Firstly, the Bella Vi mineral make up set and make up lesson from Miranda Millen competition has been drawn and the winner is Annette Marr from New Zealand. Congratulations Annette, I’m very excited for you. And thank you Miranda and Bella Vi for the wonderful prize!
After the article last week on putting my health first, I thought it would be great to talk about listening to your body. Here is the first article on Listening to Your Body by Daniella Slabbert from Cancer Coach UK . Thanks Daniella.
Listening to Your Body
Listening to my body is not something that comes naturally to me. Growing up in South Africa, I was of the opinion that the tougher I was on my body, the more resilient it would become.
This theory stayed with me through my early twenties. I then lived in the USA for a year and even though I cooked a balanced meal at home every night, my weight ballooned. This is the first time I stopped to take stock of what I was doing to my body to be getting the results I was getting.
In my late twenties I moved to the UK and this is still home for me today. My weight dropped and stabilised so I continued to believe I was invincible, never really listening to the messages my body was sending me, and there were many small niggles that I completely ignored.
By 2004 I was in my mid 30’s and fell pregnant. My body’s intelligence took over and my tastes changed, so I would crave fruit and healthy food and exercised more. I gave birth to a very healthy 9lbs 6 baby girl. Still I hadn’t really joined the dots. Of course I knew that healthy eating would result in a healthy baby but the choices I made were not conscious choices. My body and instinct just took over.
By 2007 I had lost 2 pregnancies and had experienced a bout of depression. I was pregnant again and 3 months into my pregnancy I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I asked my Oncologist if there were any foods that would support my health during my treatment and his advice was to enjoy whatever food I liked, nutrition was not going to make a difference. I took that advice literally as permission to drop any food boundaries I had in place and spent the 8 months of my treatment eating and drinking anything I desired. You will be happy to know that I gave birth to my daughter Ruby after a lumpectomy and 2 sessions of chemotherapy. She will be 5 at the end of April 2012.
At the end of my treatment I really felt the full force of the ordeal I had been through. I became very depressed and was exhausted pretty much all the time. I had severe chemo-brain/brain fog and withdrew socially. This was my life for 2 – 3 years after my treatment had ended.
I had been listening to an interview on juicing and thought I would give it a go as I had nothing to lose. Within days my chemo brain had reduced substantially and for the first time in years, I had a brain which was consistently functioning. This is where I realised the power of nutrition on my body and brain.
For the last 2 years I have been learning to listen to my body. I have been working with a nutritionist who has helped me to understand the impact of food, environment and emotion on my body. I know that when I am feeling fatigued, I take time to rest. If I am lacking in energy, I know to increase my juicing and take myself out for a walk or do some exercise. I detox regularly and every time I tune in to my body more acutely. This has also led me to understand the links between emotion and disease a little better.
What I have found fascinating is that often when I am in the process of detoxing, I will experience emotional or physical symptoms from my past. I revisit them briefly and then they are gone. I have let go of some of the radiation I had on my breast by experiencing a dull pain for a day during a detox. I let go of a lot of the chemotherapy by experiencing a day of feeling like I had just had chemo. It sounds awful, but I know that the release of the trauma around my cancer treatment has been cathartic and allowed a deeper healing to happen naturally.
I am so much more aware of my body and the messages it is sending me constantly. It has given me a greater understanding of who I am and created space in my life to nurture myself. The best part of it is that the more I am able to support myself and my body, the more energy I have to serve others. My self respect has increased and the example I am setting for my children to follow will serve them in good stead in the years to come.
Daniella’s purpose in life is to help people post-cancer to find themselves again – to re-engage with life, to live life with energy and passion and create their most blissful and inspired lives post cancer http://www.cancercoachuk.com/.