An example of Ageing With Vitality Monty Shulberg.
The Years pass by
How quickly we dare not say
They come and go
A journey that seems so long
But stay strong
‘Cos the moon not visible in the day
Spreading its beauty just at night
Charming and bright
Painting and poem by Monty Shulberg.
In the last three months, I have met a remarkable man; Monty Shulberg.
He is an artist, and wonderful conversationalist, and also a poet it seems. And he is ageing with vitality. He is 91 years of age.
He is frail in body and also is in the early stages of dementia. But he is out and about, and is a remarkable man, and not ruled by disabilities. He uses a frame to walk and seems to know a lot of people.
I feel so privileged to have met Monty, and we meet regularly, sometimes with Tom, my husband, either in Tavistock where he lives or in Plymouth, to chat about the meaning of life. We have so much in common on that ground,
His history is of teaching deaf children to listen with vibration. He was trained as an audiologist and travelled all over the world, helping parents and children when it seemed that others had given up on them.
Hence the painting at the bottom which he titled “The Sorcerers Apprentice” Which spoke to me from a shelf in a coffee shop in Tavistock. I like to think that it was Monty speaking to me because I contacted him for details of the price and we met up and bonded straight away.
For more on Monty, and to see more of his paintings, here is his twitter account.
On my birthday this year, I can truly say that “The Truth Has Set Me Free.”
Life in my older years is proving to be the very best ones of my time on Planet Earth. I am healthy; I am living in Abundance, I am loved, and I am full of the joy and peace that passes all understanding.
Like everyone else, I do have adversity and challenges along the way, and at times I doubt and fear. But I know for certain that everything is here to help me. And underneath it all, I know that the Universe has my back.
I have my new book coming out very soon now. Publishing a book is a long drawn out process, but I promise that it will be here in the next couple of months.
“The Truth Has Set Me Free” (the illustration above has one word change, because its a draft copy of the cover) is a story of how I was brought up in a Christian Fundamentalist faith. It describes my upbringing in the fifties, my engagement and first marriage at the tender age of sixteen and nineteen respectively.
There was fun as a child, and that fun is described in the book, including the games we played and the physical freedom of children in the nineteen fifties.
But as I got into my early teens, life became lonely and experienced an isolation which lasted for many years.
I describe how the fundamental upbringing had affected two previous generations. Which resulted in heartache, narcissism and for myself late adolescence at the age of forty, having not had one as a teenager.
The truth for me has come about since I saw the light at the age of forty, which like many other women, was followed by Divorce. But I was also conned out of thousands of pounds because of my naivety, became bankrupt and lost everything I had ever accumulated, including a large business, houses, my dogs and furniture.
But the fact that everything is sent to help us is so true. I met a wonderful man, who became my second husband, and he set me on the road to learning. In the last twenty-six years since I met him, I have developed a thirst for knowledge. Part of my upbringing was that knowledge was not important. The main aim in life was to be saved and get to Heaven which carried on into my first marriage and becoming totally immersed in those beliefs. That meant that many books that threatened to reveal anything other than the teaching in those churches were banned.
Then in 2011 at the age of 67, I studied at University to become a Life coach. The learning there opened up a whole new way of seeing life.
All along, the Truth was setting me free from the bondage of the past, and the chains that had bound me to the belief that I was not good enough.
Now, I have reached a point in my life that is another transition. From the rush and pressure of being the best, and having to work at it, I can now trust wholly in the Divine.
Just before I left any established church, I had what I realise now was a light bulb moment, when I told other Christians, that the teachings of the church limited God. I realised that God was the Universe and everything around us. But fundamentalist belief attempted to trap God into a set of beliefs, a building, a set of people who thought they knew better than anyone else. Most of all that only Christians and “Saved” ones at that; could inherit the Kingdom. They taught and still do, that there is an Apocalypse coming and only Christians would be saved from that because they would be taken up into the air to meet the Saviour. Known as the Second Coming.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, I should give it a miss!
What I know to be the Truth, is what I had said then, without all the knowledge that I have accumulated since then. There has had to be a lot of forgiveness on my part, both for others, and myself.
The book has taken me over two years to write, and in the last year, the end of the book took on a life of its own, describing my Mothers death and how my brother and myself at long last understood why she had such an unhappy life.
Simply because she had never allowed herself to be loved, both by God and her beloved husband, my Dad. And in turn us and anyone else who wanted to show any compassion for her in her last days. She never understood that; We are all one; we are all part of God; we are all equal; we can all become conscious of those facts, and we are all loved. That love is a vital force; stronger than faith or hope.
We are all created to be the person we are, without having to be saved again by the same being who created us.
God is bigger than having to send someone to die, to correct the mistake he made when he created humans.
I have not accumulated a fortune; I do not live in a mansion, I don’t even own a car. But I feel as if I have riches beyond measure.
I feel quite amused now when I hear people who already have more than enough money say; When I win the lottery I will ………………………………….
I feel as if I have won more than the lottery. Because I know the Truth and it has set me free.
