can possibly move.  Then after that if the spirit moves you, three sets of similar exercises.  This is the way it goes.  Sets 1-2, you will think it’s going to be a breeze.  Sets 3-4, you will change your mind about that.  Sets 5-6, you’re starting to question your wisdom.  Sets 7-8, you’ll catch your second wind.  Sets 9-10, you’re running on pure inertia and the knowledge that the goal is just ahead of you.
  • As for the high intensity technique, this means 1-2 sets where you reach muscular failure – you can go no further – after 6-12 reps.  If you’ve reached the twelfth rep and can go on, then it’s time to start increasing the weight.  One advantage is that it lends itself to faster workouts.
  • Also, there is the pyramid method.  Start with a weight that’s not too challenging and do 10 reps.  Then increase the weight two notches and do ten more reps.  Repeat until you can do no more.  Then back it down two notches and do 10 reps.  Repeat until you’re at your starting position.
  • In addition to the above, there is a great range of possibilities in between low and high intensity, or intervals where you alternate, such as squats and cardio.

Again, there is no One True Way.  Find out what works for you.

Then there is the debate about free weights versus machines.  Personally, I prefer free weights, as this better helps to work supporting muscles.  Once more, do whatever works for you.  Make sure to study the correct form ahead of time so you don’t do things like hurt your back.  In general, this means keep your back in place and let your legs and butt do the lifting for deadlifts or squats.  For the bench press, have a spotter with you who can get the barbell off your neck if you run out of steam on the downstroke.  Having a barbell stuck on your neck and no way to get it off would kind of ruin your day.

If you’ve never lifted weights before, then the first two times, go easy and focus on getting the motions right; that part is important, as I just mentioned.  Also, if you come home sobbing like a little punk after your first trip to the gym because you hit it too hard, then this will make you reluctant to do it again.  Afterwards, start ramping it up, find out what your maximums are, and start pushing the envelope.

Now for a word on pain.  There are two types:  the post-workout burn, and localized stabbing pain.  The first type – delayed onset muscle soreness – is normal, and it’s not a bad thing because it’s a sign of progress.  (Just butch up.)  If you hit it hard, this will peak 2-3 days after the workout and rapidly diminish after that.  The second type of pain – a stabbing or shooting sensation – happens if you push it too far and get some tearing in a muscle.  If this happens, then stop working that muscle until the pain goes away, or you’ll damage it worse.  The human body contains approximately 650 skeletal muscles, so avoid that one and work on the rest.

You should make progress over time in one of three ways:  increased weight, increased volume (more sets, more reps), or better form.  An example of an improvement to form would be going from the “swaying doing curls like a drunken sailor” technique to doing it the correct way.  If you get stuck in a plateau, then vary it up a bit.  For instance, if you’ve been doing a high intensity technique, try higher volume or a pyramid superset.

Eventually your gut will start to go away.  It takes a while, but it happens.  You didn’t lard up in a day, so you don’t get rid of it in a day.  Fat distribution will come off the same way it came on.  Suppose it started with a spare tire, then love handles, then those cute back rolls.  Once the weight comes off, it goes in reverse order:  the back rolls go away, then the love handles, then the spare tire.  Lastly, spot reduction doesn’t work.  That is, if you do 10,000 situps, that won’t give you six-pack abdominals.  If you get your body fat to 10% or lower, that gives you the six-pack.

About 15-30 minutes after the workout is the best time to eat.  There is science to back it up, but I’m too lazy to look up the citations.  Make sure that you get a decent amount of protein, to recover and build your muscles.  That doesn’t mean to gobble down a couple of double cheeseburgers.  Good protein sources might include skim milk, lean meat, or powdered preparations to make shakes which your gym probably sells.  The latter are suitable, but make sure you read the label so that you’re not getting something that isn’t much healthier than kiddie breakfast cereal.  When your body needs protein but doesn’t get it from dietary sources, hormones are released that cause protein to be scavenged from your muscles.  Obviously that’s counterproductive!

Lastly, some guys make the mistake of focusing their efforts only on upper body exercises.  Granted, it looks impressive to have a well-developed torso and arms.  I’ll also be the first to admit that lower body workouts are pretty tough if you hit it really hard.  (After leg day, it won’t even cross your mind to run to your car if it’s raining.)  Even so, don’t neglect working out the legs, or you’ll get a case of the light bulb physique.  One fellow I saw at the gym had an impressively developed upper body, but his legs looked like they belonged to someone from a refugee camp.  See the thing in the paragraph above about protein scavenging.

So, that’s how it’s done.  Now get out there and do it.  After that, nobody will kick sand in your face at the beach and take away your girl!

