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Survey-ma-jig

Monday, January 14, 2013

I swiped this from JumpinJulie's blog, I thought it was cuuuuute. emoticon

A - Available or Married: Married! Been together just over 11 years, married for just over five.

B - Book: One favorite book of all the books on earth??? Surely you jest. HOW COULD I POSSIBLY CHOOSE?? I do love "Rocket Boys" by Homer H. Hickam (now called "October Sky" since the movie...). Also Harry Potter. And most Stephen King stuff.

C - Cake or Pie? Both? Hee! Depends on the cake/pie. Red velvet cake? No thanks. Chocolate? Maybe. Yellow cake? Yes please! Blueberry Pie? It's okay. Pumpkin pie? YUM! Bakewell tart? OUTTA MY WAY!!

I must pause here to quote my beloved grandfather who is no longer with us: "There are only two good kinds of pie. Warm pie, and cold pie."
Genius, that man.

D - Drink of Choice: Depends where I am. I love a mojito, but I am spoiled and mostly only get them at either a fancy bar, or a Cuban restaurant. At home or out rum and diet coke is good, especially Malibu. If there's a good brand available I might get bourbon, neat.

E - Essential Item: A Sharpie

F - Favorite Color: Green. No, blue. No, green. I'm fickle!

G - Game to Play or Watch: Play- board games and card games, especially Dominion! Watch- football or nothing!

H - Hometown: Grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.

I - Indulgence: Chocolate ice cream.

J - Job: I'm an "informal educator".

K - Kids and Names: none yet.

L - Life is incomplete without: DOGS! (Yes, my life is currently incomplete)

M - Music Group or Singer: Favorite is MxPx, but I listen to lots of different stuff. I'm very into Bowling for Soup right now.

N - Number of Siblings: One brother. He's the awesomest. He got married so I could have a sister as well. She is even MORE the awesomest.

O - Oranges or Apples? Depends on the apples. Most apples, especially MacIntosh, Cortland, Fuji, then yes, apples. If the improperly named abomination known as "red delicious" is in the mix, then ORANGE ME please. I do love clementines/cuties.

P - Phobias/ Fears - Subway pushers. Sinking to the depths in a closed container/boat/capsule. Mostly, though? Stairs. (Don't ask...)

Q - Favorite Quote: "I think we're gonna be okay here; they have a thin candy shell. I'm surprised you didn't know that." -Tommy Boy That or, "Not the face! That's my meal ticket!" Dutch from Breaking In. hahahahahaha. I'm laughing just thinking about it.

R - Reason to smile: DOGS

S - Season: Fall!!

T - Tattoos: None. I can't think of one I wouldn't want to cover up at some point, which I think means I probably shouldn't get one.

U - Unknown fact about me? My dorky embarrassing hobby is practicing my singing in the car, specifically impressions. On a good day (not sick, well warmed up) I can do a pretty good (I THINK) Marilyn Monroe and an at least recognizable Judy Garland. My Shirley Bassey, Avril Lavigne and Annie Lenox are all hit or miss. My Helen Kane is hilarious, in a good way. My Britney Spears is getting better, which scares me a little...

V - Vegetable you love: ALL OF THEM

W - Worst habit: Procrastination!

X - X-rays? Ankle, repeatedly. Wrist once. Lungs.

Y - Your favorite food: Um, everything? Haha. Chicken Pot Pie. Or Mac and Cheese. Mac and cheese pot pie. I can't pick.

Z - Zodiac? Aries


FUN!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HFAYE81 1/16/2013 3:28PM

    Fun!!! I love surveys like this emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 1/14/2013 5:56PM

    I love it thank you for sharing. I got it from BigPawsup.

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SENIMMO 1/14/2013 1:37PM

    Hehehe, now we know even MORE embarassing things about you! emoticon emoticon

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Broken record, much?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Full disclosure: I'm obsessing again. So here is another blog where I try to talk myself out of it.

My weight is bouncing up and down. It does that. It's fine. I think it is bothering me because it makes it look and feel like I haven't lost any weight in about a month, and because I'm sticking right around the same weight I could never escape from on Weight Watchers. It's just paranoia.

I was 256.4 at the start of January (incidentally, the lowest weight I've seen in at least four years); I went back up to 257 and occasionally 258 shortly after that, even 260 a couple of times. (I weigh near-daily so I don't track all these weights in the weight tracker.)

I was 257 yesterday. 259 this morning. ARRGH!

I know. It doesn't matter. If I'm gaining weight, how come my size 18 jeans fit? They didn't fit when I was 260 in early December. Too tight. Now I wear them all the time.

