Since the 1960s there has been spectacular, golden advice on how to live a healthy, gorgeous life and not put on unnecessary pounds. It’s so Einstein it staggers the mind. Drumroll please…...eat less, exercise more. Ta-daaaaa. That’s it. That adage is still true today. You don’t need pills. You don’t need a personal trainer (unless that’s your thing and you just like having a trainer). You don’t need to buy manuals about “secrets” to a great body that you never knew before. You don’t need celebrity-endorsed b.s. about why they look so much better than you. It’s all crap. Seriously. Those privileged (jerks – haha) people:
- get liposuction
- get tummy tucks
- use fat-deteriorating injections (no kidding – Britney Spears will always do it one more time)
- have enemas to empty their colons (ick – Marilyn Monroe was a fan of that one),
- take laxatives
- hire chefs who cook the most nutritional yet sinfully good-tasting meals
- have a whole team who work on keeping them fit and beautiful. They are an industry unto themselves especially if they want to keep getting movie roles. We just cannot hold up to that. Period.
Kevin Bacon of the infamous Bacon body once told an interviewer that he has to keep his body in superlative shape (those weren’t his words, she was fawning over him…so shallow…I wouldn’t of course because I would have passed out cold already), because he has to be ready at any time to take on a role. His living depends upon it. That puts things into perspective I should think. That and a sense of humour. Bacon isn’t getting any younger either. He recently celebrated his 55th birthday. On Jimmy Kimmel Live he stated quite sincerely about the birthday celebration his family had for him, “my wife spent a lot of time in the kitchen looking for the caterer’s number.”
Having said that there are a few truisms that you have to accept about your life and your body if you are going to be happy:
- your body is not the same at 20 as it is at 50. That’s obvious. Your system changes. Your hormones do a double-loop when you hit menopause (if you’re a female, obviously). You may have sustained long-term injuries or developed an illness you didn’t have when you were young.
- the amount of food you ate at 20 is probably not going to cut it when you’re 50. It does for some people. I like to ignore those people. Either that or push them over a flight of stairs.
- the type of exercise you engage in may change radically over the years. Or not. It’s good to have change in my opinion. It keeps boredom at bay. It’s a learning experience. It’s fun. However, there’s nothing wrong with tried and true. Whatever has seen working for you for 20 years, God love ya. Keep at it.
- Swimming tends to be a great option for most people. It is injury-free. You cannot hurt yourself doing aquatic exercise. It’s a fact. Go ahead and try it. But it doesn’t count if you jump off a diving board into an empty pool. That’s cheating. And stupid.
- regular exercise and a regular, healthy diet are essential. You aren’t 20 anymore. There are no exceptions to this unless you’re in that 10% of people who can still eat whatever you want yet not gain weight or suffer from health defects. You’re in that percentage I want to push over a flight of stairs so watch your back. And your front.
- you are at a stage in your life where your lifestyle change and body changes can be a thing of peace and beauty. No kidding. Accept that you are in a new zone and embrace it.
- the media is idiotic. You have my blessing to ignore it. I do and it seems to be working for me.
- embracing a healthy lifestyle means you’re worth it. You are worth those hours during the week that you spend time walking, biking, running, working with that snotty personal trainer. You are worth the hours you spend preparing healthy meals and snacks. You are worth it.
- You’re worth it.
- You’re worth it. Is that one sinking in yet?
I hate the expression that a woman or a man looks good “for a person their age.” What the hell does that mean? When a person looks good, that person looks good. For any age. Don’t demean yourself or anyone else with that expression. It’s rude and is in no way a compliment. Unless it’s said in this manner “my God! Did you see that 40-year-old woman with the kick-ass body? I should be so lucky! Even now at 20!” I can live with that type of mentality. That is a perfectly complimentary perspective. I am sure you hear that sort of thing all the time because you likely respect your body and live a good lifestyle. I know this because you are reading this blog (don’t you have anything better to do?). Am I in the best shape of my life? Ah, I am not. Do I have the best body I’ve ever had? Not at the moment. My tummy sags too much. It needs work. Overall, I have been more toned, but I am thrilled when I see the results of my self-discipline with my food choices and not spending all my time lounging around like a lady of leisure. I’m not ever going to be perfect, but parts of me are pretty damned sweet. Besides, fitness isn’t reaching a goal. It is an ongoing process. And if it isn’t ongoing then that’s when you “fall off the wagon” as they say and put the weight back on.
This isn’t to say that a little plastic surgery is a no-no. That’s your call. Your business. I don’t judge that (and who would care if I did?). If that makes you happy and takes a little stress out of your life, so be it. Sometimes there are conditions that won’t ever be improved through diet and exercise and if they bother a person, then do something about it. Here’s an interesting example (beginning at 14:44). I’m not talking Heidi Montag. I feel sorry for that girl. She cannot make up her mind for one thing. One minute she has “10 plastic surgeries” in one day. The next day, she regrets it. She even admitted her implants “hurt so bad I wanted to rip them off.” That isn’t self-improvement. That’s a personality disorder. Personally I thought Montag was beautiful before the surgery. That’s how she looked on the right. Not too shabby.
I will add one tidbit (pun) to the adage eat less and exercise more. Eat well along with eating less. Don’t starve yourself yet eat junk and think this is what that expression means. Nuh-uh. In fact, don’t starve yourself at all. You are not an Eating Disorder waiting to happen. Nope, nope, nope. You have too much sense and too much self-respect. After all, you’re older now than you were at 20. You have experience. You have common sense. And you have a love and acceptance for your body and your lifestyle. No one can take that away from you. Excuse me. A woman with a God-given body just walked by. I am certain she is at least my age or older than me. I have to follow her and look for a flight of stairs….
