95 articles Articles posted in Health

The Advances In Vaping

Electronic cigarettes are always evolving and entering new phases in development. They have come on a long way since they first became popular in 2004.

Like everything else in our lives, from mobile phones to auto-mobiles, e-cigarettes have a beginning, a rise, and a future. In this post, we will delve back in time and take a look at how the e-cigarette came into being, how it struggled to gain a foothold in an era where smoking was cool, and how it looks to develop in the future.

The Original

The first electronic cigarette, believe it or not, was designed and patented in America by a man named Herbert Gilbert. His concept was to develop a smokeless, non-tobacco cigarette, to replace the process of burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist flavoured air. Although the patent was granted, and several prototypes were manufactured, the device failed to catch on. The reasons for this are sketchy, but the most common causes for lack of success are that the devices were cumbersome and heavy, and smoking was in fashion at the time, and its ill effects were not massively publicised. Smoking was literally everywhere – all the Hollywood stars smoked, pubs and restaurants were awash with ashtrays and commercials made the habit all the more mainstream. Electronic cigarettes were up against a brick wall.

The Transformation

A later patent on the more modern design of electronic cigarettes was registered in China, by a innovator called Hon Lik. This design made its way across America and other countries, but only via internet orders – there was no mainstream marketing and investors showed little interest, The fact that somebody could be swayed away from tobacco by such a device seemed a fantasy.

However, the design was to be considered as the fore-runner to the e-cig we know today, although it had to go through several development stages to work as effectively as smokers hoped. Many of the devices we know of today have – somewhat, illegally – copied the original Hon Lik blueprint. Some companies have compensated him for his efforts, but they are far and few between.

Even so, the devices built on Hon Lik’s model failed to impress – by marketing, or by use, nobody can say, for certain.

The Push Forward

Internationally, sales of electronic cigarettes were low. So low, in fact, that their ability to work as a smoking cessation device was somewhat laughable.

It wasn’t until two British entrepreneurs found a way to compact the three part components into a suitable, lightweight size when the industry made its first push forward.

Umer and Tariq Sheikh are, in many ways, the founders of the cartomiser. This small, but important, piece of technology allowed a coil and the e-juice to be easily combined and connected to the battery chamber, via a simple screw and lock method. Launched in 2008, it is now the most popular, and original of cig-alike builds, found in establishments across the county, from petrol stations to local shops.

The Market Blast

The major milestone in e-cigarettes came about – arguably – with Joytech’s eGo range of e-cigs, in 2009. These units introduced the 510 threaded connection, allowing for the battery to be unscrewed from the tank and interchanged with other 510 threaded components. They also introduced the firing button, allowing the vaper to activate the battery when wished – the cig-alikes, although still a popular starting point and activated by simply inhaling, just couldn’t offer as much power and as much choice as the eGo series. With the clearomiser becoming a trendy alternative to the cartomiser, all manner of devices were then put into production, from all of the big names we know of today.

Despite the trend beginning to expand around the globe, the big tobacco giants still dismissed the whole concept as a bit of a fad. It wasn’t until vape shops and stalls starting to spring up in every town, everywhere, when the tobacco industry suddenly started to take notice and started to panic. Their natural response was to start manufacturing their own e-cig products. Some of the biggest brands we see advertised and for sale on vaping shelves are sidelined products from the tobacco giants.

When one stops to think about this, they can only come to the conclusion that vaping is here to stay, and smoking is now the fad, that will slowly fade away.

Today And Beyond

E-cig technology is now branching out in all directions, catering for every vapers personal taste and style. An e-cig, to a vaper, is just as much a part of their life, and their person, as their mobile phone. The two piece cig-alikes are now available nearly everywhere, and are helping many smokers ditch their habit. The higher end devices can be customised in all manner of ways, giving the vaper the opportunity to give their e-cig its own character and boldness. Coils are being pushed to their limits, allowing for sub-ohm vaping to be utilised, creating mass amounts of cloud in return. Mods and coils can be built from the ground up, making a whole new arena in e-cig use and vaping as a whole.

We really can’t hazard a guess as to what the future holds for e-cigs. We know that smoking is on the decline, and we know that vaping is on the rise. With the industry exploding in every direction imaginable, the future of vaping looks to be on solid and stable ground.

