Common Sense … again

October 30, 2011

I’m concerned about our country.

I’m concerned …

… about the hyperbole dominating our dialogue

… that politicians right and left offer “solutions” only
when situations reach crisis levels.

… that some of the “cures” seem to be worse than the malady

… that private interests control so very much of what we
see, hear, and what happens in government.

I’m concerned that the voice of people, the interests of
the common man has been drowned out by the hyperbole; by the shouting; by the
brinksmanship

I’m concerned that the wisest of us about how to address
our own challenges is being discounted, disregarded, and has become disengaged.

I’m concerned that the very solutions we so desperately
need in America today are locked away in the heads and hearts of the average
American …who is and remains amazingly silent.

It’s time for the Average American to show up.

It’s time for the Average American to speak up.

It’s time for the Average American to find his or her
voice and take back your country.

Democracy demands it; we deserve it.

America needs it … desperately.

Mike Stockwell writes
this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the Founder of The Pacific Group –
Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and
mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to take their
business to the next level. 

Find out more about Mike
and his business at:
www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com

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Note to the Reader: I wrote this for my family but felt it was worth sharing with you.

First … HAPPY BIRTHDAY ETHAN!!! (Lil’ guy turns the big -0-5 tomorrow … as opposed to one of our newest female family members who will turn the big five “O”  later this year )  I’m not able to attend Ethan’s party but it promises to be the traditional big bash that Mom does so nicely for the kids every year.  We’re gonna have a second b-day party in August when Wendy, Isaac & the kids are here.

OK … now on to the meat (no pun intended) of what I wanted to share with you. 

Put down those potatoes—unless you want to pack on the pounds!!

Slavenska and I are trying to pay attention to diet and exercise.  I’ve done a fair amount of reading and actually took some nutrition classes.  As it turns out, in Panama, compared to the U.S., a lot less attention is paid to nutrition labels and healthy eating.  So Slavenska and I spend a lot of time talking about carbs (sugars) simple and complex, fats, proteins, insulin, and on and on.  I won’t bore you with this but the information below is so different than what we’ve been taught, it’s worth sharing.

Yesterday I heard a radio segment on a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, and then did a little more research.  The study concludes that it DOES matter just as much what types of foods our calories derive from as it does how many calories we eat.  Put another way, a serving of 100 calories from potatoes (even boiled potatoes) is not nearly as healthy as 100 calories from low-fat yogurt.  It’s thought that a lot of the effect comes from the glycemic load on your system (how quickly the carbohydrates (sugars) from the foods enter the blood stream and require insulin to metabolize them.  Too much, too fast causes an insulin spike which has all sorts of negative consequences over the short and long term.)  As it happens, potatoes, white breads, soft drinks w/ sugars release quickly into the blood and cause that spike to occur.  So Dad was right when he said, “All things in moderation.”  (I’m not sure he was talking about glycemic load though!)

The Bottom Line

I care about you // us and I want us around for a while.  Eating plays a large part in health over the long term.  The subjects in the study were observed for diet, exercise and other behaviors over a 20 year period.  Over each 4 year period of observation, certain foods were found to contribute to weight gain or weight loss in a larger proportion than simply the food’s measure of calories.

Things that may help you LOSE weight

Do eat: vegetables (-0.22 lb), whole grains (-0.37 lb), fruits (-0.49 lb), nuts (-0.57 lb), and yogurt (-0.82 lb)

Do exercise: physical activity (-1.76 lb across quintiles)

Do rest: sleep (more weight gain with less than 6 or more than 8 hours of sleep)

 

Things that probably cause you to GAIN weight

Consume less : potato chips (1.69 lb), potatoes (1.28 lb), sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb), unprocessed red meats (0.95 lb), and processed meats (0.93 lb), alcohol use (0.41 lb per drink per day), television watching (0.31 lb per hour per day)

CLICK HERE:  To Download this radio segment

CLICK HERE:  To read the article from the Pat Morrison Page

And below is an Abstract of the paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Mozaffarian and colleagues

Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men.

Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB.

Source

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. dmozaffa@hsph.harvard.edu

 

Abstract

 

BACKGROUND:

Specific dietary and other lifestyle behaviors may affect the success of the straightforward-sounding strategy “eat less and exercise more” for preventing long-term weight gain.

