#269 The Missing Piece of Creating a Healthy Life After Breast Cancer

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In this episode of  The Better Than Before Breast Cancer Podcast , I'll give you a glimpse of a vital piece of a healthy lifestyle that many people overlook or simply refuse to do. 

Many of us have thoughts like: 

  • "I don't know why I can't lose weight." 
  • "I used to be able to make healthier choices." 
  • "I just can't figure out what to do." 

But what if, instead of dwelling in confusion, we shifted those statements to questions like: 

  • What has changed since I felt healthy? 
  • What was different in times when I felt in control? 

This episode discusses how to harness these questions and thoughts to reclaim your power and health by: 

  • Embracing the importance of planning and data. 
  • Shifting your mindset when it comes to tracking. 

Listen now and recall that leading a healthy life and supporting your healthiest terrain isn't about guessing but understanding what you need and what you're actually doing. 

Referred to in this episode: 

Better Than Before Breast Cancer Life Coaching Membership 

90 Days of Wellness 



Read the full transcript below:

Laura Lummer  00:00

You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started.


Laura Lummer  00:32

Hey, friends, you're listening to Episode 269 have better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. As always, I'm very excited to be here with you today. And I'm excited that you're joining me. It's so wonderful to get such good feedback from the podcast and continue hearing about people sharing it with each other and getting benefits out of it. I mean, it takes quite a bit of work and energy and focus to put out a couple of podcast episodes a week. And the reason I do it is to support you. So I'm so happy you found your way here. And I hope that the information that you get on today's Tuesday terrain talk will just be an extra tool in that toolbox to support you in creating your healthiest life. All right. So there's another Tuesday terrain talk episode. And we're going to talk about something today that is a foundation really of creating a healthy lifestyle. Not only that, but figuring stuff out. And so here's what I mean by that I'll often coach people who seem very bewildered by what's going on with their body. We're all here. I don't know why I can't lose weight. I don't know why I don't eat differently. I don't know why I'm not doing this. I used to be able to make those choices. And I don't know why it's not working anymore. When we say things like that, we really stepping out of our power. Here's something that I work with my my clients with on a regular basis is how can you take those thoughts that you have, like, I don't know why this is happening to me, and turn them into something that gets you into a state of curiosity. Instead of saying, I don't know why I can't lose weight, to ask yourself, that's interesting. What has changed since the time I could lose weight. And I don't mean, what has changed. As far as I went through chemo, I had cancer. That's not what I mean, although that is going to play a part in it. But if you're not experiencing the type of health that you want to be experiencing, or moving closer to it, seeing advancements and small steps towards it, if you're not seeing your lifestyle shift towards the lifestyle that you want to be living, well we're going to talk about today is a very important step for you to take. Now, when I start to talk about it, I already know resistance is going to come up with a lot of people because this topic brings up resistance is brought it up for me. And I still go in and out of resistance when it comes to it. And what we're going to talk about is data is planning. And you may be thinking this is a Tuesday terrain talk, what is planning have to do with creating my healthiest body. And I like to use money analogies for a lot of things, because I think most of us are very connected to our money. And some of us have healthy relationships, some don't have really healthy relationships, some of us fall in between we break up, we get back together. But we can all identify with concepts around having money not having money and managing money. So let's think about planning in terms of money. If every day you went to work, let's say during your working life, whether you're working or retired now, I don't know. But anytime that you went to work, if you had no idea what you were gonna get paid, right? You never negotiated the pay, you're just like, I don't know, I don't know what I'm gonna get paid. I don't know when I'm gonna get paid. And then when you had money, and you never looked at your bank account, and you would say, I have no idea how much money I have in my bank. You wanted to go get groceries and you thought, Well, I'm gonna buy whatever I feel like buying, but I have no idea if there's enough money in there to cover it. Is that something that you would do? Of course, no. Right? Because one is not financially responsible to. It's a really uncomfortable feeling. Three, who in the right mind would go to work every single day having no idea when they're gonna get paid or what they're gonna get paid. We just don't allow that to happen in our life. We don't sit back and say, Well, I hope when I go to work, they'll pay me. We step in. And we take responsibility for our money throughout our life. And what we do with our money and we make conscious, intentional decisions, even if that conscious intentional decision sometimes is to not look at money or not manage money because we haven't worked on the other thoughts around money. So let's translate that now over to your health. Over to food we can all identify with food when it comes to planning when I think food and I Exercise are probably two of the most important things that we can all identify with, you know, food planning, meal planning, grocery buying, budgeting, things like that. But it also extends planning extends to things like taking time for meditation, creating time to get to bed on time, thinking ahead forecasting, am I going to have a glass of wine tonight? Well, I make it to the yoga class in the morning. Everything we do around our lifestyle, that we decide these components of a lifestyle are important to me, I believe that that's a healthy lifestyle that works for me, when you're creating that. One thing that people tend to shy away from, is planning is getting data. And we look at planning and data with a lot of times, thoughts of restriction, right thoughts of discipline, and the lack of freedom. I know for me, this was back when I first started really planning really doing what my clients and I refer to as purposeful planning, because I didn't think about it as purposeful planning. Now, as I coach it, as I implemented it in my own life, the way I plan, and the way I use data, is to live my life on purpose, to understand what's happening with me, and to truly be honest with myself about how I am supporting my body. So I'm gonna go back and use weight and food as an