Goal setting

16th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

Firstly, I should note, I am writing this post without a specific population in mind, however, feel the content may resonate to those in process of achieving a particular goal. Also, prior to continuing, I must acknowledge that many similar messages are widely available on the Internet. So, obviously I am by no means claiming to be writing anything revolutionary. In contrast, the message is extremely basic, and in the most simple format, it can be introduced by sharing a comment recently directed towards me. The comment has repetitively been heard over the past 20 months, and it is typically structured in such a way that suggests I should be resting more and not over-exerting my body. Therefore, in an attempt to understand the reasoning behind the comments, I pose a number of points. Do people think comments such as the one mentioned or other similar messages directed towards you stem from:
a. Concern for your welfare?
b. Fear for the success you can achieve?
c. Jealousy of the drive and commitment had to achieving in your goal?
d. Other (please comment).

Food labels

14th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

You know the feeling when returning from the shops only to discover a vital ingredient had been forgotten. The next thought seems to appear like you have bumped your head as the mental processing begins, consisting of a sequence whereby you need to reluctantly drag yourself back to the shops to collect that one item. Are you getting the picture? Well, the situation described was a review of what happened to me, however, I was fortunate enough to get my dad to collect some canned tomatoes for me. The conversation with my dad to arrange collection turned out to be rather interesting, due completely to the specific request of purchasing tomatoes with no preservatives or additives. It brought to attention the focus I have on reading food labels, and later a curiosity emerged about how many others read the actual content of their foods.

It would be interesting to try get a bit of a gauge in how many people read food labels before buying most purchases? Any comments?

Any questions or topics for me to write about it?

24th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

Is it just me or do others find it easier to write when not feeling great? Honestly, I feel a need to share my despair and pain with world, yet, when feeling happy or simply content in my life, the motivation to write about my experiences appear to not rate highly on my list of priorities. Is this just the way we are wired or is it me?

I can easily draw on events or activities occurring frequently in my life to share, however, a disparity seems to exist in my motivation to write between the varying times. For the longevity of my blog, possibly I need to expand from simply providing accounts saturated in negativity to many other facets in life.

Those of you I have shared comments would know one of the most beneficial points of the blogging is to to connect with others. Therefore, I ask whether anyone at anytime has a topic they wish me to write about? I should provide a disclaimer, highlighting my incapacity of quality assuring the writing in advance, however, it may be another beneficial way to connect with others and share ideas. To conclude, fire away people 😄

Is love the missing piece of a complex puzzle?

22nd August 2015: Sydney, Australia

The quote below leads me to wonder whether a truly happy and healthy life can be obtained whilst single. What do others think?

“Dating is fun and a necessary time of play and exploration. But once we have found the one love and said ‘yes’ to this love, we enter a common reality, the naked truth of who we are in ordinary life, with the potential of deep personal growth in this connection”.

Are patients empowered during their hospital stay?

14th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

I honestly believe the compounding events have resulted in a sense of me feeling like I have lost my voice. For instance, is it ok to not have a warm water when showering? Is it ok to simply submit to the nurses when trying to administer drugs you do not wish to take? Is it ok discard the lecture provided yesterday about having Liver Cancer as just a mistake?

Maybe some leeway is needed on the latter point, however, I strongly feel my input seems to have been removed from most, if not all decisions recently made regarding my health. Furthermore, when putting the circumstances into context, it seems the level of care does not reflect the situation for someone living in Australia with premium private health care. The conundrum then becomes one pondering the type of circumstances for many of those in a less fortunate position. I acknowledge how fortunate I am to have private health care, however, if I feel a loss in my input, then I am curious about the capacity for people to voice their opinion when severely impaired, lacking in support, discriminated against or simply overwhelmed by their circumstances?

To conclude, I hold grave doubts about the intentions behind certain policies when the focus is meant to foster empowerment in people, however, conversely the reality seems to ultimately result in people losing control over their own health. I would greatly appreciate words and other experiences to collate information as a means of gauging the current systems governing us?

Why are we so fat?

24th May 2015: Sydney

There is little wonder why Obesity levels are causing such massive concerns for many nations. The perfect example was played out in front of me as I looked on in amazement. I was at a leaving function, and the amount of unhealthy foods and drinks was astonishing. My mind was left wondering what solution exists to fix the problem as it seems so entrenched to associate a celebration with such foods and soft drinks. The only point coming to mind is ironically a matter I have been thinking about recently.

The topic is the excessive amount of food displayed on social media sites, and to be honest, I was opposed to all the healthy version of cakes or other desserts constantly on display. My reasoning stemmed from a thought of the foods not changing the behaviour of people on a wider scale. Rather, the display of cakes and sweets would lead the typical person to simply eating the same way. I must say, bearing witness to the events today definitely changed my opinion, and it seems the awareness of healthier options of these foods and availability of fruit, a now somewhat demonised item of food needs to be thoroughly distributed to the greater masses so alternative options are available for people to try and hopefully choose to eat in the future. Failure for this to happen surely signals an increase in even a fatter and unhealthier population of people.

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.

