Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash

Fraudulent claims and fake cures. We’re just missing the sideshow barker.

My brand new sports chiro, who is a superb athlete, commented through his mask that quality aging was available. He’s 48, and as someone who pushes the outer edges of what his body is capable of doing like I do, we have a lot in common. He’s facing down midlife, with a body that would belong to a teenager in the prime of life, but riddled with the scars and tire tracks of a life lived with exuberance.

My kinda doc. I can relate.

A few hours later I was slinging weights at Planet Fitness. One of the local advertisers was running an ad on the wall right where I was punching out curls with my 67-year-old body.

This caught my eye:


First, that’s fraudulent. Not only do none of us get out of this alive, but we all age, we all diminish, and we all owe our Mother the right to use us to fertilize what is left of the world She gave us.

Second, science fiction aside, physics decide that we age, for time isn’t negotiable. I am a few minutes older than I was when I began this article. That is immutable. There is NO way to stop time as we know it, as we inhabit three-dimensional bodies, which are subject to the laws of physics, science and the simple fact that All Things Die.

Lemme repeat myself: ALL THINGS DIE. Some of them take a lot longer, like, say, stars. But we are stardust (stay with me here…)

Curious, in that way that you and I study the scab we scrape off our noggins after we slammed ourselves into the kitchen cabinet last week, I perused the website.

This is where it gets both sad and funny. This particular offering for “hormone pellets” tickled the holy hell out of me, but saddened me as well. The list of goodies you get from having said (very pricey)hormone pellets inserted into your ass is impressive:

  • Energy
  • Weight Loss
  • Muscle Building
  • Endurance
  • Cardiovascular Health and Heart Protection
  • Sex Drive
  • Libido
  • Sexual Function (which is often significantly increased in both men and women

Under the skin, like something from a sci-fi thriller.

Of course, like Botox, you gotta keep it up.

Like, forever.

Aye, there’s the rub.

Here’s what annoys me royally.

Every single thing on that list, above, is available if you and I do the following:

  • Move. A lot.
  • Eat intelligently for our unique bodies, mostly plants, with intermittent fasting.
  • Have purpose, a reason for getting up and at ’em in the morning.
  • Have friends who love you and whom you love.

I realize that it’s vastly more sexy, and brag worthy to drop your trou and show off your surgically-inserted hormone pellets to a duly-impressed audience.

A procedure to which, one would expect, you will have to subject yourself to for the rest if your natural life.

Sign me up, Scotty.

But WAIT, there’s more! the site offers monthly specials, such as mega-doses of vitamin C. Well, fine, except that you might want to shove a fork into a tomato before you fork over your megabucks. Please see this article.

Photo by Marc Mueller on Unsplash

From the article, too much C can lead to:

  • abdominal pain
  • cramps
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • nausea (and possible vomiting)
  • sleeping problems

As with most things appallingly overpriced and presented to prevent the very thing we are absolutely, positively guaranteed, that we will age, this is bunkum of the first degree.

As the Healthline article points out, IF you and I would bother to consume the minimum daily fruits and veges, most likely we get our Vitamin C in a significantly funner package than having it shoved under the skin of our asses.

And then there’s this, also from the Healthline article:

People with hemochromatosis are in danger of a vitamin C overdose. This condition causes your body to store excessive amounts of iron, which is exacerbated by taking too much vitamin C. This condition can lead to body tissue damage. (author bolded)

Which, if you will pardon the pun about the bun, makes asses outta you and me while the good docs buy Beamers with our bucks.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Here’s another piece of (IMHO) patent bullshit from their website:

HCG Protocol

What is it? The HCG protocol is a weight loss program that is administered by injection and allows the body to aggressively attack fat stores while sparing muscle. The patient can expect to lose around .5–1 lb a day. They can also experience therapeutic benefits such as reversal of insulin resistance, aids in balancing hormones, increases energy and mental clarity, improves digestive health, decrease in elevated triglycerides. The patient gives themselves an injection 1X a day for 24 days accompanied by a low fat, low glycemic, clean whole foods diet. Foods consist of quality/lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables and fruit.

Who is it for? This is great for any patient who has been weight loss resistant or interested in weight loss and wants to see a quick win. Also appropriate for those who want to take a more aggressive therapeutic approach to balancing blood sugar and hormones. Once a patient has completed 1–2 rounds of HCG they transition into another One Peak Medical Nutritional Protocol-often Body Analysis Phase 2. (author bolded)

There are all kinds of magic words in there for those who have, as I have, struggled to lose weight, keep it off (which I finally did, now 34 years, 85 lbs, without any goddamned therapies): “wants to see a quick win.

My bullshit meter went screaming off the charts when I read the words I bolded. If such a therapy really existed, if it honestly worked, do you not think that by now every single medical office, clinic, spa, etc. in America would be screaming its praises? It would be on every talk show and ads would overwhelm us.

Bunkum to the nth degree.

There is no such thing, when it comes to the body, as a quick win. I can tell you first hand that if you do lose weight way too fast (and I did due to extreme stress just recently) there is hell to pay, and the body wants to put that back on and THEN some. Which is why, once you start this therapy, you may have to be on it for life, as they imply above, which is great for the clinic, and a shit-ton of trouble and money for you. And you never, ever, EVER own your own results, your own body. They do, and your wallet to boot.

Besides, you have no idea whether it’s the diet they advise (which may not work for your body, your age and your activity level AT ALL) or the so-called HGT shots that did the trick.

