Thursday, May 17, 2012
I can't wear new clothes unless they are washed first. If I forget or am desperate, I will feel very sick in no time. My husband knows that my new t-shirts have to be into that wash right right away or I'll hand wash as soon as I get home. Lately I've noticed that once is not enough. Is it my imagination about those chemicals? No, as it turns out. I heard years ago from someone who was a packer for a clothing company that there were a lot of chemicals in the clothes when new, but now Kim Barnuoin, the famed Skinny Bitch gets into detail on that.
Here is just one excerpt: It is about Formaldehyde Resin in new clothes.
"Clothing manufacturers use this, then they use it again, then one more time to make sure we never have to take care of our clothes. It's missed with urea--yes, animal piss--to make clothing wrinkle, mildew, and stain-resistant, water resistant, anti-static, and free of odors. Studies have found that that even after two washes, the level of formaldehyde doesn't fade at all...Wearing something bathed in formaldehyde can easily find its way under your skin. It causes contact dermatitis, which is like living with one big rash," Kim Barnouin writes in "Skinny Bitch: Home, Beauty & Style"
The writer continues on to explain that formaldehyde can sensitize people so that even the slightest exposure of the "cracked-out chemical" can cause allergic reactions including nausea, headaches, etc. (Some people have even reported asthma reactions.) She ends with this. "Oh, and before I forget, it causes cancer. The end."
Barnouin notes that most of the dyes in our threads come petroleum and coal. The dyes are packed full of caustic soda, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and are you ready for this? DIOXIN. Yep, one of the deadliest toxins known to man. Artificial dyes are supposed to last longer, but have been linked to headaches, rashes, diarrhea, muscle pain, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty breathing, according to Barnoin.
And the author goes on to take on flame retardants, PFCs, and something else I have a hard time tolerating--rayon! Barnoin notes that rayon comes from wood pulp that goes through an intense process. That includes being soaked in solvent!!!! Only 50 percent of the chemicals are recovered and the rest go into the environment.
And polyester, a fabric that often is seen in the fat lady clothing shops, still makes the rounds because it is cheap. Petroleum based products include nylon and acrylic. And yes, acrylic fabrics are suspected to be carcinogenic. (I have such reactions to rayon and these synthetics that I have to give most or all away. The clothing doesn't breathe, and it can be beastly on a hot day, too! And anyone worried about smelling nice and not sweating up a storm usually avoids these synthetics like the plague.)
And because Barnoin is a vegan writer, she takes on the taboos include down in jackets and vests, other clothing. The down feathers are cruelly plucked from the breast of birds while they are still alive. The birds are tortured over and over again before being slaughtered for meat. Other subjects include fur, seals, leather, silk, and wool.
I absolutely love Kim Barnoin's book which she promises to be a "no-nonsense guide to cutting the crap out of your life for a better body and a kinder world."
Sometimes people think it sounds crazy that I have to wash brand new clothes once, often twice, before wearing them. Now I'm so glad that I've been doing that, and I know now why I often have such headaches and even feel like I'm gasping for air when I put on some new clothes. Sometimes I can even smell the chemicals and my hands suffer from even handling a lot of new clothes.
So maybe I'll try washing the clothes three times in Woolite, even though I want them to look new.
When I think about losing weight and getting new clothes, this isn't what I have in mind! Not being marinated in toxic chemicals!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Today I had a stressful experience that made me realize how much I've changed. My printer wasn't working so I needed to go to the local library to print something, a very simple task at most libraries.
Only my local library doesn't have a sign up sheet for the computers, and even when a librarian arranged for me to get on the computer after someone else when her 15-minutes was nearly up, she gave my spot to someone else. And another person apparently on the 15-minute slot was there for nearly an hour while no one said a word.
When I said that I was supposed to be on that computer next, these people started screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs in a library that I was wrong, then all these other people started screaming and yelling.
This was insanity. I had been at so many libraries, some in major cities, some in very small towns, some in between, and not one of them was run like this. All I wanted to do was print something when my turn came up, but even one of the librarians was yelling at me that I could just wait.
Add to that only one copier in the whole place, so broken down that people to constantly run back and forth to put in change--for every single page copied or printed--and it was truly migraine season.
The irony was what I needed to print was a piece of paper that would allow me to go get the intense workout I so badly needed needed, including a chance to swim in a beautiful pool.
And yes, I had to even ask about logging out because the librarian apparently didn't know that not logging out means someone else can jump on and get your account information sometimes.
The sad thing is that most people I know will not use the library services, and there are plenty of articles lamenting just that. But who wants to go through all that? And with the budget cuts, often times the needed books and other materials aren't there any way.
I went to that library relaxed and left so incredibly stressed. It was absolutely not worth what I went through to print and copy a few pieces of paper. And it absolutely was not a system that worked.
But what had changed for me was this. Some time ago, I would have stuffed my face to ease that stress. I would have relived that experience over and over again, and I would have ended up beating myself up for it. Food would have helped ease the stress.
Instead I'm finding other ways to deal with that stress. I already know that cortisol levels can shoot up, cause belly fat, all kinds of unwanted responses. So I might work out tonight, might start digging through my closets again to get that decluttering project done.
What I won't be doing is getting an armful of food to soothe the emotions. I definitely will be collecting the last of the library books to return right away and don't plan on doing that again. I'll go to some shop in the city and pay a lot more perhaps. Better yet, I'll get my printer working or we'll find a sale and buy new one.
Kris Carr once told of a yogi who told her not to eat when she was upset. That seems like good advice to me. I did my strength training this morning, perhaps I will work out a second time tonight, but I am not going to let stress eat me up.
I already know that the chances are high that I'll take the opportunity to work out with my husband tonight. I need that release that comes with exercise--which also burns off cortisol.
