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Wellness Wednesday for May 15, 2024

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

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Within the last year-6 months, someone in one of these threads posted some 50-60$ package that a dentist sells online that has a multi-step dental hygiegene and cleansing package. I lost my bookmarks recently and have been unable to find it, does anyone here remember when or by whom it was posted? Thanks

Unfortunately not, it was some shopify-looking programme endorsed by a lady-dentist that contains like 7 items.

Yes it was this. Thank you so much!

Will be losing my health insurance by the end of the month. How badly should I try to get on MAOIs for my really bad depression?

Why are you looking at MAOIs? Those are the most restrictive anti-depressants out there.

What product/service has had significant impact on your quality of life? For me, it was a nice standing desk and a nice office chair (Herman Miller Embody). I don't even stand much at my desk, but being able to make minor adjustments to its height has been very useful since most desks are too short for me.

Shoes. I work on my feet in and out of restaurants, and the difference between shit or slippery shoes and a decent pair of non-slips is night and day, especially as the week drags on. My feet/ankles hurting for no good reason is a total mood killer.

So... when is the right time to start taking TRT? Are you on it? What's your take?

I'm in my mid-40s. The biggest sign of decreased T to me is decreased sex drive. I don't have performance issues during sex, I just ... don't crave it as much and it seems to have downstream effects.

It's not at a crisis or anything. It's just like, if we have sex it'll be a solid week of dead feeling before I start to get flirty and affectionate and want to have sex again. I understand some drop-off in interest is normal in long-term relationships, but my long-term relationships in my 20s (with someone else) were more like me being a sex pest who was constantly physically affectionate and craving sex from my partner 5-7 days a week. A huge contrast to now where 2-3x a month is my norm.

This feels especially urgent to me because there's my partner's impending menopause to consider. It seems like the next ten years will be the time to get most of our sex in. Should I try to get on TRT to make it really count?

Or is this a bad trade? I fully believe the first 6 months of being on TRT is awesome. What about 6 months to ten years out? What about ten years to the rest of my life out?

First things first, have you gotten your T tested?

Here's what I use to save money on Lab Tests. It's really easy to get blood tests and not too expensive. https://www.ultalabtests.com/

A couple of months ago, I made a post about my struggles with retroactive jealousy/relationship OCD.

https://www.themotte.org/post/825/wellness-wednesday-for-january-10-2024/178374?context=8#context

I'm happy to report, I've beaten it (and waited a couple of months to be sure), without breaking up with my girlfriend. It was very, very hard, but I came up with an effective strategy that was successful, my girlfriend was supportive in her way too. If you go to Reddit communities about this thing, it looks pretty dire and terminal, but there is hope!

So here's a quick summary that might work for other modal mottizians:

The process was first to never ask another question about her past relationships, no matter how innocuous, never trusting my subconscious to not have an ulterior motive. The disease is categorized by an escalating need for certainty that can never be fulfilled. This was the hardest step and where most people fail. I managed by committing myself to ask these burning questions, tomorrow or a month, and see if I still cared to know exactly how often she cuddled with her ex or whatever. Also, I told my Girlfriend not tell me even if I asked, which mostly served to make the commitment public and easier to keep.

The second step was trying to fix the bad world model I had that caused the issue in the first place. Which was also very hard. I talked to a select few of my female friends and asked very personal question about their past love life, questions that I would have like to ask my girlfriend but didn't let myself. It really put it into perspective how ridiculous and unproductive my probing was, and how woman just didn't think like that. Reading about internet woman's experiences also helped.

The third step was exposure therapy, where I went through some bad scenarios in my head and came up with answers to questions that would hurt me the most. This was and seemingly didn't work at first. I felt like my confidence levels plummeted those weeks, and I felt like I was losing my pride.

Finally, since I hated that, I just started acting like I was amazing. Being completely shamelessly confident in my sexual and relationship abilities. Stating out loud how I'm way better than other guys in this or that. Just being super cocky. Because fake problems require fake solutions. And it worked amazingly. Obviously, my girlfriend didn't mind me saying those things, because she believed it too! That's the great thing about woman, if they love you, you are their one and only.

