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Old 01-02-2017, 07:29 AM
Location: Houston, TX
14,698 posts, read 8,480,076 times
Reputation: 29386


Smoking has been the bane of my existence. I have quit a couple of times for years, only to pick it back up again. When I was young and stupid, I tried a variety of illegal drugs, and they did nothing for me. But cigarettes were a constant addiction. My weight is fine, I drink very little, and even exercise regularly, but the cigs are always an issue. I'm actually planning on quitting tomorrow. For real. My wife and I both smoke, but we're going to stop together which makes it easier. If I didn't like it so much, it would be easier to quit too. Many nonsmokers bash smokers endlessly. But unless they themselves have smoked, they have no clue what it's like and how tough it is to give it up. There is a lot more to smoking than the actual act of smoking itself; the social aspect, the break time during undesirable tasks, the enjoyment of it after intimate moments and while having a drink, etc. . . But I've stopped successfully before. I can do it again. Sigh. . .
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:36 AM
1,040 posts, read 484,865 times
Reputation: 1435
Eat all or mostly plant foods!

Great documentary is Forks Over Knives on this topic
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:53 AM
3,455 posts, read 2,326,093 times
Reputation: 6998
For anyone struggling with their weight, or who doesn't understand how others can be obese, I recommend reading this article: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food - The New York Times

It really helps explain part of the psychology behind overeating (a VERY complex topic), but it also drives home how the junk food companies have learned to exploit that psychology. I have my students read it.

I can also recommend Brian Wansink's book, "Mindless Eating". Wow, was that book an eye-opener, and he writes in a very readable style. He doesn't focus so much on how the food industry does its business, but rather, on how our brains perceive certain conditions (like a perpetually-full bowl of soup, to give one example). In an environment where we are constantly bombarded by images, smells, etc. of food, much of which is not good for us, our brain reacts in certain predictable ways. Awareness of those ways is the first step. Just to take one example: after reading this book, I started to put food packages/containers away right after I am done with them. I also learned the dangers of passing an open candy dish on a co-worker's desk.

Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, has had a lot of influence on my thinking. You can watch his YouTube video/documentary: Sugar, the Bitter Truth (it's lengthy, about 1.5 hours).

I am not saying we are not responsible for our own bodies, our eating habits and our weight. Far from it. But an appreciation of some of the psychological, emotional and biological drives behind overeating helps us understand ourselves -- and others. If we understand what motivates and drives our behaviors, that is an important step in changing those behaviors. And it is always possible to change those behaviors, no matter what our age!
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:56 AM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,371 posts, read 9,860,640 times
Reputation: 10243
There's a wonderful woman I see at my gym all the time. She does 20 minutes on the treadmill and then does a round on the machines. She told me she's 92. You'd never guess it! I really admire her. She drives herself to visit her daughter 3 hours away, lives independently--has a wonderful spirit. I'm using her as my role model and plan to keep going as she does...
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:28 AM
Location: Kanada 🍁
120,054 posts, read 14,288,376 times
Reputation: 58566
Growing up mother always cooked from scratch and healthy.Once I started to live on my own before marriage I had to learn how to cook.What an adventure with guided phone calls from grandmother and my mother I learned to cook slowly.It was my late teenage years I enjoyed fast food and junk food..oh so good.Once I got married my diet totally changed.I learned under my mother in law's guidance how to cook Punjabi cuisine.Thirtythree years later I still cook mostly East Indian food but bake German treats.My husband and I decided to quit processed food,junk food , coldcuts a long time ago.Only when we travel we eat a bit of everything what is offered to us.At the same time we started with daily green tea drinking about 6 cups a day.We eat a lot of fruit,raw vegetables,raw ginger/garlic and onions.I make my own yogurt weekly,learned it as well from my mother in law.We exercise plenty throughout the year and everything we eat and drink is in moderation.
I remember how hard it was for me to quit coldcuts because I ate it in my younger life,while my husband never had them in India.It helps when you have a partner who has the same goal.On a weak day we just looked at each other and gave each other courage and motivation . Sometimes I am too lazy to go for my daily walk but my friend and walking partner rings the doorbell and tells me to get ready.
Overall I must say we live very healthy.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:39 AM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,112 posts, read 8,150,955 times
Reputation: 18746
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
There's a wonderful woman I see at my gym all the time. She does 20 minutes on the treadmill and then does a round on the machines. She told me she's 92.
I think you nailed it right there!

One thing not mentioned here (though lots of good advice here!) is mental attitude. Those who take their AGE too seriously...begin to "slow down"...attribute every minor problem to old age (when they had such issues when younger)...and just convince themselves that it's getting time to "die".

Young at heart is often young in body. Stay away from the doctors unless there's something you really need to get attended to. I find that most doctors - even those a mere 10 years my junior - have this patronizing attitude toward me, as if without immediate medical attention (*drugs* ) I'd be likely to keel over dead at any minute. This sort of thing is not conducive to feeling positive about life OR age.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:53 AM
Location: NE Mississippi
13,651 posts, read 8,569,484 times
Reputation: 19863
I've never smoked. Drank some when I was younger.
It helps to come from good genetic stock, but there is nothing we can do about our ancestry.

I'm just lucky. I like to stay active, so I always have been active. At 71 I just gave up competitive sailboat racing and that was mostly because our fleet got too small. And I have always liked to work. I don't take any prescription drugs.

I've lost a bunch of hair, but I never gone gray, so I look a lot younger than I am. Just lucky.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:14 PM
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,098 posts, read 3,459,108 times
Reputation: 10163
I've always been physically active and so has my DH.

However, I was also very driven and intense in my work; when I worked I was always the first in the office and the last to leave. As my career progressed, I felt I thrived under the stress of managing 25 professional staff; I never said 'no' to my boss.

When the theory of Type A and Type B personalities came up, my response was, Type B's are a bunch of sissies. And I really believed that.

But now, retired 13 years ago at age 50, I understand stress better. I work at controlling my stress and the resulting anxiety, but mostly fail. And I believe these non-physical disorders are taking a toll on my physical well-being.

So it's not just being physically fit, being psychologically healthy is vital to one's well being.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:23 PM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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Originally Posted by dothetwist View Post
So it's not just being physically fit, being psychologically healthy is vital to one's well being.
I strongly agree. The way I see it, remaining healthy and vital as we age (in addition to genetics) is a three-legged stool (in no particular order):

1. Healthy diet (inclduing moderation in alcohol consumtion)

2. Physical activity (being a complete couch potato is deadly!)

3. Having meaningful activities and challenges including avoiding social isolation
(This last one is what you called "being psychologically healthy". I chose to phrase it in my way.)
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:43 PM
Location: SoCal
13,221 posts, read 6,320,879 times
Reputation: 9827
I don't smoke and drink. When I was younger I did indulge in fast food due to time constraints and some alcohol but not excessive. Out of my family members, I'm the only one not on any medication yet. However, I've always eat and cook things from scratch, rarely eat anything canned. My love for gardening(after my first kid was born) was what keeping me active. Everyday, I can't wait to wake up and see my plants. For physical activities, I always swim and do yoga. Some tennis and some badminton but not continuously. In the past year, I took up walking, which something I never thought I could do, now I look forward to the walk in our every morning. But I think the best part for my health is that I'm in a happy marriage, we like to spend time together. My husband and I allow ourselves to do what we like and best at it. I know I'm lucky, because my husband likes to do laundry.
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