One doesn’t cancel the other out in my opinion. Wanting to maintain a reasonably youthful beauty isn’t a crime and there are many cosmetic and surgical procedures that assist women and men in achieving that goal. Nowadays however turning back the clock is seldom about getting surgery in order to look 20 years younger than you are. It’s not going to happen and it looks
dreadful. Check out the enclosed picture of Cheryl Tiegs. She was a knock-out in her 20s and 30s and I understand why she’d want to keep herself as youthful as possible. However (there’s always a however) she’s gone way past the boundary of plastic surgery sanity and has hacked her way into self-mutilation, much like Michael Jackson. Michael J however had a vastly different story. He wasn’t trying to look younger. He was trying to look whiter.
Many celebs and ordinary women are opting out of extreme plastic surgery and only tweaking what they perceive to be flaws, rather than trying to erase all signs of aging and recapture their lost youth. It just doesn’t happen. It looks creepy. And everyone can tell when a woman or a man has gone overboard with the plastic surgery thing.
Lisa Renna is a celeb I happen to like. She’s known for that big, pouty mouth, which happens to be a bit extreme but works for her. Due to constant filler injections in her lips, one year ago her lip hardened up completely. The filler had to be removed and her lip was closed with 40 stitches (gross). Right away she filled her healing mouth with filler again then suddenly she did a 180 and decided to remove all of the filler in her lips, (lip reduction surgery) and I mean all of it. It makes her unrecognizable and quite plain. At the same time she looks younger! Who knew?
It’s understandable that celebs try to look years younger than they are. Their PR people and photographers insist on a fake representation of their clients. PR people want actual surgery. Photographers want to airbrush a 40-year-old actress into looking 20. There is such a stigma against middle-aged women being allowed to look like middle-aged women that the constant criticism thrown at them must truly sabotage their self-esteem. I don’t like hearing it and I’m certainly no celebrity.Today there are plastic surgeons who devote their practice entirely to removing or fixing bad cosmetic surgery jobs. imagine getting cosmetic surgery to fix cosmetic surgery? That has to be the ultimate irony.
We can only fight aging and fading for so long, no matter how much money we invest in youth. The Hollywood icon of beauty and sexuality, Marilyn Monroe, said it best, “gravity catches up with all of us.“
You’ve seen the show Hoarders: Buried Alive. There used to be another one but I can’t remember the name of it. It’s astounding that these people live this way. This isn’t a scripted show from what I can tell, at least I believe it. Maybe I’m naive but I don’t think so. Hoarding is in the DSM-V, listed under a compulsive disorder, under OCD. It was debated whether or not it would get its own category for V but that didn’t happen. Of course OCD can also be symptomatic of a larger issue, such as Bipolar Disorder or any one of a number of Anxiety Disorders. I feel for these poor souls. That cannot be an easy life and since these urges are incurable, the best hoarders et al can hope for is control of their symptoms. Usually this requires intensive, ongoing counselling and medication. Meds are actually very helpful. They don’t sedate people. It requires an anti-psychotic to cause sedation (or a sedative) and the former are usually given to schizophrenics or bipolars who are in mania. These are extremes. For OCD and hoarding, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications tend to fill the bill. Sometimes.
Hoarding has many levels – from 1 – 5, with 1 being the mildest (barely begun) and 5 being the worst and most difficult to control. Levels 4 – 5 are fire hazards, and therefore life-threatening. In the previous episode, the psychologist attending the house had to wear a respirator to avoid contracting any bacteria or viruses that could lead to a disease. Children are always removed from these households by Children’s Services. These are illegal households and often the city will intervene and enforce by-law to make the hoarder clean out the household. Fires are a no-no in suburbia, because they easily spread to other houses, as do coackroaches and rodents. Hoarders bring down the value of real estate on their streets. People have the right not to tolerate this abuse of their environment. However, abuse is exactly where hoarding begins. When a hoarder is young, neglect and abuse tends to contribute to hoarding. Often this person is a victim of the foster system; constantly moving and not permitted to gather personal items. They own next to nothing. Ownership of personal items, no matter how repulsive, becomes a safeguard, a false sense of security against the cold, untrustworthy world around them. The worst possible thing done to these children is when a foster parent, or biological guardian, forces the child to dispose of their items. Some adults have been known to force children to burn their precious belongings. I can’t think of anything crueller, next to sexual abuse. Now that the child has grown up into adulthood, s/he can collect and hoard as many items as desired. It becomes a cycle that spins out of control.
Another reason is in the way that people process information. Consider:
- The objects physical appeal for the hoarder’s attention. This makes sense. You know how it is when you’re garage-sailing of course. You might not be searching for something specific but an item suddenly catches your eye for reasons you’re not even cognizant of and you have to buy it. A hoarder displays an extreme form of this behaviour. S/he pays attention to the shape, colour and texture of an object. Whereas most of us consider the usefulness of an object before we purchase it, hoarders consider the appearance of it and whether or not it can simply be added to a collection at home.
- Length of time assessing an object. The hoarder spends a great deal of time investigating an item purely for aesthetic reasons. It takes a long time for the hoarder to make the decision as to whether an item is valuable or not.
- Hoarders are highly disorganized. A lot of us think that about ourselves as disorganized but wait! This is different. When you get mail, you probably have a place where you usually place mail. A hoarder has a very different system. S/he organizes visually and spatially. They rely on memory rather than organization.
- Creativity. Some hoarders have a creative streak in that they appreciate the detail of an object. However this is taken to the extreme when almost everything the hoarder sees has an artistic bent.
