I received so not so good news yesterday. A good friend of my parents and my old neighbour had passed away. He was only 63 and lost a brilliant fight to brain cancer. He was kind, he was smart and he was young. He had just not too long ago retired and I saw a whole new life starting full of trips, new hobbies and new adventures. It just seems so unfair. He was healthy, he ate well, and he worked out regularly. Sometimes these things just don’t make sense.
I had heard about his diagnosis nearly six months ago and it was then that really got me thinking about life and the very short time we have here. They say it really doesn’t hit you or affect you hearing the statistics on cancer until it happens to someone you know. Now I see why. I can’t even imagine if it were my own parent, sister, significant other or friend.
I’ve been quoting and preaching cancer statistics for years in my nutrition workshops, with my clients and especially to those I love. 1 in now 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime and 1 in every 7 men for prostate cancer. I share these stats with people not to scare them or make them fearful, but to shed light on the reality of the sick world we live in today.
I also share these numbers to empower people to start taking control of their health and start eating better today, rather than waiting until tomorrow. Tomorrow may be one day too late and cancer doesn’t wait for us to be ready to battle.
Our Illness, Our Wake-Up Call
I truly believe our illness, our disease our pain, is a wake-up call. This wake-up call can go one of two ways. Scenario one: we can choose to view the wake-up call as a sign to change directions, re-evaluate our life & health circumstances and proceed to make necessary changes to improve what needs mending. Or scenario two, we can continue to ignore the red flags that signal the need to slow down and pay attention and continue down the path to illness and disease. I much rather like the sounds of the former.
I encourage people to look at signs and symptoms much like the ones I talk about often here in these blogs as “mini” wake-up calls. Chronic fatigue, depression, headaches and bloating are just a few symptoms that occur when the body is not in balance. Please do not take these signs and symptoms or whatever it is you are experiencing lightly and do some detective work to consider what they might mean to you and how you can resolve them.
Life is Just Too Short
The wake-up calls are also warning signs to live your life to it’s fullest. Stare fear in the eye and go for what you really want. Life is just too short and we simply don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Believe in your dreams, follow your heart and truly live for today. Being in the present and appreciating all the little things- the beautiful sunset, your morning coffee or perhaps watching your newborn peacefully sleep, can help you live in the moment. Find life in these small things to help remind you how incredibly lucky we are just to be alive in this amazing, crazy big thing we call life.
I wish to God I could save the world from cancer and that I could prevent even one more awful heart wrenching statistic. It is my passion and grip to this cause that I know there is nothing else in the world I could be doing with my time, nor would I want to be. I know I can’t save the world, but I do know that by even helping one person prevent something like cancer or heart disease that I will somehow have succeeded in changing the world.
We must start with health education and prevention rather disease management and raising funds. We’ve raised billions upon billions of dollars for “the cure” but what have really done to educate people? Education creates knowledge and knowledge is power.
Please for the LOVE of your loved ones, start small and start today. Choose one thing you wish to improve in your health. Perhaps you desire to drink more water or eat more greens. Or maybe you wish to start eating breakfast. Choose something small and start there. It’s better than not starting at all and it’s never too late.
My heart and prayers go out to our friend and to all of our loved ones taken too soon from cancer. On that note Nutrition Junkies, enjoy every waking second of your much deserved weekend and grab yourself a green drink why don’t you!
If you haven’t yet got your tickets to our Holiday workshop Nutrition 101: Everything You Don’t Know About Carbs, Fats & Proteins!, with Fitness Model Mandie Freire, it’s not too late. I have few tickets left!