Monday, July 31, 2006

Training the Way of the Warrior, Part I: "Funny, I Don’t FEEL Like a Warrior…”

It has been said that Americans are enamored of the quick fix, and I, for one, am no exception. Whether it’s “Thin Thighs in Thirty Days,” “Sixty-Second Abs,” or “Eight Minutes in the Morning,” I’ve probably plunked down my money for it at some point.

That’s how I came to purchase “The Shaolin Workout” a couple of months ago when I was spending a quiet Sunday afternoon at Borders Bookstore. I was browsing idly through the newly published section when a highly intense stare from a bald Asian man known as Sifu (“Master”) Shi Yan Ming caught my eye. (“Shi” is pronounced to rhyme with “Sir,” by the way.) The book advertised itself as “28 Days to Transforming Your Body and Soul the Warrior’s Way.” Twenty-eight days! Less than a full month! I could manage that. Nevertheless, I was skeptical. I put the book down, wandered the store some more, considered the matter, picked the book back up for another examination, meandered through the store still further, and finally grabbed the book a third time (hoping in the back of my mind that no one was watching this performance). I found a quiet spot in a corner where I could peruse the volume in detail to see if it looked like it would really deliver. It was, after all, $29.95. Not a bad price for total transformation, but that was also a lot to promise. (I’m not sure if it occurred to me then to wonder just how a soul is transformed by a physical workout.) I finally decided that it was worth the $30 price tag, and took it home that day.

Sifu Ming is, according to the book’s opening chapter, a 34th-generation warrior monk from China. I don’t know exactly what a “warrior monk” is (readers, can you help me out?), but the accompanying photos clearly indicate that this man is on a par with martial arts action star Jet Li when it comes to flying leaps and twisting the body into seemingly unachievable angles. He has been featured many times on national and international TV and in countless newspapers and magazines. His book is “yet another way to introduce people to the life transformation they may achieve through kung fu training.” While I didn’t have much (if any) hope that I could ever emulate some of his poses, I was willing to give the exercises, which were grouped into daily routines, a try. I also liked the look of the daily philosophical meditations. Here’s a breakdown of how things went in Part I.

Session 1 – Wrist and Ankle Rotations. I still don’t know if I’m doing the wrist part correctly. The written description seems to indicate one thing, and the photos another. And what is the purpose of it? At least the ankle rotation is easy to figure out – until you start doing it in conjunction with the wrist rotation. If you’re a fairly well-coordinated person, you’ll have no difficulty with this. If you’re somewhat uncoordinated, like me, it will prove a slight challenge at first - something like rubbing the top of your head and patting your stomach at the same time.

Session 2 – Neck and Eyes. The neck stretches cause a slight cracking. Not too much of a surprise. I roll my head to the left and right, forward and back. Not bad. But it’s the eye focus exercise that really puzzles me. This consists of snapping one’s head rapidly to the left, and then to the right, ten times in each direction. Sifu instructs his students to “see as far as Iceland and its polar bears in one direction, and as far as Miami and its dolphins in the other,” and to “fully extend your sight.” Frankly, I cannot figure out how to “extend my sight” to save my life, and all I can see are my bedroom walls.

Session 3 – Shoulders, Arms and Chest. I’m not sure I’m “windmilling” correctly – my arms seem to fly out more to the sides than in back of me, รก la Sifu, but I keep at it regardless. Practice makes…well, if not perfect, at least better.

Session 4 – Waist and Stomach. Now, I think, we’re getting somewhere! These areas are, after all, my nemesis. The waist stretch is something I’ve done in Matt Furey’s “Magnificent Seven” workout. Matt calls it the “Tai Chi Waist Turner”; I call it “The Human Washing Machine.”

Session 5 – Legs. One look at the photos demonstrating the positions for this section and I know I’m about to be challenged. Suffice it to say that I can’t picture ever being able to touch my head to my toes. It’s all I can do to touch my fingers to my toes. Actually, I’m not entirely positive I can do THAT yet.

Session 6 – Upper Body and Lower Back. A few side bends here. Shades of Matt's Magnificent Seven again. No problem here. Then some forward stretches that make me feel as if I'm about to breast stroke across a pool, until I get to the rotation part, which makes me feel a lot like a human screwdriver. Next is another “impossible” move – getting my head on my crossed arms, which arms, by the way, are to rest flat on the floor. (See closing comment in Session 5 above.) This is followed by the ankle grip. How about we make that "the calf grip," Sifu?

