Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#90 The 20 Best...

On my AOL home page today, there was a link to an article on the 20 best moments in women's health. Here they are listed below:

1. The (modern) tampon - 1929
2. The Pap smear - 1941
3. Mastectomy loses stigma - Shirly Temple Black revealed that she'd had a mastectomy and helped lift the disease's stigma, 1972
4. The epidural is born - 1940s
5. The Pill - U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pill as a safe form of birth control. Forty-eight years later, it’s the most popular form of reversible birth control, 1960
6. Tubal ligation - until 1969, a woman couldn’t elect to have her tubes tied unless she fit a formula—her age multiplied by the number of children she’d delivered had to equal 120 or more. (What that means: If you were 30 years old, you would have to have had four kids before a doctor would have agreed that you’d done your share of "women’s work" and sterilized you, unless another pregnancy would have posed a health risk.) But in 1970, tubal ligation got the green light for all and is now the leading method of birth control.
7. Body Talk - before 1970 there weren’t any good resources. That year a group of Boston women published a stapled-together booklet—the precursor to Our Bodies, Ourselves. The book is now in its 8th edition
8. Body Talk for Girls too - Author Judy Blume writes about periods, flat chestedness, masturbation, and sex in Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, 1970s
9. Edith Bunker's change - menopause "goes public" on TV, 1972
10. Billie Jean King wins - she beats self-proclaimed male-chauvinist pig and ex–tennis champ Bobby Riggs. Coming on the heels of Title IX—which mandated that female athletes be given the same resources on a college level as male athletes—her win encouraged more women to go out for sports, 1973
11. The sports bra - Lisa Lindahl, a female grad student, (with the help of two classmates) sews together two jock straps for bounce-free jogging
12. Betty Ford opens up - about her addiction to pain killers and alcohol, 1978
13. Demi poses pregnant - she posed in Vanity Fair showing that you can be both sexy and pregnant, 1996
14. Marge Simpson makes Me Time - Marge loses it from stress and shows women that they are not alone, 1992
15. Trials include women - women are finally part of pharmaceutical trials, 1993
16. U.S. World Cup win - Brandi Chastain rips her shirt off after winning the women's world soccer cup against China, 1999
17. Kathleen Turner bares all - at 45 she goes nude on the London stage as Mrs. Robinson in the Graduate, 2000
18. Katie's colonoscopy - Katie Couric brings attention to colon cancer by having her colonoscopy on live tv, 2000
19. Post-baby bodies
20. HPV vaccine emerges

Of these 20, I can say that the following have "affected" me:

Number 1 [praise the lord!!! wearing a mattress between my legs was worse than cramps and breast tenderness as far as I was concerned], 2 [no news is good news], 4 [PRAISE THE LORD!!!], 5 [have just gone off for good last week], 7 [I owned this book and learned much from it], 8 [my synagogue in NY banned Are You There God? It's Me Margaret because of a parent complaint in 1975, just after I read it. I didn't get what the big deal was.], 9 [sadly or happily, depending on my mood {lol}, this is beginning to affect me], 10 [well, I've never and will never play professional tennis, however, it is my favorite sport to play as well as watch], 11 [I've worn one or two of these in my larger days], 13 [I'll admit that I have an almost nude photo of me pregnant with my first, and no, I don't look like Demi], 17 [that age is behind me], 18 [this test is just around the corner].

Thankfully, #3 hasn't personally affected me, but in the past couple of years, many of my close friends and acquaintances have gone through some type of breast cancer procedure[s].

Number 6, also thankfully, I haven't had to experience this because my wonderful husband took care of it from his end. Ironically, about 3 years after his operation, I went back on the pill to help with two new problems; adult acne and a period that didn't know if it was coming or going.

Number 12 - Well we all know what I'm addicted to..... it's dark and sweet and fattening in the quantities I like to have.....

Somehow, #14 never really affected me. I mean we all get stressed, but I've always been very good about making time for me. However, I feel stressed most when, truthfully, my "me time" is thwarted -- usually because of a sick child, canceled school, weather conditions, etc.

Number 19 - Still dealing, and I'm 17 years postpartum.
Number 20 - I have a 14 year old daughter... need I say more??

Anyone else want to share? If so, please go to "comment" at the bottom of this blog and write your comment. Or, you can email or facebook me and I'll post it for you.

Quote of the Day "You don't want to Mess with Anusara Girls" John Friend, Founder of Anusara Yoga

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


As someone who is always looking to learn new ways to improve upon my person [that's inside and out], I follow a number of blogs. One of my favorite blogs is,; His topics are interesting and he gives great no-nonsense advice. In the blog post that I'm going to share below, Darren talks about a "fat loss" program called EAT STOP EAT. If you want to lose weight, this program will obviously help you, but the true objective of this program is to lose fat.