Positive delusions, are said to be good in relationships. I couldn't just will it into being, though, I couldn't just stop caring about her past either. I firmly believe I had to go through the previous steps, my heroes journey, to really get me to believe in my new truth. It's all fiction, and I needed to make myself a story.

These are some crazy gymnastics. It reminds me of the brainwashing polyamorous people abuse themselves with to convince their monkey hindbrain it isn’t all so bad while it screams at them in protest.

Maybe your instinctual preference for purity in your woman is real and good and you should listen to it.

Should I fix myself? No, it is the women who are wrong.

Could be true, but probably not very useful advice.

Is it real and good, though? If you have a partner, is she "pure"? Restricting myself to virgins is not a viable life strategy, and way harder than fixing this. According to others with this condition who have tried, it doesn't even help. If anything, my monkey hindbrain is using this as an excuse to break up with her for other reasons. I'm open to admitting that.

If you have a partner, is she "pure"?

Yes, I’m her one and only. And I’ll admit I’m lucky.

If we step out of the realm of absolutes and extremes, I think we can say that a preference for some degree of chastity in a partner is real and good, or at least a perfectly legitimate preference. My personal belief is that women who have had a large number of sexual partners tend to be emotionally damaged and are probably not going to be good long-term relationship choices. Preferring someone that has a more normal history seems just fine to me.

On the flip side, like you said, it's worth noting that just getting someone that has a fairly normal history isn't actually sufficient to tamp down the gnawing insecurity about the past. There really is a part of the male ego that many of us have to vary degrees that just wants to be the fucking best, period, completely unthreatened by those losers in the past. But then if they were losers, that devalues her! This whole mental spiral is just wildly unhelpful, so addressing it internally is worthwhile. Addressing it also doesn't mean completely throwing away the healthy alarm bell though - if you notice that someone really did hook up with dozens of guys, yeah, there's probably a problem there and it's good to not just smash that feeling.

Like so many emotions, the emotion has value, but needs to be balanced. Righteous anger is an appropriate response to some situations and a poor response to others. The correct approach to righteous anger isn't to try to eliminate it, it's to understand its origins and make sure that it's only triggering when it's actually appropriate. Likewise for the old green-eyed jealousy - you should feel like guarding your partner, but you can't take it to the extreme of getting all weepy because you're not the first partner a 25-year-old woman has had.

For sure. I was pretty tired while writing my post, so I didn't do a very good job of expressing my overall intent with it. What I had was an extreme, and unhealthy reaction to my girlfriend's normal past.

There really is a part of the male ego that many of us have to vary degrees that just wants to be the fucking best, period, completely unthreatened by those losers in the past. But then if they were losers, that devalues her!

You hit the nail on the head here. I was definitely struggling with swinging between these two extremes. To fix that, I had to do a lot of work with empathy, understanding why my girlfriend got together with these people and why she left. But I could only start doing that after I got over obsessing about details in the past.

I still try to focus more on how great I am and not how bad they were, as that's healthier. It's all a crutch to get to the ultimate end goal of becoming fully secure in myself and not thinking about her past any more than a mentally healthy person normally would. Getting older should take care of that. For now, it beats feeling bad all the time.

The kind of woman who would be 'impure' a few hundred years ago is one who went against the explicit desires of her family and culture. The kind of woman who is 'impure' today is one who does what the culture guides you to do. The supposedly deontological choice is just selecting for something very different today. Nothing is absolute, and not being pure is, if it's a negative signal, necessarily a weaker one today, and not one worth trading off against everything else. Just like a culture with deep traditions about planting and harvest times need to modify those traditions when they move to a new climate.

Restating your opinion in the form of a wojak picture doesn't make it more true.

This is an unwarranted response, I think.

I'm generally suspicious of CS_CA but he's right here.

My startup is going to launch it's mvp in less than 4 weeks and I have to handle the sales/customer acquisition/marketing and some hiring stuff in the meantime.

Please point me to resources on these topics that will ensure that I do my parts well. I don't wanna blow my opportunity and get users the smart way to our product when it launches.

What's your startup space? Generally speaking , you don't have to dox your idea. Who is your target? Are you business to business or business to consumer?

What questions do you have specifically? I can probably answer some of them.

Business to consumer, a web/mobile app that's based exclusively on a monthly payment plan.

