April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Archive Junkie Gets Her Fix -- or, CR Rants

I was off the stuff for a while.

I went about a week without searching the archives. I was busy with work, etc.

But this moring I got in super early after an early morning shift change at the hospital, and I needed a fix.

So of course, I re-read my favorite post of all time, Michael Rae's RANT: Moderate CR, from September, 2002. And after it, I found Dean's rant!

I wanted to reproduce a bit of it here because it so clearly articulates how I feel about the my practice of CR right now. I do so with Dean's permission.

Re: Dean's rant

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Mike Harkreader wrote: >

You sir [Dean], are a spouse and father and your actions > impact your > family trememndously. I personally consider my family more > important and > worthy than some minor contribution that I may make to > society as a whole. > But that's just me. In fact let me state that I think this > statement is > just downright selfish, from a family perspective. I've read many > biographies of individuals who greatly contributed to society > and the vast > majority of them had significant issues around balancing > family values and > careers. Many times thier children hold grudges that "daddy > choose his > career over being a father". They feel that they came in > second to Daddy's > first love...his careeror interest. Now maybe you are > different and can > balance the two, but it's difficult.

(Dean replies:)

Mike, again I appreciate your comments, and the healthy introspection they force upon me.

I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but weekend's are family time for me. My wife and I spent Saturday throwing a birthday party for my 4 year-old daughter and 8 of her friends, then my 6 year-old son and I had a "Y-Guides" (Cub Scout equivalent) meeting. Sunday was spent working on the tree house with my son - we built and installed a gate in the entryway so my wife won't be deathly afraid whenever my daughter climbs up.

Overall, I think I may be different - in that I *can* do a pretty good job of balancing my family and my other interests (i.e. job and CR). At least that is what I've been striving towards for several years now with my efforts to streamline my practice of CR, without substantially compromising the quality of my diet/lifestyle.

Perhaps more importantly, as I've said in the past, I have a rather intense personality. Without an outlet for that intensity, I feel I'm drifting aimlessly, and as a result melancholy (perhaps you would characterize it as depression) sets in. This has happened several times during the course of my adult life, when the focus of my intensity has disappeared for one reason or another (e.g. when I reached the conclusion of a very long-term job-related project that had been my focus for several years, or when I grew tired of meticulously maintain my yard).

During such "focusless" periods, I find that my relationship with family and friends suffers greatly. I need something that I consider to be exciting and interesting to get me up in the morning and keep me motivated. Without it, all aspects of my life suffer.

So it is my strong belief, based on past experience, that my "passion" for CR results in a *better* relationship with family and friends. You could say, why not focus that energy on your family instead? To be honest, I love my family to death, and have expressed on numerous occasions just how extremely important they are to me. But I stand by this recent statement I made:

> I couldn't imagine living an "average lifestyle", where in the end, > there is little hope of my life having made a substantial difference > for anyone beyond my immediate circle of friends/family.

Yes, I know the counterargument - the best thing you can do for society is raise good kids to replace you. I think I'm doing that *and* at the same time have an opportunity to contribute more both to individuals and "society", through my CR-related activities.

I think Dean said it all! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a rather intense person too. I think that in the beginning a bit of intensity towards CR makes a lot of sense, as one figures out how to do the streamlining that Dean mentions. I think that as I work towards designing my optimal diet, I will spend less time on CR because I will have systems of cooking and eating that are tried and true. While designing a diet that you can eat pretty much every day might seem like a lot of work to some, I think you can see how in the long term, it could be a very time saving device.

Dean also has a great presentation on the psychological aspects of CR that he gave at the last CRS conference. It's available at:


and it's great! I actually read it when I first started CR, and re-read it today. I look forward to hearing more at this year's conference.

Dean's post, as well as our off-list conversation, are great examples of how the CR Society makes it possible for even the non-scientists (especially the non-scientists!) like me to reach new levels of health, and hopefully increase our years of health too!

If you want to see something that could be called April's rant, I'll reproduce a letter that I wrote to _The Nation_ about two years ago in which I wrote that politically left leaning people who wanted to make this country a more just and equitable place, especially for the poor and disempowered, should stop whining and become union organizers! My rant talks about committment, sacrifice, hard work... and all for a totally different movement!

You know, since you're reading this by choice and so you can tune out if you feel like it's a narcissistic exercise in self-indulgence (which of course it is but, I mean, a narcissistic exercise in self-indulgence that you no longer find entertaining), I think I will just reproduce said letter. I type fast. And it may put to rest any concern anyone who doesn't know me may have had about what came first: the CRON, or the intensity?

It's a response to an article that Barbara Ehrenreich and Thomas Geoghegan wrote in the early February 2003 issue of _The Nation_.

As a real live labor organizer, I am frustrated by yet another article on "what labor should do." People need to talk to the workers! Every day, for twelve or more hours a day, I talk to actual workers: in their homes, at the workplace, in little diners for breakfast as they're coming off work. Labor will make a comeback when real people start to really organize, and that means talking to workers! I wish our leftist heroes and heroines would encourage the young to become organizers, get their hands dirty, stop theorizing about the problems and do something!

There are too many well-meaning lefties in graduate school, in law school, talking about the workers but never talking with the workers, unless it's to study them. I can't staff organizing campaigns, not because there's no money for positions but because no one is applying! It's a hard, exhausting, non-glamorous way of life, but all the _Nation_ articles in the world won't do for the labor movement what one organizer can do.

Tell your children to go to the AFL-CIO's Organizing Institute and learn how to mobilize workers! We're hiring! We need new blood! No more writing, no more talking, no more theorizing. It's time for the left to get to work!

As always, my friends, thanks for reading. I think you will now see that I was this kind of person long before I ever drank my first whey protein shake. Now, instead of being an intense person who wears size six or eight and eats lots of pasta, I'm an intense person who wears size two and eats a lot of protein and the occasional very cute kiwi.

And the good news... if this stuff works, I'm going to have a lot more time in which to whatever I can to change the world!


  • At 7:32 PM, Blogger fruitgirl said…

    you're too sweet. thank's for being concerned.
    my blog is somehow disappeared, but i may have
    been the culprit!! lol. i'll let ya know when
    i make a new one.

    but YOUR blog suddenly has a cross out through
    the whole narrative starting just after deans
    link. again this too may be a problem on my


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