Jonathan Bailor of The Smarter Science of Slim Interviews Me

A while back I included Jonathan Bailor’s non-profit “Slim is Simple” initiative in a roundup of various things PGP (Pretty Good Paleo). I was happy to do so, immediately saw the very many positives about the video as a teaching tool (yea, I could make some constructive critiques)…and was subsequently surprised at some of the nit-picks and outright slams that made their way around. Slim is Simple. It’s so simple that any animal in the wild that’s supposed to be slim can do it. It’s natural for them and natural is simple. Now, what is accurate to say is that for many human animals—including myself—”Slim is not Easy.” It can be damn hard, one can fail, and there are any number of obstacles (mostly mental, some physical) to keep someone from employing the necessary effort…not quitting until finding what works the easiest and the best.

But it’s still simple. It’s going to be some combination of real food: meats, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, nuts—dairy if it works for you. You are a human being, a human animal, you have to eat food…so make it real, get it yourself, prepare it yourself. Simple. Does that mean you automatically get ripped & slim? No, but it’s still a simple matter that you need real food to be the best you can; and, once you’ve established that, most people will find that their best gets better and better over time, even if it takes years, which for some it will.

In case you missed it the first time.

…Jonathan and I struck up an email conversation, both kind of scratching our heads that some people just didn’t get it—unless of course they didn’t want to anyway.

But all that’s not going to matter, because this is a simple message, easy to understand, effective to different degrees according to individual implementation. The implementation, with all the pitfalls that abound, isn’t going to be easy—particularly the older and more overweight the individual—but the best way to begin is with knowledge, and this does a good job of making such knowledge accessible to everyone, not just for a small handful of irrelevant sciency health nerds with an Internet addiction.

Jonathan invited me on for a podcast and once we got together over Skype, I thought we’d end up talking about all the foregoing. Turns out, not much; a bit at the end. And I also didn’t basically give the same podcast interview I’ve given many times—owing to getting pretty much the same questions many times.

We ended up spending the lion’s share of the 35 minutes talking about the gym: workouts, frequency, load, etc. Now I’m certainly no expert on the topic (Jonathan is), but I do have the experience of working with Martin Berkhan of Leangains and made some very positive gains in a relatively short while, both in terms of leaning body composition and lifting gains (27% ave. increase in 20 weeks)Lean-Gains…get it?

Then, as I explain, I injured myself overdoing it in some way that’s still not clear, had months of chronic pain 24/7, allowed my diet to go to crap, and put back on a good amount of fat pounds—to the absolute thrills and delights of many.

So, the bottom line: Jonathan and I bounce around ideas about keeping it real, staying physically healthy, staying in the game—all in the context of exercise. And, less is more.

Here’s the podcast page: Bonus: Richard Nikoley – Free the Animal. Here’s the iTunes link. Also, you can just listen via YouTube without going anywhere.

I’m happy to report that things are moving once again in the right direction, in terms of both Lean and Gains—and I’m only doing it to piss some people off. I’m reporting specific progress weekly via my free Newsletter. In terms of the Lean, it’s the milk intervention, working better and faster than I could have imagined—as well as being substantially anabolic even in the midst of a pronounced caloric deficit. In terms of the gym, having gingerly recommenced in deadlifts (that’s my touchstone exercise) at #165 or so a couple of months back, 2-3 sets of 10, I’m now at #275 for 2-3 sets of 5-6—on my way back up to #325 where I was when the injury took place.

This will continue unabated, until the last laugh and obscene gesture has been accounted for.

Update for that Troll in my Spam folder:

That’s what happens, “Magnus,” when one is capable of actually writing more than a single sentence.

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  1. Dan Linehan on March 14, 2013 at 21:49

    People don’t get it because stories like this are perpetually on the “most read” section of the SF Gate..

  2. Harry on March 14, 2013 at 21:56

    Jonathan talks about his difficulties in getting people to fracture into ‘teams’, as opposed to just uniting on the things we all agree on (eating whole, unprocessed foods etc.) and coming together ‘against the mainstream’.

