Very Rational Things I Believe

01.31.2007 | 2:00 pm

A Photo Contest Update from Fatty: I’m really enjoying the photos you’re uploading as part of the Fat Cyclist Photo Contest. You’ve still got time to submit your entry, so check out yesterday’s post for instructions on how to Join Flickr, Join the Fat Cyclist group, and then upload your photos.

Once you’ve done that, you ought to just look at the photos as a slideshow (click here). I’ve done that a couple times, and I’ve gotta say, it’s one of the most rewarding contests I’ve ever set up. Thanks for your photos, and keep ‘em coming!

I Am Not Superstitious
I am a very clear thinker. I behave rationally, and entertain no superstions. For example, while it is true that I will never cross the path of a black cat, I do this because I simply do not like the path the black cat has taken – not because I see the path as ominous.

Similarly, I do not believe that walking under a ladder causes harm at a psychic level. Rather, I choose to never walk under ladders out of safety concerns.

If I knock on wood, it is because I like the texture of woodgrain against my knuckles, not out of some silly notion that I can ward off bad luck.

If I wish on a star, it is merely because I have empirical evidence that stars have magical wish-granting powers.

As I said, I am purely rational.

As a clear-headed, logical person, I can also assert with perfect confidence that the following items — each of which I unreservedly believe — are not dieting superstitions, but are in fact self-evident, reproducible scientific phenomena, each impacting how and whether my diet works.

Grapefruit is Magical
Of all the diet-related things I believe, this is the absolutely most important one: grapefruit is magical. I have found, time and time again, that grapefruit has the ability to make me lose weight. I eat a grapefruit before going to bed, and my weight is down in the morning.

I’d say it’s “just like magic,” except for one thing: it’s not like magic. It is magic.

Of course, there are rational explanations for this, in addition to the fact that grapefruit is magic. Here are the reasons:

  • Grapefruit is acidic. You eat this fruit with lots of citric acid in it and the acid starts dissolving your fat. Like battery acid on butter.
  • Eating grapefruit is hard work. To eat a grapefruit, one must expend considerable energy. One must cut the grapefruit in half. One must cut around the circumference of the grapefruit for each of those halves. One must then attend to the labor of spooning out each of the sections (I’ve broken into a mild sweat at the mere prospect of this labor). By the time one has completed this effort, I estimate that one has burned more than 2750 calories.

Some people (by which I mean “stupid people who look for arbitrary reasons to disagree with me) make the foolish counterclaim that eating grapefruit before bed actually only helps me lose weight because instead of eating a bowl of cereal and bag of chips, I’m eating a grapefruit.

 Those people are fools.

Grapefruit, I praise you, and thank you for your magical ability to help me lose weight.

Dieting Gods are Vengeful
Another absolute truth in dieting is this: As you diet and train, you begin to attract the attention of the Dieting Gods. As you fastidiously follow the religion of self deprivation, they reward you with your heart’s desire: weight loss.

If you cross the Dieting Gods, they will make you pay.

As an example, suppose you have been strictly adhering to your diet for three weeks, as I have. The Dieting Gods would reward you with some significant progress — I am down 11 pounds.

I know, however, that — having shown faith and devotion — if I were to slip up (eat half a candybar, say) I would reap the dieting whirlwind, in the form of these three punishments:

  1. My appetite would increase threefold. Once I have shown dietary fecklesness, the Dieting Gods would curse me with a wild abandon. The Hunger would come upon me and I would eat anything that came within my easy reach (everything in both the fridge and the pantry are to be considered “in easy reach”).
  2. My despair would take the form of “despondant consumption.” Any of you who have ever said to yourself, “Well, my diet’s screwed today; no point in dieting the rest of the day.” And then, the following day, you find yourself thinking that you’ll restart your diet the next day. And so on, until you are 10 pounds heavier than when you started the diet in the first place.
  3. I would gain weight. This is a direct curse from the Dieting Gods and is not a result of having eaten myself into a coma.

The Mantra is Meaningful
As I diet, I find myself saying, over and over, “One Hundred and Forty Eight:” my goal weight. This is because if you conciously utter your objective — whatever it is — often enough, that objective seeps into your subconcious, which is where the action really is.

Some would say that the fact that I have never reached my goal weight — nor lost any weight at all for that matter – while using this method is a clear indication that this mantra is useless. To them I say, “Shut up, stupid.”

The Scale is Just Plain Mean
It is widely known that bathroom scales are inhabited by Pixies that have been banished from their magical Faerieland after being convicted of accounting fraud. These Pixies — unrepentant criminals from a folk that are mischievous and unreliable to begin with — then tell us how much we weigh. Rest assured that any time you show a weight loss the morning after a night of heavy drinking and eating, this is just a Pixie giving you a jolt of irrational pleasure so that the following day when you show a nine pound gain, your disappointment and horror will be that much more exquisite.

When You Eat Matters — A Lot
Did you know that a recent scientific study conducted at Yale University proves that after 7:00pm, food actually trebles in its caloric content? Don’t believe me? Look up the study yourelf. Totally factual. 

So what very rational things do you believe?

