Corden is far too nice to Maher


I find Bill Maher unwatchable, for many reasons, but James Corden managed to get through one of those monologs where the man just opens his mouth and bullshit plops out, which I’d be unable to do, and then, remarkably, manages to courteously shred him.

I can empathize way too much with Corden’s sentiments here. I know the pain.

Comments

  1. Bruce Fuentes says

    Bill Maher fancies himself as an intellectual. He is not a progressive as he claims. He is a libertarian if anything. He is a hateful little man. He is judgmental against anyone that decides to live their life in anyway contrary to what he thinks is appropriate. He seems to think that making controversial statements makes him some sort of deep thinking intellectual. All it does is show how shallow his thinking truly is.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    Maher regularly* gets my vote for insufferably smug ignorant arsehole of the month, even with the strong competition these days.

    *Roughly, every time I see the fucker talking.

  3. d3zd3z says

    “Bill Maher makes some interesting points… but there’s a lot that he got wrong.” That kind of summarizes about everything that Bill Maher says.

  4. madtom1999 says

    In the UK Cordon is hated for him being Cordon. No one fat shames him here, we’re too busy hating him for being him.

  5. simonhadley says

    As a fat man, and formerly a much fatter man, I agree with Maher. This country really has gotten to a weird place where be like to say that all bodies (meaning fat people) are beautiful but then we call athletes meat heads. It’s a form of giving up and we need to stop doing that. Obesity is killing us and it must be addressed with more than just soft words and pleasant ideas. Now, that being said, Maher’s next New Rules segment needs to be aimed at the food industry that is geared to sell high carb, highly processed, sugar added food to a poorly educated populace. Have you ever noticed that food labels don’t have a percentage RDA for sugar, especially added sugar? That’s because the sugar industry specifically fought the FDA on that and made sure that it will never be shown. His show should address the food deserts that exist in our inner cities and many rural communities. He has a platform that could be used to take real action and provide real solutions but that’s not what television is about, is it? No, television is about entertainment, ratings and profit and there’s just no profit in solving problems.

  6. says

    @6 simonhadley
    The problems you are talking about are real problems but shaming and hard words are not the answer. Bill Maher doesn’t care about real solutions at all really. He says shame is an answer because he like many other people treat obese individuals (myself included) as if they are disgusting and worth less as humans and they want to not have to look at us. You need to also consider the intersections of poverty, disability, and genetics with obesity and realize that hard words just won’t fix it. In fact your hard words and the shame of Bill Maher are just making the problems worse and amount to cruelty.

    You can’t look at any health issue or outcome in a vacuum and assume it is just a lifestyle choice, education, etc. They are all complex and multi factored. Problem drinking, smoking, drug use, obesity, mental illness don’t fit a simple ‘we need to do this approach’. For all of them we need to do many things. The one thing that is never going to help is shame or bullying. Those things disempower people. Obese people are beautiful. They may have a health risk but they are as beautiful as anyone out there. The attitude of Bill Maher is what is ugly.

  7. KG says

    In the UK Cordon is hated for him being Cordon. No one fat shames him here, we’re too busy hating him for being him. madtom1999@4

    “We”? As far as I remember, I’d never heard of the guy before tonight.

  8. says

    I am definitely a fat man (at least by WHO and european standards) and I understood Maher monologue not as a call to shame fat people with insults but as a protest against culture that demands to accept bodies in every size, that makes people to deny the fact that being fat is unhealthy, that moved “not fatshaming people” into the territory of “being fat is as good or even better than not being fat and saying otherwise makes you a monster”.
    And I kinda agree with Maher on that (but clearly I picked up different tones in what BM said than you).

    Corden made funny comedic response and he has a lot of good points too and he is right sometimes obesity is a health issue. But often people are fat because they just eat too much.
    It works both ways – sometimes fatshaming harms people and sometimes fatpraising makes people complacent.