By the way, you may be wondering why the new word “Wizzdom” is included in the title of this blog. It is my new brand name, to cover all the hats I wear in supporting people. My specialities are; Weight and Food Management, Ageing with Vitality, Facilitating end of life planning and I am a Funeral Celebrant. I think that word “Wizzdom”, suggested by a friend, just about covers the wisdom I have gained over a lifetime of experiences and adventures in living.
Before you embark on any programme for losing weight, it is worth while asking yourself why?
Once you decide that you are in no doubt that you want or need to lose, and you are not just jumping on the proverbial bandwagon of not accepting and loving yourself, the next step is to make an intent. But we shall talk about that in another article.
There are many reasons why people want to lose weight. Among them are the following:
A special occasion
Your own wedding
Modelling or dancing
You are obese or really overweight
You just want to have a flat belly
Post baby fat.
Post illness or surgery
Read on and consider which ones you think apply to you.
Do you look at yourself in the mirror and wish you were seven pounds or so lighter?
Are you being realistic about this?
Have you ever been 7lbs lighter than you are today?
If so, how long ago was it?
Do you have two sets of clothes, one each of the bearing of the 7lbs, or its absence when you have starved it off?
Will being 7lbs lighter help with all other problems in your life? If so, which ones are they?
Would you really be healthier? Would the 7lbs less help with such things as arthritis, for instance?
How would you plan to lose the 7lbs?
What are your plans for your future eating habits, when you have lost it?
In this day of television, magazines and social networks, it is becoming more common for girls even at the age of ten to be looking at themselves and asking their friends if they are fat. Recently I was with a thirteen-year old in a restaurant, asking her mother how many calories were in a particular food on the menu. She has taken on board the message that to have a rounded womanly body is unacceptable.
Young girls talk endlessly about what they look like in a particular outfit, fretting more about whether it makes them look fatter than the colour or style. A lot of damage is done through peer pressure, and a lot of misinformation is handed out too!
People suffering from eating disorders, such as Anorexia or Bulimia often begin their problems by worrying about calories. But losing weight by counting calories is a myth and this subject will be covered in more detail later in the book.
Consider how much you allow other people to influence what size you think you should be.
Nearly every day newspapers or magazines feature a celebrity who has either put on or lost weight. Too much on or too much off. Do you think it is fair that these celebrities have to live their lives forever having to worry about being caught on camera and personal details about their bodies discussed by all? Sometimes it can just be the camera angle. Or a certain look on their faces and the camera has caught something that the journalist interprets the wrong way. But it sells papers, and that is the excuse they give time and time again!
What is so tragic about this is that people are taken in, especially young girls and increasingly young men too. In June 2012, there was a story about a fourteen-year old girl who had committed suicide. She had developed Bulimia and even though she was beautiful, she had been worried about her weight. She had ended up loathing herself! After this event, one or two magazines started to change their ways, but still the tendency is to spot the skinny celebrity and how she did it.
Consider what you think about how the media treats celebrities.
Which magazines could be having a negative influence on you and how you perceive your body?
A SPECIAL OCCASION
Do you have a holiday coming up?
Are you going to a friend or a relative’s wedding?
Are you going to be the mother of the bride?
So you want to lose weight for that. Do you really think so? Because if you are only losing the weight for the holiday bikini then you will most likely soon put it back on again. If you buy an outfit for the wedding, lose the weight, look and feel your best after a lot of starvation and then put it all on again, would you consider that to be a waste of time and money? The outfit worn only once ends up at the back of the wardrobe!
Consider how many times you have done this, or know someone who has.
YOUR OWN WEDDING
You really want to lose weight so that you will look your best on the big day, which is understandable, and many people do it. But my observation is this; time and time again, the bride or groom or even both go on a diet. They may even join a slimming club to do it.
They get down to the desired weight, and they walk down the aisle looking their very best. Then when the reception starts, it is time to let their hair down, and all thoughts of the diet are put into the past, and forgotten. It doesn’t matter anymore; they achieved their goal for the day so now it’s time to eat, drink and be merry. The diet is over and within a matter of days the weight starts to go back on and within weeks they are right back to where they started before the diet!
Why do people do this? After all, the couple loved one another enough to decide to get married before the diet! They then decided that they really needed to change. They needed to look better than they already did. So in order to commit to each other they needed to look different?
That one day as a slim person was good. They looked good. They were slim. But suddenly once they were married it didn’t matter. By losing that weight, they lowered their metabolism. Their bodies went into famine mode and started to preserve every little bit of fat, and from the wedding onwards it is downhill all the way! They have got themselves into a lifetime of struggling with their weight for the sake of one day!
What are your thoughts about this?
Have you or someone you know ever lost weight for their wedding?
How successful were they and did they keep the weight off afterwards?
What excuses did they have if they put it back on?
Do you consider that it was worth it?
Are you thinking of losing weight for your own wedding? If so, maybe you could consider what I have just said and decide that this won’t be just another diet, but will be a change of
MODELLING OR DANCING.