Finally, review time! And then Part II, which I’ll cover next week.

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With all due respect to the master, I am not feeling a bit transformed. What I AM feeling is middle-aged, overweight, inflexible, and, at times (when doing the wrist rotations, for example) rather silly. I also feel distinctly American. We in the West have such a different way of approaching fitness than those in the East. I’m used to thinking of working out as something that involves sweat, weights, machines, soreness, and a lot of grunting (at least from men in the gym). This seems too…easy. (That is, until I try those human pretzel positions.) But I am beginning to understand that part of Sifu’s process involves achieving a deeper awareness of my body. Normally I regard it as something unwieldy and unattractive and cumbersome – even an enemy of sorts. And I suspect that many Americans do the same. However, as I am trying to stretch just a tiny bit further (“Get those fingers to the ground, girl!”), I am beginning to sense muscles instead of merely rolls or cellulite, to feel my body instead of just lugging it around. I may not feel transformed – but then again, perhaps my viewpoint is becoming so, albeit quite gradually.

Sifu and I are from different hemispheres and different religions – different worlds altogether, but I think he has something to teach this middle-aged, out of shape American gal. So check back in next week for The Shaolin Workout, Part II.

Monday, July 24, 2006

“Desire Revisited”

I had some thought-provoking comments on my recent post titled “The Object of My Desire.” One of them, from an anonymous reader, particularly hit home:

"The magic key? Just do it. Whatever your desire, the leap from motivation to reality requires an act of will we as humans find so hard to put into gear."

I agree with Anonymous on this one. Desire, like the emotional side of love, can be a flickering flame simply because it is a feeling, and feelings are transient. When our longings for betterment are at a low ebb, sometimes that old Nike slogan (“Just do it”) is all that will keep us putting one walking-shoe-clad foot in front of the other. Anonymous said further:

"We create a voice in our heads called the coach—who tells us to stop whining and do it, do it, just do it."

Again, I agree. It sounds like A. has had some personal experience with this sort of thing, which I for one would enjoy hearing. It would be helpful if he or she responded further and tells exactly how this coach is created, as well.

"The day we finally decide we really want some action is when we have a plan, put it on paper, make everybody in the house sign it and put it on the fridge."

I found this especially interesting, as it reminded me of something that motivational author/speaker Tony Robbins included in his “The Body You Deserve” program. Tony challenges program users to complete a contract similar to the one described by Anonymous above, and to send it out to friends who can be trusted to hold one accountable. I’ll confess in the spirit of honesty in which this blog is written that I waffled a good bit over this one. I was willing to sign it at the time, or so I recall, but when it came to sending it out to friends…ah, that was another matter! In the end, I caved…to myself, not Tony. (And, obviously, I still do not have the "body that I deserve!")

Anonymous has further useful advice, such as giving ourselves a “free day” once a week, or, as some call it, a “cheat day.” As my mother commented years ago – although speaking in a much different context – you should always have something to look forward to. For some of us, knowing we have the freedom to indulge in a future “Big Mac Attack” or something similar is enough to keep us going even if we end up not indulging after all! And speaking of indulging…Joyce writes:

"For me, dieting success came only when I decided to allow myself at least a taste of whatever I really wanted, so long as I could first identify very specifically what it was I really wanted (usually chocolate). A couple of bites of really good chocolate when I'm craving it keeps me from eating bits of this and that in a search to satisfy an unidentified hunger."

Sound advice, I think, for the majority of people, although there may be some for whom this would only serve as a trigger.Thank you, Anonymous and Joyce, for the practicality of your responses. In closing, I only want to say that when I first read A.’s response, it occurred to me that perhaps the importance of desire was being downplayed too much. Matt Furey addressed this concept in his own blog last week when he talked about hunger, and not the physical kind. Matt describes the excitement of the Chinese people when it was announced that Beijing would host the 2008 Olympic Games, and why he believes they’ll take first place in gold medals two years from now:

"In one sense the Chinese have more reasons to win. They're hungrier. And youshould always be concerned about someone who is hungry. Theyfight harder than those who are well fed. And they fight longer."*

He continues with an obvious yet so often overlooked insight:

"America, sadly, has become a nation of people who are overfed – and this has led to a lack of desire or hunger for MORE. We've become too comfortable - and too much comfort is NOT a good thing as it interferes with expansion of your talents."*

Amen, brother. In the future I’ll be looking at this subject yet again, as I believe it is a vitally important one. While sheer will is sometimes a necessity, desire is the gas that fuels the car. As I review techniques on increasing desire, both in Matt’s programs and in others such as the great Maxwell Maltz’s “Psycho-Cybernetics,” I’ll be sharing them with you, so stay tuned.