Posts in this series

  1. Fitness and diet, part 1 – My journey, and why you should get the body you want
  2. Fitness and diet, part 2 – How to get started lifting weights
  3. Fitness and diet, part 3 – Nutrition 101
  4. Fitness and diet, part 4 (final) – How to avoid diet pitfalls

See also my first 50 posts and the main page

Fitness and diet, part 2

Fitness and diet, part 1

Here are some excerpts from my book Righteous Seduction, which I’m posting in serial form.  I’m presenting this to you for free, because this information is valuable to the public.  Being fit and healthy is a good thing; being better-looking is a cool side effect.  Stay tuned for more.

Hit The Weights

When I was in high school, I thought it was pretty superficial whenever I heard the girls say, “Ooh, he’s got musssscles!”  Looking back on it, that was a bit silly of me; they like muscular guys, I like gals with all the right curves, and it’s all good.  Really, I should have paid more heed and figured out the weightlifting thing when I was a teenager.  Grown women are usually too sophisticated to put it in quite those words, but that doesn’t mean they stopped liking musssscles.  Think of it this way – if a woman has a great figure, you pay attention to her instantly.  It works that way for women too; they notice guys who are well-built.  Looks are less important to women than they are to us, but still, it’s obviously an advantage if you can cause physical attraction on sight.  The more you can do so, the better.  Try it out and see if this makes a difference in how you get treated!

I know, being hung up on body types is shallow, and elsewhere I encourage guys not to be shallow themselves, but there’s no reason not to look as good as possible.  Back in the day, I did calisthenics, which gained me some strength.  I rode my bike quite a bit, which kept me skinny despite the occasional junk food binge.  Still, I didn’t have the first clue about how to do serious weight training.  It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I did the research.  The following isn’t a complete treatise about how to lift weights, but it’s enough to get you started.

How I porked out, and what I did about the problem

Ready to start your fitness adventure?  Awesome!  This is where I was in my early 30s.  In the beginning, I was a skinny kid.  In college, I put on the “freshman fifteen” and ten more pounds after I got into beer and McNuggets in a serious way.  During my 20s, I started to gain weight like Elvis after he finished his hitch in the Army.  I had become a sofa spud.  This doesn’t happen overnight – it really sneaks up on you – and after several years, my health was starting to suffer.

I was often very hungry, and to my surprise, a carbohydrate-laden snack only made me hungrier.  I’m quite certain that I was developing insulin resistance, on the road to developing type II diabetes.  People often think of obesity as a self-discipline problem, the deadly sin of gluttony and all that.  To some degree it is, but you really are crazy hungry all the time if your metabolism is off kilter.  You just don’t know when to quit pigging out.  I was tired constantly, even in the morning.  Also, I was rather depressed, which I could temporarily set aside with junk food – definitely not progress.  This is one of several destructive feedback loops in obesity.

Being fat isn’t easy; I know.  I went to the beach once, and some environmentalists tried to push me back in.  I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland, but now I was afraid of being harpooned.  I had to take out a restraining order on Captain Ahab.  Seaworld offered me a job, but I had to turn it down because they wanted to pay me in fish.  My gut started creating its own gravity well, threatening to create a rift in the fabric of space.

So I realized I had come to a crossroads.  I could go on doing what I was doing, fighting the blues with junk food, and keep walking down the primrose path, finally to sink into that “good night” of death prematurely.  Then I had a vision – almost palpable – of what would happen in the coming years if I continued to let things slide.  I’d gain a hundred pounds, I’d look like a beach ball, I’d acquire some significant health problems that required daily medications, and my dick would stop working.  (The most rational explanation is that it was my subconscious mind dropping myself some valuable hints.  Hopefully that’s not me in an alternate universe; that would truly suck.)  Fighting inertia is hard, but I chose another path.

After some months, with a good amount of time and effort, I had dropped 40 pounds.  Since a larger fraction of my body weight was muscle mass, I looked 20 pounds lighter than my scale weight.  Also, I was stronger than I ever had been in my life.  I could have gone far in athletics if I had made this transformation earlier.  Back in the day, I could have become a high priest of the football religion.

Introductory notes

Now for some preliminaries:  first, the obligatory disclaimer.  The information herein is meant to supplement, not replace, proper weight training.  Like any sport involving speed, equipment, balance, and environmental factors, weight training poses some inherent risk.  I advise you to take full responsibility for your safety and know your limits.  Before practicing the skills described here, be sure that your equipment is well maintained, and do not take risks beyond your level of experience, aptitude, training, and comfort level.

