Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common female endocrine disorders affecting approximately 5%-10% of women of reproductive age (12-45years old) and was once thought erroneously to be one of the leading causes of infertility.
The principal features are obesity, anovulation (resulting in irregular menstruation), acne, and excessive amounts or effects of androgenic (masculinizing) hormones. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among women. While the causes are unknown, insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity are all strongly correlated with PCOS.
Over the last couple years I've had at least six clients who have been diagnosed with PCOS. What really pisses me off about PCOS is the lack of help these women get at their doctor's offices. They get the diagnosis. They are told not to worry. It's not serious. Often they get asked if they are trying to get pregnant. If not, no worries. Then they are sometimes prescribed drugs like metformin, an anti-diabetic drug and sent on their way without any further advice. Ahhh! Maybe a little encouragement to lose weight
Not everyone with PCOS is overweight and PCOS doesn't always present the same in everyone. I'm not doctor. But the deal with PCOS is that losing weight can become very hard for some people. And drug therapy doesn't work for everyone.
But anyone being diagnosed with PCOS and being prescribed an anti-diabetic drug should be getting nutritional and lifestyle advice. How about a referral to a nutritionist who can help manage the insulin resistance that often goes along with PCOS. I wish doctors would tell their patients that often a low GI diet can really help with managing PCOS and can even help regulate menstrual cycles. I wish with all my heart that OHIP could help cover fitness programs. Regular exercise and strength training (according to moi) will help with insulin resistance. More muscle = more insulin receptors so that sugar doesn't float around in the blood for longer forcing another jolt of insulin.
Although I hate diet books, I'm so happy to see that PCOS diet book is coming out in November 2010: The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome by Hillary Wright.
Here's a link to a bunch of PCOS books from eating to other strategies for managing the condition.
Eating a low glycemic diet is pretty common sense. But maybe having a book come out that publicly acknowledges the benefit of a low GI diet will encourage better advice from docs. Anyone with PCOS and anyone else for that matter should be exercising regularly, strength training at least twice a week, focus on getting to a healthy body weight and should stay away from processed food and simple carbs. But people with conditions like PCOS are special and need to focus on self-care even more. Even if someone with PCOS doesn't lose weight, healthy eating and exercise (with strength work...sorry can't say it enough) can manage PCOS and improve fertility.
One of my former clients with PCOS managed to get pregnant without IVF and never developed gestational diabetes (another issue for people with PCOS). She did a pre-conception type boot camp. All she did was exercise 4-5 days a week and started including protein and good fats at every meal and limited simple carbs. She carried her baby to full term no problemo and had a natural birth.
So people with PCOS should not treat their condition with passivity. I refer many of my clients with hormone related issues to Dr. Penny Kendall Reed ND at PKR Health. If you're having any adverse reactions to the drug therapy or if you just want to limit the adverse affects of your condition, get some help.
I'm late late late in posting this. Darnit! But here it is nonetheless. The last several years I've always taken a look at the ACSM forecasted fitness trends. Today I stumbled upon it and am excited to share them with you along with my own commentary. God knows I can't keep my opinions to myself for long!
And I'm so excited because in my little bubble in my little studio sometimes I wonder if I'm out of touch with what's going on in the big fitness world around me. But today, alas, I realize I've got my finger on the pulse and predicted many of these trends two years ago. The biggest one I saw coming for a while is that Yoga is not even on this list any more.
ACSM Predicted Fitness Trends 2010:
1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals. Because of an increase in the number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications, it's important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, such as those offered by ACSM. SAW THIS COMING FO SHO. THE CONSUMER IS FINALLY GETTING MORE SAVVY AS TO WHAT MAKES A GOOD TRAINER. IN MY STUDIO, I SEE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INJURIES, ARE IN REHAB, RECOVERING FROM ILLNESSES. BABY BOOMERS ARE GETTING OLDER AND REQUIRE SPECIALIZED HELP WITH GETTING FIT, NOT MORE INJURIES ON TOP OF THEIR ISSUES.
2. Strength training. Strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program - for all physical activity levels and genders. In addition, some health clubs still focus exclusively on weight lifting and strength training. YAY! IS IT FINALLY OK FOR WOMEN TO DO PULL UPS. I'M HAVING FEWER CONVERSATIONS WITH WOMEN WHO ARE AFRAID TO GET BULKY FROM LIFTING WEIGHTS. LOVE THIS ONE.
3. Children and obesity. Health and fitness professionals see the growing problem of childhood obesity as an opportunity to reverse an alarming trend. There is also an increasing market demand for programs tailored to overweight and obese children. SAD SAD SAD. THESE PROGRAMS SHOULD BE FAMILY PROGRAMS SINCE WE LEARN LIFESTYLE BEHAVIOURS FROM OUR FAMILY OF ORIGIN.
4. Personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for health and fitness professionals who act as personal trainers has become increasingly important, and is an integral part of staffing for health and fitness facilities. MORE TRAINERS MEANS MORE PEOPLE TO CHOOSE FROM. ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD MAKE GOOD COIN AFTER TAKING A WEEKEND CERTIFICATION ARE GOING TO FIND IT TOUGH TO MAKE A LIVING.
