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My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:50 pm
by ZAFCorrection
So I recently developed the zeroth world problem of my girlfriend cooking for me passed what my self control can handle, and I have gained about 15 pounds over the last 6 months. All blessings be upon her.

My problem is I would rather not trash a good part of my previously well-fitting wardrobe, so I'm on a campaign to get my shit together vis-a-vis exercising and eating less. But none of my co-workers and friends can countenance either that I am even fat, that maybe it is possible to eat too much Healthy Food, or that I might be able to miss or significantly reduce meals without dying. Nevermind that my pants don't fit, there was a time not too long ago when I was surviving on diet Coke and Panda Express with a lower body fat percentage (unhealthy but less calories), and that I have also gone long periods of time fasting for days or eating only one meal a day. These people actually get a little pissed off when I explain that their theories haven't held true in my case, and they still expect me to take their advice.

Is there some way to deal with this besides telling people to fuck off? The phenomenon is completely bizarre.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:02 pm
by anesde
Curious as to why they’re voicing their opinions? Are you talking about it to them and/or highlighting the fact? Or is it coming up because you’re declining to join in work lunches, etc?

Most fully grown adults who aren’t training for specific muscle gain purposes really don’t need to eat that much. The whole 3 meals a day thing is unnecessary and I’m with you in finding I do much better on an intermittent fasting lifestyle.

People don’t bother me about it though as I don’t really talk about it. I usually just say I don’t eat breakfast, or that I’m not hungry, or that I brought my own lunch, etc. I don’t find people care that much unless you’re making a point out of it?

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:05 pm
by Cats_and_tats
Why are you discussing your diet and exercise plan with your coworkers? (This is a real question, not a shit post.)

If you go up to your coworkers and are like - I am fat and am changing my habits because I am fat - then you have made it a discussion. If they are eating whatever and you are in there going - I would love to eat that, but I'm on a DIET, then you made it a discussion. It sounds like you are already telling them about these things, so are they supposed to stand there silently while you talk about your diet and exercise plans (which people LOVE to talk about) and then walk away? That's weird.

If you are living your life and just doing whatever and they are getting up in your grill about what you are eating, you can totally be like, what the fuck is wrong with you; mind your own business. And I do know that happens all the time in offices, and if that is what is happening, telling them to fuck off is appropriate.

For many people, 'fat' is a not-so-secret code word for ugly. So people saying they are fat is then saying they are ugly, so people rush to reassure then they are not 'fat' i.e. a big fucking ugly monster face. Shitty social conventions, baby.

But if you bring it up they are gonna talk about it. If they being it up, don't bother explaining your life to them, tell them to myob.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:14 pm
by Dream of Freedom
There is a lot to unpack here.
"But none of my co-workers and friends can countenance either that I am even fat" What is your body fat percentage or BMI if you don't have body fat calipers or a bio-impedance scale? It is possible to go from too skinny to skinny.

"or that I might be able to miss or significantly reduce meals without dying or that I might be able to miss or significantly reduce meals without dying" If your ancestors died every time there was a bad hunt you wouldn't be here.

"that maybe it is possible to eat too much Healthy Food" It is possible, but it is far more complicated than that. You could get too many calories, but though calories in calories out is directionally right but misses several fundamental things. The biggest is that it reduces it to energy, but proteins and fats are not solely used by your body as energy sources. Protein is used for all kinds of chemical processes including most famously to build muscle. Fat is used in the cell walls of every cell and it is used to coat the myelin sheathes around nerve cells. Your brain is around 60% fat. So they are used for energy but are also structural and even used to create other chemicals with other uses. Also different macro-nutrients provoke different hormonal responses and dosage matters. Foods contain vitamins and minerals that are necessary, but at high doses are very bad. For instance excess calcium can cause kidney stones and too much vitamin A can kill you. Dosage matters.

"Is there some way to deal with this besides telling people to fuck off?" I was given some good advice once. I was telling him how my boss wanted me to do a job one way and when I would do the job that way another department would complain to my boss's boss. He told me that I need to develop the executive attitude. I looked at him puzzled. He explained, "I will take that under consideration."

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:26 pm
by chenda
I had the same problem, with people (mostly colleagues and siblings) telling me I was healthy when I was fat. I mean, I had stats from a tape measure and graph to demonstrate I was fat. I was deep in the dark orange zone.

Maybe because if I wasn't fat then they also weren't fat and they wouldn't need to get healthy. Now I feel a smug because I've dropped 2 sizes.

What does your girlfriend think ?

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:40 pm
by ZAFCorrection
I was probably somewhat unclear in my phrasing in trying to bundle all the stupid shit people say. Some coworkers are on the "you can't possibly be fat" bandwagon while others ask "why are you getting fat?" outright while contributing their random/stupid views on weight loss. We got free food sitting all over the place which people actively push, everyone sits in the office together for long hours, and a number of the grad students apparently come from countries where it's not a big deal to talk about people's weight. That combined, I don't exactly need my health plan taped to my forehead for the topic to come up a lot.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:20 pm
by prognastat
I've actually seen the same thing happen with me when telling people I still need to lose more weight after losing 30 lbs and people saying I really don't need to lose much more and that I shouldn't get too skinny, meanwhile at the time I was 200 Lbs and well within the overweight BMI range.

Naturally these are people that struggle with weight themselves. So there might be some truth in that if you are skinnier than them you are skinny.

Free food is definitely a struggle for me. First off the free food is never healthy food, but it's hard enough turning down unhealthy tasty food when it costs money. It's about twice as hard when this food is free and both my fat side and frugal side are thinking this is a great idea XD.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:44 pm
by ZAFCorrection
Ya, free food is definitely the worst, especially with my sweet tooth.

