Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: June 2017
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What Is Well-Being? Part 2

Other avenues that distort our reality include alcohol, drugs or opioids, movies, books, newspapers TV, and The News. A study in 2008 by Bomlitz and Brezis looked at media reports and their health risks. Included in the list of health risk were such topics as SARS, AIDS, Cancer, West Nile Virus, Bioterrorism, Plane Crashes, Heart Disease, Car Crashes, Physical Inactivity, and Smoking. The researchers then correlated the number of media reports on a given health threat with the number of deaths in the US actually related to that threat. Their correlation was- 0.93. One conclusion taken was that our media in 2008 hyped a number of health evils beyond the actual death reality. It’s certainly difficult to remain happy watching or listening to so called news in our current culture with their fear driven messages. More recently, on a trail run with my friend Tony, we talked about our half marathon experience this past Father’s Day. I didn’t report, on a previous post, about the beginning or start of that run held in the Sierra- Nevada’s. From the start, we began our run with a significant grade of trail. I was quickly out of breath, thinking to myself, “this is going to be a long day and why is Tony still behind me? “ Tony told me that he too was quickly gasping for air and wondered about his ability to finish this event. I might add that there were many places that had snow covering our trail making running difficult. Did we require more challenges? I asked him if he experienced happiness at the beginning of our race; happiness during the race; or happiness at the end of the race. What most of us do is to rely on our thinking when talking about our feelings. I told him that was not going to do it. With thinking, we employ defense mechanisms such as rationalization, denial and isolation of affect, etc. We can logically convince ourselves of almost anything that we want. However, that doesn’t make it true. On other hand, feelings are fleeting emotions that we experience as physical sensations or discomforts found in various parts of our body, like in our chest, stomach, mouth, etc. that we can learn to identify. I must not have done a good job, as Tony didn’t get it. We laughed and acknowledged that we currently felt better in this moment than we did when we ran that half marathon since our bodies were not displaying significant discomfort at the moment. To Be Continued

Monday, June 26, 2017

What Is Well-Being? Part 1

The June 11, 2017 edition of the New York Times had the following articles on their front page: “Shrinking Turf, Wider , Reach: The Isis Plan;” “Liberals Fighting for Their Faith;” “Drug Trade Rises In the Dark Corners of the Internet;” “Strings Take to Venezuela Streets After Violinist Is Killed at Protest;” and Political Feud Eclipses Warning On Russia: They Will Be Back.” How was that for a glimpse or snapshot in today’s chaotic world? If you ask me, these are just a few of the dangers that exist in our world. Our world, it’s a scary place. Moreover, what does this say about the nature of man; and how can man cope with these man-made uncertainties? Sigmund Freud, developed a psychoanalytic theory of man. Freud depicted man as having an irrational nature, driven by his biological drives or instincts. He also wrote about hysteria, psychopathology, and, another psychic elements or illness developed within man while within in a troubled society. Following Freud was Henry A. Murray. Murray’s model illustrated a number of man’s needs. According to Murray, the majority of these secondary or psychogenic needs were largely determined from within, as a result of something within the person rather than something coming from the environment. He added that there are mechanisms that will either facilitate or impede the efforts of the individual’s efforts to reach a given goal. Man, therefore, may or may not have the means or the ability to satisfy his need strivings. Turning to man’s emotional state, or feelings, Paul Ekman studied the following: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust. Notice that these primary feelings have a skewed ratio of negative or painful feelings to positive or good feelings. Per these learned men, man has an inner difficulty functioning within an unforgiven society. Religion was developed in part to help men cope with his troubled existence. Catholicism, for example suggested that man was unlikely to find peace and comfort here on earth, but would find relief from his internal life, in this life depending upon how he lived, acted, treated other people, etc. He might find relief from his current difficulties in the next world. Do not forget about the early games when men fought and slayed other men in the Coliseum for the entertainment of the witnessing crowd. Today we have more civilized examples of diversions to help the masses. These escapes are found in football, boxing, and caged fighting. This too is entertainment and is an escape from day to day reality To Be Continued

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happiness or Effectance Part 4

