What Is Stress?

August 20, 2007 by  
Filed under STRESS

To most people ‘stress’ brings to mind something unpleasant. But many psychologists write about stress as something that can have positive effects. Why the confusion? The reasons lie in how an individual evaluates his or her own mental and physical state.

Some examples may help to make the point clear. Imagine two people, one a champion skier in the Olympics, the other a college senior about to take a final math test. The skier has been training most of his life for the contest, the senior has hardly studied at all.

From a purely physiological perspective both are going to be experiencing similar effects – rapid heartbeat and breathing, higher metabolism, active sweat glands and so forth. Psychologically, there are also similarities – higher concentration on the present and thoughts about the next few minutes, vivid images and heightened sensitivity to feelings.

But there are key differences, at least psychologically. The skier is exhilarated, ready for the challenge, and eager to show his prowess and win the contest. The senior feels doubt and fear.

In both cases it’s reasonable to say that the two young men are under stress. You could also say they are feeling stressful. But the differences are important. The skier evaluates his situation as presenting a challenge he wants to take on and believes himself ready to tackle. The senior knows he is inadequately prepared and projects the consequences of his likely failure, a lowered grade and maybe the need to retake the class.

In both cases the young men are uncertain about the outcome, but each evaluates the odds of success differently. Each might also judge the outcome of failure differently.

The skier may wind up with only a Silver medal. That might be disappointing but in the Olympics, the number two spot can still lead to lucrative endorsements and a good future. The senior may see his chances for getting into a good graduate school diminishing. He may have to retake the class before he can even graduate.

Of course, the examples are very oversimplified. But the pattern is roughly right. Whether you feel stress or elation can often turn on how you evaluate external circumstances and your own inner state.

So there are actually two meanings of the word ‘stress‘ that sometimes get mixed together. One refers simply to the heightened awareness and the physiological symptoms described above. The other is essentially equivalent to the combination of worry and those symptoms. The latter can have negative health consequences, since those symptoms can be physically harmful. But since humans are both mind and body and the two aspects affect one another, the psychological part is just as important.

Learning About Cancer

July 26, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

By Mark Meyers

As you’re likely aware, cancer is a deadly disease which claims millions of lives each year and which, unfortunately, even with hundreds of organizations from places all over the world racing to find a cure, doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. As you might suspect there are hundreds of websites offering information and advice about cancer, but rarely will you find the grounding information in an understandable and non-medical format. From learning about what cancer is to how you could get it, cancer is certainly a common topic. This article is an introduction to cancer in non-medical terms which will help you learn the basics about this horrific disease.

What is Cancer?

With so much written about cancer over the last couple of years we can easily get confused with the tricky medical terms and information overload. In the simplest terms cancer is any one of a very large number of diseases where your body’s cells don’t work the way they should. Normally the cells in your body have a complete life cycle: they are born, they grow and then they die to make way for new cells. With cancer your normal cells change and then grow in an uncontrolled way (i.e. they don’t die like they are supposed to) then they clump together with other nearby cancerous cells to form tumors (pronounced: too-mers). Some of these tumors eventually are able to attack and destroy the normal cells around them thereby damaging your body’s healthy tissues. And that in a nutshell is what cancer is, but how do we get cancer in the first place?

What Are My Chances of Getting Cancer?

First of all you should know that anyone can get cancer. It doesn’t matter how old you are, your gender, what your ethnic background is or where you live. The truth is at this point doctors still don’t know for sure why some people get cancer and others don’t. Now lets dispel a myth: As far as we know you can’t catch cancer from someone else, it’s not contagious like a cold or flu bug. That being said, there are certain lifestyle choices and other factors that can increase your risk of getting cancer. Unhealthy habits like not eating healthily, drinking too much alcohol each day and smoking cigarettes or cigars could greatly increase your risk of getting certain types of cancer. And there are a number of other things that can lead to getting cancer as well: spending too much time in the sun without sufficient sun protection; repeatedly having severe sunburns; or just having a family history of cancer can put you at risk as well.

In closing, cancer is actually a group of many related diseases that all have to do with abnormal growth in our cells. It’s not contagious, but there are certain things, some that you can control and some that you can’t, which could increase your risk of getting cancer. I hope this brief introductory article has helped you understand just what cancer is and some of the ways that you could be at risk of getting it. And finally I would just like to say my thoughts and prayers are with you if you are (or you know someone who is) suffering with one of these horrible diseases and I hope you find solace with the loved ones with you.

