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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Beauty may be skin deep, but healthy starts inside!

18th November 2012
Worry is a misuse of the imagination. Dan Zadra
What is ‘healthy’?  If you google that question it automatically assumes you mean ‘diet’ and according to the NHS this is the answer;
The two keys to a healthy balanced diet are:
  • eating the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • eating a range of foods – this is what balanced means
The range of foods in your diet should include:
  • plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • some milk and dairy foods
  • some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • just a small amount of foods high in fat and sugar
That sums it up I suppose, I’d say healthy eating means consuming the right quantities of foods from all food groups in order to lead a healthy life. Diet is often referred to as some dietary regimen for losing weight. However, diet simply means what food we eat in the course of a 24-hour, one week, or one month, etc. period. A good diet is a nutritional lifestyle that promotes good health. A good diet must include several food groups because one single group cannot provide everything a human needs for good health.
However being healthy isn’t just about the food that goes in our bodies is it?  Having good health is important to make you feel good and hopefully live longer, it depends on eating the right food, doing the right exercise, and feeling good about yourself.
Is it any good being a size 8, if you have low self esteem and live on nothing but the odd bag of crisps and bar of chocolate.  Equally is it good to feel really confident but be carrying so much excess weight that you can barely breathe when you walk up a flight of stairs?  The answer to those questions is personal to the individual in that situation.  I know I’m quite happy to be considered ‘overweight’ according to the bmi chart because I walk everyday, I eat good healthy foods with the occasional treat, yes I have a glass or two of wine but I’m also really content with my life.  I have a job I thoroughly enjoy and friends and family that just make my world complete, I feel blessed.  I’m still what I call an happy o.w.l. (over weight lady) oh and I love that the latest fashion trend is owls, how fab is that, I’m taking credit for that trend lol even if it isn’t mine to take ;-)
Why have I bought this subject up today you may be thinking, well it’s because of my mom, a lot of you know her, she’s a tiny wee thing these days but she hasn’t always been.  When we were kids she hit 18 stone at her heaviest, at 5ft 3in it meant when we hugged her we couldn’t get our hands to touch at the back.  Then she went to Weight Watchers often, every time she joined, she’d lose some weight and she’d actually keep it off till the next time she joined!  By the time I was eighteen she was probably about 14st and she went to the doctor with heartburn and indigestion problems, they told her she had a hiatus hernia which is where part of the stomach pushes up into the lower chest through a defect in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the large flat muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen, which helps us to breathe.  Back in those days they just gave her medicine and told her to lose weight, whatever you went to the doctors with back then they told you to lose weight whether it was a headache or sore finger!
So she did, and in 1994 she hit her goal weight and was given a special gold of 11 stone, she was thrilled, she’s kept that weight off ever since.  Isn’t that fabulous?  Well yes and no, no because she didn’t change her diet enough to stop her health problems – one cannot live on junk alone – not if you hope to live a long term healthy life.
That hernia has grown to six times its original size in the past 25 years and now she has abused her body so much that the lining that you get on your stomach is normally different to the lining on your oesophagus, her body has been so clever that it has grown that stomach lining onto her oesophagus to try to protect it from the acid!  This is called Barrett's oesophagus – I’m educating you today!
What I’m trying to say I suppose is there’s more to health that being a certain weight!  I was going to show you a photo of what the inside of my mom’s stomach might look like but it’s too early in the morning!  Google it if you want to be put off your breakfast, I didn’t need to see it, I can imagine, I listen to her every morning struggle with the pain and this has been getting steadily worse for years but she just couldn’t put together ‘what you eat and how you feel are connected’, she would say, “I’ve always eaten crap”, and you can’t argue with a stubborn old lady!  She’s starting to listen now though, she can only eat small, regular meals and even that’s a struggle.
If the scales aren’t saying what you want them to right now, seriously that’s not the important bit, the most important thing is how you feel;
- are you happy?  Do you enjoy being you?
- are you eating a good healthy range of food with the occasional treat?
- do you find ways to move your body in a way you enjoy in order to be active?
- are you happy? I ask this twice because this is more important than anything in the world, if you’re happy then you’re more likely to take care of yourself – if you’re not what can you do right now to start changing that.
Oh and just in case you think I’m deluded – no one is happy ALL the time, not even me, you should hear me rant and rave when I can’t find something, or when Alfie is doing my head in or when I spill a bottle of water all over my car seat like I did yesterday!  Yep I have my moments but overall I’m glad to be here and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.
Start taking care of you today, so the future you will be grateful. xx

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