Sunday, December 28, 2008

Human fat as fuel? Right or Wrong?

My sister sent me a link to this article about a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who is currently being investigated for turning human fat (medical waste from 7,000 liposuction procedures he performed) into bio-fuel. Yes, bio-fuel. Supposedly he fueled his Ford Explorer with it and his fiance's car. His clinic has been shut down, as has his internet site "lipodiesel.com." Apparently there is a law on the books in the United States which says that you cannot turn human medical waste into fuel. WOW. Who would have ever thought such a law would be necessary? And is that particular use of human fat a bad thing?

I can understand us never wanting to see life become like Logan's Run where the citizens thought they were eating fish, plankton and protein from the sea but really ended up eating the people who were killed off when their time clocks ran out:

Or Soylent Green where those little green wafers that everyone subsisted on were actually made from people:

Now if someone donates their excess fat to be turned into bio-fuel - what is the wrong in that? Fat *is* meant to provide energy. On your thighs or in your car, where would you rather have it? (Tongue firmly in cheek). As it is human "medical waste" gets appropriated to other uses whether we make that decision ourselves or not. For instance, when you have a baby many hospitals take the umbilical cord and sell it. They don't ask the mother and they certainly don't deduct the profit they receive from her bill. I remember when my daughter, Rhianna, was born - I was laying there during my C-section listening to the doctor and nurses have an interesting conversation about how long, thick and healthy her cord was and it would be "worth a lot." No one asked me!

Some women have to fight to keep their placenta - whether they want it to plant in their yard or to eat (some cultures believe this strengthens the mother). That should be the decision of the mother. It is a product of her body and I don't think anyone has any business making a law about it.

In Canada human aborted fetuses are used for the development of vaccinations. Now THAT is unethical. It is disgusting and horrible - and yet it happens. It is a wonder to me that a law can be on the books preventing excess human fat from being used to propel vehicles or warm houses, but the cells, lungs and other body parts of murdered babies can be used in research and development. Go figure. :(

I read an article the other day about people involved in the "Voluntary Simplicity" movement who felt strongly about using humanure to fertilize their gardens. They received some resistance from those who found it distasteful, but seriously - what is so different about using that as opposed to chicken manure?

So back to Dr. Craig Bittner, the doctor who was "recycling" human fat to run his automobiles... The Auto Blog says:
"We’re all for recycling, alternative fuels, and that general green kind of thing — but we draw the line at human waist waste, which is why we wonder whether he really did it. In other words, we’re flabbergasted by his outrageous story."
I wonder if they're as shocked by tissue from murdered human babies (we call them aborted fetuses to take some of the shock value off, I think) being used to develop vaccinations and beauty treatments?

What sort of twisted society do we live in, anyhow?

A horrifying piece by Dr. Olga Fairfax, PhD: 101 Uses for a Dead (or Live) Baby. She researched what happens to the bodies of aborted babies and has documentation to back it up. Her organization will supply that documentation upon request.

People donate their bodies "to science" and instead of being used for med students to practice upon, their bodies can wind up plasticized and on circus-like display --- or wind up being used as a crash test dummy.

~o~

Before this stuff weighed heavily on my brain, I did have a very nice Sunday. An excellent Sunday school class, a challenging sermon, leftover turkey-spinach baked zita (gluten-free with homemade tomato sauce that had none of Rhianna's allergens in it), a long, long nap. The beautiful little Layla to cuddle. Movies on the sofa with dh. (We watched "Thunderheart" which is an old favorite of ours). Today was a rest day, but I did catch up blogging my workouts on my sweat blog.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Five - Gym Mistakes

Today's Friday Five is devoted solely to mistakes that people make at the gym - most of which I saw this morning. There is a group of three women that have been coming for a few months. They never improve even though losing weight and "getting in shape" are their professed goals.

1. Not working hard enough. Effort is required. If you lolly-gag from one machine to the next, you are wasting time. If you are counting lolly-gagging time as part of your workout and telling people, "I work out for an hour a day and I get no results!" well then you are deceiving yourself and others.

If you are a young, healthy (although perhaps overweight) adult, there isn't a reason that you should still be having the treadmill on 0% incline and 3.0 mph after several months. 3.0 mph isn't even a brisk walk. It's a stroll. It's a 20 min. mile. Chances are if you aren't breaking a sweat, then guess what? You're not exerting any effort. Don't expect success without effort.

2. Using itty bitty light weights. If it feels too easy, then it IS too easy. 15 reps with a 3 lb dumbbell isn't going to firm up your triceps or biceps. If you are using the thigh machine and it's banging and clanging together because the weight is so light that your thighs are flinging the parts around like you're tossing pancakes, USE MORE WEIGHT.

Using momentum can fit here, too, sort of as a sub-category. I see people using momentum to even lift teensy weensy weights. Lift slower (not that you have to lift at snail's pace) and make sure it is your muscle moving the weight, not just the momentum you've created by swinging it around quickly. (Exception: Many kettlebell exercises are designed with momentum in mind. Know which exercises use momentum and which exercises don't. Hint: Those thigh machines DON'T require momentum).

3. POOR FORM. It doesn't just look funny, it can hurt you. For instance, when doing a front raise, don't lift your arms higher than shoulder level.

When doing squats and lunges, knees should never go over the toes. While you are performing the exercise, look down occasionally and make sure you can still see the tip of your toes. Pressing your heel firmly into the floor can help with this - and also help you maintain balance.

Poor form can happen on cardio equipment, too. Don't lean or slouch over a machine. Stand up tall. Don't hold on too tightly. And really, it's not the place to catch up on your reading. If you can focus on a book or magazine, chances are pretty darn good that you're not exerting the amount of effort that you should be in order to attain your goals.

4. Neglecting body parts. Yes, doing back extensions is boring but you need to make sure all of the muscles are getting a balanced workout. You can do this in a split routine and not have to hit the same muscles in a given workout...but make sure you do even the things you hate doing on a regular basis. Don't pick a part of your body that you think you need to work on and focus on that alone. If you develop strong quadriceps, unless you balance out those hamstrings and glutes to match them, you will wind up with knee injuries.

5. Poor gym etiquette. Wipe down ALL equipment when you're done using it. This means wiping down dumbbells, barbells, mats, benches, medicine balls, bands, cable machine attachments, weight machines, cardio equipment, etc, etc, etc. No one wants your germs and you shouldn't want anyone else's. It is wise to wipe things down before you use them, as well, just in case some clod didn't do it before you.

Don't change the radio station unless you make sure that no one else is listening to that. Don't put it on screamo music unless you've gotten the "okay" from other patrons.

~o~

Bonus peeves: I really hate when people say "I ran on the treadmill for 'X' minutes" - when the truth of the matter is they walked, and even that usually at turtle speed. Running is running; walking is walking. One is high impact, the other low.

