Medal, Medal, Medal!

On Monday, a much anticipated package arrived at my house. It was something I’d been waiting for since the week before and straight away I tore it open.

Inside was a shiny medal, awarded to me for walking over 100 miles during the month of October. I am incredibly proud of this medal, here’s a picture of me smugly showing it off;

medal1018

The medal is from this pretty ace website, Race at Your Pace, the idea of which is pretty simple. You pick a challenge distance on their site and then keep track of how many miles you do a month, using your fitness app or whatever. They also have challenges for running, cycling and swimming. At the end of the month, you send them your information, and if you’ve achieved your goal you get sent a medal.

It costs £10 a month, but I think this is an acceptable amount.

I already have targets provided for me by the fitness app on my phone, but that’s done in terms of steps, and there’s something more tangible about measuring it by the mile. I can compare how far I’ve walked to real world distances.

Also, there’s the bonus of getting an actual medal. I really want medals.

medal medal medal

Who doesn’t want a trophy or something to show off? I’m 33 and my haul so far is pretty weak, I have a couple of swimming badges (10m and 25m) and my medal from doing the Sport Relief run back in 2012 (where has the time gone?). So, I’m pretty keen to add a few more.

I originally signed up for the 50 mile challenge, but having smashed this early on I decided to up my total, and added another 50 on. I ended up completing this quite comfortably, but it definitely pushed me to get out and walk more, rather than spending my days off camped out on the couch. Hopefully, this can help in my campaign to get fit and should pay off as long as I can resist my urge to eat rubbish more.

And I think the extra exercise, and sense of achievement is definitely helping me mentally and stopping Dark Chris from getting me down.

Going forward, I’ve decided to keep doing these challenges and in November I’m doing a 125 mile challenge, which works out as doing a little over 4 miles a day. I’m pretty confident I can do it, and if I can, I may go for bigger targets in the future.

If you’re inspired to join up for the next challenge, let me know how you do.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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Couch to 5K: Stoppable

Written on Sunday morning.

A little over a week ago I wrote about starting running again. I was pretty excited about it and the next day I dug out my old trainers, and grabbed my mobile. I’ve downloaded a new C25K app, which features Sarah Millican as one of the guides, which I think is pretty cool having a familiar and friendly voice with you along the way.

sarah millican

I cued up some tunes and got under way, following the instructions of beginning with a five minute walk. Then I had the first run, which only lasts a minute. It’s been a while since I ran and I was struggling to find my rhythm and my old trainers (bought for work, not running) were massively uncomfortable.

By the third run I felt I was struggling, but I remembered that back when I did this in 2011 I’d found it hard at first. This along, with the shoes was probably the problem, I told myself and once I got back into the swing of it things would be better.

On the fourth run I had to stop.

I was starting to get twinges in my calves and I knew these were the early stages of cramp. I hate cramp. I’m a bit of a wimp, and I knew if I cramped up I would be in trouble.

And so, I limped back home.

This was a low point, and I felt really crappy about it. All those positive things that I got from running before weren’t happening. I felt weaker, tired and like a failure. And was nowhere near the Juggernaut Zone.

juggernaut stopped

In all fairness, I’d not really laid the foundations for success. For starters, I’d started the run in the evening, after doing a shift at work, and foolishly, I forgot to do any stretching beforehand. I think this was what caused the cramp.

I intended to get right back on the horse, but as I was working five consecutive days, and work has been especially draining, I couldn’t get the mojo to hit the road again.

In truth, my confidence had taken a bit of a kicking and I was scared of cramping up again, and worried I wouldn’t be able to finish again. Of course, the more I put it off the more nervous I got. On Friday, my first day off of the week, I’d intended to go but woke up with a killer headache, and wound up going back to sleep for two hours hoping to shift it.