Sure but can you be slightly more specific? What market is it in? What class of problems does it solve? Is it entertainment? Is it business focused? Is it for everyone? For girls? Young people? Technical people?

We are making an educational subscription-based product with automation and it is for mostly noobs who want a more hands on approach to learning. I am a little hesitant to state the specifics for obvious reasons before the MVP is released.

It is mostly for noobs and intermediates who wish to learn. It is not entertainment-focused and is rather more serious. Not a b2b saas, mostly a b2c mobile application.

You're gonna be publicizing your idea as much as you possibly can in four weeks. Not even disclosing what the idea is now is silly. Far more startups die because nobody cares about them than because their idea was scooped.

Some basic stuff: Have a marketing flow for people who don't wanna pay now. Even if they're not buying, if they got on your page they might later, so try to at least get them to enter an email or something so you can send them marketting or discount offers later.

For B2C stuff, quality of service will determine your retention, but actually getting people in to try it is the most important part. Consider a free trial, discounts for inviting friends, etc.

Finally, you wanna iterate fast. Don't think of this as a big event like a game launch. You're more likely to get zero hits day 1 than too many, even if you're launching on the app store or something. Have analytics for your sales funnel, know where your traffic is coming from, and how far they get into the process of signing up for a subscription. If you get good traffic but low conversion, fix that. If your traffic itself is low, change up your advertising strategy. Building a web audience is a long term process.

I have no suggestions, but just want to wish you good luck.

The High Growth Handbook (this is a link) is a good starting point.

One of Seth Godin's book is also good from a concepts / abstract perspective.

Do you have any Sales and Marketing experience?

4 weeks .... in a few months, this will seem like an luxury of time.

I have zero previous experience lol

Then forget about learning how to do the job before you do it. You won't, and you might bring in some preconceived notions that actually hinder you.

  1. Work Hard
  2. Be willing to fail and then learn
  3. Ask for help
  4. Talk to people. Cold outreach e-mails work
  5. Understand you're going on probably the most difficult emotional journey of your life aside from a big relationship thing (wedding, divorce) or other family relevant stuff (birth of children)

Anyone ever try the Shangri-La diet? It didn't work for Yud but apparently nothing works for him, even Ozempic. Other people report near-miraculous results.

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/BD4oExxQguTgpESdm/the-unfinished-mystery-of-the-shangri-la-diet

The concept is that your body's "set point" is controlled by access to familiar, flavorful food that your body associates with caloric intake. Your set point goes higher when you consume familiar high flavor/high calorie food. In the ancestral environment it made sense to take on extra fat when berries and nuts were plentiful.

On the other hand, the set point can go down when these familiar foods aren't available. Many people experience weight loss when traveling to an unfamiliar country and eating unfamiliar food. Seth Roberts, inventor of the diet, experienced this weight loss when traveling and drinking unfamiliar sugary beverages, not exactly a health food.

So here's the Shangri-La diet. Every day, drink one tablespoon of extra light olive oil (extra light flavor) mixed with water. Plug your nose so you don't taste it at all. This should happen during a window where you don't consume any flavors for one hour before or after.

Having calories but no flavor breaks the association between flavorful foods and caloric availability and lowers your set point. Or something.

I'm skeptical but I'm willing to give it a try.

Keto worked great for me but unfortunately I'm a cholesterol hyper responder and my levels shot up to over 400. That's probably fine, but I'm conservative so I gave up. Unfortunately, the weight all came back over the next 6 months. So now I'm trying this. Hope it works!

Why olive oil? Why not use one of the flavorless oils used for frying?

Same thing essentially, there might be some biochemical downside but a tablespoon a day is far below typical intake in a western diet so..

breaks the association

This isn't how your - or anyone's - body works.

