After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What Ain't Bad For You and Who Is "They"?


Let's get this out of the way first thing. I am not a doctor, lawyer, nutritionist, health care professional, athletic trainer or any other professional and do not pretend to be, so if you are looking for professional advice - go somewhere else. I am just an old fart sitting in my easy chair taking a look at things from the perspective of someone using a just a bit of common sense.

Yeah, I wonder sometimes - what ain't bad for you and who is this "they" everyone keeps talking about?

It seems that every time you pick up a paper, listen to the news, read an article, or blog post at some point, there seems to be an announcement of how a new study conclusively determines that _____ is now bad for you and "they" said so.

Until the next study, article or some Bozo with a different opinion comes up with something different.

Who do you believe? 

The person with the loudest voice that keeps repeating their message over and over, somebody with a lot of initials after their name, the government, corporations, the old fart down the road, the guys down at the local corner bar or some combination of the above? Who is the "they" you are listening to?

Caveat Emptor

I know for a fact I am not as smart, as educated or nearly as sophisticated as many of the peddlers of the new information age that seems to be or is overloading all the communication channels now, with their sensationalized "news". You know, the news corporations, info newstainment businesses, magazines, ezines, websites, bloggers and everyone else who has a platform, message, movement or "whatever".

Sometimes I wonder if their primary purpose is to promote "whatever" more than actually provide usable and accurate information to their audience or how often "they" repurpose information or re-write some of the most "amazing" headlines and stories to titillate your interest and that the biggest goal is to get you to either watch, read or go to their site to absorb whatever words of wisdom they are sharing with the rest of us.

Or is it all about following the money.

Ain't that the way it is in today's world of "they" said?

Am I just a little cynical?


The older I get, the less I find myself paying too much attention to the next greatest thing, study or healine that shows how this or that is killing me this week or next, based on what "they" said.

I pretty much started taking most of the studies, stories or headlines, especially when it comes to diet, health and wellness with a grain of salt and don't worry too much about what they say. There has been such an echo chamber in the information world where certain stories get picked up as gospel regardless of their usefulness or accuracy to most of us or the results that are: cherry-picked, distorted, miscommunicated or lied about to meet some agenda or personal view of the world.

The outcomes are in my cynical view on a lot of topics, but especially health, are too often influenced by who is funding it, which causes  researcher/writer bias, which leads to what the researchers/writers "wanted" to have happen - which unsurprisingly proved their hypothesis and probably most importantly who's pocket the money will eventually find its way to as a result of "the study".

There is just too much "show me the money" influencing the things that "they", say, for some old guy up in the woods to give most of what I see or hear, too many second thoughts.

In other words, I don't stress out too much about the latest and greatest research out there that in the headlines or burning up the Internet. Wait a couple of weeks or a couple of years, the results of other research seem to change what is good or bad for you as fast as the direction of the wind.

What am I doing?

So what do I do when it comes to keep healthy, wealthy and wise, if I am not paying attention to the newest and greatest studies, propaganda or jumping on the current bandwagon that is leading the parade. That what "they" are saying.

Well the wealthy ain't true and the wise part, well I have learned a bit, but still have some impulsivity issues and I run a little too much to be considered one of the wise ones. However, I think I am pretty healthy for an old fart and other than having this problem with too many running shoes, I am doing pretty damn good.

So if I am not really paying attention to what the most recent or latest, greatest and most fantastic next thing in how to stay healthy - what am I doing?

Keeping things simple.

Remember: What I do may or may not work for you, so you need to do what works for you.

  • I am enjoying the life I have and making the best of what it is and not worrying about what the neighbors, co-workers, relatives or "they" believe I should be doing.
  • I use money as a tool to live the life I enjoy, not as the reason to live or my primary reason for living.
  • I take personal responsibility for my own health. No one else can force you to make the changes needed in your life, no matter what "they" say.
  • I see the good doctor's about once every two years, so they can tell me lab results and make recommendations on how I can live healthier and if something is very wrong, they can get it taken care of. 
  • I am not a big believer in do as I say, not as I do, style of doctoring or those who push an instant answer in a pill as the cure for everything. Otherwise, unless I break, tear or cut something pretty badly I stay away. The old saying "doctors are for sick people", sometimes has more than a little truth in it.
  • I get off my ass and do stuff. 
  • I get uncomfortable eating stuff when there are too many ingredients that I can't pronounce. 
  • I don't worry about it too much if I eat something that the "foodies" out there would castigate me for eating.

The biggest change that I have made in my life over the past 5 or 6 years is that I have gone back to keeping things as simple as possible (except for running shoes) and it has worked for me.

Yeah, that good old fashioned K.I.S.S. principle.

The reality is that

Being healthy is based on a series of choices that each one of us make daily.

You know that inconvenient idea that we are responsible for our own health.

The last time I looked, no one has ever tied me down to a couch, forced me to eat nothing but twinkees, chips, soda and frozen dinners or actually stopped me from making choices in my life that would lead to me becoming happier with my life.

Being brave enough to do something about my health and what "they" are saying is the problem, at least it was for me for too many years.

Are we the victims of allowing "they" to influence our actions too much or have we just gotten lazy and abdicated responsibility for our health to the big "they".

I wonder if "they" actually give a shit about us or if they just see us as another revenue stream to tap.

"They" can go bother someone else, I have decided that my health is too important to be left the vagaries of the latest study or bandwagon and definitely not some unidentifiable "they".

I did take the "path less traveled".

How about you?

Well, it is time to get Bennie harnessed up and get outside to get our run in.

After all, I am taking responsibility for my health and what "they" say, what the latest study or bandwagon that says it has to be done this way, really doesn't matter to me.

Come on Bennie - let's go.

Originally published on One Foot in Reality, © 2011-2015 – All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw or Mary Shaw and One Foot In Reality with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.


  1. Does this have anything to do with that article about the 180bpm running cadence? :)

    1. Stefan - no this is something that I have had in draft for a couple of months and finally was reading an article about how great coffee is for you now and another one on how eggs are the perfect food. Then all the stuff about how sitting and sugars are the new smoking. It just got me to want to finis my thoughts on it.

      When it comes to 180 cadence, my cadence goes from 160 to 200 depending on my pace. Maybe a consistent 180 would be good for some, but not the way I run.



I moderate all comments and I apologize for using word verification, but the spam levels are ridiculous if I do not.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.