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A while back I introduced you to a young man named Sean Perkey, who has embarked on a remarkable quest to lose half his body weight. As it’s been several weeks since I checked in on him, I thought it was time to see what he’s been up to. His July 23 entry – “Mommy…I’m Scared of the Spandex Monster…” is alone worth the price of admission (which is actually free, by the way). Sean has faced his fear of the gym head-on, and his description of his experiences there are alternately hilarious and insightful. Actually, that could be said of all his posts. So click on over to and cheer this guy on. And while you’re there, why not make a donation, if even of a few bucks, to the American Diabetes Association. Sean – and many others – will thank you!

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Before I get to this week’s “Tool of the Trade,” I want to thank reader "HaggardMom" for pointing out a caveat about flax seed, which was featured in my July 3rd post. She has read that whole seeds are hard to digest, so it's probably better to grind them up. I'll be sure to look into this, and I hope to hear from you again, HM!

This week the spotlight shines on yet another product of the inimitable Matt Furey. “Kick Ass – Take Names: Confessions of a Fitness and Fighting Guru” is the title of a collection of his blog entries, which address everything from the best time of day for training, to a cough remedy you’ll find right in your kitchen, to “Five Key Secrets to Superior Health,” all written in Matt’s customary shoot-from-the-hip style. Also included are demonstrations of various exercises and Matt’s letter to his young son, Frank, written just before the latter turned three years old, not to mention photos of Frank imitating his old man - at the ripe age of 18 months! You can get more information at

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As I mentioned last week, I started doing a beginner Shaolin monk workout this month. While I haven’t yet finished the routine, I can honestly say it’s been an interesting – and sometimes downright humorous – experience. If you want to hear more, check back next week for “Funny…I Don’t Feel Like a Warrior.”Until then, keep on treading!


Monday, July 17, 2006

“Shower-Shocking Your Way to Better Health, or – How to Decrease Water Consumption in One Easy Lesson”

Years ago a friend told me that she took such hot showers, she had to turn her air conditioner up to Warp Factor One to keep the bathroom wallpaper from peeling.

As the incomparable Paris Hilton would say, “That’s hot.”

I myself have always been partial to warm showers, at the least. That’s why I live in the 21st century, with indoor plumbing and hot water on the tap anytime I want it. It’s an entitlement of the age.

However, cold water baths and showers have had their share of advocates for centuries. The first exposure I had to the idea of their benefits came when I was reading a biography of Louisa May Alcott, whose father, Bronson, was a follower of the teachings of health reformer Sylvester Graham (inventor of the modern graham cracker). Graham advocated not only cold baths, but hard mattresses, vegetarianism, chastity (including among the married), open bedroom windows, loose clothing, and exercise. Well, I thought, those all sounded fairly sensible, with the exception of married chastity, but considering that in Graham’s time hot baths were managed by heating water over a fire, which was both time-consuming and inconvenient, perhaps his promotion of cold water dousing wasn’t so surprising.

Years later, I was exposed to the cold shower benefit theory again through Matt Furey, whom I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this blog (see Matt promotes it as developing mental toughness, as well as increasing energy and warding off sickness. In fact, when he feels a cold or something similar coming on, he takes cold showers until he’s as right as rain again. If memory serves me correctly, Matt also suggested exercising outside, and then dousing afterwards. While I live in a hot climate and saw this method as working up a good sweat, so that the icy bath afterwards would come as more of a relief than torture, I decided against trying it in spite of the fact that my backyard has a high fence. Even if a neighbor didn’t see me, a family member might, and I would have the devil’s own time explaining how I came to be caught outside in what is politely referred to as “a state of nature” while standing under a garden hose.

The most interesting proponent of the cold water treatment that I’ve come across so far is According to their “Remedies” section on the subject, cold showers are “excellent for clearing electrical static from your energy field that can accumulate from cell phones, airport and courthouse x-ray machines, and powerful electrical lights in museums and electronic stores.”

