Cake or cuddle? Both should be banned from the workplace

 No touching: offices, like hospitals, are for work not play

No touching: offices, like hospitals, are for work not play CREDIT: SCRUBS TV STILL

By: Rhymer Rigby/UK Telegraph

Yesterday, The Faculty of Dental Surgery, an influential group of dentists, suggested that companies should tackle “cake culture” at work because it contributes to obesity and poor health.

This is long overdue. In the past few years Britain has gone cake mad and this extends to the workplace. Where once we might have seen office cake a couple of time a year, cakes are now brought in to celebrate birthdays, departures, promotions, new hires, making it through the 3pm meeting, and so on. Work in a decent sized office and it’s not unusual to have one or two “cake days” a week.

What’s more, all these “event cakes” come on top of the muffins and Danish pastries and pain au chocolats that people routinely grab on the way to work. If we were a nation of svelte athletes, none of this would matter. But we’re not: almost two thirds of UK adults are overweight or obese. So what’s the solution?

Yesterday, Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum suggested that instead of dishing out cake to colleagues, we should “give them a smile, a hug or both!”

Well, she had me up to the word smile. Hugs at work, I’m not so sure about. You see, old misery guts that I am, not only do I not like cake, I’m not particularly touchy-feely either. I don’t see co-workers and experience an immediate urge to embrace them.

Yet hugging, like cake, has become commonplace in the office. Where once a handshake was enough, hugs are now increasingly de rigeur. Presumably there are even offices where you have a pre-cake hug (if you can reach each other over your sugar-addled bellies).

It would be easy to attack the office hug on robust, old-school grounds. To say that we used to have stiff upper lips. To say that this kind of emotional incontinence is all a bit American and ghastly and unbecoming. To suggest that hugs should be reserved for wives, small children, pets and close friends (if you really must).

But actually it’s just as easy to attack workplace hugging on practical grounds. Indeed, you can even make a strong PC case for a hug-free workplace. The fact is, in a country like the UK, hugging at work is a legal, psychological and managerial nightmare.

For starters, there’s just so much that can go wrong. Lunge in for a hug that’s unexpected or unwanted and at best it will be awkwardly reciprocated. At worst, you could find yourself accused of sexual harassment.


Research published by the TUC in 2016 suggests that over 50% of women have been sexually harassed at work – and, this includes “inappropriate hugging.” What is “inappropriate hugging”? Well, it’s any hug that the recipient doesn’t want. It could be a hug that you meant well. Why take the risk? Do you really want to cuddle a colleague that much?

In some cases there’s also the problem of how it looks. Sure, there may be nothing untoward when a 57-year-old boss hugs a 22-year-old intern. But appearances do matter. And, if you’re that boss, how you know that the 22-year old really wants to hug you? In fact, if you’re any sort of boss, there’s a power dynamic at work. You may be placing the other person under a kind of hug obligation.

Again, why put them (or yourself) in that position? Smile and say good morning instead.

OK, but let’s say you only hug people who you know are totally cool with hugs. And everyone else gets a handshake. Does that mean everything’s OK? No. You’re creating an “in- group” and an “out group.” I might hug Alison and Bob, rather than Claire and Dave, because the first two are huggers – and the second two aren’t. But this can still create the impression that I favour the first group over the second. If I’m in position of power, that’s a potential problem.

Given that hugging tends to be a younger person’s game, there is perhaps a bit more to be said for peer to peer hugging. If Alison wants to hug Bob and Claire and they’re all at roughly the same age and level of seniority, perhaps this gets rid of some of the issues. But even so, problems abound: the hug could be unwanted and the peer group could be split into huggers and non-huggers with the non-huggers feeling an uncomfortable obligation to hug. You see the quagmire we’re embracing here?

Of course, there probably are some situations where hugging a colleague is OK. Perhaps you’re in Argentina or Turkey where people are more tactile and hugging is a cultural norm. Or perhaps you’re meeting a colleague socially. But these are exceptions. In the office, you are unlikely to ever go wrong with a pleasant smile or a handshake.