PS: Today’s weight: 168.6. The Dieting Gods are smiling on me!

PPS: Just in case I haven’t been in-your-face enough about it (not super-likely), I’m a finalist in the Best-Kept-Secret Category for the 2007 Bloggies Award. You know how much I want to win? A lot. Please vote for me.


  1. Comment by dug | 01.31.2007 | 2:10 pm

    here’s the thing–you used the word “fecklesness.” i LOVE that word. the dieting gods will reward you accordingly.

    kim bought us a new digital scale, and threw out the old analog scale. the new digital scale told me i had gained 5 pounds overnight. i gave the new digital scale a severe beat down, and i threw out the new feckless digital scale. i then rescued the old analog scale from the curbside trashcan.

    i love my old analog scale. it is full of robust feck.

  2. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 01.31.2007 | 2:33 pm

    Thank you, now I know its all the Dieting God’s fault. I knew someone was messing with me.

  3. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.31.2007 | 3:16 pm

    dug, I can’t believe you’re commenting on fatty’s site about a 5 pound overnight change in weight. To fatty, and those of us who have been hardened to drastic weight changes by reading about his mass oscillations, that’s nothing. You remember that week couple years ago where he lost like 15 pounds and then gained 16 over the weekend? At least, that’s the way I remember it.

    Grapruits is stoopit. I say sucks to your grapruit. I say fie on them.

    Now, Dr. Pepper, that’s a magical dieting potion. You should try it.

  4. Comment by barry1021 | 01.31.2007 | 4:34 pm

    So why do we have grapes which are little and grow on vines and are a fruit, and grapeFRUIT, which is a big ol’ citrus that freezes on California trees? Is this another case of something that got lost in translation from the French?? As in grapefruit comes from the french “grapayfwee”, which translates into “big ol’ citrus that freezes on California trees”. Illuminate me.

    I also put the scale near something that I can lean on. That way I can show the exact weight that I want when I want it. So if i weigh 231 in July, and 190 August 1, ask me what I am leanin’ on.

    FC, Please don’t beg, we’re begging you. It’s beneath you. Not FAR beneath you admittedly, but still….


  5. Comment by KatieA | 01.31.2007 | 4:55 pm

    And so, what are these Dieting Gods named? Fattius? Cellulitia? Lardo? Just so I can get building on my shrine.

    I have never eaten grapefruit, and I never intend to. Too many stories of people digging their spoons in there and getting juice in the eye. Although, as its summer here, I’ll have you know that I have a nice bowl of fruit salad for my afternoon tea today – pineapple, kiwifruit, watermelon, rockmelon, honeydew… jealous yet?

    I do have a problem with these studies that go on about “eating after XXpm”. I get home from work / gym at 7-8pm. I have eaten dinner as late as 9-10pm. I’m just screwed then, aren’t I?

    And Fatty – I too have a mantra – “take the FC jersey off Fatty… take the FC jersey of Fatty…” I like mine better. :)

  6. Comment by Uncadan8 | 01.31.2007 | 6:12 pm

    FC, KatieA – Have you ever considered just PEELING the grapefruit? No eye-squirty painful ER visits. I promise.

    I have lost about 60+ pounds in the last year. People ask me what my secret is. I tell them I keep my mouth shut and my feet moving. This could also be interpreted as having to go to the bathroom really bad, so maybe I need to work on that.

  7. Comment by bikemike | 01.31.2007 | 6:29 pm

    again people, diet is a four letter word. avoid it. oh yeah, dieting is also feckless. i hope that feckless means that something sucks really bad. you know , like dog poop on the bottom of your shoe as you walk across your new carpet bad. or a day without the new chocolate covered Payday bar bad.

  8. Comment by DP Cowboy | 01.31.2007 | 6:43 pm

    This is a true story. An old friend, a somewhat icon in the sport of cycling (at least for us U.S. types) had this harebrained notion (now confirmed by Fatty) that grapefruit was the answer. When he wanted to lose weight just prior to starting a heavy training program (he was a pro in Europe in the late 70’s), or even as he started his winter training, he would go on this huge grapefruit diet. We were living in Lake Tahoe, near each other, and this dude was drinking juice, eating the fruit, and cutting down trees and chopping wood, with an axe. This was his idea of a great diet and workout regimen.
    Needless to say, he always lost weight. Of course, later, he had to forcably admitted to his third or fourth rehab clinic to get straight….so who knows from whence his fecklessness came?

  9. Comment by Weean | 02.1.2007 | 12:23 am

    You put battery acid on your butter?

    Still, not as bad as Uncadan8’s idea of peeling grapefruit. Now that really is messed-up.

  10. Comment by TheLurker | 02.1.2007 | 12:53 am

    OK. This has absolutely _nothing_ to do with cycling, but really it’s not that difficult to prepare a grapefruit….

    1. First catch your grapefruit…

    2. Take a v. sharp, v. thin knife.

    3. Take the top and bottom (North & South pole) off the grapefruit. Adjust the depth of cuts to minimise the waste of flesh.

    4. Place one of the flattened ends on a chopping board.

    5. Cut from top to bottom in narrow sectors between the pith and the flesh. This should take the skin on the circumference of each sector of the fruit away as well.

