Why are we facing an obesity epidemic?

15th May 2015: Sydney Australia

The rise of obesity within the Western world and the endless nutritional fads promoted within mainstream media are so intriguing. Surely, each factor is the byproduct of the other. For arguments sake, inclusion of movement or physical activity needs to be mentioned. Many facets of this topic arouse my curiosity, most notably, the possible confusion experienced by people resulting from the varying amount of contrasting information relating to what people should eat or how to move. In addition, it is imperative to reference the growth in market size of the broad area of health and wellbeing. A likeminded person would see the connection immediately, of course that is dependent on whether I have been able to accurately convey the intended message.

The point first stuck me whilst listening to a recent podcast, and has since been thought through. Typically, useful information is extracted from the podcast, however, on this occasion, the striking feature was the lack of knowledge the interviewees actually had. Their capacity at quoting health jargon is indisputable, and yes an overwhelming enthusiasm was evident. My quarrel related to how little content they were able to draw upon without referring to their website/blog. The seemingly lack of knowledge lead me to question the truths of the so called health industry, and importantly, I was able to recognise the similarities between the health industry and any other market. Just to note, I applaud people for seeing an opportunity to make a living from their chosen pathway, however, I believe the continual new fads in regards to nutrition and exercise are the cause of confusion for the general public. Ultimately, resulting in personal financial gain for a few people whilst also contributing to the rising rate of obesity and other health concerns for the easily influenced, and at times extremely vulnerable general public.

Obviously, I am unable to influence the market and shift patterns, however, hopefully people can learn to see the importance of seeking reputable sources of knowledge prior to deciding on what strategy they will adopt in their lives to promote their health and well-being.

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Medicinal Cannabis…..

14th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

Last year a friend introduced me to a documentary called, ‘Run from the Cure’. The story is follows a Canadian by the name of Rick Simpson who promotes the use of Cannabis oil for treating ailments, including Cancer. I currently do not have a stance about the matter, however, am increasingly seeing the area gain traction in all forms of mass media, and interestingly the NSW Sate Government of Australia has recently passed legislation in order to conduct trials.

I watched the documentary, and explored other material on the matter to become better informed about the option. The quarrel in using the oil stems from the limited research on the matter, a fear of whether side-effects would be experienced and the implications involved in using the oil. Namely, using the oil would suggest I see myself as unhealthy, and needing the oil to kill Cancer. Obviously, a belief I do not hold. Now, I can understand taking Chemotherapy is somewhat similar, and honestly when thinking about it, I am yet to come up with a strong argument for taking the Chemotherapy above the oil, particularly in my circumstances because there is no evidence to support the type of Chemotherapy I take. So unfortunately, I will need to leave it here for the moment and revisit the topic over the coming months.

Why time makes me want to morph into a bear to hibernate till everything is finished..

12th May 2015: Sydney Australia

My Professor and I discussed several points, including all the details surrounding my upcoming trip. The other matter discussed was the expected period of time on the Chemotherapy, and it seems I have become victim to my own beliefs. I have advocated from the very beginning of all this that no timeframes would be established for when my treatment would stop. Admittedly, since hearing I would be on the medication for a whole another year deflated my mood. Yes, it is only a few months more, and seems essential so will be adhering to the planning. It has just made me down, angry and somewhat frustrated. I recognise this chain of thought is unhealthy and needs to change, especially considering the current fantasies running through my mind. I would never follow through with such actions, however, in being honest, I am inclined to numb myself with prescription drugs to fall into a deep sleep like a bear to hibernate till it is all finished. I can see perspective is required, particularly in how fortunate I am in many ways, it just hard to take that on board at times.

Travel preparations when on Chemotherapy

11th May, 2014: Sydney, Australia

The two month trip to Indonesia is rapidly approaching, and a fair amount of planning is required. Previously, I would have packed my belongings, knowing some clothes, a passport, and bank card provided assurance the trip would run smoothly. How the situation differs. At present, I am working out the number of tablets needed over the course of two months, factoring in the additional levels of Cortisol required to boost my immune system. Moreover, I am liaising with my Professor surrounding whether specific intravenous training is needed for emergencies whilst trying to obtain a letter outlining a list of my all my prescribed medication. A point brought to the forefront of my thinking due to recent relations between the Australian and Indonesian governments, particularly as I will be taking in excess of 500 tablets into the country. Lastly, I am becoming accustomed with a wristband ordered from USA arrived last week. The sole purpose is to provide instructions on what my body requires if I am unable to communicate my needs in case of an emergency. Hopefully, when reflecting on the time away, the wristband is not used, and instead falls into the category of contingency planning!