5. Core training. Different from strength training, this type of training specifically emphasizes conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen - all of which provide needed support for the spine. SO GLAD THEY ARE DEFINING CORE THIS WAY. HOPE PEOPLE STOP THINKING OF CORE AS THEIR BELLIES.
6. Special fitness programs for older adults. With more and more of the baby boomer population reaching retirement age, health and fitness professionals are designing age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and happy well into their golden years. AS I SAID ABOVE, THIS POPULATIONS NEEDS PROGRAMS THAT WORK WITH THEIR AGING BODIES. DOESN'T MEAN TAKING IT EASY. I'VE GOT A 68 YEAR OLD FEMALE CLIENT DOING ASSISTED PULL UPS.
7. Functional fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related. FUCNTIONAL FITNESS IS AN OVERUSED TERM. IF YOU'RE NOT DOING FULL RANGE OF MOTION MOVEMENTS THAT MIMIC THE WAY YOU USE YOUR BODY IN DAY TO DAY LIFE, THEN IT AIN'T FUNCTIONAL.
8. Sport-specific training. This trend distinctly relates to young athletes. High school athletes are incorporating training into their off-seasons in order to stay in top shape for their sports, and might join a health and fitness club or local community health organization to increase strength and endurance.
9. Pilates. Incorporating core training using the entire body, Pilates classes have become a mainstay of many health and fitness clubs. Pilates also improves flexibility and posture. OK PEOPLE. I SAW THIS ONE MOVING DOWN THE LIST A WHILE BACK. IT DROPPED 2 SPOTS SINCE LAST YEAR. LYING ON A MAT AS YOUR PRIMARY MEANS OF GETTING FIT DOESN'T CUT IT. BUT WE DON'T NEED TO THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER.
10. Group personal training. Perhaps the most surprising top-10 trend of the survey, group personal training involves small groups, in lieu of one-on-one instruction. The trend may reflect economic difficulties and makes financial sense for both the client and the trainer. I'M ON IT. THUS THE URBAN WARRIOR WORKSHOP. SMALL GROUP TRAINING TO SAVE CASH BUT GET PERSONAL ATTENTION.
INTERVAL TRAINING IS LIKE SPOT REDUCTION FOR YOUR BELLY
The Tabata Protocol--named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan's National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya--is an interval routine developed by the head coach of the Japanese speed-skating team.
WHY TABATA WORKS TO BURN FAT:
Tabata offers the stimulus necessary to tell the body it needs muscle. The body maintains protective margins against stress, and Tabata intervals are a stressor. When a muscle is repeatedly taken to exhaustion, an alarm is triggered, telling the body its protective margins are in danger and it must adapt to maintain itself. So muscle will be spared at the expense of fat. This is why Tabata kicks ass compared to steady state cardio.
While a true Tabata workout is only 4 minutes, I’m not letting you off that easy.
NO PAIN NO JANE
• We will be starting with a dynamic warm-up • Then completing a total of 4 Tabata Intervals • Finishing with myofascial release and a lovely stretch. (A Tabata circuit = 20 seconds anaerobic work - 10 seconds rest for 4 minutes total)
Full body, heart thumping movements only. Ramp up fat loss fast.
I'm so happy to see a fitness trend take hold that's all about getting out of the long winded steady state cardio workouts and into high intensity training. I would love even more if this would forever get people out of reading magazines or watching TV while working out. Come on people! It takes a little discomfort to get fit.
THE WHOLE TABATA TREND FITS WITH
NO PAIN NO JANE
The Tabata Protocol--named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., a former researcher at Japan's National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya--is an interval routine developed by the head coach of the Japanese speed-skating team. (It's called a protocol because Tabata and his team took the speed-skating coach's workout and studied it to quantify just how effective it really was.)
The workout consists of six to seven 20-second full-speed sprints interspersed with rest periods of 10 seconds.
What's happening in the fitness world is people are calling almost any high intensity workout or circuit within a workout TABATA training. Hey, if throwing around a trendy word gets people out of doing easy workouts that don't provide results then great!
BUT a pure TABATA workout is as above: a high intensity burst at full anaerobic capacity for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest period.
There's been lots of research to show the benefit of intense bursts of exercise over steady state cardio. The main fat burning benefit of TABATA comes in the fact you are building Type II muscle fibres (the ones sprinters have more of) vs. Type I muscles fibres (the ones marathoners have more of). And we all should know by now that the more muscle we have the faster our metabolism.
"High-intensity resistance training offers the stimulus necessary to tell the body it requires muscle. The body maintains protective margins against stress, and exercise is a stressor. When a muscle is taken to failure (the point where continued contraction is impossible), an alarm is triggered, telling the body its protective margins are in danger and it must adapt to maintain itself. Hence, muscle will be spared at the expense of fat. This is the method of discriminated weight loss."
If TABATA were what some people think it is, then it ain't so new after all. I've been teaching high intensity interval and circuit training since I started offering boot camps 8 years ago. High Intensity Training (H.I.T. ) first got a name back in the 70's. The main difference between any type of H.I.T. training and TABATA is the rest to work interval. H.I.T. has a 1:2 work rest interval TABATA has a 2:1 work rest interval.
