On Being FAT

On the plane coming back from Hawaii, the guy seated in front of me was easily over 300 pounds. He bulged over the armrests on either side of him. When he leaned his seat back, it came back so far it was virtually in my face. A teenage boy of equal girth sat next to him and crowded the small Asian couple on his left.

I felt annoyed, their big bodies invading the little space we all had. Then the woman across the aisle from them handed each a burger, dripping with cheese, and big bags of french fries. I went from irritated to disgusted.
Our family vacation this summer began on the Big Island. Traveling around through large and small towns, within days it was impossible to ignore that a good percentage of the tourists, and seemingly the majority of natives were extremely heavy to outright obese.

Genetically destined to be fat?

Bullshit.

Never been scientifically proven. No one has even come close to finding a ‘fat gene’ that dictates you will or won’t be, regardless of calorie intake and lifestyle.

True, it’s been shown that certain genetics gives one the propensity towards producing similar body types, but ultimately diet and exercise determine individual body mass.

Much more troubling than genetics, studies have also shown cultures pass on habitually destructive behaviors from one generation to the next. Clearly, this plays out on Hawaii’s Big Island, where the pace is beyond slow, bordering reverse. The warm, humid air stifles motion; and the narrow, curvy, hot roads surrounded by desolate lava flows do not entice jogging, or cycling, or even rollerblading any distance. Typical cafes and family restaurants served large portions, piled high, and most were consumed quickly.

It’s no wonder so many were fat. http://bit.ly/aXAvnc

Been there. Done that. Spent my youth in front of the TV, and ate. Of course, I was overweight. Took a lot of ribbing as a plumb kid, and rarely got a date in my teen years. Made to feel small for being big, so I took the defensive pose and stood on [faulty] moral grounds instead of doing the hard work I knew it would take to lose the weight.

The summer before my senior year of high school my best friend gave me some black pills from her mother’s medicine supply. We both dropped 25 pounds before Christmas break, with ease. It would be another five years before replacing pharmaceuticals with racquetball, but eventually I learned to maintain a ‘normal’ body weight with diet and consistent, rigorous exercise. And I’d love to say staying fit gets easier to maintain with practice, but that too would be crap. A huge amount of my energy is still spent on my internal battle between reason and desire.

I love food. I have a slow metabolism. I always feel hungry. Working out hurts. I’m weak. Addicted. Old, now.

Whatever my excuses, the absolute truth is even running three miles five days a week, and mindful of every mouthful, when I put into my body more calories than I use, I gain weight. Like it or not, the reality is food has calories that turn to fat if they are not burned for energy. Simple laws of physics, and believe in them or not, we are all beholden to them regardless of genetics.

I am cursed with the proclivity towards obesity. My blood pressure is low, probably from running which is known to lower heart rate. It takes me longer to use calories than say, my husband, who has always been thin with a fast burn rate. Three out of four of my grandparents died of complications from adult onset diabetes brought on by consuming too much, and moving too little. My father’s been fat as long as I can remember; desserts high up on his reason for living, and a self-proclaimed connoisseur of just about anything eatable. Sports meant exercise, which was too taxing to even watch on TV, but he loved cop/court dramas, only getting off the couch for the bathroom or to get a snack.

I work very hard to maintain what so often feels a facade—the lazy kid who loves to eat always lurking just beneath the surface. She taunts me, tells me sugar cubes aren’t as bad as say, donuts, and tries to persuade me to remain inert since exercise hurts. Well, no shit. Fatiguing and stretching muscles is going to hurt. Jogging is jarring on bones and joints, no doubt. But pursuing trim isn’t simply a matter of being ‘in,’ as in hip, slick and trendy. It continually proves to be healthy.

Running is the quickest calorie burn for me, which is why I do it, but most any rigorous exercise that makes you sweat for half hour or more a day shows substantial health benefits. Cardio workouts are known to strengthen the heart, and our immune system to fight off colds, flu, cancer and more. Staying light increases life expectancy, neural connectivity, reduces depression, and mood swings, and makes it a hell of a lot easier to run. And stretching muscles keep us limber, less likely for bone loss, or injury, and quicker to heal.

And being fit isn’t only socially acceptable, it’s socially responsible.
Close to one quarter, 25% of our health care costs goes to complications from obesity. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2009-11-17-future-obesity-costs_N.htm

In a restaurant in Walnut Creek for dinner with a friend last week, I watched her bump and grind her way through the crowded entrance. She’s been fat as long as I’ve known her, stands only five feet and weighs no less than 250 pounds. After squeezing into our booth across from me, she first described her recent knee surgery, only months after her back surgery, then spoke at length of her upcoming retirement plans, projecting a long, healthy, happy future well into her 90s.

