Just to make it clear, for many years I considered myself a Carbohydrate and sugar addict.
But just recently I have become aware that sometimes I enjoy certain foods. And perhaps I need to be kinder to myself. However, there is more behind the addiction than meets the immediate attention. So for example, an addict to alcohol may never be able to have just that one drink. Or the drug addict can never have just the one fix.
The word addict is used commonly in the 21st Century, and I am beginning to think that it just may be too common.
Let’s start with the Wikipedia description of addiction.
Addiction is a brain disorder characterised by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences.
The most frequent addictions and those who do the most harm, because they affect people around them too, leading to crime for the individual who needs their fix; are alcohol, drugs and gambling.
But we now use the word addiction to many other things. Such as sugar, food, internet games and so on.
But do you think that there are certain words that have become distorted from their true meaning? Are we giving the name to certain behaviours that are really quite harmless, and is only a desire for something nice, particularly for certain foods or our favourite computer game. Is the word addiction becoming overused?
I know that addiction can begin with not just liking something, but finding that it gives us a high, and we are more aware now of making sure that we don’t become addicted to certain activities. Even reading books has become something to be wary of. How often do you hear people say that they are addicted to reading, running, walking, exercise, and many healthy and useful activities?
Words can mean different things to different people.
Take the word “Diet”. It simply means eating regime. So we are all on a diet! But this word has now taken on negative connotations. Because we now know that slimming diets are futile, and we need to simply change our eating habits.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have written a lot about “not dieting”. I have three books on the subject on Amazon Kindle. And there are many blogs about it on my website. http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com.
I am the first to say that dieting is futile and that healthy eating for a lifetime is the best way to go. But the point I am making here is that we have made “diet” almost a dirty word.
So I wonder whether we are doing the same with the word addiction?
Are we too worried that behaviour, or liking something means that we are becoming an addict?
Let me give you an example.
Recently a friend said to me that she has started to have a scone in the afternoon for her tea. And followed this with the words “I’m becoming addicted to them.”
Then a few days later the same friend said to me that I (meaning me) am becoming addicted to oatcakes. That was because she had heard me say often lately that I love humous and oatcakes and often have that for my lunch. But it was my reaction that startled me. I immediately went on the defensive and said that actually I had made the packet last a month!
Why did I do that?
Because I have been struggling with addictive behaviour around food all of my life, and now that I consider that I am mostly in control (another word that has negative connotations for addicts and dieter alike) I felt that she was being unfair and insinuating that I was an addict. But her remark was not meant to be derisory.
I see a society that is making us into victims, using the word addict to control our behaviour. We stop kids from enjoying games on the computer because we fear addiction. (I do believe that needs to be limited of course, but we need to think more about why.)
We are beginning to feel guilty if we eat cake in public. And many find themselves using words such as good, bad or too much cholesterol, or worry that they are becoming addicted.
We are still in the grip of not eating saturated fat, and the biggest sellers in supermarkets are still low-fat products. Even though it was proved two years ago that it is not harmful unless processed. Natural yoghurt, butter, olive oil, and other saturated fats are good for us. But in my generation, there are many sick people who lived on low-fat products for a very long time in the belief that they were doing the right things. Better to eat the grey, dull, so-called healthy margarine than butter which tastes good and does you good.
But I digress. I wonder how many of us deprive ourselves of the occasional treat of cake or a scone because we fear addiction.
After a lifetime of dieting, and feeling guilty over eating certain foods, and fearing that people will think I am an addict, I have been pondering recently about whether I really am an addict to certain foods, or whether I simply like them.
I must admit though that I need to watch myself. Because the occasional treat comes around to more than just occasional, I easily pile on the pounds. But, is that really addiction? Or do I just need to be more careful?
I haven’t got the answer of course, because I still have to control what foods I have in the house because I know for sure that sooner or later I would eat them all. Probably in one go!
But I count myself Free. That means that I have learnt what freedom really means. If I want a scone when I am out, I have one. If I need painkillers to dull the constant pain of Fibromyalgia, I will take them. If my husband needs strong painkillers at times, it is a comfort to both of us that we have the ones that work.
I might reiterate here about the advice we have been given down through the years about what foods are good or bad for us. The debacle with eggs twenty years ago led people to believe that they should not have more than two eggs a week. That was eventually disproved.
We all know the one about red wine and how the advice changes from day to day in the press.
Cholesterol is also a sworn enemy. But did you know that the body needs cholesterol? It is our friend. And no, it won’t be controlled by diet. Yet we have been conned into believing that we should keep the levels down. But the older you are, the higher your cholesterol is naturally. It is the body’s way of healing. Yet authorities are hell-bent on making even the frailest of us keeping our cholesterol levels down.
