Death March

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The sky is high, the clouds are pale,
We watch the wild geese vanish southward.
If we fail to reach the Great Wall we are not men.

–Mao Zedong (Mount Liupan)

Over the last few years I have heard and read a lot of people who insist that exercise is dependent upon carbohydrates to some degree or another. Some of them will assert that this is the case for just about any exercise other than taking a leisurely stroll, such as these guys at the bodybuilders.com website:

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Yoiks and Away!

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–Daffy Duck

 

I keep meaning to write about salt, and then I get busy and before I can I see insanity like what I’m about to share with you today. I feel constantly compelled to write about it lest someone be fooled by it. Of course no one is actually reading my blog and thousands of people are reading these articles, so it’s much like hoping you can stop a tornado with a really powerful desk fan.

First in the WAIT JUST A COTTON-PICKIN’ MINUTE category we have this headline: N.J., Del, still getting fatter, says report; Pa already is. (Any of you who work in editing might be advised to calm down. Don’t smack the desk with your head. It’ll only hurt.) Now first, weren’t we just told a few months ago that we’re not getting fatter anymore? That we’d reached Maximum Fatness? More importantly…are these people serious?!?!? Here’s the explanation from the brain trust behind this study:

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Mass Confusion

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Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

There are many confusing things in the world today. Just scroll through the headlines.

I know I’m confused. For example, I’m confused about why anyone cares if Alec Baldwin yelled at someone again? And I’m really perplexed about why anyone with the sense God gave a squirrel–celebrity or not–would take a picture of themselves naked and then put it into a “cloud” of digital information that is out of their own control. Why are people confused that nations that have been enemies for all of their existence are shooting at and invading one another? And those are just the first three questions that popped into my head after scanning this morning’s headlines.

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I’m Ok, You’re Ok

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When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.
― Dale Carnegie

(How to Win Friends and Influence People)

Every morning I get a slew of articles on health. I read them when I have time, which unfortunately is not often these days. But today there were several that were just too good to pass up. To start us off right, let’s read about this poor woman:

Lindsey Averill spent most of her life thinking things would be better if she could just get skinnier. She counted calories and worked out, but still couldn’t reach the size she wanted, the one she saw on TV and in magazines.

The point of this part of the article is that Lindsey, after 20 years of trying unsuccessfully to get thin, has finally given up. Instead of trying to be thin, she’s decided to love herself as she is and is making a movie about it.

Called “Fattitude,” the movie, slated to be finished in 2015, is aimed at exposing discrimination against overweight people in pop culture and in daily life. It’s also meant to teach people that they can embrace their bodies at any size.

I’ve called this woman “poor” and I’d like to explain what I mean by that: this is sad. What’s sad isn’t that she’s happy with her size or that she’s making a movie. What’s sad is that she’s been trying for 20 years to get smaller–using all the advice given her by conventional nutrition and diet wisdom–and has utterly failed. What does this tell us?

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More and More Recipes

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 Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.

–Voltaire

 

Hungry? I am, so let me tell you about the dinner I had last night.  It started, as most of my meals start, with looking in the refrigerator. Sometimes I eat something because I crave it, but I rarely crave things anymore. As a result, my creativity doesn’t spark till I look to see what I have and think let’s do something with that beef besides just eat it as steak.

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Run For Your Life!

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Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.  ― Haruki Murakami

 

No doubt many of you saw the headlines last week claiming that running 5 minutes a day could significantly lower a person’s risk of dying prematurely. Like me, I’m sure you were deeply excited by this. The articles have been more fascinating than the actual supposed breakthrough information, frankly. Fascinating as exercises in the illogical. If I still taught logic classes, I would absolutely choose these to help me illustrate how not to think.

For decades, researchers there have been collecting information about the health of tens of thousands of men and women visiting the clinic for a check-up. These adults, after completing extensive medical and fitness examinations, have filled out questionnaires about their exercise habits, including whether, how often and how speedily they ran.

From this database, the researchers chose the records of 55,137 healthy men and women ages 18 to 100 who had visited the clinic at least 15 years before the start of the study. Of this group, 24 percent identified themselves as runners, although their typical mileage and pace varied widely.

I was going to say that with this quote we stumble and flail onto our faces over the first problem in the article. But of course that’s not actually the first problem. The article begins by telling us that doctors have basically been making up numbers. Run for X minutes a day! Or maybe walk really fast for twice that long! There has been, according to the author of this foolishness, almost no science to back up these numbers. But mark: having no proof is no reason we shouldn’t push it on people! Oh yes.

Just Do It.

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