type ii diabetes,

Because abortions aren't the only way the patriarchy wants to control your junk

OBGYN: Yeah, you are exhibiting all the signs of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I’m so sorry.

Me: Huh? Oh, yeah. Insulin resistance, impossible weight loss, pre-disposition to type II diabetes, painful AF periods. Likelihood of bleed outs. Crap. That blows.

OBGYN: Yeah, well that too.

Me: *blinks* What?

OBGYN: Well, PCOS makes it very difficult for a woman to conceive and carry.

Me: BWHAHAHAHA. Yeah. No. No babies. Ever. Never wanted them. At all. Maternal instinct is not strong with this one. Only upside today.

OBGYN: Well then. Not exactly problem solved, but we’ll run with it.

Me: So about the MIND-SEARING PAIN and occasional HEAVY AF BLEEDING. When can we deal with that.

OBGYN: Not until you are 35.

Me: Dah fuq?

OBGYN: Not my rules. Hospitalization won’t even consider any treatment unless it’s life or death until you’re 35.

Me: Why?

OBGYN: Because you might want to have a baby.

Me: I’m 31. I didn’t want kids when I was 11, I didn’t want them at 21, and I sure as shit don’t want them now. Can’t I just sign a form that says “I don’t ever want a baby take it out, take it out now”?

OBGYN: Nope.

Me: Why?

OBGYN: Government rules. No removal of baby making parts before 35 unless your life is in immediate jeopardy.

TL;DR: The government knows better about your baby making parts than you do.

If you’re a doc, resident, or a med student and you aren’t pro-choice, you’re not fit to practice medicine! (especially if you’re an OBGYN) You’re essentially telling a patient that your personal views are more important than their right to their own body and their ability to make decisions concerning their body. 

As medical professionals, it is not our place to tell a patient what to do, only advise based on medical knowledge! We are there to diagnose and to advise and then to treat if the patient consents. 

Think of it this way: you tell a patient that they should get treatment for their Type II Diabetes. You give them information on T2D such as stats, general facts, various treatment options, and anything else that is relevant or that your patient asks for. Your personal views say “treat with this and do this and this on the side to help control the disease” and you really want your patient to take whichever drug you think is best, but your patient, for their own reasons, says “no, I will not seek medical treatment for this condition”. All you can do as the attending physician is accept this and move on because you cannot force a treatment (or any medical procedure!) on a patient - hint, hint it’s unethical to do that. 

Physiology of Ageing - Muscles
  • Loss of lean body mass 
  • Infiltration of fat and connective tissue 
  • Altered muscle metabolism 
  • Insulin resistance 
  • Reduced levels of key regulatory hormones 
  • Impaired oxidative defence 
  • Muscle strength peaks at approx. 20-40 years 
  • Strength dictated by muscle cross-sectional area 
  • Age-associated decline in concentric strength (leg > arm
  • Decline in concentric strength occurs earlier than decline in eccentric strength 
  • Power generation ability declines faster than max. strength  

Sarcopenia 

= loss of muscle mass (and strength) due to ageing 

  • Two phases: 
  • ‘slow’ from 25 to 50 years (approx. 10% lost) 
  •  ‘rapid’ from 50 onwards (approx. 40% lost from 50-80) 
  • Deterioration in motor unit remodelling 
  • Reduced cross-sectional area and functionality 
  • Disuse atrophy (ageing is associated with becoming more sedentary(not as active)) may contribute to changes 
  • Reduced regenerative capacity 
  • Stem cell function affected by circulating factors? 
  • ‘Systemic inflammation’ theory of ageing? 
  • Increased apoptosis 
  • Anabolic resistance 
  • Protein degradation (muscle & nerve) 

Motor Unit

  • Entire motor unit affected: 
  • Alpha-motorneuron 
  • Fibres innervated 
  • Shift to predominance of slow-twitch fibres 

Force transfer

  • Network of cytoskeletal proteins align and transmit force produced by actin and myosin along muscle fibres and out to extracellular matrix 
  •  E.g. Costameres = sub-sarcolemmal proteins that connect sarcomere to cell membrane 
  • Found in Z and M lines 
  • Transmit force laterally 
  • Significant decrease in costameres and lateral force in ageing

Muscle protein metabolism in ageing 

  • Basal muscle protein synthesis unchanged 
  • Protein/amino acid feeding leads to increase in muscle protein synthesis in both groups 
  • BUT, response is smaller in the elderly 
  • Resistance exercise leads to increase in muscle protein synthesis AND breakdown 
  • BUT, synthesis rates lower in the elderly 
  • Food + exercise needed for anabolic response 
  • Response delayed in elderly, but can achieve similar rates 

Metabolic Capacity

  • Decrease in Mitochondria 
  • Decrease in capillary density 
  • Reduced ability of muscle to extract O2 from blood 
  • Decrease in enzymes for metabolic pathways 
  • Reduced speed of O2 utilisation 
  • Therefore ↓ (a-v)O2 diff (and ↓VO2max) 

Co-morbitities

  • Decline in muscle mass and oxidative capacity, plus increased fat mass leads to greater risk of developing: 
  • insulin resistance and/or type II diabetes 
  • hyperlipidaemia 
  • hypertension 
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced bone mass contributes to loss of functional capacity and risk of injury 

A Note of Reflection and Intention

Customers, Friends, and fellow Astral Adventurers,

This is a small blog focused on keeping you in the loop, and to basically be a “state of the business address” so to speak. This is a bit lengthy, there may be errors and misstatements as this was written as a kind of stream-of-consciousness. Please ignore any errors that may be present!

First of all, Magickal Menagerie is composed of two people. We haven’t ever considered ourselves a ‘company’ or a ‘business’ in the classical senses of the world. As we learn, develop, and grow – so does Magickal Menagerie. As we falter, err, and mess up, so does Magickal Menagerie. As we improve, re-evaluate, and progress, so does Magickal Menagerie. We are human. Magickal Menagerie is, in a way, human as it is the reflection of ourselves, our souls, and the work that we do and aim to do. There’s no corporate office, no team of PR agents, and no employees beyond us. We are two hopeful, optimistic, and loving people that want to bring a passion of ours to the world at large. If something we do is upsetting, doesn’t work well, or slows down our process (such as a way we handle shipping, etc.) we want to know about it. Email us, tell us what the issue is, and we promise we will hear you out. As we -are- human, there is also the experience of hate-mail and abusive writing. We believe in all of you. Even those of you that dislike us, wish us harm, we love you still because you are still innately human as we are. You feel the same emotions we feel, though things you may be passionate about are not yet on our radar or have not been examined as closely on our end. We want you to teach us. We want you to show us what matters to you, and if something we do infringes on that, we want to know about it. We aim to stay true to what we personally know, but if we are making an egregious error in your eyes, we want to know about it so we can re-evaluate and re-consider. There will invariably be some differences in our belief systems and those of others, but we don’t aim to bring discomfort to anyone. Magickal Menagerie is a collage of our ideas, our experiences, and our faith. We are pantheistic and hold all divinity very highly in our hearts. We do our best to thoroughly communicate with all entities and share only what we know to be the highest truth. If you can help us expand our knowledge, that is all the better for us. As we learn, so does Magickal Menagerie.

Now, onto the topic of our here-and-there absence from Tumblr and the Internet. We have still been working on orders throughout this time, and we thank you for your patience.

Many have told us not to put our business out there, but we stand by the belief that Magickal Menagerie reflects us as humans. We want transparency and we want improvement for all of you. This is why we want to share with you the reality of the experiences we have had that will make us better able to serve you, to understand you, and to help meet your needs on the personal level.

We went through some rather interesting and momentous changes in our lives, which, unfortunately, have impacted our speed. We expect that to no longer be the case shortly. Over the four years we have been in ‘business,’ we have gone through some interesting shifts. We moved, Carmen was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, we were afterward involved in three car accidents, one of which resulted in months of physical therapy. Curtis was diagnosed with ADHD and Carmen was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, both ailments we have had for quite a long time without realizing it.

