Tom Naughton – Fat Head
Jonathan: Hey, everyone. Jonathan Bailor here with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim Podcast, and I really have a treat for you today; because… many things to celebrate. Many, many things to celebrate. I’ve got to tell you, this one goes way back, and I was… back in the days when I was working on actually writing the Smarter Science of Slim, I was just scouring the web for everything. I was like, I just want to know. If it’s out there, I want to check it out; and I ended up doing a search on Netflix. I ended up coming across this movie called Fat Head, which I then proceeded to watch twice, back-to-back.
I am not kidding. I spent an entire Saturday watching this movie twice, and then was so bold at the time to reach out to the director, producer, star of this film, Tom Naughton, who was kind enough to not only answer my email but to accept a review copy of the Smarter Science of Slim; then invite me on his blog to talk about it and really was just one of the first people to welcome me with open arms into the nonstandard American diet nutrition dialogue. I am so honored to have filmmaker and blogger who just released the director’s cut of this fantastic film Fat Head, Tom Naughton joining us today. So, Tom, welcome, sir.
Tom: Thank you for having me.
Jonathan: Well, Tom, I just want to dig right into this because I want to — so first of all folks, the movie is called Fat Head. Director’s cut just came out. Just do a web search for it. You can find it very, very easily. If you haven’t seen this movie, go watch it now. It should be required viewing for everyone. Not only will you learn a lot, but you will laugh a lot. Tom is awesome at educating and entertaining simultaneously. He just released the director’s cut. Tom, this is like a legit movie. I want to know how you did this. What’s your story?
Tom: I did it by making an awful lot of mistakes and learning from them to tell you the truth. I had a little bit of an advantage in that my wife’s sister is a documentary film maker. She actually produced an award winning documentary called Out of the Shadow about schizophrenia, and I remember when she was running around shooting that thing; and it kind of reduced the awestruck factor to have someone that I knew personally making a documentary, and suddenly it kind of all seemed possible; whereas previously, I thought, “Well, people who make documentaries walk on water.
They have special talents. They have connections I don’t have. I saw how she just basically had an idea, took her camera, made a documentary; so kind of with her as my example, I thought, “Hmm. I wouldn’t mind making one of those.” What triggered Fat Head, specifically, was I watched Super Size Me, kind of as research for a different idea I had; and by the time I finished watching it, I was no annoyed. I decided, “You know, I think I’m going to do my own little fast food diet and do my own reply.” That’s kind of how it started, but you’ve seen the film. You know it went on to be about a whole lot more than just Super Size Me.
Jonathan: Did the Super Size Me folks ever get back to you?
Tom: No, but I never expected them to. If I were in Morgan Spurlock’s position, he is a smart, entertaining guy. There are a lot of things I didn’t like about his documentary, but I do think he is a very smart guy; and the smart move here would be to never acknowledge my existence.
Jonathan: That’s fair. That’s fair.
Tom: Why would they want to give me free publicity by even acknowledging me?
Jonathan: That makes sense. We will give you all the publicity and all the praise you need, because people need to see this. What was your — so you watched Morgan’s film. It annoyed you. What were you hoping, and as you said, Fat Head is about so much more than a satirization of Super Size Me. It’s profoundly more than that; so, what were your maybe initial goals and then your goals as the project evolved?
Tom: Well, initially, it was to kind of take a humorous whack at Super Size Me. I had eaten fast food and lost weight before. I knew it could be done. Also, when I am not making films or blogging, I am a computer programmer, so it’s not a good idea to throw bad math at me and expect me to not notice. There was a lot of bad math in Super Size Me. I mean as an adult, I have been on different diets.
I kind of had a working knowledge of what the calorie counts in McDonald’s meals are; and as soon as I saw his nutritionist tell him twice that he was consuming more than 5000 calories a day, I knew immediately those rules he set up in the beginning of the film, he cannot possibly be following those and consuming 5000 calories a day. He is basically stuffing himself way more than his own rules would allow, so that he can get fat and make an impressive documentary.
I kind of started out digging into what was wrong with Super Size Me, but since I was going to go on my own fast food diet, I thought it was important that I talk about nutrition and how food affects your health; so I started researching that aspect of it. That is when Fat Head became way more than just a knock at Super Size Me, because I went through what I am sure you went through. You start actually researching this stuff looking for the hard science, and you’re smacking yourself in the head going, ”Wait a minute, most of what we’ve been told, there is no basis for it or it’s just plain wrong.”
