Archive for the ‘health’ Category


Last week’s update didn’t happen, mostly as I’ve been very sick for the last 6 days. Chesty cough, feverish, sniffles, completely exhausted able to cope with being in bed, on the couch, or a slow foray into town for a coffee to get me out of the house a bit. Don’t think it was swine flu. Probably just normal chest-cough flu, caught from Leylah. Yay children! Yay new countries and their new bugs hitting my unsuspecting immune system!

So, we had a lovely weekend two weeks ago, but now it’s been ages since it happened so you can all cope without the details 🙂

In other news I have a job interview on Thursday with the Department of Energy and Climate Change as a policy adviser, for which I am currently madly reviewing all I know on climate change policy, and precisely why I am an excellent person to work for a government department. Wish me luck!

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Reflections on bedtime

One of the most interesting (to me) parts of becoming a responsible adult in a child’s life is observing the rules and rituals that go into giving that child’s life stability, health, freedom and boundaries. One of these is the regular bed-time rule.

Which got me thinking. As adults we impose rules on children as we know it is for their good, but they might specifically recognise this –

  • eat all your vegetables
  • clean your teeth
  • lights out by 9pm
  • etc.

But, then, we forget to do these things ourselves. (side note, this is an interesting post on how we don’t share as much as adults despite encouraging our children to do so)

During my 3 month ‘retirement’ I could sleep as long as I needed to. (Interestingly sometimes this was 12 hours straight). This also meant that I could go to bed later than I would have while I was working, especially as Jed is a bit of a night owl.

But, is this really a good idea? Especially now I am back at work. I need to be out of bed by 6.50 on a work day, which means an alarm at 6.30. I need 8-ish hours sleep to function properly, so I should really be in bed by 10.30. And yet, 3 nights this week I’ve gone to bed at midnight.

The difference? There’s no responsible adult telling me to get ready for bed. And perhaps a bit hypocritical to be telling a child she has to go to bed at a regular time, no matter what interesting things are happening, when we don’t follow that rule as well.

(this post is about someone’s else’s experiences on re-creating a sleep time habit. I’m not as logical-process oriented than him, but it’s been an interesting part of this reflection)

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On allergies

Cute South African "Daisy"…or, more aptly, a lack of them.

All my life I’ve had the sniffles and half -sneezes (much to the amusement of some of my former colleagues. My mother claimed I didn’t blow my nose often enough, then thought I might be allergic to the dog. They disappeared for a year when I lived in Thailand (thanks to my sister for reminding me of this), and came back soon after I returned.

Following that year I became intolerant of milk and large slabs of red meat. The meat one has reduced (except for kangaroo meat), but I still don’t eat a lot of dairy products.

Then in my mid-twenties I became allergic to cats, red wine and chilli.

This seems to have stopped, or reduced. I have no sniffles here. It’s lovely. My guess is that Sydney dust affects me, and is the base allergy upon which the others are built. The best part was going to J’s parents for Easter, where there is a cat indoors and not suffering ill effects. I did dose up on anti-histamines, but in the past this would not have made a difference.

I’ve bought some local honey in an attempt to become used to the local pollens, to hopefully stave off the return of the sniffles.

One of the unexpected benefits of moving here.

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it’s all about the boots
Originally uploaded by deepwarren.
An early example of office stretches on desk.
Sort of.
Actually it was about the shiny boots,
but you get the idea.

My back is a bit screwed up, mostly as a result of using computers for long periods of time since I was 7. I am aware that one of the best ways of fixing it is through regular stretches and movement, but sometimes it’s easy to forget. Hence I do them at work.

People from FOLT will remember the little animated man that used to pop up on my desktop and instruct us in stretches for office workers (if you need an RSI blocker program, it’s the best one I’ve found, and it’s freeware). I’ve now been in my new job long enough that it’s becoming de rigeur to see the product stewardship and data teams stand up at 11.00 and follow me through a series of movements. The favourite being “stop in the name of love” and just swinging your arms around. It’s not quite office yoga on the floor at 4pm, but it’s a good thing

This morning I realised I could add another stretch to the list. Simply placing my feet on the desk and attempting to gently straighten my legs. My hamstrings are so tight that this is painful. it’s nice, easy and low impact enough that I just might do it frequently and start to fix that other issue.

So for all you other office type people, do you move often enough??

In other news related to a difference version of stretching I want to go to this exhibition “Design for the other 90%” (from this post by No Impact Man). Definitely not this one from the Museum of Creationism (from Larvatus Prodeo).

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Weight Loss

UsSomehow or other I have managed to drop a lot of weight recently. I don’t generally weigh myself, as I don’t own scales and I’m the sort of person that will notice differences in body shape and fitness rather than a number on a scale. This weight loss is a good thing, as I spent a couple of years being annoyed and frustrated by the weight that I put on and was in fear of looking like my overweight mother in my 30s.

For your comparison I include exhibits A & B.

Exhibit A was taken while on holiday in Thailand in September 2004, note the puffy face and general overweightedness. One of the first things that my host mother said when she saw me was “you’ve put on weight!” not that weight is a stigma in Thailand, so it was just a statement of fact. Contrast this with the last time I was there where I was told I looked “Saou Dee!” i.e womanly, slim but slightly curvy.

The FamilyExhibit B was taken at Christmas 2006. I’m in the middle in the black t-shirt. Much less weight on the face, and I actually have a collarbone again.

The reason for this post is to share my amazement at the other things I have noticed, not to skite about weight loss. I was just in the bathroom at work, and noticed that an amber necklace my sister gave me a couple of years ago is actually sitting in the right spot. Previously it was too tight around my neck and sat right on the dip in my collar bone. Now it is about a centimeter below it and sitting perfectly. That’s just weird, how do you gain and lose weight around your neck? You never think that gaining weight means that you can’t wear your favourite jewellery. Also, I may not be able to wear my comfy work pants anymore as they are now sitting well below my hip bones and pulling them up every time I move is just a bit trashy.

The reasons for the weight loss are varied. I suspect that most of the weight gain in the last 6 years relates to my levels of happiness. 6 years ago I was quite depressed, then money was an issue which created continual low-level stress, then my job was professionally unfulfilling and therefore soul-destroying. So the new job which gives me interesting things to do started the process, I feel successful again. The availability of good, cheap healthy food for lunch is a plus, I now have a salad for lunch once a week. Dropping the milky coffees (macchiato is now coffee of choice) and drinking more water has helped. Finally when going through high levels of acute stress I stop eating, as I have no appetite and everything makes me feel a little ill.

I’d like to say that there were increased activity levels in this as well, and maybe there are, but I haven’t noticed it.

Anyway, hooray for being able to finally wear the necklace my sister gave me, hooray for finally losing some weight, and hooray for not being stressed/depressed anymore.

[Odd, when I opened Flickr just then, the quote on the front page was from Nietszche: “the mother of excess is not joy, but joylessness” How very apt. ]

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