I then wasted the weekend, so my plan is to go out tomorrow (Monday) and run then. I’m posting this to explain why the Couch to 5K update was delayed, but also because I think sharing that I’m going to run tomorrow will push me more to do it. I’ll update further about how it goes later in the week. Hopefully, by then, I’ll have got a few runs under my belt and be moving back towards the JZ.

juggernaut

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Fat Boy on a Diet: Off the Scale

I went to the doctor’s on Friday. Fear not, reader, I’m not ill but I have been iffy recently and thought better to have a check up in case it turned out to be something I could fix.

After a quick exam I was asked to hop on the scales.

This is par for the course, at least for chubsters like me. I get it. Weight can be an exacerbating factor for many things and a doc should prompt you to get fitter in the same way they should tell people to quit smoking, health promotion is part of their job.

I don’t get when people complain about doctors advising them to lose weight, I mean, sure it should be approached tactfully, but what do you expect them to do? Ignore something that might be detrimental to your health?

So, logically I don’t mind. But I still feel embarrassed. Of course, it was about to get worse.

I stepped on and the shot round like Usain Bolt in a jetpack. 

In fact it shot right by the last number. 

Yes, my weight was beyond the measurements of the scale.

If only blushing burnt calories. I’d have dropped half a stone easy.

The Doc, without a word, fetched a second scale. This had a display screen. This could show my weight.

I know I’m big. I didn’t expect to step off at 10st or something. But seeing it in black and white hammers home.

Before uni, I was the lightest I had been for years. I was jogging, eating better and walking everywhere. I’m now back where I started in 2011, where I got on the scales for the first time in years.

The weight loss resolution is dead in the water. Penny pinching for the wedding meant I had to stop Chub Club. Laziness and apathy has seen my weight tick up slowly. Worse, I knackered my knee last year and that means jogging is out.

The doctor advised power walking. I have become Harold Bishop.

Dropping weight for the wedding seems a folorn hope. 5 months to go. Suit fitting in a month. I can shift a bit by October, hopefully, but it won’t be a lot.

Looking good and being comfortable in Florida looks unlikely.

The blame lies with me, and I need to buck up and sort this out. I can’t run, but there’s a local gym. It has a pool, but I don’t think I’m ready for that. 

I have to do better.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Mental

Today is World Mental Health Day. I think it’s one of the better awareness days as mental health is still something which we don’t talk about and which a lot of folks don’t understand.

I’ve always felt that education on mental health would be a great thing to role out in schools. It would help people understand what people are going through and help lessen the stigma so that people are more comfortable asking for help.

Asking for help is a major problem, especially for men, thanks to the ingrained macho ideas of not showing vulnerability or expressing emotions. I’m 31 and while I can admit to crying I still find it embarrassing because if the whole “boys don’t cry” idea.

I wish this was different. I wish that a guy I know who killed himself had been able to talk about it with someone, maybe he might have gotten the help before he reached the stage where he felt like he had no options left. Less dramatically, it might have helped several others from suffering alone.

It would have helped me.

During my second year at uni I hit a major funk, one that lasted two to three months. I felt down and lost. I felt I was wasting my time and that after uni that I would never amount anything or do anything. I sank further into this pit of self loathing. I hated the way I looked, the way I acted, my course, my prospects, I was sure I would never get a girlfriend and that my friends were laughing at me, not with me.

I stopped going to some lectures, my work fell off. I spent hours in my room just moping or wasting time online.

None of my friends would have known about this. I covered it up well, getting louder. I was the loud mouthed clown anyway, so I played up to it. I already drank a lot, but now I drank more, getting hammered three/four times a week, throwing myself out socially and wearing my mask of fun party guy.

Me during my funk, covering it well

I hung out with my mates and cracked jokes, I could briefly feel better, forget about what was bothering me. But when I got to my room at night it was there waiting for me.
It was there every hungover morning or quiet afternoon. It was there during lectures, gnawing away in the back of my mind.

There was no big moment of relief, no dramatic event that snapped me back. It just passed, like a storm. And I found that this would be the pattern in the future. The funk would appear before me and I’d slip down into it. I can make it pass quicker by focusing on certain things, by getting out and by keeping busy, but I can’t magic it away. I have to wait for it to pass.