She had to be kidding.

Obesity takes years off life expectancy, regardless of heredity. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319224823.htm
On the plane home from Hawaii, on my way back from the tiny bathroom, I noticed “Proud to be big,” printed across the sweatshirt of the large teen next to the fat guy in front of me. Facebook returned 472 pages of “Fat and Proud” groups.

Are they for real?

Be proud for winning the row with your inner-child demanding instant gratification, not giving into the brat.

Let’s take off the pc gloves and get down to brass tacks.
Nearly 34% of American adults http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/health/14obese.html and close to 20% of our kids are obese—30 or more pounds overweight, setting them up with health issues for the rest of their lives. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/index.html
We may have the right to do what we want with our body, but beyond the cost to society, modeling obesity condemns our children to a shorter life, full of health problems, body issues and social stigmas. And, it’s true you don’t have to be a young, flat, anorexic model to be beautiful—but illness is never pretty.

Fat is NOT a state of being. For most, it’s merely a state of mind. Eat salad and fish, not burgers and fries; include a rigorous workout daily, religiously, and most anyone can achieve and maintain fit. It’s going to hurt, especially at first. Get over it. Start slow, work up. Deny yourself that dessert on the knowledge the sugar rush is bad for your body thin or fat, and calories from sugars convert quickly to fats. Think before shoving crap in your mouth and get off the couch and odds are you’ll ultimately feel better, have more energy, get more done; be healthier, happier, smarter, and live longer. Best of all you’ll be modeling healthy living to our kids, and grandkids, and possibly a few generations down the line obesity will be a thing of the past.

STAND UP TODAY for Our Planet!

#SanFrancisco, want to DO SOMETHING about CLIMATE CHANGE? Then STAND UP TODAY! HERE: https://cnet.com/how-to/global-climate-strike-when-where-and-how-you-can-join-and-take-action/ …

#ClimateChange #climate #globalwarming #sanfrancisco #oakland #eastbay #RealNews #STANDUP #protest #FridaysForFuture #growthhacking #entrepreneurs #startups

LIVE Marketing Workshops @ Your Office

IPP’s Lean Marketing Workshops are presented LIVE, at your business, or local office space in select locations.* LIVE LBM workshops are also available online, via Zoom, to virtually anywhere on the planet. We provide practical, lean Marketing methods, tools, process, and projects, to turn each offering you produce (now, or in the future) into a marketable offering of value, then market them, for profit (or donations).

Each workshop is Marketing PRACTICE, immersion into today’s trending marketing methods, and timeless marketing strategies, developed to educate participants to think differently about the Marketing Process, then apply this knowledge to build a sustainable foundation for effectively marketing your business at launch, and beyond. And that’s just Workshop 1…​

Follow the steps in each workshop, in order, to achieve greater engagement on your all your marketing efforts forward. 

IPPglobal.org

Check out IPP’s Homepage: IPPglobal.org

Screw a Border Wall, Let’s Build a DOME

My daughter came home crying from her job as a barista for a local Boba Tea cafe.

“They don’t like me, mom! I’m doing the exact same level of work that all the new kids are, and they keep calling ME out cuz I’m not Asian.”

Several other barista type jobs at various locally businesses to which she applied told her flat out they only hire Asians (which, at least in my neighborhood, includes Indians, from India). Since most of the fast food and convenience stores here are owned by Asians, this has severely limited her choices for simple, flexible, part-time work.

A month ago, on the first day of this first job my daughter’s ever had, she came home and said, “My manager called me their ‘diversity hire,’ since I’m the only White person who works there. It hurt my feelings. He made me feel like I didn’t get the job cuz I deserved it.” Every day since, she’s come home with other racist comments most of her managers continue to make.

Our daughter has a 4.3 gpa, is a hard worker academically, and socially. She is the only White person in her group of friends. She’s worked very hard, and continues to do so, to be a part of this Asian crowd, that is now well over 75% of her high school in an East Bay suburb of the San Francisco Bay area.

My son wasn’t so lucky. Boys going through puberty are all about bravado, one-upping each other. Girls are about connecting, communicating, building their community. Our son was excluded and bullied for not being “A”sian, throughout middle and high school. He had no friends at all, though he tried again and again to ‘fit in’ with them, from Karate to Robotics to Chess clubs and more. It broke his heart daily, and mine as well, watching my beautiful, open, kind kid ostracized for being White. He will likely struggle with a damaged self-image the rest of his life because of those formative experiences.

