Thursday, January 31, 2008

Should you put your child on a "diet"?

…HA was always on diets as a child. She went through the whole dexadrine thing as a teen.

…One diet her mother suggested was three cups of cottage cheese a day. Amazingly, she still stomachs the stuff.

…With all the sturm und drang about childhood obesity, should you put your kid on some diet?

…For one thing, no self-respecting kid is going to each some weird stuff like all-bacon all the time or odd little frozen morsels.

…They may munch a carrot stick, though, or eat a veggie burrito with salsa.

…Jean Antonello, RN, BSN, author of Naturally Thin Kids: How to Protect Your Kids from Obesity and Eating Disorders for Life, says kids are more predisposed than adults to gain weight. They have less stored fuel, so are more likely to sock it away as fat.

…Offer kids high quality food at set times—not on demand, she recommends.

…If a toddler doesn’t like a new food, wait and try again. Don’t just offer sweet or fatty food instead. A tablespoon of food per year of age is plenty for a meal.

…Offer fresh foods, nuts, meats, fruits, veggies, grains.

…Some borderline foods are OK once in a while—these being ice-cream, French fries, cookies, and dessert-like cereals.

…Offer three healthy meals, with a healthy snack in between. Forget the kids’ menu, those hotdogs and mac ‘n’ cheese are not great. Give them some of what you are having.

…Sure, kids like juice. But they will also drink milk or water.

…And get them moving!How about Dance, Dance Revolution instead of a stationary video game using only the thumbs?

…How about camping, family bike riding, walking the dog, washing the car, playing catch?

…Dieting causes obesity, Antonello says.

…Put that on a t-shirt!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Food for sore eyes

…In a special article in the NYT (Jan 21, 2008), Karen Ravn says one key to warding off cataracts and age-related macular degeneration is not carrots, but leafy greens.

…Spinach, kale, collard greens.

…Carrots are OK, but most people don’t lack for Vitamin A.

…You want to be gobbling lutein and zeaxanthin to discourage cataracts. These two are also good for preventing macular degeneration.

…The data are sort of iffy. Only one study shows a cause and effect relationship between eating high-dose zinc and several antioxidants (not those two) and a lowered risk of macular degeneration and the vision loss that goes with it, Ravn wrote.

…Now there are zinc and antioxidant supplements out there. Do not take these unless your eye doctor says so. A multivitamin with lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc might be OK on your own.

…No downside, pronounces Andrew Weil, the bearded natural food guru. Start early with modest doses—like in your teens.

…Oxidizing by light is what is at the basis of these problems. The cornea is a “bag of proteins,” according to one doctor. When they become “disorganized,” he said in this piece, it’s like frying an egg—they get cloudy.

…In “dry” age-related macular degeneration, the light sensitive cells break down in the center of the retina and the brain does not receive a coherent signal of what is being “seen.” In “wet,” degeneration, blood vessels leak under the retina.

….Other ways to protect your eyes…stop smoking. Smoking affects the blood supply in the retina.

…And it can’t hurt to eat more leafy greens. A multivitamin also won’t hurt you.

…Wear sunglasses.

…Weil has been hitting the antioxidants for two decades. He doesn’t even need reading glasses, but even he says that is unusual.

…The big spinach salads and daily vitamin with lutein and zeaxanthin are in the “can’t hurt” category for now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Losing "your own voice"

…Those wacky politicians are going silent. Sort of.

…Writing in the WSJ (Jan 25, 2008), Joann S. Lublin talks about the toll all that blabbering can have on the human vocal cords.

…Bill Clinton always sounds scratchy, doesn’t he? Supposedly, he sleeps on a wedge pillow and drinks 1.5 gallons of water a day. You notice (we all have) that he is not doomed to silence.

…Right now, in this compressed schedule, candidates are speaking 30 times a day.

…Romney flew in a dry plane and then went in a cold hangar at 3:30 am and rallied the troops with shouted encouragement. Then he went to a breakfast, and when he left, he was hoarse. Sometimes, Romney’s aides leave him alone to not talk.

