I’m a Fat Cyclist—And I Don’t Need to “Fix” My Body- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I’m a Fat Cyclist—And I Don’t Need to “Fix” My Body

    I couldn't agree with this more - why are we limiting people with our attitudes?

    https://www.bicycling.com/culture/a2...-wdAsuHZd6CVpU

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    .. why are we limiting people with our attitudes?
    Who is? Who's stopping people riding?

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    I do not see your point----go ride who cares-I do not find attitude---I am 65 and the younger set seem to appreciate me out there----I find the community supportive especially compared to my road bike brethren

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    Love the article! Thanks for posting it. I got sucked into the whole I need to loose weight to fit in and be accepted by other riders. I wanted approval from people who really didn't matter much in the long run. Ride on my fatties

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    Great article. I see the shaming at work. My partner and I will be driving around and he'll see a large person riding a bike or just out walking and he'll make a comment. I always retort back that at least that person is outside doing something besides sitting on the couch eating and watching the telly.
    Will swerve for leaves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    I see the shaming at work. My partner and I will be driving around and he'll see a large person riding a bike or just out walking and he'll make a comment.
    That's not shaming. It would be if he said something to the person's face but passing comment on someone in private is not shaming.

    I think a reality check is needed here. Firstly, the girl in article is morbidly obese. Saying so is not 'shaming' her, it is a statement of medical fact, and irrespective of how happy she feels about her body her choice to be that heavy is going to have long term implications on her health and possibly her lifespan. This notion that a grossly overweight person can be just as healthy as someone of a good weight is delusional.

    Does that mean a fat person enjoying an active lifestyle should be ridiculed for it? Of course not, but I have seen zero evidence of that happening. I've seen all shapes and sizes out cycling, both on the road on off road, but I personally have never commented about their weight to them and I've never seen anyone else do it either. Few people are that blunt and cruel, thankfully. Have we talked about how old or big someone was after they've left the scene? Absolutely, but there is a world of difference between that and 'shaming' someone.

    It is normal to notice the unusual and if you see a very large person or someone who looks like they are ninety years old riding a bike, that's unusual. If you see something unusual are you likely to look at it for longer maybe? Well, you might. Does that make it a crime? I don't see how. A few years ago I saw a woman dressed in cycling gear on a car ferry, there were lots of us cyclists on the ferry, but this woman was unusual because she had no hands. I doubt there were many people in the lounge who failed to notice such an unusual thing. Did anyone 'shame' her? No. I went over and enjoyed a chat with her. Turned out she had lost both her hands and feet to sepsis and had set up a support charity for people who had lost limbs. She was cycling around Arran to raise money for the charity. Remarkable.

    I'm not saying that there are no cruel comments made to overweight people but let's keep some perspective. By far the biggest source of unhappiness in an overweight person is the person themself. They are the ones who live with their size, know the limitations and implications and have to psychologically deal with it. If they can find a way to rationalise it and be content then great. I'm happy for them and of course they should be free to live their lives as they choose but please, stop trying to blame the rest of the world for the overweight person's problems. We didn't make them that way, it's not our fault and it has nothing to do with us. I'm not going to feel guilty for something I haven't done.

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    Let's support everyone that's being active, but encouraging people being at a healthy weight when something like 60% of our country is obese (obese is not just overweight) is not something that should be brushed off. People are digging their graves with a spoon and it's the health crisis of our lifetimes. This isn't just superficial about looks, it's literally life and death. Economically it's also a crisis.

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    What about the opposite? My last girlfriend lost a shit load of weight. Some of that came from mountain biking, a hobby she picked up while we were together*. And while she looks great, she still has a lot more she can lose. But all the "body positive" people make her feel like she is at her lower limit, when she is 30 pounds heavier than I am (same height).

    She recently dropped another 5 pounds on accident (just being healthy), and I think it donned on her that no, she is not at the bottom. She can lose more. And losing more, in her own words: "the less I carry, the faster I can go, right?". She has gained a new found motivation to keeping working on weight loss.