Yet, neither of my children are racists, like so many of their Asian friends and associates. My daughter gets bullied often, even from her ‘friends’ with thoughtless comments: “I only date Asians. I don’t find White girls attractive,” from the 4 out of 5 boys in her group. My daughter would love to get asked to proms, on dates. She watches her Asian girlfriends get asked out. She does not.*

These are REALITIES for all of us, Asians and Whites, here in the global melting pot of the San Francisco Bay Area, and yet my children are still not racists. Why, when so many are?

My daughter and her best friend had a sleepover the weekend before Thanksgiving, and her BF told me their family didn’t celebrate the holiday. Her mother was a tech-visa transplant from China in her early 20s, and had no association with U.S. traditions. She did not adopt them for her kids, regardless that they are native born here. My daughter’s BF confessed she’d always dreamed of celebrating Thanksgiving, like most of her friends. Well, of course I invited her, and her mom and brother, right then. She was so excited she texted them, and the girls were jumping up and down, cheering, moments later with her mother’s response.

The seven of us ate turkey, and stuffing, and shared stories of thanks around the table that night. We played Pictionary after dinner, and laughed and laughed. When the kids exited the scene to play video games, Yi, my husband and I spoke of relationships, politics, religion, ignoring social lines of polite conversation. And though we have radically different perspectives, and I did not feel a personal connection with few common interests, a profound one existed between us. A single parent, having divorced her White husband over a decade earlier, and raising two kids, a boy my son’s age, and a girl, my daughter’s best friend, Yi loves her children the exact same way, with the same intensity as I do mine.

Globalization is a REALITY. It’s happening, right now. Most first world nations are being inundated with immigrants looking for that illusive ‘better life.’ Like it, or not, global integration is here, and, as my husband, and our kids know, it is mandatory, simply must happen, for humanity, and our very small planet to survive us.

My husband is a software architect. He’s been creating and deploying SaaS offerings for over 25 years here in Silicon Valley. Every job he’s ever had in the software industry, and trust me, he’s had a lot of jobs, he’s worked almost exclusively with Asians. While offshore H1B labor has been brought here by the tech industry since 1990, this massive Asian influx globally was not anticipated. In the last five yrs, the companies he’s worked for, whether the staff is 30 or 3000, in IT, or any other department now—close to 60% are of Asian descent. And yet, my husband is not racist, though he’s been passed up for many positions by Asians on work visas and H1Bs.**

“One wish,” my mom asked my sister and me on our drive home from elementary school back in the old days. “Anything you want, what would it be.”

“World peace,” I’d said. It was the mid-1970s, and a common catch phrase, but I meant it. Without war, or economic disparity, I believed in our creative potential to problem solve, and our unique ability to work together to realize our fantastical visions. I didn’t know about the hunger of greed then, insatiable, and colorblind.

It has been particularly hard on my kids, this globalization process. It deeply saddens me that they must suffer the slights of blind prejudice, just as the Asians in past generations had to suffer the racism of the ignorant Whites here. It terrifies me—the global competition for fewer jobs my kids will be competing for after college. Yet, I still advocate for globalization. This very small planet must integrate, or we will perish, and likely take much of the life here with us.

My daughter worries she’ll never meet anyone to date, yet alone marry, but I assure her she likely will. And it’s even likely that man will be Asian, since 36.4% of the global population are Asian*** and more than half of them are men. “It doesn’t matter where someone came from, what their heritage, or place of origin on the planet,” I’ve preached to my kids. “Choose to be with someone kind.”

A border wall surrounding the U.S. entirely will not stop Asians from flying in from China and India, Korea, Viet Nam, Indonesia and other emerging Asian nations. Nor will it stop the Middle East, South Americans, Cubans from coming here. Seeking to keep us separate is a fool’s play. Communication is key to build bridges over our differences, allowing us to meet in the middle and mutually benefit from our strengths. Ignorance and mistrust breed with distance. Nationalism is just thinly disguised racism.

Asians, Latinos, Syrian’s, and Palestinians, are all different cultures, not separate races from Caucasian. We are one race, the human race. Globalization—the blending of cultures—is hard for everyone, scary, new, threatening to our social structure, but a must if humanity is to survive, even thrive. The beauty of interracial marriage is the same thing that bonds Yi and I, as parents. We both passionately love our kids. She can’t possible hate Whites, since her children are Asian/White. Combine two cultures, at least on a localize level, defeats racism, as most every parent loves their kids with intensity Yi and I do. It’s one of our best bits about being human—the magnificent, spectacular, all-encompassing love we get to feel, and share.