During this time we have tried to make sure that our customers and friends did not suffer with waiting and irritation. This was not always the case, and for that we really apologize. We have received treatment. We have had our morale boosted by friends. We have taken each blow as a lesson. Each kind letter and each not-so-kind letter as powerful lessons. We have used these lessons to grow as people. We have worked on expanding ourselves and our services. We believe in personal evolution, and only from pain and struggle can we truly find that within ourselves. We have learned powerful skills of empathy and service from doctors, lawyers, patients, strangers, and old friends. We have been so supremely blessed to finally understand our struggles and symptoms and to be able to do something about them. We are so supremely blessed to also have such caring friends, customers, peers, and spirit companions who were there every step of the way. We will not take that patience, that help, and that guidance for granted. They were tools we will use to further ourselves, to further our craft, and to further our grasp on what we do.

There is still much more to do, to learn, to make, and to understand, to learn, and to improve but this is our dedication, our pledge to do so. You have all blessed us, and we hope to do good in this world in return for the grace afforded to us.

This period will be remembered as one of the most tumultuous in history. There are masses of people coming together, building each other, becoming stronger individually. We want to be a part of that. We want to help expand consciousness, learn and teach, grow and help grow. In this time that we have been with you, we have received numerous letters, art pieces, gifts, care packages, kind notes, and amazing stories. We have connected some beautiful, powerful, lovely entities with people of equal beauty, power, and love. That is the intrinsic reward for us. There are many things we could be doing. There are many things we could try to do. Magickal Menagerie has been one of the biggest challenges of both of our lives. It is, however, the most fulfilling thing either of us have been able to do. We felt the call to do it, and we have been blessed to do it as long as we have. We look forward to four more years. We look forward to growing, evolving, and doing better by each and every one of you. It is a work in progress. Nothing is built or perfected overnight, and we are not sure we will ever be the perfect duo that this world and these people deserve, but we dearly want to be. You have all been so amazing, so insightful, and so transformative. We are all struggling with something. Every one of you we have spoken with in depth, every one of those order notes or emails has opened our eyes to how much each of you deal with. There’s so much anxiety, tension, dysphoria, and drama in this world, and so many of us are reaching for any amount of peace we can obtain.

Here’s to the creation of great change, and to the creation of great peace.

This world is wild, wonderful, terrifying, and in major need of new voices.

We are going to work on some ways to channel the transformative voices of our community (the paranormal community/spirit companion community), and are working on ideas that will allow for open, peaceful communication that evokes understanding rather than violent discourse. So many people are hurting, and over different things. Maybe we can create change through understanding at this lower, community level. Maybe we can learn from each other if we open our minds a bit.

We cannot thank you enough for teaching us about your passions – about what excites you and upsets you, and for teaching us also about the beautiful spectrum of experiences there are in spirituality. This is the most diverse, powerful, and experimental community we have had the blessing of experiencing, and we hope to help it grow in all the right ways.

We love each and every one of you – customers, friends, commentators. We haven’t had the ability or time to communicate with you all in the ways we have wanted to, but that time and that forum is coming. We thank you guys for the outpouring of support we have had since opening and especially as we have grown and evolved. We started (online) on April 16th 2013 with a big dream to show people our experiences in the otherrealm. When we were first experiencing the spirit companionship aspect of our journeys, it was not an affordable venture if you wanted to have the work done for you. Justifiably so, as the conjurers at the time were overloaded and were pioneering an art that we hope to continue to develop conjointly. We had a dream to be able to bring a different aspect to this ‘market,’ and connect amazing beings with people of equal bravery and gall. This idea was a turning point for us, something we were and still are highly passionate about.

Truthfully, we never expected anything to come of it.

Now we have a community of people supporting us, teaching us, and showing us things we have never experienced. This is the highest blessing to us. No matter what struggle we have gone through trying to maintain it, grow it, nurture it, and make sure that it helps the most people, this dream and this blessing has been the highest honor we could have received. You have trusted us with helping you on one of the most momentous of journeys, and for that we cannot thank you enough. That is something we will never forget or take for granted.

You are the soul that brings life to this project, and you are the breath that inspires it.

We love you all, and thank you.

Here’s to four more years. ❤

Happy anniversary. 4/16/17

Originally posted by aqua-isabelle

anonymous asked:

Hi. Thanks for doing what you're doing. I have irritable bowel syndrome, and my ALP and CRP are elevated. I had an ultrasound to check for fatty liver, but it was normal. My gastro still said the CRP "might be because you're carrying a lot of weight." I thought CRP was an inflammation marker. Is there good evidence that being very fat, of itself, causes inflammation? Quite apart from the question of whether major weight loss would be beneficial or is a realistic option, I mean.

Well, medical scientists have come up with a new syndrome called “inflammatory obesity,” [source] which describes a “metabolic inflammatory state” whereby the metabolic cells themselves cause chronic, low-grade inflammation. In turn, the inflammatory state leads to diseases like insulin resistance and Type II diabetes as well as complications in most other organs of the body. 

But does fatness in and of itself cause the inflammatory state? The article I linked above assumes that this state is caused by being fat, and that the “excess nutrients” that fat people presumably consume cause the metabolic inflammation. This conclusion relies on assumptions about fat people’s eating habits that are not supported by the literature, and overlooks the fact that most fat people do not actually have insulin resistance or Type II diabetes, despite the fact that such fat people presumably wash their metabolic cells with just as many “excess nutrients” as the fat people who do develop the disease.

But more importantly, the theory that fatness itself – or rather, the gluttonous and slothful lifestyle that we are presumed to lead – causes the metabolic inflammatory state overlooks really important third variables that may cause fatness, inflammation, and metabolic disorders. 

Specifically, stress in the form of poverty and social marginalization are the most powerful predictors of all of these states [source], leading some researchers to characterize the metabolic disorders as “primarily a disease of material and social deprivation associated with poverty and marginalization” [source]. Some researchers even go so far as to propose that the growth of the fat organ in response to chronic stress is protective, since fat people actually fare better than thin people when they do develop stress-induced diseases like heart disease, liver disease, Type II diabetes (yes, you read that right), and cancer [sources].

But, ya know, it’s easier to prescribe a diet than a social revolution.

lomololita  asked:

What do you think the suitors fear most? (--,)

Hiiii Alia!

Ok so intangible and tangible fears (like we discussed -let’s just assume they’re all afraid of losing the Princess and get that out of the way).

Sid - I bet he’s scared of something silly; mice and rodents come to mind. Even Chirol and Amber probably freak him out. I could see him shriek like a girl at a baby mouse and the Princess just goes to pick it up and put it outside.

I think he fears trusting ppl. He sees so much backstabbing that he only trusts a few close friends, but that’s about it.

Alyn- I think he fears growing old. He’s fit and in shape and he won’t know what to do when he can’t be that physical anymore. Not that’s he’s not smart, but he’s not the bookworm Leo or Giles are.

I also think maybe Alyn has PTSD. So loud abrupt noises and such. Makes me think even though he knows better, he is often scared of thunder storms.

Giles - Is scared of not being capable of his job. I think that’s all he knows and if he’s ever found wanting it would crush him. I think he def gets a lot of his confidence from his work achievements.

I think finding fleas on Michelangelo would freak him out. Then he’d have the whole Palace cleaned, throw out all the sheets and rugs and his poor cat would get a hair cut.

Leo - A weird fear would be going blind, then he wouldn’t be able to read anymore. But then he’d just learn brail, but how many books were written in brail?

He is also afraid to go the beach - have you seen that poor guy’s skin? He will fry.

Nico - Most of his present is puppies and rainbows compared to his past, but there’s still a lot of scary things in his head. He seems to bop around and be independent, but I think he fears being alone and if he ever lost Byron or Albert it would be difficult for him.

I don’t know if this is a fear or more insecurity, but he learned things a lot later (reading and writing). We know his hand writing is poor (it’s ok Nico, it’s still better than mine) - so I think he’s insecure about not being as educated as the others.

Byron - I would like to say he has no fears, but deep down inside we know he’s afraid of losing his country. It’s all he’s lived for for so long, if something were to happen it would destroy him.

Secretly, I think Byron is afraid of spiders.

