Category Archives: Health

Reinvent Yourself

It’s never to late to be what you might have been.

~

Most people would like to change some things about themselves.  They may want to be fitter, to lose weight, to be more successful at work, to be more successful with the opposite sex, or maybe just to lose the terrible feeling of dissatisfaction they constantly suffer from.  Or it might be worse, some people want to lose their Borderline Personality Disorder, or paranoia or schizophrenia…..

One thing is certain, we can never get what we want by trying to change other people, nor by attempting to alter the way the world works.  The only thing we can ever change is ourselves.  But, look at the upside, when we change ourselves the whole world and everyone in it changes around us.

Reinventing ourselves into a better looking, cooler, fitter, more effective, more successful, less disturbed person is an essential process if we want to grow and flourish.

Here’s the hard thing.  To reinvent yourself into the person you really want to be requires some hard choices.  You need to be ready to walk away from aspects of your life in which you may have invested much time, effort, and money; the way you look, the personality you project, your existing career, unsuitable friendships, toxic relationships with the opposite sex, a dead-end marriage, the pub where you get drunk and try to get casual sex with anyone you may meet at the bar…..

Worse than that, you may have to forget and hide some of your past; the alcoholism, drug taking, criminal record, gambling, over-eating, casual sex, heavy smoking…..

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself….. and reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.  ~  Charles Bukowski.

To reinvent yourself and have a truly successful life, ask yourself these questions;

  • What should I stop doing and thinking?
  • What should I start doing, thinking, and being?
  • What could and should I do less of?
  • What could and should I do more of?
  • What could I do, think, and be differently from who I used to be.

Reinventing yourself can be a difficult and lonely path, and it is not a one-shot deal.  Truly reinventing yourself is an on-going process you will have to work at, every single day.

Some say they already have everything their heart desires.  And there is nothing really wrong with them that a few days sober and clean wouldn’t put right.  All I know is that denial is the greatest block to becoming a better person.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Somebody here is going to get into trouble

or maybe they both will.

The Benefits of Exercise

Walking is the best possible exercise.
Habituate yourself to walk very far. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Climbing stairs is even better for you than walking.

Regular exercise is good for your body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  Exercise not only tires you out, which helps you to sleep, it also increases your energy levels during your waking hours.  This increased energy helps your body to fight off illness and chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.  Getting a good night’s sleep is also vital to the health of your body, mind, and spirit.

Physically, frequent exercise helps to regularise your weight ~ inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity.  Your body uses energy in 3 ways; #1 digesting the food you eat; #2 maintaining bodily functions like heartbeat, breathing, and staying upright.  #3 Physical activity, like your exercise of choice, or digging ditches, or chopping firewood.  Dieting is very bad at helping you to lose weight, a reduced calorie intake lowers your metabolic rate, which delays weight loss.  On the other hand, exercise raises your metabolic rate so you use up more calories.

Exercise also helps to build and maintain muscles and bone, because strenuous exercise releases hormones that help your body to absorb amino acids, which will delay muscle wastage in older people.  In older women, regular exercise helps prevent the bone wasting disease osteoporosis.

It has been shown to improve your mood and decrease negative feelings of depression, anxiety and stress, as regular exercise increases the productions of the good hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.  Exercise also promotes the production of endorphins which help to produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of physical and mental pain.

Exercise also helps to maintain and improve brain function; for a start your hippocampus, the bit of the brain that’s vital to memory, will stop shrinking and begin to grow, which increases mental function in older adults.  Regular physical activity also helps to stave off Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

Regular exercise means you will look much better, for a start you will begin to lose all that unattractive bloating and belly fat.  Your skin will look better because your body will be producing more antioxidants, and you will have better blood flow which delays skin aging.  Looking better means that you’re more attractive to the opposite sex.  Not only that but being fitter means that your sexual performance will be better, (women will have more and better orgasms if they take a reasonable amount of exercise).

I was in a bureau de change today, talking with the young lady cashier, (teller), about my walking at least 10,000 steps a day.  And she said; ‘is all that walking why you look so young?’

HA!

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is damn good exercise too

and, I can hold the tree position

HA!