*Regardless of the sociology, it is unusual in the extreme to see an Asian man partner with a White women (though common the other way around), both here in the States and abroad.

**Hiring offshore for less money, now being exploited by every social network from Facebook to YouTube, to Mr. Trump’s summer staff at his Mar-a-Lago estate, lowers the pay rate for all of us. It’s no wonder U.S. income levels have been stagnant for years.

***As of July, 2019, there are approx. 1.43+ billion Chinese (in China), or 18.41% of the global population. Indians (in India) are a close second, with approx. 1.37+ billion, or 17.4% of the total world population. Combining just these two Asian cultures, their world population is 4.1 billion people, or 36.14% of the world population, and that is just within their respective countries, not actual global numbers including visa work-holders and undocumented immigrants abroad.

https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/china-population/

Make This Wednesday a Working Lunch…

Make it a Business Lunch, this Wed @noon, from anywhere…

Practical Marketing Methods #WEBINAR from wherever you are: https://bit.ly/2JCAb60 

Ready to Become a CEO?

READY to #STARTUP? Step-by-step MARKETING PRACTICE, not #MBA theory or #Entrepreneurs stories (which worked for THEM by not likely 4 U): http://amazon.com/dp/B07L9LC8NS 

How to Start Up Lean

Entrepreneurs,
This is one of the most useful business-related book series you’ll ever read.
Lean Startup Entrepreneurial Series makes starting and marketing a business doable, in 3-steps, step-by-step—Marketing PROCESS, not theory or startup stories—the practice of marketing a business to thrive: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732543100

Good luck on your startup journey!

#business #venturecapital #startups #founders #entrepreneurship #startup #entrepreneurs #mompreneur #smallbusiness #MVP

Why Do You Choose to Live?

Actor Robin Williams. Fashion designer, Kate Spade. Aaron Swartz, a prodigal computer programmer, political organizer, and internet hacktivist hung himself at 26 years old. In 2017, it’s estimated 1.4 million of U.S. attempted suicide, and over 120 a day actually succeed in killing themselves. Suicide is the 5th leading cause of death globally, after cancer, car crashes, and HIV.*

Clearly living is a choice we all make every day we live.

Almost 4,000 of U.S. will consider suicide today. Have you? I have. Not once or twice during hard times, and in passing, but many times throughout my lifetime, from my tween years, likely till I die. Yet, virtually daily, I make a conscious choice to stay living.

I don’t believe in any higher power than the laws of physics. There is no “Jealous God” (Exodus 34:14) watching, or judging our behavior from ‘beyond’. There is no heaven or hell. I’ve never been able to pretend we are more than the collection of cells that make up our bodies and consciousness. I can choose to go hang myself in the doorjamb of my office after I finish writing this blog without fear of damnation. The only eternal soul we possess is humanity’s hope that we matter past our limited time alive. But we don’t. Not really, beyond our affect on the lives we touch while we are living, like our family, and a handful of friends and colleagues. Even if you’ve done DNA ancestry, other than their genetic contribution to your existence, your dead lineage are names in a ledger, nothing more.

Too dark a view for ya? It ain’t depression. It’s reality, and a scary one knowing that regardless of what we believe, our life adds up to what we DO with our short time of awareness.

Individually, we really have very little effect on, well, anything beyond our small realm. Even those who have ‘made it,’ like the opening list of celebrities, most will be forgotten over time, and lost to later generations. And we’ll never even know the names of most innovators, especially women, who invented the tech we use today.

For the religious reader, this blog probably isn’t for you. I’ve likely lost you in the opening bit, as suicide in most sects is a ‘sin’. If you are a true believe, it is equally likely you won’t off yourself. The only reason to continue reading is if you want to help someone who seems like they may.

How do you know if someone is suicidal? You don’t, and likely won’t. Each of the above celebs were either flat out rich, wealthy, or at the very least financially ‘comfortable.’ So, it wasn’t poverty that drove them to suicide. They ‘made it’ doing what they loved, instead of a lifetime at some crappy job just to pay the rent. Yet, each made a choice to die. Why?

Every day I make a conscious choice to keep living, but a lot of days the choice to stay is hard. Very hard. Some days, hope drives me with purpose, that I can make a positive contribution to those I touch. But other days, on days where it feels as if I reach no one, or I get nothing done, or humanity is doomed to our own stupidity, hope abandons me.

Give it up. Walk away. Stop trying so hard. You’re getting nowhere. If there is nothing beyond death, and what I do doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things, then why not just check out, be done. At times, my life feels as if it defaults to the mean of hardship, and I obsess about exiting the scene, fading to black.

