Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Let’s look at the first point i tried to make: the masses (paying customers) wanted to know (acknowledging assumption here, since i didn’t really interview anyone for this post) how to become more engaged with their fitness journey. I’ve attended conferences where i had goals that were inline with the topic only to walk away with an utter sense of having wasted my time attending the conference. For the purpose of my goals. Did I meet lots of great people? Yes. Did i get to exchange business cards and deepen a connection? Yes. Did i get really tipsy and sing karaoke songs in Japanese? Yes. But did I learn what I hoped to learn, in ways that i could actually apply it? No. I did learn that Tustin, CA is NOT pronounced TOOSTIN. We sang “Santa Monica” by Everclear loudly and poorly on the way to the airport in the shuttle. We tipped the driver well. But the instruction given was unsubstantiated. The presenters were had personal experience with the topic, but were not subject matter experts. I left feeling energized, but not to do the ‘right’ things.
Ah, motivation. I’d be lyin’ if i said i never struggled with it. I have. I do. Sometimes daily. But I think that it is important to remember the tools that we have at our disposal to help keep us motivated. I say ‘help’ because I believe that all of the external motivators in the world will not cause you to change if you are not ready to change. You must first accept motivation from yourself before you will fully accept it from others. There are items out there in the world that people use as motivators, some as a crutch, and some think of them as the devil. One in particular that comes to mind is the SCALE. You know, the one that weighs us. Medical staff use it to help determine if we are getting heavier or lighter versus our last visit. It helps them (us) better predict health risk categories, determine treatment options, and get a quick sense of overall health. It is A tool, not THE tool. Just like (the often unreliable) BMI, body weight is a TOOL. an indicator. Another one could be VO2Max. Yet another could be a person’s resting heart rate, or the time it takes to go from a high rate to a normal (for the subject). I think it is called recovery time or something like that. There are many of them. Tools. They all serve a purpose. All of them. Some you may need more often than others, or for reasons that they weren’t intended, but they still should be kept clean and serviceable. AND IN USE.
The better blogger part? I don’t know much about that, so…whatever. Social media is an interesting topic, that’s for sure. My wife says that she has no use for it, but….if I didn’t have an electronic social media venue to express my wack-o ideas and such, SHE would have to put up with all of it. Her use is an indirect use, but she still uses the tool. (Adam….really? yea, i kinda laughed, too…) BUT ANYWAY….tools. use them wisely. Don’t discard them. Embrace them for what they can offer you, don’t abuse them, and for the love of goodness, please put them back where you found them. (long story there involving a bow saw, a pine tree, a tractor, and my Dad’s forehead).
I’m off to rest my head. Seems that the aforementioned (via twitter) poison ivy is attacking my right eyelid.
*****it seems that BLOGGER is BUSTED AGAIN. feel free to email me your comments, and i'll post them as a separate post, unless you ask me not to, in which case i'll just print them out and eat them. Live. In my office. boutdrz AT bigzigonline DOT com ******
Saturday, May 28, 2011
But when was the last time you took a look at the way you were doing something and then asked that question of yourself?
How’s it working for me? Wonderfully. My wife keeps forgetting that I don’t eat candy anymore and will offer me candy every now and then (and by candy I mean candy…although….). It is kinda funny, so we laugh when it happens. I don’t miss the candy a bit. The smell of it makes me a little whoozy, too. And it is amazing how sweet a banana tastes after you haven’t had other sweets for a long time. So it is working out well so far. I can’t foresee ever going back to eating it. So I had a plan, tried it, stuck to it, and it worked.
Was it easy? No. Did I struggle? Yes, but I didn’t falter. It took hard work and determination. Why was it hard? I LOVE DARK CHOCOLATE. But I gave it up for my health.
I heard some one say, “It is easy to say ‘no’ when there is a bigger ‘yes’.” I love that quotation. It can be applied to so many things, and really has the same impact. I told you the candy story so that I could tell you this: not everything is going to work the first time you try it. You will need to be flexible with your journey, but steadfast on your goals.
People along the way (no matter what your goal is) will try to derail you. Not always intentionally (here, try this and that. it worked for me!), and sometimes subtly, but it will happen. BE AWARE OF THIS, learn to adapt your methods to fit your destination, and you will be fine. You need to ask yourself, and answer honestly, “How is this working for me?”
