Monthly Archives: January 2014

Blueprint for a Cancer Free Life?

Written January 4, 2014

I have spent the last few days with my nose in a book. This is not unlike me as I have always been a bit of a bulimic reader. I can lose myself in a good book and ignore the world around me and then when I am done I need some time before I can commit to losing myself in another. The binge/purge cycle ensues. I enjoy marinating in what I have just read, especially when it involves an intriguing character or new world, or country. I felt ready to read about cancer, or better put, books on how to keep cancer at bay. What is different about reading these books is that they have not provided me with that feeling of satisfaction or sense of escape, in fact they have left me unsettled.

Clearly there is not a simple blueprint for remaining cancer free and there seems to be a plethora of experts on living a cancer free life. (I am also learning that even people in my life have advice on warding off cancer.) What I truly know though is that being healthy, truly healthy that is, will be a life changing endeavor and something that will take daily effort. I am a type A personality, I am a driver, I like to accomplish things, learn, experience life and being still and reflective and quiet is something I have not yet mastered. The book Anti-Cancer by David Servan-Schreiber was where I began, it was loaned to me by a breast cancer survivor. I found the book a great starting point for my personal journey towards living my life in a healthier way.

I am very aware that I do not do “moderation” well. I have always been an, “all or nothing person”. Thankfully this has allowed me success professionally and personally but I am discovering that this is not the blueprint I need for the future. I need to learn moderation and how to be content with not having or doing it all. I can manage the physical work out, in fact I am better when I am routinely working out, I feel strong and this physicality is a must going forward. Granted my body still aches after every work out, but I will not let that discourage me. I just need to rest when my body needs it, which I am being diligent about.

Where things get more daunting for me is with diet and stress management. I have always loved food and it is the quantity of food I consume that I thought was the issue, but I have now learned it is the quality of the food that should be my true concern. I think back to the copious amount of aspartame diet pop that I ingested from my teen years until I quit drinking pop in 2009. The years of smoking and social binge drinking and my zealous appetite for meat (any kind), cheese, bread, chips…and the list goes on! It appears that I need to focus on decreasing consumption of refined sugars, white flour and omega-6’s and animal fats due to their contamination from our environment and farming methods. In reviewing recipes and researching this will not come naturally to me, I will have to work at this daily, but I am up for the challenge.

I do not want to become preachy or extreme but I want to take steps towards treating my body like a temple versus a dumping ground. As for the stress part, yoga, deep breathing, walking, kissing my husband (and kids when they let me) and saying “No” a lot more will need to be my approach for 2014.

Happy New Years! Wishing you good health and happiness in 2014.