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Newsletter Vol. # 45 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter.

What you will find in this week's newsletter: Should the Welfare System Stay Or Go? The walking guru Robert Sweetgall shares his "Seven C's" to weight loss; "No: Why Kids Of All Ages-Need To Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It"-David Walsh shares his thoughts from his book; Out of the mouths of babes, Little Girl On A Plane; Improve Your Communication And Improve Your Relationship; and a request for feedback-what do you think about the newsletter articles or other stuff that impresses or bugs you.

We know that what goes on in our mind truly affects every organ in our body, yet we still choose to focus on negative thoughts.

Welfare System - Stay or Go?

I was rather shocked when I read an article by Ken MacQueen about the need to replace the present welfare system. He reported, the United Nations agency released a report on the status of Canada's children compared to 28 other industrialized countries. It placed Canada's kids a mediocre 17th in overall well-being. Among the results are poor rankings in many basic necessities to reach a healthy, productive adult hood. Canada is in the bottom third in " relative child poverty"; there are too many teens spinning their wheels by not being in school, training or employment; and we are 27th (ahead of only Latvia and Romania) in health and safety, including vaccination levels and rates of infant and child mortality. In the 10 years since the last UNICEF survey, our children's view of their life satisfaction dropped seven notches to 24th place. Only five eastern European countries fared worse.

Apparently, at the root of this terrible showing by Canada is poverty, illiteracy, under education, underemployment, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, fractured families, incarceration, mental illness, excessive hospitalization and chronic disease. Canadians are still living below the poverty line (11 to 14% of them) despite a plethora of expensive government programs.

So what are the experts suggesting we do about this? MacQueen thinks we have come full circle. A great number of advocates across the political spectrum are reaching into the past for a program they say has potential to control social spending, lower poverty rates and improve outcomes in health and education. It goes by the name "Guaranteed Annual Income." I think what the "brain drain" is saying is "cut the welfare system and replace it with a grant paid through the tax system to top up the income of Canadians to a certain minimum level-money to spend as families see fit." Sound familiar?

Glenn Hudson, Senior VP of The Conference Board of Canada states, " the Guaranteed Annual Income Program could replace the present "paternalistic, interventionist welfare system" that claws back money from those who find work or enrol in school. It would lower administration costs by delivering the money through the tax system, and could reduce the devastating health impacts of poverty."

Milton Friedman, grandfather of guaranteed income states, "... giving families the right and responsibility to spend support money as they see fit is a wiser investment thanhaving priorities set by an expensive, oppressive bureaucracy."

The more things change the more they stay the same. It seems that with our government there is change but often just for the sake of change. It seems, millions of dollars later, that the way things have been done in the past certainly has merit in the present.

The rise in obesity in our society today is unique and incredibly worrisome. "Fast Food" is the biggest problem and lack of movement is second.

Walking And The Seven C's

Robert Sweetgall has walked across the US on several occasions. He makes his living at giving workshops and seminars on staying healthy and maintaining one's weight through walking. He claims that people who can maintain their weight over the years do so because they are able to stay motivated, committed, and practice consistently good health practices.

He has identified what he calls "The Seven C's" to help people to be successful at losing weight and maintaining that loss.

     1. Enjoy your walking exercise. Start slowly and progressively increase the miles. 2 miles a day at 4 mph should be sufficient. When and where to walk is your choice.
     2. Log it! It doesn't take long to log your miles and apparently recording your success acts as a motivator. If you log it, you'll stay with it!
     3. Walk daily. Walking lowers your blood pressure, blood sugar level, body fat, and enhances your mood, increases energy, and endorphin levels.
     4. 24-hour recovery. A person should be able to recover from a workout in 24 hours. Start slowly and gradually build up the time and pace of your workouts.
     5. Mix it up. Some people are too consistent, never altering their workout. They risk boredom and stagnation. The more fit you get, the more you need to increase the challenge. Cross-training makes sense, try dancing, skating, skiing, etc.
     6. Walk year-round. Poor climate can stall an exercise plan. However, climate can also mean an even greater need for exercise, particularly in climates where it is cold and dark by 4:30-5:00 in the afternoon. Lack of sunshine- common in northern climates- can lead to a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD presents much like depression and is best dealt with through exercise, light therapy and other depression coping mechanisms.
     7. Priortize. Lack of time is the biggest excuse for not exercising. Youth watch and average of 29 hours of TV; adults an average of 24 hours/week. Now add in computer time! The only way to make walking a consistent part of your life is to make it a priority. What could be more important than your health?

