Tag Archives: Cancer

Being Overweight

It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat.

These past few weeks, I have been lacking a little in energy and bounce, and I decided that one reason for my lack of ‘get-up-and-go’ was that I’ve been putting on weight.  So, I decided to look into what being overweight really was, and if I was actually overweight, what it was doing to me.  Quite frankly, I was horrified at what I discovered.

I hate overweight, because it implies there is a weight standard I should be adhering to.  ~  Camryn Manheim.

You know what?  There is a weight standard, and we should all be adhering to it.

There are lots of health and fitness problems attached to being overweight ~ and the older you get the worse the health problems of being overweight become.

To begin with, are you overweight?  How does one know the difference between a little curvier and softer than we used to be, and truly overweight?  What is the difference between being overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.  Well, the chances are you’re overweight or obese ~ in the UK 68% of men and 58% of women are overweight or obese.  In the USA more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.

One easy way to tell if we’re overweight is to forget the scales and just grab a tape-measure.  Measure you height, and your waist at your belly button, (without sucking in your gut).  Your waist should not be more than half your height.  If your waist measurement is more than half your height you’re overweight with the worst kind of fat ~ visceral fat, (which will kill you).  More scientifically you can calculate your Body Mass Index, (BMI), but that won’t tell you as much about visceral fat as will a tape-measure.

There’s also a cut-off point to assess the overall risks to health just by waist measurement.  In men it’s 40 inches, and in women it’s 35 inches.  So if your waist is bigger than that, you’re officially overweight / obese and in danger of suffering serious health and fitness problems.  Having love handles is another bad sign, presaging heart and liver disease in your future.

Medically defined, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9,  overweight is having a BMI of more than 25, obese is having a BMI of more than 30, while morbidly obese is having a BMI of more than 40, (or 35 if you also have something like diabetes or high blood pressure).  There are plenty of online BMI calculators.

There are a myriad of downsides to being overweight, and even more downsides to being obese.  Some of these are;

We know a great deal more about the causes of physical disease than we do about the causes of physical health.  ~  M. Scott Peck.

The above are the worst of the medical problems.  But look at it another way ~ just how fit are you?  Can you walk up three flights of stairs without getting out of breath?  Can you run for a bus?  Can you walk five miles without collapsing?  Can you easily find clothes that fit, or do you have to buy plus size?  Can you still play sports, or are you limited to gentler activities?  What’s your performance in bed like?  The chances are if you’re overweight, then you’re not happy with your honest answers to any of those questions, because you know you’re not as fit as you would like to be.  Maybe you should take an online test?

It turns out my BMI today, as I write this, is 25.7.  However, according to another set of criteria I’m quite fit ~ much fitter than my chronological age, by 25 years or so.  But do you know what?  I’m going to lose some weight, starting right now.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I can do that yoga position, but I don’t look as good as that.

 

Make Your Own Death ~ Smoke

Smoking-Cigarette-holderA friend is concerned about the damage she may have suffered from passive smoking.  So;

Cigarette smoke has long been established as the single most important cause of preventable disease and death in the world.  The reduction in life expectancy for the average smoker is eight years.  Across the world smoking cigarettes kills six million people a year, (every year 480,000 smoking related deaths in the USA alone) ~ every ten seconds somebody dies from smoking cigarettes.

Half of all smokers will eventually die from it, often from cancer.  Of that half, half will die in middle age, losing around 25 years off their life.  All smoking related deaths are messy, drawn-out and agonising to suffer and to watch.

Cigarette smoke is the cause of 90% of all lung cancers and chronic lung diseases.  And you know what?  Passive smoking also kills.  You are quite likely to get lung cancer or lung disease just by being in the same room as a smoker.  Worldwide at least 600,000 non smokers, (who are passively smoking), die from smoking related disease every year, and 28% of those are children.  There is no safe level of second-hand tobacco smoke.  If someone is ill-mannered enough to smoke near you, get up and leave.  Only sluts and bastards very impolite people smoke near non-smokers.

