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Obesity

My Body Beware – 2

I don’t like my belly. I haven’t liked it since it got so big. I particularly dislike that when I sit back in a chair, the only position for my hands is to clasp them across the great girth of my tummy, reminding me of just how big it is. I don’t like how it feels when I move, or how I can always see it when I look down, and have to bend further before I can glimpse the gorgeous red polish of my latest pedicure. So no, I don’t like my stomach that much. And as it turns out, my stomach doesn’t like me all that much, either. (more…)

My Body Beware

I’m in a state of shock. Some huge changes are happening in my life and it’s hard getting my head around them. While some of it’s pretty scary, it’s also a bit exciting.
Bacteria solution

I feel a bit like I’m standing on the ground during an earthquake as it shifts and rolls beneath me. These changes are all related to food, my body and above all, my health. There’s so much going on in my head at the moment, I’m struggling to get to sleep – and it’s really hard to know where to begin or how to explain it all. I do know it can’t be contained within one post, so this will be an introduction of sorts.

If you’ve read any of this blog you’ll know that I am a great believer in addressing all the causes of obesity, not just those related to a reduced-calorie diet. My experience – and the weight of decades of science – has proven that reducing caloric intake is just a small part of the equation, and I’ve written extensively on many of those other aspects. But my explorations and research were largely academic. Some of the issues I wrote about applied to me, others didn’t. Until last week, that is.  (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…)

To Boldly Go

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

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So, hard on the heels of my last post, I thought I’d set down a few details of exactly what I’m going to do to lose weight. Now don’t get all excited and start taking notes 🙂 – these are just the first few small steps. This plan will change and evolve as I go along, as I learn what works and what doesn’t. At the moment, that’s a key element – I want to avoid that whole ‘ repeating actions that don’t get me the results I want’ thing, by making changes as I go.

The basic plan for the first week is pretty simple. I am going to use the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. I know I’ve spent plenty of words trashing all things diet, but there are a few that aren’t all evil. This is one of them. It’s a high-ish protein, controlled carbohydrate diet that has been scientifically proven to help people lose weight when they carry most of their weight around the middle. Which is me. (more…)

What do you do when…

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in ...

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What do you do when you want to lose weight but have absolutely no confidence that you can? Or that any effort, no matter how bold or determined will inevitably end up failing?

No, seriously, I’m asking the question because I hope somebody has a better answer than the two I’ve come up with – either give up, or try again.

The problem with trying again is that after a few attempts, you know it’s going to fail, even before you start. And the problem with that is that if you go in assuming you’ll fail, you will! It’s called a self-fullfilling prophecy. Either way, I end up not losing weight and facing the prospect of question number one all over again. (more…)

Fat Hate Goes Global

Research. Olin Warner (completed by Herbert Ad...

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Years ago I was watching a documentary about a tribe in Africa when I saw something which stood out in my young imagination: here were people who thought that larger women were especially beautiful because they embodied fertility, success and wealth for their husbands and the tribe in general. For these people, being thin only reminded them of their occasional periods of hunger. Overweight people were valued and cherished. Alas, it seems even these examples of different cultures and their different ways of looking at larger sized people have been mown down by Western ‘ideals’, according to a new study. (more…)

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…)

Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 3

Sleeping cat

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Mechanics of Sleep

I went through most of my life with just one rule when it came to sleep – as long as I got at least 4 hours, I’d be okay. For long periods of time, I actually averaged 4 hours (I kept track, believe it or not – yeah, a bit of a geek, I know). One particularly drawn-out, stressful time in my life provided me with just 3 hours of sleep per night, 5 nights out of 7. This was also a period during which I put on a substantial amount of weight. (more…)

Sweet Dreams: How Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat & Depressed – Part 2

Overview of biological circadian clock in huma...

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When I was younger, I resented sleep. Not because I had trouble sleep – not at all – but because I had so much I wanted to do in a day and sleeping just felt like a waste of hours I could be doing something so much more interesting. As a result, I did everything I could get away with to reduce the hours ‘wasted’ in idle slumber. I stayed up late, often all night. I’d also get up early and when you’re young, it’s so easy to spring out of bed, firing on all thrusters, paying little or no attention to the sleep debt you’re busily incurring. (more…)