Though, I think the background of my story overwhelmed my actual issue. I don't really care that people are nosy and like to give advice. What is exasperating is the notion that somehow their opinions on my state are of greater significance than my self-reported results, especially when those results not really subject to interpretation (e.g. "I can remain functional after three days of fasting" or "my pants stopped fitting me"). That shit is not open to any "well, actually...." debate.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:03 pm
by Dream of Freedom
Sarah Knight in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck tells how you shouldn't care what people think. You should care how they feel. Don't be an asshole, phrase things well, but it is less important you agree intellectually (unless you are dealing with an intj of course).

Under the light of how they feel, some stupid suggestions on how to improve may be supportive and critical comments may seem ego based.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:24 pm
by Augustus
Why do you care what other people think? When I'm explaining things that I do to people who don't understand I usually frame it as me being quirky and nerding out on a subject, then I start trotting out evidence from authorities, in the case of my diet I just cite a bunch of PhDs. But honestly no one really cares about your body or your life in general, so you're probably just being too sensitive.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:56 am
by iopsi
ZAFCorrection wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:44 pm
That shit is not open to any "well, actually...." debate.
True but people are gonna cling to their ideas regardless, most of the times.

The best thing you can do imo, instead of trying to win an argument or whatever, is to avoid the topic in the first place.
Don't bring it up either directly or indirectly (i.e someone asks you why you are not eating the free food and you tell them it's because you are on a diet/health plan). It's better to just say "i'm not hungry/i'm fine", without an hostile tone.

When people do this to me (whether it is for food or anything else) i simply repeat these few words and add a "disinterested" body language if they insist (no longer looking at them, turning around/to the side ecc). Without being actively or passively aggressive, keep the friendlyness.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:56 am
by bigato
A variation of this is when you tell people how you are feeling and they start to correct you and say that you actually do not feel X, you feel Y. This is typical of a personality which is strongly intuitive and weakly sensorial, so their ideas about the world matter way more than evidence in front of their eyes. How to deal with them? Extrapolate from their opinions and expose them to the absurdities of the conclusions their theories lead to *. Be prepared to make some enemies, because faith is usually strong tied to identity, and when you challenge belief through ridiculous, they will take it as personal attack.

* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:59 pm
by ZAFCorrection
@Augustus

I don't care what other people think so much as I care that they can't seem to modify their position in the face of incontrovertible evidence without it turning into some kind of fight. It's especially strange when the topic is a particular individual's health. It seems pretty clear now that what constitutes proper nutrition has not been answered definitively, and maybe there is not even one answer for everyone. So I'm not sure why people have ego wrapped up in their opinions on nutrition.

This issue can be seen in other topics, but I made a thread in the context of weight loss since I ran into the same topic a few times in quick succession.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:17 pm
by jacob
It seems like the IRL version of this: https://xkcd.com/386/ It's actually something I used to struggle with fighting a defensive retreat of subjects over the years and after a given age, I just decided deliberately not to bother much at all anymore
  • 20: Philosophy
  • 25: Religion
  • 30: Politics
  • 35: Investing
  • 40: Climate change
However, now, instead of trying to prove wrong people right, I direct my efforts at containment. Being wrong is an act of value destruction. Helpless people (see link below for a definition) hurt only themselves. If they insist, let them. How to deal with bandits and stupid people is a moral issue as they hurt you and others. They can be avoided ... but if not then efforts should be directed not at convincing them of their wrongness but at avoiding their value destruction and/or diverting it back at them. If possible, you can help others from getting hurt as well. This would be the only reason to deal with them.

https://qz.com/967554/the-five-universa ... stupidity/

For something like personal [unsolicited] advice on diet and exercise, it's easiest to just avoid it by saying "thanks, I'll think about it" and then just ignore.

Many right/wrong battles are not worth fighting.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:23 pm
by Augustus
ZAFCorrection wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:59 pm
@Augustus

I don't care what other people think so much as I care that they can't seem to modify their position in the face of incontrovertible evidence without it turning into some kind of fight.
If you didn't care about what they thought, you wouldn't care if they were wrong and have written a thread about it :D If conversations are turning into fights for you, it is probably more about your approach. That is why I take the goofy/quirky approach, when people are laughing they aren't angry/hostile. Seeing as I don't give a shit about what they think, I don't mind that they think I'm goofy/quirky. In fact, I encourage it. The same way I try to project an image of goofy/quirky thrify person, I want them to think I am poor, so that no one tries to steal my stuff.

+1 on the people are wrong on the internet xkcd from @jacob.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:35 pm
by IlliniDave
The OP subject line reminds me of one of the top eye-rolling admonishments I get: don't confuse strategy with results. I don't even know for sure what it means, but I think it's something along the lines of: "my strategy is superior to your strategy so it must be dumb luck that makes your results superior to mine".

Just go with what works. Especially when it comes to diet, there doesn't seem to be a one-size-fits-all.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:55 pm
by ZAFCorrection
@Augustus

As I mentioned explicitly, it is not the position itself that is bothersome but the lack of willingness to change the position. That is, dy/dt as opposed to y(t). But I guess there is still a y in there, so you can have it. Also I don't get into arguments with anyone over this. I just see the darkening of the face and other indications that ego encroachment is occurring so I back off quickly.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:10 pm
by Augustus
Yeah just saying, the approach determines the face darkening or whatever. In the same way that a comedian can say things that would get my ass kicked if I said them, but instead he gets paid to make fun of people. Or the way one man could slap a womans butt and she'd giggle, and another man could do it and she'd call the police. Approach/style is very important.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:20 pm
by Lillailler
Yeah. I've had the snacktime inquisition at work. "Why aren't you eating the free cake? You're in good shape" Somehow the idea that not eating the free cake is a cause of being in good shape seems not to be relevant.

Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:41 pm
by Mister Imperceptible
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.