Sunday, July 21, 2013
I’ve been lurking a bit the last few days. That may be a permanent condition, I don’t know at the moment. You see, I committed the unforgiveable: I shared personal experience and nutritional information I’ve gleaned from various sources with the open membership here at Spark.
I should have known better, and stayed sequestered in our “alternate” group forums. But I didn’t. I am interested to hear what people are saying in general. For those of you who are acquainted with me through my posts, you know I am very concerned for people who are seeking and failing in their past (and maybe current) diet plans. When someone asks a question, or expresses a concern or confusion which I have either experienced myself, or have some information to impart, I offer it to them. I never *recommend* a thing to anyone, or present it in a way which might be considered a directive… not “advice,” per se. If I am quoting a resource I’ve been able to corroborate from several (reliable) sources, I will give it a bit more weight… but I ALWAYS qualify anything by stating everyone should do their own due diligence, research it themselves, check it with their healthcare team, and NEVER just adopt my individual regime without taking responsibility for their own health.
Be that as it may, I got a smart “slap-down” on an open forum for posting a reply to a person who was concerned and asked a specific question that I also had, and have done some information mining upon, and thought I might be able to join in the discussion she opened. My mistake. I’ve cut-n-pasted a bit of the interchange here…
“I just got the results of a health screening back and my cholesterol levels were off. My total cholesterol was actually a little below the healthy/normal range... Any tips on what I can eat or do to raise my HDL without raising my LDL? “
I responded with my experience, and cut-n-pasted the exchange I’d gotten from the alternate site, since another respondent on the thread here seemed dubious about what I’d said. After I’d done that, yet another poster offered up a long commentary about what to eat, what will reduce or prevent this or that… a long list of what certainly felt like directives – at least to me. I don’t mind such things in general; I’m capable of taking information like that and following up on it to see if it holds water or if it’s just a knee-jerk reiteration of CW (which I think is more common and less wise… but that’s a topic for another day). So whatever others have to say is fine by me. I welcome alternative viewpoints. It gives me a reason to explore and find more “proofs” to bolster my own.
But then, I get this:
“There is some misinformation on this thread that needs a little clarification.
…there are several statements that are not backed by scientific research.
This site is not about being an experiment of 1.
The goal of this site is to help our 12 million members achieve and maintain a healthier body through evidence based, peer-reviewed published research on nutrition and fitness.
I am not aware of any research evidence the shows long term usage of coconut oil to boost HDL level.
I am not aware of any research evidence that shows that long term usage of a high fat diet boosts HDL level.
While you may share what you are personally doing; we do have guidelines here at Sparkpeople asking all members to use evidence based research data when sharing nutrition and fitness content.”
NOW I take exception.
In the first part… I never offered a statement which was unfounded by current science. I am a medical professional. I’ve been in my field for over 30 years. I know “fluff” from substance, and I don’t rely on ANYthing unless I can cross-reference it. Does it always agree with CW? No. Is that a bad thing? Maybe. Maybe not. If we never questioned CW, we’d still be afraid of falling off the flat plane of the planet (Those forward-thinkers were ostracized as heretics, too).
Very many of my researched topics come from Google Scholar™. I mention this to people occasionally and they don’t even have an idea what that IS, much less use it. I have subscriptions to several medical e-journals and research-reporting sites. A couple of them I pay for, even though I’m retired and don’t have to have them. I also use the standard Google™. I also use blogsites from groups aligned with whatever concept I’m trying to get information about – unless I get a feel that it’s biased or has conflict of interest, or else isn’t doing any independent thinking other than to reiterate what’s been “sold” to them. I can read that original from the original. I don’t want to just hear a repetition because it’s something to say without engaging any brain cells. I didn’t think forum posts had to conform to MLA standards, so I haven’t been citing or footnoting every word I put in a comment. Again, my mistake.
OTOH… I have to say that I’ve not seen anyone else writing in MLA style, either. Most everyone who has a link to share will do so, as do I. But citations? I’m not sure I’ve EVER seen a post with a citation or footnote. Perhaps I’m just oblivious.
