Isagenix, A New Year, A New Me, Maybe a New You?

I have a good friend who is visiting the United States from abroad right now – she messaged me the other day “Oh my god! I can’t believe how big the portions are, how greasy the food is, and that there is caramel and whipped cream on top of the coffees!” Yeah, this is the … Continue reading “Isagenix, A New Year, A New Me, Maybe a New You?”

I have a good friend who is visiting the United States from abroad right now – she messaged me the other day “Oh my god! I can’t believe how big the portions are, how greasy the food is, and that there is caramel and whipped cream on top of the coffees!” Yeah, this is the USA. We should maybe change it to the Obese States of America or at least the Chunky States of America or maybe the United States of Fattynes. I’m no stranger to her observations, as you no doubt read in my last post. Yesterday I completed a 10 day cleansing fast where I lost a total of 21 lbs and 2 inches from my waist – almost certainly some of that will come back now that I’m no longer fasting – but I still find myself 15-20 lbs above my ideal weight for my height. So I’m moving forward with the gym and Isagneix.

My birthday is pretty soon and my combination Christmas/Birthday present to myself is a gym membership which I intend to use. The truth is, I sometimes find myself wondering what to do when I’m not sitting behind the counter at Reedsport Antiques and the gym provides me an option in this little town that doesn’t have much going on – it feels like the right decision at the right time. I’ve tried working out at home, but let’s face it – there are some nearly insurmountable challenges there – and workouts shouldn’t be interrupted every ten minutes with jars that can’t be opened, requests for My Little Pony, or other enjoyable but distracting household events.

I’m not stopping there though – since getting back to the USA my body has felt – in a word – old. I’ve had aches and pains and creaks and I’ve been tired – frankly I think it has been from processing too much food and carrying all the resulting weight around – 30-35 pounds in a year and a half – so lately I’ve been walking around with a 35 pound pack on my belly shoulders neck back cheeks and other parts – I believe that can wear you the f… out. So, I’m changing my diet too. I like to eat and my own portions have gotten larger and larger as we’ve been here – let’s face it – a 25 year old can get away with eating half a pizza (4-5 slices) but in reality 2 slices is more than enough for a normal person. I don’t need a 6-inch sandwich, a bag of chips, and a cookie plus a drink. Half of that without the cookie or without the drink is PLENTY of calories. In fact, those kind of meals aren’t even what I want to eat in the first place most of the time. My body craves salads and roasted or barbecued meats. Okay, as I think about it lots of other things sound good too – but that’s where control comes in. Like not eating for the 10-day fast control allows you to savor the things you really want, to enjoy the things you have.

At the conclusion of my fast, I knew that I needed to keep going – so I signed up for the gym membership and am waiting for the approval today. I also signed up for a 30 day weight loss program called Isagenix so I can shed the additional 15-20 lbs I want to get rid of and change my eating habits to adopt a more healthy lifestyle so I don’t regain all that 35-40 lbs and lose all of my hard work. Isagenix is more than just a weight loss program – it’s a program dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and changing the way that we live – and it’s potentially a way to make money in a place where it seems everyone I see is dealing with the issue of obesity. I was introduced to Isagenix by my sister who lost 15 lbs and has completely rebooted her metabolism and energy levels – in a period of two months she literally looks ten years younger without any sort of plastic surgery or artificial treatments. People who have known her for years stop her and ask “What in the world have you been doing? You look great.” I asked her the same thing and she told me. Then, at the end of my fast, I asked her how I could do the same thing.

I”m excited about it. All of the research I’ve done makes me even more excited. These are healthy products that get results. I’ll keep you updated about my results.

Obesity and Master Cleansing

Here’s something interesting – since coming to the USA I’ve gained nearly 30 pounds. That’s in 1 year and 7 months – I went to the doctor the other day and she informed me that I was officially obese. It wasn’t really a surprise – I’d felt the change in the way my clothes felt, my body felt, and my face and belly looked in the mirror. I’d mentioned it to my wife several times “I think I’m getting fat” and like a good husband she would insist “Ridiculous, so and so is fat and you aren’t anywhere near that guy – you’re not fat” It felt nice, but I knew the truth deep down under my new layer of blubber – I was fat. I was obese.

