Today I learned that if you watch a 4' snake crawl along the top of a cinderblock wall, wobbling a little, the snake could screw up and fall off. It makes a louder-than-expected thump when it hits the ground, even accounting for it landing on an aloe plant. (The snake was fine -- it didn't even look embarrassed while I laughed my ass off as it slithered away.)
In other news, about a third of breast cancer survivors have lasting fatigue
such that their norepinephrine (a stress hormone) levels rise more than expected when given a somewhat stressful task. Initially the fatigue comes from chemotherapy, but the lasting fatigue appears to come from the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems being out of balance. The sympathetic nervous system, the thing in charge of stress hormones and your fight-or-flight reflex, is an energy hog, and it makes people tired. The researchers mentioned they had another study going looking into whether yoga could help straighten these people out.
As someone who had to gain voluntary control over my fight-or-flight reflex, I can tell them now that yoga won't fix it. Lying on the floor doing relaxation exercises won't fix it. Exercise, something they're looking into, helps, but won't fix it either, particularly if you're fatigued enough that you can't do things like ride your bike for four hours at a time.
I was telling an EI about my experience with fight-or-flight the other day, and he said it must have been hard to be fearful all the time. I wasn't. I was depressed and sometimes anxious, and didn't process information or chemicals quickly.
Exposure to chemicals, even voluntary ones like chemotherapy, ramps up your fight-or-flight reflex gradually (if it does at all). You don't see it coming. If you constantly tried to fight or run, people might figure out that there was a problem with your fight-or-flight reflex. They don't. It's not obvious, and yoga isn't going to uncondition somebody's sympathetic nervous system unless there's something going on there that I haven't heard about.
Also, sugar and high fructose corn syrup
will kill you. Sucrose is half glucose, which your whole body processes, and half fructose, which your liver handles. If you get too much fructose at once, your liver turns it straight into fat, which leads to a fatty liver, a key part of metabolic syndrome, which will totally kill you because then you'll get type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The trick is figuring out how much is too much, and no one wants to put a number on it. The best number I came up with was the amount of sugar the FDA thought typical Americans ate in 1986, back when we, as a nation, were not so wide. They said 40 lbs/year/person, which is 200 calories of added sugar per day. The USDA, considered much more reliable, said 75 lbs/year/person.
So I was going to figure that 200 calories of sugar per day is a reasonable upper limit -- that's like a quarter of a batch of cookies, which, after my initial 'I can eat cookies again' phase, is not something that will ever again occur here on a daily basis -- but then, toward the end of the article, it starts talking about cancer. Trying to handle all that insulin makes your cells go nuts and sometimes turn cancerous. Cancer started rising way before 1986, so we're unsafe at any speed.