Many people in these professions are living on starvation diets. They strive to be an unrealistic weight, which can lead them to becoming emaciated. Models have become so thin that they seem to look all skin and bones. Eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia are very common within these professions.
Have you or someone you know been in danger of doing this?
In these cases, many people need professional help.
What are your thoughts about this?
YOU ARE OBESE OR REALLY OVERWEIGHT
Now we come to the people who really need to lose weight. They are obese or overweight more than the odd stone. They may have already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Perhaps they may have had a heart attack or some other heart problem.
Or they might have got to the point where getting about is very difficult. Seats on public transport are getting too small, or they cannot walk very well. Their joints are playing up and painful.
These people have a vast choice in how they are going to do it. There are so many diets around that they just do not know where to start. Each diet is giving them different information.
The magazines feature people who have lost the weight, and they look terrific! I featured in one myself and had a wonderful day having a makeover and being pampered for the photo shoot, and it made me feel fantastic!
Bookshops and the internet abound with different diets. Headlines in the paper scream at you. Special editions include a new diet. But most of them are just a different version of a low calorie regime.
Whichever diet you choose, if you survive beyond the first few days and stick to it strictly, and it is your first diet, you will lose weight. You may lose 10% of the weight you want; you may lose it all. If you do get close to your goal, you may find losing the last few pounds just as big a struggle as the whole diet put together.
If you are with a slimming club, you may, as I have a few times, have the members cheering and clapping when you can shout “I’ve done it!” It’s a great feeling! Then the leader hands you your badge and explains the maintenance programme, and so begins the struggle to keep the weight off!
However, it is well known that 98% of people who lose weight this way put it back on again and many people put on even more than they have lost. I don’t want to play devil’s advocate here for those who are perhaps already struggling with losing weight on a diet, but you may want to think about what you are going to do when you reach your goal.
I am not saying at this point that you should abandon what you are doing. Just consider what you are doing is for life, and use the thoughts in this book to help you to map it out.
Find a way of eating that will be for life and not just to lose weight.
Remember the statistics say that 98% of people who lose weight, put it back on again and more besides.
This is because they are not adopting a new lifestyle and way of eating and the way that they think!This is worth repeating.
Think about your plans to keep the weight off, once you have lost it.
Read and research to find out what you will think would suit you if you could choose how to do this.
This book will give you a framework to make a start on designing a diet for life.
POST BABY FAT
Women are designed to have babies! Even if they do not want a baby by choice or cannot have them for some reason, women’s bodies have all the biological necessities for reproduction. Even before you conceive, your body prepares itself every month, just in case.
Women’s hips are wider than men’s. Her thighs are thicker. (That is why you will find that if you try to wear men’s jeans the waist is disproportionate to the hips and thighs.)
Her fat storage system is different; that is why men lose weight more easily than women.
When she has given birth, she is expected in nature to breastfeed the baby. So she preserves her fat and needs nourishing foods to do that.
The womb takes six weeks to revert to its nearly normal size. She has flabby skin around the abdominal area, which if she is lucky or works out at the gym will gradually retract back and leave her with a reasonably flat stomach. But most women find it very difficult and may not ever get that flat stomach back. So what do women do?
A lot of them put up with it, because they are too busy or tired to do anything about it, which is natural.
Or they go on a restrictive slimming diet!
Consequently, they are not getting the proper nourishment that their body needs at this time. Often they just give up and stuff themselves with takeaways or whatever they can get their hands on!
Women can end up feeling that somehow there is something wrong with them, when they see celebrities getting their figures back within a very short time. They fret and worry and talk endlessly about getting to the gym to get back in shape. Why?
I wonder if it is because they are trying to live up to a higher standard than nature intends. If she eats properly with good, nourishing, real food, she will find that she is nourishing the baby properly, and herself and her family. She won’t have to join a gym for weight loss, although she may want to tone up! She certainly will not do all this on crisps and takeaways!
But she will stand a better chance of gradually toning up and being healthy if she does not go onto a restrictive calorie counted diet.
If you have recently had a baby and are struggling with this, what ideas have you had to lose weight?
Do you have a plan for healthy eating?
AFTER ILLNESS OR SURGERY
Due to lack of mobility, boredom or just people bringing them too many chocolates, people often lose weight at first during an illness or after surgery and then proceed to put it back on and more besides.
Women who have had a hysterectomy often put weight on due to hormones being disrupted and causing depression, but more often than not it is because of eating comfort foods and because of boredom. However, if it is just the hormones then the amount of weight increase should be no more than about 5 lbs.
This can apply to any weight gain when hormones are involved, including taking the contraceptive pill. Many people who are grossly overweight will blame the fact that they are on the pill. But the difference is really only a few pounds.
I’m afraid that the rest is because of what they eat, which is more than likely processed, refined carbohydrate.
Take an honest look at the reasons why you think you may have put on weight if you have suffered from an illness or disability.