Four Conditions Which Medical Marijuana Can Help

medical marijuanaHere in the UK, medical marijuana is rarely prescribe, which is a terrible shame as it’s proving to be a hugely helpful drug for so many conditions. Cannabis clinics in Canada  are prescribing for more and more conditions and the explosion of marijuana as a medical treatment is having a knock-on effect on both crime rates AND contributing huge amounts to the economy. I’ve been doing some research myself recently about medical marijuana and was surprised by some of the conditions which can be treated using it, so I thought I’d give you a look at some of the many things that can be helped by cannabis:

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus can grow in other parts of the abdomen and even in other organs such as the lung and brain. As well as heavy bleeding and infertility, endometriosis causes chronic pain and muscle contractions, both of which can be helped by medical marijuana. Many opiates don’t have an effect on endometriosis pain, but cannabis has been hugely beneficial to sufferers, who’ve replaced strong pain killers entirely.

ADHD

Adult ADHD is a massively under-researched condition which is finally getting recognition and more diagnoses. The effects of marijuana on adhd can be truly profound and many sufferers prefer to use marijuana than conventional ADHD drugs as there are far fewer side effects. Marijuana can help with focus issues, sleep problems and some of the impulsiveness and tics which can be associated with ADHD.

Cancer

There has been masses of research done into the effects of marijuana on cancer, and despite the fact that it’s still rarely being used, it’s being shown to have huge effects on cancerous growths. As well as helping the cancer itself, cannabis can be used to help stimulate an appetite in patients who are being treated with chemotherapy, which in turn can help patients to avoid weight loss and loss of energy during treatment.

Epilepsy

According to a study which was conducted back in 2013, marijuana can reduce seizures in patients by up to 50%, which could potentially be a huge number of people who could be helped. Epilepsy can have a profound effect on a person’s life, so something as simple as cannabis as a treatment rather than expensive drugs which have negative side effects could change the lives of millions of people.

Do you have a chronic condition which could be helped by medical marijuana? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear about it.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel… Preventative Measures As We Age

We don’t like to discuss it because of all the anxiety that comes with it, but old age is something we’ve all got to face. And while there’s a lot more in the news about what you can do to prepare for the onset of things like Alzheimer’s or dementia, what are the real issues we can prepare for at any age? And in fact, it’s not even just issues that are related to old age, but the fact is that deterioration is something that happens to all of us. So what are the main concerns and what can we do about it?

Cancer

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It’s something that affects a lot more now in the modern world than it did decades ago but that’s not to say that modern living is the cause for us all running the risk of getting cancer. The risk of developing cancer does increase as we age. And the rates of skin cancer are through the roof now, especially in younger people, so that’s not to say that it is exclusively an age-related condition. Cancer is something that can have a profound impact on our lives, and while there is no one way to prevent it, as we’ve all seen that even young, seemingly healthy, individuals can get cancer at a young age. And a lot of people are now subscribing to the fact that cancer is down to an acidic body which a lot of people are dismissive of. The only thing we can all do to keep on top of this is to make sure we get regular check ups and listen to our body. Also if you feel that something isn’t right, especially on a superficial level, such as moles or lesions, that you have a concern about there are specialised organisations like SkinHealth UK who can screen you for tests. The amount of research into cancer is continually increasing, but the cliche is, of course, that we do our best to live healthy lives and cut down on stress. And this isn’t just a vital part of your life as you get older, but it’s something you can do right now, whatever your age.

Arthritis And Osteoporosis

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In many ways, two sides to the same coin. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and affects half of the elderly population in the world. Preventing arthritis is all about doing regular and steady exercise rather than overdoing it at the weekend. A decrease in bone mass is a major contribution towards osteoporosis which can be prevented by avoiding specific triggers such as alcohol, smoking, and even drinks like soda, which will encourage your body to lose calcium. If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, it is taken from our bones. Exercise is another way to increase bone mass, and there’s a lot of research in weight training as a way to increase bone density. But the trick is, especially if you are over 50, to build up your baseline level of fitness, which means you need to do just enough to feel the benefits, but also make sure that you rest adequately.

