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Monday, March 29, 2010

Gaming and Obesity


In my daily tour of the Internet, I came across a pretty provocative article on "The Army Collector" that deals with gamer obesity. It's not a particularly deep read and doesn't step into examining the issue of obesity in any kind of detail, but I like the candor. The author takes a long look at himself and resolves to change his situation (which doesn't seem too bad in the first place), so kudos to him.

Now I know that there are a large number of gamers out there who don't fit the plus sized gentleman stereotype, but I think that we can all admit that this (and hygiene all too often) is a problem in our community.

I think there are a lot of us out there that can identify with this issue in one way or another. Personally in the face of a rapidly slowing metabolism, quitting smoking, moving from a highly active retail management position to a highly sedentary unemployed status, throwing the towel in on a 15 year stint as a vegetarian, and insert additional victim statements ad naseum I am finding myself in a similar situation. In the last 10 years I have slowly seen my own weight increase from around 160 to damn near 200 pounds today (I think I'm somewhere around 5'9"-10" as I recall). But, I've resolved to fix this issue. I did it once before when I was 15 and I can do it again. The GF and I picked up a sweet elliptical to replace the ancient exercise bike that I decimated* and I am henceforth resolving to use it 5 days a week without fail, with the goal of losing 25 pounds. The proposed miniature rewards program seems like something that might just motivate me towards this. It might also get me some of those blood angels I'm drooling over.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Anybody out there up for starting the "Gaming's Biggest Loser" program with me?
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*previous owners of our house left a 15+ year old excercise bike in our basement. It was one of those fan style ones with the moving handlebars. Was using it 3-4 times a week for the past few months, until one of the handlebars broke off in a way that would have required welding to fix.

15 comments:

DFM said...

I'm down for losing another 50 or so.

Justin said...

To yourself and author of the link, I hope you guys can do this. There are far too many 'heavy' and dirty gamers at my FLGS, and its nice to see you guys are taking action to rectify your health. I recommend Crossfit- but take it easy at first because it will f--- your shit up in the beginning.

Onto a delicately worded preface and 'rant', and people can say what they will afterwards. I make no judgments and seek to better my own (and maybe others') understanding:

In all honesty, I do not look like the stereotypical gamer - I am 5'11", 195 pounds, <10% body fat and in my late twenties. Clean cut, clean shaven. I dress nicely in clean clothes. I work out every day, and spend a lot of free time outside playing sports, shooting guns, mountain biking, etc. As a result, I am very much reverse discriminated against in our little hobby - i.e. in GW stores, redshirts ask if I'm lost and try to point me to the nearest A+F and at various FLGSs people tell me to my face I don't look like I belong and almost imply I should leave.

I could care less what people think about me, but what disturb me about this, is that this implies the norm for 40k players and hobbyists is to be heavy,smelly, greasy, and unkempt - and in my observations across multiple states this has been proven out.

So I ask:
Why? Is it that difficult to execute basic life skills (hygiene, laundry, exercise)?

I can't really ask people that at stores at the risk of being offensive, but in the safety of the internet (admitted) maybe someone can answer this for me...

Thanks. Good luck Dethron.

Rkik said...

I'm down with that.

Winters really kick my butt, as I am terrible when it comes to sticking with a general exercise routine. The past few summers I've managed to get down to about 190lbs (I'm 5'8") by playing disc golf daily and just being more active. Then winter comes and I end up sitting around and put all that weight back on.

Dethtron said...

Justin: You're cracking my shit up man. "reverse discrimination!" if only we were all so lucky. I'll be looking into this crossfit business, so thanks for the tip on that.

as far as the execution of basic life skills goes, here is my half-baked hypothesis presented in the form of an analogy. One summer when I was young and on a road trip with my familiy we drove from Illinois to the Dakotas to visit relatives. we stopped for a day or two with family friends in the middle of nowhere Iowa. These friends had a very large and smelly herd of sheep. When we first arrived I thought I was going to go all exorcist and puke all over the place from the stench. you've all driven by a dairy or hog farm on the highway before and had to roll down the windows, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. so just imagine being in the middle of that rather than passing by at a safe distance. But, by the end of the first day, I didn't smell it anymore, I'd gotten used to it and some part of my brain was filtering all of that stank out. If you're raised in an environment where certain smells are the norm, you probably don't notice this. Having had to have hygeine talks with employees more often than I would like to admit, I can just about guarantee this is the case. If you're not taught the miracles of deoderant, toothpaste, etc. you won't know you're living without them and not realize that you stink.

