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AHS12 - I'm Going, But I am Afraid my Looks Will be "Tweeted" About

by (16131)
Updated November 27, 2014 at 3:22 AM
Created September 07, 2011 at 7:45 PM

I did not go to AHS11 - but I did follow the #AHS11 Twitter feed. A big thanks to all of you who kept us homebodies abreast of the symposium!

I am FOR SURE going to AHS12 - I just need to tie up a few loose ends like getting a giant group of people to commit to renting a place to stay and such. So, I'm already very excited.

BUT, I am nervous about one thing. In following the Twitter feeds I read a lot of comments like "Paleo Chicks are HOT! #gopaleogirls" and "All the beautiful people are here" and "That guy looks like a Muppet." (I don't recall exactly who said what so these are just paraphrases.)

After a bit I started having BAD High School flashbacks of young people gawking at each other and making fun of people with lesser physical features. I am afraid that this same atmosphere will permeate AHS12 and I will be made fun of for my 38 year old skin or my poor fashion sense.

Am I being silly about this? Did you get the same sense of #AHS11? What say you?

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78422 · January 24, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Just got the Dark Crystal AND Labyrinth in the Walmart $5 movies!

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2417 · January 03, 2012 at 5:40 AM

Smart girls are hot.

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2417 · January 03, 2012 at 5:37 AM

About your past point - as a born and bred Pacific NW'er, I haven't found that to be my experience. But I do think NE'ers do have better formal manners, and a lot more exposure to diversity - so the give-a-crap meter may be less. But I do hope you're not lumping my sort in with the San Diego/LA dwellers - that's a whole other culture. (I'm being playful, btw!)

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9812 · September 10, 2011 at 3:42 AM

I'm down for karaoke!! And since I won't be jetlagged at AHS12, I will be joining in on the tequila shots :D

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2435 · September 09, 2011 at 6:18 AM

I actually got to meet Mark Sisson in person. He was speaking at a gym. I think I was the only one there who already knew what he had to say, and didn't belong to the gym. Being the ONLY fat person in the room, I didn't go up and talk to him (also because the baby I was nursing needed me back in the car). I still kick myself for not feeling comfortable enough in my own skin to go shake his hand :(

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16131 · September 09, 2011 at 3:15 AM

You forget the Jesus Christ Lizard and his Tabata like running on water - You GO Jesus Christ LIZARD!

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16131 · September 09, 2011 at 3:13 AM

All's I know is that my son-in-law better BRING IT!

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16131 · September 09, 2011 at 3:12 AM

I am trying to be in a relationship with you - confirm please. My illegitimate son-in-law needs this union to pass!

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745 · September 08, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Forget AHS! Sell tickets to see the cheetoo-tattoed goiter!

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745 · September 08, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Yeah, my first encounter with the Honey Badger was just after going Paleo and HB impressed me with her ability to rip & tear flesh and not give a shit. In my book, HB is part of the Paleo Holy Trinity next to God the Father (Cordain) and Paleo baby Jesus (Wolf)

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 8:57 PM

@ beingvens - first awesome name! Second, you MUST go! I am going to fly thousands of miles to meet you people! Excited already!

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3891 · September 08, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Well, I do declare!

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1801 · September 08, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Yep, I prefer following these peeps on twitter rather than slebs (who're quite dull ime) - they have more to say!

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 6:24 PM

wow. that was uncalled for.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 6:22 PM

SO well said, caverat. i wish i had some upvotes left for ya. ill come back when i do.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 6:21 PM

I LOVE DARK CRYSTAL. i own it and am waiting impatiently for my kids to be old enough for it, which might be never.

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2977 · September 08, 2011 at 5:51 PM

It's not so much that people 'shouldn't be mean' - that's what people do, and we should all just roll our eyes and carry on. But I think there should be some expressed understanding that we are on a JOURNEY. Many of us come from/with challenging health issues, and those who are coming from the toughest situations and making progress are the ones to be most celebrated.

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2977 · September 08, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I've been reading a forum (catching up on old posts still) where a woman has had fantastic results with paleo (lost 130 lbs!), and has encountered the same issues that are argued about incessantly here and elsewhere in the paleo scene, and has been carefully working through those issues and making amazing discoveries and *greatly* improving her health. Frankly, she's an *inspiration* and I would *love* to see her at AHS12 to share her journey. She is also diabetic and weighs over 400 pounds - she used to be over 500! Do you think she won't be tweeted/gossiped about?

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10919 · September 08, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Some of us including me Are still on our journey. I feel self conscious too about going next year but I think my excitement about it being an hour away is trumping my Misgivings. No one there will see my 50 pound overweight body and know I've already lost 40. (though hopefully by then I'll have lost a lot more.) Go let your freak flag fly. There will be a few of us there to support you!

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 5:21 PM

@pieter - Jim Henson did a movie called the Dark Crystal years ago. Freaky! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vsz-LZyEim4&feature=fvst

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10289 · September 08, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Muppets freak you out? I think they are quite ok! The freggles, they would freak me out! Totally!

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20519 · September 08, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Huge sad face for you over here. HUGE. Be well..

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 4:27 PM

and since you are sensitive, I would suggest not writing one either.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Shari, I have no interest in discussing your looks at you are not the author of diet books.

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24271 · September 08, 2011 at 4:04 PM

And just to ride on what LB said, I am clearly more sensitive to this sort of thing than most because of my past. There are many in our community who are hyper-sensitive to this sort of thing. I don't think most who did post-AHS commentary meant to be offensive or to be making personal attacks. I just want to voice what some of us were feeling and thinking watching all of this in the hopes that in the future people think about how their words may be perceived by those who receive them.

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24271 · September 08, 2011 at 4:00 PM

I would very much welcome feedback from those who know me if they noticed something looked "off" or I didn't look right in some way. We often can't see things that other do. My objection to the discussion was that it was public, without the consent of the people being talked about, negative, and based on visual inspection alone. If so and so had acknowledged publicly that they were concerned about their xyz then I think it's appropriate to comment and start discussion about it but without that I just think it's inappropriate. AHS should be a safe place for everyone.

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:51 PM

We should as low budget on this as possible. GEt some sticky HELLO MY NAME IS: badges where we can write our PH handle.

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:30 PM

It was all mouth. No hands or feet, just concentrated in the kisser - nooo kissing though. It was hellish. My 5 year old got it too. Poor kid.

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1652 · September 08, 2011 at 2:11 PM

T-shirts w our gravatars? Oh wait, that might make it more likely to get tweeted about :)

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1186 · September 08, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Isn't it more fun poking fun at emaciated vegans? Does AHS need more of an us-vs-them mentality?

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Obesity theorists and researchers work with data and science and are not the authors of diet books. Science doesn't care whether or not you are fat. You can run linear regression if you are thin or fat. I know tons of obesity researchers who are very overweight, I could care less since they are writing science papers about data in journals. However, the general public does care if someone is telling them what to do about getting thin, claims to have all the answers, attacks other diets, and is fat.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Come on back girl. You know that RI accent is burbling at the surface, just dying to be set free!

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20519 · September 08, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Did it morph into hand/foot/mouth, lady? I had that happen to a friend and saw what she went through.. I'm so sorry and what a bummer to be in Seattle and have all that go down. Now you have to go back and have extra fun!

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2889 · September 08, 2011 at 9:09 AM

1) You have an entire 11 months to whip yourself into Godlike shape. Let the montage begin: http://youtu.be/CQvNu8LoTo0 http://youtu.be/rZA6mvMXxBQ 2) Denise was not the only attractive female at AHS11; there were quite a few others. I rejoiced in the Sea of Pulchritude. 3) Jimmy Moore was not afraid of showing up and enjoying the festivities despite NOT sporting an 8-pack and shredded glutes. If Jimmy can do it, so can you:)

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 8:42 AM

@mem -- I am in violent agreement with you but it is the nature of ppl to be insecure/gossipy/lame etc etc *sigh

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2949 · September 08, 2011 at 6:46 AM

BAMBAM and I will likely conceive a paleo babby at next years AHS, and I have a feeling that will become unavoidable if he shows up in a loin cloth. Primal urges right hurrrr.