…A few days later, Obama was so croaky they called a doctor. The doctor prescribed rest, but this didn’t happen, of course. It was 48 hours until New Hampshire.

…In South Carolina, McCain (already a murmurer) was a rasp. He agreed to drink a tablespoon of olive oil before one of those debates. He also has cut back on the java. He used to drink a pot at a sitting.

…Obama prefers hot water, lemon, honey, and ginger.

…Neither is great, say the docs.

…Another doc blames weird trail food—and suggests antacids to prevent acid reflux, which can irritate vocal cords.

…Doctors tell them not to whisper—the worst—because it stretches the vocal cords.

…Humming is helpful, though. President Clinton does it. His favorite is “Amazing Grace.”

…Doctors have also told these chatterboxes to wear scarves around their necks indoors and not to jut their heads forward, as Hillary often does.

…HA is prone to losing her voice—but has not in ages, come to think of it. Pays to type a lot, she guesses.

…And not run for office.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The inner life of your kids

…Your children may not be all about the latest video game or spelling test.

…Even absent huge dislocators like divorce, kids these days may be hearing the word “recession,” worrying about money, or wondering why parents are stressed.

…A new poll at Kid’s Health ( asked 1,154 children from 9 to 13 how much they worry and what they worry about.

…86% say they worry “almost all the time” or “a lot” about the health of someone they love. Coming in next are school work, tests or grades at 77%, their future at 76%, and their looks at 63%.

…Only 25% worry about war or terrorism as number 1.

…Most kids do not talk about worrying about the health of a loved one. In fact, less than a quarter talk to parents about any worries.

…Parents need to take the lead, it seems. Tune into school concerns, listen. Be careful when talking about your own health.

…Parents also should provide factual information and reassure kids that their worries are natural.

…Above all, be a good role model.

…Kids can misinterpret things. They can think, for example, that because you are fighting, you are getting divorced.

…They are operating only on partial information in almost all cases—and almost always, without context or the benefit of perspective.

…Look at everything from their point of view.

...And you'll get a lollipop.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Those expensive implants need tending

…Natasha Singer, writing in the NYT on Jan 17, 2008, describes a model rhapsodizing about her breast implants. “You know that feeling when they are the perfect size?” she purrs.

…Well, enjoy them—because they change.

…Breast implantation is not necessarily one-time surgery.

…A third of patients need another operation in 3-5 years.

…Doctors call this annuity medicine—it keeps on giving. To them.

…Insurance companies, Singer points out, are not likely to spring for MRIs and follow-on surgeries, should something go wrong.

…Some of the manufacturers offer warranties—but read the fine print.

…One doctor likens implant maintenance to having your nails done.

…These things, saline or silicone, do rupture sometimes or ripple or migrate. Think 10 years, the experts say.

…Some surgeries involve, as one doctor said, “removing all that goo.”

…When a doctor says “goo,” this can be a warning flag.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The big chilly

…Living in Phoenix, we rarely get more than cold toes from sitting too long. Of course, you can go into the mountains and die if you’re not careful, so here are some tips for everyone.

…The American Red Cross says sleet and high winds can attack the most innocent road trip or you can get cut off by a blizzard.

…They recommend putting together a kit for your car: battery-powered NOAA radio with extra batteries, blankets or sleeping bags, first aid kit, flashlight with batteries, fire extinguisher, jumper cables, flares, tire repair kit, compass, roadmap, knife, sand or cat litter, windshield scraper.

…Winterize your car before setting out. Have a mechanic check tire treads and fluids.

…Keep the gas tank near full (OK, silly with these prices, but that is what they said.)

…Dress everyone in layers.

…Check the weather before leaving. Amazingly, people don’t.

…If you do get stalled, stay in your car. Do not try to walk out.

…Tie a brightly colored scarf to your antenna.

…Run the engine and heater 10 mins an hour—make sure the exhaust pipe is not packed with snow. When the car is running, turn on the overhead light for those 10 mins.

