Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 87

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 87

Did you miss Dan’s great article on Shark Habits?

Well, I have been busy. We had about 100 people at our home for my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration and I have cleaned up, set up, taken down and cleaned up nearly every inch of my home. My back yard has five decks and they were all full. Thankfully, we hired a bartender and a food company to handle the keys to a good celebration: libation and nutrition.

I start traveling again this week, but I have a few quiet days this week before I go to my next Perform Better talk.

I had a recent cancer issue, I’m fine…no big deal, but I found some interesting things about nutrition and cancer this week. This first article seems like a no-brainer, but little has been discussed on nutrition and cancer.

“’Nobody understands biologically why that is,’ Dr. Ligibel said, adding that researchers will be collecting blood samples throughout the trial to track metabolic changes that occur with weight loss. Exercise is also part of the program, and participants will work with health coaches. Fitbit is donating all the products that will be used to track their activity and weight.

“The researchers will look at markers of inflammation and metabolism, including levels of insulin, insulinlike growth factor and hormones that regulate fat storage.

“’There’s a physiology of obesity that happens in everybody, but many of the changes we see in obesity actually are factors that influence the growth of cancer,’ said Dr. Pamela Goodwin, one of the study’s investigators and a professor of medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

“These changes include higher insulin and glucose levels, inflammation and an increase in certain proteins, all of which appear to fuel cancer growth, Dr. Goodwin said.

“Obesity ‘makes a great environment for cancer to get a foothold and progress,’ said Barbara Gower, a professor of nutrition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who is running a small short-term trial to see what happens when women with ovarian cancer remove all sugar and starches from their diet. ‘The hormonal messages getting through to cancer cells are that it’s a good time to grow, and the nutrition they need is there, too.’”

Phil Maffetone’s whole approach of appropriate diet and exercise seems like a cancer-fighting tool and this article gets us to the key points.

“The one biochemical feature common to calorie restriction and fasting is ketosis — the high use of ketone bodies and fats for bodywide energy instead of sugar-burning.

“But calorie restriction or fasting excessively while trying to live healthy and productive lives is not practical or necessary because it can lead to nutrient deficiencies and starvation. We can, however, prompt our bodies to burn more fat, to make more ketones, reduce reliance on sugar-burning, and lower our caloric requirement as metabolism becomes more efficient.

“Most sugar-dependent cancer cells are unable to use ketones for energy like healthy cells can. Ketone bodies may even be toxic to cancer cells. A number of studies show that the change from sugar- to fat/ketone-burning results in three key anti-cancer actions:

Anti-angiogenic (anti-tumor forming).
Pro-apoptotic (cancer cell destruction).

“From a dietary standpoint, increasing fat burning is accomplished by reducing carbohydrate intake, and increasing healthy fat consumption, while maintaining adequate high-quality protein intake. The exercise aspect of this means building the aerobic system. We need not necessarily have to go into nutritional ketosis, although some people are healthier doing so, and as an effective cancer therapy it is becoming more popular.”

I thought this article has value both for politics and for our journey through fitness.

“A dare for the next time you’re in discussion with someone you disagree with: Don’t try to ‘win.’ Don’t try to ‘convince’ anyone of your viewpoint. Don’t score points by mocking them to your peers. Instead try to ‘lose.’ Hear them out. Ask them to convince you and mean it. No one is going to tell your environmentalist friends that you merely asked follow up questions after your brother made his pro-fracking case.

“Or, the next time you feel compelled to share a link on social media about current events, ask yourself why you are doing it. Is it because that link brings to light information you hadn’t considered? Or does it confirm your world view, reminding your circle of intellectual teammates that you’re not on the Other Side?

“I implore you to seek out your opposite. When you hear someone cite ‘facts’ that don’t support your viewpoint don’t think ‘that can’t be true!’ Instead consider, ‘Hm, maybe that person is right? I should look into this.’”

