beauty - the word that most often appears on the covers of magazines and the concept with which we subconsciously measure everything around. Yourself first. At the same time, a single and unchanging idea of beauty has never existed - as our heroine Iris Apfel said, “in a society where there is one standard of beauty, something is wrong with culture”. We talked with five people of completely different professions and appearance, who in one way or another are connected with reflection on the topic of beauty and body. Our fourth hero is Daniyar Shekebaev, journalist and director of development for the Big City website. He told how to lose weight by 30 kilograms from books, why ideas about the origin of obesity do not correspond to reality and what ketosis is.
Interview: Olga Strakhovskaya
Site Development Director
"Big City", journalist
Let's put the cards on the table and say that 4 months ago you weighed 30 kilograms more. Probably the most common question you are asked is how?
I'll first tell you how I started to get fat. At school I was not noticeably fat, but at the same time the fattest in the class. And that means: FAT. Somewhere in my second year, I began to gain weight sharply and a year after graduating from university I weighed 110 kg. And a little earlier, my father was diagnosed with diabetes. We were two fat men who did not understand why they get fat. In general, in 2009 I realized that it was time to lose weight. Naturally, the basic principle that has been instilled in us since childhood: the reason for being overweight is that you eat a lot and move little. I began to eat less, to the point that I began to practice the so-called curative fasting in some idiotic forums, and began to move more. I ran every other day, despite the fact that with 110 kilograms it is very difficult. All these extreme measures led to the fact that I dropped my weight to 92 and got stuck there. I was a fat dude who put up with it - just realized that nothing was working.
You say: yes, I tried 10-15 times on different diets and methods, and even tried to run. Naturally, then you come to the idea "you have to accept me as I am." You adapt to a different person: I'm actually fat, but I compensate for this with other character traits. I'm such a funny guy, a guy who will always be on the rise, because I'm a chubby zest. One way or another, these are my features, I am not making them up, this is not a mask. Just marketing. Because the alternative is "yes, I'm fat and sad."
Then why lose weight? If it's difficult, but can you accept yourself as you are?
Acquired fullness is not your conscious choice, not that you wake up one day and say, “Damn it! I'm tired of being thin, I'm going to be fat. Bring everything here. " You become very vulnerable, but at the same time very aggressive, when you feel at least some hint that it is time for you to take up the weight. Completeness is linked in your mind with a lack of will and a sense of proportion. In culture, there is a concept that a fat person does not control himself, his life goes downhill, he is limited in mobility, unhappy and it is unpleasant to communicate with him. Probably no one thinks so, but you constantly attribute these thoughts to others and fear that they are actually reading your shame. Up to the point that you go down the subway and think: they all condemn me. In my opinion, Oscar Wilde had that only a superficial person does not judge by appearance.
I also heard about all these tribes, which allegedly did not have beauty standards before they got acquainted with Western media and saw models on TV or in magazines. At the same time, I understand that the standards of beauty have always been, it's just that the Internet society has accelerated this reaction. Offer you an object or a face - you think for a split second whether it is beautiful or not. As a rule, completeness does not fit into these canons. But the world does not consist of people with a certain appearance. It is made up of just people. This question is much more complicated than “are fat people considered beautiful”. It is whether we accept diversity. And whether in beauty, in principle, is the point. Why do we need beauty at all? Maybe it was created solely to sell goods. This is a question in a completely different plane. Should everyone be like a model? Or what if you have such a face, you were born with it?
When I was big and fat, every trip to the store was a thin red line between fitting
and a nervous breakdown
If we talk about the sphere of consumption, then in the dimensional grids of almost all brands there is xxl, but all clothes are shown on thin, tall, long-legged people
Oh, clothes … When I was big and fat, every trip to the store was a thin red line between fitting and a nervous breakdown. Because the things that agree on you are most likely designed for some basketball players and you need to tuck them somehow. In the end, your jeans at the ankle are as wide as the knee of Michael Jordan or Shaquille O'Neal. I'm not even talking about outerwear. There are no clothes that look good on you. You can borrow some moves from rappers, but it will still be a very big compromise.
I really love Louis CK for the way he grasps on the fly and sneers at all these nuances: "I don't stop eating when I'm full, I stop eating when I hate myself." When you realize it's funny, you have a new dimension for jokes. For example, when Lois Griffin got fat, she and Peter had their first sex with the lights off, and Peter was like, "Damn, fat sex is really cool, I didn't know whose boobs I was touching, yours or mine." These are questions of mental limitations. If you are a fat person and you don’t care, or you even get overwhelmed by it, you are in complete harmony - maybe this is cooler than being thin and at the same time constantly doubting yourself? But mass public culture dominates us.
For example, in the States, the problem of overweight is acute, but in Hollywood this category of people is represented only by Gaburi Sidibé
There is an example of Jonah Hill, who was fat, then lost weight, and then the producers told him that he needed to get fat back, because he had a role. And he put on weight. This does not fit in my head from the point of view of a person who is fighting for his health, because it seems unnatural for me to get fat on purpose. But I understand that this is necessary so that people who, for various reasons, cannot overcome excess weight, can identify with someone. I in no way share the idea of fat shaming. On the other hand, I am very sorry if people wanted to lose weight, but they despaired only because they took it in the wrong way.