Hearing Loss And Vision Impairment

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One of the first things to go as we age, our vision can be affected by varying ailments such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Surprisingly smokers are at a higher risk for macular degeneration, and it’s a habit that needs to be stubbed out as soon as possible. Again regular check ups will be the key to preventing something like glaucoma, because if you lose your vision due to that, you can’t get it back. Hearing loss is a major issue for people as they get older and it doesn’t just impact the quality of life, but it can be seen as a contributing factor towards depression and withdrawing from social activities. And while there are solutions for coping with hearing loss such as hearing aids, only one in four people use them. Lifestyle is a big contributor to hearing loss, especially if you go to loud concerts and use earphones that go directly into your ear canal.

Depression And Anxiety

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Naturally, as we become concerned about our mortality issues, anxiety and depression can rear their ugly heads and can cause us to feel disconnected from our loved ones. Depression is such an overarching condition, but research is showing that the one thing that will help with managing the symptoms of depression is a social life, however little it may be. Feeling withdrawn can compound itself, so if you can find a way to interact with people, this will be a big help. For a lot of people, depression arises as a side effect of retiring. Many people find their sense of self-worth is tied up into their work and so feeling without purpose has led to an increase in suicide rates. To combat this feeling of uselessness, it’s vital that you stay connected to whoever is around you. As we age, we think of more about the parents or grandparents we have lost, but with the children and grandchildren that come along, it is a new lease of life. Ultimately it’s about finding what makes you happy and gives you a sense of purpose in life, which is something we all tend to lose track of because we are dwelling on the more negative parts of aging.

These are the most fundamental parts of getting older. We are all susceptible to more disease, mental health problems, as well as losing our faculties. Prevention is always better than cure as we age, but if we can enter into old age with an open mindset rather than a negative one, this will prepare us more for the challenges that lie ahead. They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but also our twilight years can be a waste if we don’t use them properly. Whatever your age, you can start now to think about putting the lifestyle practices in place that will help you to enjoy your old age and make the most of your time on this earth. So, do the things you’ve always wanted to do, while you can!

Discreet Treatment for Chlamydia

So, you’ve had unprotected sex with someone and it was great…until you get a text to say “Err…I’m really sorry but I think I gave you chlamydia…”. This might sound like something which happens to someone in their early twenties, but actually rates of middle aged STD contraction has gone up at an eye-wateringly sharp rate, for a number of reasons.

40 years ago, the majority of middle-aged people were married or in long term relationships, but with divorce rates high, dating apps the go-to method of meeting someone new, and sexual liberation giving people more freedom to explore their sexuality, more middle-aged people than ever are getting diseases which would once have been considered the plight of the young.

Chlamydia is one of those diseases which is easy to treat, but also goes undetected really often (up to SEVENTY percent of women don’t even know they have chlamydia) and when left to do it’s thing can lead to some pretty devastating symptoms, including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and even total infertility.

The key to coming away unscathed is treating it promptly, so if you’ve had sexual unprotected contact with someone then make sure you get tested ASAP. It’s also possible to buy the medication you need online without a prescription, just by filling in a questionnaire. Azithromycin Chlamydia antibiotic tablets are a two-tablet dose and is 95% effective at clearing the infection, allowing you to avoid a potentially awkward conversation with your GP!

If you think you’ve been in contact with an STD, it’s also possible to buy home testing kits, giving you another discreet option for detection and treatment. However, don’t forget that you’ll also need to inform any other sexual partners that you may have had in the meantime – and investing in a stash of condoms would also be a good idea for any future encounters that youmight end up having!

 

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after Childbirth

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after ChildbirthChildbirth is an exciting time and there are many news skills to master – and for some women, managing incontinence may be one of them.

It is a common problem that many women suffer from, mainly in the short term. In rare cases, it may be a long-term issue that requires further medical help to alleviate the systems. Being informed means being prepared and so check out these five top tips for managing incontinence after childbirth.

Tip 1 – Use appropriate pads and products

There is a range of incontinence pads in various absorbency levels that make managing incontinence on a daily basis much easier. Unlike sanitary towels, they trap odour as well as urine. They absorb the urine away from the skin, preventing soreness a common complaint alongside urinary incontinence.

