Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Or Does Someone Have the Dessert Cart Ahead of the Eating Like a Horse?

Timing is everything, they say, though this was certainly truer in the days before electronic ignition, when starting one’s 1972 Plymouth Fury II was an art form. I have an uncanny ability to have all the right moves at precisely the minimum of separation from the right time to render them essentially ineffective.

I was in there for the .com day-trading extravaganza. In three short weeks I was up 150%, and then the fun was over. Had I been on to this phenomenon 12 months earlier, who knows?

At one point I decided I needed to find a way to work out of my home, as well as have a good semi-retirement option. I liked PC’s, so I decided I would get some training, work at a job long enough to get my feet wet, and then go into consulting. Good plan. The curve of my training managed to exactly mirror the decline in employment for English speaking IT support people and, upon the arrival of my MCSE certification such hiring leveled off at something like zero. On the bright side, I don’t have any spyware issues.

My latest bit has to do with the Excel Diet I started in January. For six weeks I dutifully kept stats of my caloric intake and exercise routines until I developed a reasonably maintainable diet of 1700 to 1800 calories coupled with about 450 calories of exercise daily, and there was some success. On January 12th I weighed 247 lbs. This morning I weighed in at 218.

Not too shabby, but still a ways to go to reach my target of 195 lbs., a pretty lean figure for a 6’ 1” tall former tradesman with a well above average muscle mass. It occurred to me some time last week that around 220lbs. was probably my happy weight, but I’m determined to push on.

And so, like clockwork, comes a report from the AMA that somewhat overweight people live longer than thin people. The response is cacophonous, as one would expect. Pundits far and wide have pulled their I-told-you-so buttons and pinned them back to their 44 short jackets. I imagine the drive-thru line for those 3 million calorie Burger King breakfast beauties got a little longer as chubby little momma’s boy wags like Rush and Hannity go on about the skinny little Starbucks fueled elitists’ conspiracy against the good old sausage, gravy and grits wholesomeness of mainstream (aortal?) America.

But hold on, there. Reaction is usually a level one process, and any second level thinking (there’s that old IT training paying off again) will likely give one pause. Pundits are fully aware of the old saw that statistics lie and liars quote statistics, yet even a David Brooks can’t resist jumping on this bandwagon;

…then it seems that Mother Nature has built a little Laffer curve into the fabric of reality: health-conscious people can hit a point of negative returns, so the more fit they are, the quicker they kick the bucket. People who work out, eat responsibly and deserve to live are more likely to be culled by the Thin Reaper.
I don’t find much about the controls for this study readily available, but I’m going to make a few guesses here:

· people die skinny a lot
· happier people live longer
· happier people eat more
· people who can eat are happier
· nervous and/or stressed people burn more calories and die younger, though these things are otherwise unrelated
· declines in obesity related health care would make the AMA very unhappy

I’m going to boldly assume that a thorough analysis would likely reveal that happy, fit people last longer than happy, slightly obese people.Such devilry about, and just as I find myself pushing on into uncharted(!) waters!

I will stay the course. Should I be wrong, after all, I’ll only be a couple of Double Beef Whoppers from shore.


At 4:14 PM, Blogger Bullock said...

I am convinced that nobody knows dogshit what is the definition of health. Every time an ‘announcement’ like this comes over the airwaves, I just sneer,” what the fuck are they talking about now?” Who paid for this study this time? Thing is, some people will believe it to satisfy a rationalization about themselves or their lifestyle.
Aren’t we all of different biorhythms, body types and chemical soup makeup? You drink a scotch and get looped. I drink the same and can’t feel a buzz. You drink a cup of coffee and are caffeinated for hours.I can drink a cup after dinner and fall asleep.
And, shouldn’t we add mental and spiritual health to the broad definition? Too hard to quantify, I guess. Am I mentally healthy if I get depressed about my fat pectoral muscles? You can’t find a good man bra that won’t show, you know. Can’t step on a scale or even run an Excel worksheet to figure how to get my daily minimum intake of spiritual calories. Wonder what burns better, S. Calories or S. carbs?

Hope you keep it up, Sequiot. Can’t imagine you at 247. FYI: AMA says you should be around 165-175 lbs. for 6’ 1”, 50-55 years. I’m supposed to be 185-195 lbs. depending on how big my bones are. Oh, but, but, my mom fed me bacon and potatoes at 6 months and that’s why, why, whine….We have to get over it and listen to our bodies. I ate a Big Mac or something equally gross like that the other day because I missed lunch at 12 noon and was conditioned to eat. Ran thru me like a downhill freight train before I could get home. Didn’t listen to the true source. Tune in to the body channel.


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