Also, you can't gain 2 pounds overnight, that's ridiculous. It's water weight, probably a combination of 1) I'm exercising a lot more so my body is adjusting 2) my work schedule has been really weird for like 2 weeks now, which also leads to 3) I'm getting a little less sleep, and on a slightly weirder schedule, 4) I went to a friend's house last night. She has 3 cats. I am SUPER ALLERGIC to cats. So I am still having a bit of an allergic reaction this morning, plus reacting to the medicine, plus I got a lot less sleep last night than usual.

Even just the cats last night + meds making me simultaneously dopey and shaky (I hate my inhaler. I love it, because it makes me not die, but I hate the way it makes me feel.) + the lack of sleep & having to work Saturday would be enough to cause the bump, plus add in all the other stuff.

Yeah. Talking myself out of it. Trying. But I know deep down I'm still annoyed, a little.

So let's focus on fun, non-scale things. emoticon

SP is yelling at me again. I did up my calorie burn so my calorie allowance would go up; however I didn't up it enough to account for the fact that I've burned almost 4000 calories swimming this week. I've burned more calories ***this week*** than I did the entire month of: 1) July, 2) September, 3) October, 4) November.

Awesome. Hahaha.

But, so, I should probably increase my calories eaten some more? Yes?

I did intentionally eat over my range on the day I did my longest swim. But I should make it official for the SP tracker.

Laps done:

30 on Monday, 40 on Tuesday, 45 on Thursday, and 20 on Friday.

I'm going to swim tonight, but I'll just do an update now for my English Channel mileage, and then either include today in next week's total, or list both weeks next week.

That's 135 laps total. I'm nearly on track for my 8 week challenge; to make it I need to do 141 laps per week for 8 weeks, so I technically only need to do 6 laps tonight. However, I'm going on vacation (YAY!) the week of Feb 11 and I'm not sure how much lap swimming I'll get to do, so I need to bank some extra laps over the next 4 weeks.

Mileage!

135 laps * 98 feet each = 13230 feet or 2.5 miles.

Here I am at 2.5 miles!



Yes, the arrow is to scale for my current location on my virtual swim.

The English Channel has been measuring around 11.2įC lately, which is ~52.5įF. The pool, thankfully, is a lovely warm 85įF (29C). emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 1/13/2013 11:00AM

    Awesome on the challange love it. Don't worry about the weight it will come off i promise. know i sound like a broken record don't i. LOL

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SENIMMO 1/12/2013 9:57PM

    You're gona love this-I can get on my scale, weigh 280. Step down, step right back up, weigh 287, step down, step up, weigh 284, step down, step up, weigh 280, step down, step up, weigh 291!?, step down, step up, weigh 282. If I change the placement of my feet-at all!-my weight moves POUNDS!! Honestly, 7 to 11 pounds difference in less than 10 minutes? Not likely. And I have one of those not so cheap digital scales!? So ignore the scale and listen to the jeans. (And remember muscle weighs more than fat, too)

And stop weighing every day, you goof! Especially if you know it is going to make you crazy. If you have to weigh every day, make sure your scale is in the exact same place and that you are standing on it the exact same way every time. You'll get more consistency that way, but you know that emoticon Luvs ya!

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JENCANTA 1/12/2013 2:16PM

    I totally-TOTALLY-get the frustration of not seeing the numbers you'd like on the scale when you're OBVIOUSLY not only putting in the work, but you FIT INTO SIZE 18 JEANS!!!! I think you see what is going on, with the lack of sleep, allergic reaction, swimming like crazy and your body is adjusting-you get it. You do. But it's still frustrating. Just keep on keepin' on, my friend! You're going to CRUSH the 250s! CRUSH!!!!!!

Until that dang scale shows it though, just focus on how AWESOME your size 18 jeans feel-and how strong your body feels racking up those laps!!! I LOVE this challenge of yours, complete with illustrations and your happy LOLATURTLE face!!! LOVE IT!!!!!

Hang in there, girly!!! We're gonna do it!!! This is SO our year!!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADARKARA 1/12/2013 11:33AM

    Way to go with the swimming! My step-sister swam the English Channel a few years ago: http://www.dover.uk.com/channelswim
ming/swimmers/1724/Elaine+Howle
y/



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Forgot about happy news!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I had a doctor appointment on Tuesday morning.

I am so, so annoying. Dear that nurse: I am sorry. But hee hee hee.

