glovesThere is this study that says—

Obesity is contagious.

I first heard about this concept watching Boston Legal when William Shatner’s character Denny fired a show character for being fat saying he could not afford to get more fat just because she was working in the office. That was barbaric enough to be funny to me and also I had never heard that before so I looked it up and there it is: A study that says obesity is contagious.

The study also says thin is contagious. People pay a lot less attention to that part though I guess it is not quite as diabolical or exciting to say as saying fat friends make you fat.

Also the study says distance is not a factor. Just association. So you do not have to be hitting the coffee shop or mall every day with someone for that someone’s physical status to effect you it could be someone on the opposite side of the planet you just talk to a lot and whammo impact is in effect. And the study lists a lot of percentiles and numbers that apparently took years and years to figure out and will take me more years and years to figure out if I actually want to understand them because they are pretty big and confusing numbers and I am from the humanities. But —

I can see the whole “thin” thing spreading in the circle of people I know. It started, I think, with Kitty. Kitty was working out. Also Stil was working out and I am not sure how Stil fits into the equation but I am pretty sure she does. So Kitty was working out. And Stil was working out. And somewhere in there I started working out. And Zee started using a rowing machine and went on a diet. And Michele joined weight watchers. And somehow, within a year and a half of Kitty working out, Kitty is working out, I am working out, Stil is [natch] still working out, Michele has lost all her pounds and is just on a maintenance diet, Zee has lost so much weight she is not even telling any more, and now I discover Pooks is doing some cross between Pilates and yoga two times a week. Which normally would appear to be pretty out of character for Pooks but in view of the ripple effect, sort of is not. And it is still spreading. Toni was asking Pilates questions. Arm Jerker is starting to talk about working out. Who knows where this madness will end?


where the art work comes from :
that is an unnamed photograph by elena platonova

36 Responses to contagion

  1. I hope it makes a full circle and bites back again. I haven’t been on the treadmill in months.
    Last week I went out to meet a bunch of my girlfriends who were all in some sort of regular exercise routine last year and expected to be shamed back into something. Turns out they’ve all stopped exercising.

    I would like to get back into something, maybe a bike. I haven’t put on much weight (less than 5 pounds) but exercise is good for the bones. At the least, I could do some dumbells.

  2. max

    Obviously those friends are a bad influence sucking the work out regime right out of you. You are not allowed to play with them any more. Now get back on that bike.

  3. aj

    Meanwhile back in Oz, AJ is still eating chocolate.

  4. max

    You almost destroyed the curve getting preggo you know.

  5. It was the month in Europe. Only have myself to blame.

    Exercise is habit. Do something seven times and it is a habit.

    Skip seven workouts and that breaks the it. I do the bike about once per week while watching tv. Mostly because I can’t sit still.

  6. max

    Well I stopped in October and only just started back. Moves are hella disruptive and I was skipping breakfasts again and got hit with a sledgehammer for that. Damn. It. But I am back. Grrrr.

  7. Hmm… maybe this is why we are all food-taunting queens.

  8. max

    What is this food taunting thing you speak of?

  9. Chocolate, tim tams, spaghetti, potine, cheeseburgers…

    ::: scamper :::

  10. max

    Okay when Michele starts leaving posts that end with :::scamper::: it comes home to me just what a bad influence I am.

  11. Ha. It’s funny because I’m going to write soon about how I’ve started counting calories. I guess for me it’s just because I know I can look better. Feel better. And look in the mirror without “hoping” and “wishing” and actually start doing…
    It is really sad that we women care so much about this, but I don’t think this “madness” will end. We are a society always pushing the limits. And that isn’t really a good thing.

  12. max

    Well I was kind of kidding when I said when will the madness end. I think taking an interest in your physical health and appearance is a good thing. Bodies take work to maintain and that is not just vanity. That is caring for the bod. Which is [sigh] work.

  13. It’s all about that for me… to Max.

    I try to eat right, do the eight hour sleep deal and I work in a warehouse so I draw the line at the gym thing, though I like to do my workout tapes ( yep…tapes ) a couple of times a week.

    For me it’s not about the streamlined bod anymore- I need to keep the old brain streamlined- you know?

  14. max

    I hate public exercise too I do Pilates and weights at home.

    I used to get away with treating my body in hellish ways but it will not put up with it anymore one day it just said, That is it, you pull that stunt one more time you fall over. So I have to be nice to it and all solicitous and stuff or whammo I fall over. Sehr annoying.

  15. Uh oh. I stopped working out for over two weeks. Don’t spread the news!

    Excellent and interesting post, Max. Love it!

  16. max

    So clearly the slack off is spreading. I blame Kitty’s slacker friends.

  17. Kitty’s slacker friends…I agree!

  18. Ah but from this pile of slacker friends I got an amazing story about 5 sisters who did some sort of body challenge thing. Three of the sisters live near me. They all ended up on some tv show. I’ll blog about it when I get more 411.

  19. max

    That does not matter. All that matters is someone broke the work out chain and now all accross the nation people are not working out.

  20. When I set foot in the gym in a few days the workout phenomenon will resume.

    Damn I so feel like GOD!

  21. aj

    “Do something seven times and it is a habit”.

    That explains the chocolate.

  22. Nobody can fault you for chocolate, AJ. That’s like a get out of jail free pass.

  23. Kym

    Wow, I read the post. And, I’m telling myself okay you are so visiting Max’s site like 10 times a day until you catch thinness.

    Now I read these posts and I’m afraid to be here. I’ll catch the slacker disease;>

  24. max

    I am still working out. Apparently alone. :::grrr:::

  25. californiablogging

    I hired a trainer, ok for zach but still between the two of them I am forced into working out.

  26. Okay, so why isn’t Toni asking Pilates questions of Miss Pooks?


    (I am not thin. But I’m working out.)

  27. max

    Um, because Miss Max has been doing Pilates ten years and Miss Pooks has been doing Pilates — how long again? Just a wild guess.

  28. Oh hush.

    I’m feeling the arrogance of Pilates-doing, not the compare-how-long-doing.

  29. max

    Do not take this wrong Pooks? But fuck you and your “hush.”

  30. My hush was a tease. My asking why Toni was asking you about Pilates was a tease.

    I’m sorry.

  31. max

    I maybe do not have a great sense of humor about this stuff. I have been walking with pain since I was four. No one took it seriously until I was eight. And after they got done either pretending nothing was wrong and/or making me wear ugly shoes and braces, they got sort of excited about the concept of knives and needles stuck in me and hello surgery. So. This one subject? No humor. None.

    My bad.

  32. That is horrible. I fear we made a similar mistake with my Sweet Baby James, however. He loves soccer like a Lab loves fetch. Which means, he plays with pain. And normal people assume “playing with pain” means “doesn’t hurt too much or he wouldn’t be playing.” But then, alas, it turned out he actually had a back injury he’d been playing with for way too long. And we never considered such a thing, because, after all he was still playing. (We had a worse situation with our black Lab who would rather play fetch than let on in any way that she was ill, and that’s enough of THAT.)

    Pilates is wonderful, and from what I’m told, it was created for rehab. I’m glad it helps you. Actually, I’ve been thinking of telling SBJ to find a class.

  33. max

    Well it was at the point they were going to start cutting me up and stick needles in my spine I thought there has to be better way and found Pilates. If I hadn’t, life would be very different. I am very big on Pilates.

  34. That is horrible. But can you expect much from Western medicine doctors?

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