Pipe Wrench magazine just released The Fat Issue, including a great, lengthy feature on fatphobia from Marquisele Mercedes. Something I’d never seen in here before is the source for “losing just 10% of your body weight has health benefits”: working backwards from the actual results of weight loss attempts by dieters! As in: Most people who attempted to lose weight ended up losing about 10% of their body fat, therefore that’s what we “should recommend” to people. It also links a piece with ample sourcing for the idea that diets don’t work; I saw this called into question recently, so I’ll be holding onto this one.
Also really enjoyed this Sara Benincasa piece in the issue on the first man in her life, but not the last, who saw managing her body and food as his specific burden.
What subscribers got last week: I recapped the results and process of my first cut in over two years. I also got a body-fat scale for the first time ever, which let me see mathematically how much muscle I’ve built in my eight years of lifting! So much has changed; I really need to do a post on that specifically, soon!
A very thorough review/historical contextualization by Maria Popova of the new book Sweat: A History of Exercise by Bill Hayes. Since ancient times, scholars have been saying the body is part of the soul.
The queen Hilary Duff did a nude photo shoot. Choice quote:
Her decision to bare all for this cover was an extremely thoughtful and deliberate one. “I’m proud of my body. I’m proud that it’s produced three children for me. I’ve gotten to a place of being peaceful with the changes my body has gone through. I also want people to know a makeup artist was there putting glow all over my body and someone put me in the most flattering position.”
Also, if it isn’t our girl lifting her weights!!:
A workout might focus on weighted squats followed by supersets of squats on a Bosu ball. Other days he’d have her do lat pulldowns followed by single-leg bent-over dumbbell rows, or tricep pushdowns with a stability ball skull crusher.
John Fetterman, “wears shorts in winter and insists he isn’t cold” sun, “badly covered Nine Inch Nails tattoo” moon, “weed head” ascendant, won the Democratic primary for a Pennsylvania Senate seat. No one knows the “gym bro to fascist” pipeline better than the readers of this newsletter, but so long as he stays on this side of the fence, anyone generating headlines describing him as a “politician in gym clothes” has my wary support.
Joe Rogan’s redditor fan base is finally turning against him over this brain-dead commentary on abortion.
Relatable sentiment: “[tearfully] What if it takes a long time until I get a snack?”
~Discord Pick of the Week: This deserves some kind of fuller treatment (open thread??) but a reader linked this historical artifact of the way we once were: The Best Fitness DVDs of 2013, featuring, among others Jillian Michaels, Yogalates: Dynamic Weight Loss, 10 Minute Solution Cardio Hip Hop Blaster. It’s crazy to age and see the things that were new in your time come to sound and feel hopelessly dated.
Also, this comes highly recommended by several in the chat: a translation of Beowulf that recasts him as a bro. I ordered my copy.~
Supersets might not be superior for gaining mass after all. As this article concludes, supersets are more about saving time than specifically producing more strength or size.
BuzzFeed got a type of headline it loves: Halsey Called Out People Who Say They Look "Unhealthy" Via A New TikTok. Halsey has been looking thin because they have a yet-to-be-fully-diagnosed medical issue.
This might be controversial to say because nuance is generally on the decline, but in a climate of conventional beauty standards where people see skinny people and go “yaaas skinny legend!! How can I look like them”, as they were literally doing, about Halsey (tw: bad body talk), context that explains how this is not “goals” but actually a medical symptom helps dismantle those standards. It’s actually good and useful context that, Halsey, a person in the public eye posing for red carpets, is sick. “Perhaps this can be a good reminder that we don't need to be commenting on people's bodies at all!” says BuzzFeed. I can’t disagree more!
Not unrelated: This week’s big weight-loss dust-up was around Lori Harvey, daughter of Steve Harvey, who finally acquiesced to fans hounding her to “drop the routine.” Surprising many people, though it shouldn’t, the routine was “working out every day, sometimes twice a day, and eating 1200 calories a day for at least a stretch of time.” Everyone was then mad that this was not a tight little shortcut we can all easily pull off, and then accused her of having an eating disorder (honestly, that is neither off the table nor for us to say).
Once again, say the catchy soundbite with me: There are no shortcuts to achieving conventional hotness, and if there is a “shortcut” that “works” for one of them, the genetics of the person in question are likely so elite that the shortcut is not meaningful to the rest of us.
This is a ‘duh’ for those of us reading and making this newsletter, but in the interest of validating our existence: “you don’t have to do cardio for weight loss.”
Great debunk from Abbey Sharp on the scam of “greens” and “reds” powder supplements we’ve been increasingly seeing, even from some of our favs (disappointing but not surprising!). Short version: If you’re eating healthy, you don’t need them and they’re a waste of money; if you’re not eating healthy enough that you do “need” them, you probably need to eat healthier anyway and these powders will not even remotely close the gap that eating a balanced diet will. They’re expensive pee, the end.
A beautiful fat woman caused the downfall of Jordan Peterson on Twitter. Hard to see this any way except that fat people are unfairly, if capably, carrying America on their backs down the path back to democracy?
I got served this nice little collection of articles by Pocket: trust no app, especially not mental health ones.
A fun piece on the search for the first woman, Van Tran, to write a video game starring a human girl (the game is called Wabbit).
The E-Pimps of OnlyFans. Honestly, this is just good business:
“Rosero’s ghostwriters — known in the industry as chatters — will act as the model in private messages with the customers who pay to talk to her. These chatters work in shifts, responding to incoming messages and reaching out to new subscribers, trying to coax them into buying expensive pay-per-view videos. They tell particular subscribers that a video was recorded just for them; in fact, the same clip might be sold to dozens of people.”
“An 18-year-old girl, she texts different than a 25-year-old girl, you know, or an older lady,” he explained. “An older lady won’t use emojis; she’ll use, like, a semicolon and parentheses for a winky face, when a younger girl will actually use a winky emoji.”
🎵“I don’t care about your crypto, boy”🎵 Chart this song!!!
Also for my art people: I’ve been reading the book Dilla Time that came out earlier this year, and it’s so, so good. It’s super readable and written for a wide audience, not hip hop heads, which I need. But what I’m really liking about it is that with all of the Internet at our disposal, it’s easy to “listen along” to music advancements as they happen in the book: polyrhythm, this or that P-Funk song, J Dilla’s first composition on an MPC.
That is all for this week! Thank you for reading, I love you, let’s go—