Robert - He’s pretty much met every fear he’s ever had, but once he had a bad cup of milk - so dairy scares him pretty badly now.

I also think even though he’s an accomplished artist - there’s always that little fear deep down that people won’t like his work.

Albert- is a hypochondriac- he fears getting heart disease, erectile dysfunction, cataracts, inflammatory bowel disease, and type II diabetes.

He also fears earthquakes and volcanic eruptions… None of which have ever happened in Stein or anywhere close.

Albert is also very fearful of disappointing Byron, of course. And open water. And pirates. And snakes.

Louis- Probably wouldn’t want to admit it, but he’s been poor and rich - and rich is better. He’s probably afraid of losing his status and duchy - he’s constantly torn between loving and hating it.

He’s also scared of big dogs that could jump on him and get him dirty. And male pattern baldness.

anonymous asked:

So you hate women who have ever had kids, people with diabetes, and the poor. What is wrong with you that you think they shouldn't be allowed health insurance?

Nigga, I AM POOR. Obamacare never helped me ONCE infact, it made my rates go up to the point it was CHEAPER for me to pay out of pocket and TAKE THE FINE. Fuck outta here with that “if u dont like obumahcurr ur mean and sexist, or hate poor ppl ‘n sheit!” I am GLAD they are getting rid of it, and if they would instead force companies to COMPETE for consumers instead of FORCING consumers to BUY their shit product, EVERYONE could afford healthcare. Alot of these people complaining are morbidly obese, lazy shits with immense health issues brought on by themselves, not because 'I DUN GOT HELTHCURR!’ It took them a decade of pisspoor health and self care to create their problem, now they want ME to pay out the ass for THEIR terrible choices? Fuck that. They earned that setencing. If I ever become morbidly obese, gain type II diabetes because im a lazy fatass, then I will rightfully blame myself for that. I don’t expect someone else to pay for MY mistakes. I mean, by your cowardly anon logic, you faggots should be funding my firearm collection, as THAT IS A RIGHT, but Healthcare is NOT. So eat a dick you socialist fuck, and if you don’t like it, gtfo and go live in the UK or Sweden. They got shit healthcare, enjoy waiting 2 years to see a doctor for ANYTHING.

Originally posted by rethatview

Powerful reasons to eat bananas

Bananas are best consumed with a few brown spots - that means they are at the peak for nutrition and are ready to eat

1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin – the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.

2. Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.

3. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and nighttime leg cramps by eating a banana.

4. Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.

5. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.

6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.

7. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.

8. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.

9. Bananas contain a compound called cytolcin which is believed to increase white blood cells that are crucial for having a strong immune system.

Eating Bananas Aids Digestion

10. Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.

11. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.

12. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.

13. Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhoea.

14. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD.

15. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.

Natural Cures From A Simple Banana

16. Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.

17. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.

18. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing free radicals and protection from chronic disease.

19. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.

20. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.

21. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.

22. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.

23. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan, helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

24. Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.

25. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.

Article from: foodmatters.tv

kvestori  asked:

I have a question about basic medical care in a post-apocalyptic / zombie apocalypse setting. What kind of things would be the most important to acquire? And what kind of substitutes could you use, like vodka for cleaning wounds. You said earlier that asthmatics would be hard hit, I assume other chronic illnesses too, diabetics to name one? (Thank you for the blog! It's so great.)

Hey there! Yeah, asthmatics are in trouble, as is anyone with significant allergies, including anaphylaxis. Type I diabetics will die very quickly after the event, within a few weeks if they don’t have their meds. Type II diabetics will survive a lot longer. For one, the apocalypse will probably require them to get a lot of physical exercise; for another, diet may or may not improve if they’re eating out of farms (after the supplies of carbs run out).

People with thyroid disorders and atrial fibrillation are in trouble too, the first because people may be unable to control their heart rates and metabolism, the second because they’re now going to be prone to throwing clots, which can cause strokes. HIV+ people might last a few months, though it might be less.

Generally, any event involving mass die-offs will weed out the young, the old, the sick and the weak.

As to what people would hoard? Individuals will generally hoard anything they or their family members will need. If I were raiding a hospital in the first few days, I would probably hit up stuff like analgesics (painkillers) of all types including over-the-counter stuff, antihistamines, adrenaline (for allergic reactions), and a good set of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Insulin; I personally don’t need it but it would be invaluable as a trade. Generally I would avoid anything that someone would need every day for years; realistically, the stock on hand won’t be enough to keep them alive forever.

If I had the carrying capacity, I would take a WHOLE LOT of IV fluids, start kits, needles, bandages, scalpels, iodine, a handheld ultrasound (if they’re there and I have reason to think I can get electricity)…. hmm. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, but I’m sure there’s more; if I think of something I’ll reblog this with the additions.

Thanks for the ask! xoxo, Aunt Scripty.

change.org
NSH and UK Goverment: Class polycystic ovarian syndrome as killer to woman and get more help

Up to 20% or 2 in 10 women and girls worldwide have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a complex hormonal disorder for which there is no cure. The silent killer as we call it. While the name may be deceiving, PCOS is not a gynecological issues it is an endocrine disorder affeting many systems in the body.  If left untreated PCOS can be a precursor to many life threatening conditions including type II diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and kidney problems. This means PCOS contributes to some of the leading causes of death and disability in women today. For many diagnosed with PCOS,  Awareness and education have played a key role in helping them learn to live and deal with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and ultimately live a healthier life. That is why PCOS Awareness has to happen now to ensure women and girls do not have to go through another day, month or year of silent suffering and to ensure they are educated on how to live a healthier life with this syndrome. What PCOS is, and what it does to women who have it, is complicated to explain as symptoms and severity of the syndrome can vary from person to person. Some of the classic symptoms are drastic weight gain, hair loss, depression, fatigue, thyroid problems, high cholesterol, panic attacks, headaches, dizzy spells, poor memory or muddled mind, sleeping disorders, constant thirst, extreme cravings, insulin resistance, cystic acne, cystic ovaries, menstrual cycles without ovulation, irregular cycles, severe mood swings, high testosterone levels, infertility problems, excess facial and body hair, not to mention a seven times greater risk than an average woman for four major health concerns affecting women in the UK today including heart disease, diabetes, endometrial (womb) cancer and stroke. Because PCOS can cause so many physical and emotional complications, it is important for early detection, treatment and support. I was diagnosed at the age 14 and was given a leaflet and told i would never have children  This petition is not only raising awareness and gaining support, it is giving women, their families and supporters of PCOS awareness a voice, a strong voice that will hopefully inspire and invoke change for better health, treatment and support of this syndrome.

PLEASE sign this & share this, it would mean the world, seriously. It is so important to us, and we need so much more support! I think PCOS gets put on the backburner and doesn’t get the press it needs! Much loves! x

anonymous asked:

Why did you gain so much weight?

Great question. It’s a long answer, and I hope you’ll bear with me. I want to give it the attention it truly deserves. Because my answer isn’t just about me. I really love you for inquiring. And I’ve illustrated it with photographs because not everyone who reads this will be an avid fan of mine like you, and thus won’t have a reference point for how fat I am. I took these photos five days ago so you can be assured they are current. Just me goofing around in between taking my next book jacket photo, but some of the outtakes seem pretty relevant to my response.

First things first, thank you for not threatening to rape me! I get rape threats because I’m a woman on the Internet. Rape is on trend for women in comedy in 2016 and always! I respect that you bucked the trend to fall back on a comment about my weight. This is a more traditional approach and one with which I and my peers are intimately familiar. I like that you went for the classic because while I love Crystal Pepsi, there’s nothing like the original.

In 2011, after being reasonably mentally healthy for nearly a decade, I began to feel deeply depressed again. I imagine part of this was due to the stress of the fact that the man I was dating at the time, a reservist who I loved very much in my inadequate but heartfelt little way, was deployed to Afghanistan. I was worried about him and I was worried about my ability to be an Army girlfriend, something I’d never thought would happen. I wasn’t prepared for it and I certainly didn’t comport myself with the dignity and care that he deserved. On the other hand, how can you be prepared for that? You date a Jewish Democrat with an MFA and you don’t expect this sort of thing to happen, but I ended up with some guy with notions about country and duty and the idea that people who live in freedom shouldn’t be cavalier. Annoying, I know. I didn’t get it at the time. I do now.