- Hoarders’ brains process information differently than non-hoarders. Studies have discovered differences in patterns of brain activity between the two.
This story brought my interest back to the topic (I’ve blogged about it before). A Connecticut woman died when the floor above her head collapsed on top of her, while she was in the basement doing god knows what. Police found the body of 66-year-old Beverly Mitchell after an alert mailman told police her mail was piling up. The building was so unsound, firefighters had to cut into the side of it. They used a backhoe to scoop up the pounds of debris that covered her corpse. If hoarding isn’t a type of mental illness then I’d like to know what qualifies. Surely at this level of hoarding, there are rodents, cockroaches and other infestations, feces from insects and roaches everywhere. The woman’s own toilet was probably backed up and in that case, she would have been defecating on the bathroom floor. “She just never threw anything away. Mail, packages, bottles, lots of papers, newspapers, magazines, you name it. Piled to the ceiling in most rooms. There was a waist-high layer in the room she had been living in.” A police officer commented. He stated that social services offered to help her many times, but she refused. No surprise. “It’s unfortunate because … we’ve tried all along to get her assistance, but she was a very private and solitary lady.”
It would seem to me they didn’t try hard enough. I’m surprised that the city didn’t intervene and force the woman to accept a clean-up crew to clear out the house. Social services are all well and good, but not if they can’t help the affected person. There are other channels that could have been used to help Mitchell so that her life didn’t end beneath a collapsed floor. What happened here?
That old science debate involving ethics and knowledge applies in this case. Just because we can do something should we do something that nature would otherwise not have allowed? Example. A famous story emerged this week about Dylan Benson, his infant son Iver, and his (now deceased) wife Robyn. Dylan put it into better words than I can: Iver is healthy and is the cutest and most precious person….it will still be a bumpy ride….as he continues to grow under the care of the wonderful staff at the hospital.” Therein lies the rub.
There are two issues here: Iver is healthy, and a bumpy ride ahead. How healthy is a baby who is born 28 weeks premature? That is the quivalent of 4 months, or half a pregnancy. Before we had the type of technology we now have (including life support equipment for Robyn), Iver would have most certainly died with his mother. 32-year-old Robyn suffered an irreparable cerebral hemorrhage that left her brain-dead. She was 22 weeks pregnant. 6 weeks later, doctors delivered Iver at the approximate age of 5 months. It’s rather freakish if you think about it. A comatose woman who, for all intents and purposes is dead, acts as an incubator for her fetus for several weeks until doctors remove him and place him in intensive care. Nature may or may not have meant for the baby to die with his mother but it certainly made its decision about Robyn Benson.
How does daddy know the infant is healthy? Infants born even one week premature can suffer consequences although probably have few or no truly long-term problems. Those who are very premature and who have a stormy start to life often suffer serious problems. I refuse to believe that a 28-week old infant is the picture of health and I’ll tell you why. Regarding infants born at 33 weeks or less:
- Hypothermia is a great risk. A premature baby is less able to shiver and to maintain homeostasis.
- Maternal death, especially in teenage mothers, is a higher risk than in babies born at term.
- Hypoglycaemia is also a risk. There may also be hypocalcaemia. Both can cause convulsions that may produce long-term brain damage.
- The more premature the baby, the greater the risk of respiratory distress syndrome. Steroids before delivery may reduce the risk. If the baby requires oxygen it must be monitored very carefully as the premature baby is susceptible to retrolental fibroplasia and blindness.
- The premature baby is more susceptible to neonatal jaundice and to kernicterus at a lower level of bilirubin than a more mature baby.
- They are susceptible to infection and to necrotising enteritis.
- They are susceptible to intraventricular brain haemorrhage with serious long-term effects.
- Severe problems such as cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness may affect as many as 10 to 15% of significantly premature babies. There is some evidence that the incidence of cerebral palsy is falling in premature babies born between 28-31 weeks
- About half of infants born at 24-28 weeks of gestation have a disability at 5 years.
- In the infants born later (29-32 weeks’ gestation), about a third have a disability at 5 years.
- Over 30% had developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) compared with 6% of classmates.
- Far more very premature children do poorly in school than their healthier peers.
- The preterm children were significantly more likely be overactive, easily distractible, impulsive, disorganised and lacking in persistence. They also tended to overestimate their ability.
One important thing to keep in mind: although major disabilities have been reduced, the levels of disability tested in the quoted study did not seem lower than those found in children born 10 or 20 years earlier despite improvements in care of the newborn. I will allow for the fact that stats and percentages are generalities and not entirely precise. Still, I am grateful that my own child was born term and not at 28 weeks. Had she been that premature would I have wanted doctors to keep her alive? Absolutely. This is part of the dilemma of welcoming an extremely premature infant into one’s family. The love is there long before the birth. The problems are only just beginning.
Okay I’m not a fan of eating disorders. I swear. In fact I don’t have one and this isn’t admirable at all. I don’t have the guts (pun) to purge when I eat. I hate vomiting. I like the after effect in clearing out a nauseous stomach when I’m sick, but it’s the getting there that I loathe. I hate that heaving and hurling and I cannot stand seeing my own bile. I don’t champion eating disorders for so many reasons, but if memory doesn’t fail, I believe I have blogged about the pitiful mental state that leads one into anorexia, bulimia, or a host or other illnesses. Oh, about that. Bulimia rarely results in long-term weight loss. Most bulimics’ weight fluctuates. Bulimia is also about control over the body as a means of controlling the environment around you, rather than weight loss or the influence of the media.
Having said that, I came across some of the weirdest tips imaginable if you are determined to pursue bulimia nervosa as your eating disorder of choice. Naturally, I am inclined to share them with you. Listen, this blog is entitled “faulty wiring” not “politically correct.” You don’t like? Don’t read. Move on.