Figure out the honest answer, try something else if you need to, but never take your eyes off of the final goal. It will be WORK, but you CAN do it.
Friday, May 27, 2011
1: quick and ready insight
2a : immediate apprehension or cognition b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition c : the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference
The above definition was taken from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intuition. Let's take a look at it a little closer, shall we, as I am a bit confused. And I love to share my confusions with others (don't I, Sweetie?). To me, "quick and ready insight" means that it takes little or no time or thought to figure something out. Like when you walk into a room and open the door REEEEEAAAALLLY wide because you just know' that your little sister is there, ready to
I bring this up because of some recent attention to "intuitive eating" (IE), both in the blog world and IRL. Seriously. Strange tie-ins like that have been happening all week. I overheard some people at the grocery talking about it, read the transcript from #fitbloggin, and have had some personal experiences with intuitive eating. Or so I thought. The name is catchy, for sure, but i've oft wondered if it was the best term to describe it. As my lovely wife can attest, i am a stickler for the correct use of vocabulary, (especially by others!), so I have been mulling this over for a while now. The time, i feel, has come to investigate. All in the name of #nomorebs.
My understanding of IE is that you eat what you know agrees with you so that you don't feel sluggish, bloated, hyper-motile (not hypermoBILE. that's ok. hyper-moTILE isn't always good), etc. etc. I first heard about it while running through the woods listening to @twofitchicks podcast about a year or so ago. Miz and Shauna were talking about it, and I sensed some apprehension at the name from Miz, but I'm not going to speak for her on that. It was just my take. I started to think about MY food intake and how it made me feel, and came to the realization that I had been eating intuitively for a while without even knowing it. Amazing! Here's a brief version of my story with food:
Growing up I ate whatever was put in front of me. Dinner was dinner. We all ate together, and we ate the same food. We had a "take what you want but eat what you take" mantra. This meant that you didn't get up until you ate it. All of it. Even if that meant that you were still sitting there long after the dishes were done. Was it the right thing to do? I dunno. Worked for us, so who am i to judge? In '86 I went to Japan as an exchange student. I ate all kinds of things that most people wouldn't: at least not most Americans.
There was eel, octopus, umeboshi, seaweed, so many different fish, veggies (yama imo!), and other things. I don't think that I ever refused to eat anything that was presented. Including ram and beef tongue. One thing that I learned about their food culture is that they consider it rude to leave ANY rice in the bowl at the end of a meal. Their reasoning, I was told, was that the farmer worked very hard in all kinds of weather to get that rice to your table, and that it was very disrespectful to waste it. WOW. I had never looked at it that way, and it changed the way I have looked at food ever since. i went from being 'afraid' of not finishing my food (and anyone elses' at the table) to finishing it to avoid disrespecting the 'farmer' or even the cook. But then something happened when i hit my mid 30's.
Stress. Anxiety. Bad personal decisions.
|More Chins than....you know the rest.|
Mostly self-induced, but my life became very stressfull. And my eating went haywire. I gained a buncha weight. This picture is bitter sweet. It was taken on one of the most fun days of my life, and i look like CRAP in it. This crapiness is magnified by the fact that I am in Uniform. Disgraceful. It hangs on my office wall as a reminder...but I digress. IE is the topic here....SO.....during this epoc, my...ummm...'system' kicked into overdrive. like 4-5 times a day. TMI? read on. I eventually went to see a gastroenterologist who I worked with, but not until my late 30's. I just couldn't take it any more. I thought it was a parasite. I thought I had some disease. As an RN, i have just enough knowledge to be dangerous, as they say. At one point during the exam the doc said, "well, I don't think that you'll need a colonoscopy, THANK GOD!" we both had a good laugh. He said that many of his collegues would diagnose me with IBS, but he wasn't going to do that.
