Tips and hints from here and there

If you can say yes to some of these, and you're still with the guy, perhaps you should also read the next article.

If you can say yes to some of these, and still have that boyfriend, better read the next article.

And after that, you'll probably need to de-stress by considering the next article.

Find out more about staying young.

17 warning signs of a bad boyfriend

You know the guy you're thinking about marrying is wrong for you if he has no friends, your siblings don't like him, and his credit history doesn't check out. Sometimes the best words of wisdom don't come from academics or scientists with impressive titles and educational credentials. Sometimes the best advice comes from people who have been there and done that. Such is the case with a recent letter published in the syndicated Dear Abby advice column that listed 17 signs that your boyfriend is NOT the one you should marry.

A married woman who said her husband now wanted a divorce passed along tips for the not-yet-married. If you see these red flags, she advises, dump the guy:

1. If your parents or siblings have doubts about him, pay attention. Listen and check it out.

2. If your intended has nothing good to say about his ex, beware. This is a pattern. Divorce is rarely only one person's fault.

3. If his children have nothing to do with him, do not believe him if he says his ex brainwashed them against him. My stepchildren have told me it was because they hated him, and they have good reasons.

4. Look closely at his credit and job history. They are sure predictors of what your life will be like.

5. If he's over 30 and has no money, do not let him move in with you, and don't marry him until he's financially solvent. If he has any respect for you (and himself), he'll insist on it.

6. Be sure in your heart that you can live with him AS IS. You cannot change another person.

7. This is a biggie: Beware if he has no friends. It is not true that they all chose to side with his ex.

8. If your friends dislike him, pay attention. This is also true if he hates your friends.

9. If he has more than one DUI and still drinks, run!

10. If he is one personality at work or with others, and another person alone with you, run.

11. If he has nothing to do with his parents, investigate why. Don't take his word for it.

12. If he's an expert at everything and brags a lot, understand that he will turn off a lot of people, eventually maybe even you.

13. If he has sexual problems, go with him to a doctor before you marry him. Believe me, his problem will become your problem.

14. If he is emotionally or verbally abusive, it will only get worse. Yelling, name-calling and glowering are classic signs of an abuser.

15. If he is never wrong and never apologizes, everything will be "your fault" forever. And after years of hearing it, you may even start to accept the blame.

16. If he does something wrong and says, "That wouldn't have happened if you hadn't ( )," that's another sign of an abuser.

17. And if he's mean to children, pets or animals, recognize that he's pathological, and the next victim could be you.



Typical codependent behaviors

1. I assume responsibility for other's feelings and behaviors.

2. I worry about how others may respond to my feelings.

3. I am perfectionistic, and place too many (or too high) expectations on myself and others.

4. I tend to minimize, alter or deny the truth about how I feel.

5. I am steadfastly loyal--even when the loyalty is unjustified, and personally harmful.

6. I am afraid of being hurt and/or rejected by others.

7. I tend to put other people's wants and needs first.

8. My fear of other's feelings (anger, hurt) determines what I say or do.

9. I do not know or believe that being vulnerable and asking for help is both okay and normal .

10. I question or ignore my own values to connect with significant others.

11. I value other's opinions more than my own.

12. I have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.

13. I know more about other's needs than my own.

14. I often say "yes" when I mean "no."

15. I have worried myself sick about other people (headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, etc.)

16. I try to make other people see things my way (the right way).

17. I crave excitement and often engage in high-risk behavior.

18. I feel incomplete when not in a relationship, yet I avoid commitment.

19. My self-esteem soars when I can solve your problems and relieve your pain.

20. I fear abandonment, yet feel resentful about my dependency on you.


The fundamentals of firearm safety

The three basic general rules of safe gun handling:

1. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don't want to shoot.

2. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

3. Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.

Additional specific rules of safe gun handling:

Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.

 Think before shooting: once you pull the trigger you can't take back the shot you've just fired!

  Don't sleep with a loaded firearm in your bedroom if you sleepwalk, have nightmares, sleep restlessly or have other sleep problems.

Safeguard your sight, hearing and health. Always wear eye and ear protection. Endeavor to limit your exposure to heavy metal particulates and gases, and minimize your contact with aromatic organic solvents (such as those commonly used in gun cleaning products).

Receive competent instruction from a qualified person before beginning to shoot. If questions arise later, after you've been shooting for a period of time, get answers to those questions from a competent authority.

Positively identify your target and the threat it poses before firing at it.

What's behind your target? Always make sure that a stray shot, or a bullet which penetrates its intended target through and through, will be safely stopped.

Store ammunition that isn't being used under lock and key, inaccessible to unauthorized parties and children.

Avoid carrying a defensive firearm in a purse, pocketbook, daypack or briefcase. A firearm carried in that fashion is often hard to find and draw amidst all the other items routinely carried, since few purses or briefcases include a dedicated handgun-carrying compartment, and likely to allow your handgun to accidentally become visible to shop clerks, bank tellers or other parties while you are searching for your checkbook or locating a credit card, and that inadvertent exposure may potentially result in a tense situation or even a tragic over-reaction on the part of an individual noticing the firearm and/or summoning law enforcement officers to the scene.

In the event of a misfire, keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction, remove your finger from the trigger, wait ten seconds, then eject the cartridge and dispose of it properly.


Getting fat? Get on the mat!

What prevents middle-age spread?

If you want to get rid of the belly that just seems to appear in your 40s, learn yoga. A new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that regular yoga practice may help prevent middle-age spread in normal-weight people and may promote weight loss in those who are overweight.

Some 15,500 healthy, middle-aged men and women completed a written survey of their weight history and physical activities between 45 to 55. During this age period, most people gain about a pound a year, a common pattern as people age if they do not adjust their caloric intake to their declining energy needs. "However, men and women who were of normal weight at age 45 and regularly practiced yoga gained about three fewer pounds during that 10-year period than those who didn't practice yoga," said lead study author Alan R. Kristal. For the study, regular yoga practice was defined as practicing at least 30 minutes once a week for four or more years.

But the greatest effect of regular yoga practice was among people who were overweight. "Men and women who were overweight and practiced yoga lost about five pounds, while those who did not practice yoga gained about 14 pounds in that 10-year period," he explained.

What accounts for yoga's apparent fat-fighting potential?

  Kristal suspects it has more to do with increased body awareness than the physical activity itself. "During a very vigorous yoga practice you can burn enough calories to lose weight, but most people don't practice that kind of yoga," he said. "From my experience, I think it has to do with the way that yoga makes you more aware of your body. So when you've eaten enough food, you're sensitive to the feeling of being full, and this makes it much easier to stop eating before you've eaten too much." The study findings were published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

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