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Life's current

About a year ago my doctor was looking at my regular check up results and proclaimed that I was pre-diabetic. Around 1 in 3 adults in the UK have this condition. 5-10% of people diagnosed each year go on to become type 2 diabetic, The good news is that this condition can be reversed by diet and exercise.

I followed the Blood Sugar Diet and am now beginning to exercise having had a sedentary job all my life. I go naked hiking with a local group, I swim at the Eastbourne Naturist Swim and we also just started naturist yoga.

I am very fond of history and in recent time particularly the history of naturism and related social history. Naturism was born out of a concern about the nation's health in the late nineteenth century and prospered in the 1920's and 1930's after the poor health of the nation was exposed by the need for (or lack of) healthy recruits for the Boer War and First World War. The current crises (obesity and strained health service) have different origins, but the focus on exercise and physical form promoted by government policy are the same.

Here are a few related books and articles that I found as a result of a trip to the bookshop yesterday. First a book on the new 'cult' of wild swimming:

Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain by Roger Deakin

"What's so attractive about Deakin's book, and what makes it such a wonderful traveling companion, is – apart from its pin-sharp descriptions and deep humanity – its subversiveness. This act of swimming in the wild, away from "health and safety", unsupervised, often unobserved, is, in some essential way, a quiet act of defiance."

This is an extract from the Guardian review and More details about the book can be found here “Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.


The following title takes a broad view of the growth of interest in health and beauty in a period that established the way these topics are treated in our modern age. Its an academic book, but its worth reading the review to see how the different threads in society have interpreted this area of our social consciousness in different ways. It explains how a 'back to nature' philosophy like naturism has the same roots as the opposite in the fashion and beauty industry. Also whilst naturism promotes gender equality and the removal of class distinctions, general society seems to be on the opposite tack. There has also been a view that naturism is a 'return to the past' movement and in particular promotes alternative medicine, but this book shows how the life reform movement also promoted advances in scientific medicine.


Here is a title on the same subject for the UK in a similar vein.

"... ‘a well-managed body was not only the goal of social policy but also an integral aspect of fashioning the self’. This project was steeped in the aims of modernity and progress, yet, as is pointed out, the belief in improvement and transformation was also tempered by pessimism about the implications of rapid social change and underpinned by longstanding anxieties about racial and social degeneration. This ambivalence could extend to anti-modernist stances among some groups, manifesting in pastoral ideals of a return to nature. Others, however, such as the New Health Society and Sunlight League, embraced modern technology and science, and many body culture enthusiasts represented themselves using the latest trends in modern photography, self-fashioning and posturing."

Please read the rest of the review by Dr Ana Carden-Coyne of the University of Manchester:


Thomson Gale discusses the following issues: (1) European body culture reinforced mechanisms of social distinction and reflected assumptions about social class. (2) Female bodies and women's physical activities in particular became invested with anxieties about sexuality and gender roles. (3) The state, the medical profession, employers, and physical educators promoted hygiene and physical exercise in order to create a performance-oriented, productive, and disciplined labor force. (4) The representation of idealized or adorned bodies symbolically delineated social or ethnic communities. (5) The cultivation of the human body allowed people to create a sense of self-fulfillment and personal agency.

Please click the link above to read more.

But for me I just like to take off my clothes and chat with like-minded people.

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