When the first one passed I’d failed my second year. I had to fight to resit and to convince my Dad to let me go back, and finally over that summer it all came out and I talked about it for the first time. Luckily I have parents who care and know about mental health, enough that they keep an eye out for me.

My Dad was the first one to use the word “depression”, but I guess I’ve always felt uncomfortable calling it that. My own funks are fortunately infrequent, I’ve had three or four since the first one, most lasting around a month, and they pass then. I feel like saying I have depression is an insult to those who deal with it every day, or for long, unbroken periods.

When I was working a job I was growing to hate, they asked how I was doing and listened to my rants. That release valve helped, as did knowing there was support for me. Tired and frustrated as a nursing student, my Dad asked if I was okay and reassured me that he and my mum were always the other end of the phone for me.

I’ve had those downs since. But I’ve never hit bottom. I’ve always joked that I’m too shallow to get properly depressed. That a song, film or book is enough for me to turn it around. It’s not that easy, but I am lucky. My dark, low ebbs have never been as dark or low as what others have to face, but they can still leave me reeling.

I have people to talk to, my parents and MWF the major ones, people who support and care for me, and are willing to let me vent without judgement.

Coping strategies I use to reshoot my focus and I always try and do the things that keep me up, and away from the dips. Like writing.

I hope if anyone out there reading this goes into a dark patch they have people to talk to. It’s amazing how just getting to express yourself helps. We need to stop worrying about embarrassment and bothering people, and open up. Our friends and family should be willing to listen, and hopefully understand our difficulties. But if you don’t have them there’s always the Samaritans, a great charity that gives people the chance to talk about anything that is troubling them.

I’ve mainly discussed depression, because that’s what I’ve had experience of, but for other mental health issues it’s worth looking into Mind a charity which provides help and support for a variety of problems.

Be well and take care of yourself. And celebrate when you do well, or practice some self care.


Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


You can’t put a price on your kid’s health….No, wait you can, it’s about £400

This comes fresh from the “Well, that’s depressing” files.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) detailed a study recently conducted in Glasgow where they decided to look into the best ways to get expectant mothers to give up cigarettes.

preggo smoking

Here’s the thing, it’s 2015, by now all of us should know that smoking in general is bad for you, and that it’s clearly going to be bad for the baby growing in your belly, so if you get knocked up you should probably knock it on it’s head.

Seeing a pregnant woman smoking is one of those things that really annoys me and makes me want to go all Rowdy Roddy Piper on them.

piper extinguisher

You wanna smoke, go nuts. But you’re putting another life at risk, and that’s not cool.

So, what would inspire them quit?

The 600 women were split into two groups, half given the normal NHS treatment of smoking cessation advice and the other half essentially bribed with vouchers.

It broke down like this, the paid group had the same process but got £50 for their first appointment, £50 if a breath test showed that they’d not smoked with a further 100 if they’d made it to 12 weeks and finally £200 if a breath test at 34-38 weeks showed they still hadn’t smoked.

The statistics showed that only 9% of those given normal support quit, compared to 20% who were offered the vouchers. And that a year later 15% of them had kept off the fags.

Of course, this test proves nothing, other than that people are far more willing to do something given the correct motivation. You could argue that having a healthy child should be motivation enough, but sadly it would appear that it’s not.

I appreciate that giving up smoking can be difficult, nicotine is highly addictive and I know lots of people who have struggled to kick the habit, some taking several attempts to finally quit, but I’d have thought pregnancy would serve to strengthen their resolve.

The study doesn’t prove much, and won’t change the way we approach helping smoking cessation here in the UK. The NHS simply can’t stretch to giving every smoking mother £400 to get them off cigarettes, and I doubt high street retailers are going to provide the vouchers free of charge.

Bribery as an incentive for healthy living is a murky area to get into, and kinda depressing too. Should we really have to bribe people to try and be healthier?

