114. You are playing the house. Will you win?
Feb 05, 2021
By: Michael Beiter
Steve has lost 16 pounds of fat since December 4th.
We have had some amazing conversations about fitness and nutrition since he began.
Steve is atypical in that he has been to the top of the charts with his abilities as a cyclist. He completed a race that was 1600 miles long and took him across the country. Preparation for that race took 18 months.
His discipline is pretty wild.
A bunch of people in his niche of cycling tend to trend downwards with their fitness as they age. I confidently told Steve he would be in better shape in his 50's than he was when he completed the Race Across America.
We got into it about the progress humanity has made in the last century. It is astonishing. But with it comes a great responsibility that many people are failing at.
Since just after World War 2 famine has been knocked off the list as one of humanities most deadly killers. It has been replaced by its polar opposite: obesity.
Instead of death from malnutrition we have millions dying from overconsumption.
In addition we have no need to be physically active anymore. Millions of people can make a living being seated and staring at a computer all day. This is in stark contrast to physically laborious jobs of eras past. For most of history if you weren't physical you weren't providing money, food, or shelter and you'd quickly be eliminated from the gene pool.
The responsibilities these two things have created are giving 2/3 of our population a lot of trouble. We have to WILLFULLY choose to be physically active daily and moderate our food. If we don't we are fucked.
My favorite analogy of the food and movement situation we find ourselves in is the house. In gambling the house always wins. You may have your day here or there but on a long enough timeline you will lose.
Same story for our modern culture. If you don't develop a system and discipline yourself to eat and exercise properly there are massive institutions set up to profit off your loss. Just like if you don't discipline betting. They are big food, the reactive versus proactive medical industry, and big pharma. They are the house and they are armed to the gills with tricks and manipulations in play for you to lose.
It is sad but liberating to learn this. Sad in that for all the progress we've made we still have capitalist assholes rigging systems for the masses to lose and them to profit. Liberating in that once you recognize them you can get to work on fighting back.
This is a responsibility all of us have as we live in the most advanced, equitable, easy society to every exist. Accept it and you will have your health. Ignore it and you'll spend your money and life at the whims of the house.