Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bah - Experts

Dr Sharma's post at http://www.drsharma.ca/practical-guide-to-obesity-prevention-in-schools-in-developing-countries.html leads to http://www.drsharma.ca/wp-content/uploads/Guide-Obesity-Prevention-in-Schools-Final-Delisle-et-al.pdf.

All very interesting but in section 6.2 or so states

The Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) is an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). The main assumptions of the theory are (Ajzen, 1991): 1) individuals usually behave rationally; 2) they take into account the information that is available and use it; and 3) they consider the implications of their actions before undertaking a behaviour. The behaviour under study should be well defined.

Ya Sure. individuals usually behave rationally. In who's world? It is not so much irrational and we do not know the reason for the actions. They never experienced one of my "feeding frenzies". Nothing rational there. Consider a different but dangerous act. Aggressive driving. Why do people it? Most do not think the way they drive is aggressive or dangerous. They drive the way they have been taught by society. Do you see what I am saying? Our weight tells us we are doing something wrong, but the government does not have a clear understanding of the reasons we overeat. Until they get those and frequently state and list all those, the are just beating there gums.

The primary reasons we eat? Hunger, appetite and cravings. We need to understand all these and the contributing factors, and remove these before we, society, can recover.

There have been a few people who tried to divide human behavior into three categories: reptilian, mammalian, and neo-mammalian; aka, physical or biological, chemical, then emotional, unconscious, habit and final rational. If overeating were rational, there would be no problem. Overeating is in the first two categories except for willful overeating, or FU eating.  

All I can say is good luck. But of course, if we had a solution, all these people would be unemployed. Follow the money and avoid the solution. 


But here is someone who may have it righter http://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.ca/2014/10/dr-wortman-on-ketogenic-diet-for.html

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Passion vs Rational

First, I need to thanks those who read this blog, and comment. Writing helps clean my understanding of the issue and express those concepts. It is interesting how many ways the same nebulous concept can be expressed and remain nebulous. Smoke. Not solid. Changing. Yet similar. Same core, different process.

Passion verses rational may not be the correct terms but this concepts shows up in many places. We have a passion side, aka; animal, lizard, primitive,  unconscious, habitual, automatic, and a rational or intellect, the academic side, which plans, computes, theorizes and the like. It may be more a unconscious automatic verses a rational though out response. Some have likened it to the dual core processor; but the two cores using different methods. We humans have evolved or not, but in big populations, the change is not uniform; there is a population range. Some of us are more passion driven, other more rational or reason driven. Most are a mix of the two. I assume that the craving is animal, while the desire to be of a normal weight is rational. At this level, the cause of the cravings is not important, but there is a couple of craving characteristics we need to look at. First is the strength, and secondly the duration and fading or adaption.

Are we more rational driven or passion driven? The famous marshmallow experiment, where children were given a marshmallow, and were told that if they did not eat it for 15 minutes, they could have more. Those that weighted (ok, the other one, waited) also did better in later life in a number of ways. I believe what really tested was if the child was passion driven or rational driven.  

Now which am I? Although I, the rational me, would like to think of myself being rational, the test shows me to be passion or animal driven. We are a mix of the two. Which one is stronger? Separation of the craving as animal, and overcoming it with a rational response is the only method of recovery; it is the awareness of the actual action, or are we just doing a process, that is different. How well it works is a function of the actual strength of the relative signals, the persistence of the signals, and the adaption.

Now that I have gone through the "engineering" analysis of all this, what is the point? There are numerous process that lead us through the life, and may ways can work. It is all about the strength of the signal, the resistance, persistence, weakening, or strength gain. Environment, temptation,  availability,  are big factors.

If the craving is persistent and strong, the relief always available, and the resistance just a struggle, we at time will fail, slide, and consume. Or we can struggle against the desire, compulsion, natural characteristic, using any method available. Always being aware of the struggle, and watching we never slip, (mindfulness) regardless of what we call it, is required. Consciousness of this problem 24/7/365.25 is required. No letup, ever. It does get overwhelming at times.

The worst part about all this is the non-support from those who do not understand the problem, pushing crap, when they do not live the hell. There are those who push impractical advise, usually those who also do not have nor understand the real problem.

And still at times, the only thing to do to relieve the craving is to eat. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Self Control vs Self Displine

Time, gentlemen, please. In the view from rigorous honesty and no mental laziness,  there are four concepts in time, past, present, future, and never never. We can control and modify our beliefs. As I recall from an English in the classes that I did not sleep through, some words belong in each phase of time and others do not, but the names escape me. Also there are words that have negative connotations if not definitions.

