Podcast 039: Mind Over Matter

In This Episode: Mind Over Matter, or how to defeat your rationalizations so you can make a needed change. Plus a segment of No Longer Weird that maybe hasn’t even appeared in This is True before.

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Show Notes

  • Just one example — this one from Florida. (Click to see larger.)

    No Longer Weird: Little boys getting stuck in a “claw machine.” Examples from Allentown, Florida, and ABC News.

  • Randy’s lawsuit book that he mentions: True Stella Awards.
  • The FastDiet book describes the benefits of intermittent fasting.
  • For the record, the calorie count for 1 cup of milk is Nonfat: 83, Low fat (1% milkfat): 103, Reduced fat (2%): 124, Whole (3.25%): 148. So really, not really a huge calorie difference, especially when you consider that the higher fat content creates better satiation. For coffee, 2 tbsp of half-and-half is 37 calories, and that amount of heavy cream is 101.
  • Kit mentioned Leo: that’s Leo Notenboom of askleo.com.
  • Kit talked about her Camino de Santiago walk in the previous episode.
  • And we talked about our ADD (we aren’t “hyperactive” so we prefer that term over ADHD) in episode 13.
  • That breakfast is the “most important meal that gets the day started” was first published in 1917, in Good Health magazine. And who edited that magazine? John Harvey Kellogg, the director of a Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, which was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He and his brother invented corn flakes in 1894. (They’re terrible on purpose: his development of a bland diet was driven in part by the Adventist goal of reducing “sexual stimulation.”)
  • Randy misspoke on one thing about table sugar. It is sucrose, which is roughly 50-50 glucose and fructose. And indeed, high-fructose corn syrup is 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose. And, indeed, glucose is mostly metabolized in the mitochondria, while fructose is metabolized almost exclusively by the liver.

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Randy: Welcome to Uncommon Sense, the Podcast companion to the ThisIsTrue.com newsletter with the mission to promote more thinking in the world. I’m Randy Cassingham.

Kit: I’m Kit Cassingham.

Randy: This week we have another installment of the Thinking Toolbox, and links and resources will be included on the Show Page at thisistrue.com/podcast39

Before we have that discussion, I’m still trying to catch up with what’s “No Longer Weird,” so let’s do a quickie with that — or maybe not so quick. What’s no longer weird this week is children — and it’s almost always little boys — who climb into one of those claw crane machines to get a toy from the machine. These machines tend to have a fairly large chute for sometimes fair-sized toys, and the kid climbs in to get whatever caught his eye.

The one I passed on last month happened in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Kit: What is it about that region of Pennsylvania?

Randy: Good question, but we certainly have had a lot of odd stories from that area in recent years, all that whole section of Pennsylvania. Eastern side I think it is, isn’t it?

Kit: It’s east, and it’s often called ABE — for Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton.

Randy: Ah OK! And I think we’ve had stories in all those towns in recent months and years.

Kit: Yes you have.

Randy: Anyway, in this case it was a 2-year-old boy who wanted a Finding Nemo toy, and he had to be rescued by firefighters, which is also a common solution. And that’s the problem with these stories: they really are common. The Allentown story doesn’t have a very good photo, but another one from earlier this year in, of course, Florida, Allentown south?, with a 4-year-old boy does have a great picture, so I’ll add that to the Show Page. In that case, a firefighter just happened to be eating at the restaurant where it happened.

Here’s an interesting quote from that one after they rescued him: “He got four toys out, then went to have dinner with his family,” said Titusville Fire Dept. Lt. Michael Abernathy. So they let the kid steal from the machine?

Kit: Not setting a good precedence.

Randy: Yeah, but here’s the thing: the owners may be getting off lucky. This happens so often that it sounds like a so-called “attractive nuisance” — what people “should know” something is a dangerous trap that lures kids in. That’s why home swimming pools have to have fences with locked gates: homeowners get sued because they “should have known” that their swimming pool attracts kids on hot days, and when they end up drowning in their pools, the homeowners are sued — successfully — for having, yes, an “attractive nuisance” that endangers children. Seems to me the claw machines are pretty similar, even if the danger isn’t as high.

