Monday, February 23, 2015

And when the diet ends....

and you cut a thin figure
Well not quite right but you might get the picture...   Then what?

The typical response is we stop exercising all that will power and go back toward what we were before.

But if the same problem that caused the overeating is there still, the weight goes back on. So if it is addiction or addiction like issue, and you (I) never again eat those foods I should be OK, right? Even if those foods are dense carbohydrates, O6 oils, and other processed carbage?

But what if it was also a maladaptive issue that has not been addressed? I would expect the weight to come back on. The other problem(s) has not yet been fixed. It has started to. Now I need to get rid of all potential underlying psychological issues. Anxiety, need some form of treatment. Habit needs another. Stress is different from anxiety. Boredom need activity that produce, for me, a positive emotion from the start, has meaning, interest, engagement, commitment, and if fate permits, achievement, satisfaction, mental joy. You might realize that, unless the original problem is dealt with, the weight will come back.

Now how does one figure out what the problem is and how to fix that problem? Self examination may lead to the cause or not. Do we understand the difference between boredom, aka lack of desire to do something unknown, or something we are not keen on doing, just for the sake of doing it for something to do, and how that is different from frustration of not being understood by other people? What is obvious to me is not obvious to others. Do you expect me to explain the obvious? Frustration, isolation, disinterest in what other people are interested in are all drivers of potential stresses, but the treatment cannot be the same. It will require deep analysis of our past and present, and a search for understanding of each separate cause and cure/treatment.

Or how about the stewing over doing something that we are expected to do, and we do not know how to do it and there is no available help? It got dumped on me because I solved the last one, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, infinitude back to graduation or shortly after that. Being able to solve engineering puzzles does not mean we can live on a steady diet of them without stress.   

I am happy for all yous who have found a solution, but I have not, yet anyway. Parts but not the whole.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Ratcheting Forward

Sunburst of a 38 C
Religious institutions tend to ossify beliefs. The better practice would be to continually ratchet toward a better belief system.

When we look at the development of any 'engineered' product, they keep improving one part at a time until the demand dies off or perfection is reached, that is the product exceeds our needs and wants. We can see it in the steam engines, but they died off about this time. The last one that I know of was the Kitten, which ended production in 1942. Most of the others ended in the 30's, when gas took over in a big way. Grandpaw almost lost the farm over a 1929 McCormick 15-30. Anyways, the concept is fairly straight forward, keep examining and improving my belief system, until I either die off, or arrive at a serene and tranquil state of 'enlightenment' or awakening or what ever.

Yet it is straight forward to see that living virtuously, if I could, would be necessary and sufficient to have a 'good life' in Stoic terms. That is to say any life lived honestly, prudence to do right, temperance, justice, persistence and courage, compassion for self and others, would be a good life. OK. Temperance, with respect to food intake, is the tough one for me. Temperance with respect to work and life balance is also a tough one. Something about being trained into that Protestant work ethic, putting work before other things, was an issue. Not now, with retirement. But without work, there is anxiety, which is actually worse for temperance. Perhaps it is time to schedule myself some work at home. There is a lot that I could do, if I had the motivation to do it.

The Stoics say virtue is necessary and sufficient as the minimum. Once we understand and accept the minimum, everything else is just gravy, unnecessary but nice. God was nature and rational thought, death was final.  Epicurus one one step further in simplification and suggested that family, commerce, wealth and politics have great potential to add stress and can be avoided to make life simpler. The ideal occupation is farmer/gardener. They add friendship and pleasure, gratitude for the essentials for life level of pleasure as a satisfying way of life. Garden with a few goats and/or sheep for close, cheese and milk, self sufficiency of the group farm one could say. There was no god, no afterlife. Death was final, as it is. Minimal reality at it's finest, as long as you can be content with that.  The Cynics went further and eliminated most other comforts and everything but the necessaries of life, live raw in public space, off what they could gather, beg, or were given. Theft was not an option for them, virtue was paramount. It would be much easier to live like that where nobody had much, as where I was raised.

Death is final. I can see the appeal of  death defying religions who promote an afterlife and reward in that life. The current life does not matter, it is all about the reward after death. To bad it is not real. All we get is this one, and we need to learn to deal with suffering, physical and mostly mental/emotional. We need to bring our expectations, delusions of what life should be, our aversions, and desire in line with reality and start to live right knowledge, right intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, attention, concentration. The virtues, in Buddhist terms.

So, with broad strokes, this is the way of the ratchet, or the magpie picking up the shine bits and moving on. My real problem is this underlying anxiety that I feel, which can easily be removed with work, Phen-Fen, alcohol, high blood glucose/ high insulin, nicotine, and other things.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pithy Bunch

In the last few weeks I have encountered a bunch of pithy little statements from about and I am posting them here for the record.
but do not taste good
Bunch Berry, pithy. Not poisonous but does not taste good.

There is no recovery from obesity, only remission of active obesity.

You cannot convince someone of something against their will.

Religious institutions tend to ossify beliefs. The better practice would be to continually ratchet toward a better belief system.

We need to understand all of the advantages and drawbacks from a belief or group of beliefs before we decide to adopt them or reject them. Beliefs are often like virtues, they have two opposites. Both ends are less than ideal.

It is not necessary to show up to all the arguments you are invited to.

It is about living the philosophy. The simpler our lives, the easier it is to live our philosophy. Moderation and frugality lead to minimization.

Stoic statement: The only true good with respect to 'living a good life' is virtue. The ultimate aim is to live virtuously. Living by virtue is necessary and sufficient to live a good life. All the indifferents just make living by virtues more difficult, or not, but they are indifferents.

 Enough pith.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Is there something philosophical wrong with being overweight and wanting to and eating ice cream, and liking it at the same time? 

It seems to be cognitive dissonance to me. Likewise does Atkins. We should have all the fat we need, so why eat fat rather than fast as long as I can, and then eat potatoes, dry? 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

And more besides

And there is likely a fourth group where the food is stimulating the appetite.

And there is a fifth group, those who have a physical high appetite, for any physical cause, often unidentified.

but what do I know.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Subject of the day.

unrelated:  Wells Gray

Who do we trust? and why?

Well if it works... there is something to it.

We have control over our beliefs. Philosophy allows us to lay out our beliefs, one at a time and look at them, in the cold reality of daylight. Our beliefs program our automatic responses.

First it was religions that we need to get clear of.

Now some science. Science contains frauds. Keys. Fats are the cause of CVD. Satins to keep cholesterol low prevent CVD. Eat carbohydrates and cover the use with more insulin. Milk is needed. Healthy Whole grains. Fertilizer make the crops grow better (but without the seed containing as many nutrients. carb/nutrient ration went up by two). Etc. Etc. Etc.

So who are you gonna believe?  Does it withstand the acid test of reality and actually work over time?