How do you stop the voices of fear, either before they ramp, or even after they do, when you look up from your laptop to notice you aren’t breathing? I think of checking out, conjure my exit strategy. I imagine I’m taking pills, or maybe going into the garage, turning on my car and rolling down the windows.

What stops me?

I picture coming on to the oxycontin, or choking on carbon monoxide, then throwing up, then blacking out. Then nothing. Ever again. No awareness, no consciousness once the neurons stop firing. No taking it back. No second chance. No waking up. Feel nothing, ever again. Or I try and feel what it feels like to feel nothing, but obviously, this is an oxymoron. Living and feeling are synonymous, as are death and nonexistence.

When I’ve lost all belief in myself, my work, my world, I’m left with only one reason that keeps me here. Regardless of how lost I feel, how insignificant, how hopeless, I hold on to the one truth I know is real.

Every day I make a conscious choice to stay living—to FEEL.

Living is all about FEELING—glad, sad, mad, good, bad, proud, humbled, jealous, accomplished. And the list goes on… I get to feel them all, and many more throughout my lifetime, expressed in a thousand ways. Enjoying chocolate mint ice cream while watching TV. In awe of natural wonders. Heartbroken with loss. Swooning in love. From the physical to the surreal, we all get to feel—experience being alive.

Strip away the religious sales pitch that rewards us for charitable behavior, in exchange for an eternity in paradise. Ignore the social pressure that tell us our value lies our physicality, or our job title, or the acquisition of wealth. Let go of the pretense we are going to make a substantive difference to anyone beyond our small circle of connections. And the point of living becomes to feel the moments of our life.

Death—feeling nothing ever again—will come, regardless if I hasten it. The permanence of suicide becomes daunting when I consider I’d never get to taste anything again. I’d never see, smell, or feel rain on my skin, or someone hold my hand. If I take my own life, I kill even the possibility of change, and finding ways to enjoy more moments of my brief existence.

I teeter on the edge of suicide when all reason and purpose has abandoned me. But you can help me during these times, or others who stand at precipice of ending their life. When I’m consumed by doubt, black and sticky, pulling me under, please don’t tell me to “Hang in there, it’ll get better.” It feels like bullshit in those moments of darkness. With empathy, simply remind me to FEEL.

*American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2018

.

Kate Spade, 1962 – 2018
Anthony Bourdain, 1956 – 2108
Aaron Swartz, 1986 – 2013

Your Job Suck? Make Your Own!

Have an idea for a product or service, but have little money, and no clue how to create a business? Perhaps, you are currently marketing an offering that isn’t selling much, and you’d like to get more attention from your marketing efforts?

Lean Startup Marketing teaches the RAF Marketing Method of turning ideas into offerings of value, for profit. This three-step process gives you practical, doable steps to build a sustainable business, and get the greatest response on your marketing efforts, at launch, and beyond.

Bestselling author, and Stanford marketing instructor, J. Cafesin, takes you on the journey of your professional career—creating your own business—from idea through launch, at little to no cost. 

LSM Workshop 1: PRODUCTIZATION, is the process of getting intimate with your idea, or developing product. Neglect to productize your offering, and at best, your marketing efforts will get little traction. At worse, ignoring Productization leads to startup failure. Productization must happen before BRANDING (Workbook 2). Implementing the steps of Productization, in order, allows you to produce tightly targeted marketing campaigns that motivate viewers to click, try, or buy your offering.

• MBA to marketing novice, Workshop 1: PRODUCTIZATION provides all the marketing you’ll ever need to know to become proficient at marketing…anything.

• Create Productization Lists filled with content to use in your branding, marketing and ad campaigns throughout the life-cycle of your business.

• Identify Target Markets and Users who will likely buy your new offering.

• Construct an Elevator Pitch to succinctly chat up your new venture.

• Perform Competitive Analysis, and find differentiators that make your offering unique.

• Choose an effective Profit Model to make money on your offering.

• Project Horizontal and Vertical markets for current and future offerings.

LSM is not marketing theory. Each workbook, filled with slides, challenges and assignments, is a step-by-step guide you’ll refer to again and again, to assure you are on the proper path to building a thriving business. The LSM series provides specific, low-budget, actionable steps for marketing your offerings, to sell directly, or launch your first offering as a profitable startup. It’s time to become your own CEO, and create a career you love.

LSM Workbook 1 is available here:

In Print (recommended): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732543100

Ebook (slides appear smaller): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L9LC8NS