Sunday, January 25, 2015

What does Abstinence Taste Like?

Warning! DIY Program, consciousness string.

What does Abstinence Taste Like?

Mary Pickford ate flowers. She thought they made her beautiful. Or so the song says. This is not a rose though.

Anyone who has had abstinence, and lost it, and regained it knows. It is sweet, but fragile, unpredictable, and easily lost. It would be nice to say that I know how to get it back, but I am not sure, and unwilling to test the process.

Recovery may be as little as realizing a maladaptive belief and removing that one belief, or it may be many years of the program. It may be one meeting away, or a thousand. It is an active process, what ever that process may be. My mission has become to learn enough to recover, and to that end, I read and study other things beyond program.

I was raised in a environment that caused me to be anxious, and as a result, I remained anxious most of my life, without even realizing that. Anxious feelings block satiation signaling. Once I recognized this, and let go of the anxiety, easy abstinence returned for another 24. How about that?


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stop to smell the lilies

Warning! DIY psychology. But wild lilies do not smell much.

My mission in my life has become learning enough about this overeating issue to recover from the problem. This has lead to some unexpected realizations. Some will not be popular. Oh well. But recovery is still lacking.

First Hebdo related. Cognitive dissonance or discordance, I think is occurring.  Humans are logic seeking, more or less.  First, freedom of speech is only possible in a relatively closed culture, where any non-consistent view may be openly criticized, and there by bringing view in line with the cultural standards. Open cultures cannot withstand abusing non-conforming religions without offending the non-conforming culture. Some form of limited freedom of speech may be possible, excluding anything that could raise hate.  That is why mixed cultures have never survived for long. The concept of open culture does not deal with what people are, but rather what they might be. We are doomed unless a new religion/belief system is started. The only foundation is that we are in control of our beliefs, and that all our beliefs are within our own heads. Any group which holds itself separate from the remainder of culture, is by definition, separate from the main culture, hence biases. It cannot work unless humans become less logical and adopt ill-logic concepts. 

Now on the the subject. We all have beliefs. These seem to be similar to the unconscious mind as memory is to the conscious mind. Rap your mind around that if you can. We have triune brain and triune memory, two of which some people, do not have access to. We can eliminate a belief by figuring out what it is and where it came from, and eliminating it completely. But that is not so easy, we may dislike telephone solicitors and salesman, and yet be required to do cold calling for work, or job hunting.

So what belief is it that causes me to overeat? It is not one, but many. Anxiety, I believe was the starting problem. I was holding myself responsible for situations that I had no control over, and was encouraged to overeat as a means of overcoming the problem, which it could not of course do. By the time I realized that, I was addicted to the chemical rushes, effects and the like. The worst part is the effects are real for some of us. I like the high. I still do, but I do not like the weight gain. I want the high, but not the weight. The high still works. So the short term works, long term it does not. Now which is more important today; getting through today, or next week, next month, next year? The future is changed in the today, but the suffering can be removed with the drug today.

Why do things bother me so much? Why do I care? Nobody else cares. That may be why they do not have the problem. Is it caring too much and feeling over responsible that is the root of the problem? So how did parents guilt that responsibility into me? I was expected to do better than anyone else, but could not. Heep on guilt parents. Of course they are long since been returned to where they came from. (to respect their views, not mine) To me they have simply expire as all mortals must. I accept it was not their intent to cause me problem, but it was the effect. My recovery is all about me straightening out my beliefs, free of interference of religion beliefs. I do not care what most other people think of my solutions; they do not offer anything better. Life is short and difficult. Old age is not for the faint of heart. The door is always open if the kitchen gets to smokey and hot, to sort of quote Marcus Aurelius.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Building Commitment and a Postive Attitude

The work of a woodpecker is never done until is the spirit is returned. 

Building commitment to recovery and developing a more positive attitude have been just two of the areas that the program has been instrumental in identification of and development for me. I can also express gratitude for that development. Growth has it's issues and surprises, it's glory and defeats, it's rewards and costs.