Here's all of dieting summed up:

  • Processed foods and sugar are the devil. You have to stop eating them completely. There is no other way.
  • Put protein at the center of your diet. Every full meal you eat should contain a non-trivial amount of protein. Protein is meat, poultry, pork, eggs, and dairy. You can supplement (but not replace) with protein powders.
  • Figure out if you are fat or carb sensitive. Most people just retain a lot more of one or the other. You do this by keeping track of what you're eating day-to-day, nothing how you feel (lethargic, tired, etc.), and then weighing yourself.
  • Like sleep, regularity is important. Eat at the same times as much as possible (this is hard when traveling, I understand that). Snacks can be snacks in that they're smaller meals. They can't be absent minded. Plan your snacks.
  • Hydrate

I'd argue against bullet point 1, or at least ratchet it back a bit. I read Robert Lustig's book Metabolical and he is clearly wrong about a number of things. Sugar (sucrose, fructose, etc.) is obviously not great to eat constantly and vigilance and curating one's consumption of it can only help, but Lustig calls it a "toxin." It's not a toxin. Or, rather, it's not a toxin in small enough doses. I'd also flag "processed" food as overly vague. There are lots of meanings to the word processed and again just being processed doesn't necessarily make a food harmful to eat. Another point against Lustig (and I realize I'm the one mentioning him, not you, but he has been my most recent exposure to these same claims you're making) is he bangs the drum about "organic" food, a thing which always makes me immediately hold whoever's doing it suspect. Organic farms are arguably less sustainable than non-organic farms, and are not pesticide-free.. (Once again I realize you have not pushed organic food.)

I personally agree with your view on protein, as well as the importance of sleep and hydration.

Agree that "organic" types give me pause as well. Monsanto is just Gregor Mendel with a legal department. More food is pretty much always better in a global context.

Also agree that sugar isn't a "toxin" but that the highly refined granulated stuff (that is also present as a preservative in lots of foods) fucks hard with your pancreas and associated insulin cycles. That Type 2 Diabetes is now somehow mostly an acquired malady is evidence enough for this.

Re: "processed" foods, my general rule is to stay on the perimeter of the supermarket and, for main meals, that I must somehow be preparing the food via application of heat. If I'm not doing that, I should be conscious of what I'm eating; I don't have to "cook" milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, nut butters, fruit, veggies. I should be the one cooking various meats. This is why I stay away from veggies (error), things in a can generally (massive exception here is canned fish).

Something I definitely overlooked: If you're eating at home for most of your meals, you're going to see results. For a variety of reasons, purchased full meals (anywhere from fast food to fast casual to sit down restaurants) is horrible for you. But that's the market meeting a demand. It is not the fault of "evil" corporations or mom and pop Italian restaurants.

I don't know if it's true or not but I feel as if living here in Japan for the last two decades really changed my diet. Like I haven't bought any sort of jarred pasta sauce since around 1999, but as a kid my mom served the Ragu weekly, and as a youth and young man I wouldn't think twice about it. I make my own salsa, guacamole, etc. But this is also largely because you just can't find that stuff regularly where I am. I have been known to make pot pies from scratch, simply because I get nostalgic for the frozen food of my childhood in the South.

Unlike what you're saying I eat many more vegetables now, as well as fruit. Probably at least part of that is because of my wife's skill in preparation.

I'd be a blob of walking triglycerides if I still lived in the states. Maybe.

Unlike what you're saying I eat many more vegetables now, as well as fruit.

Wait, I think this is what I am saying?

I took

This is why I stay away from veggies

to mean you avoid vegetables. Maybe just those in a can? Although you should know canned and frozen vegetables often retain many of their nutrients just fine, this is particularly true of frozen vegetables. I dislike making such statements without a good source though. Probably you already know this and are avoiding the added sugars/sodium etc.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Massive typographic error on my part. I don't stay away from veggies. Fixed in the original comment.

I think like all things, the dose makes the poison here. The modern diet has so much processed food and sugar in it that it’s a toxin in that high amount. We probably eat and drink more sugar in a day or two than a farmer in 1500 would have consumed in a month.

I have some observations that support the idea that modern flavors are hyper palatable and probably not only encourage overeating at the time, but also make a normal human diet unappealing. I don’t think olive oil and water actually do anything, my personal suggestion is to simply eat bland unprocessed foods until you get used to tasting the subtle flavors of normal foods.

I think the same is true of entertainment— if you don’t do the hyper-stimulating games and tv shows and so on and just do things that people would have done in 1900 you’ll find books, magazines, board and card games, and radio dramas just as interesting as video gaming.