I asked him point blank, "Do you think IBS is BS as a diagnosis?" He replied that he felt that it was becoming an overused diagnosis, but that it did have its place. I then said, "Do you think most cases, like mine, are more mental than physical?" He made some smartass comment about yes, for me, it was mental, because i was a bit 'off' anyway, but that also yes, symptoms can be aggrivated by both stress and DIET. Well....i didn't think that i could control the stress in my life (still working on that, actually), but i could control what i put in my pie hole.I started looking at what was going on food/drink wise on the days when i was most 'active'. I noticed a trend. Milk, candy, coffee, and chocolate were all big culprits. I have eliminated all but the coffee. (don't touch my coffee. seriously. if that ever gets taken away....) Except for chocolate chips in some ice cream, I haven't had ANY candy since OCT 31, 2007. I rarely eat ice cream. Creamies/SoftServe on the other hand, is different. yes, yes, yes, all chemicals, but...NO REAL MILK, so...no worries! yum. I have also identified other foods that work 'wonders' on my body in some way or another. My discovery of those things, going by the definition above, was not at all....intuitive. So the PROCESS leading to IE is trial and error, introspection, journaling, investigating....and the RESULT is INTUITIVE.
again. Cave Lector. and of course, #nomorebs
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen this hash tag on some of my recent tweets. I will attempt to explain what is is all about. I was in email conversation with Sarah Stanley earlier today, and this is what I told her:
Some tweeps who i respect recently attended a blogger conference and were appauled at what they saw. People who represent themselves one way online turning out to be completely different in real life, people who seemed honest and trustworthy online hawking products to people who really didn't need them....on and on.
I was unable to attend, and now that I have spoken with them and read some reviews, I am glad that I didn't waste my time or money.
The hastag #nomorebs grew out of a twitter conversation that we were having about honesty, accountability, social responsibility, and business sense.
As you are well aware, there is a HUGE need in this country for people to be healthier. You are a part of this movement toward health, and I commend you for it; I am a big fan of what you do. Not speaking for the others, my concern is that this movement has opened up a huge demand (albeit too often short lived) for products, tips, and knowledge about how to improve health and wellness.
Accompanying this demand is a seemingly endless supply of bullshit products, tips, and 'knowledge' spewing out from all areas, some of which I never would have expected it to come from. We are really hoping to send out a message to people not to be so gullible; to really look into things before they make big purchases, follow a 'diet', or be mislead by quacks.
One huge thing that comes to mind is the show "biggest loser". when it first came out i was instantly put off by it, but then went through a period of morbid curiosity about the show, and have now come (in the last 3 seasons) to really dislike it. bad info, bad ideas, bad....expectations being 'set' for the general public who doesn't know any better than to blindly follow these goofballs on TV just because they are on tv.
You may or may not agree with me, and, admittedly, I was not in attendance. But as Tommy Boy so eloquently said, "You can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking your head up a bull's ass... I'd rather ask the butcher. “
So I am calling for an end to the BS. Granted, I am no expert. I have no degree in fitness, nutrition, or business. But I investigate. I don’t take things at face value. I am a HUGE devil’s advocate, and love looking at popular things from the unpopular side.
I encourage you to do the same. Not just with fitness/wellness, but in your LIFE as well. Am I advocating that you tell your boss to “take this job and shove it”? Well, no….but if there is something going on that you think shouldn’t be, feel empowered to call ‘shenanigans’. Remember, there are creative ways to show your disapproval. Use your mind, use your brain. Get things done.
No More Bull Shit. #nomorebs. Know it. Love it. Live it.
YOU have the power to do it. YOU have the power to make changes.
What are YOU waiting for?
Monday, May 23, 2011
Someone close and dear to me mentioned in an email that they (let's call this person GENE, so that i don't have to say s/he through the whole blog, mmkay? and no, it isn't me. honeslty) had met recently with their doc and the doc (he? prolly) suggested that he (Gene (again, not me)) follow a "low purine diet". I had an idea what that meant, but I have begun to try to look at things from the perspective of "i know nothing about healthcare, so i need to look everything up on the web." Let me tell you, this has been an interesting experiment. It has really opened my eyes, and has made me almost sick to my stomach. Allow me to use Gene's advice as an example:
I googled "low purine diet". I got quite the interesting list of options:
Not one to always follow the top of the list, i chose a link from www.myrtuemedical.org, indicated by the red circle. Remember, I am an 'average Joe' looking stuff up that my doctor told me about. SO i went there. Here are some highlights (the document is a .pdf file, and i don't know how to just copy and paste those files):
"WHAT IS IT? A low purine diet means eating foods that do not have many purines in them." (umm. seriously? wow. NOW i know what it means. how could i have been so NAIVE??? Next I suppose they'll tell me that a 'no smoking area' means an area with no smoking. Or that 'peanut butter' is butter made from peanuts. Or that baby oil is oil made from......wait! What IS baby oil made from? And has anyone ever SEEN a CANOLA? (not a canolli...i've seen plenty of those!)
