Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Theses on Binge Eating

16 June, 2015

A random assortment of things I have learned in course of the struggle with my inner Cookie Monster.*

  1. Don’t “go on a diet”. Eat three good-sized meals a day.
    • Don’t skip breakfast. Or lunch.
    • Eat good food. Tasty. Varied. Plenty veggies.
    • Control your portions. Ask the advice of someone you trust, if you don’t feel confident in judging a “good” portion.
  2. Delay your gratification. The food will still be there in ten minutes. Your cravings may not be.
    • You just need to get through the next ten minutes, the next hour, the next day. The weeks and months will take care of themselves.
  3. Enjoy your cravings. Turn them into food-themed daydreams. A fantasy of eating has no negative health consequences.
  4. As you bring your eating under control, you will feel empty, anxious, bereft. This will pass. In a few months time, someone will serve you the sort of meal you used to eat every day and you will think, “that’s too much food!”.
  5. Sometimes, you will find yourself on a binge. This does not mean you’ve failed. You can’t expect the road to be smooth – you’ve just hit a pothole.
  6. Just because you binged yesterday, does not mean you have to today.
  7. Try to accept support. Find an eating disorder support group. Find someone you can trust. Admit to them that you have a problem.
    • Hugs and Cuddles are good. If you can get them.
  8. Start positive change wherever you can. Controlling eating was more challenging for me than getting more exercise. But exercise helps with stress and depression, which helps with the urge to binge…
  9. Do things which are less compatible with snacking. It’s too easy to watch TV with one hand in a bag of something. Read, crochet, play an instrument, keep your hands busy (wouldn’t want to get grease over my books, would I?).
  10. Never eat out of the packet or the pan, or at the kitchen counter. Get a reasonable plate or bowl of whatever, put the rest away, and go sit down.
  11. Do unto yourself as you would do unto others. Many of us find it harder to be as compassionate to ourselves as we would be to someone else. What would you say to you if you weren’t you?



That’s the wrong apology, Mr. Clegg

19 September, 2012

Nick Clegg must be making life very hard for political satirists. Of course, it is unusual for a politician to apologise for anything, especially for breaking promises. However, Clegg is not apologising for his party’s failure to live up to their promise to prevent the rise in tuition fees. He’s apologising for making the promise in the first place.

Apparently, the Lib Dems’ new commitment will be to make no commitments (or at least, none that may be hard to live up to). It is a commitment to no principles, no standards, no values other than self-interest. Of course, going into government with the Tories made that promise impossible to keep. But they had the option not to to so, to commit themselves to opposition. They may still have failed to prevent the rise in fees, but they would have retained their integrity and not enabled a government committed to shifting the cost of the crisis onto ordinary people.

Of course, Clegg says that the reason he shouldn’t have made the promise is that it “was so expensive when there was no money around”. But that is a lie. We know that billions are lost to the country from tax avoidance by large corporations and the richest fraction of a per cent. And we know that pay at the top has risen by 50% while average pay has stagnated or decreased in real terms.

We should’t treat this apology with contempt because it is an expression of weakness. After all, being strong in the wrong cause is nothing to be proud of. No, we should treat it with contempt because it is the wrong apology to make. If this is political honesty, then it almost makes me yearn for ordinary decent hypocrisy.

More on epetitions…

13 August, 2011

UPDATE: The Keep Our NHS Public petition is now live. Please sign and publicise it.

A week ago, I posted some comments on the government’s new epetitions system. Among other things, I reflected that no progressive petitions had yet been allowed that reflect what I perceive to be the feelings of the general public about the NHS. I had put forward “Keep our NHS Public” petition, but had yet heard nothing about it. Since then a few progressive petitions have been raised (Free Dental Care on NHS, Abolish NHS prescription charges and End Private Sector Involvement in Health and Social Care)

Having still heard nothing back, I have now re-submitted my original petition under the title of Keep our NHS public:

The NHS is in crisis, but it is a crisis that has been created by successive governments over the last 30 years. The ideology of privatisation – Internal markets and PFI schemes – have imposed unnecessary costs on the organisation and swallowed up much of the extra funding that has been pumped in. Outsourcing of services such as cleaning have resulted in dirtier hospitals and a poorer service for patients.

We call on the government to:
* Scrap the current Health and Social Care bill, as called for by the annual representative meeting of the British Medical Association.
* Commit to a comprehensive, publicly funded and publicly provided National Health Service, free at the point of use.
* Ensure best value for the tax payer by funding all new projects directly, rather than via PFI schemes.
* Recognise that promoting, or removing barriers to, competition, is not a valid part of the role of body regulating health services.

This time, I have received an acknowledgement by email, so hopefully I will be hearing something within the next 7 days. It may be that it is disallowed, being similar in several ways to the latter petition I linked to above, so in the meantime, let’s see if we can get that one to 100,000 signatures as quickly as the rather less progressive one to stop the benefits of people convicted of rioting.