Ageing

Lunapads

Calvin Math

Calvin Math By Bill Watterson

It is not uncommon to come across people who have an aversion to math, and equally common to come across people with an aversion to human anatomy and physiology. I used to have an aversion to math but I’ve overcome it by looking at it in the same way I look at the human body. I don’t have to have all the answers locked up in my head like I used to think was necessary. All I need to do is know HOW to find the answers. The art of problem solving – that’s how the education system should have introduced math, and everything else for that matter. It’s the same for anatomy and physiology; it’s not necessary to know all the anatomical names (albeit helpful) to understand anatomy, but rather, knowing where to look to find the information. More fun, less stress.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I love how the human body works – (in its entirety), I value taking care of the environment and practice personal responsibility for my actions.

I will preface this post with a readers’ discretion, in the case you are uncomfortable with the natural functions of the body…or math. Though there will be no quiz at the end, I will talk a bit about some staggering numbers that if we all do our part, those numbers can get smaller and more manageable.

Typically, men are forewarned about this subject to guard themselves should they prefer to make a quick retreat, but there are equally many menstruating people who would rather not discuss this monthly, biological function. You may have been taught to hide your monthly flow, or in contrast, openly discuss it with anyone, or to dismiss it entirely as if it didn’t even exist so as to not miss a beat.

Check out this funny video of men explaining periods. Stick around and read this post because it’s full of links to some really great information which highlight the health risks and the environmental waste involved with disposable feminine hygiene products. Besides, there’s a chance to win a twenty-five dollar gift certificate!

There has been a lot of buzz of late attempting to demystify the menstrual cycle from parody commercials, that first moon party video by HelloFlo to finally, putting to rest the battle over the tax on feminine hygiene products – The tax has been lifted across Canada!

Here’s the math part:

Each month the global population of menstruating people will require on average four to seven days worth of feminine hygiene products. Lunapads estimates that:

“…approximately 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators are being sent to North American landfills annually. On an individual level, each of the approximately 73 million menstruating people in North America will throw away 16,000 disposable pads or tampons in their lifetime.” [1] Your turn, to pull out your calculator and number crunch what that means on a global scale…Yikes!

It’s pretty clear where I’m going with what we can do to shrink those numbers – change to reusable, you can even make your own if you’re crafty. Let’s also consider for a moment exactly what most of those products are made from, and how those products react to the user and finally how those products will be disposed?

Out of sight, out of mind.

“…Use once and throw away…”

So what exactly is in these products? Read this short article by Titania Kumeh who explains it all in a very short piece for Mother Jones. And because of what these products are made from, women risk their health in a variety of ways from the plastics, viscose rayon, chlorinated and pesticide treated materials. Though the number of cases of toxic shock syndrome has gone down since the 1980’s, it still affects women today. California resident and model, Lauren Wasser barely survived the effects of toxic shock syndrome and lost her leg due to the bacterial infection in 2012. You can read her story here.

There are, however, companies who make organic products with our health and environment in mind, such as Natracare, Seventh Generation and Maxim.

What ever did women do before the advent of the commercially-made disposable menstrual products so readily available today? Read the History of Menstruation.

In general women used reusable cloths. Today, we benefit from a reusable silicone Diva Cup and reusable cotton and organic cotton menstrual pads as well as leakproof underwear or “Lunapanties with absorbency options to fit your flow.” And Lunapads has thought of everything – how to deal with quick changes on the go with their cute wet/dry bags by Planet Wise.

We can shrink the number of used feminine hygiene products going to landfill by switching over to reusable products.

I’m always switching things up: how I exercise my body, what I eat, trying my best at eliminating plastic waste and contributing as little as possible to landfill. As a result of switching over to Lunapads exclusively, and because I swim regularly, I have had to change my training schedule. For the last while, I’ve given up swimming during menstruation, which is about four days every three weeks or so. I’ve decided that I can do other activities during that time, like walking, which is one of the best forms of activity; Katy Bowman has a lot to say on this. Believe me, I know that not everyone can even contemplate this…I’ve been athletic my entire life and I can’t remember EVER letting my period stop me from doing any sport. I guess the difference now, is that my perspective has changed and having my period is a blessing as opposed to the ‘curse’ I grew up hearing about.

“Nothing’s going to stop me!” “Just Do It” “Push Through”…all for what exactly?

Taking these steps towards a healthier monthly cycle has introduced me to some amazing practitioners like Barbara Loomis, Rosita Arvigo and Renée Warner who practice the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, which “helps to restore the body to its natural balance by correcting the position of organs that have shifted and restrict the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi energy.”

Lunapads Samples

In the last year I switched over to Lunapads for both health and environmental reasons. I’ve also become a Lunapads Ambassador, which means I’ve got a box of unused samples to show around (wanna host a Lunapads party?) and can let you know when there are promotional coupon codes for you to try the products for the first time, to stock up on new patterns or give away as gifts.

For a little immediate incentive, enter my $25 gift certificate giveaway. I’ve got one gift certificate valued at $25. Redeemable at the Lunapads online store until July 1st, 2016.

How to enter? Leave comments or likes via social media – you know the drill. Make sure to include @ or # youasamachine so that I get notification and can enter your name into the draw. Enter as often as you like. More social media activity means more entries for you.

Contest closes August 1, 2015.

One lucky winner’s name will be randomly selected on August 1, 2015.

Good luck!