Jonathan: Or baloney, as you would say.
Tom: As or baloney, that’s right.
Jonathan: Tom, the thing that I think is fascinating about what you did, and I wanted to answer this question right out of the gate. I can just imagine some of our listeners scratching their head and saying, “Jonathan, why?” if they’re not familiar with you. If they are familiar with you, they wouldn’t have this question, but they are not familiar with you. They may be thinking to themselves, “Jonathan, you’re all about food quality. Why do you have a guy who wanted to show that you can lose weight eating fast food on your show, because aren’t you against fast food?” Just to quickly clarify, I think what you demonstrated in your video is that it is a testament to food quality, where it’s not that McDonald’s is necessarily the devil. It’s that there are low-quality choices at McDonald’s, and there are higher-quality choices at McDonald’s.
In fact, one could eat a very healthy diet if they are just conscious about what they’re doing at places like McDonald’s, and that’s what you illustrate. It’s not that Ronald McDonald is the devil. It’s that people have the choice to make good choices or bad choices when they step between the golden arches.
Tom: Well, that’s exactly right, and I did make it clear in the film. I say specifically a fast-food diet is not a good diet. The point is, we can tell people from now until forever, ”Don’t eat fast food!” and most of them are going to ignore us. It’s just a fact of modern life that people are in a hurry. They stop somewhere, grab dinner, and take it home. What I was trying to show is that, if you’re going to eat fast food, there is a right way to do it, and there is a wrong way to do it.
Unfortunately, with all the anti-fat hysteria that we’ve had in this country for the last 40 years, most people go choose fast food, and they are “Oh, I don’t want to eat the fats.” They end up eating basically high-carb, low-fat junk, and I fully get that because I used to do it. When I was a traveling road comedian, I used to stop at McDonald’s for breakfast. I would get the pancakes thinking I was doing myself a favor, because they were low-fat; probably the worst thing I could have eaten, because now I am eating basically flour with sugar on top.
Jonathan: That’s really what you illustrated in your movie was that it seems like through primarily the manipulation of macronutrient ratios focusing on a higher protein and higher fat intake and a dramatically lower sugar intake and a lower starch intake, even choosing foods which we may not recommend, one can still dramatically improve their health, mind you and you talk about this in your film, as well as their weight. Is that correct?
Tom: Yes, and obviously there is the macronutrient component and the micronutrient component. We all know you’re not going to go to McDonald’s and get a great diet from a micronutrient standpoint; however, I think it’s hugely important that people understand that putting all this sugar and starch in your body is not good for you and it doesn’t matter if you’re getting it from McDonald’s or if you’re going to the grocery store and you’re buying the Honey Nut Cheerios that have the American Heart Association seal of approval on them.
It’s still junk, so I would rather see people go to McDonald’s, and do what I did: eat sausage McMuffins and toss the muffin part, then go get that Honey Nut Cheerio that the American Heart Association says is good for you. It’s not just a question of are you eating at home or are you eating fast food? I see people at the grocery store all the time buying foods that I now consider utter and complete junk.
Jonathan: That is such a profound point, Tom, because what are we seeing happen now? You go into a store like whole foods which has a brilliant mission in some sense of the word, and we start to see these “all natural, high quality, candy bars.”
Jonathan: I am with you, Tom. It would be so much better to go have that sausage egg McMuffin without the bun than to help yourself to that all natural organic sugar bar, which is exactly what it is.
Tom: Even if it’s the all natural bowl of supposed healthy whole grains, I don’t want you eating the healthy whole grains because they’re not healthy. I would rather see you eat that sausage McMuffin. Now, I would rather you go home and do like I do now and pluck eggs out of your own hen house and eat those.
Tom: Given maybe the choices you have available in a day just because it’s served under the golden arches doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice. It could be depending on what you’re comparing it to the better choice.
Jonathan: That’s one of the things I love about what you represent, Tom because you and actually I have to give credit, Dr. Oz recently wrote an article I think was in Time Magazine where he talked about the distinction of, eating high quality food is sometimes or let’s call it better quality food is sometimes conflated with this snooty Gourmand type of approach and what you are showing is that yes, let’s be real here folks. There is ideal and then there is reality and if you have the time and the effort and the passion to pursue ideal, awesome that is wonderful but if all we ever do is talk about you must be ideal, you must be perfect, there are a lot of people who are just going to turn us off and I, you know what I am saying?