You may have seen some of the guys on the covers of the fitness mags, and might not want to look like that.  Granted, some of them are rather ugly.  Not to worry; you don’t bulk up overnight, even if you want to.  You won’t look quite like a top-tier professional bodybuilder unless you take the same amount of steroids and human growth hormone, which I recommend not to do.  Some others also inject “tanning oil” into their muscles to make them bigger, which not only looks hideous, but it also carries significant and potentially catastrophic health risks.  So don’t do that either.

If you’re a proud nerd but have the notion that nerds can’t or aren’t supposed to be strong, that’s a false dichotomy.  I never got too much hassle from the jocks in school, but I understand that some of us have.  If that describes you, don’t let the bad experiences sour you on athletic accomplishment.  By the way, nobody is going to rough you up for stepping into a gym; we’re all adults now.

This does take a lot of time and effort.  First, we’ll cover the time factor.  Sure, I know a lot of us have busy schedules, but the truth is that we often waste a lot of time too.  Let’s flip this around – instead of thinking you don’t have enough time to go to the gym, ask yourself if you have the time to be weak and unhealthy!  You can make things efficient too.  In just twenty minutes, you can do a 10X10 superset of deadlifts or squats with two plates (45 pounds each, and the bar is also 45 pounds).  That’s not too distant of a goal for a beginner to work up to.  The total weight moved is 13,500 pounds.  That’ll burn off a few potato chips.  Once you hit your stride, the same superset with four plates is within reach.  That’s 22,500 pounds moved in twenty minutes; eleven tons and change.

As for the effort, the amount you’ll need to put in may seem discouraging, but every little bit helps.  If you’ve gone from an unhealthy appearance to a normal appearance, then you’ve already done yourself a lot of good, both for your health and your looks.  First, de-couch-potato-ize yourself and lose the spare tire; that by itself is a big improvement.  If you keep at it, you’ll get a warrior physique.  Chicks dig musssscles, so why not give them what they want?

Do I have you convinced yet?  Good!  Now here’s what you don’t need:

  • You don’t need lots of supplements.  Creatine in the powder form works (liquid preparations break down quickly).  It boosts strength, and likely allows for a prolonged workout, though it’s a bit up in the air about whether or not it gives lasting benefits.  Still, you can make progress without it.  Also, it doesn’t hurt to get a good multivitamin.  The ones you can find at a grocery store or any pharmacy will be quite suitable.  Other than that, the vast majority of supplements are 24 karat bullshit.  Don’t believe the ads in the magazines.  The scientific studies they quote might be proven for mice but not tested on humans, or might be studies on old ladies with nutritional deficiencies, or might just be crap they made up.
  • You don’t need steroids.  You can get a good physique without them, and you’re not training for the East German Olympic weightlifting team.  Charles Atlas is a good example of an all-natural bodybuilder.  One problem with steroids is that you have to get them from the black market, and often that’s fake.  Not only do you waste your money on a rip-off, but you’ll be injecting yourself with vegetable oil packed in possibly unsanitary conditions.  Also, there are side effects, such as gynomastia.  That’s “bitch tits” in gym-speak, like Meatloaf from Fight Club.  I’ve seen it in the gym and it ain’t pretty.  That requires surgery to correct.  There are countermeasures, but don’t rely on your drug dealer to educate you about how to do a steroid cycle properly and follow up with estrogen blockers to mitigate the rebound.  If you have a low testosterone issue, go see your doctor and you’ll get the real stuff.
  • You don’t need a personal trainer.  You can hire one if you want, but that may be cost-prohibitive unless you’re wealthy.  You can motivate yourself and do your own research.  If you do get one, be aware that quality varies (what I’ve seen didn’t impress me much) so feel free to shop around and get another one if needed.
  • You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment.  I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the upper body just with a couple pairs of dumbbells that I keep under my desk.  You’ve probably seen machines hyped on TV and in magazines, but the dirty secret is that after purchase, often they just collect dust.  You can pick them up at a discount from stores carrying used equipment.  Also, look in the want-ads, or keep your eyes open for bargains at garage sales.  Don’t let it collect dust in your place, of course!  If you have minimal pipefitting skills – and basic knowledge of physics – you can make your own equipment, such as squat cages.