example, weight management, because you may not need to lose weight, you may be at a very healthy weight, but a lot of women after breast cancer after menopause, and as we age struggle with the desire to maintain a healthy weight, okay? When we're doing that, and it's a major component of supporting a healthy terrain, having a healthy level of body fat in our body is very important to having a healthy body terrain. And when we have thoughts like I just don't know what's happening, I just can't seem to lose weight, I gain weight, no matter what I do, I have a really healthy lifestyle. If you're not taking the time, to put into some kind of record, whether it's writing it down, whether it's entering it into an app, whether it's putting it on a ledger of some kind, but you're not actually looking at what you're putting into your body, and how you're moving your body, then you are essentially like the person who's going to work not knowing if they're gonna get paid or when. Because our brains are not that great at being accurate and honest with us, our brains always tell us we eat less than we think we're eating, and that we move more than we think we're moving. So when it comes to collecting data, we've got to know this, right? It's so important to look at your food and be able to say, this is how much fat I ate today, this is how much protein I consumed. These are how many calories I ate. This is how many carbohydrates I consumed. Because when we don't do that, we are usually Gosh, I'm gonna go with the 99.9%, we're wrong. And so if we don't know, what we're putting into our body, it's like not knowing what we have in our bank account, and then being frustrated, because checks are bouncing. So it also eliminates an important part of what you can do to solve the problems that you face with whatever it is you're facing. So anything in your health that you're looking at that you're saying, you know, I'm, I'm tired, I'm bloated, I'm not losing weight, I'm gaining a lot of weight, I feel uncomfortable, I'm achy, all of these things. If you're tracking your nutrition, then we can look at that and have a very valuable piece of the puzzle. We can look at it and say how many nutrients are you actually getting? If you're dealing with chronic constipation and diarrhea, things like that. And maybe they are related to medications you're on. But maybe you're also not getting enough fiber in your diet. And you think you're getting enough fiber because you told yourself I ate this right that or I have this many veggies but until we put it into something and we can look at it and get real data. It's impossible to know. And it's important to know, because once you look at what you're putting into your body, and how often you're moving your body, there's so much to work with. This is especially important if one of your goals is to maintain either nutritional or therapeutic ketosis because trust me from my own experience, it is so hard to get into nutritional or therapeutic ketosis without looking at the data. And there have been so many times that I have thought I was in ketosis that I was eating enough fat, but then as I plugged my foot into chronometer, which is the app that I use to track food. It's shocking how little fat I actually got into me. And then I'm going to scramble and get some more fat into me in order to get to the goal that I have for myself. So when we commit to tracking, even if you're not ready to commit to planning, and I want to talk about the difference between planning and tracking, if we're not at least tracking what is going into our body, and we're struggling without, with the idea that we're not maintaining or achieving the health goals that we want, we've got to start looking at planning and tracking with a different mindset. Because if you know, and you're looking at your nutrition, and you can see that you are spot on with nutrition, that you're really getting in lots of B vitamins, you're getting in the folate, you're getting in all the things you're getting in, then even the money that you're spending on supplements can be completely wasted. Because you may not need to be spending those money that money on supplements. If you're adjusting your diet accordingly, you can easily get in enough calcium, you can get in enough protein, there are lots of vitamins, definitely the macronutrients, but micronutrients and minerals that we can get into our body with food, which is essential, because if we're getting it in through food, it's typically going to be more bioavailable, being more easily accessed, and more easily used by our body than it is to get a supplement which we don't really know the quality of the supplement and how's that supplement working and do you need that much of a supplement. So if we can look at the data behind our food, in see what we're actually doing, and then adjust that and tweak it and work with our diet, to get it to work into our lifestyle as much as possible. And to get it to be optimal. Optimal doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to hit all the targets. But if we can track our food, and if we can track our lifestyle habits, we can track our sleep, we can track our movement, we can track our food, then we can make some big adjustments, and from there, decide what additional things need to be incorporated. We can also go to our physicians with this data and say, Hey, I already know this is how many calories I consume. This is how much I move because even though calories in calories out is not 100% of the puzzle, when it comes to a healthy body or a healthy body weight is a big part of the puzzle. So we want to make sure we get that in check. And I talk with a lot of people who, as I said a minute ago, will say to me, Well, I have a pretty healthy diet. But then once we start tracking and actually looking at the data, we come up with a couple of things. One, the resistance to putting that data in because here's the deal people, we love to think that we're kidding ourselves, and I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to this. And what I mean by that is when we want to have that piece of dark chocolate, that wasn't on the plan today that we think we shouldn't have, because maybe it has sugar in it or whatever our ideas of dessert might be. Now we like to go into the kitchen. And quietly unwrap that chocolate and eat it without anybody else hearing the the tinfoil become unwrapped, right if nobody else sees it. It's like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, nobody is there to hear it. Did it make a sound? Right? We're gonna have that whole thing going on when it comes to us and sneaking, I say sneaking because it's silly. We can't sneak things that we know we had, right? We're kidding ourselves. But we all do it, right. So don't be ashamed. Don't judge yourself. Don't feel bad about it. Let's embrace the fact that we all do it. And it's easier to do it if we don't track. So if you are committed to tracking your food, even if it's just for a couple of weeks, or for a couple of months, and you go to have that extra glass of wine,


