Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some new links for you

Upon doing some research today, I've happened upon some links that you may find helpful.

The Meatrix
A corny, but informative look at factory farms and their effect on the meat and dairy industry. There is also a link for you to find organic farms and markets in your area who carry healthy alternatives.

Hydration Blog
Learn all there is to know about becoming properly hydrated. Dispell myths about hydration and find out what dehydrates you. Links to good water (yes, there are different types of water!) you can buy online, too.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Checking in...

I've been writing a lot lately about things unrelated directly to my fitness or weight loss.

I figured it was time for an update, despite not only having fallen off the wagon, but having survived it backing up over me, as well. The last few days I've been battling that desire to do emotional eating. I think it's that whole time change thing. I never handle this time of year well. I've drunk a TON of pop in the last couple days and eaten nothing but crap. I'm still happy to report that I haven't gained more than a few pounds, though. Which, if you'd see what's passed my lips, you'd wonder how the number hasn't gone much higher.

I'm going to try to get back to the gym this weekend. My masseur tonight expressed his disappointment. Not in me personally, but he pointed out how much I'd enjoyed the results and he was excited for me to see those results. (Have I mentioned I love him? He's awesome.) I've been needing a kick in the butt. I think him being disappointed in my lazy behavior might be just what I needed. (Thanks, Chris!)

So there you have it.

A closer look at vaccines, specifically the H1N1

     There are NUMEROUS things about the H1N1 vaccine that have people convinced they need it. Unfortunately many of these things that are convincing people they need it are based on myths. The biggest things to know before choosing to be vaccinated are these:

1. A vaccine is not a shot of chemicals that fight off the disease, the vaccine is a shot of chemicals as well as a dose OF the disease. Ideally, vaccines were designed to give the body a small dose of an illness to help boost a body's natural immunity to it. Over time, the vaccines have evolved into including more and more unnatural ingredients and essentially is more toxic to the body than it's good for it. For instance, the H1N1 vaccine's primary ingredient is a mercury-based product. Another key ingredient is formaldehyde. Pregnant women, babies and children are being encouraged to get a vaccine that, were it NOT in a vaccine, would be told to avoid at all costs.
     Another thing to remember is that every day a disease is in existance it has mutated into something new. So the vaccine that scientists have spent the last year perfecting and getting approved by the DNA isn't for the flu strain that is currently being spread. It's the one from a year ago (or longer, depending on how long it's taken to develop).

2. The people telling you that you need a vaccine are the same people who are either employed BY a pharmaceutical company or benefit financially FROM a pharmaceutical company. Any and EVERY pharmaceutical company has a FINANCIAL gain from your vaccine. Every dose means money in their pockets. It's no longer about health. It's about money. Many people have the belief "My doctor wouldn't steer me wrong." Next time you're in your doctor's office, read the name on the pens, the calendars, the note pads, etc. I guarantee you, they will have the name of some medicine on them. Those are called kickbacks. Doctors agree to use those things as advertisements in exchange for "free samples" of the drugs the pharmaceutical reps are trying to sell to patients. (Piece of trivia for today: When your doctor goes to a medical conference, they're given manuals/study guides/books, etc. Who has provided the information that your doctors learn at these conferences? Pharmaceutical companies. Many/most of these books even have advertisements for the newest drugs on the market.)
     Something else to consider: children have received "basic" vaccines for dozens and dozens of years, but it wasn't until the last ten years or so that researchers have made the connection between vaccinations and numerous health issues such as autism. The health "officials" who are promising you that this vaccine is safe are the same ones who promise the parents of those autistic children the same thing. Think about it.

3. Our bodies are designed to fight off illnesses naturally, if we'll allow them to. Let's pick apart the common cold, for instance. Most times, the minute we start coughing, we medicate with something to quiet a cough. The thing we don't realize is that the cough is there for a reason. There are foreign things in our lungs (due to the cold virus) and our body is trying to expel them so we don't become sicker. By quieting that cough, you're actually enabling that junk to stay in your lungs and increase, causing us to get sicker and we stay sicker longer because we continue to keep medicating. If we muddle through the miserable cough, our body expels the junk in our lungs and we're better more quickly.
     What's the first thing you do when you get a fever? Take Tylenol (or another fever reducer) to get your temperature back to normal, right? This is actually the most foolish thing you can do. When we're sick, our body has increased its core temperature to "burn off" (for lack of a better term) the virus (or bacteria) that has infected our bodies. Consider the warning on most poultry for instance. It tells you to cook the meat to avoid a salmonella contamination. The same is true for our bodies. The longer that fever is artificially set back to normal, the longer that virus/bacteria is in our bodies. The longer its in our bodies, the more it multiplies and spreads. So something that may've started out as a simple bronchial infection ends up being pnemonia. If we let the fever burn off naturally, it WILL burn itself out...and with it, it'll take the nasty things that are making us sick.

4. Specificially regarding H1N1: It's the flu. Plain and simple. Yes, people have died from it. People have died from the regular flu, too, but you don't see them on the news. Bottom line is this: anyone who dies from any illness dies because their bodies aren't able to fight off the illness.
     If we fill our bodies with artificial "immunity" through medication, we're going to become more and more reliant on those means to fight off the slightest thing and will essentially have much worse symptoms for the simplest of illnesses because our bodies no longer know how to fight something off.