I hope this helps you understand more about cancer.
Have a super day!
Mark Meyers

P.S. Thanks for reading this article. I hope you’ve learned something new. I run an an informational health based website that is stuffed full of all manner of health tips and advice. To take advantage of this great free information please check out my site at:
www.1HealthArticles.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_Meyers

Advertiser Appreciation: June 2007

July 16, 2007 by  
Filed under STRESS

I have been posting around the week of the 10th of each month a “THANK-YOU” post, like this one, to all the advertisers from the previous month listed as at month end. That’s a permanent link in this blog, under the category heading which I call .. “Sponsor Appreciation”. I know it’s hard out there trying to figure out where to spend your advertising dollars .. and well .. THANKS for considering the Battling Stress Blog.

I have compiled a new advertising page for the HART-Empire Network of sites for your perusal.

Please Support Our Sponsors From June 2007

Anger Management

Interviewing Interesting Bloggers

T D Hedengren’s Blog

All things MMORPG

Everything Xbox Live Arcade

Raise Capital in 90 Days Online – Now!

Thank-You Sponsors!

On Loving an Addict

July 6, 2007 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

by Melanie Marsden

There are few things I hate in life. Hate is such a strong word loaded with negative emotions. But I hate Oxycontin. And I hate Heroin. In my unprofessional completely biased opinion – they are the same thing. If you are using and haven’t made this connection yet – you’re fooling yourself. If someone you love is using and you think – at least they aren’t on dope – then wake up and see that it’s just as bad and only a matter of time before they get there. Nobody wakes up one day and says, “I think I’ll go shoot dope.” They get there one desperate day when they can’t afford the pills that they fooled themselves into believing for too long – were no big deal. I’ve lost a young cousin to suicide because he couldn’t get and stay clean, a boyfriend to an overdose after years of trying to get straight. I also have many friends, family and neighbors who walk around each day living a horrible existence because of addiction. Each of them started taking OC’s and some have graduated to Heroin.

I use the term junkie quite often in this story. I’m sorry if that label offends you. But I couldn’t write this piece without using it. Strong words carry strong meanings. This is one of them and where I use it – I use it to relay the strong feelings I feel about this horrible addiction. I don’t use this term as a put down – in fact I have come a long way and really try not to judge anyone about where choices in their life have taken them. As they say – “there but for the grace of God go you or I.” So when I say junkie – I say it with love. Because there are many junkies in my life that I have loved or still love. And my choice of words is to distinguish between the whole healthy person who existed before the drugs took control and the addict that they have become. I don’t hate them. Each and every one of them hate themselves enough. I don’t think less of them. They’ve got that covered too. And if you haven’t lived through watching someone you love turn into someone else in front of your very eyes you should thank God every day for shielding you from the heartache, pain and uncertainty that living life loving an addict can bring. And the next time your path crosses the path of a junkie remember that the shell of a person before you – is someone’s son or brother or friend. Instead of looking down on them or judging them – say a prayer for them and thank God that you weren’t given or didn’t choose this cross to bear in your lifetime. Easier said than done if you’ve been affected directly by their need for drugs. Especially hard to do if you’ve been robbed by, lied to or manipulated by an addict. If you have been, then I know it’s hard to read this with an open mind. If you have been I am sorry. And they are too whether or not they can tell you directly. They live with what they have done every day. I know it doesn’t take it away or make it better – but their hell is here on earth. Don’t judge those around you who are dealing with an addict in their life because until you are in a situation you never know how you yourself would handle it.

If your love and loyalty is not for the addict but for the person affected by them – then I know your frustration and anger first hand. I know how easy it is to see from the outside what you think the answer is or how you would handle it better maybe. But trust me when I say that it’s not as clear cut as it seems from the outside looking in and there is no right or wrong way to do something when it comes to matters of the heart. We do the best we can with what we know at the time and the road that we have to walk is filled with life lessons that we can only learn ourselves. And the hardest ones to learn but the ones we grow the most from are the ones that knock us on our ass and shake us to the core. You may ask yourself how can anyone still love or care about a junkie. I ask you how couldn’t we. My mother used to give me such a hard time each time I’d get back with my boyfriend. She wondered what was wrong with me that I would put up with the drama that came with our relationship. I even wondered sometimes what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I walk away? Why didn’t I just leave? The answer is both simple and complicated. The answer is because I loved him – end of story.

