Zumba Dale’s Birthday, A Scientific Explanation of BMI and the Further Adventures of Sheniqua

Buckle your seat belts loyal readers because I’m a little behind and we have a lot to do in our regular 600 words or so. It was Dale’s birthday today AND the end of my second trimester of Zumba. Actually, I told Dale on the actual day, the 24th, where she applauded my 6months attendance with appropriate motivational glee, until I pointed out my Zumba would come to full term on December 24. “I’m delivering a virgin Zumba, I said”. All the blood drained from her face.

Sheniqua is doing great, and is in line to be nominated for the “best new Zumberanian of the year” competition, held in Orlando Florida on April 1, 2014. I knew she was hooked a week or so ago when Dale played a Huey Lewis and the News song a SECOND time in the rotation. Shenqiqua went straight up in the air about 4 feet, and literally unfurled like an American flag in a beautiful breeze on late night Tv before there was cable and the local tv station was signing off for the night…. anyhow, I thought just for a second some first aid would be required then realized NO, Sheniqua has a favorite song and this is it. She’s definitely hooked now. If you happen to be out and about and run into Sheniqua and Huey Lewis and the News comes on…..back up and prepare to be amazed.

One of my readers found my layman’s explanation of “basal matabolism” from the last blog most helpful and put in a request for a similar explanation of BMI. Glad to oblige. First some historical context. Prior to the popularity of the BMI OR Body Mass Index or Bullshit Meaningless Incredularity, most doctors relied on the Metropolitan Life Insurance standard Height Weight Chart for Men/Women. Complied in 1943, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s actuary carefully studied people who ALMOST starved to death during the Great Depression, WWII, concentration camps and Siberian prison camps, and using a complicated algorithm, calculated how could they get you to pay off a policy, then collect the interest for the longest time without having to pay a death benefit so they would get the richest. This resulted in their definition of ideal weights, which bore no actual reality to what people really weighed. (A good basic description of this process and the actual charts can be found here. http://www.halls.md/ideal-weight/met.htm). For example, according to this chart, I should weight 135 pounds. I got down to 147 once in high school, but I could only eat twice a week, every third day. This didn’t seem normal to me.

As the country recovered from war, and in the 1950’s actually began completing grades beyond the 6th grade, most people learned to hate insurance companies and hence, their charts. Also, around the 80’s this chart was co-opted by the AAA. (The Anorexic Association of America, not the automobile association) so docs started looking around for another chart to point to to chide people into loosing weight. For a short period of time, they used the YAFA scale, or, You’re A Fat Ass chart but this was not well received by the rich people who spent a gazillion dollars in weight loss centers AND, ran head on to the beginning of political correctness so they went back to the drawing board.

“The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a measure for human body shape based on an individual’s mass and height.
Devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing “social physics”,[2] it is defined as the individual’s body mass divided by the square of their height – with the value universally being given in units of kg/m2.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index. And is represented by the formula:

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You can immediately see the appeal of this new approach: 1. it was invented by someone with no qualifications. 2. It was invented almost two hundred years ago, also when people were starving; and 3. It was based on a mathematical formula which we all agree is why we all hated math in school. Here is one last reason if you’re not convinced: “BMI can be calculated quickly and without expensive equipment. However, BMI categories do not take into account many factors such as frame size and muscularity.[22] The categories also fail to account for varying proportions of fat, bone, cartilage, water weight, and more.” Id, Wikipedia. Translation: even though the scale is meaningless, we like to use it anyway.

Here’s a better method: if you’re headed to walmart or Costco for some shopping, and you need to ride around in a scooter because your ankles can no longer support your weight, which you don’t know what that is, because your bathroom scale stops at 350 and your clothes have more than 4 xxxxs in the size AND your doctor has begged you, in tears, to lose weight – you might want to take that to heart and consider some reasonable exercise and more fresh food and vegetables. If, you’re looking at some chart to figure out if you need to lose weight to drop from your size 4 dress to a size 2,: you need a psychiatrist and you need to buy the new DSM-V book on psychiatric disorders. And a milkshake.

“I am the walrus. Goo goo gachoob”.

