My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
ZAFCorrection
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My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

anesde
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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?

Cats_and_tats
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post by Cats_and_tats »

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Last edited by Cats_and_tats on Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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."
Last edited by Dream of Freedom on Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

chenda
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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 ?

ZAFCorrection
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

prognastat
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

iopsi
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

IlliniDave
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

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Lillailler
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post 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.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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Stahlmann
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post by Stahlmann »

"before enlightment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightment, chop wood and carry water"

ellarose24
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post by ellarose24 »

ZAFCorrection wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:50 pm

Is there some way to deal with this besides telling people to fuck off? The phenomenon is completely bizarre.
no

ertyu
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post by ertyu »

The way to deal with this is to say, "Maybe I'm not objectively fat / yeah I'm not objectively fat, but if I keep going like this, I'll need to replace all of my work clothes and that's a lot of money"

Them: well yea it's what happes as you age blah blah

You: You could be right, I might have to accept that I'm no longer 20 and eat humble pie in the end

What you have achieved: you have smoothed out the social situation and closed off further discussion while allowing them to save face over how they're fatter than you and doing nothing about it. You have sounded out whether this is one of the people who will be supportive to you and with whom you can discuss tactics and strategies, and you have found out that they are not. Life moves on.

What you have not achieved: getting them to say, oh yeah, of course you're fat (which many people wouldn't say anyway because it's impolite). Actually, many people are probably telling you that you're not fat and it's not possible to eat too much healthy food etc. precisely because they're being polite, a part of which includes doing things like, "oh of course Problem isn't really a Problem it's a very understandable and normal thing that everyone does." The person who will be supportive to you will respond with something like, "yeah i'm also looking into this because reasons" or "yeah well-cooking girlfriends are an issue aren't they lol i remember when i was in a similar situation and had to do Y to correct it"

If people have issues about food, fitness, and fatness, they have issues. They've tried to lose weight, they've failed, and these are the psychological defenses they've come up to be able to not hate on themselves. They're not going to just trash those 'cause you need diet talk.

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Sclass
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Re: My theory is better evidence than your lived reality

Post by Sclass »

Is it even cool to talk about somebody’s weight?

I recently may have upset a cousin of mine by mentioning her weight problem. I don’t know the protocol for talking about these things…especially with women. After it was all over she doesn’t want to talk to me.

It started by her saying she was overweight. She brought it up. Yeah, she’s obese and I wouldn’t call attention to it. We were talking about cooking then she went into this “I’m overweight.” Some backstory, this gal and I grew up together. She was beautiful when we were kids. But she just got bigger and bigger and bigger. She’s in her fifties now and she’s obese.

So she shows up at my place last month and starts telling me she’s overweight with this depressed look. Almost like it’s a whimpering plea for help. And I wanted to help. And like a dude I start telling her about my five point plan on how we are going to beat this thing. After she left I realize this may have been one of those girl conversations where they want to talk about their awful problem but they just want you to listen. The minute you go into problem solver dude mode they freak - because now they have to actually fight.

So I’m at this place now where I realize I should have just nodded my head and said ok ok yes don’t be so hard on yourself. Instead of “yeah, I’ve watched you over thirty years and you are struggling. Whatever you’ve been doing isn’t working. This isn’t an easy thing to solve with a diet or exercise fad regimen. You need to get help. This is a complex physiological and psychological problem that needs to be dealt with on multiple fronts simultaneously. Say the word I’m ready to help you fight this.” I said it with the seriousness I’d have if she said she was hooked on fentanyl or her husband was hitting her.

I realized I screwed up a few days later. She won’t answer texts. She’s straight up ghosted me.

I started to think it’s just way out of line to bring up anything about physical appearance. I had people make fat comments about me when I was working in an office environment. I realize now it was an opportunity to attack by insecure coworkers. Perhaps this is just off limits. Maybe it’s just 100% wrong to talk about this to people?

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