Wednesday, October 31, 2012

blogging and bullet-pointing

I confess.....I'm hoping to start posting more.  I enjoy it and hope some folks enjoy reading it, but I've struggled with energy and focus of late.  It takes a lot to get through my ghost-blog posts I do for some extra cash and I feel exhausted by even a little bit of writing etc.  But I know I rise to goals so I'm going to post more....not ready to commit to a schedule (though I have a cute idea for a three times a week plan), but just a general goal.  I also plan to play with the formatting a bit.

I do want to create an email address for the blog too.  I have no doubt folks could find me if they really wanted to but prefer not to use my name or "real" email address.  I'll add it in here when I have it set and will also put it on a sidebar or some other part of the template.
I don't want to follow that with a particular pondering, but I can't consider this a real post as it so.....

  • I'm moving slowly through The Orchardist.  It is excellent.  The setting is a rural part of the Pacific Midwest right around the turn of the twentieth century.  I'll share more when I review it, but it has an epic quality, an amazing sense of place, and interesting characters. 
  • I wandered into a bottle of Wen.  I kinda like it but it is pricey and goes fast.  I do not have anything except for the cleansing conditioner so I don't know how the products complement each other.  I do need an extra anti-frizz cream if I blow--dry shortly after showering (vs the days I don't go out so tuck up wet and only dry when I get cold).  I'd love to try to full set if the Wen folks insist.....:P
  • I had been disappointed to not get a particular book after a couple tries in Goodreads giveaways.  On a whim, I emailed someone involved w/ press for the book noting that I do have experience in book reviewing and also telling a bit of my story (i.e. long term pain making work impossible so not really paying for books).  She didn't reply so I chalked it up to "worth a try" until last week when I opened the door one day and found the book on my stoop.  I sent a thank you note and look forward to reading it!
  • I also got a note here inviting me to do another TLC Book Tour.  I've done them before and think they are cool....basically they have a bunch of reviewers post on a schedule so one goes up each day for a given period. 
  • Working on getting in to someone good to look at my file and then hopefully do a successful revision surgery.  I've tried some additional pain control paths w/o much luck and have kinda accepted it will hurt till I get through operation #2.
  • TLC programing is evil.  I can't stop.  It started as treadmill fare (best stuff for walking is light, hold your attention, but not too serious or hard to follow since I'd def miss the important piece of evidence etc). but I catch more What Not to Wear and Four Weddings than I'll admit (kinda worn out on Say Yes to the Dress).  I hate to admit also failing to look away when I flipped channels during the treadmill time and hit Honey Boo Boo (annoying, but they show such love for their family and appear really sure of who they really are) and Breaking Amish (less into the drama, more the idea of new eyes on the world....though it sounds like it is pretty darn fake).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"health" information, or lack thereof

I confess....I want to rant a bit about what passes for information on the Internet.  At least I can promise the rant is NOT about politics!

I consider myself a pretty savvy consumer of health-related information.  I've absolutely used Internet sites to further understand health issues, especially given my multitude of medical issues and pharmacy frequent shopper status.  I understand that there are many reputable sites out there and many that simply are not trustworthy, often because they are advertising in disguise.

This can be especially true in the weight-related arena (though there are plenty of offline offenders too).  However, I feel like a site directly affiliated with a hospital should be information-positive.  So today's experience inspired a rant....

I know that there are many indicators of healthy weight and body composition.  I know any set of numbers is more about averages than individuals, hence the muscled athletes labeled obese by the BMI charts.  I've long heard that weight-hip ratio is a really important stat but really never taken out a tape measure simply because I have enough to obsess over.  However, a while back I needed the numbers to order a dress and decided to explore the results a bit.  My quick Google search on waist-hip ratio info gave many results that raised my radar and that I didn't bother clicking on.  I chose one with a direct tie to a hospital, though I frankly forget which one.

I could beat around the bush, but it's easier to just put the numbers out there.  My bust/waist/hip numbers were 34/28/34 (which, in the wonders of women's clothing, meant I needed a size 4, 8 and 0 all at once).  It didn't ask, but I'll be upfront for the sake of context here....I'm around 118-120lbs and 5'4".  According to the waist-hip calculator, I need to lose weight in order to protect my health.

Okay.  I may be body-conscious, but I know that's not true.  That's not to say I'm at my healthiest.  I actually felt my best around the weight I am now, but I had a lot more muscle at the time.  I know the shift in composition is due to my physical issues, not any lack of motivation.  Actually, in a semi-relevant vein, the recent health results made me feel more assured of my instinct that I wasn't in the place for weight training work right now.  It very well might be accurate to say a shift in body composition would be health-positive, but it simply isn't right to say I need to shed pure pounds to be healthy. 