Discipline is one of those words. It implies that some rule set for future events did not occur, an expectation, and now, the past event failure is being visited upon us currently. Cannot do anything about it except take the abuse, even if we are doing it to ourselves, as in self abuse. It is the expectation that is out to lunch.

Self control, however, is in the present, and does not step out of the present tense. We can lose self control, as the desire to ____ (eat) is too large, and we can work on the desire to lessen the desire, or increase self control for the next time. Change only happens in the present. No guilt, no blame, just a desire which is beyond our direct and absolute control got out of hand. Now we need to live with the consequences.

Hope is another of those future looking words that create expectations without a real plan how to achieve the plan. Plans must not only be necessary but sufficient. There in lies the problem. Necessary and sufficient. It is the sufficient part that is our downfall. Self control allows for less than ideal performance, it can be better than last time, and still be a success. No expectations, no failure.

Buddha said something about expectations being the cause of unsatisfactoriness. Epictetus said some things are up to us and some are not. If we value that which is not up to us, we are in for misery. Oh well, life of some form, will go on.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Trained to Overeat?

Who does one train out something that is trained in? I was trained to overeat. It turns out, not so easily to undo that training. Trained in become habits, residing in the unconscious part of the brain/mind. So now we need to consciously lay down a new track, and make sure we never venture down that old track again. Not so easy to avoid that old track of convenience, of least resistance.

One of the best methods is to take on something like low carb, Atkins, Paleo, 19th Century, Primal, that is substantially different that the way one was eating. Now the ways is clearly different. Three meals a day, nothing in between, one day at a time (301). But what if after the initial weight loss, the weight starts to creep back? Now what? Meal size is the issue, and a continual craving. No body has the answer for that one.

Those who know most about cravings say it should go away if you do not eat any of these list of foods of addiction like, but it does not, has not. Medical industry does not have an answer, psychology does not have an answer, beyond "that is a physical issue". Everybody is pointing figures. The ancients do have answers to philosophical and psychological problem but not to unrelenting craving, or this aspect of the problem. 

So what is the solution? Woo suggests a shot of vinegar after a meal, but the best I can do is a pickle.  it does not help that I can see.

The ancients  suggest prayer, but their notion of prayer does not require a belief system. It is prayer, petitioning for what is within out power, like the letting go of the desire for food. That sets out mind up for the letting go of the desire for food. This sounds like self talk of the good kind.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Purpose of life 2

It is all empty and meaningless. I know nothing. What a freeing place to be. Now I can rebuild myself in present time, one layer at a time, like the way I took myself apart. At the center is a void. Nothing. Empty. Meaningless. I guess I will blow up a balloon and get started. Later I will let the air out, and pull the balloon out, and void should remain inside a new crust of me as before.

The first layer will be tranquility. All life is empty and meaningless to nature, to the world that exists. Material things cannot understand meaning or purpose, they just are physical things; they do not care. Only humans ( or other rational beings) can divine up concepts like meaning and purpose. Nature has given us desire to eat and copulate, and the ability to produce a purpose concept to motivate ourselves in some direction, but nature did not give us purpose. All nature gave us was desire, and we create purpose to direct that desire. There is the opportunity.  To create a belief system that "must" be followed, and give a bit of money to me and/or follow me blindly, and you will be fine. Sounds like all religions except perhaps buddhism and the philosophies.  They do the pitch we will provide concepts and you can choose the right ones if you can.

Socrates. Know yourself. WTF does that really mean? All is empty and meaningless? We, as adults, can craft ourselves to be what ever we want to be? So the second layer must be purpose, or should it be virtue, so that we have something to test against, and can achieve satisfaction and stoic joy. Temperance, courage, justice, perseverance, wisdom are early layers, as is a special layer of rigorous honesty. Compassion for others, while and the same time detachment from the events about me because it is all empty and meaningless anyway save the purpose we humans put on something. We create our own purpose, so we do, us humans. No religion has a grip at this point. God is not dead; he never existed.  

We can create our own priority lists: life, offspring, friends, people, community, city, province, region, nation, world, no piss on the world - is is screwed until all realize that it is all empty and meaningless, and start to work together for a common purpose of survival and development for all. Those who choose to sit on there asses can starve in the dark. It is all empty and meaningless anyway. Yes. Purpose can be created and worked for to achieve. It is all based on faith and belief in a system based on logic, yet how would one sell this. The answer is obvious: start a religion. My way or the highway.

