I’m so grateful for all of the well-meaning advice people have offered me since my diagnoses, I’ve tried and tested a number of theories. There was the carrot juice diet (my skin turned orange), the sugar free diet, the vegan diet, the keto diet, the juice detox, the wheatgrass shots, endless supplements, intermittent fasting, oxygen therapy. The list goes on…
18 months down the track and my condition hasn’t changed, I’m still living with stage 4 cancer. Just recently I decided that the stress that comes with a restricted diet is likely worse for my body than any forbidden food I might eat. The constant narrative about what to eat and how to prepare it is exhausting. I don’t follow a specific diet anymore; I eat what feels right (mostly wholefoods). I listen to my body. I follow my intuition.
For me, holistic health isn’t about buying into the wellness warrior culture that’s pasted all over the internet. It’s about your actual real life. Dig a little deeper into claims made online and things can get complicated. Medical journals contradict each-other and opinion pieces make you doubt yourself. You have your life in your hands and it’s overwhelming.
My new philosophy focuses on fulfilment not restriction. To seek out the people and things that bring me joy.
It’s been fun exploring this side of myself. I love animals – I bought a puppy. I love to sing – so I’m taking lessons. I take long walks in nature, not for exercise but for pleasure. I’ve stopped punishing myself with gruelling exercise regimes. I’m pickier about who I spend my time with. I treat myself to nice things because for the first time in my life I honestly believe that I’m worth it.
I’ve been working on my inner self instead of obsessing about my body image or what other people think of me. Working on releasing trapped emotions through meditation and hypnotherapy. Dealing with shit from my past I didn’t know I was carrying has been incredibly freeing.
I’m learning to love my body instead of being angry about its ailments. Looking in the mirror and reflecting appreciation and admiration for a body that is not weak and sick but resilient and strong. It just keeps on going, despite everything.
I’m on a path of self-exploration, so I can feel content in my own skin. This is a healing journey of sorts. It might not cure my cancer but at least I’m living a happy life with whatever time I have.