ok. the paragraph goes on. are you ready to be edu-ma-kated? Gud.
"Purines are found in some foods." Such as? I still don't know wtf a purine is, but i know that it is found in some foods. So is HFCS. So is soy lecithin. So is...Prestone Anti-freeze. Seriously. It is. every see "polyethylene glycol" in the ingredients list? I have. In one of my favourite things. Now, I'm not so sure..... Thus far, i have not learned anything useful from this web site. Ever the optimist, i continue reading:
Turns out (which i really already knew, but again, play along here....) that uric acid is formed from the breakdown of purines. The body doesn't use uric acid, so your kidneys filter it out, and excrete it in your urine. (some people (Madonna is one of them, so it HAS to be true) say that peeing on your shower curtain will reduce the amount of moldy build up. Presumably the uric acid kills it. Hmm.... Anyway, Uric acid buildup in the body can cause pain and swelling known as GOUT. (not "the gout", as a lot of old-timers call it. kinda like "the twitter" and "the facebook". sheesh. Old timers are fun.) Build up of this acid can also cause kidney stones. Hmm....That i didn't know. I know kidney stones as "renal calculi", which get their name from Calcium....but hey. this site is 'myrtuemedical', so who am I to argue?
** RN NOTE: Uric acid is heavy. It takes quite a bit to move it along the blood stream. In relatively healthy people, this isn't usually a problem. As we drink water, the uric acid concentration goes down, and the kidneys can handle the processing, and we just pee it out. Yay, Pee!. However, in not so healthy individuals, or those with poor circulation (sub-set of not so healthy individuals), the uric acid may build up...and end up lodged in the more distal (far away) capillaries (tiniest of blood vessels) of the fingers and toes. This is why most people who suffer from GOUT are older or overweight. And if you look at their diet, they have a tendency to be people who drink a lot of COLA/SODA/POP. End RN NOTE**
Under the heading "CARE", the information goes on to state "Eat a diet that has at least 50% of calories as carbohydrates. Do this by eating 6 to 10 servings of bread or starchy foods, and 5 fruits and vegetables each day." WHAT?
"Drink plenty of non-alcohol containing beverages. 8-12 cups per day." (ok, i'm no English major, but.....)
Then they list some sections for low, medium, and high purine foods. Curious, aren't you? Heck, if you've read this far, you might as well keep reading, right?
"Low: Eat or drink the following things as often as you like while following an eating plan for staying at a good body weight:
breads: low fiber, white flour
cream style soups
eggs (limit 3 to 4 per week)
nuts and peanut butter (limit if trying to lose weight)
past and macaroni
"Medium: Eat only one serving per day...when gout is under control. Avoid when gout is flaring up:
dried beans, peas, lentils
oats and oatmeal
wheat germ and bran
whole grain foods"
"High: Avoid these foods all of the time:
broths bouillons, consommes
scallops and mussel
WILD (that's all it says, i swear! 'wild')"
Seems like they are advocating a diet high in unrefined carbs and low in fiber. Isn't this pretty much the OPPOSITE of what most of the rest of the world is saying?
I am hoping that your take-away from this is that you will consider your sources while seeking information, either on the web, in print, or in person. Just for example, and i was JUST DUPED, go back to the top and re-read the name of the website that I am talking about. Carefully.
Are you done? Did you learn anything? I thought it was myTRUEmedical, but really it is myRTUEmedical. ahhh....my eyes deceived me. Twice.
Anyway, here is the link to the document, if you'd like to actually read it. But please, don't pass it along as advice. It was last updated in 2008. Things have changed in the past 3 years in the medical field. Heck, they've probably changed since you sat down to read this.