    Meanwhile, people give her shit about trying to continue her weight loss, as if it was unhealthy.

    "Body positive" is "body negative" to those who are working hard to get fitter. So, how about we stop body shaming people who are working hard to get better?

    *I actually pushed against her getting into MTB, not wanting her to get injured just to spend time with me. But she made it her own hobby. I bought her a nice bike, with no regret. I have been coaching her on skills and technique to improve her riding. She is a better rider now with only a year of riding than most guys with several. AND, as she recently told me "I have a stack of man cards that need shredding" after a list of Tinder dates who were "mountain bikers" turned out to be no match for her.

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    I showed the article to my husband, and what he got out of it was wholly different than what I did - and reading through this thread, it seems that there's no middle ground.

    Personally, I loved it - I am here, doing my thing, in this body, right now. I'm not sitting around waiting for my life to start once I've lost five, or ten, or hell - even the 50lb that I could stand to lose. Riding (and in my case, swimming and running) are part of what helps to keep me in as healthy a state as I can be. I have several chronic autoimmune issues and diabetes, and losing weight is a real struggle. But you don't know that from looking at me, just like you don't know about the 80 pounds I already lost, or the 20 I put back on when I stopped smoking, or the change in meds that I had to have.....

    The quasi concern about my "health" as a thinly-veiled criticism of my weight gets old.

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    I love seeing people out on bikes. Anyone. Any size, any age, any gender.

    Not that it is any of my business, but I always do wonder, especially when I read articles like this that pertain to someone who obviously a frequent rider...

    I started biking 2 years ago. I fell in love with it instantly. I rode pretty much every day. Riding every day made me feel healthy. Feeling healthy, led me to make healthier decisions in other aspects of my life, such as how I fuelled my body. In less than a year, I lost 50 lbs! My husband changed his habits the same way and lost 30 lbs. Mountain biking absolutely changed our lives. It was a catalyst to both physical and mental health. And while I certainly did enjoy biking no matter what shape my body was in, I can tell you that I definitely enjoy it more now that I am 50 lbs less. I am fitter, faster, better, I can move easier, and if shaving a couple of pounds off of the weight of a bike can make such a difference, imagine how much difference shaving 50 lbs of weight off what is driving the bike makes. I also enjoy all other aspects of my life so much more now as well, from big things like having improved health and less aches and pains to being able to shop in normal stores and find clothes and gear that actually fits me.

    So, while I realise that some people really can't lose the weight due to health issues, I guess I wonder how it is possible that leading an active enough lifestyle that they truly consider themselves athletes, hasn't led to weight loss in and of itself? Or how it hasn't been the same catalyst for change in their lives as it was in my own? In the beginning, in my case, I felt good and I felt healthy and I truly did not realise how overweight I was or how much better I really could feel. Maybe it's that? Or maybe they are just trying to justify (to themselves) being overweight by insisting that they are healthy? But again, it's really none of my business...

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    She was a Little Big

    This seemed to come across pretty well. It was really a good day of riding. I took away from the responses that MOST people are open-minded and NOT judgemental. I'd like to think people who might be sensitive can realize that. The comments are prob'ly better than the story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    She was a Little Big

    This seemed to come across pretty well. It was really a good day of riding. I took away from the responses that MOST people are open-minded and NOT judgemental. I'd like to think people who might be sensitive can realize that. The comments are prob'ly better than the story.

    -F
    Thank you for sharing that - I laughed, and hope that maybe I'll find my people like that sometime too

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    ^ Thanks for sharing your story again! True passion
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    Quote Originally Posted by mLeier View Post
    ...I guess I wonder how it is possible that leading an active enough lifestyle that they truly consider themselves athletes, hasn't led to weight loss in and of itself?
    You can't outrun a bad diet.

