A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Empty Tomb

I did not come up with the following rationale on my own, rather I listened to a good friend who is a deeper thinker than myself explaining to someone why they were a Christian and found it to be one of the best and most rational reasons for giving the Bible a good looking into that I had ever heard.  On this our most important, and sacred day of the year it seems like a good topic for the blog.  I was already a Christian when I heard it, but if I hadn’t been it would have caused me to do some serious thinking about the issue.

The empty tomb of Easter Sunday is an extremely compelling thing.  Roughly 2,000 years ago – a sizable group of people saw something they could not explain: a man who apparently rose from the dead.

Christianity, in it’s infancy at the time, was basically a lunatic fringe offshoot group of Judaism which was viewed with great suspicion by the government in power.  After all, its leader had just been very publicly executed in an excruciatingly painful way – shortly after which his followers were hiding out in terror of meeting the same fate.

And then that leader turned up again – very much alive.  Had this been some kind of hoax pulled off by the tiny, powerless and frightened group of people in question it would have been a very easy one to put down.  Instead – it grew.  Instead – more people saw him, and saw him, and touched him, and heard him speak, and the lunatic fringe group only continued to grow like a wildfire despite all of those holding power at the time wanting it to go away.

More than any feeling I may have, I find this simple set of straightforward historical details well worth some looking into.

Hallelujah, my Redeemer lives!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Diet Bending 1 - Resolutions

Today I have a guest blogger for you!  Linda Bender is a friend I met a few years ago who practices unconventional healing for a living.  I've asked her to share her perspectives on weight loss, and here is the first post she wrote for me.  Thank you, Linda!


One of the biggest resolutions we Americans choose year after year is to lose weight.  We pick it several times during the year, some for reasons like an upcoming wedding or having to wear sleeveless summer clothes.  Of course we are also prompted to loose weight because of our health, even though scientific studies now show that being a little overweight is healthier than being skinny.   I was looking at the history of diets and it goes back centuries.  We may have the issue exaggerated today, but even the ancients looked for the secrets of weight loss.  Weight is a big issue and I wanted to give you some food for thought as you fight the battle of the flab.

Know that the weight loss game is highly personal; you will not be able to win the game trying to blend into a 'one fits all' program.  You need a personal solution to reach your wellness goals including diet and exercise guidance.  The following will seem discouraging, but they are factual truths of what you are up against in the weight loss battle.  You should know these items as you are going through your process.

1) Weight loss efforts fail 95% of the time, people regain the weight and more back within a year of stopping their diet.  Most of the time their system is left in a worse health condition than before they started, shifting their muscle / fat ratio to less muscle and more fat in the end.

2) The list of negative side effects of weight loss is as long as my arm, starting with decreasing our immune system leading to more colds and eventually going to serious side effects such as gall bladder disease and even death.

3) Ten to fifteen percent of the population is resistant to diet and exercise.  No matter what they do, they will not loose weight through these two activities.

4) Science has now officially determined that exercise does not cause weight loss.   Weight loss is a possible side of exercise but it is more about improving health.  Exercise helps you stay healthy but will not necessarily help you drop weight.  Sometimes it will cause weight gain as you add muscle to your frame. A cup of muscle weighs more than a cup of fat so you could drop your pants size and still add numbers onto the scale.

5) Science has shown that the greatest percentage of weight loss actually occurs during sleeping hours. Sleep is a major component to losing weight.

I am going to be bold and say that total wellness is important to your weight numbers. Science hasn't been able to quantify these yet, but proper levels of stress, physical activity, community social opportunities, inner faith and intrinsic meaning are all components to weight levels.  Diet and exercise alone is not going to win the long term war.

Too often we want to see big numbers falling off the scale with easy solutions, but bodies do not work that way and if you want real weight loss you need to understand how your body works, and not just calories in vs. calories out.

Let's now look at one of the major things you will be battling: homeostasis.  Your body has a built in mechanism to keep things the same.  As soon as you make changes it will try to incorporate the changes so that your body is stabilized.  It is part of your basic health mechanisms.  It is good because the body naturally wants to return to wellness and balance.

As an example, let’s say you start a walking program of two miles a day.  Initially your body reacts in surprise and starts to make changes to address the new exercise.  You will see some changes, but as soon as it can your body will try to go back to the way it operated before the changes.  Your body becomes more efficient and you will need greater effort to make equivalent changes.  You only get frustrated.