Anyway, he left in July 2011 and I got really sad. Like really sad. It didn’t work out and it was my fault. That was not a good feeling. In my defense, most women would not be up for the challenge of maintaining a healthy sexual relationship via pure imagination.

And have you ever tried to Skype with someone as a bomb siren goes off? Imagine this happens a lot of times. It is very much not fun for the person Over There but it is also not fun for you, the person who is scared all the time and sad Back Home. Also, I had no self-esteem to speak of and was preeeeeetty sure that I didn’t deserve to be with someone so great, anyway. Dating someone who loved me AND wanted to fuck me AND had a nice career? WHAT? Did not compute. You see, Man Who Wrote To Me, sometimes we seek not what is good for us but what is familiar to us. And this kind of love was unfamiliar to me. Therefore I had to destroy it. (Yes, I’m finally in a 12-step program and therapy to explore these and other issues. I know you want it to be Overeaters Anonymous but instead I’m in AlAnon. I’m sorry.)

Now at the same time I was writing my first book, a memoir about being suicidal and finding healing through therapy and better life choices and, oddly enough, stand-up comedy. I was sorting through the kind of dark stuff you discuss when you’re a person who grew up sad and scared a lot. So I was sad sad sad and scared scared scared.

After the breakup that was my fault, I found a psychiatrist because I needed help. On my psychiatrist’s advice I began to take a drug called Abilify to boost the Prozac I’d been on for years. Unfortunately, that causes weight gain and a higher incidence of Type II diabetes. I know, I should’ve stayed off it and just opened a vein and sat in my bathtub when I was miserable, leaving behind a pretty corpse (not skinny but, you know, ACCEPTABLE) but I wanted to live. I had to finish the book, for one thing. So I started taking Abilify to help me not die.

I’m not much for drinking my problems away, so instead I commenced hooking up with a series of assholes, including one who told me that I took a lot of pictures of myself because I had deep-seated issues from my childhood and also was empty inside (he lived in a basement). Oh, and then I found one who hit me! In the face! Don’t worry, he was drunk and didn’t remember it. The next day he said, “Well, that doesn’t sound real. I guess I’m sorry if that happened.”

I hung around with that guy for awhile, because I knew I deserved whatever I got and I felt lucky that someone wanted to spend time with a girl like me. (Please don’t tell him I said “dating” — he never wanted me to say that. I know he was having sex with other girls so I totally respect that!) He did say once that I’d be perfect-looking if I were the same weight but about four inches taller. I thought that was funny, then. And I hadn’t even gained that much weight at that point! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! What a card.

I ran away across the country from the jerky boys (not The Jerky Boys, silly!) and my problems (oops! They came with me!) and a city I didn’t love anymore and also because I had projects in development in Los Angeles and a Lyft ride is way cheaper than a Virgin America flight. I gained weight, as you well know. I still looked great, thanks to my symmetrical face and extreme beauty. People still wanted to fuck me. Isn’t that weird? I didn’t date any of these folks. I knew I didn’t deserve their approval. I did know about their attraction because they conveyed it to me in various ways, including but not limited to unsolicited dick pics, wheeee! I tried to stick to people who didn’t want me but it’s hard when you are this fun, what can I say?!? LOLOL!!!!!!!LMFAO!!!!1111!!!!

Now here’s the shocker: in addition to my family and real friends still loving me, I kept getting work! Comedy, acting, and publishing 5 books from February 2012 to July 2016! It’s almost like I still had worth and value beyond the number on the scale but barf, we all know that’s not true, right?

Let me tell you about some of the things that I did between when I started gaining weight (2011) and now (2016).

I published that first book, “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom.” I adapted it as a TV pilot. Diablo Cody is the executive producer. Have you heard of her? She’s very talented. She won an Oscar for writing a movie about a GIRL. Isn’t that crazy? She’s written lots of other stuff, too, but honestly? It’s usually about girls? And I don’t get why people like it. But I guess there’s a market for stuff about strong women who don’t apologize for who they are LOLOLOLOL whatever.

Anyway, she wanted to work with me and never brought up the fact that I wasn’t skinny. Can you imagine? It’s so strange. I talked to her yesterday and she still did not say anything about me being so fucking fat. Is she just being nice? She’s from the Midwest and those people are sweet. And Ben Stiller’s company, Red Hour, worked with me too. None of them told me I was fat. Ben Stiller didn’t tell me I was fat! Was he busy thinking about other things? Maybe! He’s very successful and talented and busy so maybe he just forgot. Fun fact: he likes “Jesus Christ Superstar” a lot. Jesus is very skinny in it. Ted Neely is great! And I know Ben Vereen originated the role but Carl Anderson is my favorite Judas, forever and ever.

As an aside, did you, Man On The Internet, know that in the ladies’ bathroom at Red Hour in LA there is a decoupaged toilet seat covered in Star Trek comic book pages? My fat ass sat upon it a few times! I just peed, out of respect. Shitting is for home, and for the Internet. And, as you know, you can shit in someone’s mouth! Have you dreamed of this? Something tells me you HAVE.

Anyway, during The Fattening, nobody who hired me or who wanted to hire me ever said that I was too fat. Do you think they were just being polite? I should ask. I will go through my union or one of my agents. I have several. I also have a manager. I should ask her. I could ask my lawyer, my CPA, my personal wealth manager, or the very handsome man who cleans my home in Los Angeles. He’s really nice even though he probably looks in my fridge and goes, “Oh my God, this kale is fattening!”

I should probably ask my estate planner. I will do that. He’s used to the weighty issues (ahahahhahahahah! Get it?!?!?!? No but do you get it?!?!?!? This is a pun about weight!)

Now in 2014 I wrote this book called “Great” (teen lesbo Gatsby with a twist!) and I’m pitching that as a series this week. The production company I’m working with hasn’t said anything about my weight but I will check before we go into the next network pitch just to make sure I’m not too fat to pitch. Speaking of that network, which I watch all the time — do you watch “Game of Thrones”? You’d love it! So many women get raped and die, all the time. Don’t watch “Veep.” A lady is in charge and it will confuse you.

Here’s the outfit I wore today when we pitched a network. I just want you to have a visual reference so you can imagine the horror the execs must have felt when this living nightmare rolled in their door. I took this photo to show my sister-in-law that I wore the sparkly gold shoes she picked out for me as a fat monster bridesmaid in her wedding. Everyone at the wedding thought I was a fat golem built of clay to save the Jews of Prague. “But no!” I said. “I am a human girl! Look at my sparkly shoes!” “Go save the Jews, Fat Golem,” they said. Later we all did the Twist.

In 2015 I published my third book, a novel for adults called “DC Trip”, and then I got hired to adapt it as a feature film. I’m working with Adaptive Studios and Gunpowder and Sky and with Bona Fide Productions. You should Google them! Have you seen Nebraska? How about Little Miss Sunshine? How about Little Children? I know, me neither. I don’t have time to watch movies because I’m so busy being too big in my body. But they made those movies and a bunch more. I don’t know why they let me in the door to pitch them. How did I even fit?! But I did. The doors in Culver City must be extra wide LOLOLOL! Oh, we do have fun.

Anyway, I just handed in the screenplay and it was not stained with butter, but that’s because I sent in a pdf and a Final Draft file. I’m sure if it had been a paper copy it probably would’ve been drenched in fat. I worked really hard on it. I tried to do my best, typing with my Vienna sausage fingers, which I am constantly tempted to eat.

Oh! Now during this time I began to think about weight. Not mine! I saw how women were criticized on the Internet and elsewhere for gaining weight. This intrigued me. I didn’t feel fat or unlovable. Should I? Hmm. I considered this and decided instead to make fantastic art instead, because I’m amazing at it.