Tom: I do, absolutely. I think that’s an important point. I totally get the people who are all about the grass-fed beef, the organic vegetables and all that and yeah, there are absolutely advantages to consuming those foods but I want to get the general public on board here and if we start telling people “Oh, the one way you’re going to get healthy is to eat grass-fed beef that might cost you eight bucks a pound depending on where you get it or the organic vegetables that might not be available in your area and if they are, they might be twice as much, then people who are on a tight budget they’re going to say, to heck with it.
Well, you can still improve your health and I think you can improve your health a lot by choosing better quality foods that are maybe not the best quality foods.
Jonathan: That is so, there are two characteristics of you really getting down to brass tacks and saying “Here is a practical approach you can take” and also understanding that…
There is a perception, whether it’s accurate or not, that eating a healthier diet is less convenient and more expensive and so we go in to the “fight” with that hand tied behind our back. The first punch we throw is wearing a glove that has organic, grass-fed local written on it like its true those are the best sources however, we may very well be doing more harm than good leading with that argument.
Tom: Yeah, exactly. It’s like you have to think of it kind of along the lines of like political purists who won’t tolerate any disagreement with everything they believe. Well, guess what, that’s a good way to have a party that no one belongs to and I think it’s the same thing in food. Really, I think if I could get people to do two things, give up sugar and give up processed flours, preferably all flours but at least the heavily processed flours. I think they’ve already if they just do that, I think they would gain 50 percent of the benefits just from doing that, then we can go on from there.
Jonathan: Absolutely, and that cost benefit ratio I feel is to key because it is so easy I even have this happen. I’ll tell you, when I was working on the second book here I went on an internet binge and I subscribed to like every podcast I could and I was reading all these blogs and I was just like I just want to make sure I am up on things so I don’t miss anything in the second book. Tom, I swear to God after one week I was like food paralyzed. I was like I became what is the, orthorexic, where you become so paranoid about what you’re eating that food which is a wonderful source of joy is completely stripped of that and for what, so that you might gain an additional marginal two percent, maybe.
Tom: Yeah, that’s right. You can really quickly get into that area of diminishing returns and I look back at the relatives in my family who lived into their 90s and granted it was a different era. They did not eat as much processed food and all that but these people were not monks. They enjoyed their food. They ate a lot of good quality food. They also ate some things that you and I would not think were the best for you but guess what, I think if you maintain a generally healthy diet you can have those occasional slip-ups, those occasional indulgences and I think your body is going to be fine.
You get into trouble when you are constantly kind of overwhelming your body’s ability to undo the damage you may be did from a little something here or little something there so I agree with you. You can get so paranoid that you’re afraid to eat anything except fish and organic broccoli or whatever and then seriously are you going to enjoy life at that point?
Jonathan: It’s like the guy or girl who runs 10 miles a day, every day thinking they will add 10 years to their life which they very well may do but they spent it jogging, so they’re neutral like what was that and now, they have broken knees.
Tom: Well, yeah and I don’t know if they will live that much longer and if they do, they might spend a lot of it in a wheelchair.
Jonathan: That’s exactly right. Tom I want to get back into the brain of Tom Naughton. I want to hear a little bit about your creative process because you have, this isn’t your full time job. I don’t think, is that correct?
Tom: No, it’s not.
Jonathan: So, how and you are a family man and you’re a working professional how, how long did it take you to do this? How did you do it?
Tom: The film you mean?
Tom: Well, I did it slowly. I was working as a software contactor, same as I do now and for couple of years, I just tried to save as much of what I was earning as I could and I would make part of the film and in some cases I would take time off, fly around, do interviews, then I would kind of have to go back to work. I did have a family to support and kind of set it aside for a while then maybe I would be working during the day and doing some research at night and really, I just kept poking along at it until we got some interest from distributors and at that point there were deadlines and then I really just had to work like a mad man to beat the deadlines. I remember at one point I ended up working for three days straight.
Jonathan: Oh geez!