I didn’t go out one day and place a personal ad looking to meet a heroin addict. I was in love with someone who came to me one day and shared with me something that he wasn’t proud of. Something he tried to battle and kick on his own. I asked my mother one day what she would have done if my dad came home one day and told her that he was an addict. My parents raised me to believe that you love someone no matter what. And I stood beside my boyfriend like my mom stood beside my dad when my dad battled cancer. It is well known that addiction is a disease. But we have such a hard time truly buying that. When someone has cancer or another life threatening illness people rally around the person who is sick and are there for the family for support. But addiction brings so many mixed emotions. There is shame and so many people don’t even talk about what is going on in their homes, in their lives. And the ones who are strong enough to talk about are met with mixed responses from people who don’t understand. For those of you who do understand – I wrote this for you but I also wrote this for me.

I wrote this after my cousin took his own life a few years ago. He had graduated to Heroin. But I think I hate Oc’s even more because I don’t think many of these kids would end up on Heroin if it hadn’t been for the Oxys. I always wondered if he only knew that everyone who loved him would have put up with a million more chaotic days and nights, a lifetime of hope filled days followed by more heartache and failures if only we could have him back for one more day. Because one more day means one more chance to succeed.

I added to this after my boyfriend died of an overdose this year. Despite all the pain – I wish he could have seen just how much joy he brought to my life. I wish he could have known what a hole was left in the world the day he died. If the junkie could only see how much they are loved. If they could see themselves through our eyes – their lives might not be the daily hell they live through.

Ode to Heroin

I’m told it’s a high like no other. One that makes you feel better than you could ever have imagined. Didn’t they ever tell you that if something is too good it’s no good? And so you’re off on the run – always chasing that feeling of your first high.

A viscious cycle of ups and downs, highs and lows, doped up and dope sick becomes your all consuming daily routine. It holds you in its grip and motivates you to lie, cheat and steal and it doesn’t matter where you turn or how far you run. And every time you try to break free and fail- the future looks less and less attractive every day.

You’ve seen your mother cry one too many times and the pain and hopeless look in the eyes of your father. You know they adore you and are still proud to call you son – despite the bad turn your life has taken.

They would do anything to fix things for you or to take away your pain. They don’t hate you or love you any less for the way your life has turned out or the way you have turned their lives upside down or the things you have done for the drug.

They know it’s not you they are dealing with anymore – it’s Heroin. They’ve tried to help you battle the demon. But it’s bigger than them and stronger than them. But they’ll never give up on you – because their hearts ache to see the boy they used to know and they would do anything to get him back.

But Heroin renders you powerless and defenseless. And after all the bad you do and pain you cause and shame you feel – before long you don’t even remember the man you once were. You look in the mirror and see the junkie waste of life you think you have become and you hate yourself for it. And you wonder how these people can continue to care after all you’ve put them through. So you hate yourself even more but you still get high because eventually Heroin convinces you not to care about anything else but your next fix and you’ll do anything to get it. Day after day you’ll choose Heroin over your parents, brothers, sisters, friends and girlfriend. You’ll choose it over yourself.

You’ll stop every once in awhile and wonder how you ever got to this point. You’ll realize that your life has gone to hell. You’ll see just how low you’ll stoop to keep Heroin in your life. And some day you might even stoop so low or push your family too far or shock yourself with just what you’ll do to keep up your habit. And the person you once were – the kind hearted caring and loving person who lies powerless within you just waiting and fighting to come back speaks up and says – ENOUGH.

