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April Fools… Or Is Everyday Fools Day?

I am writing this entry on April 1, otherwise known as “April Fool’s Day”.   Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.” These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Turning away from history and to the concept of “Fools” as this relates to our own health and weight loss pursuits.  Our brains will often “FOOL” us into believing not facing reality when it comes to such things as:

  • What we truly weigh:  I have had patients that do not get on the scale regularly reporting their weights are 20 or more pounds less than what the weight truly is.
  • How much alcohol we are actually consuming: In medical school we were taught to place a multiplier on the amount of alcohol intake self-reports.  If a patient tells you they are drinking “1-2 glasses of wine a night”, it is more likely, 3-6.  The person is not intentionally lying…the brain does not want to have the person believe they are on the fringe of being an alcoholic
  • The last time we went in for a regular medical check up:  People will often report “about a year ago” but when records are checked it is well over 2 years, and sometimes as long as 5.
  • How much protein we are ingesting daily:  People often self-report an amount of protein intake that is far more than they actually are.

 

Many more bullet points can be added to this list as to how our brains will often “fool” us with information that does not match reality.  It is our brains’ way of sort of protecting us.

During your long-term health improvement journey, please try to NOT allow your brain to “FOOL” you.   Play your pranks on only one day a year…not everyday.  And by the way, going forward I am only going to post songs from the years 2000 and later.  APRIL FOOLS!!! I am going to keep posting songs that the old people, certainly including me, remember well.  Here is one of them…The Doobie Brothers singing “What A Fool Believes”.

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