As well as directly causing chronic lung diseases like emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (COPD).  Cigarette smoke also causes strokes, a stack of heart related diseases, and cancers of just about every part of the body; mouth, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, urinary tract, and bladder.

dink+smokeWomen suffer disproportionately badly from smoking related illnesses.  For example there is a higher incidence of osteoporosis, (thinning of the bones), in female smokers.  Smoking reduces female fertility and maims seriously damages unborn children in the womb.  Female smokers also look decrepit age well before their time, have greater risk of breast cancer, and cancer of the cervix.  Women who smoke heavily are often alcoholics also tend to drink far too much booze for their own good.  The Baylor College of Medicine found that people crave alcohol when they are smoking, and nicotine when they are drinking.  Both nicotine and alcohol are far more dangerous for women than they are for men.

There are about 2,700 nasty and dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke, including; ammonia, cyanhydric acid, acetone, toluene, methane, naphthalene, carbon monoxide, phenol, DDT, Toluidine, Urethane, Pyrene, Polonium-210, cadmium, vinyl chloride, benzopyrene and nicotine.  Some of this stuff is deadly even in small concentrations, and most of it is carcinogenic.

Respectable scientists have proven that smoking reduces the IQ of smokers ~ smoking cigarettes makes you stupid as well as old.  And, if you smoke pot you may as well kiss your brain goodbye.

A regular smoker probably has no idea just how utterly disgusting non-smokers find your habit.  Smokers stink, their clothes stink, their breath stinks, even their sweat stinks.  In my whole life I have only dated one woman who smoked, and thankfully for both of us she eventually quit her filthy habit.

Breakfast at Tiffany'sI would never, ever, date another woman who smokes, no matter how attractive she was otherwise.  Personally, and luckily, I have never smoked anything, even though both my parents were smokers ~ thank you for that mother.  My only very nasty, and very deadly vice has been booze, and I’ve quit drinking.

It is never too late to stop smoking ~ if you stop before middle age you will likely avoid most of the cancers, although if you continue smoking after middle age, and then stop, you will probably still die from your history of smoking.   There is plenty of help out there for those addicted to smoking, but who want to quit.  Probably the first step is to see your doctor.  Or, like many old-looking, penniless, coughing, ill, sad, and stinking people, you could just decide to stay alive and stop smoking, all on your own.

If you smoke, do yourself a favour, give it up for Lent, (if you smoke and drink, try giving up the booze too).

~

drunk girljackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

We Admitted Our Lives Were Unmanageable

WE ADMITTED WE WERE POWERLESS ~

THAT OUR LIVES HAD BECOME UNMANAGEABLE

In 12 step recovery programmes this is Step 1.  In Alcoholics Anonymous the full text reads;

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable. ~ The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

This is very specific and it is directly aimed at those among us who have a desire to stop drinking.  However, the shorter text I have given in the heading applies to a large proportion of the people on this planet.  Everything seems to be out of control, we don’t know where to turn, nothing seems to help, ‘I can’t go on like this…’  If we go to our doctor he will most likely diagnose Anxiety and Depression, and dispense something like Prozac.

Many of us will find that the drugs dispensed by our doctor don’t seem to help much.  Some of us will spiral downward into severe depression, and if we were not heavy drinkers before all this happened, we may well turn to the bottle, or street drugs, unsafe casual sex, overeating, or just staring at the wall…

The sad thing is that our doctors are doing their best to help us ~ as it turns out doctors can’t much help to cure this sort of problem.  To begin with, the underlying cause of our problems is probably still there.  Problems at work, or money problems, marital or partnership issues, child care ~ the list of people, places and situations making people’s lives miserable is almost endless.  And, anxiety and depression can lead to far worse than taking a few too many drinks of an evening ~ violence, mayhem, suicide, murder are among the really bad possibilities.

The reason I don’t Kill Myself is because I know I can. ~ Stanley Victor Paskavich.

Stanley Victor Paskavich ~ Genius by birth, bipolar, disabled Gulf War veteran, poet.

The other sad thing is that sometimes it’s impossible to remove the proximate cause of our troubles ~ we need that job, they are my children, she is my wife.  It’s another Catch-22 situation, the job is killing me but I need the job to live.

The first step on the road to recovery is admitting we have a problem.  This is where recovery begins to fail.  Many of us are unwilling to admit that we have a problem.  Some of us will go to an early grave because of liver failure, cardiovascular disease, malnutrition, pancreatitis, cancer, damage to the central nervous system, or an accident while drunk, still saying that I don’t have a drink problem.  Some of us will stay in an abusive relationship because she loves me really.  Some will say that cocaine isn’t addictive, or that the job isn’t so bad, really.

