Monthly Archives: March 2015

Genetic profiling for tailored diet & exercise advice?

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23andMe

 

Found out about 23andMe personal genetic profiling (as in 23 pairs of chromosomes).

What a wonderful opportunity for humanity! huge data set to forward health, medicine, psychology, the applications have set my brain on spin-cycle!

But then I read:

The FDA banned companies giving access to individuals to their own genetic information in the absence of a doctor, citing 2 specific concerns regarding reporting the potential predisposition for any serious disease:

1.) False Negatives

2.) False Positives

You can still order your kit & get a lot of information, but they no longer are allowed to interpret large portions of it.

Silly! First, these are refferring to genetic potentialities ONLY, not a diagnosis. Anyone ordering such a test understands that. If you get a false negative, then you just behave today exactly as you did yesterday, since you still don’t know. & if you got a false positive, what is the first thing you would do? Go see a doctor, perhaps? This ban was obviously not about public safety, it was about money. The FDA is accustomed to being paid just like the mafia, & when 23andMe didn’t cower, the FDA had to demonstrate a show of power. Any kit bought (only $99) after November 22, 2013, 23andMe can’t report on the individual’s in-depth specifics. Those who purchase kits after this date will only get ancestry information and raw genetic data without any form of interpretation. It is possible that they will get health-related results at a later date, pending FDA approval.

I ordered my kit, obviously well after that cut-off.

I followed the instructions of spitting into a tube after not eating nor drinking for 30 minutes, mixed the preserving fluid & I registered & mailed it off. I am very interested in my ancestry, health profile & I have authorized 23andMe to use my data for further research, but I have a more precise motivation: I want to find research that has identified the genes responsible for the the production of things like digestive enzymes. My thinking is: How much amylase I produce, (a digestive enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates), is probably a strong indicator of whether I should eat a high or low carb diet.

I will review & report my results, when I get them.

Will-Power can be hard, Want-Power is easy

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enjoy life

As I am experimenting with new habits, I noticed today that my experience of the exact same familiar task is very different if it occurs as a “want to” as a opposed to a “have to”. When I “want to” do something, I find a way & I am far more productive & waste less time. When I feel I ” have to”  do something, I catch myself rationalizing & justifying & letting myself “reason” my way off the hook. What is interesting is that it can be the exact same task, like exercising.

So I played with this a bit today. I’d let some dishes pile up in the sink, from my recipe experiments, because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes that I hadn’t found time nor energy to put away. I caught myself avoiding the task & I know this path only worsens over time. So, I shifted the experience. I put on some great music & enjoyed putting the dishes away & even reorganized some cabinets. I enjoyed the warmth of the water over my hands & the smell of the lavender soap. I enjoyed the daydream time & the rather zen activity of cleaning. It was a very satisfying experience.

This little conversion from “Have To” to why I might “Want To” gives me choice. Choice = freedom. Freedom seems to have a lot to do with happiness. This exercise of choice seems like a key to happiness & lead me to another insight:

“In Order To’s”… if you hear yourself use those words, even to yourself, you are being slave-driven by something that robs you of your freedom. “In Order To” is the logic of “Have To”. All “In Order To’s” exist only in a world where you are not enough. If you feel you “have to” exercise “in order to” be attractive “in order to” have people like you, then you are living in the context that you are not already likeable enough just as you are. Not only does this leave you dis-empowered & feeling small, but it also requires willpower to continue to workout, since you don’t really want to work out… what you want is for people to like you. If your endeavor requires an expenditure of willpower, it is already a life-costing situation rather than a life-giving situation. Further, you are in jeopardy, because sometimes you are simply just short on willpower.

So if you convert exercising into an enjoyable experience; like : it feels great to stretch & feel the pump & feel strong & get amp’d up on fun & fast music & challenge yourself

Then the point of exercise is that it is fun & feels good with the added bonus of having you feel happier, more energetic & mentally clearer for the rest of your day. this has you enjoy your time. Your time is your life. Rather than costing you your time (life) & energy (life), this experience gives you vitality.

Choosing to enjoy the thing you need to do, for the sheer joy of doing it, requires no will power, as enjoying it is its own reward.

 

 

If you want to strengthen Will-Power, you’ll need to exercise Doing what you said you’d Do

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i'mpossible

I admit that I am a little self-conscious about how basic my first round goals are:

(Sleep, Diet, Exercise, this Blog, Work plans, reading & learning, organizing, scheduling, budgeting, etc.)

I also have a bit of shame in admitting that an embarrassingly common mistake I have made, is: I, (perhaps more frequently than the average person or at least more publicly), come up with fantastically ambitious plans & then I get distracted, derailed or my interest simply wanes… & then nothing much comes of my grandiose visions.