…After the snow stops, raise the hood to signal distress.

…Cellphones may not work—don’t depend on them.

…HA adds: Bring packaged crackers and water. The warm fireplace complete with cocoa (where HA is) will not be available to ya.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy, happy

…According to the Economist, the World Database of Happiness is in Rotterdam. Don’t they do a lot of dope there? Just asking.

…They track what makes people happy and why.

…Married, extroverted optimists are happier than single, introverted pessimists, they say.

…How about single, extroverted pessimists? HA asks (darkly).

…Nurses enjoy life more than bankers, they assert.

…It helps to be religious, sexually active, and a college grad with a short commute.

…Psychologists, apparently (and who asked), ask why people aren’t happier given their access to freedom, opportunities and riches.

…Are they talking about me or anyone I know? Riches?

…Happiness is now considered more of an entitlement than a pursuit, they opine. Well, that would lead into the idea that if you aren’t euphoric all the time, you are doing something wrong.

…Eric Weiner wrote The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places on Earth.

…He checked out the world and asked people in the happiest places why they are happy. One guy in Switzerland cited their clean public toilets.

…In Qatar, happiness is seen as God’s will—and in response to Eric, they advised him to become a Muslim.

…In Thailand, people were too happy to answer.

…Those happy places—Switzerland, Iceland? High suicide rates.

…One guy in England said, “We don’t do happiness.” (He blamed the notion on America, now we’re tagged with THAT.)

…Another guy wrote a book on melancholia and said that it was being annihilated—along with it creativity, genius, and intellectual brilliance.

…HA could not have said it better.

…Smile now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bandages for every form of mayhem

…The AP’s Leanne Italie takes on the bandage aisle. Have you visited that thing lately—it’s more mind-bending that the vitamin section!

…You can stand and stare for half an hour and still be clueless.

…”They are tough, clear, rubbery, gooey, round, winged, and squiggly,” Italie raves.

…Squiggly—OK, HA is grossed out. If those things move, you will be peeling her off the ceiling.

…A marketer quoted in the article says the market is chugging along nicely, and manufacturers are doing everything they can to tweak presized bandages and grab marketshare.

…”Let the injury get air” has been replaced by “let’s seal this sucker up on all sides.”

….The shapes and sizes conform to weird body parts and areas. Like the H-shapes for knuckles.

…For the very weird, you can spray on the bandage or slap on gel. Remember lambskin to protect blistery areas? It’s still around.

…Allergic to latex? They have ya covered. And those little dot bandages—those are good for protecting chafe-prone nippies.

…And of course, the cartoons. These are HA’s favorite. You can even get bandages that show “High School Musical.”

…Want to know a secret? Sometimes kids put them on just for laffs and decoration.

…What’s next in the larky world of personal injury? Smart bandages that change color when a certain antibiotic is needed. Or scented with nice smells like popcorn or apple pie.

…Oh, urp.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Skepticism from the world of travel

…First, HA saw a story by Daniel Yee of the AP saying that Delta Air Lines is creating some videos to tell people how to act on a plane.

…Planeguage—they call it. Is that “Plain-gwidge”? On, never mind. Even fancy Gwidge won’t help this.

…What are we, 5?

…There is already a cable series called Airline or something in which we see how not to behave—on both the part of the staff and the passenger.

…In these videos, these “humorous” videos show—according to the airline—“Hey, you don’t want to be that guy.”

…How about “You don’t want to be the dense airline employee who keeps saying, ‘Ma’am, ma’am’…?”

…This is supposed to help you be a good travel companion, which we can hope means not to grumble and stare at your large seatmate, bring on a screeching toddler, or drink too much—or any of many other things people do.

…This may seem a tad patronizing, but they seem to think people are not properly educated about how to act. HA guesses this is like Travel Charm School. Good luck with that.

…In our second story, Travelodge Hotels in the UK offer recordings to help you sleep.

…These “Nodcasts” are not soothing ocean sounds and jungle birds, but deal with lack of confidence and assertiveness.