In summary, Kevin Durant makes millions of dollars playing NBA basketball. When listening to him, he stated that he left the Thunder to play for the Warriors for the pursuit of winning the championship period. Also in Oakland, we have another team called the Oakland Raiders. Their motto is the “Commitment to Excellence.” Professional sports has it right, in that it is not about a transitory or intermittent feeling of happiness. Effectance, achievement, mastery, competition and submitting to pain or abasement are primary needs that motivate behavior. Feelings come and go like the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. Hedonism can lead to unsatisfactory and self-defeating behaviors resulting in a non-fulfilling life -- drug use, gambling addictions, sexual promiscuity etc. . Mastery leads to goalsetting, expectancies and planning for the future which is paramount for a self-fulfilling and meaningful existence. PS Tony and I completed on Father’s Day, the Burton Creek half marathon trail run near Tahoe City, at Lake Tahoe. We’re still practicing. I haven’t mastered running just yet. I’m still working at it. However, I came in first in my age division 75 through 79 and Tony came in second in his age division 65 through 69. Do I accept the fact that at some point I’m going to be injured? Yes! Do I know when or where it will happen? No, all I know is that from my running history, that either an overuse injury, or an Achilles, or sciatica discomfort, a meniscus surgery, etc. will happen as it has happened in the past. One can argue whether or not Effectance, achievement or mastery are psychological needs. They might be biologically-based, learned or combination of the two. One cannot argue, however, that they are not motives that drive behavior. As NFL great Ed Budde said, “Keep moving.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Happiness or Effectance Part 3

Turning to the present, another example of mastery motivation was illustrated by the Golden State Warriors with their victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers this year. Last year, Cleveland beat Golden State in seven games. I remembered seeing one interview with the series most valuable player {MVP} Kevin Durant. That interview got my attention and subsequent thinking. In that interview Kevin, with his mother, commented on the memory he experienced when he was about eight years old. He wanted to be a basketball champion. He was also asked whether he would now take time off from his basketball. No, he replied. He planned to return to his home in Virginia and play basketball with his friends. In other words, for the past 20 years or so, Kevin Durant practiced his basketball, in an attempt to attain mastery. Has he yet mastered it? No, he still practices, and talked about making himself a better player. What was once play has become his profession? It still remains play. However, it is play with a purpose. His mastery and achievement drive have become his passion and illustrate that competing in basketball at the professional level gives his life meaning. Did he accept his basketball injury this past season? Yes! Did he receive criticism when he left the Oklahoma Thunder last season to play for the Warriors this past season? Yes! To be continued

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happiness or Effectance Part 2

Then we reach school age, where we learn the 3Rs and develop the potential for interpersonal relations, master electronic devices, and other play activities like, sports. Take Fritz Seyferth as an example. When Fritz was in the primary grades, he had a learning disability, which made his school academic life miserable. The school wanted to hold him back, and he didn’t want to attend school. His mother Corrie would have none of that. After many meetings, Fritz was allowed to remain at the same grade level with the other kids. Fortunately, for Fritz, he was a large boy for his age, and he had terrific well-coordinated motor skills. He could kick and throw the ball farther than any of the other kids, and thus he became a popular leader in the class, regardless of his academic difficulties. Fritz was a walk on for the University of Michigan football team in 1968. He worked very hard and competitive Fritz mastered the fullback position for Coach Bo Schembechler. In fact, as a junior, playing against the University of Minnesota for the little Brown Jug, Fritz scored four touchdowns in that game and in fact gave the credit to All-American tackle Dan Dierdorf for his devastating blocking and opening up holes for him to run through . By the way, Fritz attained a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University Michigan and an MBA conferred by the University of Connecticut. One will find Fritz today, in Ann Arbor, consulting with CEOs and COO’s that hope to improve their focus, goalsetting and interpersonal relationships. Yes, the key here is mastery, abasement and achievement. To learn more, about life story, and Fritz’s ability to accept injury, criticism, errors, to seek and enjoy pain, and punishment, I refer the reader to Bo’s Warriors-Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football. To be continued

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happiness or Effectance Part 1

