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Don Ruch

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Eliminating Overindulgence in food and alcohol?

I have been drinking red wine now for nearly 47 years and you can almost imagine the joy I felt years ago when the news came out the red wine and the antioxidents therein were good for you. This news came out just about the time I fully retired. If a little is good then more should be even better, right.? to make a long story shorter, I quit working out , drank more and more red wine (Merlot), with the numbing effect of red wine came the munchies. I blossomed to a breathtaking 100 lbs. overweight... Their is a time and point one reaches when you say to yourself"enough is quite enough" some poor souls never reach that point and I was so afraid that I would just give up. Just cut a hole in a sheet and wear it. Maybe the antioxidants would alow me to live to an old age.
Finally a week ago my wife and I decied for the umpteenth time to go on a diet and help each other in our weak moments. I have been off alcohol (Not red wine, I will explain)for 7 days now and lost ten pound on our diet. Yesterday we both were invited to a wedding and reception. I thought this would be a true test of our will power. All the yummy food and all the booze that you could keep down. As I sat there with my "sad" salad and self the hostess came over and said "There is alcohol free wine at the bar if any one is interested"...Indeed I was interested. I had several small glasses and the evening was suddenly beautiful. I danced with my Grand Daughter and noticed the sparkel in her eyes. Today I do not get the five o'clock itch.
My question is several fold, could this information help anyone and has anyone else have any inspiring ideas to help with overindulgence?

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    May 21 2012: One of the strangest phenomena of having a hemorragic stroke to my brain stem is that i have utterly lost my sweet tooth. Everything including spaghetti and meatballs and oranges and apples now taste too sweet.
    I am sorry to report this to the self righteous individuals who are certain that they are superior to their over weight peers but the reality of the weight of our bodies or of our appetite may be entirely contained in the formation of our brain.
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      May 22 2012: Yes, but the formation of our brain is plastic. Your experience from sudden change through a stroke is very telling - it teaches us the limits of plasticity.
      Lifestyle and life outlook help in our desire to re-wire. But it usually takes some kind of crisis to leave our comfort bubble and make these changes.
      I salute Don in having the motivation to take control of his own lifestyle.
      In the face of continuing abundance, there will be little or no motive to change.
      Artificial changes such as teh diets and exercise routines we try, and fail at. These things MUST be underpinned by a lifestyle that enforces them. We are adapting machines after all.
      For myself, I sold my car and now have to walk everywhere - and I have to carry everything on my own back. It is uncomfortable, but it has certainly added 10 years to my life expectancy.
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        May 22 2012: Hi Mitch! I was walking 2hours a day before the surgery and they think that might be what saved my life- but I only lost 3 pounds. Now I have no desire to eat as I did before. Something has really changed and even with an MA in psychology I would never have thought this possible.
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          May 22 2012: Hi Debra,

          Damasio has a lot of insight on this.

          But I also couple this with my journey of understanding when my wife developed MS and had a lesion below the brain stem that precluded 95% of her own body signal plus several smaller lesions in both halves of the brain stem.
          Then, when I had to understand what it means to be autistic to cope with the upbringing of my autistic son .. well .. one starts taking brain research very seriously indeed.

          From what Damasio has observed, your median proto self has shifted. This is the foundation of your core self.

          It is the core self that provides the model for Beyesian forcasting of yourself and others. Your core self now has a level of function that others cannot have. This gives you a massive advantage, but it will also set you aside and cause fear in these others who cannot know what you know.

          Now here is the rub - your core self has shifted from the median. It takes some extra processing to maintain your internal controls. This gives you wisdom, but a wisdom that is almost impossible to share.
          In your quest to share it, you will be granted insight that is needed at this time.

          I wish you all the best with this - and I share your pain.

          Few can give this gift and fewer can accept it - but we are not alone.
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    Apr 23 2012: Can be as simple as finding something other than food and drink to indulge in when the temptation to indulge kicks in.
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      Apr 24 2012: Thank you so much Anne, as a matter of fact I just reciently have taken up TED as my new passion.
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    May 22 2012: It is strange when you truly enter in.