…They apparently learned that Brits, anyway, tend to lose sleep over a difficult boss or missed deadline, so invite them to doze off hearing messages like, “Remember a time when you were calm and relaxed…”

…Nothing like a little self-analysis to put you right out. Nothing to worry about there.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Be true

…Uh-oh, honesty in candy. The famous NECCO candy hearts, which HA has learned are called Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, are going all Dr Phil this year.

…Some new phrases: “In a Fog,” “Chill Out,” and “Get My Drift.”

…No “WhatEV”? Come on, that was a gimme.


…Or “URLove”

…Or “LOL.”

…Some marketing woman blatted on about how the weather—the weather,what about love?—is unpredictable. HA should add here that you can eat sayings such as “Sun Shine” this year, too.

…We eat a lot of sunshine here in AZ.

…Also new: “Wild Life,” “Nature Lover,” and “Do Good.”

…NECCO has been at this since 1966. The company was sold at the end of last year.

…So next year can we can expect: “Leveraged Buyout,” “Damn IPO” and “RIFF”?

…Oh, NECCO, don’t change. How can we have Valentine’s without you? Get the drift?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chocolate may not be good for bones

…In a study done in Australia, older women who ate chocolate every day had thinner, weaker bones than their peers.

…Wait, you are probably thinking, if they sit around popping bon-bons, no wonder their bones are weak. But the researchers allowed for other dietary habits.

…Chocolate is rich in flavinoids, which are good for bones, but also contains oxalate which blocks absorption of calcium and sugar, which can cause the body to excrete calcium.

…They checked out 1,001 women from 70 to 85 who were participating in a study on calcium supplements and the risk of fracture.

…The chocolate eaters had 3.1% lower bone density, as well as weaker bones in the heel and shin bone.

…Both groups ate the same amount of fruits and veggies., but the chocolate eaters ate less protein, starch, fiber and potassium.

…The chocolate eaters also weigh less on average and had a lower BMI.

…So what does it mean?

…All together now…More study necessary. We are not going down without a fight on this one.

…Of course, if we fight, it may break our glass-like bones.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gym class can be H-E-double hockeysticks

…Jamie Stengle of the AP writes about how overweight youngsters are changing the ever-popular gym class.

…HA remembers gym like it was five minutes ago!

…Those bloomer-like navy shorts that tightened around the thighs with a o-ring or whatever those doohickeys are called.

…The white blouse you had to iron.

…The gruff, scary teachers who made you rub your nail polish off on the cement floors. (OK, that one might have just been a Midwestern or even an individual gym teacher deal.)

…But most of all? The laps, the rope climbing, the hard, winding stuff like field hockey that polished off larger members of the class in no time at all. Ha, ha, you’re fat, hey fatty.

…HA remembers modern dance class—a leotard, but let’s not even GO there. She had to do an interpretive dance—and she did a person with a stomach ache. Memory may lie, but she recalls the teacher being pretty unimpressed.

..In Stengle’s story, sweating is charmingly referred to as “burning butter.” The kids are taught things they can do all their lives. (Apparently, the utility of Dodge Ball wanes over time.)

…The focus is on individual activities. This, he kindly says, allows overweight kids to do things at their own pace—code for "not keep up if they can’t." Weight lifting, yoga, and martial arts are examples. HA also remembers square dancing, which for some perverse reason was considered “gym.”

…Another gym teacher organizes “treasure hunts” to make kids “move.” He just puts all the treasures half a mile away.

…HA is of two minds on this. She still has fleeting nightmares about climbing a rope. But having the rope there—as a challenge of life—was not all bad.

…At least, they still have gym. HA thought that had disappeared along with recess.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gone to the table in the sky

…According to WSJ obit writer Stephen Miller, Eddie "Bozo" Miller was once listed in Guinness as “the world’s greatest trencherman.”

…For those whose education was post-Chaucer, that means Eddie liked to eat

…He once won a contest in Idaho by eating 30 pounds of elk and moose meatloaf. (HA never heard of moose meatloaf and sort of wishes she never had.)