Once upon a time, a student of Socrates named Aristippus of Cyerene maintained that pleasure was the highest good. The idea that pleasure and happiness were the most important and most significant goal of human life, was called hedonism. In that belief system, the person seeked to maximize pleasure and minimize, eliminate or avoid pain. Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence wrote “that all men are created equal … among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I take issue with the pursuit of happiness. Per psychology, happiness is just one of the feelings that we experience. Not only that, it’s transitory. In other words, it comes and goes. It’s only an emotional state, and not a long-lasting mood. Other significant emotions include sadness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, and contempt. Notice the majority are negative emotions, although important for our survival. Let’s turn back to happiness. There are a number of assessments that attempt to measure the feeling of happiness. On the test, individuals are asked to characterize themselves in the moment; for the past few days; for the past week; for the past few weeks; and for the past year. In my opinion, the various tools are primitive and unreliable and inaccurate since most people have difficulty labeling their feelings accurately. Recently, individuals have claimed they were happy when they made at least $75,000 per year. After that numerical amount, however the happiness scale did not move very much as far as their happiness was considered. Other findings from Happiness Research are summarized as follows: 1. You control about half your happiness level 2. Lottery winnings create only temporary, short-term happiness. 3. Relationships are key factor in long-term happiness 4. Focus on experiences, not stuff. Moreover, to understand more about happiness attend the University of California at Berkeley, and attend a class on the Science of Happiness. Perhaps Jefferson was barrowing an idea from the Greeks when he wrote about the pursuit of happiness. Unknown to Jefferson at that time were more modern and relevant aspects of human motivation. For example, let’s take a look at the idea of Effectance Motivation described and labeled as such by R. W. White. According to White, the development of competence is an important attribute of personality. Moreover, it is linked and associated with other motives, such as curiosity, mastery and achievement. Nothing may be more important than the ability to navigate the environment as we begin our lifespan. We learn to use our hands to eat, grab and hold onto things. We learn to navigate by crawling, walking, skipping, and running. The development of our gross motor skills are very important as we’ll see later. By the time we reach preschool, we are likely scribbling, drawing, increasing language, reading, and perhaps even writing. Mastery is so very important and necessary in our ability to master our world. To be continued

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We Are What We Eat Part 4

In conclusion, not many in our population want to believe the foods that we eat and the hazardous pesticides related to production of such are severely toxic to our health. Pesticides are used indiscriminately in the growing of our food. Take arsenic for example, used in the planting of rice, apples, etc. Although even if discontinued, the poisons of arsenic remain in some form in the soil for about 80 years. Dow Chemical’s CEO salary was $19.4 million in 2016. And then, some form of sugar, sodium, etc. are mixed with a variety or combination of chemicals resulting in what we call food. The CEO of Pepsi made 25.2 million in 2016. Some say that we have the best food production in the world. Just ask any CEO in the industry. The food and pharmaceutical industries played a part in the creation of diet innovations; diet pills; gyms, spas, personal trainers, aerobic events, apps, etc. to reduce or hold in abeyance the number of calories ingested. In the battle within the pleasure centers of our brain, our addictions to sugar, salt, etc. usually win out for a variety of psychological reasons. It’s simply not calories in and calories out. Different individuals can consume the same number of calories with different results. We have different metabolic rates that also play a role. Counting calories is not the sole answer. And then we have this insurance system that also plays its part in the man-made epidemic. They influence and place limits on the amount of revenue that doctors, hospitals earn during their treatment. These insurance giants enhance their profits by their creative and ingenious use of restricting coverage. The CEO of Aetna made $18.7 million in 2016. Some say that we have the best health care system in the world. Just ask any CEO in the industry .Source, May 28, 2017 The New York Times. Some say that freedom, democracy and capitalism are the best systems in the world. Yet, don’t forget that we have the highest rate of cardiac disease and obesity on the planet, but our life expectancy numbers are not going up, but are actually decreasing. Remember, the ingestion of food affects everything that goes on in our body. And greed within our economic system, allows these conglomerates to feed everyone in our country, regardless of the price.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We Are What We Eat Part 3