Perhaps the most compelling reason not to hug colleagues though is that it distorts the idea of what work is “for” and what workplace relationships mean. In this sense, it’s part of the “fun workplace” movement where there’s little distinction between your job and the rest of your life and you’re all in the office to have a great time. Which is great until it all goes wrong.

Say you have to give someone a final written warming. Perhaps you got the promotion a colleague wanted. Or maybe the company’s not doing so well and you have to make some tough decisions. None of these things are fun. But they’re a lot easier if you have a professional working relationship with the other person. And they’re a lot harder if you’ve spent the last two years hugging the individual and they turn round in tears and say, “but I thought you were my friend.”

So yes, by all means let’s get rid of cake in the office. But let’s replace it with fruit, not hugs.


Britian: Fat People who refuse treatment may be denied benefits

Too fat to work: Almost 12,000 people receive disability benefits because of metabolic disease -  a combination of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure

Picture/Daily Mail UK

Too fat to work?

Almost 12,000 people received Disability Living Allowance in Britain last year because they have metabolic disease – the medical term for a combination of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.   Obesity currently cost British taxpayers 9 million pounds a year ($14US)

Nearly one in five British secondary school pupils and a quarter of adults are obese, according to officials figures.

Health experts predict that by 2050 the annual bill for obesity-related illnesses will have risen to £50 billion ($79US), with almost two-thirds of the population obese.

British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a review , which was announced earlier this year, to investigate how to treat the severely overweight and those suffering from addiction who refused to accept treatment “but expect taxpayers to carry on funding

Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘Successive governments have made life too easy for too many obese people. If the obese have a legitimate cause for their fatness – and there may be medical or genetic reasons – benefits should not be denied to them. But getting long-term benefits simply for over-eating is an insult to society.

Resistance from charities and some doctors is expected.  The Tories have routinely been criticized for failing to deal with tax deductions for the richest while cutting benefits for the poorest Brits.

There are voices in Britain who believe Fat People are scape goats. Its agreed there IS an obesity crises in Britain ,but the supposed drain on the economy is overblown .

Bryony Bordon of the Uk Telegraph writes :

The fat are to be blamed for all our ills – from putting a strain on the NHS, to taking up too much space on public transport. The collective hatred for obese people is almost visceral, bordering on sadistic. People actually seem to enjoy taunting fatties; it’s as if without the overweight, a certain section of the population might explode in an orgy of mayhem and murder.

While rich people who are fat are seen as bon viveurs and jolly, everyone else is grotesque and should be ashamed, particularly those living below the breadline, whose bodies are somehow not befitting of their circumstances.

This is not to say we should tiptoe around the fat and avoid the subject; it’s that instead of threatening to take benefits away from people who are ill and therefore vulnerable, we should perhaps seek to find out the underlying causes that have made them that ill in the first place. It is time for a careful, considered approach to obesity, because otherwise there is a real danger of cruelty swallowing us all.















Alfred Hitchcock Returns

I have always been a big man,big tall and obese.   There are no sad tales, I dated in college, confident and did all the normal things.     Of course most of my life, I like a lot of people, didn’t measure up to the images on the big and small screens.

So I dieted, I’d  lose 50 pounds, gain 70 pounds, through the years I’ve have gained and lost enough pounds with to have created a TV family.

In high school, I sent away for a male version of a girdle.  I wore it to some event, and I looked fantastic, everything was in check, I had a flat front.  It squished everything, and I mean everything.  By fifth period, I was losing consciousness because my boys were being crushed.   With the girdle, you couldn’t simply reach in and re-adjust the twins…you had to unhook,zip, snap, and take the thing off.  After the event, I dumped it in some outdoor trash can.  I didn’t want anyone to come across it in my drawer and have to explain.