On the second point…
This site is EXACTLY about “being an experiment of 1.” We’re all sharing our personal experiences. It’s in every single post, on every forum, and is considered by many to be the very most valuable asset they gain from SP. We share our trials, our successes, our fears, our hopes, our “experiments” with our eating choices… every person posting is “an experiment of 1.” Even those who aren’t prolific posters are still working toward their own particular goals singularly. We’re not a hive of bees.
On the third point…
I’m unimpressed to have numbers thrown at me. The fact that more people believe a thing carries absolutely no weight whatsoever with me… unless to make me more suspicious of it.
For the administration personnel to bow to that pressure is expected. Advice given from an “authority” is always subject to dispute or objection, and in that light, SP *officials* simply have to stay within guidelines. Perhaps they would still do so in an unconstrained environment – eg, personal conversations… or perhaps they might not. In any case, it isn’t possible in a public forum where they’re perceived as experts and could possibly be taken more to heart than even the members’ personal healthcare teams. I get it. But the line is drawn when it’s expected for that same membership to adhere to the business practice and standards guidelines that the administration has to follow. We’re sharing, not dispensing, information and experiences.
On the fourth point…
I can hardly be held accountable for the fact that a trained expert is “not aware” of information that is readily available to unbiased enquiry. Can they recommend it? SHOULD they recommend it? well, probably not. See point 3, above. Is it recommendable? *I* believe it is. I’ve seen enough repetition of some of those topics online, in print, via research, and from personal experience, that I feel confident enough about it to share it with others and to incorporate it into my own health plan.
As a credentialed medical professional, I am required to maintain my qualifications by attending continuing education to the tune of a minimum number of contact hours per requalification period. If I fail to do this, I will lose that credentialing and have to start “from zero” by sitting again for the examination. This puts a minor fear in me, naturally. But I also feel that if I’m going to give myself a title, I need to have competency in it. Not only that, I love my field. I WANT to know what’s happening, and to be cognizant of new thoughts and corrections in old ones. Keep in mind, I AM RETIRED. I don’t need to do this! And yet, every recertification period, I typically have twice to three times the number of requisite hours to submit to the authorizing committee. So… why is a similar medical professional “not aware” of the massive amounts of new information being promoted in the field? *I* am aware of it (and it’s not even in my field!). I actively search for it. And yes, I throw out a fair amount of it as simply not credible… or else having questionable science behind it. I’m not just swallowing every likely-sounding tidbit I happen across. I am discriminating, although I’m also not refusing to consider possibilities. “Not aware?” No. I don’t think I’m not aware. And I’m not sure I’d admit to it if I was.
And on the last point, I simply have neither time nor inclination to compose technical dissertations, complete with citations. I suppose that means I am barred from any posts, since members are admonished “to use evidence based research data when sharing nutrition and fitness content.” As a result, I suppose I won’t be able to join in as many discussions as I’d like to. I can’t reach out to others struggling for understanding or support. I guess I should say, “I shouldn’t,” because there are, no doubt, going to be times I simply can’t help myself. I offer some concern to you on the same subject. I guess we can’t just talk with each other. Get the MLA Style book.
I’m mostly despondent about the whole ordeal. I feel excluded and singled out. I feel strongly discriminated against. I had respect for SP and the service they provide. But now it’s overshadowed by the squelching of independent thought. I am grateful for the benefit I am having with the Nutrition Tracker. I suppose, since this is a free site, that they can simply block your membership any time the whim takes them. I don’t want to lose access to the one resource remaining to me here, so I have to find some way to break myself of sharing in the community give-and-take. It will make my journey much more difficult. I see no alternative.
Those of you who can still help others groping along here have my envy and admiration. Please put my good wishes alongside yours where you can!
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Heh. I'm feeling pretty snuff about myself today!