Kit: That’s an interesting perspective.

Randy: Well, I wrote a book about lawsuits, so—

Kit: You’ve been thinking about this kind of stuff for awhile.

Randy: …it comes to me when— “I think there’s gonna start to be lawsuits over this, especially if a kid ends up getting hurt.”

Kit: Hurt or killed, and I don’t understand the machines enough to know how they would be killed, but if if there’s a will, there’s a way.

Randy: Yeah, I suppose it’s possible, but unlikely. So these things are so common that back in 2014, ABC News did a story titled, “Why Kids Keep Getting Stuck in Claw Toy Machines” — which is an indication as to why I think this is No Longer Weird. In that one, an 18-month-old — yes, boy — climbed into a machine in Maryville, Tennessee, before his grandmother saw him. These stories do often have great quotes, such as in this one: “I took a bunch of photos,” said Diane O’Neill, in that case. “As long as he was OK, it was funny. He thought it was fun, like, ‘Look what I can do. I’m clever.’ He was smiling until he wanted to get out, and then he became unhappy.” And sure enough, the pictures make the stories great too, so thanks grandma for taking some! But, I’m not even sure if I’ve ever done one of these for This is True just because I think they’re kind-of commonplace, but readers send them to me all the time.

Kit: Because they’re dumbfounded? But it did just occur to me that the way a child could die is suffocate by falling into the toys and covering their face and not being able to get up.

Randy: Right. Especially if they can’t get up, they’re usually plush toys. They usually have glass so they could smash the glass if you need to to get the kid out. The firefighters don’t do that because you could cut the kid—

Kit: Flying glass, yeah.

Randy: …But if it’s life and death, yeah: we’re going to do whatever it takes.

Randy: OK, let’s go to the Thinking Toolbox. This time, mind over matter, by which I mean choosing to stop believing in your own BS rationalizations and deciding to make a change and sticking with it. It’s something I decided to do over the past couple of years. Yeah, I need to do that kind of thing too, and it’s an example of getting something done by mind over matter. In my case, it had to do with eating better, and Kit’s a good person to have here for that because she actually researches this stuff quite a bit and convinced me on several things.

Kit: I did?

Randy: For instance, I used to believe in the old advice that the government put out because doctors believed it, because I think nutritionists believed it, I’m not sure about that last part, that fat was a bad thing. You shouldn’t eat eggs, you shouldn’t eat fatty meat—

Kit: Butter.

Randy: You shouldn’t eat butter.

Kit: Bacon.

Randy: You shouldn’t eat bacon and you should have margarine instead of butter. All these things, because fat was “obviously” bad for you and obviously that caused you to have high cholesterol. Well guess what? When they actually studied the matter instead of just figuring it makes common sense that “Yeah, fat makes you fat!”, they changed their mind on that, and you’re the one that clued me in on that.

Kit: I did?

Randy: You did. For instance, I used to drink low-fat milk. I eat cereal once in a while. A box of cereal lasts me about a month. A carton of milk lasts me a couple weeks, maybe three. Sometimes I have to toss it because it’s going sour because I didn’t finish a mere half gallon. But I bought low-fat when I bought milk. I didn’t like skim milk, so I bought low-fat, and you tried to get me to buy what I call high-fat or whole milk.

Kit: Have you started buying whole milk yet?

Randy: I haven’t, and the reason I go with so-called reduced-fat, or 2%, and I believe whole milk is like 3.4% so it’s not a huge difference, low-fat 1%, is that I think it’s just a lot more calories. I was going to look it up and see what the calorie difference was, but I haven’t.

Kit: Can I poke fun at you, then?

Randy: Sure.

Kit: Why do you put heavy whipping cream in your coffee, then?

Randy: I don’t all that often. Sometimes I do, if we have it.