Hyper stimulation is a real phenomenon and I think it’s generally good to occasionally “fast” from those things, and learn to slow down and get back closer to the kind of lifestyle that was normal for most of human history.

That's probably true for many. I recently got my buddy back home to stop drinking sodas. Whether he has kept up the abstinence I obviously don't know. I avoid drinking anything sweet, and only rarely even drink orange juice, which I remember I used to love. I can't even remember the last time I had it. I live in Japan with a Japanese wife and have Japanese in-laws though so my diet is dramatically different from what it used to be. Hopefully I am getting some of the acquired/acquirable health benefits of living here.

What do you think causes people on the Shangri-La diet to lose weight? I'll present a few possibilities.

  1. The mechanism explained in the Less Wrong article is correct
  2. Something else we don't understand
  3. No one actually loses weight, they are lying
  4. Simply watching one's weight is sufficient to lose weight
  5. Survivorship bias: only the people who lost weight report it

In any case, there don't seem to be any downsides and the anecdotal evidence is strong. I don't need a causal mechanism as long as it's safe which this diet obviously is.

I think it's a combination of 4 and 5.

  • Survivorship bias applies not only to reporting, but to continuing with the diet at all. If you give up then you're not going to report that it didn't work.
  • Simply watching one's weight is often enough to lose weight due to correlation if not causation. Those who press forward and continue to watch their weight and follow any diet are likely making other lifestyle changes too.
  • A 2 hour window where you eat very little is probably a big improvement on its own for most people. You need to plan out your meals much better and cannot mindlessly snack (you at least need to check you're not within the window first).

Only downside is wasting time and effort and (as with EY) potentially convincing yourself that dieting doesn't work.

I think it's worth trying, but improving physical health is really a lifelong goal. These gimmick diets might work for losing the initial weight, but you need to be willing to keep the diet up forever or learn the fundamental skills involved if you don't want the weight to come right back.

A 2 hour window where you eat very little is probably a big improvement on its own for most people. You need to plan out your meals much better and cannot mindlessly snack (you at least need to check you're not within the window first).

Forgot to add that one! Rules make it harder to consume calories. But... I don't think that explains it. Even intermittent fasting is not a particularly effective strategy. The problem is that fasting now just makes you hungry later.

I think it's worth trying, but improving physical health is really a lifelong goal. These gimmick diets might work for losing the initial weight, but you need to be willing to keep the diet up forever or learn the fundamental skills involved if you don't want the weight to come right back.

Funny how modern humans need "fundamental skills" but people 50 years ago just lived their normal lives and stayed skinny. This strikes me as Usain Bolt saying "you need to develop the skills to run fast" as if 99% of it wasn't God-given.

Funny how modern humans need "fundamental skills" but people 50 years ago just lived their normal lives and stayed skinny. This strikes me as Usain Bolt saying "you need to develop the skills to run fast" as if 99% of it wasn't God-given.

This doesn't contradict my point. These fundamental skills may not have been necessary in the past, but environmental factors have made them necessary nowadays. If people in the 70's time-travelled to today they'd need to develop those skills too.

Food today is cheaper, more plentiful, more tasty, and less healthy than your average king would have had access to in the past. Exercise is also much less important; you can get anywhere by car, and most modern entertainment is available right from the comfort of your home.

I'm not blaming you for needing to lose weight. I probably need to lose more weight than you do. But no diet is a silver bullet, especially if you don't intend to follow it forever.

I'm not blaming you for needing to lose weight. I probably need to lose more weight than you do. But no diet is a silver bullet, especially if you don't intend to follow it forever.

For the record, I don't expect the Shangri-La diet to work. I just hope it does. If it does, I probably will follow it forever.

Exercise is also much less important; you can get anywhere by car, and most modern entertainment is available right from the comfort of your home.

This is a red herring, IMO. Activity is not the problem. In fact, it has been reported that Americans are MORE active than they were in the 1970s when things like yoga and jogging were virtually unheard of.

It's common knowledge that you get fit in the gym but you lose weight in the kitchen. I am above the 90th percentile for activity. I can run circles around most people my age. My resting heart rate is in the 40s. And I lift. But I am still over 20% body fat according to scans. If you're focused on activity, you're barking up the wrong tree.