And then you decide to say good bye to your old friend Heroin. You realize you miss the person you used to be and are willing to fight the monster to become that person again. But there’s a problem. Heroin doesn’t let you walk away without a fight. It shows you that you need it. It shows you how weak you are without it. It beats you down and makes you shake and moan in pain. It plays tricks on your mind and despite your desire to end this relationship – it does everything in its power to get you to come crawling back. And just getting through the physical withdrawals doesn’t mean the worst part is over. It’s the day to day, minute to minute, second to second struggle to stay clean and deal with life without drugs that is the real battle. Some line up at clinics each morning, made to feel like a second class citizen to get a dose of methadone that helps them lead a normal life. Others find the answer in AA or NA, and for some detox programs work. Suboxone has proved promising but so many are using it wrong as a way to still dabble when they want to. The hardest part is that there’s no easy fix to get clean and it’s even harder to stay clean and the statistics don’t paint a pretty picture. So even the most determined and strong minded person quickly realizes that the life they dreamed of, a life without drugs isn’t the easy street that they had imagined. In fact it’s harder to get through each day than keeping up a habit was.

And so many people do crawl back and Heroin makes you feel instantly better and takes you by the balls again. And it grows stronger because it has convinced the junkie that he can’t do it. Some people are more determined and keep walking away only to be pulled back in. Then they think it’s useless to try. They don’t think they can make it past the pain and can’t see an end to the misery. So they stop trying to be the man they once were. They begin to resent him and all of the people who love him. Because they only remind him of the pain he has caused them. They make him want to get help and get better and he doesn’t believe it to be possible.

So often he withdraws from his friends or they give up on him. But the friends that stay and the family that continues to hope and pray and help and suffer – he can’t stand what he’s putting them through. He lashes out at them. He steals from them. He lies to them and uses them to get what he needs. And they stay strong and are willing to fight to save him because there is no limit to their love. But he has only one love, one friend, one family – Heroin.

But they still hold on and hope. Maybe the next detox will work. Maybe God will answer their prayers for him. They tell him they know what he is going through – but he tells them they’re wrong. They could never know what he is going through. He is angered by their claim that they can understand and feel his pain. He feels totally alone and helpless.

But they are right to say they know how he feels or can imagine his pain. Because they too have broken hearts and broken dreams. They have lost someone they love – he’s close enough to touch but they know they might not ever get there.

But his addiction makes him arrogant and self centered to claim he is alone in his pain and nobody could understand what he is going through. He has Heroin. The people who love and care for him, the people who pray that he will get help and break free from the monster – they live and breathe his pain and suffering every day. They grieve for a loved one who walks, sleeps and breathes but in essence is dead already. But unlike him they only get to share his lows. They do not have the luxury of his euphoric highs that help him survive and escape reality.

Some can take only so much and can’t bear to sit by helpless and witness him kill himself slowly and they cut ties. They still pray and worry and cry themselves to sleep feeling powerless. Others get angry and though the love they feel will never go away – they hate the monster and walk out of their lives because they have to in order to protect themselves. Because it is torture to watch the junkie take over and call the shots knowing that there is nothing they can do to stop and no way for them to reach the person they once knew.

Others enable them to continue because they can’t stand to see the wrenching pain that comes form being dope sick. And they try to help them be comfortable until they find the strength and a way to win the battle.

Heroin takes over completely eventually and those of us who have had family, friends or loved ones who have seen the drug take over handle it in many different ways. We pretend it’s not happening. We walk around in a state of denial or shock until we are forced to face it. Then we walk around in a state of anger, fear or helplessness. We feel shame and wonder how we could have let it get this far or happen at all for that matter.

We feel totally alone and live life walking on egg shells. We hope for the best but begin to dread the worst. We wait for the phone call telling us about an arrest, an overdose or a suicide. And the addict prays for the strength to stop the pain and get well but feels like they’re fighting a never ending battle that can’t be won. Some addicts think that an overdose might be a blessing in disguise to those who love them. Some take their own lives thinking that is the answer.

Others continue to use and pretend not to care. But those of us who love them no matter what – our addiction to hope is stronger than their addiction to dope. And so we hold on and hope that they will find their way. And we accept that we have no control over their addiction to Heroin. Some of us realize this slowly – others over time – still some will never see this. If they could only see that we would live through this never ending nightmare forever if it meant we could have them back for just one more day. If they could only see into our hearts and source some strength from us. If only our love was enough. But it’s not.

In the end they need to stand up to Heroin on their own and prove to themselves what each of us believe deep in our hearts – that they are somehow still stronger than the monster. They are more than the junkie they see in the mirror each morning. They are our son, our brother, our sister, our mother, our father, our boyfriend our girlfriend and our friends. And though they don’t recognize the person they used to be – we still see that person. We still envision a future filled with brighter days. We still wait for the day that they walk back into our lives and this nightmare we live becomes nothing more than a distant memory.

