Every month, I write an e-newsletter. The headings are News, Topical Stories, Client Feedback, Tips and Quote of the Month.
here= to read my current newsletter.
click here= to read past issues
Or for now, just read a section of it here. I've included a Topical Story . It refers to Body Weight which seems to be the focus for so many women in particular.
Most of the women I know are concerned about their weight, and these high percentages are borne out in research studies. Are you one of them?
It's important to remember the difference between an acceptable 'medical' weight, and one which you might consider as desirable, or why this issue feels so important to you. The advertising and fashion industries, together with Big Pharma can influence or dictate what seems 'normal'.
I remember one client telling me many years ago (in the Brentford Leisure Centre times) that she had delayed coming for a Massage as she was so embarrassed about her large body. As a Therapist, I did not have that perspective at all: I simply worked to feel any imbalances, aid her circulation, and address the particular pain or problem she was experiencing. She had created an irrelevant and unnecessary obstacle.
In discussing weight, diets and body image, it's worth dividing the issue into two sections: Context and Strategies.
1. Remember that the current cult of youthful slimness is only that: a cult. In previous centuries in Britain, or in the 1950's for example, a fuller and curvacious figure was seen to be beautiful. In other parts of the world, such as Fiji, or the Indian subcontinent, larger forms are more desirable, and symbols of a good life.
2. In our 21st Century Western lifestyles, we are far more sedentary than any previous generation with our desk jobs, screens and cars. We have 24/7 ready access to processed food and drinks from our shops or freezers. We can do more, but have more demands, more expectations and more stress trying to fit it all in. All of these contribute to a less healthy and heavier body.
3. Body fat is necessary and useful! It insulates us from the cold and keeps our skin and arteries supple. For women, during and post menopause, body fat is even more vital for food health and it is quite normal to increase weight at this time by a few kilograms. As the ovaries produce less oestrogen at this time, your body fat becomes an alternative manufacturing plant for this hormone. (It's a fine balance though, as you don't want too much oestrogen as that leads to other health risks.)
4. Body weight is sometimes used by those who feel it is the only part of their life which they can control. Bulimia and Anorexia are extreme examples and will need professional intervention and therapy.
My main advice is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Do you know what the recommended food helping sizes actually are? or what proportion of carbs to vegetables to protein might be most desirable? Do you know how to eat well for a balanced diet? There are very respectable sites to guide you NHS. My linked article on the Blood Sugar Solution in the March newsletter provides one useful source to avoid mood swings, low energy lapses and sugar cravings.
Do you know your BMI (Body, Mass Index)? You can find this out at any Fitness Centre, or GP surgery, or even an app or the internet. Height, frame, genes and gender all play a part in forming our 'ideal' medical weight.
It's not just what you eat but how you eat which matters. Try to avoid eating on the run, or while watching TV or rushing before you run off to your next commitment. It takes 20 minutes for the messages to travel to the brain that you have had enough to eat. Try to eat slowly and savour every mouthful.
Exercise is important. Housework, gardening, walking, swimming all count. Find a friend if that will motivate you to exercise together, or listen to music while you exercise, take the stairs and not the lift......
You may like to consider the Ayuvedic approach to healthy weight here. (please refer to full newsletter for links)
If you really think that you already do everything sensibly already, then maybe you could see your GP or a qualified Nutritionist. Both can check your vitamin, mineral and hormone status, or check any food intolerances which may be affecting your weight.and help you to reach a better balance.
Finally, I have heard a talk by a very experienced Therapist who was convinced that the answer to losing weight was Body acceptance and Self love. Guilt, shame and low self respect could sabotage our health and manifest in weight gain. In other words, the mind and the emotions were influencing the physical body in a profound way.
Quote of the Month (it's fairly lengthy but well worth a read!)
The Paradox of Our Times
We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers,
wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but we have less.
We have bigger houses, but smaller families,
more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense,
more knowledge, but less judgement,
more experts, but more problems,
more medicines, but less wellness.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We have learnt how to make a living, but not a life.
We have added years to life, but not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour .
We have conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted our soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We’ve higher incomes, but lower morals.
We’ve become long on quantity but short on quality.
These are the times of tall men, and short character,
steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare,
more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces,
of fancier houses, but broken homes.
It is a time when there is much in the show window
and nothing in the stockroom.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama 2016