Articles, Uncategorized

Dealing With Obesity

Photo on 25-08-2018 at 10.34

No-one will understand the agony of obesity unless you’ve suffered from it.

I posted a while back wondering how everyone had become ‘obese’ according the government.

In my day you were ‘obese’ if your stomach was bigger than your chest;
You were ‘fat’ if your belly hung over your trousers;
Otherwise you were ‘normal’;
Unless you were cadaverous and then you were ‘skinny’.

People that have never had weight problems don’t understand the pain their comments cause. Overweight people know they have a problem every time they look in the mirror or try to buy clothes. They don’t need constant reminding from others, the weight loss moneymakers or the puppet government of big business who fatten people up and then offer ‘miracle’ cures.

Overweight people will hide their pain in humour, but every mindless ‘joke’  or comment from others cuts deep and will be remembered until the day they die. If they could solve their problem by just eating less and moving more, don’t you think they would have done?  The same as a drug addict would ‘just stop taking drugs’ and an alcoholic would ‘just stop drinking’ – it’s not that simple.

People are overweight for a variety of reasons:
Physical disability meaning they cannot move around much.
Illness such as fatigue and immune disease.
Emotional stress resulting in an addiction to food.
Medication that causes obesity.
A genetic disposition towards that body shape.
Ignorance towards their dietary requirements.
Yo yo dieting.

A surgeon’s mistake resulting in 2 life threatening infections, 14 surgeries, powerful drugs and antibiotics that resulted in serious arthritis in  both shoulders, the loss of quadriceps in both legs, one metal knee and one totally fused leg meant constant pain, very little mobility and drugs that increased obesity and damaged gut mobility meant I put on a lot of weight whilst dealing with those problems. I couldn’t lose weight on 1200 calories a day!

Luckily I’m a natural skeptic of big business, the government, ‘miracle cures’, the diet and fitness industry and the general moneymaking machine. Everyone is different and there is no ‘one size fits all’ that the NHS would force on us. I’m vegetarian, my body doesn’t deal with starchy and sugary carbs easily, it doesn’t digest food eaten in the evening well and requires reasonable periods without any food to do it’s work. So I fast between 18 and 20 hours a day, eat low carb foods and eat between midday and 5pm, during my fasting period I only drink water,  black tea and coffee. In 2 months I dropped three and a half stone despite trying every other diet and failing.

I monitor my diet by my general health, energy and inflammation levels, the colour and frequency or my urine, the shape and colour of my faeces and my weight. All have improved.

People suffering from obesity need help and support, not victimisation, vilification and isolation (often hidden in well meaning measures). It’s an illness like any other but like many other ‘hidden’ illnesses needs an individual approach to have any success.

We also need to stop listening to the political and financial profiteers and start looking inwards and studying ourselves, our lifestyle, exercise, our current diet and our genetics to find the answers!

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Articles, Uncategorized

Fasting Diet & Buddhism

Photo on 03-03-2018 at 12.03

Fasting Diet & Buddhism

Meditation in the bath in the mornings, rather than listening to a ‘lifestyle guru’ I like to play a ‘Dhamma Talk’ by one of the Buddhist Ajahn’s from the informative website of Amaravati Monastery.

This morning it was Ajahn Metta and just labelled ‘Dhamma Talk’. Her voice was very quiet and was difficult to hear above my abolutery splashing sounds, but I laid still to listen to see whether to change it – and am I glad that I didn’t!

She was discussing fasting and diet and how the ‘switch off’ for religous fasting was easier than a controlled diet and being a meditator and Buddhist, the process of watching her mind on a diet was important. I am currently doing the same thing with both intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet so this was ‘gold dust’ for me.

I will summarise her points and add my own notes in my own way:

Pooh Bear said ‘the most delicious taste whilst eating honey is the moments before you put it in your mouth’. This is the rising of desire (our anticipatory mind).

If you recognise this arising, don’t push it away, investigate it fully. Ajahn Metta received the food, smelled it and put it on her shrine to examine her mind. The desire was to eat, it appeared that her body craved nourishment, when denied it eventually eased, but after a while would come back again. When denied again, it would appear with a different face, like sexual desire or ‘wanting’ something.

Her point was that desire had many faces but in fact was the same thing. Many lifestyle gurus would want us to use that desire to energise us to work for other things we may want in life, but Ajahn Metta was saying that if you just observe it, eventually it calms down, leaving you with an incredible sense of peace. I like that.

The problem is that if you don’t deal with the desire, it will inevitably control you and allow others to use it to suit them all of your life.

I realised that when I fasted and controlled my food the diet worked well, but when my mind fell foul of the different faces of desire I could get confused. When a diet guru says you can eat as much as you like of….. what happens? Gluttony means you overeat whatever you are allowed, it’s crazy but you’re being driven by a demon without realising it, thinking you are still doing good. I remember friends on the Atkin’s diet eating masses of meat and cream because it was ‘okay’ and failing because they didn’t realise that they were not addressing their real problem and desire was simply wearing another face!

Buddhism teaches you to watch your mind. Mindfulness and self examination are the key to success. A greedy person can be chasing ‘success’, food, wealth, sex and be allowing it to control their life from the outside in and their are many guru’s, businesses and politicians happy to exploit those weaknesses.

Diet is about being disciplined, not punishing yourself, but become your more ‘natural’ self by examining your thoughts, wants and desires and their results, that way wisdom can arise and the balancing is permanent.

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