Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reasons not to think during class

It all started when the instructor told us to stand with feet hip width apart. I watched as half the class in my view range took a big step out. Instantly I remembered a yoga instructor pointing out that we must all think we have huge hips if where we placed our feet was the definition of hip width. Within seconds I had made a mental note to mention that at some point. For the rest of the class I couldn't focus on anything but what I wanted to write. So hear is what I learnt: a few reasons not to write blog posts in your head during a body balance class.

Feeling silly: When the instructor goes left and 30 other people follow, except you. Because you were still mulling over all the other interesting things that you have noticed in the gym since you walked in 5 minutes ago.

Body rebellion: Because you aren't paying attention to your body whilst holding the various poses you get cramps in odd places. Like your feet whilst doing a balance pose. You avoid toppling over with difficulty and endeavour to start focusing right then and there.

This one was actually useful: Which last about 5 seconds until you begin wondering if anyone knows the reason why they do balance poses straight after standing strength when your leg muscles are the most fatigued and hence it's most difficult to hold the position without shaking. You resolve to ask the instructor at the end simply so that you can enlighten others who may have been wondering the same thing.

Feelings of inadequacy: Seeing as you aren't paying attention anyway, even in the darkened room you notice what everyone else is doing. And you wonder why everyone else can reach forward way further than you. You resolve to stretch more because you feel woefully inadequate.

Disturbing others: Absentmindedly you hit someone else whilst sweeping your arms across your body, because you didn't notice how far to one side you had travelled. Apologetically you shuffle back over to your own spot.

Not relaxing: And finally you see relaxation as a perfect opportunity to go over all your wonderful thoughts during the class, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.

How about you? Any stories from classes you've been to when you couldn't pay attention?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

At the beginning of yoga

I brought up the subject of Bette Calman the yoga 'supergran' with my husband the other day. His response was that if he had had 50 years to practise he would also be that flexible! I love it and guess who now has a new challenge. For a change it isn't me, it's him. But I'll be supportive.

Over Easter I acquired a new book for my collection. Well, I should use the term 'new' loosely in this case, with its yellow stains, dog eared corners and pages that have come away from their binding. But the book has I story that I can only guess at. It's a second edition little paper back called 'Yoga Postures' by James Hewitt. Interestingly this 1982 edition was only authorised for sale in India, Ceylon, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Korea. Now that sounds like a list of places I would love to visit!

Apart from the cute black and white illustrations what struck me was the introduction. The author speaks of how the average Westerner is "lamentably out of touch with his muscles and joints, which have stiffened up and lost tone and elasticity". So, not much has changed in the last 25 years. He also goes on to speak about how yoga practise, unlike martial arts for example is rewarding at every level regardless of skill and suppleness, perhaps even being the most useful for beginners. That's a positive way of looking at it, because sometimes trying a new posture where you feel stupid and awkward can make you not want to try again. And yet, when you feel that way you stand to gain the most. I will remind my husband as he is starts his 50 years of practise!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's a sign and other tidbits

For those of us who tend to enjoying over analysing stuff, like signs on bus stops, well the plot thickens. Some posts back I wrote about the sign on the bus stop that on my daily walk burst my bubble of smugness. You know the one about 'how do you measure up?' which reminds me that I am not perfect. Well as an aside, I have reached the conclusion that I will never 'measure up' unless I start measuring my waist in a different spot which conveniently is not located near my belly button like the woman in the picture. Actually, if you can advise where to measure your waist that would be most useful. But in any case, the sign is gone! World domination here I come. It's been replaced with......

....yes, that is spaghetti and meatballs. White spaghetti, just think of the lack of nutritional benefits and hit of glucose to the blood stream!?! Oh the horror. What does this all mean, why do they like to confuse me like this! Well, I thought it was funny anyway....

On another sign that needs no analysing but just liked and wanted to share:

"Smiling increases the face value of your assets."