I dredged my way through all my CE assignments, with the exception of two which I couldn't get to. They're ones you have to post the first part for the instructor to approve, and then she unlocks the next portion. So there's two of those left - but they're followup of the primary I've already submitted. woo-hoo!
I got some email from a former CE instructor (in my specialty) who's decided I'm the authority, and she sent me some pics to evaluate. That felt pretty empowering.
I got over whatever digestive malady I brought upon myself and (so far) I'm able to eat again. I don't know; maybe that's NOT a good thing! lol
And THEN... (probably because of that indiscretion) the scale was kind to me today and taunted me with a number about 2 pounds less than I saw the last time I climbed aboard. I'm not going to get wild about it -- but it's a nice idea, and I'll take it for what it's worth!
It's a pretty day here, although the radar and forecast is for rain later. I don't know why I even mention or consider such things: it's FL! This is how it's SUPPOSED to be! I can remember some years it being so dependable you could nearly set your clock by the afternoon shower. I sort of like the thunder and the little whippy breezes. Storms energize me. Give me a storm over a sunny day with fluffy clouds anytime!
So most of my "oughtas" are behind me. It wasn't the ordeal I had envisioned. It never is. This is my traditional approach. I know it's just dread, and it's not real. I don't know why I'm so slow on the uptake with this! I feel like I'm at least moderately intelligent. I should be able to assimilate this! oh well There's another line-item to go along with my "slacker-iness" (is that even a word?!?)
Anyway, I have a day I can contemplate and dig into more fun stuff now. See, I even get to reward myself! and still... I don't learn! sheesh I might catch up with my (snail-mail) pen pal, who's been languishing sans correspondence for a couple weeks now. I might pick up a little craft project I'm going to make for my friend. I might finish reading one of my just-for-fun books. I might work through a couple more reviews, which I seem to have abandoned recently. Well... maybe not. That feels a bit like an "oughta"! But it's a "wanna" too. We'll see. Or I might just be completely useless and go out and sit in the sun and enjoy the day until the rain kicks in.
I have no idea. Possibilities are endless! What a nice feeling.
Hope you all have some nice feelings to shower upon yourselves too!
Monday, July 01, 2013
Well. I'm not doing so well with this journaling thing! What a surprise.
I'm in the throes of yet another "lesson" from my body. We found ourselves out and about yesterday at around lunchtime...in a grocery, of all things. There was a Subway in there. There's a recipe for destruction if I ever heard one. Fresh baking bread. This one also makes little pizzas. And I've always LOVED their seafood subs. So my options were: 1) eat Subway; 2) don't eat Subway, and instead buy every tempting thing in the store to take home; or 3) don't eat anything or buy things off-the-list and just eat decent food when I get home. Naturally, you can easily construe where those choices went.
Well. At least I told them to pull out most of the bready insides of the roll. But then Joe tempted me with a cookie (and I was already broken down on the temptation thing), so I more than defeated my purpose in taking out the plain bread by replacing it with yet more carbs AND sugar. -sigh- Well. It tasted pretty good. I managed to scavenge out most of the insides and still left a bunch of the bread behind. Made for messy eating, but WTH.
Then, at dinnertime, I ate a salad. Usually this might be considered proper eating. For me, many veggies and especially anything you'd call "roughage" are touchy things. After my "fall" at lunchtime, it turned out to be too much for dinner. I tried a new dressing too, which didn't feel right even going down...it was Walmart's brand of Ranch, and it was a lot more peppery than the Ranch brands I usually eat. Not only that, I love the dill in Ranch, and (so far as I could tell) there wasn't any in this. Well, I had it, and I wasn't going to throw it out (whose blog did I read not long ago about not treating your body like a garbage disposer?). I'm thinking now it's going to go in a non-biological disposer (ie - not me!).
So now I'm in education mode. Again. I spent the night in mild GI malaise, and sometime before dawn that progressed into my typical - Sorry: TMI alert! - fermentation and gas production routine. This morning I don't even want to put liquid...even water, in there. My gut seems to have relented, but I can feel things lurking around there, just waiting for my next indiscretion. This would be a relatively minor, if irritating, situation...except that I need to get my megaload of meds and supplements down, and my body is warning me in no uncertain terms, "this is a fast day!" So we'll see what transpires later on.
