Michael's blog

Sugar is a mood-altering substance

For birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions, graduations, and so many more, it’s just not a celebration without sweets. Cake, cookies, ice cream — for many of us, they’re the biggest appeal of the event.

That’s because sugar is a mood-altering substance.

True, most often that phrase is pinned on corrosive substances such as heroin, cocaine, tobacco, and alcohol. Only a radical, a killjoy, or worse would apply it to such a cause of merriment and enjoyment, right?


For Sugar Awareness Week, a look at the white powder's broad impact

I attended a daylong presentation by Donna Serdula on Saturday in which she conveyed some of her boundless knowledge about LinkedIn. One effect is that I'm trying something slightly different.

Instead of publishing my latest post here, I posted it on LinkedIn Pulse, to see if it would lead to greater activity on that platform. 


You talk, I'll listen, on food and weight issues

In conjunction with Kick Sugar Addiction World Summit 2017 (link to the 2016 event), I'm offering a free food and weight consultation to you, or to anyone you know. We'll talk for 30 minutes, via phone, Skype, or other electronic conveyance, about the struggles you face, and what I can contribute to your overcoming them.


"10 Words or Less" with Donna Serdula

Donna Serdula is the doyenne of the LinkedIn profile. She speaks professionally on the topic, and employs about 40 writers who craft better profiles for a world of clients. As the guest of the New England chapter of the National Speakers Association, she's coming to Waltham Jan. 7 to present on both topics: How to craft a profile, but also, how to build a business that needs 40-plus contributors to meet the demand for its services. Follow this link to attend her presentation.

 


Environment or personal choice: Pick one?

For all the time that humans have been afoot, we have been adjusting to “the environment,” very often on the fly, very often in the face of peril. So it’s risible that a study just released by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery asked respondents to opine on the cause of obesity: personal choice or environment and genetics.


Anger, without a better plan

Nobody needs my view of the election, but I won’t be the first publisher to misuse his platform for personal expression.

I saw a neighbor walking to school today with her children, sobbing as if she’d lost a loved one. But she was sobbing for her view of her country. It gave me had a brief window of empathy for those who awoke to what seemed like a horrible result eight years ago.


Slide ruler Mike Robertson: “Keep the audience entranced."

Welcome to another special interest episode of 10 Words or Less, in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask them to respond with brief answers of their own. Today’s contestant is a professional speaker and the author of at least four books. He’s deeply invested in creativity and one of his outlets and speaking topics is how to make presentation slides that don’t suck. My usual admonishment to those playing at home: 10 words is a goal, not a limit, so please, no counting! It’s not easy to do.

Note: This is an edited transcript of a video interview published Sept. 23. Mike approved all edits.

Mike Robertson, professional speaker and amazing creator of PowerPoint and Keynote slide decksName Mike Robertson
Born when, where? “Feb. 23, 1954, in a tiny town in the brush country of Texas called Cotulla. I don’t think I have been back since."
Where do you live now? “I live in Austin, Texas. The capital city. The weirdest city in Texas."
What you do for work? “I’m a full-time speaker and designer of slides for myself and other people."
What did you create the first time you remember being creative? “I was probably sitting on the swing set in my backyard making up a song."
Something important about being creative “You have to exercise it. It’s not a good idea to be creative and then stop for a while because that muscle will begin to lose its strength. … Last year I decided I would do something different creatively each month. The first month of the year I wrote a song completely with all the tracks and recorded it. The second month I decided I would like to paint a large size painting, which I had never done. The third month I published a new book. That’s when my resolution came to a stop."
A misunderstood part of creativity “People tend to think they need a different gift to achieve something really cool and so we become envious of other people’s gifts. We say, well if I could sing like that guy, or, if I had her acting ability, I could do something really great with my life. But we each have tools already. The trick is just finding a new way to use those tools."


Phil Werdell: "Everybody pretty much accepts that food addiction exists now"

Today’s guest is a hard-working visionary in the field of food-addiction recognition and treatment. He is the co-founder of Acorn Food Dependency Recovery Services, the driving force behind the food addiction institute, and a key figure behind the only med school-sponsored conference on food addiction anywhere, which will be in its third year this fall. This is an edited version of a video interview that you can watch here.

Phil Werdell, visionary and leader in the field of food addictionName Phil Werdell
Born, when and where? Oak Park. Illinois on April 2, 1941
Were there any unusual circumstances regarding your birth? ”There was a rumor, never completely confirmed, that I actually was born on April Fool’s Day, but it was very late and my mother got them to say it was April 2nd.”
April Fool!! Where do you live now? ”I live in Sarasota, Florida.”
Family circumstance ”Well, I am in my second marriage. In my first marriage I had two step-children, Sheila and Maureen, who are in their 50s. My adult children are absolutely delightful on the West Coast and I am newly married to Mary Foushi. We began as recovery buddies and then founded Acorn together and then found out, by golly, we were in a relationship and we have been for about 20 years, but only married for two.”
What did you want to be when you grow up? ”Until I went to college, I wanted to be Robert McNamara. He was a brainy president of a motor company and then a brainy defense secretary. That he later was a major influence in taking us into the Vietnam War, that embarrasses me.”


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