Tag Archives: health

Smokers as Role Models

We don’t normally consider cigarette smokers to be role models. Maybe, if we’re being charitable, we can say smokers show us how not to behave. Smoking is an incredibly expensive, destructive habit, one that makes you smell worse, discolours your teeth and fingers, destroys your lungs and has about eight-thousand other side effects. Heck, it even poisons those around you, regular people who just happen to be breathing the same air as you.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a positive about smoking … but I’m going to try. Most places don’t let you smoke inside any more, so if you want a cigarette, you need to go outside. And sometimes the weather is terrible. Maybe it’s raining fierce, a storm blowing with the force of a minor hurricane. Or maybe it’s winter and it’s really freaking cold, so cold no sane person would stand outside if they had a choice.

Bus stops are a popular place to get a smoke, as they vaguely pretend to offer shelter.

And yet that’s exactly what smokers do. They put up with some of the most unpleasant conditions imaginable, all because they want a smoke. They won’t let bad weather get in the way. That’s admirable, in a roundabout way. Continue reading

Figuring Out My Life Goals

I’m a fan of goals. They give you direction: they tell you where you are going, and you know exactly when you get there. Those are powerful things. That said, unlike some people, I don’t set many goals. I don’t have a 100-page bucket list. I could probably write all my goals, absolutely all of them, on a single piece of paper.

See? One single page.

Is this the right way to do it? It’s hard to say. It certainly feels the most natural for me. Having too few goals means you risk not doing enough, while having too many can spread you too thin. Heck, at the beginning of the year I set 12 goals of varying importance, only twelve, and those drained me within a week. I operate far better on fewer but more important goals than many superfluous ones. Continue reading

Three Wishes

Anyone who has ever watched Disney’s Aladdin has dreamed about finding a magic lamp of his or hers own. What could you do with three wishes? It could be anything you wanted, and so the question becomes simple: what do you want?

Also, there’s a good chance you’ve had ‘A Whole New World’ stuck in your head at some point. Probably right now, in fact.

This question is actually deeper than it first appears. Many people don’t know what they want. Some people are so bad at making decisions that they can’t even decide what to have for lunch. Not me. I’m planning ahead. If I ever find a magic lamp, I’m wasting no time on my three wishes. I’ll have them all figured out, exactly. Well, maybe. Let’s brainstorm at least, shall we? Continue reading

The Big Cheat

Different diet plans recommend cheat days or cheat meals. If you deny yourself your favourite sweets and chocolates for too long, you might explode one day in a ravenous, glutinous frenzy. Rather than letting it build to this extreme, you have one day a week where you have less restrictions. Go nuts, have a chocolate bar, no regrets. Cheat days help restore your willpower and give you a reward for staying true the other six days of the week.

There’s an important idea here, though, that’s easy to miss. I said ‘less restrictions,’ not ‘no restrictions.’ If you eat an entire pizza by yourself, washing it down with cake and Coke, then you’ve gone overboard a wee little bit. You want to ease the temptation, not go hog wild with it. You’ve just undone all the good you’ve spent the previous work eating healthy. Come on, get your act together.

This isn’t what a cheat day is supposed to be!

Sorry, I was talking to myself there. You see, I went a little overboard. I like donuts, and I, uh, ate a whole case. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Me, 2016 Edition

It’s March 27th, which means it’s a bunch of famous people’s birthday. Well, at least a few famous people. I checked for famous birthdays today, and I didn’t get much. Mariah Carey, Quentin Tarantino, Manuel Neuer. Okay, that’s not bad. That’s also it. The rest of the list is populated with people I don’t know or, even stranger, ‘YouTube stars.’ That’s right, there are so few celebrities born on this day that Youtube celebrities make up a sizable percentage.

Maybe someday I will join those illustrious ranks, for today, March 27th, is my birthday! Happy birthday, me!