I would argue that we need more education on the danger of smoking to unborn babies, but as I’ve said, surely by 2015 we all know that it’s bad for you, and sheer will power can be enough to quit. My dad smoked from a very young age, but a few years ago he managed to stop dead, and despite being a bit crabby for a short time he managed just fine, and I know others who have quit the same way.

The NHS should provide some help and guidance in quitting smoking, but at the end of the day the responsibility lies with the individual and it’s a shame that so many pregnant women appear to not give a damn, even though there’s a built in financial incentive to quitting smoking in the fact you’ll save a ton of cash from not needing to buy cigarettes anymore.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Making a mountain out of a mole

So a little before Christmas I was sat in a rather boring lecture and trying to distract myself so I didn’t nod off. I’d doodled, people watched and drank my water, so I was out and wound up biting my nails and looking at my hand.

I was looking at the mole I have on the back of my left hand.

Has it always been that shape?

I’ve had the mole for years, at least since comprehensive school (so at least 13 years) and after a while I’ve just sort of taken it as part of me. The expression “I know it like the back of my hand” in my case means, I know what’s there, but I don’t pay attention to the details.

It’s a bit of a weird colour, my mole, and a few years back my Mum took me to see the doc about it, but I got the all clear. I think part of the reason it’s a weird colour is cos I stabbed it with a pencil back in school.

Whatever, I couldn’t be certain because I hadn’t paid attention, and it’s not like I’d snapped a bunch of closeup shots of it for future reference, but the more I looked at it the more convinced I became that it was a different shape. Surely it was a much smoother oval shape before?

Mole

Mole

I’m not a hypochondriac, honest, but the more I stared at it the more I started to worry.

I don’t know much about skin cancer (as the deleted verse of “Wonderful World” goes), but I know moles changing colour and/or shape is one of the warning signs. But isn’t skin cancer mainly to do with over exposure to the Sun? I’m Welsh, until I was five all I knew about the Sun was that it tried to get me to buy margarine.

vitalite

I would have Googled it, but as any fool knows, if you search for anything vaguely health related you’ll quickly become convinced that the Grim Reaper is entering your address into his Sat Nav.

I decided to go to the GP, just to check and stop myself from disappearing into paranoid cancer fantasies.

The first appointment I could get was a week later.

This led to a week of me forgetting about it and going around all carefree before remembering about the appointment and starting to plan out my funeral playlist (“Come on Eileen”, “Just a few things that I ain’t” and Rich performing “Dust in the Wind”).

The appointment was uneventful. Doc had a look at it, said it was probably nothing but he’d refer me to the dermatology department.

Christmas came along and I barely thought about it as I tried to consume my own body weight in chocolates, cider and mince pies.

Last week I went to the dermatology clinic and my skin doctor, a nice enough bloke, had a look of it and then described it with the word “atypical”.

Atypical? As in not normal?! I thought. Come on, doc, give it to me straight, how long have I got left?

He said I’d have to come back the following week and have it removed but first would I mind having my mole photographed for teaching purposes (calling to mind the old Steve Martin gag “First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me”)

I walked up and saw he’d written a scientific phrase on my slip of paper “Lichenoid Keratosis”. That sounded heavy.

I broke my health Google rule. Luckily half the results seemed to include the word “benign” which set my mind slightly at rest.

The photo shoot was weird. I had to pose my hand on a board and have two women snap photos while talking to each other and ignoring me aside from my hand. I imagine this is how non-famous partners/friends of celebrities feel, having to stand around while everyone pays attention to them.

So, today I went back to have the mole cut out.

It was pretty cool, and I watched some of the process, which was just surreal. I could see the guy cutting a chunk out of my hand and yet felt completely fine, and then watched him stitch me up. All I felt was a slight pulling as he tightened the stitches. Apparently I’m gonna have a little scar on the back of my hand, which I hope will look stigmata-like.

Anyway, I was going to post a picture of the stitches, but I have to keep my dressing on for 48 hours, so here’s my bandaged hand, with my rather messy sink in the background.