Laura Lummer  14:03

you got to put the wine in the tracker. And when you do that, I know this has come up for me before with a variety of foods, including cocktails, but desserts or just something that maybe has carbohydrate. And when I think about eating something, I'll look at it and think I have to put that in my tracker. And when I put that in my tracker, I'm going to see that I went over I already know this is going to put me over my goal for today. And that in itself can act as a deterrent for me and not meaning that I feel bad or I feel deprived. But it's just a reminder is something that reminds my brain you need to be accountable for this because this is part of my goal. And I want to be accountable for it. So if I'm going to have an extra glass of wine, if I'm going to have even a piece of fruit that I know is a high carbohydrate food. I hold myself responsible for putting that in the trucker but here's what happens sometimes. Sometimes, I don't want to do it. I know I'm not going to hit my goals. I know that the watermelon right now is unbelievably delicious. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that something's bad or wrong about eating watermelon. But if my carbohydrate goal is 20 grams of carbohydrate a day, because my ultimate goal is to stay in therapeutic ketosis, I mean, from my own personal decision, know that I cannot consume a big tub of watermelon, that's going to put me over my goal. And so there have been times where I'll go ahead anyway and eat the watermelon. And I just won't put it in the tracker. This is equivalent right to sneaking into the kitchen and eating the candy. But saying, as long as somebody didn't hear me, it's good, right? So it's an interesting thing. And I've definitely observed this in myself, there's a difference between doing that. And the times where I say to myself, I'm going to have the watermelon. And I'm going to put it in the tracker, because then I put it in. And I think to myself, I already know the watermelon is going to have more carbohydrates than I could have in a day. But I've decided intentionally, I'm going to do it. And I'm okay with it. Because watermelon is not a bad food, it's not harming me, but it is going to move me out of my therapeutic ketosis, and then I am going to have to put extra energy into getting back in. So when I do that, and I put that food into the tracker, and I see how far over my goal it has put me, I find that to be really helpful, because then I look at it and I say, Okay, let's chill out for the rest of the day. Right? I'm already at 48 grams of carbohydrates for the day, let's chill out on the rest of the day. But I'm also satisfied, I know that I had what I had, I know I enjoyed what I had. And it's all part of the complete picture. So when we use planning, and tracking data, to understand what we're doing, and see the real truth of it, again, the real truth of it is so critical. Because it's never what we think it is, if we're not writing it down, then it helps us in so many ways. But what we tend to do is go into judgment. And we tend to have the idea that tracking something or planning something is a matter of discipline, and restriction. So I want to offer a couple of thoughts. Because if we can move past that thinking, then I think you can move into embracing the idea of meal planning, and of tracking nutrition, sleep, exercise and lifestyle habits as something that can bring you a lot of joy. Because here's the deal, you get to decide what you're going to do throughout your life. All tracking is, is taking an honest look at it. So if you find that you resist that, notice that for yourself and check in with yourself and ask, Why am I resisting it? Let's get curious there, what's behind the resistance, a lot of the times it's going to be I don't want to see it. Because I already know. It's something that isn't serving me to get to my goal. That's so important. Because you see where if you know that and you can work on that and you can embrace that for yourself, then you can move away from I don't know why this is happening to me. Right? When we talk about creating our healthiest terrain, we've got to step up and be in charge. We've got to consciously make decisions and choices. And we have to use these kinds of tools like chronometer, or some people use My Fitness Pal or whatever tool it is that you use, we use these tools as a benefit for us to increase our awareness of the choices we're making, and the results those choices are bringing to us. When we talk about creating the healthiest terrain, we are in charge 100% So if you were in charge of anything in your life 100% Are you just gonna let it be willy nilly? Are you just gonna say well, let me see what happens? Well, this, we won't track anything, but we'll just see how it goes. Of course not. So when we take responsibility for creating our optimal health, and for deciding on the goals, not an as I mentioned weight here, and I mentioned food, so I want to be careful not to hit a number on the scale, but to feel the way we want to feel. Right so over the last two, two and a half years I lost 75 pounds. I lost that weight because I wanted to feel more comfortable in my body. I wanted to feel safer. I felt like lowering the amount of body fat on me was safer and would give would benefit me and lead to a healthier outcome hopefully lead to healthier outcome but definitely support the outcomes I'm trying to achieve as I work to support my body's ability to heal. So when I think about planning my food, and I'm going to tell you right now, I'm not great at planning my food, but I am good at tracking my Food. Now, I said a minute ago, the difference between planning and tracking now I work from home. So when I am at home, I know what's in my refrigerator. And every weekend, when we do the grocery shopping, I kind of gravitate toward the same basics. I know I'm gonna have a salad every day. So I know what components I like in my salad. I know what kinds of proteins we have in the house, and that I keep in the house. I know what kinds of fats always keep in the house. So for me, because I do work from home, it's planning in the sense of I know what ingredients are there. But it gives me a little more freedom, when I choose to put those ingredients together for my lunch. And for my dinner. For me, that's enough planning. For some people, they like to plan the exact meal. And that is something I was much better at when I worked outside the home, then I knew I was going to make X amount of salads, I was going to keep certain things either in my office or bring them back and forth with me. So when it comes to planning,