Kit: We use half and half almost exclusively.

Randy: But because we’re putting in a couple of ounces, and usually when we have coffee it’s at least 12 ounces [of coffee], usually 16 ounces, and sometimes more, so we’re putting three or four ounces of half and half or a couple ounces of heavy cream isn’t really all that much fat, comparatively.

Kit: So if we bought whole milk, would we be able to forego the half and half and just put that in our coffee?

Randy: Maybe. We should try that sometime.

Kit: Check it out.

Randy: Explain why you thought I should do whole milk instead of reduced-fat or low-fat.

Kit: Well I’ve forgotten all of my arguments at the time, because it has been several years that I’ve been campaigning for this, but the body does need fat. It uses fat. The brain is all fat, and so when somebody calls you a fathead, they’re complimenting you.

Randy: Yeah, essentially it’s fat, right.

Kit: But the body needs the fat for all kinds of functions. I believe that maybe it’s cholesterol that’s important to making hormones. I guess that’s the case, but we avoid egg yolks because of the cholesterol and the fat.

Randy: Well, we used to.

Kit: And I have a friend who has … Actually, she’s quit avoiding them, but she wouldn’t eat them because of the fat and the cholesterol.

Randy: Anyhow, the bottom line is cholesterol isn’t necessarily bad for you either, because they said, “You got to stop eating eggs. Go for low cholesterol.” As Kit said, it’s an important nutrient. It’s an important building block, and it isn’t cholesterol that causes problems like heart disease in the first place.

Kit: That’s true.

Randy: It’s plaque that causes all that. They used to think, and I don’t think they do anymore, I haven’t researched this, but they used to think that cholesterol caused plaque, but it doesn’t.

Kit: And plaque isn’t, in itself, a bad thing. I look at plaque as the Band-Aid for the arteries.

Randy: Right, but it gets out of control sometimes.

Kit: It does, and that’s a nutritional issue caused by sugar. The sugar also causes the arteries to get brittle, and so the plaque comes in to the rescue to patch the arteries so that you don’t bleed to death, but then if you have sticky LDL, the plaque starts building up and causes problems.

Randy: We’re getting a little bit branched out, but….

Kit: I can do that.

Randy: We’ll bring this around, don’t worry, because the other thing you convinced me of was that sugar was really bad. I used to pound down enormous amounts of sugar, and I think that it was one way for me to attempt to self-medicate my ADD without really knowing what I was doing.

Kit: Good point.

Randy: But I used to just eat enormous amounts of sugar. It didn’t make me fat, which is interesting.

Kit: You’ve never been fat, but your face and neck were puffier than they are now, and I think that’s a reaction to….

Randy: So was that due to the calories or the inflammation? Good question.

Kit: And of course I don’t know, but….

Randy: Because when the medical establishment and therefore the government was recommending against fat, you have to get flavor somehow. You have to get sated somehow, and food manufacturers, especially the processed foods, replaced fat with sugar. I think that is why the U.S. has become so enormously obese over the last couple of decades.

Kit: It’s almost impossible to find processed food that does not contain sugar. And then, to make things worse, high-fructose corn syrup is even cheaper than sugar, so they’ve replaced sugar with high-fructose corn syrup. It takes less corn syrup to give the same sweetness, and et cetera, et cetera.

Randy: Right, and that’s a political issue because the government subsidizes corn.

Kit: Corn. We fatten our cows and pigs with corn.

Randy: And then tariff sugar, so sugar is actually probably naturally cheaper than corn syrup.

Kit: Good point. Good point, yes.

Randy: But because of the political things…. How do we turn this into the Thinking Toolbox, mind over matter? A lot of puzzle pieces that you worked on, sometimes it took you a couple of years. You didn’t pound on me and say, “No sugar, stop sugar.” You’re not a nagger.

Kit: You’re the one who introduced the concept that we should quit eating high-fructose corn syrup.

Randy: Was I?

