Today is National Metabolic Health Day and I am a proud sponsor of this event because I know personally and see firsthand the results of poor metabolic health.
One thing I also see is a mindset that stops so many of my clients from taking even small steps to support their wellness.
On today’s Tuesday Terrain Talk episode, I’ll offer you a new way to think about moving forward with creating healthy habits and achieving the goals in your life that help you to feel good in your body.
Listen now and check out the link to Metabolic Health Day regardless of when you listen to this episode.
Referred to in this episode:
Read the full transcript below:
Laura Lummer 00:00
Hey there, friends, Laura here and you're listening to Episode 285, of better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach, thank you so much for being here today on this really special day. Because the day this podcast comes out, we'll be the first ever national metabolic health day. This is a day that was conceived by Naisha winters and her sister in law, Janet, when they were at a health conference, and they realized that it was an opportunity to bring more attention and more awareness, to the importance of our metabolic health, and how that supports us in everything, in having better outcomes when it comes to cancer and breast cancer. But in preventing disease, you know, I've talked about this so many times the big difference between prevention and early detection. And if we can wrap our heads around prevention through lifestyle change, we're ahead of the game. In fact, I've often said that the book, the metabolic approach to cancer should be called the metabolic approach to health because more people should be following this plan. And it's not only important for us to understand this as breast cancer survivors, for ourselves and for what we do for ourselves. But it's important for us to understand this for the people we love. Because we have this wild tendency to think that until we have disease, we don't have to take action. And I think it's kind of the way that we've evolved in the Western medical system and allopathic medicine as well, right, until you really have a problem. There's no medication available for it, you go into the doctor feeling crappy. And right now we don't see anything come back when it gets worse, right. I'm not sure how that happened, how we got so far away from just supporting wellness. But I think it's permeated every level of our thinking. And the scary thing is that it's come all the way down to the way we think about feeding children and grandchildren, you know that sugar is a treat that junk food is fun. And then they can deal with it because they're just kids and kids are resilient, or that the people that we love shouldn't have to follow a healthy lifestyle program because they've never had cancer before. And we want to keep it that way. So digging into metabolic health and understanding of how our body works, and what it really needs, and what you need individually, right. So even beyond the big scope of in general, this is what keeps human bodies healthy. What about your unique individual body. And I talk a lot about that on these Tuesday, terrain talks, and the data that you can find to support yourself and more to come, we'll just keep digging into this more and more. But today in honor of metabolic health today, I want to address something that I see as a major issue and a major block to achieving good metabolic health, which means healthy blood sugar levels, healthy blood pressure levels, healthy cholesterol levels, good digestion, healthy energy levels, the overall well being right, the holistic approach to our body, that our body just feels good. And of course, we're gonna have things that change with age with cancer treatment with drugs that we're on. But what can we do to support ourselves to feel as good as we possibly can? That's good metabolic health. But there are things that get in the way of that. Now, I just talked about one thing, which is the idea that if you're not sick, you don't really need to make changes. I'm not sure why the human brain works that way. But even after cancer diagnosis, I see this many times and I have experienced it myself, the thought that I don't have cancer, so it's okay, you know, it's okay for me now. But that's a thought process that can lead to really slippery slope of a lot of things that are not okay, being perceived as being okay. And that's not to say that our life has to be perfect that our diet has to be perfect. In fact, that's exactly what the show is about. It's about the fact that it doesn't have to be perfect. And that the idea that it does have to be perfect, is often what stops us from having really good health outcomes. You know, recently I did a workshop on creating time for you and the importance of having space in your life. Because when it comes to supporting your health, you have to have time for that, right you have to have space for that. You have to have time to move your body every day. You have to have time to prepare good foods to understand what good foods are to understand how your body works and requires space. So it was an interesting thing because I asked the people who attended that workshop where they would rate themselves on a scale of one to 10 with respect to how intentional they are about out the way they spend their time. And we had everything across the spectrum from a three to a seven, I think seven or eight was maybe the highest. Nobody was a 10, which is perfectly fine. And which tells me that people are really being honest with themselves, because nobody's perfect. But here's the thing, when I asked them, Did you think when I gave you a scale from one to 10, that you had to be at a 10? Everybody said, Yes, we all think that we all think it's got to be all or none. And in thinking it's got to be all or none, we tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and not take care of ourselves in the best possible way. So I'm here to say, again, in this Tuesday terrain talk, you have permission to not be perfect. And even better than that, while you're not being perfect. Give yourself permission to celebrate your small wins, because that is going to help you along the way. Okay, so I want to share with you some of the things that I often hear, and how these things block us. And I want to offer you some mindset shifts, so that you can start moving into creating a healthier lifestyle without stress, without pressure, without guilt without self judgment, without shame, okay, none of those things serve us. Because metabolic health isn't just about food and moving your body is I've said so many times, it's about our emotional wellness, as well. And if our emotional wellness is being just weighed down with guilt and shame, then we're not in a great state of emotional wellness. And that's not going to help our body. But we also have to be honest with ourselves. And we have to look at the truth of what we're doing to ourselves. And the truth of some of the things that we say this is a treat, or this is joyful, because sometimes they're not sometimes they're just emotional buffers. Sometimes they're just indulgences. And that's okay. As long as we understand that, I want to come back to this idea of perfection of either or, like I have to be a junk food junkie or a vegan, right? Why do we have this extreme perspective on health? And why do we even think that being a vegan is the healthiest way to be, because in many cases, it isn't. Especially when you come across vegans who never eat vegetables will accept potatoes in the form of French fries in the form of hashbrowns, right in the form of mashed potatoes, potatoes, and corn. So this isn't always healthy either. We have these wild ideas, and they come into our head for good reasons, because this is the stuff we see. And I don't think you've ever seen veganism presented as an unhealthy way of eating. But it can be a very unhealthy way of eating, if it's not a well structured diet, just as any diet plan can be. Right, we have to be looking at what the whole foods are, what our overall balanced intake of nutrients is. And so noticing and becoming aware of this spectrum of extreme beliefs is so vitally important. And I want to offer this mindset shift. If you find yourself thinking, I have to do this or that if I decide to commit to a plan to support my health, I have to give up the things I enjoy, right? If I decide to do this, I can't have martinis on Friday night. If I decide to be healthy, I can't have Ben and Jerry's every now and then. Right? If I have Ben and Jerry's, or I have a martini, then I'm bad, then I'm naughty, then I'm guilty, then I might as well have them both because I've ruined everything. Becoming very aware of your thought patterns around this type of thing is going to be very beneficial in changing the way that you treat yourself. So let's talk about health goals. Think to yourself, What is your health goal? Now a lot of people say wait, you know, weights, one of the first things that comes up and that's great, that's fine. But why? Why do you want to wait a certain amount? What does that mean to you? Because when we're just focusing on a number on a scale, we can create a tremendous amount of frustration, because there's so many things that go on behind what happens on the scale. But what health goals do you have? Is it a reduction in pain? Is it better sleep, more quality sleep? Is it a reduction in stress? Is it a reduction in body weight, body fat, maybe? What is it that you want to accomplish for your health? And when you think of what it is you want to accomplish? Ask yourself why? What would that mean to you?
Laura Lummer 09:58
If you could make some change? ranges to achieve that? How would your life be different? How would your day be different? How would you feel? See, think differently about yourself? What would that mean to you? And this is really important, like literally get out a piece of paper and a pencil and write this stuff down. Why is that important to you? And then ask yourself this, how do you want to feel? Now, when I just shared with you, when people say, I don't want to do this, because then I have to give up that oftentimes behind that decision, or lack of decision making, is the idea that I want to have fun, right? I want to feel joyful. In my day to day life, I want to feel happy. And if I do that, I won't feel happy. Because that's restrictive. That requires discipline. So the mindset shift that I want to offer to you is, can you come to the goal that you want for yourself for health? And can you decide how you want to feel? So let's say that your goal is to reduce inflammation in your body? And how do we know we have inflammation when we can look at labs so we can see actual data about inflammation, but we feel it, right, we feel achy and stiff, and pain and even swelling sometimes. So maybe you have a lot of inflammation. And you know that someone recently said to me, my body feels like a hot ball of inflammation. Okay? If you're feeling like a hot ball of inflammation, and you want to reduce that that's an excellent health goal. How do you want to feel while you're doing it? And I want to offer that a great go to feeling is enjoyment, because we want to enjoy our life? So then the question becomes, how can I reduce inflammation in my body and feel joyful? We don't have to give up the fun and the joy to achieve the health goal. But believing that we do is a problem. Because believing you have to give up joy will stop you in your tracks when it comes to supporting your health. If you think cutting out sugar is going to be hard and suffering, you don't want to cut out sugar. If you think giving up white flour and croissants