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2949 · September 08, 2011 at 6:45 AM

@ LB- been there done that!

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2949 · September 08, 2011 at 6:44 AM

LOL melissa! ...

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11986 · September 08, 2011 at 6:14 AM

You know, I like most of what you say here, but I'm stuck with one issue: If someone writing a diet book shouldn't look pudgy, isn't that saying they don't really know about weight loss? And how is that different than the criticism some people level against obesity theorists and researchers who never themselves had to lose weight, and therefore are missing a vital piece of data? Is this the same standard, or am I missing some subtle distinction?

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11986 · September 08, 2011 at 6:10 AM

"An excellent diet isn't magic." Brilliant! And I say this as someone who *has* experienced something like magic on my diet -- but it didn't fix *everything.* I needed Vitamin D (well, really, sunshine, but I have a job) to fix asthma, and there are still a few other kinks that diet's not addressing. Okay, more than kinks. We're all born on a different starting line (and some seem to be born on the finish line, but think somehow their individual effort won them the race, lol).

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5477 · September 08, 2011 at 5:31 AM

Patrick: And the larger point is: The apparent need by a whole culture of people(or a rather promnent number, it seems!) to make themselves feel better/more secure about themselves/their diet/their specialness/their superiority? by a marked emphasis on comparison. However "good" it is can be measured quite accurately "at home" in your own body without the need for narcissistic supply outside yourself...unless, of course, it is *really* about something else...

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5477 · September 08, 2011 at 5:25 AM

Patrik: This is a bit deeper than "whining." It is about the values of a culture (PH types) and a bit of what I'd call "magical thinking" as well. An excellent diet isn't magic. And a visible container aint the whole package, especially in humans, by a long shot. As McGuff said: No amount of exercise (read buffness, six pack etc) can make up for a bad diet. But you can sure make the container look hot. IMHO, a 60/40, 80/20 body building paleo is not going to match up to the *real* health of a 99%, non-buffed Loren Cordain, who is by NO stretch of the imagination overweight,just 0 working out.

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5232 · September 08, 2011 at 4:17 AM

Not especially, but thanks for the offer.

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 4:11 AM

@CuratedWellness -- no kidding? Really? Ya think so? Thanks man -- do you want to take over the site?

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5232 · September 08, 2011 at 3:38 AM

Patrik - 28 up votes means it's resonating with people. No need to attack the asker.

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 3:17 AM

@Shari -- if someone tweets about someone else's beauty - how does that take away from you? This isn't a zero sum game.

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 3:15 AM

The problem is that Meredith's question shouldn't be asked on PaleoHacks -- it should be on her FB group. As should all the answers to this question. This whining (sorry that is what it is) about appearance is, very unfortunately, a fact of life. Humans, at times can act in noble manners, as well as in very ignoble ways -- sounds like a lot of ppl feel that is what happened. Humans, that is how they behave. C'est la vie.

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:46 AM

I grew up in New England. Now I live waaaaay far away. But I like to visit. In fact, if I can convince my husband to put in for a job in Maine, maybe we'll be back???

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24523 · September 08, 2011 at 2:44 AM

Voted up for discussion of thigh perception.

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:44 AM

@ Kamal - I will. I will make fun of only myself. And I will sing Karaoke Pat Benatar. That's a promise.

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15003 · September 08, 2011 at 2:13 AM

I used to live in Boston ... can't wait for AHS12! See you there!!

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:11 AM

Don't go to the low reward cave! Manifesting for the AHS12 is where it's at! Post your desires for the nest 335 ish days and it will BE!

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24523 · September 08, 2011 at 2:01 AM

I seriously can't imagine what AHS 2012 is going to be like. AHS 2011 was so much fun, and now this super mega team from paleohacks is going to be at the next one. Too much reward...going back to low reward cave.

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7970 · September 08, 2011 at 1:52 AM

She don't give a shit, she's badass.

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24523 · September 08, 2011 at 1:46 AM

It does suck that judging people seems to be weaved into our DNA. I wish we could all just sit around and drink at a hotel bar. Which we did, and will do again!!

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1652 · September 08, 2011 at 1:42 AM

Ok, count me in!

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7324 · September 08, 2011 at 1:37 AM

Go AKD! .

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7967 · September 08, 2011 at 1:24 AM

If this happens, please make sure there are pictures.

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 1:18 AM

Right? Not a triangle - it's a slashed through circle!

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 1:16 AM

I will SING Ricky Martin if only there was someone's bon bon shaking somewhere. Make my rock star dreams come true!

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18701 · September 08, 2011 at 1:15 AM

I will just be a back up dancer. Y'all don't want to hear me sing, but I sure can shake my bon bon.

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20411 · September 08, 2011 at 1:04 AM

Not everyone at AHS was young, good looking and fit. A lot of older folks and plenty of normal looking people. I was one of the few fatties, however. But people were generally very friendly, especially the paleohackers! Many of the presenters were very approachable, especially Mark Sisson.

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 1:01 AM

oh em gee@aravind and danielle. Get a room!!!

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:51 AM

DId you actually see any women at AHS getting criticized? I didn't. All the people who were criticized were men, men with characteristics that are desirable in no culture. I understand that it's hard for women and that we are held to stupid meaningless standards that actually can damage our health, as fat is very important and fertility-promoting. I have written about that many times on my blog.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 12:39 AM

ok, kids. this is getting creepy.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 12:38 AM

patrik, thats a separate issue, and unrelated to what this post and the original post were about here. the issue is that after the conference, people appearance was critiqued publicly, and tha makes a significant part of our community uncomfortable attending further gathering. the issue is not wether appearance "matters" and how much, but wether its appropriate for professionals and grown-ups to behave that way.

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:33 AM

we do now, neither have seen women actively seeking to be as thin as they are now in traditional cultures. i think concentrating on health and realizing the damage that may already have been perpetrated, genetics and other factors may cause some women to never get below a size 10 but that's cool if they're healthy. btw, i'm not attacking you, melissa. i've read alot of what you've posted and your honesty during the period when your diet started going bad was brave. i had a similar experience, though not as drastic, after being vlc for awhile. i just wanted to point out things i've observed.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 12:32 AM

i didnt know thats what you had, mer! we all had it last year and its HORRIBLE! ack! these damn kids and their damn weirdo diseases!

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:30 AM

whether we're talking thin or overweight, features or any other superficial characteristics, the criticism of it all comes from the same place. the societal pressures put on women about appearance is not paleo. i say that jokingly but there's a bit of universal truth in that. in the photos of indigenous people i see, the women don't meet classic western standards of beauty, which in reality aren't standard at all. how many questions have you seen on this board where women are 5'7 139 lbs and yet still trying to lose more weight? just as we've never seen the levels of adiposity in history as w

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:26 AM

as far as openly discussing health issues, it's just the burden of a public figure. Y'all know I have nipple hair and terrible stretch marks :)

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:22 AM

and it's notable that in all the twitter convos and gossip I NEVER EVER heard anyone mention a women's weight, except for one woman who was alarmingly thin.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Some people criticized me anyway, but I admitted that the problem could have been caused by my diet and talked on my blog about how I was exploring changes in my diet.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:19 AM

The whole point of my post is that I'm not talking about things people are born with, but things that developed during the course of the diet they are promoting. If you are a health diet you can stave off criticism by explaining what is going on. I was more than open in 2010 when I experienced a health issue on my diet.

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:16 AM

of cognitive dissonance. i've talked with enough obese and formerly obese women to know that after they've had their battles, the scars are even more pronounced in the psyche as they are on the surface of their skin. subsequently, people in a community of this nature commenting on superficial characteristics may indeed strike a nerve. just my observation and opinion.