Somehow, I turned 31 today. I don’t know how. There must be some type of mistake. I don’t feel 31. I don’t feel 25. I don’t even feel like an adult. I mean, adults are supposed to be these serious people with serious things to do, jobs and careers and responsibilities. Adults are supposed to do adult things. I’ve never felt like an adult. Honestly, I feel and think virtually the same as I did when I was 16, but that’s a topic for a different day. Continue reading

One Month of Building Good Habits

I wrote last month how January wasn’t too kind to me, or perhaps more accurately, I wasn’t very kind to myself. I set out to accomplish a lot this year, and I spent those first 31 days failing as hard as possible. In short, I tried to do too much, and that’s a recipe for disaster in just about every area of life. I then vowed for February to better, and by the Goddess it has.  Somewhat oddly, it’s all thanks to Thrive, a GymnasticsBodies nutrition course.

Let’s be honest, we all want to look like that, at least a little. Well, guys at least. Girls might prefer something different.

It’s a behaviour-based nutrition course, which may not sound very intelligible at first glance. It’s founded on the principle that trying to do too much leads to disaster. Gee, that sounds familiar. Most diets fail because people try to make rapid, wholesale changes in eating habits, and after a week or so all your willpower is used up and you fall right back into your old eating habits. Continue reading

One Year Without Illness

I hope I’m not tempting fate by writing this. You know how it goes. Someone will say, “Gee, I haven’t been sick in awhile,” and then by this time next week they are puking vital organs out. I don’t really believe in that, but I don’t not believe in it either. I would prefer to not tempt the universe either way, given the choice, but this seems a rather momentous occasion.

This isn’t me! And it hasn’t been since 2015!

I have now gone one calendar year without getting sick. Continue reading

On Bacon, Cancer and Eating Healthy

[Note: This is my un-edited version, which I keep around just to make a point about editing and re-writing.  If you want a much better version of this article, read the improved one here.]

Over the last week you may have heard the news that suggested bacon may be linked to certain types of cancers, or more accurately, eating bacon may increase your chances of cancer. Now, if you think about it, this likely isn’t too surprising. Nobody eats bacon for the supposed health benefits; people eat it because it tastes great and it’s easy to cook. If you ask anyone to rate bacon on a scale ranging from healthy to unhealthy, just about everyone would put it closer to unhealthy than healthy.

This is unhealthy? No way!

Of course, some things muddy the water. Fresh bacon made him a local farmer who feeds his pigs only organic material is perhaps not unhealthy at all, whereas the miracle 10 second microwave processed bacon is perhaps the most unhealthy thing on the planet. Just as there are degrees of healthy unhealthy, there are degrees of bacon. Continue reading

The Benefits of Martial Arts

Martial arts changed my life. There is not much else to add. If I never took up martial arts, I would be a far worse version of myself. Martial arts changes lives. I don’t think this is very surprising. Lots of studies have shown the power of physical exercise in general and martial arts in particular. What may be surprising, though, is how far these benefits extend.

How far the benefits ‘extend’ … Get it? Because it’s being stretched really far? Come on, that’s a good joke!

I will list here the main benefits I’ve experienced from martial arts, both directly and indirectly. First, will be interesting to see where I started from and compare that to where I ended up. Continue reading

Caring about Cars vs Caring about Ourselves

I know very little about cars. The topic bores me to tears, honestly. It holds absolutely no appeal for me. During conversations, if friends start talking about cars or vehicles or maintenance, my eyes start to glaze over. It’s funny, because I like understanding how things work, and automobiles are very interesting, complex systems. For some reason, it just doesn’t work for me.

No, please, tell me more about your carburetor problems. It’s so fascinating.

My dojo is located between three different automobile locations. One is a Meineke, a place that specializes in repairs. The second is a privately owned windows and glass-care small business, specializing in windshields and repairs of that nature. The final business is a car cleaner and fine detailing place. Actually, now that I think about it, the last business specializes in audio equipment, and their main niche is outfitting cars. Wow. It’s like this entire small block is dedicated to something I actually don’t care about. Continue reading