Do you think the "C" in Roberts "Seven C's" is commitment? What else could it be?

Feedback please.

Fitter kids, in general, perform better in the classroom.

Every step up a stair adds four seconds to your life.

Just Say No!

David Walsh, author of "No: Why Kids Of All Ages-Need To Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It" talks about parenting.

More and more parents have an almost allergic reaction to kids being unhappy; we feel it's our responsibility to make sure they're having fun. The culture is just not as supportive of saying no as it was in the past. But when kids don't hear no, they are deprived of the gift of self-discipline. One of the key success factors in life is the ability for us to manage our own drives and desires so that they can serve us, rather than control us. Self-discipline is twice as strong a predictor of school success as intelligence, and without it, I think our kids are ill prepared for many things in life. We are experiencing an epidemic of what I call discipline deficient disorder--the symptoms of which are impatience, the need for instant gratification, constant consumerism, always wanting more, and an inability to put others' needs on a par with one's own.

The investment in good parenting is a very high investment. It takes a lot of time attention and energy. The payoff comes down the road, but we're a very short-term society. If we can't say no to a two-year-old now, we haven't a prayer with a 16-year-old later.

Another factor that has contributed to our current difficulty in saying no to kids is the way we've distorted the definition of self-esteem. Self-esteem is not the same thing as feeling good. Self-esteem is a realistic self-appraisal; an appreciation of one's strengths and knowledge of one's weaknesses. There is a myth that frustration and disappointment damage self-esteem.

What do you think?

For more from David Welsh purchase his book, "No: Why Kids-Of All Ages-Need To Hear It and WaysParents Can Say It"

Walking a mile a day adds one year to your life!

Walk a hound lose a pound!

Little Girl on a Plane

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?" "Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly.

"OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don't know shit?"

And then she went back to reading her book.

Improved Communication

Here are a few rules for improving communication and bettering a relationship:

. No "Gotcha" arguments. No dredging up old grievances and battering your partner with them.

. Use "I" statements. "I think" or "I feel" rather than "you should" or "you shouldn't." Share rather than blame.

. Never say "never"(or "always"). As in "you never think about me," or "you always put yourself first." Avoid generalizations.

. Respectfully listen; no matter how painful it is or even if you disagree. Try repeating what your partner said, just to make sure you heard it right.

. Be assertive, not aggressive. Be prepared to say what you'll do if things don't change (but don't go out on a limb in the heat of the moment). Do not threaten, nag, or intimidate. Do not call names or make judgmental statements. Cruelty is never acceptable and almost always unforgivable.

. Respect personal disclosure. Over the course of a relationship you're going to share a lot of information about each other, some is deeply private. Never use this against your partner. This is the dirtiest of dirty fighting, and almost unforgivable.

. Never get physical. If you don't think you can control yourself, take a timeout.

. Don't discuss when drinking.

. Before you open your mouth, be sure that what's bothering you is really something your spouse is responsible for.

. For the children's sake-don't fight in front of them.

. Always have a way out. Have an agreement in advance that anyone can call a time-out, any time, and the partner will respect.

. Don't look for allies. Don't talk to neighbours, the kids your parents, in-laws, friends or anyone else about the dispute until it's over.

. Know how to apologize. The half-hearted "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings" without admitting that you are at fault just doesn't make sense, so take your share of the blame, and have a firm intention to do better in the future. And make sure that words and body language are congruent: look sorry as well as be sorry.

. Know how to accept an apology. Don't drag it out; don't make it a ritual of degradation. If you're not ready to kiss and makeup because you haven't gotten over your anger, that's all right. Accept the apology and let it drop until it can be dealt with appropriately at a later date.

Any rules that you feel were missed?

II would love hear from you on any of these articles-the Reader Response file is completely empty!

Take care of yourself first, then take care of others!

Have a great week!