Until then remember that you are loved, you are strong and you can beat this.

Melanie Marsden is a massage therapist and co-owner of A Better Place to Be Day Spa. She is a Teacher at the Cortiva-Muscular Therapy Institute and was born and raised in Charlestown, MA. She can be reached at mmarsden@comcast.net

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Melanie_Marsden

Low Thyroid – A Common Reason For Overweight, Depression and CFS Or ME

June 18, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

By Jackie Bushell

Your thyroid is a gland situated in the front of your neck. The hormones (chemical messengers) that it produces affect a great number of your body processes and other glands. So if your thyroid becomes underactive (medical name hypothyroidism), your whole body is thrown off balance.

Official estimates of hypothyroidism in Western populations vary from two to seven per cent, although some experts believe it is significantly under-diagnosed, and that the true percentage is probably as high as thirty per cent. Whatever the case, hypothyroidism appears to be increasing and this is starting to attract the attention of researchers, clinicians and government health departments as an emerging public health problem.

So how do you tell if you might have an underactive thyroid? Lack of energy, weight gain, dry, pale skin, feeling cold all the time and depression are the most well known symptoms. But low thyroid can cause a surprisingly wide variety of symptoms, which can be totally different from individual to individual. Many of the symptoms are also symptoms of other conditions. For these reasons, and because physicians are generally unaware that hypothyroidism is so common, hypothyroidism is a frequently missed diagnosis.

An example of this is the person who complains of putting on weight unexpectedly or being unable to lose weight despite a modest calorie intake. Such a person is almost automatically assumed to be overeating and told to reduce calorie intake. Even if they ask whether it could be their thyroid, they are unlikely to be tested.

Or take depression. What thyroid expert Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield says is quite shocking: “Any patient suffering from depression should be routinely assessed for hypothyroidism. There should be no exceptions; half to one third will be found to be hypothyroid, and as a result of treatment, their depression will begin to lift in weeks.” How many people are being treated for depression with medications or psychiatric counseling, when in actual fact they just need their thyroid fixed?

Yet another example is high cholesterol. Studies show that more than ten per cent of people with high cholesterol have hypothyroidism, but unfortunately most people with high cholesterol are not tested for this. That’s a lot of people who are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs needlessly.

CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or ME is another condition which experts believe is in many cases actually misdiagnosed hypothyroidism. Low fertility and repeated miscarriages is another. Other problems that can be caused by hypothyroidism include:

brittle nails, hair loss, boils and spots, eczema and psoriasis, hoarse voice, slow speech
constipation and haemorrhoids, painful irregular periods
muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain and stiffness, shooting pains in hands and feet, carpal tunnel syndrome
gallstones, visual disturbances, breathlessness, halitosis, candida (intestinal yeast overgrowth)
impotence, loss of libido, bladder irritation and frequency
deafness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears), ankle swelling, palpitations, anxiety and panic attacks
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), poor memory, poor concentration and slow thinking

Even if hypothyroidism is considered as a possible diagnosis by the physician, the problem doesn’t end there. Thyroid tests fail to pick up many cases – the current ‘normal’ ranges for thyroid test results are quite wide, and thought by many thyroid experts to be wrong. Sanford Siegal, DO, MD, a US thyroid specialist, believes that about ten per cent of the population is hypothyroid but that maybe only half test positive with the blood tests that are currently used.

Dr Siegal’s experience with patients who test negative but have clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism is that there is often marked improvement when thyroid supplementation is given. His experience has led him to believe that around a quarter of those who have difficulty in losing weight fall into this category and benefit from thyroid treatment.

The test at the centre of the thyroid testing controversy is the TSH. This test measures the amount of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone your pituitary gland releases. If it is high, it means your thyroid hormone production is low and the pituitary is sending repeated chemical signals to try to get your thyroid to produce more thyroxine. So a high TSH means you are low thyroid.