On a final note; an update about the no shampoo experiment. It's been 2 weeks now since I last washed and I was about to give up as in the last few days it got really oily and the bicarb soda and vinegar rinse was doing nothing and combing it 100 times was making it fall out. Seriously, anyone want a wig? Anyway, this morning after a rather liberal 'sprinkle' of bicarb soda it's as clean and soft as though I had used shampoo but minus the tangles and frizz despite viscous, I mean therapeutic massaging of the scalp. Could it be that shampoo free is possible?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Miss Universe Australia and the Supergran

It seems that this week, Miss Universe controversy abounds. The story today is that one of the 32 finalists of the Miss Universe Australia beauty pageant has been labelled by disturbed onlookers and the media as having an eating disorder. The model in question Stephanie Naumoska is 180cm tall and weighs only 49kg, which gives her a BMI of 15.1. She is of Macedonian heritage and the organiser of the pageant have cited this as simply being her body type. Fellow contests have rallied in her defense and she has spoken out herself stating that she eats well and is happy with her body the way it is. Well, probably not any more.

One the one hand it is frightening to see her pass through to the final, thereby being someone's definition of beautiful, on the other hand I remembered about a few people I went to school with. All were very skinny and one of confessed to being unhappy with her body because of being consistely told she looked anorexic and helpfully advised to eat more. I knew her well enough to know that she did not have an eating disorder. Could it be that this is the case for this woman? I doubt we will ever know the truth.

In any case, although this skinny might not be very common, is it necessary to criticise everyone for their size? Those carrying extra weight are criticised, those deemed to be carrying too little weight are, women with curves are labelled as 'real women' which perhaps leaves those without thinking they aren't ok either. Crazy would be a mild term to describe the extremities that are evident in our society regarding body image. On the one hand we have a media that pushes unaturally skinny, while the average person is overweight. We have children as young as five who are showing signs of eating disorders and most women dislike their bodies. Would it be fair to say that we are sending the wrong message to almost every woman?

And now to a woman who I do aspire to - Bette Calman the yoga 'supergran'. She is an 83 year old yoga teacher who proves that you are never too old. It is inspiring to see that old age doesn't have to bring frailty. Her pictures are really amazing. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my yoga mat.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On judging and being judged

I noticed my reflection in the mirror as I walked into the room. It just wasn't right, so I tugged on my top. That wasn't enough as my belly was still poking out from my loose fitting top. I straightened up and braced my core. We were hanging out at a friends place looking around at the house and after catching sight of myself I started to feel uncomfortable. I realised it probably had a lot to do with my friends presence. In confidence I had found out a few weeks ago his unrealistic expectations of women's bodies. Seriously unrealistic. Thankfully that isn't my battle to fight, but here I was in his presence feeling judged. And suddenly, I felt fat.

Except perhaps when we first met this friend, it had never occurred to me that my appearance might be scrutinised. As soon as I was, I became self conscious. That's precisely what happens in situations when I am feeling like I am being judged. And I usually know when those times are. There is a reason why I absolutely hate going to the gym and it's got more to do with my fellow gym goers than the awful smell of years of human sweat that's been recycled through the air conditioning units and has seeped into the carpet.

I feel like I am being judged when I myself am doing the judging. And by this I don't necessarily mean criticising others but rather comparing myself for better or for worse. It stands to reason in my mind that if I am comparing, there is a very good chance that others are also which means they have probably noticed my flaws. Which brings my attention to my flaws. Which makes me feel bad. Which is a great way to erode positive body image. Which is why I need to stop being judgemental of others so that I can like myself better.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hair care or a lack thereof

There are times when it's probably a good thing you only know me on the bloggosphere not in reality. Additionally, living on the other side of the planet might be a good thing too just in case you happen to pass my way. I say this as though I have no faith in the experiment I have decided to once again do. Well maybe I don't! When I wrote about not using shampoo the comments overwhelmingly suggested that some of you may stop if given a sufficiently compelling reason. So, I was inspired again to try to provide that reason. I'm not sure why. I have a suspicion that it has to do with my own inexplicable desire to stop washing my hair. Not that I don't like doing it, because some days I have to stop myself from reaching for the shampoo because its such a nice thing to do. No, it's more likely that when it comes to hair care (amongst other things) I am extremely lazy. My hair always seems to need washing at the most inconvenient times and I usually find myself going out with wet, un-styled hair. I often laugh at myself for sporting the drowned rat look and hope that one day I might be cool enough for the look to catch on. Whenever my hair dresser asks if I blow dry my hair I suggest that if her definition of 'blow drying' is winding the window down in the car, then yes I do it frequently. What about product? Well, the idea of styling my hair with it's own oil actually sounds rather fuss free which greatly appeals. So, while I do get grossed out by greasy hair, especially that's been scrunched under a hat all day (happens every weekend) I can certainly see the appeal of not washing. So I'm giving the no hair washing another go, for as long as I can last.