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:13 AM

I think it's a reasonable conversation all the way around so far. when i enter discussions about obesity and all of the issues surrounding it, i enter it with some baggage. however, i know that as a male, i enter it with alot less baggage than most women will because of the fact that women unfairly have even more societal pressures put upon them concerning beauty and appearance. when we in one breath talk about epigenetics and how our mom's diet has affected us and then in the next breath make the talk about someone's puffy red-facedness being the result of their low-carb diet, it has an air

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11986 · September 07, 2011 at 11:57 PM

Of course it does, or evolution wouldn't work at all. ;) But I think there are two different issues here: One is "Did your health deteriorate on this diet?" (a legitimate question). The other has to do with how much we know or don't know about someone else's health history, and what else could be impacting them (lost a lot of weight but not yet a golden god; unresolved rosacea despite other health issues improving, etc.). I'm not crazy about the call for leaders to "do something," but I do think folks could be more aware of (unintentionally) causing undeserved public humiliation.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Cookie crumbs - you really should go. Not just because we need like 8 more people to round out the houseboat rental, but because you are a strong smart lady and we can't get enough of those. :)

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837 · September 07, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Those folks don't go to the Lloyd Center Mall, so you could have it at the Hotel across the street, and instead of hipsters, you'd just have to watch out for the gang members in the park, the mall and the Max station.

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10502 · September 07, 2011 at 11:51 PM

Appearance matters at some level.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:50 PM

You bet your ass we need someone to post bail. Nooooo sexy times on any level with the coxsackie. Barely any smiling - I could grimace though. Not so great for the green screen Space Needle photo.

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10502 · September 07, 2011 at 11:50 PM

How. Dare. You. Be. The. Voice. Of. Reason by cutting through the Gordian Know of this. :) Nice job.

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20519 · September 07, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Woah. I most definitely know what the Coxsackievirus is and it's not a term to describe that you're getting some serious sexy times. Email me the deets! Egads, glad you're doing better! Re: AHS 2012 we will see :) There are a few trips and adventures on the horizon and they always take precedence. Hmm...I'll be the only one savvy enough to get all ya'll out of the conference center jail so maybe I should think about this a little more...

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20519 · September 07, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Woah. I most definitely know what the Coxsackievirus is and it's not a term to describe that you're getting some serious sexy times. Email me the deets! Egads, glad you're doing better! Re: AHS 2012 we will see :) There are a few trips and adventures on the horizon but if I can fit it in - I will. Besides, I'll be the only one savvy enough to get all ya'll out of the conference center jail.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:36 PM

@AKD - Only because she was cooking the most awesome food ever.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:32 PM

I hope you come to AHS12 - I want to meet you. :)

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Got my votes back - here's one at ya. AHS should feel like a safe place for everyone and anyone. I said this in an ancient post, I abhor exclusivity. If we are really part of a movement that is about health, real food and open discussion, let's not cordon people off because they don't fit the mold - whatever that mold is.

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24271 · September 07, 2011 at 10:50 PM

akd, I just spit my green tea all over myself. That's hilarious!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 10:45 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy-QmgdUVTI - I have been known to sing this song all day long. ...don't cha mess 'round with me - nonono!

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11099 · September 07, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Amen...the results of living a paleo lifestyle are so much deeper than surface, I just never focus on that...

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 10:05 PM

weird. thats the same diet i was on when i lived in portland. the vegan version. and i was pretty thin, too.

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 10:04 PM

YES we will karaoke. jamie does a KILLER "hit me with your best shot".

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Porland? As in Oregon or Maine. If OR - then hit this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2LBICPEK6w

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5232 · September 07, 2011 at 9:46 PM

#bromance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL4L4Uv5rf0

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7592 · September 07, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Ahhh ha ha ha ha ha. You paleo people are nice people...must be epigenetic.

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13692 · September 07, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Danielle is now my daughter on FB. Daddy is so proud of his exhibitionist girl.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:29 PM

AHS12 will be EPIC!

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2949 · September 07, 2011 at 9:25 PM

YESSS KARAOKE! HAHA why didn't we think of that this year? Oh I know, because we were too busy doing tequila shots in the swanky bar of the W hotel.

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12407 · September 07, 2011 at 9:24 PM

My mans is back in the game #bromance

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2949 · September 07, 2011 at 9:23 PM

You must've missed my coconut bra outfit. Oh wait, only Aravind saw that.

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3313 · September 07, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Meredith is hot. You got nothing to worry about, Meredith. See you at Harvard.

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15003 · September 07, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Hmm. I think there's a lot of us tho. We need to represent somehow!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:10 PM

I'm so frustrated. I ran out f upvotes! YES, hello! I will get Rosedale and Sapolsky to join. If I keep Tweeting these things, they will manifest. That's the Secret, right?

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 9:08 PM

my son just pointed to ina garten- the barefoot contessa, and called her "mama". fml.

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Can we go pleeeaaaase go karaoke-ing?? I'm having awesome 80s flashbacks. My repertoire includes hair band ballads, British pop, and the Humpty Dance.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:04 PM

BTW HB - best name ever???

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:02 PM

I ran out of votes. I'll come back later to dole more out :)

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:57 PM

I'm bringing my Muppet Babies and Scott Baio movies to AHS. Crazy movie watching nights will be had! Remember when Scott took home the Oscar for Zapped? I high fived my Joanie Loved Chachi poster that night.

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 8:56 PM

now youre talkin, caverat. ;)

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1652 · September 07, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Hehe - Well, I meant it as a total package thing, but when you say girls are hot, people listen, come, join, etc. Hm, maybe I will go...!!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I don't think staring at the hotties is a bad thing at all. It was the picking on the attendees and non-attendees looks that bugged. Either way, I'm going - in all my unfashionable glory. And I feel good about it. You? You're over there on that coast - making your way to Beantown?

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2977 · September 07, 2011 at 8:44 PM

For what it's worth, and especially since being a dad, moms tend to be quite hot to me - perhaps I just know a little more about that 'power' now.

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745 · September 07, 2011 at 8:44 PM

you gotta run around in a loin cloth and Vibrams just to be over the top ridiculous!

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Off topic, but I absolutely love Muppet Babies.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:42 PM

I will be soooo disappointed if I don't see a girl with a cheeto goiter eating cheetos - soooo disappointed.

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 8:41 PM

I love that book! (The Girl With The Cheeto Tattoo)

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:40 PM

As if I'll be able to get any words out - nervous. BUT if someone animates me like a muppet I may be able to converse with a few gurus. (Gawd I hope Rosedale COMES!). Curated wellness is scared of muppets, though. So he can't do it. Hmmmm any takers?

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 8:39 PM

The main takeaway from all these comments was provided above by sherpamelissa: we will be hungover and/or sleep-deprived, and that is what you should worry about.

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56616 · September 07, 2011 at 8:38 PM

IMHO there are lots of thin people who do not look healthy at all, and there was more gossip about these people at AHS then anyone else. There was one girl who looked anorexic. I don't like to judge, but it scares me that people might misuse the paleo diet and turn it into an eating disorder.

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56616 · September 07, 2011 at 8:38 PM

akd, beauty is not all about weight. There are many beautiful people with curves. Like my mom or this tribal elder in the Pacific http://bit.ly/pVHTGD

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 8:36 PM

promises promises.....ill believe it when i see it.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I still need to catch up with you about Seattle. It was a frigging GREAT trip. I had the COXSACKIE VIRUS the whole time though. You SHOULD COME to AHS!

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 8:33 PM

im 35 pounds overweight, 36 years old and have had two kids. one thumbnail picture that happens to be rather flattering is not representative of my overall appearance. i think merediths picture is pretty hot though.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:30 PM

@sherp - I may not sober up long enough to be hung over.

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56616 · September 07, 2011 at 8:30 PM

what's hilarious here is the people who are worried...well I click on their picture and they are hot. It's always the attractive people who are most worried.