I JUST WANT TO HAVE A FLAT BELLY.
Nature designed women to be rounded. Only fifty years ago, Marilyn Monroe was hailed as a star. She would be referred to as a celebrity in modern times, but Marilyn was outstanding. The reason for this was her figure, of full breasts, narrow waist, wide hips, and a rounded belly.
What was referred to as an hour glass figure.
She was the equivalent of a size fourteen these days.
Not that we have to put up with a bulging belly, but we were not designed to have the flat belly that we seem to think we should have!
Now, fifty years later women have become famous for being the opposite. They want to look boyish, and they want to “choose” how to look. Fighting against what nature designed them to be. If they have big breasts, they want small ones, or if they have small breasts, they want big ones. They certainly do not want a rounded belly!
The Oxford Companion to the Body, which can be found on the internet, talks about the extremes that people go to, to change their body shape. Extreme dieting leads on to Eating disorders.
Plastic surgery is used to the ultimate degree, not only changing noses or face lifts, but tummy tucks, thigh tucks and so on. Millions of pounds and dollars are spent on trying to look good.
There is more and more discontent with the way we look. Some older celebrities look hideous as they attempt to hold back time.
Although much of this reading is directed towards women, men reading this can read between the lines and see where it can apply to them too. Men of course need to look at their belly, as that is where they generally store their fat. .
Many of us have lost the ability to accept our bodies and images for what they are. Society is obsessed with being thin. Lives are dominated by diets, what to eat and what not to eat.
Yet we are still in the midst of an Obesity Epidemic!
We have wandered far away from being natural humans. Our stores are full of junk food. Our bodies are unacceptable. We need to get back nearer to what nature provided for us. With both our body image and with what we eat!
We need to celebrate our bodies, not keep fighting them!
Which parts of your body would you change if you could?
Consider carefully whether you are being completely realistic?
Stand in front of the mirror and look at them one at a time and consider whether any of them could be changed in a natural way.
I have also decided to add in another factor for older women.
As our body grows older, there is no doubt that it will do everything it can to preserve itself.
The Primal need in our bodies will save and store as much fat as it can and as we get older and the body begins to break down, that will happen all the more.
Therefore, if you are over the age of about sixty, you may need to settle for a slightly higher weight than your mind is telling you to be.
So from that we can conclude that we have been led up the wrong path with NHS guidelines saying that we must be below 25 to be healthy.
The same can be said of our cholesterol levels. We do not need to constantly concerned about keep them low. But that is another matter, although it does give us some indication about how we have all been like sheep and led astray as far as our health is concerned.
So, while considering whether you really need to be constantly worried about losing fat, add this latest thought to your list.
In the light of more news coming out about the Cholesterol and Statin conundrum, let me tell you a story.
Seven years ago, I found out that I have what the NHS considers to be high Cholesterol. 11.5 I was put on statins, and very quickly began to have such bad side effects that I had to leave them off.
Then, the GP sent me to the Lipid Clinic. I felt humiliated and angry to start with when a young student interviewed me to find out my background. She said that I was over the safe limit on the BMI table, (27) and that I had better do something about it. She was supposed to be asking me about my lifestyle, but never asked whether I had been “Doing Something About It!”
I had been doing something about it all of my life, and was feeling great that I was still only 27 on the BMI table! So you can imagine my anger. But that is another story.
However, the Lipid Consultant gave me some other drugs than statins, which I took. When I went back four weeks later, my Cholesterol had gone down. So she then gave me an added drug. To this day I cannot understand why she did that if the other one was working anyway. In my ignorance, I began to take them.
By now I was beginning to do a lot of research of my own. And discovered that this drug had NOT BEEN ENTIRELY PROVED TO BE SAFE!
The rest of the story, in brief, was that I wrote to the consultant, discussed it with my GP, (who was very open-minded) and left all the drugs off.
I had read two books which I highly recommend to you, and which the consultant said that she would be putting in an official complaint about the authors because they were damaging peoples health! She was bringing my case up at the conference she was attending on Heart research, and she was writing to my GP with a disclaimer notice.
My GP laughed when I went to her next, and put my head around the door before my body, and asked if it was safe to come in, seeing as she had had this letter from said Consultant. But she said that she had already written back to the consultant saying that her patient (me) had obviously done a lot of research and that she was entitled to make up her own mind.
Since then, my readings have gone down to 7.5 which is about right for someone my age. Without any drugs, but eating a balanced diet and NOT LOW FAT.
So, before you carry on believing all that is said about having to keep your Cholesterol Levels down, far too low for many of us, read these books. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I know enough to realise that I am a lot better off letting my body do as it thinks best.
The books that I read were The Great Cholesterol Con, by Dr Malcom Kendrick, whom I have now met and he gave me a signed copy in honour of the way that I stood up to these medical bullies. His book is informative, easy reading and funny in a tongue in cheek fashion.
Many of you will know that I see myself as an expert on food issues and addictions to certain food.
I have written books about it and numerous blogs and even designed a workbook to help people. A lot of my work has been entitled around “What does food mean to you?”
