Monday, April 28, 2014
I heard a news story over the weekend that I found to be so shocking, appalling and disheartening that I had to write about it, now that I'm back here on SparkPeople. I know that the idea that something in the news could be described as "shocking", "appalling" , "disheartening", or all three of those, is far from being unusual. We hear about horrible things in the news all the time. In this news story, no one had been murdered. In fact, no one had died. Not that people don't die from this problem, even if indirectly, all the time.
So what was this news story? Well, did you ever see the movie "City Slickers"? Of course you did. 1991. Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, Daniel Stern and Jack Palance. Adult men decide to go on vacation together to a "dude ranch", where they get away from their everyday lives and ride horses. --Tell me you at least remember 1991. Anyway, in this news story, it was reported that the places like that (dude ranches; places where you go to rent horses to ride) are now using DRAFT HORSES. Draft horses are those huge horses that haul heavy equipment. Meanwhile, back at the dude ranch, (oh, that's right, we were already there) it was decided that they needed bigger horses to accommodate bigger people. One ranch owner said that he had set a weight limit for people who could ride his horses (because it's not fair to the poor horse), but he decided to switch to draft horses because he would have been turning away too much business. Apparently, the obesity epidemic in the United States (and increasingly, around the world) has gotten so out of control that it has resulted in decisions like this being made. I guess I'm in good company, but this doesn't make me feel any better.
Before I get any backlash for this, let me just say this: I know that there is a movement for "fat acceptance" and a lot of people feel that heavier people are unfairly subjected to discrimination and other forms of mistreatment . They say that being "overweight" (or obese, etc.) is not the same thing as being unhealthy. I say, if you can be heavier and healthy and you like it --more power to you! I have experienced negative attitudes from people who opined that I am too heavy. So, I know what that's like. (Not fun.) I would never be so rude to someone else, let alone doing something like denying someone employment just because I thought they were "too heavy". I do think it's safe to say that the majority of overweight people are not helping their health by continuing to be overweight (again: or obese, etc). I think it's tragic that, as a nation, being overweight or obese (etc.) has become the norm. It's so common that it's driving the market. Everything has to be bigger now. This has happened over a long period of time. So, most of us probably haven't noticed or paid much attention to it. I think the reason this news story hit me so hard is that it made me realize that even the mom and pop places are affected. Maybe it should have been more of a shock to me that the huge corporations have had to adapt to the upsizing of America and have had to make everything larger, from clothes to seats in cars and movie theaters to bathroom stalls. That speaks volumes, too.
I applaud our first lady, Michelle Obama for her efforts to fight childhood obesity. This year, the Easter egg roll at the White House focused on activity, "not chocolate". I have no idea if any ponies were present for the celebration.
Writing this blog entry makes me want to go be active. Right now. It's about midnight here and I need to go to sleep soon. I have scheduled a morning walk for myself. Maybe some day I'll reward myself for my weight loss efforts by getting a Czech riding horse (those are the small ones) --and not injuring his or her back.
Have a great week. Sparkle on.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Wow, what a journey since I was last here. It's time; I'm back. Kind of exhausted, though. Starting over, weight-wise.... and in many other ways, too.
It seems like I've been gone longer than since... July--??? That was the month of my last blog entry here. Well, my SparkPage still says that I'm glad it's Spring.... That's true now, too... again... and has been, apparently, for almost a year now.
I'll check back later. In addition to general chaos, being busy and having a different life than I did a year ago, tech issues (my computer and iffy wi-fi connection) have kept me from logging on here more recently, although I have been thinking of you all and sending you my healthy wishes. I doubt that I'll have time to be here as often as I was in the past, but I am back.
Good Night (it's 1:08 a.m. here)
Sunday, July 21, 2013
I haven't been on SparkPeople much lately, but thought I'd post something to let you all know that I am, in fact, still alive. I have a lot of things happening in my life right now; much of it is stressful, but I think it will ultimately improve my life. I haven't forgotten about you or about my efforts to be healthier, I just haven't been online much as I used to be.
I'm feeling especially snarky at the moment, and I just heard about "Frizzy Headed, Drunken Woman Butterhead Lettuce". --I think I'd like to grow that! Hmmm. Is it better to be "Frizzy Headed" or a "Butterhead"? There's a conundrum to stress my poor little head over. (Not that I need more stress.) Well, at least I'm not a Margarinehead, a "PartiallyHydrogenatedHead" or a "TransFatHead" so I've got that going for me.
I hope you're all living happy, active, minimally stressed lives. And, in the words of the former governor of California, "I'll be bock" (I'm sure that's easy enough to translate with my written accent)!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, SPARKIES!
This year on this holiday of love, I've decided to go against the trend. I'm putting myself first! I'm going to be a little selfish, and it's long overdue. Before you judge me, let me explain, in my usual rambling way, of course....