- Don’t try to throw up heavy, doughy food such as bagels, untoasted bread, pancakes, perogies, and tortillas. Avoid peanut butter, cheese, chocolate candy, dried fruit or nuts, and pastries. These are difficult to get out of the digestive tract. All that effort for no reason. Use your common sense would ya? Try ice cream, small, overcooked pasta, soup, frozen waffles (not pancakes), milkshakes, cereal and milk, scrambled eggs, Kraft Dinner and Hamburger Helper. Gross.
- Begin your purging with a marker food – something bright and colorful so you know you have puked it all out.
- Water – Heavy, dense foods of any sort, including meat and dried fruit, are tough to clean out of one’s digestive tract, so the ideal way to know if you’ve succeeded is to drink plenty of water. When all that’s coming out anymore is clear liquid, you know it’s all outta there. n.b. This one is especially dangerous. Practice with caution.
- Watch For the Love of Nancy – it worked for a ninth-grader. – blogger Jessica (happens to be my daughter’s name, but no, she isn’t my daughter)
Here’s a Jessica quote about the Nancy movie:
Around me, in the semi-darkness of the classroom all of the girls watched, rapt, as she demonstrated how important it was for her to be skinny and to feel in control of her weight. When the movie showed people reacting in horror to Tracy’s thin frame we surreptitiously poked at our own stomachs and were for the first time disturbed by what we found there.
On the one hand, I can comprehend the girls’ perspectives. Nancy becomes thinner and in her mind more victorious. It’s people around her who are critical and worried about her health. When the support group counselor asks Nancy what recovery means to her she blurts, “fat!” Ouch. On the other hand, this movie was so entirely heart-wrenching and darkly disturbing, I couldn’t in the slightest comprehend the girls’ perspectives. Bulimia and anorexia are such complicated illnesses.
On with the litany of gross ways to disappear into yourself:
1. Wear baggy clothes so no one can see how thin you are and thereby railroad your attempt at weight loss.
2. Exercise compulsively. Go, girl (to the point of exhaustion).
3. Avoid social activities that include food.
4. Learn tricky ways to appear as though you are eating in front of others when you aren’t: push your food around on your plate; when someone is watching, scoop food onto your fork, bring it to your mouth, then put it down again when the nosy observer is distracted.
5. Insist you’ve just eaten and are full when people try to feed you. Always have a menu in your head to be able to rattle off
when they demand “oh yeah? What did you eat?”Make sure the menu has an appetizer, an entrée, a side dish, and a dessert.
6. Talk a lot while pretending to eat with others. Spend a lot of time rapidly cutting up all of your food, including weird stuff like french fries and cookies.
7. Always carry a toothbrush in your purse in case you give into temptation and eat something.
8. Eat lightly before every purge if you can….bulimics this advice isn’t for you. The idea with bulimia is to stuff yourself to the brim and then puke. Good times. n.b. triggering: (Watch the preceding video link and mute the sound).
9. Take it from Matthew McConaughey as he starved himself for his most recent movie role: the first two weeks of starvation are the hardest. Then it gets easier. You can’t buy memories like that.
10. Join the cult of the Breatharians. Those whack-jobs claim they neither eat nor drink for years on end yet they live healthy, long lives. If you consider 2 weeks to be a long life, then sure. Go for it.
Alright those are some general and hopefully helpful tips as you starve or puke yourself to death. I would be remiss if i didn’t include some of the more severe consequences of any current, designer eating disorder.
1. Your dental work will cost a fortune if you are a puker. Your tooth enamel will erode. You will develop wicked chancres too and they will hurt. Don’t forget gum disease.
2. Have a friend who knows CPR on hand when you vomit in case your heart stops. No kidding. You get an electrolyte imbalance in your stomach from all the vomiting. It’s been known to happen.
3. Invest in extensions or a wig. Your hair will eventually fall out in wads.
4. Prepare for gastric anguish. Vomiting on a regular basis is somewhat hard on the stomach lining. All organs involved in the digestion of food will be damaged by your vomit.
5. Prepare for major heartburn in the esophagus. Same reason as number 4. Your skin may also be damaged by acid in your vomit. Your face will also bloat. Pretty.
6. You will become anxious, irritable and in general be a bi-atch. You will lose friends. Meh. Who needs em’? Prepare to become very depressed and experience mood swings. This isn’t that fun, you know. If you’re truly into it, you will become suicidal.
7. Your grades will drop severely. Forget about applying for that scholarship.
8. Learn to habitually lie, cheat and sneak. Especially with people you love.
9. Develop a lifelong guilt complex every time you put food in your mouth.
10. Draft a living will in the event that you die. You probably will (pun). Don’t say I didn’t warn you in my caring, sarcastic way.
If you think I am trying to guilt trip you about your ED, you are right. I am trying to guilt trip you into getting help. Now. You’re worth it.
God bless and be well.
Have you heard of the Tapeworm Diet? I swear it’s real. In fact, one of my fave programs, 1000 ways to Die, aired an episode in which a girl swallowed a tapeworm that lodged snugly in her intestines, she lost scads of weight, and died from various complications. That’s the idea behind the TD (no, not the dying part – the weight loss part). I first read about swallowing the parasitic tapeworm at least two decades ago. The man who swallowed it didn’t do so for cosmetic reasons. He wanted to prove for scientific research if Fred the Tapeworm (that’s what he named it) could save his life and boost his immune system in the event that he was internally exposed to elements that should have been fatal. For example, this brave (or gross) person drank from the Ganges River, and ate stuff that would turn off a billy-goat. Happily, Fred did his work and absorbed all of the incredibly dangerous viruses and bacteria that came from the exotic diet. Eventually, the scientist had to somehow de-worm himself so he could void it, since Fred was also killing him. via extreme weight loss. Can you imagine having a tapeworm hanging out of you when you go to the bathroom? Gross. The things people will do in the name of science.
