Big Phat Pharm Phuks


Matt and I watched Chris Bell’s new movie Prescription Thugs last night. I have been looking forward to watching this for quite some time. Bell’s follow up to Bigger, Faster, Stronger wasn’t as in depth as his first movie, but it was far more personal. Tragic even.

In general, I’ve had a very dim view of the pharmaceutical industry my whole life. I’ve watched people close to me enjoy their gallon sized baggies full of prescription drugs far too long. It’s bullshit. When we value the pills we take far more than how we actually feel, we’re fucked. When doctors appointments fill our schedules instead of water aerobics and Zumba, we’re fucked.

Totally and completely fucked. But that’s current America. Health has not been valued for quite some time. I have removed people from my life who do not value their health. I just can’t even. For me, health is everything. EVERYTHING. Above love; relationships; success in various aspects of life, everything. My husband knows this and guess what, he’s okay with coming in second place to my health. Because when I’m not healthy, we’re not healthy. Duh.

I despise being sick. Last fall, at the wrap up of the Highland Games season while I was training for my weightlifting meet, I had put in some tall-snatch work into my program. I love those. However, having those reps crashing back down on my back without being adapted to the exercise destroyed me. Utterly destroyed me. I lost weeks of training. My body reacted as if I’d been in a car wreck. I instantly began fighting little sniffle’s that turned into an all out cold (I can’t even remember the last time I had cold/flu symptoms;) I had major inflammation, and overall I was a complete mess. Not to mention the fact that I was freaked out about the looming competition. It was horrible. I abhor not feeling strong and healthy, I will not trade it for anything. Ever.

Lucky for me I put my trust in Mike Westerling for coaching and programming and the results are: lifts are better; throwing is better; food is better and I’m feeling awesome. Now, sure, tragedy can strike at any moment. But everything that IS in my control is as good as I need it to be and even about 90% as good as I WANT it to be. (Wine. I haz it.)

I see people around me looking for quick fixes. Constantly looking for short-cuts to feeling and looking better. Wraps; detoxes; special diets; weight watchers, you name the snake oil, it’s out there. And that doesn’t even touch the Planet Fitness’ of the world and their “trainers.” Want to target abs for fat loss? Pay the WAC trainer and he’ll do it for you even if “target” loss is bullshit. Of course he weighs 145 pounds and even then doesn’t have abz but will take your money and when you fail to achieve your unrealistic goals, he’ll blame you. (I once watched a woman at an Experience Fitness work with a personal trainer. He had her side stepping across the floor for 10 minutes, cheering her on. She huffed and puffed as if she were on her 21st rep squat. That’s what $85 an hour will buy you folks. Walking across the floor.)

Then there’s the food. You know who I enjoy eating with? Throwers and Strongman. Why? Because they eat. They understand food’s role in their lives and use it to their advantage. You know who I hate eating with? Everyone else. There is a lovely couple here in town whom I adore. They are interesting and have diverse backgrounds and are so nice to be around. But they are both incredibly obese and have no desire to fix that situation. They once complained on the FB about an eatery near us and how a subtle flavor of their food was off. My thoughts? Dudes, you haven’t tasted food in years. You want salt and sugar and if there’s not enough on every bite of your food,  you complain. Srsly. I have compassion for those with eating disorders and am always willing to find help for those with severe, life threatening situations. But using food to be an attention whore, passing on this trait to your children all in the name of your crazy? Ummmm, no. Bye Felicia.

However, the $64 Billion diet industry and the gazillion billion spent on the fitness industry (did you know the average celebrity makes $33,300 per pound lost for weight loss endorsement. The average. I’m guessing those Oprah bullshit commercials-no you can’t eat bread fatty-are a bit more. She’s lost 26 pounds so far. Say, $50k a pound, so she’s making millions off those commercials. Thanks phatties) doesn’t even come CLOSE to the pharmaceutical industry.

A trillion dollars. They own Washington. They own Health Care. They own America. They are the absolute scum of the filth that has sat in a Pleasanton port-o-potty overnight. A dear friend of ours has said that she may switch careers and is looking at pharm sales and while I want her to be happy and successful, this makes me sad because then we can’t be friends. U Penn strength & conditioning coach Jim Steele asked me about the movie and here was my response:

A) I’m extremely thankful for good health and B) if one chooses to be unhealthy, the medical profession and the pharm industry is there to help.

In a nutshell. The pharm industry’s job is to ensure that you stay sick. The kick backs they give medical professionals are there to ensure that drug pushing is always the priority of every doctor’s visit. Hashtagtruestory.

Big phat pharm phucks. Medical professionals who no longer wish to cure, but treat. Phuk off.

The movie is worth your time. Again, it’s personal. If you didn’t already fall in love with the Bell family in Bigger, Faster, Stronger you will here. They’re honest (eventually) and vulnerable and wear their battle weary hearts on their sleeves. They are survivors telling the stories of so many who didn’t make it.

The healthy do not need prescriptions. Chew on that.

World War II vets didn’t use the term ‘adulting’ when they were in their 20’s and 30’s. They had already gone to war; were raising families, and didn’t even consider not working hard every day of their lives. Responsibility didn’t scare them into their mothers tit, they had already seen their best friends blown apart. They ‘adulted’ at 17.

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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