So I came in, and the first thing they do is double check everything on your chart. Do they have your address, and insurance, and allergies and stuff correct. And I'm all "What did I weigh last time? Does it say? What was it? I think I know but check." "OK hold on..." "Just when you get there, I want to know what I weighed last time."

Hahaha. Poor nurse.

Anyway. "You were 296. That was in June."

Me, in a sing songy annoying voice: "You're notttt gonna see that todaaaaaaay!!!" hahahahahaha. LA LA LA LA!

I was a little higher on their scale, I was up at the beginning of the week, so she weighed me at 260. (I'm back down to 257 on my home scale, woooooooooooo)

Anyway, I was all annoying and dancing around, but I did sit down to get my blood pressure read.

It's usually 120/80 which is fine. I have actually had nurses in the past seem kind of surprised that my blood pressure was fine, probably because I was morbidly obese, but it was always fine.

Tuesday it was 114/70. LA LA LA, DANCEY DANCE DANCE. And my pulse was 70-something, which is also lower.

Working out FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!! HEEEEE.

So that was fun. Then my awesome doctor I am kind of in love with (for her awesomely doctory ways, not in a romantic way) came in. "What are you up to? Any new medical developments?" "Nothing much, just LOST FORTY POUNDS LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAA!"

I am. SO. Annoying.

Seriously. If ever have the great misfortune to meet me in person you will understand. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Anyway. She was happy and proud and said to keep doin what I'm doin. YES MA'AM I WILL.

So that was fun. I can't WAIT to see her next year, muahahahahahaaa.

Physical therapy is also going well. He added a new exercise PLUS a more difficult band for the accursed "clams" on Friday. Me on Tuesday: "I may have been cursing your name on Saturday. Limping, and cursing your name." Him: "I don't know what you're talking about." HEEEE. He's funny. I told him today that I'm going to conquer the green band (the harder one) and then work up to TWO BANDS because I'm hardcore. And, I'm sure, So annoying. But we have fun.

I'm all out of whack because my work schedule is so weird this week, I almost forgot about PT this morning. I was all ready to put on my suit and go swim (OMG MY NEW SUIT CAME YAY) when I remembered, so I had to change and run out the door. I'm tired and I was cranky all morning, but I'm going swimming as soon as I get home tonight (YAY!) and hopefully tomorrow, too. So I'll probably give an English Channel mileage update this weekend.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_MOBII_ 1/12/2013 10:24AM

    Outstanding!
Your vitals sound just like mine! My bp was always good, even at 310 pounds, so I was pleasantly surprised when it dropped along with my 30 pounds, woot!

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JENCANTA 1/11/2013 7:55PM

    That's FANTASTIC! YAY!!!!!! Great numbers! And I can't even tell you how excited I am at the prospect of meeting you-MY TWIN!- in person one day! =D

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POISONGIRL999 1/11/2013 6:35PM

    You deserved to be annoying! Go you :)

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KJDOESLIFE 1/11/2013 3:47PM

    Oh this whole thing made me giggle. That is so me! Great job on your awesome numbers!!

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SENIMMO 1/11/2013 10:55AM

    YAY! SO glad someone had good news at Dr! My dr wa also thrilled with weight, but the knee is seriously misbehaving. I may need to have a surgical manipulation done because it is healing way too fast and scarring so thick I'm having trouble in therapy getting it to bend. Get this-it is healing too fast because I am eating so healthy!? Aarrgghhh! Not giving up though! We can do this!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/11/2013 7:49AM

    Congratulations on the great numbers!

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JUMPINJULIE 1/10/2013 7:18PM

    Nothing worng with being annoying i am a annoying person too. LOL. Congrats on check up going so well.

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ADARKARA 1/10/2013 4:42PM

    This blog made me laugh out loud. You are hilarious and adorable!

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THISISTHEREALME 1/10/2013 4:39PM

    haha that's awesome congrats! And I wouldn't call it being annoying! I would call it being loudly proud about all the work you have done ;)

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Time out for science: genetically modified food/GMOs

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Well hi.

BROOKLYN BORN's blog got me thinking about GMOs, again.

I have done a lot of reading about this over the years, because I'm a science minded person and I like to know things.

Full disclosure: I am not an agricultural scientist or a food scientist or anything. But I did double major in biology and chemistry, and I did take botany, I did take cellular biology, and I did go to graduate school and spend many years training on 1) how to do a well controlled scientific study and 2) how to read scientific papers and evaluate their methods and conclusions. So I feel pretty confident about this.

Also, if you have met me you don't really need this warning, but I'll say it anyway. This is probably going to be LONG.