I am an expert because I have been obsessed with food and weight issues for nearly fifty years. And that means that an awful lot of calories, pounds and food has passed my lips.
My bulimia has been anything from living on virtually nothing to eating an entire loaf of bread spread with butter and jam in an afternoon.
Seven years ago, I came across a diet that made sense to me. This way of eating helped me to break away from sugar and carbohydrate addiction, by controlling my intake of those foods.
But, it was all coming from the outside; in. Even though this diet made sense, and there was loads of support, conferences and a forum. As well as the books, recipes and menus, seven years later I have still fallen back occasionally to the old ways. I have still fallen back into the habit of being obsessed with my body weight.
In the last seven years too, I have been working on my personal and spiritual self. It has been quite a trip.
In fact, when I sometimes read the stuff that I have written, I wonder if it was me that wrote it. But at present, I seem to be in a phase where I am catching up with my own advice.
In the last two months, I have been reading, learning, studying and practising with a chap called Dr Joe Dispenza. He has written several books, but I started with one called “Breaking the Habit of Being You.”
He explains that no matter how hard we try if we don’t change our thinking and core beliefs about ourselves, we cannot change the ingrained habits of our way of thinking.
Changing our thinking has been talked about over the years, in connection with Spiritual development. We hear about the Law of Attraction, Quantum theory and the laws of the Universe.
Yet all of these will not work completely unless we are willing to meet them halfway. This can be with illness, lack, addictions, broken relationships, and so on.
JD has gone a step further and explained HOW we could change our thinking, by changing our brains.
When I started to read his books, I became aware of the large amount of headspace my food issues was filling up. I had often tried to change my thinking around several shifts that I have wanted to make in my life. But somehow there has been something lacking.
For me and countless others, Joe has hit the proverbial nail on the head.
If you want to know more, you would have to listen to him on YouTube or read his books. But basically, he works on using the brain, body and mind together, by meditation. Choosing what you want to change, you then do the meditation, and state your intention.
He explains in details why it works, and at his seminars and workshops, you can see the activity in the brain, on the EEG machines that he uses. It is all carried out scientifically and not just pseudoscience.
So, I began carrying out his instructions, and now, two months later I am finding that my attitude to food is changing dramatically.
For example, I am now eating a lot less and satisfied quicker. I am enjoying my food, and am not afraid of it anymore. When fear sets in I simply say the word “Change.” Doing this brings my awareness to what I am doing and why. I am no longer in the fridge or cupboard wondering what to eat between meals.
I am bringing foods into the house that I would not have before. Yes, there is still a way to go with that because there are still some foods that I fear will bring on a binge. But that will change with continual everyday meditation and choose to use the word change when I find myself in the food cupboard, and I am not hungry.
Most surprising is that I find that given a choice between eating what I know is good for me, and some other food that I have banned from my diet in the past, I am actually choosing the good food.
I surrendered my anxiety over what I eat because I was still in a kind of diet trap. I was still using the diet to control me, instead of allowing my body to say what it wants.
There are probably people who are thinking, “If I did that I would be totally out of control because the sugar would trigger me off.”
I was saying that too until I decided that I wanted to change enough to make a difference in my life. In the past, I would have been afraid to let go, because the addiction was controlling me.
But now I realise that I want to have dominion over my body. Which has not meant that I am dictating to it what it has, but because I am also respecting its needs, my body is responding with “Thank you for listening to me, I can now let you know what I want!”
And rewarding me for making me aware of the times when if I fancy something sweet, I can have it. Without the fear of losing control.
For many years I have been cooking separate meals for myself and my husband. I still do occasionally, because there are some things that he likes that I don’t.
But there have too many occasions when I have cooked separate meals, and simply do not want mine, and yet would fancy his. It dawned on me that perhaps I would be healthier if I had a little of what I have cooked for him rather than sitting down to something I don’t fancy. Why go on torturing myself, because I am afraid of food!
People with weight, self-image and food problems, have a complicated relationship with food. I have been telling myself all those years that I love food. But the constant input from various diets and slimming clubs has made me afraid of it.
We hear so much about what is good for you, or what is not so good. The media bring mixed messages to people, no wonder we get confused.
We all need to eat. We need to eat nourishing foods and enjoy them. Above all, we need “Soul Food!”
That means that we need to nourish our mind, body and soul. Eating out with friends is a good example of that. Are you eating out with them because of the food, or because of their company?
When I have been not eating particular foods in the past, I have felt almost cast aside. Now I can just eat a little of what the others eat and just be seen as having a small appetite.
Are you eating something that has been slung together for the sake of satisfying your physical hunger? Or are you eating something that has been lovingly prepared?
Yes, there are times when we are in a hurry and may turn to some fast food. But that does not mean that it cannot be nourishing.
However, I digress. The point is that I have realised a wonderful change in my attitude to food and my body since I began the meditations with Joe. It is not Joe that is making the difference, but my intention of making the change. He simply gave me the tools.