I posted a response to someone's blog in the last day or so about the current state of dietary health in this country. I guess I got on my soapbox; I tend to do that, alas. I also visited some blogs and threads from other Sparkers about why their plan isn't performing as desired; some of them quoting (again) the failed weight-loss and "healthy" recommendations we still get. It was pretty depressing. Yes, I fall off my own wagon (as described above!). But at least I know I've done it, I know it WHEN I'm doing it, and I understand the correct way to be doing things. It's not ignorance - it's just my dropping the ball of responsibility. Maybe that's worse, I don't know.
I wish I had better speaking skills; I wish I had magnetic charisma; I wish I could find the way to reach people who are struggling this way. It really wrecks my outlook. It's bad enough to be faced with it from people I don't know, or only know distantly. It's SO much more stressful to see it in people I care for or love, friends and especially family. I try very hard not to get pushy or strident about it. I know that's counterproductive. People like that come off as fanatics. I don't know. Maybe I'm a fanatic! ?!? If so, I have no desire to reduce the tendency. I want them to take it seriously, but I don't want to drive anyone away from the facts just because I'm so eager to have them "see the light." But you can't enlighten those who fear it. Change is scary to so many.... stagnation is scarier, IMO. Especially when you have evidence of its detriments. Oh well.
On a positive note: I've whipped myself into some semblance of shape with my CE course. I finished one. I'm about 2/3 through the last one. Of course, the deadline is the 7th. Nothing like last-minute crushes! I'm thinking I'm actually going to make this deadline, though... and not have to throw myself upon the instructor's mercy at the 11th hour to accept my final posts. Hopefully. That's what I need to be doing now: finishing up some of my remaining 6 assignments. If I'm a "good girl," I'll plow through that one-per-day and make it. IF the instructor doesn't request followup! luck to me on that one.
Hope everyone has a beautiful day. It's looking like rain here (well, it's Florida!), which is wonderful: we need the water. The world breathes deep in the rain. And it keeps me inside, doing things I NEED to be doing, instead of being out gallivanting about squandering my resources. lol
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Seems as if I've fallen off my self-directed wagon already! why am I not surprised.
Let's see...Friday. I actually applied myself to some of my CE. I got through a long dissertation on a marginally interesting topic...and then failed to save it when I closed the program and lost it all. Figures. I was so disgusted I spent the rest of the day cruising around the 'net.
Saturday...it's hot here already, and Joe wanted to get some walking in, so rather than face the iffy weather at the flea market, we went to the mall. oooooo how I hate malls. I do like the wandering about, and IF there's any shops other than clothing, shoes, or jewelry to peruse, I like that. But I haven't seen many of that variety in a long, long time. Our local mall does have a Spencer's, which is a curiosity. I remember it fondly from many years past. It's not exactly like that now, naturally. But it beats the other stores throughout the mall.
Then, of course, there's the Food Court. =( I hate that. Mostly it's stuff I really don't even want, but the aromas tempt me. The little kiosks of soft pretzels drive me crazy. I think it's the salt. I get enough of the bread base after a bite or two, honestly. I haven't had one in probably a couple years, and yesterday was no different. I went past and drooled and longed for it and kept going. I can eat salt at home. I pride myself on passing the Cinnabon and Mrs Fields' on the opposite side of the corridor this time. Last trip, the mini cookies at Mrs Fields' snagged me. I won't do that again, after seeing the carb count AND the price paid for those bitsy nuggets.