I also freak a bit (inside, of course) when people talking about 5ks and 10ks and call them marathons. A marathon is 26.2 miles. Period. Anything else has another name.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mixed Wednesday Ramble


Poor, Poor Pitiful Me - Terri ClarkPoor, Poor Pitiful Me (2007 Remastered Live LP Version) - Warren Zevon

I needed some Warren Zevon this morning, but I also like Terri Clark's version of this song. I heard Werewolves of London this morning and can't get it out of my head. Since I already put that up a while back, I didn't want to be redundant. However, I am sitting here singing, "I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen, doing the werewolves of London again..."

~o~

In the interest of not limiting myself to one topic (insert big grin here), guess what I made for dinner last night?

Bison meatballs (ground buffalo, sweet potato, green onions, flaxseed & one egg white)
Brown rice pasta with peas and a white sauce (fat free sour cream, butter, garlic, black pepper, sea salt)

It was GOOD.

~o~

Dunkin' Donuts Coffee, I am soooooooooo over you! Not only do your employees keep giving me caffeine and aspartame when I specifically say "decaf" and "sweet n' low" or "sugar", but I've found better coffee.

SHEETZ. My sister told me that they had a "made to order" coffee bar and that it was way better than Dunkin'. After the last screw up kept me from sleeping well (and I love my sleep), I was ready to try. Rhianna and I stoppedat a nearby Sheetz after her skating lesson on Monday. WONDERFUL. Jenna and I went to a different Sheetz after Layla's appointment yesterday. PERFECT. I called Pat and told him to bring me a decaf skim milk latte home when he passed yet another Sheetz last night. SUPERB. Yep, I don't think I'll be darkening Dunkin's drive through anymore. :D

You can also order smoothies with a shot of protein and meal-replacement shakes. They use whey protein shots. I was very happy. The employee handed me the bottle and let me read it.

~o~

This morning as I was putting on moisturizer, I was thinking about words of advice and wisdom my mother had given me. I was thinking of this because last night I was making Erin take her selenium and chewable vitamin and she was dragging it out, turning it into a torture session. I said, "Buck up! Get it over with, NOW! Don't prolong the agony!" And I realized that is something I say ALL THE TIME whenever someone has to do something unpleasant. (I've been told that I can say this with a very mean and stern voice, making Erin want to cry). The kids also informed me that I always say, "Just do it because it is GOOD FOR YOU." I've been also known to say, "Life is full of things you don't like. Tough. Get used to it."

I'm sure I repeat things to them that my mother told me. Here are some of her gems which I know I have passed on:

Always make sure you are wearing nice underwear in case you are in an accident. (Think they don't care? My friend, Jim, is an EMT and they *do* notice underwear, maybe not in the thick of the emergency, but at some point it registers).

Moisturize. You're never too young to moisturize.

Never sleep with make up on. Always wash your face well with Noxzema before bed. It's just as good as expensive cleansers. (I totally agree).

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Don't ever let anyone feel left out. If you see someone alone, include them. Period. It doesn't matter if you want to hang out with your friends or your friends don't like them.

Rapists should be castrated and have their parts jammed down their throats so they choke to death on them.

Never wear a black bra with a light colored shirt or a white bra under a black shirt.

Corn is *not* a vegetable it is a starch. A proper meal has a main dish (protein), a starch and a vegetable.

Don't go outside with a snack unless you have enough to share with everyone.

One of Mom's which I don't use: Men think with their zipper. I always hated this one because I don't like limited or boxing anyone into some stereotypical existence.

~o~

I think I might be done walking to the gym for the winter. The icy sidewalks have become treacherous. I like my head to be in the clouds, thinking away about "stuff" but I've been forced to watch my steps very carefully. On the way home there was a bitter wind that was freezing my forehead. Thanks to the glassy texture of the terrain, it took me far longer to get there and back than my usual brisk 6 minute walk. There is no "brisk" when you're in danger of wiping out.

I've got to go blog my workout at my: Sweat Report

Tuesday Ten - vaccinations & health care

1. We took Layla to her 2 mos check up today. She is 9 lbs 12 1/2 oz. and 22 inches long.

2. Those idiots have a list of five shots and one oral vaccination that they want to give babies at that appointment. Are they insane? Obviously medical professionals are often in the back pocket of the drug companies. Combining too many vaccinations over too short a period of time can compromise the child's immune system. (A recent court case was won regarding a child who became autistic due to the vaccines).

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a prominent neurosurgeon in the United States is one of the first to warn against the dangers of too many vaccines given simultaneously. He says, “Vaccine complications increase dramatically when given close together. To give the immune system time to settle down, vaccines should be separated by six months in children and perhaps longer in adults.” He continues, “The number of vaccinations that can be given safely in a lifetime is not unlimited. Many of these vaccinations need to be abandoned.”

Autoimmune diseases, asthma and chronic allergies are rising at alarming rates with the increase of the number of childhood vaccinations given. Put two and two together: it's not about the children's health, it's about the money trail.


This is the two month old list: DTP, Polio, HiB, HepB, Pneomoccal, and Rotavirus. Layla's mommy only agreed to the DTP & Polio. The doctor wasn't pushy about it, but he did ask why. He actually has not heard of the horrible reports about the Rotavirus vaccination. We did a little bit of talking about how Merck was using that vaccination and Gardasil to refill their pockets after the lawsuits against them for Fosamax and Vioxx. A good website to check out: NVIC - Vaccination Decisions.

Pushing the rotavirus vaccination is ridiculous in Western civilization where infant diarhhea is readily treated with rehydration therapy and the virus dos not cause widespread death. The vaccine's efficacy is only between 41 - 91%. There is a good chance that you will give your child the vaccination only to have it have little positive effect.

In 1998
Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC co-founder and president, said, "Yesterday’s announcement concerning rotavirus vaccine and bowel obstruction is a sobering reminder of the need to apply very high standards to licensing new vaccines and making policy for mass vaccination of our children. It also highlights the importance of paying close attention to data coming out of The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). The data from VAERS shows persistent reports of vomiting and diarrhea following receipt of rotavirus vaccine and there has been at least one death reported in a premature infant who received rotavirus in combination with other vaccines.

What is the biological mechanism at work to induce the bowel to fold in on itself? Could it be associated with the fact that this vaccine is introducing a newly created monkey-human hybrid live virus into young infants or that there is a negative effect when the vaccine is given in combination with other vaccines to infants with immature immune systems? And what is the justification for universal vaccination for a common infection which most children get and recover from in the US without permanent injury or death?"