    Life has changed dramatically. Go back fifty years and we walked a lot more. Buying your food probably involved going to multiple different shops and carrying bags around. Many tasks were physically harder as the electric helpers we have today didn't exist and we didn't have the tech gadgets to amuse us while we sat in a comfy chair. You didn't need to exercise, you accidently got it while doing other things!

    Today we think that we can replace that more healthy lifestyle with a few short bursts of work each week but it's not the same thing. And no matter how active you are, if you eat too much you will still get fat. And being fat is a bad thing. There are no positives to it.

    My next door neighbour was obese. He was starting to think about loosing weight, he'd signed up to do a 100 mile charity bike ride and was going out for short runs. During one run he had a heart attack and died a hundred yards from his front door. He was a lovely man, he is greatly missed by everyone who knew him. No one ever made anything of his weight. Looking back, I wish I had. I wish I'd told him it wasn't ok to be that big. It wasn't healthy and that if he wanted to be there for his grandchildren he should think about it. Maybe he would've been offended, I don't think so but I wish I'd taken the chance because maybe he'd still be here today.

    Why is it unacceptable to destroy yourself with drugs or cigarettes but eating yourself to an early grave is to be accepted? Why aren't we telling the junkies and alcoholics they're fine as they are? It's your body. You want to slowly kill yourself by whichever method you enjoy that's fine by me, go ahead. Just please don't ask me to applaud it. I can't be that heartless.

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    .-screenshot_20190730-130438.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    She was a Little Big

    This seemed to come across pretty well. It was really a good day of riding. I took away from the responses that MOST people are open-minded and NOT judgemental. I'd like to think people who might be sensitive can realize that. The comments are prob'ly better than the story.

    -F
    Awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    You can't outrun a bad diet.

    Life has changed dramatically. Go back fifty years and we walked a lot more. Buying your food probably involved going to multiple different shops and carrying bags around. Many tasks were physically harder as the electric helpers we have today didn't exist and we didn't have the tech gadgets to amuse us while we sat in a comfy chair. You didn't need to exercise, you accidently got it while doing other things!

    Today we think that we can replace that more healthy lifestyle with a few short bursts of work each week but it's not the same thing. And no matter how active you are, if you eat too much you will still get fat. And being fat is a bad thing. There are no positives to it.

    My next door neighbour was obese. He was starting to think about loosing weight, he'd signed up to do a 100 mile charity bike ride and was going out for short runs. During one run he had a heart attack and died a hundred yards from his front door. He was a lovely man, he is greatly missed by everyone who knew him. No one ever made anything of his weight. Looking back, I wish I had. I wish I'd told him it wasn't ok to be that big. It wasn't healthy and that if he wanted to be there for his grandchildren he should think about it. Maybe he would've been offended, I don't think so but I wish I'd taken the chance because maybe he'd still be here today.

    Why is it unacceptable to destroy yourself with drugs or cigarettes but eating yourself to an early grave is to be accepted? Why aren't we telling the junkies and alcoholics they're fine as they are? It's your body. You want to slowly kill yourself by whichever method you enjoy that's fine by me, go ahead. Just please don't ask me to applaud it. I can't be that heartless.
    Couldn't have said it better myself. Just seems kinda ironic given your forum name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mLeier View Post
    So, while I realise that some people really can't lose the weight due to health issues, ...
    That's a fallacy. That lie is often repeated by obese people along with the "I'm big boned and I've always been big." excuse.
    The truth is if you intake more calories than your body requires, you gain weight. If you intake fewer calories and exercise, your body will burn fat and you will lose weight.

    The issue is no longer a personal issue. If I am forced to subsidize your health care or insurance via federal mandates, then it is my financial burden. As stated above, 60% of the USA is OBESE, not just pleasantly plump, but down right FAT and LAZY. They act like they are entitled to be as fat as they want and have free or almost free medical.