This time around I am following some sage advice with using a bicarb soda recipe to help control the oil and a rinse to keep my hair nice and soft. The recipes can be found here. I'm aiming at doing this about twice a week.

A few of the benefits from last time include:
  1. Not needing to wash as frequently. I used to wash every 2 days and at the end of the second it already looked lanky. After the last no shampoo stint and despite aforementioned hat weekends and exercising daily with various amounts of sweating I can stretch to a week.
  2. Fewer knots. My hair loves to knot. I recently cut it back to my shoulders after spending half an hour untangling after wearing it out one evening. It tangles less when it isn't squeaky clean.
  3. Less frizz. My beautifully washed, soft silky hair does not look like in the shampoo ads. I get little horns from the side with a light frizz all over and my hair isn't even close to curly. My unwashed hair does not have this problem, a big upshot when styling and not wishing to use copious amounts of product with dubious ingredients.
So anyone else interested in joining in?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What are you waiting for?

I've always wanted to act. Perhaps it's the attention seeking streak or maybe the desire to use my 'powerful' (read: loud) voice. Either way, I've always wanted to be on stage in costume in front of an audience. I'm not talking Hollywood, but theatre. But I've always put it off. Not because being on stage would be a great leap outside of my comfort zone, but rather that I always promised myself I'd lose some weight first.

Unfortunately, as time went by instead of getting smaller I slowly got bigger and at the only time when I perceived myself as sufficiently skinny (although still with a few kilo's to lose) I was far too busy at uni to take on something like theatre. So the idea of performing drifted around in my head for years, occasionally bumping into all the other dreams that I would fulfil when I was slim enough.

The Buddhists say that you should "abandon any hope of fruition". As long as you are wishing for things to change, they never will so you should relax into and enjoy living the life you want now. It's about not putting off living until a future date when I feel adequate. Because really, it never was about the extra kilo's but about accepting myself the way I am.

I finally decided to take the first step into living in the present. I joined a local theatre group and went to the first meeting last night. I was received warmly and unsurprisingly, it didn't matter how I looked. Instead I was challenged to act - funny thing for a theatre group!

Now I have a new challenge to do all the other things I have been putting off until I could accept my body. The first is obvious; the notion that I won't be happy until I have an ideal body. How common is that, especially in spring!?! What about not wearing certain items of clothing until I look perfect or buying an outfit that is slightly too small, but will be a great fit after a little weight loss. Or choosing not to plan a snorkeling holiday until I have the look of my dreams to match. How much have I been living in the future? I guess I'm about to find out!

How about you? Are you or have you put off something until you have your ideal body? Or have you put things off until you would be fitter or stronger or had mastered a particular skill or talents? Or do you just take the bull by the horns and are living in the now?

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm perfect, but not

Juicy Stanthorpe Apples

Every morning I get up out of bed drawn by the scent of a freshly made cappuccino (I might not get up otherwise) have breakfast, lace up my walking shoes and do the usual circuit. These last few weeks, with each bouncing step I take, the smugness grows (exponentially faster if I jog). Thoughts along the lines of me being the champion of the universe and if everyone just started listening to MOI then most people on the planet would be eating healthy and in great shape. *SIGH* On my walks I usually write posts in my head (I just wish they would hurry up an invent a memory stick to capture those thoughts because by George they are brilliant, which usually declines once I actually write them down) and I keep thinking, what more can I say about health that I haven't already mentioned? I'm down to that boring bit where the revelations are few and far between and it's just a matter of doing same old, same old.