We humans impose purpose where none exists. It provides direction; a reason to get up in the morning. A Birdge Over the River Kwai sort of concept. So what is next in the rebuilding of self? Food, shelter, clothing, shelter, or purpose, duty, responsibility, persistence, rigorous honesty, family, community, or my specific purpose, what ever that may be?

A study of time shows that only the present is of importance. Past is history and can be forgotten,  the future is "but a dream", and then there is never-never, the fourth phase of time, which we live in so much of the time, sitting in front of TV, engrossed in fiction reading. Of course I read nutrition stuff and, as it turns out, much of that is fiction. Oh well, that is the past.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Purpose of Life

So what is the purpose of life? It is only to reproduce and grow more humans until we overpopulate this limited sphere and start suffering and dieing off due to shortages of energy, food, omega 3 oil, or other resource? Or will we turn more violent and kill each other off to get "our share" of needed resources?

I have talked about this before at  http://oathursdaynightgroup.blogspot.ca/2013/04/the-purpose-of-life.html and http://oathursdaynightgroup.blogspot.ca/2012/07/what-is-our-purpose.html.

All this assumes there is purpose, and that we humans can produce a concept of purpose. But there is a greater question, does nature have a purpose for humanity? Or is it all meaningless development, growth, without a purpose. Any concept of god would suggest that there is purpose, but we know that god is a humanization of nature, not a real supernatural or natural being, in short a human construct, likely to explain that which we could not. This is not unlike "She who must be obeyed" philosophy. But if there is not a "god", who or what would creates a purpose? It is all just a rolling cylinder, with direction but without it's own source of energy, no plan, no purpose? Who can know where it will end up.

Human development in then meaningless, but we humans can make the best of it anyway. We can be motivated into what ever we fancy is our ultimate end game. To create, to reproduce, to develop, and to support those activities. Or we call all just fight, kill each other. We could, if we chose, to evolve into a society where we all work together for the common good, where force will not be used to compel adherence to a political or philosophical belief system. The StarTreck prime directive could be held as one of our esteemed laws, and reason rules the behavior of people. Yah Sure, not likely.

We are all driven by our desires. Can we learn to direct these desires? The desires exist strongly in   many of us; for too much food; gluttony, greed, and similar terms can be applied. But is it too much desire, lack of proper directions for desire, or are we just using an available resource to satisfy an unresolved desire. Is that why there is so much overlap in excesses, alcohol, food, sex, drug, gambling, just an unfulfilled desire that would be better directed elsewhere?

Enough Eh?

Thursday, September 11, 2014


If I do not do as I always have done, then what do I do? Habit eh. Habit is trained in behaviors. That is not to say that the training was deliberate, or intended. That is not saying what we learned was what was the intended lesson, if indeed there was even one. In life there are many unknowns, and this is one more. Looking back on life to see where and when I learned to overeat has been interesting. I did not know until recently. There is a picture of me, preschool, as a normal sized kid, and my grade one school picture as a porker. In grades two and three, I was pouring on the pounds. Going to school was a big stress for me, and the concept of "support" was just not there. Oh well, I survived. We only talk to the survivors. I recall a few kids who just stopped coming to school, and were never talked about again. I now assume that these were suicides, but I do not know.

That was in the first years of school amalgamation, where the local schools were closed, and we were bussed in to a central location, into big classes, perhaps 35-39 per classroom, two classes per grade,  as I recall. There was considerably more students than there were people in the town. One hour buss rides were common, a few longer.

There was winter and spring. Winter, the buses did not / could not run some days due to snow storms and/or extreme cold. Then the melt came in the spring; water, mud, creeks, and no way to get through. I remember the County building the last two miles of road past the log house we lived in when I was in high school. Oh well. But I digress.

There is one more reason we overeat: habit. This joins the list: habit, willful overeating, endogenous chemical physical causes, environment and temptation, maladaptive emotional behaviors, addiction to exogenous chemicals and the like.

Now how does one overcome habit that is ingrained into the unconscious? First, we must recognize it as habit. Two eggs for breakfast, why, because that is what I have always had. Habit. Lack of self control, because I want, needy pig, habit. I do have a choice, but what will I become if I do not do as I always have done? Thin perhaps.