Monday, January 03, 2011
Sunday, April 11, 2010
If anyone is still reading this and wants to find out what happens next please visit me at www.lastchancetraining.wordpress.com . As I wrote earlier, I am splitting my blog into two - personal and business/coaching. This is my personal take on things. Business/coaching blog is to come!
I will eventually find out how to move all my posts from here over to there!
And if you find all my babble remotely entertaining, you can even "subscribe" in Wordpress.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Isn't it funny how you always discover the best sites/things when you're on a strict deadline. Today I got stuck into an amazing site that has absolutely nothing to do with health and fitness.
It has got to do with, gulp.... craft.
Now craft and I don't have a very good history. Amongst other desires, I have a wish to be more of a crafty type of person. Unfortunately this is probably going to remain a wish for the rest of my life. Being the spatially inept person I am, I cannot 'read' a pattern if my life depended upon it. I sew the legs of shorts together and am a complete failure at origami. I admire all of my friends who are craft oriented and marvel at the creations they make. Sometimes I want to ask, "can you make me one of those? I will pay you for it!" and now I can that I've discovered the Etsy site. It's an American site, but it seems that artisans from all over the world sell on it. I can't wait to delve into it some more when the time is right. I don't think I'll be ever selling anything, but buying, you bet! I know it's been around for awhile so am wondering if anyone uses it?
Back to the purchases side of things, I'm still impressed with Team Estrogen - no, I'm not affiliated with them but reckon I must be one of their best Aussie Customers. Our RPM class bought good quality cycle knicks for 40.00 US and I got a dress, pair of shoes, bikini and some funky socks which say "Boys Drool, Girls are Cool" on them. Everything fits perfectly except the dress - which is a little small - but not for too much longer,eh?
Monday, March 01, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
This post is a bit of a wrap up of the week and more social commentary on values, bullying and the right to freedom of expression.
I'll rewind back to Monday - after teaching RPM (which I knew was going to be hairy after my weekend workload), I had my second cortisone AC injection and then went to have lunch with some ladies from the gym who are Step and RPM regulars. Our morning group ranges from the very young to participants who have retired and I was delighted to receive the invitation. These ladies (who are all somewhere between late 50s and 60s) are a true inspiration to me. We shared stories around the table about our upbringing and education. One of my RPMers who is in her 60s and a retired Social Worker broke through the barrier that existed at the time that dictated men were those who received an education at university. She had to fight tooth and nail and ended up doing two degrees and her Masters and worked for most of her life, even with children - no childcare back then! Others were fluent in more than one language and well travelled. They all spoke about how their upbringing had shaped them - I could relate to Mrs S (Social Worker) - my mother fought tooth and nail to be able to study her Senior Certificate. Then she did her degree and part of her Masters by correspondence as she raised us all. In my family, the concept of a good education has been extremely important. From a young age, critical thinking and healthy debate has been encouraged and still goes on to this day. Both of my parents relish debates, Scrabble and anything study related. Back in the day, my mother and I would wait outside Newspaper House at an obscene hour waiting for our exam results to be published in the newspaper and wanting to get first dibs on our scores.
It's little wonder then that I love nothing better than a good debate - not a personal slanging match but a few good old fashioned rounds of "pro" and "con", "for" and "against". My mother used to rue the fact that she loved a debate because she didn't feel like it made her very popular - that she'd try and hold it in when she saw things that she considered to be "bull" and then she'd have to let it all out - her values eventually overrode the need to be liked.
I must admit to feeling the same way - if things rub up against my values, I have this inexplicable want to share my perspective! Of course, I'm not always right - being proven incorrect is a learning opportunity but I wish that more people focused on the subject of debate rather than getting personal.
Which leads me to my not-so-anonymous bully poster who, despite repeated attempts, isn't going to get too far with this little black duck - think the time has come to give it up and get on with your own stuff.
James Cook University has an excellent definition of bullying:
Definition of Bullying
Bullying constitutes unsolicited, offensive treatment through:
attempts to undermine an individual or group. These persistently negative attacks on personal and professional performance are typically unpredictable, irrational and often unseen. Bullying normally consists of repeated behaviour.