Below, I copy-pasted his last blog entry to share with you. If anyone decides to buy the book, google or give this program a try, please let me know what happens. I think I'll give it a shot... What have I got to lose?


Here’s the secret to fat loss… burn more calories than you consume and add in some resistance training. It is just that simple. I am about to make it even more simple for you to lose fat. Have you ever heard of the term fasting? Nah… it doesn’t mean running around in a hurry all day. It means giving up food for periods at a time. You probably have heard of it in a religious sense, as many religions advocate fasting for cleansing the body and gaining spiritual clarity. Intermittent fasting can also help you with your fat loss goals, and it can make it very easy. Recently, I have been using a program that incorporates fasting and have been enjoying some amazing results!

Brad Pilon pioneers a program called Eat Stop Eat and has helped many people reach their fat loss goals. I picked up a copy of Brad’s book out of curiosity and was amazed at what I found. In the book, Brad strikes down the myth that you will lose muscle if you don’t eat and your metabolism will slow down. On the contrary, the opposite is true. When you resistance train, your body goes through various changes, but the biggest one is that it starts to secrete growth hormone. Guess what your body does when you fast? Yup…. it secretes growth hormone. In addition to this, because your body does not have the constant influx of food, it will then begin to burn fat as fuel! This makes it easier for you to lose the unwanted body fat you have been storing.

I bet I know what is going through your mind right now. You are thinking, “there is no way I can give up food”. I thought the same thing when I read his book. In this program, you only have to give up food for two non-concurrent days. What does this mean? You might fast from 1:00 pm on Monday until Tuesday at 1:00 pm, then you can eat a sensible healthy meal. You are not finished yet! You’ll need to pick one more day you want to fast in the same week. Since we picked Monday, let’s do Friday at 1:00 pm to Saturday at 1:00 pm. You are now finished for the week. What did this do? You have just created a caloric deficit which is what you need to lose fat. It was just that simple. Oh, I forgot to tell you, you can drink water. I would advise you to drink plenty of it on the program. I can tell you this program works and I don’t endorse anything I don’t use myself. I have experienced my goal of losing fat, but here are some additional benefits I have experienced with this program:

Ability to get more done - Did you know most of our time is spent thinking about what to eat, where we are going to eat, and what we are going to cook? For two days out of the week I don’t have to worry about doing this! I can concentrate on the tasks at hand and enjoy more free time.

Clarity - I am able to think more clearly.

Convenience – I don’t have to worry about packing lunch, making breakfast, or dinner.


Quote of the Day: "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson, author

PS. As Darren says, he is not promoting this fat loss program, just sharing. Me too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

#88 - The Stomach Bug That Really Bugged Me

Here is the irony in life. For the last ten days, I have had some sort of "itis" in my intestines and have gained 6 pounds. Who has a stomach virus and gains weight?

For the first four nights of my illness, I hardly got any sleep. Intermittently, I would be awakened with terrible [as can only be described as] intestinal "spasms". If I ate some saltines, like 5 or 6, popped some Tums, and laid on my stomach, the pain would subside enough for me to go back to sleep. During the day my stomach was sour and not its usual self... except for one aspect. I still had my same good appetite, and no matter what I ate, nothing spewed from above or below. The only thing that I stayed away from was coffee because that seemed to intensify the acid tummy, and I also figured out that my stomach felt best when it was filled, and filled with toast, hot cereal, crackers, and such. I'm assuming that's why the spasms were worse during the night... no food. Interestingly, during the whole 10 days, I never had any fever, chills or other symptoms.

Anyway, by the fifth day, I finally called my doctor. I told him what was going on and he said that he was surprised I didn't have any other symptoms besides pain, but that I should come in the next day [day 6] to get a check up. Low and behold, night 5 was pretty uneventful as far as the spasms were concerned. I did wake up at 3 a.m. with very strong hunger-like pains, but chalked that up to getting better. I took two shots of Mylanta, choked back a few saltines, and went back to sleep. I called the doc the next morning and told him I thought I was on the road to recovery. He said, let's keep in touch.

On nights 6, 7, 8 and 9, I've been awakened with those strong hunger-like pains, but no spasms, and the day-time sour stomach left on day seven. I was on the phone with my girlfriend sharing my stomach woes when she told me that my illness sounded just like something she had a few years ago, and that by day five, she was at the doctor's office getting scoped -- meaning that a tube was put down her throat and through her intestines to see what was wrong. Either I have a greater tolerance for pain, or a greater fear of getting scoped, but either way, she said they found nothing and that it took a good 10-11 days for her to finally feel like her stomach was back to normal.

Needless to say, she lost a lot of weight... which she didn't need to lose in the first, second or third place. Life just isn't fair sometimes. I, who has an iron stomach and never gets stomach problems, finally gets a stomach virus, and instead of losing weight and my appetite, I gained both.

Monday, February 15, 2010

#87 Ephiphany 101

I'm on my daily power walk the other day and I ask my walking partner du jour how her sister in law is doing [about 2 months ago she had a heart attack (at 47) and during her recuperation and perhaps because of her age, health status, and family she had an epiphany]. My friend says that she's doing well and that she's planning on calling her because it's been about 10 days since they spoke and she wants to see if she's still in "epiphany mode".

That got me thinking......Why do we get inspired or epiphanized and then forget or fall off the proverbial wagon? What happened between the OMG and a day later? A week later? A month later? What can we do to hold onto that feeling so that we don't lose it? Well, to help you and me, I came up with some ideas.

First, you need to share your ah ha with someone[s]. Second, you need to remind yourself of that ah ha by leaving yourself notes, phone messages, unwritten signs [like a red ribbon on your pantry door], meaningful books, etc. Third, if your epiphany is about weight, leave your favorite jeans or bathing suit out of the closet and make a schedule of trying them on [like every Monday].

And last, make a pact with someone[s]. Ask them to call, text or email you every 2 days with the specific question: How are you are doing? This way if the feeling is there, but beginning to wane, a chit chat may re-inspire you. She/He can remind you about your ah ha and how good you felt at that time. Also a short review of the conversation you both had at the time of your ah ha may kick start your puttering motor. Pick someone you feel comfortable talking to. Someone who doesn't mind making and/or receiving the calls.

Whomever you chose to share your feelings with will be the person [or are the people] that will hopefully get you back on track. Good luck and never give up!

Quote of the Day: "I cannot live without eating spaghetti every day!" Sophia Loren

Sunday, February 7, 2010

#86 Miss Daisy Does Not Drive My Car

I drive the way I live. Perhaps it's not the best way to live, or for that matter drive, but this is how it is for me. I expect people to do what they are supposed to do, ie stop at the red light, send a thank you note, yield at the yield sign, don't cut in line, etc. As I tell my kids, though, expecting something doesn't mean it will always happen, and so we need to be prepared.

I tell them to wear their seat belts and to bring an umbrella when it looks like rain. Being prepared and ready in both scenarios is smart and safe. However, being prepared doesn't mean being scared. I don't live or drive on the defensive, but I'm not a bully either. My foot may come off the accelerator when traffic patterns change, but it doesn't mean that I automatically break.... I hover. I wait and see. I am cautiously watchful in and out of the car. I keep on moving and doing what is expected, but with my eyes open -- always ready and alert, but not constantly worried. As in driving, like life, when I see an opening I take it. And as my friends and family will attest, there isn't too much hesitation in my personality on or off the road.

I sometimes get impatient and pass a car or honk when someone isn't doing what they are supposed to do. As long as you are polite and not hurtful, I think it's fine. When I drive, I am constantly aware of my surroundings. The same goes when I am walking alone. This is what I teach my kids, be prepared, don't be scared. In the same vein, if my car goes out of control on an icy patch, I don't panic. I slowly turn the wheel into the skid and gently apply my brakes. When life feels out of my control, I don't panic or "lose it" either. I deal. When I hurt myself or feel sick, I take care of me and try not to let things escalate. Same with my car. I don't wait until the problem is unmanageable.

On the other hand, my love life has been lived more as Speed Racer than Driving Miss Daisy. There was no speed limit as far as I was concerned, and more times than not, I ran the yellow instead of slowing down. Only in emergency situations did I ever apply the brakes. I have wished on many occasions that I had used my brights to get a better look at some of the lemons I dated. I've had many scrapes, dents and knocks, but thank goodness, no crashes. When I drive, I make sure that my seat is comfortable and that I am comfortable. I can't say that about all my relationships. On a few occasions, I should have just stepped away from the "car" when I had the chance, but in the game of love, sometimes that left turn is just too tempting. When I met Marc and we started dating, it was like driving on a nice new road - no bumps or pot holes.

And so, I have learned lessons in life that help me drive and lessons driving that help in life. When my kids were toddlers, we drove to the airport to pick up my parents. Unbeknownst to me, the airport had just gone through a major renovation and I wasn't sure where the short term parking was. It was also nighttime, which made it even more difficult. As I was driving slowly and tapping my brakes, a truck pulled up behind me and started to ride my rump. After a few more minutes, I decided to forget short term parking and just drive around. I followed the sign that said "turnaround back to airport". It was at this moment that life and driving lessons came together. The truck driver was so impatient at this point that he pulled out from behind me into the right lane, sped past me, and tried to make the light as it turned yellow. A car jumped their green light going the other way and the trucker had to slam on his brakes. It was a very close call. When I pull up next to him, I opened my passenger window. He opened his and I could tell that he was about to yell at me. I was quicker. I told him that I was sorry for driving so slowly, but that it was my first time at the renovated airport and I was having trouble locating the short term parking. I watched his whole personality change before my eyes. He listened to what I said and very nicely told me that I needed to follow the road ahead back to the airport, and then took the time tell me where the parking entrance was. I waved, said thank you, and apologized again. He told me not to worry and to have a good time with my parents, and then, to my surprise he waved me in front of him.

Be nice and don't pick fights... on and off the road.

Quote of the Day: "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life we have waiting for us" Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

#85 Pennsylvania License Plate - Y M I FAT

I saw a license plate a few weeks ago that said "Y M I Fat". Well, I thought, that's putting it right out there. I also thought that it was quite obvious "Y U R Fat". The simple answer is -- because you eat too much. Ah, but if it were only so simple. You then have to ask, Y Does 1 Eat Til Fatness? And still one more question -- Y go 2 food in the 1st place?

Why do I get fat and/or gain weight? Because I eat too much, and I eat too many foods with high calories. But the question I always ask myself is WHY do I eat too much, and eat foods with high calories? What is it that is going on in my life that takes me to this place over and over ad nauseam? When I asked my son, "Why do you eat"? He responded, "Duh, because I'm hungry". Duh! Wrong person so ask.

I shared this Y M I Fat scenario with my friend Donna, sister to the Y M I Fat struggle. We discussed this topic and decided to delve into the reasons people use food - which leads them to eat when they're not hungry - which leads to becoming overweight/fat/obese. We decided to do a mini survey and ask people we know, those who struggle with food issues and those who do not, the same the question: Why do you eat.

So, Why Do You Eat was asked over and over. We also explained right after asking the question, what I was working on so that they would understand that this question was "loaded".

Here are the answers received from those with food issues; No real surprises here. "I go to food and/or chose to eat beyond full because I am":

unhappy, bored, depressed, have no will power to stop myself once started, want everything on the buffet so start out with - a little of everything - which turns out to be a lot of food, force of habit, it's my "cigarette", how I relax/de-stress, angry, "go to drug" to take care of all emotional ills, pissed at someone or something, just because I don't know what else to do with myself, it tastes so good I don't want to stop, it's salve on the wound, worried it won't be there tomorrow/next time I want it, want it out of the house so that I won't be tempted

Here are the answers received from those without food issues. There was really nothing surprising here either. "I go to food and/or chose to eat beyond full because I am":

trying to satisfy a need for a certain flavor/satisfy a craving, likes the way it looks, curious about the taste, because it's there [like dessert], depressed, force of habit, because it's time to eat, sense memory, ie smell of it takes me back to a time...

I recently read an article by Marcelle Pick, MD. She said, "I absolutely know that craving [processed] sugar or binging on sugar is not a reflection of your willpower or your individual strength. It most likely has physical roots,..." She believes that most overeating problems stem from hormonal or chemical imbalances in your body. Once those are in check, and your emotional wellness is balanced, your problems should be gone. Ok, I'll buy that. I also know that if you stop eating sugar for 3-4 days, the craving for it should stop. I believe this, and know it for a fact, but what happens if I have an emotional hiccup during this time? Will I not "go to something sweet" because the craving is no longer there? I don't think so. I think habit trumps "no longer craving" when it comes to this scenario. I could be wrong, and will happily admit it, but I think I'm right. I also think with lots of time, help and work, this habit can be changed, and the stream of events that lead you to the craving and then eating can be broken.

While writing this and talking with Donna, we both pretty much came to the same conclusion - it's critical to tease out the specific emotions and their underlying causes that are driving your food habits and choices. We are not saying, take the enjoyment out of eating, but rather go back to enjoying. Use food for sustenance rather than support. In talking to a number of non-food attached people, it seems that they are able to intellectually link negative feelings, like bloat, belly ache, headache and self disgust with over eating. Even those people who once had a "bad" relationship with food and now don't, were able to do this. Somehow they were able to get to that place where they started to 'eat to live and not live to eat'. Dr. Pick says, if you can find balance through quality nutrition and emotional wellness, one's cravings should start to shift away from "quick fixes" like sugar.

Wouldn't that be blissful?!!?!?

Quote of the Day: "We seesaw between extremes, either over-analyzing our diets or berating ourselves for finishing an entire pint of Chubby-Hubby in one sitting" Anna Jane Grossman, author