On willpower

Earlier this week, I was helping a woman with some basic calisthenics exercises in the park. She saw me doing some bar work and asked for help. She is eight years younger than me, and started exercising this year. She runs 4-5 times per week, including the park run, but she isn’t getting the results she wants, both in terms of how she looks and how she feels. Aside from the fact that she is running too much and needs to concentrate more on strength training to build muscle mass, the crazy thing is that she knows exactly why she is failing to meet her goal: her diet. She knows very well that you can’t out run a bad diet, but yet she still can’t stop herself eating loads of cake. (Her words.) Then she said that I must have good willpower. This really stuck with me as I don’t perceive

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On definitions of health

I read something the other day which I thought was arresting in its simplicity: ‘there’s no such thing as a healthy weight, only a healthy person.’ It gets at what I often struggle with when talking to people about whatever diet tweak I am doing at that moment. People often assume I am doing it to maintain my weight, when my weight has barely anything to do with why I dick about with my diet so much. I do it to try to control the various symptoms of ill health I have: IBS, eczema, asthma, allergies, mood, etc. It also points to the erroneous assumption that if you are generally slim, or have a healthy BMI, then you don’t need to worry about your health. That somehow you are genetically predisposed to health, unlike overweight others. From my own experience, I always knew this was bollocks. People have always remarked on

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On diet

Two things happened today. Firstly I saw a picture of the once supremely handsome (now vegan) Robert Downey Jr looking old, grey, and dusty as fuck; secondly, I realised that I can hang off callisthenic bars using one arm, including my bad arm/shoulder. This was previously completely impossible due to my shoulder injury. Both of these observations are related to diet. I turned vegetarian at the age of 13 or so for ethical reasons. I made the connection between the (delicious) lamb chops on my dinner plate, and the cute, fluffy lambs I would bottle feed in the spring time at my dad’s mate’s farm. I just couldn’t eat them anymore. I stayed vegetarian until I was in my mid-30s, after which I started eating some fish and meat as my health was clearly suffering as a result of spiralling food  intolerances and allergies and IBS. (Side note, in my late

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On insulin resistance

As a recent post indicated, I have been doing a lot of reading around health these last few years. I have primarily concentrated on literature pertaining to metabolic health and literature pertaining to the microbiome. This is all in addition to practising a healthy diet and lifestyle. The more I read, the more I became interested in learning about my own health markers beneath the visible or easily discoverable. This is mainly due to knowing I have a sweet tooth, knowing that when I do gain weight it is largely around my abdomen, and learning about the phenomenon of TOFI: thin on the outside, fat on the inside. As the health tests you can get on the NHS are sorely limited, I recently went private to get some more thorough tests through Medichecks. In particular, I was very interested in learning about my HDL:Triglycerides ratio as a more meaningful cholesterol test, and,

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On metabolic health

Many things in life baffle me. Things like: why do people participate in a global capitalist system doing shit jobs they hate for a system which does not benefit them? Why do so many people wear such ugly shoes? Why are there no truly revolutionary people living in the UK? Why do so many women look like drag queens nowadays? Why does no-one care about (data) privacy? All baffling stuff. However, the Truly Baffling Thing which has occupied my thoughts most frequently over the last two years is:  why, in the midst of a global pandemic which is disproportionately affecting the metabolically unhealthy, are people not making an effort to get healthy? Genuinely and truly baffling. It’s almost like people want to be ill and/or at risk.