One year I lost over 100 pounds.  That year, I wasn’t going back.  In the past I kept my old clothes as insurance. (one never knows) but that year I gave away all my fat clothes.   I went to jeans store (this was the 70’s) and bought myself the tightest size 34 jeans they had, of course this meant a few square bottom shirts, made of the finest shiny polyester money could buy.

From the moment I tossed those clothes,away.  My world started to crumble.  As I walked by a KFC, a wayward button would pop off. I could never sit on a bus, even if it where empty.  I refused to buy a larger size because it meant failure.  At one point I was down to one pair of pants.   But God has a sense of humor.

It was a beautiful bright spring day in San Francisco, I had plans to meet with friends to see a movie. Witnesses tell me my pants had givin up the fight before I left home.  Somewhere between Leavenworth and Van Ness the rear end of my pants had  completely separated.  The square bottom shirt (now worn unbutton with a tee shirt underneath) spared me from total humiliation. Until my one of my friends noticed as I was walking up the stairs to the theater.   I stayed and watched the movie and my friends walked me home circled around me.   A friend bought me a larger pair of pants at Macys,but they were too short. Several inches too short, so I wore those short pants downtown to buy longer and larger pants.

Fast forward to 2015

I have re-gained that hundred and them some.  Still happy, losing weight now because of quality of life.  The Kardashians have taught me to look for my better side.  Through the years, I have found the fit, so I’m comfortable.

For the most part, I look pretty good.  Especially from straight on.   I am bright,cool, confident.  How so never things changes from the side.   I was at an event in Atlanta, and was photographed from the side.  When I first saw the picture, I didn’t recognized myself.   He looked familiar.  It was me.   From the side I my profile looks  like Alfred Hitchcock.  Of course this picture was taken Atlanta Journal Constitution,the city’s main newspaper.  It was a worthy event, but there was no way I was going to share this picture with friend and family.

I am very aware of the camera and whether its stationary or a video camera I’ve mastered the angles.  If you have seen me on TV, I am nearly always standing and the view is straight on.

I rarely look at myself from the side, one glance and I can hear the theme from the old Alfred Hitchcock TV show playing in my head.

A few weeks ago, a cable TV show asked if I would appear on camera.  I agreed, and then went into a panic.  Will they film me outside, from the side or straight ahead. Will I be sitting down and if I’m sitting down, will they film me straight on or from an angle.

I called a friend to ask for advice.  He is regularly on camera and via video chat he taught me how to stretch my body and breathe.

On Monday, I felt good and looked good.  I think I was okay during filming and I will know when it airs this fall.   As I was walking to the parking structure, I caught a brief  side glimpse.


Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions (No Willpower Required)



By: Nadia Goodman/You

How many times have you purchased a gym membership in January only to find that by February, your gym pass is mere decoration on your already cluttered key chain?

You don’t need us to tell you that New Year’s resolutions rarely stick.

The most common resolutions are exactly the ones you might expect: drink less alcohol, exercise more, lose weight, get a better job, quit smoking,save money, stress less. If following them were fun or easy, they wouldn’t show up on your list year after disgruntled year.

But there’s a secret you didn’t know last year: willpower won’t work.

“The reason we tend to have the same resolutions every year is that we rely too heavily on willpower,” says Heidi Grant Halverson, Ph.D., social psychologist and author of “Success” How We Can Reach Our Goals.” “Somehow this is the year we’ll have the self-control not to eat sweets or to quit smoking. Willpower, even when you have a lot of it, is a fickle friend. It ebbs and flows throughout the day and is very much a limited resource.”

By learning these simple tricks to take willpower out of the equation, you can check those ever-elusive goals off your to-do list once and for all.

Start small. Optimism is great, but a too-ambitious goal will be in the trash by mid-January. “You need to ease into your resolutions,” says YouBeauty Psychology Advisor Art Markman, Ph.D., author of “Smart Thinking.” “If you’ve never exercised before, you probably shouldn’t plan on running a marathon by the summer.” Each goal you tackle should feel manageable.

