#TBT I’m not afraid of skin cancer

This year is flying by, I can’t believe it’s mid-July already!  Here in San Diego we’re hitting the peak of summer and I’ve been soaking up the sun by the pool, on my morning runs and even while eating my lunch during the week.

There once was a time when I thought I’d never be able to enjoy the sun in these ways, right after I was diagnosed with skin cancer over 10 years ago.

But so much has changed since then, and there are ways to enjoy the sun without worrying about skin cancer; so here’s a #throwbackthursday blog to shed some sunlight on that for you 🙂 ….

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I was diagnosed with skin cancer at age 26, and I just spent a whole week fearlessly soaking up the sun in Maui.

At the time of my diagnosis, from the outside, I looked like your typical healthy person…

I ate “healthy” – low calorie, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, yogurts and sweets only occasionally.

I exercised daily doing a mix of weight lifting, cardio, training for fitness shows and half or full marathons.

On paper I even looked perfect; normal cholesterol, heart rate, blood pressure etc.  I was a skilled personal trainer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fitness, Nutrition and Health who (at the time) thought I knew all there was to know about being healthy and losing weight.

Despite doing all the right “healthy” things, prior to my skin cancer diagnosis, the intensity of my seasonal allergies had progressed to the point of wiping me out for days or weeks, migraines became more frequent, “normal” joint aches or muscle soreness seemed to linger longer and longer, and it was getting tougher to lose or maintain my weight.

I slowly started to question my health and what I had been taught all those years in school.

Skin cancer was my body waving a BIG red flag about something deeper going on.

Being diagnosed with skin cancer at such a young age sparked an undeniable urge to get to the bottom of my own health issues and use my knowledge to help others.

I practically had zero risk factors associated with skin cancer – no family history of any cancers related to melanoma, and sure I used a tanning bed or spent time in the sun without sunscreen from time to time, but I wasn’t your typical frequent tanner who was putting themselves at risk for skin cancer by any means.

The pieces of the puzzle just didn’t seem to add up.  I was “healthy”, had minimal risk factors and was young, yet for some reason cancer cropped up.  I knew there had to be more to the story.

Shortly after my diagnosis, I enrolled in the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) Course to dig deeper into my own health issues, to get to the bottom of them once and for all.  And with my newly acquired knowledge, I aspired to help others also struggling with chronic health issues and weight loss despite the fact that they were eating right and working out.

The FDN training taught me a whole new way of looking at weight loss, health and disease.

As I started digging deeper I found A LOT of cellular damage, hormone imbalances, liver congestion and gut dysfunction…

No wonder why cancer had found itself at home in my body!

As part of the FDN training I was required to run functional lab tests on myself to look at my hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous systems.  These functional lab tests are very different than your typical blood tests. Most of these tests are done using saliva, urine and stool to take a closer look at how the body is actually functioning (or not) in real time.

My test results revealed a flurry of Metabolic Chaos®.

My hormones were going haywire causing deep dips in my energy, making it difficult to manage my weight or to keep inflammation under control resulting in those intensified seasonal allergies, aches and pains.

My liver was overloaded and unable to move cancer-causing toxins out of my body effectively, coupled with high oxidative stress (i.e. cellular/DNA damage) making me the perfect candidate for cancer.

The good news is this story has a happy ending.  I’m now over 10 years skin cancer free.

And I’m not afraid of skin cancer anymore, or any other health condition for that matter.

In this week’s video and blogI share how I overcame skin cancer, what I’m doing to prevent getting it again and how I’ve kicked seasonal allergies, migraines, aches and pains, and weight gain all at the same time.

Testing allowed me to stop guessing about what was going on in my body exactly, and it gave me valuable insights about what I could do to restore balance, prevent future cancer and other chronic disease scares.

As an added bonus, I also discovered how to put a stop to my seasonal allergies, migraines, frequent aches and pains, and the struggle to lose or maintain my weight.

With the data in hand, I set out to create a personalized health rebuilding plan that met my unique needs, one that included:

  • Foods that were right for my body
  • Adequate sleep during the most critical times of night
  • Health boosting exercise intensity and types (instead of depleting)
  • Various modalities to reduce physical and emotional stress
  • Specific supplements to support my body in the ways it needed
  • Transitioning to a non/less-toxic living environment

All geared towards a goal of restoring hormone balance, efficient liver function, boosting digestive health and reducing oxidative stress to prevent further cancer growth, and so I could get my energy back, lose weight and be allergy, migraine and pain free!

As Dr. Nasha Winters, author of the Metabolic Approach To Cancer, once said “you are what you don’t poop.”

Cancer-causing toxins are eliminated through stool, urine and sweat so if you’re not doing those things regularly or well, your risk for cancers and other chronic diseases escalates.

And in order to eliminate toxins well you need to have all of your systems running efficiently; hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy and nervous systems.

Upon implementing my health re-building plan, I felt immediate relief from seasonal allergies, migraines, aches and pains, and I lost weight – all signs that my body was healing and regaining its balance.

I now feel 100% like my energetic, strong and lean self again.  I’m not afraid of skin cancer because I’ve restored my health, I know what to do in order to prevent it, and I’ve been over 10 years skin cancer free to prove it.

I no longer rely on typical blood tests anymore to gauge my health.  Instead, I pay close attention to what is going on with my body and every year I run a series of functional lab tests to make sure all systems of my body are firing; to monitor my liver function and oxidative stress levels for potential cancer risks, and to make any minor adjustments needed to my lifestyle to support my best self.

Now I confidently soak up the sun on a regular basis because I feel great in my body and I know skin cancer has nothing on this #HEALTHBOSS.

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As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, I help health-mind people like you to also investigate the unanswered or puzzling pieces of your health story so you too can feel your best and live life to the fullest!

If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can find the missing pieces to your health puzzle and get back to feeling like yourself again, click here to schedule an Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session.

P.S.  Check out my two favorite non-toxic sunscreens… HINT pineapple spray and COOLA guava mango lotion!

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