I like to think I’m reasonably intelligent, not rocket-scientist smart, but I do OK. I can usually figure stuff out if I think on it long enough and do enough research (thank you Internet). Occasionally I’m stumped — flat out puzzled and left scratching my head — and not over anything as complicated as beating SpaceX to Mars.
A recently released study on human energy expenditure (“Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity,” Herman Pontzer et al.) has garnered some attention in the media. The reason for all the attention? The study debunks a commonly held belief that our obesity epidemic is in large part due to our decreased physical activity.
The news is packed with headlines aghast at the recent report that Americans waste 40 percent of their food. Many are springing into action to connect food banks and shelters with restaurants, or find creative ways to compost or biofuel the leftovers. I’ve also seen reminders to “eat what you purchased.” Consumers are feeling guilty and to blame.
It’s August. Schools are gearing up for the return of students, and mothers everywhere are exhaling a huge sigh of exhaustion. Finally, a few hours in the day free from “I’m bored,” “I’m hungry,” and “He hit me.” Now you can focus on you.
On behalf of all fitness professionals, registered dietitians, nutritionists, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and anyone else in the world who tries day in and day out to motivate, encourage, cajole, threaten, scare, and beg us to get healthy and fit, this one’s for you.
We’ve all gotten the finger-wagging lecture about protein from fitness trainers. Their demands for more of it leave us picturing a Henry VIII turkey leg in one hand and a dumbbell in the other. We eat meat — we’re no bunch of Birkenstock-wearing vegans (not that there’s anything wrong with that). So what the heck are they talking about?
If you have ever started a diet or exercise program with the thought, “I’m just going to do it this time,” only to go back to your old habits in days or weeks, you know how fickle willpower can be. You are a strong-willed person. How come you have such great control in other areas of your life but can’t seem to keep your diet under control or make it to the gym on a regular basis?
Commitment. A word we hear often in many contexts — relationships, war efforts, diets, and even insane asylums (we all know a couple of people we think ought to be committed). According to Dictionary.com, “commit” comes from the Latin “com + mittere” meaning “to send, give over.”
It’s official. I’m old. The MeeMaw train has left the station and I’m riding in first class. I fought the passing birthdays like a champ. I’d shave off a few years when asked my age. I’d try to keep up with ever-changing cultural things — music, hair (luckily I passed through the Flock of Seagulls phase quickly), hip words (cool became rad became sick). I stayed abreast of new technologies — all my cassettes are gone, CDs are a thing of my past, and my TV is flat. But, I’ve finally given up. And the weirdest thing made me throw in the towel: an ad for yoga clothes.
You’ve heard it a million times: check with your doctor to make sure not being a couch potato is right for you. Your doctor might not clear you to run a marathon, but hopefully he will clear you to put the remote down and start moving at some level. That will be the easy part.
Apparently we’ve found a gluttony gene (published online in the journal Nature Medicine). For those that have compulsive needs to eat non-stop, some scientists believe this gene, and its role in signaling fullness, is implicated. A genetic role of the dice could be to blame for our poundage.
Recess was my favorite period in school. After lunch (my second favorite period) it was time for the playground and tag. Sprinting, screaming, telling stories of close calls and reviewing the tactical use of home base, escape and pursuit strategies. Red faced, out of breath, and begging for more. It probably only lasted 20 minutes, but it seemed like hours. It was awesome.
A weight-loss product has me shaking my fist in the air, again. The bad ones are like cockroaches — a scourge in my plight. Just when I feel like I’ve stomped them all, there’s another. You think I’d tire of these fits, but alas.
There’s one universally loathed exercise: the pull-up. We helplessly dangle, barely able to grip the bar, begging our muscles to move something, and all we usually manage are wild feet kicks, if we can hang at all. We avoid the whole nonsense — how often do I “ever” need to pull myself up. Who am I? Rambo?
One particular problem has plagued me the better part of my life. Just when I think I’ve got it whipped, it creeps back up and nips me good. I mulled my problem the other morning in the aftermath of a difficult day. I sat savoring my hazelnut creamer coffee, wondering what the heck was wrong with me. The coffee steam was comforting. The momentary peacefulness nurtured a thought: lots of people suffer from the same thing. A compulsion to write overcame me — and here goes.