So we went to a place I've never been before: Red Robin. From the storefront, it looks like just another burger joint. I suppose it is, on some level. The burgers did look awesome. If we go back, I'll try one out, sans bun and with a side salad (which also looked tasty) instead of the fries. They do have sweet potato fries. But I don't need fries. Yesterday I had their French onion soup (which was very tasty, although it came out pretty cool-ish), and fish-n-chips. The fish was battered in a light tempura, which I feel less badly about than the usual half-pound of breading you get on fried things. The soup was really good. When they came to see how we were doing and I mentioned the temp (even tho we'd already about finished the soups), she went back and got us another order...which was unexpected and unneccessary, but nice! Who'd expect that of a fast-food outlet? I didn't anyway. Of course, I couldn't finish a second serving. But they have take-away, and it's here awaiting dinnertime. The fish was very good. I kept eyeballing those monstrous burgers going by, though! They look like they might be made in-house, instead of coming in preformed. I don't know. They look intriquing, anyhow. Next time.
Today the plan is to hit the grocery before a sale goes off and use a coupon which is also due to expire shortly. My aforementioned friend is reluctant to go to this particular chain of grocery... I don't know why, really. She's funny about some things. If I want to go to this store, I usually just go by myself, which is okay because then I'm not constrained to the typical 2-hour circumlocution with her. I want to get out and back before the traditional afternoon showers begin though, so I ought to be working in that direction now...and you see where I am! LOL
I read something recently...some blog or newsbit or I-don't-remember-what... Paula Deen was the original topic. People posted following the story about her racism and various gripes and complaints. I suppose, if it's perceived as racist, I have a big problem with it, too. My friend isn't of my racial heritage (and it doesn't matter which is what, or what the other "whats" are). I don't have any issue with her in that regard, nor, from what I can tell, she with me. We are perfectly compatible (within limits, as I've discussed) on the sheer basis of personality. This seems to me as things should be.
I am a Southern girl. My family may well have been in the same, or similar, position as Paula Deen's family. I will probably unintentionally offend some readers by admitting to some fond memories of that genteel Southern style. My mother's side of the family traveled from Mississippi across to Texas by covered wagon. There were lots of stories from those times when I was growing up. Some of the remarks on the blogsite mentioned above were pretty hateful about the reason that Southern "charm" was possible - ie, that there were people in the background doing the labor and unpleasantries so the "elite" would enjoy a presumably artificial lifestyle. I suppose there's truth to that. I also suppose that we live in a very similar world today, with the exception that instead of room and board we have wages. I am fairly certain (KICK ME NOW) that there were owned people in the family prior to its emigration from Mississippi to Texas. I recall my grandmother in a great tearful state retelling to me how the staff they left behind (with a deed to the little farm and all its accoutrements passed along to those folks, on paper - legally) chasing them down the road and crying and begging to be taken along. They were family. They didn't want the farm, they wanted the family. But it wasn't to be.
I know very well that the vast majority of "relationships" of this nature were not benign. It was a Very Wrong Thing, and despite it *apparently* not being horrific in my family (again, a one-sided tale, who actually knows?), I feel some shame at having been associated in even this faint and distant way with those times. But, in light of the way it ended, I look back and think, well...the people were here. We didn't go collect them. They had a home, they had food, shelter, family. Yes, they had to work for what they got, I presume. They were, however, also given some education - at least enough to be able to enter into the legal contract of ownership of the farm. So far as I know - and I certainly can't "know" this, but I have to believe it - they were not misabused, other than the fact that they were obliged to work first for our family and secondarily for their own needs. It seems to me their needs coincided pretty closely with the family's needs...but that's debatable, I guess.
Is it different now? we're all still "indentured" by our social customs. Okay, so we have to bow and scrape to management, we're slaves to that paycheck. We get our room and board differently now. But while the details differ, it's still there. Of course I see that chosen employment isn't ownership! but it bears some similarity.
Like Paula Deen, I do have some fond reminisces of bygone time. I don't know how to describe it outside of the concept of "Southern charm." Gentle civility, an appreciation of beauty and nature...and yes, I suppose some "disconnect" from reality. I feel deeply guilty to have an appreciation of such things. Why is this wrong? I learn from all aspects of our current social environment that it is Wrong. I keep it to myself, except in rare instances like this...where I ashamedly admit to some nostalgic yearning.