3. Don't get me started on the Hep B vaccination. It's not highly contagious. It's not common in childhood. It's low in the US and it's not a killer disease for the most part. The efficacy has been questioned as well - 30 - 50% of the people who develop adequate antibodies after the 3rd dose will lose detectable antibody within 7 years.


4. Shall I mention HiB? Look it up. Too few studies have ever been done on the vaccination to say whether it is carcinogenic, whether it may cause infertility or not. It's efficacy rate isn't great either. In a 1995 study of HiB cases, 41 - 55% of the cases were immunized individuals.


5. People just don't think. They say, "Oh my doctor said we need this shot" or "I read in a pamphlet at the doctor's office that these were the required immunizations at this age." (Yeah, and those are supplied by the pharmaceutical company). And then they just do it.


It's mindless. Mind-numbingly mindless. Why would you inject a potential pathogen into your innocent little child without doing your homework??? Why would you not make certain that there is actually a darned good reason for doing it? Why would you not weigh the potential risks against the potential (or often overrated) benefits?

6. Why do people do anything just because they were told to?

7. It also bugs me when people just take any old pill their doctor prescribes without asking a lot of questions first. Why am I receiving this medication? What led you to prescribe it for me? What will it do in my body (i.e. how does it actually work)? What side effects might there be? Are there alternatives, i.e. lifestyle changes, which would provide similar positive results? How can I proactively work to improve my health?


8. Generally it's because A) people are lazy and B) people like to pass the buck and assume that doctors are god-like. Let the gods make the decisions.

A) Laziness - people just don't like to have to DO anything. Popping a pill seems easy, complaining about the side effects is even easier still because people love, LOVE to complain. We have a society that despises the thought of personal effort.

B) Guess what? Doctors are human. Doctors can be "bought" by pharmaceutical gifts and perks. Doctors don't all read up on everything. I can't even count how many doctors I have met who knew NOTHING about the new TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) guidelines issued by the AACE in 2003. Nor did they know that the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (governing body over all labs in the US) suggested those guidelines be tightened even further. Nope, these doctors were still looking at lab results and under-diagnosing and under treating patients.

9. Recent situation related to the humanity of doctors and the ease in which they are able to overlook things and treat a symptom or two, but not look at the "whole": My poor niece was recently diagnosed with Graves' Disease. Apparently, she has been sick for a long, long time. (I've been saying for years and years that she needed her thyroid checked, but alas, no one was listening to me). The endocrinologist who saw her was quite stunned by the size of her goiter and the fact that no one had noticed and checked her sooner. She had a whole bunch of symptoms that practically sang and danced "Graves' Disease." Instead, guess what? She was being treated for Bipolar. All that racing heart, excess energy, the mood swings...she was given a big honking dose of Seroquel. Bigger and bigger because it wasn't taking care of the situation. Well, now that she's being treated for Graves', she won't need it. But did anyone tell her clearly that you can't go off of that cold turkey...it can kill you? NO. She's in the hospital right now and thank God she didn't die.

I don't want to dis all doctors here. It's just that these men/women are regular people to. They breath, they eat, they have stress, romance, hunger pangs, headaches, lousy relationships, etc, etc... in short, distractions. They have differing personalities. Some are go-getters, some are laid-back. Some are just like the other lazy people who come to see them and choose the easiest and most convenient treatment.

10. All I can say is "Don't be stupid. Be aggressive about your health." It's your health, your body. Take care of it. Ask questions. Don't be a fool and blindly accept any old direction the media, the drug companies or a doctor tells you. Make certain it is the BEST you can do for yourself.

And if you are the caretaker of another human being - your child, your aged parent - then exercise all caution and all earnestness in any health decisions you make for them. Take that responsibility very seriously.

~o~

I've got to get in some cardio and some yoga today. I slept in which felt wonderful. I guess right now I should be eating lunch and thinking about exercising after I have some fuel to run on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's on my mind this Monday morning...

Spit. Researchers at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam have concluded that human saliva made into a solution of 30% saliva (to what else, I don't know) helps heal wounds 50% faster. Researcher Menno Oudhoff says that saliva protein may trigger healthy skin to cover damaged areas. They want to develop a medical cream that harnesses these benefits.

My first thought was to remember how hard it was to fill one stinking vile of spit for my saliva test earlier this year. It's going to have to be a high paying job, this spitting for medical cream production. It's frustrating as heck.

Second thought: Whose spit? Would you buy cream with someone else's spit in it? What about the spread of diseases? Would the sterilization of the spit knock out the wound-healing properties?

I think that if I really, REALLY want spit to help speed my wound healing, I'll spit on my own boo-boos, thank you.

~o~

I was cold and having a hard time getting warm, so Pat sent one of the girls upstairs to get his special "when he's sick" sweater for me to wear. It comes down to my knees and I have to roll the sleeves up. It was wonderful. I ended up sleeping in it.

I returned the gesture of thoughtfulness by smearing special heel-crack healing foot balm all over his hands while he was napping. His hands are chapping and cracking badly - probably from fixing our son-in-laws car in the freezing weather - and if this stuff is magical for heels, it should be magical for hands, too. Since he hates to touch slimy stuff himself, I massaged it in while he was asleep. I also put it on him before he left for work this morning. He was like, "Oh, yuk, this stuff is so tacky feeling!" Perhaps I should have spit on his hands and rubbed that in? LOL.

~o~

Icicles are falling and the sound is pretty startling.

~o~

I got stuck in a sports bra dressing in the dark again. This time I put my head and my right arm through one armhole. It was not fun to get out of.

I then went to the bathroom to put on my contact lenses. I put BOTH in one eye.

~o~

Today's workout (and a fine workout it was) is at: Sweat Report

Sunday, November 16, 2008

If money were no object...

I had to answer this question when it was put to me by the Avon District Sales Manager during our meeting the other day. She guides you through a cheesy "Say Hello to a New Tomorrow" packet and this is on page 15. She waits and expects you to check off boxes and then dream aloud.

Some boxes to check:

Buy my own home
Financial independence
Send my children to college
Travel abroad
Swim with the dolphins
Go back to school
Make new friends
Buy a red sports car
Learn to ski
Be recognized by others
Retire early
Show my kids the world

I sat there, stumped. I couldn't imagine that I *really* had to go through this. Yet, there was Lisa, the DSM, saying, "Go ahead. Start checking boxes...and tell me about it."

We already own our home. I checked off "Send my kids to college" and "Financial independence" then put my pen down. She looked at me with that "You're not done already" look so I checked off "Make new friends," but seriously...do you make "friends" by selling stuff to them?

Lisa looked at me quizzically and said, "What else? Surely there is more!"

Rhianna was with me because she had to be dropped off for her youth event and this woman had called me for a spur of the moment sort of meeting. I looked at Rhianna with a "Help me out here" plea.

Rhianna: "Well you wouldn't travel abroad but you do want to go to those waterfalls that go backwards.

