My birthday is coming up soon and every year it gives me an opportunity to reflect on where I am and what I’ve accomplished in my life. However, this year specifically is different. This year marks 10 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. 10 years! And it also marks 10 years since the beginning of my health journey. A journey which lead me to my most recent credentials as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, enabling me to help others along their own health journey.

I’ve healed myself from the inside out thanks to my relentless inability to accept complacency from traditional medicine. I used functional lab testing to truly understand what was causing my health issues. I invested time & money to do so, and I can tell you with certainty that it was the best investment of my life.

I’ve definitely had ups and downs along the way, but one thing is for certain, I wouldn’t have had it any other way because I’ve learned so many lessons and I’m now in a really good place in my life. I’m the healthiest and fittest I’ve ever been.

Today I share with you twenty life lessons that I learned over these last ten years, in the hopes that I can provide you with at least a single nugget of wisdom to take with you on your own journey. So, without further ado here are my “20 Life Lessons I Learned During my 10 Year Health Journey.”

1. Fixing your health and getting fit is not an overnight process. It takes time to do it right and in a sustainable fashion. It took years to put your body in a state of dis-ease, it will take time to reverse it.

2. You are an inspiration to others, even if you don’t know it! When you show up every day and showcase your vulnerability as a human, you will motivate others!  

3. Mobility work and stretching are extremely important as we age. Keeping limber will help us move with ease into our 80’s and 90’s!

4. You need to take charge of your own health because no one else will. You need to ask the questions, invest the money, and do the research and then advocate for your own health. If your Practitioner isn’t listening to you, it is time to get a new Practitioner.

5. You need to dig deeper to get the root cause of your health problems, because today’s medical system won’t do it for you. Instead, they will use band-aid solutions like prescription meds to cover up your symptoms, instead of understanding why you feel the way you do.

6. Surround yourself with like-minded people. You want to be around people who care about the health and wellness of themselves and others around them.

7. Remember that your thoughts are your reality. We can control a lot about how we perceive a situation using mind control. Transform your thoughts, conquer your mind.

8. Proper sleep, stress reduction and hydration are often underrated and forgotten aspects of healthy living. Getting enough sleep, managing stress and ensuring proper hydration alone can cause a significant improvement to anyone’s well-being.

9. Just stop drinking so much alcohol and eating so much sugar. It’s inflammatory and just plain bad for you.

10. Carbs and calories are not the enemy. Most people are under eating and don’t eat enough protein and this is stalling your metabolism.

11. Getting a coach is a game changer. My coach provides me with new perspectives and accountability on a day-to-day basis so that I’m constantly learning and challenging myself.

12. Tracking macros and planning meals takes work but isn’t as hard as it sounds. What it does do is provide food freedom because nothing is off limits (unless you have food sensitivity).

13. The mental impact of getting “healthy” is just as important as the physical. I’m happier in my life and just more motivated in everything I do now that my health is in check.

14. Often what we think is the root cause of our health problems is only just a symptom of something greater. This is why it’s so important to work with someone who can dig deeper into your health issues.

15. It’s never too late to start your health and wellness journey. Anyone at any age can change their life. Check out @trainwithjoan in Instagram. She is an inspiration at 75 years old!

16. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, however lifestyle has more of an impact than you think on a cancer diagnosis and recurrence.

17. Become a lifelong learner – find a passion and stick with it. Keep reading, listening, and watching everything you can about what you’re passionate about and become a subject matter expert. If it means taking a course, then do it! Invest in yourself.

18. Write down your goals, review them regularly and relentlessly pursue them. Let nothing get in the way of achieving these goals.

19. Stop caring what other people think of you and stop playing the comparison game. Neither will get you any closer towards your goals.

20. Stop with the excessive cardio! Cardio is an important part of any exercise program to improve your cardiovascular system, but don’t think you’re going to lose weight by doing two hours of cardio a day, because you won’t. Resistance training, I have learned is the key to improving metabolic health and aging gracefully. We need to maintain as much muscle mass as possible as we age. With twenty lessons now under my belt, I continue to consciously put these lessons into practice on a day-to-day basis. I hope this BLOG inspires you to reflect on your own life and come up with your own life lessons. We all have a story and experiences to share with the world. Make sure you share them! I wish you all ten years of health and happiness with a little fun along the way!