Tag Archives: Cancer

Alcohol and your waistline.

accomplishMy mission this morning isn’t to debate the rights and wrongs of alcohol consumption. I’m not about to launch into a philosophical or psychological discussion about alcohol.

For some people alcohol is non-negotiable and it’s not my job today to try to negotiate that particular personal choice. If alcohol is non-negotiable for you then please save yourself a little time and trouble, stop reading now, and enjoy getting on with the rest of your day.

On 29th July 2013 an article appeared in my local newspaper about the remarkable effects of Rebalance. That morning the phone started to ring. And ring. And ring.

So many wanted to experience the benefits of Rebalance for themselves, and over the next couple of weeks my diary was full of appointments with folks wanting to know more. Most went on to become clients, and indeed they achieved success. I love those people, I love the results they achieved, but it’s not their success I’m writing about today.

In July 2013 I had to break the news to just a few people that I couldn’t help them – due to their relationship with alcohol. People like the chap who told me that he enjoyed 3 pints of beer 3 times a week, and wouldn’t be changing that. People like the lady who has 2 glasses of wine and a G&T every night to help her unwind, and doesn’t think she wants to change that. People like the lady who tells me all her friends drink, and that “it’s not my fault I have a social life“.

I’m not talking about alcoholism. This blog post is for people who stick within the limits of the recommended weekly units of alcohol, but for whom it is nonetheless a regular fact of life. It’s about helping you to understand why alcohol will likely hinder your weight loss and attempts to reach your wellness goals.

  1. Regular alcohol causes the levels of a stress hormone, cortisol, to become abnormally elevated. (As ever, at Rebalance we back up what we say, and if you’d like to read the research for yourself click here to make a start) Cortisol is especially significant for weight and health because chronically high levels are associated with a wide range of health problems, with metabolic changes leading to weight gain, with difficulty in losing weight: blood sugar imbalance, diabetes, obesity, immune system suppression, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular disease, fertility problems, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorders, dementia, depression, and other conditions. (Another useful link: click here)
  2. Even moderate alcohol leads to visceral fat (link available here). We all know that of course – one of the earliest names for visceral fat was ‘beer belly’ after all! It’s this kind of body fat that is linked with many serious conditions, including: impaired glucose and lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes; colon breast and prostate cancers; heart and cardiovascular disease; infections and non-infectious complications, including death. (Another useful link: click here)
  3. Alcohol is high in ’empty calories’. Drinkaware tells us the calories in alcohol are “extra fattening“, and almost the same as pure fat itself. Worse, is that those calories, being empty, provide no nutritional value, meaning that alcohol contributes nothing that our bodies can put to good use.
  4. Drinkaware further advises: “Drinking alcohol also reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. While we can store nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in our bodies, we can’t store alcohol. So our systems want to get rid of it, and doing so takes priority. All of the other processes that should be taking place (including absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted.”

So that’s 4 facts to help you understand how alcohol will interfere with your health and weightloss plans. The choice about what you do with that knowledge is all yours!

 

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Keeping Pandora in her box

If Pandora’s Box is a proverbial phrase meaning a source of endless trouble arising from a single miscalculation it begs the question “what miscalculation”? From the point of view of our health I guess that’s about pushing our luck too far. We might live that unhealthy lifestyle just a day too long and then…?

Then we get tImage result for those who don't have time to eat healthily will have to find time for illness memeo find out just what Pandora has in store. And as the story goes, once we’ve allowed her out of the box, getting her back in there is a whole heap of trouble, even if it’s possible at all! All too often there’s a point of no return.
All very gloomy huh? So let’s turn Pandora into our positive!

Whether we like it or not, it’s highly unlikely that any of us can ride our luck indefinitely and that we will at some point have to deal with the consequences of our unhealthy diet
and lifestyle choices. So ask yourself, how far will you push your luck? What will be your own personal wake up call?

Will you take notice when the bathroom scales hit a certain number? Will it be when you get breathless? When you can’t do the things you could before?

Will you take
notice when you are told you are at risk of developing a lifestyle disease? When you are diagnosed with a lifestyle disease? When you develop the first complications associated with that disease?

