Breast Cancer Awareness

Focus on building optimal health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to pause and remind ourselves to take care of not only our breast health, but our whole health as the two are intricately linked. Most of us are well aware of breast cancer and have supported a family member, beloved friend, or even ourselves through the experience of breast cancer. This month, let the pink ribbons remind us to take care of ourselves. Talk to your physician about your personal risk factors for breast cancer and when you should begin screenings if you have not already. Discuss your personal risk factors with your physician to empower yourself with knowledge for prevention and management of your risk. 

Most importantly, take time to focus on your overall health- a healthy body, mind, and spirit are a defense against breast cancer. Common sense measures have been shown to be beneficial in reducing overall risk: regular exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, managing stress, and eating a healthy diet of real foods have all been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Although nothing eliminates risk and none of us are guaranteed perfect health no matter how much we exercise or how much kale we manage to consume, should an unexpected health crisis strike, we can begin treatment from an optimal place of strength and resilience.

The next time you dread your date with the treadmill, consider your workout as a significant, positive step towards cancer prevention.  Try a yoga class or a few moments of meditation and deep breathing to manage your stress, again knowing that you are taking positive steps towards staying healthy. Build resiliency and strength. Talk to your physician for additional steps you can take to modify your personal risk factors.

The Benefits of a Plateau

And how to get moving again.

Have you ever climbed a mountain or dreamed of climbing one? Did you get to a plateau where you could sit, rest, and take in the beauty below and all around you? Have you ever reached a plateau in life? 

Sometimes we stall in our progress towards a health goal. We may climb one mountain only to find ourselves stuck, unable to move forward. Many people get frustrated upon finding themselves on a plateau, but a plateau can be a fantastic opportunity to rest, reflect, assess, appreciate the surrounding beauty, and gather tools to move ourselves forward again.

On a plateau we can stop for a moment to simply rest. We can pause to recognize exactly how far we have come on our journey, and enjoy the beauty of our current surroundings. 

A plateau affords the opportunity to look back and see how far we have made it towards our goals. Remember at the start of an exercise goal when everything hurt and left us breathless? On a plateau we find ourselves breathing comfortably with maximal physical effort, and we may not recognize the incredible cardiovascular progress in that easy breathing.

A plateau is an opportunity to pause and re-assess our health and wellness goals. Are our efforts still consistent? Are we working towards our goals with the same intensity? What worked well to get us this far? What did not work and are we still trying to do that? Are our goals specific enough- not just “be healthy”, but “get eight hours of quality sleep at least four nights a week”? Are there new obstacles such as grief, anxiety, or injury that we need to address before we can move forward?

Finally, a plateau allows us to pause and gather the necessary tools to re-start our journey. Do we need specific feedback more frequently to measure our progress? Do we need additional data that we can track to make sure we stay motivated? Perhaps focusing on mindfulness or a new exercise program can re-ignite our energy. 

If you find yourself stalled, I can help you recognize and celebrate your progress, help you re-assess your heath and wellness goals, and help you find tools to make progress on your health and wellness goals again! I can help you see the beauty in your health journey and inspire you to keep going!