Ideally, it is necessary to take up the fight against extra pounds for reasons of a healthy lifestyle. And not from the desire to be beautiful, simply because society decided that beautiful = thin
With a weight of 300 kg, this is directly related, but if you have an extra 10 kg, then everything is more ambiguous. Not all fat is hazardous to health. But a large amount of abdominal fat (when a person has a large belly) is associated, for example, with heart disease. I had about 40 extra pounds, I was just uncomfortable with myself. When you realize that once again you cannot go to the park, because it is difficult for you to carry these 40 kilograms on yourself. There is even a suit for empathization so that the thin ones can sympathize with fat people, they are hung with huge weights. When you live like this all the time, you cannot take this weight off when you come home. It eats into your psychology - you understand that you are less mobile, this is a learned helplessness.
What prompted you to change your body?
Last March, my father died of heart complications from diabetes. After the grief subsided, I realized that this is a sign to change everything, otherwise the same thing awaits me at 50 or 60 years old. I started reading a lot - normal, non-dietary books about scientific research, about how our understanding of the causes of obesity has evolved. Including the books by Gary Taubs of The New York Times about insulin theory, which said: you don't get fat because you move little and eat a lot, and at first you get fat - and then you move a little and eat a lot. And you get fat due to the fact that in your body there is always an increased level of insulin in the blood. Because, firstly, you eat very often, and secondly, you eat very often sweets and carbohydrates. As soon as you turn this mechanism back, you will begin to lose weight. Calories are important, but not very important. Despite the fact that the mechanisms of digestion are not so simple, most people have weight problems due to insulin.
At the same time, the keto diet was very popular on Reddit, its version among the Swedes is called Low Carb High Fat, or LCHF, which fully combined with this theory. The bottom line is that you eat very few carbohydrates, preferably up to 20 grams per day, and a lot of fat, and you put the body into a state called ketosis. This is such a gift from the past that evolution has in store for us: during the period of hunger, we could live on accumulated fat for quite a long time and, accordingly, effectively burn it. It becomes your main source of energy, and instead of glucose, the brain uses ketone bodies, which are produced when fat is oxidized.
Why does society eat sugar and carbohydrates for so long if it's killing us?
It kills, but not everyone. It's like people who have food allergies. In general, this is a very interesting thing. All 640 pages of Gary Taubes' book are devoted to how political and career wars and bad science led us to adapt some of the wrong dietary recommendations. Available sugar from colonies appeared, people began to get fat. The first popular diet was invented in the 19th century by William Bunting - he wrote a book about how he lost weight and made money from it. Doctors told him to move more, eat less. He even started rowing and writes that the only thing that has changed is that his appetite has improved, he began to eat more. It didn’t help him at all. And then, having familiarized himself with the works of the French, he stopped eating flour, but at the same time began to eat more meat, although he was drinking a lot, but it helped him.
There are very good lectures by Dr. Lustig at Yale where he says sugar is the next contender after tobacco for restriction. He gives four criteria for the need to change the policy regarding any product, which is suitable for both tobacco and sugar. In Britain, labels are now changing from simple calorie declarations to red and green markers: this product contains a lot of carbohydrates, so here we have a red traffic light, and here it is not enough - there is a green signal. For a person to understand, read it instantly when buying. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all diet. It is also important not to confuse a carbohydrate-free diet with a high-protein diet. Keto is adequately proteinaceous and high in fat. This is her difference, in particular, from Ducan.
The only thing is, you start to fear Western neurosis - God, is this food that I eat, is it really useful or harmful?
I understand that keto is not a diet that you sit on for a limited amount of time, but simply a different, constant diet. What happens to the body if you deprive it of carbohydrates not for two months, but for several years?
There are some limitations. Yes, you need to monitor the balance of electrolytes in your body and vitamins that you do not receive from fruits. But this is a matter of habit. As you are used to eating one at school, so you will get used to eating another at thirty. The only thing is, you start to fear Western neurosis - God, is this food that I eat, is it really useful or harmful? It really borders on hypochondria and paranoia. Nutrition is actually a very controversial thing. For example, only recently have we begun to realize that protein is not as useful as it seemed. The devil knows what lies ahead. In principle, the insulin theory is confidently on its feet, but every time I discover something new for myself, for example, superfoods. Now everywhere they say that the amount of vitamins in the food of our ancestors was much higher, their food was much more nutritious. And another very disturbing topic is epigenetics. The bottom line is that your genetic code is not a dogmatic text that is passed down from generation to generation, but in fact a resource that changes with each generation. There are sections of code that turn on and off depending on what you do with your body. If you are malnourished, you can change your epigenome for several generations until your offspring begin to eat properly. For example, if you eat a lot and do not correct your behavior, the predisposition of your children to be overweight will be much higher.
You have already formed a whole circle of supporters - there are rumors about the closed group of ketoists you created on Facebook, like about "Fight Club". As I understand it, you are not going to stop there?
When I started talking to friends and colleagues about keto and about changing my diet, many warned me. But after a few months I did not die and even lost weight - everyone suddenly wondered how. This is how a secret Facebook chat appeared, where we supported each other and talked about progress or shared life hacks. It so happened that he was originally strictly male. And this is probably understandable - the very topic of losing weight in men is stigmatized, and if you are looking for some information on it, you usually find bodybuilding forums. The chat has grown to a secret group, it is no longer only men, but it is stubbornly called masculine. Now I'm thinking of doing a blog about health and fitness as the geeks see it - evidence-based medicine, interesting research, biohacking, nutrition, and so on. So it will be called - FitGeeks.ru.
It will, of course, be funny if I throw off my skates at fifty, promoting a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, I read articles and am open to some other opinions. If there is any new information, I will adapt. One way or another, you are experimenting with yourself. How you perceive yourself and your body is your area of responsibility.
To show, how the heroes see themselves
we invited them to take a self-portrait