This is probably not the smartest topic for my first question but...
I recently came across this video from a 5 part special where a CBS San Francisco reporter tracked her amazing results by going Paleo over the course of several weeks. Its a great story and here is the link if you haven't seen it yet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84lkNik9pE4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
I was so excited watching the video since I thought this was the perfect video to motivate close friends and family members to give a Paleo diet a shot. But that excitement quickly dwindled when Dr. Cordain and Dr Lustig came on as the experts to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of Paleo.
The video reminded me of every other health related video Ive ever seen where overweight doctors tell overweight Americans how to live their lives.
Is anybody else frustrated by the fact that two of the biggest figureheads in the Paleo movement dont appear to be following their own advice? I respect both individuals very much so I don't want to take anything away from their work, but it just annoys me when there doesn't appear to be any personal accountability.
I also hated the comment that Dr. Lustig made about Paleo not being possible for everyone to do on a large scale. All that comment does is discourage people who may be on the fence about going Paleo, from ever giving it a try in the first place.
Do my frustrations have merit or am I completely out of line?
Not sure I would call Lustig one of the "biggest figureheads in the Paleo movement." Yes, he was at AHS11 and yes, lots of us are intrigued by his research. My guess is his appearance on the CBS series was largely because he was local.
That said, I'm also not sure that I would leap to the assumptions that their appearance today is a good or bad reflection on paleo per se. Unlike some of you younger whippersnappers who can take/have taken up paleo in your teens or twenties, those of us taking it up much later in life may have hurdles you don't have. Or maybe it's that academics don't have the time to go hauling their Range Rovers around like Art DeVany!
But I do think you're probably right that the paleo community would benefit from a short-ish video that folks could share with family and friends. Seems like there's lots of folks who could do this or maybe we could make it a project for AHS12!
Different versions of this same question get applied to other paleo/primal luminaries. Saw a photo of Robb Wolf, whose sweater looked a bit bunched around his waist, with some online commentator asking, "OMG, does Robb have a stomach?" ("Has he put on weight") And how did Mark Sisson recently respond to a critic who claimed Mark has gotten "out of shape"? Mark posted on one his signature shirtless photos, with the day's newspaper to prove currency. (Mark in fact turned out to be his usual lean, toned, healthy looking self.)
I confess I felt a bit sad that Mark felt that necessary. In the sense that we all know what it's like to know the right thing to do, the right what to live, the right choices to make ... And we all also know how difficult it can be to practice skillfully, effectively, over time. That's to say: If either Robb or Mark ends up adding a few more pounds than they may want, that would have no bearing on my views toward their books or their life works overall.
Many people use the phrase "walk your talk" solely as an accusation of failing to do so, as if the failure could only be willful, hence hypocrisy gets invoked.
Suppose we agree to acknowledge that Cordain, Lustig, Wolf, and Sisson, are all on "the path"?
And also acknowledge Antonio Machado's wise words: "We make the path by walking."
If on the other hand, you happen to be perfect, you get to be exempt from this exercise.
I don't mind if I take some heat for this, but watching the videos and looking at the pictures from AHS surprised me in that everyone just looked kinda normal. Aside from Stephan and Staffan (ahem), and of course Mark, nobody really stood out. Stephan and Mark have probably had the same BF% with every diet they have ever eaten though. Mark Advocates a high fat intake but he also earns it with a high activity level. It's an important point. Honestly, I would attribute what I observe/d to the prevalence of high-fat eating in the paleo community that is unhinged from activity level. Adipocyte management is a really straightforward process of mobilization, transport and oxidation that has to be balanced with storage. A lot of people are skeptical about dietary fat being stored in adipocytes. Blows my mind every time I read it. Some people can find that intersection point between fat intake, satiety and fat oxidation and end up relatively lean without activity. Lots and lots of people can't however.