Let's try an example that chronic dieters might understand.  You try a weight loss plan and loose ten pounds pretty easily.  You go off of the plan and then think, ‘I'll just do the same thing as before’.  This time the plan doesn't work as well and it is harder to loose weight.  It isn't that the plan has changed, it is your basic system that has changed.  It became more efficient and able to run off of fewer calories.

The key to weight loss is to find the limits of your body's homeostasis and work with those limits.  This explains why there are many diet plans which work for some people, or some diet plans that are only tested for six weeks because any test beyond that would show that homeostasis kicked in and the plan doesn't work in the long term.  Think about it, if diets fail 95% of the time then it is possible that the success which happens 5% of the time is most likely an abnormal body response.  It isn't about weight loss as much as being healthy and letting your weight go to a healthy level for you.

For now, know the fight!  Your body and you will need a good battle plan if you wish to really get in and stay in shape.  It isn't impossible, it is a huge battle and there are no short cuts.  You will need new life style choices which work within your body's unique limitations.

Linda Bender is a personal wellness coach.  She uses over 20 holistic life coaching and touch therapy techniques from reiki to personal training to help you reduce stress and pain so your body invokes its natural healing ability. She is at Bender Healing on Church Street in Phoenixville. Bender Healing provides massage, reiki, reflexology, personal training, nutrition, life coaching and energy medicine.  See www.BenderHealing.com or call 800-706-1354 for more information.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Know Too Much

Social media can be both a good and bad thing.

Good when you get to connect with friends and family that you don’t often see.  Good when people use it to share pictures of kids, pets, themselves, good news in their life, humor, useful tips, and inspiration.

Bad when people use it to simply display whatever they hate in front of the world.

I’m not talking about the political stuff so much.  In that case I think people genuinely believe they’re going to change the world by enlightening the Facebook masses to their way of thinking, so it’s not precisely coming from a negative space.  I just don’t care to share or argue over such things in that format, so I’ve simply learned to scan past such things and carry on.

No, the bad I’m talking about in this case is more a quick, hard, painful shot of mean.  In today’s example it came to me via Twitter.

Twitter is a unique beast.  I’m not overly fond of it because it feels like constantly walking in on a conversation I missed the beginning of.  I use it though to keep in touch with friends I mostly know via internet related means, and also to follow some celebrities I’ve taken an interest in.  I admit, it’s sort of fascinating to see what’s on William Shatner’s mind today (he’s a bit random) and as many people know George Takei is quickly becoming the most epic, funny person to follow via social media EVER.

In some cases though, following a celebrity I like on Twitter has been a horrible mistake. 

For example, I enjoy Owl City, the experimental electronic music project created by Adam Young.  The music isn’t exactly deep, but it’s whimsical and enjoyable and always puts me in mind of being a kid again and being able to believe that something Fae and Magical really might be waiting around the next corner.

Today I found out that Adam Young is a weight bigot.

I’m way, way past the stage where I laugh off hurtful things like this and accept them as my due.  If he had made a similar comment about someone, ANYONE of any other group – ethnically or orientation related – he’d have brought down a world of backlash on himself.

Instead, because it’s fatties, it’s okay.  It’s SO funny.

I stopped laughing back around the time I was twelve and a few boys in my class decided to use a desk as a battering ram to repeatedly bash the fatty in the seat in front of them.  Because coming home from school with my back covered in bruises was ever so funny too.

Adam’s “harmless” joke is part of the same blind, hateful groupthink that made those school bullies believe it was okay to beat me up for the crime of existing and taking up too much space in their world.  For having the audacity to not be a pretty enough girl for their looking pleasure.  It’s masquerading as witty banter, but its still all part of the same social disease.

What it boils down to is social media making it a little too easy to get to know people.  I didn’t want to know that Adam was a mean spirited weight bigot, I wanted to go on liking his music.  But now it will be forever be tainted and ruined with slightly too much information.

It’s a lot easier to go on believing that people aren’t hurtful, insensitive jerks when you keep a greater distance.

P.S. Considering the fact that I was a competitive swimmer for almost a decade, I bet I could out swim Adam if a shark came for us both.  Just sayin’…