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2977 · September 07, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Now THAT I can relate to

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2977 · September 07, 2011 at 8:26 PM

My concern is that I'm OLD. Well - not old like about to die old, but oldER. I read one report about AHS11 that most people in the audience were 'young and fit', and 'positive chest to waist (or was it hips - whichever is hotter) ratio' or something like that. No, that's not me, needer. BTW Sara I haven't been to the Nor Cal Paleo either (I'm in SF) partly for that reason.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:24 PM

These peeps are celebs to me too! I am sure to do something just awfully embarrassing, like insisting that Rob Wolf let me give him a piggyback ride!

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24271 · September 07, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Thanks for the laugh Scarlett.

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18701 · September 07, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Meredith, we will be too hung over to care what people are saying about us.

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18701 · September 07, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Well, you are HOT to me. <3

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24271 · September 07, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Dare you? Heck I'll PAY YOU!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:20 PM

@Melissa - Thank goodness. I'm not presenting, but it is totally possible that I will make a fool of myself. If Robert Sapolsky speaks I may scream...several times... then throw soft undergarments at him. If people Tweet about that, then it's my own damn fault.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:17 PM

http://www.mattmetzgar.com/matt_metzgar/2011/08/back-from-ahs-part-4.html

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:15 PM

I DARE YOU!............

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1801 · September 07, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I hear you on the power of giving birth :-)

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I usually think that we are just hard on ourselves, but reading the Twitter feed I started to think that we are equally hard on each other. If it happens in 12, I will choose to laugh about it. Tears are just too messy and I hate to clean (who said that??).

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56616 · September 07, 2011 at 8:10 PM

ALso, when people were referring to beautiful people they were referring probably to two individuals: Erwan Le Corre and Denise Minger.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Oh, I'm gonna laugh alright. Stuff will be flying out of my face. I may not be able to walk after a while.

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12407 · September 07, 2011 at 8:09 PM

because they have bodies and looks that are above avg. i think both are out there preaching the full unadulterated whole foods gospel and how it relates to quality of life.

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12407 · September 07, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I feel you Sara. I love Robb Wolf and Sisson as much as the next person and I love what it's done for the crossfitters and other athletes. However, when i think of the paleo experience hitting the mainstream, i think it'll be on the strength of stories like akd's in how it helps her control MS to the point of living a very full, virtually symptom free life or any of the other similar stories we've heard from people returning to eating whole food. Don't mean to rant, but there does seem to be a certain narcissistic undercurrent in some paleo circles. btw, i am only invoking wolf and sisson

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56616 · September 07, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Well if it makes you feel better, Matt Metzgar said we weren't particularly beautiful, just not ugly. But honestly, unless you are a presenter, no one will be scrutinizing you. I had nightmares they I'd break out before my talk because of stress or something...

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:01 PM

This is a real issue I think in the Paleo community. A REAL issue. FB me lady, travels plans are being made :)

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1652 · September 07, 2011 at 7:51 PM

I thought I voted you Ms. Paleo America?

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Watch the Great Muppet Caper. You get to see their ENTIRE bodies shimmy up the side of a building - soooo CUTE!

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5232 · September 07, 2011 at 7:47 PM

If there are muppets at AHS, I am not going. Those things freak me out.

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21 Answers

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24271 · September 07, 2011 at 11:08 PM

I think it's nice that everyone is comforting Meredith but I think the real point is that as a result of the behavior of some after AHS 2011 people are worried about this. People are actually having to think about this stuff! Meredith is but one of many I'm sure. Actually people were worried about this sort of thing before attending AHS 2011 because of the incessant demand for paleo's to be beautiful and perfect. And before anyone says that's not true if you aren't in touch with this fact you haven't been paying attention. I hesitated to go because of the judgment regarding peoples physical nature here and elsewhere. There clearly is a large contingent who believe that eating paleo endows you with a perfect body and if you don't have one of those you are clearly doing something very wrong. And got forbid you are showing signs of aging. I'm sorry to break it to you guys but people who eat paleo still get old and yes, they die (gasp!)

No one who attended AHS 2001 signed up to be a lab rat for anyone's ridiculous experiment. As far as I know no one gave their consent to have their appearance picked about, laughed about, put on display for comment and fodder. Yet that is exactly what happened. Presenters who gave of their time and expertise where put on display and ridiculed for not having perfect bodies. God forbid you are involved in the paleo community and you don't look like Mark Sisson. You must be a poser right? Participants, normal everyday people who just wanted to come to a meeting to learn and be in community, were very publicly picked apart as well.

How many tweats and posts were there talking about how beautiful the group was? How many blog posts were made about in/out of shape bodies or clear/blotchy skin, etc? Why are we even talking about this stuff? Completely ridiculous, juvenile and downright shameful IMO. It makes me sick to think people did not feel comfortable attending and that even more will not feel comfortable attending the next one because of this attitude and behavior. I would certainly like to see some of the community leaders step in and squelch this sort of talk when it rears its ugly head. They really need to step up to the plate on this one IMO. Paleo is for everyone and everyone should feel more than welcome to come and share with the community regardless of what they look like.

Finally I want to say that I don't believe anyone who participated in all of this meant to be harmful or hurtful. I don't. I just want us all to acknowledge that its not appropriate behavior at least not publicly. As always, we need to think about the consequences of our actions. I hope we will learn from this and do better next time.

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10502 · September 07, 2011 at 11:51 PM

Appearance matters at some level.

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:44 AM

@ Kamal - I will. I will make fun of only myself. And I will sing Karaoke Pat Benatar. That's a promise.

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 3:15 AM

The problem is that Meredith's question shouldn't be asked on PaleoHacks -- it should be on her FB group. As should all the answers to this question. This whining (sorry that is what it is) about appearance is, very unfortunately, a fact of life. Humans, at times can act in noble manners, as well as in very ignoble ways -- sounds like a lot of ppl feel that is what happened. Humans, that is how they behave. C'est la vie.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Got my votes back - here's one at ya. AHS should feel like a safe place for everyone and anyone. I said this in an ancient post, I abhor exclusivity. If we are really part of a movement that is about health, real food and open discussion, let's not cordon people off because they don't fit the mold - whatever that mold is.

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 3:17 AM

@Shari -- if someone tweets about someone else's beauty - how does that take away from you? This isn't a zero sum game.

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5477 · September 08, 2011 at 5:31 AM

Patrick: And the larger point is: The apparent need by a whole culture of people(or a rather promnent number, it seems!) to make themselves feel better/more secure about themselves/their diet/their specialness/their superiority? by a marked emphasis on comparison. However "good" it is can be measured quite accurately "at home" in your own body without the need for narcissistic supply outside yourself...unless, of course, it is *really* about something else...

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2977 · September 08, 2011 at 5:51 PM

It's not so much that people 'shouldn't be mean' - that's what people do, and we should all just roll our eyes and carry on. But I think there should be some expressed understanding that we are on a JOURNEY. Many of us come from/with challenging health issues, and those who are coming from the toughest situations and making progress are the ones to be most celebrated.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 6:22 PM

SO well said, caverat. i wish i had some upvotes left for ya. ill come back when i do.

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 8:42 AM

@mem -- I am in violent agreement with you but it is the nature of ppl to be insecure/gossipy/lame etc etc *sigh

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2977 · September 08, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I've been reading a forum (catching up on old posts still) where a woman has had fantastic results with paleo (lost 130 lbs!), and has encountered the same issues that are argued about incessantly here and elsewhere in the paleo scene, and has been carefully working through those issues and making amazing discoveries and *greatly* improving her health. Frankly, she's an *inspiration* and I would *love* to see her at AHS12 to share her journey. She is also diabetic and weighs over 400 pounds - she used to be over 500! Do you think she won't be tweeted/gossiped about?

