Swimming

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I’m back in a bathing suit and swimming again!  I was that kid at swimming lessons who had already completed Jr. Lifesaving at the age of 9, but had to re-take all the other class due to the age restrictions.  While I was never a super-fast swimmer (I was a “pretty” swimmer with little to no splashing), I did a mean dive and was on the local swim team for a few seasons.  If it was summer, I was at the local pool.  My mother had us riding our bikes the mile-and-a-half to the pool from the time I was 6.  This was another time, when kids were much “safer”, or if they weren’t, no one actually heard about it.

So, for years I haven’t gone to the lake that’s just about a mile from my house due to my feeling I was “too fat” to get into a bathing suit.  Yes, I know, vanity captures us all at some point or another.  But, now that I’ve lost weight, I went out and bought myself a black one-piece, and the rest is history.

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I’ve been going early in the morning and swimming laps between the two decks.  The other day I was the only one there at 6 am.  It was quiet, meditative and nice.  And, the lake is too crowded to swim laps at any other time of day.  There is a pair of eagles living at our lake this summer, and I’ve been hoping to catch sight of them.  No luck yet.

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I really missed this and can’t believe that it’s been so long since I went swimming.  I think that in another life I may have been a mermaid; either that, or a narwhal (the unicorn of the sea).  I hope to improve by the end of the summer, and be able to complete more laps.  For the moment though, I’m just loving it!

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This is one of my favorite quotes. Love Dory!

 

Compassion is a Verb

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Compassion is important to me.  It should be important to all of us.  Compassion is what religion is supposed to be about.  “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”  Is one of the most quoted statements from the Bible.  Somehow, we have lost whatever compassion we had as a country.  The reason I’m saying this is specifically related to the new TrumpCare Bill that is in Congress.  This bill will take insurance away from the very people who need it.  Anyone who is older, or has pre-existing conditions will lose their health care.  Well, if they don’t want to eat, or have a place to live, they might be able to pay their premiums.  Otherwise, those premiums will be too big to pay.

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Where is the compassion?  I look around me and I don’t see any.  Disabled people are blithely told to “just get a job”.  When was the last time you saw a blind or deaf person in your office?  How about the elderly?  Have you seen many 95-year-old delivery people, or an 85-year-old working at Walmart?  No, neither have I.  Even though this bill has “died”, they are still looking to simply get rid of the ACA, leaving millions of people without healthcare.

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It’s called compassion.  Find some, use some.  Be the person you were meant to be.  Compassion.  One day you will need it.  When you do, will it  be there?

Duplin County, North Carolina

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I’ve been letting you know about the health problems associated with eating the typical American diet. However, the problems with our form of food goes far beyond what we eat, it also includes environmental and various health issues that can be caused by not ingesting this food, but by living close to where the “products” are “grown” and “harvested”.  The easiest place in which to find information regarding these issues is in Duplin County, North Carolina.

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There are more hogs in Duplin County than there are people.  Actually, the ratio is about 39:1. That’s a lot of hogs.  Along with the number of animals, you must also include the urine and manure that is produced.  With the increased number of animals, comes the corresponding increase in waste.  So, where does this waste go?  The answer to that is lagoons that are supposed to be leak-proof, but of course that isn’t true.  There is a lot of seepage that than pollutes waterways and groundwater.    Then there is the smell, and the fact that hog waste is blown into the air via large sprayers.  These are often turned on at times when the nearby residents would be home, and outside.  The contaminants cause various health problems including raising blood pressure, neurobehavior, pulmonary function and cause cancer.

I have been writing about the hazards of the typical American diet for a few posts now.  Since I’ve been trying to get the information out, I’ve been told that it’s a person’s “right” to eat what they want.  But my question is, is it your “right” to cause disease to the communities surrounding these operations?  Is it your right to cause environmental damage to other parts of the country and the world?  (Beef production is the leading cause of Rainforest destruction).

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I urge you to watch What the Health, and other documentaries such as Conspiracy, and/or Earthlings.  Look up slaughterhouses on YouTube.  Go to https://nutritionfacts.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwhYLLBRBIEiwAtFeEDxfxzh95HU6_cCsX_9ORP2BQ7kEiuA_Awxx9PMYoIKo2kJOXAFcl5BoCDcAQAvD_BwE  I beg you to educate yourself on what your diet is doing not only to you personally, but to other people and the environment.  Get healthy, eat well and live a happy life!

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http://observer.com/2017/05/pig-waste-factory-farming-north-carolina/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141028-hog-farms-waste-pollution-methane-north-carolina-environment/

http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/statter.html

http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/03/hog-waste-threatens-north-carolinas-rural-poor

http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/UNC-Report.pdf

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/18/duplin-county-life-under-the-waste-sprayer/

http://www.technicianonline.com/news/article_334b5bdc-b4f3-11e5-b31f-af277c4f3939.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create Your Life

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Sometimes we are so busy reacting to the things that life throws at us, that we look around and realize that we haven’t so much as “made” our own lives, instead we’ve had them thrown at us.  Instead of setting goals, and taking the appropriate steps to reach those goals, we’ve simply been reacting to whatever has come our way.  While this is a fairly normal thing, it’s not the best thing.  Simply reacting doesn’t promote a happy, healthy lifestyle.

