Category Archives: Health

The Reality of Belief

The great task in life is to find reality.

We make most mistakes, we suffer the most, and we do the most harm when our thoughts and beliefs differ from reality.  It’s when we create stories and assumptions in our own mind which are untrue that we begin on a journey of falsehoods.  And, those falsehoods lead to; alcohol abuse, drugs, eating disorders, gambling, heavy smoking, self-harm, casual sex ~ just to find temporary comfort and the illusion that our falsehoods are true.  When our beliefs are untrue we can suffer from anxiety and depression, together with a host of other serious mental illnesses such as;  Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.  The stress of having beliefs which differ from reality causes a raft of physical illnesses, including cardiovascular problems, cancers, diabetes, dementia, and early death.

Yet, there is no such thing as reality.

Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.  ~  Albert Einstein

It seems that in quantum physics and interpersonal relationships there is no such thing as cause and effect ~ no straight line between the past, through the present, and into the future.  Even in very close relationships there are often merely shared perceptions of the world ~ and two people may both share perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs which are untrue.  If alcohol, drugs, or mental illness is added into the mix then we get dangerous situations such as physical, verbal, mental abuse and co-dependency.

If your life is going down the shitter, if you are prey to addictions, if you suffer from a mental illness ~ then the chances are that your thoughts and beliefs have seriously differed from reality.

Einstein and other serious thinkers may tell us that reality is merely an illusion, BUT on a day to day basis we have to live in whatever reality surrounds us.  That means seeing and accepting reality as it is, and not as we wish it to be.  Reality is neutral and impersonal.  Reality has no expectations and no beliefs.  Reality is the true state of things.  There is only one past, present, and future reality ~ it is our own perceptions and beliefs which create an infinity of different versions of the past, the present, and the possible futures.

To find true reality is both very easy and very difficult;

  • be totally honest with yourself and others ~ reality is truth
  • never take things personally ~ reality is impersonal
  • do not make assumptions nor create expectations

Some say that reality is an illusion.  And that we are all just simulations living in a matrix.  All I know is that when my beliefs differed from reality I got myself into some serious trouble.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

to discover your ultimate reality requires a lot of deep thought

 

Mood Swings

When you are drinking, the mood swings can be horrific.

~

I started drinking when I started working in the City of London in 1982.  Back then, high-powered banking was a vicious trade, swimming in booze.  And my drinking got worse when I began my role in International Finance in about 1990.  What do you do at an airport during a four-hour layover?  This has left me with a chronic alcohol problem ~ which might not be so bad if my body could still handle booze.

One strong beer will get me incredibly buzzed, and needing another drink or a dozen.  It doesn’t happen often, but even once more will be one more time too many.

Even that might not be so bad if I was a happy drunk, but I’m not.  If I drink I suffer from terrible mood swings ~ and horrible paranoia, depression, and aggression.  I take what I hear in my own mind far too seriously and personally.  Being who I am, my bad mood comes out only in words, not anything physical.  I suppose that’s one saving grace.

Perhaps the mood swings come even before I take a drink.

I know that I can’t ever touch booze again, and I need to work on that.

With the help of my higher power I may just be successful.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Even one IPA is far too strong for me now.

Veganism and Health

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.  ~  Albert Einstein

modern wheat is as bad for you as any slow poison.

A vegan diet is one that excludes any food that comes from an animal, fish, or whatever.  This includes eggs, dairy, meat, fish, fowl, and even things like snails and honey.  A vegan diet is exclusively plant-based; vegetables, fruit, grains, soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds.  Vegan diets usually usually exclude any canned or processed foods.  Vegan diets are extreme.

There are far more vegan women than men.  In the UK 63% of people who say they are vegan are women.  Anyhow, in the UK veganism is not exactly part of the mainstream dietary culture, there are only some 542,000 self-identified vegans here, which is 1% of the population ~ and I don’t necessarily believe there’s a half-million vegans in Great Britain.  I once dated a vegan, and she cheated all the time.

Dr. Richard Twine, a senior lecturer in social sciences, interviewed a shed-load of vegans and found that 73% were women and only 27% were male.

In America, that world epicentre for weird cults, fads, and fringe movements, only 3% of the population identify as vegan.  Amazing, as more than half of Americans believe that alien abduction, alien visitation, and UFOs are real.  Aliens probably exist.

Proper scientific studies show that true veganism can be very bad for your health, especially if you consume unhealthy plant-based food such as fruit juices, refined grains, wheat, fries, and a lot of fatty, high-calorie stuff like avocado.  The recommended daily serving is just 1/3 of a medium sized avocado.

My vegan diet brought on early menopause.  ~  Virpi Mikkonen

A vegan or vegetarian who consumes no animal products can be just as unhealthy as a slob who dines on nothing but burgers and beer.

Some health problems caused by a vegan diet include; leaky gut, hormone disruption, (including oestrogen and thyroid hormones), anemia, low omega-3 leading to anxiety and depression, lack of vitamin B12, (which can lead to irreversable memory loss and impaired cognitive function), lack of zinc, (which is especially vital for pregnant women), too much carbohydrate, (which leads to fatty liver, diabetes, and obesity), and eating disorders.

Personally, I don’t care so much if someone wants to be vegan or vegetarian, but I do object when they preach to me about my own omnivorous diet.

Some say they don’t eat meat because eating animal products is unethical.  And that being vegan reduces their carbon footprint.  All I know is that I really like a good steak.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

onglet steak, a butcher’s best kept secret.

Drinking and Drinkers

Booze, the cause of, and the answer to, all of life’s problems.

Long Island Iced Tea

Some people believe that the most reliable way to have fun is to drink to excess.  They believe that to go into a bar, or to go to a party, and not drink at least a half-dozen beers or a whole bottle of wine is incomprehensible.  And for some, wine, beer, and spirits are all the same, the key is the alcohol.  All booze is to be consumed until they feel that buzz, feel like they’re having fun, slurring their words, and knock over a glass.

Go into some bars, particularly airport bars, or any bar in the USA, and you will see women sitting at the bar, usually among a group of men, laughing at risque jokes, watching sports TV, their faces shiny from too much booze.  As predatory as any younger man, of which there will be a lot around any woman.  If anyone’s drinking Long Island Iced Tea, then they really want to get shit-faced.

No pub is without its regulars, who all have their regular spot, and usual ‘friends’who will comment if they miss a session or two.

In airports, railway stations, shopping malls, and strange towns, real drinkers will either know where there is a good bar or make it their priority to find one.  Real boozers will think nothing of striking up an intimate conversation with whomsoever they may find sitting at the bar, and possibly proceed to tell them stuff they wouldn’t ever tell their partner or closest friends.  Sometimes they have no idea where they are when they wake up, maybe in the morning.

Older people tend to do their drinking at home, sitting in their favourite chair, maybe watching something asinine on Netflix, steadily knocking back their preferred tipple until they realise they should go to bed, or they make stupid ‘phone calls, or post sexual stuff online, or just fall asleep / pass out in their chair.

You can always tell a boozer.  They will be overweight with a lot of unsightly belly-fat, they will turn up at work late in the clothes they wore yesterday, their hands may shake in the mornings, probably they are smokers / gamblers / sexually promiscuous, their trash will always be full of empty bottles, and their car will often be found outside their regular pub / bar.

Some women say that they like beer, bikers, and rock music.  And that there’s nothing in their past that they regret.  All I know is that it’s best to avoid that sort of female.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

A real English pub,

where you will never find a nice girl sitting at the bar.

 

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

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