Monday, August 2, 2010

HEALTH: Five variables

I didn’t get how dangerous weight can be until I read about sleep apnea.

It's one thing to know that when you are overweight you are more at risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and certain types of cancer: those are things everybody may face down the road sometime, if ever. But obstructive apnea is right here and now: a risk of dying anytime you go to sleep… Wow, that really hit home.

Apnea (“no breath”) is a condition when your breathing stops or becomes very shallow for as much as a minute, perhaps several hundred times a night. Many people with apnea don't even know they have it. Some of them suffer from symptoms of oxygen and sleep deprivation, like intense daytime sleepiness, general fatigue, lack of concentration – but others don't connect their particular symptoms with a sleep disorder. With a serious level of obesity, obstructive apnea is a given.

The good news is that in a recent study at Temple University, Philadelphia, involving 264 obese men and women with type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea, any amount of weight loss is good, even one pound. Losing 5–10 pounds is accompanied by a significant decrease in apnea incidents, and losing 10 percent of body weight usually leads to total remission; gaining weight or staying the same weight results in a worsening of sleep apnea, the study found.

Before you take the plunge into yet one more weight-loss attempt, you might want to look at five basic health considerations. Losing weight is much more than just the number that shows up on your weighing machine. Yes, that’s important – but your weight today is about you: it’s the story of your earlier experiences, your family, who you were... And it’s also the opportunity you have now to feel and look different.

In that spirit, here is a shortlist of five variables that you can adapt as you wish to your own lifestyle as you move towards your ideal of good health and optimal weight. Feel free to browse the five variables by clicking here:

The message here is that any health 'problem'

can be an opportunity for change ~ so that we and our body

tell a new story of health, energy,

fulfilment, confidence and pride.

Best wishes for this grand adventure!

Anthea Guinness, PhD ( is a freelance editor/writer and Certified Resonance Repatterning Practitioner (1993) in the Phoenix area who gives sessions by phone on a wide range of issues. Anthea can be contacted at