Monday, April 18, 2011

Marathon Monday And Being Fat Or Skinny.

What better day than “Marathon Monday” to put out a post of weight and being fat or skinny or in between. My personal opinion is that the Boston Marathon is one of the most over hyped useless sporting events imaginable. Most of the runners appear to need some serious counseling about working one self into a state of looking like a stick person and this is from an ardent runner - jogger who has done marathons with the last being the famed Coachman Marathon years ago that was a one shot one that ended up in Taunton.

Federal requirements for pounds per passenger on buses will now go from 150 to 175 pounds per person for an estimate. Our rather robust physiques are causing this change along with less standing room since we are getting larger.

The seats at Fenway Park have shown how much our derriere size has increased through the years. There is that great scene from the movie “Fever Pitch” where Lenny Clarke - now rather svelte - attempts to get himself firmly planted in his seat. Trust me if you are a plus size or 3X it is an adventure at Fabulous Fenway. In fact you can have what now passes for normal body mass and still have an adventure squeezing your carcass into the seat that you may have paid $150 for.

Some health insurance companies actually offer a discount for following the prescribed charts regarding your health - weight, body mass, non-smoking, not reading my blog, not having the physique of BB, and a variety of other indexes that show you are less of a risk. Otherwise you pay full price. Like a version of auto insurance where good drivers get a discount only good health habits get a discount.

The BMI is really interesting in that it can give some real false impressions. Pro football players at the skill positions rarely are within the correct parameters yet have fat around 5%. The problem is their weight and height.

Years ago I use to run in the mornings at D.W. Fields Park in Brockton as I returned home from work. I ended up occasionally with a small group and we marveled at a runner known as “Fatso.” Fatso ran faster as he gained weight. Fatso would also smoke when he ran. Fatso checked in at about six feet and an easy 250+ with a substantial paunch. Fatso was also in his early 40s. The group I ran with urged me to enter a road race that was being sponsored by the nurses association at the VA. First road race I was ever in. Anyways I start to follow Fatso who ran a fairly consistent seven minute mile. He has his son along riding a bike and handing him beers. He was running, drinking and smoking. I will brag and say I managed to finish 11th overall and 3rd in my age group and that was with over 300 runners. Fatso did very well coming in around 42 minutes.

There was a restaurant in Brockton called Sciliano’s that use to sponsor a road race each year and they had a heavyweight division in honor of Rock Marciano. You had to be over 200 pounds for that division. The year I ran that race Fatso blew away the heavyweight division. He was a genetic marvel.

Now Fatso brings up an interesting point and that is that he conditions his most important muscle his heart. His habits may certainly depreciate the value of that but somehow I imagine he is still lounging around somewhere smoking a pack a day and swilling beer. An exception no doubt. But one can be over weight and in good shape. It seems like a contradiction but I have seen too many examples to show that it can happen. Through the years I have played sports against many who may resemble a pear in shape but actually were in very good shape despite the extra baggage. Some have actually been high end in sports in high school and college from swimming to tennis to track and to basketball. The level of performance may have sunk a bit but that endurance is still there - a bit less but still present. I just get the prejudice opinion on my part that weight - and I am not talking obese - is just a bit overblown if you exercise on a regular basis especially cardio.

Who is Kelly Gneiting? He is an American Sumo who checks in north of 400 pounds. Kelly managed to run or at least waddle the LA Marathon in 9:48:52 and that may be a record for the heaviest man to run a marathon. It has been submitted to Guinness.

In the great Woody Allen movie “Sleeper” he runs the Happy Carrot Health Food store only to wake up 200 years in the future to be informed that all those bad habits such as smoking have actually proven to be beneficial. Oh the irony of it all!

I’m sure the airlines will soon charge by the pound. If you are now a certain size you may be required to buy two seats so you can plant your bulk. Sometimes airlines will just place you in a seat with a vacant seat next to you if a vacant seat is available. Some lucky ones actually get a first class upgrade but the airlines are probably cautious on the amount of vittles they offer them.

As I get older the weight is not the issue but the distribution is since I weigh the same as I did - 172 pounds - as when I got married 37 years ago. However I now have a 36 inch waist to my pants rather than a 34 and sometimes will move into a 38 just since I like roomy comfort. Gravity is nasty!

My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - is on a perpetual diet and has been for about twenty or so years. A few pounds here and there and then back on. Maintaining is the best way to describe it. I exercise a lot so that is no problem unless I stop since those “extras” are burned off. With my first Achilles surgery I went from a few hours a day of full court basketball and eighty miles of running a week to nothing. I was use to taking in 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day so you can imagine the results. Thankfully it was “only” twenty pounds.

Massachusetts recently rated the counties in the state for which was healthiest and Plymouth County came in ninth and I’m sure Middleboro did its very best to contribute to that score. Nantucket came in as healthiest but they probably didn’t show anyone the price of housing as that would have brought on a coronary.