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So, here is the thing.  Take some time out of your busy life, and ask yourself if you are happy.  Do you feel fulfilled in your job and in your life?  Is there something else that you’d rather have?  If you find that at your core you are not happy, then carve out some time for you to be quiet with your own thoughts.  What can you do right away to change something that you don’t like?  If you’re in a situation not of your making, but you need to stay there for some reason or another – money, marriage, bad job market; how can you change what you are doing to make it more pleasant for you.  If you hate your job but can’t leave due to financial issues, is there something you can do to make it more interesting/pleasant.  Maybe you are not actually bored with your job, maybe it’s something about your life.  Whatever it is, can you change yourself to improve the situation?  Sometimes frustration with ourselves is at the core of our larger unhappiness.

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Whatever it is that you’ve found out, now is the time to decide to take action to change your life.  Make a goal and plan action steps to get there.  Once you begin working toward a goal, you’ll be amazed at how much happier you are.

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The Benefits of Walking

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While we all know that we should walk more, there are now even more reasons to do so.  In a study published one year ago in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2047487316655466  low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality rates.  In other words, if you don’t walk, you will die.  Of course, this study was conducted on middle aged men, however, as with other studies, one can assume that it will hold true for women as well, since other scientific studies do show corresponding factors for women.  To back this assumption, there is another study http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288042.php  completed with 340,000 male and female participants showing that 20 minutes of brisk walking per day was enough to decrease the chance of early death by 16% to 30%.

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However, there are benefits other than fitness and lower early mortality rates to consider when a person walks.  For one thing, anyone can go take a walk.  We don’t need fancy shoes, we can walk no matter what our fitness level is, and we can control how long and how difficult our walk is.  Just the very fact of getting outside does wonders for our mental health.  We can get some sun (not too much), breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature.  All these factors are a mental health boost.  Not only that, walking in our neighborhoods gives us a chance to interact with our neighbors, boosting our sense of community.

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I go for a daily walk, and I find that it really helps me to be outside and getting some much needed exercise.  I love the boost walking gives me, and of course being in nature is so important to my own mental health.  Do you go for a daily walk?  Where are your favorite walks?  Do you prefer your own neighborhood or do you go to a park or a walking trail?  Have you felt the benefits of walking in your own life?  Let me know in the comments below.

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And of course, don’t forget to perfect your silly walk!

 

Did You Ever Wonder Why?

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Have you ever wondered why after all the billions of dollars spent, the years of research, and the time devoted to talking about it, why there has been no discernible “cure” for cancer?  A lot of corporations and people are getting wealthy over cancer research, drugs and care.  A lot of people with cancer are going broke and dying.  But there is no “cure” in sight.  There is a large incidence for either the same type of cancer to recur, or a new kind of cancer to “crop up”.  Why is that?

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Why does one of the best-known foundations, the Susan Komen Foundation take money from Yoplait, whose products contain a known carcinogen that is factor in causing breast cancer?  Why does only 20% of the money the foundation raises go toward research for a cure?  These are all valid questions, and I’m not just referring to this one foundation, I’m using it as an example.  The rest of the cancer foundations also take money directly from corporations that sell products that contain carcinogens, too.

Because a plant-based diet has been scientifically proved to be beneficial to slowing and stopping the growth of cancer, I was surprised to find that this does not appear on the American Cancer Society website.  Instead, they tell you to “limit” your amount of processed meats and red meat.  Again, they don’t let you know that these are listed as carcinogens.  Where is a concerned person supposed to go to get scientifically backed information?  The answer is simple.  Read How not to Die, by Dr. Michael Greger and go on his website https://nutritionfacts.org/

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What do you think of these facts?  Have you wondered about the amount of money spent on research, drugs and care?  Do you think that this research will find a cure for cancer?  Let me know in the comments below.

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/diet-and-physical-activity.html

 

Confidence

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This quote is so true.  For many of us, we spend so much time trying to be something that we are not, that we lose track of who we are. I know that for most of my life I’ve been trying so hard to please other people that for a long time I lost my sense of self.  In fact, I often feel like I’m stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out who I am.  Confidence in myself is something that I’ve struggled with for a long time, as I’m sure many other people have.  By always pleasing others, I’ve come to a point in my life when I don’t really know who I am.  How do you find the confidence to be yourself when you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way?

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My solution to this dilemma has been to try to get back to those things that made me happy before I began trying to please others.  The longer I’ve been working on improving and changing myself, the more confident I’ve become.  Another side-effect of this is that I’ve become a lot more understanding of not only my own deficiencies, but other peoples.  I also spend less time complaining about things than I did before.  Confidence is a gift that we give to ourselves.

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