Tales From the Glitter Gym – The End

Today the site MetaFilter linked to my Tales From the Glitter Gym. The comments exploded and they were mostly negative. A few people got the humor, but the majority didn’t. It is not often in life when you get honest feedback from such a large number of people at once. Most of the people who I know personally like Tales From the Glitter Gym. They get that it is a joke, but without context I now can see how others could see some of them as being mean-spirited.

I’ve read all the comments and have decided there will be no more editions to Tales From the Glitter Gym. I was getting bored with it anyway. I’ll leave the rant writing to far more skilled authors such as Joe Queenan and TC Luoma. On topics of fitness and nutrition, I’d rather keep the tone on this blog 100% constructive and helpful.

From March 2000 to November 2004, I had my first blog. It was mostly just a bunch of smart ass comments about what happened in the news that day. People who knew me thought it was funny, but then I met a guy who told me I was nothing like my blog. He expected to meet an angry bitter person, but I wasn’t. I shutdown that blog and then relaunched in 2005 with a goal to be kinder. Tales From the Glitter Gym was the only hold over from my previous blog. It is time to end it now too.

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MAS

Critical MAS is the blog for Michael Allen Smith of Seattle, Washington. My interests include traditional food, fitness, economics, and web development.

25 thoughts on “Tales From the Glitter Gym – The End”

  1. Motion vetoed. Ok, it’s not a vote and I’ve enjoyed the tales. But it’s your blog, man, do what you want with it!

  2. I am so so so so so so so so so sad to have contributed to this change and I hope there’s a way to tell these tales in a way that we can be entertained but still be constructive.

  3. trolls are the worst. better to close comments in my experience then to deprive the rest of us?? the silent majority loves you!

  4. I read the comments over at metafilter and more than half the people are judgmental douchebags calling you a douchebag, because you comment on the inanity of some crap people do at the gym.

    In particular, the resentment of paleo and the self assuredness that we were persistence hunters makes me think these are mainstream brainwashed twits who can’t bother to think for themselves or do their own research.

    This only drives the point home that arguing to change people’s minds is pointless. I could sit there and post evidence of their stupidity over and over again and they’d just to refer to some abstract of some old obscure poorly done biased study as justifying their beliefs.

  5. @sosad – Thank you, but I am going to leave the comments open. Yesterday I criticized a chapter in the 4 Hour Body. So in fairness, if someone has an issue with one of my posts, I’m happy to let them say their peace.

  6. I wonder what kind of trend would emerge if we could see the squat numbers of the nay-sayers…

  7. The Internet is full of trolls. Don’t let them change what you really want to write about. The moment you start writing with the audience in mind is the moment you lose your voice.

    Trolls will be trolls.

  8. Apparently I broke the rules because I called you a friend, so now the post is “deleted” (it’s still there, but no longer gets new comments and will not appear in searches). Lesson learned.

    I have screwed up on multiple levels today.

  9. Their opinions are valid. If you didn’t know me and skimmed a Glitter Gym post quickly – you might think I was a jerk too.

    I enjoyed writing Tales. No regrets. I wrote a new edition of Tales a month ago, but thought it was too mean to publish. So I never did. Mean only works if the funny content exceeds the mean. It didn’t.

  10. Aw 🙁 I’m sad to see them go, but glad you’re leaving them up. Always have greatly enjoyed them.

    I read the comments, and thought Civil-Disobedient’s (http://www.metafilter.com/99747/Tales-From-The-Glitter-Gym#3477082) was pretty good. An intelligent response from someone who uses a glitter gym primarily for convenience.

    A lot of folks just sounded jealous to me. Bleh.

    Stuart has a point about catering to the audience, but I don’t think you’ll ever lose your voice. You’ve got so much good stuff goin’ on here. As for “Tales” … all good things eventually must come to an end. Sad 🙁 but true.

  11. Hi,

    I’m on Metafilter, a semi-regular gym-goer, and I pretty much have seen and agree with the stuff that you posted. In fact on another part of the site, the question-and-answer area, much of your advice is repeated ad nauseum.

    I found many of your posts to be informative and entertaining. However, it wasn’t the content of the posts that people had issues with, it was the attitude. Complaining about other people, even the clueless and uninformed, just leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. There is a shared belief that being tolerant is more important than being correct.

  12. Hi, I’ll own my words. I called you a jackhole on Metafilter. In hindsight not the best choice of words, and I apologize for it. I was going to apologize in thread, but it’s closed, so here I am.

    Here’s what happened: I saw the post. I clicked on a link at random (about smells). I read as far as “That should be enough to get you through your super-slow 15 minute recumbent bike / People Magazine work-out” and kinda snapped.

    I’m a fat, slow old lady myself. (Well, 38. But that’s like 90 in internet years.) I don’t go to the gym precisely because I assume that the other gym-goers around me are smugly passing judgment about my “super slow 15 minute recumbent bike/People magazine work-out.” And lo, I am proven correct.