…He once downed 25 bowls of minestrone and 30 pounds of shrimp.

…He drank a bottle of gin in a single chug, then offered the loser a drink.

…His Guinness record was for eating 27 two-lb chickens and for eating 324 raviolis. The first 250 raviolis went down in a little over an hour, but then they had to wait while the kitchen made more.

….Miller had a 57-inch waist and was quite the ladies man, driving around in a yellow Cadillac convertible, the trunk stuffed with pearls and presents for the ladies. He also spent a lot of time at the track.

…A man writ large.

…He said he rarely got indigestion—except for one time when felled by a snack of 10 pounds of cheese crackers.

…His daughters—named Candy, Cooky, and Honey—used to bring out 100 liqueurs after dinner and he would try to get people drunk, with consistent success.

…He often liked to muse on how he could have outeaten Diamond Jim Brady. Brady was strong in the meat department, Miller would say, but weak in pastry. He himself, he would note, had no weak areas.

…After outliving a bunch of doctors, Miller finally dropped 125 lbs off his 300-lb frame.

…Oh…and he lived to 89. “They’re going to stuff me,” he said of his funeral.

…But, alas, that had already been done--and ever so much better.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Let's say you do go to the gym

…It’s early yet. Most people are still exercising like mad. But now lurks the spectre of that weird skin staph infection called MRSA, which can start as a pimple and put you in the hospital—or worse.

…Joshua Fox, MD, founder of Advanced Dermatology and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, says MRSA is going to the gym sometimes, that is not urban legend.

…But it’s more likely you will get athlete’s foot—or tinea pedis. You can also get viral plantar’s warts on your feet from damp, crowded environments where you run around without shoes. So wear shoes or flip-flops.

…Even the Centers for Disease Control says wash your hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

…Shower after you work out.

…Cover abrasions with a clean, dry bandage.

…Use a barrier such as a towel on shared equipment. Wipe off your own goo when you are done using whatever the facility provides.

…You can also spritz on some disinfecting spray.

…Just practice good hygiene. You know the drill. But now the stakes are a little higher.

…Avoid those killer "pimples."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bogus pills and pacemakers

…HA once had a cardiologist who was accused of buying pacemakers on eBay and implanting them.

…Even then, those might have been built by a reputable supplier.

…A big worry these days is devices and pills slapped together offshore and containing don’t-want-to-think-about-it.

…The FDA is all over this, but it is still happening.

…The World Health Organization estimates that 10% of drugs are counterfeit. This may be as much as half in some countries.

…Organized crime has a tentacle in this, as well as other lesser grifters and criminals.

…In 2003, counterfeit Procrit (used to treat anemia from chemo) was found in US pharmacies and hospitals. There was no active drug in it and the solution was tainted, which made it even more dangerous to immune-compromised people.

…Now, the internet makes it even easier to pawn garbage off on people. Counterfeit Tamiflu and Cialis are just two such fake drugs being sold.

…Counterfeit Colgate toothpaste has been found in some discount stores. A clue: Misspellings on the packages.

…Some counterfeit mesh used to repair hernias has also been found to be counterfeit and tainted.

…Don’t even think about what is in that botox shot. Some doctor in Florida shot some industrial strength stuff from the internet into people and put them in the hospital for months on a ventilator.

…Always buy from state-licensed pharmacies. If you buy from a website, looks for the VIPSS seal.

…If you get a device, make sure the doctor registers it after implanting it.

…And maybe make sure he or she didn’t use Paypal to buy it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Does feeling good make you exercise?

…Sure, exercise may make you feel good—endorphins, you know. But is this feeling strong enough to provide motivation?

…We all know runners that crave that feeling and are obsessed with the “high.”

…Researchers at Bowling Green State in Ohio studied the connection between mood and motivation.

…Morning mood, they found, was associated with an increased likelihood of exercising.

…They also found that mood ratings were higher when exercise was more intense and longer in duration.

