L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 295, October 31, 2004
The Nightmare After Halloween
The Kaptain's Log
Exclusive to TLE
The imperial press, from Time maggotzine to Nazional Geographic to all the little gadflies, is all over the health issue lately. It seems that the endemic, massive obesity of the State's subjects/property is a threat to the supply of functioning tax sources and cannon fodder.
You already knew, of course, that it was the 19th century Prussian aristocracy which instituted the modern welfare/warfare state in its present, refined form. The Junkers had been defeated by Napoleon's troops because the French Revolution/Empire had actually instituted the first such state. Anyway, the lessons weren't lost on the Prussians, who perfected this nastiness in typical obsessive-compulsive Teutonic style.
As every single historical experiment in socialism has proven, such systems last only until the first really solid crisis. The Obesity Crisis is now poised to do in the Canadian medicare system. It is about to kill the nascent American one, too, in a partial-birth bureaucracy abortion.
So why would Libertarians care? Well, just because it's in the State's interests, that doesn't make it contrary to your own. While it's good for us to generate a lot of production and trade (even though Leviathan will tax it), so it is in our own best interests to live a healthy life; let taxes and conscription be damned. You don't have to consecrate your health to the service of the damned State, so it's not really an insurrectionist act to shovel donuts down your gullet. You need your health for all your own good reasons.
Therefor, out of the goodness of my cold little Kanadian heart, I offer, to you and posterity, free gratis, the following benefit of my acquired knowledge and accumulated wisdom: A.S.R.E.D.absolutely everything you need to know about general health and fitness. [This acronym stands for the five elements of good health, in descending order of importance. Never forget, however, that each element is vitally important to your health, and that if one is lacking, the others cannot and will not function to capacity.]
A is for Attitude.
I'll bet you can figure out why A is the first letter; with a negative Attitude, you will devote your brain power to making lame excuses for your physical decrepitude instead of doing something about it. Here are some of the standards:
"I don't have the time for it [exercise, etc]."
"No matter what I do, I can't lose/gain [healthy] weight!"
Fat cells, for example, are like birthday party balloons. They are flexible and can either inflate to hold excess fuel (food energy), which is stored as fat, or deflate as the burning of that fuel empties them of their contents.
Look, suppose that I have 10 balloons and you have 25. Now suppose that I inflate mine with the garden hose, so that each one is nearly about to burst before I tie it off. You, on the other hand, pour just enough water into each of yours that they are no longer flattened, but only slightly rounded. Whose balloons will occupy the most volume, your twenty-five or my ten? ...You may be built differently from others, but the proverbial "large bone structure" does not cause obesity. You have to take in excess calories if you want to inflate all those fat storage cells, Ms Hippo Hips.
The same goes for muscle cells. "I eat and eat, but I never gain any weight, no matter what I do!" Again, you aren't doing what matters, Mr Beanpole. Diet is only one part of the ASRED programme, albeit an important one. A lack of exercise and/or rest will keep you so skinny that you can stand in a rain storm without getting wet. Try lifting weights, instead of the remote. Results will result.
There are probably as many excuses as there are obese and emaciated people, but those are some of the more popular ones. Most excuses are only a variation of one of the standards, just as most unhealthy people look like a variation on the same pasty-faced theme. Did you ever notice that massively obese people appear to be related, even when they are of different height, skin and hair colour, et cetera? The same goes for all those skeletons who work at the Holistic Health [sic] Haven and All-Natural Market downtown.
On the other hand, healthy people of both sexes, all ages, races and economic classes tend to look alike, also. They move the same; they neither stagger nor waddle. They stride out, amigo, and it's impressive just to see them walk down the street. Why not join their vigorous ranks?
Here's how to become a member: adjust that attitude by following the ASRED programme. That requires that you Schedule your life. Your body, you see, is a series of systems. Every one of these systems is based on a diurnal "lifestyle". [Shift work is a killer, campers. If you absolutely must work shifts, try to limit it to only two shifts; preferably days and afternoons. Rotating among all three shifts is a guaranteed life-shortener no matter what else you do. So change jobs if you have this problem. In the long run, a cut in pay that increases your health and life span is not really a loss, anyway. And in the long run, you won't be running for long if you keep doing three shifts.]
For example, it is as important that you eat at the same times every day as that you eat proper food at each meal. Likewise, it is as important that you exercise at the same time every day as it is that you exercise properly.
I shall repeat this for the benefit of the kids who are dozing in the back of the classroom, as this will be on the exam: IF YOU DON'T EAT, SLEEP AND EXERCISE TO A REGULAR SCHEDULE, YOU WILL NOT BENEFIT MUCH FROM EVEN A HEALTHY DIET, WORKOUT AND NIGHTLY SNORE-SESSION. I hope that wasn't too subtle.