    @anna
    “You can’t look at any health issue or outcome in a vacuum and assume it is just a lifestyle choice, education, etc. They are all complex and multi factored. Problem drinking, smoking, drug use, obesity, mental illness don’t fit a simple ‘we need to do this approach’. For all of them we need to do many things. The one thing that is never going to help is shame or bullying. Those things disempower people. Obese people are beautiful. They may have a health risk but they are as beautiful as anyone out there. The attitude of Bill Maher is what is ugly.”
    You can’t look at obese people and assume it is always a genetic/ilness/poverty and never a lifestyle choice. Some people are just lazy, complacent or like eating too much and telling them that being obese is beautiful is not helping.
    How I felt listening to Maher is not that people ought to insult and shame us, fat people, but that people should stop praising us and looking for excuses. We (fat people who are just lazy and gluttonous) are pretty good at it on our own.

  9. ksiondag says

    As a formerly fat person, a big contributor to my weight-loss was learning to be comfortable with my weight and how I looked. You know how easy the vicious cycle of feeling like shit so you eat stuff that makes you feel like shit is? You know how much it helps to avoid that cycle by just saying, “I’m okay with who I am right now,” and actually believing it?

    So saying “people should stop praising us” gets a big disagree from me. The praise is a necessary counter-bias to the shaming. It’s why pride exists for LGTBQ. It’s not because there’s anything inherently good about being LGTBQ (it’s values-neutral, it shouldn’t be a big deal), but because there’s a long history of treating them as lesser, wrong, and evil that we need to undo.

    Lots of unhealthy people are invisibly unhealthy, but there’s no call to learn other people’s bad habits and shame them for it. And the reason is because that wouldn’t help anything,

    So, yes, fat is beautiful, thank you very much. Kindly fuck off if you think otherwise.

  10. PaulBC says

    I like people. Which is odd because I am rather introverted so it’s more like I like people just not all the time. I don’t give a rat’s ass if they’re fat or thin. If they can make me laugh, that’s a plus. There’s a reason for the “sapiens” in H. sapiens. We’re optimized for brains not looks. There are some good reasons to keep BMI down but mostly it’s none of my business.

  11. says

    Hey Bill Maher. A majority of little girls interviewed said they’d rather both their parents die than that they get fat. That they’d rather go blind than be fat. I think we have a sufficient threshold of overt extreme emotional abuse of people for their body size, that these children have those priorities. Get fucked you monstrous shitheel.

  12. vucodlak says

    @ simonhadley, #6, and Gorzki as well

    This country really has gotten to a weird place where be like to say that all bodies (meaning fat people) are beautiful but then we call athletes meat heads.

    So… it is your contention that we disparage athletes for their athleticism, while we treat fat people with respect? What planet is this you’re talking about?

    See, where I’m from (the United States; Earth), athletes are figures of breathless worship, and fat people are treated like plague to be wiped out. In some small areas fat people are accorded nearly the same respect as human beings, but for the most part fat people are treated like living jokes. Fat people are routinely shamed, mocked, and killed for the terrible crime of “fat.” They are subjected to grotesque medical experiments, sold poison, and pushed to suicide. They’re encouraged to develop eating disorders, which have a very high body count. Every time a fat person turns on the TV, opens a magazine, or goes outside they are reminded that they are a disease to be eliminated, and not human beings.

    Obesity is killing us and it must be addressed with more than just soft words and pleasant ideas.

    Citation-fucking-needed. I have yet to see study that shows obesity as the cause for X. Correlation is not causation, and most of the diseases that obesity supposedly “causes” occur in thin people too. The common thread in most of those diseases is not fat, but stress. Stress like, say, the kind you’re advocating inflicting through shaming.

    Obesity isn’t what’s killing us. Capitalism is. The for-profit medical industry that sells people surgical “cures” for what’s mostly a mental health issue is killing us. The diet industry that sells poisons, worthless pills, and bad nutrition is killing us. The insurance industry that pushes for quick fixes (that cause more harm in the long run) or fake (but free-for-them) solutions to real problems is killing us.

    Ignorance and bigotry are killing us. Fat shaming has a body count, not that smarmy asswipes like Maher care. It is, as Corden says, bullying. It causes suicides, it results in denied medical care, and it contributes to the ever-growing number of eating disorders.

    When you support fat shaming, you’re straight up telling fat people they’re better off dead. Maybe don’t do that.

  13. psanity says

    Oh, fuck Bill fucking Maher.

    I happen to know that Fred Rogers always has and always will like me just the way I am. I am therefore empowered to pass that along to others, at will.