Tom: I mean three days straight, which by the way I don’t recommend anyone. I don’t think the cortisol levels of doing that are probably good for you but it was just knowing I had to get it done so there were periods of craziness. I made a lot of mistakes being a first time filmmaker. In some cases, I had to go back and redo things I thought I’d done just because I did them incorrectly the first time so it was a learn-by-doing process.
Jonathan: What kept you going, three days without any break, many years of doing this and so many excuses I could imagine were if you wanted to say, if you want to make an excuse you could have, but you obviously didn’t because the film came out and it’s fantastic. What kept you going through all this?
Tom: I just had a belief that if I could get this thing done that it could be something and I was living in, right outside of Los Angeles at the time, a quick bit of history. I had gone out there because before that, I was a traveling stand-up comedian and after you work the club circuit, the cruise ships, next thing you do is go to Hollywood and try to break into TV and all that.
I’d been out there a long time and doing all these different projects but what I found out there was a lot of what I think stops people is you’re always waiting for someone to give you a break, go to that right audition, meet that right person and it was more kind of my nature after seeing a lot of that to say what if I just do something that’s mine instead of waiting for someone else to make my career for me? So, part of the motivation was just make my own thing and see what happens.
Jonathan: What did you envision this project and even to this day, what do you want to see it do? What impact do you hope it has?
Tom: Well, obviously where I think it’s going to go has changed when I first put it out there. I was of course hoping I could get it on HBO, Showtime some of the bigger networks. That didn’t happen and I knew the odds of that were small because frankly, they are much more likely to take a film that blames McDonald’s than blames the USDA. In fact, one network I won’t name, they actually attached a note to their rejection saying “We did not appreciate the attacks on the Government.”
This is a network that has no problem criticizing the Government if it’s say the CIA but, they did not like me criticizing the USDA because as we all know, they mean so well. I knew the odds were small so we kind of aimed high just in case and then started to kind of working our way down “Okay, we’ll try this form of distribution and whatever.” We had a lot of problems with our distributors which we just really kind of finished wrapping up recently.
At this point, I want to see it continue to become popular on the digital networks, which it’s done. I was able to finally kind of do an end run around the gate keepers at the networks. When it went to Hulo, where basically, people just watch it if they like it. For a while, it was the number one documentary watched in for week. It actually reached being the third most watched movie of everything they have.
Jonathan: Oh my gosh, that’s incredible. Do you have, what are the stats on the number of people whose lives have likely been changed by watching this film?
Tom: Well, I don’t know because I am never going to hear from most of them.
Jonathan: Well, I mean just in terms of views. I think the film is so compelling that you can’t watch it and not be impacted. Do you have any stats on just total viewership?
Tom: I don’t. It was a distributor who put it on Amazon and Hulo and Netflix for us and it was actually kind of funny because he turned me down at first because I was a first time filmmaker. He’d never heard of me then I finally got some very positive reviews out in cyberspace. I send him those and it was probably almost a year after I’d first gotten in touch with him that he called me kind of chuckling and said “Okay, I finally watch the DVD you sent me” and he said “I don’t work with first time filmmakers but I kind of like this.
I am going to put it out there and see what happens.” Well, I didn’t know what was happening. I knew it was out there and he emailed me I think, a couple of months later and said “Are you aware you’re the number one documentary on Hulo?” I said no, but I am happy. It started out just kind of slow and growing and now, we sell a lot of copies through the blog and I know there is an influence that it’s having.
I get emails every week, often every day from people thanking me for making it, usually, people who had struggled with low-fat diets or other forms of bad advice who failed over and over. I totally get it because I did too and then they tried what I was suggesting and suddenly they were able to lose weight and they basically are emailing to thank me, so that is hugely gratifying.
Jonathan: I can imagine it’s got to be, so I am just looking at Netflix right now and I see that you have — and these are just ratings, they are not views, so to put this in perspective, I would say there is probably at least five to ten x multiplier on the ratio of people who rate something versus people who’ve watched something just based on what I’ve seen with my own work so you have over 220,000 ratings on Netflix alone.
Jonathan: Oh yeah.
Tom: I’ve never thought to look.
Jonathan: So, you’ve touched at least seven figures with their lives with this which is amazing.
Tom: Wow, I never even thought to go in there and check that figure so, wow.