Okay, so GMOs. That stands for Genetically Modified Organism. I am not being sarcastic, just making sure everyone knows that, so you know what we are talking about in case all you knew before was that it stands for Scary Food Things.

What does this mean?

Using the science of genetics to change the genes and/or characteristics of an organism.

Genetics deals with the structure of genes (how they are arranged, what they are made of) and their function (what they do in a living organism).

Let's do a Zoom In:

First we have you. You have a body. It is made of different organs, which are made of different kinds of tissue, which are each made of lots of cells.

For example, you have muscles, which are made of muscle cells, and you have red blood cells in your bloodstream, and both muscle cells and other types of cells, like the ones that secrete acid, in your stomach.

Each of your cells has a nucleus, like a little baggie full of DNA in the middle. Your DNA is divided into multiple little blobs, called chromosomes, and each chromosome is a long strand all balled up. The strand is made up of a bunch of genes. A gene is basically a piece of DNA that has a specific job, which we know what it does. Seriously. You have a lot of DNA that ISN'T part of a gene that currently is defined and has a name, but science doesn't know what those parts for.

So somewhere, on one of my chromosomes, is a piece of DNA. When the cells in the hair follicles in my scalp unwind that clump of DNA, and attach an enzyme to it, that enzyme gets "turned on", like a switch turning on a little machine. That enzyme will attach to some other molecules, somewhere, and when all the little chemicals inside the cell that have been activated by that gene have done their job, they will have included a bunch of melanin (pigment) in with the keratin that makes my hair. Which makes my hair brown. That's how genes work. Other chemicals in the cell "read" them, and they do a job. This gene's job is to make my hair brown. If you have blonde or red hair, you have a slightly different gene in that spot on YOUR chromosome, so your little cellular machinery puts less pigment, or different pigment, into your hair as it grows.

Other genes do other things, obviously, and some are much more complicated.

But let's extend this example to plants: Red Delicious apple trees must have a gene somewhere that puts red pigments in the skin of the apple as it grows and ripens. Golden Delicious either 1) have a different gene, either one for "put yellow" or one for "don't put red" or 2) their copy of that gene for "put red in the skin" doesn't work. Human beings created these varieties of apples by hybridizing plants - we found a tree with yellow apples, and said "cool, yellow apples!", so we used the pollen from that tree to fertilize the flowers of a tree with sweet apples, and tried this a bunch of times, and eventually grew trees with sweet yellow apples.

If you ever bred dogs or known anyone who has, this is also similar. Dalmatians were "genetically modified" from dogs that weren't white or didn't have spots, by only letting dogs who were white and had spots have babies together, for decades, until you could always breed a dalmatian and a dalmatian and get more dalmatians.

In the modern, in-a-lab kind of genetic modification, there are different ways of mixing genes besides taking two parents and creating offspring and crossing your fingers HOPING the babies have the characteristics you want.

But here's the thing: It doesn't really matter HOW the new genes got in there. The result is the same.

What if we genetically modified a seed from a red delicious apple so that it was the same except we took out or changed the "put red in the skin" gene? Once you plant the seed, and tree grows, and produces sweet yellow apples, the result is the same as the "natural" golden delicious apple: an apple with a gene for "don't put red in the skin."


What happens in your stomach when you eat a red delicious apple? I mean, specifically, what happens to the red delicious apple's GENES?

Remember, genes are pieces of DNA. DNA looks like this:



The dark blue parts represent sugar molecules. The light blue parts are another kind of molecule, a phosphate. And the parts that look like puzzle pieces represent nucleotide bases - adenosine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. For shorthand we usually just call them A, C, G, and T.

These bases are key. They are how DNA tells all the little chemicals in the cell what to do. When that enzyme that is helping to build my hair is sliding along the DNA, it can only "stick" or connect with a certain shape that matches its shape. A, C, G, and T are shaped differently! so, in the same way, a strand that has AAA in a row, and one that has ATT in a row, are going to be shaped differently. "Put brown in the hair" will only happen if the right sequence of letters for the "put brown in" enzyme is there on the DNA for it to stick to and get switched on.

When we "read" a molecule of DNA, we usually just "read" one side, so let's look at the upper right piece there.

See the key that tells which puzzle color is which letter? That piece, from the top down, is T G T C C.

What does your digestive system and body do with that?

It will break open the cells of the apple. It will break up all the sugars and protein in the apple into smaller sugar molecules, and amino acids (what protein is made of) and send those molecules wherever it needs them.