    But Maher? He seems like an empty human who thinks of himself as a brain in a jar. That’s very unfortunate, but his opinions are therefore irrelevant to actual people.

  14. says

    I understood Maher monologue not as a call to shame fat people

    Poor Bill Maher. There he goes and says “fatshaming needs to make a comeback” and his fanbois still don’t believe he actually said that. Which is interesting, ’cause it shows that on some level, you understand that what he said is bad, but since you cannot believe that your idol said something back, you decide that he actually said something different. Maybe get a room with the Sam Harris fans.

  15. Zeppelin says

    I don’t much like “fat is beautiful” for the same reason I’m a bit uncomfortable with “gay pride” — it’s a bold slogan, but kind of obscures the actual sentiment in a way that ideological opponents can take advantage of to misrepresent the movement.

    Like…”Gay pride” really means “gay non-shame”, right? The point being that we won’t be shamed or live in hiding, not that we think our sexuality is an accomplishment that warrants congratulations. Otherwise “why is there no straight pride parade” becomes a legitimate question.
    “Fat is beautiful” is similarly off-putting to me, because taken literally it’s either irrelevant (if read as a statement of personal aesthetic preference), tyrannical (if read as a demand for what everyone’s aesthetic preferences should be), or a lie (if read as a description of prevailing aesthetic preferences).

    But admittedly “‘fat’ should not imply ‘ugly'” isn’t much better than “gay non-shame”. Maybe it’s enough for a slogan to be provocative. Idunno.

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    Zeppelin @22: Did you read ksiondag @12? An excellent explanation of pride as the best response to shaming, IMO. The benefits of pride far outweigh any concerns about the dolts who actually think “why is there no straight pride parade?” is a legitimate question (again, IMO).

  17. Allison says

    Like…”Gay pride” really means “gay non-shame”, right? The point being that we won’t be shamed or live in hiding, not that we think our sexuality is an accomplishment that warrants congratulations.

    I can’t speak from personal experience about “gay pride”; I’m lesbian, but nobody seems to notice that about me.

    I am trans, however, and I am proud. I grew up in the Ante-Bellum South (USA), surrounded by people who hated me for being the way I was and who were trying to drive me to suicide. (I still live with C-PTSD from that experience.)

    And they failed. I survived (and, as Gloria Gaynor sings, “I will survive!”), and in many respects I have flourished. I have a PhD, a well-paying job where I do very good work and my coworkers know it (yeah, I’m still a peon, Capitalism donchaknow, but that’s life for us 99%-ers), I speak 5 languages, 2 of them fluently (well, that includes English), I’ve lived abroad, and I’ve successfully transitioned and am out everywhere I go.

    So, **** yeah, I’m more than “not ashamed,” I’m proud. All you people who shamed me and tried to destroy me, and you people who still hate my guts for being who I am and are trying to destroy me (hello, Mike Pence!), well you all can just go **** *********!!! I’m still standing, and standing tall — you failed!! You may eventually kill me (but then, everybody dies, anyway), but I won’t hide, I won’t live in fear any more.

    **** yeah, I’m proud.

  18. tbtabby says

    If Bill Maher, or any fat-shamer, is just trying to help us lose weight, they should really be re-evaluating their strategy. It’s obviously not working, and it hasn’t been working for decades, so why don’t they change tack? Obvious answer: because they’re NOT trying to help us be healthy. They’re just dicks. The preaching about the health risks of obesity is merely their excuse. And I am not taking health advice from the guy who Maher-splained the comic book fans that comic books are nothing but kiddie fare when, by his own admission, he hasn’t looked at a comic book in half a century.

  19. PaulBC says

    tbtabby@25

    If Bill Maher, or any fat-shamer, is just trying to help us lose weight, they should really be re-evaluating their strategy.

    Well, Maher isn’t. He’s just being an asshole for attention. That’s his schtick.

    Richard Simmons got very famous in the 1980s. I’m not a fan, but if it works for some people, that’s a positive thing. What do you think of his approach? I would say that his career has been honestly helping people lose weight (and raking in $$$ in the process; fine with me). He used to have a license plate that said “Y R U Fat”. Does that count as shaming? It’s pretty direct, but I think the message is intended to be empowering, i.e., if you don’t want to be fat, there’s something you can do about it.