Me: "Oh, the Reversing Falls of St. John! I also want to go to Lake Okanagan, British Columbia." I checked off "Travel abroad" but then qualified it with, "In continental North America." Flying and big ships don't thrill me.

Rhianna: "You want to cross country ski, remember?"

Me: "Oh, yeah" and so I checked it off.

Lisa waits.

Me: "Actually, I'm really very content. I just want more money for Christmas and to pay for Rhianna's large skating bills. She could use more coaching time."

I realized at that moment: I am content. I don't have major dreams of a life full of material advantages. Those things don't thrill me. While I do have some kettlebell lust going on (and had a moment of fear this week that Butch would say kettlebells were off limits), in all honesty, I don't want much. I like things that come my way - no doubt.

I started to wonder if maybe I'm a bit weird. I don't dream about new cars - but if one came my way, I wouldn't mind it. If someone felt like dropping a Nautilus Treadclimber on my front step, I wouldn't refuse.

Material ambitions/goals must not be my thing. I tend to dream about running a certain distance, amazing grandma things that I can one day do, where I'd like to hike, going to the park for free contra dancing lessons, seeing my kids "do things," stuff like that. I guess that I probably dream about being able to afford the kind of wedding that they want... but I also hope that I've taught them well enough to be practical and not "throw money away" on a one day event when it could be used more wisely for a lifelong endeavor.

When we made the choice that I would stay home with our kids and then stay home longer and homeschool them, we through luxury and cushy sorts of extras out the window. I'm okay with that. I never realized just "how okay" until Lisa was sitting there, expectantly waiting for a lengthy want list that I just didn't have.

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with such things as you have, because God has said—Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content--—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-13)

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can't carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be content with that." (1 Timothy 6:6-8)\

I found this neat definition of contentment by William S. Plummer at gracegems.org:

It is the disposition of mind in which we rest satisfied with the will of God respecting our temporal affairs, without hard thoughts or hard speeches concerning his allotments, and without any sinful desire for a change. It submissively receives what is given.

For the most part, any discontent I have usually arrives with thoughts of things I feel my children need or want. I'm most likely to become stressed about things I want to provide for them. God has never let us down and they have never truly lacked. They have also always understood the difference between what is important and what can be done without.

Truth be told, I still want kettlebells for Christmas. :) And I did ask Pat tonight, "Hey did you ever think about what kind of car you would like to drive when the kids are all on their own and we can afford it?" He was like, "Uh, no." So we both thought and thought for a few minutes, talked about German cars and then decided..."Maybe we should get matching Chevys." End of story.

~o~

On another note entirely, at the gym on Saturday I saw a woman and her husband who I have seen the last two weeks. She was watching me and Rhianna work out, taking quick furtive glances our way whenever we started a new circuit. I found the opportunity to say a few cheery words to her, break the ice and all. She seemed like she didn't know her way around the equipment or machines very well. Her husband tried to show her how to do a triceps press-down and then went about doing his own workout.

She kept sneaking looks our way and then asked me if something we were doing was hard...so I invited her to join us next week. She then told me how she had been noticing our routines, how she wants to lose weight, how clueless she was about it all. Rhianna told her I was a personal trainer. I told her how I had just been doing it for free for some friends and hadn't made my business cards yet - and that's when I offered to help her. For free. That's me - Free n' Breezy. (Bonus points for her: She couldn't believe I was old enough to be Rhianna's mother, she thought we were "friends." Whoo-hoo. It's probably good that I wasn't doing my hunchbacked old woman walk from earlier in the week, that would've been a dead giveaway).

You know what? I still felt really good about it. She was so excited. We made plans to meet next weekend. Her name is Michelle - and I'm looking forward to getting to know her. I can't come the other times she works out - she goes at night when the gym is crowded. I don't like mayhem, plus that's family time for me. I will teach her some things that she could do for her other two workouts so that she doesn't feel lost in the gym.

Maybe it's a ministry of sorts for me. God has given me some skills that I can use to help people - I feel that I'd be negligent if I wasn't giving that help when it was in my power to do so. I'm usually there on Saturdays working on Rhianna's upper body strength, so the more the merrier.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Ten November 11

1. I'm trying out Safari as my browser. I think I like it. Firefox kept giving me grief. I hate IE.

2. My back still hurts. My hips have this strange ache. I've been told it is also a symptom of this bug that is going around. I am annoyed. I don't have time for this back ache stuff.

3. Rhianna and Erin were sick all day yesterday. Vomiting, fevers, body aches, weakness. Too sick to even watch TV much. They just laid around, feeling miserable. I think that Pat might possibly come home today and join in the misery. He did *not* sound good this morning.

4. The back ache did help me get out of the dull board meeting early. I had to stay for the fundraising/budget crisis discussion but since everyone saw me hobble in there, they were pretty gracious about letting me leave. There is this one pit-bull woman who is *not* usually nice (to anyone) and she really doesn't like me since the closed-session ice thing. She's the type of person that scares people and no one has ever "taken her on before" except me. (And I won because right is right and her idea was sheer lunacy. So my winning makes her dislike me even more). Any how, I think she was happy to see me leave early.

5. A study done by the University of Hertfordshire revealed that the overall fitness of ballet dancers was great than that of international level swimmers. I think that has to do with the buoyancy situation. Swimming is easier on the joints, which in turn is easier on the ligaments and tendons. Of ten factors considered such as strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, ballet dancers scored 25% higher. Let's all get a pair of slippers and start plieing and pirouetting!

6. This chair is not doing anything good for my back...but I'm talking to a friend on IM right now and I can't get up.

7. Isn't it great the way women multitask? And they can do it while they're in pain.

8. In fact, an Arizona jogger was attacked by a rabid fox. She ran a mile with the beast locked to her arm because she wanted it tested for rabies. She got to her car, yanked it off, shoved it in her trunk and drove to the Prescott, AZ hospital. A commenter on the article said, "Good thing this didn't happen here in California. The woman would be charged with animal abuse and local homeowners would demand that local government do something to protect them from the wildlife."

9. Maybe we should all be like Gretchen Wilson and say about Victoria's Secret "I can buy the same damn stuff on a Walmart shelf half price and still feel sexy, just as sexy, as the models on TV, I don't need designer tags to make my man want me." Why? Because there is a lawsuit against Victoria's Secret. Angels Secret Embrace and Very Sexy Extreme Me Push-up bras contain formaldehyde. Yes, formaldehyde. The company has admitted it and is extremely sorry that some woman are experiencing itching, hives, welts and inflammation.

Now what reason could there be for putting formaldehyde in a bra?