Tyra Banks had a panel of women on one of her silly episodes (stupid show) and a female tapeworm user’s doctor had inserted it inside of her tongue, just beneath the surface. She stuck out her tongue at Tyra and the camera zoomed in so we could all see it, Ick. The woman was still chunky. I guess the tongue doesn’t work as well as the intestine….you know, you could interpret that statement on so many levels. These tapeworms can grow several feet inside the human body It keeps pace with your intestines. Tapeworms have been known to void from a person’s anus. Seriously. Are you eating just now? Sorry. The tapeworm expert on the show presented beef and pig tapeworms. Beef tapeworms are known as taenia saginata. The tapeworm eggs hatch inside the cattle and travel to the muscles becoming inclusions called cysticercus. Pig tapeworms are called taenia solium. Humans become infected from passed eggs or by consuming contaminated meat.
These are normally not ingested by humans. Humans come in contact with them by eating contaminated beef or pork, but in North America that seldom happens.
Women have swallowed tapeworm eggs and larvae (gross) to lose weight and yet many have not. I suppose it doesn’t work for everyone, like any diet and exercise program. At least reasonably normal diets like eating extra veggies and fruits than you usually do, or cutting down on carbs, or some such thing, doesn’t do any damage and doesn’t threaten your life. I mean, are people that desperate to lose weight that they would put their lives at risk and become a nursery for wriggly worms? Eesh. In other countries in the world, obesity is considered very attractive. Obese women have far more marriage options than thin women, since the weight suggests the husband is wealthy and can afford to feed her well. However, before you get all excited and think you might move there, these women usually eat all day in order to gain massive amounts of weight. Since food is expensive they are known to eat cattle feed and to die from it. Sheee-it. No matter where we are on the globe, it’s all about the body.
Other opinions about tapeworms state that the TD does no harm to the human body. This article, Null Hypothesis, claims that death is unlikely, but if it occurs it is due to massive infections. So far as I know, the woman who ate a tapeworm on the Tyra Banks show is still alive, so perhaps there is some truth to the Null Hypothesis. Mind you, I wouldn’t accept the article’s information over that of a doctor. Not for a minute.
If you are considering the TD, here are a few facts for you to consider:
- tapeworms grow up to 20 yards long (nasty)
- tapeworms can eat their way out of the intestines into the abdomen, causing death by internal hemmhoraghing (ouch)
- taenia solium, a type of tapeworm, is the leading cause of acquired epilepsy, originating in pigs (th-th-that’s all folks)
- you will be swarming with eggs, larvae and tapeworm (gross)
Here’s a great paragraph summing up more reasons to avoid tapeworms as dietary aids:
While a tapeworm might take in some of the food you do, it would at the same time be taking in a lot of vitamins and other nutrients you need to stay healthy. Do you know what ascites are? A big pool of fluid in your tummy caused by an immune response to something in your guts. Something like a tapeworm. It gives you a big potbelly, which runs kind of counter to the look you might be wishing for. And a tapeworm might not necessarily just set up camp in your innards. It can also cause cysts in your muscles, liver and eyes. Your eyes! So don’t you think it might be easier instead to just eat a bit less and exercise a bit more? Well said.
- Tapeworm eggs hatch in the intestines of the infected animal. This hatched stage of the tapeworm is called an oncosphere.
- The oncospheres penetrate the intestine wall and move to other organs, such as the brain, liver, tissues and striated muscles.
- Once the oncospheres have migrated to other organs, they turn into cysts.
- Cysts found in under cooked meat travel to the intestines in humans. The intestines are where the cysts stop in humans.
- Cysts turn inside-out, causing the insides of the cysts to protrude in a tubular fashion.
- These inside-out cysts attach themselves to the small intestine of their human carrier by their scolex, or head-like segment.
- Adult tapeworm development from the scolex
- There are 1000 segments of adult tapeworm
- Each segment carries 50,000 eggs
- Adult tapeworms lay eggs and the cycle continues
Sounds gorgeous? Hardly. Healthy is a write-off. But if it’s an easy form of weight loss you want, the TD might be the (dangerous, gross, foolhardy) solution. Two internet sites where you can order tapeworm larvae are tapewormeggs.com and lieware See you in the cemetery. I’ll bring flowers. Oh, and a scale.
Poor Mom and Dad. We’re always blaming our parents for every trivial mistake we make such as baring all for hard-core porn and deciding to skip college and go straight to work earning minimum wage for the next 10 years until we get it together and go back to school. It’s decidedly unfair when adults, even young adults, make poor decisions in their lives and blame their parents but sometimes the blame, at least partial blame, is placed squarely where it belongs. In fact, some porn queens, most of whom are anywhere from 18 to 21, just kids really, don’t know for themselves why they are into this way of life besides easy money. Well, easy if you don’t mind being forever branded a whore and contracting as many STDs as you can along the way.
I blogged about one typical porn queen in Tales from the Dark Side, a dark tale indeed about Colleen Applegate turned Shauna Grant in her hardcore porn films. A beautiful blonde, Colleen hailed from a cold, strict, self-righteous family that oppressed her to a point that when she finally broke away, she went to the extreme of degrading herself in Los Angeles pornography. Her mother stated “I wasn’t aware of how bad her life was until after she died.” No kidding. Meh. If you want to read more, click here.
