Monday, April 15, 2013

Memorial Day in Israel

[This post was prompted by comments over at Shiloh Musings
   There has been a lot of debate in Israel lately about whether to keep "soldier's memorial day" back-to-back with Independence Day (preceding it) or not. Here are my thoughts on this:
1)      I do not think that we should combine, as some have suggested, Memorial Day with holocaust remembrance day. They are two entirely different things! [This is one reason I am appalled by how politicians try to cash in on holocaust remembrance day with plans for Israel today. Holocaust day should be reserved for mourning what we have lost.]
2)     If we remove soldier's remembrance memorial day to a whole week before Independence day, it will lose a lot of its significance and impact. The limitation that we cannot start independence celebrations till nightfall after the memorial day is a stark reminder that this independence came at a very heavy price.
3)      I dare say that for families who have lost a family member, they will carry it forward into the holiday in any case.
4)      What could be done is to make the last few hours of the memorial day more neutral. Ceremonies should be in the morning, and up to 2 or 3. Radio and TV should after those hours have programs which are not holiday, but with less emphasis on mourning. Shops should remain closed.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

2 easy cute health hints for dieters with iphones

These things are really easy, and for the youngsters, they will laugh at me thinking that this is "news". But for the 60-year-olds like me, I just want to throw your way a few thoughts/ideas you may not have thought of...

1) accessible maps:
make a folder "health and maps" in your photos section. Move to there any screen captures of maps that you  use often when walking, route plans, and the like. Then you don't have to go through all the family pics when looking for the map

2)I always forget my target heart range, especially as there are various ways to computr it. So... :
1)Download a free heart rate  app (I use Azumio)
2)On awakening take resting pulse
3 ) go to:
4) figure heart rate range
5) take screen shot
6) move photo to a "health, maps" folder of pics  (The ppint here is to make the picture easy to find and access)
NOW YOU HAVE An EASILY Accessible target heart rate chart 

 BTW, for those who say "download an app for target heart rate", I only saw 2 in app store. One has a much less accurate chart than the one on the "health and fitness" site; the second works with AVERAGE pulse. For someone with a slower-than-regular resting pulse rate (like me), the results would be way off

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Second Step

   The first step in losing weight is similar to the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous: The realization that I reached this point due to my choices, and the knowledge that I need to make some changes in my life.
   But the second step is OH so much harder!  And a lot of people never do this step, and (in my humble opinion) this is the main reason that they are not able to complete the job.
   Whoever overeats has a reason for doing so. We all want to be thin, beautiful, and healthy, so there must be a compelling reason that causes us to irrationally overeat. We are GAINING SOME BENEFIT FROM THE EXCESS FOOD. Possibilities:
-sugar gives me an energy boost when I didn't sleep enough last night…
-cake comforts my nerves when I am tense
-eating gives me something to do when bored

    These are just a few examples. The "second step" is to discover WHAT IS TRIGGERING your overeating, and find NON-FOOD ALTERNATIVES.

   Even though I am a good three years on this journey, and about 75 kilos (165 lbs) lighter, I still struggle at times with overeating. Because those "benefits" of overeating are still there, I still have to be on my toes to make sensible choices.  It is OH SO EASY to slip back to bad and unhealthy ways of dealing with tiredness and stress.
   However, on the positive side, it does become easier to make those right choices. I've learned, for example, that a good brisk walk will cure my tension even better than a cookie… and without the guilt, as well!
    And of course, making those right choices, and living healthy is a heck of a lot of fun……

Monday, April 8, 2013

Geocaching, Losing Weight, and Flexibility

   Today I went geocaching. For the first time in my life.
   A recent article on Spark People reminded me how my brother and son went geocaching together four years ago in Colorado. I was there, but hadn't joined them. Why not? Maybe because I was busy with something else. Maybe it was the sabbath (when I don't do this type of stuff...). Maybe because I had other plans. I really don't remember. But even if those had been a reason, the biggest reason would have been my weight.
   You see, when someone is very overweight, it is SSSOOO easy to get set in a grove of things that are comfortable, things you KNOW that you can do.... situations where you can be reasonably assured not to be laughed at, or spoken to in a condescending manner.
   Trying new things is scary....
-the amusement park?... I might not fit in the seat
-biking?... If I fall, can I get up? Is the bike strong enough?
-a new dance class?... maybe other people will roll their eyes, I'll be a failure at it...?

   One of the biggest gifts of my losing weight is the self assurance that I can try new things. And if I fail at something... well, everyone does, but since I am successful at MOST stuff, one small failure isn't the end

Geocaching; Losing Weight

   Today I did something fun—I went and found a geocache ! The fun was not the contents of the cache, but the challenge of finding it. And in addition, I discovered a few new small parks between a park I knew and a big park I had never WALKED to until today (but which I had gone to previously by bus), Park Wolfson. And then I turned around and walked home! (A total of  about 3 hours of walking, in addition to several errands beforehand.)
   The point here, though, is that I ENJOY walking. Climbing 50 steps to a park on a hill no longer, as it did once, make me gasp for breath. Once upon a time, even if I COULD do such a walk, I would have terrible leg pains afterwards. Today I put my legs up for 5 minutes after I got home, and felt fine.
   I doubt if people who have been very overweight for several years have a true idea of JUST how TREMENDOUS the changes in their life can be with weight loss. Let me share some of the changes I have experienced:
1)      My knees no longer hurt
2)      I can climb up the three flights of stairs to my house without stopping 2-3 times in the middle, and without feeling like I'm on the verge of a heart attack
3)      I can run to catch the "cross" light while green, before it turns to red.
4)      If I run out of onions, I pop over to the vegetable store, rather than waiting until someone comes home. And the 4 minute up and down the stairs and crossing the bit to the store in no big deal.
5)      I don't have to sew my own clothing, or go to a special store for super-big sizes. (Which charge super-big prices as well…)
6)      I can buy a bathing suit.
7)      I am no longer mortified by embarrassment when I go to the beach, pool, etc.
8)      I no longer cringe before every doctor's visit, knowing that I will be told that any problem I have will be blamed on me….
9)      I can dance and dance and dance at a wedding, and it is FUN…..
10)   Today I can use all sorts of standard things, which once were too small: seat belts, hospital gowns, bus seats, airline seats, etc etc
11)   Jewelry, watches, etc fit me.

12)   People see ME, not "My G-d, what a FAT lady!!"
13)   It is easy to pick stuff off the floor, clean under closets, climb unto chairs, climb ladders.
14)   If for some reason I am sitting on the floor, it does not take tremendous strategic maneuvers to rise.
15)   My legs (veins) no longer hurt. My cholesterol returned to normal, as did my blood pressure.
16)   I have more energy—MUCH more
In addition, I have gained the self confidence that I can accomplish my goals, even if I occasionally make a small slip. I no longer have to be "perfect" in everything, to compensate for my over-weight "deficiency".
Not a bad trade, huh, for those 75 kilos…….