'I needed a little push' - Tia-Ciara Nathan pictured yesterday at the 100-Day Challenge. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
'I needed a little push' - Tia-Ciara Nathan pictured yesterday at the 100-Day Challenge. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

Obesity

Teen determined to lose weight, with help from her friends  - Tia-Ciara’s story
by James Whittaker

Teenager Tia-Ciara Nathan always stood out as one of the biggest girls in class.

But it wasn’t until a friend convinced her to take part in the 100-day challenge that she decided it was time to do something about it.

“I always wanted to do it, I just needed a little push,” she said.

The 19-year-old, who weighs 293lbs, is hoping to be the biggest loser in this year’s weight-loss challenge and is looking to shed up to 120lbs.

She will have her friend Angelica Smith for support in the competition. Ms Smith, 20, who tipped the scales at 255lbs during yesterday’s ‘weigh-in’ for the televised diet and exercise challenge, is determined to lose some weight.

Her family has a history of diabetes — her aunty, nana, uncle and great aunt — have all suffered from the disease.

“Diabetes runs in my family, I’m over my average weight. I need to get some weight off because I want to be healthy.”

Ms Smith said she stopped doing sports when she was in middle school and spent most of her time in gym class talking to her friends. But she says she is ready to get in the gym and work off the weight so she can be in a bikini by summer.

Ms Nathan is hoping that leaving her job at KFC will help her cut down on fatty foods.

“It was just too tempting at lunch breaks,” she added.

Both girls suffered from a common condition in Bermuda — youth obesity.

One in five teenagers were considered overweight or obese in 2006, according to the Health in Review report — much higher than the average for developed countries.

In a more comprehensive study in 2001, the rate was one in four, second only to the U.S.

 

 

Diabetes

‘Your lifestyle has to change’ - Mark’s story
By Sarah Lagan

When former soccer coach Mark Jennings had his foot amputated last August, he was determined not to let it beat him.

Mr. Jennings, who holds degrees in Business and Criminal Law, suffered with type 2 diabetes from his early 30s.

An infection caused by an old football injury caused pressure sores on his feet which eventually led to the amputation.

While Mr. Jennings is now preparing to go back to law school, he is still heavily involved in his sport.

Not only does he continue to run his Grassroots Soccer Academy, he is preparing to launch a new magazine called Sport Bermuda and is involved in commentating soccer matches for the local clubs.

Despite his positive outlook on life, Mr. Jennings said he has learned a lot of lessons and if he could go back he would have made a number of important changes.

“It finally sunk in, after all this, that there has to be a change of lifestyle — you can’t just do it for a little while. I did not always eat correctly — I ate a lot of fried foods. I should have gone to a dietician more often.

“Being a person that worked constantly on my feet I needed to wear the correct shoes. You don’t necessarily pay attention, but every day you have to check your feet. Just because there is no pain it doesn’t mean there is nothing wrong.

“My quality of life is actually good now. It’s about giving back to the community, working with kids, educating them and getting them to be active and not to become obese.

“We can definitely reduce diabetes in Bermuda through diet and education. With those two together, our kids can live long and prosperous lives.”

 

 

Prostate cancer

Cancer struck at 57 - Michael’s story
By Simon Jones

Michael Dolding’s family endured the devastating reality of losing a loved one to prostate cancer.

He was only 57 when he was diagnosed with the disease in March 2006. He died just over two years later.

His family recently launched a charity called the Michael Dolding Prostate Cancer Foundation to help other families affected by the disease.

And they hope to start up a support group in the near future.

Mr. Dolding’s daughter, Tamsyn Doran, believes education and dialogue is the key to tackling prostate cancer.

She said: “Seeing what my dad went through and the pain he was in towards the end was very hard for all of us.

“The journey is long, hard, tense and all encompassing for all involved.

“It is never fully understood until one has experienced it in support of a loved one and each step allows you to appreciate where you were earlier on in the journey when you thought it was bad and didn’t understand how it could get worst.

“Only when it did, did you then realize how good you had it earlier on.”

According to a study of 30 high-income countries Bermuda was found to have the highest rate of prostate cancer.

Mrs. Doran said: “I know that after people found out my dad had prostate cancer more and more people came forward to tell us they had been affected by the disease too.

“It is a surprise to hear just how prevalent it is Bermuda.

“It is very much a case of having open dialogue about the disease and men getting checked out on a regular basis.

“Early detection and encouraging men to talk about prostate cancer is the key. There needs to be a change of mentality so men just go and get a check up.”

 

 

Smoking

Milestone birthday helped Somerset woman to quit smoking - Rhonda’s story
By Sirkka Huish

When Rhonda Furbert turned 50, she knew she didn’t want to still be smoking.

Knowing she was three months away from the milestone birthday was all it took for the mom-of-two from Somerset to stub out the habit.

Mrs. Furbert, pictured right, had been smoking about 10 cigarettes a day for 40 years when she “made up her mind.”

She went for her usual cigarette break with a work colleague before handing the packet to a homeless guy saying: “I’m not going to need these anymore.”

Mrs. Furbert said: “I continued to go for cigarette breaks with my colleague as I didn’t tell people I had quit, but I never had another cigarette.

“Believe it or not, that was it. It didn’t bother me that I was around it all the time, I found it was mind over matter.”

Mrs. Furbert started smoking when she was about 15 “out of curiosity.” She said she found smoking “enjoyable and thought it was cool.”

She soon became hooked and admitted smoking “just became natural.”

Mrs. Furbert said she was a “considerate smoker” as she wouldn’t smoke at home or in enclosed areas.

Over the years she tried but failed to give up several times, including when she was pregnant with both her children. One time she even managed to stop smoking for two years.

It’s now five years since she gave up smoking “for good” in August 2005.

Mrs. Furbert, who is now 55, said she never had any cravings as she simply drank more water.

She said: “It’s all about being strong and staying strong. You have to really want to give up.

“It doesn’t matter what others say or do, that doesn’t make a difference, it’s a personal choice.”

 

Health Report