…Would it make you exercise—the prospect of that “whoa, I did it” feeling? Apparently, getting to the gym in the morning would enhance the likelihood.

…Morning exercise also ramps up your calorie burning, so you burn more all day.

…In another study, researchers found that people who never eat fast food are better weight loss maintainers.

…One for The Big Book of Duh?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Don't be a dope on the slope

…The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has some skiing advice.

…Ooo, this can’t be good—they take care of head injuries. We are not talking toddy recipes here.

…If you don slippery pieces of wood and allow gravity to propel you downward, the last thing you may see is tree bark—up close.

….Sonny Bono, Michael Kennedy…even celebrities have met their end on the ski slope.

…Not to snow on your parade, but last year, more than 6,000 people had snowboard problems, more than 5,000 ran afoul of ice or a puck, 4,900 skiing, even 3,000 ice skating.

…Head injuries are the most likely cause of fatalities, and these most often come from snow mobiling and skiing. Snowboarding is moving up, though.

…To avoid the death or paralysis trip, always wear an approved helmet. That means always, 100% of the time.

…Wear appropriate clothing.

…Do not participate if you are tired or have been drinking.

…When the weather is bad, stay inside.

…Drive snowmobiles slowly—and on approved trails.

…Ice skate only in approved areas and even then, check for cracks!

…Ride only on sleds that can be steered and never go head first. Eeek—we used to do the latter all the time as kids.

…HA lived on a corner and the street beside the house was the steepest and best sledding hill in town. She used to hear the grownups out there after the kids went to bed. She thinks they may have been indulging in adult beverages.

…Did they sled down head first…who knows? Probably.

….Still, you would do well to listen to the brain surgeons. This isn’t rocket science.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tatts for tots

…Do so-called child safety things creep you out, like they do HA? Fingerprinting, etc.—don’t you get the impression this is for after something bad has happened.

…But what if you take your kid to the State Fair—and he zips off someplace. Kids are faster than geckos on a back fence.

…So how about a tottoo? That’s a tattoo for tots, get it?

…This is FDA-approved ink, if that reassures you.

…They last 12 hours or even a couple of days if applied properly to clean, dry skin.

…They cost about $15 for 15 decals and can be purchased in bulk for school field trips and the like.

…You could also order these to show medical information, such as allergies, or use them yourself if you are out in remote areas hiking or swimming.

…Check it out at (Couldn’t you do this with a marker? I know—HA is no fun!)

….At very least, you can freak out Grandma! My baby! A tattoo! Oh, no! I knew I should never have let your Dad hitchhike in high school! That’s where it all went wrong! My stars!

…By the way, if you are wearing one yourself saying you are allergic to bees or something, stay out of biker bars. So easy to be misunderstood, you know.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Oh, neat, rickets are back

…Lauran Neergaard, AP, wrote a story recently that appeared in the LA times on
Nov 26, 2007.

…Remember those little bow legs kids had from not enough calcium? Well, they are getting them again.

…Little kids and teens must be building bone—bone that will last them the rest of their lives.

…If they don’t, they can get funky legs and wrists, then later in life, may get osteoporosis in greater numbers than their grandparents (they think, not yet proved).

…A researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hosp gave bone scans to 1,500 healthy children from 6 to 17. Then her team created a bone-growth guide—similar to those height and weight charts.

…They plan to follow the kids for 7 years. Would a kid laying down insufficient bone now catch up? If not, do they get more fractures?

…Bone needs to be laid down early—as one reaches their 30s, bone tends to break down faster than it is created.

…Kids are already break more bones than 40 years ago—56% more girls break their arms now and 32% of boys.

…The kids who break things tend to have lower bone density.

…You get where this is going. What is the solution?

…Kids need more milk and cheese, sunlight to build Vitamin D, and exercise! Exercise builds bone. Tennis players have more bone in their racket arm than the other arm.

…Inner city docs, esp, are seeing rickets again. Caught early it can be treated, but slight cases may not be caught and it throws everything off for life.