The DNA will be unwound and then broken up. So you'll have dark blue, light blue, red, pink, green, and yellow bits. All those pieces. Like puzzle pieces! And your body will use them to make new DNA wherever it needs it. Let's say you have a cut that's healing. Your skin cells are dividing to make more skin cells. When your cell divides to make 2, it has to copy its DNA. So your body will use those A C T and G puzzle pieces to make a copy of YOUR DNA to keep in the new cell.

Do you think your body "remembers" or cares where those puzzle pieces came from?

It doesn't. It doesn't matter if that T came from a gene in an apple, or a random non gene end piece of DNA from a bit of chicken you ate for lunch with the apple.

What about our GMO yellow apple?



Let's say T G T C C on the upper right there represents the "put red in the skin" gene. (Genes are MUCH longer than five bases, but let's pretend for simplicity's sake) How did we make our GMO apple? We change that gene so instead of telling the cells "put red in the skin" it tells them "don't put red in the skin." Let's say I changed it to T A T G G.

What happens when you eat THAT apple?

Same thing, your body breaks it up and uses all the puzzle pieces. I know, you're thinking "WELL NOW I DON'T HAVE ANY Cs, GREAT!" but remember this gene would actually be thousands of pieces long. You'd have hundreds of each of A C T G, and once they're broken up the body does not "remember" what order they started out in, it just uses the puzzle pieces where it needs them.

I am going into so much detail on this because the point I want to make is this:

**********There is nothing in genetically modified DNA that is NOT in "regular" DNA.**********
ALL DNA is made of sugars, phosphates, A C G and Ts. THAT'S IT. They're made of the same ingredients, and your body breaks it down and uses the ingredients.

I'm not saying we shouldn't label GMOs or all GMOs are good; I'm just saying just because something has genetically modified genes in it does not mean it's going to hurt you.

Not only is it physiologically impossible, but they have done medical studies to make sure. They actually have done studies where they feed genetically modified corn to farm animals (I think chickens mostly) and test the food, food removed from the digestive tract at different points in digestion, and samples of the animal's body tissue and blood to see if any of the modified DNA survives and gets incorporated into their bodies. The most important points are:

1) "Feed-derived DNA is progressively degraded along the digestive tract." So, like I said, it gets digested! Both GMO and regular genes.

2) In a second study they actually continued to test the bird poop for genetically modified DNA. As of 4 days after the last feeding of GM feed, there was no trace of the DNA in their poop. So same thing, gets digested, doesn't stay in your body.

There was no difference in growth, development, or health between birds fed GM feed and birds fed regular feed in any of the studies I read.




Personally, I feel the main issues with GMO crops are environmental and socioeconomic issues. Planting and growing the crops can harm the environment, and also harms farmers.

It doesn't physically hurt you to eat them, like I said above. It all gets broken down into sugars, phosphates, and nucleotides. People get all freaked out about the "fish genes in tomatoes" thing... I mean, why? So what? What if you ate fish with tomato sauce on it? There would be fish genes and tomato genes in your stomach at the same time. They would just all get broken down. It makes ZERO difference if an adenosine molecule came from a fish gene that was in a piece of tuna or a fish gene in a GMO tomato. It physically CANNOT HARM YOUR BODY.

What COULD possibly harm you? One good example would be "roundup ready" crops. They aren't killed by weed killer, which means farmers can spray WAY MORE WEED KILLER than usual on the fields. It's not the GM crop that hurts you, it's the extra pesticide!!!

So, wash your produce well and avoid the "dirty dozen."

(the dirty dozen are the types of produce that have been tested and found to have the highest pesticide residues. It is recommended that if you can only afford some organic foods, you buy these fruits and veggies organic and save your money by buying conventional foods for other food items. www.organic.org/articles/showarticle
/article-214
)



But really, all the extra weed killer is probably doing WAY more harm to the environment than it is to you, assuming you wash your produce.

Another GMO you may have heard of is Bt corn, the corn that makes its own pestidicide. Bt corn cannot hurt you. That's one of the better GMO crops, I think. Bt stands for a kind of bacteria that acts as a natural pesticide. When caterpillars try to eat it, they die. Sounds dangerous! It isn't. The bacteria have been collected from the soil and sprayed on crops for hundreds of years; the only difference is now the corn makes its own alkaloid (the compound that does the killing) instead of needing the bacteria to make it. It only harms the caterpillars of approximately THREE species of moths.

They have alkaline digestive systems; the toxin opens pores in the digestive tract, which makes them more susceptible to infection by bacteria in the environment, like E. coli. Are you an insect? Nope. Do you have an alkaline digestive tract? Nope! Ours is acidic. Bt alkaloids can't hurt you. They have also done multiple studies to show that it doesn't hurt other insects, like bees and butterflies, either. It literally only works on a couple of species, but since one of those is the "corn borer" it's a pretty handy little molecule!

