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‘Prevention is better than cure’

Sunday, April 15, 2018
Fit and fab

Today I am honoured to share the fitness journey of one of our readers, a lady who battled illness, disease, and being overweight to become a symbol of the power of overcoming. Through difficulty to success Per Ardua ad Astra—is a motivating force for us all.

So today I will share with Fit and Fab readers my philosophy of weight loss which is accompanied by psychological, physiological obstacles and challenges.

Together we will shift our focus from losing weight to the more important objective of creating good health and optimal wellness.

Weight-losing methods are numerous.

However, excess weight is often the result of imbalance somewhere in our lives and we need to focus on creating that realignment if we are to discover ideal weight.

Obesity affects overall health in the form of hypertension, high LD and LDL cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, sleep apnea, breathing problems, clinical depression, anxiety, body pain, and others.

We have all fallen into the dieting trap but deprivation can be very frustrating and discouraging. Our commitment to change is something that fluctuates.

Therefore in any form of lifestyle adjustment we must take the bite-size approach.

Here are some lifestyle strategies for long-term weight loss. Our number one priority must be regular exercise and active living. Research has proven that physical activity is critical not only to lose weight but more importantly to keep it off.

The second strategy is healthy eating. We have to look after this incredible machine which is called the body. What we ingest has the same function as oil in a motor vehicle relating perhaps up to 80 per cent in terms of our physical wellness.

Eating poor quality food results in low energy levels and our overall health threshold.

In any lasting weight loss programme we need to look at our stress and eating connection.

For some of us when under stress eating tends to be a coping tool. We must therefore examine our stress management mechanisms to determine whether related to food and eating. To coin an old saying, “it’s not what you eat that matters most, it’s what’s eating you.”

In maintaining good health and well-being, personal fulfilment is an important factor. We have all experienced the feeling of guilt, regret and personal bashing. For example when we have eaten too much, not wanting or needing to.

Ask ourselves: “How can I get my personal pilot light going?

What are my passions? What are the relationships I have that support me? Have I set myself goals that are empowering?”

The journey of lasting weight loss is a change process. It is a step-bystep focus on a journey, a process of learning and discovery, two steps forward, one step back.

Perfection does not exist. Expect a bit of a roller coaster. The journey to good health should be a realigning of personal self in terms of wellness goals. “The journey of a million miles begins with a single step.”—Lao Tsu.

My name is Yvette Simone Alexander and I am a 52-year-old florist and decorator from Point Fortin. At age 24, I had a stroke. It was discovered that I was suffering from multiple adenomas of the pituitary, and a mitral valve prolapse. I suffered recurrent TIA attacks or small strokes. What followed was a colourful medical history with a series of physical problems.

In a nutshell, I broke my leg in three places, ankle and double spiral fracture of the tibia and fibia. I walked with a limp and I developed hip, knee, and back issues and was hospitalised for many months with various conditions.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, polycystic ovaries, kidney disease, and high cholesterol. In 2009, I was also diagnosed with sigmoid colon cancer Stage I.

As a result, I had to undergo major surgery. At this point, I decided on a wellness journey that involved clean eating and herbs, but it was not until I lost my mom to diabetes in 2012 that I knew my life had to change.

I was in the room and witnessed them cutting off her leg. I could hear her screams. I can still hear her voice saying, “Baby, don’t get this disease.”

After that I got insane to train.

Cardio, weights, you name it! I began to understand the healing value of food. Much to my surprise, I also discovered that I needed some emotional healing to continue to build my self esteem. Buried deep inside me was the hurt I felt for the years of unspeakable abuse my mother suffered from her abuser. I am now so much my own motivation.

I started the gym at 225 pounds, went down to 167 pounds and back up to 175 pounds, leaner than before, but my medical conditions sometimes got in the way of my progress.

Today I have almost fully recovered. I believe I look better and feel better and I have become a spokesperson and a motivator to many.

My advice: Prevention is better than cure. Clean eating is better than medication, surgery and illness.

Put yourself first.

My favourite exercises are the battle ropes and stepper.

My encouragement: With each new day we are given the opportunity to make ourselves better. We can be granted more time with our loved ones.

Remember that your present outweighs your past.  Leave everything that holds you back behind. Forget the bad memories and just do it. Nothing is impossible.



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