10. If you don't want the "girls" to sag, then do:

dumbbell flys
dumbbell chest presses
--incline varieties of the above
pushups
more pushups (wide stance, narrow, incline, decline, military style)

Actually, studies have shown that letting the twins have some freedom from constricting bras (like Victoria's Secret types that do crazy things) actually helps the ligaments and tendons strengthen

Proper nutrition also helps maintain elasticity of the ligaments and skin.

(Resources: Pierrot L., Evolution du sein après l'arrêt du port du soutien gorge, étude préliminaire longitudinale sur 33 sportives volontaires, Thèse présentée le 19 décembre 2003 devant la Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de Besançon.
[The development of the breasts after discontinuing wearing bras. Preliminary longitudinal study of 33 volunteer sportswomen. Thesis presented December 19th, 2003, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Besancon, France.]


Bonus thought: I am sick of fundraisers. With the economy the way it is, it is ridiculous to keep asking people to sell cookie dough, candy, candles, subscriptions, etc. I don't like the idea of gambling, but I've been asked to check into these big charity poker nights to raise the $26,000 that the club needs to pay for the uncontracted (yet) reserved ice. Ice time is ridiculously expensive. On one hand, I don't like the idea of preying upon someone gambling away their money on card games - on the other hand, if they are going to do it anyway, it does seem slightly 'better' that the money go to a non-profit group that needs a boost. I said I'd research it. :(

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ooo-ooo That Smell!



That Smell - Lynyrd Skynyrd

This blog is much enhanced with the accompanying mood music.

In parts of southeastern Ohio, down to West Virginia and Kentucky, they have a lot of recipes for squirrel. The thought of cooking and eating squirrel doesn't sound very appetizing to me. However, according to SeriousEats.com, squirrel meat is becoming very haute cuisine.

Yesterday, I threw in a load of towels and went about cleaning the house. I was in the living room and smelled something much like burning eggs in a frying pan. I know this smell well...my husband and my youngest daughter get a bit crazy cooking eggs on Saturday mornings. Sometimes in their hunger to eat their creations, they put the skillet right back on the still-hot burner and the unpleasant aroma of burning omelet pervades the house. I wrinkled up my nose, but didn't think too much of it as it didn't last too long. Odd snack to be making after I had made a pork roast with onions and apples, but hey...I'm not going to be the diet watch dog.

Early this afternoon I turned the dishwasher on and went about cleaning the house. Darned if I didn't smell that yukky smell wafting around. Later Jenna was sitting on the sofa nursing Layla and said she smelled it, too. I knew no one was cooking anything, so I had the kids start looking around. Would burning wiring smell that way? I had no idea.

We traced the smell to the bottom of the basement staircase. It did not seem to spread any further back. Odd. It seemed strongest not far from the landing. (When you open the door to the basement there are three steps down, a landing and a door to the outside, then the rest of the flight of stairs. Some duct work passes nearby and the water heater is stationed in this area). I began to suspect that something had gotten into the walls and was dying there. But why wasn't the smell constant? I sent Pat a text message and we went back and forth about it for a while.

By the time I had gotten back from the mall with Rhianna, the smell was pretty much gone. I then wondered if maybe it it was just drifting in from somewhere outside. We patrolled the property looking for stinky things. Found none.

I made eggplant parmigiana for dinner and once again loaded the dishwasher up to clean up the dinner mess. I threw some more laundry in the wash. Erin's friend came by to spend the night and I chatted with her mom for a bit in the kitchen. The dishwasher cycle takes about two hours. About an hour into it, I lugged some laundry out into the living room to fold.

That smell. That horrid smell. It was back. I called Pat. He said his nose was too stuffed to smell it. I said, "Baloney. This will open it for sure, it's THAT bad." I made him wait. "Ugffft," I said, "There is a waft of it again." This time he smelled it. Remembering how I said it was very bad on the basement steps, he headed there.

BINGO. He knew the answer. He tapped the exhaust pipes leading from the water heater to the chimney. One spot was not so hollow sounding. He made me turn off the dishwasher and the washing machine, grabbed some tools and set out to take down that exhaust pipe.

Stuck right in a joint was a small, roasted (or roasting) squirrel. Let me tell you, I don't know if they "taste like chicken" but they sure don't smell like it cooking in an exhaust vent! It smelled like burnt eggs in a skillet. Not quite rotten, but not quite right either. It seems that whenever I turned on anything that used the hot water heater (gas) for any period of time it sent hot exhaust through that pipe, roasting the little furry beast.

Unfortunately, I got a look at his little black, burnt face. It was a young black squirrel, much like this one. And no, I was not inclined to take a picture of all its gruesomeness.

Black Squirrel Pictures, Images and Photos

Pat then had to figure out what to do with it. It smell pretty badly once out of the pipe. I think he buried it in one of the trash cans out back. We could quite possibly end up smelling more of him before trash pick up next week.

Now I know that the recipes linked to above aren't for a squirrel still wearing its furry little coat. I'm still not interested. From henceforth, whenever Pat and Erin burn a skillet of eggs, I'm going to wonder: Is it eggs or squirrel?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On legislating morality...

Morality -
1. conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.
2. moral quality or character.
3. virtue in sexual matters; chastity.
4. a doctrine or system of morals.
5. moral instruction; a moral lesson, precept, discourse, or utterance.

1. concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct [ant: immorality]
2. motivation based on ideas of right and wrong [syn: ethical motive]

Someone commented on my other blog likening legislating morality to communism. (Since communism is a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state, I thought that was a really silly comparison) . I was thinking about this while chatting with a friend at the skating rink and what follows are my thoughts.

We legislate morality all the time...yes, it is called LAW. Without law, we would have anarchy and no one and no thing would be safe.

We legislate morality when we say DO NOT STEAL, that taking what does not belong to us is wrong. We make laws that protect us from theft. We legislate morality when we say DO NOT KILL and make laws to protect ourselves from acts of violence. We legislate morality when we say that it is wrong to force sexual intercourse on another person and we make laws to punish rapists. We legislate morality when we say if you have a blood alcohol content of over 0.08, you had darn sure better not operate a motor vehicle. We have made laws to protect the innocent from people who drink too much and won't control themselves.

There is Right and there is Wrong. There is no escaping from that fact. There will always be people who try to violate other people by behaving wrongly towards them - and that is why we have government and why we have laws.

Just because it is now trendy and progressive to deny that a human life exists in the womb, we can hear people fuss and bluster about "How dare we try to legislate morality! It is a woman's right to choose!" The same people, I'm banking, would be outraged and horrified if they knew their neighbor put some kittens in a sack of stones and threw them off a bridge to drown. Those people exercise a morality of convenience.

A morality of convenience says that if something like an unwanted pregnancy puts me out in any way, I can throw out my conscience and start declaring that the laws which say "DO NOT KILL" to protect innocent victims no longer matter. I can make morality expendable IF it is to my personal benefit to do so.