Kit: Yeah. And I go, “All right, I’m fine with that.” But it was Leo who got me onto the challenge of what are the pros and cons, the goods, the bads, of high-fructose corn syrup, and sugar.

Randy: And that’s our friend, Leo Notenboom, of AskLeo.com, who I’ve talked about in the newsletter before. So I think just to summarize the difference between table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, is that table sugar is somewhere in the vicinity of 50-50 sucrose and fructose, and high-fructose corn syrup changes that balance a little bit for more fructose. And the difference is that fructose is processed by the liver and sucrose is processed by something else, is that right?

Kit: Yeah, and I don’t remember….

Randy: Right, so you get fatty liver, you get visceral fat, which is fat in your gut, and I was getting some of that. I didn’t really show — as Kit said, I had a little bit in my face and my neck, but otherwise mostly I was just starting to grow a little bit of a gut, like a beer gut, but not real big.

Kit: Without the beer!

Randy: Most people, they looked at me, they’d say I was slender and fit.

Kit: You didn’t look pregnant.

Randy: But if I took my shirt off, I wasn’t happy with what I saw. So the first thing I did was start ramping down sugar, and the number-one thing I started ramping down was soft drinks. If we went to a fast-food place or something, I would get an endless refillable cup and I’d chug down one or two of those while we ate.

Kit: We’d share that, and then take one home.

Randy: Then I’d fill it up again before we left, yeah, and have it in the car. As we know, that’s an enormous amount of sugar, and Americans have ignored that. They don’t remember that when Coca-Cola first started coming out, a serving of Coca-Cola was eight ounces, one cup. That’s probably not terrible for you.

Kit: When I was little, probably it was economic, but Mom would have all five of us share one bottle, which might, or can, might have have been 12 ounces, but probably wasn’t, so we were getting two ounces-ish.

Randy: Yeah, two or three ounces maybe. Nowadays, 32 ounces, very typical. 64-ounce is almost always available, and free refills.

Kit: Supersize me!

Randy: Yeah. The other piece of this puzzle is I was slowly gaining weight.

Kit: Uh-oh.

Randy: So even after I ramped down on soft drinks, I didn’t lose any weight. You’d think just knocking those calories out of your diet would really improve things.

Kit: There’s more to losing weight.

Randy: On the other hand, I was eating other forms of sugar too, like cookies and candy and cake and….

Kit: Cakes, pies, ice cream.

Randy: I would always get dessert when we went out to dinner and things like that, and my weight was still going up, even though I eventually knocked those desserts out too. And I was still gaining weight.

Kit: Really?

Randy: Yeah. Not real fast. I mean, it took probably five years for me to go from … I was about, what? 185 when I met you?

Kit: 180.

Randy: 180, OK. I was tickling 200. And 200 was a psychological barrier for me.

Kit: That was your red flag warning.

Randy: That was my “Do not exceed” weight. I’m six foot three: it’s not a ridiculous weight for me to be at, but it pushed me over into the definition of overweight by hitting 200, at my height. That was a psychological barrier for me, and when I actually popped through 200 to 200-and-change, it was probably 201 or something like that, I’d go on a diet and just eat better for a little while. I’d get down to 198 or 195. I would be good for a while, but it would creep back up again.

Kit: What do you think the cause was?

Randy: I think really it was just I ate whatever I wanted.

Kit: You ate too much.

Randy: And I ate too much. It was about that time that a couple of friends of ours mentioned that they were doing intermittent fasting.

Kit: That’s right, they’d seen a BBC program or something about it?

Randy: Yeah, and that’s a British doctor by the name of Dr. Michael Mosley, who then came out with a book called The FastDiet, that’s an interesting double entendre, because it’s fasting and it’s quick. I thought fasting was a bad thing. “You should eat three meals a day!” “Breakfast is the most important meal!”

Kit: Never skip breakfast.