Bullying is NOT - constructive analysis or critical evaluation of a product, person or group.
Bullying is NOT to be confused with freedom of expression - that is the right of the individual to be able to express an opinion or view about anything.
We all have the right to freedom of expression - this is the cornerstone on which democracy is built. We have the right to read what we want to read and say what we need to say as long as we are not impinging on anyone's basic human rights.
I think it is extremely important to delineate between constructive criticism, critical evaluation and bullying behaviour. I think it's also very important to understand that we make the choice to read a blog. It's also important to realize that not everyone is the same as you or me and that not everyone will agree with what you or I write - which is more than fair.
My true passions lie in making reliable fitness and health information accessible for anyone that wants to make positive changes in their life, whether that is doing a Figure Comp, going for a swim, doing RPM or taking a walk with your baby in the pram. I am lucky that I have the background to do just that. I have also shared some of my personal journey in the hope that what I write just might help someone else. I will "fling poo" at concepts I believe are scams in the hope of helping someone make an informed decision. I now need to find a special "poo flinger" bumper sticker.
AT the end of the day, getting healthier and fitter should be fun (and not too expensive). Don't get me wrong, I'd love a 10K bike, but me and mine are doin' fine, just like peas and carrots. Have fun, life is short!
Friday, February 26, 2010
At the beginning of February, I wrote a critical post in relation to Juice Plus and how a Juice Plus salesperson claiming to be "Australia's Leading Nutrition Educator" was running seminars which, although spoke of sensible things, like eating more fruits and vegetables, seem to promote Juice Plus as "the missing link". Why I get cranky about these things is that it is obvious that money, not good medicine is driving the bottom line. I get cranky when I see the aggressive marketing, the posts about "I feel so good because I've taken my Juice Plus supplements" - what about all the improvements you've made to your diet and your training making a difference? It's difficult to feel any warm and fuzzy love towards any supplement whose claims are yet to be proven. Plus eating well and training hard without any fancy gimmicks isn't terribly sexy, is it?
And don't think I'm just picking on Juice Plus. I get cranky when I see L-Carnitine being recommended for fat loss (a blatant misportrayal of the Krebs Cycle if ever there was one). I get cranky when I see ads for "Fat Magnet". In fact, when I see people wasting their money on all sorts of unproven stuff, I get mad.
It also makes me angry to see the unregulated sales of natural medicines by people who do not have the knowledge to recognize potential trouble etc. I ask the question to any person peddling supplements - what are you going to do when you recommend your product to someone taking, say blood thinning medications, and they have a life threatening drug interaction and die. Are you insured for that? You may say "what I'm recommending is a whole food supplement" - well, without a standardized list of ingredients, including excipients, that excuse is just not good enough.
I am a health professional - a pharmacist - who also has a strong background in complementary medicine, having done post grad work in this area. You don't have to be blind Freddy to see that the complementary medicines industry has exploded over the last few years. People it seems are drawn to more "natural" alternatives, but what does this mean? The fact is that:
"Any substance (whether it be natural or man made) that exerts a replicable effect on the systems of the body is a drug"
In Australia, our traditional health professions have realised the impact and potential of alternative medicines and these are researched at tertiary institutions - at the University where I did my pharmacy degree, we also have a dedicated centre for the study of complementary medicines. In the light of this, the suggestion in the quote below is just plain dumb.
The fact is that alternative medicine is drawing more and more money away from mainstream medical practice and even more significantly, from pharmaceutical corporations. When people use “natural” remedies instead of high-priced patented drugs, pharmaceutical companies lose money.”
I really believe the natural medicines industry needs to be more tightly regulated for the above reasons. There is a place for natural medicine and alternative medicine - no doubt about it. But who dispenses that medicine should be scrutinized - I wouldn't expect someone to come to me for IT expertise, and I wouldn't expect anyone to go to an IT expert for healthcare advice.