April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Hanging Out With All Your Male Friends

Line from the one hit wonder "Ready for the World's" hit song of the early eighties, "Oh Shelia." I found it on one of those old mix tapes I've been listening to, and since Mary cautioned about the danger of assuming that the rules that apply to the brothers also apply to us CR girls, I figured it would be a good title to the post.

I completely agree that CRON is a dramatically different experience for women than for men. Liza is so right about everything with regard to how women treat each other as they get thinner. I've always thought that men have much more defined hierarchies to begin with, so the competition for social status and/or scarce resources is more upfront, frequently even openly discussed. And as one of the brothers pointed out, while very thin men might be asked if they're sick, they're not usually assumed to be anorexic.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words, Mary... I've frequently noted that I'm so lucky to have the kind of body where I look pretty normal even at technically underweight. I doubt that the curves will ever go away, even as I lose more weight as a side effect of my attempts to outlive anyone I find annoying.

I am extremely curious to know how different CR is for me as I get deeper in. There just don't seem to be any women at more serious levels of CR, and so there's not a lot to go on other than what the men say. And the men are by no in agreement about anything. I found that CR men were willing to answer some pretty personal questions, and a random sampling confirmed that on everything from hunger to social struggles, the brothers have had vastly different experiences.

So far, at what I believe to be very moderate CR for me, I have experienced an almost complete cure of the anxiety that had plagued me for all my life. But I feel like I'm a long way off from the super calm that some of the brothers report.

The brothers were far from in agreement about the hunger issue too. Some claimed to be hungry most of the time, others didn't. They also had vastly different approaches to meal spacing, from Paul's 18 hour a day fasts to John's chain eating of lettuce. There are so many ways to do this, and it's tremendous fun to see for yourself how people have solved their CRON problems and created lifestyles that work for them.

I know you're getting annoyed by now that I haven't told you what I've been eating, so the next entry will be food-focused, I promise. I'm also waiting on two of the brothers to read and fix any problems in an entry I wrote about the search for the real cure for aging, so that's coming up as well. Tune in next time...


  • At 5:52 PM, Blogger Mary Robinson said…

    Two very "serious" CRON women I have met: Liza May and Lisa Walford. Both eat less than 900 calories a day and are extremely careful about what they eat. Geez, Liza eats ounces of herbs a day. But she has lots more fun cooking than Dean - because she does it for everyone else. She is by far the most interesting cook I have ever encountered. When we have a DC area get together, it is worth coming just to see what Liza comes up with.

    I would say that the proportion of seriousness is pretty similar for men and women - there are just less women than men -total. Why this is so is not entirely obvious to me. But based on the professions of people at the conference, it appeals to engineers and scientists (and even a hedge fund trader)- analytical and disciplined people. Having been a computer scientist all my adult life, I am pretty used to the proportions of the sexes that are exhibited in the CR Society. It's the same as it was in my computer science classes in college.

    So, April, count yourself among the disciplined and analytical.


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