Thursday, November 12, 2009

This can give you cancer

Here’s something to fear, "Cancer Group Finds Excess Body Fat Alone Causes More Than 100,000 Cancers in U.S." That was an article I read from Reuters. A colleague told me he saw an article in the USA Today on the same study. By now it’s been picked up by other reporting outlets and you may have seen a similar article. It was fitting since I wanted to write to you about cancer.

And a quick note about the quotation above... the key word is ‘Alone’. The study found that body fat alone caused cancer. Not body fat, physical inactivity and lack of nutritious foods cause cancer. Your excess body fat alone.

As many of you know October was breast cancer awareness month. I can thankfully say none of my immediate family or friends have suffered from this cancer. And obviously, it does not pose a threat to me. But recently I talked with breast cancer survivor and client, Maria Mallonee the other day. And I thought her advice was well worth sharing.

Maria is quite interesting. She’s a medical mystery. She has no genetic disposition for breast cancer. She’s a runner and has kept a healthy weight throughout the years. But after a regularly schedule mammogram they found a lump. "I would say the NUMBER ONE tip I would give is do self breast exams, but HAVE YOUR MAMMOGRAM!!! Don’t put it off for any reason!!"

Breast cancer among other cancers is a killer. And if you choose to stick your head in the sand about it, you could be in for a rude awakening. Had Maria not taken the necessary steps to watch for this she might not have been a survivor. You MUST take the necessary steps to ensure you remain healthy and well. I’m going to give you specific steps to follow in a minute.

You probably know 60% of Americans are overweight. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. But apply the study to you. If you have some extra fat on you, even just 'that last 10 pounds', then maybe you need to ask yourself how at risk you are.
Could losing an extra 10 pounds save your life?
Wow, that’s a powerful question. How hard would you try to lose weight if you knew it would prevent you from having colon cancer? A heart attack? Or another deadly disease?

It’s a good question for self inventory.

A lot of times people call me when they have a wakeup call. Hopefully it’s an early sign that gives them time to take some action. Unfortunately not everyone’s wakeup call comes early enough.

So it’s time to take a self inventory. And action! If you don’t care about your health, no problem. Stop reading and delete this email. But since you’re still reading I’ll venture to say your health and well being are important to you. If you want to be in control of your health, and not bounce through life crossing your fingers hoping and praying to avoid cancer, then now’s the time to take action.

Here are 7 tips for cancer prevention straight from the Mayo Clinic. Oh, and keep in mind every bit of effort counts. Picture yourself putting dollars in the health bank every time you do something good.

Maintain a healthy weight - as I mentioned earlier, there is a clear link between excess body fat and cancer. Endometrial, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, kidney, gallbladder, breast, uterus, and colorectal to name a few. By now you should know being overweight can lead to A LOT of health issues. Overweight is synonymous to smoking. You know it’s bad for you, so don’t do it.

Stop smoking - see previous sentence. Tobacco puts you on the fast track to cancer. Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions you can make for your health.

Physical activity - this will obviously help you keep a healthy body weight and as a consequence aid in cancer prevention. Make sure to incorporate strength training and cardiovascular training as part of your program.

Lower the fat in your diet - studies show a decrease in risk of cancer with those that maintain a low fat diet. Shoot for less than 30% of fat from your total calories and stay away from saturated and trans fats. And eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which have shown to reduce the risk of cancers.

Limit alcohol
- experts aren’t sure how strong the link between drinking and cancer is, but they know it exists. And it doesn’t matter which kind of alcohol. Go with my rule of thumb, 1 drink twice a week, or 2 drinks once a week.

Limit your exposure to the sun - skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and also one of the most easily preventable. My siblings and I were all lifeguards and my mom would punish us if we got sunburned. No lie. Do the same for your kids.

Get screened - Ok, this won’t prevent any cancer, but a screening or self exam will help you discover cancer early. And the earlier the better. So please heed Maria’s earlier advice. Talk to your doctor to determine which screenings are appropriate for what age and interval.

There are your 7 tips. You can’t control genetics, but YOU CAN control other factors. Take a self inventory of your health and think about the next 5, 10, or 20 years. What do you want them to look like? Do you want to be plagued with illness? Or do you want to have the freedom to do what you desire? The choice is yours.

To your health and wellness,


P.S. Holiday parties are upon us. And you still have time to tighten and tone up for everyone to take notice. Click here for a no obligation consultation.

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