    I’m mixed on this. Incentives are important and a lot of overweight people don’t want to be overweight. If they do, then it’s really none of my business.

  20. Zeppelin says

    @Rob, 23: I did, yeah. And I see the appeal in that sort of defiance, in saying “fuck you, I’m proud actually” to people who tell you that you ought to be ashamed! Provocative defiance has value in and of itself. And they are catchy, influential slogans of course.

    I’m just a bit uncomfortable with people wielding them like a serious ideological-political statement — more than once I’ve seen defenses of “gay pride” that could be used verbatim to defend “white pride”, from gay people (all of them cis gay men, as far as I can recall…) who took the “pride” bit literally and wanted to be proud of their gayness itself, as if it conferred some inherent superiority. I’ve also seen it used as a gotcha (“if you get to be proud of being gay, I get to be proud of being white/straight!”), and cringed when the gotcha’d party floundered trying to counter it because they’d uncritically and literally bought the “pride” bit. These slogans can muddy the discourse.

    It’s a bit like teenage Libertarians who take “taxation is theft!” — a pithy alliterating slogan that’s just meant to express moral opposition to taxation — literally and then twist themselves into ideological knots trying to explain how taxes are literally exactly like stealing.

    Which is all to say, I understand these slogans’ appeal and utility, I just wish we had something better that does the same job.

    @Allison, 24: And those are all absolutely things you can and should take pride in! But you don’t seem to be proud of being trans, which is what the “gay pride”/”fat is beautiful” style of slogan implies. You’re proud of the things you did in the face of hatred and opposition. You’re proud of learning and growing and overcoming hardship. I.e. of accomplishments (the appropriate objects of pride), not inherent characteristics (the objects of chauvinism).

    It certainly didn’t mean to imply that queer or fat people shouldn’t be proud of anything. I’m sorry if it read that way. I try to hedge in order to avoid misunderstandings, but that can just make things harder to parse.

  21. says

    He used to have a license plate that said “Y R U Fat”. Does that count as shaming? It’s pretty direct, but I think the message is intended to be empowering, i.e., if you don’t want to be fat, there’s something you can do about it.

    Well, yes. The adequate answer is “why are you an asshole?
    Listen. I grew up from a well-fed kid into a fat teen and people fat shaming me and telling me that I just needed to lose some weight were a huge contributing factor. I then massively lost weight, lived my 20s in an incredibly skinny and conveniently attractive body, but since I’d been fat shamed for so long, I still thought I was too fat.
    Then I gained all that weight again during my first pregnancy. I know I’m fat. I know my bones are suffering for it. Why am I still fat? Because losing weight and maintaining a lower weight is an incredible amount of work. It needs a lot of dedication and time. Unless whoever is asking me why I’m fat isn’t providing me with a household help so I can exercise, they can fuck right off.

  22. cartomancer says

    re #4 and #8,

    We in the UK know James Corden, if we know him at all, as the less-talented half of Horne and Corden. They were a painfully unfunny sketch comedy duo – a barely-fifth-rate Mitchell and Webb knock off – from 2009. They developed their show following a collaboration on the similarly dire Welsh sitcom Gavin and Stacey in 2007-8.

    We hold no great personal animus against the man. Plenty of people have the comedic timing and ready wit of a brick falling down a hill. We are generally glad that he found his vocation doing something other than comedy somewhere we don’t have to watch it.

  23. Allison says

    @Allison, 24: And those are all absolutely things you can and should take pride in! But you don’t seem to be proud of being trans, which is what the “gay pride”/”fat is beautiful” style of slogan implies.

    You don’t get it.

    Just saying “yes, I’m trans,” even just to yourself, is an accomplishment. Staying alive as a trans person is an accomplishment. Going out into the world as an “out” and trans (or any kind of LGBT person) is an accomplishment. Just being ourselves is an accomplishment, given all the forces that hate us and that terrorize us for being who we are and would happily see us killed and dumped in a landfill. Not to mention the incessant brainwashing that tries to convince us that there’s nothing but cisgender and straight — that we don’t exist.