and pasta is going to make you miserable, then you're never going to give it up. So how can you look at the changes you need to make and need to make meaning not what I'm telling you you need to make, not what Muscle and Fitness magazine is telling you you need to do. But where you know, you know for yourself, what you need to do, what needs to be addressed in order for your body to feel the way you want it to feel. So when it comes to what you know, you need to do for yourself. How do you want to feel about that? And how do you get to the goal of doing what you need to do for yourself, while you feel the way you want to feel. It takes a lot of thought work here, but it's possible. And one of the first steps to it is noticing your self talk. So if you start noticing, every time I start to make a health change, I tell myself, it's hard. I tell myself, this is hard. I tell myself, this is a challenge. This is miserable. This isn't fun, this is uncomfortable, you are not going to stick with whatever that plan is. So if you want to have optimal metabolic health, for your body, in your stage of life, in your circumstances of life, what does that look like for you? And how can it be fun. And I'll give you some ideas of how it can be fun. One way of making changes that is really fun is learning new things, learning new ways of cooking, learning new tasting new foods, right, experiencing new restaurants, meeting new people in the walking group that you decide to join, or deciding to go I remember when I was recovering from my first cancer treatment and I had had such really bad neuropathy in my feet and my hands and in my legs. I literally could not exercise it was so painful. And thank God for acupuncture, which turned everything around for me. And I wanted to get back in shape. So I decided to sign up for some really fun five K's and there was a bubble run and there was a Color Run and there was a glow in the dark run. And at first I didn't run that actually, I'm trying to think back I did end up running a couple of them because I had a lot of joint pain. I was on Tamoxifen after my treatment. So I did have to put off running for a while. Then I did do some running and then it was just too hard on my joints after that, but at first I didn't even try to run them. I just wanted to walk them. I remember I did do one that was running because it was a Zombie Run and it was a zombie obstacle race and it was a A blast. It was so fun, but it was kind of like jogging and walking. And I worked up to that. So I wanted to achieve the highest level of health and function in my body that I could achieve. And I wanted it to be fun. So I had to ask myself, what sounds fun, what kind of things do I like to do? And maybe you don't want to be chased by zombies or crawl under actual live electrical wires, which I did not know, they were actually live, I thought that was kind of like, you know, tent you had to crawl through. And they were just saying it was live wires as a part of the zombie race, until it shocked me and threw me down to the ground. And I realized they weren't kidding. That's a real live wire is in that zone. That may not sound like fun to you. It wasn't fun to me once it happened. But what is fun? What kinds of things would you like to do? When you start adopting this way of thinking, then you start overcoming the hurdles that stop you, you know, we think when it comes to creating and supporting our metabolic health, that it's got to be all about work and deprivation, or we've got to count calories. And that takes time. And I can't do this. And so I want to come back to this idea of perfection. And I want to refer to except if you can get to the point where you can accept 8020, the 8020 rule, right, that 80% of the time, I'm doing the things I know my body needs to feel the way that I want my body to feel. And 20% of the time, I'm letting the little kid in me come out. And I'm eating ice cream sundae. Okay? Now for where you're at in your life, you may have different goals, and you may want to be 9010. Or you may want to be 95. Five, but I have yet to see. And I have yet to experience for myself, any time where I could be 100% for a length of time, right? When I went through radiation treatment, I was 100%. For two weeks, I mean spot on for two weeks, every single metric I hit because it was so important to me to be in a certain metabolic state. So that radiation would be super effective. And after that two weeks, I started to slip a little bit. And what I mean by slip doesn't mean I wouldn't start eating dinos or anything like that. But maybe I didn't have as much fasting in my planet, maybe I didn't have as high of fat content. And I switched and had a little more protein and just kind of played with my macros a little bit. Because it's really hard to stay at 100%. And anytime you tell yourself, you've got to do that you're setting yourself up for failure. So when we talk about national metabolic health day, and we talk about turning the tables on metabolic health, what it means to us how we achieve it, how we support it, I'm going to offer that the fundamental belief has to be, I don't have to be perfect. And I can have fun with this. You know,
Laura Lummer 18:07