I say typical about Shauna Grant because her sad story isn’t unusual in Los Angeles porn, where young girls are chewed up, spit out, and often left with drug addictions that are as hard as the porn they’ve starred in. Nasty. Lately violent and degrading porn is in high demand. The silly sappy stuff you see on YouPorn is the PG version of pornography. Yep. PG. The stuff that’s being filmed in L.A. is truly awful: young girls are supposedly gang-raped in videos, they’re beaten, called degrading names, forced to partake in BDSM scenes, and used in the worst kind of porn you can imagine. These scenes aren’t real in the sense that these women aren’t truly being raped, but after the fact they often feel as though they have been: their bodies hurt, their self-esteem plummets, they feel depressed and some are suicidal. Some succeed at suicide. Do these girls sound like whores to you?
You may wonder what drives a young woman into hardcore porn, especially the aforementioned degradation? Well wonder no more. A little online digging and I uncovered some valid, yet perplexing reasons, that the daughters of certain parents become victims of pornography. A list:
1. A truly nasty divorce – absolute vindictiveness and no “amicable” anywhere to be found. These are the divorces where name-calling and false sexual abuse allegations occur. The worst kind is when parents convince their children to lie about a parent having molested them. Do children lie about this stuff? Absolutely, when they’re under pressure to do so. Do they feel worse than shit for doing it? What do you think? A study by Paul Armato showed that children of divorce score lower academically, and suffer “psychological adjustment, self-concept and social competence.”
2. Furthering this concern, a 2002 study in The Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that adolescents from mother-alone or mother-absent homes are more likely to become sexually active at a young age, risk taking behavior that is compounded by substance abuse and lack of social support. I do have a bone (pun) to pick with the mother-alone conclusion. As a single mother raising a beautiful, healthy daughter I take offence to that statement. Mind you, I was a single mother by choice and there was no divorce. That might account for my daughter turning out so beautifully. That and my awesome parenting, of course.
3. Mothers and fathers who weren’t parents: they were friends. Allowing daughters to set their own boundaries, get a boyfriend as young as they pleased, These parents didn’t teach their daughters how to set personal boundaries and that they had the right to be respected by boys. This is one of the worst parenting styles ever.
4. Families that raped and molested their daughters – a pretty obvious (and tragic) one. It’s possible that someone outside the family was molesting a little girl and the parents ignored it. I mean, how do you honestly not know this stuff? If you’re a distant, uncaring parent then you might just might not know about it but otherwise, you do and just don’t want to deal with it. I knew a young woman who was sexually molested by a neighbour for a number of months. When she got older and confronted her parents they claimed innocence. She killed herself.
6. Parents that were prudes or mothers who were total sluts and didn’t have a good handle on their sexuality. This leads parents to inadequately educate daughters about sex, either teaching an abstinence only or a laissez-faire approach. Statistics on abstinence-only programs show this approach to be insanely ineffective. I love my mother with all my heart but that was her ridiculous approach and that was because she was raised in the previous generation. She truly did abstain until marriage. Mind you I didn’t become a slut or a porn star. I only had sex with one boyfriend for 5 years. Honest.
7. When Mom and Dad let men or women run in and out of their lives teaches daughters that significant others, and people in general are exchangeable. Kids need the truth about reliable sources of adult support and attachment.
8. She was permitted to watch insane amounts of television. Wholesome role models such as Madonna, Paris Hilton, and scantily-clad skanks dancing around in MTV videos have proven to be a great substitute for caring mothers and fathers. And if you believe that one, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d love to sell you.
9. She got a smartphone when she was 10, and took awesome #selfies all day. With every picture she took to post to her social media sites, she became less sensitive to the idea of her images floating around on the web. Sexting, btw, is a booming practice, and a gateway technology usage that might lead to appearances on Internet porn sites. If a neglected daughter isn’t participating yet, she’s thinking it over.
11. Parents didn’t know their daughter’s friends. When a child has excessive contact with her peers and loses touch with safe adult attachments, the likelihood increases that she will become an addict, or become involved in sex for hire, as mentioned in addiction specialist Dr. Gabor Maté’s book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.
12. Parents taught her to worship false idols before God. She never learned a healthy way to fill the spiritual void that is quintessentially human, especially when Mom and Dad are addicted to keeping up with the Joneses, or even better, being the Joneses. Isn’t it interesting that girls leave porn because they’ve found religion? No fake. Money, sexual exploration, and false adoration didn’t provide personal fulfillment like spirituality did. Who knew?
13. The most tragic of all from parents’ perspectives: they truly tried their best but for whatever reason it wasn’t enough. Most likely, these were parents who simply didn’t have the necessary skills to raise a girl (or a boy) and yet they don’t know why their child has become a porn queen. In this category, you might include mothers who gave birth at the age of 16, or mothers who forced their daughters onto the birth control pill at the same age “just in case“, humiliating and infuriating her and emphasizing a lack of trust in her sexual behaviour.
14. Mom and Dad loved her lots but they didn’t love her right. They weren’t in tune to her emotional and psychological needs. These parents have a problem with authentic intimacy too, and it’s often an intergenerational issue, a cycle that has never been broken and probably never will be. I knew a man like this once. He wasn’t a father (thank God) at that time. He was the strangest, most detached person I ever knew, able to manipulate people with insulting behaviour that he tried to cover up as if it was as natural as could be. He even manipulated a girlfriend into an abortion she didn’t want. When and if he becomes a father, his daughter is in for a very rough ride.