Expectations vs Reality

When you stop expecting people to be perfect,
then you can like them for who they are.

~

Believing our expectations causes pain because the expectations often clash with reality ~ with life as it really is, and the future as it is meant to be.  The expectation could be as simple as; I wish I didn’t have to go to the store today’ or the expectation could be powerful, such as ‘after all this I expect her to have sex with me’.  It could be an utterly impossible desire, such as wanting her to exercise hard to have a better body.

Whatever the disconnect is, any time we believe a thought that says Life should be different from the way it is now, then we will really suffer.  Every single time.

Have an expectation that isn’t completely under your own control, an expectation that says; ‘he / she should be different, Life should be different’, and you will get badly hurt.  Take life as it is, live in the moment, and don’t ever try to change another person, and most likely you won’t be hurt ~ or not so badly.  Even you cannot control the cosmos.

Some of the time we cannot even control our own thoughts, which have a tendency to drift off into fantastical flights of fancy, building castles in the clouds.  Most of the time we can’t control our own bodies; we get sick, we gain weight, we start looking older…..  What will happen will happen whether we like it or not ~ sometimes it’s best to pretend to like what’s happening, even if you secretly hate it.  Remember the adage ‘fake it to make it’.

If you don’t like something change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.  ~  Maya Angelou.

Never focus so hard on what you want that you ignore what you already have.  Never believe that you can change a woman, because you can’t.  And, if you can’t live with what you have, then just walk away.  You certainly can never change her past.

Some say that men are quick to leave a relationship.  And that they almost always return.  All I know is that if you leave her, you should never, ever look back.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

never date an alcoholic woman

it will not end well

 

Fresh Air and Exercise

Rest, food, sunshine, fresh air, exercise ~ the pentagram of good health.

 

The weather has finally improved here in the North East of England.  Today it’s 67 degrees and very sunny ~ in the sunshine it’s much warmer than a mere 67 F.  So, it behoves me to get out there in the fresh seaside air and get some much needed exercise.

There is still this urban myth that, for our health, we should all walk at least 10,000 steps a day.  Or it might be that the health benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day now has scientific backing.  It seems that after about 8 weeks of walking 10,000 steps a day one’s blood glucose levels will improve considerably, as will your blood pressure.  For me, 10,000 steps works out at 5 miles, and a few weeks walking that far every day normalises my weight and gets rid of any unsightly belly-fat I might have been carrying over the winter.

For most Americans, walking 5 miles a day might as well be walking around the world and back.  Americans hate getting out of their cars.  The average American only walks 4,000 to 5,000 steps in a whole day, never uses the stairs if there is an elevator, and never stands if there is a chair they can sit in.  No wonder so many Americans are very overweight and susceptible to cardio-vascular problems.  Most American consume far too many calories in a day too ~ often exactly the wrong sort of calories.

Being fit and healthy means that you can live a much better life for much longer ~ which is why I’ve walked 15,000 steps in the sunshine today, (about 7.5 miles).

As well as being good for my physical health, walking a fair distance in the sunshine is good for my mental health.  The vitamin D the sunshine creates supports the health of my immune system, brain, and wider nervous system.  Vitamin D also helps to suppress various cancers.  Conversely, if you don’t get enough vitamin D your teeth and bones will rot away, especially if you are an older woman.

Walking also helps me to meditate, and just now I have a hell of a lot to think about.  I suppose nobody has a perfect relationship, but recently mine seems to raise a lot of issues at the back of my mind.  On the other hand my partner is very cool.

Some say that that lots of fresh air is overrated.  And that they would rather sit indoors and watch TV.  All I know is that days of slow walking make me feel better and help me to live longer.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I will warrant that this lady gets lots of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise

Knowing Myself

Embrace the journey of getting older.

It’s time that I stopped bemoaning what I have lost, and started to enjoy what I have gained.  It’s time I stopped crying over the fact that my life isn’t perfect.  And it’s time I accepted that sometimes life is difficult and painful.

