The Cosmics way to lose weight!

I am an older guy getting ready to collect social security and have always kept myself in good physical condition.  Like most of us, I have grown in girth during my time on earth.  After college I weighed a lean 150 lbs, at 5 foot 11 inches.  At 40 I was still fairly lean at 175.  Fifty brought on the 180’s and the late fifties I was headed towards 200 lbs.  This was not acceptable!  So I began to try various plans, exercised more, cut back on some foods and read lots of books on how to lose weight.  The weight kept climbing.  Two hundred lbs seemed to be my destiny.

About 6 months ago Sue and I bought The Belly Fat Cure book which outlined a way to remove sugar from ones diet.  The cereal recommended by the book tasted, and I use the word loosely, like dirt;  actually dirt may taste better!   Some of the other foods tasted almost as bad.  The price of these foods is ridiculous and very few stores around here carry them. There must be a better way.  I did learn that most foods have entirely too much sugar in them, and that in order to get my weight under control, I had to limit the amount of sugar, so I decided to proceed gradually, one step or should I say, one pound at a time.  I started with my favorite sugar beverage: sweet tea. This was a hard step because I love sweet tea!   I simply quit drinking  it!  In its place I drank water,  and slowly, ever so slowly, I started to lose some weight.  After a while the weight loss stopped and I stayed at 185 lbs.  So my next obstacle was the cereal I ate for breakfast every morning.  I found a cereal with a much lower sugar content that still tasted OK and alternated between it and eating two eggs and  toast, all of which make a great breakfast. After a week I noticed I lost a couple of more pounds but then I quite losing weight.  The next step was bread.  I started eating pumpernickel or rye which have a very low sugar content.  Again the weight again dropped but this time it seemed to continue downward for a longer period of time.  I am now in the upper 170s and feeling pretty good about myself.  This is the lowest my weight has been in almost 20 years.

Of course I exercise, but not any more than I did before I started this plan.  I was unable to lose weight while exercising until I changed my diet.  In the process I read every label and consequently I am becoming a label fanatic determined to know how much sugar is in every food.   I have learned that there are many ways to disguise sugar such as:

  • barley malt 
  • beet sugar
  • brown sugar
  • buttered syrup
  • cane-juice crystals
  • cane sugar
  • caramel
  • carob syrup
  • corn syrup
  • date sugar
  • dextran
  • dextrose
  • diatase
  • diastatic malt
  • ethyl maltol
  • fructose
  • fruit juice
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • glucose
  • glucose solids   
  • golden sugar
  • golden syrup
  • grape sugar
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt syrup
  • maltodextrin
  • maltose
  • mannitol
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • refiner’s syrup
  • sorbitol
  • sorghum syrup
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • yellow sugar                               

Face it: the guys who want you to get fat are a clever bunch!  They will do almost anything to get you to eat sugar.  I believe that sugar may be addictive, maybe not in the way some drugs are but because your body learns to crave it because it is an easy way to get quick calories. The more sugar you eat the more your body wants.  We might be on the verge of another cultural revolution in regards to sugar,  just like the thinking of the mid 1900’s when smoking was considered an acceptable habit. While we are on the topic of real sugar, before you think about switching over to the artificial sugars, make sure you read a whole lot!  Right now our country has the highest rate of diabetes in the world, and we seem resolute on keeping that standing.  With a little bit of research you can find sites that claim sugar could be the number one cause of many of the diseases that plague our modern society.

I guess I should write a book and add it to the thousands of books telling you how to lose weight, or not… Anyway, if you decide to try this method of losing weight, let us know how it goes.  Maybe we could start a movement, THE COSMIC WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM and I could be the new weight guru!  I am burning calories just thinking of my new life as a weight loss champion, The new Dan Marino…or not…

On another note, I am so excited that I am going to be running my first triathlon since my foot surgery last February of 2010.  I will be participating at a lean 178 pounds, thanks to the COSMIC WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!  Send $19.95 plus shipping and handling for your  own individualized weight loss program to…Just kidding!

Falling Down

Did you hear about the latest survey of education around the world?  As a country we did real well; we ranked 25th in math and 28th in science!  Now, you think with this kind of terrific numbers the school system might come up with some new ideas to get the kids motivated.  For example, our local high school came up with the creative approach of credit recovery.  This is a novel idea.  Rather than make the students work harder and be accountable for their education, administrator would have them sent to a study hall where they do work sheets but not have to deal with that awful teacher who wants them to do something and maybe even learn the subject. It boggles my mind when I hear of such stupid practices.  Someone needs to go to the school system’s front door to ask them if anybody is home!

The typical under developed teenager’s goal in life is to have as much fun as possible and do as little work as he can to get through the school system with a piece of paper that says he is high school graduates.  Our goal as teachers is to overcome this obstacle and persuade them to want to learn.  The alternative to not learning is to not get a credit in the class which would keep the student from graduating.  Maybe that is the problem: we have forgotten what the purpose of education is.  Schools were in our time to bring knowledge and enlightenment to the masses.  If little Johnny or Mary decides he/she does not want to be enlightened, we then ought to refuse to give them a diploma.  Every time a teacher passes a child to the next level without the skills to function at that level, the system is compromised, the student is shortchanged and society takes one more step towards general illiteracy.