Wow. I haven’t the faintest idea how that works, but I hardly ever use my cell phone, haven’t been near an airport or a courthouse in years, and only visit a museum about once a year, if that much, and electronic stores even less, so I guess I don’t have too much to worry about. However, the user testimonials are quite interesting, so check them out when you have a minute or two.

Armed with centuries of advocacy, it was time to try it for myself. I had, after all, used several of Matt’s teachings – exercise routines, weekly fasts, and deep breathing exercises – but this was one I’d been putting off for several months out of sheer wimpiness. It was time to bite the bullet – or the “C” tap, if you will.

As I mentioned, I live in a hot climate. However, I also live in a house with air conditioning, so I prepared myself by opening my bedroom window wide and doing Matt’s Magnificent Seven routine (which I haven’t done for many weeks, to my shame) to work up a little sweat. Then I was ready for the icy fury.

And you know what? It wasn’t that bad! Of course, my shower doesn’t get icy even at its coldest, but it sure as heck wasn’t warm, either. Yes, it was a shock. Yes, I did invent a new song, one that went, “It’s cold, it’s cold, it’s so freaking, FREAKING COLD!” Yes, I used far less water than I'm accustomed to using. And while I can’t say that I felt much more mentally tough afterwards, I did have a sense of well-being. But what really surprised me was that, in spite of the shock, the entire experience was actually rather exhilarating…so much so that I repeated it this morning and plan to do so all this week. So much for torture!

How about you – are you willing to take the Cold Water Challenge? Or are you already a convert? Either way, write me and let me know how it works for you.

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This week’s “Tool of the Trade” is the pedometer, that wonderfully handy little instrument that tells you how many miles you’ve walked. A while back I read that current wisdom recommends 10,000 steps (which amounts to approximately five miles) per day for health and weight loss. I don’t know about you, but even if I walked a couple of miles after work, it still wouldn’t amount to that many steps, as my job is largely a sedentary one. I’ve also learned that this figure, which was originally popularized in Japan, did not seem to come out of actual medical research. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that walking is good exercise, and to get an idea of how much I was doing on an average day, I wore my pedometer to work one day last week. I was rather disappointed to see that even with an evening walk (shorter than I usually take), I’d clocked only 1.108 miles and 3,902 steps, and worst of all, burned only 153.6 calories throughout the day!

Well, it was still enlightening. Wearing a pedometer makes me more conscious of taking steps, to reach that elusive goal, so I find myself walking a little more…and that’s a good thing. You can find a decent unit at many department stores, but the one I currently use, and like the best of other models I’ve used, is the SportBrain, which I purchased through This model touts itself as “the first and only to offer automated data upload for review and tracking of your progress.” I never actually uploaded my data, simply because I couldn’t figure out how to do so, but what was important to me was the fact that it records my steps and calories burned, as well as mileage. You can see a sample, and/or place an order, on

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Next week I’ll be taking a moment to step back and look at some of the comments I’ve received from readers lately, on everything from flax seed to the importance of desire in effecting lasting change. I’ll also be checking in again with Sean Perkey, who’s on a quest to lose half his body weight and to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. Plus, this will give me an additional week to work towards completion of my beginner Shaolin monk workout, which I’ll be reporting on two weeks from today. So stay tuned, and keep those comments coming!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Object of My Desire

“Out of need springs desire, and out of desire springs the energy and the will to win.” – Dennis Waitley, motivational author and speaker.

How does one keep desire alive? Couples ask it about romance; dieters, about their new eating habits. That may at first seem like a humorous comparison, and I won’t blame you if you laugh, but I’ve come to see that the desire to change one’s life for the better, in whatever form, is akin, in the beginning, to the spark between two people brought together by whatever mysterious mix of pheromones, similarities, physical attraction, etc. constitutes love or infatuation. Dieting women can be as infatuated by the image of a “perfect” female body as any man. And men, increasingly these days, lust for the perfect male body with sharply-defined muscles and “six-pack” abs. Yet a puzzle remains: If desire fuels the quest for a solution, and so many alleged solutions surround us, shouted from our computer screens to our televisions to our local store’s magazine racks, why are we, as a nation, still so overweight and so under-satisfied?

Clearly, desire must not be so simple a matter.

Now you’re probably thinking, “It isn’t just desire that’s necessary. It’s commitment.” And you’re right. But when our commitment waxes and wanes with our desire, is it simply because we’re lazy, or selfish, or immature?