    This strikes me as being disingenuous, especially for a guy of his obvious intelligence. Here’s the newsflash, Jonathan…the reason is that people exactly like you (authors, experts, business people involved in the weight loss/diet industry) deliberately distinguish themselves from each other in order to maximally sell your product…it’s a little thing called a USP.

    And that means making and emphasising ‘unique’ claims (e.g. don’t eat boiled potatoes because they’re “aggressive”…or exercise using negative contractions…you can call it an “eccentric” approach to weights…) that sell better than just focusing on the tired and true adages that we all agree on.

    Try selling a diet that is explicitly about nothing more than eating whole, unprocessed foods, cutting out the frankenfood, and moving your body a little everyday…discount bin within the month. Not because it’s no good, but because the punters are buying the book next to yours on the shelf that says “Lose 28 pounds in 3 minutes, using tri-super-burn plyometrics and eco-techno-precision eating…proven by SCIENCE”.

    People who sell products that emphasise the differences are part of the problem, not the solution…and Jonathan Bailor is squarely inside that divisive sales paradigm.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 15, 2013 at 14:29

      I don’t know what you’re all on about, Harry.

      I was highlighting a NON-PROFIT venture so your comment strikes me as non-sequitur.

      Moreover, unique selling propositions typically follow one of three formulas:

      1. My values are better for the same price.
      2. I give you the same values for a lower price.
      3. I give you more values for a lower price.

      Not what we were talking about. Here’s a close approximation:

      “I have no product or service to offer, but their product or service is bad bad bad bad. They’re hucksters, frauds, charlatans. Listen to me, even though I have nothing to offer but a negation of what they’re offering for free.”

      Negations are not values unless it can be shown that the purveyor of a product or service is actually defrauding people. And even in the case of the most controversial in the general community, Jimmy Moore, he’s no fraud. In fact, the biggest reason he gets criticized as he does is that he doesn’t play the typical game of infomercial makeover. He kinda lets all his troubles, difficulties and shortcomings hang right out there, often promoted by he himself.

      But it’s easily verifiable. Just pop into the comments on any post and post a comment asking “How many of you have improved your lives because of Jimmy and all the free information he provides? In contrast, how many feel he has done you a disservice or defrauded you?”

      There’s nothing wrong with USPs and there’s nothing wrong with everyone having their favorite purveyors of LC, Paleo, Primal, Ancestral, WAPF information. What is wrong is running the fraud where you pretend as though you’re offering something of value when all you’re doing is tearing down and trashing the values others have worked to build.

  3. Alex on March 15, 2013 at 14:14

    Dude needs to get on the potato bandwagon. Otherwise, I really like the message, and love the ideas that seem to be driving it. But starch is cool; let’s stop pretending otherwise.

  4. GiannaLuna on March 15, 2013 at 17:37

    I have to chuckle. I’ve now lived long enough to see this whole thing come about full circle. Until I was a teenager, we ate whole, mostly unprocessed foods. Why? because that’s what we had around us and that’s what was served mostly everywhere and we ate more at home, than out of the home. Then came the 80s/90s and the whole fear of fat thing and I watched as people scarfed up pasta , undressed potatoes and fat free cookies like there was no tomorrow. Fat grams? oh yeah, it was a game of how low can you go, until somebody spoke up on behalf of Omega 3s. Then around 2002, the Taubes article came out in the NY Times and the race was on to eliminate nearly every trace of carbohydrate until the last couple years, when somebody spoke up about the benefits of resistant starch. Now, the latest enemy? According to another NY Times article that appeared recently – food that tastes extra good due to added salts, sugars and fats…so I expect in a few years, we’ll be back to where we started…whole, unprocessed foods – except for those who don’t fear the alternative.

    • Tom on March 15, 2013 at 19:48

      Starch was not part of “where we started”. “Where we started” was Salisbury steak and cottage cheese. And for people over 50 who are prediabetic, so-called “resistant” starch is of no help.

      Enjoy your revisionist history, and your smugness, but it has nothing to do with life here on earth.

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