As most people know, helping others by doing something meaningful with your talents enriches your life far beyond what is possible when everything revolves around you.
We all have different skill sets and temperaments that determine the best way we can volunteer to help others. Not all of us are suited to serve in a soup kitchen or aboard a hospital ship in Africa, or as a spokesperson for a worthy cause.
On a routine skin check, my doctor Mileham Hayes casually asked me to read a one page synopsis of a book he was writing for the general reader. It was called The Missing Keys: The Medical Avoidance of Illness and Disability. It piqued my interest, and after I read the whole book I wrote a review.
It is a brilliant book. Dr Hayes draws on Big Data to map the reader’s path to a longer life and optimal personal health. The specific direction this path takes will depend on the reader’s sex and age. Based on information about the health problems most likely to kill or disable us in any decade, one can choose to take the steps necessary to head these problems off at the pass. It’s up to us to make our own customised health plan and take responsibility to follow through. Of course it is no surprise that the biggest hurdles to an optimal outcome are the high-risk behaviours: smoking, consumption of processed foods, physical inactivity and over-eating.
Dr Hayes felt that the proof reading service he used for The Missing Keys left much to be desired so he was deliberating whether to use it for his subsequent book, Newtrition: The PHYTO Diet: The most complete, evidenced foods to prevent illnesses. Editing was something I could do, and given the importance of the topic I saw it as an opportunity to help others, not just Dr Hayes but also everyone who wanted to read this book. So I volunteered my time and benefited from learning more about healthy eating habits as I proof-read Newtrition.
I continued to help in the proof-reading of the final two books in the Live Longest series: Successful Aging: The Avoidance of Declines in Capacity and Health (The Quality of Life and Death) and Slim 4 Life: The Total Weight Control Program.
Slim 4 Life is a practical, realistic guide to slimming down. Not only did I benefit from the knowledge that I was helping others through my proof-reading, but I applied what I was reading and ended up with a slimmer self. Slim 4 Life is the perfect sequel to Newtrition which details a micronutrient rich version of the traditional Mediterranean diet. In a world where so much is beyond our control, committing to a sensible weight loss program which is entirely in our control can boost your self-esteem. Will power and determination are critical, so don’t start the Slim 4 Life journey unless you are ready to be determined, dedicated, disciplined, resolved, devoted and restrained. I have already lost 3.5 kg and I want to lose another 2 kg. It helped to focus on the nutritional foods I love, rather than the junk food I had to avoid. When cravings started to stir, I followed Dr Hayes’ tip to redirect and ‘do something different’.