  1. Simply watching one's weight is sufficient to lose weight
  2. Survivorship bias: only the people who lost weight report it

Pretty much these two things. Most diets fail because the diet-er just stops.

Seth Roberts, inventor of the diet, experienced this weight loss when traveling and drinking unfamiliar sugary beverages, not exactly a health food.

I want everyone that posts about how they lost weight on vacation to post their step counter with averages outside of vacation and on vacation. My own experience is that I just walk a lot more on vacation, like an average of 10,000 steps more in a typical day, with peaks much higher than that. Unsurprisingly, this burns a bunch of calories. So is it magical European sodas, or did he just walk more?

That seems like the obvious answer.

Personally, activity levels have no bearing on my weight. I just got back from California where I walked 10 miles per day on average. I gained weight. Eating 4,000 calories in a day is just so easy and enjoyable for me. I'd say I'm 90th percentile in activity and my resting heart rate is in the 40s. Still kinda fat, though. I gain weight whenever I'm not actively dieting.

I do think there is an activity level that is sufficient for weight loss, but it's extremely high. When I was young, I was probably 99th percentile in activity and was quite skinny.

The Vice-Joy of Football Manager

Today I re-purchase, for the third time in as many years, a device I had discarded only weeks earlier out of ludd-ish frustration with my perceived lack of productive potential: the self-built PC gaming rig. This time around I at least possessed the clear-sightedness to hang onto my graphics card and RAM, but all other components - including the SSD, the CPU, the motherboard, and the housing itself - were either dissolved, deconstructed, or defenestrated (only through the window of the dumpster, of course) in an act of feverish discontent with my personal failings.

This cycle of destruction and renewal, while somewhat costly, has its surprising upsides: the exchange of forceful self-loathing for the excitement of building a new machine, the clean restart of what was once a cluttered device, and - most notable to this post and this thread - appreciation for the role gaming plays in the tapestry of my life, only perceptible when its reprieve has been torn out of my daily regimen.

As I get older, I've learned the value of whimsically enjoying the ups and downs of my own decision-making, appreciating the oddity of the battle between my (animal) brain and my (human) mind. While I do occasionally step into other Steam offerings, my preferred dalliance from an otherwise meaningful life is Sports Interactive's masterpiece Football Manager, the greatest simulation game ever built. FM is my version of Tolkien's pipe-weed, Lewis' drink, Disney's cigarettes, Flynn's exploration of the female pudenda (thanks to @George_E_Hale for your very enjoyable posts): my own private Idaho; an alternate reality I can step into in an unhealthy manner and enjoy for that very reason. For the other Elect out there, I'm specifically reminded of Eugene Meltzner's addictive use of Whit's Imagination Station in Adventures in Odyssey. Eugene was chided by Mr. Whittaker for losing hold of reality, but I'm not sure that's such a bad thing - for either Eugene or myself.

I am a writer by trade, and so the bulk of my working hours are spent in a desperate act of escape from the nonfiction in which I am enmeshed towards the greater pursuit of grand fictions; stories that follow avenues through which I myself am often surprised, but which must retain a clarity to the perception of my fellow nonfiction-dwellers. Perhaps, in this third loop of the re-making of my alt-world, I see that my nonproductive addiction has a usefulness all its own: Football Manager itself weaves grand fictions of the sporting kind using only the names, data, and histories found in our "real world;" spinning the threads of past Champions League comebacks, Premier League relegation battles, and yet-unknown Southeast Asian urban rivalries into a controllable telling of infinite futures (or alternate pasts, given the right database).

And so, rather than shake my head at my own misguided self-discipline (which, naturally, will look like the wise choice a year from now when the cycle turns again), I'll laugh at my own foolishness, re-calibrate the hours to which I'm one with pen and paper, and joyfully tumble headfirst down the rabbit hole in the hope that the water-pipe of Manchester United's 2023-24 season is soon filling my lungs again.

Manchester United's 2023-24 season

Glutton for punishment, huh?

I feel like I probably wouldn't enjoy it because I don't care for soccer, but man this post made me want to check out Football Manager.