15. The parents were married to their careers and nurtured them far more than they did their children. I’m not talking about parents who have to both work a job in order to keep a roof over their children’s heads. Most of us have to do that. I’m talking about people who devote as many overtime hours into their careers as possible in the quest to get ahead and climb that promotional ladder, while forgetting that raising their kids just might be an important priority too.
16. People who shower their children with gifts as a substitute for affection and spending time with their daughters are headed for trouble – and of course so are their daughters. These are the parents who protest, “of course I love her! I gave her everything a kid could want.” Materials (like false idols) are never proof that a person loves their children. In fact this approach is a convenient way to avoid spending time with their kids.
17. A complete lack of stability. These are families with no roots, they pick up and move continually without a moment’s notice and no explanation to their children. Sometimes a spouse is left behind in the move and the daughter never sees him or her again. Secrecy, denial, and instability have severe effects on children, probably more than most adults realize.
18. Low self-esteem and no friends. Traci Lords, an underage porn star, has discussed being bullied, beaten up by peers, and isolated at her school at the tender age of 14. Girls were envious of her pretty appearance and early physical development. Along with those characteristics, Traci had low self-esteem and few social skills, typical of girls who run away and have little attachment to their families.
19. Growing up in poverty. Some young women live in homes that provide scant food and clothing, they go to bed hungry, and worse, Mom and Dad seem to have enough money for dope but not enough for food. These girls want a way out of poverty and into fast, easy money. Enough said.
19. Parents who were themselves sexually abused. That vicious cycle again. It’s a killer.
Obviously not everyone who lives in these difficult circumstances becomes involved in pornography so don’t get all riled up. For instance, some parents who are poor (not to be confused with poor parenting) manage to provide beautifully for their children. These are the parents who go hungry in order to feed their children. Poverty isn’t a sign of poor parenting. Many parents living in a high needs area I know are wonderful parents, who strive hard to help their children succeed academically and psychologically. They do not want their children to “end up like they did.” All of the aforementioned examples do not necessarily encourage young women to enter into porn, certainly not when isolating merely one “point” on its own. The human mind as we know, is so much more complex than that.
People who are reading this blog and see themselves in it are probably pissed and in complete denial. They’re thinking “who is she to point her finger at me?” Someone’s got to do it. You certainly won’t. And of course there are people who are guilty of a number of these sad family tragedies yet who don’t see themselves in here at all. That’s probably the worst reaction to a blog like this one. If that’s you, your daughter probably isn’t in porn, but is it possible she’s developing other self-esteem issues? They say it’s never too late to turn your life around and perhaps that’s true of your parenting.
Marilyn Monroe said it best: gravity catches up with all of us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve morphed into and out of, all manner of body types. I know your basic body shape squeezes into one of four categories: pear, apple, hourglass, rectangle, or some such ridiculous analysis. If I had to place myself in any one category alas, it would be that of apple. When I am fit the fat disappears and you wouldn’t agree…but I know better. I’ve been obese (170 lbs), underweight (100 lbs), healthy and athletic, inert yet thin, and currently in my ideal weight range, however, at the perilously high-end. I’ve got a lot of toning to do to trim that saggy apple (ick). I can blame or credit these weight and body changes on any manner of variables: diet, exercise, age, thyroid, hypoglycemia. If I’m begin truly honest with myself, I know the bottom line is self-discipline. It’s all about me and my choices. Here’s a strange revelation: when I was overweight I had no clue that I was overweight! I truly didn’t. Even though I avoided the mirror whenever I undressed, I dressed to flatter my shape, wore polished makeup and always wore a trendy haircut. I got many compliments during this time. Perhaps fat is also an attitude.
I’m not a dieter. Weight Watchers has been very effective. Jenny Craig has not. The only difference between them is that I chose to follow WW program and I wasn’t ready for JC. It was all about choice (JC’s food by the way is awesome…worth the money if you are going to follow the program). I’m not a calorie counter. I don’t own a scale or a tape measure. I have a full-length mirror and a gym membership at Curves that I use faithfully. I love that place. My eating habits have improved about 80% in the past 3 weeks. However I will never be anorexic or bulimic. Stop eating? Not me. Vomit or otherwise void my food? Never. I love food. I love eating. I hate being hungry.
I am slightly baffled by people who develop eating disorders…or at least those who do so for beauty’s sake. I know a lot about this sad phenomenon. I’ve researched it, blogged about it, created a PowerPoint and uploaded it onto AuthorStream entitled 14 eating disorders and facts you never knew. I learned some unexpected issues that factor into an eating disorder:
- spiritual beliefs
- mother has the disorder (we’re always blaming poor mom)
- environment (media, friends, criticism)
- low self-esteem
- sexual abuse
- cultural norms
- childhood origins
These are very influential factors for women with a variety of eating disorders/problems. There are lots of disorders btw:
- anorexia nervosa
- bulimia nervosa
- binge eating
- orthorexia – (obsession with eating healthy food until choices become extremely narrow)
- pica (related to mental health issues and disability – eating non-edible items such as matches, feces, or paper clips)
- EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified)
- compulsive eating disorder
- diabulimia (diabetes and an eating disorder)
- geophagia (eating soil or clay)
- night eating syndrome
- purging disorder
- sleep eating disorder
- personal trauma
Strange stuff, huh? Actually, considering all the many different types of eating disorders and the many different means of developing them, it’s remarkable more women and men don’t have one. An obsession with food is a key characteristic of people with eating disorders. Yet these people are still in the minority of the population. Treatments are intensive yet ambiguous, since the individual’s dedication to treatment programs determines the outcome. Unfortunately, the BBC documentary Living on Air, reveals that an experiment yielded the result that force feeding, the worst thing you can do to an anorexic, became a “solution” to eating disorders.