Randy: …which is actually claimed by a cereal company. That’s why breakfast is the “Most important meal of the day.” What I read in there was absolutely fascinating to me. One of the big things he talked about was the insulin response, and that’s why sugar is really addictive. You eat something that’s got a lot of sugar in it, and a lot of processed foods, or you’re washing down even good food with soft drinks, it causes this massive insulin response to absorb all that sugar, so you get this huge surge of insulin from your pancreas. And usually what it does is it puts out too much insulin and tamps that sugar way down, and so you end up with low blood sugar even after you’ve just eaten and had a lot of sugar. So yhat happens? You get hungry. You want more.

Kit: You rebound.

Randy: You get this rebound effect and you want more sugar. You want more food, which in American culture, that usually means heavy on starch, heavy on sugar.

Kit: Yeah, good point.

Randy: I read that doing a fast — and what they’re talking about is essentially 24 hours, just stop eating. You can certainly have water.

Kit: Should have water.

Randy: Yes, you should have water, and he actually allows for a few calories, just a little bit of eating, but if you really want to get the benefit, you don’t eat, and let your system rest, your digestion, rest. And it actually trains your body not to be so reactive with insulin.

Kit: Huh.

Randy: People who do nothing else, they don’t change their eating habits except they fast, I can’t remember if it was two times a week or three times a week….

Kit: He recommends twice a week, you found that in the winter you could only deal with once a week.

Randy: That was when I first started, yeah.

Kit: Ah, OK.

Randy: That if you only did two times a week of fasting, 24 hours off, twice a week, that even obese people would lose significant amounts of weight.

Kit: And even if people really binged after the fast.

Randy: Right: “Yeah, I’m super hungry.” What I found was that when I did that, the first year or so, I had a problem with it. Now, I typically probably do it three or four times a week, where I just have a big lunch, like yesterday we went out to a buffet with some friends, I ate probably too much (it was great food!), and I haven’t eaten since then, and it’s 2:08 PM the next day, so it’s been more than 24 hours and I’m not ravenous. I’m not feeling hungry. I’ve drunk a lot of water, and that’s great, but I’m not starving, and this is why I’ve been able to lose weight.

When I finally decided these excuses … “You should have sugar and not fat!” No, that doesn’t work. I was gaining weight. “You should cut down sugar!” I was still gaining weight, because I was eating too much. I just decided, I am tired of being up in the upper 190s, I’m tired of being so close to my drop-dead weight, as it were, that I wanted to lose weight and get back down to the 180 range that I was when we met.

Kit: To bring this to a point, you got your brain to make the decision to take control of your actions.

Randy: I got my brain to agree with itself that….

Kit: But you had to overcome some habits, and that’s the mind over matter part.

Randy: Yeah. My BS excuses, my rationalizations, aren’t working, and I needed to make a change. And that’s what I mean about mind over matter. It’s not that you’re fighting external forces. I’m fighting internal forces, and I think that’s pretty common for everybody.

Kit: It is, and I do see it … We’ll talk about these another time, but I do see the mind over matter issue in myriad ways in society.

Randy: Sure.

Kit: I think the victim mentality is often, or is, a mind over matter issue.

Randy: People certainly are victimized by criminals or whatever….

Kit: But that’s not the victim mentality.

Randy: But that’s not the victim … Yeah.

Kit: “The world owes me,” is the victim mentality. Another mind over matter is, “I can eat anything I want because I’m going to go exercise.” Exercise is important, but it doesn’t necessarily control your weight, and that’s an interesting dichotomy, because we think, “You’re gaining weight because you’re not exercising enough.”

Randy: I have not really changed my activity level. I’ve lost now, in the last 20 months — I haven’t drawn that conclusion: in the last 20 months, I’ve lost 20 pounds. I’m back down to 180 now.

Kit: Bravo.

Randy: I’m still not quite satisfied. I’m going to keep going.

Kit: The exercise is good for your body organs and your muscles, and it does help raise your metabolism.

Randy: Right.

