24 August 2011

What's in Your Water?

Imagine if I told you that you could reduce or eliminate cavities just by ingesting a small bit of industrial waste every day. You would tell me I was nuts, right? What if I published all sorts of studies that said such a small amount of the toxin was harmless and would only affect your teeth, nothing else? What if there were just as many studies that said the opposite? Would you want to risk it?

Now, suppose I managed to convince the government to force everyone to use it, whether they want to or not. That the people in charge of your well-being took away your right to decide for yourself if you want to medicate with this toxic substance.

This is being done everyday in this country. Fluoride is a toxic compound, a byproduct of the production of fertilizer. And the government puts it in our water, making it the only compound NOT added to increase the safety of the water itself. It is considered to be a medical intervention, which, according to the CDC, is more important than the discovery of the link between cigarettes and cancer. You probably grew up "knowing" how good fluoride was for you.

You see, there is a (very small) benefit to the use of fluoride. Basically, the enamel on your teeth is getting eroded and re-built every day due to acid wear and the normal mechanics of the mouth. When exposed to fluoride during the rebuilding process, the teeth incorporate it into the new enamel, making them marginally more acid resistant. However, this leads to, at most, the prevention of about 20% of possible decay, or less than one cavity, and this is based on studies done at the same time doctors told patients to smoke for their health.  Also, there is NO benefit to the ingestion of fluoride, as it needs to be present in the mouth for the teeth to make use of it.

What CAN result from the drinking of fluoridated water? Dental fluoridosis, a discoloration of the teeth. Reduced thyroid function. Bone fracture. Cancer. If fluoridated water is used to make infant formula for babies under one year of age, it can suppress brain development.

Don't believe me? Good! See for yourself:

I'm not saying fluoride is the devil. I'm not suggesting its use be banned.  I'm just concerned over our lack of choice in the matter. The choice to use fluoride is one that should be made by the individual, after carefully weighing the pros and the cons, not forced upon us from birth, never being taught more than the propaganda.  I don't want to have my right to be informed, and to object, stripped away "for my own good."  I don't want the government to decide to medicate me without my consent. It isn't their job.

13 January 2011

Couch to 5k- Ben's Story

Couch to 5k - C25K Running Program

I admit I'm off the wagon. Other than a light jog here and there (read: 5 minutes every month, on average) I haven't been running since the heat waves in July. I've made excuses, and rationalized that I didn't have the right shoes, that it was too hot or too cold, or I was too busy at school.

It's all crap. I didn't have the right shoes because I didn't take the proactive steps to go and buy them. It was too hot to run at noon this summer, but why not go early in the morning? Or at night? It's cold out now, sure, but doesn't exercise make you warm? And school was two and a half days a week- leaving 4 and a half for running, more than enough!

I watched this video and I cried. I'm tired of being sad, too. It isn't about how I look, but how I feel. I am always so tired. I get headaches a lot. I'm on medicine for my blood pressure. My knees ache from the effort of standing for all of ten minutes. I am that person who complains half-way through a trip to Sam's Club about how bad my legs hurt.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of not being able to do the small amount of work it takes to keep up with my house, let alone put a dent in the clutter. This is my moment. I have a goal: I will be healthy by the time I hit 30. How will I get there? Well, starting on my 27th birthday (two weeks from today!) I will be back to running. I MISS it. I miss the pound of the pavement, the hammering of my heart, the heat, the sweat.... Somewhere in the couple of weeks I was doing C25K, I became a runner. I love that. This is not a New Year's resolution. I think people make them knowing that they often fail, giving themselves an excuse to stop when it gets hard.

This is just me, wanting to be happy again.