    The problem with “straight pride” is that being straight isn’t an accomplishment. You don’t need any courage to walk around in public being straight. You don’t even have to ask yourself if you want to “out” yourself, because everybody already assumes you’re straight (and cis.) There’s nothing about being straight to feel proud of, given that it was and is given to you on a silver plate. It’s like being proud that you didn’t climb Mt. Everest.

  24. PaulBC says

    Giliell@28

    I’m not going to defend Richard Simmons (or his 1980s license plate). It just came to mind reading tbtabby@25. I agree with your reply.

  25. asteraceae says

    “Why are you fat” is logically equivalent to “why are you poor.” If you’re rich, staying rich is so easy Donald Trump could do it. If you’re poor, getting rich is nearly impossible.

    As an athletic person who has had periods of being overweight, I can tell you this with absolute certainty: being thin is easy when you’re already thin. Getting thin is fucking hard, particularly if you’re disabled, over 40, poor, living in a food desert, living with trauma, etc.

    I have absolutely zero respect for people who’ve lost weight and use that fact to shame people who’ve been unable to do the same, or simply don’t want to. All I see is people who’ve taken their self-loathing and weaponized it against others. Whether someone wants to lose weight or not is immaterial. Shut the fuck up and mind your own business.

  26. John Morales says

    asteraceae:

    Getting thin is fucking hard, particularly if you’re disabled, over 40, poor, living in a food desert, living with trauma, etc.

    Leaving aside that not being fat is not the same as being thin, sure.

    Eating less is hard. Yes, yes it is. Hard, but doable. And it works.

    So, now:

    “Why are you fat” is logically equivalent to “why are you poor.”

    If poverty were tractable by virtue of doing less, then you would be right.

  27. vucodlak says

    My parents are fat. For as long as I can remember, they’ve been obsessed with making themselves thin. I’ve watched them starve themselves, exercise to the point of injury, even mutilate themselves with unnecessary surgeries. Nothing works. They’ll get down to where they’re eating less than a thousand calories a day, and they’ll maintain it for a while, but eventually the nutrient deprivation takes its toll. They get sicker and sicker, but they don’t ever fall to an “acceptable” weight.

    When the misery of literally starving themselves gets to be too much, they stop trying. They’re happier (for a while) and healthier, even as they gain back all the weight they’ve lost, but then the shame gets to them and they begin the cycle all over again.

    Thanks to hateful assholes like Maher and his supporters, and mercenary scumbags like the multi-billion dollar diet industry, they will always hate their bodies. They will never be happy, and the only time they’re actually healthy is when they stop dieting.

    There but for the grace of God veneer of sneering arrogance I’ve cultivated as a defense mechanism against a lifetime of bullying go I. When I started putting on weight in high school, I started trying to lose it… until I really thought about my parents’ endless, miserable struggles. I realized one day, as I was marking out how I’d spend the next months exercising and obsessing over every little thing that went into my mouth, that I didn’t want to be Sisyphus.

    When some stupid fuck smugly says something like “just eat less” to or about a fat person, I dismiss them completely. To say I merely consider them a contemptable fool is a vast understatement.

    Yes, it’s true that starving yourself will cause you to lose weight. Congratulations, you’ve just endorsed anorexia. Do you know how many times I’ve heard my mother wish she was anorexic? I stopped counting a long, long time ago. She really, sincerely means it, but she’s developed a different eating disorder. It really ramped up after she had her stomach amputated. She now suffers from chronic malnutrition. Turns out the stomach is kind of important.

    Ignorant asswipes who say shit “it’s easy to lose weight, just eat less” either don’t simply don’t know the effects of their fuckwittery, or don’t care. I care. I’ve been watching it kill my parents for over three decades.

    I’m not like my parents. Oh, I’m quite fat, but I have no interest in trying to lose weight. I can see and touch my toes (and dick) just fine, thanks. And the hate my parents have directed inward, I direct outward. It’s… oh, it’s of a lot of hate.

  28. John Morales says

    vucodlak:

    Yes, it’s true that starving yourself will cause you to lose weight. Congratulations, you’ve just endorsed anorexia.

    What?

    You too appeal via excluded middle.

    No, anorexia is the other extreme, and far deadlier.

    By all means, eat more than you actually need rather than eat less.
    Better option, just not optimal.