Some of the comments on that page were that people who feel as I do are the worst racists, because they don't recognize that they are. Am I racist? I feel no negativity toward any group of individuals. I interact with people on a one-to-one basis. It's who they are, not what they are, that matters to me. Class or race or age or anything else has little bearing on my feelings for people. Consider that my friend was just a casual walk-by in Walmart, of all places! We spoke in a friendly manner for a moment and things just spiraled onward from that. I think, if I was racist, I'd not have spoken with her or ignored her or avoided her (?) from the first moment. On the other hand, I have these recollections and nostalgia from long-past times, and I'm told this is sorely racist.
I don't know how to reconcile these things, other than to keep it under wraps because I know I'd attract a LOT of negative response from folks inclined to be sensitive. I can't change who I am. I can prevent imposing it on other people, and I try to do that. But it's a concern, and it bothers me. And I can whine about it all I like, which doesn't much change the situation at all.
Meanwhile, the afternoon rains are coming. I'm going to be soaked if I don't get up from here and go to the store!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Well. Boredom prevails.
Today was a "furosemide day," alas. Pinched my plans waaaaay too much.
We had dental appointments this morning. Too early for my taste, but he had to go to work after, and he's a morning thing anyway. If I want help or company, I'm on his schedule. Worked out okay. I've got a temporary crown for a couple weeks. Why they can't just DO IT, I have no idea. When this one is finished, we start on the one on the other side. Great.
Since I was already up, dressed, and out, I dropped him off for work and went out looking at house listings. We've got to get off this rental thing. It's killing us, and money just thrown in the pit. If I'm going to spend it, I want something to show for it. Besides. I want a little garden and some chickens. I'm sure the rental community would frown upon both of those things! So I spent the rest of the day crisscrossing the city checking listings. How frustrating.
I've got them all arranged on Excel™ by zip code. You'd think that would collect them into small bites. Ha. I suppose I should have created another column with street names or numbers, rather than the entire address. I may yet have to do that, since I'm still working from that database. As it was, I spent 6 hours back and forth (and a tank of gas, plus frustration) chasing down these listings. This is all just to "narrow" it down to things I can coerce Himself to drive by with me and pronounce judgement on the ones which have passed *my* muster. Of course, for every one I see, I find a couple more in the neighborhood to add to my list. We've had a fair list of "musts" and "nots." I suppose that's just as well...it's a monumental task even with the filters we've already set. Now, since a coworker just picked up a nice foreclosure, he just wants me to look for foreclosures. This is the man who, until this point, didn't want to consider foreclosures because the foreclosees (?) "have probably destroyed the place out of spite." So, now I'm the one to do the regrouping. Why does this not surprise me. Personally, the way we live our lives, we really need a custom site-built. But I haven't even begun to price such a thing out...no doubt lots more than we intend to spend, in any case. For which we don't have an adequate down payment, anyway. Well. Lenders are moderately desperate in these times. I've seen several foreclosure listings with ridiculously low down payments. I expect there's some criteria other than we just haven't bothered to put it aside. But our lease is renewing next month, so we've technically got a year to scrape that together. Foreclosures aren't going to last that long, but it will give him some time to see how the market is. He's surely not going to take my word for it (or, at least, never has so far).
And my frustration level was at such a boil that I completely fell off the wagon and ate fast food. ACK! So I deserve my sudden weight jump, as I'm sure I'll see tomorrow. I'm just disgusted. I knew better when I drove in the place. I don't even like the taste anymore, honestly. I was queasy all evening over it. Serve me right if it'd make me sick all night.
Oh well. Live and learn (although I've had little luck with that recently).
And I've avoided yet another day of progressing with my CE.
Sounds like I need to take another long look at that Fat Fast .pdf, give myself a little intermittent fast, and go to work on that class.
We'll see how that actually works out.
Get An Email Alert Each Time EXOTEC Posts