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Zumba and diet tips; basal metabolism

In a tribute to BOTH modern journalism and diet books/articles this piece will be generally unrelated to the title, have a tangential relationship to the truth and be generally unhelpful. I do however, want to say that I am proud that several of my friends have told me that my blogs have motivated them to start “working on their fitness”. Bill, in Tennessee tried to join a Zumba class at a church but was turned away because it was for “only” women. Bill, you might try somewhere BESIDES Westboro Baptist. Amyway, I don’t know how much fun it would be dancing to the 10 best hate songs. http://www.mademan.com/mm/10-best-hate-songs.html Another said he actually took up a SPINNING CLASS!!!. (Wow, that seemed particularly suicidal to me, but OK) A third e mailed me and said she had taken a hour and read all my blogs and wanted to come to class. I admitted I was kind of proud, in a Kevorkian kind of way, but at the same time was a little happy to think I could watch someone else suffer like I did. Nah. She came to her first class, and half way through, WHILE SHE WAS STILL DANCING, lit up a cigarette, whipped out “50 Shades of Gray” and started reading. Nobody said a word. Nobody.

Anyway, She came to her third class Saturday morning. One of the alphas I really liked showed up after missing a couple of classes. I missed her and asked “where she’d been, Acapulco?” She said, “No, paddle boarding”. So, Sheniqua (not Pam’s real name) says, in an Olympic Athlete kinda way, ‘oh, I love paddle boarding.” So she and Sheniqua get all chatty about paddleboarding. Uh Huh. So I listened for awhile and said, “I like being paddled but you have to be wearing the right outfit”.

So, Sheniqua and I ended up in a discussion the other day before Zumba class of the effects of aging on the basal metabolic rate and its effect on weight loss. Thinking that this may have contributed somewhat to my frustrations in losing weight (I was wrong) I shared with her my recent, in depth scientific research, but explained it in my liberal arts, lawyer to juror fashion. She suggested inquiring blog minds would want to know. So, here you go.

Basal is an old Cyrillic word for ‘hamster’ and metabolism comes from the “French métabolisme, from Greek metabole “a change,” from metaballein “to change,” from meta- “over” (see meta-) + ballein “hamster wheel” (see ballistics). http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=Metabolism&searchmode=none. Meaning- “hamster over the hamster wheel”. So, our metabolisms are basically thousands of little hamsters in hamster wheels through out our bodies.

In our teens and twenties, they are young too, and they are running like hell. All the sugar, caffeine, fats, chemicals and actual speed (and other assorted drugs) are all treated as speed and they run even faster. While they tire out now and then like a little kid who despite the most placating grandparent just runs out of sugar once in awhile based on the laws of probability and child abuse. Until they reach 50. Since they “govern”the body, they’re union. So, at 50, they retire on a defined benefit, monthly stipend to drink umbrella drinks, never intending to run a lick in the wheel again.

Our job is to scare them into it. Asparagus will do it. Kale will do. They see Kale or asparagus coming by, they get back on the wheel. Tree Bark. Kimchi. Whole Foods. Earth Fare. Anything Organic. Zumba does it. It’s like the body declaring bankruptcy and they’re scared they could lose their pension AND lifetime health benefits that the liver, pancreas, heart and lungs can’t afford. (It’s hard to have a body that feels like Detroit). I wanna feel like Miami. Or maybe San Francisco. Ease into a Chicago in my old age. Gotta get them hamsters to get with it. And that my friends, is a very technical scientific explanation of basal metabolism in layman’s terms.

Next time, Zumba Back Row Etiquette and other Random Rants

55 gallon lube on amazon.com

Do I really even need to write anything?  Let me just give you a minute to let your own imagination catch up, and let you start laughing on your own.  this is not exactly heavy lifting for a humorist. I read the reviews. They were ok. Kind of what you’d expect,  Need a larger size,  turned my house into a slip and slide, very popular at the XYZ prison.  But, I mean, WOW.   Really?

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http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Natural-Water-Based-Lubricant-Gallon/dp/B005MR3IVO/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

There were a few other things about this that caught my eye however.  “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” (wait for it)

1. Large vinyl gender neutral Asian doll

image??????