    (Pretty simple, really)

  29. John Morales says

    Also, not to be cruel, but…

    When the misery of literally starving themselves gets to be too much, they stop trying.

    When they were skin and bone, and their elbows were wider than their arms?

    Perhaps consider people who actually did starve. Look at the historical images, if you dare)

    (Motes, beams)

  30. John Morales says

    chigau, and cancer. I don’t advocate any of those other than “eat less“.

    Also, “eat less” does work, it’s just very, very hard, as I’ve already noted — contra vucodlak’s protestations about “just eat less”. I’ve helpfully emphasised the added word, which contrasts with my actual “Eating less is hard. Yes, yes it is.”.

    (You ever tried keeping a fire going without fuel?)

  31. Allison says

    Oh, I just love watching this kind of “debate”: {\sarcasm}

    Persons A, B, C: All the studies that actually investigate weight loss show that “just eat less” and “more will power” don’t work.

    Persons D, E, F: I’ve tried “just eat less”, my relatives have tried “just eat less,” to the point of starvation and malnutrition, and we don’t lose weight, we just develop all kinds of starvation-related medical problems.

    Logic person: Oh, but my Logic(tm) and Reason(tm) prove that “just eat less” and “have more will power” do work. I win!

    tl;dr: Logic(tm) and Common Sense(tm) trump evidence and experience every time. (In “debates,” at least.)

    P.S.: And when Logic(tm) and Common Sense(tm) have to slink off because they’ve made themselves ridiculous, there’s always Picking Words Apart. (“No, I didn’t say eat less, I said consume less.”) Because there’s nothing worse than having to admit (even just to yourself) that your cherished belief is really just a bit of irrational bigotry.

  32. John Morales says

    Allison:

    All the studies that actually investigate weight loss show that “just eat less” and “more will power” don’t work.

    Um, there’s that “just” again.

    And will-power is only one route, one can have bariatric surgery, for example. Last resort, but it saves lives.

    (What, you think calories magically appear in your body? I’m not the one being disrespectful to actual victims of starvation, whether self-induced or otherwise)

    Because there’s nothing worse than having to admit (even just to yourself) that your cherished belief is really just a bit of irrational bigotry.

    Not even admitting (even just to yourself) that your cherished belief is really just a bit of irrational justification?

  33. John Morales says

    Rob, I can’t stop what I have not started, because not appeasing people’s wishful thinking ain’t trolling.

    Again: if over time you eat more than you need, you will gain weight; if you eat less than you need, you will lose weight. That’s just reality.

    Never claimed it was easy, either, in a land of plenty.

  34. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @42: Do you think “it’s hard, but doable” is remotely helpful, or that people haven’t heard this sort of trite bullshit thousands of times?

    Something else that’s hard (for some), but doable: recognizing that if you’re not being helpful, maybe you should just shut the fuck up.

  35. Rowan vet-tech says

    If you are eating less than your body requires to function, you are starving yourself. You don’t instantly become a skeleton with skin when you are starving. It’s a process. And it starts with getting less food than you need. It doesn’t even require no food. Just less than you need. And the sort of calorie counting that goes into eating less than you need (and most places advocate 1200 calories or less, a starvation diet) very easily can trip over into obsession, which in turn can trip over into anorexia.
    I’ve done starvation dieting/”eating less than you need”. Yeah, it’s hard. It’s painful and it’s frankly cruel. If we did that to a prisoner it would be torture, but we’re supposed to just torture ourselves, make ourselves sick… to prevent being sick? No. We are to torture ourselves so other people don’t have to see us being fatty mcfattersons at them with all our fat. I spent 3 months painfully, ravenously hungry every waking moment. It was hard to fall asleep and stay asleep because I was so hungry on 1200 calories a day. I had no energy. Most of my thinking was about food, how to stretch the calories, was I going to ‘cheat’ that day and add on an extra hundred just to make my stomach shut up for a bit. I couldn’t do things I enjoyed.
    So I stopped.

  36. PaulBC says

    I’ve been very lucky all my life with metabolism, though I have about 15 pounds extra in middle age that I know will require significant willpower and effort to shed if I choose to go that route.

