Self employed James Ahearne has been making huge strides towards living a healthier life so we asked him how he'd improve Guernsey too.
'Hernie' runs No 1 Services Limited, and in his spare time he writes a blog about his journey to a healthier lifestyle. He's already succeeding with that having lost a few pounds and developed new interests including sea swimming. His friendly nature, sense of humour and infectious enthusiasm for his new healthier lifestyle are all evident in his five things:
1. A modern approach to medicine and wellness…
I would like to see an open minded approach towards natural medicines. I find we rely heavily on "big pharma" to fix our illness’, this approach that we are taking at the moment only seems to have a knock on effect, fixing one problem but creating another. I am not saying stop all pharmaceutical medications as they are important but they are not always necessary.
I used to get angry when my GP would say “it’s because of your weight." In reality it was, and now I have lost over 5 stone, 95% of my health issues are resolved. This includes my mental health as well as my physical health.
2. A more caring approach…
This brings me to; the way we treat people who use cannabis recreationally or medicinally.
For some reason we make these people outcasts by punishing them by law, but at the end of the day it's a plant.
The system at present is just putting these people in and out of prison, taking away their chance of a good job or even traveling the world. Take away the chances of being able to better yourself and this can then lead you down an even worse path and in some cases leading people to abusing such “drugs.”
If you look at my struggles; which were with food and alcohol, which are both completely legal, yet they have ruined many lives and very nearly ruined my life, but they have very little regulation.
In my opinion, you cant point the finger at cannabis, which is proven to have many benefits, and still allow junk food, alcohol and cigarettes which have been proven to be very harmful to us and are costing the island a fortune; all because its “socially acceptable.”
It's either about peoples' health or it's not.
I think it's time for Guernsey to catch up with the rest of the world and just once it would be nice for us to be in front with modern thinking!
Pictured: The States of Alderney this week became the first of the Channel Islands to discuss futureclegislaton of cannabis
3. I wish Guernsey would use its biggest asset to its full potential…
Guernsey is and always has been a uniquely beautiful place: in fact it is our biggest asset and we must not forget that. Yet, we seem to have all our eggs in one basket as we are relying on the financial sector for our economy. The finance sector is clearly a great contributor to our economy which we must embrace; but let's face it, they may not be here forever. If the worst were to happen what would we do?
We have the history here, we have the beauty here, but with the cost of getting here (from England) being a similar price as going to New York, it seems crazy to me. I ask you which destination would you chose; America or Guernsey? The travel links to the Channel Islands is embarrassingly expensive for an ok service. The States of Guernsey need to massively reduce the costs to get here.
We waste an awful amount of money in the wrong places, so either subsidise the travel here or sell the airline before the damage to our tourism becomes permanent.
4. Guernsey’s famous charm…
Let's remember we are an island famous for our character with 'hellos' and 'cheries', but I find we are losing our charm a little as it's being replaced with headphones. Even with headphones on we can still acknowledge somebody with a smile.
I always remember my late Grandpa (Bill Vile) who, when I was young, used to say to me “it's nice to be nice & a smile means the world yet costs nothing.”
It's cheesy but true, and this saying has always stuck with me and is something I try to do everyday.
5. Lifestyle & nutritional education…
I would like to see much more education on nutrition, physical and mental health for the youth of Guernsey. The knowledge of this subject has become incredible world wide and teaching this from a young age will prevent us having to “fix” us as adults. As adults we are far to stubborn to change our ways but when you're at school you are more open to learning.
When I was at school we were taught to eat our fruit and vegetables, but then later on in that same class we would be taught how to make a Victoria sponge full of processed/refined sugar! I am sure that the methods have changed a lot from my school days (which are scarily almost 20 years behind me), but you do see kids coming home with sugary treats which they have really enjoyed making, but trust me there are many amazing and naturally sweet alternatives. They can be learning how to make them with the same excitement and pride when they bring them home… A treat doesn’t need to be unhealthy!
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