I know basically nothing about soccer (what's an offside?) but I had a good time playing Football Manager 2024 on Game Pass. I actually subscribed to check out Lies of P (which wasn't bad) but ended up putting 50 hours into FM instead. I picked the crappiest, lowest ranked amateur Japanese team I could find and with a mix of lucky scouting discoveries and a couple of clutch third world imports, managed to drag them to the top of their bracket over a few seasons. Then we got promoted and none of my players could compete with the actual pros. Was quite tragic.

Anyway, I'd kill for something with FM-level depth but literally any other setting. There are a surprising number of management games out there but nothing compares in terms of sheer overwhelming complexity. I played a fair amount of Motorsport Manager (quite old now) and, despite also knowing nothing about F1 (though it's not licensed, so I suppose that is probably more of a plus than anything) really enjoyed the gameplay loop of poaching staff, choosing when and how to spend your very limited budget, taking big risks on race days when you have no other choice, etc.

I miss those days, but in 2017 I vowed to never play FM again. It's just too hard to stop.

I'll always have my one CL title, in which Will Hughes scored the only goal in Stoke City's unforgettable triumph over Bayern. And what a banner day it was for Laurentiu Branescu in goal.

I know nothing about football but that was a fun read!

There have been so many great comments and threads about increasing longevity, but the only thread I can find through search-fu is a lil old.

Assume I know that what I really need to do is eat less, exercise more, and be happy. I agree.

But I'm now in a place I want to solve problems with money and convenience instead of hard work. I'm willing to take on a reasonable amount of risk for unproven supplements. To summarize the previous thread, some hot topics included:

  • Creatine (already a convert, love it)
  • Boring stuff (Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin C - none of which I take right now)
  • Phenibut (Very interesting, and I occasionally have high-stakes meetings I could see using this for but haven't pulled the trigger)

What else would you suggest or discuss?

Really going to lean into "in a grey area". I'd be incredibly careful with phenibut, it's extremely dangerous and addictive.

For longevity: Rapamycin

For focus/attention/productivity: Phenylpiracetam (it's harder to get now from good suppliers in the US now because of a "soft ban" by the FDA, and I think phenotropil in Russia was potentially discontinued a bit back).

... in fact, you can probably look at a lot of OTC Russian pharmaceuticals:

  • Selank
  • Semax
  • Cerebrolysin
  • Mildronate
  • Noopept
  • Picamilon
  • Bemethyl
  • Emoxypine

YMMV, of all of these I've tried: Phenylpiracetam, Emoxypine, Selank, and Semax (the latter two in Russia, I have a lot of phenylpiracetam leftover from when nootropicsdepot used to sell it). I really like phenylpiracetam.

I would suggest supplements are largely unproven and bordering on s snake oil, but you seem to know this. Without plunging into impossible goals there are always apps that will not only adjust any workout to your own level with incrementally increasing difficulty, but also make suggestions about what you should be eating. I'd also offer that the mindset of trying to supplement one's way to health and forego the hard work will very likely not produce satisfactory results.

I agree with you on all counts. I don't dismiss eating less and exercising more because I don't want or need to do those things, just that they're already such table stake requirements that it should be a given.

The eating less part is very difficult for me since I'm a fast food addict and consider eating one of life's great joys. But I cycle 75 miles a week and do full-body workouts frequently as well.

increasing longevity

According to marketing literature:

  • Bioavailable CoQ10 - CoQ10 functions as a carrier to transfer electrons across the membrane of the mitochondria to drive production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), or cellular energy.
  • NAD+ precursors (including Nicotinamide Mononucleotide and Nicotinamide Riboside) - may help support overall cell proliferation. NAD+ levels decrease as we age which leads to the belief that lowered NAD+ levels are responsible for lower energy levels
  • Astragaloside IV (a compound in Astragalus membranaceus) - can enhance telomere length. Telomeres are protective caps on the end of our DNA, which helps ensure proper DNA replication. However, the older we get, the shorter our telomeres become. Due to this, telomere shortening is often seen as a hallmark of aging.
  • Peptides - I have no idea about these but they are building blocks of certain proteins needed by the skin, like collagen and elastin.

Personally, the first 2 seemed to give me a mild energy boost for a few hours. It is hard to say if they did much beyond that. I was only taking them 1-2x a week and not daily.

