Thursday, July 30, 2009

Body Break.

I went to Popeye's the other day and ordered four pieces of chicken, a biscuit and a 7Up. It was the most fast food I've had in a long time, a couple of months at least. It was a long walk as well. Reason being for this journey was that I simply felt like eating some fast food, which is a craving that arrives from time to time, yet it's not strong/justifiable enough for me to satiate it. And this time around when I did acknowledge the urge, it reminded me of why I don't eat it more often.

The one thing I can safely say about being twenty-three is that during this year I became a lot more health-conscious. Aside from that, and finishing another year of university, there's nothing else I can really be proud of in my own life. I did start this website and Disassociation has garnered more attention, my mother's healthy and positive and that always gives me support, my dad's taking care of himself...all these factors give me strength as well. Being health-conscious is certainly one of them.

I started weight training at the university gym last September and I haven't stopped since. This is a clear contrast to when I was an adolescent and teenager and tried to exercise for a couple of weeks and then stopped for months, even years, then started again for a little while...and then the pattern would continue.
But when I started university last year I started weight training to build muscle mass, for two simple reasons. The first is that it cost less than twenty dollars to go to the gym. The second and infinitely more important reason is that it provides a strong feeling of stability to my life. This is a time where I don't have a wife or girlfriend for support, I don't have a clear and bright path for my future, and where I truly believe I'm at the age where I need to start practicing the habit of maintaining/developing my good health, to prepare for my future. And when I do achieve what's lacking in my life now, I'll still be performing workout routines because it really is a part of who I am now and nothing can change that.
When I was fourteen I (along with my class) was informed by my teacher that guys start working out either because they're actively involved in team sports (which I wasn't), or because they want to attract women. The latter, my teacher went on to say, quit after a couple of weeks or so. But I'm doing it for neither of those reasons. It gives me peace of mind (no matter what physical strain I go through at the gym) to know that I'm properly developing my body.

But what's important is health, and diet. My optimal diet is one that holds about 3600 calories, yet with no trans fat intake and a 90% daily recommended saturated fat intake at most. I'd list all the different foods I eat but that would take too much space (available upon request). The drawback to my diet is the sodium intake, which is higher than 100%.

They say that a proper diet is 80% of the equation to gain mass, and excercise is the other 20%. Not scientifically proven, but a large diet is definitely important. But with an increased diet comes inspection into what ingredients are within it, and from this I learned all about MSG, or monosodium glutamate. It was initially revealed to me after watching a Youtube video that explained how Muscle Milk contained a large amount of MSG and was detrimental to people's health (a lot of protein powders contain MSG as well). I didn't know much about it prior to my studies into proper health, only noticing that Oriental restaurants promoted their foods as being devoid of it. Studying MSG, I found that even though it's naturally occurring in foods, strong amounts of it can act as a neurotoxin on the brain. Fast food chains are especially notorious for adding MSG to their foods - it becomes addictive to the human palate, making us buy more. In order to hide the name 'monosodium glutamate' from their ingredient lists on products, food companies use names like 'hydrolyzed vegetable/corn/etc. protein', or 'natural flavour' or 'calcium caseinate'.
KFC is one of the foremost perpetrators of MSG. I haven't eaten KFC in years because I couldn't stand it (but I don't look down on people who do like it). And as for Popeye's...I'll be honest, I'm not sure if Popeye's uses this neurotoxin, but it seems very likely. I ate all the food I bought but I had grease on my hands and face and felt like I knew better the whole time. There was also a piece of aluminum foil - I believe - on a chicken leg.
It wasn't a case of "I'm doing it so I can remind myself how much I hate it". I was merely hungry for chicken and wanted to eat a lot of it to get a lot of calories, despite the consequences. So after my experience I won't eat fast food again for who knows how long. I also went for chicken rather than beef due to how much of the world's resources are improperly allocated towards cattle production.

I'm not perfect, though. I sometimes use a protein powder that contains glutamic acid, which is a lesser form of MSG. I don't eat as much as I should be in order to gain more mass (I only weigh 150 pounds and want to reach 200 - I used to weigh 140). I drink alcohol a bit more than I should. And sometimes I feel that people see my efforts as an attempt to fit into the brutish, dominant Man that's aligned with violence and idiocy, rather than a path towards stability and assurance. That it's just another factor to distance me from other people, or to make them jealous of me.

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