I am making good use of those tools, I know that I have a way to go, fifty years of dieting and not eating certain foods, will not be changed overnight. But the important thing is that I am now aware of what the problem has been.
If you are stuck in any area of your life and want to change it, whether that is lack, addiction, or an illness, take a look at Joe Dispenza. I am aware that he is not the only person teaching quantum, but his teachings have hit the spot for me.
Joe Dispenza has written, “Evolve the Brain.” “Breaking the Habit of Being You.” “The Placebo Effect”.
Recently he wrote “Becoming Supernatural”, and he is touring the world presenting a workshop on it. I am looking forward to attending his London workshop on April 14th. 2018.
I was diagnosed with the early signs of Age-related Macular Degeneration four years ago. At a regular eye test, the Optician told me that I had something called Drusen, which appeared as little white fatty spots on the picture of the back of my eye. He advised me that I should take supplements which he recommended and so I did that.
Being of a tenacious nature and having an enquiring mind, I began to do my own research about this condition and also found out what support was available.
The news was not good because AMD is apparently un-reversible and steadily gets worse. It is genetic and often caused by smoking. The advice was also to eat plenty of greens stuff, and the jury was out on supplements.
Two years down the line after having new prescription lenses and finding that they did not help my vision, I went to the University in Plymouth, where I had volunteered to be a guinea pig for students, and they found a layer of Wet behind the macula. I was sent straight away to the Eye Infirmary, where they said that it was not yet bad enough for treatment (injections in the eye) but that they would monitor it and start injections when it deteriorated to a crucial stage.
Meanwhile, I was experiencing a great deal of stress in my life, which I will not go into here.
On the positive side, the wet was not getting any worse. I was also watching what I eat, and kept mostly to a natural diet, not eating much of the refined and processed products that pretend to be food these days.
Then, in October last year, the source of the stress left my life. In December I went to the Eye Infirmary who told me that they would not need to see me for another three months as opposed to the usual four weeks, because there was still no change, and they would be discharging me on my next visit if there wasn’t any further change. (I found out from the University that it meant that the wet MD was not getting worse.)
On my last visit to the University two weeks ago, they did a scan, and found that the wet had disappeared! Apparently, the effects that stress can have on Wet AMD is not very well researched or recognised. But the tutor said that she would be telling researchers about my case.
To sum up then; my vision is a lot better. The wet has disappeared. The progression is not as much as was first feared. None of this is my imagination because it is there on the scans. I am now using the distance vision glasses again and managing a lot better.
I claim that the reasons are; because I eat a healthy diet; I do not take expensive synthetic supplements anymore; The enormous stress has disappeared from my life; And I practice Spiritual (not religious) development.
It is a talk by a Chris Knobbe.MD. And just about sums up what my own experience with MD is except for the stress factor.
He has been studying the effect on AMD from our appalling modern diet. He gives correlation studies on this.
I could tell you what he says, but the best way for you to find out is to watch the video. It is quite literally an eye-opener.
He does not claim that we can all repair our eyes, but what he looks at is how we can prevent it and reverse it in the early stages with a natural ancient way of eating.
The four main culprits that are very significant in our modern diets, starting from the early sixties are; White flour, Vegetable oils, trans fats, and sugar.
If you think about it, those are the ingredients in our modern day diet of mainly processed foods.
In the USA the food intake percentages are; Plant foods, 12%: Animal Foods 25% and Processed foods 63%.
He shows the correlation between the increase in these processed foods and MD, from very few cases in the 1920’s to the present day prevalence of it.
He gives a list of diseases that are increasing in the countries that have these monster foods, among these diseases are; diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Obesity and autoimmune diseases. All are amounting to something called metabolic syndrome. Now, with his lengthy research and correlated findings he wants to see MD added to that list.
Because of my own experience, I believe him. I left off the supplements last September and increased my daily intake of green foods. I eat a good diet, and I am aware of my emotional and mental conditions too.
In case you are wondering about my diet, I will say that before seven years ago, I was consuming a lot of the four foods he mentions. White flour, sugar, vegetable oils and trans fats, loomed large in my way of eating. I was a victim of the slimming diet industry, and yes; diet foods contain these ingredients. I dieted on and off for over forty years until I discovered how to eat for my health.
Which reminds me; a lot of Baby Boomers are the ones who were told to eat low-fat foods. That advice happened in the late 1970’s when we were all foxed into becoming low fat eaters. The food industry jumped on the wagon, and it has become conventional to avoid fat.
For the last seven years, I have mostly kept to a natural diet. I eat very small amounts of sugar or even sweeteners. I base my intake on plenty of plant foods and vegetables, one piece of fruit a day, natural yoghurt, (not low fat) animal products, eggs and some amount of natural fats such as butter, olive oil and coconut oil, nuts and seeds. I eat very little in the way of bread but have quinoa and a small amount of rice or oats.
These foods have become my normal way of eating.