Another factor to consider is that the major players in the food industry like Coca-Cola actually funded obesity research. It had paid for a published paper by the NWCR think tank. The food industry learned from the tobacco industry in that they funded research that downplayed the relationship between nicotine and disease. We remember that the tobacco industry claimed that” Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health.” No one believes that anymore. I also remember meeting my brother at one luxurious medical conference held in San Francisco that was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. Just ask your doctor for samples of meds and you’ll know what I am suggesting. Prescription medication is heavily used by the medical doctors in their patient treatment. The Pharmaceutical companies are immensely profiting from the obesity and its related diseases. Do you believe that a pill can fix everything? This brings us to health insurance. These companies are making record profits as a result of outrageous premiums, limiting coverage to low income individuals as well as other restrictive options at their disposal. Per a May 21, 2017 article in The New York Times, it was reported that Anthem, one of the nation’s largest insurers, planned to increase their rates 24 to 38% in Connecticut market. They rationalized their decision, claiming it was based on the assumption that the Trump administration would continue paying the subsidies through 2018. They said that if that assumption was wrong, the company’s insurance rate increases would be much higher. They also added that they expected to serve a smaller, sicker group of people next year. Healthcare insurance companies are in the business of making a profit first and foremost. They are powerful and have a dramatic influence on the government and the lobbyist’s write the legislation that protects them, and only them. Over and over, we hear again and again that people are denied coverage. For example, as far as mental health coverage goes, the plan may say 20 psychotherapy visits per year, but that number is misleading. The plan does not spell out or in fact cover the vast majority of complaints or situations that would bring someone or a family to seek counseling or psychotherapy. For example, marital or relationship counseling; employment problems; learning disability; alcohol, drug or gambling addictions; parent-child difficulties are not considered serious enough and as a result are not covered in one’s policy. Is insurance for the benefit of the insured or the benefit of the company? to be continued

Monday, June 12, 2017

We Are What We Eat Part 2

I believe that diet, drugs, chemicals, are the main culprits for the poor health in our country. Our foods are genetically engineered, and we can’t trust the labeling or marketing on our food containers. For example, I selected a Nabisco product called belvita. On the box, this product had the word breakfast above the word belvita. It had the following marketing: 1. 4 hours of nutritious steady energy. 2. 230 cal, 0.5 g saturated fat, 220 mg of sodium and 10 g of sugars per pack. 3. 19 g of delicious whole-grain per 50 g of serving [4 biscuits). And now for the ingredients: whole-grain blend [ rolled oats, rye flakes enriched flour] flour [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron ,thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1],riboflavin B 2, folic acid, canola oil, sugar, whole-grain wheat flour, brown sugar, malt syrup from corn and barley, invert sugar, baking soda, salt, soy lecithin, disodium pyrophosphate, cinnamon, datem, natural flavor, ferric, orthophosphate , iron, niacinamide, molasses, pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], riboflavin [vitamin B 2] thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B 1]. This product contains: wheat, soy. Made in Mexico. Do not for one minute forget that the vitamins were listed on the package before the ingredients of this product was baked, After you open up the wrapper, how many vitamins do you think you’re really getting? What are the health implications of consuming this product? A recent article in the May 21, 2017 edition of the New York Times told the story of an animal endocrine clinic in Manhattan. In this particular clinic, Dr. Peterson treated felines suffering from hyperthyroidism. Current research linked this strange disease to a common class of flame retardants found in the home. By the way, flame retardants are found in most mattresses. Further, a 100% organic mattress may help by removing the mercury and cadmium buildup in your thyroid. Once again, is there better living through chemistry? After we have epigenetic research to tell us what foods are good for us, I doubt belvita will be on that list regardless of the claims made. I don’t know what I ate despite a listing of the ingredients. What kind and type of chemicals and pesticides were used in concocting this breakfast food choice? I’m not a chemist and I know very little about the interplay and interaction of all these chemicals. The labeling of this product was not helpful. I do know that this product contains a significant level of salt, sugar and calories. I’m guessing that this product illustrates the problem we have in the selection of choosing healthy foods. I believe this product and other food products contribute to the disease of overweight. To Be Continued