I'm a firm believer in feeling the way you want to feel. It's fun. You know, when I was diagnosed with stage four cancer, I was 75 pounds heavier than I am now. That was not fun. It didn't feel good. I can remember bending over to do certain things like buckling certain shoes that buckled on the side of my ankle and thinking, oh my gosh, I'm so uncomfortable. This is not fun, right? This doesn't feel good. So for me, the motivation to do the things I needed to do to lose that extra body fat, which I knew was a critical part of the metabolic approach to supporting my body throughout this treatment, I knew I had to get rid of that extra body fat because for every pound of fat that was on my body, it was decreasing my chances of having a really good outcome. So I wanted it to be fun, and I focused a lot on how good it would feel to move freely. I love to exercise. I love yoga, I do it several times a week. And when you can't move unencumbered, for me, that didn't feel good. So I thought to myself, I'm going to figure this out. And I'm going to do it from a place of love and compassion so that I can feel good moving freely. That was my ultimate goal. And I did achieve it. Because even in the beginning, when the weight loss was slow, I wasn't focused on the number. I was asking myself every day, what do I have to do to support my body's ability to heal? And I kept making those choices. And there were some times when I didn't make those choices. There were some times I said, Well, I want something else right now. I'm just having a hankering for a hamburger with a bun on it. And I would allow myself that. And I would say, that's kind of a act of compassion right now too, because I'm feeling like I need a break from following the really strict program, right. But because of the state of my body, I believed I really needed to follow a 95, five like 95% of the time, I needed to be following that plan. And I didn't drive the desire to do that through willpower, but I drove it through love, love for my life, love for this body, love for the way would feel to move freely without excess weight on me, love for her proud of myself, I was with each step of the way. And each little win that I achieved. And each time I noticed that I could process a craving and process an urge and not give into it, because I didn't want to cause harm to myself. In fact, I never met a french fry didn't like, I love french fries. And I love tater tots. And even today, I had an appointment. As I was driving back from the appointment, I was driving past a place that I know makes my most favorite French fries. And I was talking myself out of it in my head right in my head, I was like, oh my god, I could stop, I'm gonna eat french fries, and so long, you could just stop and get french fries, it wouldn't be that bad. And then I said to myself, Okay, stop, I started noticing these thoughts and going, okay, that thought is not serving me. That thought is not helping me at all. What other things do I love, I love I am a really good salad maker. And I love doing a warm salad meaning like cooking up some warm toppings and mixing them with the cold toppings. And there's a specific white cheddar vinaigrette dressing that I absolutely love. And so I decided in that moment to start focusing on that. And I started focusing on how delicious that would taste and how much I enjoy that it actually is one of my favorite lunches. And so you still have to go through the process of noticing your thoughts, managing your urges, and changing and choosing the thoughts that are going to serve you best. But I gotta tell you, that when I got home, and I started chopping up all the things that I wanted in my delicious salad, I was really enjoying myself, I was really proud of myself for making the choice that served me well. I didn't feel disciplined, I didn't feel like okay, I did that I was so determined, I've got great willpower, not at all, I stopped and said, I'm so glad I made the decision to love myself first. And so when it comes to the terrain of your body, and when it comes to supporting your metabolic health, I want you to remember that perfection does not have to be part of that equation. I want you to know that you can have the goal. And the feeling that you want to feel as you work to end achieve that goal. It does not have to be one or the other. So I hope you follow through with the plan that I offered you, which is to really write down what your health goal is, what would you like to accomplish if you had the best metabolic health that you could imagine? What would that look like? What would you want to accomplish? And try leaving numbers out? Okay, try leaving weight out of it. But how would you want to feel it's okay to say I'd like to have less body fat, wonderful. less body fat is better than a number on a scale, because a number is just a really harsh metric. So let's say it's less body fat or more energy. How would it make you feel? Why is it important for you to feel that way? And how can you feel that way while you work towards your goal? Write those things out, think about them really give them a lot of thought, because it will give you some fuel and some motivation to achieve your optimal metabolic health. And on this very special day, I hope you will go to the links for international or national it against national metabolic health day. And click on that website and look through it and not just today. But use it as a point of reference to continue to go back and understand what metabolic health is an all of the aspects you can do all of the things, all of the opportunities, including breath, work and going out into nature, so many wonderful things that you can do for yourself to support your metabolic health on an ongoing basis. Well, you feel joyful about it. All right. If you need help with that friends, you can find me at the breast cancer recovery coach.com and join my better than before breast cancer membership. Inside that membership. You'll find my other programs including 90 days of wellness, the four pillars of breast cancer recovery, becoming you all of these extra programs, creating time for yourself. They're all included in the membership to support you in whatever area of your life you're working on. Whether it's your health, whether it's Is your emotional well being whether it's moving forward and creating something spectacular for yourself it's all in there and you deserve that support so come and find me and enjoy our first ever national metabolic health day and I'll talk to you soon