As the endorphins flow I begin to think I don't even need to lose weight anymore, it was the ten kilo's in my brain that were mostly weighing me down. Besides, I feel fantastic so I must look fantastic also - logical conclusion hey? Again I think, wouldn't the world be a healthy place if everyone was just like me! Ah yes and then the government steps in on the final straight home to relieve me of my smugness. On the bus stops on either side of the road they have put posters up for their 'how do you measure up campaign' and the women's one is on the side I usually walk on. Grimacing each day as I walk past I read 'most women with waists over 80cm are at risk of serious chronic disease'. Each day I am brought back down to earth (thankfully) about my juicy apple shaped body, which despite falling in the healthy BMI range is still at risk of chronic only 25.

So despite having fostered a relatively good body image these last few months I still have some work to do so the healthy inside matches the outside. I am curious about what this body with a waist under 80cm shall look like too - seeing as I've felt so positive I ditched the idea of an ideal body a while ago. I'm all about finding a healthy lifestyle I actually want to live and letting my body respond. I will acknowledge this shift in thinking has only been possible through improving my current body image - you know, those ten kilo's I lost mentally - before my ideal body was firmly etched on my brain!

Out of all the things that puzzle me on a regular basis, today's winner is: what does a healthy body look like then? The media tells us it's very slim but muscly or skinny and both of them airbrushed while Dove tells us it's real women. Yet my own government reminds me on a daily basis that I'm at an increased risk of disease because I have a nasty habit of storing excess Easter eggs around my belly. So the 'real women' tag applies to luscious pears but not so readily to ripe apples. Talk about conflicting messages!

What do you think? Do you consider someone outside of the 'healthy standards' as still being healthy? Do you think the other factors related to chronic disease are more important than the size of your waist? Does none of this really matter anyway because healthy living is no guarantee of escaping illness anyway so bring on the jelly belly?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Be your own cheer squad

Previous foolishness at the summit of Crown Range, NZ

There are lots of things that I love about exercising outdoors - hearing birds in the trees, breathing the fresh air, enjoying the warmth of the sun on a cool morning - but most useful on the quest for fitness has got to be a lack of choice. You see on a treadmill, when my leg muscles are aching from the incline, I just decrease the slope. When the resistance on the bike is too high, no worries I can go back to easy and of course if there are too many stairs I get off the stair machine. Actually I have never been on the stair machine because it looks like torture. In any case, in the great outdoors you simply don't get that choice, there is only the art of avoiding. Except the art of avoidance ultimately fails when you foolishly opt for a 'challenge' without properly considering your capabilities. But we all do that right?

Over the weekend, I shunned the group and decided to ride into Tenterfield from the cabins we were staying at. It was an awesome ride, challenging and hilly but without much traffic so I got to enjoy at a human pace the gorgeous countryside and all that little critters that inhabit it. Probably too closely in fact. As I rode up one hill, two dogs came running out of a property and ran around me just in front on my slow moving tyres constantly barking. One even grabbed my sandal and tore the corner off, although I am thankful the viscous beast didn't latch onto my leg instead. Otherwise, delightedly peddling along, I thought to myself how much I would enjoy doing more cycle touring (with more training unlike NZ) because the slower pace allowed me to take note of all the little details. I was basking in smug glory over my cycling prowess upon reaching town, while I drank coffee and nibbled on dried fruit with my sister's in-laws. After turning down lunch with them (and a lift home) I set my sights on a 25km scenic route that promised lookouts and 14km of dirt riding. Heaven.

Enthusiastically I demolished the first few hills, whilst watching big grey kangaroos deftly dodging cars and thinking how wonderful it was to be cycling and not have to worry about a potential collision with our national emblem. Then I started to get hungry and eventually facing yet another hill I figured I would eat my sandwich that I had so wisely packed. But alas, the sandwich wasn't there! It was gone. I thought of the savage dogs, imagining that they must have plucked my precious lunch from my backpack, or maybe it was a hungry passer-by in the cafe. Or maybe I had just forgotten to pack it. Me? Forget to pack my lunch, impossible! About 16km from home, with an empty stomach, I set my sights for home.

