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Old 01-03-2017, 10:16 PM
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,615 posts, read 9,678,443 times
Reputation: 10955


Originally Posted by nurider2002 View Post
I have the opposite fear. I have always taken fairly good care of myself; always worked out, eat healthy, limit how much I drank. But in my family everybody is living too damn long! My dad is 92 and after having a stroke at 88 is literally waiting to die. He tells everybody that he's "ready to go" but keeps on living. My mother's siblings, who were all smokers and drinkers are ALL in their late 90s, some with emphysema or dementia, but keep right on ticking. This is my biggest fear!

My family has always been long lived too. I always say that they either die young and tragic or old and worn out. Not much in between. Of all my many aunts and uncles, on both sides of the family, I had one aunt with Alzheimers (sp) and one uncle with stomach cancer. My aunt lived to late 80s but my uncle didn't. My paternal grandmother's mother lived to 104. The rest into their 90s or, at least, late 80s.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:13 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,834 posts, read 4,949,965 times
Reputation: 17302
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
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!
You obviously know your topic.

The science of obesity is indeed a very interesting topic. If you want to learn more, watch this series of videos from Dr. Lustig at Univ of Cal The Skinny on Obesity - UCTV Prime - UCTV - University of California Television

There is a lot more to obesity than simply eating too much and exercising too little. The resultant metabolic syndrome and diabetes epidemic have created the world's largest healthcare problem.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:13 AM
9,582 posts, read 8,883,212 times
Reputation: 5813
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
At 70 the best advice I can offer is to pick the right parents!

My father and brother died at age 59, Daddy of heart attack and my brother of cancer. Everybody in my mother's family, including her, died of Alzheimer's.

I smoked in my late teens and early 20s. I drank only moderately. DH does not drink so I haven't in 40 years either.

But nobody in my family was physically active. .I tried to break that by walking a lot and joining a gym. I was doing well until Premarin almost cost me my life and did take my pancreas at age 48. Diabetes after that has brought severe foot problems so activity has cut down quite a bit and now I'm overweight. I had a heart attack in March and got a stent. I live in fear the next one is right around the corner and if I dodge that bullet the Alzheimer's one will be right behind it.

Advice to youngers is to
start activity with something you like and not what you think you Should do
don't start smoking
don't drink. you can have an active social life without it
stay out of the sun
Get involved with a good hobby as that will keep your mind active
either do everything you can to avoid stress or find some way to deal with it. Cause there is always some stressor in most of our lives.
Ugh..hate this kind of advice. How about (except the smoking) DO EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:31 AM
Location: Tennessee
23,580 posts, read 17,553,447 times
Reputation: 27645
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post

I really hate to be blunt but your B.M.I is 35.7 which is clearly in the obesity range


I'm glad that you started this thread and seemed to be seeking advice from the elders. My advice to you is that you have to do everything that you can to bring your weight down to the healthy level of B.M.I of 18.5–24.9. To get down to normal weight, you need to loose a lot of weight since for your height of 5'8", your weight has to be below 164lbs!!

You should start RIGHT AWAY with monitoring your diet, eating healthy food, SMALLER portions and cut WAY BACK on your drinking. There are a lot of empty calories in beer.

You appear to be a very smart and well-informed young person. It's frustrating for observers like me to see that you recognize the unhealthy lifestyle/diet and poor health of your relatives but do not seem to have the will power to get out of bad habits and turn your life around. You don't need to ask for advice from strangers online. You KNOW what to do so just do it.

Besides not having a healthy diet, you also seem lacking in the activities and exercise department. Exercises alone do not help you to loose weight but will certainly make you stronger and healthier.

White collar workers today mostly have sedentary jobs. It is common for workers having to be at their desks glued to the monitors and tethered to the phones with their headsets. However, if you are motivated, you can still find ways to be active. You can put the monitor on a stand. You can pace around your cubicle while talking on the phone. For bathroom breaks, just walk to the farthest restrooms. Park the car at the farthest spot from the office door. Pack healthy food like veggies, fruits, boiled eggs, thin wholegrain sandwich with lots of proteins and eat your lunch while taking a walk or a hike. So, no more excuses about having a sedentary job, just get moving and keep moving. How about cutting back on your web posting and spend the time walking around the block or do few minutes exercise next to your desk? A quick web search will yield many articles, youtube videos of movements, yoga moves or exercises that you can do in your office.