Since our society equates happiness with youth, we often assume that sorrow, quiet desperation, and hopelessness go hand in hand with getting older.  They don’t.  Emotional pain and numbness are symptoms of living the wrong life, not a long life.  ~  Martha Beck

Getting older is a good thing, I need to open my eyes to the amazing opportunities it affords me.  I can go anywhere and do anything without having to worry about money, time, work, or any of those other responsibilities I had when I was a younger guy.  Instead of thinking about my past I should focus on what I have gained; insight, wisdom, experience, and a myriad of new opportunities for adventure.

I can act young ~ there is no need for me to retreat into doddering senility.  But, I have lived through my youth, and there is no need for me to endlessly repeat the mistakes I made then.  I can be a very mature guy and still have a youthful and joyful outlook on life.

However, I need to accept that some things have changed, and live my life the way it is today, not the way it used to be years and years ago.  For example ~ I have more money than I can sensibly spend in the time I have left to enjoy it.  And, I am never going to bench-press 250 pounds again.

Some say that I live a really great life.  And that if I just let myself enjoy life as it is then things would become even better for me.  All I know is that I have some very good friends who really care about me.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke is always there for me

Truth ~ End of Life

The only certainties in life are death and taxes.  ~  Mark Twain

Everybody lies, and everybody lies the most to themselves.  Because of my 30 years in banking and finance, I have been able to mostly avoid paying taxes through not always telling the whole truth, but death is something nobody can avoid.  However, like a lot of men I’ve been lying to myself about that.  It’s time I faced the truth.

Over the past few weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I need an ‘end-of-life’ plan, so that others are not left to clear up what is left after I shuffle off this mortal coil.  I never wanted to think about these morbid things, yet what I need to do over the next few weeks and months is put in place some very uncomfortable stuff.

  1. Contact a lawyer and write my will.  I more or less know what’s going to be in it.
  2. With the same lawyer write a ‘living will‘.  A living will is an advance decision that says I refuse certain medical treatments, even if that would lead to my death.  I have no wish to spend my final days as a vegetable.
  3. Contact a funeral director to arrange and pay for my cremation ~ which will be a very simple affair.
  4. I have more money than I can sensibly spend between now and when I’m not really interested in having fun any more.  Even though I’m an expert in banking and finance, the money I have, and the property I own should be better managed.  I need to get on with that.
  5. I need a better plan for my own physical and mental health.

I never, ever wanted to think about these morbid schemes.  Planning my own ‘end-of-life’ has been freaking me out.  But, now that I’m determined to get on with it, things don’t seem so bad.

The greatest reward a man can leave at the end of his life is a clean and tidy death.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Cardio Vascular Screening

I went for some cardio-vascular tests today.

Physical activity ~ even if you don’t lose an ounce, you’ll live longer, feel healthier, and be less likely to get cancer, heart disease, stroke, or arthritis.  It’s the closes thing we have to a wonder drug.  ~  Tom Frieden.

This morning I was checked for a potential aortic aneurysm, and I have to admit to being very nervous beforehand.  What if they actually found something?  It was an ultrasound scan, and they covered from my neck to just above my groin.  The cold gell was a bit yucky in places.  But, the good news is that I’m utterly, totally, completely clean and fine.  No nasty crap in my arteries.

If they had found something it would have meant treatment, up to an operation and strong drugs.  It may have also precluded me from overseas travel, and stopped me from driving.

So, the good news just came rolling in, and life is grand again.

The testing doctor even said that I seemed very fit…..  Which re-motivates me to take more physical exercise.  I may even go back to the tai chi and yoga classes.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Inner Distress and Compulsions

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future,
but from wanting to control it.  ~  Khalil Gibran

To a greater or lesser degree we all suffer from what the medical profession call endogenous anxiety / depression ~ which is a complicated way of saying that your therapist / psychiatrist / doctor has no idea why you sometimes feel bad and sometimes go off the rails.

I firmly believe that the underlying cause of all the anxiety, distress, depressions, compulsions, and weaknesses we sometimes suffer from is the direct result of the programming we received before our conscious minds were developed enough to filter out all the bad crap we were subjected to.  Even before you were born, your subconscious mind, body, and spirit was receiving the shitty, negative programs you still live by today.  Remember, your subconscious mind is running things for about 90% of the time.