The road back into town wasn't too difficult, as most of the scenic route had been uphill. It was the road home that was more uphill than down. Despite my hungry state I decided not to buy lunch in town, thinking of my poor sandwich left behind somewhere or devoured by bloodthirsty dogs. I peddled on and at first it was ll good, but soon I felt my energy stores depleting, rapidly. I don't know why it happens, but I seem to quickly lose energy when I haven't eaten as opposed to other's who can keep going with or without food (so much for those fat stores, damn it, burn them body before complaining of hunger!). So, the hills grew higher, the down hills shorter and the road surface bumpier while my tires became knobbier. I began wondering if I would make it as the journey home to my sandwich was taking an awful lot longer than the same trip in the other direction.

And that is where the wonderful (or not so great at the time) part of exercising outdoors comes in. I got myself into doing the ultimate work out because I didn't have a choice, the road to the sandwich didn't care about my hunger or fatiguing muscles. But even more importantly, the muscle between my ears got a great workout in positive self talk. Apparently my brain had an epiphany that looking at the hill and moaning "I can''t do it, it's too steep" was not particularly helpful. Instead (and this might have been an attempt at reverse psychology) it said "you can do it"! I slowly rode up all the enormous hills and I could almost see the legions of cheering fans that my mind had dreamed up for me standing on the side of the road shouting 'you're almost there'. And it's funny, because adopting this positive attitude actually made me enjoy the ride where I otherwise would have hated it and vowed never to ride somewhere without mobile phone coverage. In the end, it turned out that the sandwich had indeed been left behind on the kitchen bench and was eaten immediately upon return. That was the last time I felt any sort of hunger for 3 days!

So have you turned an uncomfortable situation into an enjoyable one through positive thinking? Do you regularly push yourself along when challenged by being your own cheer squad? Or do you think the positive self talk is a total load of crap?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Someone please pass me a celery stick

I hope you all had a lovely long weekend, celebrating or not celebrating Easter. We (my stomach and I) had a great time away in lovely Tenterfield with its autumn colours, rolling countryside and stunning National Parks. For the second year in a row my family spent the four days down there in a couple of little cabins tucked away next to a creek, enjoying camp fires, singing, bush poetry and our usual Polish Easter traditions. Specifically, that would be food and lots of it. For my family, both Christmas and Easter mean feasting. Not because of Lent or feasting on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, but because these are the only two times of the year that we make traditional Polish food. At some point many years ago, we began experimenting with the food of our new homeland - the food of others. We started cooking Italian pastas, Thai curries, Portuguese fish and any mix of food from around the world that is so readily available in Australia. Slowly but surely, Polish food faded off the menu of everyday cooking and now appears only twice a year when we gather to feast. By the end of breakfast, everyone usually holds their bellies, muttering that they really need a nap now, because eating has been so exhausting. Instead my sister pokes and prods us all and we go for a shortish walk to 'gently exercise our stomach muscles'.

This year was no different, but it turns out that I am different or more specifically my stomach. Before the trip I enquired as to who would be bringing he snacks, fruit and veggies. After much mockery at my expense, my family couldn't fathom why I would want to bring celery sticks, reassuring me that there would be plenty of food. Reflecting on their jokes about my eating habits, I thought that perhaps I was over reacting and I could in fact just stick with what the group was eating.

Unfortunately it turns out I can't and I'm not sure if that's a reflection on my strangeness or theirs. My eyes still water thinking about a 'salad' that was made primarily from potatoes or the half eaten brown avocado handed to me when I enquired as to the availability of more fresh produce. Argh, what have I become!?! Furthermore, feasting feels ghastly. Who would ever have thought that I would one day actually want to feel hungry? It is really fascinating how the body adjusts to eating patterns. At one stage in my life I thought my body loved fat and sugar and that was how things were going to be. Now my two day headache proves that sugar and I are not friends. I used to be able to happily overeat and sure I didn't feel great for a little while, but not 3 days! And Sundays feast was nothing compared to last year, when while 'gently exercising my stomach muscles' I felt like I was going to vomit. What puzzles me, is how few little changes I have made and yet the side effects are huge. The body is indeed a fascinating thing and by constantly adapting, apparently I haven't got it figured yet and I need to keep listening. That or perhaps not making the sugar mistake so often. Either way....where did I put those celery sticks....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No shampoo experiment