    We are the masters of our lives. If only we let ourselves be.
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    May 22 2012: Wow! looking at some of these comments, I cannot beleive the stereotypical beliefs of the lean towards the fat. I am over weight. In fact I am morbidly obese if we are being honest. I was always on the chubby side, even as a toddler but was able to conteract this for many years by being extremely sporty and active. It also helped that my family were also big into sport and if the weather was good we were thrown outside to play in the sun, and were not allowed anywhere near a TV unless it was raining or dark out. So what happened? First, Patella femoral syndrome, years of play sports that are hard on my knees wore my cartilage down to nothing, so now my knee cap and femoral bone rub together if I do any impact activity, causing unbeleivable pain. At the time i was at Uni, so a broke student with no medical insurance to have the double knee operation required. Now of course, its an existing condition. I also developed another condition called Hydradenitis Supurativa, which messes up my adrenal glands and essentially means sweating for me can lead to the blockage of said glands and the development of painful lessions. I am currently in remission, so am able to exercise a few times a week (mostly swimming, Tai Chi and walking as no impact on knees), so fitness wise, I am feeling a lot better, but weight wise not so good. I gave up smoking a year ago so being overweight turned into morbidly obese. I find losing weight an endless struggle and I am NOT a lazy person. I work my butt off in my job, and am often on my feet for hours at a time, but the downside is because of the weight, my knees are aching so bad by the time I get off work, and I am so exhausted from carrying around all the extra weight, (try carrying around even 20 pounds of potatos for a day), that I lack energy to do much at all. But, I keep trying. Always trying. The downside is, people like some of the muppets on this site, would never look past my fat to the person I truly am.
    • May 22 2012: Yikes! I am going to be another smug skinny person. Sorry in advance. I always looked at weight as a calories in/calories out scenario. If you eat more than you burn you will gain weight and vice versa... so I eat less if I am less active. I know most people eat out of habit and routine but that is just well... habit and routine!
      But besides the money I save and the inherent efficiency of smaller people (same brain/computing power in a smaller package), the best reason to eat less is to live longer and healthier. There is a lot of evidence that says a calorie restricted diet can, in some species, double lifespan, but the quality of life is sustained til the very end rather than in a decrepit and weakened state. Please please read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction
      It could make your life even better! I really believe this applies to 80% of humanity.
      THis "diet" says you can eat or drink anything, but in moderation. In fact I like to binge sometimes but I always try and balance the scales (so to speak) over the next week or so..... best wishes to all.
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      May 22 2012: Lee-Anna,

      You are free.
      Who cares where you go - you will be there when you are there.

      Start now, as you started long ago - it has been too long and now you begin as you know you began - it is in reach as it was not before. The time is now. All is well.
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    May 22 2012: When JFK was President we all went nuts over exercise. Not all a bad thing. Now the headlines read the US is to fat. JFK wanted us to exercise ... Obama says we are fat. There are many reasons for overweight some glandular (including the mouth gland), some mental (depression, etc..), some just because its there. One of the deadly sin is gluttony. If it were possible to do all things in moderation the problem would be solved. I have not had a weight problem but I do try to be sensible. This year I have tried to eat one portion of foods on my plate. Compared to a cafe plate that is about one third. For the first month I almost starved and really wanted to snack. Eating right is not easy for anyone. Fast foods are killers, cafes are over portioned, and oven ready tastes like cardboard. I am spoiled, my wife cooks from scratch. Nobody said it is easy but as Don said doing things with your grandkids makes all the pain worthwhile. So what are you waiting for get it done. All the best. Bob.
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      May 22 2012: Hi Robert,

      I am glad you are happy and healthy. There is a certain window of opportunity for the fulfilled to grant their value to the world.
      However, THe USA is fat on the starvation of about a billion others.
      I do not blame or judge - I simply point out that the construction of global economy makes those in the USA (and my country too) so comfortable, that we become frozen in comfort.
      The device that has neutered the people of the west is fiat currency and fractional lending - this is a ponzi scheme that places all the load on the poorest - and they are not in Africa - they are in our own countries. Our comfort works to create barriers and ghettos so that we cannot see what we have done.