Rkik: if you live in an area with a good winter snowfall, you should try cross country skiing. It's super relaxing, relatively cheap, and a mother-fucker workout to boot. I'll be getting some new skis myself once the job situation exists for me again...some fucker stole my skis a few years back.

Chumbalaya said...

I work, I go to school, I shower, I shave, I wear clean clothes, I have friends outside of Warhams, and so on. But I am your gamer size, whatever that means.

I've always been on the bigger side, but it got a lot worse my first year of college. Freshman 5 (more like 15), believe it. I've been working the past 2 months to eat smarter, work out, and improve my lifestyle. So far, I've dropped 25 pounds and counting. Getting regular exercise is a pain with my schedule, but now that the snow is gone, I'm feeling better about it.

Hoagy said...

Good job, Chumba, and keep it up mate!

Deth, I have been feeling 'the cuddles' developing, and I would also like to trim up a bit, soooo, if you need a buddy... :)

John Laubersheimer said...

Interestingly enough, I have also been making more of an effort to exercise.

You've inspired me, good buddy. I'll join you in self improvement. Gonna step things up a bit and try to actually drop some weight myself.

1st step: hurry up and wait for Easter to be over with. Fucking Cadbury Cream Eggs.

Justin said...

Dethron - I knew the reverse discrimination bit would possibly get some laughs since I cringed as I wrote that, but shit, man - that's how it is.

Usually guys who look like me (meathead-looking types, I guess) are the ones picking on gamer types. Instead, I get the weird looks and whatnot since I'm not 'the norm'.

That being said, once again, I commend you guys for taking action about your health and wish you good luck. If ya'll need some advice or whatnot, I'll be over here benchpressing a Warhound Titan.

By the way - maybe we can get an article about girl gamers? I've never seen one. Do they exist?

Dethtron said...

@justin: I don't doubt the reverse discrimination, it's just funny as shit. This is why stereotyping is retarded.

re: girl gamers, a certain other blog tried to cover that already...with laughable results. TBH, I don't spend hardly any time at the FLGS, after a nasty incident where the asshole owner accused a friend of mine of stealing and to that end have 0 experience with girl gamers (except for that Melissia bitch...still irked, 2 weeks later). I don't doubt that they exist, but it's kind of like unicorns, I won't believe they exist until I see one :).
http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2010/01/40k-askew-girls-girls-girls.html

here is a real life girl gamer's blog...
http://tombworld40k.blogspot.com/

The_King_Elessar said...

I know a girl gamer. :p

She plays Daemons, and is pretty hot, actually.

/Childishness.

I experience a little reverse discrimination myself - sometimes players don't think you can be better at the game than them when you don't look like you spend as much on food as on models.

I'm not being bigoted, btw, that was just the funniest way I could think of making that point. :)

Justin said...

Here's where it gets out of control: I played in a tournament where one opponent was an -ahem- large wannabe biker-looking dude...that for most of the game he took to a chair and asked me to move his models for him.

And he won. With me moving everything for him. Oh well.

Raptor1313 said...

@Justin
Effing wow.

Now, one the one hand, I can see getting the other guy to move models for you if you're at a tourney, you're in the middle of a bunch of tables, and most of your stuff is on their side and it'd take FOREVER to keep walking back and forth.

Otherwise, there's no excuse.

On the posted topic...
Good luck, y'all. I'm in the camp of 'needs to lose a little', but then again I'm a former defense hockey player that's about six foot and 250.

The biggest two things I can tell you for losing the weight?
1) This is not a diet; this is a lifestyle change.
2) Keep a little notepad; record your calories as you eat them. It's great for getting an honest read on stuff.

DFM said...

Back when i first met hoagy&dethron, I was up to 370lbs(highest ever). Granted i'm 6'4" tall, but thats still massive. Since then I've dropped 70 of that down to 300. The trainers at the gym are telling me I should weigh like 230/240lbs, but with my body that makes me look like a olsen twin...

Having a 10 month old puppy that wants to run everywhere and anywhere helps alot as well.

Is this where someone suggests we get bad 80's excercise clothes and jog around parks and whatnot?

Hoagy said...

@Justin,

double wow! I think, you had every right, in this case, to throw a handful of his minis across the table. What was he gonna do, run after you? ha!

The_King_Elessar said...

If someone did that to me, I'd get them a pizza, or a burger, and tell them they could have it, if they threw the game. Because that would be as stupid as expecting me to play their game for them.