≡ Menu

Another Look At Sexy, Sexy Food

Each Sunday I’m going to backtrack and revisit a post from the past, in light of recent events. It this case, recent events means The Holidays.

When I wrote Sexy, Sexy Food, we talked quite a bit about the relationship we each may or may not have with what we eat.  Some people, like my lovely wife Janette and my sister Lindsey, spend their evenings drooling over scandalous photo spreads of spatulas and entrees.

Others, like me, eat so that we don’t die. But this doesn’t mean that I’m immune to the charms of something tasty. I just don’t want to be the one to fix it.


In the last three months, I have gained nineteen pounds and have never been leaner.  This took so much eating that I felt like my jaw was always on the verge of breaking.  But I didn’t really set out to gain weight, I just made getting stronger the emphasis of my training.

How do you measure strength?  Well, if the weights are going up, then you are getting stronger.  I finally reached a level (which is still very, very amateur) where the weights were heavy enough that I felt hungry all the time.  So I ate all the time.  Mostly good, healthy food.

And now none of my clothes fit.  But there are worse problems to have.


For some, November and December are times to eat way too much pie and candy and let all of their physical training slide.  I’m taking the opposite approach this year. Oh, I’m eating lots of pie and candy, but I’m also training like a responsible psycho, so it’s working.

Here’s my challenge to you: spend the next three weeks training harder than you ever have.  Be smart, work at the edge of your limits, and try to find out what you’re capable of.  When January 1 comes, be ahead of the game, not fighting an army of pecan pies and inactive days that have been accumulating since Thanksgiving.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Any holiday food advice for the readers that you can give?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Henri December 13, 2009, 10:51 am

    In the past when I lifted weights I had this goal of becoming huge, but I’ve realized that it actually came out of a fear-based mindset and made me unhappy. Mostly because I had to force myself to eat so much.

    Now, I’m training hard but only eating when I feel hungry. This means I’m not going to pack on muscle as much as before, but I feel happier. Perhaps a bit off topic but that’s what came out of my mind.

    I love food though. I’m hungry right now and thinking about how I can get my missus to make delicious food for me. I’m off to plot my evil plans for the day!

  • Srinivas Rao December 13, 2009, 11:56 am


    I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been able to eat whatever the hell I want for the last 6 months and have never looked better :). The joy of ocean sports. But I think you are spot on that if you match what you eat with your exercise levels you’ll at least stay in the same good shape you are already in.

  • Daniel O'Connor December 13, 2009, 12:53 pm

    Hey Josh,

    I enjoy your blog. You have introduced me to kettlebells.
    I am a lean guy (6′ 170lbs) and would not mind adding a few pounds. I did some weight training in years past.I practice Kendo so I looking for strong, quick and bigger. I am 56 and Gluten intolerant. Any articles on your site that points me in the right direction with this kettlebell thing?

    • Josh Hanagarne December 13, 2009, 1:18 pm

      Daniel, I try not to write much about kettlebell technique because it just doesn’t translate well to words. Jordan Vezina has done a wonderful series of videos that I vouch for. You can check them out here: http://www.youtube.com/user/averagetoelite#p/u

      Look for his videos about the swing to start with. For books, Enter The Kettlebell is the best place to start. Feel free to email me with more questions. I’ll answer as best as I can.

  • Daisy December 13, 2009, 2:35 pm

    Training like a responsible psycho….I’m still working out what exactly that means!

    (Love your way with words!)

  • Pauline December 13, 2009, 4:19 pm

    I like responsible psycho too. My husband and I are “older” and getting close to elderly, but exercise is at the top of our daily priority list! It pays off in flexibility and general good health.

  • Debbie Ferm December 13, 2009, 8:02 pm

    Oh, I am so with your wife and sister on this:) Eating good food is one of the greatest things ever…right up there with sleeping and reading.

    I spent my entire adult loving exercise, pushing myself to work harder etc., even through three babies. Then in one fell swoop my brother died, my mom died, my mother-in law died, my dog died, my husband lost his job, and I just couldn’t cope anymore.

    Twenty pounds heavier and a total weakling, I am trying to get back on the horse. I know it will be the best thing in the world. Your posts on how you use it to help manage your Tourette’s is motivating me to do more than just walk my dogs everyday.

    I am so curious as to what the hell kettle bells are. I am going into the archives to figure it out. Not that kettle bells seem up my alley. I’m more of a kickboxing, hip-hop, soul grooves type gal.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 13, 2009, 8:13 pm

      Debbie, kettlebells are very popular with martial artists. If you’re actually into kickboxing, your excuses are gone!

  • Rebecca Rizzuti December 14, 2009, 11:00 am

    I am still working out how to get into an exercise routine with a two year-old and an unemployed husband, considering that I hate to be watched while I work out. I have quite a bit of weight to shed, and a big part of the problem is that my eating habits are similar to what yours were: I don’t eat much, and I don’t eat regularly.

    I am married to an Italian who also happens to be a brilliant cook, which means that generally when I do eat, it is mostly high calorie foods. My metabolism is in need of rebooting as a result of bad choices in the past.

    As far as holiday eating is concerned, I generally only take one helping of everything, and I usually skip the desserts as well. Not only am I not fond of pumpkin pie, but I hate the feeling of being gorged.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 14, 2009, 4:18 pm

      Rebecca, you’ve got a lot of company out there. The more I train people, the more aware I become of how uncomfortable simply exercising within the sight of other people can be a big, if not the biggest, hindrance. If I was married to your husband, I’ve got no doubt that I would weigh 900 lbs.

  • Heather December 14, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Huzzah! Another responsible psycho who wants to push me to my limits! Congrats on the weight gain! Three weeks. . . wow. . . . I’ll do what I can, but I can’t make a whole lot of guarantees, especially when I am out of town. I’m gonna need a bigger bell. .. .

    • Josh Hanagarne December 14, 2009, 4:16 pm

      Heather, I think “The Responsible Psycho” sounds like the name of the blog you need to go start.

  • Kimberly December 16, 2009, 10:38 pm

    Well, I think I’m with your wife and sister too, as Debbie mentions above — good food is up there with life’s biggest priorities! Like Debbie, I’ve had some hard knocks the last 6 months, losing my Mom suddenly and unexpectedly, and ending a relationship, and so exercise has taken a back seat for the moment. Of course, I know that if I were still practicing my regular yoga/walking/working out routine, I’d feel so much better, physically and mentally, and I do plan to get back to it. Soonish. : ) One of my challenges is, I work in a pretty amazing restaurant, where I get a free (delicious!) meal everyday, AND I cook and drink wine and write about it for my blog, so I guess the trick is, I’ve got to double up on my exercise efforts!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 17, 2009, 3:58 pm

      Kimberly, nothing throws a wrench into your plans like life. If I worked in a restaurant, I would be hopeless and 500 lbs.