In the states the usual suspects for the lard award are located in the south with old favorites Mississippi and Alabama using racing calorie for calorie to see just who can weigh in as the winner.

Now there is a certain amount of encouragement to just eat and eat and all you have to look at is “Do you want that Super Sized?” If that fails just take a look in The Yellow Pages under buffets. Meals in this country are notorious large. Several years ago in Helotes Texas the local McDonald’s would “Texas Size” your meal and that included a 44 OZ drink container loaded with French fries. Now Helotes is a suburb of San Antonio but when you travel the highways down that way there is an almost endless selection of fast food places. On the Bandera Highway from Helotes to Loop 1604 is a mere five miles but I’ve counted four Bill Miller Bar-B-Que’s and at least five Taco Cabana restaurants. Around here DD proliferates but that is only one chain. Just think of running the gamut of multiple FF chains all with a convenient drive thru.

On our last trip to NYC we had the new nanny police menus that have calorie counts included in the product description. I am still attempting to fathom how a salad can have 1,800 calories. My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - just thought this was a wonderful idea and it guided her selections. I let my palate guide me. But I recently saw a piece on TV where the calories listings had no impact on food selection and may actually have an adverse one. Seems some folks will look at a $12.99 meal with 1,500 C and one with 900 C and opt for the 1,500 C as a way of getting more “value.”

The human body really wants to get fat. We’re wired that one from back in the day when between meals could be measured in days and not hours and to quote a line from Rambo “trained to eat things that would make a Billy-Goat puke,” so the body always wanted to have a fat reserve incase food became sparse. That is always hovering around in our genetics.

My wife - you know who - is an ardent viewer of two shows on TV that are part of that morning - afternoon viewing time that focus on a female audience. One is “The Doctors” and the other is “Dr. Oz” and both can trace their roots back to Oprah Winfrey - that alone should make anything questionable. The Doctors focus on two subjects - sex and weight loss. Usually some type of gimmick is hosted upon the viewing audience via product placement. Some new beauty secret to make you 10 years younger or wrapped up in nutrition with the idea of losing weight via a book being pushed or some basic healthy eating ideas to at least attempt legitimacy while hawking products. It is all relatively harmless and I am sure the vast majority of the audience nods their collective heads in support and then promptly forget about it.

Dr. Oz has one of the most inane shows on TV that combines the theatrics of a low end quiz show with some apparent outtakes from a CSI show. I have watched the show and will say “He (they) are wrong” only to have my spouse jump to the defense of the fraudulent information. I merely guide over and do a quick computer search to show a few thousand references to back me up. I find Oz has a bit of humiliation and personal degradation in his show but that is just me. With both the shows I have a steady stream of negativity before they even start. I almost disagree even when I agree.

So today you can watch the marathon and enjoy or do like I do and go out for a relating run or walk and pay no attention to the fact that a major world class city becomes not the Hub of The Universe but the Hub of Inconvenienc


Anonymous said...

I watched the Marathon today and it brought back great memories of running. I've done 1/2 Marathons and full ones but my preference was always a 10k. I did about 40 of them as long as there was plenty of beer at the end.

Anonymous said...

You can probably figure out who I really am by going to here:

bogofree said...

I put the link on my sidebar under Local Fav's.

I ran several marathons with my best being 2:47 and worse being 3:06. I loved the 10K and five mile runs and would try to do one every week. Had some great times and in one race my son and I both won our divisions. Then came the breakdowns. Had Achilles rupture and that did it. Still ran and played basketball but the running was strictly trails. That's why I have so many posted on my sidebar.

Had a second Achilles rupture four years ago and surgery failed so I had a reconstruction and still will do 6 miles a day and sometimes 8 miles.

Love the trail runs as do the dogs.

Family Guy said...

Don't get him started on running or you'll hear the story of the Halifax half marathon for the 100th time.

Hey, Bozo, when you run with BB does he provide plenty of shade?

Anyways I hear you on all those "female" shows that are on endlessly. Like one big infomercial.

bogofree said...

...the temperature was 100. Oppressive humidity. No water stations. Oh the pain!

Anonymous said...

Bogo and i have spoken to each other about running in the past. I'm a little too banged up to run again and I miss it dearly.

bogofree said...


When the body parts wear out it is quite difficult. Right now I have a pair of sore knees for the last few weeks. This is not unusual since I periodically go through this. Sore and pain and two different things but I always wonder if it is the beginning of looking for spare parts.

Anonymous said...

Get it checked immediately before you run into problems. I had a knee replacement at 45 years of age because of severe arthritis and it was revised at 48. Listen to your body, it's sending you a message. I didn't and I'm paying the price!

bogofree said...

Knee is fine. Only hurts when I move.

Suo Mynona said...

Sort of like his brain when thinks about the Red Sox

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love Susanne Dube:

bogofree said...

Just put out a blog on it. Seems the bloodhounds have found a trail and it leads to 32 Main St. As Dandy Don would say "The parties over."