Lots of things contributed to my new found obesity. American food for one – in Morocco and Turkey we were eating fresh vegetables, a fair amount of chicken, and sometimes some lamb or beef. The vegetables in the USA just don’t have the same satisfaction as those in Europe, Asia, Africa or even Hawaii- I’ve noticed that we eat more and don’t feel satisfied. I suspect that’s because of genetic modifications and chemical additives in processed foods – mind you, we don’t eat a lot of processed food. Our USA diet consists of vegetables, a lot of chicken, and sometimes beef or lamb – but also we will sometimes have Macaroni and Cheese or frozen pizza – we are far from fast food junkies but we do sometimes grab a burger and fries or hit taco bell if we are out of town (there’s not one here in Reedsport)…I really think that the additives in those portions of processed food have been affecting us on a cellular level. Then there are portion sizes – food in the USA is just bigger – all the way around it’s bigger. And then there is dessert – in Morocco – ice cream was a treat, cookies were for special occaisions and there just wasn’t all that much candy around – I’ve got a sweet tooth, I always have. In Morocco I would sometimes buy a bag of candy and gobble it all down in a sitting – I’ve done that here too, but there has really been something different about it.

Then there is movement – we didn’t have a car in the other places we lived…here, in the USA, you have to have a car unless you live in an urban area which we don’t. We no longer walk – not even the walks to the Souk – part of it is that there really isn’t very much interesting to see here – I have to admit, we moved to a boring little town and everytime I take a walk I run into the town scumbags. We have bikes but the same thing applies – last time I took a bike ride I made it about two blocks before having a confrontation with annoying little shitheads in the park – you may remember that story. And – we have opened a business which requires me to sit around most of the time – I earn our living either working on the computer or selling things from our shop. It was funny – in this past year when I would start an excercise routine or a change of diet – something would come along and siderail it – I suppose that’s normal when you have a wife and young child – but it wasn’t just that – I was on a nice running regimen and injured my ankle – that healed and I began a morning run on the beach (which I had to drive to) where the sand was mellower on my ankles and knees and then our car died (and we didn’t have the cashola to fix it). I started waking up early to do yoga but the earlier I woke up the earlier my daughter woke up and she wouldn’t let me do the downward dog (or anythng else). I know excuses – the currency of fat people, the lament of the obese.

So there it is – I became fat because I became undisciplined in my portions, diet, and excercise. Time for a reset. My reset is a 10-day master cleanse lemonade detox diet.

I’m on Day 6 right now. I’ve done the master cleanse several times before – the first time it was perhaps the hardest thing I’d ever done. For those who don’t know here is the skinny on this –

Over the course of 10 days you eat no food. You can drink as much water as you want and have approx 6 cups of lemonade made with 2 tbsp fresh organic lemon juice, 2 tbsp organic grade B maples syrup, 1/10th tsp of cayenne pepper, and pure water. So, I haven’t eaten in six days.

The second time I did the master cleanse I was in University working on a heavy course load and I have to admit – when I’m fasting I have a much higher level of clarity than when I am not. That fast was difficult but not as hard as the first time. I lived alone and was single and emptied my cupboards and fridge before I did the fast. That was back in 2008.

I’ve tried a couple of master cleanse fasts since then – but living abroad I had a hard time finding maple syrup of the right quality – shortly after moving to the USA I attempted a master cleanse and failed – it just wasn’t going to happen – my wife and I were both going through our own versions of culture shock and my head just couldn’t stick with it.

This time though – the house is full of food, my wife and daughter are eating their meals, and here’s the thing – I haven’t eaten in six days but for some reason this is easy. I wonder if my body is just feeding on my blubber and that’s why I don’t feel sharp hunger pains, psychologically it’s easy too – maybe because of that visit to the doctor, that moment of realizing I had just crossed the line into the land of my countrymen, the nation of the obese. I don’t know.

I do know that this is my reset button. At the end of this fast I will no longer be obese (actually, even as I write this I’ve gone back to not obese – I’ve lost over ten pounds in six days) but as with all crash diets – that weight will easily come back if I don’t change the way I do things. So, I’m going to change a few things…

After this master cleanse I am going to regulate my portions more closely, I will avoid sweets and processed foods (most of the time), and most importantly I am going to make excercise an essential on a daily basis. I want to feel good and to live an enjoyable life – that’s hard enough to do without being obese. Don’t you think?