…Milk instead of soda, people! Recess. Playing outdoors in the sun. Kid stuff!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Camp owie-ow-ow

…A hospital out here in the Valley of the Sun—Mercy Gilbert—is starting a “Joint Camp.”

…No, not that kind of joint—knees and hips.

…They will have t-shirts and challenges to encourage people to get ready for their replacement surgery.

….We are talking pure fun here.

…Six weeks prior to surgery, patients can come to workouts, even building up their arms to use their walkers better afterward.

…They say studies show that pre-op workouts make rehab 74% less likely.

…There are about a dozen of these camps nationwide.

…In case you hadn’t noticed, HA is not the rah-rah type. She did attend a two-hour session at another hospital, where her sister later had a hip replacement. They tried to make it peppy and fun—but HA thought people looked a little burned out and apprehensive.

…Also—no S’mores were served.

…And where would one wear a t-shirt that said, “I Survived Minimally Invasive Surgery for My Decreptitude” anyhow?

…Aw, HA will shut up. I am sure this idea is great for a lot of people and that a lot of other people put time and effort into it. What about the six weeks of in and out of the car, extra walking, and then exercise with bone-on-bone pain?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Jiggle and shake

…Can you stand the fare on TV in the dawning of this new year? Marathons of shows about 1000-lb people. "The Big Loser," "Big Medicine," etc. Talk about a fear-based society! Ack!

…HA is getting teed off about it, actually. Get a grip, people. Go sell your little pills, innard-rummaging surgeries, and weird frozen meals to anyone who hasn’t tried them, but stop with the reign of terror.

…It is remotely possible that with the greatness of the human brain, even larger people have interests of love, family, creativity, fulfillment, a new job, renewed faith, purpose, and so on that is not related to fatty tissue?

…But, if you are going to try to jump around more and you are carrying some movable parts, Tara Parker-Pope wrote about this Nov 13, 2007, in the NYT.

…You know what she means—the parts guys like on beach volleyball. Or thighs that…get this…touch each other.

…A fitness instructor says all this glory in motion is uncomfortable. Her clients tell her part of them goes right when they go left.

…Sigh—they have a name for this, of course—the locomotion of obesity. Remember when the Big O had a better connotation?

…Funny story—they never really studied this much, it seems. While exercise may be good for your heart, it may be less good for your knees and hips. Turns out wider people walk with their legs wider apart (hold the “wide stance” jokes).

…This shifts the weight to the inside of the knee—the most prone to arthritis.

…And even skinnies can feel those ta-tas bounce painfully. Yes, they did a study involving light beams and stuff and ALL breasts of all sizes move more than they thought. They go side to side, even front to back. Light beams--HA does not want to think about it.

…Encapsulation—a bra that cradles each side separately—is the answer.

…Also the prescription that exercisers wear light, baggy clothes may not suit people of size. Tight, Spandexy stuff suppports everything better. Check out

…Or—people can try the recumbent bike or go swimming.

…HA says if you’ve got it flaunt it—just slow it down first.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The face cream paradox

…Writing in the NYT on Dec 14, 2007 (that dumb OLD year), Robert Calpin talks about a study that shows that women interested in stopping aging tend to be more loyal to products that don’t work than those that do.


…Researchers from the Univ of Bath in England and Qatar Univ studied women who had used various beauty products in the past year. The majority has used anti-aging skin care and moisturizers was well as vitamins. Half had used salon treatments and about a third had used special diets. Only 3% had Botox or peels.

…Of those who felt the treatments were not working, only 27% stopped using the products.

…But of those who thought the products were working, 55% stopped them!

…The researchers theorized that fear is a more powerful motivator than success. If they were fixated on stopping aging, they were likely to pursue even products that don’t work. They don’t give up.

…Once they see a positive difference, this theory goes, women stop obsessing and may stop using or paying for the product.

…Hmmmm. Bad news for effective products.

…By the way, would someone please write in and tell HA which ones those are.