It’s useless to try to persuade me to be uninterested in endocrine. If your interests lie elsewhere, I forgive you for skipping my entries on the topic.
First the news: I heard from Katarina Borer, author of Exercise Endocrinology.
As a lay person, it’s hard to know what qualifies as a respected source on a particular topic. What I know is that in terms of textbooks, it’s the first that pops up when you do searches on Google, Yahoo or Bing using the terms “exercise endocrine.” It gets Google’s top honors, in that it appears in the number one position, above articles from clearly “popular” sources, such as bodybuilding.com. Moreover, two other articles from Katarina Borer appear in top ten slots. That’s my confession. I have accepted this woman’s qualifications on the basis of her Google Quotient. She, of course, rose even higher in my esteem when she contacted me by email, and attached three articles for my review (two in which she was lead author, one a commentary on one of the other pieces). She attained nearly saint status by paying me a compliment, “I found your postings interesting and remarkably well-informed for a person who is not actively engaged in research.”
There. Confessions dispensed. I will, sometime soon, review those articles, but they will require time to digest. I have read each one’s first two paragraphs, and it is apparent to me that I will need to read these articles when my intellectual cylinders are all firing properly and I am under the influence of a precise dose of caffeine. (Too little and I don’t make important, rapid mental connections; too much and I start cleaning my house instead.)
Several things emerged in the comments on my last post that gave me “Eureka” twinges:
- That other people experience “eat impulses” and at least one commenter feels relieved to have language to describe them. Our vocabulary, clearly, is constrained by having only two words to describe the sensations that precede eating: hunger and appetite. With dozens of hormones, peptides, proteins and the like, reacting in hundreds or thousands of combinations with our individual gene profiles and contributing to our metabolic processes, it seems a bit silly to me that we reduce the entire process to two, singular tense, words. Moreover, the limits imposed by these two words have created a perfect Petri dish for fomenting the social discord we size acceptance proponents know as weight bias and the oppressors are happy to use in a “war on obesity.” To wit: “If you don’t eat when you’re hungry, obviously you’re simply responding to appetite, you out-of-control schmuck, and we, society, will judge you harshly for that if it results in a larger body than we find pleasing. Hmmmmph! (We’ll leave you alone or even venerate you if you can eat sans hunger and remain trim.)”
- That perhaps I share more common ground with the paleo people than I thought. I found myself thinking about and writing on “ancient wiring.” It occurs to me that those “eat impulses” are the precursors to legitimate hunger. They are our body’s cue to emerge from our caves or descend from our trees and go hunt and gather, before hunger sets in and we are too light-headed and weak to get the job done. In modern culture, however, descending from a tree may be a 13-step staircase down to the kitchen, or emerging from a cave may mean leaving behind a La-Z-Boy recliner and walking seven steps to a refrigerator door.
- That perhaps exercise, of a particular intensity (which may be unique to each individual), is a cue to our ancient biology, “I’m on the hunt now; I’m gathering. You can turn off the impulses to eat for a bit, and hunger would be pointless.”
- That the abatement from “eat impulses” may be especially useful to weight-loss maintenance when exercise is timed for morning, in that the effects of the exercise may persist for some time afterwards, or may moderate impulses during the day. (This is just based on my own experience and two seemingly well-informed commenters, oh, okay, BRILLIANT commenters – since they agree with me.)
- That scientific research dollars are way too limited, so that some otherwise generous souls are possessed to feel a bit protective of their areas of interest/research, even when another area may pose no direct threat, other than to slurp up those limited dollars.
I look forward to reading Katarina’s articles. To whet your appetite (ack!), they include sexy words like leptin, ghrelin, insulin, peptide – 1 (GPL-1), peptide YY, homeostasis and others that I hope will explain, with science, the experiences and impulses and we encounter in our everyday lives. I read with the eyes of a maintainer only. Ah, that I were a scientist, but then I might suffer from “one truth” syndrome, a malady I’m happy to avoid.