Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I've already made the statement that "large body, small brain, extinction" doesn't really add up in my mind. I have known people that were skinny bean poles all their lives and were even well educated, but in the end they died with no minds. They didn't know their children or their spouces, so how does this add up. Dr. Amen says that as your body enlarges, due to overeating and lack of exercise, your brain gets smaller and you end up an extinct species.
He points to brain scans and shows that healthy brains are utilized well, but overweight, sedentary people have under utilized brains. Maybe it was just the people he tested, but I can't believe whole-heartedly that all people that are overweight and sedentary will have dead brains in old age. I can agree that it may add o the growing numbers of people that will get Alzheimer's (dementia) and I am happy to know that by losing weight and exercising (at lest 45 mintues four times a week, according to Dr. Amen) the risk is lowered and maybe it's a preventative to Alzheimers. That 45 minutes was "Walk like you are late for 45 minutes 4 times a week!)
I'm one that believes if you start exercising for 10 minutes a day, you will find yourself doing more than 10 minutes and it will be on a 7 day basis before you know it. I also believe strongly that the earlier you start your exercise plan in the day, the easier it is. If I wait for later, later keeps getting shoved back until the end of the day has arrived and I never did see later. I can come up with millions of excuses or reasons to wait. But if I get out of bed at 0600 (6am), get dressed and hit the street, I'm out there doing a 26 minute mile. Wow! Who would have thought!
Here's Dr. Amen's #1 Solution:
Avoid: Brain injuries, drugs and alcohol, chronic stress, smoking, and obesity.
Brain Healthy Habits: Great nutrition, sleep, exercise, new learning, fish oil (suppliments)
Hmm! Sounds all so familiar. So I figure avoid brain injuries should be fairly simple. I've avoided most contact sports my entire life and unless I get t-boned by some nut driving into me, I should be fairly safe in that department so I'm not real concerned with that one. I don't do drugs and alcohol. My personal hatred for the pharmacutical fat cats keeps me to a very dull roar on the taking any meds that are not proven to absolutely the only alternative for my life sustainability - besides I don't have the money to feed those fat cats. I don't smoke, so another one I can not concern myself with. However, we have run into the last two, Chronic Stress and Obesity. Oops!
Those two items are going to kill me. I may be thin when I die, but the chronic stress is definately going to do me in. I started exercising after doing PT for two weeks and vowing not to get back to that spot again (I got there for two reasons - one was a sedentary life and the second was because I have a birth defect which causes a great deal of pain in the sacrum and hips. It hurt less to park my sacrum and hips than to move around. This idea causes more pain than moving so once I learned that (through PT) the vow was easy to make, the promise became easier to keep as time went on.
The stress is another subject altogether. I realize exercise helps eliminate stress, maybe to joints and muscles, but what about brains? My DH says, "don't let the problem bug you." How do you do that? If something bugs you, it bugs you! Turning away doesn't make it not bug you. At least it hasn't for me. Okay, I've learn to not dwell on something that bugs me, at least not as long as I used to, but how does one let it go completely? Until I find out that answer I am going to die of Chronic Stress!
I refuse to kill myself. It isn't an option. I've learned a lot of things at SP and I'm learning things every day, so I hope that I find something on how to rid myself of stress. How did I get here is probably the first step. Once I figure out why things bug me, it will be easier to find a way to circumvent the problem and change the habit from having things that bug me to not being bugged by things and then a lot less stress.
Monday, October 10, 2011
A while back, I joined a new team, well it isn't new any more, but it is fairly small and a happy group. We are the goofiest group of Sparkies. It seemed to start when I got really nutsie on the daily huddle and said something about making coffee and help yourself. The team leader came in after and said the coffee was good, and then other members started referring to the clubhouse coffee.
I have a vivid imagination - it's almost required when you're an author - and I started making huddles based on what was going in the garden that I was building right outside the door to our fantasy clubhouse, then we needed to paint the inside and put up curtains. A kitchen took shape in the corner and one particular Sparkie that beats everyone else to the clubhouseon a consistant basis is teased (by me) about living in the clubhouse or fixing her computer to send messages while she is sleeping.
Once when I asked what they all wanted for our fantasy clubhouse, I got a swimming pool (inside lap pool), mountains and rivers for hiking, and an orchard. So I planted an orchard with apples and oranges, some rows of corn, wheat, flax, pineapples, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, a few rows of grapes, and plenty of herbs in the kitchen garden. In our garden, it's never too cold or hot, never to wet or dry. It is a fantasy afterall.
