From fad diets to self-acceptance

It seems like every day there’s a new miracle diet being promoted. I used to jump on every bandwagon. If you told me I would lose weight, I would be totally willing to eat nothing but grapefruits, or cut out all carbohydrates and exist on egg whites alone (the vegetarian version of the Atkin’s diet). And the funny thing is, I have never really been overweight! But I am the product of a fat-phobic society. And to further enhance the struggle that is created by our society’s negative attitude towards being overweight, advertisers also send us the opposing message, encouraging overindulgence and marketing junk food.

As I got older, I found that fad diets are generally unnatural and unhealthy, and I couldn’t keep up the extreme habits up for very long. So, I devoted a lot of my spare time to learning about health and fitness, and what a healthy body needs to actively do, consume, and avoid in order to stay healthy.

One of the areas which I have struggled with for years is battling my own natural inclination to skip breakfast, have a light lunch, and eat most of my food at night. Despite all of the expert opinions out there that recommend a big breakfast and a small dinner, I could never get the hang of it. I’d feel sleepy after a big breakfast, and hungry if I didn’t have a big dinner.

So of course, ever searching for knowledge to fix any dilemma, I diagnosed myself with NES (night-eating syndrome). I decided I must have a problem because my natural inclinations were not “normal” according to health experts. I would beat myself up and try to correct my behavior, to no avail.

Recently, I read about a new trend, the “Warrior Diet”. This diet, marketed by former Isreali Defense Force member Ori Hofmekler, suggests that according to the human circadian cycle, eating little by day and ending with a large meal is actually the natural way for a human to stay fit and healthy. This “fad diet” describes my natural tendencies completely! Immediately I came to a realization about self acceptance. What’s right for others will not always be right for me, and vice-versa. I don’t think “fad” diets are begun as scams, but instead are one person’s idea that just doesn’t work for everyone. I think we all would be well advised to trust ourselves, stop criticizing ourselves for not fitting a particular mold, and design our diets as well as our lives in a manner that is true for us as individuals.

The Man Who Could Hear His Eyes Moving

The human body is a marvelous yet weird structure.

Right now, you’re looking at a computer, perhaps feeling the breeze through an open window or tasting that freshly brewed coffee. You are reading these words while your brain processes about 100 million instructions per second, keeping the actions that keep you sensing, breathing, beating, living on track.

Now, can you imagine hearing some of those involuntary movements for every minute of every day for 10 years?

A Massachusetts man named Manny Pavao can, because he did.

Pavao, 44, could hear his heart beating loudly.

He could hear his eyes moving — he said it sounded like “rubbing sandpaper on a piece of wood back and forth.”

He could hear each footstep boom as he walked on pavement.

“Talking, it was as if I was talking through a speaker that was blown out,” Pavao said.

Doctors couldn’t explain what was going on with Manny for years, not until they recently determined that he was experiencing superior canal dehiscence syndrome, which was caused by a microscopic hole in the bone that separates the inner ear from the brain. According to Dr. Daniel Lee, who performed the four-hour long surgery on Sept. 11 to correct to the defect, it’s common that what Pavao had gets initially missed because it resembles many more ordinary conditions of the ear, such as allergies.

After the hole was filled with Pavao’s own tissue, he awoke from surgery to a beautiful sound, the sound of relative quiet.

“It wasn’t until the next day when I started walking and I just stopped in the middle of the corridor, and I think I broke down. I says, ‘I can’t hear my footsteps,'” Pavao said.

“After a decade of daily aggravation. I’m looking forward to the second phase of my life.”

The human body. It’s a strange deal, yo.

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