In the TSH test, the upper limit of ‘normal’ may be given as anything from 3 µU/ml to 6 µU/ml depending on which country you live in and which lab has done the test. However, Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield, in common with many other thyroid experts, regards even the recently revised limit in the US for ‘normal’ TSH levels of 3.0 µU/ml as too high. His experience with patients has led him to believe that a level of 2.0 µU/ml should arouse suspicion, and anything over 2.5 µU/ml should be diagnostic and therefore treated as hypothyroidism.

So if you have some of the symptoms in the list above, and particularly if you are having difficulty in losing weight, ask your physician to test you for low thyroid. Be aware of the issues surrounding current methods of testing and make sure you get copies of the actual test results so that you can compare them with the reference ranges used by those thyroid specialists who believe the current ‘normal’ ranges are too wide.

Similarly, if you have been tested in the past and told the results were normal, get tested again and ask for the actual values. If the TSH is above 2.5 µU/ml, bring the new ranges to your physician’s attention and ask for a trial of thyroid hormone replacement.

Unfortunately, agreement of your physician to treat you for hypothyroidism is not the end of the story. There is also controversy over medication and dosage. The ‘alternative’ thyroid experts feel that patients are not best served by the usual treatment (consisting of replacement of thyroxine – called T4 for short). This is not the only hormone that a healthy thyroid secretes, and they believe that many hypothyroid patients fail to achieve 100 per cent improvement without the other hormones. The reluctance to prescribe better alternatives appears to be down to a mixture of historical practice, mainstream doctors’ reliance on the drug companies who make the synthetic T4 preparations for information about treatment options, and a lack of research interest in the subject.

Dosage is a further area of controversy. Complex feedback loops that govern the workings of your thyroid mean that it is actually possible to make a patient worse by giving too small a dose of thyroxine. Many physicians are also constrained in their prescribing by blood test results and the official reference ranges for ‘normal’, rather than by their patient’s clinical symptoms. Some hypothyroid patients fail to improve until their TSH falls to 0.3 or lower, but most mainstream physicians are reluctant to let it drop to even to that level.

It seems therefore that hypothyroids have had a raw deal for a long time. Happily, word is starting to spread amongst thyroid patients that a better quality of life is possible, and patients are starting to become indignant and vociferous in their demands for better diagnosis and better treatment. An indication of this is the recent proliferation of thyroid patients’ websites, providing information about alternative treatments and helping fellow patients to locate physicians experienced in using them. Helpful sites include ‘Stop the Thyroid Madness’ and ‘Thyroid Patient Advocacy’.

Although the cause of the increase in hypothyroidism is unknown, there is an interesting theory. This relates to iodine, which is critical for a healthy thyroid. Hypothyroidism is widespread in upland areas of the world which are far from the sea where food is grown on iodine-poor soils. Many countries have a national salt iodization program to combat this problem. Ironically, this may be having the opposite effect in some cases. The trouble is that too much iodine is just as harmful to the thyroid as too little. And it is possible that people who consume a lot of fast food, canned or prepackaged foods or eat in restaurants regularly could easily be consuming between 8 and 10 grams of iodized salt per day. This would provide more than four times the recommended daily allowance of iodine. Could this be a contributing factor to the increasing rate of hypothyroidism in Western populations, and in turn, to the increasing rates of obesity?

More information on how undiagnosed or undertreated low thyroid may make losing weight difficult can be found in the e-book “Why Can’t I Lose Weight – The Real Reasons Diets Fail And What To Do About It”.

Copyright DietPlateau.com and GoodDietGoodHealth.com 2007

Jackie Bushell is passionate about raising awareness of the role of diet and nutrition in good health and helping those who are affected by obesity. Via her website at GoodDietGoodHealth.com, she provides information, support, cookbooks, how-to guides and a newsletter for those wishing to understand more about how to improve their health and achieve a healthy weight in a natural way. Amongst the resources she has developed are a low carb/low GI diet cookbook and a book called ‘Why Can’t I Lose Weight‘ for those who experience common problems such as not losing weight on their diet or becoming stuck on a ‘diet plateau’.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jackie_Bushell

Here We Go Obesity Battlers!

June 13, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Greetings and Salutations ..

The nameservers have kicked in and this blog appears to be ready for new posts. I am in the final stages of testing the database, the permissions, etc etc etc.

We’re almost there .. and back to normal!

Please take a look around, and see if you notice anything different. I would appreciate your comments …

(Q) Does this blog seem to load faster for you?

