Do you consider yourself to be thriving now?
If not, what would it take for you to be thriving?
I want to tell you a story. A story of a journey from disease to wellness – my journey to a thriving life.
I have learned that a thriving life can still have its ups and downs, and every day is a conscious effort to stay on a healthy path.
When you are told you have a cancer fight or flight, sink or swim responses come into play. I chose to thrive instead.
Being told I had cancer was a huge wake-up call. I needed to change, drastically. After having a tumour surgically removed, I made a plan to change my life. I brought my body to a thriving and incredibly healthy state, to ensure I kept this disease from growing back.
I immersed myself in all things health – reading books, watching webinars and seeking different opinions and advice from professionals. I ate super clean – fruits, veggies,nuts, seeds, eggs and the occasional piece of fish. I avoided eating meat and chicken as chicken can have excess hormones and I found red meats were too heavy on my digestion. I learned a lot about gut health and the benefits of having fermented drinks, so drank kombucha and kefir along with loads of good quality water. I stayed away from caffeine, and boy was it tough! I also cut out all alcohol and had no sugar. Unknowingly I put myself into a ketogenic state, and only recently have I discovered the true benefits of this.
For most of my professional career, I have worked in an office and have never considered myself as a gym junkie. I made a huge effort to move – hot yoga 3 times a week, PT twice a week and walking. I read and researched and changed my mindset. I was convinced I would get well and no-one was stopping me. I knew I had excess baggage I needed to shift and I worked on that and let any old resentments pass. I grounded myself – in the sand at the beach, in the earth when hiking. I got out in the sun and increased my Vitamin D levels substantially and I saw a good naturopath who started me on a course of high-quality supplements which included Vitamin C, magnesium, super greens, turmeric, good quality fish oil and flaxseed just a name a few of the staples.
How did all these changes make me feel?
I felt the best I had felt in 20 years. I was eating clean, I was moving more and I was letting go. I had, without thinking, adopted the Bonfire ethos of eat well, move well and think well and I dropped 15 kgs. I felt fabulous, my mental acuity was sharp, my energy levels were super high and I resonated with a vibrancy I had not previously known.
I looked the best I had looked for many years.
At that point, I should have kept going, but here’s what happened next.
I started to let old habits creep back in. You get to a stage where you think you can overcome them easily or not slip back to where you were. For me, I started with the odd coffee with friends, which turned into a regular daily occurrence. I started to slip on my healthy eating because I don’t enjoy being in the kitchen and I stopped moving so much. I allowed stresses in my life to take over again and I very soon found myself with increased weight and not feeling vibrant at all.
That’s where I am now, unfortunately.
Luckily, I am still disease free. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not conscious of the lifestyle I need to live. I’m not happy with how I managed to get back to this position and its time to get back on my Wellness path. I know I can do it and I want to do it. My taste buds, my body and my mind are screaming at me to do it and they all remember how good it tasted and felt to eat well, move well and think well. Obviously I hadn’t learned to deal with stress. That was the kicker that sent me off track. I’ve now learned how better to deal with stress and I recognise and appreciate more than ever how much the yoga helps with that process. As part of my new regime, I will be including daily meditation to complement clean eating, more exercise, including hot yoga (as its great for the mind, body and soul and helps the weight “fall off”), supplements (although I never quite stopped them), more sunshine and fresh air, lots of water and intermittent fasting (oh I forgot to mention that earlier – I did a fair amount of intermittent fasting previously to allow my immunity to reset and I used essential oils. Particularly frankincense as it too is good for your immunity. Two – three drops on the bottom of my feet each night).
So there you have it. That is how I went from disease (breast cancer) to Thriving. My only medical intervention was surgery. I declined chemo, radiation therapy and hormone therapy and I truly Thrived. I would be lying if I said I was happy that I’ve slipped back into old habits. But holding onto that regret, would be a huge barrier for change. It helps me to write and therefore I will endeavour to share my journey on these blogs. I want to Thrive again, I want to be the best version of myself that I can be, as that is what thriving means to me. My hope is that you will join me and together we will all improve our lives.
Chief Executive Officer & Chief (soon to be) Thriver