Fat Head For Foreigners
Let’s start with the big news: If you check the sidebar on the right, you’ll see that Fat Head is finally available outside the USA. We had hoped to have this all set up a month ago — just in time for Christmas shopping — but the fulfillment center ran a bit behind schedule.
For the past year and a half, I’ve been receiving emails and comments from people who live outside the U.S., asking where they can buy a DVD. It was no fun telling them they couldn’t. Eventually, I started hearing from people who downloaded the film illegally and wanted to make a contribution as payment. I certainly don’t approve of illegal downloads, but since our international distributor (and I use the term loosely in their case) never managed to place the DVD overseas, I understood why people who wanted to see the film ended up downloading it.
After seeing the response to the Big Fat Fiasco DVD, we decided to author a new Fat Head DVD without the U.S. region restriction and distribute it ourselves. (In retrospect, I should’ve gone that route a year ago.) By way of saying thanks for your patience — and to sweeten the deal for those who’ve already seen the film — I added the Big Fat Fiasco speech as a second bonus track. That means the non-USA version includes:
- Fat Head, the documentary (duh)
- Bonus interviews: nearly 40 minutes of extra interview footage with Drs. Mike and Mary Dan Eades, Dr. Al Sears, Sally Fallon, Eric Oliver and Jacob Sullum
- The Big Fat Fiasco speech
The fulfillment center has the DVD in stock and is ready to process the orders. (Direct link to the order page here.) They tell me the DVD should arrive in most locations within 5 to 10 business days after an order is placed. We’ll still process orders for the U.S. version ourselves.
During our time away, we visited my family in Springfield, Illinois and then my wife’s family in Chicago. It was a fun and relaxing vacation, and the girls enjoyed themselves immensely. They even got to participate in a snowball fight on Christmas with a gang of cousins.
The only downer of the trip was visiting my dad in the nursing home. Last year, Dad couldn’t remember my name, but he brightened when he saw me and tried to carry on a conversation. This year, he simply looked at me for a second, then looked away. No spark of recognition. He smiled at the girls, but I’m pretty sure he was just happy to see some kids. All the old people in the nursing home smiled at the girls, some waved, and a few even wandered over to talk to them.
What really struck me when I first walked in the room was how much my dad reminds me of his grandfather now … but Great-Grandpa Markwell was in his 90s when he looked like that. (He lived to be 101 and was lucid until the last three years.) Dad is only 76.
High Cholesterol, No Heart Disease
A friend of my mom’s is also 76, but looks and acts at least 10 years younger. She dropped by one day for a lunch visit, and during the conversation she mentioned that every few years, some doctor will insist she get her coronary arteries checked. The reason? Her cholesterol is over 300. She tries telling the doctors her arteries always check out just fine, but they still insist. Then they look at the lab results, shake their heads, and say, “I just don’t see how this can be true. Your arteries don’t show any blockage at all.” Then they pronounce her genetically gifted.
Home, Sweet Home
We drove home from Chicago two days ago. I still haven’t finished going through all the mail, but I’m getting there. I spent yesterday and today catching up on processing orders for the Fat Head and Big Fat Fiasco DVDs. If you ordered in the last 10 days or so before Christmas, sorry for the delay. We ran out of stock and then left for vacation. All the existing orders have been processed and went into the mail today.
Gary Taubes’ New Book
As you probably know, Gary Taubes recently published a consumer-friendly version of Good Calories, Bad Calories titled Why We Get Fat – And What To Do About It. My copy was in the mail when we arrived home. I’ll write a full review later, but I can already tell you it’s a much easier read than GCBC. This is the one you could probably convince your Aunt Martha to read.
Overeating, But Not Gaining
In Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes described experiments in which naturally lean people massively increased their food intake but barely gained any weight. Judging by what I’ve read in online discussion groups and various blogs, quite a few people still insist that overeating must always lead to gaining weight, and also insist that anyone who says otherwise simply doesn’t understand the laws of thermodynamics (thus proving that they don’t actually grasp the laws of thermodynamics themselves).
Those people should talk to some of my relatives. As I’ve recounted in a few posts, my naturally-lean son has occasionally tried to gain weight by eating quite a bit more, but his weight refuses to budge. Over the holidays, one of my wife’s relatives — a thin woman in her 40s — told me she’s been losing weight despite trying to gain. (Yeah, yeah, I know … some of you wish you had that problem.) Over the past few years, she’s gone from a lean, athletic build to a too-skinny build. Her veins pop out like a body-builder’s, she’s losing fat everywhere including in her face, and she’s tired of her friends and relatives hinting or outright suggesting she’s suffering from anorexia.
She told me she’s been eating more and more, including plenty of meat, fruit, potatoes and other starches, whole milk, butter and cream, but can’t gain a pound. She set a goal of gaining two pounds during her two-week holiday vacation, ate as much as she could stand, but didn’t gain an ounce. I asked if she’s been checked for diabetes. She has, and that’s not it. Her blood sugar is normal, and her doctor can’t explain the weight loss. I told her “we don’t know what’s wrong” isn’t an acceptable answer from a doctor and suggested she visit an endocrinologist.
The point is, she’s eating far more than she used to, but losing weight. That doesn’t violate the laws of thermodynamics; it just means her body is finding a way to burn off or otherwise waste all those extra calories.
Happy New Year
We’ll be celebrating the new year by doing absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. My wife can rarely stay awake past 11:00 PM, so the beginning of 2011 will probably find me watching a movie by myself in the family room, as is often the case on weekend nights. The real celebration for me will be on January 15th, when we’ll see Bill Cosby perform live at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
When I started doing standup comedy in my 30s, Bill Cosby was my inspiration — not that I ever came close to his level. In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever come close to his level. I can’t think of another comedian who can make 10-year-olds and grandparents laugh equally hard, and whose material is so timeless. I recently watched a concert he recorded nearly 30 years ago, and it was just as funny now as it was then. My ribs were sore from laughing.
Happy New Year to all of you, and may 2011 be your best year ever.