I promise all my readers at least one good book recommendation per week, and this is it!
Today’s book is Drop Dead Healthy, by A.J. Jacobs, one of those “lifestyle experiment” books in which the author takes on a specific challenge and presents his discoveries in the genre of narrative non-fiction.
Kind of like my own book, which I’m researching right now, where I live for an entire year according to Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules of Life.
I’m on Month #4 so far, and I…I definitely have a book here. I can’t wait to let you know when it’s ready!
You know, in like…2021.
Anyway, Drop Dead Healthy was a really fun book, wherein the author attempts to become “the healthiest man alive”.
A sample of my notes is below, and then we’ll get into a little discussion.
Today’s Book on Amazon: Drop Dead Healthy, by A.J. Jacobs
FROM MY NOTES:
Remaining ignorant about the inner workings of your body is like owning a house for your entire life and not knowing how to work the kitchen sink. Or where to find the kitchen sink.
An estimated 50 percent of our health is determined by our behavior
Our health and well-being is an accumulation of hundreds of small choices we make every day
Health can be broken down into longevity, freedom from disease and pain, and a sense of mental, emotional, and physical well-being
“It’s the most extreme diet you can find that isn’t technically a psychological disorder or human rights violation.”
Woody Allen: “I’m at two with nature.”
Staying in a bad marriage is terrible for your health
The brain expects extreme measures to work, so placebo injections are more effective than placebo pills
It’s possible that cursing activates the amygdala, making us less sensitive to pain
“If you’re laughing, then you can’t be angry. And if everyone laughed, they’d stop being so angry.”
“I’d forgotten the joys of tribalism. I’d forgotten the deep irrational pleasure of belonging to an arbitrary group.”
There are 80,000 chemicals used in industrial processes, and only two hundred of them have been tested by the EPA
You will probably walk the equivalent of the earth’s circumference in your lifetime
80% of UV rays penetrate clouds
We go to the zoo and marvel at how an elephant will reach for things with its trunk, but we hardly ever pay attention to all the amazing stuff our hands do
Jack LaLanne: “I cant die. It would ruin my image.”
Jack LaLanne: “I train like I’m training for the Olympics or for a Mr. America contest, the way I’ve always trained my whole life. You see, life is a battlefield. Life is survival of the fittest. How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you know? Think about it. People work at dying, they don’t work at living. My workout is my obligation to life. It’s my tranquilizer. It’s part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth is what’s kept me going all these years.”
People are terrible at knowing what is really dangerous and what isn’t
“Marti was one of my favorite people in the world, and I spill some raw almond milk in her honor.”
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
I was struck by the thought a few days ago that it’s a shame that the motivation to work out at the gym comes to so many people through some sort of dissatisfaction with their own body, something about themselves that they hate (or extremely dislike), that they can’t stop hating in the mirror.
This just seemed so tragic. Maybe not in the usual sense of the word tragic, but it’s certainly unfortunate.
My motivation to work out comes from a place of possibility, the drive to see what I’m able to accomplish through sheer force of will, to see what I can create with my mind.
But it’s also due to gratitude for movement itself.
There will come a day when I am completely still, never to move again, and until that day comes I’m not going to stop pushing my body and my mind to their absolute limits.
Somewhere, there’s someone laying in a hospital bed that would LOVE to be able to step on a treadmill again and feel their muscles work. It’s too late for them, but I can work out FOR them, so to speak. I can choose not to waste the gift of mobility and function and grace with which every human body is endowed, including yours.
Maybe our motivation to work out can come from the realization that this is the only body we will ever have, that we won’t have it forever, and that while we can, it’d be a damn shame not to use it.
We can work out because we LIKE our bodies, and not because (or only because) there’s something about them we don’t like.
All the best,
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