However, it harms farmers to have to pay for patented seeds every year. Saving seeds saves money, as well as brings hardier crops. In the old days, farmers would save the seeds from their best plants, and over time a farmer in Iowa was growing plants best suited to his climate and soil, while a farmer in Oklahoma had slowly bred a very different plant best suited to Oklahoma. Now everyone buying Monsanto corn seeds is grown the SAME corn, across thousands of miles, which is ridiculous.

I also hate the idea of farmers being sued when GMO genes accidentally end up in their crops... Corn is a WIND POLLINATED plant, possibly the STUPIDEST place for "proprietary" genes you could possibly think of. It's impossible to keep them from spreading, and ridiculous that farmers can be sued for "stealing" genes the wind brings into their corn whether they want them or not.

Bananas, on the other hand, are a perfect crop for GMO. If you've ever eaten a banana you know they have no seeds. They can't spread any genes engineered into them to other varieties because even if you cross pollinate plants, they don't form any seeds! No hybrids!

Bananas are propagated by cuttings; a portion of a plant is cut and planted to make a new plant. All bananas are genetically identical! This is neat-o, but not good for the health of bananas. Why? There is no such thing as a banana plant that is more resistant to disease than others (because they're all identical!).

The bananas we eat are not the bananas our grandparents ate; that was a variety called the Gros Michel, and it is more or less extinct, driven out by fungal plant diseases that couldn't be stopped with pesticides (fungicides) anymore. Our bananas are a variety called the Cavendish, and they are threatened by similar diseases. TONS of stuff has to be sprayed on bananas to protect them from the multiple diseases they're susceptible to. We aren't at QUITE as high a risk of eating chemicals, because bananas have a thick peel we remove before eating. It IS dangerous for the farm workers to be around all those chemicals though.


What about organic bananas? They have to be grown on land that has never been infected with the most common banana diseases. So what happens when banana plants on an organic farm start showing signs of disease? Well, they can start using fungicides and become a conventional banana farm. But usually they don't. Burn it to the ground. Move on a few hundred kilometers, cut down some rainforest, and start over.

Neither solution (tons of chemicals; clear cutting rainforest) is great for the environment. A GMO banana that tastes as good and travels as well as the Cavendish, but has higher disease resistance engineered in, would be a wonderful development. I will go ahead and go on the record. I am fully in favor of GMO bananas.

I'm all for labeling. I want to be clear about that, at least. I am 100% for labeling what's in our food and where it comes from. I think we need MORE transparency in our food system, not less.

I think there should be labeling, and people should be able to make their own choices, but I wish I saw far LESS of this idea that eating food from a GMO plant is going to somehow make you ill or harm your body.

I keep harping on this but I can't help it... Genetically modified DNA doesn't have anything in it that "regular" DNA doesn't have! The only difference between the DNA that makes you, you, and and a tomato plant's DNA is what ORDER the ACGT molecules are in down the strand, and how long the strand is. It doesn't matter what gene or strand of DNA or whatever you eat; your body digests it and uses the component molecules it needs. It really, truly, honestly, does NOT know the difference.


So if you don't want to eat GMOs, don't eat them. That's fine. In fact it's a vote with your dollars, for a healthier environment and better options for farmers. Push for labeling and more transparency in our food system.

But please don't be afraid of them, or try to convince other people to be afraid of them, because they're "frankenfood" that's going to make you sick. Try to remember it's all made out of the same puzzle pieces.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILINGTREE 4/15/2013 2:34PM

    My problem is with the strands of DNA that we don't know what it's for - well, actually with the fact that there is a whole lot we just don't know. It seems a little...premature? to tout the positives of something we don't entirely understand (not that I think you are doing so - but I've read that side of this debate before).

I also see a pretty big difference in hybridizing, which can be done in a backyard, and genetically modifying, which must be done in a lab. While I understand that they are not adding anything to DNA, and that it is all based on sound science, I think companies are more interested in financial gain than in feeding the masses. And financial gain for corporations is not always or even usually good for our collective health.

Then, there is a huge issue with older varieties of plants disappearing completely. There are lots of varieties of corn that are gone forever, and bananas too. Seed companies have genetically modified plants to not produce seeds in some cases, particularly flowers - that way customers have to purchase a packet of seeds every year they want to grow those flowers.

Your presentation of the whole issue is interesting. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down and for sharing it with us.