They can be worn day and night, and are the ideal solution for catching accidental leaks of urine post childbirth. They allow you a sense of confidence in that embarrassing leaks are stopped in their tracks, great for when you go to post-natal exercises class or enjoy activities with your family.

Tip 2 – Pelvic floor exercises

Alongside incontinence pads, performing pelvic floor exercises several times a day help to combat a weak bladder. These exercises are discreet but incredibly powerful as they tone the pelvic floor muscles, meaning you gain control of your bladder.

The great news is that you can do these exercises anywhere, they are free and require no complicated or expensive equipment.

The pelvic muscle runs from the front of your pubic, across your body to the base of your spine. It is a sling like muscle and during pregnancy, is under pressure not only from the weight of your growing baby but also from a cascade of pregnancy hormones. It is under further pressure during labour and clearly, all that pushing during childbirth also impact on it.

To strengthen it, you need to tighten and hold the muscle for a few seconds and then perform a controlled release. Some people also suggest ‘forcing’ the muscle to relax as the final step. Doing this means that the muscles go through its full movement.

Not sure where your pelvic muscle is or which part to clench? Find out more here.

Tip 3 – Yoga

Incontinence pads and pelvic floor muscles are fantastic just after giving birth mainly because the pelvic floor exercises help you heal and the pads make incontinence much easier to manage.

Now that you have fully recovered you may decide you want to try something that strengthens your pelvic floor in the longer-term. Yoga is having some great results for people who suffered from stress incontinence – in other words, an accidental leak of urine when they cough, sneeze, exercise and so on.

Yoga strengthens and tones a variety of muscles groups, including those in the abdomen, the lower back and the pelvic floor muscle itself. There are various yoga poses that can help manage incontinence better and your qualified yoga instructor will be able to help.

Tip 4 – Train your bladder

Some people find that bladder training helps them too. This works with stress incontinence but with urge incontinence too. The latter is when the bladder has a sudden urge to empty, making it difficult to get to the toilet in time. If you can’t make it to the bathroom in time, an embarrassing leak could ensue.

Training your bladder means holding on between toilet breaks for a certain length of time. For example, when you get the urge to visit the toilet, override this urge by clenching your pelvic floor muscles and resist visiting the bathroom for a length of time, such as 10 minutes. Over time, you increase this amount of time from 10 to 20 minutes and so on. If you need help with this, your doctor may be able to refer you to an incontinence specialist.

Tip 5 – See your doctor

Incontinence can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and so if it continues, becomes worse or you are in pain when you pass urine, seeing your doctor is essential. It is common for women to suffer from incontinence immediately after birth. For some women, it soon disappears but for others, it can carry on for some weeks. However, if you are still struggling to control your bladder several months after birth, see your GP or have a chat with your health visitor.

Incontinence, on one hand, is to be expected after birth but it should right itself within a few weeks. If not, follow these tips – which ones worked for you.

HARTMANN Direct stock a range of incontinence products, ideal for use during and after pregnancy, helping you to manage accidental leaks.

MARIJUANA AND BREAST CANCER

cannabis breast cancerMore than one in ten of all the cases of cancer in females is breast cancer. Breast cancer is nowadays the fifth most popular cause of death by cancer and the second most popular type of non-skin cancer.

Marijuana has been widely recognized as an efficient means of treating various types of cancer. It has been known to stop or reverse the progress of cancer. It has also been used to treat various symptoms that cause cancer. There are over a hundred different types of cancer that people suffer from. They include cancers of the skin, lung, prostate, colon, breast, brain etc. Breast cancer is one of the most common of all. It is estimated that 12.5% of women will suffer breast cancer. Breast cancer accounts for at least 10.4% of cancer cases in women worldwide.

In the year 2004, 519,000 people died from breast cancer in the world. This is about 7% of all deaths by cancer. And it is about 1% of total deaths worldwide. The scientific research the last years has proven that cannabidiol (a chemical compound of Cannabis) has the ability to stop the gene that causes metastasis in a kind of breast cancer. The breast cancer is called triple-negative.

The hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 also known as HER-2, estrogen receptors and some progesterone receptors are the facilitators of most breast cancers.

Progesterone receptor positive (PR+) and estrogen receptor positive (ER+) are common and they could be present in 66% of breast cancer cases especially in older women. The receptors are sensitive to at least one of these hormones.

