Wearing a FitBit Won’t Help Your Fat Bits

In yet another stunning blow to the Quantified Self movement (whose mantra is “self-knowledge through numbers”), a new study found that wearing a fitness tracking device such as a FitBit doesn’t improve your efforts at weight loss. The study, published in JAMA, tracked people trying to lose weight by dividing them into two groups: one followed … Continued


The Anatomy of Fitbit Melancholy

You’ve seen them: those uber-fit individuals, clad in spandex, who don’t take vacations—they take “fitcations.” They breeze by you on a local hiking trail, barely breaking a sweat, their Camelback containers full and on their wrists a sleek-looking digital tracking device like a Fitbit. Evidently this writer for New York magazine used to be one of them, … Continued


Rage Yoga is the Exercise Fad Our World Deserves

The angry among us—and yeah, I’m talking to you if you’ve leaned on the car horn in the past 24 hours—have a new way to vent. It’s called “rage yoga,” and it’s coming soon to a Zen den near you—if Canadian yogi Lindsay Istace can get past border patrol without a fist fight. Istace’s rage … Continued


The Latest Fitspo Role Model? A 9 Year Old

Have you heard about Fitspo? It’s the popular hashtag and buzzword for “Fitness Inspiration” and it’s all over the Internet, especially on Instagram, where fitness-minded users post images of six-pack abs and “inspirational” phrases like “Sore is the New Sexy!” and “When I exercise, I wear all black. It’s like a funeral for my fat.” … Continued


Ditch the New Year’s Diet: Be Like Ben Franklin Instead

January 1st—it is the best of days; it is the worst of days. Of the 364 that follow it, that first day is perhaps the most blessed and the most cursed. New Year’s Day is the tabula rasa of time—a chance for a clean slate, a fresh start, the beginning of a brand new year. … Continued


I’ve Joined the Cult of Barre . . . And You Should Too!

I recently read an article about a man who, after being released from jail after a 44-year incarceration, felt as though he’d traveled through time. He was flustered by the lack of payphones and confused why perfectly normal people were talking to themselves (ear buds and bluetooth). He was amazed at the flashing video ads … Continued


“The Biggest Loser”: A Modern-Day Exorcism?

“I have 400-pound people who can do jumping jacks, and if they can do it, you can do it!” (“The Biggest Loser” Trainer Jillian Michaels, 30-Day Shred) Last weekend, the New York Post exposed “The brutal secrets behind ‘The Biggest Loser’” in an interview with former contestant, Kai Hibbard. If you’re a skeptic, it’s worth … Continued

Entertainment, Television

The Rise of Skinny-Shaming

Skinny-shaming. Is there such a thing? I say yes, and the recent conclusion of the last series of The Biggest Loser proves it. Winner Rachel Frederickson shocked everyone on the finale when she revealed a svelte size 0/2 body. She weighed 260 pounds when the show started. She weighed 105 when it ended. She lost … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Television

Need a New Fitness Regimen? Start with the Vacuum Cleaner

My inner feminist growled when I saw a headline from Med Page Today, “Obesity: Is the Vacuum Cleaner to Blame?” As I read on, it became clear that the article wasn’t some anti-feminist manifesto.  The broader issue is the impact modern conveniences have on our lives.  In an effort to make our lives easier we … Continued

Culture, Tech

Controlling Our Bodies, Controlling Ourselves

To help promote Acculturated Templeton Press is making select essays from the book available for free on this website. In this essay from Daniel Akst, we find a veritable feast of food for thought. If John Bunyan were alive today but still infused with religious passion, how might he get his message across? Surely not by writing a book-length … Continued