A pure TABATA workout would only have one 4 minute set preceded by a warm up and short cool down. But a 4 minute workout won't improve body awareness, help you learn bio mechanics or improve structural balance. But if all you have is 4 minutes to workout which everyone does, then TABATA just took another excuse away from you. And if you don't have a good base of fitness, body awareness or have any medical issues, then TABATA is OUT OUT OUT!
Any of my Urban Warrior peeps can attest to the intensity of our stair climbing, drills in the room and the no stopping workout circuit we do. If they want to call it TABATA, no problemo as long as they're sweating!
It's not fair for me to say in my previous post: "Losing weight is so easy" without going a little further into how we can make it easier on ourselves.
I've got one word for you: mindfulness.
Mindfulness is all about making conscious choices. Being mindful doesn't necessarily thinking more. I found a great excerpt from Wildmind Buddhist Meditation website that discusses the differences between awareness vs. mindfulness. "We sometimes (me included) talk about “mindfulness” and “awareness” as if they were interchangeable terms, but that’s not a good habit to get into. I may be aware I’m irritable, but that wouldn’t mean I was being mindful of my irritability. In order to be mindful I have to be purposefully aware of myself, not just vaguely and habitually aware. Knowing that you are eating is not the same as eating mindfully."
"Mindfulness, a powerful tool for spiritual awakening and growth, is used frequently in both psychotherapy and spiritual/religious practice. Mindfulness creates a quiet place where our best qualities can flower. Intuition, insight, gratitude, patience and enthusiasm all take root in the quiet space of mindfulness.
The practice of mindfulness is necessary because many of our behaviors and thoughts are automatic. After we have learned a behavior, such as brushing our teeth or driving a car, we are able to duplicate that behavior without a great deal of conscious effort. For example, it is quite possible to eat a meal mindlessly while engaged in reading a newspaper or an interesting discussion.
In Buddhist tradition mindfulness is a path to liberation from ego and automatic behavior, bringing one closer to a true perception of reality. In Judaism and Christianity mindfulness serves a similar function and also leads to a fuller appreciation for the majesty of God–Source of All, inviting the expression of blessings and prayers of thanksgiving.
In psychotherapy mindfulness is often a first step in the healing process."
It is my firm belief that much of our personal struggles comes from a lack of mindfulness. And losing weight is really about mindfulness in our food choices. We all have areas of our lives where it's easier to be mindful. We all struggle in our own ways and need to shine some light on different areas of our lives. For some it's food related. But the ONLY way to make permanent change in ourselves in by increasing our self awareness.
To lose weight and keep it off, mindfulness has to be an ongoing priority. Not mindfulness in terms of calorie counting, weighing food or rigid diet regimens. Mindfulness as a way of life. Nobody's perfect and being mindful all the time would put us in the same league of the Dalai Lama. The more mindful we are in life, the harder it is to make choices that take us away from what really matters to us. Diets and fads take us into the micro. They aren't going to help us see the big picture cause of our struggles.
Yes sometimes that glass of red wine really matters but maybe not that slice of pie or that half baguette that went with it. Maybe that chocolate bar at 3PM really isn't doing what you thought it was doing for you when you tune into your body.
I'm no spiritual guru so here's a list of a couple resorces that can help improve mindfulness:
We all have to discover our own way of becoming more mindful. For some it's regular meditation. For others is psychotherapy and still for others it's solo run. But physical activity that requires REALLY tuning into the body, paying attention to how the body feels and controlling movement patterns to improve body mechanics can also be a super first step.
And any personal trainer worth spending money on should be helping you with the above as well as getting you fit.
Now it's time for to get on with some more mindfulness in my life and some baby steps towards regular meditation. I've got my own stuff to work on too!!
It's true. But if you don't believe that losing weight is going to be easy, you're always going to struggle with it. The truth is that there is no big secret behind weight loss. It's all common sense stuff. Often, eating well is something we began to learn at a young age.
Who didn't hear from their mothers growing up "Finish your vegetables." OR "No more treats. You've had enough." OR "Go outside and play and turn off the TV."
One of my clients just bought another diet (although the author says it's not a diet book but instead a lifestyle book????) titled the "Rebel Diet". So why is diet in the title exactly.
Basically, she recycles information like "Eat more vegetables and protein and less processed carbs". Good advice. She goes into more detail about why common sense not so good for you nutritional choices are going to make you hang onto fat. Great stuff. But again, here I go being annoyed with the re-packaging of common sense stuff and the coining of a new eating trend (which ain't new at all). Maybe I'm jealous because my fitness book never padded my wallet! But if I were to write a weight loss book, it would be titled "Losing weight is so easy".
I had someone call me this week trying to hawk a cleansing product. Because apparently now it is being discovered that toxins make people hang onto fat and water. If you clean you pool, why wouldn't you clean your body? UH duh! Because your body isn't a concrete hole full of water and your body has it's own built in toxic removal system (skin, liver, kidney, bowels etc.). So funny!
Obesity stats in the US are scary. 81% percent of the population is overweight and of that 81% overweight, 30% are obese (BMI over 30).
I just went onto amazon.com and did a search for diet books. I came up with over 53,000 books! Another diet book isn't going to solve the problem.
This is my hypothesis. North American society is moving further and further away from making a search for mindfulness and consciousness a priority.