Halverson recommends breaking a goal down into bite-size pieces and tackling them one at a time. “If you want to eat better, start by eliminating one thing from your diet,” she says. “Willpower is like a muscle that grows with use, so you’ll find that as you’re doing it, it gets easier and easier—it becomes a new habit.” When you feel like you’ve got that down pat, start in on the next step.

Be specific. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, the English teachers’ mantra holds true: specific is terrific. “People who want to lose weight will say, ‘I plan to eat less and exercise more,’” says Halverson. “That’s really a terrible plan. What are you going to eat less of? How much less? If you’re going to work out more, how much more?”

When you set a goal, focus on how you plan to achieve it. Instead of saying “I’ll exercise more,” say, “I will go to the gym near my office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at six o’clock.” One study found that people who planned the specific days and times they’d exercise each week were three times more likely to actually stick to the goal. At the end of the study, 32 percent of the people who didn’t make a plan were still exercising versus 91 percent of the people who did.

Ask for help. A friend can be a great motivator to help you reach your goals, as long as you choose wisely. “Pick someone who loves going to the gym,” says Halverson. “If it’s already a part of their regular routine, that’s the person who will say, ‘Come on, let’s go!’ when you say you don’t want to go.”

Talk to your family when your lifestyle changes—such as serving more wholesome meals or picking them up a half hour later so you can go to the gym—will affect them. “Many women will give up on their goals if they feel like it’s disrupting the family,” says Markman. “If you really have something you need to change, there is going to be disruption. Find out what you can do to make sure they don’t feel like they’ve lost something important.”

Anticipate setbacks. If the dessert menu is your weight loss weakness or the couch sounds more appealing than the treadmill after a long day at work, then try making a contingency plan—a technique that psychologists refer to as “if/then planning.”

The strategy is simple: Make a list of the triggers that could stop you from reaching your goal and decide how you want to react in each of those situations. “Have a plan in advance,” says Markman. “If you want to lose weight, what will you do when there’s a gorgeous buffet at a party? Who will take care of the kids if you’re at the gym?”

That strategy primes you for success. “The reason it works so well is you don’t miss opportunities to act,” says Halverson. “When you make an if/then plan, your brain on an unconscious level starts scanning for that moment to occur.” You won’t need willpower when temptation knocks on your door—you’ll have already decided what to do.

Have patience. “The goal doesn’t need to be reached in a day or a week or even a month,” says Markman. “You want to be on the road toward the goal.” That might mean slow progress, but small victories are the ticket to lasting success. “It’s got to be about doing a little bit better this week than last week,” says Halverson. “It’s about improvement, not perfection.”

Several years ago, after a string of yo-yo diets, Halverson finally applied her own strategies and lost the 50 pounds she put on during her pregnancy. “It took me almost two years, but I lost it,” she says. Because she had the patience to lose the weight slowly, her lifestyle habits had time to adapt and she’s been able to keep the weight off.

This year, you can do it too.

The Holiday sucks if your watching your weight “Lemon Pie in the Dark”


Will Power, yeah bite me bitch!!!!

Everywhere you turn, sugar. Candy Canes, lil Hershey Kisses in holiday Foil and this year I discovered Peppermint Kisses can you say oh mmm gee!   Huge boxes on Mother See’s  on every table . There are assassins at every turn.  ” Oh, this is Christmas have a mega slice of cake’. “ Come on your a big man, that little tart is not going to fill you, here eat 50-you can diet after the holidays

 Why don’t someone just shoot me in the face!!!

A few years ago a lady made one of my favorite desserts in the whole wide world.  We rerun this story every holiday.  

