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May 03, 2012

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Thank you Steve for sharing your wonderful success. Your story has given me incentive to again take charge of my life. I have had a weight problem since I was about seven or eight years old. Topping out at 5' 10" I must have been close to 200 lb. entering high school. From age 20 to 40+ I literally starved myself many times, only to have my weight oscillate between 195 and 165 lbs. But I did not exercise, and the net effect of this wasted effort was loss of muscle mass and a wrecked metabolism.

Then around 1985 I discovered a little book http://www.amazon.com/The-Setpoint-Diet-Gilbert-Leveille/dp/0345321960 and learned what terrible mistakes I had been making. I was desperate, again weighing over 190 lbs. After reading that book I immediately changed my diet and started on a regular exercise program. Similar to you, I made a straight-line graph for my desired weight, sloping down from 190+ at -2 lb. per week. My goal was to reach 150, a weight I had not seen since sometime in grade school.

A graph does not lie; I would put an X on it each Sunday. If an X fell above the line I would work harder the next week. If it fell below the line I would give myself an extra treat or two. I never reached 150 lb., but bottomed out around 158 lb. That was 1986. With a moderate amount of maintenance exercise and a reasonable diet I found that my setpoint settled around 160-165 lbs., which I have stayed at until around 2010.

Unfortunately ones body does not always agree with ones intentions, and my exercise regimin (thousands of miles of bicycle riding) lead to debilitating sciatica. There were a few times I could barely walk. Now I cannot tolerate a bicycle seat for more than five minutes. Nearly every joint in my body aches one way or another, but I do not complain much; after all I am approaching 70 years and take no medications. Having no television and spending more time outside also does wonders.

But I still remain active. I am retired and own a 17 acre farm. My wife and I maintain a very large garden, much of which we donate to charity. For months I have been cutting and splitting firewood for our masonry stove (probably enough to last ten years.) But my eating habits have slipped and my setpoint has again creeped up. I know what must be done, and your testimonial has again given me the call.

Thank you again for sharing.

at·ro·phy
1. Pathology A wasting or decrease in size of a body organ, tissue, or part owing to disease, injury, or lack of use: muscular atrophy of a person affected with paralysis.
2. A wasting away, deterioration, or diminution: intellectual atrophy.

According to this definition, mankind is suffering from two forms of atrophy, physical and intellectual. This blog has given so many excellent examples of both. I do not know which is worse, but both are becoming highly prevalent around much of the world. Modern technology is clearly a major contributor. In our community, people drive their kids 300 feet in their SUVs to wait for the school bus. Band and football, not necessarily in that order, are the most important high school subjects. Drinking and football, likely in that order, are the most important college subjects.

I grew up in the day of slide rules. Slide rules required comprehension of the subject; now students write down their incorrect answers with sixteen digit precision. Computers think for us; machines work for us. Will we be going the way of the modern-day turkey, unable even to physically reproduce? Cash registers figure the change, and cashiers can barely count it out.

Muscle atrophy is a given product of disuse and aging, but it need not be as evidenced by http://www.jacklalanne.com/ and his family. Loss of muscle mass is definitely one major contributor to reduced metabolism; there surely are others. Repetitive losing and gaining weight has been shown to be contributor. Perhaps I will learn why http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Women-Dont-Get-Old/dp/0385339976 or fat.

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