If we decide to make mindfulness a guiding principle in all aspects of our lives, people wouldn't struggle so much with obesity. If parents behave in a more conscious and mindful way, emotional eating wouldn't be such an issue for so many people. If people stop for a second and determine if a food choice is going to be nourishing or damaging and try to live in the present, excess caloric intake wouldn't be such a problem.
I admit we all struggle with making good choices in different aspects of our lives to varying degrees. However, what will improve our moment to moment choices is a desire to be more present. Things just don't go off the rails so much when we don't fall asleep at the wheel of life. Obesity is merely an outward signal that something is out of balance in our inner worlds.
So losing weight is easy IF and only IF we decide to take care of the big picture and stop burying our noses into repetitive diet books and wake up.
I'm trying to write an intelligent blog post while I eat breakfast, drink coffee, feed my daughter, pack a lunch and try to make myself presentable. Maybe time to look at my own life balance!
When my daughter was a toddler or maybe I was pregnant (If I remember correctly because it all becomes a blur at some point), I was attended another Can Fit Pro conference. At those conferences you get to see all the latest gadgets and potentially up and coming fitness trends. One of the things I saw at this particular conference was the TRX. I've been using it ever since. I picked up one of the first models.
Over the years, I've seen some fantastic stuff that never made it into mainstream. And I've often speculated why? The main reason is the media. If the media doesn't get interested in what someone is trying to hawk, no one here's about it. If someone isn't connected with some influential media folks, nothing gets popular.
It can be confusing for lay people to sort through the plethora of fitness related media coverage to know what the best thing to do is. This confusion can almost lead to a state of paralysis! Too much to choose from, what is best? How many times have you been at a dinner party and people debate what the best piece of cardio equipment is? The best type of fitness class etc. etc.
Maybe I'm getting cynical because I've been at this fitness thing for so long. But I've seen so many trends eb and flow. I've seen so many journalist say this is the next best thing and celebrities rubber stamp whatever trend they dig at the moment.
Part of my mission in my work is to help people make intelligent choices about how they decide to devote their very precious time and to help educate people about how to sort through all this information we are bombarded with. Gina helps to show the reader that these so called newest trends have been recycled since human beings were interested in physical activity, health and sports.
This blog post was inspired by Amy Verner's newest article in the Globe about her discovery of the TRX, the newest and best fitness tool. Only this fitness tool has been around for at least 6 years now for the mainstream population and even longer for the Navy Seals who've been using it for a LONG time. Not so new afterall. Just new to her. So much power to propel fitness trends are held in the hands of media folks and their personal fitness journeys.
I don't normally cut and paste articles but I thought this was worthy of breaking my own rules. This is an amazing article that explains what's going on with Harper and women's right to abortions in developing countries.
It is a response to the media coverage of Michael Ignatieff's stance on the importance of contraception and safe abortion in developing countries. Go Michael!
It's About Abortion, Stupid!
By Joyce Arthur, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada February 10, 2010
A bewildering firestorm of media controversy has erupted over Michael Ignatieff’s strong and principled statements about women’s reproductive rights overseas. The Liberal Opposition Leader has been urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper not to exclude abortion and contraception from his surprising plan to become a champion of maternal and child health in developing countries.
Of course, Ignatieff is a politician, and bringing up abortion is no doubt a political strategy in part – but it’s also the absolutely right thing for him to do. It is impossible to tackle maternal health without addressing unsafe abortion, which is a leading cause of maternal death in most developing countries. Given the critical importance of legal safe abortion in saving women’s lives, and the Conservative Party’s well-known anti-choice stance, Ignatieff would have been remiss not to make it a burning issue. The majority of women in Canada are pro-choice, and we are surprised, pleased, and hopeful to see Ignatieff stand up to defend the rights of poor women in other countries.
Conservative politicians and commentators have heaped scorn on Ignatieff’s concerns, however, and condemned him for turning women’s health into a “political football.” But most of the politicking is actually coming from Ignatieff’s critics, who have launched attacks without the benefit of any facts, and even less compassion for women. Some of the coverage is so shockingly ignorant that it qualifies as being misogynist. I’ll critique many of the comments that have been made, but first, please pay attention to some key facts:
19-20 million women in developing countries resort to unsafe (usually illegal) abortions every year. 98% of unsafe abortions occur in countries with restrictive abortion laws (generally archaic laws passed by former colonial powers). There are 42 million abortions a year in total.
68,000 women die every year from unsafe abortion. 8 million women experience complications serious enough to require treatment. Of those, 3 million never receive medical treatment.
Thirteen percent of all pregnancy-related deaths are due to unsafe abortion.
Unsafe abortion is the only cause of maternal mortality that is entirely preventable.
The highest abortion rates in the world are generally in developing countries with strict criminal laws against abortion. Laws don’t stop abortion; they only drive it underground and make it dangerous. (Abortion rates are lower and have been declining in countries where it is legal and widely available.)
220,000 children worldwide lose their mothers every year from abortion-related deaths. (Most women in the developing world who have abortions are married with children.)
When a pregnant woman dies from unsafe abortion, her existing children are 10 times more likely to die within the next two years.
215 million women in the developing world have an unmet need for modern contraceptives (meaning they want to avoid a pregnancy but are using an ineffective family planning method or no method).