Triple-Negative breast cancers do not show these receptors so the ways to fight them are less than normal. This kind affects about 15% of cancer patients and it does not have the 3 hormone receptors that most successful cancer therapies focus on.

CBD and THC can work in conjunction with the endocannabinoid system of the body to prevent cancer cell growth, prevent the spread of cancer cells and cause the death of cancer cells. There are several medical marijuana strains that could help fighting the symptoms of cancer.

THC and CBD can also stop healthy cells from being affected by cancer cells. Marijuana has no side effects unlike chemotherapy, opiates and most pharmaceutical therapies available.

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and conducted in 2014 at the California Pacific Medical Research Center showed that CBD the non-psychoactive cannabinoid can be efficient at curbing the growth of breast cancer cells. The researchers revealed that CBD could be a more harmless and efficient treatment for cancer. It avoids the negative effects of chemotherapy and it works for many patients unlike chemotherapy that works for just a certain percentage of cancer patients.

One of the major health concerns for women worldwide is breast cancer. The means available for treating breast cancer are painful, costly and come with side effects. It is hoped that the ongoing research will bring us new evidence will show the effectiveness of marijuana in fighting cancer and saving more lives.

Seeds Pack the Ultimate Punch (Giveaway)

Any parent of young children will be familiar with those times when you grab for something – anything – that will give you the energy to get through the next few hours without falling asleep on your laundry pile or sink full of dishes. A tablespoon of peanut butter at 9pm; half a baguette at 5am; handfuls of dry cereal as the older kids eat breakfast and you look for your keys, and shoes.

While pregnant we are endlessly mindful about what we eat, drink and breathe. We look after our bodies for the sake of our precious, unborn child and are glowing, buoyant gatekeepers – eating well, taking our vitamins and drinking our litres of water. But once baby is born we all-too-often become janitors – shuffling through the day on just enough empty calories to keep us upright and putting all the focus on keeping the children healthy. Actually the truth is that eating a healthy, nutritious diet while breastfeeding, or through days of little sleep, or while balancing households full to the brim with dependents, is just as important as during those serene, pregnant days. And prioritizing a balanced diet of healthy, whole foods for mum – plate-spinner and family-pivot – is crucial for our health, energy, happiness and mental health.

And here’s where we come to the star of the show – seeds – which really do pack a punch for such a small player. Seeds provide us with a wide range of essential oils and nutrients and fall within the guidelines of most dietary restrictions. Snacking on seeds not only offers fantastic health benefits, providing much-needed nutrients, they are full of slow-release energy, so perfect for long days (and nights) as parents of young children.

Share the Love

And let’s not stop there. Seeds are great for kids too. With so many nut allergies around, seeds are a safe go-to gap-filler. And their slow-release energy is a winner when it comes to being focused. Unlike the peak and crash of a high sugar snack, it’s well documented that eating whole foods result in better application, concentration and stamina for the classroom, pitch and playground.

Don’t know your linseed from your birdseed? Don’t worry. Allow us to shepherd you through the seeds currently topping the pops, how best to use them and their various life-bettering properties.Chia means ‘strength’ and as far as fuel goes, it doesn’t get much better than this. Chia seeds are full of nutrients and, unlike some seeds, come with very few calories. Harvested from a flowering plant in the mint family, these seeds can absorb a lot of liquid – they expand to hold about ten times their dry weight. Chia is a real all-rounder; it’s used in puddings and porridge, added to smoothies and sprinkled on salads.

Flaxseed (also called linseed) is packed full of good things including dietary fiber, omega-3 and vitamin B1 – you can see why it is often referred to as wonder food. You have to grind flaxseed before using it but once you’ve done that labour of love, you can add it to anything from morning porridge to homemade bread.

Pumpkin seeds have long been a favourite for healthy snackers, and they haven’t lost their appeal. Bringing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential acids with every handful, these seeds are seriously versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked in sweet or savoury dishes – or simply roasted for a super on-the-go snack.

Sunflower seeds are crunchy and nutty and usually eaten plain as a snack or simply sprinkled on salads. Filled with antioxidants, magnesium, copper and Vitamin E, they are top of their game and are even said to bring a glow to tired skin! Filled with goodness that’s drawn straight from the sun, they become the star of the show in recipes such as sunflower seed pesto and homemade bread.