A little while ago I found this article in the Ecologist about what cosmetics to avoid. I have been wary of the long list of chemicals for a while given that what you put on your skin may eventually end up as toxins in your body. At least that makes perfect sense to me. More so, after a holiday at the beach, swimming daily in the ocean I came to the conclusion that the long list of cosmetics for daily facial care may not actually be necessary. Although a colleague pointed out that just being relaxed and exercising was probably the reason for my healthy complexion, I liked the idea of not using half the cosmetics I had been told were necessary, but didn’t really help. Since then, I’ve been using as few products that are as natural as possible. In an effort to simplify, it had never occurred to me that I could do away with shampoo though. Thank you cosmo for enlightening me with an article about how shampoo is unnecessary (please, please don’t ask me why I was reading cosmo…yes, I am ashamed…)

Anyhow, they did an experiment of 5 women who stopped washing their hair for 6 weeks to test the theory that the natural oils on the scalp will self regulate once they stop being continually stripped. As I delved deeper, I found out that plenty of people out there don’t wash their hair and claim to have healthier hair for it. The women in the article had mixed reactions to the experiment and most were grateful for shampoo at the end of it. Except one, who found out that she had curls after a couple of weeks sans shampoo. Gorgeous curls. I was sold. I’ve always wanted curly hair and if the way to get it was to not wash it then I could do that! Yes, ‘normal’ people would probably get a perm or use curlers, by I am far to lazy and cheap ass for something like that – my definition of blow drying is to wind down the window in the car.

So I stopped washing my hair. One week went by and no curls appeared, just a fair bit of oil. Two weeks went by and still no curls but my hair seemed thicker and for the first time ever slicked back nicely in a ponytail without the usual stray bits sticking out all over the place. Granted I was lucky given this was my only hair style option as my hair was looking pretty gross out. By week three I gave up hopping curls would appear. Week four was fairly uneventful, except I figured that my hair was just not going to stabilise itself and would be greasy forever. I never made it to week 5. Halfway through the fourth week I got sick of grease on my comb and I washed it. I figured if there was no curls to be had, then it simply wasn’t worth putting up with the same slick hairstyle all the time. On the bright side, since that experiment it needs washing much less frequently which suggests that regularly stripping the scalp of oil isn’t such a great thing.

Last night on ‘What’s good for you’ they did the same experiment. Except in the case of the two volunteers they also did a microscopic scan of their scalps before and after the 6 weeks. Needless to say, the after images looked rather unappealing to the point where both of them were probably going to run straight for the shower, like I felt like doing.

On the same show, they were also trying to prove wether or not men can tolerate pain as much as women can by simulating labour on the host of the show. They had him hooked up to a device that sent electrical signals that contracted his stomach muscles. They accepted that this wasn’t the same but sufficient to test his ability to withstand the pain. After two hours of ‘contractions’ when they were spaced 2 minutes apart and lasting for 60 seconds he stopped the experiment. The midwife who was present indicated that it may have taken another 12 hours to deliver an actual baby. Ironically, as I sat comfortably on the couch watching, my friend was in the last hour of labour. She delivered a healthy baby girl last night and I can’t wait for the first introduction today!

So do you think that what you put on your skin is as important as what you put in your body? Do you or would you stop washing your hair? Do you agree that women's pain thresholds are higher then mens?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Maintaining a healthy body

It’s so great to be back! You see, my biggest computer problem apparently wasn’t iTunes. I didn’t actually manage to get that working. In fact, I probably made things worse, by downloading a program that was supposed to help, but instead was a known virus. Thanks computer forums! It turns out, that wasn’t even the biggest issue as my savvy computer brother informed me. Apart from a variety of nasty worms and bugs, I had compressed my entire hard drive, my disk was badly fragmented and the virus buster not up to scratch. Basically it was slow, stuffed and at risk of intrusion by hackers. So after a stint at the doctors, I’m glad to say my computer is back and in good health.