Jonathan: Kudos to you! No, I’m impressed as well and actually let’s talk a little bit more about that. I think you’re just an amazing example of someone who, you got to do what you’re going to do to get that pay check. Clearly, even your story of working the cruise ships and working the comedy clubs and producing this documentary, there is a spark and a passion within you which you have refused to let die, and now we’re seeing it has touched the lives of millions, literally. How can other people not let their spark die as well? What are some tips you could give them?
Tom: I think what stops a lot of people is, they just talk themselves out of things. They have an idea and then start throwing negative thoughts into their own brain, People won’t like it because I can’t do that because. I don’t remember whose book I read, I wish I could come up with the title because it was an influence on me and I would like to share it with other people. If it occurs to me later, I’ll tell you but basically the idea was every big goal seems insurmountable at first. What you have to do is start with the end goal, go all the way out there and say what is my end goal and then back up one step and say before that could happen, what would have to happen, first then take one step back.
Before that, what would have to happen first, and basically you step backwards to where you are now, then you write your plan based on that and then every time you are going forward and you hit a step and it doesn’t seem to work, at that point you have to look at what are the steps I am trying to get to and say, Okay, how else can I get to that next step? You really just have to break it down into small steps so that each individual step does not seem impossible.
Jonathan: Breaking it down into small steps and then how do you go about because I cannot totally imagine, especially for documentary like the one you put together which touches on a subject which the fat phobia is obviously more rampant in the world, lycophobia as it is more commonly called in the nutrition circles. How do you personally deal with the haters because I can imagine there are quite a few?
Tom: I do get them. I just wrote a review of Mark Sisson’s excellent book The Primal Connection and in there he talks about we all know about eat like rock, move like rock, and in the Primal Connection he gets into a little more of think like rock. One of the things he brought out that successful hunter gatherers, etc., did was they picked their battles. You can’t fight every battle and I had actually adopted that belief a while back and as far as pick your battles, I see no point in wasting time with a long, fruitless debate with someone who is never going to agree with what I have to say in the first place.
The people who are totally sold on say low fat or totally sold on the idea that meat is going to kill you, there is literally no reason to engage them. It simply turns into a shouting match of sorts. Nobody walks away with their beliefs changed so basically when I get the emails from the haters, if I am one sentence into the email and I realize what it is, I delete it. I am not going to engage in that battle. There is no point to it. I don’t see any reason to let someone else dump their garbage into my brain so literally… I think Tim Ferriss is the one who said this, the author of the Four Hour Body, “I take great pleasure in knowing you spent an hour writing a hateful email and I deleted it in one second.”
Jonathan: I was actually bringing up his blog post on dealing with haters as you said that but I had never heard that take on it and that is funny because my next question to you is going to be, how do you, I am going to be transparent here. I am one of these kind of people who, just the other day actually I was reading some podcast reviews for the podcast we are talking about right now and I was looking at the most recent and the entire first page was I was very, very fortunate to see they were all five star reviews, except one. It was a one star review. Guess which one I read and guess which one I thought about for the rest of the evening?
Tom: Don’t do that. Maybe I had the advantage of having spent some years as a stand-up comedian. Any comedian will tell you this, sense of humor is subjective, right? So, you could be in a club that holds 300 people and 298 of them will be laughing themselves silly and two people sit there and stare at you and every once in a while, it didn’t happen often but every once in a while one of these people would come up to me after a show and go “I don’t think you’re funny” and basically my thought was “Who cares? I don’t care if you don’t think I’m funny.
The other 298 people did.” It’s not worth trying to convince this one person who, for whatever reason, doesn’t share your sense of humor. That might be the person who never laughs at anything. I just don’t see the point of reading the one star reviews. Certainly, I don’t see any point in engaging them because I know what I want to do and I am going to keep doing what I want to do and I also used to have a humor column in our campus paper.
I found out then you’ll get 100 people tell you you’re hilarious and you’ll get one person saying you suck. You can’t please everybody so I learned earlier on, do what you do, try to do the best that you can at whatever it is you want to do and those few people who don’t like you, who hate you, who disagree with you, so what? Who cares?
Jonathan: Yeah, it was and may have even been I think Tim was actually quoting someone when he said “Smile, knowing that you affected their life, they didn’t affect yours,” kind of like what you were saying. Well, that’s awesome. That’s awesome, awesome advice and tell me so what’s next for you? Is there another film on the horizon? What else is happening?