Welcome to Yvonne’s Corner

May 20, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Glad to be able to contribute!

He finally did it, he got me to contribute to his blog. Of course, I’m referring to Hartley, my dear husband .. the one you all know as HART (1-800-HART).

Hartley and I joined Weight Watchers in May of 2005. That means we’ve just had our 2nd anniversary. Even though I joined Weight Watchers because Hartley’s cholesterol was too high, it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

A little background about me

When the aerobics craze first hit in the early 90’s, I saw right away that it was something I knew I would enjoy. I joined a few gyms around the city and even took a course to become an aerobics instructor. I was in excellent health, even though I smoked. That all changed when I met Hartley and my gym closed. I became lazy and over a period of about 5 years, I put on about 40 lbs.

I started exercising again in January of 2001, because I wanted to loose some weight and feel better. Although I lost weight when I started working out again, I had a set back. My thyroid gland went hyper (overactive) and I had to take medication to keep it under control so I wouldn’t have a stroke or heart attack. About a year later I got the treatment to stop my over active thyroid, which unfortunately caused it to go hypo (under active). I ended up gaining another 20 lbs before I was put on medication, so by this time I was probably 60 lbs overweight.

Fortunately, when I was put on meds to control my hypo-thyroid, I lost some weight, I was exercising regularly after all. But over the next year or so, I just couldn’t loose all the weight I wanted to. I was about 45 lbs over my ideal weight. I didn’t even realize it had gotten as bad as it was until I joined Weight Watchers. It was the first time in a long time that I stepped on a scale. That was a rude but necessary awaking!

About Yvonne’s Corner

This is my first blogging post – ever. I hope you have patience with my writing and with me. If you have any hints or tips or if you see something wrong with my posts: Please! leave me a comment and tell me!

I like the name “Yvonne’s Corner” and will try to keep all of my posts in this one category. I can’t guarantee that I will be writing long novel stories or chapters, but I will try to write something when time permits me to. I would like to think of this space as my own continuing saga about Weight Watchers, losing weight and exercising. I hope that I don’t just stop in the middle of a sentence or thought .. but, I should warn you that I probably will do that. But, I will come back and continue with my sentence and thoughs another day. And, hopefully “Yvonne’s Corner” will end up to be a good lesson or provide some great weight loss tips for some of you are in the same position that I was/am in … and maybe my sweet husband Hartley will finally listen to me and read my blog entries and lose some weight, so we can retire together and live happily everafter!

I mean .. c’mon .. only 10 pounds down since January 1? Sheesh 🙂

Drug Abuse – Much More Common Than We Might Believe

April 20, 2007 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By Trevor Kugler

In this country the term “drug abuse” is a very often misused term. When you hear or read the term “drug abuse”, what pops into your mind? Things like cocaine, heroine methamphetamines, marijuana, and crack, right? And you think of completely out of touch ‘junkies’ living on the streets, selling whatever they can for money, right? Or, at least the types of drugs listed here to be the ‘real’ drugs, right? These are the drugs that people abuse, right?

Drug abuse in the form of alcohol, nicotine, and prescription drugs is actually much more prevalent in our culture, but no one wants to talk about that. If you have a six pack in the comfort of your own home, you don’t abuse drugs, right? If you smoke cigarettes, while disgusting, you’re not thought of as a drug abuser are you? If you take a pill everyday, that a doctor told you that you could take, and that pill alters your ‘reality’ somehow, is that drug abuse?

No none of these things are considered ‘drug abuse’, but the reality is that they all are. Alcohol, nicotine, and prescription drugs are all just what this article is about…drugs. And if you practice any of them everyday or use them to alter your reality at all, you abuse drugs, its as simple as that. Many people don’t want to admit to this, but it is the truth. When I used to smoke, I would say that I’m no different from someone who uses cocaine on a regular basis. The fact was that I abused drugs.

I obviously abused nicotine because I smoked every hour of so. I abused alcohol because I drank beer everyday. I was as much of a drug abuser as the guy who uses heroine everyday. That’s the cold hard truth that most people don’t want to face up to. Then when I quit both practices, and my head finally cleared up, I realized that I was engaging in both practices to escape reality in some small way. I used to say things like, “a cigarette relaxes me.” Through quitting, I realized that this was a lie. And the exact same thing was true with alcohol. The bottom line is that I was abusing both of them and knew a lot of other people who were as well. Bit since my behavior was looked upon as ‘normal’ by society, it was okay.

