One of the best reasons to get older and know more about health and working out and these sorts of things is that the world becomes rich with things to laugh at, a cornucopia of stuff you won’t be doing. You’re no longer taking copious notes about various very red and veiny guys’ “grindsets,” nodding seriously at the idea that it’s possible to fit three workdays into one day.[^1] You realize that some things people are saying, like this guy suggesting everyone who cannot run 18 miles on nothing but two cups of coffee is weak. (Fasted workouts are not superior.)
What a joy to have been around the block a couple of times, that one may view a YouTuber’s nine-hundred step “productive 5 a.m. morning routine,” peacefully sip one’s drink, and carry on living one’s life, changing nothing about oneself. What a relief to be served an influencer’s “abs in 10 minutes” workout, watch them cycle through one core blaster after another, grow bored, and swipe away.
I’ve suffered for these truths, rolling around on tiny cramped floors trying to do a bicycle crunch, setting early alarms, trying to minutely schedule every second of every day with hyperproductive tasks with various time management apps, orienting my health around the pursuit of hotness. I read this Douglas Adams quote once a long time ago and never forgot it:
I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies: Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
It made me determined not to succumb to the forces of being “over 35.” I had plans; I was going to be the one to stay loose and nimble, heart and brain open to all of the new tides that the world had to offer. But now, having been 35 for (almost) a year, this may just be the age when it becomes apparent that many, or most, new tides are retreads of the tides you’ve already endured, and can gain nothing from enduring a second time. Experience is a gift, and especially in the information-overload times we now live in, reaching a place of not caring, of neutrality, of “even if you say 1 + 1 = 5, you’re right—have fun,” is a gift.
My biggest worry was that this would naturally funnel me directly into cynicism, even as I’ve been working hard to be cynical and jaded about everything since I was 14. But what I feared could only be calcification has turned out to be release—release from the obligation of defaulting to taking people seriously just because they speak with absolute conviction, release from waiting for someone else to tell me the right answers, release from there being answers, especially during this time of year when salespeople are charging into the maw of New Year New Me anxiety with quick fixes.
It's annoying to think about how this could have only happened with the passage of time, how resolute I was in my convictions about having control, that I just had to personally fuck around and find out. Still, I’m here for the new inventions, should anyone come up with one. But after all that waiting, the exhale has been powerful.
Intuitive eating enjoyed a real surge of popularity on Instagram starting around 2018, but the actual roots of the movement go back to 1995, when the original guide, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach, was published. If you know intuitive eating only through the ambience of social media, the book is extremely worth a read, if only to realize that the goal is not actually to eat only according to your amorphous whims forever and ever.
The economics of class-based fitness are tough. If your class enjoys any amount of popularity, it seems like the price sensitivity goes through the dang floor, and suddenly you have hundreds of people fighting to pay $40 for one of 50 spots in a yoga class.
I'm dabbling in a little meal delivery again, and I was surprised/horrified to find there is now a website called MealFinds that catalogs all of the meal delivery services that exist. Somehow there appear to be many, many hundreds more such services than the last time I checked in on this space, when I feel like there were approximately two (shoutout to local business PowerPlate NYC, which kept us fed through a good stretch of the pandemic!).
Last week we were honored by the Instagram post of a 96-year-old powerlifter named Marcy, and this week we are honored by 96-year-old gymnast Johanna.
Brb learning Taylor Russell’s signature pose.
Great The Cut article: Do “greens” powders work? I think I can help here again: “Greens” and “reds” fall into the broad category of supplements, and, more specifically, vitamins. Greens and reds are vitamins whose manufacturers have been spared the trouble of pressing them into a pill shape. Vitamins, you may remember, are known to medical professionals as “expensive pee”: they may very lightly improve upon, say, a strict diet of Chicken McNuggets and hot dogs. But that is a low, low nutritional bar (and greens and reds likewise do not raise the bar of the nugs-and-dogs diet to even the same planetary system as the classic “balanced diet containing a variety of foods”).
Eating almost any quantity and combination of fruits and vegetables would stand people in better stead. It is also possible to “over-vitamin.” There is such a thing as toxic doses of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Lately it’s become popular among influencers to do a kind of backhanded transparency in cases like this, and say in their constant posts about, say, reds and greens that no one NEEDS these supplements but the influencer themself simply enjoys taking them, or some such. Don’t fall for this; these are just extremely cheap-to-produce supplements that have an absurdly high profit margin.
Click on this hilarious link “Americans of Reddit, how do y’all stay sane with so few holidays and vacation time?” to be blown down by the sheer force of all the people diving in to comment “we don’t at all, actually.”
Big Egg has been spreading rumors that suddenly spiking egg prices are due to some “acts of God” (avian flu, flooding, cicada swarms, culling of the firstborn, etc.). In fact, per the FTC, one of the country’s largest fresh egg distributors (Cal-Maine) seems to have simply raised its prices, resulting in a 10-fold increase in gross profits.
Congratulations to this person who fumbled being an ally at the two-yard line and fat-shamed his beautiful girlfriend.
A strong rec from Defector: Check out some art tours on YouTube.
For my fellow millennials desperate for an affordable home at any time/convenience/difficulty cost: Watch this guy assemble a $115K lake house from the ground up.
I would be so honored to be saved from climate change by a mushroom. (Eagle-eyed readers will have noted the background of our logo is none other than a shroom. Also please note these beautiful shrooms, which have 23,328 biological sexes.)
That’s all for this week! I love you for reading, thank you, let’s go—
[F1] Obligatory caveat that it's abhorrent that anyone might need three jobs to get by and thus not have the option of opting out, which is a separate idea from the one that anyone needs to do three jobs to be worthy of anything.