It's not too far fetched to imagine how this expendable morality can progress... if the elderly are too tedious and tiresome for us to care for, let's decided they are "post-mature human tissue" and end their lives prematurely. Let us tell ourselves that we're doing them a favor and us as well, as it would be too taxing on our resources to support them. Let's then decide that the disabled are not just different, they're inconvenient - perhaps euthanize them while we are at it. At least the concept would be euthanasia "mercy killing" as opposed to the blood-thirsty ripping of immature human beings from the womb.

Here's a step by step diagram of partial birth abortion... oh yeah, it's the woman's right to choose. Unfortunately, the unborn woman ( or man) child gets to be born by forceps delivery then brutally knifed in the head, brains suctioned out.

Whenever a woman wants to have a baby and she rushes out to get an at home pregnancy test, even if that baby is only a week or two in utero, upon receiving a positive result she happily declares, "I am having a baby!" She begins to dream of the name for this child. She makes plans.

Make it an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy and suddenly it isn't "my baby!" - it is fetal tissue or embryonic materials. This is DELUSIONAL morality. If it is a baby when you want it, it is still a baby when you don't. Period.

It seems that the people I've met in my life that believe that are also generally the ones who think "I have a right to smoke!" and don't care if they are polluting and destroying other peoples' lungs. I've seen this type - driving in the car with their children being forced to breathe in clouds of nicotine and tar. Many times their teenagers end up smoking themselves, thanks to Mom & Dad's great love and pumping them filled with chemicals for so many years. THANK GOD that some places like Bangor, Maine *are* legislating morality in this area. If you get caught driving around smoking with your kids in the car there, expect a hefty fine.

(Many of the above folks are the ones we'll see clamoring for free health care - to pay for the kids they have given asthma to, or to get themselves through their bouts of bronchitis and probably later lung cancer. They want freedom to kill themselves slowly, but don't want the rest of us to have freedom from paying for their stupidity).

I might as well add - if we shouldn't legislate morality, then why are we prosecuting pedophiles? Are we going to let them have "the right to choose" their sexual partner regardless of age? Shall we welcome NAMBLA with open arms? Oh wait, is that too progressive? Maybe after this next presidency or the next, as our country declines even further into its immoral cesspool.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Like it or not, morality has been legislated for years. That's where laws come from - legislating morality for the protection of the people, the property of the people and the livelihood of the people.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just one more day of it

I can't bear to hear any more about this election. I just want it to be over with. I want the phone to stop ringing and I want liberal junk mail to stopping finding its way to my mailbox.

Tomorrow I will do my civic duty and I will vote. All day I will be sending up prayers that our country doesn't get handed over to a socialist. I will try not to turn on the TV or go to my favorite internet news websites.

When I wake up on Wednesday morning, no matter who wins...I will survive. Even if I completely disagree, it'll be okay because God is in charge. Perhaps we need a few years of another idiot like Bill Clinton. Perhaps we need someone who plans on destroying the economies of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania and sending our electricity prices skyrocketing, driving us deeper into recession. It'll be okay in the long run because:

Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A song. [a]
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields [b] with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah


I think I'll tape "Don't Panic" on my Bible cover in large, friendly letters. (I'd say it's the original HHG2G).

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Five

I'm making up my own rules. :) This is just my Friday Five as in half of a Tuesday Ten.

1. I'm still lusting after Kettlebells. Think I might get some for Christmas? I found a very reasonable place to buy them - The Fitness Factory Outlet. I think that if I got a 15 lb one and a 30 lb one that I would be quite happy for a while.

2. Of course, then I'd have to buy Kettlebelle Body which Skwigg reviewed on her blog so that I would know what the heck to do with the things.

3. I got my father $200 on Tuesday afternoon. He doesn't go anywhere, yet he only had $40 left this morning when we went out for his blood work. Someone, obviously, is taking money from him. They are not supposed to. He offers it all the time - trying to bribe people into giving him extra care. He is at an expensive assisted living, so it shouldn't be necessary. I'm afraid he may have found some unscrupulous person who is willing to give favors of a more sensual nature... I reported it.

4. I went for a nice run last night and still have to either go to the gym or lift weights at home today. The workout I have planned I could do either home or at the gym. It is also beautiful outside which tempts me to say, "Forget that! Time for a track workout!" I guess I ought to make up my mind soon.

5. This song came on the radio this morning and now it has fully taken over my brain. Well, a couple of parts of it have. Particularly,

Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum

Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum
Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum
Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum



Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

turned around

Blogged today's workout here: Sweat Report

I almost wrote a cranky, complaining blog about stuff that annoys me. It was going around in my head this morning while I was working out ... and then I had an attitude adjustment. It's not that anything particular happened. It's was just one of those nudges from God where He reminds you gently, "Rejoice always!" and "Who are you to judge?", 'Be completely humble and gentle," etc. You get the idea.

Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me." That verse came to my mind and I thought about what direction I'd like to see my day go. A downward spiral that starts with crabby judgmentalism, disgust with the weather, being annoyed, etc... OR an upward gaze that is grateful for all the blessings of this new day.

So, I'm just going to make a random list of things I'm grateful for right now:

Being safe and warm.

Having a husband who loves me & didn't give up when I wanted to.

Beautiful, kind, creative, intelligent, utterly wonderful daughters.

A cat that wants to sit on my lap.

Dogs that adore me.

Being able to stay home and homeschool my children, cook healthy meals for my family and be a traditional wife/mom.

A good hair day.

My cold may be slightly better.

That gas is $1.97 in Cleveland.

For Layla liking to sleep in my arms.

That God blessed Wendy & Jenna with good husbands.

The new Super Wal-mart nearby that will give Giant Eagle competition.

Oh - that Rhianna has gotten a modeling job with Giant Eagle and will s
oon appear in print ads all over OH & western PA.

That God got my attention with a nudge this time instead of having to use disaster. I hate when it takes big, bad things to get my attention.

A great workout this morning.

That He created me with a desire to do things that are good for me, even when I don't like them (instead of giving up). I would hate to be a slacker or a quitter.

For the concert my dh is taking me to next month.

For my dad's doctor telling me yesterday that he thought I was dad's granddaughter. That always feels good. :)

For hot chocolate with a scoop of chocolate whey protein powder post workout.

That God really does make things new. That His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is GREAT, even when ours sucks.


That's just a random sampling, not in any particular order.