My dressing

My dressing

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is a gift to showbiz journalists, over the years she’s been involved in various celebrity stories which have taken up lots of column inches and has a nice line in unusual behaviour which proves great fodder for journalists. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a very attractive woman and in a Hollywood dream couple with Brad Pitt.

jolie

This week she’s been grabbing the headlines online because she revealed that she’d had a preventative double mastectomy because she has a genetic trait which makes her more likely to develop breast cancer and ovarian cancer. In a piece she wrote for the New York Times Jolie revealed that doctors had informed her that she was an 87% chance of developing breast cancer and a 50% chance of ovarian cancer. Those are some grim odds, especially as breast cancer is the most common cause of terminal cancer in women.

I gotta say I have a lot of respect for Jolie for undergoing the procedure, which must have been daunting and something many may not have done out of fear. For example, if I was aware that I was at higher risk of testicular cancer I’m not sure I’d have them removed, I’d probably just bury my head in the sand and hope to beat the odds.

I’ve read in the past that mastectomy’s can have a emotional impact on the women who have them, with many feeling self conscious or “less of a woman” because of the removal of breast tissue, which is rather sad. I think the NHS does offer cosmetic surgery to women who undergo the procedure, and if they don’t they definitely should, as it could be a massive part of improving the quality of life of the cancer survivors.

Of course, not all feel this way and some may choose to not have anything done afterwards, with some even regarding it as a kind of badge of honour. A while back Facebook came under fire for deleting pictures of a cancer survivor’s pictures of her chest tattoo which she’d had done after her mastectomy, however, later they saw common sense and changed their policy. Another cancer survivor, Kelly Donovan  posted pictures which received thousands of likes and which she describes as a metaphor for her external transformation (more on Davidson here).

Davidson showing off her ink.

Davidson showing off her ink.

Jolie’s piece raises an important point about genetic testing, which was something I must admit I don’t know much about. In the US the test for the genes that increase the risks costs $3000, which is frankly disgusting. A lot of people just aren’t going to be able to afford that test, and one can only imagine that the chance of getting tested in other parts of the world is even tougher. I’m assume that here in the UK it’s free on the NHS and you can request a referral from your GP.

For British readers the Cancer Research UK website has a page devoted to the genetic links to cancer as well as advice on who should get tested and how it all works.

Jolie draws attention to the injustice of the prohibitive cost of the tests and hopefully this situation will change in the future.

Jolie’s actions and writing about the experience are important, I feel, because they raise awareness about a procedure that many may not have known about and also brings the subject into public discussion, and this may make it easier for women in a similar situation.

Women may get the test because of Jolie’s example and this will be a great help to many as it will either calm their fears or enable them to take steps to reduce the risks like Jolie has, or at least be extra vigilant for the warning signs of the cancer. And nobody can argue that this isn’t a good thing.

So I have a new respect for Jolie as a result of this revelation and think she has handled it all rather well.

Remember folks, keep checking yourself and if in doubt, always go to the doctor. It might be scary and I know that it might seem easier to live on in blissful ignorance, but if you’re ill you’re going to be ill whether the doctor tells you about it or not, and at least if you know what you’ve got you can start fighting against it.

Sorry, if today’s post was a little bit heavy, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it over the last couple of days and I don’t want any of you good people getting ill. And that’s only partly because I don’t want my views to fall any lower.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Ranniversary

Today marks exactly one year since I started jogging. It was after a fortnight of extreme gluttony that I finally pulled on my trainers, listened to the first Couch to 5k and went for the first run.

It turned out to be the best way of doing it, with the podcasts slowly easing me into it and building up my stamina, within the 9 weeks I was already feeling the health benefits and discovering that I was actually enjoying doing it.

Once the course was up I kept going, increasing the length of my runs over time until I’ve reached the current stage where I run for a full hour.

Running for an hour is still a challenge, I’m always tired by the end, but its a tiredness I’ve come to enjoy, a feeling that you’ve put in a decent effort and that the tiredness has been earned. Its also a tiredness that passes quicker and quicker after the runs, leaving me riding an endorphin high and feeling good.