Last week at this time I was probably walking along the ocean or leaning over a balcony rail watching the wild sea as pelicans flew overhead. I saw the Super Moon over glistening water. Now I'm adjusting to the city, and I am determined that how I react to stress will continue to evolve into something healthier. Deep breaths, tapping, wise words, soothing music, journaling. But not stuffing my face until my stomach hurts, not like I would have done years ago.
Those smaller jeans are mine, along with those pretty smaller summer blouses in rose pink and bright aqua blue.
ADDENDUM: I just swam laps for an hour in a beautiful pool. A very hard swim after strength training this morning but what a release!!!! I feel so much better. Thank you for all the support and helpful comments.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
"We know that all is impermanent; we know that everything wears out. Although we can buy this truth intellectually, emotionally we have a deep-rooted aversion to it. We want permanence; we expect permanence. Our natural tendency is to seek security; we believe we can find it. We experience impermanence at the everyday level as frustration. We use our daily activity as a shield against the fundamental ambiguity of our situation, expending tremendous energy trying to ward off impermanence and death. We don't like it that our bodies change shape. We don't like it that we age. We are afraid of wrinkles and sagging skin. We use health products as if we actually believe that OUR skin, OUR hair, OUR eyes and teeth, might somehow miraculously escape the truth of impermanence."
(The Places That Scare You) Pema Chodron
I'm decluttering today, the winter clothes that should have been put away some time ago. This quote from Pema Chodron seemed perfect for my efforts to declutter my life.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Recently I was at a wild beautiful beach for a week and wished I had read up earlier on sunscreen. I use Coppertone Sport because it works even in Hawaii and is what the surfers use there, the only one that didn't leave people burned crispy. But I also had begun hearing that some coral reef sites were asking people not to put on sun screen since so many had powerful and environmentally hazardous chemicals in them. Now I feel like Godzilla in a china shop as I think about the times I and other snorkelers wore chemical-filled sunscreens with the highest SPF level we could find. Now I have a list of effective alternatives!
I could tell you all kinds of chemical horror stories from Kim Barnouin's new book, but instead I'll cut to the chase and list her top three picks. The first on her list, Caribbean Solutions Natural Biodegradable SolGuard SPF 25 is apparently recommended at some coral reef sites in the Caribbean that won't allow snorkelers and swimmers to use Coppertone and other sunscreens.
The runner-up, Elemental Herbs Sunscreen Sport SPF 22, Tinted was recommended by one surfer in Costa Rica but dissed by one woman whose clothes were ruined by staining. She felt that this sunscreen was best for swimmers and snorkelers, not cyclists, etc.
And the third on the list was Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 which apparently smells heavenly but at least one person complained globbed up when wet:
In case you are wondering what bad things are in the usual sunscreens not on the above list, the chemicals include endocrine disrupters and coral reef destroyers. Among the top offenders was benzophrenone 3 or oxybenzone. Apparently Oxybenzone is found in more than 60 percent of all beach and sport sunscreens. And there is also retinyl palmitate that turns out to be photo-carginogenic. That's a bad thing. A very bad thing. We are talking about Cancer.
And here is Kim Barnoin's Bitchworthy moment:
"Every year, about four to six thousand tons of sunscreen slides off our bodies and into the oceans. This doesn't just pollute the ocean with chemicals but it's killing our coral reefs. The four ingredients to blame? Parabens, Cinnamate, Benzophenone, and Camphor. Yet another reason to ditch the Coppertone and use natural sunblocks with as few chemicals as possible."
Kim Barnouin, "Skinny Bitch Home Beauty & Style"
And here is a link for the Environmental Working Group:
Monday, May 14, 2012
I decided to edit this blog to just let others know about a factor that may hold back weight loss and even cause weight gain in some women. Recently I experienced the freedom of getting away from an estrogen patch that I had after a total hysterectomy (endometriosis) over 7 years ago.
Not long ago, I read Jon Gabriel's advice to a woman on hormone replacement therapy was that she might not be able to lose weight while on this therapy and that she might even gain weight. And I wondered why I hadn't heard this before! A long time ago? I had seen other references to that, but here is another article of help, written by a journalist who was once a drug rep for hormone replace therapy drugs but now would not recommend them.
And after I returned from a week at the beach, I read this article by a journalist who was once a drug rep for hormone replacement therapy and would no longer recommend it:
And this is part of Dr. Mercola's series on six types of prescription medications that include HRT, asthma meds, antidepressants, statins, and ADHD drugs:
In my own case, I needed time at the beach to take in the realization that I was working out for 3 hours a day in a dark, windowless basement gym and not seeing the results, on estrogen therapy the entire time. I thought the estrogen therapy would protect my heart and apparently some research suggests that. But there is also the risk of breast cancer, strokes, blood clots, etc. to weigh against that. I had been on a high dosage that I had cut in half at the beginning of the year, then I cut it in half again. Since hot flashes weren't enough of an issue for me to keep using this miserable patch, I found myself just going off it.
And yes, the weight may be coming off slowly, but it is coming off. And I am slimming down, too, down another size in jeans, and working hard to drop yet another size. I plan to do quite a few workouts in the next several weeks and also keep up my mostly raw vegan diet. Green smoothies seem to be so healing for me, although I do eat other food as well.
Now I'm celebrating a chance to continue to slim down and get fitter without estrogen therapy as a factor. The week at the beach was energizing, and while it is hard to return to the city and what seems to be the constant sound of sirens and other city noise, I feel ready for the next rounds of workouts which include strength training, cardio, etc. I will even include the Windsor pilates dvd I just found in my box.
Note: Knowing what I know now, I would have cut the dosage a very long time ago and would have been off the patch long before now.
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