Laura Lummer  20:57

you can shift that so that it fits your lifestyle. And it fits your mentality. And what I mean by that is, if you have a difficult time wrapping your head around planning a specific meal, then be okay with that. Notice that for yourself, and ask yourself, What's the thoughts behind it? Why do you tell yourself that? And are those thoughts true? And are those thoughts helpful? So if your thought is, well, I like to, I like to be free to choose whatever I want. Well, even if you prepare your lunch, and you take it with you to your office, you can still change your mind. And you're so free to choose whatever you want. So when you're looking at your thoughts behind why you are open to or resistant to planning food, or planning the ingredients for your food, it's really important that you check in with those thoughts. Because more often than not, we are kidding ourselves about what we're telling us would be painful about that. When it comes to tracking data, the differences like I said, I'm good at data. And I'm not great at planning specific meals. So when it comes to data, everything I eat goes in the chronometer, except when I'm struggling with my thoughts, and I want to go off plan, but I don't want to admit it to myself by putting it in the chronometer. And when that happens, and I notice that I've gone a couple of days without putting something in my chronometer, I got to stop and do some work on myself, I have to stop and say, okay, Laura, what's going on here? You know, what are you avoiding? Why are you avoiding it. And oftentimes, when I do that, I haven't like gone off the rails or anything like that. But it's still important that even if I'm sticking to the plan that I'm putting the data in, because more often than not, I'm not hitting my fat targets, which as I explained, are a crucial part of my dietary plan. So when it comes to the data, that means find a tool that you can plug things into, and use as a journal to just be honest with yourself and increase your awareness of how you're actually treating yourself, how you're actually nourishing yourself, and how you can feel more in control of what's going on with your body, you can eliminate those pieces that otherwise would be ambiguous. And then you can drill down and see, okay, if I've done all these things, and I'm still feeling this, that I don't want to feel what's next. But until we address, really those regular lifestyle habits until we address food and movement, and sleep, and stress levels that are within your power to control, and we're honest about them, and we're clear with ourselves about them. Until we do that there's a lot of muck out there that can be handled, and that can make your life a lot easier. So the most common thought that comes up that I hear the most common comment when it comes to putting everything in a tracker is oh my god, that's so much work. I hate that I don't want to do it. And I know, and neither do I. And it is work. And it takes intention. And it takes energy, but also is so important for the reasons I've already talked about. But another thing that it helps you with when you commit to it. And when you can find a thought that helps you embrace it a little more. So for me that thought is oh, I enjoy tracking my food because it's fascinating to see what I'm actually consuming. I enjoy tracking my food because it's really cool to be able to achieve therapeutic ketosis. So I've had to find ways of looking at data tracking as something enjoyable for me. Another thing that it's helped me with is really simplifying, and making choices that are more aligned with getting me to the goal I want. And what I mean by that is when I'm committed to tracking my food and looking at the data, I go out to eat a lot less because I don't know what's in the food. When I go out to eat. I can kind of guess I can guesstimate. And yeah, I can order a chicken breast or broccoli but I don't know how much of anything is been put in that. So I'm kind of guesstimating when I go out, I still do go out, don't get me wrong. But even when I do go out, I try to simplify what I'm eating so that it's something that's easier for me to track and be honest with myself about. So I think that when we use data, and when we embrace the fact that data