The current answer to all educational problems is to test the kids till they drop over and lower the standards till we meet in the middle.  In other words, by refusing to work hard, the kids are determining the direction of public education, not the teachers!  Everyone knows this country is heading down the wrong path and it has nothing to do with who is President.  The problem lies in the home. If homes are fragmented and non-supportive, there is little hope the schools are going to fix anything.

So rather than expect the schools to solve all of society’s problems, let them do what they were designed to do: teach students and refuse to advance students who do not meet the standards.  Self-esteem should be taught at home and it is not taught by telling little Johnny how great he is twenty times a day even when you and he know it’s a lie!  Self-esteem comes from falling down, facing failure, getting back up and moving on!

The next Governor and Marcellus gas

This past Saturday, April 30th, I was invited to the Democrat “Meet the candidates dinner” at the Charles Town racetrack.  This is the first time I attended one of these meetings and I must say I had an enjoyable time.  My reason for being there was to ask the gubernatorial candidates first hand what their feelings were on the recent interest in drilling for Marcellus gas in West Virginia.  Due to a recent advancement in the drilling process called FRACKING, West Virginia has the potential of becoming a large producer of natural gas, thus helping to carry our state and our country into the 22nd century.  All of the candidates seemed excited about the possible revenue the state could realize from gas production.  They also seemed concerned that the rules and guidelines for the gas companies were not adequate to protect the citizens of West Virginia and it appeared they were disappointed that the state legislative body was unable to pass any drilling legislation this past session.

All that said, we the people need to be aware of the potential nightmare scenario that the fracking process could produce in our state.

I share the belief of many professionals, that the fracking process has the potential to lead to many unwanted consequences. One of these is the irreversible contamination of our water supply.  This could happen at the surface where toxins could be released in the drilling process or it could happen deep in the ground where the fracking process is taking place.  Although the gas industry assures us that these wells are completely safe, it is important to know that there have been many documented cases that do not support this assumption.  During the fracking process the area containing the gas is exposed to tremendous pressure that fractures the rock, thus releasing the gas.  There is little assurance that the chemicals used in the process will stay deep in the earth.  There is the possibility that they will migrate to other areas and potentially, in time, migrate to the water table.  Couple this with the above ground impact a large number of these wells will have on our scenic state and one has to wonder if we should take the risk.  Even if one well in a hundred contaminates ground water, the impact could be enormous.  Homes would become almost worthless, banks would not want to make loans, whole towns would disappear from the economic collapse and the state would once again be the abused child of the east coast.

Throw away society

It tears me up when I have to throw away a battery.  It is such an environmental time-bomb, filled with all kinds of toxic metals and poisonous chemicals that in the future will break open and dump its contents onto the world.  Any razors, pens, diapers or just about anything you can think of can be bought, used once and thrown away.  This is a terrible waste of what are becoming scarce resources.

As much as this bothers me greatly, it all pails in comparison to the throw-away mentality we have for our fellow humans.  As any parent will tell you, raising a child in today’s helter-skelter, anything goes society is a monumental undertaking.  Not only does one have to deal with the family issues of two working parents and crazy work schedules, as well as the need to moving children around from one activity to another in a society that thinks being busy is better, we are faced with a culture that has no regard for what is truly suitable for a child to see or hear.  To the media folk, anything that sells to the impressionable younger generation is open game.  In fact, I believe they have learned how to train young people to be avid consumers who purchase when prompted to do so.

Too often we bring children into a world that is not conducive to healthful child development and growth.  We bombard them with commercials, video games and images of people and situations they are not cognitively ready for.  After raising a child in this environment for most of his youth, we sit back and then wonder what is wrong.  These children are confused and disoriented by the thousands of killings they have witnessed in movies and on TV; the seemingly near total disregard for human life, the countless hours in the surreal world of video games and the notion that material belongings will solve all their problems will create a generation totally disconnected from the reality.

Now for the hard part!  After we have thoroughly disrupted the normal mental development of our children, we expose them to a way of escaping all this madness – drugs and alcohol.  This often leads to the victim leaving society behind, ending up in drug rehab center which tries to reconnect the addict with society.  The success rate for these institutions is low so many of these victims end up in the same situation they were trying to escape.  At this point we discard them to fend for themselves.  Sometimes this actually has a positive effect on the individual causing him modify their behavior and reemerge as a functional member of society; but very often he end up dying young or spending large amounts of time in our overcrowded prisons as discarded people.  Just like the battery we throw away on a regular basis, the discarded person will in some way break open and cause bad things to happen to the people around him.

This can all be avoided!  Children need to be our national treasure.  We must to cherish them and raise them in an environment that is wholesome, secure and filled with love.  Our schools ought to educate them in ways that meets their aspirations in life, not drive them down the college-bound road in the hope that they will somehow end up in college where they do not belong.  Some of us are teachers and others are masons and doctors.  One profession does not make anyone better than another.  Our goals in life should be simple: enjoy the short time we have here, cherish and respect our friends and neighbors and treat the Earth with respect and tenderness that it deserves, for it is our home.