Princeton was transformed into the land of Oz Thursday evening—not the wizard, the doctor. A highly-anticipated event, Dr. Oz’ lecture on mental health was both informative and entertaining, including an interactive demonstration on proper breathing techniques and a comical display by Oz of the beer belly. Below are some gems of the night:
You’re worth it, so what are you going to do to prove it to people around yourself?
I’m as messed up as anybody. I think that’s why my wife is married to me.
A thousand years ago, there was only one primary chronic stress cause: It was famine. So our bodies react to chronic stress as though we are in a famine. We secrete hormones that are reflective of what happens in famines.
What’s the best way to cope with stress? I would argue that for most folks, it starts with exercise that doesn’t cost you anything and only you can do for yourself, and you control when you do it.
Ninety-five percent of the diabetes in America is caused by being overweight. We estimate 80 percent of those diabetics would get better dramatically if they were able to lose the weight.
On dieting: It doesn’t depend on willpower. Conventional diets try to go there; they fail 98.5 percent of the time because biology will always beat willpower. How many of you can hold your breath indefinitely under water? The question defies logic…. There was never a time in humanity’s history when we wanted to lose weight. So your body’s not going to all of a sudden recognize that you’re trying to do it on purpose.
Weight doesn’t matter as much as your waist size does. I’m going to give you one formula. This works for children, adolescents, young adults, old adults. Your waist size needs to be less than half of your height.
This belly fat literally comes alive. It starts secreting hormones like estrogen, which increases breast cancer rates. It converts testosterone into estrogen. It turns guys into chicks. This is why men develop man boobs.
Your endurance at age 17 is the same as at age 65. I’m not talking about your peak fitness—your ability to jump, run, lift. That all peaks at age 27, roughly. Our endurance actually is supposed to be stable for the rest of our lives. Our ancestors never outran the antelope; our ancestors outendured the antelope.
It is often true that people with heart disease are type A people. But people who are type A are more likely to survive their heart problems than type Bs. Whatever craziness got them there will get them out.
A lot of us store our tension in our hips and jaws. When I drive… [and] in the studio before I start or during a tense moment, I’ll take a cork and put it in my mouth. Like the Italians do. It stretches out the masseter muscle. The other thing is when you put the cork in your mouth when you drive, people won’t bother you.
I’m always amazed that if you give people a chance to surprise you, they always will.
Advice for Princeton students: One of the most important things is that it comes down to forgiveness. Not forgiveness of others, but of yourself. You are highly functional people who got here because you’re good at what you can do. But you’re tough on yourself, which is okay, but the ability to forgive yourself and move on is vital. At the end of the day, it’s like driving along: If you miss your turn, what does the GPS say? Does it berate you? No. Make a U-turn. Go back. It’s not a big deal.
Good luck with midterms, everyone! Remember, it will all be okay. And seriously, somebody has to try this cork trick.