Your body needs to know what is happening and when it will happen, campers. Otherwise, it can't make realistic plans. Your metabolic rate, for example, is like a thermostat: it can be adjusted up and down (within a certain range), to burn calories at either a higher or lower rate. Think about it: young people, with their racing metabolic rates (due to their youth), have to eat massive amounts of food while practically living in front of the Lobotomy Box* in order to become obese. It's a full-time task, and it takes dedication. Me, a middle-aged man (I've been 39 years old for nearly as long as Jack Benny was), I have only to smell a donut and I gain ten pounds, but when I was young, I ate truly phenomenal amounts of food. You wouldn't believe it if I told you how many calories I ingested back when I was 35 years old, 5'11" tall, and 150 lbs soaking wet.
Metabolic rates vary with age, basic body build, and sex (that's "sex" as in M or F, not ohbabyohbaby), but your individual metabolic rate can be adjusted within its range. It's like, as I mentioned, a thermostat; you can not turn up the heat in your apartment sufficiently to cause the wallpaper to burst into flames, nor can you run the air-conditioning until ice forms on the outside of your fridge, but the wrong setting will cause you great discomfort and even illness. When you eat, sleep and exercise to a schedule, your metabolic rate assumes that all is well, and it automatically sets itself for optimal results. Mess with the schedule, and your body will react to the false signals which you are sending it.
For example, if you skip breakfast some days, or just eat it at different times every day, your brain tells your metabolism that it's famine time. In fat people, this translates as a slowdown of the rate of fuel consumption, which means that the same food intake will result in an increase in conversion to fat. Skinny people, on the other hand, will find that their bodies break down and eat muscle tissue. Nasty, how that works, isn't it. Don't mess with your metabolic rate; stick to a schedule.
Rest is all too often overlooked as an element of health, yet the quickest way to upset your metabolic rate is to get too much or (more often) too little rest. If you sleep eight hours a night, but not during the same eight hours every night [note the omnipresent importance of Schedule], you are confusing not only your metabolic rate, but every system in your body. Your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain, to name but a few, will suffer.
Most Norteamericanos don't get nearly enough rest. Most. The majority. Think about it. Really tired people are out there driving on the freeways, operating on malignant tumors, teaching your kids, manufacturing smoke detectors, et cetera. This is known as Thomas Edison's Curse. Before the damned incandescent electric light, people went to sleep when it was dark, or very shortly thereafter. Even farmers and fishermen didn't "pull all-nighters" back in the Dark Ages (aka the good old days) before technology turned night into eternal day.
The problem of insufficient rest is endemic and epidemic in North America, but the statist media don't often acknowledge this fact or, when they occasionally do notice it, they fail to connect it to health issues. [Basically, this is because they are stupid, but that's another whole series of articles...] The fact that this epidemic runs parallel to the obesity one has not yet registered with the mass media. Trust your old Kaptain, though; there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship here.
Growing children, especially teenagers, need at least ten (count them), ten (10) hours of sleep per night. Adults need at least eight. As a schoolteacher, I have seen the results of sleep deprivation, and I am not happy with a generation of narcissistic, incompetent parents. Tired children cannot learn. "Oh, Jason went to bed late last night because we were skiing/playing Bingo/selling crack, etc. Gee, we're sorry." No, you yuppie slimeballs, you are child abusers. Your children's mental and physical growth are being stunted by your malignant neglect of their most basic needs.
Some of the elderly need fewer than eight hours of sleep at night, but they need to take naps in the daytime to compensate for the reduced nocturnal slumber, just like babies and toddlers do. It's part of that circular aspect of life; ashes to ashes, nappers to nappers, nappies to Depenz, et cetera. Whatever your age, if you are not sleeping the right amount of hours during the same time period each day, then you are interfering with both your metabolic rate and God's plan. Let's not argue with the Man who runs the Divine Research and Development Department, okay?
Exercise, like diet, is always being thrown at us as a cure-all. It's very important to our health, but it's only a part of the programme, and is dependent on the other elements of diet, schedule, rest, and attitude. There are so many excellent, proven exercise programmes available to everyone in North America, that there is zero excuse for not being involved in one. The same excuses detailed above in the attitude section are used by the inactive. All I can say is walk, do not drive, to your nearest fitness facility and join up. Go for a brisk daily "constitutional walk, or do aquacise or jazzerdance or lift weights or do karate or ride the stationary bike or throw rocks at low-flying airplanes, but get your carcass up and moving. Start slowly, and learn before you burn. Use your head when you use your body. Warm up before and warm down after you exercise.