Lastly, here are some benefits from lifting weights that have nothing to do with causing a hottie to coo “Ooh, he’s got musssscles!” in your general direction:

  • You’ll have a lot more energy.  I wasn’t expecting that, but I was glad for it.  Actually, that alone made it worthwhile.
  • You’ll have more physical confidence.  I used to feel intimidated by bigger guys, but I don’t see many of them any more.  From what I’ve seen in the gym, even those who do have more musculature aren’t necessarily stronger.  Thus, no unarmed individual scares me these days.
  • Physical labor becomes easier.  Before, unloading a truckload of dirt left me wiped out for the day.  After, it was a workout but no big deal.
  • It boosts glucose clearance, which can improve or perhaps even reverse blood sugar problems and metabolic syndrome.  Before I started working out, I was with my LTR girlfriend who had type II diabetes.  Since I was eating the same way she was and also had a sedentary job, after a few years I was well on the way to getting the same condition.  Lifting weights fixed that, and I’d probably have a foot in the grave by now if I hadn’t started.
  • It reverses age-related muscle deterioration.  After you’re 20, you lose about 2% of your muscle mass every year unless you do something about it.  The yearly change isn’t much, but over decades, it’s very significant.  It’s sad that there are so many seniors who are deathly afraid that they might fall down at home and not be able to pick themselves up off the floor.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Old age sucks a lot less if you’re not frail.
  • Lifting weights is so beneficial that I definitely would recommend it to women as well.  For them, it has another benefit, namely that it helps prevent osteoporosis from setting in, because moderate stress on bones makes them stronger.  This is a common problem especially for skinny women who’ve never had to support a heavy frame.  Hitting the squats and deadlifts hard might save them from bent backs in their old age.

If you’ve read this far, then I’ve got you sold.  Awesome!  We’ve established that chicks like musssscles.  So get some!  The following isn’t an exhaustive guide, but covers some of the basics.  If you’d like to know more, then I encourage you to do further research.  All that being said, I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice; please see your health professional if questions arise.  Also, see your physician before starting a workout program.

If you want to find a gym, there might be one at your place of employment, so you can get a workout at lunch instead of stuffing your face at the cafeteria.  If not, there will be a wide selection if you live in a big city.  Look around and do your research; you might discover that the gym has an alarm that goes off whenever someone (horrors!) shows signs of exertion.  When you first walk in, expect to be greeted by someone in a designer shirt and shorts who will be glad to get you signed up.  Sales tactics and upselling are to be expected, but fortunately not as bad as the average car dealership.  Know your budget and what you can afford.  Some gyms might let you pay a large sum up front and get discount renewals (I did this and my renewal fee is under sixty bucks a year.)  Some offer month-to-month plans where you pay two months up front and once a month thereafter, which is good if you’re unsure if it’s for you or might have to move.  Be aware that if you sign up for a long term – a year or two – then it’s basically like a car note, and it will go to collections and likely show up on your credit report if you flake it off.

If you’ve never stepped into a gym before, the experience might be a bit intimidating at first.  Don’t let it be.  Everyone starts somewhere.  If I see a guy weighing 400 pounds, I am not laughing at him behind his back; rather, I have nothing but respect, as he’s made the conscious decision to improve his health.  Anyone who’s not a douchebag stuck in junior high mentality will feel the same way.

Posts in this series

  1. Fitness and diet, part 1 – My journey, and why you should get the body you want
  2. Fitness and diet, part 2 – How to get started lifting weights
  3. Fitness and diet, part 3 – Nutrition 101
  4. Fitness and diet, part 4 (final) – How to avoid diet pitfalls

See also my first 50 posts and the main page

Fitness and diet, part 1

Election 2016

Hillary donut

This is proving to be an interesting election year.  We have quite a unique lineup here.  The Trump nomination hopefully will show the neocon bigwigs calling the tune in the Republican Party – whose laughable slogan was “lose with Cruz” – that they can’t keep giving the finger to their traditionalist grassroots.  I’m not 100% sure that Trump is going to be the real deal that we’ve been waiting for, but I’m willing to give him a chance.  In his favor are two things:  1) he’s too rich to buy off, and 2) he’s got as much determination as Theodore Roosevelt did.

Politics is quite similar to professional wrestling.  Every ten year old boy finds out to his great dismay that rasslin’s fake.  Unfortunately, Joe Sixpack seems to think that everything will be great once his party cleans house.  Still, every once in a blue moon, a candidate not beholden to the establishment will break through.  The Democrats did a better job of keeping their dark horse in second place.  Those who suspected that the Democratic leadership was hamstringing Bernie Sanders turned out to be right, as those embarrassing email leaks proved.

Anyway, speaking of the Clintons, I found an interesting item recently.  There are some positive things you can say about Bill Clinton, though he’s going to have a red flag in the history books because his administration was marred by a series of scandals from the beginning to the end.  Even so, there’s one other scandal pre-dating his Presidency that most people haven’t heard of, even though it’s huge.  Compared to that, the White House intern business was small potatoes.  This concerns a smuggling ring in Arkansas, back when Bill was governor and Hillary was in the Rose Law Firm.  We don’t have definite proof about who did what – largely because many of the people who knew too much ended up dying mysteriously – but altogether things look quite alarming.  Return of Kings also featured an article mentioning that.  Anyway, it’s stuff like this that makes me such a big cynic.

Election 2016