Step 1 reminds my that there is much of my life that I have no control over. I have control over that which is truly mine to control, my thoughts, judgements, decisions, my mission in life, and the like. I can plan and do, but the the accomplishments must be left to fate, as the world around me has its own agendas. It reminds me that I am powerless over the effect of the chemical I intake; my only control is over the intake, and then only if I provide alternatives to satisfy the body. Natural desires will win in the long run.

Step 2 reminds me that it is my reaction to my belief system that controls my behaviors. It is part of my belief system to recognize that I have influence over my belief system, and I can change it over time. Step 3 is deciding to change, and that can become my mission in life, to change myself to be a non-overeating person, even with a physical high drive for food, if fate permits.

Steps 4,5,6,7 identify the negatives use of personality characteristics, we also need to consider Losada ratio and do the equivalent with positives use of our characteristics, as well as identify our characteristics.

Steps 8 and 9 help clean up old relationships. Those we wish to maintain, and those we wish to abandon, and those which are not what we would like them to be. It is impossible to have a positive relationship with a negative person, but we can learn active and passive response methods, constructive or destructive response, and do the self protection thing in any relatioship.

Step 10 and 11 are part of the daily routine of growth, expansion of our knowledge and change for the better in any number of ways. Step 12 completes the circle by carrying our philosophy to others who want it. We need to have a clear understanding of our philosophy, the logic, and our belief system.

Although the program is what it is, the processes described in the step appear in many different forms and are expressed many different ways. There is some underlying commonality to so many self-help, psychological tools, methods, philosophy's, that there must be something there.

Its is an ongoing effort that we all must make to prosper in life and growth, and fellowship. If we do not hang together, we will hang separately. Oh well.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Revised Commitment

Real DC-4 wind vane, Westlock, Alberta
Rumby Steam

Warning! Rant, DIY Psycho

This is a post about the importance of commitment. We all know important commitment is in some fields. Some photographers form the day were more committed to there favorite film than their wives, so the story goes. Well, just how committed are we to abstinence?

Do we have scaled abstinence?

No Chocolate, alcohol,  ... OK
No drinking calories,
No Sugars, ... OK
No wheat, grains, ... OK
No Dairy, well butter on vegs tastes good, no I need to re-commit to clean
No fat added , No added fats (naf)
No eating between scheduled meals. Lunch may be split into two events.
Eat only to being able to stop eating, not satiety.
No eating after supper.
Weighing portions. 

How far down the scale (list) does abstinence extend today? Reorder as necessary.

Commitment to recovery is the critical component in recovery. The second Item is figuring out what abstinence looks like. Everyone caries with us a belief system. From time to time, people and concepts come along to challenge our belief system. We then have a opportunity to accept, reject or hold in abeyance that concept.  That is my belief system. It is however to consider what I actually believe on that subject. Commitment is attached to perseverance, knowledge growth, defining my belief system, the virtue characteristic that I am trying to develop, all part of what might be termed "spiritual growth", virtue progress, or the eight fold path.  

Our Sunday Meeting is about to close unless there is considerable support and commitment.
The next commitment is to abstinence. Recovery is possible, and recovery includes growth in many areas. You may be surprised.


Flourish or Flail

Some human was there and did that. That inuksuk say so. It is (was) on an island in Abraham Lake, west of Rockey Mountian House, just off Windy Point. I expect the ice to take it out.

Is my life flourishing or failing? Neither, it has flourished in the past, and failed in the past. It is in a stage of regrouping.

Seligman book Flourish has some interesting points, and some wrong items as well. Question 18  of the purpose of life test is: "my life is: 1 out of  my hands and controlled by external factors, ... 5 in my hands and I'm in control of it. Throughout the book, it is suggested that it is up to us. Bull carp. Epectetus said it best: "some things are up to us and some things are not. Up to us is our judgements, our opinions, our beliefs, our values, our decisions, all else not truly our own are not up to us." We can choose a course of action, a purpose in life and make our moves. And if fate permits, the outcome may be favorable or not. Perseverance can be highly prized character trait, but battling the inevitable is just bad judgement. It is better to retreat, with a parting shot or two, and regroup.

