How to take primary responsibility for your own health care

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Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash (Altered)

vvhy suggest that you take responsibility for your own health care rather than rely completely on medical providers to always have your best interests in mind?

This article is written for readers who have been disappointed or frustrated by health care providers. For those who have been prescribed lifetime maintenance medications. …

iFAQs — InFrequently Asked Questions of the Head and Heart

A question mark on a tiny island
A question mark on a tiny island
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Would you believe me if I said that reflecting on just two questions can positively affect the quality of your life?

Note that I said reflecting on two questions, rather than just thinking about them.

Before I share the questions let’s dwell for a moment on that term reflecting on.

Thinking about a question yields a quick answer that allows you to move on with your busy life as if you had never even considered it in the first place. Five minutes or a day later you will have forgotten about both the question and whatever answer arose in response.

Reflecting on a question, however, requires that you internalize it. As you do so you let it develop a burning curiosity within you for deeper answers — with the intention of becoming more self-aware. If you’ve ever reflected on questions like Who am I? or What is my purpose? you’ll know exactly what I mean. The question almost takes on a life of its own within you. It rolls around in your head or heart for days (or years) on end. Insights about the answers might pop up when you’re not even thinking about the question because you have developed a passion for obtaining answers. …

Fun, Sex, and Love in the Philippines

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Photobomber Blessed By Beauty — Photo by the Author

I was inspired to write this after reading a story published on Refinery29, entitled “I’m A CEO, 50 & A Former Sugar Daddy — Here’s What I Want You To Know

It’s a wonderfully vulnerable and authentic piece that I thoroughly enjoyed. So I was amused to see a huge volume of condescending comments in response.

Which I interpreted as saying a whole lot about the commenters and very little about the author. Envy? Projections? Self-righteous indignation? Yes, these and more.

I can relate to much of what the author owned about his dating experience in that article.

Because I dated women half my age (or less) for over a year.

In less than two months, I dropped my HbA1c from 8.2% to 5.8% and lost 24 pounds by making targeted habit changes

A fat belly hanging over a belt.
A fat belly hanging over a belt.
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

The title sounds like a bold claim, right? It’d be hard to believe it if I hadn’t done it myself. Here’s the story of how I did it — and how you can too.

On August 17, my doctor said one sentence that rocked my world: “You are a Type 2 diabetic.” Naturally, she prescribed diabetes-management drugs.

I was like, “No, thanks. Diabetes is a lifestyle condition. I’ll make lifestyle changes to reverse it.”

With the experience of someone who’s probably had this discussion more than a few times previously, she said, “That’s not likely.”

Hold my beer.

Less than a month later, on September 12, I had dropped 14 pounds and 1.5 inches of waistline. A second blood panel showed my triglycerides and LDL cholesterol had dropped to normal levels — for the first time in my life — and my HbA1c level had dropped — but still indicated diabetes. (It was at 8.0% against a normal max of 6.0%.) …

In which we give meaning to the term “psychic self-mutilation”

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Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

How much money is in your pocket right now?

Most people will respond to that question by reaching in their pocket, counting their money, then saying something like: “Five dollars”.

What are you feeling right now?

Most people will respond to that question one of two ways:

  1. With a few sentences. “My foot hurts, I don’t know what happened to it. I went for a walk yesterday then I noticed it was hurting afterward”.
  2. With some off-the-cuff remark as if I had asked howyadoin? “I’m great, thanks. How are you?” Or some other programmed remark.

Note the significant difference in the nature of the responses to these two questions.

Am I the only person in the world who resists setting goals?

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I resist setting goals.

There. I said it.

It feels like an admission at a 12-step group: “Hi, I’m Bobby and I am an alcoholic”.

The fact that I resist setting goals isn’t new. What’s new today is simply the awareness that this has been a pattern of behavior throughout much of my life. I realized today that I have carried a pang of low-grade guilt about having avoided goals for, like, forever.

So please forgive me if I process my resistance to goals while you’re looking over my shoulder.

When I thought to write about this, I Googled “resistance to goals” — thinking I must not be the only one. Someone else must have written about this, right? But everything that came up was about how to overcome resisting goals. …

As a retired American living overseas

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Negros Island, the Philippines

I live on an island, on the far side of the world from the USA.

Happy to say I’m not coming back. Y’all have gotten really screwed up there since I left in 2011. The USA is looking from afar like a slow-motion train wreck just as it’s pulling into Banana Republicville.

Currently, there are sixteen Covid-19 cases on this rather large island of 4 million people (one of the larger of 7,000 islands that make up the Philippines!) We’re under quarantine, with masks and social distancing rigorously enforced. (Well, at least more rigorously than motorcycle helmet laws). Filipinos have the common sense to know that the way to keep the case count low is to do what the scientists say to do (DUH!) No one thinks the Coronavirus is the fantasy creation of a political party, or a nasty ole Chinese plot to thin out the world’s population, or any of the 92 other silly-ass Coronavirus conspiracy theories going viral (nyuk-nyuk) in the USA. Sure, everyone here is getting bored with quarantine and friggin masks after 4 months. …

Confessions of a Former Life Hack Junkie

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Looks like my old coffee table — Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

The five-minute fix is short-term mind candy.

Armed with new information from a prolific, successful personal growth coach/author, you set out confidently to integrate a new Life Hack in your daily routine — knowing deep in your bones that this is finally the magic you need to supercharge your life and career.

A month later you can’t even remember reading it. Or it’s still in your memory, but you feel guilty because you have failed to incorporate it into your daily routine. Any day now…

My reasonably successful career alternated between IT management, project management, and sales/marketing support for big IT-related projects. …

And so few elders?

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Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

Western Culture

Western society devalues the potential contributions of people once they have attained ohhhhh, say around age 50. Several Fortune 50 companies I’m aware of make a practice of regularly offering early buyouts to people in their 50s — to provide greater opportunities for younger people. The depth knowledge a long-term employee has obtained about business-related processes, what works/what doesn’t, and all the corporation’s training investment in that individual is disregarded. A younger person may be more up-to-date with technology, but so much valuable knowledge is lost as a result of this practice.

Having said that, there are older people who become a drag on corporate resources because they are just treading water until retirement. That should be the basis for a performance review, not painting all older workers with that brush. …

Are you the author of your thoughts and beliefs?

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Disclaimer: This article is written by an American about the USA experience. If you’re not from the USA, do these apply to life in your country as well?

Were The Matrix and George Orwell’s classic 1984 just good entertainment? Or is it possible that the social conditioning they spoke of is our everyday reality?

Consider the following…

  • You aspire to happiness because that’s generally considered the gold standard of living a fulfilling, meaningful life.
  • You believe that earning more money, saving for retirement or your kids’ education is the path to happiness.
  • You believe that climbing the corporate ladder or making that big sale is the path to happiness.


Bob Wuest

Permanent American expat. Serious hiker. Personal growth junkie. Spiritual activist. Cheerleader for the best in you, and me. More at

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