As far as Lustig goes, supraphysiological doses of fructose are indeed bad but removing all fructose from one's diet doesn't magically result in total leanness. If that's all he personally does, I wouldn't expect him to be lean. If Cordain is really busy without being really active I could see that accounting for it. I'd be really surprised if he could gain much fat eating what he advocated in the first edition of his book though unless he's totally sedentary.
It'd be a bit like if you attended a conference on muscle hypertrophy and I was up there giving a lecture. You'd be wondering why the hell you should listen to some scrawny guy. If he knew everything about hypertrophy wouldn't he have at least gained some amount of noticeable muscle? Or if I was at a baldness reversal symposium. No really, guys, I used to be a lot balder than this...listen to what I have to say! Paleo isn't all about weight loss, but let's face it, it's what hooks people initially in many cases.
The sad fact is that you can't really sell diets without being lean. A sadder fact I suppose is that you can sell anything with a 6-pack.
While neither Dr. Cordain nor Dr. Lustig are whipcord lean, neither is obese. Plus, both must be in their late 50s or early 60s at least. While they may not be the best examples, they are far, far, far from the fattest medical doctors or academics I've seen.
They get somewhat of a pass on their appearance because they are professional researchers and to a degree they are saying “based upon my research, I advise this…”
I think their appearance is another example though that losing weight can be a lot more complex issue than what it is often made out to be by diet books.
I give Lustig a pass - he isn't really advocating paleo. He just says "frooktoz iz teh ebilz". That's fine by me.
Yes, it's annoying that Cordain gets to be the front man for paleo/cave man diet to the media, simply because he wrote the book. Hopefully, people will google around enough to realize that his word is not the last word on paleo.
I didn't watch this video b/c my computer is not behaving right now. But I've seen enough of Lustig that I think his appearance really eats into his credibility. His is an especially disturbing case because he wants to tax sugar in the name of the burden of costs of healthcare. That is somewhat hypocritical ... and a slippery slope.
There's also a second option you didn't consider Andrew: That they DO practice what they preach but aren't being magically transformed into Jack Lallane or Art DeVany ... I find this possibility more disturbing/discouraging. As ambassadors for a movement looks/results DO matter. This is where I've been criticized for my criticism of many low carbers, but I think it is valid. In 2009 when I had plateaued out at a higher than desired weight, I looked around the web for women around my age to see how they were faring. At the time I came across disturbing images of Laura Dolson (About.com LC specialist), Dana Carpender (LC cookbook author and weight loss success story) and Mary Vernon (noted LC doctor). They were all obese at the time, the latter two appear to have slimmed down some since that time. What I wasn't finding were truly lean low carb women. That may just be what it is for women of a certain age, but it is all part of the information on which to base one's lifestyle choices. Thus I look at a Denise Austin and think daaamm she looks good (not perfect!) ... but she was never overweight.
I don't agree that low BMI is "clearly" associationed with higher mortality. Studies on this are conflicting and the recent bruhaha about lower bmi in women 15% to 18% as well as 18% to 20% ranges being associated with higher mortality has plenty of critics. As time passed, the association shrank indicating that thinness caused by a pre-existing condition was likely the cause of increasedd mortality and not the thinness itself. BMI is woefully innacurate as 2 petite women can weigh the same but one will be mostly muscle and another much higher fat. Look at slender Asian women -- low bmi and they live much longer until they eat like Westerners and get chubby/fat. I'd rather be thin than than fat or even pleasingly plump as I age. Easier on the joints and if I ever need surgery, thin heals better. Maybe plump can arguably make a gal look younger in the face if she happens to genetically gain weight in the face (I don't -- skinny face even when heavier) -- no worries. That's why our eyes start failing at mid-40s so that we have a buit-in "soft focus" like they use on aging actresses...I say arguably because I don't think double chins and jowls look particularly youthful. But again, who cares. How you you feel is what counts, not how you look. I'm ownin' my photoaged skin and lovin' it.
Stuck after losing 8 lbs 4 Answers