When I was working, I also had a mostly desk job with many meetings, hours spending on the computer reading, typing, planning etc. However, I always managed to get minimum of 10K steps a day at work then add on another 5K or so after work when I went for a hike with the dog after work. I don't mean to brag but I am a rowing 'fool' so I used to get up at 4:30am to be on the river for an hour of rowing before work. I also went to the gym after work at least 3 times a week to swim and lift weight.

Since I love fruits and vegetables, I always have a healthy diet but I did not get serious about exercise until 15 years ago. I felt much stronger and healthier in my 50's and now 60's than in my younger days. I wish that I had taken up weight training earlier in life to build stronger bones and muscles. It is better late than never and the sooner you pay attention and do something about your health, the better your life quality for many years down the road.
I agree that I am overweight but BMI doesn't have much merit in my view. There are so many different body types out there and BMI just applies a blanket standard to everyone, regardless of lifestyle or body type. Someone like Ray Rice in the NFL would be treated the same as a marathon runner of the same height. Both can be healthy, but they have widely different body types and lifestyles BMI won't account for.

I was a very dedicated weightlifter from my early high school years into college. I went from 5'2 110-120 lbs my freshman year of high school and graduated in 180-190 range. I had a skin caliper test for body fat in college and was at 7% and had visible abs and weighed 180-190 then. Keep in mind I'm not that tall - 5'7 to 5'8 if generous.

I have lost some muscle over the years due to being more sedentary (mainly in legs and chest - always hated doing chest), but still lift about twice a week. I bench pressed 305 and squatted 415 a few months back. Sadly, that's below where I was a decade ago at a lower body weight. I have a belly (mostly from beer), but also have a lot more muscle than most guys at my height. I would need to lose a lot of muscle or likely go down to <5% body fat to get down to 165.

I'm not stuffing my face with McD's and candy all day, then drinking beer until I pass out at night. I rarely eat fast food. When I eat out at lunch, it's usually somewhere like Subway or McAllister's Deli. I eat mostly frozen vegetables (not the canned stuff with tons of salt) and rarely salt/butter up anything.

Yes, I do drink more than I did at 21 (barely drank at all then), but I'm also much more sedentary, and there's not a whole lot I can do about that through the week. 10,000 is about five miles - for me, that's a little under two hours of walking. I could really get through a day on 1,000 steps. 10,000 is hard to make on a work day, unless I can get in at least a mile walk on my lunch hour and can spend another hour or so on the treadmill/elliptical in the evening. I hike at least a couple times a month and am a lot more active on the weekends than I am on weekdays. The easiest thing for me to do is eat smaller portions, eat better (though I don't usually "eat bad" unless I go out to a bar where I'm drinking then order something greasy), and drink more water. I can't magically get in 5,000 steps during my working hours. FWIW, I rarely post on the forums on weekends.

I honestly don't know how people with small children and sedentary jobs stay healthy. Just getting to 10,000 steps takes up a lot of the free time office workers have in the evenings because they move so little during the day. Take that into account with small children who require a lot of direct care/supervision, and you have a recipe for no activity.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:41 AM
11,263 posts, read 8,424,427 times
Reputation: 20433
eat to live, don't live to eat
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:49 AM
Location: Central IL
15,222 posts, read 8,518,332 times
Reputation: 35613
Originally Posted by Scooby Snacks View Post
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. . .
Originally Posted by DMChicago View Post
No offense but no you haven't.
Moderator cut: rude comment Many smokers quit many times before it "sticks". Some theories even say that part of the process of quitting includes making unsuccessful attempts because you learn from each attempt and you have to at least be open to trying in order to quit. Regardless, any smokeless time during those periods is SOMETHING that you've gained. So Scooby - keep right on trying!

I smoked a pack and a half a day during college and grad school and tried quitting several times. I finally succeeded - never think you can have "just one"! It took my dad dying of lung cancer before I finally "got it" - don't wait for such dire circumstances.

Last edited by in_newengland; 01-04-2017 at 08:31 PM..
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:55 AM
Location: middle tennessee
1,924 posts, read 988,551 times
Reputation: 6931
Except for the person who mentioned sports injuries, and BrightDogLover who talks about night shifts, I don't see anything about work except for too much sitting.