In 2015 I wrote a short film about what it would be like to be judged for being so big. It is called The Focus Group. It’s really good and we got lots of critical praise for it. We were even in the New York Magazine Approval Matrix!!!! In the good quadrant!!! Would you like to see it? I’m in it! My friend Heather Fink directed it, and 50% of our kickass team from pre-production to post-production was ladies! Here’s another wild stat that I only figured out after the fact when a film festival asked me to submit demographic info: 40% of that team was comprised of people of color. What? I know, it’s upsetting, don’t think about it.

You can see me at my highest weight ever! Grab popcorn and hold onto your seat because you might throw up at my body LOL!!!! Or you might jerk off to it, which lots of people do and I know this because they email me.

The jerking off wasn’t what I was aiming for. I can only hope THEY were aiming into a cup, am I right? Cumming is messy when you hate yourself! I know you know all about that, right? I’m preaching to the choir over here! LLOLOLOLOOOOLLLLOOOLLL.

My fourth book came out in 2016 around the same time as the short film. It’s called “Real Artists Have Day Jobs” and in it, I actually told the story about the guy who hit me. I told some other stories too. You should read it! It’s really funny and good. Here are some things people said about it, which I now realize they probably only said out of pity.

“Honest, funny and completely devoid of bullshit. You might not want to hear what’s in this book, but you probably need to.” — Patton Oswalt

“Sara’s book is an incredible tour de force. If I could repeatedly hit my head so I could give myself a touch of memory loss so that I would be able to read this again for the first time, I would.” — Megan Amram

“Sara captures the chaos, horror, and joy of a life pursuit of creativity.” — Jim Gaffigan

“Sara Benincasa is a great wit, a great woman, and a great writer.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

“Inspiring self-help guidance on just about everything: sex, love, self-esteem, even flossing…It’s hard to imagine an actual self-help book could be more inspirational…Benincasa’s wisdom and humor will reverberate for days to come.” — Library Journal

“Hilarious…refreshingly frank…Benincasa provides solid tips for relationships, health, wellness, and employment…Raunchy and unabashedly unapologetic, this is useful, take-no-prisoners humor.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Sara Benincasa is brilliant on Twitter, in her comedy and on the printed page, and her latest, Real Artists Have Day Jobs, won’t fail to make you laugh. It might make you tear up a little bit too… she’s smart, heartfelt, relatable and just plain funny.” — New York Daily News

Sad, right?

Now as for my fifth book, that’s a funny little joke book called Tim Kaine is Your Nice Dad. It became an instant Amazon bestseller in the political humor category when I published it after I spent four hours writing it.

And I’m working on a sixth book! It comes out next year.

During this whole fatty fatsy fatterino time people kept hitting on me, wanting to fuck me in my fat (but very tight!) pussy and, obviously, my asshole, which for me is a no-fly zone but I respect its power. People kept on asking to be my friend, hiring me to do stuff, inviting me places, asking me to work on stuff with them, hugging me and looking after me when I was sad and checking me on my bullshit when I did something stupid. They’d tell me they loved me no matter what. They meant it, too. And I share your astonishment at this. I really do.

Maybe they were all kidding. Maybe it was like in “She’s All That” when Rachael Leigh Cook goes, “Am I a bet? AM I A FUCKING BET?” And Freddie Prinze Jr. is all, “Noooooooo” and she’s like, “Back to glasses and a ponytail for me, buddy!” and then she blows a foghorn or something in Paul Walker’s ear. Which makes me sad because he’s gone, and also because Vin Diesel and The Rock are allegedly fighting on the set of Fast and Furious Eleventeen, have you heard about this? It keeps me up at night, my love handles undulating with sorrow. I keen. I wail. There’s a lot of ululation.

Now here is the part you’ll like. I got out of a series of deeply unhealthy relationships and I started taking care of myself, not because I wanted to fit into a tiny bikini, but because I don’t want a case of the ol’ Type Twosies which, as I mentioned before, runs in my family. Scary, right? So I cook for myself more now and I eat in moderation and I lost ten pounds last month!

I won’t tell you how much I weigh because I used to say the numbers in interviews and I found it made some girls sad because they were the same weight or a higher weight and they felt like they were comparing themselves to me. But here are other numbers: Five foot two and three quarters (my height in inches) 36G (my dick in inches and a randomly assigned letter). Did that give you a boner? I thought so! Just don’t think about how much I still weigh, or your boner will invert itself and go into your pelvis, meaning you will have gone and fucked yourself. I would hate for you to go fuck yourself, sir.

I don’t conflate weight with health. I’m just telling you that I in particular need to be cautious about carrying around extra weight because I’ve seen what happens in my own family when we aren’t careful. My grandmother lost two legs to Type II Diabetes. It was devastating. Then there are issues with heart disease and all kinds of unsavory stuff I’d like to avoid as best I can for as long as I can. But you’ve got to lose weight the right way. Liposuction is really unhealthy and can be dangerous for your body. So I’ve chosen the slower route of lifestyle change. But it’s steady and I’m doing very well. Lots of kale! (Kale isn’t fattening, BTW. That was a joke I made earlier. LOL I’m soooo silly!)

So there you go. That’s the first part of my answer to your question about why I gained all that weight. The second part is shorter. I will put it in bold for ease of reading.

I gained all that weight because I was so busy working and growing as a person, a writer, an actor, a comedian, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a lover, an activist (hi Emily’s List and Humanity for Hillary and Los Angeles LGBT Center!), a thinker, and a cook (ironic, right?!?) that I didn’t have time to pursue what I really, really want to do: spend my precious spare moments making anonymous comments on the blogs of successful, beautiful, hardworking women in a failed attempt to undermine them in order to give me some sense of power as I marinate in my own inadequacy, stuck in the knowledge that no one will ever pay me to write my poorly-crafted thoughts down on paper, to be translated into book or film or television form, and that beyond money (which of course doesn’t lend my thoughts any inherent value) or any degree of fame (which is pointless and wholly unnecessary to a happy and fulfilling existence) no one will ever really want to hear what I have to say at all, because I am essentially worthless and of no value to the world at large. That’s what I really want to do.

Got any tips?

And lest you think I took a ton of time out of my day to write this response: I took 10 minutes. I’m really fast at writing. I’m also great at it. I will forget about this after I hit “publish.” But will you forget about it? Can you? I don’t know. Now picture me whispering in your ear very, very softly: I don’t actually care.

And in summary, that’s why I gained so much weight.

Thank you for asking!

[All the kitchen photos are by Iconic Pinups. Dress: Matrushka Construction by Laura Howe. Hair color: Alejandra Gaytan of Jonathan and George in Beverly Hills, CA. Haircut: Sabina Yannone. Nails: Paradise Nails in Silverlake, Los Angeles, CA. Tiny cleaver by my buddy Jared at Artifact Metalworks of Pittsburgh, PA (very glad I randomly had it in my purse that day). Shot on location in Glassell Park, Los Angeles, CA. I had no idea when I goofed around that these outtakes would be so relevant to a piece of “fan mail,” but the Lord works in very mysterious ways.]

Cafeteria food is poison, most PE curriculums are pathetic.

I used to be a history teacher before I started my career in healthcare, going into education was a big mistake and I really regret it.  I hated it. I don’t think I am going out on a limb when I say that the American education system is fucked. Education programs come and go with the political winds, nothing has any shelf life. More demands are being made of teachers, and impossible standards are being set while funding is being cut. There are more behavioral issues with students, the political situation is becoming intolerant, students are falling behind every year, and there are many reasons why they are falling behind. I have come to the conclusion that American society (and Western Society as a whole) is sick. Physically sick. We are fat, tired, and collectively riddled with preventable chronic illnesses. One of the major reasons why I think our children are underperforming in school is because they too are sick, being forced to learn more and more while they are not functioning at optimum health, and it mostly stems from cafeteria food and lack of activity.