Seeds really do deserve the hype. And there’s family fun to be had growing them too. Summer is around the corner, the sun will be shinning and kids love planting and getting their hands dirty so grab a paper cup, pop a few sunflower seeds and soil into it and get kids growing their own in your own home. And for those of us who don’t have the time to brush our hair let alone grow seeds, there’s 9NINE.

9NINE products celebrate super seeds and are the perfect snack for people who care about their well-being but don’t always have time to prepare snacks from scratch. Seeds provide big tastes for even the smallest occasions – if you aren’t already, it’s time to take seeds seriously!

Nutrients in 9NINE:

Magnesium restores mindfulness with good energy
Fibre boosts your body with good digestion
Copper activates your immune system
Phosphorous looks after your mental energy
Vitamin E gets your skin glowing
Thiamin gets the best energy out of your food

Potassium gives your heart the love it deserves
Manganese maintains strength through healthy bones
Calcium keeps the balance with happy hormones
Zinc gives a natural immune boost
Protein is an essential building block for a balanced life
Iron keeps oxygen moving around the body

To win a collection of goodies from 9NINE, leave me a comment below telling me which of the ingredients you need the most at the moment, be it calcium for the happy hormones, zinc for your immune system or something else!

Winners will be drawn at random on 4th July 2017, no cash alternative will be offered.

Creativity for a Happier Life

Whether you’ve always been a bit creative or think that creativity isnt for you at all, it wouldn’t harm to have some creativity in today’s world. Thinking outside the box has always been a desirable skill and can even be gained after practice. You not have to be a natural at it, you can even start bit by bit to experience how creativity can positively affect your life:

1. More energy: If you are in the creative flow, you feel like everything is easier. It is easier to get out of the bed in the morning and easier to work for long periods of time with complete focus. Creative pursuit will also provide you with better moods and will make you happier.

2. Better work life: Your career will only prosper if you get a little creative at it. New innovation has created some major changes in every industry today and it will continue doing so. Even if you don’t own a business, creativity can still help you have a better home and work life as it can provide you with balance.

3. Ability to see opportunities: If you feel like there are no opportunities for you, try getting a bit creative. Creative people can do a number of things and make opportunities out of thin air. The ability to think of possibilities where there seem to be none will only help you in life.

4. Persistence: Any creative activity, whether it is writing, painting or anything else, will require a lot of persistence. And if you are good at it this will also show in other areas of your life.

So why don’t you pick up a creative pursuit today and let it transform your life? Creativity in itself is a reward, but you can also make sure that you follow through by rewarding yourself with things like playing a bingo game with bingo promotions at GameVillage or a copy of a favorite book!

What’s Your Excuse?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about writing this post because I don’t want it to seem like I’m attacking anyone. My friend Kate bestowed a mantra upon me a while back – “You Do You” – and I really strongly believe that everyone is free to do whatever the hell they want when it comes to their own body, but I’m not addressing people who CAN’T exercise here, or even those who don’t want to. If you’re happy the way you are or have physical difficulties, this post is not for you.

Now I’ve cleared that up, I want to talk about EXCUSES.

Last week, I saw an article about how “fat shamers” were on the wrong side of science and cited 7 different studies which apparently proved that some people were fat for reasons completely beyond their control and how people who “shame” others into exercising are bad. It gave reasons such as an “obesity gene”, poor sleep and how being overweight can make it harder to lose weight. In fairness to the people who wrote the article, each point was based on an academic study which proved the points they were making in a roundabout way. But here’s the thing:

They aren’t REASONS. THEY ARE EXCUSES.

I feel really well qualified to talk about these things because up until January of this year, I made a lot of excuses, including but not limited to:

  1. I have a range of conditions which make it hard to lose weight
  2. I don’t have time to go to the gym
  3. I can’t justify the money I spend on a gym membership
  4. I don’t want to be left with a lot of loose skin
  5. I can’t ask someone to look after the kids every time I go to the gym

There are SO many more that I could list, but we’d be here all day. Back in January, I decided to get real with myself and start being brutally fucking honest. I’d spent the majority of my twenties being overweight and I was damned if I was going to be unhappy with my body for the whole of my thirties too, so I decided to do something about it. And when your state of mind shifts, it’s amazing how those EXCUSES that you’ve made in the past become irrelevant.