is so vital to creating the healthiest terrain that we can possibly have the healthiest body that we can live in, when we embrace that, we can get a lot more benefit than just the downside of taking extra time to plug something into an app. So I hear from people all the time, I probably need more vitamin C, I need more vitamin D, I need more vitamin D, I'm probably not eating enough protein. But it's important to know those things. And there's only two ways to find that out. One track what you're putting in your body and see what it actually is and to look at your bloodwork and see what your blood is telling you. Because oftentimes, we may be consuming things through supplements that we don't really need. And sometimes that can even be overtreatment. There's this idea, you know, in standard of care with chemotherapy, radiation surgeries, we hear people talk about overtreatment, right, that maybe there was more chemo than someone needed. Or maybe they didn't need all that radiation. And people talk about what can happen if we have overtreatment from standard of care therapies because they're so strong, right? They're so incredibly toxic and invasive. But we can over treat ourselves with natural things just as easily. Our liver has to be able to detoxify, it has to be able to process everything that goes through the body. So if we're not tracking our diet, and we're not looking at our lifestyle habits, and we're turning to supplements to try to make up what we perceive as the gap, even if we don't know that there's a gap, we could be over treating ourselves in that way as well. So when it comes down to the data, it's important as the foundation because it's literally the blueprint, right? Without the data. And without knowing what you're actually doing. It would be like putting a house together with no blueprint. I don't think that's going to be a very quality built house to you. So I love talking about this. And I would love to hear from you about this. I would love to hear what are your biggest challenges? What are your thoughts that come up when you think about planning out your nutrition, or tracking the data for your controllable lifestyle habits? And when you think about that, that the thought comes up that says like, Oh, that's a lot of work. I want to solve that right now I say, yeah, it is. It takes intention. And it takes energy, just like anything else in life. If we want to accomplish something, if we want to create something, we must be intentional about it, we must put energy into it. And the same thing happens with our health, with our happiness with the life we want to live, it doesn't just happen on its own, we've got to be intentional about it. And collecting data is one of the best ways to be able to do that. So you know, you can find me on my website, the breast cancer recovery, coach.com Join my life coaching membership, that better than before breast cancer live coaching membership, where we coach and we work on these thoughts that stop us from doing the things that support us in the best possible ways. And we work on the ways that we can think differently to create the lives we want to live. Another program that's available on its own is my 90 days of wellness. And this is a heart centered approach to health. I think it aligns so well with our train talks because it helps you look inside instead of outside. It helps you really look at yourself, which data is doing to why am I putting into myself? What is really happening? What am I feeding this amazing body? And how much more does it need? Or what different things does it need? We don't know that if we're not listening to ourselves, tuning into ourselves, and asking ourselves, to be honest, to be willing to be honest and transparent with ourselves about what we're doing. All right. So it's super important when we are empowered to create our optimal terrain, that we empower ourselves to be honest with ourselves without judgment, right? Just with curiosity, with a goal of increasing awareness because as you increase awareness, organic change will start to take place. All right, and I'm here to help and support you with that. So I look forward to hearing from you. And I'll tell it again real soon.


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