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It’s Hard to be a Fat Transhumanist

J. Hughes

Ethical Technology

July 31, 2013

It’s hard to be fat in general, but as a spokesperson for a movement purporting to advocate the evolution of humanity to greater health, ability and longevity I was always embarrassed about the weight I was carrying around.  (I have a New Yorker cartoon on my wall of a fat man telling a disappointed thin man “I’m from your future.”) Recently through cyborgification I’ve been able to get back into my recommended weight range. Knowing that some of my friends are either curious if I’m seriously ill, or how I accomplished this, I thought I’d share the story.


Complete entry


Posted by dobermanmac  on  08/01  at  04:47 AM

I so appreciate your efforts at maintaining a healthy weight/fitness schedule.  My experience is that people over-estimate the effect exercise has on weight control, and they under-estimate the effect calorie restriction has.  The first step is to count calories, the second is to make sure those calories come from health food choices, and the third step is to make sure you are physically active despite restricting calories.

I am on a severe CRdiet of 1200 calories per day, which lowers my metabolism, and gives me more energy.  I work out walking (getting pulled) my three dobermans one hour twice a day (their enthusiasm motivates me).  Finally, because of the small amount of food I eat, I must be very careful what I eat.

Let me add that your eternal life strategy ought to include a CRdiet, which is not meant to lose weight, but for longevity and health.  Food is often used as an emotional crutch, and that is unhealthy.  Furthermore, people often indulge in inhibition lowering recreation (drinking and smoking) which is counter-productive to the discipline necessary to stay on a diet.

If we can last another few decades, we have a good chance of taking advantage of emerging extreme longevity technology.  Sacrificing now to gain the great treasure of eternal life is only rational.

Posted by Intomorrow  on  08/01  at  05:26 AM

Good comment, Doberman fan. One comment to add—despite its being obvious—is how worrying about diet can be worse than neglecting nutrition. So many people agonise on this factor; they agonise about diet. (BTW, we don’t know what is contained in our tap water, we don’t send samples of tap water to the lab, do we?)
Wont go into psychosomatic factors.. is for an expert to write about.

Something else: a plump person has a plus:
it is considered socially acceptable to be slightly heavy whereas skinny is often considered wussy (‘twinky’) for a man. Such is a psychological aspect to consider. Someone told me something unusual: people often fear the skinny because, quote they are afraid skinny people are going to vomit on them unquote. Sounded specious at first yet it is a savvy observation. And, fat people are unduly stigmatised. If someone is grossly overweight such is health-threatening however there are exceptions. You may have heard of people who eat metal!
Have you noticed doctors have so much on their minds they don’t always have time to give good advice? Many doctors have to deal with many patients, many factors—it would be impossible to keep up with the latest medical literature. There’s a tendency to err on the side of conservatism.. which makes sense from a professional view albeit is not individualised enough.
Worrying about malpractice could be enough of a drag in and of itself.
(Good news is celebrities don’t write diet books as much as in the past. What kind of megalomania does it take for an untrained celebrity to write books on such a complicated issue? Self-satisfied well-fed celebrities.)

Posted by hankpellissier  on  08/01  at  08:31 AM

Thanks for an extremely honest and valuable article.

Posted by jhughes  on  08/01  at  09:17 AM

I’ll have to write a separate article about Paleo, calorie restriction and intermittent fasting. Inspired by George Dvorsky I tried Paleo, but found the strictures against dairy products and legumes impossible to keep (too may of my ancestors died of lactose poisoning so that I could be lactose tolerant to turn my back on their sacrifice).  Calorie restriction I find impossible to contemplate as a lifestyle choice, unless it really was to ward off an imminent fatal disease and get to radical longevity. Even then there isn’t really any evidence that calorie restriction works in adults. And the intermittent fasting research suggests that you can achieve a lot of the same metabolic results by doing two <600 calorie days each week, which I have been experimenting with successfully. Basically whenever the scale tips up a pound or more I’ll make that a <600 calorie day.

Posted by Giulio Prisco  on  08/01  at  11:11 AM

I am all for calorie restriction as long as I can continue to eat fatty bean soups with sausages, English breakfasts, and huge meat grills with lots of french fries.

And pasta of course. Lots of it, all types.

Almost forgot: I am an unrepentant smoker.

Too bad alcohol gives me headaches these days, I would be so happy if I could continue to drink as I did when I was a kid: huge mugs of cold beer, good wine, whiskey, vodka, grappa, tequila, sake…

Why should I want to live longer if I don’t enjoy it?

Posted by hankpellissier  on  08/01  at  12:28 PM

I have been a semi-vegan for a while now, and I really enjoy it.

“Semi” just means I can eat something really tasty that isn’t vegan if I’m severely tempted - I am in “farm-to-table” rural Long Island now so I felt impelled to eat 3 oysters and sheep cheese, yesterday - for example.

I support vegan because it is kind, and it promotes an environmentally sustainable future.

If you need a pep talk to be vegan, David Pearce can always provide one.

Posted by Intomorrow  on  08/01  at  05:25 PM

“Why should I want to live longer if I don’t enjoy it?”

This is the most thought-provoking comment so far. At any rate—to be a champion of the obvious—there are advantages to being plump: first, for males, being overweight is considered preferable to being skinny. A skinny guy is thought to be a wimp whereas a slightly overweight guy is more accepted. The man is considered to have more substance in the form of bulk.
With women the situation is different.

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