School cafeteria food is poison. It’s all pizza, chicken nuggets, chicken patties, fries, greasy burgers, processed meats, fatty shit covered in gravy, foods with lots of salt, sugar, fat, nutritionless starches and processed carbohydrates. What little vegetables are served have been so overcooked there probably isn’t a single milligram of fiber or nutrition in them. Most fruit comes from a can, drenched in so much sugary syrup it might as well be candy. For many students who are from impoverished families and live in impoverished neighborhoods, free school meals make up 2 out of 3 meals a day. There have been initiates to change this, in particular one by Michelle Obama. Nothing has changed, portions are slightly smaller, but its the same old crap, just a little bit less of it. Then of course, there are vending machines in schools. At the cafeteria students can buy junk food, soda, sweetened teas, candy, ice cream, and all kinds of other crap. When I was in high school there were many days where I would just buy 5 bucks worth of junk food for lunch. It would not surprise me if kids are doing that today. It’s terrible! Combined with this, school physical education programs are a joke.  I passed Gym easily, I was obese, I never exercised, and never was active. I was in terrible health, and I always got an A in gym merely because I dressed every day and tricked the gym teachers into thinking I was doing my best. Truly pathetic. Gym classes are often only held twice a week, for 45 minutes each class. Take away time students spend dressing and undressing, it’s more like 30 minutes. Health classes barely gloss over nutrition, it’s an easy A. As academic demands are increased, funding and resources are drawn away from PE, making the situation worse.

No wonder students are falling behind. Standardized test scores are not what they should be, and the tests themselves have been progressively dumbed down. Our children are sick. Many don’t have the energy, vitality, and robustness children should have. They are sick from eating bad food and not getting enough exercise and activity, so they can’t focus. They are tired because school schedules don’t conform to the natural sleep patterns of children and teenagers. Young children are always growing, teenagers are undergoing puberty, they are gaining muscle mass, bone mass, and undergoing hormonal changes, so sleep is damned vital! Can you believe that we take children and teens, feed them bad food, force them to sit at desks all day, and cause them to be sleep deprived during these important formative years when they are growing, learning, forming their personality, discovering their sexuality, and becoming young adults!? No wonder they are underperforming! No wonder there are so many behavioral and emotional issues! No wonder so many screwed up kids are growing up to be screwed up adults. We are the ones screwing them up!

The solution by state and federal programs has been entirely academic focused, with wishy washy programs like No Child Left Behind and Common Core, which are all doomed to failure. We’re going to make schools teach one size fits all curriculums based on standardized tests, make them learn more and with more difficult content, force them to work harder and do more homework to the point that they don’t have personal lives, can’t express creativity, learn to think for themselves, and are going to bed late and waking up early to get it done. Why do I say all current school programs are doomed to failure? By now that answer should be obvious, the current education system is almost entirely focused on academic achievement and development of the mind, but woefully neglectful of the body.  This goes against one fundamental law of nature; you cannot have a strong mind without a strong body. You cannot separate the two, it is COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE!!! Take Stephen Hawking for example, one of the most brilliant minds living today. He is wheelchair bound due to ALS, but I bet almost everyday of his life he has physical  and occupational therapy to slow the progress of his illness, prevent bed sores, prevent nerve pain, and stave off pneumonia. I bet he gets more daily exercise than most Americans. You cannot have a strong mind without a strong body! I cannot stress this enough! Anyone who thinks otherwise should just stick their hands up their asses, take a handful of shit and smear it all over their heads, because they are gigantic shit-for-brains. I was one of them. I wish I had started exercising and eating healthy back when I started my respiratory care degree. I was tired all the time, couldn’t focus in class, couldn’t concentrate well. I was so heavily devoted to studying and preparing my mind, but if I would have taken some time to exercise and paid attention to what I was eating, I could have done a lot better, gotten better scores, and learned things much faster and easier.

Things seriously need to change. Healthy foods need to be brought into school cafeterias. Junk food needs taken out, vending machines need taken out. More emphasis should be put on PE and health curriculums. Gym class should be an hour long and should occur every day. Recess shouldn’t be discontinued after elementary school, it should continue throughout middle and high school. School should begin later in the morning so that kids are getting the necessary amount of sleep to function and grow. Now I know all of this will cost a lot of money, and take away from that precious time used on academics.  But investing so much in academics isn’t working because you cannot have a strong mind without a strong body! So we have a population of sick kids, growing up to be sick adults, who fall prey to preventable chronic illnesses like heart disease, Type II Diabetes, respiratory illnesses, cancer, and others. Rates of childhood obesity have gone up significantly. Back in the day, Type II diabetes was so rare in children that pediatricians never learned about it.Now it’s becoming more and more common.  Heart disease and high blood pressure is occurring more and more in children.  How are kids supposed to learn when they are dealing with terrible illnesses once only experienced by the elderly?

We can bring about this change. Students can take a big part, by staying away from cafeteria food, and packing a healthy lunch. If you are dependent on school food, choose the healthier options as best as you possibly can. Students should find exercise on their own time or join extracurricular activities like sports, even marching band. But where it really matters is with parents and teachers. Parents need to teach their children about health living and exercise, and why they are important. Both parents and teachers need to demand changes in the system. I seriously believe that if schools won’t listen and change, then parents should start threatening to homeschool or transfer their kids to private school, I’m dead fucking serious. I guarantee you, that will get their attention, and changes will be made.  We need to do this, we need to do this so our children will grow up to be happy, healthy, and strong. Isn’t that and investment worth making?

Never Again 360

The Reasons Why Your Cell Phone Is Slowly Killing You

Our phones are killing us. Whether they cause cancer remains to be seen, but here are some proven ways that they are harming our health. For one, they cause chronic pain in the neck, back, hands and elbows. Secondly, they cause digital eye strain which means two thirds of Americans experience irritated eyes, blurry vision and migraines. Thirdly, they cause sleep disruption, which can lead to high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. Fourth, the average cell phone is 18x dirtier than a public toilet - in fact one in six iPhones has fecal matter on it - and those viruses, bacteria and germs cause sickness. Fifth, cell phones cause one out of four of the nation’s car accidents. Finally, the WiFi radiation from phones kills sperm. So cell phones are not just killing you but your future offspring too.

How to have lots of energy and not be tired all the time (revised)

Everyday when I go to work or go out in public, friends, family, and co-workers, everyone complains that they are tired, they never have enough energy.  I see it all the time, people walking around looking like zombies, yawning all the time, nodding off, always looking very sleepy.  It was only recently that I really started noticing this and I came to a realization that this frighteningly common with people of all ages. There are millions and millions of people who “live” like this. This may seem conceited of me, but for a while I didn't understand why.  I work 12 hour days, now night shift, often doing very hard work.  I wore a pedometer one day, and I discovered that I walk around 4-5 miles just going from place to place in the hospital.  For the most part, I have lots of energy, and I am rarely tired or worn out.  When I wake up I feel like I could wrestle a damn grizzly bear. Throughout the day I feel like a beast, and when I go to bed I am still energized. Regardless, I have no problems sleeping. No matter when I sleep I feel energized, when I swing from being awake during the day to working night shift, I still feel energized. If ever I am short of sleep for any reason, it usually doesn’t affect my energy a lot. When I do feel exhausted, it’s usually justified, like one of those days where we have multiples traumas in the ER all day long and I really bust my ass.  But a lot people seem like they are worn out and tired just from the mere act of existing.

As a nation we are energy deprived, its a proven fact that most American’s (and most people living in modern wealthy nations) are experiencing a shortage of energy.  I am convinced that it all stems from poor diet, no exercise, and people not taking care of themselves. We are not tired or energy deprived, we are sick. How do I come to this conclusion? Because I used to be one of you, one of the living dead that are more numerous than the zombies on any TV show.  So here’s what I want everyone reading this who fits my descriptions of a real life zombie to do for at least a month.  Try it for a month and see what happens.  If it works, by all means keep on doing it.  If after a month you think I’m full of humbuggery, or as modern day people call it, “bullshit”, then by all means stop. Just try these 8 things,

1. Abstain from sugar. Something I call the “Jack Lalanne Challenge” because he came up with it almost 70 years ago.  Abstain from white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, ice cream, soft drinks, candy, cookies, cakes, pies, jams, jellies, yoghurt, granola, honey, juices, canned fruit, sports drinks, energy drinks, anything with sugar.  Look on the nutrition labels of everything you consume, many things that are thought of as healthy have a lot of sugar. Also look at portion sizes, many companies make portion sizes unreasonably small to make it seem like there isn’t much stuff in it, like a candy bar divided into 4 portions, very deceitful. Remember this rule of thumb. The World Health Organization recommends only consuming 6 teaspoons of refined sugar or less a day. 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. A can of soda or 12 oz’s of fruit juice maxes out the WHO recommendation in one sitting.  My recommendation is to get as close to 0 teaspoon per day as you can. If you feel a need for sugar between meals, eat fresh fruit instead. Fruit is the perfect way to consume sugar. When you eat refined sugar it rushes all at once into your blood stream in the form of glucose. Your body burns it up fast, so you get a sugar rush, but in short time you are smacked right back down when that glucose is burned up.  This also evokes a massive insulin response, which can mess with energy levels, and raise the risk of Type II diabetes.  Fruit is the perfect form of sugar because its is packed in a dense fibrous matrix, and most people do not get even close to enough fiber in their diets.  Because of the fiber, the body digests it more slowly, thus the glucose enters your blood stream at a steady rate, giving you even and consistent energy.