    The advice “just eat less” really misses the point. I spent most of my youth and young adulthood as a skinny person who never felt hungry and ate whatever he wanted. I know for a fact that for other people to maintain that weight even when young, they definitely would have been hungry all the time. If I had been hungry, I’d have eaten and would have gained weight.

    Really, it comes down to priorities and personal factors. If you’re thin, fine, but if you’re torturing yourself to stay thin, you might want to reconsider the cost and benefit. Some people are so obese that it presents a compelling health concern (though it’s still none of my business, and they should seek competent medical advice).

    If somebody just has a butt that doesn’t look like a supermodel’s, but no health concerns as a result, it’s reasonable for them to have other priorities in life. Seriously, are we that superficial? I will also add that some of most boring workplace conversations center around various coworkers’ exercise practices. I mean I guess I do it too, a little.

    On the flip side, it’s interesting to recall how incensed some conservatives were when Michelle Obama was promoting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Move! (I could go off on a tangent about where I think the visceral animosity came from but I’ll skip it). I think that was a good program and that as a society, we should be encouraging children to build habits of exercise and healthful eating.

    I guess, though it sounds pollyanna, I wonder if obesity-related illness in the US could be reduced through an emphasis on joy rather than shame.

  37. says

    When you manage to lose 20 or 30 kilograms, your body thinks that it just survived a year or two of natural catastrophes. And your body thinks that it did so because you had those 20 to 30 kilograms extra. Now your body tries to rebuild that fat deposit because who knows when the next crop failure will come.
    There’s tons of studies that show how your body tries to conserve energy and hang on to its extra weight and rebuild it after a diet, but thank goodness there’s John Morales who has come up with a very simple idea…

  38. jefrir says

    John Morales, bariatric surgery kills people, and we have very little evidence it has anything in the way of health benefits, let alone saving lives.

  39. A. Noyd says

    John Morales (#42)

    Again: if over time you eat more than you need, you will gain weight; if you eat less than you need, you will lose weight. That’s just reality.

    Your reductionist approach overlooks how different parts of my body have different nutritional needs. I can eat just as much as required for appropriate brain function and that will be more than I need to expand my waistline. If I eat less than my body needs to store fat, then I’m courting mental dysfunction—meaning I can’t do anything productive, such as generate a paycheck.

    Maintaining brain function is just one of dozens of other needs my body has in competition with the whole fat generation/loss dimension. (Another big one would be my immune system.) When lowering my calorie intake is held up against the cost of sacrificing my body’s other needs, it goes far, far beyond “not easy.”

    (And as Giliell brought up, I also risk altering my metabolism to lower the requirements for fat storage while doing nothing to change those other needs.)

    (#33)

    If poverty were tractable by virtue of doing less, then you would be right.

    This is the equivalent of saying “just” when you say to eat less, by the way. For most people, especially the poor and/or otherwise disenfranchised, meeting all of their other nutritional needs while cutting caloric intake requires doing a hell of a lot of work—far more work than most have the money, time or energy for. Eating less requires either doing more or suffering a lot of other consequences.

  40. John Morales says

    A. Noyd:

    I can eat just as much as required for appropriate brain function and that will be more than I need to expand my waistline.

    A pretty stark choice. Were I to have that belief, I too would expand my waistline.

    For most people, especially the poor and/or otherwise disenfranchised, meeting all of their other nutritional needs while cutting caloric intake requires doing a hell of a lot of work—far more work than most have the money, time or energy for.

    ‘Tis true that nutrient-poor processed junk food is by far the cheapest and most convenient to be had in terms of caloric intake.

  41. John Morales says

    I guess, since Giliell brought up:

    When you manage to lose 20 or 30 kilograms, your body thinks that it just survived a year or two of natural catastrophes. And your body thinks that it did so because you had those 20 to 30 kilograms extra. Now your body tries to rebuild that fat deposit because who knows when the next crop failure will come.

    Crash or binge-dieting is a bad strategy, no question about it.

    So is trying to lose weight at a much faster rate than one accrued it — but that’s what people want. Not very good for the body.

  42. A. Noyd says

    John Morales (#50)

    A pretty stark choice. Were I to have that belief, I too would expand my waistline.

    Ah, yes. This can’t be something I actually experience. Reality can’t be that complicated. It has to be a silly belief on my part.