UPDATE: Aug. 2, 2015 Congratulations to Elaine Miller @GussieGrips 

UPDATE #2: September 1, 2015

After one month and many failed attempts at contacting Elaine Miller to claim her prize my son has pulled another name from the hat. The prize goes to:

 Anne-Marie Bonneau @ZeroWasteChef

Congratulations!

In the meantime, here’s a gift for everyone…for yourself or to share with someone else 🙂

Try Before You Buy

Try Before You Buy

Related Articles: [1] Lunapads: EnvironmentThe Midwife Is In, Why Switch? Sustainable Cycles, Let’s Talk About It! Eco Femme, What’s Really In That Tampon?, Novel Idea: What if We Actually Researched Whether Menstrual Products Are Safe to Use?, Menstrupedia Comic, 5 Things I do That Were Once Considered Normal

Disclaimer: I am not selling these products and am not trying to persuade anyone else to sell these products. I am a Lunapads Ambassador, which means that I can share product information with you and in exchange should you decide to make a purchase on-line and include my Ambassador Code #515021 at check-out, I will receive a small percentage of each referral. Thanks!

Also, the views expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lunapads or other companies mentioned. 

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Is AGNES In Your Future?

The first time I saw AGNES was in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, February 6, 2011. I put the article aside knowing that I would write a blog post about it someday. But I got busy writing other posts.  This past weekend AGNES made another appearance, this time in the Life & Arts section of the Financial Times, so I figured that it was time for AGNES to make her debut at You As A Machine.

AGNES is an acronym for Age Gain Now Empathy System, a suit, which was designed to imitate the physical restrictions and challenges associated with ageing.  Just looking at the photographs showing the author of the Financial Times article, James Crabtree’s transformation from his healthy, upright 34 year old frame to what AGNES does to him. Yikes! http://on.ft.com/ozv36Z If nothing else, just click on this link to see the photos.

In the AGNES suit James Crabtree looks so uncomfortable.  And that is entirely the point.  The researchers at MIT AgeLab, designed AGNES as a “tool to help businesses adapt their products for elderly consumers.”  Joseph Coughlin, the founder of the AgeLab believes, that as an ageing population we are in a crisis.  We can’t expect technology to save us in our old age. In other words, keep moving, stay active and flexible. He and Dr. Neil Resnick, chief of the Division of Geriatrics at the University of Pittsburg (in the YouTube clip I’ve attached), broach the subject of Younger Next Year’s research: That ageing begins at thirty and if we aren’t careful it can lead to rapid decay as opposed to healthy, natural ageing.

I was amazed when I first saw the photographs of AGNES and what the suit mimicked. Those images were motivation enough to keep me on track.

Let’s keep AGNES off our backs!

“Younger Next Year”

Because I was feverish about sharing my experience with Short-Duration High-Intensity Interval Training, my friend Leanne gave me a copy of Younger Next Year for Women.  She had recently read it and thought I would appreciate it too.  Boy did I!  And in the case you haven’t heard about it, I want to share it with you.

Dr. Henry Lodge and Chris Crowley’s first book: “Younger Next Year” written for men was so successful that they came out with a version for women, because wives were swiping their husbands’ copies and let’s face it men and women age differently.

Dr. Henry Lodge, explains the science of ageing.  In his seventies, Chris Crowley, originally a patient or Dr. Lodge’s, explains (often with humour) the ageing process from the front lines.

You can view this three minute YouTube excerpt from the PBS television special that airs this Friday, June 3, 2011! (That’s tomorrow!)

Great Aunt Lea

This video is from my long-weekend in Hawaii from 2009.  My mother-in-law, Sandy and I visited my Great Aunt Lea, age 93 at the time, on Waikiki Beach.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

That’s her walking into the water with the silver bathing cap and turquoise shorts. Later in the video she shows off her one-legged squat.  She is a great example of consistency and self-discipline.  Everyday she goes to the beach for a swim.  In her eighties she would do one thousand strokes in the ocean, daily. When I saw her three years ago she was still doing her routine, though modified due to a rotator cuff injury.

One night after her birthday celebration dinner; her birthday’s in November, we were visiting in February.  She figured that at her age she ought to celebrate it as often as possible…Great Aunt Lea insisted on taking the bus home, as was her custom.  Sandy and I watched her board the bus and as the bus pulled away, there was Great Aunt Lea marching down the aisle to the back of the bus without the help of a pole to support her balance!  Impressive.  I wondered if playing in the surf like she did was the secret.

Below is a 2 minute YouTube video of her surfing at 95.  She rocks!

Inspirational

Susan told me about this inspirational film by Jan Tenhaven, titled Autumn Gold.

It’s about European athletes, ages 93 to 100 competing in the World Masters Championships.

The Official Trailer:

And KABC’s segment for “Hollywood Wrap”

John Turner at age 67

This well known photo of John Turner at age 67, was taken in 1985, by Etta Clark.

I first saw this photo when I was twenty-one, working as a fitness appraiser and personal trainer.  A co-worker plastered it onto our client motivation board. I had no idea a person could age this well.  The impact of this photo has left a lasting impression on me.

Today, this photo adorns a spot on the wall tucked behind the door where I practice my chin-ups.  I take a peek at him from time to time as a reminder – this photo still takes my breath away.

There is another photo of him at age 79, but I was unable to attach it here.  He doesn’t look much different!

Photo from Etta Clark’s book: Growing Old Is Not For Sissies