Lack of contraception contributes to high rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn contributes significantly to the maternal death rate. That’s because childbirth is dangerous in many developing countries. For example, the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 17 in West and Central Africa, and 1 in 8000 in industrialized countries.
Additional consequences of unsafe abortion include loss of productivity, economic burden on public health systems, stigma, and long-term health problems like infertility.
The costs of treating the 5 million women who are hospitalized every year after unsafe abortion is at least $460 million. In Africa, complications of abortion account for 30 to 50 percent of maternal deaths, and hospitals’ maternity wards and budgets are often largely diverted to treating these complications.
Safe legal abortion saves women's lives. Without exception, every country that has legalized abortion has seen dramatic decreases in deaths and serious complications due to unsafe abortion. In western industrialized countries, death from unsafe abortion has been virtually eliminated. Sources:
Guttmacher Institute, October 2009. Facts on Induced Abortion Worldwide.
World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2003, Fifth edition. 2007.
Khama O. Rogo, John Oucho, and Philip Mwalali. 2006. Maternal Mortality. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Susan A. Cohen. Fall 2009. Guttmacher Policy Review. Facts and Consequences: Legality, Incidence and Safety of Abortion Worldwide. Vol.12, No.4.
UNICEF. Goal: Improve maternal health.
UNICEF. State of the World’s Children (SOWC) – Key Statistics.
Given these facts, let’s look at a representative sample of the inaccurate, ignorant, irresponsible, callous, and misogynist statements recently made by conservative commentators over Ignatieff’s courageous defense of women’s right to safe legal abortion.
“This has nothing to do with abortion. … This is about saving lives of vulnerable children and mothers in the developing world." — Dimitri Soudas, spokesperson for Harper. Toronto Star (Susan Delacourt), Feb 3, Michael Ignatieff challenges PM to back aid for abortion.
When one in eight pregnancy-related deaths is due to unsafe abortion, and seven women die every hour from an unsafe abortion, and most of their existing children die from lack of a mother, then abortion obviously has a hell of a lot to do with saving the lives of mothers and children in the developing world. Anyone who believes otherwise is either inexcusably ignorant about these deaths, or indifferent to them.
“This week, [Ignatieff] trolled for votes by dragging out the abortion issue, apropos of … nothing. Bizarrely, he declared that the right to abortion is too sacred to become a political football — even though the only one suited up for the gridiron is Mr. Ignatieff himself. …even Mr. [Paul] Martin never exhibited so much creepy enthusiasm for spreading the Liberals’ abortion gospel to foreign shores.” — National Post editorial board, Feb 4. Planned propaganda.
The abortion issue can only be “apropos of nothing” if the lives of women who have abortions are completely worthless to the National Post Editorial Board. In their rush to gloat over a Liberal political “gaffe”, they trample over women’s bodies with an enthusiasm that’s downright creepy. As for the Liberals spreading their “abortion gospel to foreign shores,” it’s a bit too late for that. Abortion has been ubiquitous in pretty much every country in the world for decades, if not centuries and millennia. What Ignatieff and everyone else with an ounce of sense and compassion actually want to do is stop unsafe abortion. The only thing the National Post wants to do is turn it into a political football.
“Is ‘hooray for abortions’ a new Liberal policy? Or was [Ignatieff] just extemporizing again? It remains unclear…” — Chris Selley, National Post, Feb 4, Fixing the Third World, one abortion at a time.
Yeah, who knows what the hell Ignatieff was talking about? Certainly not Chris Selley, whose ignorance about unsafe abortion is revealed by his delusion that Ignatieff is promoting abortion. It’s Selley who’s being a cheerleader – for the cause of more dead women apparently.
“Of all the issues that you could possibly raise about women’s health, why would you start with abortion? What kind of mindset is that that you have to start killing unborn babies in order to help people? It seems to be based on the now discredited theory that poverty in the Third World is based on overpopulation.” — Tom Flanagan, University of Calgary political scientist and former campaign manager for the Conservative party. National Post (Kevin Libin), Feb 3, Ignatieff's fine line between pro-choice and pro-abortion.
Good question – why on earth would anyone start with abortion? We’re talking about a measly 19 or 20 million women who risk their lives every year with an unsafe abortion. And out of those, a mere 8 million are seriously injured, and a paltry 68,000 die. It’s hardly even worth bothering about! Oh wait, sorry, I see that Flanagan thinks we’re going to “start killing unborn babies” – which means he has no idea that abortion is already rampant in developing countries, no idea that laws don’t stop abortion and fetuses die anyway, and no idea that he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. The gap in his mind has instead been filled by an evidence-free delusion that the Liberals want to control overpopulation.
“In light of the many positive contributions that Canada can make to the improvement of maternal and child health, it is astonishing that … Ignatieff has issued an official statement advocating contraception and abortion as fundamental elements in addressing this important issue.” — Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, LifeSiteNews.com, Feb 4, Toronto Archbishop Slams “Sad” and “Negative” Proposal by Liberal Leader Ignatieff.