    I'm happy for the people that realized they need to change and are working at it. I have nothing but praise and encouragement for them. But the ones that have that entitled attitude and try to claim we are shaming them really are annoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Why is it unacceptable to destroy yourself with drugs or cigarettes but eating yourself to an early grave is to be accepted? Why aren't we telling the junkies and alcoholics they're fine as they are? It's your body. You want to slowly kill yourself by whichever method you enjoy that's fine by me, go ahead. ....
    Some "progressives" are saying that drug use and alcohol use are medical problems and we shouldn't shame or blame them either ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    That's a fallacy. That lie is often repeated by obese people along with the "I'm big boned and I've always been big." excuse.
    The truth is if you intake more calories than your body requires, you gain weight. If you intake fewer calories and exercise, your body will burn fat and you will lose weight.

    The issue is no longer a personal issue. If I am forced to subsidize your health care or insurance via federal mandates, then it is my financial burden. As stated above, 60% of the USA is OBESE, not just pleasantly plump, but down right FAT and LAZY. They act like they are entitled to be as fat as they want and have free or almost free medical.

    I'm happy for the people that realized they need to change and are working at it. I have nothing but praise and encouragement for them. But the ones that have that entitled attitude and try to claim we are shaming them really are annoying.
    May your body always work as you expect it to, and I hope you never have reason to believe that everything is not as black and white as you would like it to be.

    Meanwhile, I'll be over here with my PCP, endocrinologist, rheumatologist, and gastroenterologist, working to keep my fat body unapologetically out riding the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    Some "progressives" are saying that drug use and alcohol use are medical problems and we shouldn't shame or blame them either ...
    The thing to understand about these people is that they don't actually care about you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    That's a fallacy. That lie is often repeated by obese people along with the "I'm big boned and I've always been big." excuse.
    The truth is if you intake more calories than your body requires, you gain weight. If you intake fewer calories and exercise, your body will burn fat and you will lose weight.

    The issue is no longer a personal issue. If I am forced to subsidize your health care or insurance via federal mandates, then it is my financial burden. As stated above, 60% of the USA is OBESE, not just pleasantly plump, but down right FAT and LAZY. They act like they are entitled to be as fat as they want and have free or almost free medical.

    I'm happy for the people that realized they need to change and are working at it. I have nothing but praise and encouragement for them. But the ones that have that entitled attitude and try to claim we are shaming them really are annoying.
    "Fat and lazy" is not language welcome on the women's forum, or any forum.

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    My wife is a therapist that works with the geriatric population in facilities and during a conversation yesterday she recognized that there are literally no overweight people in the homes, this is because they all passed already.
    Considering that Wikipedia says that approximately 30% of Americans are overweight (and I'm sure the % is much higher than that if you looked at only middle aged people) that's an awful lot of premature deaths.

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    ^I work in health care and manage a department of geriatric veterans (average age is 96). It's true , not many overweight residents but there are some that are a little over their ideal weight. Many have mobility issues

    I have a female friend who closely resembles the young woman in the article. When I met her in 2007 she was 38 and described herself as a "roadie" and was determined to "get fitter". She wanted to join me on rides, so once a week we did a 40 to 50 km road ride together. At 5'3 and 280lbs she was steady on flats and flew past me on downhills, but struggled considerably on hills and often had to get off her bike and walk. I gently encouraged her along the way. She joined me at the gym during the winter months to do 2-3 spin classes per week. In 8 weeks I noticed that she had lost some weight but she also started to lose her motivation after a few months. By the spring she wanted "to do her own thing". I'm not sure what caused her to lose interest in her goals. Maybe her goal to lose weight and get fitter wasn't strong enough to pursue.

    I continued see her occasionally socially and she talked about "upgrading her bike", joining a bike network for local rides, and doing yoga classes. Her weight did not appear to change. She did not change her eating habits. She had reoccurring injuries to her joints; mainly her ankles and hip. In 2015 (at age 45) she had her right ankle surgically fused and this year she had her hip replaced... she is 49 and weighs over 250lbs.