Now on the clincher, a flourishing life does not necessarily make a good person. Consider Nero, or any of the other nefarious leaders. If the purpose of life is to flourish, then have at it. Positive psychology is as much about selection of suitable people as polishing up those with no physical, social, emotional problems and are philosophical malleable. Those of us that are Philosophical rigid or stiff may have issues. The book contains some philosophical oxymorons, and some sloppy logic.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

purpose of life test

The unexamined life is not worth living
- Socrates

So what was Socrates purpose in later life? He had been through a couple of wars as a foot solider.
To examine his own life and those around him?
To seek to understand the human condition?
To understand how to live better?
Was Socrates functionally unable to write, and is that why there are no writings?

DIY psychology, philosophy sorting needed.

To understand the human condition, more specifically, this humans condition, is a noble undertaking, likely without an end. For real value, though, it must be recorded in a useful format for others. So what is the best or at least a good format?

There is a "purpose in life test". Ok, it is an interesting exercise. It is useless for selecting a purpose in life, just to find out if you have one, either consciously, one you can describe, or unconsciously one that you are living. I had a girlfriend in a previous life, who said here purpose was to raise sheep and kids. I wanted no part in either at that time. Oh well, life happens. I only knew what I did not want. There is the negative and positive parts, to be drawn toward something, and to be repelled away from something. I was repelled of the farm, and yet drawn to dirt. I remember, as a child hearing a fellow describe measuring the plasticity of soil. Just remembering that may be part of the draw or the seed of the draw. 

The last question on the test is "I have discovered: 1 no mission or purpose in life, 5 a satisfying life purpose". This is all well and fine, but my mission of making a bit of money and living through to retirement has been fulfilled, I am still young enough and physically and mentally in good enough shape to do something more, as long as it is not to strenuous. To continue the work I did is not an appealing option, so much of it was just to negative, in too many ways. It is logical that I must find an new mission or purpose. I like the concept of mission, in that it has the connotation of being open ended.

Question 19 is "facing my daily tasks is: 1 a painful and boring experience, 5 a source of pleasure and satisfaction. I do not have enough to do many days. Physical pain is tolerable, as long as I do not overdo the physical exercise. Mental pain, boredom is the worst; and the philosophy aka positive psychology and learning / reading helps. There is some satisfaction in recognizing that there is a great deal in common in all these fields. When philosophy (logic) and proven positive psychology agree, there is some to that concept. Getting it into a workable form is not so straight forward. For example how does one relinquish all negative desires? How does one honestly feel only positive emotion, when reality is a mixed bag? How does one take responsibility for my part in life without taking responsibility for the negative parts as well. Those guys can sell a program, but it is not always possible to live it.

Enough for now.    

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Negative to positive affect

DIY psychology. The change from a negative to positive affect is ultimately one of the changes required. For me, this was first seeing the difference. A negative affect (, in my case was learned for survival in my youth, to stay away from people, to blend into the surrounding as best possible, to be non memorable and through this I learned this negative affect personality. Now I have seen the light, and need to develop a positive affect in my personality. ( Not an easy task.

The Tetris effect ( is a process by which the negative affect is maintained. I did QC work and materials testing for many years, followed by forensic engineering along with geotechnical engineering. And then defensive driving, run all the idiot moves others can make, and be wary or these. It prevents accidents, but give one a negative outlook toward other idiot drivers.  This life is really a negative affect haven, and became too depressing to continue. Having retired, I now have time to explore philosophy and psychology of life and eating issues. It has become apparent to me that modern life is largely to blame for the whole obesity problem. Some of the commonly held beliefs are wrong and are the root of the problem. We cannot achieve "anything" we put our mind and effort into. We can achieve only that which is achievable, in our current environment, economically, politically, and most importantly within our own skill and ethics set. Other people maybe able to do more, or less, but they also have different histories, skill and personality sets. We need to learn to live within our own skill, philosophic, ethical and personality sets. We can adopt specific new concepts, but only if they are compatible with our existing beliefs.

Change will be slow, for we must work through all our beliefs, to demonstrate compatibility with any new belief. We will not accept anything that does not agree with our current beliefs. This suggests that there may be a order required in the change of our beliefs, first, we must come to believe that change is possible and worthwhile before it can happen. We then must compare one new belief with our existing beliefs. If the new is similar, there is nothing new, but if it is incompatible with our existing beliefs, now we need to examine, pick the better view, and go on from there. Our existing view may have preference. Oh well. Which is the better view?    