In case you are wondering why I say this, listen to Zoe Harcombe talking about it. She was the woman who wrote the paper three years ago, on Saturated fat, and led to a lot of media cover about Butter not being harmful.
And what does Society use to make us believe all this? Fear! Pure and simple. And the word Addict is a very useful tool for them.
So am I an addict? Well up to now I have said that I am, but now I believe that I simply love refined carbohydrates, but I need to limit the amount that I eat.
I also love games such as Colour by Numbers, and also Solitaire on my computer. Recently I have been playing them and listening to audio-books at the same time. But all that means is that I have a desire to do that to help me relax. I just need to be careful that I do not spend more time than is sensible, to prevent me from doing the other things that I love.
So, perhaps we need to be aware of how much we deny ourselves the things we desire, by worrying about becoming an addict.
But please don’t see this as carte blanche for having anything you want, to the detriment of your wellbeing. I am only sharing my thoughts, not teaching!
If you want to know more about the way to find what diet suits you as an individual, try this;
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.
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.
Have you noticed this word is becoming more common every day?
“Don’t you patronise me!”
“I feel patronised.”
Are just two of the most common.
But what is the real meaning of the word and where are we taking it out of context?
Over the last few decades, even the dictionary has changed its mind.
In the Oxford Dictionary from 1980 the definition is;
pa’tronize. v.t. 1. Act as a patron towards, support, encourage. 2. Treat (person, thing,) as if with consciousness of one’s superiority.
But in 1996 from the Oxford dictionary it became;
patronize v.tr. (also –ise) 1. Treat condescendingly. 2. Act as a patron towards. 3. Frequent (a shop etc.) as a customer.
For me, the first definition makes sense for the real meaning of the word.
Let me illustrate with a story.
Someone I know who runs a business mostly online had a customer who complained about a product that he sells continuously and is an expert in that product.
When he went to great lengths to explain the nature of the product and why something had developed, which to the customer appeared as a fault, she accused him of patronising her.
But he was simply carrying out his side of her patronising his business. He was superior in his knowledge of the product.
But, we have now developed the habit of using the second definition. Many times when people mean well, such as giving up their seat on the bus, or helping someone in some way, many of us decline that help because we see it as being treated condescendingly.
If being patronised then; is someone giving up their seat for me, or helping me on with my coat, or asking if I am ok, I don’t mind being patronised.
Perhaps we all need to ask ourselves in what context we are using the word. The next time we feel “patronised,” are we feeling condescended to? If someone gives up their seat for you, are they coming from a position of superiority? Or kindness?
The world is becoming a place where many people seem to be on the defensive. You may say this is because Planet Earth is becoming a very dangerous place to be. Maybe true or it may not be more dangerous than it ever was. But we do seem to be feeling that we are living on the edge of a precipice.
But how about being the change you want to see and start with making a change in your corner of the world? There are all sorts of things we can change and to be aware of some of them is a start.
Perhaps the original use of this word in our vocabulary will be the first step. Because once we are aware of peoples true motives and don’t immediately go down the road of being or feeling “Patronised” we can help to spread a little kindness. In turn that will lead to us all to not being afraid of showing kindness, for fear of being accused of patronising the other person.
Hi there folks. Do you want to change your life with these two FREE books?
Do you wonder why you get drawn in every year to the mad mad feasting over Christmas, then Fast or starve for the New year?
Every year is the same isn’t it? Beginning around the first of December, it is “Eat drink and be Merry, for January 1st; we DIET!”
How many of you are swearing that you will never do it again? That you will go on a diet to end all diets, and never put on weight again.
But there is a way out of this never ending cycle. Where you can enjoy your food; all food, but understand your body and what it really wants.
These two books will set you on the path of freedom from dieting. They will also point out why we are all in this state of health in the twently first century. How to sort out the conflicting advice, and decide for yourself, with some knowledge of why you are in the trap, and what is best for you. It seems that every writer, club or expert, claims that their diet is the way to go. But these two books will make you become aware of why we behave as we do around food.
They are not special diet books, nor do they tell you what you should eat. They simply inform you of the politics of Dieting and also how food has evolved into the state it is in now.
Once you become aware of how you are being driven to eat the foods that you know are not contributing to good health, then you are on the track to food freedom.
Just to let you know that as promised these two books are FREE on Amazon for the next three days, starting today 2nd January.
As a writer and blogger and somewhat in my everyday life, I am an expert in two fields. Dieting or not, and anything connected to death.
