It’s my genes! No, it’s your jeans!

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Exercise, Fitness, Humor, Nutrition
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

First, let’s start with a definition:

Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical and/or physical life.

It is my opinion that the very downfall of western civilization (USA) is and will be deeply rooted in the rampant apathy that has spread across this once great nation.  I will give a few examples for you to peruse:

  • “I’m just retaining water.”
  • “I’m not fat, I’m big boned!”
  • “It’s the carbs that made me fat!”
  • “I have flat feet, so I can’t go hiking.”
  • “It’s my thyroid that made me overweight!”
  • “I’ll never be good at sports because I have bad genetics.”

I could go on and on, but I am already getting angry just from typing those examples, so I won’t.  My intense irritation surrounding this issue that pervades American society, is in no small part due to my lifelong career as a personal trainer.  On a regular basis I have had to question why I had more motivation, determination and passion for the success of my clients, than even they did.  Why do I believe in them more than they do themselves?  Because they live in a sad little place called “apathy.”

“Whoa was me.  I’ll never be successful because the cards are stacked against me.  Why bother? ”

It’s like hanging out with Eeyore, only minus the entertaining nature of Eeyore being a cartoon!

We are not slaves to our genetic code, but rather partners with it in the journey of life. If more people would just try to understand a little more about their bodies, I think a world of difference would be made in how we live.  Sayer Ji wrote the following in an article titled: “Defective Genes “Cause” Less Than 1% Of All Disease”

“In the mainstream media (and the popular consciousness programmed to consume it) defective genes are spoken about as if they were “disease time bombs,” fatalistically programmed to go off inside of us, thanks to flawed genetic contributions of our ancestors. And yet, despite common misconceptions, monogenic diseases, or diseases that result from errors in the nucleotide sequence of a single gene are exceedingly rare.  In fact, less than 1% of all diseases fall within this category…

Following the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 2003 it is no longer accurate to say that our genes “cause” disease, any more than it is accurate to say that DNA is sufficient to account for all the proteins in our body. Despite initial expectations, the HGP revealed that there are only 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA (genome), rather than the 100,000 + believed necessary to encode the 100,000 + proteins found in the human body (proteome). Did you follow that? There are not even enough genes in the human body to account for the existence of the basic protein building blocks that make it possible, much less explain the behavior of these proteins in health and disease states!


The “blueprint” model of genetics: one gene one protein one cellular behavior, which was once the holy grail of biology, has now been supplanted by a model of the cell where epigenetic factors (literally: beyond the control of the gene) are primary in determining how DNA will be interpreted, translated and expressed. A single gene can be used by the cell to express a multitude of proteins and it is not the DNA itself that determines how or what genes will be expressed. Rather, we must look to the epigenetic factors to understand what makes a liver cell different from a skin cell or brain cell. All of these cells share the exact same 3 billion base pairs that make up our genetic code, but it is the epigenetic factors, e.g. regulatory proteins and post-translational modifications, that make the determination as to which genes to turn on and which to silence, resulting in each cell’s unique phenotype.

Moreover, epigenetic factors are directly and indirectly influenced by the presence or absence of key nutrients in the diet, as well as exposures to chemicals, pathogens and other environmental influences. Thoughts and emotions also play a role in how these epigenetic factors are articulated, indicating that the flow of genetic information, once thought to be strictly vertical (passage of genetic information from one cell or individual organism to its progeny by conventional heredity mechanisms), also flows horizontally and bi-directionally, opening the door back up for the human soul to return to biological science, having been reduced to a mere “ghost in the machine,” since René Descartes (1596-1650), the French philosopher and mathematician, split body and soul asunder, almost five centuries ago.

In a nutshell, what we eat and what we are exposed to in our environment directly affects our DNA and its expression.

The implications of these findings are rather extraordinary: epigenetic and not genetic factors are primary in determining disease outcome. Even if we exclude the possibility of reversing certain monogenic diseases, the basic lesson from the post-Genomic era is that we can’t blame our DNA for causing disease. Rather, it may have more to do with what we choose to expose our DNA to, and even more surprisingly: how we choose to think and feel about our embodiment.”

In summary, I would suggest people take a little bit more responsibility for where they are in life and feel refreshed in the knowledge that their actions can take them to new heights, if that is what they want.


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