By Omar B. – It’s time to admit it. I am not very healthy. It’s nothing serious. I don’t need to go to hospital or have emergency treatment. It’s not that bad. But I need to accept that I am not in good shape. I regularly need to buy new clothes, I feel tired and inactive, I don’t look forward to walking around, and I am not happy with what I look like.

But this is going to change. The first thing I did was admit I was not in good shape. Then, I decided to do something about it. So, I started reading about health and fitness, and then I started making some changes to my diet and to my daily routine. I walk a little more, I eat a little less, and I eat a little different. This feels good.

But I don’t just feel good because I’m eating differently or acting differently. I feel good because for the first time in a long time I am in control of my health. I have this control because, alongside my diet and exercise, I am taking Alison’s course on Diet and Nutrition.

This course is giving me more than a list of instructions for dieting. It’s teaching me why certain things are healthy and why others are not. It’s teaching me what these previously meaningless words (proteins, carbohydrates) actually mean. Now, when I go shopping and when I eat, I understand why I am choosing this food. I understand what is going into my body. This gives me a sense of control over my health that I never had before.

This started when a friend of mine asked me “why are you eating more salmon?” All I could say was, “it’s healthy.” He asked me why, and I realised I had no idea. I just sort of thought “it looks healthy.” But then I realised that I had no good reason to think this. Did I just see an advertisement for salmon? Did I see someone who looked healthy eating salmon? Why did I think it was healthy? Knowledge is power, and without knowledge I felt really powerless. And I never realised that this lack of knowledge was one of the things that was making me feel this way.

The course I’m taking is also guiding me through really important issues like life expectancy and healthcare. These make me more confident that what I am doing for my body now will have long term benefits. I cannot tell you what a relief this has been. I can go shopping and have dinner knowing that I am making good choices. That really has made all the difference. I just wish I had done all of this sooner, before I gained so many pounds!

I suppose what I’ve learned the most is this: No matter who you are or how healthy you feel, it’s never to early or too late to take control of your diet. That control starts with knowledge. Find that knowledge here, and gain so much more.

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