Needless to say, being internet and computer free nearly drove me crazy, after all how can you resolve discussions if you can’t ask google and find out who is right? Yes, I know, it’s not about being ‘right’ but really it is, especially when the person you are debating with is making stuff up. I hate that. Annoyed as I was for this enforced separation between me and google, oops I mean the lap top, I figured it was after all my fault for not maintaining my computer properly. As with anything in life (like a virus buster) you get what you pay for (if it’s free, not much). So if I didn’t maintain my poor computer properly, how was I doing with other things in life? How well was I actually looking after my health? Am I preforming well on the surface, but full of wisdom teeth that should have been removed, I mean bugs underneath that only an expert would know about? I’ve grown more and more concerned about this, because I am terrible with maintenance. I don’t go to the doctor or dentists until I absolutely can not stand whatever is ailing me any more. I’ve spent the last week wondering what I should be doing to maintain my health to avoid needing the doctor in the first place. Thanks to google, here are the answers and as it turns out, today is also World Health Day.

I should point out, that my only qualification for giving out such advice is that I have a body, probably like you do, which would not make me a credible source. So, please don’t consider the following as advice. Any use of the information below is at your own risk. Sources of information may or may not be accurate, please do your own research for your own circumstances.
  1. Wear earplugs

  2. Get enough sleep

  3. Wear good quality polarized sunnies that block UVA and UVB

  4. Know your body composition

  5. Know your family’s health history

  6. Know your cancer risk

  7. Know your cholesterol levels. Check every 5 years.

  8. Know your resting heart rate

  9. Keep your waist below 80cm

  10. Eat loads of veggies

  11. Eat everything in moderation

  12. Spend time with friends and family

  13. Laugh, lots

  14. Take time out to relax

  15. Have lots of sex

  16. Avoid taking antibiotics

  17. Don’t overeat

  18. Avoid processed food

  19. Limit alcohol intake and have alcohol free days

  20. Brush floss and mouthwash daily

  21. Slip, slop, slap

  22. Exercise daily

  23. Regularly do a self breast exam

  24. Avoid watching tv or using the pc just before bed time

  25. Relax before going to bed

  26. Drink up to 3 cups of coffee a day (Organic, fair trade, shade grown)

  27. Keep a personal medical record dairy

  28. Keep emergency contact details in your wallet and phone as well as a list of allergies or drug sensitivities, or conditions you have

  29. Improve your self esteem

  30. Volunteer

  31. Stop over analysing

  32. Meditate

  33. Avoid high heels

  34. Wear a bike helmet and wear it properly

  35. Stretch after every workout

  36. Build up muscle

  37. Check your vaccinations are up to date

  38. Alway wear a seatbelt and don’t speed either, or talk on the mobile or drink & drive

  39. Find out if your definition of healthy food is the same as your bodies

  40. During child bearing years, get enough folate

  41. Visit the dentist every 6 months

  42. Screen for STD’s

  43. Practise safe sex
  44. Get your skin checked annually for melanoma’s

  45. Check your moles regularly and notice any changes

  46. Get an annual breast and pelvic exam and pap smear

  47. Get your eyes tested annually

  48. Get an annual mammogram after 40.

  49. Every 2-3 years get a physical checking heartbeat, blood pressure, height and weight

  50. Screen for diabetes after 45 every 2-3 years

  51. Get a thyroid check after 35 every 5 years

  52. Have a properly functioning smoke detector

  53. Use your brain, regularly.

  54. Get a pet or a plant (and don’t kill either of them)

  55. Wear properly fitted bras

  56. Stop smoking

  57. Drink enough water, but not too much

  58. Be positive

  59. Sit and stand tall

  60. Throw out the mascara after a month

  61. Find a good trainer who teaches safe exercise

  62. Find a good doctor/dentist/physio/shrink who listens

  63. Wear properly fitted exercise shoes and replace them regularly

  64. Swim between the flags and become a strong swimmer

  65. Learn first aid – it might save someone’s life

  66. Don’t kill snakes, that’s how most people get bitten

  67. Don’t do stupid stuff like swimming under the influence

  68. Be a smart traveller, know the dangers

Now over to you. What have I missed or got totally wrong?
*Edit - apart from the font....apparently not all is well :-(

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