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5477 · September 08, 2011 at 5:25 AM

Patrik: This is a bit deeper than "whining." It is about the values of a culture (PH types) and a bit of what I'd call "magical thinking" as well. An excellent diet isn't magic. And a visible container aint the whole package, especially in humans, by a long shot. As McGuff said: No amount of exercise (read buffness, six pack etc) can make up for a bad diet. But you can sure make the container look hot. IMHO, a 60/40, 80/20 body building paleo is not going to match up to the *real* health of a 99%, non-buffed Loren Cordain, who is by NO stretch of the imagination overweight,just 0 working out.

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10502 · September 08, 2011 at 4:11 AM

@CuratedWellness -- no kidding? Really? Ya think so? Thanks man -- do you want to take over the site?

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11986 · September 07, 2011 at 11:57 PM

Of course it does, or evolution wouldn't work at all. ;) But I think there are two different issues here: One is "Did your health deteriorate on this diet?" (a legitimate question). The other has to do with how much we know or don't know about someone else's health history, and what else could be impacting them (lost a lot of weight but not yet a golden god; unresolved rosacea despite other health issues improving, etc.). I'm not crazy about the call for leaders to "do something," but I do think folks could be more aware of (unintentionally) causing undeserved public humiliation.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 12:38 AM

patrik, thats a separate issue, and unrelated to what this post and the original post were about here. the issue is that after the conference, people appearance was critiqued publicly, and tha makes a significant part of our community uncomfortable attending further gathering. the issue is not wether appearance "matters" and how much, but wether its appropriate for professionals and grown-ups to behave that way.

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24523 · September 08, 2011 at 1:46 AM

It does suck that judging people seems to be weaved into our DNA. I wish we could all just sit around and drink at a hotel bar. Which we did, and will do again!!

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5232 · September 08, 2011 at 3:38 AM

Patrik - 28 up votes means it's resonating with people. No need to attack the asker.

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5232 · September 08, 2011 at 4:17 AM

Not especially, but thanks for the offer.

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11986 · September 08, 2011 at 6:10 AM

"An excellent diet isn't magic." Brilliant! And I say this as someone who *has* experienced something like magic on my diet -- but it didn't fix *everything.* I needed Vitamin D (well, really, sunshine, but I have a job) to fix asthma, and there are still a few other kinks that diet's not addressing. Okay, more than kinks. We're all born on a different starting line (and some seem to be born on the finish line, but think somehow their individual effort won them the race, lol).

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12407 · September 07, 2011 at 7:48 PM

are you suggesting there is a certain strain of narcissism running through a subset of the paleosphere? why i never...

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3891 · September 08, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Well, I do declare!

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24271 · September 07, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Thanks for the laugh Scarlett.

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 8:05 PM

im going, but the superficial and sort of obsessive focus on what everyone looked like really bothered me. i dont want to go to a conference and come home and read about myself on the intertubes. im not "hot", and never will be. you cant see my abs, and you probably never will. i dont really care, and i resent that anyone else would. its just really immature, and does a disservice to the brilliant people (men and woman but especially the women) in attendance to talk about their "beauty" and weight and skin. its sure as hell not going to stop me from going, but i will publicly shame anyone that comments on wether or not my appearance is acceptable. personally im not too self-conscious after giving birth X2 because i realized that my body is so much more powerful than just how it appears to strangers, but when i hear other women especially critiquing womens bodies and appearance, i go crazy. that shits not cool, yo.

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7324 · September 08, 2011 at 1:37 AM

Go AKD! .

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 8:56 PM

now youre talkin, caverat. ;)

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2977 · September 07, 2011 at 8:44 PM

For what it's worth, and especially since being a dad, moms tend to be quite hot to me - perhaps I just know a little more about that 'power' now.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I usually think that we are just hard on ourselves, but reading the Twitter feed I started to think that we are equally hard on each other. If it happens in 12, I will choose to laugh about it. Tears are just too messy and I hate to clean (who said that??).

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1801 · September 07, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I hear you on the power of giving birth :-)

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18701 · September 07, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Well, you are HOT to me. <3

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11099 · September 07, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Amen...the results of living a paleo lifestyle are so much deeper than surface, I just never focus on that...

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2435 · September 07, 2011 at 8:00 PM

I'm in the Nor Cal Paleo meet up group, and I've been afraid of going to any of these meet ups because I'm still fat. I sincerely doubt that they'd notice your skin, but when I momentarily contemplated going to the AHS, I didn't feel comfortable with it. Just saying this because I want you to know you're not the only self conscious one.

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15003 · September 07, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Hmm. I think there's a lot of us tho. We need to represent somehow!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:01 PM

This is a real issue I think in the Paleo community. A REAL issue. FB me lady, travels plans are being made :)

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2977 · September 07, 2011 at 8:26 PM

My concern is that I'm OLD. Well - not old like about to die old, but oldER. I read one report about AHS11 that most people in the audience were 'young and fit', and 'positive chest to waist (or was it hips - whichever is hotter) ratio' or something like that. No, that's not me, needer. BTW Sara I haven't been to the Nor Cal Paleo either (I'm in SF) partly for that reason.

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12407 · September 07, 2011 at 8:09 PM

because they have bodies and looks that are above avg. i think both are out there preaching the full unadulterated whole foods gospel and how it relates to quality of life.

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12407 · September 07, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I feel you Sara. I love Robb Wolf and Sisson as much as the next person and I love what it's done for the crossfitters and other athletes. However, when i think of the paleo experience hitting the mainstream, i think it'll be on the strength of stories like akd's in how it helps her control MS to the point of living a very full, virtually symptom free life or any of the other similar stories we've heard from people returning to eating whole food. Don't mean to rant, but there does seem to be a certain narcissistic undercurrent in some paleo circles. btw, i am only invoking wolf and sisson

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20411 · September 08, 2011 at 1:04 AM

Not everyone at AHS was young, good looking and fit. A lot of older folks and plenty of normal looking people. I was one of the few fatties, however. But people were generally very friendly, especially the paleohackers! Many of the presenters were very approachable, especially Mark Sisson.

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10919 · September 08, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Some of us including me Are still on our journey. I feel self conscious too about going next year but I think my excitement about it being an hour away is trumping my Misgivings. No one there will see my 50 pound overweight body and know I've already lost 40. (though hopefully by then I'll have lost a lot more.) Go let your freak flag fly. There will be a few of us there to support you!

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 8:57 PM

@ beingvens - first awesome name! Second, you MUST go! I am going to fly thousands of miles to meet you people! Excited already!

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2435 · September 09, 2011 at 6:18 AM

I actually got to meet Mark Sisson in person. He was speaking at a gym. I think I was the only one there who already knew what he had to say, and didn't belong to the gym. Being the ONLY fat person in the room, I didn't go up and talk to him (also because the baby I was nursing needed me back in the car). I still kick myself for not feeling comfortable enough in my own skin to go shake his hand :(

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13692 · September 07, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Ok, I am coming out of my Low Tech Reward cave for this after 3.5 weeks of silence since someone who shall remain nameless told me that I need reconnect for this.

1) You are GORGEOUS

2) Regardless, I love you for who you are - a funny, witty, thoughtful, caring person that gives a lot of people here support

3) No one would DARE say anything negative about one of my PH gals if they know what's good for them. I'll go to prison for 2-3 years just to prove a point. Shari and Danielle will back me on this one (I hope)

4) LuckyBastard is a badder mo-fo than me. While I'm pulling out their still-beating heart, he will be eating their organ meats (I am a veggie after all but I have no issues killing for a justifiable cause). Don't mess with the brotha...he so crazy!!!

I could go on, but enough of this Tom Foolery.

Ok, back to the PH hibernation cave. Back in 1.5 weeks to report on my Low Reward experiment with Kamal. Ghee Wolverine, out...

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5232 · September 07, 2011 at 9:46 PM

#bromance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL4L4Uv5rf0

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:29 PM

AHS12 will be EPIC!

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12407 · September 07, 2011 at 9:24 PM

My mans is back in the game #bromance

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16131 · September 09, 2011 at 3:12 AM

I am trying to be in a relationship with you - confirm please. My illegitimate son-in-law needs this union to pass!