 

METHODS:

We performed prospective investigations involving three separate cohorts that included 120,877 U.S. women and men who were free of chronic diseases and not obese at baseline, with follow-up periods from 1986 to 2006, 1991 to 2003, and 1986 to 2006. The relationships between changes in lifestyle factors and weight change were evaluated at 4-year intervals, with multivariable adjustments made for age, baseline body-mass index for each period, and all lifestyle factors simultaneously. Cohort-specific and sex-specific results were similar and were pooled with the use of an inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis.

 

RESULTS:

Within each 4-year period, participants gained an average of 3.35 lb (5th to 95th percentile, -4.1 to 12.4). On the basis of increased daily servings of individual dietary components, 4-year weight change was most strongly associated with the intake of potato chips (1.69 lb), potatoes (1.28 lb), sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb), unprocessed red meats (0.95 lb), and processed meats (0.93 lb) and was inversely associated with the intake of vegetables (-0.22 lb), whole grains (-0.37 lb), fruits (-0.49 lb), nuts (-0.57 lb), and yogurt (-0.82 lb) (P≤0.005 for each comparison). Aggregate dietary changes were associated with substantial differences in weight change (3.93 lb across quintiles of dietary change). Other lifestyle factors were also independently associated with weight change (P<0.001), including physical activity (-1.76 lb across quintiles); alcohol use (0.41 lb per drink per day), smoking (new quitters, 5.17 lb; former smokers, 0.14 lb), sleep (more weight gain with <6 or >8 hours of sleep), and television watching (0.31 lb per hour per day).

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Specific dietary and lifestyle factors are independently associated with long-term weight gain, with a substantial aggregate effect and implications for strategies to prevent obesity. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the Founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to take their business to the next level. 

Find out more about Mike and his business at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com

 

This entry is for my friend, Debbie.  For over 30 years I have loved her because, like Randy, with every fiber of her being she is every bit the optimist, every bit the fighter, and every bit the loving human being.  Now engaged in the battle of her life, Debbie can use our thoughts and prayers.

Randy Pausch, the 48 year old professor from Carnegie Mellon University, became an overnight sensation when his “Last Lecture” was posted on YouTube.com.  Carnegie Mellon has a tradition to give outgoing professors an opportunity to address what they want to talk about in a last lecture to any on campus who care to attend.  Pausch, who was retiring to give all his remaining time, attention and energy to his wife Jae and their three children (6,3 and 1 ½), spoke about his life and some of the lessons he learned in  a bit more than four and a half decades.

After Randy’s “Last Lecture” many interviewers did stories on Randy and his family.  Most notable was that done by Diane Sawyer.  It delved more into the man, his past, his family, and his dreams.  Throughout the lecture and the interviews (which I have watched several times) there were priceless nuggets from Randy and from those whom he respected.  I heard and saved these for myself with the idea that I would return to them periodically, to remind me … and to “check-in” on how I’m doing.

This morning I came back to them.  They are too good to keep to myself and so now … I share them with you.

On which path to choose

“It’s better to fail spectacularly than to go down in mediocrity”

On taking risks

“You can always tell the pioneers by the arrows in their backs”

On Love

“I knew I had to wait until I found that one person whose happiness was more important to me than my own.”

On Child rearing

“When things really get tough … put on your own oxygen mask first.”

On one’s outlook on life

“You must decide where you stand … are you a Tigger or an Eyore?”

A lesson for girls everywhere about men

“When it comes to men that are romantically interested in you … just ignore everything they say and watch how they behave and what they do.”

On playing it safe

“Sometimes the only safe thing is to take a chance.”

On who to seek help from

“I’ll take an earnest person over a hip person any day of the week.”

 On lecturing

“Don’t tell people how to live their lives … just tell them stories.  They’ll figure out how it applies to them.”

 On living

“Time is all you have … and one day you may have less time than you think.”

If you appreciate these “Randy Pausch nuggets,” then you will certainly appreciate the Last Lecture and the Diane Sawyer interview/story.  The context and the way Randy tells ihis own story enrich the meaning and the impact. 