I would enjoy seeing more discussion on these because my research is from a biased source (a nootropics seller).

There was some discussion about fisetin a few years back. I recall some said it cleared up their brain fog while others said it had no noticeable effect. If you don't want to buy the stuff you can always just eat a bunch of strawberries and it might amount to the same thing.

I feel like @FiveHourMarathon might have worthwhile input here.

He is of a noble lift-bro tribe that my elders (Mark Rippetoe) have told legends of.

I'm honored to be summoned.

Assume I know that what I really need to do is eat less, exercise more, and be happy. I agree.

But I'm now in a place I want to solve problems with money and convenience instead of hard work.

I'd view this formula more as a process: Spend Money To >>> Make Things Convenient So You Can >>> Eat Less, Exercise More, Be Happy

Target places in your life where you can use a little bit of money intelligently to improve your life outcomes, and don't be ashamed to spend it. Buy books, spend a little on going out in the right places, don't be afraid to buy a more expensive item when it's the right one.

Fitness wise, Home Gym Master Race is for me. I'm aware I could have bought about 1/5 of the things I have purchased and stuck with them, I don't really need a rack and barbells and kettlebells and a landmine and a moonboard and a rowing machine and an AirDyne bike. There are people who got fitter than me without most any of that. I often go months, or even years, barely using different items. But I come back around to them when I'm in the mood. Rather than having a barbell and forcing myself to stick to it even if I'm hating it, when I get bored of one thing I switch around. I climb for a while, then switch to working on my deadlift, then try to hit a KB pentathlon, etc. Obviously I'd be better at any one thing if I stuck to it, but I don't know that I would stick to it.

As for supplements for working out/QoL, if you're done breeding you should probably skip the minor leagues and just get on TRT at some point. I've fooled around with supplements and will probably continue to, but I'm aware that I'm nibbling around the edges while leaving the big money on the table. Because of that breeding thing, mainly. I did find that Collagen pills tended to help with minor finger injuries from climbing. The biotin in them also causes hair growth/health to improve, but for me it only seems to impact the unfortunate areas of hair (nose, pubic) rather than the ones I'd actually want.

I will say on a prior recommendation from TheMotte, I ordered a shit-ton (for me) of Modafinil online, and I've found it super useful in that I can just decide not to sleep one night, or power through a day when I didn't sleep the night before. I take half of one pill, 50mg, before an all night party or when I'm spending all night reviewing contracts. This happens maybe once a month, but when it does it's a lifesaver. But that's just me, I happen to have the opposite of whatever the alcoholism gene is, so the risk profile may be different for you if that doesn't hold, I know some people online report problems with it but they're using it a lot more than me.

if you're done breeding you should probably skip the minor leagues and just get on TRT

What's the book on using TRT before or during trying to have kids?

It can cause your sperm count to drop and ending treatment doesn't necessarily fix the problem. One very much wants to avoid the roller coaster of needing fertility treatments to increase the sperm counts that you made low.

It's also philosophical for me, in my mind for a citizen it doesn't make sense until one is late 30s early 40s. In the same way that I'm much more ok with plastic surgery in older women than in younger women. An older woman is taking a shot at improving what is likely to be a bad hand, a younger woman risks messing up her best years. "Done breeding" corresponds in my mind with "I've done everything I'm likely to do without TRT, and am likely hitting my physical decline phase."

Fiber supplements?

Love it, but looking for more cutting edge grey market supplements/drugs in the vein of Phenibut

I would suggest employing a cook and a personal trainer.

That's a bit more money than I'm willing to spend to solve problems, I already have a SAHM wife which is a big investment.

So you're saying you do employ a cook!

As a guy that works from home, I'm the de facto cook for the house. It really is a nice perk for everyone to be able to do this kind of division of labor.

The difference between a wife and a paid cook is that a cook won't tell you "fuck you, I ain't cooking a separate meal for you just because you've read another longevity shitbook"

I wonder how much time you need to spend reading up on longevity extensions before it becomes a net negative by detracting from other things you can do with your life expectancy.

Can't say I'm particularly bothered, I expect that medical science will bail me out of any poor decisions I make in the next decade or two, not that I don't keep an occasional finger on that pulse.