What is bringing all this up now? Well, I have started to read Flourish by Seligman, and it does not agree with the Stoic, virtue is necessary and sufficient for successful live. Virtue, doing right for the sake of right, with purpose, meaning, engagement, and if fate permits, achievement, satisfaction and joy. Seligman insists in the first chapter that a positive attitude and relationships are required. It the stoic philosophy, positive attitude is assumed to be better, is not necessary and while relationships are important, more important is letting go of attachment and desire to these relationships to maintain self. The 'cardinal' virtues: gratitude, temperance, prudence, justice, courage, persistence are used along with a long list of secondary virtues. Virtue is doing right for the sake of right, hence satisfaction and upright character is guaranteed. This is producing some cognitive discord with this book.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The problem with religions

We are but opportunistic animal matter living on a big rock. Well, omniviours, unlike this little guy. We need purpose in our lives, and so we push on, happy with our beliefs. What is so bad if some of our beliefs are wrong, and we are doing the right things for the wrong reasons? Belief in any supernatural power is just logically wrong. How can that be made simpler or clearer? Well god is not supernatural, he is god. Yah sure. Grab onto something and give your head a shake. It is just like evolution, there is no debate in science, the debate is in the media. The best argument is still that existence must observed separate from the observer. If there were a god, all the observers should report the same observation. They do not, therefore existence is not likely.

There is no benefit of abusing the Muslims in France, all religion should be banned. It is horseshit to allow people to teach something that is untrue. It will be the death of society. The laws and the behavior of the people is not consistent. This creates a national discognizance, or saying one thing while there actions support the opposite belief. It is the abusive parent, beat, beat, I love you, beat beat. Cognitive dissonance. It will be simpler to ban all religions, and teach reality, and living with reality than to eliminate a single non logical belief system.

If we do not learn to live without religion, we will continue to be drawn into this extremest whack-a-mole war.  

But that is just my opinion. Enough.

Discognizance- the capacity to effectively communicate and interact in social contexts without adherance to an objective or rational basis of action or understanding; or the condition of communication existing as such. - See more at:

Discognizance- the capacity to effectively communicate and interact in social contexts without adherance to an objective or rational basis of action or understanding; or the condition of communication existing as such. - See more at:

Discognizance- the capacity to effectively communicate and interact in social contexts without adherance to an objective or rational basis of action or understanding; or the condition of communication existing as such. - See more at:

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Expectations can provide a drive that cannot be satisfied. These expectations that cannot be met or satisfied provide a stress, the stress provides adrenalin and cortisol to "help", and these generate a demand for ghrelin, and that is the hormone that produces and appetite, and as the stress is unrelenting due to to much expectations, we will overeat. This may be one of the long winded explanation, but the essence is correct, stress of any kind can cause appetite, and overeating.
Here is a slide that describes this from
 leptin and ghrelin action in hypothalamus Leptin, ghrelin, and weight loss. Heres what the research has to say.

Anyways, back to expectations, how are these formed?
For the adult, we impose these on ourselves by self abuse tools like to-do lists and goals. We list out much more than we could hope to do, and then when we do not perform up to our unrealistic expectations, we get down on ourselves. " I should have done more." Bullshit. Your expectation was to high. We should not set goals. It was set beyond your control and ability, beyond our current skill sets. For now, quit making to-do lists, or at least with any expectations attached. Perhaps a jobs list is ok, but that may take years to complete, or weeks, but do not attach expectations.

How does this expectations problem start?
Perhaps as children, we were over responsible. Our parents told us to behave and learn to read, and we took that to be the first day. We internalized our parents unrealistic goals for us to be at the top of our class, and we pushed it onto our super-ego, and make it "our" goal. All we need do is let go of that internal expectation for relief of the entire problem, as far as that goes.

