Sunday, April 22, 2012
Kissing. Eww, gross! Swapping spit! Bad breath! And all those germs: meningitis, herpes (cold sores), mononucleosis, colds. Eww.
The kiss of death. The kiss of Judas!
Parents kiss children, friends kiss, people kiss religious icons and artifacts. Playing to a tie is "like kissing your sister." (Don't ask me. I always play to win.) Nowadays, even a total stranger will give you a kiss.
OK, I bet you ain't NEVER been kissed by a total stranger like THAT!
Ahh, and when lovers kiss … l'amore.
What's the deal with romantic kissing? Is it learned or is it instinctive? Thats hard to tell and the experts don't agree. But there are some definite physiological effects from that romantic kiss.
Anyone who has ever been kissed knows that the sensations involved aren't confined to the mouth. Your facial nerve carries impulses between your brain and the muscles and skin in your face and tongue. While you kiss, it carries messages from your lips, tongue and face to your brain to tell it what's going on. Your brain responds by ordering your body to produce:
* Oxytocin, which helps people develop feelings of attachment, devotion and affection for one another
* Dopamine, which plays a role in the brain's processing of emotions, pleasure and pain
* Serotonin, which affects a person's mood and feelings
* Adrenaline, which increases heart rate and plays a role in your body's fight-or-flight response
When you kiss, these hormones and neurotransmitters rush through your body. Along with natural endorphins, they produce the euphoria most people feel during a good kiss. In addition, your heart rate increases and your blood vessels dilate, so your whole body receives more oxygen than it does when you're just standing around. You can also smell the person you're kissing, and researchers have demonstrated a connection between smells and emotions.
And one study suggests all this brain action occurs to focus our biological attention on one person (essentially, a potential mate to reproduce with) and stops us from spending too much time and energy elsewhere (isn’t that sweet?).
As most of us know, not every kiss is going to end with marriage and children (and lets give thanks for that!). A whopping 59% of men and 66% of women say they have ended a budding relationship because of a kiss (even more incentive to double check that breath). Another study showed that men were more likely to initiate kissing prior to doing the deed, while women were more likely to steal kisses after. But both genders believed kissing before sexual intercourse with a long-term partner was important (with cuddling and saying “I love you” being the most important after sex).
Kissing can boost immunity, is a natural relaxant, and also burns calories (what more could we want?). Surprisingly enough, another study showed that frequent kissing, cuddling, and hugging is a significant factor in happiness for men in long term relationships— even more than for the ladies!
Check this link: How to Kiss from wikiHow
Saturday, April 21, 2012
One of the scenes from "Rocky" that I always like was the one where Rocky Balboa was skipping rope as pare of his training. Everybody back in those days was trying to emulate Rocky with his jump roping technique.
I never did get it.
Oh, I got why people wanted to imitate Rocky. It was so cool to watch. No, I never caught on to how to jump rope.
Chris Downie, the Spark Guy, talk extensively about jumping rope in The Spark. It was his go to exercise that helped to get him into shape and lose weight. He mentioned how great it was to travel and just need to put his his rope into his bag and go.
Me? I try using a rope and I stumble all over. But, what I didn't realiz was that you don't even need a rope to jump rope. You can just jump in place with an imaginary rope.
Jumping rope burns calories, improves both aerobic and anaerobic endurance, develops strength, and fortifies bones– no gym membership required. And it can be done just about anywhere, with a rope’s small size making it easy to stash in a gym bag or a suitcase for a workout on the go. Plus it’s cheap: even a hi-tech rope like the Skipp Comp— which counts number of skips, time, and speed—runs less than $20, so any weight lost won’t be coming out of a wallet.
Jumping rope is truly a total-body exercise, with heavy emphasis on the arms, legs, abs, shoulders, and chest. Because it requires so many parts to work in unison, it also builds coordination, agility, and balance. And since both legs absorb the shock of each jump, jumping rope is usually easier on the knees than running or jogging (though it’s a little more difficult to do in water). Interestingly, a study found that because of the added concentration factor, people tend to push themselves harder jumping rope than they would jogging or skipping without a rope.
For sports with a lot of overhead movements like volleyball and gymnastics, jumping rope can even be effective in conditioning shoulders for repetitive stress. Jumping movements— known in the fitness realm as plyometrics— also improve bone density in adolescents and adults, decreasing the long-term risk of osteoporosis.
Great, now grab a rope.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Inspiration seems to be something we all draw on. We look for is when we need a little boot in the butt or to give us something to think about as we move to the next level. So many people can inspire us to aspire to more.
When I was early on in Weight Watchers, I was struggling for the first time. I was looking, not at my short term goals, but at my long term plans. I still had 75 pounds to lose! I was never going to do that. Then Jody introduced a couple who were visiting out meeting. He had lost 150 pounds, she 75 pounds. Between them, they had lost what I weighed at that point! Surely such a feat seemed impossible to them and yet there they were.
I was inspired to work harder.