A favorite Rich Mullin's song of mine - "Sometimes by Step". I rock and sing babies to sleep with this song. In fact, Layla has had it sung to her a few times already. I love, love, LOVE this line: "
And on this road to righteousness, Sometimes the climb can be so steep, I may falter in my steps, But never beyond Your reach"

Sometimes By Step - Rich Mullins

Sometimes the night was beautiful
Sometimes the sky was so far away
Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close
You could touch it but your heart would break
Sometimes the morning came too soon
Sometimes the day could be so hot
There was so much work left to do
But so much You'd already done

CHORUS:
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit for me
He was a stranger in this land
And I am that, no less than he
And on this road to righteousness
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond Your reach

CHORUS

And I will follow You all of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
(Sometimes the night was beautiful)
And I will follow You all of my days

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The events of the day so far...

I woke up at 3:30am and could not go back to sleep. I know it is because I slept a good bit on Sunday, slept in late on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday and went to bed early last night. My body simply did not want to sleep anymore.

I got up and paid bills. Had a cup of decaf tea. Spent time with Pat when he got up. ;) Let the dogs out. I finally tried to go back to sleep and it just wasn't happening, so I went to the gym bright and early. When I walked there the temperature was only 32F.

Lo & behold, He Who Wears Regular Pants to workout came in WITH a workout buddy. The love-interest does not come in on Thursdays, so the soap opera didn't unfold any more. However, this guy actually did a DIFFERENT workout. This amazed me. I felt like history was being made.

I had a good workout and then walked home...it was still cold. I actually had to scrape ice off the back window of the van.

Got cleaned up, rushed to pick Dad up for fasting lab work and...drum roll...the idiots gave him breakfast. This is after they called and woke me up yesterday morning, getting him ready on the wrong day. They had assured me that not only were they sorry for screwing up, but that he would be ready today. He was not. Not only was he not ready and had eaten, but he had to use the bathroom which is *not* a speedy task for him. I did not know he hadn't eaten until we were out in the car and on the way. He then told me that he had had scrambled eggs. I had to call them, make sure he wasn't dreaming it, go to the VA anyway to cancel and make a new appointment. GRRRRR. And we pay $750 extra month for special "Level 4" care. Ha ha.

He still wanted to go out to Cracker Barrel, so we picked up Jenna & the baby. That turned out nice. I was using that for my post workout feeding but I didn't reallyuntil I got home. My cold makes it impossible to taste anything, so I was holding Layla so her mommy could eat and I had more fun. :) I did eat it at home and couldn't taste a darn thing.

We were busy doing school and such when I made this impulsive decision to get my hair trimmed. I was starting to look very triangle-headed and we're having company for the weekend. I didn't want to be the walking example of a wedge. So I decided to run up to the cheapo hair place nearby. I then ended up freaking out as she instantly began to cut it shorter than I told her to. Shorter and short the back went and I was flipping and freaking - inside, because I still felt compelled to carry on polite conversation. I'm already pale and ghostly white, but I think I became almost translucent in fear. I wouldn't let her dry it because I don't blow dry this curly hair to avoid frizz. I rushed home to deal with it, whined to the kids who told me it looked fine. Jenna whooshed the back up for me to show me how it should go. About an hour into it, I calmed down and realized it looks just like it did when I first got it cut. HOWEVER, I *was* trying to have it a longer version of the same cut. I guess that is not to be.

I took a picture and sent it to Pat for his opinion. It's my icon picture now. He assured me it was fine. We'll see. I'll probably be okay as long as I don't look in a mirror or touch the back of my head. There will be no stubby little ponytails now.

So now it is mid-afternoon. I've got to get dinner started, run some errands and then finish cleaning the house like a crazy woman. Wendy, Dan and little Chase & Nyla will be here for the weekend. I need to pick up some "spoil the grandkids" odds and ends to keep them busy. Rhianna has to mail a package to College Boy. She baked cookies and bought his favorite candy.

~o~

I mentioned yesterday or not, but Erin was part of a living Ohio flag at the McCain/Palin rally yesterday. She was only 4 rows behind the podium and we got to see a glimpse of her, her friend & my friend who took them on the news today. She had a BLAST. Got to hear Gretchen Wilson & Lee Greenwood right up close & personal. She said that Sarah Palin is "paper thin" and the John McCain is a "teeny guy with skinny legs." She loved the whole thing, walked about 3 miles and cheered/screamed herself hoarse.

Blogged Tuesdays and today's workouts here: Sweat Report

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I have a cold...

and it annoys me. I don't have time to get sick or stay sick. Things to do, places to go.

I did have a great workout yesterday - NROLW Stage 4, workout B. However, I didn't blog it yet. I eventually will.

I had great plans for today. I meant to go for a chilly run and then do some yoga. Somehow hanging upside down and doing vinyasa after vinyasa with a runny/stuffy nose doesn't seem very do-able. Neither does sneezing my way through Wheel and Plough. Perhaps I should just listen to my body and do nothing.

Nothing involves neglected housework. I cleaned out the cabinet in the pantry and the fridge. There are other things waiting to be done, but I guess they can wait.

~o~

Watched the Biggest Loser last night. I've decided that Vicky & Heba must go. Both are Not Nice Women. I think it is possible to "play the game" and still be a decent human being. Vicky is a lazy whiner. Heba is pushy and obnoxious. I want Phil to kick their *sses. And I hope that come finale time that his very sweet wife Amy P. has lost much more than they do and looks way better. Looking good can be the best revenge.

~o~

Yesterday Rhianna and I had a weird experience. Two young 20-ish guys were watching us as we left the NY Style Grill & Deli with Grandpa's veal parmigaiana. They watched us cross the street and approach the van. As we were about to get in, one yelled in a crazy, deep scream-o voice, "I SEE BEANS!!!!" We jumped into the car and Rhianna had the doors locked before I could even find the button.

It left us wondering: Were there beans lurking just out of our vision? Is this a code for something we don't understand like "perfect mugging victims"? OR perhaps they are like Hannibal Lechter and have a craving for beans. Didn't he eat someone's liver with fava beans and a nice chianti? (I did not watch that movie; I stay away from horror movies).

~o~

Erin was part of a living Ohio flag at the McCain/Palin rally today. Homeschoolers from all over the state came to be a part of it. She was only 4 rows behind the podium - and got to see them up close. She also had a great seat for Gretchen Wilson's performance. I'm not sure if John Rich was there, but I'm sure she'll tell me when she gets home.






Monday, October 20, 2008

In defense of variety

I spent the whole day yesterday lounging around and being sick. I watched a bit of Band of Brothers (an all-time favorite) and still cried at the end when all the real people whose clips have been shown all along are revealed with their names. I then watched two or three episodes of House. Yep, that's me when I'm sick. I did manage to get up and make a huge pot of homemade chicken soup because that's the only thing that sounded appealing and the family still had to eat. For some reason I assumed that since Pat slept all day that he would be the one to put the soup away. I was wrong. No one did. I woke up to 1/2 a pot of good homemade soup wasted, sitting on the stove. Yuk.

