changes, transformation, change, transitioning, health, fitness, self, true self, identity, logic, philosophy, science, psychology, neuroscience, soul

What’s the solution to the next pandemic?

I’ve been saying we need to work on people’s health all over the world.

Sounds simplistic? I’m already contradicting myself purposely.

Malnutrition is now higher in the obese than the underweight.

I think, hopefully like you, dear reader, that expecting to find one solution to fix everything is simplistic and a stubbornness to change.

Blaming one politician or one problem is simplistic.

Looking for one solution is simplistic.

E.g. Racism.

New Orleans has 70-80% blacks.

70-80% are obese.

Their COVID-19 death rate was 80%.

(As I recall Mayor Cantrell saying a couple of months ago. Sincere apologies if I’m wrong. It may have been 80% higher than the rest of the USA’s.)

Black and Asian populations are highly disadvantaged by:

  • Discrimination
  • Poverty
  • The cycle of poverty
  • Lack of social support
  • Lack of education funding
  • Targeted racism
  • Targeted incarceration
  • Substance abuse due to all of the above (rats in a cage vs rats in a park almost never get addictions to the drug lever).
  • Cities and transport are designed or managed in ways that are not healthy and lead to segregation.

Those are some of the causes of one aspect of the world’s problems (racism, equality) that can affect all of us.

The World Economic Forum is saying this. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Angela Merkel, China, The EU, the UN – are all saying this on ongoing individual/peak level media releases.

The UN’s Global Goals say these 17 goals will help the planet and us be healthy in 2030.

sdg2030

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030

I follow all this ****. Hell, even much-attacked Australian PM Scott Morrison is almost saying this.

The doom that’s coming is our individual doom, our deaths, but the world is getting better, even as we slowly each die. It has done so for us since before Lucy.

I repeat. The world is getting better.

Bill Gates endorsed that idea even after he predicted the pandemic.

 

Leave your thoughts below.

Running helped ease my anxiety and boosted my confidence

Once I was regularly running and losing weight (zenmode link) I realised this “getting healthy” thing isn’t meant to be a punishment.

I wanted to look after myself instead of hating myself for not looking after myself.

Running and losing weight had given me more confidence in tackling the things I needed to overcome.

Being a little more confident led to wanting to run races/fun runs (zenmode link) and meet up with running friends I’d met online, though that was scary to me.

I used to get pains in my chest and shivering due to anxiety. My doctors weren’t worried about that, but rather the fact that I was taking valium a few times a week to manage the symptoms in the week prior to an event (never the day before an event).

I was given a doctor’s referral to see a neuropsychologist 10 times in a year, free with Centrelink/Medicare Australia, should I need them.

The first appointment was really, really scary to turn up for, no matter who says “stop the stigma” (I think that makes stigma seem more real).

But I was very relieved after I’d been to the appointment. It was such a relief – much more so than a valium used to be (I didn’t quit those straight away. The mind isn’t oftgen that flexible, neither is the body).

From the psychologist I learnt about the nervous system, and the two types of nervous systems – the parasympathetic and the sympathetic. It’s the sympathetic that is most in play when anxious.  The “fight and flight” response.

Since then, I’ve used that knowledge in multiple situations, knowing I (or someone) is acting the way they are because of the need to move and burn energy to escape their fear (zenmode link). I still get scared, but I do tackle difficult issues with a desire to understand them.

It’s quite odd that we live in an age where people are afraid to run.

Having said that, I’m seeing more and more people outdoors exercising than there were 5 years ago, even with COVID-19 restricting much activity.

Running is a virus?

Leave a comment below.

nature, systems, biology, genetics, weight, evolution, efficiency

We’ve become too efficient at feeding ourselves

Obesity, its causes, and solutions are not a soundbite or two.

We’ve evolved to what we are today because of improvements in efficiency.

We are so efficient now at producing food, we waste 30% of it globally.

It’s so easy to feed ourselves, we need to go against our genetics and do things with the sole purpose of removing excess food stores.

Biologically, we want to do things the quickest, simplest way.

Hence fad diets, extreme diets.

Hence arguments about the one cause or cure of obesity.

As Nobel Prize winner, economist and psychologist Daniel Kahnemann’s many studies show, the very act of thinking hard in itself depletes us of energy.

We want a quick fix, like our quick reactions in simply running from bears or hunting them.

Our bodies including the brain organ don’t like expending energy we will then have to replenish.

In the 12,000 years since we started farming, we have grown taller, and are now living longer, becoming more obese, but it’s not obvious we have evolved in such a short time.

Instead, though, our knowledge has grown.

It’s up to us to use the collective knowledge of our tribe to help each other make learning easier, buying the right food easier, and to help make regulating our weight easier to do and understand.

It’s up to us to stop insisting on extremist, over-simplified, and/or fad approaches that we can’t sustain long enough to make all the required changes.

Evolutionary psychology, dieting, hormones, exercise, and injuries

Ideas emerging from the aethers. Been learning bits about evolutionary psychology.

As well as leptin and ghrelin, other hormones seem to affect hunger. e.g. women need more energy intake during certain times in a cycle. (re Lyle McDonald.)
PMS is worse if you’re not eating enough.

Running and exercise help with stress and burning off our fight/flight instincts when most of us have desk or indoor jobs that can be very stressful. But too much intense exercise increases stress (adrenaline and cortisol).

I’ve suspected for a while that testosterone compels men to continually compete and overdo it when they exercise. It’s certainly pretty bad for women comparing ourselves to others in the gene pool. And social media and technology’s effects on top causing us to want to look more awesome than the next person.

I have more I could say about this all leading to injuries, and un-sustainability in fitness.

Dopamine and serotonin can also be nice happy comfortable influences that make competitiveness less important and make us want to be happy just being with our tribe around our campfire safe from wild animals.

I guess these hormones can also be part of the reason people want to stick to a diet their peers prefer.

Leptin and its role in metabolism

The 1994 discovery of the hormone Leptin has led to exponential incremental scientific discoveries and now its role (in obesity in particular) is becoming more widely known.
“Jeffrey M. Friedman, whose [1994] discovery of the hormone leptin has transformed our understanding of obesity, will be a 2020 recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He is being honored for his discovery of a new endocrine system through which adipose tissue signals the brain to regulate food intake. Friedman is the Marilyn M. Simpson Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
“The relatively new Breakthrough Prize, with its accompanying $3 million award, is the most generous prize in the sciences, and recognizes achievements in the life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. The prize was established eight years ago by several Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs, including the founders of Google, Facebook, and 23andMe.
“Friedman’s 1994 discovery of leptin, and of its receptor in the brain encoded by the obese gene, shed new light on the pathogenesis of obesity. He and his colleagues have since shown that leptin acts on sets of neurons in brain centers that regulate food intake and energy expenditure, and has powerful effects on reproduction, metabolism, other endocrine systems, and immune function.”
 
Jeffrey M. Friedman’s latest Nature article:
Leptin and the endocrine control of energy balance.” – Jeffrey M. Friedman, Nature, August 29, 2019.
(pdf download available.)
 
I’ll add that leptin research is not limited to leptin deficiency.
There is work being done on how leptin (satiety hormone) and ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels can be altered by diet in beneficial and harmful ways.