Friday, April 26, 2013

I reckon I'm about half done, baked or call it what you wish!

It's the 27th April, about 3 and a bit weeks since my operation. Everything is going well and I am looking forward to going back to work. There is a real difference now and I have so much more to look forward to. Less food bills and way less medication. I sleep amazingly well now and have much more energy. I have even reinstated my goal re one day buying a camper van and travelling in my holidays; with Perdy of course.
I still have a love of food but it seems to be healthy food now and I love entertaining my friends. I can't eat much, even if I want to. I very quickly arrive at a point where I get the message--'enough boyo, unless you want an extreme reaction.' So far that has not happened. I have turned my love of cooking into making some pretty amazing dishes and because I eat so little, I have only the best!
Since beginning the Optifast phase and post operation, I have lost about 22kgs. What's that in pounds for my USA friends-----48.5 pounds---holly hell---that sounds a lot. For the UK that is 3.4 stones.
Now the hard part---losing another 15-20 kilos. That will take time, determination and exercise. I must, because even though I am smaller, there is a great deal of weight where it shouldn't be and that is the dangerous weight around internal organs. Many people have this. Some people are skinny on the 'outside' but fat internally.
Now a few before and after pictures!
That's most of my family--me on the bottom left on Xmas day, 2012.
Me minus 22kgs (half done!)

How much did that cheap garment you are wearing cost in terms of human life?

We all love to buy cheap clothing and for the most part the clothing comes from China. Labour rates have been very cheap there and workers live and work under a low wage regime and the conditions they work under would at best be described as 'undesirable.' However, these workers would be seen as 'lucky' by those in 'third world' economies, particularly in Bangladesh. It seems that as wages and conditions slowly improve in China the West is looking to import clothing from Bangladesh, where workers put their lives at risk, by working in terrible conditions, often locked in multi-story buildings where accidents occur and people die because they cannot escape. There have been many disasters and in the latest where hundreds died must serve as a warning to those of us who delight in purchasing a bargain. The fact is that our bargains are gained at the expense of these  lowly paid workers. There are reports that many are working for as little as $US16 cents an hour. Of course the Bangladesh authorities face a dilemma; workers need to work and any job is better than none. There is no welfare support in these countries. It is a matter of 'work of you don't eat.'
There is a responsibility on the West where we need to pay more for our clothing and other products and the companies who import the cheap products also come into the picture. They make huge profits and until they take a more moral view and the bargain loving public see the wider picture, then what we have witnessed in Bangladesh will be replicated in many other poorer nations. We cannot ignore the plight of our fellow human beings. If it means that we wear something a little longer, then so be it. I know---tell that to a struggling family in NZ and it may fall on deaf ears. That issue needs to be faced within NZ, but not at the expense of the citizens of Bangladesh. Their Government needs to take a stand and force better conditions in these factories that are no more than 21st century 'work houses.' It seems that Dickens wrote in a manner that reflects an age old issue--the plight of the poor in all nations, but so much worse in others. Get a grip NZ and perhaps extend the Fair Trade concept to the clothing we wear and at the same time address poverty in NZ.