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Post What Does "Old" Mean? From Ric Mauricio
Created by John Eipper on 11/28/17 4:45 AM

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What Does "Old" Mean? From Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA, 11/28/17 4:45 am)

Ric Mauricio writes:

Whatcha talkin' bout, Willis? When JE commented that many of us are "old" (see John Heelan, 27 November), I cringed.

The word "old" is not in my vocabulary. It is a word that is vague, and not quantifiable. To me, "old" is a state of mind. If you classify yourself as "old," you might as well classify yourself as "dead." "Old" is when you no longer have an open mind to "new" knowledge, to new technology, to new ideas, new movies, new music. With a daughter with 3 grandsons and a son in the information technology world, I see the world through their eyes. It is such an exciting world, with new opportunities every day.

Now there are those who point out that as we age, that our metabolism slows down and therefore, it is more challenging to stay in shape. Body fat charts and even body fat measuring technology take this into account. But I did some research and in reality, taking into account your age when measuring body fat has no real supporting evidence. It is based on an "assumption" that as you age, your body fat should increase.

This sounds like when I was asking the advanced math guys at one of the largest investment companies in the world how they came up with the valuation for the derivatives in their portfolio. It turned out that the valuation was based on an assumption based on an assumption based on an assumption squared. Now ask yourself a question: is the reason your body's metabolism slows down as you age because you are aging or because you are not working out smart and eating right?

There is an ideal body fat percentage chart for men and women by two researchers: Jackson & Pollock (sounds like a law firm). At 55 plus for men, the ideal body fat percentage is 20.9%; for women, it is 26.3%. The numbers decrease as the age decreases. For example, a 25-year-old man's ideal body fat is 10.5% and a woman's is 18.4% body fat. So I turned this chart around. I took my current body fat percentage and looked at what age my body fat percentage is the ideal body fat percentage for. At my current 12.4% body fat, it is the ideal body fat percentage for a 30-year-old. I look at losing body fat as turning the clock back. And yes, I am in my 68th year with my weight the same I was as a sophomore in high school, with one important difference: I am more muscularly defined today than then. And no, I do not work out for hours on end. That is clinging to a the myth that one needs to work out long and hard to be in shape.

By the way, I also cringed at the "Japanese women make the best wives." Sounds like a Trump tweet to me--unquantifiable and unsubstantiated. It is interesting that many of us have a diverse universe of spouses. My wife happens to be Chinese American. Yes, my thanks to A. J. Cave for pointing out gender inequality in WAIS postings. I've always been sensitive to any biases, towards females, towards those with cultural, ethnic, or religious differences, towards those with physical differences, and towards those with different sexual preferences.

I have a question for George Zhibin Gu, whose postings I have found to be of great interest since my trips to Beijing has piqued my interest in Chinese history and everyday life. I was told in 2008 by my tour guide that single women were not allowed to travel to the US. She has since traveled to the US, but I am thinking that she was allowed to because she was in the travel industry. Or has the travel limitations for single Chinese women been revised since 2008? Unfortunately, I have lost contact with my tour guide since she emailed me that we can no longer communicate since she got married and that "it is too easy to make a mistake" in communication. Since I assumed that we were on a friendly business relationship, I did not understand the cryptic message, but c'est la vie.

JE comments:  Ah Ric, your treatise on body fat shames me as I recover from Thanksgiving!  Americans need a new holiday that involves family time and nothing but boiled vegetables and water.

Whatcha talkin' bout?  Here's a seven-second refresher:


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