It suddenly struck me today that there is a sort of link between them. Take Dieting for example.
Some people get into worrying so much about their weight that they do indeed die. That is the case with the psychological disease anorexia. This dangerous condition is often started with the desire to be thin and develops into a full-blown fear of food, any food.
But I would like to point out at this time of the year especially, that it is time to put dieting to death or rest.
It is the same every year, isn’t it? Feast until you drop over Christmas and the holiday season, then go on a diet to lose weight. How futile is that?
But this trend is mostly political. Do you think that you would indulge so much every year if there were not so much temptation? Do you think that you would feel the need to diet if you did not see the adverts to diet, by the same people who gave you all the foods that tempted you in the first place?
Isn’t it time to be able to make your own choices, and let your body tell you what it wants, rather than be thrown off course by all the conflicting advice out there?
How did we get here? How did we become a society that is led by the Food giants and corporations to eat the foods that are doing the damage?
Because I too was a victim of this sort of thinking for forty years, I have written two books on these subjects. I am now into my sixth year of taking control of my diet thinking, and even though I have not been perfect, I reckon myself to be an expert in the subject.
And if I can get the technology on Amazon right, they will both be promoted FREE from January 2nd for three days. I will post another blog when they are available, but for now, can I Ask you to ponder over what I have said?
Meanwhile, if you are in a hurry, you can buy them. Or of course you can browse and see what they are about and wait until January 2nd.
It is more gracious to give than to receive. Yes? Is this what you were taught and always believed?
I hear people say; “I love shopping and buying stuff for Christmas presents. I love to see their faces when they open them.”
But have you ever thought that it could work the other way around?
Ask what this would mean for you.
Say it; “It is more gracious to receive than to give.”
Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Did you realise that it can be just as gracious to receive as it is to give?
How can that be?
Well, what does it feel like to you when you want to give someone something, and they refuse to accept it?
It can be a compliment for example. “I love that dress.” “Oh this old thing, I think it’s horrible, but I have to wear it to keep the peace.”
Or; A present that you have shopped carefully for. And the person just tosses it to one side and doesn’t even thank you on Christmas morning.
Or; A neighbour or friend who you see is in need. You may offer to help or do something, but all you get is a rebuff such as “I can manage quite well thank you.”
Or; You offer someone a seat on the bus for all sorts of reasons. And they say “No thank you. I’d rather stand.”
Sometimes you can end up feeling foolish, hurt or that your gesture was something that you will think twice about in the future.
My experience of working with people in need, such as Older people, sick people, Mums trying to take care of the kids, has shown me how important it is to know how to receive.
Older people can be so obstinate, and many of us have to stand by and wait for the disaster waiting to happen. Sick people can be in denial of anything being amiss and will resist any attempt to persuade them to see someone who may help them.
Mums taking care of kids can be so independent and think that they know best. Even when others can see the struggle and just want to support them.
Yes, it does depend on how they are approached. Yes, sometimes it can be seen as interfering. But I wonder how many times we think that someone is interfering, or being patronising, but we would be so much better off receiving the support and making our lives more comfortable and making their day a pleasant one because they know they had a chance to give something.
I have decided that I am going to make life easier and more pleasant for those around me as I grow older. Accept what support there is, ask for it if necessary.
One reason why I have decided this is because I know many people who are struggling with taking care of their parents, who in turn just keep saying that they are all right. Even down to the point of not allowing much-needed carers to come into their homes, and will just shut the door in their faces.
And then, phoning their children to say that they need help.
Have you heard of the story of the drowning man at sea? His boat overturned and he prays to God for help. Along comes a helicopter and the man sends it away, saying “No God is going to help me!” Then along comes a lifeboat and the same happens again.
The man drowns, and when he gets to heaven, he complains to God that he had prayed for help, and why did God let him drown. God replies, “I sent a boat and a helicopter, what more do you want?”
I heard a story about a Buddhist centre and the head monk was very old and ill. Everyone enjoyed taking care of this gracious old man, and he allowed them to, he accepted all the care he needed and died peacefully knowing that he had given to his carers, by receiving the love and care that he needed.
So, remember this Christmas, that you can receive support, gifts, help with the shopping and cooking. Even if it does not seem to be happening, don’t just feel sorry for yourself, but ask for it. I am sure that if you swallow your pride, those around you will be only too delighted to help and support. And by receiving that support you, in turn, will give them the pleasure of receiving and giving at the same time.
It works all ways you see. It is just as gracious to receive as to give.
Happy Christmas everyone and I hope that you will see the blessings of both giving and receiving this year.