Here are links to both:

Last Lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo&NR=1

Diane Sawyer Interview:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZbOQqtDAW0

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDIf4D4SQFo

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O8FvH_k2k4

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2HWTrDTsv0

Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSx-AB4JhvQ

It makes me feel good to share this.  Thanks for reading.  —  Michael

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the Founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives of small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to take their business to the next level.  Find out more about Mike and his practice at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com

Kidding … that’s not really me.  But it caused me to remember a few of those days kayaking alone in open water off the northwest coast of the Big Island.  I’d paddle for a while and then hop in the water to skin dive at places that looked interesting.

Nature … she has her own way of reminding us of how tiny and not in control we really are.  Go out and visit her!

(I think I’ll go play golf today!)

(Credit to Thomas P. Peschak for this outstanding photo)

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment. Mike is the Founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to take their business to the next level. Find out more about Mike and his practice at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com

From where do you derive your good news?  What do you see or read that recharges your batteries and gives you a lift out of the muck and mire of the daily news, the tabloids, the gossip magazines and TV shows that spew the negative news of the day?  A how do you think that this colors your disposition and your outlook.  Does it color your attitude, your demeanor, your performance at work?

Wait!  … don’t change anything yet!  Instead, just observe for one more day.  Allow your “silent observer” to notice what you hear and see from the media, from friends, from family and, if you can, observe your own self talk.  Just watch and listen … and be amazed at how much negative news, words, and emotions that we are exposed to and endure daily; two wars, terrorist acts, murder, kidnap, lost jobs, deficit, and the partisan politics and babble that emanates from Washington, D.C.  Once you’ve had enough, don’t despair, don’t curl up and hide, don’t shut out the world; but rather, know that antidotes to this plethora of negativity do exist.

We’ll talk about some of those antidotes soon.  But first, let’s first talk about how to lessen the toll that negativity takes on our psyche, our emotions, our disposition, and on our physical health.  Consider these few simple ways to lessen the impact of some of the negative coming your way:

  1. Be Selective … about what you watch, what you read, what you listen to and what and who you surround yourself with.
  2. Remain in Awe … of life, of grace, of nature, of human resilience, of our ability to grow and learn, and of our ability to alter the path we travel and the attitude we bring to that journey.
  3. Slow it down and step aside … recognize the overwhelming amount of negative news for what it is … a way to sell air time, newspapers, magazines and tabloids.  It is not the norm.  Turn off the bad news after you’ve heard what you needed to hear.
  4. Recognize … that there is more good that we as humans do than bad; and that, unfortunately, in our society good news is generally not news.

While this list is neither exhaustive nor complete, it may provide you with a different perspective and a few ideas about what might work for you in mitigating the negativity that we are inundated with every day. 

Mitigating the effect of negativity is a first step.  Counterbalancing it is an important next step.  Here are some proactive steps that I have found helpful in protecting me from the toxins of negativity.

  1. Start the day with some quiet time … Early morning is the perfect time to gather your thoughts, reconsider recent events, reflect and process.
  2. Read something affirming or positive … There are many enriching writings that you can lay your hands on.  Some good examples are the Bible, Daily Bread, the Tao Te Ching, or any work that is broken up into small segments, verses or poems that can be read in 5 minutes or less and then considered for another 5 minutes.
  3. Get some form of exercise every morning … even if you plan on a vigorous workout later in the day, move, stretch, walk, yoga, tai chi; treat your joints, muscles and circulatory system to some daily gentleness for 5-10 minutes every morning.  No need to break a sweat … just move.
  4. Consider the spiritual you … whatever your belief; nourish and align; come back to your center.  Whether it is reconnecting and re-engaging your spiritual self, exploring and stretching, or searching and finding that which resonates deeply with your core beliefs, integrating the spiritual you into your life can enrich relationships, improve outcomes, and change lives.
  5. Stop … observe … appreciate this moment before it is gone.  Throughout the day, allow your silent observer a voice; taking note and enjoying extraordinary, emotional, or even mundane moments as you work, as you relate to others, and as you accomplish.
  6. And I’ll finish with this … whenever you are faced with a choice to be right or to be kind… choose kindness.  Both the recipient and you will derive benefits from your choice.

As a business owner we are counted upon to lead, to be right, to make good decisions, to serve, and to move our organization in a right direction.  To the extent we can, controlling the outside forces that shape and influence our day and finding our own balance is not only wise; it is our responsibility.

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to bring balance back to their lives and take their business to the next level.  Find out more about Mike and his business at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com

 

Copyright © 2009-2010 by Michael Stockwell

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