Who’s that Girl?
….La la la la la la la – Becky’s that girl la la la la la la la!
Excuse me as I indulge in the rapper Eve’s classic chorus with my own twist.
I’m feeling kind of sweet right now. A big contrast to this time two years ago when I was psyching myself up for the big op. At the time I couldn’t imagine the future. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t make any plans, I had no view of what my life beyond that moment might look like. I didn’t know if the operation was going to be successful. I had read stories about doctors operating to rid the body of cancer, only to find huge tumours that had been previously missed, and were too far gone to be dealt with.
But boy has time moved on and my outlook changed! I have been extremely fortunate, and I don’t let myself forget it. I had cancer and now I don’t. Now I am working very hard to stay cancer-free. So, what does that involve? I’ve spoken about some of this stuff before and so I won’t go into great detail but generally:
- I try as much as possible to stay in positive environments and around uplifting people (I am surrounded by some wonderful souls who help me do this).
- I have eliminated all meat and most dairy from my diet.
- I take a vitamin D3 supplement every day.
- I do not drink alcohol at all because it there is evidence that alcohol increases your chances of getting breast cancer. You can read more here.
- I stay prayed up – yeah I’m a God chick, who knew?
- Probably the biggest change I have made is to my workouts. As a survivor I have it etched in my brain that working out 5 times a week decreases my chances of getting a recurrence by 40%. Check out what the NHS is saying about that here. The International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation states: “ Physical exercise has repeatedly been shown to prevent recurrence among breast cancer survivors. The findings of these studies suggested that high physical activity levels are associated with a significantly decreased risk of breast cancer mortality or overall mortality. Breast cancer patients with higher physical activity levels may have improved prognosis with a lower risk of recurrence and death than sedentary survivors.”
I can’t ignore the evidence! If working out 5 days a week lessens my chances of getting cancer again by such a huge amount, why would I not get with the programme?
I’ve been on it! Helped by my fellow cancer survivor friend Rachel, we have been killing it in the gym and at home. Rachel lives in London and me, Birmingham. We hold each other accountable to our workouts and eating via Whatsapp on a daily basis. I also take part in boot camp and power bag classes at Alexander Stadium with the ball-busting Martin and militant Steve. These guys are amazing and know their stuff, they push us to our limits! With incredible results.
More recently, I have discovered running. Let me tell you now, I do not love running in the slightest. I really would rather not run. However, I am getting better with each circuit around the track, I know it’s great for my health and on an egotistical tip, it is shaping up my body a treat! I have been averaging 1-2 runs a week alongside my other workouts. However, I recently saw gospel artist Kirk Franklin on the Breakfast Club and he said he ran 20 miles a week! He is nearing 50 and looks incredible. This has inspired me; if he can do 20 miles a week, I can at least up my game to 9 miles by increasing my runs to three times weekly.
Anyway, this blog is turning out to be longer than planned. I simply wanted to report on how wonderful the exercise and general healthy lifestyle has made me feel. I was looking back at some old photos of me and I wondered: if I had known back then how delightful and fulfilling it would feel to live such a healthy and fit lifestyle, would I have done it sooner? The answer would be: ‘Most definitely yes!’ I feel confident, beautiful, healthy, fit, inspired, youthful and hopeful. I am what Michelle Obama describes as ‘Becoming’ at the ripe old age of 42 and I love it!
So, when I see my new reflection in the mirror and remember what it took to get me here, I am not coy to reply to the imaginary Eve in my head:
‘Becky’s that girl! La la la la la la la!’