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Email: butterfly@mts.net

Archive for August, 2010

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Put up or Shut up. Municipal Elections 2010

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

September 21 is the deadline for submitting your name and nomination form for municipal elections all across Manitoba. Did you know that in order to run for Mayor/Reeve or Councillor in any given town or RM that you don’t actually need any experience in government, that this job actually provides all the training that you will need to help affect change in your community. 

You may run for municipal office if you:

  • Are a Canadian citizen;
  • Are at least 18 years of age on Election Day;
  • Are a resident of Manitoba;
  • Are a qualified voter of the municipality (you have either resided or owned property in the municipality for at least six months); and
  • Have not been disqualified from running under The Municipal Act, or any other Act (see below for examples of disqualifications).

That is it – that is all you need to be able to run for office – that and a desire to get involved and DO something about all of the issues in your community – you know the ones that people complain about in the coffee shops and in online discussions.  So considering that almost everyone over the age of 18 is eligible to run for municipal office, why do so many municipal officers get re-appointed through acclimation because no one contests them – not officially anyway, not where it counts – at the polls?

Everyone who knows me and even a few that just know of me, know that I have very strong opinions on many things and am always asking questions and getting involved in areas that I have an interest in, especially when I see what I feel is abuse of power, or someone picking on others that can’t defend themselves. there is nothing in this world that will motivate me into action faster than a bully. Maybe that stems from my childhood and years of feeling powerless and unable to protect myself from the many abusers and bullies in my own life – actually that is most definitely where my motivation comes from, but regardless, it is there. Now that I have found my voice and my power, I refuse to ever be silenced or bullied again. Unfortunately that is not a trait that can be given to others, they have to find it within themselves.

So is that why so many people will complain about the ‘state of the union’ without standing up and at least trying to change things? Is that why so few will put themselves on the line and stand up for what they believe – even if it means standing alone? Do they, do you feel powerless? Do you feel bullied into believing that YOUR opinion, that YOUR voice doesn’t matter? That you don’t count? Well – YOU DO. You have just as much right, just as much obligation to your family, your community and to yourself to be an advocate for the change that you want to see, to take your talk and complaints out of the coffee shop and into the offices where they can actually make a difference. Talk is cheap but action is priceless.

Watching the inner workings of our local council and listening to the complaints and comments in the coffee shop, all I can say is that at least those 7 people, whether we like them as individuals, respect them as leaders or not, at least they are DOING something. They have put their asses on the line to affect change, they aren’t just talking about what they think and what they want, they are making it happen. If you don’t like what that is, you have the same opportunity as they did 4 years ago to put your name on the line, run for council and work for change from the inside. 

 And if you are one to bitch and complain about what your council does, doesn’t do or should do – what are YOU going to DO about it? September 21 is coming upon us quickly, are you going to put up or shut up?

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Going to Extremes

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

One of my favorite things to do when travelling (and I travel often) is to people watch. People fascinate me – how the dress, act, look, and interact with each other. On a recent trip I couldn’t help but notice a few things about the women that I saw and it made me wonder if what our society is missing could be as simple as a redefinition of normality.

When it comes to physical appearances, I probably ‘check out’ more women than an adolescent boy. I believe that it is a professional requirement – keeping up with trends, body image, composition and attitudes that women extend to both themselves and others. What I noticed during this trip is that there seemed to be very few women that I would classify as ‘normal’ when it comes to weight and body composition. And what I classify as normal for women is somewhere between 21% and 30% body fat and for men, between 10% and 20%. These are healthy levels and should be what society deems normal as far as weight goes. What the scale says and what those dreaded BMI charts in the doctor’s office say should be irrelevant – as should 95% of models and celebrities we see touted as the ‘ideal’ figure as most are so below the healthy body fat level it is scary.

When I was looking at the women around me, I saw some very disturbing things – either I was looking at women who were visibly overweight or obese or women so incredibly low in body fat that I could see protruding bones. Neither of these extremes are healthy or should be acceptable to any woman concerned about health and longevity. It isn’t about appearance – it isn’t about what size looks good in the latest fashions – it is about what is healthy and anything to an extreme is not.

Beyond our appearances, let’s take a look at behaviors. I have clients that come to me looking for some reason why their 0% fat diet or their Carb-free diet isn’t working for them or why their 12 vitamin supplement and 900 calorie a day diet isn’t getting them the results they seek. And the same answer is my reply to all of them – we need balance in your life. In what we do, what we eat, what we drink and how we look. Women are meant to have body fat – at least 20% – it is how we are made to look, made to reproduce, made to live. Our bodies are made to utilize fat, carbs and proteins to achieve optimal performance and health – amazingly enough, we need 55% of our calories to come from complex carbs every day and between 20-25% of those calories to come from naturally sourced fats. Is it really that surprising that our bodies won’t work or look the way they are supposed to when we cut either of those out?

My fitness clients are also shocked when they realize that muscle-bound bodies, 6-pack abs and not an ounce to jiggle isn’t mine and shouldn’t be their fitness goals either, because even exercise can be taken to an extreme and do more damage than good. Professional athletes – especially women who work their bodies into a rock-hard machine, dropping body fat in exchange for muscle and touting 6-8% body fat like many Olympic Calorie athletes do, shouldn’t be the ideal figure for our fitness goals. At those levels, while performing like well trained machines, our bodies will not function right – women can sacrifice not only their outward signs of femininity such as breasts, hips and curves, but may also run the risk of reducing their ability to reproduce with lack of menstruation, inability to lactate and so-on.

the first thing I do with a new client is to encourage them to through out their bathroom scales – weight means NOTHING – it has nothing to do with health and it shouldn’t be how we set our goals. We should be focussing on body fat and general health – getting our bodies to function properly and in balance so that they can do what they are designed to do. Extreme behavior promotes extreme results and when it comes to health – extremes are never a good thing.

Let’s start focus sing on the middle ground, looking good to ourselves, feeling great about ourselves and doing what we need to do to balance our lives in every way possible – Emotionally, Mentally, Physically & Spiritually. Only when we are in balance will we be able to see who we were truly meant to be, as individuals and as a society.

 

Posted in Diet Therapy, Fitness, General, Mental Health, Weight Loss | 20 Comments »