This time last year I couldn’t see myself running for that long, but now its something I can do fairly easily 3-4 times a week. I’m surprised by the changes in myself and also quite proud of myself for sticking with it.

There have been times when its been rough, and times when I’ve let Lazy Chris take over, but for the most part running has become a part of my life, if I don’t run I fell guilty and a bit fed up, getting out there and pounding the pavement clears my head, gives me a chance to think things through and makes me feel good.

I’ve lost at least 2 stone since I started running, which means I’m now the healthiest I’ve been in years. I’m more confident in myself and I feel more comfortable and happy with my body, in a way I haven’t for years. I know there’s still work to be done, but I’m definitely much more positive about it now, even if we’re still a long, long way away from me being comfortable going swimming or topless on the beach.

So, my advice to anyone out there who wants to lose a bit of weight is to check out the Couch to 5K podcasts and give them a whirl. I know at times it’ll be difficult, it’ll be cold or raining outside, or you’ll be tired, but push on through and you get some pretty good things out of it. The satisfaction and pride I got when I did the Sport Relief 3 mile run earlier this year was one of the best feelings I’ve experienced, and next year I hope to have it again when I run a 10K.

So give it a go, let me know how it works out and if you don’t enjoy it, maybe look into other exercises and find one that suits you best.

I didn’t run today, it being one of my days off from running (I ran yesterday) and now I’m sitting here wondering how I should mark/celebrate this event, having a cake or treating myself to something similar kind of feels like going against the whole point of it, but at the same time I kind of want to celebrate it somehow. Any ideas?

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

P.S. Here’s a link to the Couch to 5K stuff


Superheroes and Titillation: Breast cancer awareness

Okay, its the customary apology/ass covering time. I realize that breast cancer and cancer in general is a sensitive subject and I don’t intend to cause any upset or offence with what I’ve written and I apologize if any is caused.

I’ve been wanting to right about breast cancer awareness for a while now, because I saw something a few weeks back that I thought was worthy of mentioning, however, other stuff has distracted me and it was only when another breast cancer story came along that I decided I’d actually sit down to write this.

Here’s the thing, I get that breast cancer is a terrible disease to get. I can only imagine the severe distress being diagnosed with it must bring and the trials of the treatment which will follow. I appreciate that for many women its a condition that is awkward or embarrassing to discuss, and that there can often be an urge to bury their head in the sand, in a “what I don’t know can’t hurt me” kind of way.

Firstly, let me just say don’t do this, ladies. I get that no one wants to have their bits prodded by a stranger, but if it was me, I’d want to know, I think the constant doubts and worries would mess with my head a whole lot more than the actual condition in some ways. I know that it must be embarrassing to have to show your breasts to someone you don’t know well (believe me, I keep my mannaries under wraps as much as possible) but these are medical professionals, and their first priority and thought will be about your health and not “what a cracking pair!”

I also understand that there must be a great fear in women of the possible consequences and a concern about losing something which is so intrinsically linked to femininity, in the same way that I think all men fear that losing a testicle will somehow make them less of a man. It won’t. Liking Twilight definitely does though.

And this brings me to my dilemma regarding breast cancer awareness.

Of course I can see the benefits to it and am a massive supporter of it, because, as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. Women, and men, but more on that later, should know what to look out for and that at the same time further knowledge of the condition might lead to a reduction in embarrassment in seeking treatment. It’ll never go away completely because of the way breasts have been sexualised in our society, but hopefully it can be lessened and help more women receive treatment sooner.

And just for good measure, here’s a guide of how to check yourself out:

However, I can’t help feeling that in the awareness stakes breast cancer is pretty well known compared to other forms of the disease. I realize it effects large numbers of women every year, but perhaps the focus should be spread out more towards the other forms too.

For example, when I was at uni they had breast cancer nights, where you got a pound of entry if you wore an item of pink clothing and money was raised for breast cancer charities. It was a good idea, and one of several charities that benefited from my drinking. However, as far as I can remember breast cancer was the only cancer that regularly had its own nights.