Yes, I have diabetes and an under-active thyroid and endometriosis, but those things don’t stop me from exercising or moderating what I eat. Yes, I have a busy life, but so does everyone and if I can make time to binge-watch whole series of shows in a week, then I can definitely find time to exercise. My current gym membership costs £9.99 a month – I used to spend more than that in a week just on sushi! Loose skin wont kill me. High body fat will. I’m lucky that my MIL is an absolute gem and looks after BB when Husband and I work out, but even if she didn’t there are PLENTY of forms of exercise which can be done for free and with a toddler in toe.

As I said above, if you’re happy with yourself and don’t WANT to diet or exercise, then all power to you. But, if you fall into the HUGE percentage of people I see who give excuse after excuse for why you can’t eat better or move more, can I suggest taking a really long, hard look at those reasons? If you look and come up with solutions, that’s awesome. If you look and realise that it’s actually more to do with the fact that you don’t WANT to exercise, go from there.

I usually hate motivational bullshit which assumes that a one-size-fits all approach works for everyone, but there’s a poster up in my gym which really speaks to me;

If you want to make a change…I mean REALLY WANT IT, you’ll do it. Start small, install MyFitnessPal and track your food. Walk a little bit further than you normally would. Join a gym and try ONE class. You have nothing to lose except the weight and it will happen if you make the effort. Don’t allow the part of your brain which wants to sit at home eating ice cream and watching Netflix to overpower the part of your brain which wants to be healthier. Articles like the one which prompted this post are really not helpful because they just nurture unhealthy excuses for you to remain overweight or unfit. I’m all for love and support and being happy with yourself, but kidding people into thinking that their weight is completely out of their control is damaging and dangerous.

As I said, I’m not attacking anyone, just hoping to make you think a little differently about things in the hope that it might help you a little bit. What excuses are you making to yourself? Leave me a comment below.

Don’t Let Anything Stop You from Getting Back to Your Normal

Have you not been feeling yourself as of late? Have you, for whatever reason, felt a bit different to how you normally feel? Whether it’s a mental or a physical plight that is making you feel a bit off you can rest assured that there is help out there. There are services that willing and waiting to help you. All you have to do is accept their help.

If your physical wellbeing is in fact bringing you down, and causing you a great discomfort at that, then why stand for it any longer? There are host of professional services out there just waiting to right any wrongs in your body, so use them! You don’t have to spend all of your hard earned cash on bills, food and treats for your family, you know. It is absolutely not a waste of money to spend your cash on a bout of treatment for YOUR aches and pains. Whether this be in the form of a local chiropractor in order to ease your back and neck troubles or a professional massage parlour to relax your muscles, you do it. There’s no point continuing with your everyday life if you feel any discomfort, and there’s no need to do so either. No matter how big you think your problem is you should get it sorted in order to retain the standard of living that you deserve. Even the slightest of pains can be treated, and they really should be before they escalate any further.

Massage

There’s also no shame in taking care of your appearance if that does indeed ever make you feel anything less than normal. Now, you can’t hide your face away at all times which means you do have to subject it to things that will damage it. But you can still take care of your skin, you know. Similarly, you can’t realistically protect your mind from being stretched or frazzled at some points in the day if you live a hectic life. Sometimes life will throw stressful situations your way which will leave you feeling less than normal. But what’s stopping you from getting back to normal once the ordeal is over? If you are feeling nowhere near 100% in your own mind you should never be tentative to tell others. You should never be afraid to say ‘I won’t be coming out tonight’ if you don’t feel mentally up to it. Mental health is sometimes not given the care it deserves, so why don’t you buck the trend by bettering your mental wellbeing.

Mental health

Everybody deserves to feel brilliant every single day. Granted, there are a load of everyday plights that seemingly try their best to stop this. But it’s not about stopping with these plights it’s about managing them to suit you. For example, you can’t stop taking your kids to school in the winter and subjecting your face to the blistering winds. You can, however, fight the effects caused by these winds and keep your skin ‘normal’. Whatever ‘normal’ is for you, you should never let anything stop you from getting back to it!