This is the day of pink and red, of candy and hearts. The "hearts" are what have always seemed a little odd to me. What most of us think of when we picture a heart looks something like this: [mistaken for HTML, so couldn't post. Oh well. You know what it looks like.], but what about the actual part of our anatomy which without its healthy functioning none of us would survive? Unless I'm missing something, we don't celebrate other days with the symbol of an organ that, in reality, looks nothing like the real one. --Happy President's Day! "I think of you with all my brain"; now picture a die. It's Flag Day! "Live it like your liver"; imagining a sieve? --Even dice and sieves are real things. The heart symbol is just made up, but we've seen it everywhere for so long that we know what it represents. So, I've found myself thinking about my heart in recent weeks when I've seen all of those dumb commercials. (I would be SO MAD if someone bought me that huge teddy bear I've seen plugged on TV! Space is expensive. It would just be in the way. What a waste of money! Buy me a plant. Help me start a vegetable garden. A rose bush would be great! I'd love some good quality dark chocolate with all those antioxidants. Jewelry is always a good choice (and unless it's a candy necklace from 7-11, it has no calories).--Just me opining again. Giant obnoxious teddy bears are NOT my thing. Obviously.)
All of these thoughts about my heart and heart health, in general, bouncing around in my brain lately have led me to fondly recall when Oprah (--LOVE her!) was discussing this topic with... (okay, vaguely recalling now... maybe said brain needs some dark chocolate) an expert (was it Dr. Oz? --Really, I tried to find this online so I could more accurately quote and report the details, but to no avail) showed her how her heart was doing, and her heart was found to be on the healthy side of the matter. She said (paraphrasing now) something to the effect of, "I love her!" (referring to her own heart). She went on to say that she wanted to "...take good care of her" (again, paraphrasing and referring to her heart). I remember feeling touched by this, but I just wasn't where she was in life at that point. Not that I was smoking like a chimney (or at all), living on bacon and foie gras and drinking like Hemmingway, my heart be darned (or needing to be later, like a sock). I was, however, "thriving" (or so I thought) on stress, habitually losing sleep, exercising only sporadically, usually just to lose weight, and rarely, if ever, stopping to smell the roses or much of anything appealing. I also was relentlessly pursuing my career and putting in all of the hours that that effort required. It was not a time when we were concerned about Trans Fats. I never paid attention to how much sodium was in anything I ate. I remember thinking that I'd like to care for my heart in the loving way that Oprah had expressed, but I knew that it wouldn't be my focus, at least for a few years.
Fast forward at least a decade. Quite a few people in my family have died from cancer. Maybe that should be my health-related focus. But then there are the stats: More people die from heart disease than from AIDS and all cancers combined (1). Hmm. That's a lot of people. That's a lot of risk. The good news is that there are things we can do to prevent AIDS (and we now have reasonably effective drugs to fight it) and, in general, the things you can do to help prevent cancer are the same things that help to prevent heart disease and make your brain healthier --and to prevent or reverse diabetes to boot! (2), including being happier (3). (Talk about multi-tasking! Woo Hoo!!!)
So, now I am in that place in my life where I am committing to nurturing my heart. Poor old girl. I really have put her through so much over the years. I'm sorry, dear heart. I'm in your corner (ventricle?) now. In the wisdom of the flight attendant instructions, in the event of an emergency, you must place your oxygen mask on yourself first (before you do so for your child or other traveling companion who is unable to do so). This is because you're no good to anyone else if you have passed out or are unconscious. I really think it's best, though, not to wait for an emergency to do this. So, when you're showing the people in your life how much you care for them by showering them with Valentines, don't forget to be selfish and take care of your heart. If you are bothered by the thought of being selfish, then give a healthy gift to your heart and let her (or him, as the case may be) know how much you appreciate her (or him).
Happy Valentine's Day!
Be sure to smell some roses.
Friday, February 08, 2013
Hello to all of my Sparkling People!
Wow! Things have been so busy in my world since the beginning of the New Year. So much is happening in my life. Plenty of stress and some things that I can't say if they're "good" or "bad" yet, although most of that really is just a matter of perspective. Whatever is happening right now involves a lot of changes. (No, I'm not pregnant! --Or in menopause, thank you very much! Hey, we're not on The View!*) I'm learning to ride out the stress without letting it be too disruptive in my life. I'm not stress-eating nearly to the extent that I did before finding SparkPeople. So, I've been thinkin'.... How do y'all (no, I'm not moving to the South, either, it's just such a handy little contraction) deal with change, in general and the inevitable stress that tends to come along with it?
So, here it is.... My sparklin' new latest poll question:
Since I started Sparkin', I've learned to manage stress and not let it affect what I eat....
A. Yes, I've mastered it!
B. Yes, for the most part.
C. Meh... maybe a little.
D. No, I still eat like the Cookie Monster.
E. I wasn't a stress-eater before I found SparkPeople.
F. Something else describes me better.... (Do tell!)
Have a Super-Sparkly Weekend! (Yeah, I'm still not tired of that commercial.)
*No disrespect to the ladies of The View. I only made this comment because comedians have quipped that it's their favorite topic. I rather enjoy The View, myself.
Get An Email Alert Each Time AMOMENTSNOTICE Posts