Temptations…

2nd May 2014: Sydney, Australia

Temptation to past lifestyle choices is becoming an area requiring attention as time since my surgery passes whilst the side effects associated with my chemotherapy are seemingly decreasing. The actions last night are a perfect foundation to base the discussion on, and could be viewed as a shift away from the intentions established in my entries last year. Initially, I was in the same position, fluctuating between feelings of guilt, fear and regret, however, without justifying my actions, could the negative feelings be solely dependent on seeing myself as unwell or in a position of recovery? If so, it should be noted that I object to seeing myself as unwell or in a state of recovery. I completely accept the need to further develop myself emotionally and physically, however, the mental aspect of a Cancer diagnosis is often deemed one of the primary obstacles associated with overcoming the entire experience. It is for this very reason for reframing the context, and instead, viewing myself bound within a stage of preparation.

Undoubtedly, temptations are going to exist throughout my entire life, and not just in regards to lifestyle choices. Therefore, should I feel a level of guilt for socialising with friends on one occasion over some drinks or do I learn from the situation, finding a place for it in my life? Yes, I need to be mindful of what I put in my body, and how much sleep I have each night, however, attention equally needs to centre on connecting with close friends, and importantly the effects of finally feeling a degree of normality. I am not advocating a permanent change from the areas I deem essential to getting me to this level of health. Rather, placing the events from last night into perspective whilst recognising the benefits of social connection and unrestricted happiness.

To conclude, I believe an example can demonstrate the point above. Take for instance how pivotal the stage of preparation and training is for success, particularly in a sporting context. Now, say a professional sports team successfully applies a play or tactic in a real contest. It would be fairly accurate to hypothesis that more often than not, the play had first been developed in a less intense environment, i.e, a training session. Therefore, I propose similarities exist with our lives, with the underlying message relating to how we can be equipped to face future scenarios in my hopefully long and fruitful life. Of course, I will not make the right decision on every occasion, however, should I learn from the experience, it can still prove beneficial in the longterm. Regardless of whether people agree with what has been stated, reframing the events last night eroded any stress associated with my decision, and consequently, I am left in a positive mindset. I must note, I can definitely see I am trying to justify my actions, and possibly I am, so it would be interesting to hear feedback 😄

The war on Cancer

21st April 2015: Sydney

On 23rd December 1971, President of United State of America, Richard Nixon signed a declaration of war against Cancer. Now the question I ponder is whether the intelligence leading into the mission, if we can call it such, was at all informed. My reasoning is clearly demonstrated in recent statistics showing there has been no decrease in the percentage of people impacted by Cancer on an annual basis. In fact, current data suggests the complete opposite, with expectations of an increase to follow over the coming decade.

I am not the only person querying the outcomes of the war. A podcast titled, Life By Design, questioned whether the huge amounts of finances and brain power invested to the area has been directed in the most effective manner. A very valid point, when looking at the spike in numbers, and then considering the increase of toxins and chemicals in the environment; the growing population of people with obesity and other health concerns; a more sedentary approach adopted by many in the world, and the changes within the foods consumed over the past five generations. Consequently, I write this entry deflated, thinking we are left in the predicament resulting from limited research being placed on alternate forms of treatment compared to the attention placed on pharmaceutical interventions. I completely recognise the hypocrisy in the above statement, particularly bearing in mind my current dependency on chemotherapy, however, a definite motivation exists in relation to the need for large studies be conducted to test the accuracy in the claims many people make about Cancer treatment. Prior to finishing, acknowledgement and attention on the progression made for some types of Cancer is essential, and it is the very reason for strongly believing people should adopt an integrative approach into their entire experience.

Strange takes on Cancer part one…

16th March 2015: Sydney Australia

Is there any validity in a discussion whereby dental concerns are seem to stem from Cancer? For those already switched off by the opening comments, please read on for an explanation.

I regularly speak of the secondary concerns associated Cancer, and I am now hypothesising whether dental concerns can fall into such a category. For those familiar with my writing would know I frequently experience side-effects in the form of nausea and fatigue. The two points forming the foundations for my argument. Consideration of a temporary/permanent reduced presence in society resulting from the array of factors associated with any stage of Cancer also should be at the forefront of your thinking when processing the proposed hypothesis. The reason for including the social connection of a person implies a motivation to ensure a level of hygiene is maintained when meeting people either at work, college, university or simply for a social occasion. Honestly, who really wants to have bad breath?

If we were to break down the primary reasoning for dental concerns, generally a reference is made to the individuals incapacity to brush, floss or both, and it is now at the point for audience to recall the lack of energy and ill feelings experienced when last suffering the flu. Maybe this is just me, however, the thought of getting out of bed or changing from pyjamas into other clothes can be a massive chore in itself. Now, imagine these feelings constantly feature in your life whilst also not having any external motivation to maintain a degree of hygiene due to your limited interactions with others. In addition, the routine once present to ensure you arrive freshly at work or university no longer exists.

In response, I acknowledge the solution of simply brushing your teeth or establishing new routines can be made, however, the very points mentioned are being overlooked, particularly in regards to the debilitating impact the nausea, fatigue has on your body and mind. Therefore, I repeat the question to all, posing whether dental concerns can be deemed a secondary cause of Cancer or has the entry just shown to all my poor levels of hygiene at certain times 😄