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Causes of Obesity

My Body Beware – 4

I have diabetes in my family history. My Dad has Type II, so did an aunt of mine, and my Great Aunt died of it. As a chubby (sort of) kid with that kind of family history, it’s not surprising that my blood sugar has been tested on a regular basis through most of my life. And it’s fine. Always has been. But blood sugar is only the second half of the equation. The first half is how the body reacts to insulin – and mine doesn’t.

Insulin does a lot of things but its biggest job is to control the carbohydrates I eat and transmit the processed glucose to the cells in my body, so I can use that energy. If the cells don’t open up to receive the glucose, my body produces more insulin to force the cells open and to deal with the glucose running loose in my body. This is insulin resistance (a very simple explanation, sorry), and the worst thing about it is a) it stops you losing weight and b) if untreated, leads directly to Type II Diabetes. (more…)

My Body Beware – 3

A variety of foods made from wheat.

I can honestly say that for the last 20 plus years, I have worked hard in some areas to ensure that I ate a well-balanced and healthy diet, keeping grains, vegetables and proteins, healthy fats and fruit at the core of my daily food intake. Yes, I have also eaten a lot of crap, I don’t deny it, but in between the crap was an understanding of and determined adherence to eating food that was good for me, was healthy and filled the biological needs of my body. While I know (and knew all along) that the crap was bad for me, I was completely unaware that some of the good foods were just as bad. (more…)

Gut Reactions and Obesity

So you’re on a diet, and your resistance to temptation is firing on all thrusters. You’re out for a jog every day, doing weights every second day. You have 30kg to lose, but when you go to weigh in you find that, despite the fact that you burned 800 calories every day in sweat-filled exercise, and not swallowed a mouthful above your stated 1200 calories per day – you’ve lost almost nothing.

This is the point at which even grown, butch manly-men will cry. What did you do wrong? Why isn’t it working? Why does it work for other people but not you? (more…)

Addicted to Crap

Discarded McDonalds packaging
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The picture: the honey-coloured bun, the juicy beef and that weird-but-delicious golden cheese melting all over it, and sitting right next to it is the box of cracking-hot, fresh out of the pan and lightly salted fries. De-lic-ious!

I hate junk food. No, seriously, I do. I’ve never liked fried food, not ever. It usually makes me feel a bit sick afterwards, and now, in my … well, we’ll say adult years, I find I can suffer occasional bouts of indigestion after a particularly fatty meal. And I also notice that I end up feeling a bit down after I’ve eaten a pile of greasy mess, like when a favourite TV show has just been cancelled.  (more…)

A Doctor Who Makes Sense

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)

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One of the worst things about having a weight problem is not just society’s inability to understand or appreciate the reality of the problem – but also the medical profession’s general ignorance about how to treat it.

Doctors, for all that they’re well-meaning, can unfortunately, tend to see a series of symptoms, a pathology, rather than a human being with a problem that needs help. I’ve had doctors tell me just to do more exercise, or stop eating fat, or to “just go on a diet”.

Health professionals look at the results of the problem – your increasing girth – rather than the underlying causes. As a result, they usually miss the real triggers, the real causes, and therefore, miss treating the actual things that will make a difference. (more…)

Being Precious

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...

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There is nothing in this world so easy as failing a diet. It takes no effort at all. Sometimes, no more than a thought will push you over to the Dark Side, and calories are instantly converted to pounds of unwilling, globulous fat. (more…)

The Bottom Line

The Starry Night

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It was on one of many drives to Adelaide to visit my sister that I promised myself I would never go on another diet again. I’d been struggling with trying to lose weight for about 3 months, starting out with determination on Monday, over it by Wednesday, and by Thursday it was all lost so that between Friday lunch time and Sunday morning, food was not so much to be eaten, but to be binged on, as would a starving man.

Such is the nature of the diet/binge cycle that caught me in its grip as a teenager. Me and about 1 billion other women on this planet not living in a third world country in genuine danger of starving to death. (more…)

Epidemic vs. Understanding: Where’s the Solution?

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

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Some of the most-quoted statistics you will find anywhere in the news or on the Internet are all about the rising ‘epidemic’ of obesity now sweeping across  USA, UK, Australia, and even Thailand and Japan. The reports make dire predictions of the disastrous effects this will have on economies and the future supply of medical services. While multi-national corporations make literally billions of dollars every year selling ‘solutions’ which rarely work, governments put together ‘get fit’ programs that get nowhere. Ordinary citizens – and the mass media as a whole – stigmatise, poke, prod and otherwise bully anybody who carries more than a few extra pounds. But nowhere – and I mean absolutely nowhere – is there any evidence of an actual solution to for the millions of people who suffer with obesity. (more…)

Why All The Fuss?

As we approach the first birthday of A Big Beautiful World, I thought I’d talk about why I began this journey in the first place.

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Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 4

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...

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When we sleep, we dream. Everybody does it. You probably won’t remember what you dream most of the time, but you definitely do dream. If you didn’t, you’d die. Why? Because dreaming occurs during REM sleep, and dreaming performs essential functions to continued brain health. Like a lot of other things that happen in your brain while you slumber through the night, chemicals get to work, sorting out stuff, building more stuff, and generally doing all the heavy lifting so that you can get up the next morning and function properly as a human being. (more…)