Kit: I’ll keep urging you to be more active, but there’s another reason people sometimes gain weight, and again it’s mind over matter. Sometimes you’re eating the wrong food. Alcohol is delicious, it has sugar.

Randy: It is sugar.

Kit: It is sugar. It’s liquid sugar. But it doesn’t have really any food value, and people don’t want to give up their glass of wine or their mug of beer, because what is life without it? So they’re letting the mind over matter control their behavior even though it sometimes, not always: I’m not saying everybody should be a teetotaler, but we don’t have to have the massive quantities. I was told I had to have beer and wine on the Camino, because that was part of the experience. I think I had a pretty good experience despite not having any wine or beer.

Randy: Beer or wine or liquor.

Kit: And there are foods that we eat that our bodies don’t want, and you don’t always know it. That’s the importance of having your….

Randy: How do you find out what’s a bad food for you?

Kit: You have blood work done. Find out what your homocysteine is, what all aspects of your cholesterol panel look like, and there’s some other markers that nutritionists know to look for.

Randy: And probably you don’t go to your doctor to get that blood work, because doctors….

Kit: You can get the blood work there, but you can’t get the translation. You need to go to a well-trained nutritionist.

Randy: Our nutritionist has two master’s degrees. Tell the listeners what a typical doctor has when it comes to nutrition.

Kit: Nutrition, a few classes perhaps, and if they’re real interested they might have read more books or done a little more study, but they don’t have extended degrees.

Randy: If you really want to get a handle on this, then I recommend that you find a nutritionist, probably with a master’s degree, that’s certified and really knows what they’re talking about. As another example of this, you actually had to do a mind over matter thing yourself with sugar.

Kit: Yes. I decided to quit eating sugar.

Randy: By that you mean processed, added sugar.

Kit: I don’t do desserts, candies, ice creams. I try to avoid processed foods because of all the sugar that’s added, and I knew that it was better for me, and I quit several years ago. And one slice of pumpkin pie pushed me into a three-month sugar binge. It was only after Mom died and I was researching sugar that I go, “OK, that does it. No more sugar. I am a sugarholic.”

Randy: You think that sugar not only, shall we say, caused your mother’s death, but really made her quality of life really poor for several years.

Kit: Decades.

Randy: OK. I noticed that she was quite the sugarholic, because it was very similar to what I did. She had cookies all the time.

Kit: And cake, pies.

Randy: Every time she went to the grocery store, and they went what, twice a week?

Kit: It didn’t matter. She always bought cookies and pie and ice cream.

Randy: Pies and ice cream, and she always had those Dove Bars in the freezer, and on and on and on. There was always, always, always sugar in the house.

Kit: Well I understand that, because I have the same reaction.

Randy: You inherited that from her.

Kit: Yes, and it wasn’t a role model inheritance, it was part of me and my ADD, part of my chemistry, I don’t know, but I realized, if I’m going to live as long as I want to, which is very long, I want to be vibrant the whole time, and sugar will detract from that.

Randy: As you saw with your mom, who lived into her 90s but with a very poor quality of life because she was forgetful….

Kit: And physically inactive and her brain was slow.

Randy: So you decided to cut sugar out. How long have you been off sugar now?

Kit: 346 days.

Randy: And you happen to know that because…?

Kit: Because I wrote it down in my journal this morning.

Randy: So you keep it in your journal.

Kit: July 5th is my one-year anniversary, and I’m getting close to four years of being alcohol-free, which is liquid sugar.

Randy: Because you didn’t like the way your body was reacting to that.

Kit: Right. The snoring, the fast pulse, the fast breathing, snoring worse than otherwise.

Randy: Yeah, you do snore less.

Kit: Yeah, except when I have a cold.

Randy: Yeah, that’s been a problem lately, but that’s all right.

Kit: What I’ve realized is, people say “everything in moderation, including moderation.”

Randy: Right, which I can do, but….

Kit: I can’t. With sugar, I’m a sugarholic. I cannot eat sugar, because it will set me off, pushing me close.