In my second year, a teen age boy joined our group. Parker was one of those soft boys who probably played too many video games, was stuffed into numerous lockers, had received his share of swirlies, and couldn't get a date to save his life! He was joining with his mom. Every week there was Parker. Every week, he was dropping the pounds.. He went to school with my son so I knew what they had in the cafeteria. I know that Stromboli Thursday was a can't miss lunch. I knew that he had to be having a hard time no giving into peer pressure to go to McDonalds. But Parker was doing it. By the end of his first year, the transformation was incredible! HE was a damned handsome young man. My son told me that people respected him at school now and that girls were lining up for dates with him. And he made the cross country varsity team!
Parker was an inspiration to me. I told him so. "Funny you should say that, Mr Nohe. I saw you losing and you were why I asked my mom to bring me. You inspired me."
I am not always comfortable when people tell me that. I feel kind of "aw shucks" about it. A leader told me that my best answer should be "thank you, I'm so happy I could help." You don't choose who you inspire.
So who are my inspirations?
Diana Nyad, 63. Attempted to swim from Havana to Key West last year. Was pulled out of the water about halfway because the jellyfish were stinging her too much.
Ernestine Shepherd. At age 75, she is the world's oldest female body builder. I have met Ernestine, we run at many of the same races together. What a delightful woman!
Fauja Singh, 101. Runner. This weekend Fauja Singh will run in the London Marathon. He says it's his last race. We shall see. I don't know if I will be running at 101. I just hope I look as good as he does.
And like many, I have a few quotes that inspire me
"Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you will be doing the impossible." St Francis of Assisi
"Stay away from those who would belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, bu tthe really great male you feel that you to will become great." Mark Twain
Who inspires you?
Thursday, April 19, 2012
... to the brand new me!
Four years ago, She(WMBO) had had enough.
Enough of my snoring.
Enough of me being sick.
Enough of me joking about being fat.
Enough of being embarrassed by the way I looked.
She took action.
At 6:30 in the morning on Saturday 19 April2008, I felt a foot on my butt.
“Get up. Get dressed. We’re going to Weight Watchers.”
I didn’t want to get up at 6:30 on a Saturday to go to no damned Weight Watchers. “We don’t belong to Weight Watchers.”
"I signed us up online last night. Get up, get dressed."
"We don't know where they meet or what time the meeting is. Leave me alone."
“They have a seven o’clock meeting up on Mellor Avenue. We can walk. Get up, Get dressed.”
“It doesn’t work. I lost five pounds in six month last time.”
“You didn’t take it seriously. Get up. Get dressed. I will meet you outside. Hurry up.” This was not a request or an invitation. After 35 years I know the difference. I was out of excuses. I got up. I got dressed. We walked to Weight Watchers.
I weighed in at 241.2 pounds. I am only five foot six inches tall. And consider that since the end of February I had been suffering chronic diarrhea, 241.2 probably was not my peak weight. 250 anyone? The card they had said that I should weight 160 pounds.
160? Were they nuts? I hadn’t seen 160 since about 1985. 160! In what alternate reality did anyone think I was going to lose more than 80 pounds?
I sat in the front row with my arms folded across my chest and a scowl on my face. This was not going to work. But I'll do this to make her happy.
Jody lead the meeting with her cute hair and perky little voice. Then came the part where she went around the room for "celebrations." There was another perky little thing with another perky little voice: "I got within 10 pounds of my goal weight and ..." applause " ... and next week I'm running my first 5k."
"Pfft, like THAT will ever happen, " I said to She(WMBO) half under my breath.
We stayed for the after-session and Jody gave us all the information on points and 10% goals etc, etc. It seemed a little complicated. I didn't remember any of this from last time. Hmm. I must not have taken it seriously.
On the walk home, we had to pass Friendly's. I had a powerful desire to go in and have my last breakfast. I was ever so gently led away.
"OK, look. I went to the meeting. I hope you're happy. I will give this six weeks to fail." That was my attitude. It was going to fail. I just didn't want to drag it out.
"Give it eight weeks. I bought monthly passes. But," she added as a warning, "you have to give it an honest eight weeks."
And I did. I took it very seriously. It helped that I lost about 16 pounds in the first three weeks. After that the going was much slower. All in all it took me 18 months to lose 90 pounds.
And in spite of my doubts, I became a runner, a biker, a swimmer. I have gone way beyond the 5k all the way to the marathon.
I was in a terrible place before 19 April 2008. I was sick. I was waiting for my first, only and last heart attack; I was certain I would be dead within the year.
Now, I don't think 100 is out of the question.
Thank you, Mildred. (That's the last time you will see her name.) Four years ago today, you saved my life. Four years ago today, you thought I was worth saving.
You are the love of my life.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Debby from MT asked me if my hearing aids have made a difference.
My audiologist is about a mile from the house. So I would walk or ride my bike to her office. The day I picked up my devices I rode. I had been riding this bike (the same one I fell of on Saturday by the way) for several years. So I was very familiar with its ride. On the way home, now wearing my new hearing aids, I became concerned because I was hearing a high pitched squeaking sound as I rode along. I thought something was wrong so I stopped and got off to check it out. When I stopped, the squeaking continued. It wasn't my bike clearly. What was it? It took me a minute to identify the sound. It actually was a familiar sound that I hadn't heard in a while and didn't realize it.
It was the birds.
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