Now I'm adding onto the clubhouse so we could plant the inside lap pool and do our exercises while planning meals or reading the news, or even Sparking. After that, we'll make trails for hiking and rivers for whatever. And bring in a herd of cows for milk and more cows, steers for eating, pigs, ducks, frogs, fish, and a few bees to polinate the place over a few times.
Then my life got real busy and I missed a couple of days and remembered that I had never carried the fantasy farther. So now, I'm into cooking, like some TV Chef. I'm making all kinds of things with stuff from the fantasy garden. The huddles will be filled with dinner menus and building projects.
But I love our fantasy clubhouse because there I can be with my friends that are the most encouraging bunch of fruitcakes - er...correction - Sparkies that ever ventured into a clubhouse without knowing anyone there in the first place.
What is this place, you may ask. It's a fun place to visit or stay. It's called QOTD. What's that stand for? Question Of The Day. Our fearless leader swoops into the clubhouse on a daily basis with her mug and, like me, grabs a cupa coffee and whatever else is coming off the stove, like flax cakes, or flax muffins out of the oven, or yogurt and toast then she sits down and asks a question and we all jump in with an answer. We're actually learning things about each other.
We'll make our own food, including milling the flour, etc. We'll milk cows, make our own cheese - look, when it's fantasy, you get to do it all and have oranges and apples growing side by side.
What isn't fantasy, is the friends and the honest-to-goodness encouragement that everyone has for everyone else.
What else could you ask for? Mmmm! Morning coffee and toast with my best friends.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
I have been making several discoveries about myself since joining SP and I think it's very good. The latest discovery is; I've found the little girl inside and she's a spoiled-rotten-whinny-bully and I really don't like her at all.
All my life I have lived with "girlfriends" living next door that bullied me. My mother was not one of those mothers that protected her cubs. If the neighbor accused me of throwing rocks at her daughter (the worst bully of all) then my mother went after me in front of the neighbor without even asking my side of it or the slightest note of protection or defense of her own child - not even a "Oh, I really don't think my daughter would do that! She's not like that!"
I remember being punished severely for something I did not do but experienced from the accuser, but the hardest thing to live with was my mother's refusal to defend me and her inability to even listen to my side of the story. I don't remember what my father did in this instance but I was probably glad he didn't get involved.
I have since learned my mother (a self-admitted meanie) loved to take her meanest out on me. When I figured it out a few years ago, I wasn't mad at her for being mean, I was mad at myself for not putting it together much earlier and calling her on it! Talk about reversal.
Anyway, now I've discovered my inner little girl (the immature me, the one that loves gooie-goppie junk food and french fries and anything that isn't healthy). This bothers me because since I found her I have wanted desperately to beat the crap out of her - to get her out of my life. I take a deep breath and go at her like no one I've ever known. "Don't be a bully around me! Don't tempt me with that junk! Go away! Get Out! Leave me alone! You are not wanted!" I keep telling her those things and it doesn't do any good. She just snuggles down into the soft places and grins at me with an attitude of, "Oh! I'm not leaving. I like it here. I get whatever I want, whenever I want it, and however I want it! Why should I leave. You won't chase me away."
So now I'm trying to think of ways to outsmart her. I did it for awhile, but I think I lost my way and until I find my way again, I'm stuck out here in the woods.
I was channel surfing the other day and found the Amen Solution. "What's that?" I asked.
I jumped in and was instantly impressed. This Dr. Daniel Amen is a psychologist (which I'm not a real fan of - psychology, not the person) and he started talking about why we are a nation of overweight, unhappy, demented people. Okay, overweight, unhappy, I'll go along with, but demented? What's he talking about.
I'm still learning what he was talking about. I taped his show and I'm going through it bit by bit learning things about why we do what we do. One thing he said was the bigger the body, the smaller the brain and we all face the dinosaur syndrome. What? I have a big body, and I have a big brain so what the heck is he babbling about? Dinosaur Syndrome is: big body, small brain, extinct species.
The longer you are overweight the more damage you do to your body. Your blood veins, your heart, your organs, everything falls apart or stops working faster when you are overweight for a long time. I didn't understand or know about the brain. Here's how that works.
According to brain scans of many people, it has apparently, been discovered that the longer a person is overweight, the less their brain functions. It doesn't shrink in size, but maybe it does, I'm not a doctor and I don't actually know for sure. It just stops working - not all at once, but in spots. You could have a dead spot in your brain and not even really know it unless you get a brain scan on what parts are firing and what parts are just not showing up on the brain scan.