I also remember that they put cherry Lambrini on offer for one of them because it was pink and it proved that nobody can drink that stuff in a masculine fashion. I also drunkenly discussed the self examination with a female friend and offered, in probably a sleazier way than I care to remember, to assist her in checking if she was okay.

They put the sentiment on a T-shirt, which walks the fine line between funny and sleazy.

But that’s just me.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to write originally was because while reading a comic the other week I stumbled across Marvel’s full page advert to raise awareness of male breast cancer. The story features two of Earth’s mightiest heroes, Captain America and Iron Man discussing the fact that Tony Stark has been distracted due to his concerns regarding his recent tests for breast cancer. Its a fairly basic one page ad but I think Marvel should be applauded for their efforts in raising awareness of the fact it occurs in men.

Being a guy who gets cancer must be quite tough, as it is something usually connected with women (of the 50,000 people diagnosed every year in the UK less than 400 are men, although you have to wonder how many guys don’t even bother checking themselves) and there’s still a high level of ignorance regarding male breast cancer, I mean, if Tony Stark doesn’t know about your average Joe probably doesn’t either.

As a man who has quite an impressive set of mannaries I can appreciate that you don’t want to draw any more attention to them and that they do make you feel a bit less manly. But that’s just me and my insecurities. I think people need to realize that breast cancer is nothing to do with gender and just a form of cancer that develops in the tissues that make up male and female chests. The thing is, in a way, while the term “breast” is anatomically correct it does bring with it connotations of women.

Marvel’s stance on breast cancer extends to female sufferers too, and they joined with DC in launching a campaign that encouraged self checking and featured four characters performing self checks, including She Hulk:

She Hulk was joined by Storm, Wonder Woman and Catwoman.

Now, I appreciate that breast cancer is unrelated to breast size, but surely if you’re going to use superheroines you’d, ahem, break out the big guns and go with Power Girl?

I don’t think I’ve legitimately had a reason to type “Power Girl boobs” into Google before

Anyway, I don’t mean to trivialize the issue although that is what a breast cancer ad campaign in Chile is being accused of doing. Its recent video, “Por Amos a las Tetas” (roughly translated as “for the love of boobs”) has come under fire, here’s the vid:

Some people have said that the video is sexist and pointless and despite its message to men of “if we like them so much we should take care of them” its been dismissed by many, saying that while men might, um, “enjoy” the video they’re unlikely to give any further thought to breast cancer. Which might be a fair point but at the same time, the video has got people talking about it and might work on some men as it might make them raise the issue with their partner.

So, while its an odd tactic to use I think its different and it has already raised awareness. And no, I’m not just supporting it because I quite liked watching it.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


In Sickness and in Health

I’m writing this post from my sickbed. Nothing’s seriously wrong with me, I’ve just had a cold for about a week and its now morphed into a throat infection. Which sucks as it means I can’t run today and I’m feeling like crap, it probably hasn’t helped that I’ve worked the last three nights as it means my body hasn’t had a chance to bounce back properly.

This means that for most of this morning I lay in bed groaning and feeling hella rough.

But I’ve decided to not mope anymore, so having hit the shop for a supply run (Lemsip, Lucozade, cough sweets and curries) I’m going to hole up in my room and have a movie marathon thanks to LoveFilm, in the hope that after a good night’s sleep tonight I’ll be on the mend.

Anyway, in other news at the weekend I had my third weigh-in of the year. It was meant to be at the end of September but was a little delayed due to the fact I don’t have my own scales and use my Mum’s.

I was a little apprehensive because of Lazy Chris’ run of form earlier and feared this would be my lowest weight loss so far. Which it was, but I still managed to shed 4kg, which works out 8.8lbs, over half a stone since June.

This brings my full weight loss for 2012 so far to 13.2kg, which works out as 29lbs which is over 2 stone. I’m hoping to have a big push before my last weigh in before Christmas and I’d be quite chuffed if I could hit 2.5 stone by the end of the year.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.