“Hope you enjoy”  

Merry Christmas

This year was different, this year I didn’t pig out at Thankgiving,  This year I didn’t completely black out and eat an entire Chocolate Nativity Scene, including baby Jesus (for the record-I’m not in the habit of eating baby Jesus’s-the basket was made out of a Cadbury egg-who knew Jesus was in there?).    I’m on Weight Watchers having bits of dessert.

Click the Link Below, to read the rest of the story

At the nZone in Fairfax County, Va., the body’s a temple and the church is a gym

By Vicky Hallett/Washington Post

The first time Justin Kavanaugh visited the hulking building amid the strip malls of Chantilly, Va., he walked around the trio of turf fields, the weight room, the group exercise studio and the massive basketball court.

He was confused.

“I thought this was a church,” Kavanaugh says. “I was looking for stained-glass windows.”

Instead, he found himself in the nZone, an 83,000-square-foot athletic training facility that offers fitness classes, youth programs, leagues and – since shortly after that visit – specialized courses with Kavanaugh’s Sport and Speed Institute. The only sign there’s anything religious about the place? A few banners touting the New Life Christian Church, which runs the nZone as a nonprofit organization.

Fairfax County (Va.) is not the Bible Belt. This is an area where churches haven’t necessarily been perceived as good things,” says pastor Brett Andrews, who founded New Life two decades ago. So when his congregation finally secured the funds to buy a building, he was determined not to put up a typical church.

Dropping $10 million on a place that would sit empty most of the week didn’t make sense, Andrews says. And when New Life solicited advice on what people in the area could use, the same response kept coming up: “We need more stuff to get kids off the street.” That’s why the nZone opened two years ago in a former Anheuser-Busch distribution plant.

‘Practical’ outreach

It’s common for a church (or synagogue or mosque) to take an interest in physical fitness; many have some sort of recreation room on-site, often reserved for members of the congregation. But this is a full-on recreation center, without a single space built specifically for worship. And the vast majority of people taking advantage of the facility have no connection to the church.

The external focus makes the situation even more unusual, explains Phil Ling, who runs a national church consulting firm. He has worked with congregations across the country and has never seen anything like the nZone. “It’s one thing to reach out,” Ling says. “It’s another to build a state-of-the-art athletic training facility for thousands of people.”

To Andrews, it’s a chance “to show the love of God in a practical way.” And it’s an opportunity to connect with a wider swath of society. Ron Furgerson, a member of the church leadership team, recalls that there was some concern when the nZone was approached by a group that wanted to host a mixed martial arts tournament there.

Although the nZone staff takes pains not to proselytize, there is a religious fervor to how they approach their mission. Anyone who walks in should get more than a workout, explains Creed Branson, who’s both New Life’s executive minister and president of the nZone. “We want them to experience God,” he says.

There’s a stock answer prepared for how exactly they can pull that off: “By providing the best customer service in Northern Virginia.” That seems to translate into beaming smiles, frequent handshakes and bargain prices. An nZone fitness membership – which includes access to the facilities and more than two dozen classes a week – is just $25 a month.

Whatever the nZone is doing is working for retired Washington Redskins star Darrell Green, who regularly plays basketball there with a group. “They let me score a point every once in a while,” the 53-year-old Hall of Famer jokes. Green belongs to a church about a mile away, but he feels just as welcome when he enters the nZone.

Sunday transformation

It was this vibe that first brought Morris Zamora, 49, through the doors. The Chantilly resident coaches children’s soccer, and the nZone offered a free place for his team to host a party at the end of the season. After having a positive experience and hearing raves from relatives, Zamora decided to give religious services a try, too. His family has been attending for a little over a year.

“The kids love it. We have to drag them out of here,” he said on a recent Sunday, pointing to the turf field where youngsters have an abbreviated service and then can run around.

That morning, Zamora and hundreds of other churchgoers paraded onto the basketball courts, which are transformed every weekend with giant carpet squares and comfy chairs. Mostly young families in sneakers and sweats filtered into the cavernous room that was pitch dark, except in one corner, where a band rocked out onstage. Behind them were three huge screens, flashing the lyrics to their songs.