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KANSASROSE67 4/15/2013 1:55PM

    This blog was a wonderful explanation and a voice of reason in the craziness! Like you, I haven't got a problem with genetic modification if it allows us to use less chemicals on our food. But I also agree that the lawsuits over Bt corn and soybeans are ludicrous.

It think the part that scares me is having any large corporation, whose focus is only on profit, controlling so much of our food supply. Both farmers and consumers are the losers in that senario.

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_MOBII_ 1/12/2013 10:22AM

    What a great explanation for an otherwise scary subject! I knew all this stuff in the back of my mind, but lacked the ability to put it into coherent phrasing.

My biggest worry is the pesticides and all the garbage that they add to foods.

Oh, and +1 for the bird poop experiment!
"Bird poo...making science a little less scary!"

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KJDOESLIFE 1/11/2013 3:44PM

    Thanks for the explanation!

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LEB0401 1/11/2013 2:53PM

    oh. my. gosh.

I had no idea... seriously, NO IDEA.

This was incredibly eye opening. I will never buy another organic banana. I can't believe I fell into the smear campaigns without doing any actual research. Thank you a million times.

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JUMPINJULIE 1/10/2013 7:15PM

    Thanks for the info.

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MJZHERE 1/10/2013 10:39AM

  Lots of debate over this issue when you google - just like so many other issues lots of disagreement over the "facts." I, too, am not alright with the lab involvement in these foods. So many things have come out as "improvements" only to be shown to be harmful after years of research and studies. The extra pesticides effect on our environment, not to mention our children, is a huge concern. At least labeling gives us a chance to choose.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/10/2013 7:48AM

    Thanks again for posting all this. Iím going to print it out for reference, especially the worst pesticide retaining foods. Maybe itís because Iím so old that the DNA helix was a new discovery when I was in HS Biology, but messing with the molecules in a lab just doesnít feel right. Itís good to know though that I wonít grow fish scales (LOL).

The negative effect on farmers is something I didnít know, but of course, thatís why companies get patents. The lawsuits over wind-borne pollination are scary too.

Labeling would be the answer and the companies arenít doing themselves any favors by dumping so much money into campaigns to oppose it. To the average person it makes them look guilty of something. IMHO the money would be better spent on education about GMO.

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SENIMMO 1/9/2013 8:36PM

    WOW! Thanks for an explanation that was understandable. I personally don't have any objections to the GMO's. I have to admit to not really being all that interested in the science. If I really want healthy, no pesticide produce, I plant my own garden and/or buy from the local farmers market. I'm hoping the knees are up to gardening this year!

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Channelling A Challenging Challenge!

Monday, January 07, 2013

First of all, Dear self:
Stop being a crankypants!



My weight has popped back up a little, ~2 pounds or so, which is normal for me. Lose a bunch, bounce back a little, plateau, drop, repeat. But of course I'm being a mental crybaby about it the last few days.

So anyway DEAR ME: I went back and counted. Starting SP on June 23, it has been 28 weeks. There were at least 4 weeks you weren't really "doing it" - not really putting full effort into all the food & fitness stuff. So let's count "effort" weeks only:

43 lbs/ 24 weeks = 1.79 pounds per week lost.

This is SENSATIONAL. Remember being on WW and struggling and failing to barely lose 0.5 pounds in a week? QUIT YOUR WHINING, ME.

Even if you count "bounced back up" weight, 40/24 = 1.67 pounds per week. EVEN if you count all 28 weeks, it's still near or over a pound and a half a week lost.
So Oh boo hoo, crybaby. Poor you. You lost an almost-not-measurable amount less than the maximum possible 2 pounds per week. Wow your life is hard. Wait, let me get the world's smallest violin and play My Heart Pumps Purple Pee For You.

Cram it and eat your salad.




ANYWAY, now that THAT is out of the way....

Clearly I need a new challenge to focus on and get my mind off the scale and my wretched impatience.

So here I go, throwing down with myself again.

Check it out: Thanks to the generosity of gorgeous and intelligent people who love me, I am able to do the challenge I MOST want to do, while it may not be the challenge I most NEED to do. Let me 'splain.

I thought of two challenges, back in December, that I could do for January. One was a strength training challenge, which needs rules and a fun quirky name and me not to be like BORRRINNGGGG, and let's face it I DO need to do more strength training, but the other one is just SO MUCH MORE FUNNNNN.

My loving husband bought me a shiny new toy for Christmas: a lap counter. It looks like a baby stopwatch on a ring, with only one button, which you click to count. I will use this to count laps when I swim! Because as I learned this morning, trying to remember what lap I'm on while swimming takes way more brain power than I have at 6am. I would probably drown without this thing.