DISCLAIMER:: though I am a Registered Nurse, this blog is purely MY COMMENTARY, and I am not diagnosing, suggesting treatment, or selling anything. I am simply expressing my thoughts as I try to navigate life. –gene-
Thursday, May 19, 2011
see those little dudes? have you seen this picture before? no? ok…they were taken almost 35 years apart. I tried to recreate the right one exactly, but someone wasn’t being very cooperative that day…hey, it MIGHT have been me. you just never know.
why am I showing this picture? because even though we may look alike, I don’t want us to BE alike. sure, there are things about me and the way I am that I sincerely hope he takes on as his, too. but then there are things that I don’t. because of this, the good and the bad, I really need to pay closer attention to my words, actions, and just who I ‘am’.
and that doesn’t just mean to watch my temper and watch my language. it means everything. too many things to list here, but they include how I talk to my elders, how I treat my wife, how I treat the other kids, how I open doors for people, how I complain about chores, how i ….the list goes on and on.
time for me to cut bait or fish. shit or get off the pot. whichever. both.
this has been TOOO long in the making, though I have tried before and failed, I will try again. because that, too, is important.
“it doesn’t matter how many times you fall; only how many times you get back up” –someone smarter than I-
“always forward” Basic Training Company’s Motto
“if you don’t like it, change it. if you can’t change it, change how you see it” –seen on a twitter profile-
Be Well, Gene.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
At any rate, I need to communicate better, especially in real life. Twitter and this here blog are not the appropriate venues to mention, for the first time, certain things. This won't be one of those times.
FEAR NOT, intrepid reader. I TRUELY HAVE NO ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Except that I am going to try to focus more on positivity, less on negativity, and pursue those things that make me happy. For if i am happier, my family is happier (i don't really get this connection, but i am working on that, too).
I will be taking the rest of this week to get my head back on straight. It is just about there. Over the weekend, I will work hard, play a bit, and run. Starting next week (no, really.) I will begin some things that I will discuss with T before I mention them here.
A new Gene is on the horizon. If all goes as I plan, he will look very much like the old Gene that Tracey and Weeb have been looking for. Thank you, both of you, for your patience.
Have a great Wednesday evening. See you back here, tomorrow.
Monday, May 9, 2011
anyway, i have been giving it quite a bit of thought lately, and i think that i have my map re-oriented to my direction of travel (KEY when reading/following a map. even if it means that words are upside down or sideways. if you keep your map oriented in the direction of travel, it will help TONS). "recalculating"......
We all have many irons in the fire, don't we? Kids, spouses, school, work, community, Church, relatives. Very easy to get caught up in all that, and I would argue that it is GOOD and WORTHY to get caught up in all of that. One thing that tends to get overlooked, at least with many of my IRL friends (and i can only assume my virtual friends as well) is OURSELVES. Yes, there are people out there (you know who
There are some who think, maybe because I don't talk much, that i don't consider others in my daily routines or future plans. To them I say....***crickets***......ahahahahaah.....from my point of view, I don't place much weight on things that impact only me. I try to strike a balance that favors others. but this isn't about that.
Having reoriented my map, I am deciding on new routes to reach the same destination. Or at least somewhere near my original destination. In the neighbourhood. #cryptic I say that only because I don't know exactly what i want my destination to be, i just have a general idea that it ISN'T living in a van, down by the river. A place that I was once told is where i would live if i didn't take a certain described path. Ok, it wasn't a van, but it was a trailer, in a mobile home park. but this isn't about that, either.
In the coming weeks I will be deciding how i want to tackle some challenges that lie before me, most of them are in my head and (seemingly, for me) don't really impact other people. Don't worry, i don't plan on changing jobs or moving or doing anything like that.
A few years ago, during a particularly rough time in my life, my sister said to me, "I want my brother back." Well, Weeb, I'm working on it.
Last weekend (not Mother's Day weekend, the one before that), my wife said, "you just stopped mid way through the project and moved on, leaving stuff all over the yard. that isn't your usual self. what has happened? where did you go?"
No where, just had my map askew.
Working on it......
How about you? Is your map oriented in the direction of travel, or are you mistakingly making right turns when you really should be going left?