    Fuck you.

    (#51)

    Crash or binge-dieting is a bad strategy, no question about it.

    Giliell didn’t mention anything about crash or binge-dieting.

  43. says

    Giliell didn’t mention anything about crash or binge-dieting.

    Nope, I didn’t. But John has an opinion and her therefore does not need to read what people actually write. Because what people actually write could count as evidence against his opinion and we cannot have that.

  44. John Morales says

    BTW, Giliell. I personally weigh 66kg. Were I to lose 20 or 30 kilograms, I would be at death’s door, at best.

    (So, yeah, not a personal consideration)

  45. John Morales says

    [I once got to 83kg at around 10% body fat, but that’s when I was in my early 30s and into exercise; stupidly, at the time I didn’t get how I was getting heavier though I exercised heavily]

  46. says

    John, stop talking shit. Your own link supports what I wrote. Also, are you trying to brag about being slim? What an accomplishment, congratulations!

  47. damien75 says

    Why can’t you be a bit more pleasant to each other ?

    I’m probably going to get insulted for what ! am about to write, but I think it can be helpful to some.

    To anyone who is interested in weight loss, I read this book by neuroscientist Michel Desmurget : L’anti régime.

    It seems to me Desmurget is not a guy attracted by the spotlight, or who wants to sell you a diet. I’m not sure he makes much money on books and I don’t think writing books on weight loss is well regarded by his hierarchy (not his field).

    For a personal reason (guess which one) he studied the literature on weight, weight gain and weight loss.

    To his surprise, he found out that the science is in on the topic, even if charlatans always come up with new types of diets.

    According to him, it is possible to lose weight and attain a body mass index of one’s choosing within the boundaries considered healthy and without rebound weight gain.

    It does not take exhausting workouts or particularly expensive foods (well, it will if your current diet is 100% crisps, of course), although it requires some exercise (systematically use the stairs instead of the elevator for instance) and some diet alterations.

    It gives a lot of tricks, taken from the scientific literature, that, when added up, have an impact, or at least according to him.

    The absolute key element is : it has to be slow, otherwise the phenomenon described by Giliell in comment number 47 will happen and the rebound is unavoidable. The rebound Giliell talks about can be avoided provided the weight loss is slow enough. How slow ? Desmurget says : I you’re not too obese, count 3 years to achieve 90% of your final weight loss, 6 years to achieve it completely, 6 years : it is that slow.

    If you are above a certain level of obesity, you’ll have to go through the process twice in order to reach a healthy weight with no rebound.

    He gives a lot of other tips, science provven, he says. His book has like 1000 references most of which (all ?) from the scholarly literature.

    One of the tricks he gives is : allow yourself as many refills as you want provided you use small plates. Using small plates alone, he says, will decrease your intake by 20% (with no hunger : you refill as many times as you want). I suspect that eating 20% less is enough for most obese people to leave obesity.

    I think you must not use all the tricks he gives at the same time : you might end up losing weight too fast if you use them all, and you do not want that to happen, it is a pitfall.

    Downside to most of you : the book is in French. Once again, he did not personnally discover what he is talking about. The information is out there. Provided the behemoth that is anglophone publishing, there may well be a book in English synthesising the same information.

    If reading that comment was unpleasant to you, I am sorry, but I felt I had to write it.

  48. John Morales says

    Giliell:

    Also, are you trying to brag about being slim?

    No, rather noting I once weighed significantly more than I now do, so I did gain weight and then lost it. But I can see how it appears that way; it was a clumsy addendum.

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Backing up #Damien75. About 2.5 years ago, I was borderline for prediabetes, and weighed about 270lbs. Today, my A1C levels are normal, and I have lost 40 lbs, mostly in the first year and kept it off. One of my methods was portion control. Another was sugar and snack control. The biggest help was portion control. I found some old Le Menu plastic plates (7.75″ diameter), which are only 60% the area of the dinner plates (10″ diameter) in the cabinet. Filling the small plates would give (and still does) a filling dinner. I dislike eating at restaurants because of the large plate sizes.

  50. damien75 says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Thank you for letting me know about “portion control”, I didn’t know the expression and it turns out it is fruitful as a research word.

    I’ll take any trick, by the way, to add it to my collection.

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