Hungover-Denzel-Washington

Denzel Washington playing a very hungover airline pilot in Flight

Some of us, (myself included), may be, or may have been, a High Functioning Alcoholic.  Part of the insanity of alcoholism is that it will allow some people to go on working at the highest level, even while they are a complete lush.  This is denial writ large.  Denial is one of the main signs and symptoms of addiction, and denial can take many insidious forms.

And in my mind, this settles the issue.  I would never drink cologne, and am therefore not an alcoholic.  Augusten Burroughs.

Augusten Burroughs is the bestselling author of Dry and Running with Scissors.

The first step on the road to recovery from any serious problem is that illusions must be smashed, broken into bits.  Sometimes this means we have to reach Rock Bottom, meaning that we have sunk as low, lower, than we could have ever believed possible.  Trust me, however low one has sunk to reach what we think is rock bottom, if we don’t change our ways there is another rock bottom below the one we are on, and another filthier, dirtier, rock bottom below that.

I will not go into some of the horror stories I have heard from others, or what happened to me.  I will tell you that if you imagine the worst possible thing you can think of happening to you, then rock bottom is infinitely worse in ways that you will not believe when they are shared with you.

Eventually, if one doesn’t die first, we will be prepared to admit that we have a problem, that we are powerless, that our lives are unmanageable.  This is where another set of serious problems beset us.  We say the words, but we don’t believe them.  We say the words and we use self deception to ensure that we don’t really believe them.  We say the words and believe them in our head, but we don’t believe them in the depths of our soul and spirit.  This is where we need to begin to discover our road to spirituality.

Spirituality requires an acceptance of reality, a dedication to absolute truth, a real determination to find one’s own path to psychological transformation and spiritual growth.  Spirituality is not religion, spirituality requires no God, although some of us find the concept of a ‘higher power’ both useful and comforting.  Spirituality requires that we believe in the power to change ourselves from within.

If we admit that we are powerless ~ that our lives are unmanageable, we need to believe that with the same certainty that we believe in Gravity.  We need to believe that our lives are out of control with the same conviction we hold in the fact that night follows day, and that the sun always rises in the east.  (Anyone having a smart thought about when the sun doesn’t actually rise in the east needs to learn the meaning of humility.)

The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity, but the achievement of serenity and spirituality within and above it. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr ~ theologian, ethicist, public intellectual, professor at Union Theological Seminary.

If we are capable, this is when we need to begin some of the simple routines which will help us on the road to spirituality and serenity.  The easiest and most practical of these is to go for a longish walk, every single day, rain or shine.  By longish I mean for an hour or more ~ distance doesn’t matter, and if you are not feeling so well, then don’t try and walk too quickly.

The next thing to do is to try and eat some decent food.

There are some other suggestions in this JackCollier7.com blog which you should find helpful.

Eat More Almonds To Lose Surplus Fat

LIVE LONGER, LOOK BETTER, HAVE BETTER SEX, EAT MORE ALMONDS

squirrel-eating-a-nutYet another series of studies has come up with the shocking news that eating nuts is insanely good for your body.  This time the American Society of Nutrition Scientific Session said in San Diego that a daily handful of almonds will help stave off innumerable nasty diseases.  It would appear that almonds are full of vitamin E, which protects against Alzheimer’s Disease and the bad effects of Ultra-Violet light.  They do get an awful lot of sunshine in California.  Eating some almonds seems a small price to pay to stave off abnormal moles and cancerous melanoma.   Possibly because they like sunbathing and walking around with bare suntanned legs and arms, women get a disproportionate amount of fatal skin cancers on their shapely limbs.

Naturally, there has to be more benefits from eating almonds other than not being one of the 48,000 people a year who die of melanoma-related skin cancer.  Luckily there are.  Almonds are high in protein, suppress the appetite, help beat stomach flab and stave off heart diseases.  Also, eating almonds reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood, which helps to prevent type 2 diabetes.

ObesityAll nuts are also full of trace amounts of good stuff such as manganese, which helps prevent osteoporosis, again more common in women than in men.  Manganese also helps the body to regulate blood sugar, and trust me, you do not want to ever get type 2 diabetes.  Almonds also contain magnesium, and this mineral is essential for the proper operation of your nervous system, muscles, regulating blood pressure, and once again helping to control blood glucose.

