These days it seems we are constantly bombarded, through our national and local media, with stark reminders of the dangers linked to our modern lifestyles. The toll which our cravings and attachments to pleasure is taking appears to be growing ever larger, such that a not insignificant percentage of the population of this country is likely to suffer from one or more of the following conditions, which we commonly term as ‘lifestyle diseases’ : obesity; diabetes; high blood pressure – and many of us are at risk of succumbing to the often fatal consequences of these diseases if they are left unchecked.
Possibly as a result of the warnings, a good many of us take action in a desire to intervene before things get out of hand and spiral completely out of control. New Year is a time when we typically experience a powerful urge to rebalance our minds and bodies and to renew. This urge is franked in the form of a New Year’s Resolution and so it is that once we have bid farewell to the Christmas season and its excesses, we embark on a journey to ‘put things right’ and undo the damage we have inflicted on ourselves.
We set off with the best of intentions. How many of us start by following a strict calorie-controlled diet, or take out a subscription to the gym? Sadly, and perhaps inevitably, it is not long before our noble intentions founder and we revert to our former behaviours. The cravings that are borne out of a need to reward ourselves gain the upper hand and we jettison the diet plan. The gym loses its appeal and we convince ourselves that at least we gave it a try. We forget our original motivation for setting out on this journey because, after all, there’s always next year…..
This moreorless happened to me, every year for 20 or more years. For a good part of my adult life (I am now 53), I was overweight, substantially overweight. I tried many diets during that time, and whilst I did succeed in losing some weight, this was invariably short-lived as the diet was not sustainable for me; it was either prohibitive and left me feeling hungry, or it was simply boring and lacked any degree of excitement. I also exercised regularly and went to the gym, convinced this would help me to burn off the excess calories I was eating. Again, this made me feel better, but it didn’t enable me to lose weight. It rarely does of its own accord.
What I now know, profoundly, is that this was the wrong approach, that our systems are much more complex than that.
I now know it is not just about how much we eat, how many calories we consume, but what and how we eat that makes the difference. The reason I know this is that I am a direct beneficiary of a simple and easy-to-follow approach which is open to anyone anywhere so long as they are willing to embrace it. It involves eating food that is primarily raw and plant-based, not processed or refined, and preferably organic. It doesn’t involve a 'diet plan' nor does it require counting calories.
It incorporates all the food groups including fats, carbohydrates, proteins and fibre. Last but not least, it is never boring; on the contrary, it is exciting, vibrant and satisfying. It is a way of eating which, instead of regarding food as the enemy, rejoices in food and in the act of eating. It makes ‘healthy food’ pleasurable. It is eating a ‘Mediterranean Diet’ with a twist.
Since 2009, I have lost 7 stone and have come off blood pressure medication, as my levels normalised. This was a wholly unexpected bonus for me, having taken the medication for 20 years. I also no longer take statins as my cholesterol level is well within the acceptable range.
I have loved every minute of this way of eating and it has added a more vivid colour to the tapestry of my life, to the point where I, together with my wife Annette, am excited to now share our experience and knowledge with anyone who is feeling ‘stuck’ and doesn’t know which way to turn, who is fearful of what may happen because they are suffering from a condition that they feel is irreversible or for which they feel they lack the energy to face without the support of medication.
Both of us recognise that many people have mind blocks which can become obstacles to improving our life situation. The key to resolving and removing these blocks is the ability to become more aware and to recognise that our minds, whilst being the incredible tools they are, can sometimes hamper our progress.
The reason for our excitement is that it doesn’t have to be this way if we are willing to embrace change, to accept our situation and be more compassionate with ourselves and think what we might be able to do differently. If we can do this, we can heal ourselves, and that feels rather special! Our Art of Calm Detoxing For Healthy Weight Loss Programme is designed to help anyone interested in embarking on this journey.