Please have a look at the video, before you make any comments or judgements. I do not claim to know it all, but Chris Knobbe.MD, and Dr Harcombe and a good many other researchers and authors certainly know enough for the authorities and many medical professionals to sit up and start to take notice.
If you want to read any further about a healthy and natural way of eating, and why, the following list of authors have written extensively about the subject. Just google them!
Dr Zoe Harcombe; Robert Lustig; Gary Taubes; Dr Verner Wheelock; and much more about the damage that sugar and our faulty way of eating in the 21st century.
I write about several subjects. When I am asked to put any given subject into a category, there is not always one to suit. Dogma is one of them.
One can be dogmatic about anything. Religion, health, nutrition, dieting, money, politics and lately I am beginning to notice some dogma creeping into Spirituality. Not good!
A loose definition of Spirituality is that; we find a truth that we know is coming from our soul and not from some outer authority.
Which in turn sets us free from fear. But there is a journey and it although it is not easy, it is exciting.
Millions of us are living in a world where we can be subjected to dogma.
One example is until recently I belonged to a club for a certain diet. Not your usual calorie counting one I may add. It worked for me, but only after experimenting to find what suits me, using the suggestions as a guide. However, after a while, the diet became dogma, not from the author, but from people joining and using the original book as dogma. Thou shalt not eat this and never eat that! The author of the original book often has difficulty getting across to people that she never meant for this to happen.
Vegetarians can become very dogmatic. Nutritionists, Dietary Advisors and it goes without saying that politicians certainly can.
Another example is The Law of Attraction. I am beginning to notice people saying that if something does not go your way it is because you are not following the rules. What rules?
I am beginning to notice people saying that if something does not go your way it is because you are not following the rules. What rules?
The dogma that has affected my life is the one of Religion. And there are millions of people in this world who are the same. Many of them stay within that dogma for the whole of their lives. But there is an increasing awareness that we do not have to spend our lives obeying someone else’s rules because it suits them. The more I study and research, the more I am finding out that we need to find out for ourselves what the truth is for our individual soul.
I have just written a book about how I did it, which is a simple narrative of my life as a child in the 1940’s and 1950’s, a young Mother in the 1960’s and 1970’s and how the teachings of a Pentecostal dogma or fundamentalism had dire effects on my choices in life. The added factor was that the Pentecostals claim that they are not religious. But a loose definition of religion can be that we follow someone elses set of rules. And there were a lot of rules in my life that came from the Pentecostal teachings and in many other evangelical movements.
From the early 1980’s life began to change, in a very dramatic and traumatic way. With the loss of everything, marriage, business, possessions and the roof over my head, during the next thirty years, I found the way to my soul. Thirty years may seem a long time, but it has all been a gradual dawning and an exciting, although at times painful journey. I found the truth and that truth has made me free.
That is the title of my book “The Truth Has Made Me Free.” It is still being prepared for publishing at this point, September 2017, but keep a look out for it.
I recognise that there are many others who have suffered because of fundamental teaching about anything. Especially other religions, but I also know of a few who have suffered because of other dogma, not just religion.
I also want to start a group on Facebook for people who have been affected by fundamentalism or dogma, in any way. Either from your own experience, or someone you know, and how it has affected you in any way. And of course, if you too have managed to be free from it all.
Would you comment below if you would like to join such a group?
As many of you know, I have the condition known as AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)
I won’t go into the details of the condition; you can google it for that, or look at previous blogs that I have written.
I like to write about my experience, for people to understand it, both in the carer’s capacity and the sufferer.
As soon as people are diagnosed with this condition, life becomes a challenge.
Firstly the acceptance of it. Sad to say, many consultants or ophthalmologists, don’t understand that when they use the words, “There is no cure, and nothing that can be done I’m afraid” (which many people who have the condition have experienced,) it frightens people badly. They panic, they despair, they wonder what is going to happen and I have had people say that they could not stop crying for days afterwards.
Secondly, life takes on new challenges.
For this blog, I will take just these two, as there are much more in our everyday lives.
The first one, scary as the consultant’s words are, they are not as final as they may sound. Yes, there is no cure at present for AMD, but there could be in the future. But there is so much help, and support that in reality, the consultant’s words should be something like “There is no known cure at present, but as long as you don’t have any other conditions, you will not go blind. And there is plenty of help and support out there for people like you. Let me introduce you to a way to start.”
You could then be led down several routes.
Ask at reception for details about having a low vision assessment.
Go online or ask someone to find details about the condition and what can be done to help slow up the process with lifestyle.
(The information in this blog may not be suitable for other countries, but I hope that it will lead you to see that there is support, and you will find out from the US group.)
So now to the second point from above. Life takes on new challenges.
Yes, it does indeed. Firstly there is the challenge of acceptance. I am not saying that there is never any hope of a cure, but at the time of writing there is not. I have had some people sending me links about treatments that they have had, and it may have worked for them, but scientifically there is no cure.