3.  Gray wolf bacculum, teaching equality replica.  What’s a bacculum? And what about lube would make you think of one.?  “The baculum (also penis bone, penile bone or os penis) is a bone found in the penis of many placental mammals. It is absent in humans, but present in other primates, such as the gorilla and chimpanzee. The bone aids sexual intercourse by maintaining sufficient stiffness during sexual penetration.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baculum. Wolf??????
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4.  Goatee shaver – the goatee shaver template, (or, if you’ve got a sIlence of the lambs fetish to go along with your new $1200 of lübe, here you go

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5.  Star Wars R2-D2 Robot Juniors White Costume Tank Top Shirt.  Now, normally, this might say nerd to you, but when combined with the 55 gal tub of lübe, this is a gal I want to meet.  

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6. Body bag, disaster bag. By all mortuary funeral and cremation supplies.

image. Can we spell S.E.R.I.A.L K.I.L.L.E.R??!!

7. Ferraro Nutella made in Italy, giant 11 lb jar.

image. He’ll, if ya got 55 gals of lube, ya might as well have 11 lbs of Nutella, to make it a damn PAR TAY!!!!

AAAANNND I THINK I’m gonna wrap it up with this one, which says it all I think….
8. Handmade Cthulhu Ski Mask made with 20% egg protein yarn – fits adult male

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Actually, I’m thinking about getting the girlfriend the R2D2 tank top tee shirt.

Zumba on Flexeril and Karma for the Electric Slide Part II

In case you missed Part I, and to save you from having to scroll down, the short version is almost three weeks ago, I was struck with some lower back spasms on the left side I’ve experienced every two years for the last 35 only to finally find out from my massage therapist it’s called piriformis syndrome. This is a fancy name for the muscle involved, which in my case, has nothing to do with the back, of course, but… wait for it… my fat ass. Of course. This will save you lots of reading on the last blog.

Usually these bouts only last a few days, maximum a week, but this one has lasted over two weeks. Normally a couple of trips to the chiropractor and a little old fashioned stoicism nips it in the bud but this time it took the full Monty, including some Flexerils. Generally, I’m against taking medication except for recreational purposes, but I will take it for medicinal purposes if absolutely necessary. There is something about having to have a note to get medication that’s annoying to me. It was like having to have a note in school to go take a piss. Like if you didn’t get the note, you weren’t going to pee. I always kind of wondered why, as obnoxious as middle school students were, that they didn’t just revolt against the whole note thing and just pee all over those classrooms. No sense of revolution I guess.

Anyway, I had to back off the yoga classes for a little while, partially because it was suggested and partially because, when I tried to attempt a yoga pose, I found myself screaming loudly like Al Pacino at the end of Godfather III when his daughter gets shot and I thought that might be disturbing to the other yoga students. I did however, continue to go to Zumba class, because Dale plays the music so loud no one would notice I was screaming. I was right. I did however notice that the combination of Zumba and Flexural created an altered state which may NOT have been a good idea. For example: here was my thought pattern in Zumba class on flexeril:

Dale is playing yet ANOTHER song which I do NOT know the routine to but everybody else seems to. OMG. How many of these songs can there possibly be in her f#%*ing repertoire that I am going to have to learn? “The number π is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes written as “pi” (/paɪ/).

Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a ratio of any two integers (fractions such as 22/7 are commonly used to approximate π but no fraction can be its exact value). Consequently, its decimal representation never ends………” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi meaning her collection of these is probably infinite. (and kids in math class say, “when am I ever going to use this stuff”. (Wow, I think, I need another 5 milligrams of this flexeril when I get HOME!!!)

So, I confess, I prayed, “Lord, why am I subjected to this NEVER ENDING parade of songs I have to learn new routines too” when to my surprise, the booming Charlton Heston Ten Commandments Voice said, “Remember all those Hospital Conventions where you made fun, in your head, of those folks dancing the Electric Slide and Other group line dances?” “Ruh Roh”, I thought. “This is some bad karma mojo. But, it was all silent mockery”, I prayed. Silence. “How long will this last”, I asked “How many conventions was it”, she said. OMG (sorry for the ‘your name’ in vain, I thought). That’s 1-4 conventions a year for 30 years. That’s like 90 classes. Good times. I definitely need another 5 miligrams when I get home.

You know, come to think of it, maybe a back spasm every two years and a note for some drugs is not a bad thing after all.

“We all live in a yellow submarine”.