    The wear and tear on the joints due to excess weight is real and will have an effect eventually. There is less strain on the body when we carry a lighter weight. It's easier for me to run and bike at 120lbs than it was when I first started at 160lbs. I am not responsible for my friend's choices. I admire anyone who tries to improve their health or fitness and I'll support anyone that wants help or is struggling but I do see many who, can't change.

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    ^ I've read the ratio is 1 pound equals 7 pounds of leverage on your knee. Good thread.
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    Well on a good note, the obesity epidemic will likely save social security for us skinny folk. Looking forward to my 40 years of retirement!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    "Fat and lazy" is not language welcome on the women's forum, or any forum.
    "Fat and lazy" is often used by people who have never been "fat and lazy".

    I, once upon a time, was overweight. I broke into obese territory. Making the changes to NOT be like that are hard because society makes it hard. It's all or nothing. I luckily broke the "cycle" (no pun intended) by making small changes. I stopped supersizing my meals, but still got a double cheeseburger. Eventually making that smaller cheeseburgers. Getting more active, incrementally.

    10 years later, no one believes I used to be that overweight. Of course, I was also working 60-80 hours a week as a mechanical contractor, doing physical work on rooftops all day. In my leisure time people could assume I was lazy, not knowing I was carrying 100 pounds of gear on to multiple roofs every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    That's a fallacy. That lie is often repeated by obese people along with the "I'm big boned and I've always been big." excuse.
    The truth is if you intake more calories than your body requires, you gain weight. If you intake fewer calories and exercise, your body will burn fat and you will lose weight.

    The issue is no longer a personal issue. If I am forced to subsidize your health care or insurance via federal mandates, then it is my financial burden. As stated above, 60% of the USA is OBESE, not just pleasantly plump, but down right FAT and LAZY. They act like they are entitled to be as fat as they want and have free or almost free medical.

    I'm happy for the people that realized they need to change and are working at it. I have nothing but praise and encouragement for them. But the ones that have that entitled attitude and try to claim we are shaming them really are annoying.
    if 60% of american is that then I would wager another 20% are thin and lazy. I have read a handful of article about thin folks dying or having really bad heart disease go undiagnosed because they are thin but lazy folks. High cholesterol and very inactive but because they don't meet the metric of being overweight or obese they don't get the education provided by the medical community and society regarding exercise and heart health, etc, thinking because they are skinny they are healthy.

    Inactive is inactive and probably more unhealthy for you than being active at any weight.

    Though reviewing your calories in and making changes will feel a lot better, especially when you put on a piece of clothing that used to be tight and find that it is no longer tight. Best feeling ever.
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    Eating unhealthy is bad for your cardiovascular system.
    That is sort of a different thing than consuming more calories than you burn, which makes you overweight.
    That said, it's hard to consume significantly too many calories while eating a healthy plant based diet so usually obesity and an unhealthy heart go hand in hand.

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    Last edited by Suns_PSD; 09-25-2019 at 07:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    Some "progressives" are saying that drug use and alcohol use are medical problems and we shouldn't shame or blame them either ...
    If by progressives you mean the American Medical Association since 1956, you are correct.

    Overeating shares a lot of similarities with other addictive/compulsive disorders. And eating simple carbs and sugar may provoke bio- and neurochemical syndromes that some people are predisposed (genetically) to be more vulnerable, much like addiction.

    Addiction is a medical disorder. But, if you refuse to accept help and do what you need to do, as with any other medical disorder, you deserve blame for your predicament, if not shame.

    Like others on this thread, when I am biking or otherwise exercising regularly and vigorously, it makes me lose some weight and also causes me to eat more healthily, particularly as concerns portion control.

    So it kind of baffles me that someone could remain excessively overweight while cycling regularly and vigorously.