    I’m not saying that a hard-core workout dude shouldn’t make fun of fat old people like myself. I’m just saying, if someone makes fun of fat old people, they shouldn’t act wounded when the fat old people get kinda pissed about it.

  13. @Erika – One of the things I post frequently about is how exercise plans recommended by gyms and personal trainers are ineffective for many beginners.

    I want more people to be successful. So, yes in a handful of posts in a silly series I mock certain exercises. If I see a pregnant lady standing on one leg on a BOSU ball doing tricep kickbacks, I’m going to have an opinion. Not of her, but the ridiculous exercise her trainer told her to do.

    A year ago, I posted my real thoughts here:

    My 10 Gym Tips For 2010

    When it comes to physique transformation, I believe it is 80-90% diet and that exercise plays a minimal role. Especially with women. Good luck with your fitness endeavorers.

  14. Ha! Yesterday, I was at my glitter gym and was talking to a guy who is 5’4 and 240lbs. He told me his goal is to weigh 175lbs. He is shaped like a ball he looks like a walking heart attack. I asked him about his diet and he told me all the wrong things.

    As I was talking to him he was sweating up a storm on a exercise bike. I told him he was wasting his time and he would be better off changing his diet and going for long walks. I told him that diet is at least 80% of it and he wouldn’t see any gains unless he changed that. I told him that P90X commercials/The Biggest Fattie understate the diet they mention and just show the sweating and crying (respectively).

    Well, he got very offended. He told me basically “whadyou know?”. I said well whatever he was doing was obviously not working and I just wanted the best for him. As I was leaving, he did say that he was going to switch from eating less bread to eating more rice. I kept my mouth shut.

  15. @Thomas – I think people cling to the “exercise will save me” story as a way to avoid dealing with their addiction to breads and sugars. Sadly, the guy you spoke to probably left the gym craving more sugar than had he just taken a leisurely stroll through a park.

  16. MAS,

    I have to say that when I first heard you say that you lose weight in the kitchen and not the gym I have to say I was annoyed. I mean why can’t I consume 3500+ calories in a day if I walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes with an open magazine? Okay I wasn’t that bad, but pretty close.
    Then about 7 years I got serious about losing weight through exercise and diet, and it really irritated me because you were right. I remember one post you had on your blog when you said you didn’t work out for a few weeks because you were sick, but you still lost weight because you didn’t eat. If people refuse to accept this then let them be – over the years I’ve learned that you can’t make some people accept logical, rational arguments regardless of the mountain of data you have.
    Anyways I hope you keep up the Tales from The Glitter Gym. I have to go because, well, it’s close and I want to work out a couple times a week. I have a new strategy for when kids who went to trainer college for a weekend come up to me and offer “help” – be completely friggin’ crazy. They come up to me offering to explain to me why I should do high reps and low weight, I respond by asking where babies come from. When they look at me weird and explain that they are fitness “experts” offering me free “advice” I say no thank you I’m not interested in Hare Krishna right now and walk away – they are so dumbfounded that they simply leave me alone because they think I’m insane.
    Just my 2 cents……

  17. Hey Shawn, you can eat 3500 calories a day and still lose weight. I am 😉

    Well, not quite as low as 3500 calories more like 4500…

  18. @Matthew – No YOU can eat 3500 calories and lose weight. I am a corporate zombie and my masters get pissed if I work out too much during the week. I do try to work out during the day (even have the occasional mountain bike ride) but the thing that really helped me lose the weight was replacing my snacks with veggies, cutting Sweet & low from my diet, and killing the soda. Turns out that while feelings taste good it’s not the best weight loss plan…….

  19. @Shawn – Thanks for the nice comment. Tales has been retired, but I will continue to post on fitness and nutrition topics. I’m still going to bash the stuff that doesn’t work, just in a different format.

    Please forgive Matthew, he is not human. He is a beast. 🙂 A 4500 calorie diet for mortals that don’t squat and dead lift 500 pounds is not recommended.

  20. I am a corporate zombie too and only get to work out 3 times a week tops. I don’t actually advocate for eating 4500 calories, just saying that it can be done. It’s interesting that you mention Sweet and Low. There is growing evidence that consumption of artificial sweetners can result in spontaneous weight gain and that it is not related to satiety (most likely an insulin response).

    See:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3714671
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21138816

  21. I actually heard about the correlation between Sweet and low and weight gain about 6 years ago. Breaking the Sweet and low habit really changed my overall palette. In general over the last few years I have been changing what I eat and how I eat, and really trying to get away from processed foods. The other thing I am a big believer in is the slow food movement, which stresses local fruit, meats, and vegatables. There are restaurants in San Diego that actually even list out where their food came from! It’s funny I am finding that the more I find out about what I eat is helping me to control my weight (plus the food actually tastes better!).
    I wish Jamie Oliver would come to my kid’s school. Did you ever see the Food Revolution? I highly recommend it – this is a show where an English chef came over and tried to break the cycle of US school systems poisioning our children with over processed foods. Apparently he had a lot of success in England doing it. I highly recommend the show.

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