My point to this entire article is that drug abuse is much more prevalent than we want to believe, and just because we’re told that some things are normal, that doesn’t mean that those things are the right thing for us to do. Remember what Bo Bennett said and let it ring in your heart, “Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness.”

Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com. He has more than 15 years of business experience and 25 years of fishing experience. He currently raises his 3 year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…..Montana.

A JRWFishing Must Have For Any Fisherman!

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Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Trevor_Kugler

THE HART SERIES: Counting: February 23, 2007

February 28, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Breakfast

Coffee – 1 point
4 whole wheat toast – 4 points
2 TBSP Peanut Butter – 4 points

Lunch

none

Snacks During the day

Orange – 1 point
All-Bran Bar – 2 points

Dinner

5 Chicken Fingers (7pt/3pc) – 12 points
Salad – 0 point
with red peppers – 0 point
with 14 croutons – 2 points
with bacon bits – 1 point
with caesar dressing – 2 points

SUMMARY

>> Total 29 points
>> UNDER by 3 points – 28 splurge points remain

>> BTW .. I really do count points daily .. even if I don’t manage to post them daily 😀 // it’s always busier for me (offline work) during the last week of each month.

Picture of my dinner

THE HART SERIES: Counting: February 13, 2006

February 16, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Breakfast

Coffee – 1 point
orange – 1 point

Lunch

Orange – 1 point

Snacks during the day

None, really!

Meeting, Dinner, and Socializing with Clients & Friends

>> over the course of the evening “Wing Night Tuesdays at Smitty’s Lounge”
.. 24 small chicken wings (in 6 lots) .. – taking 24 points
.. 2 pints of regular beer @ 4 points per pint – taking 8 points
.. 2 pints of lite beer @ 3 points per pint – taking 6 points
.. 2 small bowls of lounge popcorn~ – taking 4 points

SUMMARY

>> Total 45 points
>> Over by 13 points, 22 splurge points remain

No Pictures Today

THE HART SERIES: Counting: February 12, 2007

February 16, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Breakfast

Coffee – 1 point
4 Whole Wheat toast – 4 points
with Peanut butter – 4 points

Lunch

Cheerios – plus refill – 4 points
plus 1 cup of 2% milk – 3 points

Snacks during the day

Nutrigrain Sweet & Salty bar – 3 points
Thinsation Oreo cookies – 2 point
Singles Pringles – 2 points

Dinner

Nutrigrain Sweet & Salty bar – 3 points
2 cups of HART’s Famous Pasta Salad – 6 points

SUMMARY

>> Total 32 points
>> Even .. have all my 35 splurge flex points left

Picture of my dinner

I didn’t take any picture of food today. Some one vandalized our front house, stole extension cords, stole some homemade CD’s out of my back seat and left my door open and my battery was dead in -35c temperatures today. I just ate fast food all day .. I was supposed to go out to a client’s but, it was postponed until tomorrow.

The Encyclopedia of Cancer (Facts on File Library of Health and Living)

March 1, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

The Encyclopedia of Cancer (Facts on File Library of Health and Living)

About This Blog: Battling-Stress.com

February 27, 2006 by  
Filed under STRESS

Our blog hopes to cover the following topics …

Read more

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries

January 22, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis. This unregulated growth is caused by damage to DNA, resulting in mutations to genes that control cell division. Several mutations may be required to transform a normal cell into a malignant cell. These mutations are often caused by chemicals or physical agents called carcinogens. Some mutations occur spontaneously, or they can be inherited as germ line mutations.

Cancer can cause many different symptoms, depending on the site and character of the malignancy and whether there is metastasis. Cancer may be painless. A definitive diagnosis usually requires the histologic examination of tissue by a pathologist. This tissue is obtained by biopsy or surgery. Once diagnosed, cancer is usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.

If untreated, cancers may eventually cause death. Cancer is mainly a disease of later years, and is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries. Most cancers can be treated and many cured, especially if treatment begins early. Many forms of cancer are associated with exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoking, alcohol, and certain viruses. Some of these can be avoidable, and public health and vaccination programmes are important on a global scale.

More: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.