Terrible Health Advice Makes Me Wish I Were 57

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm


By Antonio Graceffo


Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk inspired me to lift weights when I was a kid. But the new Hulk is CGI. I can’t imagine he inspires kids to do anything.


There were some young Chinese people in the food stalls tonight with a table related to health analysis. They worked for a company which sells diet meals, and were offering a free fitness analysis. So, I went over. They had me stand on one of those scales that measures your body density. Then they filled out a form and did some calculations, considering, my height and age.

Before we discussed the results, they asked me how often I exercised.


“I do weights five days a week. And I box, but I am just getting back into training after seven months of only weights and no boxing. That’s why I gained all of the weight. I have been back in training for six weeks now.”


“You have only been exercising for six weeks.” He wrote on the paper.


“No, I exercise five days a week and have pretty much since I was eleven, but I have been back in training for six weeks. That’s why I need to lose weight.”


“Oh,” He said, not convincing me that he was listening or understanding. “And how much weight do you want to loose?”


“I think ten to fifteen kilos, depending on what your analysis said my muscle mass is.”


“And how do you wish to loose that weight?”



“Is there anything you want to change about your diet?”

“Yes, I worry that I am not drinking enough coffee.”


“And why did you gain the weight in the first place?” he asked, although I had already told him I had taken a break from training. He pointed at a chart and asked me to pick a reason. Listed were: depression, loss of job, injury, substance abuse, burning the midnight oil…and a bunch of other stuff that didn’t pertain to me.


“Look,” I said, getting frustrated. “I would normally be closer to 88 kgs, but I took time off of training, and my weight went up. Now, I am training again and my weight will, hopefully go down.”


“And how much weight do you want to loose?” He asked again, ignoring all I had said.


“I needed to lose ten to fifteen kilos.” The truth is, I know I am overweight. But I wanted to checlk what my percentage of muscle was. In other words, I am sure I need to lose 10 but maybe I can’t loose more than 10 because the rest is muscle.


Two other fitness consultants came over and began showing me before and after photos of people who had lost weight.


“Those are lovely.” I said. “But I want to know my results.”


They all looked like they had been taken out of their comfort zone. They left me alone with the same young guy, who read out my statistics to me.


He told me I had 30% body fat, which surprised me a first. But then I thought about it. I weigh almost exactly 100 KGs. So, to maintain about 20% bodyfat, I need to lose about 10kgs. Which is what I had figured. The part that was shocking was when the guy said that for my height I should weigh between 59 and 71 kgs.

“That’s impossible.” I protested. “My biceps are bigger than most men’s thighs.”

My argument did pierce the veil of brainwashing he had had at whatever multilevel marketing seminar they had used to train him.


He went on to tell me that I had 63kgsof muscle on my body.


“If I have 63 kgs of muscle, how could my weight go down to 71? That would be 8% body fat. What am I an Olympic marathon runner? I’d die.”


“Oh, if you don’t want to lose the weight, if you are happy being fatter, that’s fine.” He answered.


“I don’t think you are looking at me.” I said. “You’re just looking at that printout. I am not a regular guy. I carry a lot of muscle.” I kept stressing that I needed to lose 10kgs. I am not oblivious to the fact that my belly is fat now and I don’t always look good in photos. But by the same token, I am strong and I do a lot of exercise.


One interesting thing he told me was that, because of the amount of calories muscles burn at rest, I need 2,000 calories a day, even when I am not training. Which makes sense. I just had a long layoff, and gained weight. Now, I have been back in training for six weeks, and I can’t believe how much I am eating. But I know it is because I am burning a lot of energy in training. The down side is, I don’t know how the weight is going to come off if I keep eating? But if I don’t eat, I don’t see how I can train.


Next, he told me about some other index, which determines the age of your inner body, your organs and that.


“You have the body of a 57 year old.” He pronounced.


“Are you retarded?” I asked him, flat-out. “Have you seen a 57 year old? They can’t do much of anything.”


The previous night, I had shot Martial Arts Odyssey: San Da. I trained with all of these yong guys, on the national team. I did the same number of rounds and kicks and punches as them And, it was my second workout that day. I had done my full weights and boxing that morning, and yet I not only kept up with the younger athletes, but surpassed many of them.


I train five days a week, weights and boxing. Filming days are just extra. Last Saturday, my off day, we shot two, very physical shows, back to back, krav maga and MMA, both of which required running, grappling…for a total of four hours. Most people didn’t do both workouts and by the end of it a lot of them were completely wiped out.


So, how am I like a 57 year old? I just don’t get it. None of those young fitness consultants could do even one tenth of that mount of exercise.


I want to meet this 57 year old, who’s fitter, younger, and healthier than me. In fact, I want to be him.


At this point, I was annoyed, but I was trying to be open-minded and listen to him. However, my mind slammed shut like a steel trap when he read the next line of the results to me.


“Because your fat is so high, your health is in serious risk. And we advise you to go to the doctor immediately, before beginning any diet or exercise program.”




“Have you ever had a physical?” He asked.


“Of course I have. I just had one last month in Taiwan, and they said I was fine.”


“Well, you may be in serious danger. You need to go back.”


I hope it’s not s symptom of denial or rationalization, but I told the guy I thought he was an idiot and a slave to the printout. I walked over to a desert stall and bought a root beer and some chocolate cake, and headed back to my room to watch TV and burn 2,000 calories with my 63 kgs of muscle.



Antonio Graceffo is self-funded and needs donation to continue his writing and video work. To support the project you can donate through the paypal link on his website,


Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.


Warrior Odyssey, the book chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia is available at The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army.







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