What’s astonishing is the Archbishop’s zero concern for women who die from unsafe abortion, the probable sorry fate that then awaits their existing children, and the fact that access to contraception could stop most of this unnecessary mayhem. You’d think Catholic Archbishops would know a little something about abortion, being so dead-set against it. Maybe the Archbishop is not ignorant so much as he is cold-hearted – or perhaps he’s just in stubborn denial. When confronted with the reality of the scourge of unsafe, illegal abortion, anti-choice people have an unfortunate habit of either placing their heads firmly in the sand, or foolishly disputing the numbers. Unluckily for them, overwhelming evidence exists to support the fact that illegal abortion is very widely practiced and that it’s dangerous. Scientists use a range of methods to carefully calculate and cross-check the rates of illegal abortions in various countries. However, it’s difficult to arrive at precise numbers when abortion is illegal, so the numbers are considered at least somewhat, if not grossly, under-reported. (Laura Gil, Assessing maternal mortality due to induced abortion: A systematic review of the literature, 2004. Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research. )
"Harper has promised increased aid for women and children abroad, but Ignatieff would like to make this a political issue. The Liberals argued that those who oppose abortion are guided by ‘ideology.’ And the other side is not?" — Randall Denley, Ottawa Citizen, Feb 7, While he’s at it, maybe Ignatieff could bring back that carbon tax idea.
It’s true — pro-choice people are guided by some pretty extreme left-wing ideology, such as the notion that women have human rights, including the right to life. That idea may be offensive to many, but like it or not, it’s the law of the land in Canada and across the globe.
“In a Jan. 26 op ed in the Toronto Star and La Presse, Harper said an estimated 500,000 women lose their lives in childbirth and nine million children die before their fifth birthday every year.” — Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News, Feb 8. Strike abortion from maternal, child health initiative.
“When Harper announced in Davos that something must be done for the 500,000 women that die in childbirth each year and the 9 million children that die before their fifth birthday, I doubt that anyone outside of abortion lobby groups said, ‘I know the solution, abortion.’ ” — Brian Lilley, Canada Politics Examiner, Feb 4. Catholic Archbishop warns Ignatieff and Harper against abortion in foreign aid.
Hmm, two different anti-abortion writers, both misquoting Harper on the 500,000 statistic. Because it’s not 500,000 deaths in childbirth, it’s 500,000 pregnancy-related deaths – including unsafe abortion of course. An honest error? Or was it just too tempting and easy to sweep those 68,000 deaths from unsafe abortion under the rug? Well, I have to give Lilley the benefit of the doubt, because his perplexity about why anyone would suggest the “solution” of abortion reveals that facts about unsafe abortion have never been anywhere near his brain.
“But the Liberal leader also delivered what some observers say may be the most audacious stance in favour of the practice of abortion ever to come from a Liberal leader.” — Kevin Libin, National Post, Feb 4. 'They're prepared to take aggressive position'
I hate to sound like a broken record, but an initiative to address unsafe abortion is not a stance “in favour of the practice of abortion.” It’s a stance in favour of saving women’s lives. To clarify, illegal unsafe abortion kills women, and legal safe abortion saves them. That’s not my opinion; it’s a scientific fact that’s been proven over and over and over and over again.
“Is this really what Ignatieff wants pre-occupying Parliament when it resumes? To roll back the clock and reignite the debate over abortion? All over the wording of some “motherhood” statement — pardon the pun — that typically comes out of G8 meetings promising to help the world’s poor? To what purpose?” — Lorrie Goldstein, Calgary Sun, Feb 6, Abortion fight? Give us a break.
Hard as it is for Goldstein to understand, the purpose is not to “reignite the debate over abortion.” The purpose is to save women’s lives. If conservative commentators really don’t want to see all this politicizing over abortion, then they should just stop doing it, and let the government get on with the business of saving women’s lives.
“I thought it was pathetic for a political leader to suggest that abortion is somehow tied to the health of women and children. It was a particularly crass remark in light of all the orphaned children we now see in Haiti.” — Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, National Post (Charles Lewis), Feb 6. Ignatieff’s abortion plan ‘pathetic’: bishop.
Never one to shy away from rabid remarks, the good bishop seems almost proud to admit that he knows nothing and cares nothing about women who die from unsafe abortion. Or the 220,000 orphans leftover after their mother dies, most of whom will probably not survive the next two years. I think that’s rather crass and pathetic of him, don’t you?
“…killing a baby in no way improves its health. Nor, incidentally, does it improve the mother's health -- except in extremely rare circumstances. … That women in the poorest countries are endangered in childbirth -- like women in all countries prior to the development of antisepsis by Pasteur and Lister -- we know. The mother is not endangered by her child, but by the accidents attending its birth.” — David Warren, Ottawa Citizen, Feb 7. Safe pregnancies for moms, babies.
If you want to read one of the most eye-rolling misogynist articles I’ve quoted so far, please go to the link. But back to the issue at hand – first, Warren commits the same obfuscation as those two other anti-choicers – he says pregnant women die only in childbirth. Next, simple logic – which completely escapes Warren – says that when you save the life of a woman, you save not only her existing children, but also her future children. And she will decide which ones to bear, regardless of any anti-abortion laws. If she dies because her abortion was illegal and unsafe, then not only is she and her fetus gone, but also her future children and probably her existing children. Legal safe abortion most definitely saves countless children’s lives, just like it saves countless women’s lives.