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39841 · September 07, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I see hipsters around Portland all day long who are leaner than nearly every one of the people I've seen pictures of who attended the AHS. Their diets consist of equal parts coffee, cigarettes, burritos and PBR and you sure as Hell wouldn't want to go to one of their conferences. Couldn't have it two years in a row anyway because it'd be so last year.

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 10:05 PM

weird. thats the same diet i was on when i lived in portland. the vegan version. and i was pretty thin, too.

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1186 · September 08, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Isn't it more fun poking fun at emaciated vegans? Does AHS need more of an us-vs-them mentality?

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837 · September 07, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Those folks don't go to the Lloyd Center Mall, so you could have it at the Hotel across the street, and instead of hipsters, you'd just have to watch out for the gang members in the park, the mall and the Max station.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Porland? As in Oregon or Maine. If OR - then hit this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2LBICPEK6w

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20519 · September 07, 2011 at 8:29 PM

I'm confused... I thought AHS was for grownups? That kind of crap just ruins fun times. I'm probably not going to go but if I do, and if anyone starts on me, it won't be pretty. With a smile on my face I'll most definitely verbally hand someone their ass if they attempt any petty BS. I've never subscribed to "judge a book by it's cover" and I think most people would be better off if they did just the same.

I don't care what you look like or what your fitness level is as long as you're cool, can hold a conversation, are smart, and don't ask to try my drink or take my snacks.

Even over the le interwebs your personality is awesome so 'eff them. Or shoot me a text if anyone starts and I'll personally drive up and put someone in a triangle hold.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:50 PM

You bet your ass we need someone to post bail. Nooooo sexy times on any level with the coxsackie. Barely any smiling - I could grimace though. Not so great for the green screen Space Needle photo.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I still need to catch up with you about Seattle. It was a frigging GREAT trip. I had the COXSACKIE VIRUS the whole time though. You SHOULD COME to AHS!

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20519 · September 08, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Did it morph into hand/foot/mouth, lady? I had that happen to a friend and saw what she went through.. I'm so sorry and what a bummer to be in Seattle and have all that go down. Now you have to go back and have extra fun!

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20519 · September 07, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Woah. I most definitely know what the Coxsackievirus is and it's not a term to describe that you're getting some serious sexy times. Email me the deets! Egads, glad you're doing better! Re: AHS 2012 we will see :) There are a few trips and adventures on the horizon but if I can fit it in - I will. Besides, I'll be the only one savvy enough to get all ya'll out of the conference center jail.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 12:32 AM

i didnt know thats what you had, mer! we all had it last year and its HORRIBLE! ack! these damn kids and their damn weirdo diseases!

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20519 · September 07, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Woah. I most definitely know what the Coxsackievirus is and it's not a term to describe that you're getting some serious sexy times. Email me the deets! Egads, glad you're doing better! Re: AHS 2012 we will see :) There are a few trips and adventures on the horizon and they always take precedence. Hmm...I'll be the only one savvy enough to get all ya'll out of the conference center jail so maybe I should think about this a little more...

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20519 · September 08, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Huge sad face for you over here. HUGE. Be well..

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:30 PM

It was all mouth. No hands or feet, just concentrated in the kisser - nooo kissing though. It was hellish. My 5 year old got it too. Poor kid.

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613 · September 08, 2011 at 2:32 AM

I agree that it's natural to judge and be looking for various sorts of "evidence" one way or another, especially regarding speakers/presenters. But, you never know where someone started from. I'm not a ripped hottie. I'm a LADA diabetic who used to weigh 200 lbs (at 5'2"), and I'm 40, and though i'm now a healthy weight, there is loose skin and gravity and diabetes going on. (no paleo/primal hasnt cured that, but it helps keep my insulin needs low). But anyone who has known me more than a few years knows that compared to before, I DO radiate great health. My friends note the definition in my thigh muscles when I wear shorts, for example, but if I were hanging out with a bunch of hardcore crossfitters, that is not how people would perceive my thighs. Anyway! Great discussion.

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24523 · September 08, 2011 at 2:44 AM

Voted up for discussion of thigh perception.

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56616 · September 07, 2011 at 11:38 PM

This is more a response to Shari than the original question, but this is an interesting topic. Paleo is for everyone and I have posted on my blog many times that "thinness" is an absurd way to quantify health. However, I strongly disagree that appearances are trivial and we should shut up about them. The vast majority of discussion about appearances was in regards to presenters who make claims about knowing the secret to a healthy diet and it's particularly absurd when people who make claims about weight loss are pudgy or over time they look worse on their special diet, while people who follow the diets they attack look much better. I'm pretty immune to this since I don't write diet books or promote weight loss diets...I don't even promote a particular diet. Honestly I and many other speakers at AHS look like out of shape computer nerds and no one said anything because we weren't marketing particular diets or aggressively posturing against other diets. It would be like me doing a presentation on having awesome teeth and how my special teeth diet is so great and attacking other diets while my teeth are obviously crooked and hideous.

As for women's bodies. I have attacked stupid standards of beauty that have nothing to do with health on my blog many times, because I have been VERY alarmed at women who have all the markers of biological health, yet want to be a size zero. Some of them even become less healthy because of this. In fact, the only instance I even heard about of a women being criticized in AHS was gossip about a woman who was frighteningly thin. THe people who were criticized openly were ALL men and it wasn't an issue of culturally determined beauty

BTW my mom is a lovely woman and has followed paleo for two years now. She still looks like someone who went through two tough c-sections and that will probably never change, but she looks BETTER after doing paleo. Her skin is lovely, her hair is shiny and thick, less of her weight is carried in the visceral region. Same with my grandmother, she is considered "overweight" according to the BMI, but she is lovely for someone who is 92 and since she cut out gluten she looks much better than she did before.

Heck, honestly if you look worse after going paleo, you need to rethink your diet. Some markers of beauty are a cultural construction...some you can't change because they are genetic or they were determined very early in your development (like my teeth), but some are not and are actually markers of health. If these decline on your diet, it's time to ask some questions.

And if you are a public figure, there is a burden to look a certain way or at least explain why you are experiencing issues. I've honestly hesitated to ask questions here or write things on my blog because I worry people will say I'm doing something wrong to have this issue, but actually it's been very helpful for people to do that. When I suffered a severe health crisis in 2010 people commented that it might be related to my diet and instead of digging in my heels to defend my diet I made changes. I benefitted from this. Yeah, there are still issues with me. If I ever write an ebook about 101 ways to get rid of a third nipple, you guys are free to point out that I still have one (yes it is horrible and I can't believe it exists).

stuff I added on edit in italics

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:33 AM

we do now, neither have seen women actively seeking to be as thin as they are now in traditional cultures. i think concentrating on health and realizing the damage that may already have been perpetrated, genetics and other factors may cause some women to never get below a size 10 but that's cool if they're healthy. btw, i'm not attacking you, melissa. i've read alot of what you've posted and your honesty during the period when your diet started going bad was brave. i had a similar experience, though not as drastic, after being vlc for awhile. i just wanted to point out things i've observed.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Some people criticized me anyway, but I admitted that the problem could have been caused by my diet and talked on my blog about how I was exploring changes in my diet.

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11986 · September 08, 2011 at 6:14 AM

You know, I like most of what you say here, but I'm stuck with one issue: If someone writing a diet book shouldn't look pudgy, isn't that saying they don't really know about weight loss? And how is that different than the criticism some people level against obesity theorists and researchers who never themselves had to lose weight, and therefore are missing a vital piece of data? Is this the same standard, or am I missing some subtle distinction?

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Obesity theorists and researchers work with data and science and are not the authors of diet books. Science doesn't care whether or not you are fat. You can run linear regression if you are thin or fat. I know tons of obesity researchers who are very overweight, I could care less since they are writing science papers about data in journals. However, the general public does care if someone is telling them what to do about getting thin, claims to have all the answers, attacks other diets, and is fat.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Shari, I have no interest in discussing your looks at you are not the author of diet books.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:19 AM

The whole point of my post is that I'm not talking about things people are born with, but things that developed during the course of the diet they are promoting. If you are a health diet you can stave off criticism by explaining what is going on. I was more than open in 2010 when I experienced a health issue on my diet.