In the same viewpoint, this article gives a bit of a “how to” on criticism:


How to compose a successful critical commentary:

1.     You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
2.     You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3.     You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
4.     Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Bret Contreras gives us everything, and more, you ever wanted to know about the Hip Thrust. It is my favorite exercise for pure glute power.

I sometimes wonder about a lot of things. Whenever I want to “dumb down,” I read the comments sections. I liked this article in some ways, then ventured into the comments.

From the comments section:

“Life is dangerous. This article is the reason I am unfollowing your site. How about promoting what you do instead of putting down what others enjoy.”

This comment reminds me of there are so MANY more reasons to hate “the workout that shall not be named” in addition to the points made in the article.

Sometimes I read an article I wish would have been around a few decades ago. I feel like I left a job or two with perfect timing. This point from the article rings true.

“Don’t hang around to be a setting sun. The sensible person’s maxim: abandon things before they abandon you. Know how to turn an ending into a triumph. Sometimes the sun itself, whilst still shining brilliantly, goes behind a cloud so nobody can see it setting, leaving people in suspense over whether it has or not. To avoid being slighted, avoid being seen to decline. Don’t wait until everyone turns their back on you, burying you alive to regret but dead to esteem. Someone sharp retires a racehorse at the right time, not waiting until everyone laughs when it falls in mid-race. Let beauty astutely shatter her mirror when the time is right, not impatiently and too late when she sees her own illusions shattered in it.”

I never really knew much about Frank Zappa. I thought this had great insights.

“I think that’s a reasonable way to look at it because [the U.S.] doesn’t have any real sort of values, you know? And a fad provides you with a temporary occupation for your imagination. Really, [America] doesn’t have any real culture. It doesn’t have any real art. It doesn’t have any real anything. It’s just got fads and a gross national product and a lot of inflation.”

I have a new product out. I discuss it in this new blog post.

That reminded me of my earlier blog about the Three Es:


This is going to get personal, but I need to tip my hat to Steve Ilg for much of this information. After dinner, I should be full. Before bed is where I am now taking my supplements. I include ZMA, Vitamin D, Sugar Free Orange Flavored Metamucil, fish oil and one or two little experiments in the vitamin world. One “protects” the liver and the other aids in flexibility. I am not going to tell you what they are because it might be a total waste of time.

Other people have noted that fasting tends to help you sleep. I think it could be the loss of belly and neck fat that does it, but I don’t know. My supplements also seem to help with elimination as Magnesium, fish oil and Metamucil are your best friends when it comes to bowel movements.

Recently, I bought the Squatty Potty as recommended by some friends. Do you remember when I said this would get personal? Now, it is getting weird.

I also spend quality time in the morning flossing my teeth, brushing my teeth and applying a tongue scrapper.

My dentist recommended this to me and the same suggestion was given to me by Steve Ilg. The first time you use it, you will be disgusted.

But, wait! There’s more! I used to use a Neti Pot for my sinuses (this should be sinii, but, well, no one asked me), but I moved to the Sinus Rinse. Years ago, I noted to Doctor Berkeley that “out of nowhere” I started getting hay fever. He told me that we swim through allergies through our lifetime. I also picked up that if I swam (I was training for a sprint triathlon), my allergies abated. He laughed and told me that the traditional cure was rinsing out the gunk (his term) out of your head.

Later, when I disregarded this brilliant advice and took some allergy meds, I was that lucky one percent according to the warnings that put on bodyweight. A lot. So, now I am back to rinsing out my head once a day. Follow the directions closely, by the way.

I think shaving is a natural exfoliate, but I wouldn’t mind pursuing more options in the future. I went in for a pedicure one time and amount of dead skin that came off could have built a jockey. Enjoy the image.

To prevent hunger, now I train. And, we begin the process again.

For me, it is working. I look and feel better, true, but my blood profiles (always good) are improving slightly. My triglycerides are at the same level as my HDL which is like the gold standard for this kind of thing and this Three Es raised my HDL a bit (which is neither here nor there, but nice).

I’m happy to say that I am still pursuing this Three Es approach and learning more all the time.

Until next week, keep lifting and learning.


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