So far as living on air is concerned, (not the documentary), there is a bizarre cult called Breatharians who actually convince themselves that they do not require food or drink, except the occasional glass of fruit juice, to survive. Nope. All they need is love. And light nutrition (pardon the pun). Not lite nutrition. They believe that all they need is light and spirituality to survive. Wiley Brooks, a prominent Breatharian, even insists that Breatharianism would work on a brand new infant if the mother is herself a Breatharian. In the real world, that is known as child abuse and the mother does a long-term prison sentence when her infant dies of malnourishment. Further, these flakes insist a body won’t age when people stop eating. Yes, we have the power to live forever. Jasmuheen, a spiritual leader of this worldwide cult, insists she doesn’t eat or drink. 60 Minutes Britain put her claims to the test by holing her up inside a hotel and filming her for 5 days…she only made it to 4 days when she began to experience kidney failure. She couldn’t continue the test. She blamed 60 Minutes for placing her near a highway, where she had to spend 2 days “fighting carbon monoxide poisoning.” She insists that 6,000 people worldwide live this lifestyle successfully. She began to experience kidney failure and fearing that her kidneys would shut down, the television program cancelled the experiment. Jasmuheen’s teachings have been linked to the deaths of 3 of her followers. Naturally, she blames the people for having another motive besides spiritualty, that of weight loss. Further, she defends herself by insisting she doesn’t advocate fasting in order to remain in the Breatharian cult. When confronted by an interviewer that her publication of books such as Living on Light promotes the fasting lifestyle, she hesitates and replies she promotes self-discipline. So much for her dietary and spiritual claims, I strongly do not recommend joining this cult.
I also strongly recommend you tell someone if you are in the grip of an eating disorder or problem (eg, pica). I recommend you start with your family or a close friend. If you aren’t receiving sympathy and assistance in finding a support group, tell your doctor, tell your EAP counsellor, or your guidance counselor at school. Don’t be embarrassed. These people have heard this sad tales umpteen times. Know that you’re not alone. Tell someone. You’re worth saving. And even though you don’t believe it just now, you truly are beautiful exactly the way you are.
Here’s something that yet another “fashion” magazine (or whatever OK is), has to be ashamed of: Kate Middleton just gave birth to a future King; little Prince George Alexander, a healthy, beautiful baby boy, and the pride of England. Yet the focus OK has on the royal birth is that of Kate’s post-baby body (only a few hours later). The pathetic magazine criticizes her for having a round tummy, even though she is no longer pregnant with Prince George. Say what? The baby is hours old and it’s time for Kate to get a trainer and tone that tummy. Seriously?
Kate is one of the most beautiful, natural women in the world. Women strive to be like her: they copy her hairstyle, her clothing, her makeup. She is the mother of a future King. She is a model wife and yet, a humble girl next door. However she made the mistake of maintaining a tummy a few hours after
birthing her baby. Tut-tut. How will she ever face the public again? Imagine looking that beautiful and refreshed after birthing a baby and having to face photographers? Her most private and precious life moments will never be respected by paparazzi, will always be under public scrutiny this simple and yet, this simple girl, who is not of the aristocracy and married the most powerful heir in the royal family, is unfazed. She continues to face the camera with flawless poise and grace, no matter the circumstances.
Why does it always come down to this shallow perspective where a woman is concerned? Small wonder so many actresses and models develop eating disorders. Ditto young women and teens, who strive to mimic their unlikely, unhealthy bodies. The obsession with women’s weight and proportions has led to so many negative consequences, yet the media is unrelenting:
- eating disorders
- low self-esteem
Before and after photos of young women who arrive fresh-faced and beautiful in the Hollywood spotlight, and soon deteriorate into skeletons in Gucci shoes bear witness to this phenomenon. Consider Amy Winehouse, who was a healthy weight with gorgeous curves at the start of her precarious career. Soon after, her involvement with drugs and alcohol, and bulimia nervosa, led to a tragic, premature death. Victoria Beckham had a beautiful, near-perfect body as a Spice Girl. Post-Spice, her head looks bigger than her body, and she has become the butt (pun) of endless media jokes about her reticence to eat. Nothing Posh about that. Kiera Knightley must work to maintain a non-weight to appease public scrutiny. Is anorexia or bulimia nervosa part of her exercise and diet regime? I’ll toss my hat into that ring. Does anyone remember Brittany Murphy? She began in Hollywood as a healthy brunette and died of anorexia as a pathetically thin blonde. Drugs are always mentioned by the paparazzi. That may be, but with a painfully thin frame like that, I’m not convinced this was the main reason for her early death. Nicole Ritchie frightens me. Tara Reid is a liposuction gone horribly wrong.
Why don’t male celebrities develop eating disorders? If they do, they keep it under wraps (pun). True, there are occasional headlines about celebs such as Matthew Perry fighting weight fluctuation. Has he ever used diet pills or resorted to bulimia? Who knows? The press don’t tell us that. Most male celebs tend to gain or lose weight for a role. Matthew McConaughey deliberately dropped 38 lbs for a role and looked frighteningly ill. However, he was quick to regain a healthy weight after the self-starvation. He admitted to simply not eating for several weeks, stating that “the first two weeks are the hardest.” How did the press react to McConaughey’s weight loss? It expressed fear for his health and a sigh of relief when filming finally began. Why don’t paparazzi react the same way to painfully thin and ill women? It’s a constant yo-yo: too fat, too thin, too skeletal, too chubby. No one seems to mention “relief” when a woman starts eating or after she has a baby. The only sigh of relief is when the post-partum belly disappears and the fashion icon regains her footing upon an eternally unsteady pedestal.
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