After conception, right up to the age of around 7, your mind, body, and spirit were being programmed by everything in your environment ~ especially your parents, siblings, other members of your extended family, teachers, TV, & etc. & etc.  And you know what?  It’s all the bad, negative, and defective stuff that really sticks.

The likelihood is that your subconscious mind is full of stuff like; ‘the world is a dangerous place’ ‘people are not to be trusted’ ‘you have to struggle to survive’ and ‘you have to fight to get what you need, want, and desire’.

I also firmly believe that our inner distress is why we may struggle with addictions and compulsions like; booze, casual sex, a bad diet, drugs, health, lack of exercise, money problems, smoking, impulsive behaviours, and all those defects of character we might have, or that others say we have.

How can we fix this?  Not through willpower, self-discipline, nor self-control.  The only way I know to escape the inner distress, anxiety, depression, compulsions, and addictions we honestly accept and admit we suffer from is through a long time, (maybe years), of acting as if these problems and bad feelings did not exist.  Or as they say in 12 Step Groups fake it to make it.

Some say that only the weak do things that they really shouldn’t.  And that anyone can cure their own addictions and defects of character if they just use a little willpower and self-control.  All I know is that every worthwhile person I have ever met has suffered from profound inner distress

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

your subconscious mind can become your own prison

Sunday Prayer

Goddess, if there is a Goddess, please listen to my prayer.

Please help me to cleanse my body, mind, emotions, and spirit of the poisons that have infected and tortured me.

Please help me to cleanse myself of all that is no longer necessary in my life.  Help me towards a new beginning.

Help me to make good decisions, especially concerning what should happen when I am not around.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

In the wilderness, one’s spirit grows closer to your Goddess

Food on Friday ~ Asparagus

Asparagus, when picked, should be no thicker than a darning needle.

Back in the day they must have had some pretty fat darning needles.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am always nervous about cooking asparagus.  For a start one is supposed to have a proper asparagus cooker, which I once had but eventually gave to a thrift store.  I could buy a new one, but who in their right mind will pay $300 for a pot they will only use once in a while?  (I kid you not, I looked on Amazon, and the asparagus cooker I liked was $300.)

OK, this has to be my very favourite recipe idea for asparagus, from in Diane’s Kitchen we have bacon wrapped asparagus ~ and need I say more.

This is a very healthy, tasty, and nutritious lunch idea from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower: roasted asparagus mushroom quiche.  This is easy to make and would be perfect for a weeknight dinner as well as something to take to work for lunch~ to be eaten either hot or cold.  You can also freeze a quiche.

Roasted Asparagus Mushroom Quiche

Now, from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have asparagus one pot pasta.  Next to sheet pan cooking, I love one pot cooking just the best.  This looks a wonderful recipe.

Asparagus One Pot Pasta

From Chungah at Damn delicious we have sheet pan garlic butter tilapia.  This is a 30 minute recipe, and you can substitute any white fish for the tilapia.  Personally I like deep, cold water fish; cod, haddock, halibut…  and I’d add lots of fresh herbs, like basil and parsley.  But, I love the asparagus and tomatoes, and I really like sheet pan cooking.

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Tilapia

From Heather Christo, another great recipe, grilled romaine, red onion, avocado and bacon salad.  Remember to make far too much of this dish, so you’ll have enough leftover to take to work for lunch.

GRROA&BS

Grilled Romaine, Rd Onion, Avocado, And Bacon Salad

This is especially for an American Girl I know, who I am certain doesn’t always eat a good breakfast.  Again, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower we have a perfect summer weekend brunch, roasted garlic asparagus and bacon eggs benedict, with basil avocado cream sauce.  Yeah, the only time my friend will get to eat this is if I make it for her.  (funny thing about asparagus…)

Basil-Avocado-Cream-Sauce-3

Roasted Garlic Asparagus And Bacon Eggs Benedict With Basil And Avocado Cream Sauce

I know how much you like recipe collections, so from Wide Open Eats here are 20 foil packet recipes making dinner a breeze ~ how cool is that?  Anything that makes mid-week dinners easier is a good idea.  Included in this collection is a great recipe for lemon chicken and asparagus from Creme de la Crumb.

Lemon Chicken and Asparagus

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Really?

$300, check it out

 

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