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Stay fit the Francis Manapul way


Sitting behind a desk drawing (or blogging) all day is the surefire way to an unhealthy lifestyle, as we know all too well, but FLASH artist Francis Manapul is fighting back, as profiled in the Globe and Mail:

“I’m not a breakfast guy, so I do a bit of work for an hour and then eat. On a good day, I work out first and then eat a sandwich or granola cereal. I keep lunch light. Dinner I have chicken with rice or pasta, but because of deadlines I grab something quick at Sobeys because they have healthy alternatives ready to eat. I’m good at avoiding fried foods.”

Naturally sleek Manapul doesn’t look to be in need of a makeover—how does he get that stylin’ manga hair???—but sitting in one place is VERY bad for you, as recent studies have shown.

The piece includes lots of fitness tips and exercise videos, especially shoulder strengtheners. As one who suffers from chronic shoulder pain as a result of ferrying giant bags of books around town, we’ll be doing those side planks with alacrity.

  1. “I’m not a breakfast guy”

    No..noo.. always start with breakfast, exercise has a very limited impact unless you sort your diet. my only big tip is to cut all that processed shit that people seem to ram down their gobs. Soda in particular is poison.

  2. He’s a short twig. How about a profile on someone who really should be working out. I don’t mean that as a joke either – it’s a real concern for artists bent over their desks eating junk all day. Let’s not gloss over the problem by showing a pretty boy who probably doesn’t have it in his genes to be unhealthy.

  3. I have spoken about, via twitter, how I cut out soda and french fries since the new year and have lost 22 poinds.

    These two things…both of which I just love…have taken their toll over the years and I decided it was time for a change.

    My substitute for soda is grape juice mixed with seltzer.

    My substitute for fries…is to eat slower. Serious. And a salad with each meal.

    My normal breakfast is a banana and cheerios…and I am good to go.

    I know, too much information, but I think its good to share.


  4. Removing soda is huge. (And at least for me, that means all soda, even diet. Drinking diet just made me want to have other sweets.)

    The other thing that also helped is increasing the amount of fiber that you eat. I eat high-fiber oatmeal and blueberries every morning for breakfast, and it keeps me from wanting snacks before lunch.

  5. my wife and i have started a gluten free diet and cut out alot of carbs about a month ago and have noticed an improvement with our digestive systems, feel less bloated and tired after a meal, and are both starting to lose some weight. i agree with others here that soda is crap. even many of the iced tea drinks out there are filled with too much sugar, had to stop drinking that crap too. that grape juice and seltzer concoction sounds pretty good, think we’ll give it a try.

  6. Work supplies me with free tea bags, so that’s my caffeine kick for the day. Two tea bags, spread over four cups (to maximize the buzz).

    Juice is good, but read the ingredients. I find it hard to find juice in delis without HFCS. And I’m wary of juice drinks with minimal Vitamin C. That’s another warning sign.

    If I buy breakfast, I opt for a deli sandwich instead of the fried egg gutbusters. More balanced, and healthier. Even a bagel mit schmeer is better than a baconeggandcheese.

    My exercise regimen? Walk everywhere. I love to explore the city on the weekends! Manhattan has a great riverfront path system with some SPECTACULAR views. Lots of biking as well.

    Oh, and definitely stand up and stretch and walk around every two hours.

  7. I went from eating three meals a day to one in 1993, mainly because of carb spikes making me sleepy after I ate. I eat in direct proportion to what I burn from exercising. If I want to eat around 3200 calories on a day off, I’ll burn about 3200 calories on an exercise bike before eating.

    There are three big problems with drinking sugary pop/colas/sodas: A 20 oz. bottle has about 250 calories, the sugar stimulates the appetite, and the water intake doesn’t register with the stomach as food intake. Eliminating sugary pop from the diet is one of the best things a person can do for his health.


  8. I have cleaned up my diet a lot in the last few years. I eat little red meat, but mostly canned wild salmon and free range chicken from the local market.
    I added lentils and chickpeas to the protein list, and cook enough to last a few days at a time.
    I eat a LOT of vegetables, and have cut wayy back on fries, pizza, hamburgers, that stuff.
    Like the guy says:
    “Eat food.
    Not much.
    Mostly plants.”

    Exercise? Walk, run on treadmill, swim.
    Sleep? 8 hrs solid.
    Vitamins B, D. plus Omega 3

  9. Jimmy: bravo..! Also Synsidar. & Torsten, agree, “The Big Skinny” is a great read.

    Walking, walking is key. When I went to Germany, I was baffled at what people ate as vs. how they looked. My German hosts were all about consuming mass quantities of everything – from schnitzel to spaetzel – & how did they stay way fitter than most Americans I know? Walking. Walking –everywhere–. Many Europeans don’t even own a car. Of course their cities are better designed for that.

    I’m overweight. I have a hormone imbalance which makes it about twice as hard for me to lose weight as most people. That said, there are things I should have started doing YEARS ago that would have resulted in my being in better health now. I wish I hadn’t thrown myself so thoroughly into all those brutal roadtrips of the early days. Now I’m a chubby woman with a damaged back that will likely require surgery.

    Young cartoonists & writers – take this as a lesson of what NOT to do. Do not start with an averagely springy frame in your mid-20’s, spend those mid-20’s & 30’s packing boxes too full of comics & lugging/shipping them, & expect it to not take a toll on your body – as well as the relentless amount of ours we all spend on our backsides. It’s great to be working on/in your own little world & get lost for hours. Just remember that your body houses that. Get up every couple of hours.

    I’m learning to do some writing standing up.

    The basic formula is similar for all: better/less processed foods + less food overall + more motion + less stress + enough sleep = more grounded, happier person.

    Comic con specific: you don’t need to lug around 100 lbs. on your back; always bring bottled water; pack your own lunch when possible, it’s gonna be healthier than temptations on the road – and cheaper too; wear good, supportive shoes @ shows; have water accessible at all times & make sure to get up & move around if you’re manning your own booth or table.

    Ah, 50-lb boxes of TPB’s, you have left me a broken woman. :/

  10. Yes, it is likely someone like Francis doesn’t really need the metabolism boost of breakfast, but most of us do. Eating breakfast within an hour of waking up you raise your metabolism by 15-20% for the day.

    I stopped drinking soda when I went to college and that was a huge benefit. Probably one of the best things you can do. And as much as possible I avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup in it. That stuff isn’t even sugar – it functions in your body as a chemical signal telling your body to start storing fat (which would be useful come autumn if humans hibernated, but such is not the case).

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