Ebola – What Happens in Vegas, has a 70% chance of killing and a larger chance of spreading…

It was Mike’s bachelor party and he brought in his best mates from all over the country. Guys he’d grown up with in your state, his Army buddies from all over the country, college friends from NYU and UCLA Medical school, and some colleagues from Boston General and his internship in Seattle. In short, it was a great party and guys from all over the country came. It was a classic Vegas party even inculding the incredibly dirty pair of strippers doing a lesbian sex show in the suite of the hotel – which was ruined when one of them started puking blood all over the place. They all thought she was a drunk druggie whore – but no, the truth was simpler. She had Ebola.
(Note for clarity: Ebola is a virus which is passed via bodily fluids, not an STD but of course bodily fluids are often shared during sex)
To be fair, she was a drunk druggie whore – and she’d gotten Ebola from a John who had fucked a stripper who worked in a bar where a guy from Iowa had come after he found out the nurse he was engaged to had been diagnosed in Dallas with Ebola after she was assured she was safe taking care of the guy who had brought Ebola to the United States from Liberia where he had helped an Ebola victim who was pregnant go to the hospital only to have her be turned away and how she got it was a whole ‘nother story. She was married to a guy who helped pick a woman up off the street when she collapsed and was thrown from a bus and she’d gotten the disease by taking care of her son who was a hard working student in a poor school, who got it from a girl that had come from the country because her whole family was ill, who got it because they were nice people who took care of a guy they knew…and it goes on and on…to a guy in the Congo eating meat he killed in the forest back in 1974 or so…oops.

But back to John’s awesome party ( oh wait, it was Mike’s but guess what, John’s party had the same thing happen but with different people…trippy) – so they all went home and only half of them passed the disease on – so it goes like this:

10 at the party
5 get the disease and interact with 200 people
only 500 get the disease and interact 200 people
50,000 get the disease and interact with 200 people
5 million get the disease and interact with 200 people
1 Billion get the disease and interact with 200 people
Everyone gets Ebola and 5.7 billion people die….the rest survive and the world is suddenly super cool and filled with infinite possibilities. Life is awesome. Everything is awesome. Ebola is awesome. Ebola makes life worth living. Awesome.

Ebola is awesome … at least for the people 500 years from now. For everyone else, it pretty much sucks.

#vagothinks

I have strong opinions and good ideas – I’m tired of keeping them to myself. I’m going to be sharing them from now on on twitter using the hashtag #vagothinks – I’m still a week out from completing my 99 day fast from Facebook – I may do another 99 day break from it after I check messages, check up on friends, etc.

Here are the first of my #vagothinks:

#vagothinks The USA should offer Syria to Turkey if they go in and kick ISIS out – just give it to the Turks.

#vagothinks the US economy is failing miserably for everyone who is not already middleclass or higher – I propose locialism as a solution…

@vagothinks locialism is a universal safety net including free medical, food, and housing assistance for anyone earning less than $40k/year

#vagothinks #locialism should be free and available for anyone who asks for it – no proof necessary – those who opt out get special benefits

#vagothinks taxes should be paid by employers before wages – flatly – every employee gets taxes withheld – not an employee=no taxes !

#vagothinks Trash trucks should have scales on them – every household gets charged by weight – less garbage=lower bill, more garbage=higher

#vagothinks No one (including corps) should be allowed to own more than two residences but no limit on commercial or industrial properties

#vagothinks There should be a children’s judicial system where children can safely appeal unfair treatment from adults with no consequences

#vagothinks a person’s record should only reflect judgments against them -everything else should be expunged – including credit data

#vagothinks The US government should wipe out student loans and make all Universities public and free of charge – funded by taxes, resources

#vagothinks the US government should use (and disclose) alternative funding for maintenance of parks, universities, schools, highways, etc

#vagothinks the sale of raw materials to other countries should be outlawed. The USA should export finished products only.

The Three Zombie Herds of America

Coming back to the USA has been traumatic in many ways, but perhaps the biggest trauma has been in recognizing that most Americans have been zombified and then, once their minds have been erased, they have migrated to one of the three great zombie herds which roam the highways and biways of this once great land.

Herd #1: These are the ones that my new friend Get Back Jack described as being so fucked up on meth they just circle around the Best Western in Kelso, WA – or somewhere else. No explanation needed. Tweaker herd. Crankster herd. Meth herd. Ice herd. No coming back and so fucked up they won’t care when they die herd.

