Rosemary Nissen-Wade: Aussie poet and teacher of metaphysics – a personal view
My bestie nicknamed me SnakyPoet on her blog, and I liked it. (It began as
'the poet of the serpentine Northern Rivers' and became more and more abbreviated.)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ten Things Not to Say to a Writer

This topic has been trending on twitter lately.  Here are my tweets on the subject:

So, are you still writing poetry?

Have you been published?

Should I have heard of you?

I have a fascinating life story. If you write it, you'll make lots of money.

What kind of poems do you write? (Unanswerable, except by, 'Er ... all kinds'.)

Read more, by many writers at #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter (scroll down past the ad). As one of them remarks, the list is obviously longer than ten! I think you'll relate.

What are your own pet hates, fellow writers? Please share in the comments.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Successful Weight Loss

In January my doctor told me to lose weight. On the advice of a friend, I consulted the dietician at the Community  Health Centre. She measured my height and weight, asked some questions about my lifestyle, and helped me work out a good weight for my height, a safe rate of weight loss, and some interim goals such as the particular weight to aim for in the first month. Then she gave me a basic eating plan.

It's an easy plan to follow, based on food groups and substitutions,  e.g. there are a number of different things that would count as one serving of carbohydrates, so you get a fair bit of choice and variety. The main thing is to fill up big on vegetables so you don't overdo some of the other foods. (But of course that's an over-simplification. There are some other foods one must eat to be healthy, and there are recommended quantities of each.)

I checked in monthly with the dietician, and could have continued to do that, but I was managing nicely so we agreed I could go it alone — with the option of going back any time if I felt the need.

In December I weighed 83.6k. Eight months later it's down to 75k. My waist measurement went from 102cm to 99cm. To illustrate this more graphically — I've dropped a whole clothing size.

I didn't do it only by diet. There was also that other well-known ingredient, exercise. My doctor said he wanted me to walk at least three days a week, starting with 20 minutes and working up to 40. Then, because I was diagnosed with osteoporosis, my chiropractor (with the approval of my doctor) gave me some easy weight-lifting exercises to do every second day.

I actually got down to 72k in six months, and my waist measurement got to 97cm, but then I got sick for some weeks and had to rest, which reversed the trend a bit. More recently a specialist put me on a temporary high-carbohydrate diet in preparation for a glucose tolerance test, and instructed me not to exert myself for that period. Diet and exercise only help you lose weight if you keep using them!

However, I did lose weight, and I lost it gradually, which is the safe and healthy way to do it. My current medical advice is that I need to lose 10k more, and then various symptoms I have, such as arthritic pain, may well ease.

I can share my eating plan with you. It was a free service and I didn't sign any non-disclosure agreements. I think they actually want people to be healthy! In fact, what I received was an official Australian Government program, which is set out in detail online.

Here it is, at this link, for all the people who have been asking. 

I can't work out your ideal weight, nor the best way to get there. That's up to you. Luckily, all the tools and advice you need to work it out for yourself are there online. And it's easy, really. Explore the site!

We are always warned to get medical advice before embarking on a new diet or exercise regime. I too advise you to do that. 

I am 75. I have osteo-arthritis and osteoporosis (both being addressed, and well-controlled). I am not diabetic. Lately I seem to have developed some kind of allergy or intolerance to eggs. These are just some of the individual factors which affect the details of my eating plan and my exercise program. We are all different. You too will have individual needs and requirements. So do please run this plan by your doctor, in case any personal modifications may be needed, and discuss your personal exercise program too.