The longer you ride your luck the more devastating Pandora could be. We already know that 12 million adults in the UK are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. We already know that women Image result for those who don't have time to eat healthily will have to find time for illness memeare facing a tide of cancer diagnoses due to obesity. With diet and lifestyle linked to
diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers, and more, we are gambling, literally, with life and limb.

Let’s leave Pandora in her box. Don’t give her the chance to get out to play. Enjoy our lives without looking over our shoulders for fear of her.

Good food actually tastes great. Feeling well makes life great. I can’t begin to tell you how great you’ll feel. But I really hope you decide to find out for yourself!

 

#standtogether for International #Diabetes Awareness Month?

logoOK so this morning it would be true to say I am saddened. For months it’s been my morning habit to look at twitter on my phone even before I get out of bed. I search “diabetes” to see what’s “trending right now” – get me using the lingo, and at my age too!

This morning I woke up in a good mood. I didn’t get out of bed in a good mood. Negativity! That’s what was trending at 6:00am this morning. I reckon I can’t be the only twitter user that finds negativity a big turn off, can I?

Two main twitter threads struck me. The first tweet thread was about the language associated with diabetes, and second was castigation of an American politician. Personally I have no strong views about the language used around diabetes. I have no strong views about what a politician may or may not have said about diabetes – probably because I didn’t hear the debate. But what I did feel strongly was that reading some really quite nasty comments at 6:00am didn’t warm me towards the tweeters making them.

My point is this: as we approach the start of Diabetes Awareness Month what face does the diabetes community want to present to the rest of the world? Are the big issues really about language, or about what a politician says in a debate? If in November awareness for diabetes gets raised – my use of the word “if” is deliberate and I will explain – are these the issues we would like the world to fix? Homestly? I think there are more beneficial issues to be resolved.

cement logoHere’s my observation: few people are even aware there is a World Diabetes Awareness Month or a World Diabetes Day looming. The blue circle logo is not instantly recognised. How do I know? Because I’ve been asking people. I’ve asked people for whom diabetes is not a current concern. I’ve asked people already concerned or whose lives are affected by diabetes – Type 1 or Type 2. Yesterday I asked a room full of business owners what did a blue circle mean to them. Most looked blank and shook their heads. The builder in the group said confidently, “it’s a brand of cement!” He’s right. In the UK, at least, Blue Circle is a brand of cement and it has pretty much the same logo some of us associate with diabetes awareness!

A couple of days ago, there I was sitting on the loo in a motorway services on the M62 – please don’t let that image traumatise you! Right there on the door of my cubicle was an awareness poster for McMillan Cancer Trust. And it struck me there and then that there is a yawning gap to be bridged between the level of awareness the public has, and embraces, about cancer, and the level of awareness that currently exists about diabetes. The same people who didn’t know about the blue circle could tell me all about pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness, and they knew about coffee mornings for McMillan!

Here’s my personal plan for Diabetes Awareness Month: I am going to do my very very best to bring diabetes to the attention of as many people as I can – at home and abroad. I’m going to do that as positively as I can, but without shying away from issues that some might find difficult. I know that you’ll probably like some of the stuff I share over the next few weeks, and there may be some stuff you’ll be not so keen on. That’s OK. I’m going to join in with as many positive initiatives as I can – thunderclap here we come – and I’m going to hope that people will embrace some of my offerings too. With open minds and open hearts and a willingness to work collaboratively, collectively and collegiately we CAN make the world at large aware that there is a diabetes awareness month. That WDD exists. At the very least!

I don’t care if you are Type 1, Type 2, at risk of diabetes, have relatives coping with diabetes, are just looking to avoid diabetes. If you are one of the people who is moved by diabetes in any way may I ask please will you be a bit more positively vocal and visible this November? Please will you share stuff you like, celebrate success stories, and stay positive to help raise awareness? If (I said I would come back to “if”) we manage to raise a meaningful level of awareness, a level to equal cancer awareness, how about we present ourselves in a way that will attract the public to get behind the cause for diabetes? For the good of everyone affected by diabetes.

#standtogether is for us!