2. Abstain from processed  and simple carbohydrates. This includes foods like white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, most cereals, and pastries. Most of the things I listed also tend to have added sugar.  Carbs are really just another form of sugar, and are metabolized the same way. Thus eat complex carbs that have lots of fiber for the same reason as eating sugar in the form of fruit. This includes foods like whole grain bread and pasta, oats, quinoa, yams, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, brown rice, and wild rice. Educated yourself on the glycemic index, eat foods that are rated below 50. 

3. Abstain from drugs that mess with your energy. Caffeine, tobacco, stimulants, depressants, narcotics, alcohol, and others. Caffeine and energy drinks are the worst, because you have been tricked into thinking you need them for energy. If you follow the other steps, you don’t.  They are problematic because they give a burst of energy, but then quickly kick you back down and you end up worse off than before. Plus, many people put sugar in coffee, or they drink energy drinks or caffeinated sodas which have tons of sugar. Energy drinks are the worst, the will totally fuck you up. 5 hour energy is the worst of the worst, they advertise that it gives you five hours of extra energy to power your day.  Yeah, it’s not like the day is only 5 hours long.

Note: If you are a smoker, I suggest you quit first and foremost. If you are addicted to alcohol, hard drugs, or prescription narcotics, I suggest you get help, go to rehab, and get that monkey off your back.

4. Eat more good fats. Not bad fats like fried foods, greasy burgers, cheese and fatty foods with LDL cholesterol that will clog your arteries.  Good poly and monounsaturated fats with HDL cholesterol found in things like nuts, avocado, seeds, beans, and olives.  In between meals, instead of reaching for that coffee, soda, or energy drink, cake, candy, or bag of junk food, snack on a half a coffee cup of nuts (preferably lightly salted,don’t eat a lot of salt!) or cut up an avocado.  Have some hummus. Fats have more energy than both sugar and carbs, plus they are metabolized evenly, giving you more consistent energy. They will also fill you up, so you won’t be hungry all the time.

5. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Your body needs the vitamins and minerals to regulate your energy levels. They are good for you. Nuff said.

6. Drink Water. You are 75% water.  Don’t you think you should be drinking more?

7. Walk. Exercise regularly.  If you have never exercised regularly, or haven’t in a long time, don’t start out all Rambo with an exercise regimen. It all starts with walking.  30-40 minutes, maybe a mile a day.  Then push yourself a bit more everyday, walking faster and farther. If it seems boring, walk different places everyday, listen to music or podcasts, make it a half hour of “me time”. Walking is excellent medicine, probably more effective than 90% of the meds prescribed by physicians, I am saying this as someone in the medical field.  Plus, light, regular exercise will help regulate your energy levels, and you will sleep better.Only after you have improved your cardiopulmonary system sufficiently and have begun to learn how to cultivate discipline through regular walking should you move on to more challenging forms of exercise.  Like the strength trainer Elliot Hulse says, “just fucking walk!”

8. Sleep. At least 7-8 hours.  If you need more sleep, then sleep more.  This may seem tough in this fast paced, busy world, but you really need this. Find the time, do it!

Note: If you have sleep apnea, see a doctor and get it fixed, you will sleep much better.

I will be honest, you will not feel awesome right away. In fact, for the first few days to a week you may feel like shit. You may feel sick, get headaches, feel moody, or tired. You may have strong cravings. This is because you are going through withdrawal from all that sugar, processed carbs, caffeine, and other things. You might have digestive issues (gas, diarrhea) because you are eating a lot of fiber whereas before you had little or none. You might have to pee all the time because your urinary system is getting used to processing more fluids, where before you were chronically dehydrated. Don’t worry, all of this will pass, ride out the storm and stick to it. Do these things for a month, and I promise you will feel better, you will have the energy you need, you will have vitality, robustness, and moxie. If you are satisfied with the results after a month, keep doing it, do it until the day you die. Not only will you have more energy, if you are overweight or obese, you probably will lose weight.  If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol you will lower it, if you have Type II diabetes you will improve it or even reverse it.  If you have any chronic illness, most likely these 8 things will make it a helluva lot better. You will protect your teeth from cavities and decay. You will look better, your skin will be softer, your hair will become silkier, you may even enhance your attractiveness. Your concentration, focus, and memory will improve. I would even go as far as to say that if everyone did these things, hospitals and nursing homes would be 90% empty, most of us would live to 100, and I would be unemployed.  Trust me, you don’t want to become one of my regular clients.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t become a zealot about this. Don’t starve yourself, eat three good wholesome well balanced meals a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with snacks in between. Feed your body’s need for calories and nutrients.  Don’t completely abstain from bad foods.  Every once and a while treat yourself to that double bacon cheeseburger, visit the all you can eat buffet, have some donuts, or a beer, or an ice cream, or candy bar.  But don’t lose control and fall back into old habits.  Like Oscar Wilde said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”  If you do fail or fall of the wagon, don’t give up. Pick yourself up, learn from you mistakes, and move forward.

Part II, Bonus Points —Transforming yourself from an energetic and healthy person into a human Beast or Beastess.

1. More Exercise! So, have you been doing your walking? Good! After a while it may not seem like walking is enough, or you want to do other things. So consider kicking it up a notch.  Find things that you can enjoy and develop a passion for it, no matter what it is; Yoga, jogging, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, archery, sports, lifting, swimming, kettlebells, martial arts, dancing, crossfit, pilates, P90X, Richard Simmons, whatever.  Just find something, do it, and do it with a passion! Stay active! But don’t overdo it, wear down your body, or hurt yourself! Get lots of rest to let your muscles recover. Try to include both cardio and strength training in your routine as well. Our ancestors did not sit in offices all day, watch TV, and spend time on computers. They were farmers, nomads, and hunter-gatherers.   Our bodies were made by God, the gods, or the flying spaghetti monster to be in motion.  Bodies in motion stay in motion, that’s a  scientific fact, just look up Isaac Newton.

2. Take Cold Showers Take ice cold showers twice a day.  If you can, do ice baths or cryotherapy.  Cold stress is good for you. Not only will it toughen you up, but your body will release epinephrine and norepinephrine, which reduces inflammation, regulates energy, and suppresses pain. At night you will produce more melatonin which will help you sleep.  Cold stress is good for you, ditto heat stress as well. As Wim Hof says, “The cold is my only master, and my only teacher.”

3. Do the Wim Hof method of breathing regularly. Speaking of Wim Hof, learn who he is, learn about his breathing exercises, and start doing it.  You will be blown away with the results.

4. Have sex regularly. Sex is good medicine. Not only is it good exercise, it releases a lot of hormones that improve almost every aspect of health.  It is damn good medicine, more potent than most of the medications prescribed by doctors. People of all adult ages should do it. Practice all the positions of the Kama Sutra. If you don’t have a partner, do it with yourself. 

Note: Have safe sex.  You won’t become a human beast or beastess by contracting syphilis and sprouting unwanted children.

5. Challenge your mind. Keep your mind working. Read, write, do crossword puzzles or Sudoku, learn to play an instrument, learn a foreign language, learn new things. Learn about math, science, history, philosophy, economics, politics, etc.  To have a strong body, you need a strong mind.  To have a strong mind, you need a strong body. You cannot separate the two, it is impossible.