A very small person can weigh 70-80 pounds. Lifting/shifting 70-80 pounds of dead weight, even if you have been trained to do so, will wear on you over the years. I was a nurse. My last husband worked in maintenance and his job wore him out physically. I worry about the UPS man, my movers, etc.

I also worked midnights for a number of years, and it does take a heavy toll on your health.

I was proud of my skills and training. Although I am not a very big person, colleagues would often get me to help move a patient.

Wrangling wheel chairs and getting them in and out of cars was one of the things I dreaded most at the end of my career.

I loved long walks and I like healthy food (thank goodness!) but even an overabundance of healthy food will make you fat, and I ate too much and sat too much at the end of my husband's life. Add stress and inflammatory arthritis and old age is no fun.

I have lost the weight but the damage is done. I never enjoyed smoking or the after effects of alcohol, but I am not a healthy old person, even though I was fit and rarely saw a doctor for most of my life. I don't know how I could have avoided the things that most negatively affected my health.

and LOL I would never get in a hot tub at the Y. Even if I could. Major germophobe here That's my idea of a big health risk
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:06 AM
Location: Tennessee
23,580 posts, read 17,553,447 times
Reputation: 27645
Originally Posted by newcomputer View Post
Except for the person who mentioned sports injuries, and BrightDogLover who talks about night shifts, I don't see anything about work except for too much sitting.

A very small person can weigh 70-80 pounds. Lifting/shifting 70-80 pounds of dead weight, even if you have been trained to do so, will wear on you over the years. I was a nurse. My last husband worked in maintenance and his job wore him out physically. I worry about the UPS man, my movers, etc.
Two of the guys I was close to growing up have been involved in physical work since they graduated high school. One is a little taller than me, but about my weight. The other is tall (probably 6'3 or a little more) and skinny.

They look older than they are. The one that's a little taller than me, but a bit chubby, has a variety of problems (neuropathy in his hands, bad knees, mostly stuff related to physical labor) - the other one also had bad knees. I really worry about how they'll be at 50.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:10 AM
676 posts, read 333,791 times
Reputation: 1221
As for me ..... my weight always fluctuated when I was young. Probably between 150 to 170 lbs. I'm 5' 5". I was always active, never smoked, and drank more than I should (still do, but never get tipsy or anything like that).

Once I hit menopause I didn't like the way the weight was distributing itself around my middle and the way my body began to sag. So .... I started looking at food in a very different way. Exercise was never the problem for me. I work with weights and play squash regularly in the winter. My husband and I sail all summer long, but we were kayaking before we got our first sailboat. I also walk the dogs every day (weather permitting).

I would say that the single most important thing a person can do to try to stay healthy and fit is to be very careful about what they eat and when they eat. Evolutionarily speaking, our species is highly adapted to surviving during famines and extremely poorly adapted to continuous excess. It is almost impossible for most people to calorie restrict when surrounded by temptation. It's not how we are programmed.

However, we do seem to be programmed to eat during specific hours of the day and not at other times. So, I find that intermittent fasting (eating between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm) works really well for me. Also, attempting to eat as healthily as I can when I do eat is the way in which I use 'food as my medicine'. It helps to make the aches and pains of old age more manageable.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:40 AM
Location: Idaho
1,453 posts, read 1,153,939 times
Reputation: 5482
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I agree that I am overweight but BMI doesn't have much merit in my view......

Whatever you say! From my POV, I just see a lot of rationalization and justification. You are not Ray Rice and you know it ;-) Just curious on what your doctor said about your B.M.I. My doctor is a stickler about it. She yelled at me for years for being below the normal B.M.I and did not buy my explanation of being small frame, small bones etc. Your B.M.I is definitely not in the healthy range.

Regarding getting 10K steps a day, it's not as difficult as you think. Just pace around a lot instead of sitting down, find the longest route, never take the elevator etc. and all the steps just add up. The key is to get moving. Hey, if you learn programs to take dictation of your long internet essays to your smart phone while walking, you can probably get few hundreds steps out of each post ;0.

Anyway, I offered my comments because your OP appeared to ask for it. It's your body, your health, your life and not mine. I will not 'nag' you anymore because you are not my kid ;-) BTW, my kid never needs any nagging about health and diet. If anything, she is a heck more active and athletic than I ever was at her age.

Last edited by BellaDL; 01-04-2017 at 08:48 AM..
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