Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Looking Ahead (no, really)

There is trouble in the eat-less-move-more camp.  Water is pouring into the tent, and they are forced to move out of the wash they placed themselves in, running for cover.

Ah, yes, the Look Ahead study.  Here's a nice re-cap.  I went to theHeart to get their latest blurb, and it mentioned that in addition to NOT reducing strokes, heart attacks or losing much weight, there wasn't even a reduction in death either.  They go through all that crap and lose like 10 pounds?

Eleven years of exercise, and listening to a registered dietitian droning on about healthywholegrains and satiating-whatever.  Satiating.  Wow, do I hate that word!  Who else uses that word?  One more reason to ban (most) dietitians from my life.

I loved some of the comments.  Like, surely the sucky results are because of poor study design that failed to show what we all know to be true.  Like, surely not that it could be the sucky recommendations.

One hundred and seventy five minutes of exercise a week, time they could have spend meditating on and eating bacon, and for what?  Just thinking of how many [redacted] points what would amount to.  All that wasted time racking up points that can't be traded in for any actual anything, just like the real [redacted] goodies.  Good for a memory, or for a laugh, but it is not a real goody.

OK, today's post is chocked full of amusing personal stories.  I used to work with this guy who just got another MBA, and he used to wave his hands and throw out the word "salient" when he wanted to weasel out of his responsibilities and evade the point I was trying to make.  Nobody uses that word except a few months after some MBA class.  And, it is always used as a redundant set, a "salient point".  Hear the word, and you know BS is sure to follow.

Oh, anyway, where was I?

I used to work at this place where they had creativity workshops, and one day we were supposed to do this visualization and imagine we were in a hot air balloon drifting over the company.  Now, if we weren't being so meditative with the new age music accompanying the directive, this would have been a hilarious metaphor for the company, since it was so full of the hot-air of the newly-minted MBA's and the company was so adrift.  Oh, anyway, where was I?  Oh, and we were supposed to look into the imaginary windows and see what was going on five years into the future.

Well, that was fun, as I drifted above, and saw some interesting things.  When we were asked to share, I jumped at the chance to recount the salient points of my balloon ride.  As I described what I saw, the leader looked visibly surprised.  Yep, I nailed it.  I accurately described a current super-secret project going on in the very building that I floated over, even though I didn't consciously know anything about it.

OK, fast forward to about 16 years ago, when we were sitting around a large table enduring a lengthy design review.  It was time for lunch.  "Should we order pizza?" 

So I say, "Well, soon you'll be able to order a pizza and then the pizza place will just send a wireless message to your insulin pump for just the right amount of bolus."  And, hardy har har, we all had a good laugh over that until the VP of engineering said, "Hey, you're probably not too far off," but he wasn't as alarmed about it as that visionary balloon guy.

Of course, now we all have wireless and smart phones and cloud computing and everything is sent all over, but at the time, closing all the loops seemed undoable.

Oh, anyway, where am I?  Well, there used to be lots of talk about diabetes and its progression, and the prevailing viewpoint at the time was just coming on the horizon, that T1DM was an autoimmune thing.  And I remember some people arguing violently against this concept and arguing violently for their illness.  The thinking at the time was that T2DM was caused by overeating pizza, being overweight (and also inactive.)  After hearing that again at the pizza party, I just blurted out,

"No, getting fat doesn't make you diabetic.  Diabetes makes you gain weight."   And we all looked around at each other and realized that we were all getting fat and probably creating our own diabetes and secretly thinking that we had better get cracking at a cure for diabetes before we all got it and had to take our own medicine and get our feet cut off or something.

So, people tried to eat even more diet yogurt, washed down with Diet Coke, and entering bike and road races sponsored by the American Diabetes Association so we could lose weight and be more healthy.  And for what?

So, today I am reading here and there about diabetes and wondering why so many of the comments are still peppered with the idea that drinking lots of sody made us this way, and wondering when people are just going to look ahead more carefully.

OK, where am I?   Try this visualization.

Now, look at me, look at Stan's post, now look at me again, now go back to Stan's post and click the link on the training materials.  Imagine yourself sitting with a group of fat pre-diabetic people listening to a presentation of this material by a big balloon of hot air.  Imagine yourself poking holes in both the presenter and in the concepts.  Imagine the balloon of hot air collapsing and the sucky training materials getting smaller and smaller, and soon out of view.

Wow!  Imagine yourself feeling better and better.  Your cortisol is already reducing, along with your weight and insulin level.  Now you are thinking of satiating bacon, only it isn't satiating.  In fact, you don't even know what that word means, only that you are enjoying the bacon and then put the package away and then don't think about eating anything for awhile.  You imagine walking on the beach with your friends and not having your exercise-tracking software update itself.  As you get closer to the water, you hurl your fitbit into the waves and watch it bounce up and down with every wave.


  1. A remote viewer who meditates on bacon? It doesnt get anymore zen than that!

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