    Adjust the size of the sector to minimise the amount of flesh wasted (it’s the approximate a circle with a series of straight lines trick). You may work clockwise or anti-clockwise. Choose the direction you find most aesthetically pleasing.

    You’d think that doing this you’d lose a lot of the flesh, but after a couple of goes you’ll waste next to nothing and you can always squeeze the rind to recover the juice from any that got cut away.

    6. You should now have a flayed grapefruit.

    It gets a bit messy now.

    7. Taking your v. v. sharp knife cut between the flesh of the first segment and the skin of the segment. Cut towards the centre of the fruit. With a good enough knife you can reverse the direction of the cut at the centre and separate the segment from the skin on the other side. Otherwise just repeat the inward cut on the other side of the segment. You should now have the flesh of a complete segment sans skin, sans pith, sans rind.

    Repeat for each segment.

    This might sound a little tedious, but after a while you can deal with a grapefruit or orange in a couple of minutes.

    BTW – it’s a _sharp_ knife remember.

    So; was someone saying something about cycling? :)

  11. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 02.1.2007 | 5:45 am

    Jan also beleived the dieting gods were vengeful. And that they were racist against germans. he would purge for days and still not lose weight

    He also liked the grapefruit juice in his sebreezes. for some reason he likes traditionally feminine type drinks. It always struck me as odd, but who was I to say right?

  12. Comment by Cheeky | 02.1.2007 | 6:42 am

    Hey FC!

    What s up with the Photo site? what titles/tag names have been given to the pics? the Squid guard keeps telling me access denied – PORN?!!!

    Now I know bikes and all things cycling are sexy (especialy this one bike I lust after, and then there are those gorgeous legs on our morning training ride … I digress) but really PORN warnings?

  13. Comment by Lissee | 02.1.2007 | 8:40 am

    Hey Fatty,

    Thanks for the tip on grapefruit, will give it a try. :) lol

    So… your how to articles from your old site made me a faithful reader. Always looking forward to what witty thing you had to say next. Make sure to transfer all of them. :)

    As for content organization here on your new site, I think your catagories links should take you page that at least shows a list of favorite how to’s, like how the old site had a list on the lower left hand side… could you do something like that? I am lazy and don’t want to have to scroll down through the posts looking for my favorite articles, or advice on how to correctly show frustration to my coworkers using the universal biking signs.


  14. Comment by TimK | 02.1.2007 | 9:00 am

    Fatty, if you want help with your weight – you need to leave the quest for internet celebrity behind (good luck on the Bloggy anyway) and become a real world celebrity.

    Nothing like being on the cover of a magazine by the checkout stand (right near the Peanut M&M’) having the world worry about how much you weigh to keep you motivated.

    Posting your weight is brave, but if you’re really brave take a photo of your self in nothing but cycling shorts and post in on Flickr every day!

    And seriously, good luck with the Bloggy – that really sounds like a child’s euphemism for number 2!

  15. Comment by kenny | 02.1.2007 | 9:37 am

    I just want to say….wow. There are a ton of great biking photographs. This is not going to be easy. some highlights (kids and pets on bikes, endless rolling hills, white rim trail, and dug)

  16. Comment by Tim K. | 02.1.2007 | 10:09 am


    You might want to take advantage of the group aspect of Flickr and have users vote to narrow it down to a pool of 10-15 for you. I have thoroughly enjoyed the photos, some inspire me.
    Doing my best Peyton Manning imitation now – you might want to take a look at the photograph that has the guy with a Cockatoo on his shoulder. That’s an amazing, high quality photograph.

  17. Comment by Jan | 02.1.2007 | 11:15 am

    Hey Eufemiano, why you always make comments about my “training regimen” and never get to comment about Basso’s or other cyclists involved in the “operacion puerto”? ahhh? ahhh? do I owe you money or what?

  18. Comment by LMouse | 02.1.2007 | 12:08 pm

    Thank you much for the gallery. It is well worth the sleepless night you must have devoted to it. (I think you may have sweated out those pounds you lost yesterday. What a panic it must have been.) I agree with everyone that the photos are wonderful and yes, some are inspirational. The beauty of the surroundings, the families, children. My favorites, though, are the Ozzies’ photos. Those are the keepers.

    Fatty, you may want to google a recent study on grapefuit and weight loss. It supports your experience with the wonder fruit. But the crop was indeed lost this year, so it’ll be a very expensive weight-loss aid.

    I’m in total agreement about scale pixies. I’ve had a recent infestation myself. There is no cure. All you can do is ignore them (don’t let them see you react) and hope they get bored and leave.

  19. Comment by Irish Church Lady | 02.1.2007 | 7:11 pm

    The pics are quite marvelous!

    Love those motion shots and the ones with people’s faces planted where they shouldn’t be – ouch! ;)

  20. Comment by Webs | 02.2.2007 | 4:16 pm

    First time reader and commentor. I love the site, and I am also a fat cyclist… Well not a professional one, but one that loves cycling and is still non-the-less overweight.

    I look forward to reading more and good luck with the Bloggie!

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