As is usual with things from plants, the skin is the best part, so don’t buy blanched almonds.  Get them brown and crunchy ~ lightly salted if you must.  The almond skin has flavonoids, (secondary metabolites), which are antioxidants, (and free oxygen radicals are bad for you), and these flavonoids also enhance the effectiveness of the vitamin E in the nuts.

girl-japanese-sexy-softballIt seems that these pretty little nuts, (what man doesn’t love girls with almond eyes?), increase our intake of good nutrients, improve the overall quality of the diet, and somehow make people feel better, physiologically speaking.  There is also evidence to show that snacking on almonds / other nuts, help to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol.  Some say that all nuts are jam-packed with calories, and will therefore make you fat.  The answers to that are; yes nuts are packed with calories, but no they won’t make you fat.  The human digestive system is appallingly bad at breaking down hard plant material, so most of the calories in nuts pass straight through the GI tract.  Don’t believe me, eat a lot of nuts and then examine your next day’s stool.

Because they don’t digest well, nuts make you feel full, which reduces your appetite, so almonds are good for adding into a healthier diet and moderate exercise.

organic-almondsDr Penny Kris-Etherton of Penn State University has studied the effects of adults snacking on a handful of almonds a day, as opposed to ‘calorie matched’ high carbohydrate snacks.  Although the total body weight of the two groups stayed about the same, those snacking on almonds has flatter stomachs, less abdominal fat, and a narrower waist than those who grossed out on biscuits and crisps, (cookies and chips)  So eating almonds helps to decrease abdominal fat, and that reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome ~ the technical / medical term for a mixture of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and coronary  heart diseases.  Seemingly all this almond stuff is generally good for your blood vessels, but I have no idea if almonds help stave of varicose veins.

Especially if you are fat, a woman, and pregnant, you should be snacking on almonds, (and / or other nuts).  Some fairly respectable doctors and scientists think that snacking on almonds helps promote a healthier weight gain during pregnancy.

ALMOND-TREEThe best almonds are fresh, which means buying them in mid / late summer.  But as long as they still have the brown skin on them the seeds of the almond tree, (cousin to the cherry, peach, and apricot), are full of good stuff.  Almond oil can go rancid, so if you’re keeping them a long time, store your almonds in an airtight container.

A small handful of almonds has about 150 calories, (which you can’t properly digest), and contains about 1/8 of your daily fibre requirements, 1/4 of the copper your body needs, 1/5 of your daily vitamin B2, half of the vitamin E and biotins, (vitamin B7 & H),  you need a day, and some 1/6 of your phosphorous, magnesium and molybdenum.  Do not buy Californian almonds if you can avoid it.  The Almond Board of California has decreed that all Californian almonds must be pasteurized, irradiated, or otherwise rendered totally dead, and these processes destroy a lot of the good stuff in the little nuts.

Allegedly there are nine major health benefits to be gained from eating almonds;

  1. Reduced risk of having a heart attack.
  2. Lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  3. Protects the blood systems.
  4. Builds strong bones and teeth.
  5. Almonds aid in weight loss by providing healthy fats and fibre.
  6. Lowers the blood sugar and insulin after meals.
  7. Boost brain activity and helps stave of Alzheimer’s disease.
  8. Nourishes and nurtures the nervous system.
  9. They alkalize the body, which helps prevent osteoporosis.

edwina-currie-eggThe more cynical among us may believe that the health benefits of eating almonds is a little overstated by Californian medical and scientific professionals, given that the USA is the world’s largest producer of almonds and a lot of those are grown in California.  As I said before, if you can get almonds that haven’t been totally killed-off, these should be better for you than the Californian grown nuts.  (You can get things like salmonella from fresh almonds, but you can also get salmonella from chicken, eggs and alfalfa sprouts.)

Bitter wild almonds are to be avoided at all costs.  In fact anything from the various trees of the species Prunus, should be left well alone unless you know exactly what you’re doing.  Bitter almonds and the seeds of plums and cherries contain cyanide, which will kill you.  What you need are sweet almonds, and if you soak them in vodka for a while you get a very acceptable drink.

The bottom line is;  Almost all nuts are incredibly good for you in moderation.  If you can, buy the fresh product as opposed to ‘dead’ nuts.

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