After the opening act, Andrews bounded up in jeans and a green henley and launched into a sermon about baptism.

Each week, when service No. 3 is finished, the church supplies are swiftly stacked up and rolled away, and the nZone is back in business.

‘Everything I need’

The church affiliation is part of the appeal for several visitors, including Alvin Martin, 48, who regularly makes the trek from Stafford, Va., with his 10-year-old son, also named Alvin. They ended up here after an Internet search for indoor athletic facilities, and they didn’t have a clue about the New Life connection until they explored the place.

For the most part, the draw seems to be the resources, the reasonable prices and the variety of programming.

“This provides everything I need,” says Brenda McEwen, 60, as she puts away dumbbells after a class. The Centreville resident has been a fitness member since February, and she says she’s never felt pressured to do anything that made her uneasy. “At some places, you get stuff shoved down your throat. If you’re here, you can just work on your temple.”

When people feel that way, Andrews says, the nZone is working. And he’d like to see the model replicated. New Life has been exploring the possibility of opening a second location in Prince William County, near his home in Gainesville, Va. It’s just a matter of raising enough money – because, like stained-glass windows, indoor fitness facilities don’t come cheap.

Waiting for Joan River’s Fashion Police to Throw me out of the Gym

Through the years I have belonged to several Gym memberships throughout Sacramento.  I’ve belonged to posh gyms with shampoo slash conditioners  and deodorant in  shower.  Belonged to the family clubs were members worked up sweat chatting  about working out  and to the bare bones gyms where towels had cords  attached and you showered in the bathroom sink.

I liked the posh gym, liked the vibe, listened  people making deals,  saw local celebrities au naturale  (thought he was taller?)  and despite the bank balances of the members, people were very nice..  But I had to choose, my gym membership or my car.

Joined a very popular gym in Natomas where the men walked artificially straight and wore Nike’s or Adidas outfits with sunglasses on.    My outfit, in fashionable grey, came from the big and tall department at K-Mart .

From there, I joined a bare bones gym.  It was clean, the machines were well maintained and my people were there.    It was come in what you slept in..… I loved it !    Every once in a while someone would wear a matching outfit. But it was a fun place where people came to truly work out. The distance and the absence of a shower made me look elsewhere.

I bit the bullet and joined a gym near my home downtown.   I waited something nearby, to eliminate excuses.  I can walk to the gym in 10 minutes.

It a large and busy gym with a large cross section of Sacramentians.   10 years ago, you didn’t see many overweight people in the daytime.    The looks and stares made them uncomfortable so they populated the gyms after 8 pm.       I remember startinling a man at the posh gym, he was a man holding on to the eighties, leg warmers, with matching head band .   He screamed like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween II-the scream startled me sending me into the towel bin.  From that moment on, when ever he saw me , he turned his nose up and looked the other way.

At my current gym, I’ve noticed gym fashion.   Usually men in black wearing bright trim, neon green, orange. and other colors.  With ,matching shoes and shoe lases.     Yesterday, I thought I was at an event.  there was a steady stream of fashion, which caused me to ask someone, was there a runway show tonight?    One man was on the elliptical, wearing sunglasses straining to see the game.  Then women came in wearing gym fashion in various shades.   The man in the elliptical was moving at 1.8 miles an hour, smile at the ladies on either side of him.

There was so much fashion I started getting paranoid.   Did I miss an e-mail?   Wednesday ,Fashion Night?  For the first time I felt like the green suit at a black tie event.

My workout clothes is breathable cotton, from time to time I may wear  a blend.    Rarely do things match including my shoes.   I refuse to wear any gym wear that requires dry cleaning.   It might have been a singles mingles night. who knows.  Will I become a slave to gym fashion?  Hmm  So just in case, I plan to parooze the K-Mart circular on Sunday. Wonder if  could pull off maroon?


For many years