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Red meat & mortality & the usual bad science

This is a great explication by Zoe Harcombe of the article in Archives of Internal Medicine released March 12 reporting the teeny association between eating meat and premature death. Skip the numbers if you want. The “meat” of her summary is in the first 2 points:

“1) This study can at best suggest an observed relationship, or association. To make allegations about causation and risk is ignorant and erroneous.

2) The numbers are very small. The overall risk of dying was not even one person in a hundred over a 28 year study. If the death rate is very small, a possible slightly higher death rate in certain circumstances is still very small. It does not warrant a scare-tactic, 13% greater risk of dying headline – this is ‘science’ at its worst.”

If you are so inclined, also read the rant on Gary Taubes’ blog post, Science, Pseudoscience, Nutritional Epidemiology and Meat

Tagged!

Thanks to Karen @ Waisting Time and Ann @ Dr. Fatty Finds Fitness, I have been tagged for a round robin of blogging extravaganza! It has been almost 3 weeks since my last real post and over 12 days since Karen tagged me. I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Sorry for the unexplained absence – just chalk it up to, um, misaligned neurons. Promise not to do it again without some notification.

Here are the rules:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. Post 11 random things yourself. As if you haven’t read enough about me…
  3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post. (Using Karen’s since she was first tagger.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You legitimately have to tag 11 peeps!
 Eleven random things about me:
  1. I am the oldest of 4 kids by 8 years.
  2. I was the first female among all of my relatives to finish 4 years of college.
  3. I/we just bought a camping van. (Thought our RVing days were over.)
  4. I gained weight over the holidays! First significant gain over the past 2 years. ARGH!
  5. It has been 9 months since my breast cancer diagnosis. I’m just starting to deal with some of the impact of the double mastectomy.
  6. I miss having a career but cannot imagine going back to work for someone else now.
  7. I am searching for a passion – don’t ask me what that means. But some of you might understand.
  8. I am sitting in the middle of a dust storm inside the house while all of all of the tile is being redone. (Darn those flippers who redid the house before we bought it 6 years ago.)
  9. I have concluded that I am a lazy bum. Making physical activity part of my daily routine is difficult, and I don’t have my foob pain to blame any more.
  10. My favorite song is “The Very Though Of You.” Yes, I am a romantic.
  11. My favorite location is a beach – any beach where I can hear the sound of the waves.
Questions from Karen:
  1. What is the most memorable meal you ever ate?  50th birthday dinner at the Four Seasons on the Big Island of Hawaii
  2. What TV show(s) are you embarrassed to admit you watch? True Blood
  3. Would you rather hire a trainer, chef, house cleaner, or personal shopper? Chef. We have house cleaners come in twice a week to do the crud I refuse to do. I love to shop. Trainers – ugh, I can do my own stuff and anyone who pushes me too hard I would just fire.
  4. Share a favorite childhood memory.  Fishing with my Dad.
  5. What destination would you love to visit?  New Zealand
  6. What’s one food you think you don’t like but you’ve never actually tried?  Flaxseed anything
  7. What modern technology that you didn’t grow up with could you now not live without? Personal computer
  8. List the 5 websites you visit most often. New York Times; CNN; Facebook (forgive me, but my family…); Google Reader; Twitter
  9. Who would you like to meet (living, dead, fictional character, blogger, anyone…)? Molly Ivins – a strange choice, but her wit, writing, and slant on politics, especially the Texas government, I miss desperately. Others include a couple of Texas heroines – Ann Richards and Lady Bird Johnson. My favorite celebrity crushes Renee Fleming and Meryl Streep. Who wouldn’t want to meet Jesus and Buddah and Mohammad? The current Dalai Lama.
  10. What’s your favorite spot in your house and why?  Where in your house do you spend the most time? Favorite spot is my huge bath tub with air jets. I spend the most time at the computer.
  11. How long on average does it take you to write a blog post? Days to ruminate about writing, maybe 2 hours to write and and then give it rest before re-reading and edit.

For the final portion I am supposed to tag people and have them answer questions. Almost everyone I read has been tagged, so I will follow a lead from Michele @ Within Reach and post questions that readers can feel free to answer (or not) in the comment section:

  1. What is your favorite cuisine?
  2. What is your favorite hobby?
  3. What would advice would you give someone entering college (assuming they would listen)?
  4. What country other than the one you live in would you consider moving to?
  5. What is your preferred method of travel when vacationing?
  6. What is your best time of day?
  7. E-books or paper? Why?
  8. Do you have a favorite color of clothes or color scheme?
  9. How do you see your life after retirement (or what are you doing if retired)?
  10. What is your biggest fear?
  11. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or “It takes a village”?

New camping van

Relapse Is My Middle Name

Those who remember my technical blatherings about the Stages of Change Model describing how people voluntarily change behaviors know that I have tried to relate my journey from merely thinking about eating healthy, to seriously planning, to acting on the set of behaviors, and then integrating the mechanisms (processes) of change to help me keep going. (Fifty-word sentence, good grief.)

Relapse is one of the stages, and I am in it. “Don’t despair,” I tell myself because this is normal. There is always something to be learned from a setback. And, recycling to a later stage of change means not starting all over. I do not need to build motivation. I do need to re-establish my ability to shun certain trigger foods. Regain my self-efficacy/confidence. This is especially hard given that I have a binge eating disorder. Yep, depression, anxiety, PTSD, BED. One wonders how I ever functioned so successfully in academia. Here’s a secret. I almost ate myself to death. I gained 150-pounds and no one talked to me about it. If I had reeked of alcohol think someone might have initiated an intervention? Yep? Do I harbor some anger at those charged with my training during medical residency, those who supposedly valued behavioral sciences yet ignored my tremendous weight gain during my residency? You bet. Time to let that go.

I have returned to the world of the present by being open with my family about what has been going on. Sought support from key friends and loved ones. Agreed to not eat in private. Talked with my long distance shrink who is an incredible sounding board. Finally, I stepped into my tightest jeans and found they were almost too tight to wear. Reality check.

Losing weight and maintenance are difficult enough without adding a binge problem. I don’t expect sympathy. It’s a real disorder that I magically thought had disappeared. Nope.

Ever vigilant without obsessing is a fine line. I’m back in the saddle and wearing my tight jeans.

2011 in review

LOL with me at my blog’s weenie stats. Who cares? I’m having fun!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,800 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.