Sunday, June 11, 2017

We Are What We Eat Part 1

The food, pharmaceutical, insurance, health conglomerates have a symbiotic union and as result, have fueled our nation into ill health. With greed being there modus operandi, they are the major players of this problem. The representatives of our government have been complicit players with the above. In fact, lobbyists from these industries are known to have written legislation in their own interests. According to an article in the June 5, 2017 edition of Time, regarding the reality TV show The Biggest Loser, it was stated: 1. The contestants lost an average of 127 pounds each and about 64% of their body fat. 2. These contestants had a motivational trainer, telegenic doctors, strict meal plans and killer workouts. 3. Sometime following the show, 13 of the 14 contestants gained an average 66% of the weight they lost on the show. 4. Four of the contestants were heavier than they were before the show’s competition. 5. Education and knowledge about losing weight was not the reason for weight gain. Also in the article, seven in ten of American adults are overweight and 4 in 10 are clinically obese. In fact, the weight loss industry of [Diet, pills, meal plans and gym memberships etc.] generated $66.3 billion yearly. Moreover, there are roughly 155 million Americans overweight, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We know that excess body fat increases the risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, depression, respiratory problems, major cancers and even fertility problems. Some believe that this epidemic of overweight individuals was simply lack of will. I believe there are other factors. Of course, motivation plays a part in this man-made epidemic. About 80% of the foods that are consumed have been genetically engineered-modified or called GMO. We also know that in the US we do not have strict labeling laws pertaining to the foods we eat. We also know that that our genes or heredity account for 20 to 30% of who we are. This means that our environment which includes diet, lifestyle, drugs, chemicals, temperature, light, stress, etc. make up the rest of who we really are. In 1990 adults with obesity made up less than 15% of our population. We now have 40% of the adults in our population with obesity and for kids and teens that number is 17%. Part 2 To Be Continued

Monday, June 5, 2017

Better Health

Recently, I attended a continuing education class titled “Cardiovascular Health, Inflammation, and Nutrition” sponsored by Institute for Brain Potential. The following are a few excerpts from that class. According to the instructor, about 80% of the foods that are consumed today have been modified. There are serious questions and concerns pertaining to the organic labeling. USDA organic is the preferred choice. Hopefully, the FDA entity that certifies food has the necessary police force with actual consequences for the cheaters. It was stated that heredity likely accounts for about 20 to 30% of who we are with the environment, drugs, chemicals, diet, temperature, light, stress, and lifestyle, determining the rest. In the future, epigenetic research will likely suggest just what foods are the best for us. Because of the GMO’s and drugs produced by the food and drug industries, it’s no wonder why we have such a high cardiac mortality rate. Roughly, 25% of teens and 25% of individuals over 65 have prediabetes. This means that someone born today, more than likely will have a shorter life span. With the GMO’s, faulty labeling, and numerous drugs, it’s obvious why we have a problem with obesity in our country. When I was a teen, I did not recall that we had this obesity issue. Remember, genetically engineered foods began somewhere in the 60s. It’s simply not better living through chemistry. Only exercise is not enough for good health. Cortisol receptors are located throughout our central nervous system and are found in abundance in the hippocampus- limbic system structure. This receptor is involved in learning, memory, mood as well as our critical thinking. Cortisol affects our body’s ability to regulate our thyroid, mood, blood sugar, digestion, immunity, sleep, exercise and recovery. It is our body’s own anti-inflammatory. However, inflammation leads to metabolic issues. High levels of the hormone cortisol, accompanied by stress is associated with the dramatic increase in death from cardiovascular disease years later. We are born with stress. We experience stress throughout our lives. To defend against heart disease, grow your own food. Only then will you know what you are consuming .if you are out there tilling the soil, picking your fruit along with the other farming functions, you are receiving enough sun [Vitamin D], and movement. More than likely after a hard day of physical work, you’ll sleep like a well fed baby. If you’re not going to grow your own food, consume like a vegan, or work at becoming a well-conditioned runner, consider adding 100% organic soy products, curcumin, iron, magnesium, CoQ10, flaxseeds, 100% organic cinnamon and green tea to your diet. To evaluate supplements, Google consumer lab.com. Hope to see you around.