The arrival of the wrist band reminded me of the moments when first needing to wear glasses. At the time, my thoughts would be best summarised by a projected perception of my description by others as, ‘that guy with glasses’. In this instance, the curious and wondering eye of others would notice I am now officially stamped with a medical condition. Luckily, I consider myself mature enough to overlook the perceived label associated with the wristband, a circumstance not comparable to my teen years when braces were virtually forced upon my teeth. In all honesty, it actually does act as a continual reinforcement to my predicament, however, I seem to be progressing well with my capacity of managing the array of factors associated with Cancer, and simply see the wristband as an insignificant adjustment to my appearance. Furthermore, the prospect of spending time in the sun, surfing quality waves in warm water with a range of good friends, then arriving to have approximately six more months before coming off my medication is extremely pleasing, and if a little comfort is provided to those close back home should I wear a wristband then so be it 😄

Belief: The essential point to survival

7th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

The approaching time away in Indonesia will see a change of climate, with daily temperatures approximately 30 degrees. A point, definitely eliciting a feeling of happiness when considering I will miss most most of the winter here in Sydney. Interestingly, it seems my infatuation with the need for more sunshine stemmed from the fairly lengthy spell in the UK, and it it possibly intensified by reading about the benefits of receiving a regular dose of natural Vitamin D. In addition, the fact of me currently not working results in having more time to pay attention to the environment around me. Therefore, noticeable difference in aspects of the environment, including the amount of sunshine are observed.

Another factor associated with not currently working relates to the current pace of time, and although I am happy, content and attempting to cherish the present. I would lying if I didn’t feel excitement about the prospect of heading to Indonesia, coming off my medication or commence working again. Always whilst on the topic of timeframes, a specific reference comes to mind. It was made by a holocaust survivor whom stated that his life today resulted from a belief of being ok, however, never allowing hope in regards to certain timeframes of a release to be the focus of his thoughts. The person in discussion saw others firmly focused on being released at certain times, and consequently became further deflated and even lead to death upon discovering their time in Auschwitz would not come to their desired end date. Interestingly, the words will remain with me forever, yet, I am unable to implement the advice into my own life.

Mathew McConaughey and the evolving self..

6th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have recently come to the position of opposing the belief a certain lifestyle choice can be implemented for the entirety of my life. Upon reflecting on the concept, it appears I have reached the position whereby I feel simply aiming to sustain your life, results in missing on many future opportunities. Ultimately, a point of stagnation. It is agreed that a lifestyle can be sustainable, and I know many populations who sustain their lives over many years, however, on a personal level, I feel a long journey awaits, and can not see myself equipped with all the knowledge and information to support me throughout my life.Therefore, I propose the goal is instead changed to focus on evolving over a lifetime.

An acceptance speech made by Mathew McConaughey involves him making reference to the person he looks up to is himself in ten years time (see link at the bottom of the page). The purpose of the message is to show that he could never match the future version of him, yet, will always inspire to do better. I find this extremely powerful in reinforcing a message about my lifestyle needing to evolve rather than sustain. Of course, elements of my life can be sustained, yet, I was very naive to think decisions made just after the removal of a life threatening Cancer would be the very avenue adopted for the rest of my life. Yes, they well may be the foundations to base future decisions upon and a critical stage of development within my life, however, the uncertainty of what will surface in my future life seems to be lacking. To conclude, similar to the vision of Matthew McConaughey, I wish to never match the future version of myself, and the only way of achieving this is to continually evolve throughout time whilst overcoming any adversity faced.

Click the link to the see the speech in full: http://youtu.be/wD2cVhC-63I

Plan to succeed

4th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have come to realise a saying taught many years ago within a professional context is easily transferable to other areas, including your personal development. The intentions of applying the rule ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ was to highlight the responsibility l had in ensuring thorough groundwork was completed prior to meeting with a family or individual to complete a therapeutic session. As noted, I see benefits of applying the rule into our lives, and my writing, if used effectively can provide the platform to hopefully build success, opposed to failure.

Yesterday was a clear example of my writing acting as the very means to plan ahead in preparation to approach a situation to the best of my capacity. It was actually ironic in some ways to consider I had put together an entry about the very topic on the day before the question was asked. It was not something major, simply a conversation within a social environment relating to my lifestyle choices. On reflection, if I had not taken the time to sit down and write about my thoughts, then the execution of my answer would not have accurately captured my feelings towards the situation. In summary, my writing can be useful when I am able to avoid becoming stuck in a hole of despair, and at such times, many similarities exist with the preparation undertaken for a job interview whereby you have had the time and space to gain clarity in your thoughts before needing to share with others. To conclude, I must acknowledge my fluctuating feelings on the matter, however, overall, a journal would be encouraged for all people experiencing Cancer to ensure any difficult circumstances or encounters can be hopefully prepared for in advance.