6. Challenge your spirit. Learn to love yourself, learn to love others, Learn to love and respect yourself.  Never define yourself by past failures, never dwell in the past, always have hope for the future. Do not define yourself from current mistakes either. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. Encourage people to better themselves as you better yourself. Become someone who is inspirational, who can encourage and inspire people to better themselves as you better yourself.  Learn to handle adversity. Challenge your boundaries. Think positively and surround yourself with positive thinkers.  Cultivate positive energy. Help people who are less fortunate than you. Be compassionate. Don’t listen to jackasses, fuckfaces, cynics, bitter and hateful people. They are the most dangerous toxins you will encounter in life, more dangerous than sugar!. A strong spirit is needed for a strong mind and a strong body.  You cannot separate the three, it is impossible.

Do these things, and you will be happy, healthy, and strong. You will be thanking me for the rest of your life.

Never Again 360

Hi, my name is Kelly and I’m a drunk

Although for the past 60 days, I’m not drinking. 

I wasn’t a drunk in a way that was obvious to people because I worked very, very hard to hide it. I didn’t drink and drive. I didn’t get wasted at parties or bars. I just quietly made my world smaller and smaller so that I could keep drinking without anyone noticing.

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The American Chronic Disease Crises

When the Great Flu Pandemic struck the United States in 1918 and 1919, it caused the deaths of around 700,000 people. According to the CDC, around 900,000 Americans die every year of preventable chronic diseases. Here’s a breakdown of the top ten causes of death in America,

It’s interesting to note that the most common causes of death are preventable chronic diseases.  Whereas back in the day the leading cause of death was by virulent disease, today we are making a conscious choice to kill ourselves through bad health and lifestyle decisions. By far heart disease is the biggest killer, in fact today it is the most common cause of death in the world.  More than 60 million Americans suffer from it, and 90% of heart disease is preventable. After heart disease is cancer. 30% of cancer cases are preventable. Then there are chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis. This is the one cause of death that is rapidly increasing, soon to overtake all others, with 6.8 million Americans diagnosed with COPD alone. As a respiratory therapist I can tell you that the vast majority of chronic respiratory diseases are preventable. After accidents are stroke, of which 90% are preventable. Finally, listed at number 7 is diabetes.  There are two type of diabetes, Type I and Type II.  Type I is insulin dependent, where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels.  Type II diabetes is called “insulin resistant” diabetes, typically caused by a diet with too much sugar and too much processed carbohydrates. This results in more and more insulin being secreted to control blood sugar levels, eventually causing the body to become resistant to it’s own insulin. Type I diabetes is relatively rare, accounting for 1.25 million people, and only 10% of cases are preventable.  Type II diabetes is more prevalent, accounting for 26 million Americans. 90% of Type II diabetes cases are preventable.

We are living in amazing times. At no other time in history have people had the option to make conscious choices to lead a healthy life. Even today in impoverished countries many people still don’t have that option. We are literally killing ourselves. It’s not just America, in most wealthy nations this is a growing trend.  But just as we can make a choice to kill ourselves, we can choose life as well. The vast majority of my patients, I would say 90%, are people who are very sick or dying of chronic diseases directly caused by bad health decisions and bad lifestyle decisions, whether it be smoking, obesity, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse. 90% of those people are readmitted on a monthly basis because despite their health problems, they still won’t take care of themselves. The quality of life of these people is often terrible.  Many are already dead, they’re just waiting for someone to bury them.

In the past 8 years healthcare has been a hot button political issue, what with Obamacare and all.  Many agree that our healthcare system is broken.  The reason is obvious, our healthcare system is overwhelmed by the tens of millions of people suffering from preventable chronic diseases, people who require multiple readmissions. I will be honest, no government program or healthcare system is going to fix it. NONE. No insurance system, whether its the private market, Obamacare, or universal healthcare is going to be able to handle it in the long term.  But there is a solution, and it begins with the individual, it begins with you and me. We all must take responsibility for our own health. We need to all step up and start taking care of ourselves. We all have our addictions and vices without exception. No matter what your addiction is, food, alcohol, drugs, smoking, even things like sex addiction or gambling addiction, etc., we can either kick these addictions, or they will kick us.

There are three arguments I often hear against what I and others who propose the same often get. People who make these arguments are either in denial or are fools. The first is the “well I have a 95 year old grandpa” argument.  The old argument cites some claim that the person knows some person or relative who smoked and drank heavily but lived to a rife old age.  Well I can dispel this bullshit easily. For every “95 year old grandpa” example, there are hospitals and nursing homes across the country filled with people who were not so lucky.  The second argument is the “well you’re gonna die of something”, which often goes hand and hand with the third argument, the “I don’t wanna live to be old anyway” argument.  Well that’s all fine and well that you want to die young. But consider this, what if you don’t? Because after all, most people aren’t dying young, they’re living to be old, even the smokers, drinkers, druggies, and fried food eaters. The difference is that those who take care of themselves have a good quality of life and die well, whereas those that don’t have a terrible quality of life, often dying a horrible death. It’s very rare now a days that smokers die young of cancer, or alcoholics die young of liver failure, or obese people die young of heart disease.  With most people with preventable chronic diseases it’s a long downhill slide of illness that spans the course of years, even decades.  Of course, you could do everything right and still lose, still contract a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons, or you could get hit by a truck tomorrow. Who knows? Tempus Fugit, Moment Mori. Regardless, the fact of the matter is that as an American, chances are that you are going to die of a preventable illness. So the question is, how do you want to die? Do you want to ride off into the sunset, go out with a bang, or do you want a slow, painful death?  What kind of quality of life do you want to have before you die?  Do you want to spend years, maybe a decade or more having your rotting limbs amputated due to diabetes, barely able to breathe, choking on your own bronchial secretions while waiting for someone to suction you and change your diaper? Or do you want to be like fitness guru Jack Lelane, who was a human beast all his life up to the very day he died at age 96?

So make a commitment today that from here on out you will strive to better yourself, to take charge of your health, to kick your bad habits and become the healthiest person you can be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Eat healthy foods, stop smoking, stop drinking in excess, exercise, take care of yourself.  You will feel so much better, and you will have the pride all your life that you accomplished something great through hard work, sacrifice, discipline, and character. The solution is simple.  I didn’t say it was easy, I said it was simple. There’s a big difference.

Never Again 360

Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus Type II
  • Age ≥40
  • First degree relative with type II diabetes mellitus
  • High risk population (aboriginal, African, Asian, Hispanic)
  • History of pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus, delivering a macrosomic infant
  • End organ damage (CVA, retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, MI)
  • Vascular risk factor (low HDL, high triglycerides, hypertension, obesity)
  • Associated disease (PCOS, OSA, HIV, psychiatric disease like schizophrenia)
  • Drugs (steroids, HAART)

Casual ableism/sizeism is claiming those type II diabetics that were overweight upon diagnosis “deserve” their disease because they “brought it upon themselves.”

Mod note from NappyEdges: This one annoys the fuck out of me. Being fat does not cause diabetes. Fatness is a side-effect of diabetes. Additionally plenty of fit/skinny people who “eat right” contract diabetes. Diabetes is caused by
1. the body’s inability to produce insulin and therefore process sugar
2.the body’s inability to use insulin correctly and therefore process sugar (diabetes type II)
3. if someone is morbidly obese i.e. weighs more than 400lbs with the weight coming from fat and not muscle and has a BMI over 35. At this point your organs start to shut down. One of these organs is the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin. Now that your pancreas is shutting down your insulin production is fucked up. Voila diabetes type II. (Bodybuilders frequently fit these criteria but their weight is from muscle development and exercise and their organs are not failing so they are still considered healthy.)

youtube

The most effective, comprehensive video on food justice I’ve ever seen and it’s BY YOUTH OF COLOR

Note: Type II Diabetes is often described as being genetic in scientific literature, but as these folks talk about here, there are much larger systemic inequalities that lead to environmental and dietary causes for the disease that is often at the hands of alliances between huge food corporations and the government.