     I'm not a doctor, nurse or scientist. I don't work for some herbal remedy company. I'm not some tree-hugging naturalist. I only know what I've researched and what works for my family. I refuse to just "go with the flow" when it comes to my health and the health of my family. Too many things *don't* make sense about modern medicine for me to just take one for the team. The things I've shared here are things I've learned from the research I've done.
     We eat healthily, we exercise, we hydrate well and when we feel ourselves getting sick we know it's because our bodies immunity levels aren't as high as they could/should be. We usually visit our kinesiologist (a form of chiropractic care that focuses on the body as a whole rather than just the spine & back muscles) and we also take herbal remedies that help our body deal with additional strains such as hormones or a lack of nutrients for whatever reason.  Our family personally uses a product called "Immucore," the minute we start getting the sniffles or a stomach ache. It's just one example of an herbally based product to help our body rebuild white blood cells. You can google for dozens of others if that's something you're interested in.
     Bottom line, only you can decide if you want to vaccinate or not. I hope that I've provided you information so you can make a better informed decision. You don't have to take my word. Do a search for H1N1 vaccine risks and side effects. Then do a search for "flu vaccine risks and side effects" to get a broader spectrum of results. Educate yourself from ALL aspects. Don't just trust blindly simply because someone has a medical degree. Remember...every time you get sick, they get paid.

Monday, November 2, 2009

One of two ways...

"Oh my God, that's Mel?! I didn't even recognize her!"

I can take this one of two ways.

1. I've made amazing progress and I look fantastic.
2. I was such a troll before and I'm finally tolerable to look at.

My mood for the day usually determines which way I take a statement like that.

I *want* to always react the first way, but let's face it, when you've never really felt pretty, it's easy to fall into the second reaction, especially if you're like me and don't take compliments well. I've tried very hard to keep in focus what my real reasons are for losing weight: living longer and living healthier. The vanity reason is obviously there, as it is for any woman, but I'm trying NOT to make that my main reason for losing weight. I think when the focus is more about how I look, it's easy to lose track when I start noticing that difference in my appearance.

Every compliment is a struggle. Every time I hear "You're looking great, Mel, keep it up" or something like that, I have to stop and tell myself to JUST. SAY. THANK YOU. instead of shrugging it off or worse: being defensive.

So please try to understand where I'm coming from if I say "thank you" with a grimace on my face. I may be staying "Thank you" but my complete thought is "Thank you for allowing a troll like me to be seen in public with you." It's something I'm working on and if you knew me before I started losing weight, you'd know how far I've come. It's just a slow process.

Been a slacker

So I've been a sloth the last few weeks.

I've lost my motivation.

I miss Danny Wood's tweets about what he's eating, what things he's doing to keep in shape. I know I can't blame him and I don't, but I do know I was more productive when he tweeted those things. It helped that I knew I'd be seeing the guys in concert. The fact that there aren't any shows coming up is a downer.

The season change is a bummer, too. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE fall and I really don't mind winter as far as temperatures go, but my moods plummet the minute daylight savings hits. And please save your breath. I know working out will help increase my adrenaline and seratonin, which in turn will help my moods. I know that. I believe it. I just need to get the motivation to get to the gym.

This is the first cold weather season since I got on this fitness train and I'll be honest, I'm working very hard at NOT relying on thick sweatshirts and bulky sweaters to cover the pounds I may put back on. I predict it will be a struggle.

So I decided to sit down and come up with a list of things to motivate me during a time when I don't feel all that motivated. This is what i came up with.

1. I've come way too far to stop now.
2. Joe will start touring in January. I want to look good when I see him next year.
3. I feel better when I eat better.
4. I want the energy to get everything done around my house that I have planned.
5. I want to see a size 14 before Joe's birthday.

These aren't things that will motivate everyone, but they work for me.

I'm just me.

"Giiiiiiirl, you just....MMMM!"

Those were the first words uttered by our friend Mike when we walked into the Halloween Party last night. He ended the sentence in a growl and a shake of the head and a  playfully lecherous grin. I guess I don't see it. It's hard for me, really. Having been a heifer most of my life, I don't see that I'm any different than I've ever been. I'm just me. I have my moments of confidence, but like any woman with self-esteem issues, I constantly question compliments and the only things I really notice are how many fat days I have a week, how much the numbers on the scale fluctuate and how I haven't gone down another size in almost two months. I don't see this vixen my friends seem to see. I don't know that I ever will.

But even my husband says she's there. He said last night I carry myself differently. I'm more confident, less introverted and I even smile more than I used to. He said he wished I could see myself the way he sees me.

The thing is..and I may spend time in therapy for this, I guess I consider almost any declaration of accomplishment egotistical and an unattractive quality in any human being. So while I have learned to take compliments better, I still brush them off because they make me uncomfortable. I know I've lost weight. I know those thirty-ish pounds I've lost are a HUGE accomplishment, but to point it out, feels awkward to me. To celebrate them for more than a general statement of "I lost ____ pounds," to me, seems self-serving and the *LAST* thing I ever want to be is self-absorbed or egotistical.

I have over 400 followers on Twitter and I still sit back and say "what the hell?" I know many of those people follow me because of the weight loss I've achieved over the last few months, but it still seems weird to me. There are celebrities who've lost more weight than I have. There are tried-and-true people who live healthy lifestyles daily who are far more "together" than I am. Why the hell do 400+ people want to follow me? I'm just me, ya know? I tell people the same thing when it comes to my writing...or my singing....or anything else they try to compliment me on: I'm just me. I'm nobody special.

I'm MUCH more comfortable just blending into the background than being out there in the spotlight. And I'm discovering just how uncomfortable I am receiving compliments, too. This weight loss thing is much more difficult than I realized. It's so much more than just losing weight. There's responsibility with it, too. I didn't know about it. I sure don't know what to do with it and furthermore, I don't think I'm qualified to take it on. do I just lose the weight and return everything else that comes along with it?