I have also had suggestions to me that it is emotional and maybe there is something that I am not seeing in my life that needs to be sorted. Someone even suggested that all illness is emotional. I am not dismissing that idea, and yes, I can go along with that, but AMD is a mechanical breakdown, and it needs to be managed until there is a better way. Much the same as managing any other breakdown in our body.
If the emotional side of it grabs you, then, by all means, look at it. If it works for some, I would dearly love to hear about it. Not theory or hearsay, but testimonials of your own experience.
But I am talking to people who don’t think that way, and just want support for their condition. To know how to learn to live with it, and make the most of their new lives, with AMD and hear about how others manage.
So, back to the challenges that AMD can present themselves in our everyday lives. Well, there are many;
Learning how to manage gadgets, books etc., by adjusting the font sizes.
There are plenty of hearing tools, such as audio books, and your local library will help.
Having some visual identification such as a white symbol cane, so that people will understand if you are taking a long time in the supermarket queue or getting on and off the bus.
Finding ways of continuing your hobbies. With suitable lighting and magnifying tools.
Those are just some of the aids that help. You will find out more as you go along.
Then, as the condition progresses, you may have to make more adjustments.
Up to now I have managed to continue my hand sewing and have been making some quite intricate items. But in the last two weeks, I have realised that I need to find an alternative. I can no longer manage it. I am currently struggling to make my last cushions after doing them for a few years. That is an adjustment. A challenging one, but by being tenacious, I realise that I can make crochet items instead because crocheting is a more tactile activity.
That is just one example. Other examples may be, changing your room around so that you have plenty of lighting or shadow where it’s needed. For example, you may find the TV is better in another part of the room or your chair.
I am finding that my life is enhanced by having this condition. I am starting to work in a local group who do courses for people with visual limitations, and from this, I am making many new friends. I also belong to the local Macular Society group, and sometimes I almost ache with laughter at seeing the funny side of everything.
I have great pleasure writing about the condition because not many people who have it can do that for one reason or another. That way I feel that life still has a meaning and purpose.
We can all adjust to anything in our lives. Most times it is fear that prevents us from seeing that. Whether it is illness, disability, job loss, losing a partner or someone special in our lives and many other life events.
I am not saying that it is easy, I know from personal experience what it is like to be depressed after or during a life-changing event. But what I want to share is that in the end with a positive mindset, and being grateful in our everyday lives for the things we take for granted; it can be done.
I hope that reading this will encourage many people not to despair when diagnosed with AMD. There is much to hope for, and all is well. Just keep making those adjustments and enjoying life. It is possible.
There are many people who when told that they have a problem with a vision impairment, are panicking and distressed. Especially when they hear the words, “There is nothing we can do for you!”
But those words are not true as far as getting on with your life with a vision impairment is concerned. I am talking here about AMD. (Age Related Macular Degeneration) ,
You may not be able to find a cure, but you can find plenty of help to make your life rich, full and abundant. I will tell you about some of what is available and have put up links to help you find out more below.
Personally, I have found help in abundance since being diagnosed with AMD. I feel astonished at times when I see how much support there is out there. And most of it is Free.
Just as an aside here; note that I am still active even with a vision problem. Life does not come to a halt with AMD. I have met some amazing people who are active even with very poor sight. That is what support is all about.
I am currently attending, The Macular Society group meetings once a month and also a monthly lunch meeting with the new friends I have made in the group.
I have just completed four days, spread over four weeks, at the local Guild in Plymouth called Sensory Solutions. The course is called Improving Lives. I have found a niche in that guild now as a host to help out with the course.
I am going to attend the monthly meeting for graduates of the course at the Plymouth Library once a month, and am also hosting them.
Hosting means that I will be making the drinks, serving food, helping people in and out of the taxis, preparing the rooms and generally supporting people with any concerns that they may have. I have made new friends by doing this too.
There was also an opportunity for my husband to come along to Sensory Solutions to learn more about the condition and meet other people who either live with visually impaired people or who support them in other ways. I have found that he understands more about what I experience because of that.
Sensory Solutions have also shown me how to use my settings on my lap top and also my iPad to make them easier to use.
Not many people are aware that their local eye hospital has a Liason Officer. These people are there to help you find your way through the maize of support and help available. They will also give you a low vision assessment. If the Consultant does not tell you that, just ask at reception.
On Facebook there are several groups, I belong to two. One in the USA and one in the UK. When I feel alarmed at something that I hear or something that is happening to my sight, I can just go into one of these groups and will very soon feel supported and get answers.
So, the moral of this story is; don’t panic, don’t be afraid, don’t be isolated.
I have found these groups to be upbeat, yet understanding, both the physical ones and the Social Media ones. I feel supported and useful. Life does go on even with a Vision Impairment, and just the other day I found myself saying that I actually get a kick out of it!
There are other groups for MD, one which I started myself, but I have let that one run down because I have found the ones above to be so helpful.
The reason why I haven’t gone into support for other visual problems is that I mainly write for those people who have AMD. But I am sure that if you look, you will find support for whatever condition you or your friend or loved one may have.
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