Herd #2: The Narcisistic Selfie herd. At one point in my life when technology still seemed cool and new and benign – I was enthusiastic to be a member of this herd. Then I left the country for five years. Like not looking in a mirror for half a decade, I returned to see people eating dinner while looking at their phones, riding the bus with phones, driving and texting having become a big crime, and somehow thinking that nude pics on their cellphones are secure. This was the culture of burners and techies and Boingboing podcasters and cool maker techno awesome which somehow devolved into selfie culture. People who are so cuaght up in what others are thinking of them that they have no room to actually think about who they are or should want to be. No self awareness only awareness of how others see their self. No self development – like a car with a perfect paintjob but an engine that is falling apart.

Herd #3: The pissed off patriot herd ready to blame all the problems on someone else. If it’s not the Mexicans, it’s the Arabs, if not the Arabs, it’s the Californians, or the Mushroom pickers, or the Democrats or the Republicans or the Libertarians, or the people down the street. I feel for the people in this herd – I agree with them sometimes which I guess puts me in the herd sometimes, but the problem is they never look at the rest of the world – they only listen to the American view of things.

Then there are the rest of us – the retirees, the screwed, the spit on, the over regulated, the under served, the tired, the poor, the restless souls, the hungry, the few who perhaps could do it better if not for the over regulation, and the community minded.

Fuck it, I’m not innocent. I don’t have the answers. I do see the problems pretty clearly though. It all comes down to two issues – 1) Too much technology and 2) Too much government – unfortunately, those are two of the most powerful forces to ever exist – Government automagically encroaches on the freedom of it’s citizens to protect itself – Technology is the same and worse because it forces all to use it or be left behind. There are no more payphones in my town – if you don’t have a cellphone, you can’t make a call. Government is savvy and uses technology to control and inform on its citizenry. Technology is savvy and uses it’s power to control government, citizens, and to gather information.

I may have the freedom to write this but I can only have that freedom if I pay for a laptop, a connection, electricity, a place to sit, and do that by earning money, spending money, and using technology. Freedom is gone. I could tell you a million freedoms I don’t have
– to disappear
– to live in the woods (without a permit)
– to stop paying bills or taxes
– to be free

All of it is clear in America, but only if you have taken some time to not look in the mirror.

American Dogs

I used to have a dog. My dog was well trained and I took it most places with me. The dog was loved and well cared for. Still, I recognize now that I wasn’t a very responsible dog owner – unless I was someplace where people might be walking – I would let the poop stay on the ground.  I didn’t keep my dog on a leash, generally – because she was well trained and would come when I called, heel, etc.

I tell you that so that you have some context for this bit of a rant.  I’m not much of a dog person any longer. It’s different when the dog is yours and you’ve raised it from a pup, spent years with it, etc – I know that – but the relationship I see between Americans and their dogs is something that makes me a little bit sick these days.

I go to people’s houses and find dog hair everywhere, I see people kiss their dogs on the mouth, I see people letting their dog lick their mouths, taste their food (and then the people eat it). I’ve been into houses as an insurance agent, a guest, or a picker where the smell of dog piss is so overwhelming that I want to vomit. People have their little dogs pee on pads that soak it up – but which don’t soak up the smell.  I’ve been served food by hosts with dogs who didn’t seem to notice that their dog’s hair was in the food.

People let their dogs jump on me, lick me (it’s licking, not kissing), and harrass me.

Now, recently, I have people walk into my antique shop with their dog in their hands or even worse, on a leash without asking so much as a by your leave.  I’ve had guests show up at my house without mentioning they were bringing their dogs (fyi – Lola is the only dog allowed in my house – all others must stay outside).

I understand it’s your dog. I understand you think of it as a member of your family. And I don’t really give a shit. It’s a dog. Dog’s aren’t particularly clean. Pigs are particularly clean and I don’t want a pig to lick me, jump on me, or come in my house or shop. Dogs are not as clean as pigs – I don’t like your dog, we might as well get it out of the way. I may not like your kid either, for that matter and you probably shouldn’t bring them into an antique shop either unless they are restrained or very well mannered and behaved.

I don’t have any desire to get another dog.  If I do – you don’t have to like my dog just like I don’t like yours. Now – quit making me deal with your dog’s spit, hair, shit, or piss –

I was at a loss as to how to nicely tell people not to bring their dogs in my shop – my solution was to hang a sign in the door – “Licensed Service Dogs Welcome – All others please wait outside” I bet there will be more than one that ignore the sign…I will definitely ask them to leave after pointing out the sign.