Age Appropriate

A few months ago, I lamented the fact that I would soon be turning 60.

father-timeWell, try as I might to deny the inevitable, September 28 has arrived.

I am now officially entering my seventh decade.

Also, as I mentioned, I grok that there are people looking at 60 in their rear view mirrors, most likely shaking their heads, thinking, “Come on Scott. Get over it!” Yet, I remind these naysayers that this is the oldest I’ve ever been. My wife, in attempt to be supportive I presume, has been espousing, “Remember, today is the youngest you’ll be for the remainder of your life.”

Hmmm… I don’t know whether that’s comforting or not. But, what can I say; she’s a child in her fifties. She’ll learn.

So, I went to the doctor for a check up. They checked my weight (“You’re lost a few pounds since last year.” Yay!) and blood pressure (“We need to watch that.” Sigh…)

Then came my height.

I’m going to be vulnerable here so be gentle with your judgment, okay? Most of my adult life, I’ve lied about my height, insisting I’m a towering 5’ 9” when I’m actually a diminutive 5’ 8”. One might rightly wonder why that extra inch matters so much to my obviously frail psyche — and that’s a fair question. Yet, the honest reply is I haven’t a clue. Maybe it’s a guy thing, who knows? Anyway, of late, with newfound maturity, I’ve finally come to grips with the reality that major league basketball is not going to come calling and have accepted my actual stature.

So, it’s one of nature’s practical jokes that I find out I’ve shriveled to five-seven and a half! [Read more...]

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Shocking Development in Behavior Change

According to a university study, approximately 40 percent of our daily actions are habits; unconscious routines we do by rote.

Asleepwalking-mant first, I had trouble believing that. Yet, consider a typical day. Unless it’s an unusual occasion, such as vacation or maybe weekends; you wake up at approximately the same time. You are either a “breakfast eater” or you’re not; habit number one. Should you be of the former category, your morning repast will consist of the same basic items it does every other morning, despite the fact that the average grocery store offers over 40,000 choices from which you can choose.

If you commute to your job, you depart at the same time, most likely down to the minute, traveling the same roads, arriving at the same location, even parking in the same space. Upon arriving, you greet co-workers with the same banter, perform the same tasks, take lunch at the same time (at the usual restaurants), order the same meals, and head home at your regular time.

Yet, that’s not all.

[Read more...]

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Double Standards Anyone?

Recently, a male “news” commentator on a national “news” network was referencing Michelle Obama’s cause about better childhood nutrition and made a rather insulting remark — while sitting on a couch surrounded by four women no less. One of the female panelists berated Mrs. Obama’s initiative saying, we don’t need “the federal government projecting these standards upon us.”

The man augmented her opinion with,

“How well could she be eating? She needs to drop a few.” After a shocked reaction from the women, he went on, “No, let’s be honest…who are we taking nutrition advice from? There’s no french fries happening? That’s all kale and carrots? I don’t buy it.”

Okay, where to begin? Step one; reassemble my exploded head.

I’ve said before, and will most likely have opportunity to say again, that I don’t get the thing about putting down the First Lady’s attempt to make our next generation healthier. Sugar is still as aplenty as sand in the desert and shadowy men wearing trench coats do not yet sell chocolate candy in dark alleys. Can we have a reality check? Our kids are getting fatter; it’s undeniable. Something has to be done and whether your like her or not, the First Lady has propelled the conversation into the spotlight so that unto its own is already a success. You don’t like her ideas? That’s fine. Step to the plate and come up with something else, but we need to adjust the vector of this country’s future health, and we need to do it yesterday. All hands on deck.

Additionally, if hypocrisy were water, he’d drown.

[Read more...]

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Upset About Bake Sales

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act went into effect July 1, setting new, updated standards for calories, fats, sugar, and sodium for “competitive foods” sold at schools.

competitive-food

“Competitive foods” do not wear uniforms and engage in sports; rather that’s government-speak for vending machine snacks and bake-sale goodies. This regulation sets standards for calories, fats, sugar, and sodium, and is attempting to push foods with whole grains, lowfat dairy, fruits, vegetables, or protein foods as their main ingredient. It does require that food and beverage items sold during the school day achieve certain standards, but also allows for special exemptions for the purpose of conducting infrequent school-sponsored fundraisers. What the law does not do is define “infrequent,” leaving that to the states to set their own limits.

[Read more...]

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The Road from “Never” to “Now”

never-land-&-now-road

Changing a bad habit can be messy, frustrating, and unpleasant.

After all, if it was easy, we’d all be dropping bad habits willy-nilly, wouldn’t we?

It becomes easier if, instead of looking at it like, “One moment I’m here. The next minute I have to be all the way over there,” we understand it more as a series of stages.

I’ll assume one has left the initial stage of denial, and decided to — for example — lose a few pounds; accepting that either forever gaining weight or making a change are his only options.

He lands firmly in stage one: “Never.”

Here thoughts and feelings are extremely negative, perception being an excessive, laborious amount of work and discomfort for what appears to be a pipe dream result. Internal dialog is, “I will never be able to do that” with the obvious coda being, “…so why bother to try?”

In our example, the thought of sweaty, painful exercise; a starvation-level diet; anal-retentive tracking of calories; tasteless recipes; extensive shopping pattern adjustments; and – in general – being forever, always, never-ending conscious; triggers our synapses to scream, “No way! Can’t be done, ain’t gonna happen.” Crossing our arms, scowling, and firmly planting our feet, we refuse to budge.

Or so we think.

You see; the problem is that once consciousness has been raised it cannot never again be buried.

[Read more...]

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