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    Regarding the association between addiction and overeating, often when people have gastric bypass surgery and they can physically no longer feed that particular addiction, they swap addictions, often to alcohol.

    https://www.thefix.com/content/gastr...addictions8421

    "There have been previous reports of bariatric surgery patients having serious trouble with alcohol use after their surgeries. A 2012 Archives of Surgery study by the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center looked at 100 people who had Roux-en-Y and 55 who had the adjustable band. The post-op patients were significantly more likely than the general population to use addictive substances, especially two years after the procedures. The Roux-en-Y cohort seemed particularly susceptible to alcohol use."

    Ultimately junk food is an addiction that is all to easy to get your fix for as it's culturally acceptable to consume junk and even frowned upon to try and eat healthy. It's a rare public event where the food isn't just junk food so you get in a trap that unless you want to be anti-social, standout, and appear difficult, you end up being exposed to all of the things that we all know we are not supposed to consume. Trust me cause I'm that guy and it sort of makes me not even want to be anywhere that I'm not in 100% control of the food placed around me.

    Even right now my skinny wife and I have decided to cut our drinking way back and with no wine every night it's very challenging to not replace that with sweets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Regarding the association between addiction and overeating, often when people have gastric bypass surgery and they can physically no longer feed that particular addiction, they swap addictions, often to alcohol.

    https://www.thefix.com/content/gastr...addictions8421

    "There have been previous reports of bariatric surgery patients having serious trouble with alcohol use after their surgeries. A 2012 Archives of Surgery study by the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center looked at 100 people who had Roux-en-Y and 55 who had the adjustable band. The post-op patients were significantly more likely than the general population to use addictive substances, especially two years after the procedures. The Roux-en-Y cohort seemed particularly susceptible to alcohol use."

    Ultimately junk food is an addiction that is all to easy to get your fix for as it's culturally acceptable to consume junk and even frowned upon to try and eat healthy. It's a rare public event where the food isn't just junk food so you get in a trap that unless you want to be anti-social, standout, and appear difficult, you end up being exposed to all of the things that we all know we are not supposed to consume. Trust me cause I'm that guy and it sort of makes me not even want to be anywhere that I'm not in 100% control of the food placed around me.

    Even right now my skinny wife and I have decided to cut our drinking way back and with no wine every night it's very challenging to not replace that with sweets.
    Fascinating, wasn't aware of that. Those in the recovery community know that "cross-addiction," or replacing one compulsive behavior with another, is very common and something you have to watch out for.

    Also, simple carbs/sugar and alcohol are chemically and metabolically closely related, so there's a blood sugar/brain chemistry "itch" that can be "scratched" by any of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    It's a rare public event where the food isn't just junk food so you get in a trap that unless you want to be anti-social, standout, and appear difficult, you end up being exposed to all of the things that we all know we are not supposed to consume.
    Not just public events, it's a wider problem. My work has vending machines selling chocolate and crisps (chips) but you can't buy fruit. Not even in the canteen. They don't sell it. Junk is easy to buy. Healthy food is harder to find and expensive.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Not just public events, it's a wider problem. My work has vending machines selling chocolate and crisps (chips) but you can't buy fruit. Not even in the canteen. They don't sell it. Junk is easy to buy. Healthy food is harder to find and expensive.
    And tends to require more preparation.

    However, you can usually eat less healthy food.

  35. #35
    Rides all the bikes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Regarding the association between addiction and overeating, often when people have gastric bypass surgery and they can physically no longer feed that particular addiction, they swap addictions, often to alcohol.

    https://www.thefix.com/content/gastr...addictions8421
    Friend of mine had GB, eventually had drinking problems. Sober now...replaced with mountain biking

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Friend of mine had GB, eventually had drinking problems. Sober now...replaced with mountain biking
    This is what doctors should be prescribing after GB or any of these surgeries. At least an addiction to a sport can be healthier, though wallet draining.
    I like your bike

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