On Saturday September 16th 2017, I attended the Macular Society conference in London with my daughter.
Right from the time we stepped outside the Tube station, I was astonished at how well they were organised. As we stopped to look at our maps of the location of the conference, we spotted two people in yellow teeshirts with Macular Society on them. Every hundred yards all the way to the hotel, on every corner, there were more yellow teeshirted people many with flags to attract our attention.
We were greeted at the Hotel by warm friendly volunteers and shown where everything was. Including coffee and pastries.
The exhibitions were many and helpful and as we entered the main conference room, my daughter remarked that she was impressed by the 600 people who were proactive and not just sitting back and being visually impaired.
At 11 am the conference began with a welcome speech. Followed by three speakers. The first gave a simple illustration of the mechanics of AMD, using a packet of biscuits as an example. When the lowest biscuit in a packet is stale, it crumbles and disintegrates. This is what happens in our eyes, and the cleaning cells wear out and crumble. (Not absolutely accurate, but that is the gist of the talk.)
The next speaker was a consultant from Moorfields who was more scientific. And due to restrictions in time he had to speak very fast. But he gave examples of the many experiences of how AMD can progress, both from the patients point of view and the consultants. He also said that while we question why there are so many cases now, we need to bear in mind that we have an increasingly ageing population. Our bodies are not meant to last that long! Which you can agree with or not.
The third speaker gave a talk on Charles Bonnet syndrome. People with AMD can hallucinate. Some hallucinations can be dangerous, for example one may see a brick wall in front of them that is not there. But there could be the day when there really is a brick wall! There can be clouds of butterflies or people with odd clothes or shapes. They reckon that it is the brain compensating for the loss in sight. There is research going on about this, but no answers yet. However, at question time a woman in the audience said that, she had had hallucinations for some time, but since she had developed another age related disease they had faded away, and she wondered whether there was a connection and the brain was now concentrating on the more serious disorder. The Speaker was very interested to hear about this and was going to talk to her more afterwards.
At 1pm, we broke for a delicious lunch of rolls, sandwiches, wraps and fruit. Coffee was in full flow all day long.
After lunch we went to the workshops of our choice. We went to the one on supplements and nutrition. Very interesting. The best thing that you can do with supplements is to study the AREDS reports. I will do a seperate blog about supplement and AREDS in a couple of days.
As far as food was concerned, eat the rainbow, which is what I have said in other blogs before. Include lots of veg, the darker the better, and fruit also darker the better. Red meat, (not processed) is good, especially liver.
It was emphasised that once we have MD all we can do through food and supplements is to slow down the process. But that if we take on a healthy lifestyle early in life AMD along with a lot of other diseases can be delayed if not eradicated. I will add that I believe that even if we do go on to have any disease, if our bodies are healthy in the first place, we stand a better chance of recovery or at least we help our bodies to fight it.
It was also emphasised, how much smoking can damage the eyes.
So for those reading this that don’t have AMD, bear in mind that it is another reason to live healthily.
We then went back to the main conference room and heard another speaker on the latest research. They are now in a position where they can announce success with two people who have received stem cell surgery. Their eye sight was quite bad but they have now said there is an improvement. There are now another five waiting for surgery. It will be about five years though before they will be putting this treatment out for the public. Even then, at the moment it will only be available for the most suitable criteria.
I could not help but wonder what will happen when NICE get hold of it!!
But, my daughter who stands a big chance genetically of getting AMD was encouraged by the day and learnt a lot about how to lessen the chances of it happening. Especially the amount of time and money that is going into research and finding a cure.
There was an awards ceremony for the best team within Eye hospitals, kindest and most helpful Opthamologist, and the various volunteers within and out of the MD Society.
All in all a wonderful day, and all for less than £25 I must add.
I for one am going to become a paid up member of this marvellous society. You will see their leaflets and booklets with loads of information, in yellow and black enlarged print in the Eye departments of your hospitals. I have come accross their literature in my capacity as a volunteer for my local Guild, Improving Lives. I also belong to one of their loca groups who meet monthly.
There is a helpline for those who are worried and want to talk to someone. And there were also the numerous volunteers who guided us to the hotel, were around with their smart black clothing and scarves or ties with the logo on them, to help and support in many ways in the conference and hotel, many of whom have MD themselves, and prove that life does not end with this condition. We can still contribute to society in a way that will encourage those who are badly affected, and prove that.
So, watch this space for lots more to come as I learn more, and experience myself what can happen in our everyday lives with AMD. Everyone experiences it differently, but it is useful to find out from others how they overcome it.
There are groups on Facebook and here are the links.