Tom: Sort of. It’s not really a film. The plan is, let me give you a little background on where this idea came from.
Tom: I made Fat Head because I wanted it to be entertaining and educational and I worked hard to put the humor in there for two reasons, one since I was in some parts answering Super Size Me, which was by the way funny. I thought I should answer funny with funny. The other thing is, as someone with the background in comedy, I am very aware that I don’t care what it is you’re trying to teach people, if you don’t keep them entertained, you’re going to lose them.
That was really what made me decide this is going to be a funny entertaining movie and I am going to try to teach people at the same time. What I never expect from that was the number of emails I got from parents thanking me for making it because they said “My 10 year old loved this, or my 12 year old showed this to all his friends.” I wasn’t trying to appeal to kids but I guess by accident I did and it occurred to me then after getting so many of those emails that there are lot of wonderful books out there on health and losing weight.
I would put the Smarter Science of Slim in that category, very readable, very useful, very educational. You know what, almost none of them are written for kids and so, our next goal and by our, I mean my wife because she does all my graphic work. She does all the characters in Fat Head. I write, she draws. Basically, that’s the partnership and we didn’t even know that when we got married. It just worked out.
Jonathan: That wasn’t part of the terms.
Tom: She couldn’t draw when I married her, it’s a talent she developed later but anyway our next goal is to take some of the ideas in Fat Head, along with a whole lot of what I’ve learned since then and to create a book that we hope maybe parents and kids would read together but at least we can get kids to read on how various foods affect your health, How certain foods tend to make you fat, how it’s not just about counting calories as you do with your great analogy about the clogged sink. Try to get parents and kids to understand this because if we don’t get kids on board with this, we’re in trouble. We’re going to go broke with our future health care cause. When I go to my daughter’s school and I see nine year olds who are already developing potbellies, first off I feel bad for them and second, I see a real danger to society looming on the horizon if we don’t turn this around.
I think trying to get the kids on board is hugely important, so the idea is to make a fun, illustrated Fat Head style book and then along with that as far as when you asked if there are another film? I think we are going to try to do a DVD companion to go with that, so maybe it won’t be a separate film release but at the very least I do want to have something that I hope families can sit down or watch.
Jonathan: I love that. I love it. I have this dream of it would be so wonderful if we can actually, I would just love this irony like it would be a wonderful, wonderful plot point in the Tom Naughton story that, like Michelle Obama or someone like that get involved and make this an official big thing, which I know won’t happen but I mean with her passion for the kids and her passion for widespread change and your talent at doing that I think and your ability to maybe bring some of what they’re saying back down to earth would be wonderful.
Tom: That would be awesome and we do need people in the public spotlight who have the enthusiasm, obviously the problem is she is very enthusiastic about promoting the wrong ideas.
Tom: I got her information from the USDA, which has been promoting the wrong advice for 40 years, so basically they are enthusiastically trying to do more of the same thing that hasn’t worked but if you can get to someone like her, with the enthusiasm and the [Inaudible 0:33:57] and say “Look, here’s what actually works” then I think you would have the right combination.
Jonathan: The most you can do is exactly what you’re saying and that is to actually do it and if the stars are aligned, that’s fantastic but there is no chance, you don’t make any shots that you don’t take so I just think it’s awesome that you continue to fight this good fight with all that you have going on and doing it in such a positive, positive manner. It’s so easy. I just love what you’re saying just the complete absence of dealing with negativity and getting hung up on these things because I sometimes am saddened by the amount of brilliant people and could make such a difference who spend so much time on things which, really do not further the goal of helping the 99 percent that are unaware of these things live healthier lives and just being more focused on either pedantic debates or just being negative, which I don’t think serves anyone.
Tom: You have to learn to distinguish between what’s pressing and what’s important. What’s important is not always pressing and what’s pressing is not always important. If someone has insulted you online, you may consider that pressing as in, I need to respond right now then you have to stop and go as an important? No. Okay, move on.
Jonathan: I love your point. It’s great. Again, the number one thing you can do to get attention and I think Gary Taubes said this once on Jimmy Moore’s show was, you can very easily make a career out of finding someone who has actually done something with their life and trying to destroy them and that’s, I don’t really want to get into what I think about people like that but it’s true and it’s so unfortunate.