“Yes, women do need better reproductive care … but lumping abortion in with the promotion and funding of birth control methods is offensive in the extreme. It is laughable to talk about protecting the health of children while advocating abortion as an acceptable method of birth control. Abortion certainly isn't good for a fetus' health.” — Jennifer Cowen, The Intelligencer, Feb 7. Iggy off in support for abortions.
It's Valentine's Day and a perfect time to talk about heart stuff.
Heart Ache and Heart Health:
First, let's talk about the impact of heart-ache on heart health. My tour through Body Worlds at the Science Centre shed some light on the research around a heart breaking incident on heart health. We all know that ache in the centre of our chest when something devastating happens in our life...the death of a loved one, the end of a tumultuous relationship or love going unreturned. Well the impact of depression and heart health is being considered very seriously by researchers.
"We’re learning about several mechanisms. During depression, the normal heart rate variability (the beat-to-beat variations) is decreased, and studies have shown that after a heart attack, people with decreased heart rate variability have a higher risk of dying. Platelets that form clots are activated during depression, which can lead to vascular damage and more plaque formation in the blood vessels. Levels of the hormone cortisol are higher during depression, as well, which has a negative impact. There is also probably some genetic predisposition that we’re slowly beginning to understand." (taken from http://cchealth.clevelandclinic.org/ask-experts/heartache-heart-attack-link)
So heart ache or depression left untreated is something with a physical impact. A good therapist can help us transition in a healthier way out of difficult life challenges. Many times people say they can't afford therapy. However, if you talk to your doctor, he or she can refer you out to an OHIP covered therapist. If you prefer not going through the medicalized route, you can also contact a therapist in supervision (about $30 per hour) at the Canadian Association of Psychodynamic Therapists at 416.964.7919.
Heart Disease the Leading cause of death in women:
"In fact, coronary heart disease, which causes heart attack, is the single leading cause of death for American women. Many women believe that cancer is more of a threat, but they're wrong. Nearly twice as many women in the United States die of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer, including breast cancer.
If you're a woman, you may not believe you're as vulnerable to a heart attack as men–but you are. Women account for nearly half of all heart attack deaths. Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men.
There are differences in how women and men respond to a heart attack. Women are less likely than men to believe they're having a heart attack and more likely to delay in seeking emergency treatment.
Further, women tend to be about 10 years older than men when they have a heart attack. They are more likely to have other conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure–making it all the more vital that they get proper treatment fast.
Women should learn the heart attack warning signs. These are:
Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest.
Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
Other symptoms, such as a shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
If you feel heart attack symptoms, do not delay. Remember, minutes matter! Do not wait for more than a few minutes–5 minutes at most–to call 9-1-1. Your family will benefit most if you seek fast treatment. (Taken from http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4786)
Best type of exercise to strengthen the heart:
People just have to stop thinking of long steady state cardio as the way to go for improving heart health. A long steady state cardio only has one adaptation phase. The heart is a muscle. To build muscle we need to challenge the muscle, getting out of a comfort zone and forcing the muscle to adapt to a NEW stimulus. Not one it's used to doing all the time.
Cardio machines marketers have brainwashed us into thinking we need to find our endurance heart rate (70% of max heart rate) for us to be working effectively. Sure helps that the only way to do that is a very expensive people of cardio equipment or an expensive heart rate monitor. Don't forget that fitness equipment manufacturers are trying anything they can to get us to spend money and to justify their existence.
The only way to dramatically improve your heart strength is with interval training that pushes your heart out of it's endurance zone. If you suffer from any medical condition, you should consult with your doctor about a safe heart rate zone. But the rest of us out there should be PUSHING ourselves and making ourselves run out of breath a bit! Cardio equipment is not an essential component of improving heart health! This whole paradigm is nothing new at all
"A 2005 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that after just two weeks of interval training, six of the eight college-age men and women doubled their endurance, or the amount of time they could ride a bicycle at moderate intensity before exhaustion." (taken fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/03/fashion/03Fitness.html)
Nothing changes in our bodies without being forced to change.
So Happy Valentines Day to all of you. Take care of your hearts!
I'm never going to get rich. The truth is there is no big secret. There is no perfect personal trainer and there is no perfect workout or diet to help you lose weight.
THE PERFECT EXAMPLE...
I was with a client yesterday who suffered a MAJOR health blow, has a small child and isn't a spring chicken. He's always been active and generally health conscious. But his eating was a little out of hand. Now he ships in wild salmon and blueberries and plans out his meals better than I could've coached him to.
Over the last 18 months or so, he's gotten himself down to a healthy body weight which will greatly improve his chances of surviving his health condition for quite some time to come. He's worked with a variety of trainers over the years and has always been knowledgeable about eating. But it was only after this major health scare that we was willing to get himself down to a fighting weight. It has NOTHING to do with any of the trainers or coaches he's worked with. It has EVERYTHING to do with his own desire to be healthy.
I've been working for years with clients to help them lose weight. At first I was a bit pushy and tried to scare people into buying into my advice. Doesn't really work. I recognize my clients are SMART, knowledgeable and independent. They know that they would feel better losing weight. People generally know how they could improve their diets and with a little guidance and accountability and a strong desire to change they can. I used to try using diet plans. You can give someone a fish or teach them how to fish. Diet plans are band-aids.
The part that I have NO control over is "the strong desire to change". Anyone can lose weight whether they have a trainer/coach or not. As with my client above, he had an extremely strong motivation to change.