Diet. Man, if I only had a penny for every time that word was (mis)used by the statist media. Go "on" a diet. Try the Addlepated Diet. Try the Tarnation Diet. Drink "diet" soda pop... It's a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry, so we are told. I believe it. It's also a great big con game. Here's everything you will ever need to know about a healthy diet (Take notes, 'cause I ain't a-gonna repeat it, neither):
People were meant to eat only certain things. Whether you believe in the theory of Evolution or that of Intelligent Design, the same dietary facts impose themselves. WE ARE DESIGNED/EVOLVED TO EAT THE HUNTER-GATHERER DIET. Don't make me repeat this, okay? It's a biological fact. Forget macrobiotics and Veganism and every other crackpot fraud hallucinated by protein-deprived New Age lunatics, because they are full of road apples. What they need to fill up on is meat, and lots of it.
Oh, I know, you think that we can't get enough vitamins and minerals from a hamburger. You're right. I advocate, however, that we eat more than just burgers and steaks, that we quit throwing out most of the best parts of the steer, and do as our healthy ancestors did: eat the whole dang critter (except for the hide and bones). Today, people go chasing about looking for vitamins and minerals in all manner of grasses, leaves, stalks, fleshy inflorescences and other vegetation. That diet is for herbivores. This explains, perhaps, why so many people act like sheep and cattle, but I promised my mom I wouldn't discuss politics in this article, so I'll just say that the steak cuts and internal organ meats of cattle, deer, bison, and other grazing ungulates will provide you with almost every element you need for health. What little they don't provide can be found in fruits, nuts, berries and roots and tubers.
Vegetarians are not thinking clearly about diet (or anything else) because they are protein-deprived. They don't realise that an ungulate can thrive on an all-vegetation diet because a) it has an entirely different digestion system (how many chambers does a Vegan's stomach have?) which is designed to break down cellulose, and b) it spends 90% of its time grazing. The other 10% is spent running from us meat-eaters.
Why, then, do women eat salad? Precisely to lose weight! Because there is almost no food value (of a kind available to humans' digestive systems) in those leaves and stalks, and they expend more calories in vain efforts to digest a Waldorf or a Caesar's than they could ever get from one. Healthy humans don't need leaves.
Take a tip from the Mormons, and don't do caffeine, either. If you drink a daily cup of coffee, tea, or soda pop, or eat a chocolate bar, you ingest enough of this powerful, addictive drug to alter your metabolic rateand it is never altered in a favourable way, either.
Alcohol, too, is addictive, but you knew that. Even heroin is less addictive, and a much higher percentage of heroin addicts than alkies successfully kick their habit. I know that the statist media and the movies don't give that impression, but most of the addicts in this culture are booze junkies ("Oh, I'm just a 'social drinker'."), so you won't get an objective opinion from them. Alcoholic beverages contain all manner of nasty chemicals in addition to the alcohol, and booze confuses the metabolism almost as much as caffeine does. If you are going to drink any more than one glass of wine or beer per day, you will be injecting a significant amount of this noxious drug into your body. Is this a good plan, campers? This drug is the number one cause of fatal vehicle collisions, and a nefarious, omnipresent factor in divorce and suicide. I suggest that these "side effects" are bad for your health.
A registered nurse with whom I once worked told me that she considered refined white sugar to be a deadly drug. Well, it is hell on the metabolism, rots teeth, contributes to insomnia, and negatively affects tasks which require concentration. That, and the fact that it's addictive, have convinced me that she was right. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors got only a very little sugar in their diet, and it came almost entirely from fruits and berries. Honey was usually not worth the combat with its producers, one would imagine. There were no fast food chains in prehistoric times, so our forebears ate nothing that was saturated in sugar (and salt, lard and monosodium glutamate). They didn't deep-fry anything, either. Remember Governor Schwarzenegger's admonition to "Neffer eat donuts!" But what would a fat slob like him know about it, eh?
Pork is not only anathema to Jews and Moslems, it is obviously a poor source of protein. If this is not so, then why are pork eaters so much shorter than those who consume beef? Face it, pig is the food of poverty; it is popular among those who cannot get beef. I recommend you avoid it.
If you wish to lose weight healthily, try eating less "junk" food, smaller portions of good (mostly meat and meat products) food, and eat at regular times. Combine this with regular exercise and sleep, and you will get steadily healthier. The Kaptain promises.
Well, campers, that's it. It didn't cost you a nickel, yet it's the result of years of research and a lifetime of observation and experimentation. Please share this information, with or without mentioning its author, but if you copy the article, in whole or in part, for the purpose of sale, promotion, or any other attempt at extracting filthy lucre from this act of charity, I will track you down and pee in your flower garden. Now go fix yourself a nice, rare steak before you go to the gym, okay?