My ratio is partly a factor of what I can and cannot do right now but also, probably more accurately, a simple fact of genetics.  I just am not a curvy gal.  I get that the calculator ultimately looked at ratios, not actual numbers on the tape measure, but one would think a hospital site would either factor in both or make a more clear statement about what the results mean.  I've read enough to know that the genetic tendency to carry weight in certain areas can, regardless of numbers on the scale, predict health outcomes and it is not bad to be aware of that.  Still, it angers me when a site associated with a medical institution can't bother to explain that rather than make a blanket statement...especially when the ratio is partly about using something other than the scale to evaluate health.  I feel the same way when a BMI calculator fails to note that muscle mass can lead to less useful results.  With different information under my belt, it could have sent me into a body image tailspin.   

I'm a savvy health consumer, and treading on the Internet always requires some amount of information awareness (a topic we really should teach more in schools...I know my teachers did discuss source-awareness but it isn't taught enough).  Caveat emptor...or something like it...but it is ridiculous that someone who knows enough to look for a hospital-affiliated site might still come away with poor guidance.

P.S.  I'm going to work hard to not let myself feel somehow bad about the personal stats in this post....the rational side of me knows my rant is no less valid because I can wear a size small. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

the bullet points return!

I confess....I'm overdue for a bit of bullet-point rambling....
  • I'll be happy when the election is over and there are fewer divisive Facebook feeds.  I certainly could un-follow folks for the short-term so it really isn't anyone else's fault.  Politics does not always bring out the best in folks. Being in a "mixed" relationship is also tougher during the election season.  Gotta bite our tongues a lot and "obey the mat!"
  • REM sleep is a good thing.  My brain has decided to interrupt it a lot & that's challenging.
  • I've been wearing my brace and I can get out a bit on the weekends.  I do end up paying for it is I do more than 2 hours or so, and I definitely need to save the energy during the week to "spend" it on the weekend, but it is still good to play human occasionally.
  • On that note, my cousin's wedding is next month (11/11).  Looking forward to it but nervous about the long day.  I've been told there are couches in niches throughout where I can hide and may even be able to nap in the bride's dressing room if it gets to that point (though I'd rather leave the bride her space!).  I'm a bridesmaid so the dress is set & I got more reasonable shoes than I wore last wedding so I'm not as worried about falling on my butt!  There'll be flip-flops stashed in a tote for post-ceremony/post-photo needs.  Bride kindly said she wouldn't care at all if I wore them the whole time, but I can handle a short spell in the nice shoes,  Honestly, it'll be a bit of work either way (extra meds may be in that tote too) so may as well be photo-ready!
  • I've requested that our local supermarket carry my beloved Oatmeal Cookie Chunk.  Until then, Rocky Road-ish is my indulgence of choice.

  • PA wine stores have a limited stock since they are tightly state managed.  I was thrilled to find Renwood Barbera is a new addition.  I had it years ago & could never find it again.  I'm a fan of big reds so not everyone agrees with my picks, but I find this easy to drink & quite tasty. 

  • I do miss being able to do some more blogging (and feel an odd need to add random pics today), but I am sticking to the advice to mind my limits.  Some days that's just paying a bill, calling a doc about paperwork, & a bit of my own paperwork.  I need to just be okay with that.
  • I am still doing the ghost-blogging...writing six posts (three each for two firm) a week, 500+ words on a relevant news story w/ a spin on applicable law or some other applicable topic. Sometimes it is tough to find a topic, especially for the smaller market one since there are limited news stories to use as a starter, and sometimes it takes way longer than it should (normal - 90min, worst - nearly 5h), but I like that I can say I'm a writer. I have not been able to do more pieces for the local freebie paper since my contact was ousted as editor, but hopefully that will change in time.
  • MM needed his "fun car" inspected and had a few time issues.  I was beyond nervous, but I can now say I've been behind the wheel of a Corvette.  I suppose it is telling that my favorite part was the heads-up display (speed is displayed on the windshield).  I think folks were baffled by a black sports car staying under the speed limit!

  • How did I end up watching What Not to Wear?  It's mostly treadmill fare and all reruns.  How come no one makes over a wardrobe for a gal whose clothes are acceptable but who still could use some guidance on what flatters her frame?  I  can add in a story about having lost all my beloved muscle tone, esp missing my toned tris, to give it interest.
  • I got a "real phone"...texting, Internet, and all the like.  Love that I can deposit checks with it (using our secure home internet) since BOA is everywhere but in the State College region.  I had been good about using a guided relaxation app too for a while..fallen off that wagon but will get back on eventually since it was definitely good and Pain Shrink is a fan of such apps.
  • Lots of other stuff coming up....MM's family event, the aforementioned wedding, Turkey Day...deep breaths and a reminder that giving myself the rest I need is vital to making it through busy times.