Now it's time for... my mini-soapbox. More than just annoyed about being sick and missing the great workout I had planned for today.

In Defense of Variety.

I do like Craig Ballantyne and his Turbulence Training, but it's not the be-all, end-all of fitness to me. He advertises it like this, "
Lose fat and gain muscle without cardio. Discover the cardio free fat loss workouts using weight training exercise and interval training to burn fat, get rid of stubborn belly fat, and build muscle. " He's all about having 3 short 45 minute workouts a week. (Although if you follow him on iSweat you will see that he works out more than 3X per week to get the ripped body he is showing you on his page). He also makes great videos and shares them on YouTube.

I have Turbulence Training and there are many, many workouts. But - I quickly lost interest because it was boring to me. Very guy-like in nature. Deadlifts, squats, pushups. Nothing flashy and crazy. I like flashy and crazy, that spices things up. I felt the same way about Afterburn by Cosgrove. Guys who just want to get-it-done will love these plans, women who don't like variety would probably do well. I can imagine anyone would do well...but love it? I like to love my workouts...even by adding stuff I hate, it makes me love them more.

So yesterday on Craig's blog he wrote out about working out at the YMCA and then got catty about some of the things he saw there. One that he didn't like was a "40 yo girl doing cable chest flyes on a stability ball." He said "Seriously, you can't find a better exercise to do? You've been reading too much Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine."

I ended up commenting reminding him of how when she did that exercise she was not only working out her chest but working out her core and her body's proprioception. He dismissed my defense of her. Oh well... I still think he's wrong. His defense was wrong, too. He said that lower body strength is what you need not to be fumbling/stumbling in your old age. I beg to differ. You need to work on balance. You also need upper body strength because if you are stooped and leaning that will still make you tipsy. The body is a full package - got to take care of the whole thing. I decided not to argue with him any further. Why bother?

But in defense of her some more... her exercise sounded way more fun than doing just another round of pushups or dumbbell flys! Yep, it sounded *much* better than doing the same ol' same ol' all the time.

He also said about another patron he saw, "
Another fit young girl was doing lying cable biceps curls on the seated row bench. And again I say, couldn't you find something better to do? Do a set of chinups for more results in less time."

Who says we want "more results in less time"? Who says we hate being in the gym and want to get out speedily? Maybe we want muscle confusion, maybe we are addicted to feeling our bodies move and *like* spending an hour or two in the gym. Maybe variety IS the spice of life. It's not inconceivable.

I believe everyone should exercise and care for their bodies. But I do realize that there are some people who just want to get it over with - and I say, "Thank God! At least they are doing something!" I like the fact that people like Craig have made compact programs that will get the fitness job done for them. I applaud that.

However, there are also others (like myself) who love the act of being active. We like variety. Programs like Jillian Michael's "Making the Cut" are up our alley. Or, one that I love, love, LOVE...Tony Horton's P90X. (Somehow I cannot imagine Tony Horton & Craig Ballantyne getting along. I think that would be an interesting meeting). Both of these programs have an ever-changing variety of moves. They are boredom-busting sweat fests!

There are women who like being active but don't want to be "too muscular" - for them there are workouts like Valerie Water's Red Carpet Ready. She keeps the variety going, but the weights low.

I think before I'd send a woman to Turbulence Training, I'd send her to Marci Lall. He has so much information on his blog - and puts up some great workout videos with lots of variety. You get the picture - I like variety.

Another thing that Craig Ballantyne is against is lots of cardio. He wrote the report "The Dark Side of Cardio." Some people happen to like their cardio. I do. I like a long, long run. I like a killer interval workout that is *more*than 15 - 20 minutes long. Even the great Tom Venuto has conceded that some people *need* more cardio in order to lose weight. (His Burn the Fat Blog is great). Every body is different. And some of us need more cardio just because it makes us feel alive.

As for me, one of my all time greatest heroes is John Bingham, you know, the guy with the "courage to start." He's a columnist from Runner's World, aka the Penguin. Once upon a time he was an overweight, cigarette smoking couch potato. He got up off that couch and started running. He's competed in more than 40 marathons and countless smaller races. He is the author of numerous *real* books, not just eBooks (okay, that was a stab at a certain someone just selling their program in 'e' format). He's got a new one , "Running for Mortals." I followed "Marathoning for Mortals" when I ran my marathon to celebrate turning 40. (Unfortunately, my immunologist says that marathons are no longer in my future, because it does a whammy to my whacked out hyper-active immune system. Makes my body feel like attacking itself). He also is the author of "The Courage to Start" and "No Need for Speed." This guy is a REAL inspiration.

Okay, I'm stepping off now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Research news

Ick. I woke up sick. Sore throat, stuffy head, feeling blah. Playing hooky from church as it is not nice to spread my germs about.

Great strides in the science of boobs and abdominal fat loss!

First off, a tweet from theDailyblonde led me to a Swedish study which has shown that drinking coffee can make women's breasts smaller. Now I wonder, who funds these things?? It apparently doesn't work in my family of busty women who drink copious amounts of coffee, but according to the study only 1/2 of all women have the gene that links the two. Does it matter if it is regular or decaf?
Does it matter when you start drinking it? I would think that drinking it during puberty would have the great effect. What about obese women who gain weight in "the girls" as part of the distribution of excess fat - do they gain less in the boob department due to coffee? What a silly waste of research dollars! Must be a bunch of bored men funding this one.

Second, HA HA! I always get sick when I hear people still believe that low intensity cardio is the way to go to lose weight. Well, Alwyn Cosgrove reviews a study on his blog which yet again dispells that myths. Here is what Alwyn reports:

"The researchers split the subjects into three groups - a control group (no exercise), a low intensity cardio group (performed five days per week), and a high intensity group (performed high intensity three times per week and low intensity twice a week). The study was 16 weeks in length. The only difference between the exercising grops was the three high intensity sessions per week.

The interesting thing was the researchers controlled the groups for total calories burned -- so they adjusted the duration of the high intensity group's workouts so that they didn't burn any more calories than the lower intensity group. So both groups burned the exact same number of calories (400 calories per session) - and obviously the higher intensity group exercised for a shorter period of time on those days.

This is where the results are interesting. Despite burning the exact same amount of calories over the sixteen weeks - the low intensity group did not see any changes in abdominal fat. The exercise program did not do anything. However the high intensity group saw a significant reduction in abdominal fat.

Why? They burned the same calories in training - so they should see the same results.
Because something happens in the post workout period following high intensity exercise that doesn't happen after low intensity exercise. Is it an increase in metabolism, an increase in fat burning enzymes or simply a decrease in appetite as a result of the exercise?"


A thought for the day:

Philippians 4:6-7 (New American Standard Bible)

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.