Tom: There are bloggers out there who, if they didn’t have other bloggers to try to destroy, I don’t think they’d have any idea for blog posts. It’s funny because I will occasionally get an email from a reader someone who enjoys my blog and they’ll have a length to some hit piece out there. You’ve got to respond to this like no because then I’d have to read it. See first, there is the time to read it then there is the time to reply to it. During that time, I could have done something useful.
Jonathan: You’re exactly right. There are only so many hours in the day. The time I spend on that I will not be spending on healing sick diabetic children and anyone who thinks that’s the right trade off well, they’re not on this podcast right now, so…
Tom: I guess I don’t remember who said it by I’ve always remembered it. The phrase was “Take your work seriously but don’t take yourself seriously” and I think if you feel you have to respond to everyone out there who throws a barb at you, I think you’ve drifted in to taking yourself seriously.
Jonathan: I love it. I love it.
Tom: Person and go write another post that means you’re taking your work seriously.
Jonathan: I love it. Brilliant! Brilliant, Tom. Well, to just quickly wrap up I want to just quickly summarize Fat Head and the new director’s cut if you wouldn’t mind for people because truly folks this is absolutely worth the hour and a half of your time to check it out if you haven’t already. Give folks, just a quick verbal trailer if you don’t mind to get them excited.
Tom: Sure, Fat Head starts out with kind of a humorous look at Super Size Me and why it doesn’t really add up and then moves on from there to explain how an awful lot of what you’ve been told about healthy eating is simply not true, fat was never the problem. The low fat diet has been a huge failure. It is probably to some extent triggered the rise in obesity and diabetes that we see today because people shifted their diets away from fats and towards too many carbohydrates and there is a lot of interviews with interesting researchers and doctors and then some colorful, animated funny history of how we got from there to where we are now.
That’s kind of where Fat Head ended three years ago. Since then, I’ve done a Director’s cut where I added a little three year follow-up that shows how my life is changed because I didn’t decide to stop learning. When I finished Fat Head I kept on researching and since then, come to understand things like grains even in small amounts is not really something most of us should be eating so I did a little follow-up explaining how we left L.A. moved to a farm, stop eating grains, get eggs out of our own hen house and just kind of how life changed and improved from there.
Jonathan: That’s cool and another element of the movie that I really enjoyed too is your personal story where the satirization of Fat Head is really you go on in all fast food diet for quite some time, despite constant coaxing from your physician not to and you just made smarter choices while you’re eating fast food. Again, not to say that everyone should do this but just illustrating the point that you end up making, which is both to your weight and your health improved by making smarter choices, even if you ate exclusively at fast food restaurants.
Tom: The look on his face when he ran my numbers after was priceless. That was on operating the camera. I was watching that footage later when you could see the look of shock on his face and I guess maybe my favorite line at least from him in the whole movie “I don’t like what you’re proving here.” For me, that was it right there.
Jonathan: I love it. I love it, Tom. Well, where can folks go to watch the documentary and to learn more about you?
Tom: They can go to, it’s coming off Netflix I think maybe the Director’s cut will back up there but let’s get Netflix for now because I don’t know. It’s available on Hulo for free. You just have to sit through some commercials. It’s available on iTunes. It’s available on Amazon instant play and for people who want to order the DVD, the Director’s cut is only available on the blog that’s www.fathead/movie.com.
Jonathan: I would very much encourage folks to do that. I think we have an awesome opportunity to support, people like you obviously, I have no idea how much money you cost but obviously, the time that cost to put this together was phenomenal and the least we can do is go ahead and show, vote with our dollars, which is always a nice thing to do and if not, that definitely do give it a view.
Share it, vote with your social media and get the word out there because this is just a wonderful film. Tom, thank you so much for joining us today and just thank you so much for being, just I think a wonderful member of this community. You bring a levity and a lightness and a positivity and a practicality that I think is just so critical, so thank you.
Tom: I appreciate that, Jonathan. Thanks for having me.
Jonathan: My pleasure. Hey everyone, well I hope you really enjoyed this week’s show. Again, please do check out Tom’s film it’s absolutely fantastic. I give it two thumbs up and we’ll talk to you next week. Remember to eat more and exercise less but do it smarter.