Randy: It’s like an alcoholic that goes on the wagon. They’re doing great, they’re off six months….

Kit: Even three years.

Randy: …and something happens, and they have a drink, or a smoker has a cigarette. Next thing they know, they’re full-blown addicted again.

Kit: You go right back to where you started, yep. I’ve learned that enough times. It’s like, nope!

Randy: That’s what’s happened to you.

Kit: I’ve recognized that that is my pattern, so I’m getting close to a year of breaking it. And I don’t want to test whether I’ve broken the trend.

Randy: Right, so your intention is to keep on this for the rest of your life.

Kit: Yep.

Randy: When she dies, I’ll let you guys know if she made it!

Kit: Hah!

Randy: So the bottom line is, yeah, we all have BS rationalizations. Here is an example, and you can choose to call yourself on the BS, on the rationalization, and make a change. Is it super easy? No.

Kit: Nope, it’s real hard, especially since people want you to keep up those patterns or have a drink.

Randy: Right, because they want to reinforce their own BS rationalizations.

Kit: Or they need the affirmation that it’s OK.

Randy: But even when people say, “Oh, drinking is part of the Camino. It’s part of the cultural experience.” No, that’s not what you want to do.

Kit: Do you want to hear what my response to them was?

Randy: Yeah, sure. I was amused by that.

Kit: I intended to not eat bread. I did, because it was the cheapest, since it’s free, form of calories I could get, and gave me quick carbs….

Randy: And you were burning a lot of calories.

Kit: I was burning a lot of calories, and I….

Randy: You were walking 17-plus miles per day.

Kit: Average of 17 miles per day.

Randy: Per day.

Kit: Eight hours a day.

Randy: For 36…?

Kit: The whole thing was 35 days, but I think we took three or four days off, but we still were walking around on those days, just not forward. The bread is fabulous, the pastries and the croissants….

Randy: Because it’s homemade bread, not some factory stuff.

Kit: It’s heavenly. The sugars, the desserts are wonderful. There are several towns that had chocolate factories and things.

Randy: But you didn’t partake. You said they were wonderful, but….

Kit: That’s what people told me, is what I’m saying. The beer and the wine flow. In fact, there was one place that there was a tap outside the monastery; you’re supposed to get a shell full of wine and people were getting water bottles full of wine, but you could get wine at any meal you wanted, really.

Randy: It was basically included in the meal.

Kit: Yes. 10 euros gets you two entrees, all the bread you can eat, and all the wine and/or beer you can drink.

Randy: That you wanted, yeah.

Kit: So people said, “This is part of the Camino. You’ve got to do these things.” I said, But I’m not going to. “Having a Spaniard” would be part of the Camino experience, and I’m not doing that either. They didn’t think that was very funny!

Randy: Hopefully they weren’t having affairs with Spaniards.

Kit: There’s all kinds of people to have affairs with all around the world.

Randy: All right, so the bottom line is you can choose to call yourself on your rationalizations and your BS and change things. I did it, Kit did it. I’m sure we could come up with other examples of doing it, but I’ve gotten the results I’ve wanted without depriving myself horribly….

Kit: That’s important.

Randy: …and feeling like I’m deprived, and like, “When do I get off this diet?” No, it’s not a diet. It’s a life change.

Kit: It’s a lifestyle.

Randy: I think I will probably continue with the intermittent fasting. Not necessarily so much to lose weight, but because it’s very healthy. That’s how we evolved. We didn’t have three meals a day when we lived in caves. We would sometimes go a couple of days without food until hey, somebody got a wooly mammoth and we can all eat!

Kit: Heh! We’ve been talking a little while. We’ve got a bunch of different directions. Let’s pull this all in and summarize our points and our message.

Randy: All right. Let’s lay out a little path here to wrap this up. First, I’m not saying that if you decide you need to make a change, you just decide and it’s easy and you’re done. No way. Our rationalizations are deeply ingrained. What I am saying is you do have to make the decision that you not only need to change but want to.