When trying to answer this question in my own life – why, after so many starts, have I made so many detours, week after week, even with the accountability presented by this blog – I had to take a serious look at what was sabotaging my own aspirations. In the past I’ve been accused more than once of lacking the prized quality of persistence, and I’ve generally accepted that the reason for that is simply laziness and immaturity on my part. It is only in the past few years that I’ve come to recognize more clearly what I, and I believe many others, are up against, and that thing is fear.

In an insightful email I received this week from a friend who’s going through his own personal changes, in the area of spirituality, was this statement: “…as we are called to something new, we must turn away from something else; in other words, we have to give something up.” Many times I’ve neglected to adopt more healthful habits simply because I didn’t want to give up a certain amount of leisure time for exercise, or a food that I love. Almost everyone can relate to that. But how many of us don’t want to adopt healthier habits because of an unhealthy fear, that the good we obtain will be offset by discomfort?

Let me give you an example. Over the years I’ve run across more than one story of a woman who gained weight, even subconsciously, to deflect unwanted male attention. In some cases this was due to a history of sexual abuse; in others, simply a fear of not being able to adequately relate to the opposite sex or to deal with the inherent responsibilities of a romantic relationship. For the former women, a healthy and fit body represented a more sexual body, and sexuality raised an understandable alarm.

In my own life, as I began a study of wealth-building this month, and repeatedly came across the importance of “desire” in the attainment of such, I had to face my own curious fear – that if I succeeded in increasing my income to a level that would provide me with the security I want, I would have to deal with the complications of increased taxes, and I find such matters to be about as comprehensible as the algebra I flunked out of in high school! In another example, I had to admit that one of the things holding me back from working towards my desired weight was the likelihood that even if I reached it, at my age and with my history (both genetic and otherwise), my body would never resemble the models in those ubiquitous fitness ads. There is no cure for cellulite, no such thing as “spot reducing.” So why, went my almost subconscious reasoning, should I really try in the first place? It would only lead to eventual disillusionment.

And I feared that disillusionment.

These fears seem somewhat silly when held up to the spotlight of close scrutiny, yet I suspect that similar feelings lurk in hundreds of thousands the world over…and they’re like a dash of cold water to the hot flame of desire.

How about you? What desires do you have that may have been damped, and how did you fan them into life again – or did you? Since I’m not sure of the answers myself, I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Write me and I’ll include your responses in a future entry.

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Let’s lighten things up now with the latest “Tool of the Trade.” This one comes to us courtesy of “Mem-Cards” are, as you probably already guessed, memory cards, similar to children’s flash cards, that contain “impactful ideas and important insights from the world’s best personal and professional development books.” They’re currently available in seven different subjects: Business, Health & Fitness, Religion, Sales & Marketing, Self-Improvement, Spirituality, and Wealth-Building and come in convenient pocket-sized packs that are smaller than a deck of cards. I learned about them through Matt Furey, whom I’ve referenced in earlier entries, when he included two packs in one of his programs that I purchased. Each card in the pack I’m currently using contains an insightful quotation by sources ranging from Mark Twain to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser. I like to read one before I even start getting ready for work in the morning, then tuck it into my bedroom mirror and meditate on it for that day. On the opposite sides of the cards are exercises from Matt’s various books, complete with a black and white photo of the exercise being performed. I haven’t been as faithful about memorizing the cards as I originally meant to be, but the quotes are so “bite-sized” that anyone should be able to commit a fair amount of them to memory over time, where they can serve as an instant inspiration whenever you need it. For ordering information or to see what various experts have said about these little gems, click on over to and tell them Treader Lucie sent you.

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Here in America, we like our hot showers, which, thanks to modern technology, we can enjoy almost any time. Yet health sages over the years have touted the benefits of cold water, and I’m not talking about the drinking kind, either. I’ll be taking a look at this next week in “Shower-Shocking Your Way to Better Health.”

See you then!

Monday, July 03, 2006

“Standing on the Promises”

Take a look around. You won’t have to look very far. It’s on your computer screen when you boot up. It’s on the magazine rack as you stand in line at the grocery store. It’s in your newspaper. It’s on the bumper sticker tacked to a telephone pole.

“It” is a weight-loss promise.

According to Merriam-Webster, a promise is a declaration that one will do something specified, even a “legally binding” declaration. Wow. I take that pretty seriously, don’t you?

Unfortunately, a lot of advertisers don’t. In fact, as Federal Trade Commission chairman Timothy Muris once said, “We have known for some time now that there is a serious problem with weight-loss product advertising.”