My awesome MIL gave me some pool monies for Christmas! THANK YOU!

And my awesome mom gave me some of her inheritance from her cousin (RIP Bob, your mad guitar stylings will be missed.) also for Pool Monies. And I have a bit of savings as well, because I have been Very Good lately.

So I am now the proud owner of a lap counter AND a gym membership to a place that HAS A POOL.

In a half hour or so, thanks to online shopping I will be the proud owner of a Smaller Bathing Suit as well.

Did you know if you lose over 40 pounds, you will look great in your bathing suit? You will. While it is dry. And when it gets wet and you are moving forward quickly it will come right off. HEE. Thankfully I am also the proud owner of a now-also- kind-of-too- big swim bra so when the front of my suit peels down I'm not at all indecent. But still. HEE!!

(If you are wondering, a swim bra is just what it sounds like: an underwire bra made of bathing suit material with plastic instead of metal clasps. If you are well endowed and love swimming, you NEED to invest in one of these for summer! It is the best $50 I have EVER spent, EVER. I got the matching "parts" too, but mostly I just wear it under any regular old tank suit.)

Whatever do you suppose I shall DOOOO WITH ALL THESE SWIMMING RELATED RICHES???

BAM!:





That's right. I'm going to Swim The English Channel!!!



Don't be insane, I'm not going to REALLY swim the ACTUAL channel.... I'm not THAT good.

Did you know more people have climbed Mount Everest than have swum the English Channel???

Sounds challenging to me!

My goal is to swim a total of 21 miles (distance across the Strait of Dover, and the distance typically swum in attempts, from what I've found online) by March 1, 2013.

My pool (MY POOL!) is 49' long, so a lap is 98'. That means I need to swim:

21*5280/98 = 1132 laps, between this morning and March 1, 2013.

I was originally going to do it in a month, but HAHAHAHAHAHA, no. I decided to be fun it should be challenging but achievable, and 4 weeks = insane.

So I will take 8 weeks, -ish, and swim the English Channel by March 1.

The channel water was 11.2 C, 52.1 F this morning (thank you Met Office website, hee hee.) Not sure of the pool temperature but I bet a lot warmer!

This morning I did 30 laps; just over half a mile. Only 20.5 to go!




At the very least I'll do weekly mileage updates.

In other news, I reset my calories burned to reflect all this swimming I'm going to be doing, and moved my goal date out another 10 days (November 2013) because my weight is still above/not meeting the "goal" line.

Now as expected SP is telling me to eat more; I'm going to see how this week goes with food and weight loss and hopefully that will be good. I've been consistent with my calories eaten, except for holiday blips, but slowly burning more and more, so I'm wondering if that made my body go "WHAT THE HECK???" We shall see. The important thing will be to get my new additional calories from healthy stuff, NOT ice cream and cookies. haha.

Off to have lunch!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 1/10/2013 6:31PM

    Sounds like tons of fun. I know you can do it. And you make me Laugh all the time thank you. I'm so happy for you on the smaller bathing suit i did know that i will come right off.

Comment edited on: 1/10/2013 6:32:23 PM

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JENCANTA 1/9/2013 5:58PM

    BAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! You crack me up. First of all-Congratulations on owning a membership to a gym with a POOL!!!! You've inspired me to actually buy a suit and take advantage of the pool at my gym so I will be incorporating that into my workouts.

Your average weight-loss is so great and seriously-how much do I LOVE your new fun challenge you created?!?! I can't wait to watch your progress. Rock on, my friend!! =D

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SENIMMO 1/7/2013 9:31PM

    emoticon I am sure not up for that much swimming yet (especially since I'm still not even allowed in the pool!) So I will observe this challenge. I "might" see what my pool measures and try water walking part of what you're swimming. But I don't have a cool lap counter. I will figure something out though!

Very proud of you. I'm not on track with Spark's suggested weight loss (I'm losing too fast most of the time) but that's because I'm being medically supervised. Closely. We'll see what Spark tells me to do after the staples come out and I get the pain under control and get back to "real" exercise.

YOU keep up the excellent work!

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POISONGIRL999 1/7/2013 1:53PM

    What a fun challenge! Have fun!

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LEB0401 1/7/2013 1:41PM

    Fun challenge!! Can't wait to see what data doodles you come up with the help you track :)

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HFAYE81 1/7/2013 1:31PM

    HAHA!!! You are so darn fun. Way to go on that average weight loss, you rock!!!

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