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24271 · September 08, 2011 at 4:00 PM

I would very much welcome feedback from those who know me if they noticed something looked "off" or I didn't look right in some way. We often can't see things that other do. My objection to the discussion was that it was public, without the consent of the people being talked about, negative, and based on visual inspection alone. If so and so had acknowledged publicly that they were concerned about their xyz then I think it's appropriate to comment and start discussion about it but without that I just think it's inappropriate. AHS should be a safe place for everyone.

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 6:24 PM

wow. that was uncalled for.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:22 AM

and it's notable that in all the twitter convos and gossip I NEVER EVER heard anyone mention a women's weight, except for one woman who was alarmingly thin.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:51 AM

DId you actually see any women at AHS getting criticized? I didn't. All the people who were criticized were men, men with characteristics that are desirable in no culture. I understand that it's hard for women and that we are held to stupid meaningless standards that actually can damage our health, as fat is very important and fertility-promoting. I have written about that many times on my blog.

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24271 · September 08, 2011 at 4:04 PM

And just to ride on what LB said, I am clearly more sensitive to this sort of thing than most because of my past. There are many in our community who are hyper-sensitive to this sort of thing. I don't think most who did post-AHS commentary meant to be offensive or to be making personal attacks. I just want to voice what some of us were feeling and thinking watching all of this in the hopes that in the future people think about how their words may be perceived by those who receive them.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 12:26 AM

as far as openly discussing health issues, it's just the burden of a public figure. Y'all know I have nipple hair and terrible stretch marks :)

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10502 · September 07, 2011 at 11:50 PM

How. Dare. You. Be. The. Voice. Of. Reason by cutting through the Gordian Know of this. :) Nice job.

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56616 · September 08, 2011 at 4:27 PM

and since you are sensitive, I would suggest not writing one either.

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:13 AM

I think it's a reasonable conversation all the way around so far. when i enter discussions about obesity and all of the issues surrounding it, i enter it with some baggage. however, i know that as a male, i enter it with alot less baggage than most women will because of the fact that women unfairly have even more societal pressures put upon them concerning beauty and appearance. when we in one breath talk about epigenetics and how our mom's diet has affected us and then in the next breath make the talk about someone's puffy red-facedness being the result of their low-carb diet, it has an air

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:30 AM

whether we're talking thin or overweight, features or any other superficial characteristics, the criticism of it all comes from the same place. the societal pressures put on women about appearance is not paleo. i say that jokingly but there's a bit of universal truth in that. in the photos of indigenous people i see, the women don't meet classic western standards of beauty, which in reality aren't standard at all. how many questions have you seen on this board where women are 5'7 139 lbs and yet still trying to lose more weight? just as we've never seen the levels of adiposity in history as w

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 12:16 AM

of cognitive dissonance. i've talked with enough obese and formerly obese women to know that after they've had their battles, the scars are even more pronounced in the psyche as they are on the surface of their skin. subsequently, people in a community of this nature commenting on superficial characteristics may indeed strike a nerve. just my observation and opinion.

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3313 · September 07, 2011 at 8:12 PM

The stress of looking pretty makes me want to run around the halls of the convention draped in nothing but a loin cloth.

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 8:36 PM

promises promises.....ill believe it when i see it.

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13692 · September 07, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Danielle is now my daughter on FB. Daddy is so proud of his exhibitionist girl.

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2949 · September 08, 2011 at 6:46 AM

BAMBAM and I will likely conceive a paleo babby at next years AHS, and I have a feeling that will become unavoidable if he shows up in a loin cloth. Primal urges right hurrrr.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:15 PM

I DARE YOU!............

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24271 · September 07, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Dare you? Heck I'll PAY YOU!

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745 · September 07, 2011 at 8:44 PM

you gotta run around in a loin cloth and Vibrams just to be over the top ridiculous!

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 12:39 AM

ok, kids. this is getting creepy.

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7967 · September 08, 2011 at 1:24 AM

If this happens, please make sure there are pictures.

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12407 · September 08, 2011 at 1:01 AM

oh em gee@aravind and danielle. Get a room!!!

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2949 · September 07, 2011 at 9:23 PM

You must've missed my coconut bra outfit. Oh wait, only Aravind saw that.

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 1:18 AM

Right? Not a triangle - it's a slashed through circle!

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2949 · September 08, 2011 at 6:45 AM

@ LB- been there done that!

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7592 · September 07, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I would go even if I have a goiter...and I would get the goiter tattooed with a picture of a cheetoe bag and then I would eat cheetoes there during the seminars so I could be known as the girl with the cheetoe goiter eating cheetoes. All publicity is good publicity.

(Meredith...I think you will find it's not that way at all and you worried for nothing. I know it's hard to think that before the fact.)

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745 · September 08, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Forget AHS! Sell tickets to see the cheetoo-tattoed goiter!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:42 PM

I will be soooo disappointed if I don't see a girl with a cheeto goiter eating cheetos - soooo disappointed.

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 8:41 PM

I love that book! (The Girl With The Cheeto Tattoo)

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7592 · September 07, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Ahhh ha ha ha ha ha. You paleo people are nice people...must be epigenetic.

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Part of it might be heightened emotions. Everybody gets nervous that Erwan Le Corre will steal their girlfriend, or that Denise Minger will steal their boyfriend.

At the conference this year, people seemed friendly and non-judgmental on the whole. Many body types were represented. The people I hung with were all totally cool, and coincidentally were also paleohackers. So presuming Aravind, Danielle, Shari, WCC Paul, WCC Paul's better half, Jules K, Andy, etc are there next year, expect a similar vibe.

Also, the speakers were very very easy to talk to! Which I know you'll love because you are the ultimate paleo guru groupie.

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15229 · September 07, 2011 at 10:04 PM

YES we will karaoke. jamie does a KILLER "hit me with your best shot".

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 10:45 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy-QmgdUVTI - I have been known to sing this song all day long. ...don't cha mess 'round with me - nonono!

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 1:16 AM

I will SING Ricky Martin if only there was someone's bon bon shaking somewhere. Make my rock star dreams come true!

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Can we go pleeeaaaase go karaoke-ing?? I'm having awesome 80s flashbacks. My repertoire includes hair band ballads, British pop, and the Humpty Dance.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:10 PM

I'm so frustrated. I ran out f upvotes! YES, hello! I will get Rosedale and Sapolsky to join. If I keep Tweeting these things, they will manifest. That's the Secret, right?

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24523 · September 07, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Off topic, but I absolutely love Muppet Babies.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:40 PM

As if I'll be able to get any words out - nervous. BUT if someone animates me like a muppet I may be able to converse with a few gurus. (Gawd I hope Rosedale COMES!). Curated wellness is scared of muppets, though. So he can't do it. Hmmmm any takers?

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:57 PM

I'm bringing my Muppet Babies and Scott Baio movies to AHS. Crazy movie watching nights will be had! Remember when Scott took home the Oscar for Zapped? I high fived my Joanie Loved Chachi poster that night.

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18701 · September 08, 2011 at 1:15 AM

I will just be a back up dancer. Y'all don't want to hear me sing, but I sure can shake my bon bon.

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2949 · September 07, 2011 at 9:25 PM

YESSS KARAOKE! HAHA why didn't we think of that this year? Oh I know, because we were too busy doing tequila shots in the swanky bar of the W hotel.

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2949 · September 08, 2011 at 6:44 AM

LOL melissa! ...

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16131 · September 09, 2011 at 3:13 AM

All's I know is that my son-in-law better BRING IT!