Personally, I think reaching this conclusion must have been about as difficult as deducing that the sun is hot, but it’s always nice to have official recognition of a fact. The FTC went on to say that “Over half of the advertisements made either false statements or statements that were very likely to be false, including the suggestion that weight could be shed without cutting calories and increasing physical activity.”

Would that it stopped there. But the FTC wasn’t just talking about the pills and creams and powders that you can swab and swallow, or the various food combinations-restrictions-additions that are almost as numerous as the number of people on the planet. They must surely have had in mind as well the gadgets to “increase physical activity” that don’t always get you where you want to go. I should know! I’ve plunked down my money for enough “ab machines” which eventually ended up in the corner of my bedroom or in my garage before being consigned to the charity giveaway pile.

In a nutshell, I’ve rocked my roll, but my roll still doesn’t rock.

Is that completely my fault? After all, those machines couldn’t do me much good if all I used them for was dust collectors.

While I won’t deny that lack of persistence is probably the number one reason people fail to reach their fitness goals, it apparently isn’t the only one. According to the real experts – and they aren’t the advertising copy writers, folks – “spot reduction” isn’t even physiologically possible. Worse yet, says former wrestler and nationally respected fitness guru Kurt Brungardt, regular use of machines or other types of gadgets (such as those that actually deliver electric shocks) may tighten your muscles, but “unless you’re as thin as a super model, the results will be hidden beneath a layer of fat.”


Now in the interest of fairness, I should add that some of these machines provide support that may reduce neck and back pain. And simply putting down your hard-earned money for them will cause you to think more about those muscles you want to improve and, hopefully, use the machine in an effort to get your money’s worth. A few of them really do deliver some results. Just don’t expect miracles from them.

The first verse of a gospel ditty I learned years ago has come back to me several times as I thought about this entry in the past week:

“Don’t build your house on a sandy land,
Don’t build it too near the shore!
Might look kinda nice, but you’ll have to build it twice,
Oh, you’ll have to build your house once more.”

I’ve built my flat-stomach house of hope on more than one sandy-shore promise in the past, and it didn’t stand under my weight. I’m betting some of you out there have done the same.

But is there a promise we actually can stand on? I think so. And, for me at least, it’s a two-parter, consisting of Work and Acceptance.

Part One is that the only real way to achieve a fitness goal is to work on putting only good things into my body by way of eating and drinking; to work on moving instead of sitting, to work on recognizing what I really desire and why, to work on analyzing my “triggers.” To work instead of expect an easy fix for what took years to create.

Part Two is to accept that genetics play at least a partial role in my shape; to accept that my value does not lie in my society’s current standard; to accept that the God who made me didn’t make junk, and that I am still a diamond, just one that needs some polishing.

Put them both together, and they spell out a promise that I – and you! – can one day make peace with our flawed yet “fearfully and wonderfully made” bodies.

What kind of promises have you been standing on lately? Are they a rock or a sandy shore? Write me and let me know.

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Once again I’ve rambled lengthily, but I can’t close without looking at this week’s “Tool of the Trade.” It’s another simple one – flax seed! This ancient product has become, in the words of one nutritionist, “our modern miracle food.” Many studies have found it to be helpful in reducing “bad” cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. It may also reduce the risk of heart attack by keeping blood platelets from sticking together, and, besides being a source of fiber, has proved to be beneficial to those suffering from such intestinal conditions as Crohn’s disease and colitis, as it seems to be able to heal the inner lining of inflamed intestines. Some doctors recommend it in acne treatments, as well as for women who suffer from severe menstrual discomfort. As if all that wasn’t enough, my coworker swears that it makes his wife’s “wiry-brush hair” silky! Flax is easy to take – it has little flavor and you probably won’t even notice it’s there. Just sprinkle some ground or whole seeds on your breakfast cereal or a salad, or substitute flax oil for your regular cooking oil. A couple of tablespoons per day should be sufficient. Your body will thank you. For further information on the benefits and proper uses of flax, see

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This week I’ve begun studying financial prosperity. One theme that recurs with noticeable regularity is something I hadn’t much associated with the subject - the importance of desire. It seems that only recently have I begun to realize the importance of that six-letter word, and how complex it can be. I’ll be talking about that next week in “The Object of My Desire.”

So stay tuned!

-Treader Lucie-