      I urge you to use that window of opportunity afforded by the comfort stolen from the poor to make you go to sleep .. I urge you to use your opportunity to open the window more - and get some of your excess comfort back to those who it was stolen from - simply to make you passive.
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        May 22 2012: Wow there for a moment I was proud to be eating smaller protions and then all of a sudden I am killing people around the world. Am I hogging food or money from the rest of the world? Mitch, I am not on a guilt trip. I know able bodied people who sit home everyday because they make more money on the dole than going to work. Lost the work ethic and their pride. Frankly I think they should be offered five jobs take one. After the fifth and you still refuse you lose your welfare. Nope I'm not guilty for having worked and earned my comfort. What are you doing and I may consider a match game. Bob
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          May 22 2012: HEy Robert - I salute your efforts!

          What am I doing?

          Well, I got expelled from consulting to fortune 100 companies because I did only the corporate mission while all those around me were playing games of personal advantage - I did not suit them and they expelled me like a virus.

          Left on the street with only my own corporate excesses to carry me fro a few years, I decided to go back into music.

          Being quite old, I was unable to be confident that I could master another musical instrument enough to give something to my fellow humans, I landed on learning the pennywhistle - I thought I could do this in a couple of months and be on stage performing for my fellows .. but I was wrong.
          When I went to buy some pennywhistles, I found that they had dissapeared from mainstream culture - when I was a kid they were sold in almost every corner shop. But now, they are hard to find in a major music shop. So I resolved to bring them balc to my culture, invested everything I had extorted from the corporate money-game and went on my jehad.
          I succeeded, to a certain extent, and found the rich tradition that is un broken and held in trust until our culture remebers itself. I am now the leading pennywhislte maker in the world, and I have a sacred trust to hold our herritage until fractional lending and currency reduce humanity back to what humanty has always been.

          I am waiting. I am not afraid.
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        May 22 2012: Good for you Mitch. Where can I buy one of your pennywhistles in the US. I live in Arizona. I wish you sucess. All the best. Bob
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          May 22 2012: Hi Robert,

          My waiting list is 12 months long.

          This vexes me somewhat, and I have made myself very difficult to contact - these things cannot be done within the industrial paradigm.

          But there is this really beutiful upside - to get to me is like my jehad - it is a journey of self discovery - I place myself as a smiling milestone.

          I am about to close my order book. In this process, I have to maintain my gift to society in general and I'm looking at a bridge-head product that is more affordable and more available without disconnecting the life quest that I make a pathing stone of myself - for those who travel to step on me.

          After my order book is closed, my work can only be gotten in person - I will be at major folk festivals for those who have found me to get the best I can give them. This is a leap of faith, but I can no longer pretend to be in the commercial world.

          Please give me your contact details via my profile - I have a whistle in teh key of C that I can give you right now. The normal key for trad music is D, but I have none - they go out the door as soon as they are ready.

          The C whistle is the only honour I can give you - please accept it. It is one of the first I have made as a prototype that I intend to give as my devotion to the path
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          May 22 2012: HEy,

          I have to admit that life does not stop. Many people claim I am one of the best whistle players in my country .. yes, I did my dues, but I am the least of those who have done this - and now, I am developing a Celtic mandolin style that extends the work of the great Celtic fiddle players .. and I give this for free wherever I go. I will have to make some recordings to extend that into the commercial dream to help others wake up.

          My new quest has pushed my physical limits so hard that there are many nights I cannot sleep because of the pain in my fingertips. As I play this new gift, my face is often showered by skin particles flying off the strings, and the blood is corrosive on the strings.
          But when I enter the muse there is no pain - there is only the empathy of my music into the ears of all who can hear. And that .. that is just enough. As those before me did.