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9812 · September 10, 2011 at 3:42 AM

I'm down for karaoke!! And since I won't be jetlagged at AHS12, I will be joining in on the tequila shots :D

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15003 · September 07, 2011 at 9:08 PM

I suspect Nora Gedgaudas had me in mind when she wrote (re AHS participants) "the very few individuals I spoke with who appeared somewhat overweight had typically already lost quite a bit of weight." Well, "appeared somewhat overweight" is a very kind way of putting it in my case!

I had some of these anxieties going into the event. Not only was I not thin, I wasn't young, and I wasn't a guy. I thought I was gonna stick out like a sore thumb. Well, I probably did ... especially since I was hobbling around on a cane due to a meniscus tear and (related?) sciatica.

I'm not sure if people saw what they wanted to, but while there were some quite attractive AHS attendees, many looked (and I don't say this to be critical) just like average people.

Once there, I did not feel at all uncomfortable (save for my annoying mobility issues). So don't worry ... be happy ;).

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:32 PM

I hope you come to AHS12 - I want to meet you. :)

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:46 AM

I grew up in New England. Now I live waaaaay far away. But I like to visit. In fact, if I can convince my husband to put in for a job in Maine, maybe we'll be back???

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15229 · September 08, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Come on back girl. You know that RI accent is burbling at the surface, just dying to be set free!

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15003 · September 08, 2011 at 2:13 AM

I used to live in Boston ... can't wait for AHS12! See you there!!

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1801 · September 07, 2011 at 8:18 PM

I'm in the UK, so won't be attending any AHS conferences stateside any time soon...

However, I think that others have already hit the nail on the head. Paleo is about far more than looking good. It's about being healthy.

I have a friend who is 93lbs at 5ft 2in. I weigh around 123lbs at 4ft 11ins. She is ill so much more than I am. She thinks that because she's thin, she's healthy. That's just not the way it works.

I know that I'm slightly overweight still, but I'm not ill nearly near as much as she is. This is what eating paleo means to me. It's about me being around for my kids when they're older - and for my kids to leave a happy and healthy life too.

And of course, remember that a lot of paleo peeps are pretty much geeky and have so much more to think/talk about than appearance.

Get yourself a ticket and enjoy meeting lots of interesting people!

FWIW; I'd be crapping my pants at meeting all the people in the paleo blogosphere as if they were slebs or something, haha!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:24 PM

These peeps are celebs to me too! I am sure to do something just awfully embarrassing, like insisting that Rob Wolf let me give him a piggyback ride!

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1801 · September 08, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Yep, I prefer following these peeps on twitter rather than slebs (who're quite dull ime) - they have more to say!

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745 · September 07, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Just to play devil's advocate for a minute, sometimes you have to drop down to sheer vanity to get people to change their eating habits. I'm a prime example. I am quite lucky in that I don't have to eat this way because I will terrible if I don't. If I were to cave and eat something non-paleo, I would be none the worse for wear, except maybe my around-the-middle chub would grow an amount only perceptible to me. However, I choose to eat this way because I know in my head that it is a healthier way to eat. But when I'm faced with the temptation to eat a cookie, instead of the "no, I'll feel terrible" motivation, I go with the "no, I'll look terrible" motivation.

That being said, I'm also horribly self-conscience too. If I went to AHS and saw even two people that looked like Greek statues, I would probably tweet a comment about all the fit, lean people. We see what we look for and we look for what we want to see based on our beliefs, insecurities, etc.

All I'm saying is to look at the tweets from that perspective and you might just be talking about someone else who is as nervous about being laughed at for they way they look as you.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:02 PM

I ran out of votes. I'll come back later to dole more out :)

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 9:04 PM

BTW HB - best name ever???

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16131 · September 09, 2011 at 3:15 AM

You forget the Jesus Christ Lizard and his Tabata like running on water - You GO Jesus Christ LIZARD!

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7970 · September 08, 2011 at 1:52 AM

She don't give a shit, she's badass.

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745 · September 08, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Yeah, my first encounter with the Honey Badger was just after going Paleo and HB impressed me with her ability to rip & tear flesh and not give a shit. In my book, HB is part of the Paleo Holy Trinity next to God the Father (Cordain) and Paleo baby Jesus (Wolf)

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1652 · September 07, 2011 at 8:35 PM

I think paleo chicks ARE hot and all the beautiful girls are here. We should promote that. AND we should be making people feel good about themselves. It's not necessarily superficial unless you view it that way. We have a positive message to share, so let's find a good way to do it.

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I don't think staring at the hotties is a bad thing at all. It was the picking on the attendees and non-attendees looks that bugged. Either way, I'm going - in all my unfashionable glory. And I feel good about it. You? You're over there on that coast - making your way to Beantown?

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Cookie crumbs - you really should go. Not just because we need like 8 more people to round out the houseboat rental, but because you are a strong smart lady and we can't get enough of those. :)

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1652 · September 07, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Hehe - Well, I meant it as a total package thing, but when you say girls are hot, people listen, come, join, etc. Hm, maybe I will go...!!

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1652 · September 08, 2011 at 1:42 AM

Ok, count me in!

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2417 · January 03, 2012 at 5:40 AM

Smart girls are hot.

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1960 · September 07, 2011 at 8:05 PM

laughs Screw it -- don't worry about it! Have a great time!

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16131 · September 07, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Oh, I'm gonna laugh alright. Stuff will be flying out of my face. I may not be able to walk after a while.

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287 · September 07, 2011 at 7:50 PM

I'm def going too. Its on the East Coast so a lot cheaper for travel for me. Never really thought about this topic. Honestly, regardless of what people think of me... I'm going to learn for me. No matter where you go in life, people are always going to talk.

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3850 · December 13, 2011 at 3:58 PM

I know I'm late to this conversation, but I have a few points to add. I am still heartbroken that while AHS will be in my proverbial neighborhood this year, I can't go due to familial obligations sigh. But if I could, I would - despite being nothing like thin. And yes, I would probably have a moment or two of normal self-esteem blips, but I'd keep reminding myself of the following:

  • Sometimes I do feel like I have to explain my diet since I'm not thin. Though I have lost some weight, it's coming off slowly and people don't tend to notice. The one explanation I've managed to give my parents is that being overweight is a symptom, not the root problem. First, get healthy and the weight loss will naturally follow. So I focus on my "health" as much as possible, which is 100% attributable to paleo eating.
  • Healthy is attractive. I may not have visible abs, but I have clear skin for the first time in my life. That alone makes me smile every time I think about it. My dark circles are going away. My middle-aged skin looks bright and smooth, and I look younger than my age. A room full of people who meet that description are going to look pretty fantastic to the average SAD American.
  • And one final thought to keep in mind. Please forgive this gross generalization, but having lived on the East coast for most of my life, and spent a decent amount of time on the West coast - people here are as a whole much less appearance-centric. Harvard Square is awash with very thin young people, but never once did I feel like anyone gave a crap about what I looked like. It might just be the fact that people are more intellectually focused, or simple New England practicality, but it's a noticeable difference in culture.

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2417 · January 03, 2012 at 5:37 AM

About your past point - as a born and bred Pacific NW'er, I haven't found that to be my experience. But I do think NE'ers do have better formal manners, and a lot more exposure to diversity - so the give-a-crap meter may be less. But I do hope you're not lumping my sort in with the San Diego/LA dwellers - that's a whole other culture. (I'm being playful, btw!)

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1371 · September 10, 2011 at 3:23 AM

i hate weight talk...

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10289 · September 08, 2011 at 6:55 AM

I hope I can make it to the AHS12. I'm sure everybody will look fine. Still, I'm a bit worried about recognising people. Maybe we should mark PH on our forehead? Or have a secret sign? Or do you think we will just feel it?

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1652 · September 08, 2011 at 2:11 PM

T-shirts w our gravatars? Oh wait, that might make it more likely to get tweeted about :)

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16131 · September 08, 2011 at 2:51 PM

We should as low budget on this as possible. GEt some sticky HELLO MY NAME IS: badges where we can write our PH handle.

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