When my clients lose weight, I can't take any real credit for it. I'm merely facilitating and guiding their desire to change. But one thing I know doesn't work in the long run is a paternalistic approach to weight loss or an approach that is too formulaic. We are all individuals and we approach change differently, biting off challenges at different paces and in a different order. And anyone looking to lose weight should ask themselves very seriously, is the desire strong enough in me to justify a large financial incentive because you can't buy desire and no one who specializes in weight loss should pretend they can provide the motivation for you. Your weight loss just won't stick. It's like weight loss fast food style. It takes a while to cook a beautiful meal as does it take time to lose weight in a lasting way.
The secret to losing weight is in you. It doesn't cost anything at all. You just have to want to feel better in a BIG way.
I just got an big anti-aspartame email from someone and thought back to a post I did a couple years ago on a different blog. Instead of cutting and pasting the email information (like some bloggers do) and potentially take credit for the writing myself (yuck!), here is a post from the past.
And if you're super into being an anti-aspartamer, here's a link to a 90 minute video that will fuel the fire of your fake sugar fight. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6551291488524526735&hl=en#
Aspartame is so lame A couple weeks ago a study out of Purdue University was released providing yet another reason to avoid aspartame. Scientists fed one group of rats food ladened with real sugar and another group food sweetened with aspartame. The rats who had aspartame ended up gaining more weight during the study then the rats who had the real sugar.
So unless you actually like the taste of aspartame why are you still consuming it?
Based on the Purdue Uni study, we are more likely to eat more the more aspartame we consume. Why? I'll try to explain.
The rats who had the aspartame ended up eating more calories overall then the rats who had real sugar. The scientists aren't completely clear as to what drove the rats to eat more than their sugar fed counterparts but it is believed that when the rats tasted the sugary food and then weren't delivered any subsequent calories, their metabolisms were revved up. When no sugar was delivered to be processed, their brain chemistry was altered somehow and drove them to find the calories they had thought were coming signaled by their taste buds.
There is also the possibility that consuming aspartame triggers the insulin response system. We taste sugar and our bodies release insulin to help us process sugar. No sugar comes and then we're stuck with all this extra insulin. So not only could regularly consuming aspartame make us gain weight. It could also contribute to insulin resistance, a precursor to a diabetic state.
We all know that there has been loads of studies and debate about the potential health risks of aspartame. Here is a link to a site that provides some info (in a rather extreme fashion) regarding aspartame. http://dorway.com/dorwblog/?page_id=17
I suggest that you do your own research. Next time you're at the grocery store, in line at the movies or at a restaurant, check out who's buying or ordering the diet soda. Do they look like choosing sugar free aspartame loaded drinks actually helps them lose weight?
Today I woke up excited to go to my Muay Thai class at tkmt (tkmt.ca) but as the morning progressed I could see that it just wasn't going to happen. My right calf isn't happy. Perhaps that skipping barefoot on a hard surface is to blame. The only downside of the Muay Thai class. Likely caused by tight calves.
I really wanted to get a workout in today and get my heart rate up. Running was out as was any type of impact work. So I started playing around and came up with this workout which did get me sweating and gave me some lovely endorphins.
I went through the following three times and fast. Some of this might sound like fitness jargon but next time you're in the gym I you can ask me what the heck I'm talking about.
Pull ups TRX push ups TRX chest flies TRX lat pullover Pelvic tucks on stability ball with 35lb plate on my pelvis Chest press on stability ball with 35lb plate Stability ball pikes Stability ball lateral twists Front arm raise prone on hyper bench with small dumbells Wide rows will staying horizontal on hyper bench
So I ended up with an intense 30 minute workout instead of feeling really bummed about missing my class.
Tuesday I will be meeting with a client who broke her arm to show her how to keep working out and working around her injury so she doesn't feel like she's taking a step back. And positivity definitely aids the healing process.
One of my clients just returned from a work trip to Paris and visited the Christian Boltanski exhibit. It covers over 15000 sq metres, surrounds the observer with the sound of numerous human heart beats and makes you feel uncomfortable to say the least (his goal achieved).
Here's a link to an article describing it. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aluZHjCwhn9A
I try my best to have other interests and nurture my curiosity about the larger world, especially since my work could easily make me into a myopic fitness zombie just focused on making butts smaller and abs tighter...yawn!!!
To me, part of health means always keeping perspective on the big picture around us, having a sense of connectedness with humanity. One of the ways our life can get out of balance is when, to get through each day, we shrink our world into a manageable little box.
Boltanski certainly shows us how we can connect to each other and the world through experiences on a much larger level. I can't thank my clients enough for expanding my world!
Strength training and cognitive function in women. New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/health/research/26exer.html?emc=eta1 Study shows that lifting weights (free weights or machines) is better at improving cognitive function in older women than 'toning' exercising and balance training. Interesting results.
How Exercise keeps your cells young New York Times article http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/phys-ed-how-exercising-keeps-your-cells-young/?emc=eta1 Study followed long distance runners over 40. People who put on around 50 miles looked younger on a cellular level than sedentary counterparts.
Thanks for passing them along Anna. If any of you have read anything interesting, send me the link and I"ll post it for everyone to see. Jane