Thankfully, I have achieved at least enough, that I feel my self-esteem is at a healthy level & I have some workable degree of credibility with my peers. So, it just begs the question: What’s the difference?

When it has worked, Why? How did I accomplish &/or complete what I’ve accomplished &/or completed?

versus: that which I’ve left unanswered, incomplete, or wholly undone?

In part, this experiment , (I am, rather plainly, calling:) my “Fulfillment Project” is meant to discover & refine that key difference.

At the moment, I suspect a key factor has been the degree to which an endeavor was “self-sufficiently doable”. I mean to say, for example, that a resolution to workout for 2 consecutive hours every single day at a gym with a trainer is soon challenged… What if your car breaks down? What if your gym is closed? What if your trainer gets sick? What if you are running late? What if you have immoveable commitments & don’t have 2 hours? What if you get sick? Etc. Any of these occurences, would have a reasonable person let themselves off the hook for fulfilling on their commitment. 1 day off, might through happenstance, become 2 days or 3 days in a row & then you are off schedule. Before you know it, it often takes just as much re-starting willpower as it di to start in the first place; which must’ve been a considerable & hard enough to must ammount of willpower given the evidence of your not having been doing whatever it was that you resolved to do, before your recent resolution to do it.

 

versus

What if you commit to exercising full out for 10 minutes — NO MATTER WHAT

Even if you are sick, you could exercise for 10 minutes. 10 minutes is long enough to get your hear rate to maximum. 10 minutes is long enough to do 2 full sets of :

35 incline sit-ups, 35 V-shaped floor-washers, 35 leg raise push-ups, 35 deep-squats w/ calf-raises & shoulder-burns w/ fore-arm flexes, 15 chin-ups & 35 Supermans   —- all using only body weight.

10 minutes seems something anyone can muster even when they don’t feel like it. 10 minutes is so “self-sufficiently doable” that  it is hard to let oneself off the hook, even when thwarting circumstances arise. & often, for me, ( much more so than I ever expect), fulfilling on that 10 minutes creates a momentum that has me choose to keep going.

Setting my goals at “self-sufficiently doable” levels keeps me from feeling oppressed by them & subsequently resisting them & then justifying why I am not wrong for not fulfilling, but rather,  was overly-ambitious in setting soooo many goals sooo high in the first place.

“Self-sufficiently doable” keeps it easy so there is room for fun.

Plus: at the end of each day, I have exercised my will-power muscles & integrity muscles & commitment muscles. Keeping my word to myself doesn’t just make a life by design seem ” self-sufficiently doable”, but by practicing doing what I said I would do, I am, in fact, already living a life by my own design.

The Sun will shine on you, if you’ll just go out to meet it

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returning of the light

 

 

I do my best thinking first thing in the morning, which lasts up to 2 hours. I’ll incorporate that into my schedule. I woke up easily enough this morning. Got caught up reading & researching & reminded myself that life is not what you know, but what you do.

As part of the C.H.A.R.M.E.D. playground of Health & Fitness, I said I would see the sunrise whenever I could while walking/jogging, while I learn to run. (I have had great difficulty running, in the past, but think I would really love it)

I may take on as part of my 1st Health & Fitness goal to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes.

I live in the city & am concerned about breathing car fumes deeply. I also read about NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) having dire impacts on physical & psychological health. There are woods at the end of my street, so I bundled up & decided to walk/hike/jog/ explore the forest…

:-D

It is a happy feeling to feel so warm & cozy from being softly, but thickly swaddled & at the same time exhilarated by the cold.

The air seems cleaner in the winter. Breathing in the winter, to me, is as refreshing as drinking ice water in the summer.

The first light of the winter sun skews blue as if thawing the sky

Morning melts the night. Pale shadows evaporate, revealing all the miraculous complexity in glorious gilded detail.

I feel at the beginning of a spiritual journey.  Auspicious that the days are now lengthening, the nights are shortening — the light is returning.

This dawn, as I warm up to a comfortable rhythm for my run, I breathe ghosts of my past to disapate in the returning of the light.

 

How wonderful!!  I discovered criss-crossing trails!

my bunny trail

 

I even discovered a small bridge over a tiny stream. I sat down on it & meditated with my eyes wide open to the sun.

meditation bridge

I typed this into my phone:

“  The suffusion of the sun’s smile warms & wakes all the now incandescent colors of nature aglow

Its lustrous & lambent beams brush faded frost from the florid forest floor

The muted & subdued frost fattens into vibrant & vivid jewels of dew

& a conflagration of clarity in my mind is ignited, too

The returning of the light seems holy. I feel blessed.

As this day is born anew, so am I. ”