Then there’s this:

This Scientist Believes Aging Is Optional
Sinclair is one of the leading scientists in the field of aging and longevity, and he believes that aging isn’t a natural part of life—it’s a disease that needs a cure.

From the Outside Online article:

While the dust settles, the best advice for the curious to take from Lifespan is to experiment with habits that are easy, free, and harmless — like taking a brisk, cold walk and eating a lighter diet. With cold exposure, Sinclair explains, moderation is the key. He believes that you can reap benefits by simply taking a walk in the winter without a jacket. He doesn’t prescribe an exact fasting regimen that works best, but he doesn’t recommend anything extreme — simply missing a meal here and there, like skipping breakfast and having a late lunch.

Man, I fucking love it when I am right. The simplest things work the best, they are tried and true, proven over and over again. There are NO hacks, shortcuts, or easy wins. However what that piece just listed is so simple that people ignore it. It can’t work that easily.

Yep. It can. Does. As long as you’re not trying to look like a runway model or Thor.

You ask anyone who’s ever been obese, got a fast win (it’s relative), and how long it lasted, especially if their stomach surgery turned into a lifelong horror show. Please see this article.

Let’s discuss a common procedure: liposuction. Any good plastic surgeon worth his cannula will tell you that if you don’t change your dietary habits, the fat cells that remain in your body will expand and you’ve got another problem. You HAVE to change what you do or the results could be grotesque.

This woman found that out the hard way:

Liposuction Shocker: The Fat Comes Back
Judith Newman has had lipo twice so she wasn’t at all surprised when a new study revealed that fat returns. Still, she doesn’t care.

From the article:

Unless we gain significant weight as adults, we all have more or less the same number of fat cells we had as adolescents (though if we do gain more than 50 pounds, we’re screwed — the number of fat cells in our body can, and will, increase). While lipo removes many fat cells, two things happen: 1) The remaining fat cells can expand; and 2) Fat can be stored in new places. Like my ass. And yours.

And your arms, calves, face, neck, you name it.

I would prefer not to link to the obvious; if you want to see botched results, have at it. But here’s my point: ALL such procedures can have botched results. There are plenty of docs, desperate to get out of the thankless business of fighting insurance companies, who will leap into the plastic business. One friend of mine knew two docs who, upon receiving their lipo kits, commenced to removing fat from each other’s guts right then and there in the living room, sans anesthesia.

You read that right. No happy juice. These numbnuts were opening each other up in front of a football game and trying to suck the fat out of each other like a couple of goddamned nine year olds. Too arrogant to read the directions.

You want clowns like that working on you? And no. I didn’t make that up. That really happened. I don’t have to fabricate stupidity. I know a dentist who does lipo. A DENTIST.

Lipo pays better. He doesn’t have to live with the results.

Photo by David Todd McCarty on Unsplash

There really isn’t a quick win, easy fix, fast answer. While I applaud the good docs at the clinic here in Eugene for their ingenuity and seductive copywriting, the bottom line is that their aging is optional claim is just plain fraudulent. In a few years, my guess is that all the other magic potions will also be replaced by Something New, Better, and Vastly More Expensive.

Wait and see.

Look. It is NOT sexy to read Walter Adamson’s stuff and realize that he’s right: proper diet, exercise, friends, family and a life focus are the Magic Formula. Every single piece of research I have ever seen points to the same things over and over and over and over. Why?

Sigh. Because. They work.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

About that stardust comment. No, not Carl Sagan, but same neighborhood.

This morning I read a simply gorgeous piece by Hermes Solenzol Ph.D. which jerks all of us back around the Hubble Telescope (yes, a distant cousin, and a righteous asshole in family lore) to ask far more existential questions than whether or not some hormone therapy is gonna make me skinny. His piece:

Can we find meaning in the Universe?
I would define “meaning” as something larger than ourselves that gives a sense of purpose and direction to our lives. Having meaning in life is one of the key ingredients of happiness, because for…

I am a fan of asking the Largest Possible Questions, which, after decades of chasing the impossible chimera of the perfect body, at 67 I am done already. I am stardust. What I have right now, I’ve earned, fucked up, rebuilt and reformed many times over. At this point, I am so glad simply to be alive so that I can read Dr. Solenzol’s piece, and am damned grateful I didn’t kill myself off trying to be something I am not: perfect and ageless.

You are stardust. In that regard, you and I are perfect and ageless. But our bodies will age. They must. For life goes on.

I might be ageless in a sepia-toned, carefully airbrushed photo, perhaps.

In real life, I will die. Back to my back doc, it’s about quality aging. And to that, this paragraph speaks eloquently to me in part about what that means. From Dr. Solenzol’s piece:

We do not exist independently of the Cosmos, we are stardust that has gained consciousness. What we do in our lives, the destiny of Humanity, matters because it is part of this amazing cosmic play. We do not know where the Universe will go from here, but somehow we suspect it will very much be worth the ride. (author bolded)

You and I are going to miss the Greatest Show on Earth if we are forever distracted by things that matter so little in the long run. That “long run,” in geological terms, is barely a blip.

I can’t speak for you, but I’m not going to spend my “blip” getting pellets shoved under my skin. I would prefer to spend it living out loud, in whatever way suits me best, hurts others not at all, and leaves a con trail of sparkles across a darkening sky.

That would be me, up there, without perfect thighs, but dear god is it worth the ride.

Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash