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Posts Tagged ‘health’

       Oprah has been discussing her frustration with her recent weight gain over the last two years.  This has been an ongoing problem for Oprah (and many others as well) year after year.  Weight gain/weight loss cycles are hard on the body and even harder on the psyche.  No one needs to pile on the negative comments…because the person going through it beats up on themselves enough!  That is part of the struggle.

        The thing is…the up and down roller coaster ride is not one that most people willingly “decide” to get  on.  One day they have struggled to gain control and lose the weight.  They have focussed on the issues at hand and have overcome the struggle. 

          Then, before they know it…they go on about their daily lives and boom…they find themselves back in a position of being overweight and out of shape.  Because in the course of living…they have gone back to old patterns of lifestyle; because, it is easy to slip back into the comfortable way of doing things, without even realizing that you are doing it.

         The thing is…being overweight is a bit of an addictive problem.  Whether it be smoking, drugs, alcohol or sexual addiction; eating too much is a food addiction…food is tied into holidays and traditions, lifestyle, emotional rewards and punishments; as well as, behavioral patterns. 

            Eating sensibly has to be combined with a proper amount of physical exercise to balance the nurtritional needs equal to the calorie burn to achieve a maintained weight.   If you eat more calories than you burn…the weight accumulates.  Health issues start to arise and you feel less like exercising.  It becomes a vicious cycle…one that must be stopped before serious health issues affect the person in  the quality of their life.

            In reading comments that some posters have left on the news websites that ran with the story about Oprah’s weight issues…there were those who were supportive and those who were not. 

          Those who were not…tended to be supremely over-critical about her weight, her money, her media savy as well as her political alliances.  Those who were supportive expressed compassion for her and her battle.  Many had been through it themselves in the past or were also in an ongoing situation with their weight.  It makes her real and approachable because often times, the public views celebrities as people who have it all at their fingertips…someone people often put on a pedastal.

           It is a bit frustrating when you think about all of the shows that Oprah has done about weight loss, healthy dieting, lifestyle changes, cooking healthy meals and snacks only to still be in the same position years later.  She is not the only person to do so though.   

            It is a bit discouraging to think that someone who has “all the money in the world” to hire chefs, personal assistants, personal shoppers, and dieticians is still unable to keep it all together in the weight loss department.  That makes those viewers who have less money and resources, who struggle with weight management,  feel less able to be in control.  In reality, a person who struggles with weight issues is in the same predictament no matter how much money they have.  Their self confidence and body image play a big part in their ability to control their weight. 

            Like it or not, Oprah has built a following through years of hard work on her television show as well as her movies and publishing ventures.  Oprah has developed what most business people and marketers are dying to figure out how to procure…it is called customer or viewer loyalty.  This is a great tool to help both Oprah and her viewers to encourage one another and motivate one another in reaching their goals and maintaining them.

            There are those critics who say that Oprah overshares information about her life…and maybe that is true and maybe it isn’t…but, when you stop and think about it…Oprah knows herself well.  Maybe by speaking her version of personal truth and honesty about her weight…it is her way of holding herself accountable once again.  I for one, wish her luck and good health!

           

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       I don’t know about you but hearing about the elderly being abused makes me mad.  Yesterday on my home television station there was a terrible story about a elderly woman who was allegedly abused by her own son. 

       She was left on her couch allegedly for approximately three weeks without medical help.  She was so weak from lack of food and fluids that she could not even get up off of her couch.  Her home was so filthy with her own waste that the emergency workers and police who checked on her, became violently ill in the front yard of the home.  It sounds as if the woman’s social security checks were being cashed regularily though.  The news reports say that the woman allegedly did not have a shower/bath for up to one year! 

       The poor woman has had to have surgery…her home was in such disrepair that it was condemned by the authorities.  Where in the world has respect for life gone?  This is a failure of our culture to fail to make sure that all of our older friends and relatives are nurtured, cherished and protected.  Sometimes, the elderly deal with memory issues or mental illness; this is an especially important circumstance to get social workers and medical personel involved with, especially if they don’t have a close supportive family system in place.   It would be bad enough if this was an isolated case in our country; but, it is not. 

         Everyday the elderly are abused and neglected in their homes, in medical facilities, in nursing homes and on the streets.  It is an outrage.  Yes, the elderly require time and attention.  Yes, it can be difficult for the caregiver; as they are loosing their independence and ability to do many of life’s chores on their own and often they resent that fact; however, it is important to take loving care of our elders.  Time is short and spending time with your loved ones is special.   You can never get that time back with them once they are gone.  The difficult and challenging times will pass.   The elders in your community have many memories and experiences to share; take advantage of that time with them to store up knowledge and memories.

         Just showing some caring and concern for the elders can make a difference in the quality of life for them.  Offer to do a kindness for them such as pick up their mail for them; or walk their dog…take them to medical appointments, or grocery shopping.  Some tasks are too difficult for an elderly person who is unsteady or has medical issues; like, going up and down stairs to do laundry or shoveling their walkways or raking leaves.  

         We all will be elderly one day if we are blessed to live long enough.  Please, check up on your elderly neighbors, your parents, your friends; visit with them and help to relieve their loneliness.  If you see someone abusing or neglecting an older person (or any person for that matter) get involved…call the authorities!  You never know…you could be saving a life.   If you suspect elder abuse report it:  http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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        Here is a story that illustrates the breakdown of American business.  Jim Crosby and his sister Linette are in a fierce and immediate battle to save their family owned mint farm business.  They are to be foreclosed on, any day now…they need to sell bottles of mint oil to save their business.  They are located in St. Johns, Michigan.  Michigan is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the economy.  People here are struggling to hang on to the most basic necessities of life…this family only wants to be able to continue to provide a service to their customers…both old and NEW!  It is their dream to be able to continue marketing their mint oil.

         Their business has been owned by their family members since the early nineteen hundreds.  This is their legacy…and it needs an influx of cash, today.  You can visit their website ( http://www.getmint.com)  and help, to try to save an American owned business.   In a day and age where American business owners are moving out of the country left and right, to get cheaper labor and make more of a profit; it is nice to be able to support a company that has stayed in America while producing their product.  If you use mint oil for cooking, baking, tea, health aid, air freshner…or any other use…please buy from this company and help them stay in business…but, don’t dawdle…they need cash now to stay in business.  The bank that is planning to foreclose on them…could take their bottles of oil and they could take the equipment needed to continue producing the oil…thereby, putting them out of business.

         We have to make a stand for some kind of return to common sense…producing in America, selling in America and buying in America…this is how we build a strong infrastructure in the country once again.  You can build up business, jobs, and housing markets by keeping American’s working.  You want to strenthen the economy?  Stop buying everything from other countries (because it’s cheaper) and start supporting American owned and operated business that produce quality products.  The job or business that you save just might be your own!

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       Last night, if you had a chance to watch Dancing With The Stars; you probably already heard…but, Julianne Hough announced that she would be having surgery today to have her appendix removed.  If you remember, last week after competition, Julianne took a trip to the hospital in an ambulance for stomach pains.

        It was disclosed that Julianne has endometriosis; and, that is why she is having her appendix removed.  Endometriosis is a condition that is very painful, it is caused by abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus.  That growth can extend outside of the uterus and spread to the internal organs.  It can contribute to fertility complications. 

        In any case, we send best wishes to Juliane.  During her absence, while recovering, Julianne’s dance partner Cody Linley will be partnered with Edyta.  Julianne hopes to be back in a week…but that would be pushing it by most people’s expectations.  I am sure we will get an update on Julianne’s condition tonight on the results show of Dancing With The Stars.  related story:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/dancing-wthe-stars-maurice-greene-is-a-good-sport/

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       Slavery exists even today; i know that that sounds like an inflammatory statement but it is true.  It is just not talked about in any kind of real, life changing way.  I read a book recently which opens up a whole new way of looking at the world.  It is rather frightening.  Slavery exists today in what is called, modern day slavery….human trafficking.  People are bought and sold all over the world…but, it is not a subject that has been addressed in the fullness that it needs to be; to face it and, attempt to overcome it.

        The book is called, A Crime So Monstrous; it was written by author Benjamin Skinner; published in 2008.  He has traveled to places around the globe to educate and inform the world of the human injustice that is perpetrated against those who are vulnerable, and can not fight back without help.  It is a moral call to action.  Once your eyes have been opened up to the extent of the evil that is human trafficking…you will never look at the world in the same way.  Children, women, men, young and old…it doesn’t matter…crimes against humanity should never be tolerated.

        So what is modern slavery-human trafficking?  It is the forced sale of human beings to be used and abused.  There are many forms of it…from sexual slavery, prostitution, forced labor, to forced child marriages and the list goes on.  There are very real networks that cross continents buying and selling humans against their will; it impacts well over 800,000 individuals a year.   Sometimes repeatedly; without concern for the well-being of those who are being transferred like a piece of property.  It is illegal, it is immoral and it doesn’t stop there…sometimes, in many cases it is multi-generational.  In those cases, debt forces multiple generations to work to pay off debts…doing hard labor, with little or no pay.  In conditions not suitable for proper human living conditions.  Often, violence is used to coerce people to do things against their will.  They do not get proper food, shelter, health care or healthy human interaction.  It is not right.  Many of the victims are the most vulnerable in society…the weak, the poor, the disabled, the homeless, and those who are without protectors.

        Do you think it doesn’t affect you?   What if it was happening in your town?  What if it was in your neighborhood?   What if one of your loved ones came up missing?   Missing family member…what if they have become one of the invisible slaves bought and sold for someone else’s gain and pleasure?  People who patronize the prostitutes on any street, in any country, around the world did you ever wonder if …are they doing it because they want to?  Or, are they being forced to perform as a prostitute because they are in fact, someone’s slave?  If you purchase their services…you could be part of the problem. How about people who purchase the servant to cook, or clean in their business or home, especially those  individuals not legally present in that country; are they working for them willingly, or have they been bought and paid for?  

         Our country, the United States of America, is involved in war.  Our military men and women have seen things in other countries that would shock you.  In some of those countries, when war breaks out…rape is used as a tool to destroy cultures and to break down the resistance of the opposing fighters.   Our military men and women have seen what happens to the women in those countries that have been warring with one another when they have gone in to establish some kind of peace-keeping.  Women and children, as well as men, are raped and used horribly.  Some of them never recover, physically or emotionally.   This is unacceptable behavior…no matter what country it takes place in.  These are issues to think about.  No-one is guaranteed safety from these predators.  http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates  This is a global issue.  It affects us all.  If you met one of these individuals in person… how you could be unaffected?  Yet most of us live our lives unaware of their plight.  Their stories of abuse would horrify you. 

         Many of the hotbeds in the modern day slavery networks, are on the news everyday…either they are points of travel destinations, or glamour spots that the rich and famous travel to and from…others are known for their sexual tourism…PLEASE STOP FEEDING THE MONEY MACHINE.   Someone’s “tourism” is someone else’s nightmare!!!   Do some research…don’t travel or support countries that are known for trading the services of human beings, illegally, for money.  Governmental leaders must take a stand and enforce those who would disregard the value of human lives by their inaction.  We must expect legal consequences and demand it from the authorities who can make a difference.

         Ben Skinner’s book, A Crime So Monstrous, touches on some of those people and their situations.  It breaks your heart.  And yet, you know that it is just a way of outlinning the scope of the problem.  You can find out more about the book here:  www.simonsays.com  It is also available as an e-book.  Take the time to educate yourself…read it; and, understand how this affects us all.  We need to stand up and demand that our leaders help to wage a war against those who would commit crimes against humanity in such a vile, and dehumanizing way.  Thank you to those who fight the fight against such inhumanity in our world.  

See possibly related story:  http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/WireStory?id=6081857&page=1 or http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6121646

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       Today is going to be a special day on The View on ABC.  They are doing a special on breast cancer.  They are going to have several guests…and one of them is Robin Roberts.  As many of you know, Robin has had her life impacted by the disease in the last year.  She has been quite an inspiration to others who have also had their lives impacted by breast cancer.  I am looking forward to the show.

        This morning on Good Morning America, Robin gave us a small glimpse into a special that she is doing tonight on Nightline.  It is basically an overview from Robin’s viewpoint of her diagnosis and treatment to the present in her life.  I think this is also going to be an outstanding program. 

         What I absolutely love is Robin Robert’s view:  “This (meaning cancer diagnosis & fight) is just a chapter in my life…it is NOT my life story; and, it will NOT be the last chapter in my life story!”    This goes right along with my blog post yesterday (before i knew about these two specials that Robin was involved in…it applies to many of us in so many areas of our lives)  See here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/bravery-is/ 

         See related topics: https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/cancer-is-a-thief/

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       Breaking news regarding the competition on Dancing With The Stars…Misty May Treanor has sustained an injury that will be taking her out of the competition.  She has injured her Achilles tendon; it will possibly required surgery.  This also means that the injury could have long term impact for her, with her volleyball career. Last year the show suffered a shock when Christian De La Fuente was injured as well.  He was blessed to have healed after having surgery to his shoulder.   Watch this evening to hear an update on Misty Treanor’s health.

       With last weeks scoring results, Kim Kardashian left the competition as well.  So this leaves those remaining in the competition a little shaken up.  The dancing is strenuous at Dancing With The Stars; and, injuries are a possibility for both the stars as well as the dancing pros. This week Saturday, during practice with his partner Brooke Burke, Derek Hough blacked out after hitting his head on the floor after tripping and falling. The week before this week’s injury, Karina was temporarily sidelined by an ankle injury…she recovered quickly and was able to compete.  Who will excel this week and who will falter in the heat of the battle for excellence.  One thing is for sure…this show never lacks for excitement in it’s competition.  Who are you rooting for?

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         A very sad news story this past week has brought to mind how important it is to have integrity in all that you do.  Thousands have been made sick in China due to the greediness of milk producers who added the chemical melamine to the raw milk used to produce milk, yogurt, and baby formula.

         Adding the chemical to the raw milk used to produce the powdered baby formula appeared to fool the quality checks as to the content of the milk.  This chemical can cause kidney stones, irritation to the eyes and to the skin, and it can also cause ulcers in the urinary tract of the individuals who ingest the tainted dairy products.  There have been over 4 deaths to babies and well over 6,000 are ill from the effects. 

           These concerns are in the short term…what about long term effects?  What about people who will discover health problems down the line from kidney stone formation or other effects?  China’s population has been devastated in the past year by the severe earthquake, flooding from the after affects of the earthquake, the collapse of schools during the earthquake; and now this tainted milk disaster.   The future impact on China remains to be seen from all of these losses. 

           Parents have a right to be angry and fearful for the well-being of their children.  Adults are being advised that drinking 2 liters of milk a day or less will not produce ill affects in healthy adults.

           We used to talk about the milk of human kindness…lately, we seem to see more of the greediness in individuals; and, it isn’t limited to China.  People need to exhibit integrity in their day- to- day actions; and, realize that what they choose to do affects others around them.  There have been arrests in this recent disaster relating to the tainting of the milk.  Those involved in the decision to add the chemical could actually face the death sentence for the choices that they have made. 

            In the meantime, the tainted products have been pulled from the shelves in China…but, some of the products have been exported to other countries.  It is imperative to check the labels of any products that used milk products, that have come from China, at this time for the safety and well-being of those who would consume the products purchased.

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      Anyone who has lost someone to death realizes just how precious life is.  Anyone who has lost someone, due to suicide, realizes what a waste of precious life, suicide is.  No one wants to talk about the horror of suicide; there is no way, to make the subject easy to discuss.  When the media does a story on suicide…it seems that there is an increase in suicides attempts that take place.  It is a careful balance to bring awareness to a terrible tragedy that affects so very many people; and yet, not give it so much attention that it plants seeds in the minds of those who are most vulnerable.  Here is a site that can shed some light on the subject:  http://www.suicidology.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=2

         This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.  It is important to bring the message of hope and restoration.  Hurting people need to have a reason to live; they need to know that someone cares and is listening to them.  Those same people need human intervention to help them when they are vulnerable.   It is crucial to educate the public on ways to observe and interact with individuals who are struggling in their life and may be at risk for a suicide attempt.  People experiencing loss, loneliness, physical or mental health problems, financial problems, depression or isolation are at risk.   Every life has value and is worth saving!  Won’t you take a few minutes to learn more?

        There is a team of committed people who are working very hard to educate and bring awareness to the public about the issue of suicide prevention.  The team is called Ken McArthur’s Impact Action Team; and they are trying to communicate the importance of teen suicide prevention.  Here is a glimpse into the combined efforts of the Impact Action Team : http://speakupsavelives.org/general/speak-up-save-lives-message-to-be-broadcast-live-to-15-million-people-wednesday-morning-at-730-am-on-comcast-cn8  Check out their message and their goals…witness the impact that individuals can have by joining together with like-minded people.  Have you been affected by suicide during your lifetime?  If you could do ONE thing to help prevent a suicide, what would it be?  Speak up…someone who needs to know could be listening! 

       

       

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