Leaving a Legacy

36 year old mother of two, Charlotte Kitley, recorded her experiences battling stage four bowel cancer. She started a blog, writing about her various treatments and how the disease had impacted her life.

Passing away on September 16, her last blog post has gone viral. She asked her husband to upload the post to her blog when she died, and he did so on the day of her death. In the post, she wrote,

“As you read this, I will no longer be here. Rich will be trying to put one foot in front of the other, to get by, a day at a time, knowing I will no longer awake next to him. He will see me in the luxury of a dream, but in the harsh morning sun, the bed will be empty. He will get two cups from the cupboard, but realise there is only one coffee to make. Lucy will need someone to reach for her hairband box, but there won’t be anyone to plait her hair. Danny will have lost one of his Lego policeman, but no one will know exactly which one it is or where to look. You will look for the latest update on the blog. There won’t be one, this is the final chapter.

And so I leave a gaping, unjust, cruel and pointless hole, not just in Halliford Road, but in all the homes, thoughts and memories of other loved ones, friends and families. For that I am sorry. I would love to still be with you, laughing, eating my weird and latest miracle food, chatting rubbish ‘Charleyisms’. I have so much life I still want to live, but know I won’t have that. I want to be there for my friends as they move with their lives, see my children grow up and become old and grumpy with Rich. All these things are to be denied of me.”

And then she urged her readers to “in my absence, please, please, enjoy life. Take it by both hands, grab it, shake it and believe in every second of it. Adore your children. You have literally no idea how blessed you are to shout at them in the morning to hurry up and clean their teeth. Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserved to love and be loved in return. Don’t settle for less. Find a job you enjoy, but don’t become a slave to it. You will not have ‘I wish I’d worked more’ on your headstone. Dance, laugh and eat with your friends.”

Her husband is asking people to support the Bowel Cancer UK and all donations will go to the Never Too Young and Time For Guts campaigns.

Hit Your Travel Destination at Just The Right Time

best places to beWe can’t always decide when we want to travel. Our plans are dictated by school schedules, office schedules and more. But, if you could pick the date that you wanted to travel – you should have this book under your arm when you plan. The Best Place To Be Today is filled with 365 suggestions for the best place to be on each date.

Because if you’re going to go all the way to the Galapagos Islands to see the sea lions, and you get there during the months when they aren’t around – you probably won’t be so pleased. So, as the book says, get there on March 27th.

The book includes a new adventure every day of the year, as compiled by Sarah Baxter. The best time to visit the Iguazu Falls, for instance, is in December when the falls are at their fullest, and you’ll want to go to the Pacific Coast beaches of Mexico and Central America in September or October since this is when as many as 200,000 turtles arrive to lay their eggs.

If you want to see the endangered giant pandas in China, get there in April, when the females are furtile for a few days. And to see the cherry blossoms in bloom in Japan, you’ll want to travel there in March.

As author Sarah Baxter says: “When you drill down into the calendar year, you can find the world’s seasonal secrets, like Vanuatu’s land-divers marking the start of the yam season or the brief window of opportunity to trek while listening to the sound of mating pandas. Organizing the planet this way helps you pick a destination for that June honeymoon or your October annual leave. You can even use it to inspire your whereabouts on your next birthday.”

Eating with the Fish

If you love aquariums, you might want to check out the Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World in China. Visitors here can dine by candlelight in an underwater tunnel while watching fish, sea turtles and others swimming above them.

They can also be serenaded by underwater musicians during the meal. The Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World opened in the city of Tianjin in 2010 and has over 30,000 polar and sea creatures including sharks, jellyfish, seals, penguins, sea lions and beluga whales.

But from these pictures, the best part of the aquarium is definitely the chance to eat while watching the fish from below.








Don’t Shame Overweight People, Shows New Study

weightIn a fascinating study, researchers from University College London have found that shaming people about their weight makes it six times more likely that people will be obese.

When people get criticized for their weight they are more likely to comfort eat. And fear of ridicule also makes them avoid exercise. Lead author Sarah Jackson advises the medical community to avoid using the word “fat” and to be careful about shaming patients.

Their study included almost 3000 English men and women aged 50 plus who were weighed once, and then again four years later.

Published in the journal Obesity, the study showed that the victims of “fat shaming” put on just over 2 pounds over the course of the study. They were six times as likely to become obese. Those who weren’t criticized for their weight became slimmer over the four years, although only be a small amount. Dr. Jackson said, “Our results show that weight discrimination does not encourage weight loss and suggest that it may even exacerbate weight gain. Previous studies have shown that people who experience discrimination report comfort eating.”

Dr. Jackson explained that weight bias exists for the general public, and also for health professionals. As she said, “Doctors tend to spend less time with obese patients. They feel that treating obesity is a futile task and many avoid doing it.We need to find a way of addressing this during training, highlighting that blaming and shaming isn’t going to help resolve the problem.”

Blocking the Vagus Nerve for Weight Loss?

weight lossIf you’re struggling with your weight, this just might be the solution. Researchers from the University of Minneapolis have created a device that uses electrodes to block the vagus nerve from communicating the feeling of hunger to the brain. The vagus nerve runs the length of the torso and tells the body when it’s full – but often with obese people the vagus nerve becomes desensitized and causes people to overeat.

The researchers looked at 239 severely obese people whose BMI were between 35 and 45 and who had at least one or more obesity-related condition. They implanted the device to block the vagus nerve in 162 participants. The other 77 participants had a fake device implanted and both groups were offered weight management.

The results are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that, after 12 months, those fitted with the device lost 24% of their excess weight, while those in the control group lost only 16%.

As the study concluded, “Additional studies are needed to compare effectiveness of vagal nerve block with other obesity treatments and to assess long­ term durability of weight loss and safety.”

But it’s certainly worth keeping your ear to the ground with this type of weight loss idea.