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Everyone has struggles that we may not know about

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

In Part One last week of 'Do we all have the same 24 hours in the day?' I discussed negative comments such as “No one is too busy in this world. We all have the same 24 hours. It’s all about priorities”. In Part Two below we'll look at how life can throw a spanner in the works of even the most persistent of people.

If it’s not a matter of ‘motivation’ and ‘grind’, what creates barriers in peoples’ lives that stop them from achieving financial, health, or fitness goals?

There can be many things, but in this case, we should look to research rather than conjecture and anecdote and the most comprehensive research on this are The Social Determinants of Health (SDH) as defined by the World Health Organization as ‘non-medical factors that influence health outcomes’.

We’re not even talking here about those whose chronic disease keeps them from being active and living a ‘normal’ life, but SDH affect them, too.
It’s all inter-connected.

This 2014 study outlines how Social Determinants of Health are inseparably linked to health outcomes.

So yep, motivation doesn’t enter into it.

The social determinants of health include:

Income and social protection
Education
Race
Gender
Working conditions
Housing and environment
Early childhood development
Social inclusion and non-discrimination: this can range from having friends to lean on during structural conflict
Access to adequate health services
Unemployment and job insecurity
Food insecurity
Put simply, we all have different priorities and needs.

Social Determinants of Health are why people who are lower socioeconomic status often have poor health compared to their more affluent counterparts.

Someone who is working multiple jobs, shifts, is on their feet all day, and/or is struggling to pay their rent might not give a sh*t about your amazing transformation.
Their 24 hours are exhausting and stressful.

Another person who lives on Social Welfare, or who is struggling to afford food at all, is probably going to have an issue meeting the latest fad diet guidelines which include organic kale that can only have been grown under the light of a full moon in soil infused with sacred manure!

It’s not that they ‘aren’t trying hard enough'. Their 24 hours are devoted to putting food on the table as best they can.

How about the person with a medical condition that saps their energy making them unable to work or even leave the house? Are they supposed to find the ‘motivation’ to force themselves to be active and ‘get off the couch?’ Their 24 hours are spent trying to cope.

These people aren’t lazy, and they don’t lack direction or drive. They also don’t have the same 24 hours a day as someone who shops at the trendy organic market and can afford someone else to clean their home (or who has a home) and mind their children.

They don’t even have the same 24 hours as a person who has a 9-5 job and a roof over their head.

These sayings make me so mad, and I’m sitting here writing this from a place of extreme privilege.
For someone in a less fortunate situation, I can’t even imagine how insulting and demoralised they feel.

We should remember that not everyone has the things that most of us take for granted: time for food preparation, having someone to do the cleaning (or the time and energy to do it ourselves), food shopping, being able to take sick days, being able to get out of bed, having access to and money for medications, and being able to work from home.

Those are all luxuries.

We often know nothing about the people who see our content or who we interact with, so proclaiming that we all have the same 24 hours, or that they just need to get up off the couch, or that a ‘challenge’ is good for them, can be really off the mark.

It’s also ableist: that is, assuming that everyone is physically and mentally able.

Your only point of comparison should be yourself.

If you want to do a challenge, you do it, but please don’t shame people for not doing it with you.

If you want to eat organic food, go right ahead, but please don’t say that everyone should be eating that way.

Everyone has struggles that we may not know about. What’s good for you, isn’t necessarily good for someone else.

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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