Health and “Lifestyle Factors”

There’s a meme that I regularly see online. It comes in slightly different forms but one example is: “…the majority of chronic diseases are preventable and based on lifestyle factors”. I also see it where the words “chronic disease” are substituted for specific diseases. So the majority of “cancers” or causes of “heart disease” are preventable and based on “lifestyle factors”. Now this can feel like it’s sending a positive message. That we aren’t powerless and destined for this fate, that we can take control. But the problem is, we don’t necessarily have control over each of … [Read more...]

Embrace the Festive Season

I am going home to Sydney for the first time in four years for Christmas and it's the perfect time for me to reconnect with loved ones and generally enjoy some time off. As I am getting older I seem to have less time to catch up with friends and family – work is the dominant feature of my life. I really appreciate the Christmas break. This is the same for most people. I am definitely not the only one that feels overworked and is looking forward to some relaxation. You get the Christmas period off and can use the time to eat, drink and be merry. For many this can be a frightening time: … [Read more...]

Your Brain’s Reward System

A couple of weeks ago I made a decision with my girlfriend to give up alcohol for a month. We both woke up one Sunday and felt pretty ordinary. We hadn’t had a particularly big Saturday night although we had been out for a friend’s birthday drinks. We just felt that we wanted to be better with looking after ourselves and having a drinks ban seemed like the obvious first step after a summer of festivals and constant weddings. Unfortunately it hasn’t been so easy. Something happens when you decide to ban a particular food or drink. Psychologically you want it more. Knowing that it is off … [Read more...]