Excessive appetite, and expectation induces stress is only one of the many ways stress can be induced in our lives. Even Buddha identified expectations of one many causes of unsatisfactoriness and hence mental suffering into our lives. These are stored in the Freud super-ego (,_ego_and_super-ego     ) or in the triune unconscious ( but that does not matter. It is these kinds of beliefs, of expectations, that we can let go of and make life better for ourselves.

Some things are within our control, and some things are not. Making expectations for ourselves is certainly within our control, and likely serve little useful purpose. We need not stress over non-achievement for sure. In our youth it is likely parental expectations that we absorbed. At some point, we take on that role on, with out super-ego. When the teenage realizes this, consciously or not, is that where the diffidence comes from? They may see parental expectations as unattainable, but do we see our own as unattainable. It is an internal problem, one of over responsibility, or trying to be responsible for that which is beyond my control.

Drown those expectations and do not make any more. Enough.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

So what is next?

Recovery is a process, find what works and stick with it, but if it stops working, or is no longer practical, then what?

This overeating problem is not simple, it is not understood in entirety, in fact, there is so much conflicting information, it may all be wrong.

Does anybody care anymore?

Does anybody get riled up enough to do anything anymore? Meetings are dying, and we are so controlling in meetings. We are being prevented from saying what needs to be said. Wake up people, get a grip on life and give your head a good shake. The purpose is recovery. What is our success rate like? It is a low number. At what point does the program say "this not working, we need to make changes" ?

Never, it will just die. Other concepts will start or other individuals will recover on there own or not.

What do I need for recovery? That is the ultimate question.

I can describe what I think I need, in general terms. Something to do that is more important to me than eating. It must have a social component, and an educational component. It must include a practical approach to the eating problem but also to the living problem.

So what exactly is this living problem, and what is it the result of? It is, in some part, caused by the efficiency we can now live with, and the small need for repetitive work, and interaction between people. It is as much a cultural, electronic driven in culture change, as anything else. How do we escape this? First we need to recognize it, and in my case, it is self imposed isolation. I have no need of interacting with many other people. I could spend my time at any number of things, but to what end? Nobody cares enough to respond. I can go around and stick pins in people, (comment on blogs, counter opposing view blogs, but there is never any real discussion or alternatives) and they strike back, but not logically.

It is about not having the burning need for activity. There is much I could do, but nothing that I need or want to do. Such is the problem of learning desire control in some fields. Desire for food is the last remaining desire, and that is now easily displaced with non-food related social activity, but I have little desire for social activity, and there are so many food pushers.

It comes down to does anyone, including me, care?   

Thursday, January 1, 2015

the Danger of Hope

Hope is one of those dangerous things pushed by the modern psychologists and self help gurus. It tends to not address what is possible in the here and now to improve the situation or to learn to live better in the current situation. It builds desire for a better future without putting in the work that will be needed to make the future better. It is about the religious concept of a future good life, rather that learning to face the current situations and figuring out solutions, or education, searching for answers.

Life is to be live in the present, where we are, in the situation as it is. We need to find joy in the small successes, in the present, not pin everything on some idealistic future concept. Hope, and optimism may have there place, but I, like the Stoics, do not see there place. We need to have a positive attitude, a positive direction, but also we must think mainly in the present. The future is changed in present time actions, with a bit of help from providence or the more negative equivalent term of fate.

Positive outlook includes self-control to the extent possible at this time. It is not the negative term of self-discipline, for that is getting down on one's self after the fact. Discipline has no foresight, beyond fear. Those who use the two interchangeably need to recognize the difference, just like cement and concrete. Much of the worlds problems are due, in part at least, due to imprecise language.   

I am developing a dislike for religions. They seem to do many of the right things for the wrong reasons. They are good ways of developing community, social, civil society, moral and ethical values, sober second thought for the young, yet until they address their fundamental problem, they will decline in stature. 

Existence, a physical property, should be independent of the observer. The concept of god exist as a concept, as all concepts exist, but it is only a concept. It does not exist as a object exists. On a conceptual lots of thing exist. Mathematics exists only on a conceptual level. It is necessary to not confuse the two, not to allow confusion of the two. Religion does not distinguish between reality of physical existence, the conceptual logical existence of a philosophy, or the non existance of some future dream world.