Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Has Not Yet Killed Us

If you recall, I posted that Saint Cynic will be taking on an additional subject: Fitness and Nutrition.  To that end, I have been shoring up some titles of books that I will be borrowing from the local library so that I can read, learn, and inwardly digest.

My purpose behind tackling the field of fitness and nutrition is not to set myself up as any form of authority on the subject; I'm certainly not that.  However, because I was gifted with a modicum of brain-power, and a rational self-interest in my own well-being; because I'm not getting younger and I've frittered away many years of valuable time poking about in areas of interest that have done nothing to stabilize really any area of my life; because I have a swelling interest in improving the quality of my life as a whole; and because I would rather widen the margins for avoiding any possible heritable disorders in my family, I am going to journal my findings as a personal catalogue that others can (hopefully) benefit from.

If nobody besides myself benefits, so be it.  But because I will personally benefit from this new journey then that's one more person who has stepped beyond the pale of faulty "conventional wisdom" and into the light of proper self-actualization, and a more refined sense of actual autonomy.

To begin with, it is true that you are what you eat.  What you take into you, in part, logically comprises aspects of the physical self.  For example, if you habituate yourself to a diet of fast-foods, rancid vegetable oils (which are the oils found in most store-bought food products), and multitudinous forms of sugar then you'll ride out your days on unnecessary insulin spikes that overtax your liver with harmful carbohydrates and result in unhealthy weight gain.  Thus if you eat unhealthy, you will grow into a robust example of ill-health.  What you eat helps determine what you become.

We apply the same principle to how we think ("think positive and you'll be positive", etc.), so why would the same not hold true for your bodily intake?  The simple answer is that it does.  This is incontrovertibly true as borne out by evolutionary history.  And the human body, simply said, cannot adapt to those things that, in effect, weaken it, damage the gene pool, and eventually kill it off.  So, despite Neitzsche's famous quote, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger," it simply does not equal out that poor food intake, while it does not kill you quick enough to pique other's awareness, makes you any stronger, or that our present state of (un)health as a human race will make us any stronger in the future.

The facts are continuing to roll in: we are not dead, but what has not killed us is, in fact, weakening us and, sadly, fattening us up for the eventual slaughter.

With that in mind, I plan to bolster my awareness of proper fitness and nutrition, and change the trajectory of my life overall by improving my understanding of the issues that attend to our culture's declining health.  To begin with, I will be reading Gary Taubes's famous and perrenial volume Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Taubes's credentials are impressive (this blogger has noted them), and he has shaken the dietary world to its core with his über-well-researched essay.  I am looking forward to gleaning everything I can from Taube's work, and then applying his conclusions in their proper directions.

I will offer my reflections on Taubes's work as I go, and hopefully generate some fruitful discussion for everyone involved.  So keep watching Saint Cynic for my reflections on Taubes's book and, of course, for my usual stock-and-trade articles criticising the religio-philosophical world around us.