You have to understand the BS rationalizations you have, decide whether they’re serving you, and be open to updating your ideas. You have to have an open mind. Just as I was making such a decision, Kit helped me understand some of the things I had believed, that doctors had said, were untrue. We ran into friends who were doing intermittent fasting and it struck me as something interesting to look into. I read the book they told me about and saw how it applied to my situation. I thought about whether it was just another fad diet book, or if it made sense as a lifestyle change and was rational for evolution and physiology. And I shifted my thinking.

All of these steps are parts of mind over matter, and the results, after 20 months, is a very sustainable and continued drop in weight. But if I needed to drop, say, 100 pounds or more, I would have taken a different approach to get healthy more quickly, but I did what I needed to do to be successful and that’s what you need to do: is lay out a path.

Kit: That’s right. This fits in with my high-performance coaching.

Randy: Yeah?

Kit: High-performance living is being better every day than you were the day before. You need the clarity of the direction you want to take. So if it’s health, do you need to cut down on a certain kind of food, increase a certain kind of food, do different exercises? And then you have to have the courage of your conviction, because your mindset, your way of thinking, will try and pull you off of your goal. Your friends, your associates, will try and pull you off. It takes focus and dedicated action, step by step forward.

So when you hear things about different nutritional or exercise regimes, different lifestyles, be open to it, as you’ve said. Think about it. Research it for yourself and talk to others. Be open to what you’re hearing and learning. Experiment, perhaps. But with diet, get your labs done. Go find a nutritionist who can translate what your blood is telling you about your health.

But there are other things we fall into for the mind over matter. It’s not just health things. It’s patterns we work with, live with, love with, that may not serve us, and it’s the things that don’t serve us that we want to change so we can be better tomorrow than we were today, which was better than yesterday.

Randy: Well that’s an awesome summary! You have to know that there’ll be people who want you to stay the way you were.

Kit: Yes, because you threaten them when you change.

Randy: Absolutely, and you can’t let them hold you back.

Kit: Nope, you’ve got to live your life and let them live theirs.

Randy: If you want to improve your life, you got to work at it and you got to do it.

Kit: And it’s not easy, but suffering isn’t easy either.

Randy: Absolutely. Life isn’t easy, so may as well just make it better.

Kit: Live long and prosper!

Randy: All right! Well if you have a story to tell about mind over matter, want to comment, or have a question on how you might push forward, let us know on the Show Page, at thisistrue.com/podcast39

Thanks for listening, I’m Randy Cassingham.

Kit: I’m Kit Cassingham.

Randy: And we’ll talk at you later.

[Easter Egg]

4 thoughts on “Podcast 039: Mind Over Matter

  1. Good podcast. For those would like help with food addiction there Overeaters Anonymous (for face to face meetings) and The Recovery Group http://www.therecoverygroup.org (for online activities). Both have been helpful to me.

    Thanks for passing along those resources. -rc

  2. I started intermittent fasting a couple months ago and it’s felt really good, as well as being a great trial in self-control!

    Awesome that Kit has gone so long without sugar! That’s inspiring 🙂

    Both get easier and easier as you keep it up. I’m down another half pound. -rc

  3. What are you using for transcription?

    Rev.com. Price is decent, quality is uneven (depending on who you randomly get). You definitely need to go through it to correct the result if you want accuracy, as I do. I hope I’ve caught all the errors! -rc

  4. Speaking of the claw machines, two questions come to mind. Why can’t the child come out via the chute? He fit in, and it is designed for that purpose, sliding out. Why do the rescuers have to dismantle the machine? It seems every time I see this on the news it shows them taking the machine apart. How do they add the prizes? Isn’t there a door on the machine to open to refill it?

    Certainly there is: it requires a key, just like every other machine. Why they can’t go back down the chute is a good question, though, and it probably has to do with an interlock mechanism that (for instance) doesn’t allow an adult with long arms to just reach into the chute and grab stuff. -rc

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