The brain scans I saw were interesting. Different colors in different places glowed all along the surface of the brain scan. A healthy brain was glowing in one color or another all over, indicating a healthy brain. But as we get older, some of our brains start to deteriorate, unless we are doing things like living healthy and constantly making our minds think. You can make your brains better. Anyway, the longer we do not live healthy and overfeed ourselves the more of our brains start to die off and stop working. So it's just brain matter sitting there not doing anything. Eventually, we won't even be able to make decisions, never mind good ones, or educated guesses and that's called dementia or Alzheimer's. There is a lot more to this than I've stuffed here, but I don't want to write a book on this.
So Dr. Amen says, "that should scare the fat off you!" I'm listening. Tell me more. Keep eating like a child stuffing yourselves with more food than you want or need, then go to the doctor and get surgery to fix the bulging belly or the failing heart for all the clogged arteries - does that make sense? Not to me.
I happen to know there are people that get lapband surgery to lose the weight. I am not saying it is wrong for them. It is wrong for me. First, I can't afford it, second I know that you have to stop eating high carb foods - no potatoes, no bread, no garbage, but good veggies and some protein and learn to live without the ice cream and cake and candy and all those sweet things. You have to learn that before the surgery - well you should. The problem is that a lot of the people that do the surgery thing don't learn this and they continue to eat bread and/or other high carb/fat foods then don't lose the weight and blame the lapband. I'm not bashing them, I'm pointing out pure facts. There are some that are doing exactly what they are being told to do and they are doing well. I went to a doctor years ago about the lapband when it first came out. The doctor I talked to wouldn't even consider doing the surgery until I lost the weight first. My question was then, "why do the surgery?" He said, "Because diets don't work and the lapband helps you maintain your new weight." Hello?
Dr. Amen says, no coffee, no sugar, no sweeteners, no fruit, quality calories in and quality calories burned. Based on what he said (for women only - I didn't pay any attention to the men part yet) we need to eat 1600 - 1800 quality calories a day and burn 500 more calories than we eat every day. Simple fact. Simple math. He says it's easy you just have to make up your mind and do it. (Commit to it! Be accountable and determined to get there.)
I agree and there is my problem. My immature self jumps in and starts whining about wanting cookies, cake, candy, anything sweet. That has been my problem all my life!
Now I try to put a stop to it, to gag her, to tape her mouth shut and it just keeps repeating over and over in my mind about what she wants. Why the sweets? I was going along for awhile losing weight and not eating the sweets and not missing them. What happened. According to what I have gathered from Dr. Amen, I ate sugar somewhere along the line and woke her up again. It's going to take awhile of no sugar or sweetener to put her to sleep again. Turn off the sweet tooth!
So, this blog is long enough and I know what I have to do and I need to get busy. Tea instead of coffee, no sugar and I'm already weaning myself off sweeteners. I at least try something with no sugar or sweetener first, now. I'm even beginning to sort of like some of the things without them being sweet. Who says you can't train an old dog?
Have a great day and I'm off to do battle with the dragons in my life!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
On 911, there were 343 Fire Fighters that climbed into the twin towers of the WTC to rescue and give aide to those trapped and injured within. They went in without regard to their own lives or safety. They went in with purpose to others - a totally selfless act! They died as heroes along with over 3000 people that were in those towers.
Yet, today, as we remember the victims of 911, the fire fighters are not invited to the memorial service. The reason given is because there is not enough room at the twin reflection pools of ground zero! Interestingly, there was room for them to die there but not enough room to remember and honor them? How sad and selfishly stupid can we be?
So the fire fighters have their own memorial that was dedicated in 1913 to the fallen Fire fighters over the years and the 343 members that died on 911 are also remembered there. The fire fighters bravely state that they don't want to go where their ranks died. They want to be alone and quietly remember their fallen comrades at their memorial. This is something they have always done.
I can understand that, but they have to be hurt in the exclusion of their ranks and families at the 10th anniversary of the 911 memorial. Their comrades died in 911 - they need to be honored, too, no different than the workers in the twin towers.
I know it isn't much, but I remember the 343 Fire fighters of NYC that ran into those fractured-burning buildings to give their all. It's sad enough that it happened, but to dishonor them now with this insult? Inexcusable!
I wish I had a way to let the NYC fire fighters know that someone still remembers their sacrifice and cares about their feelings and puts them in an honorable position in my mind and heart.
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