I sometimes feel like my life is an experiment to see what role genetics versus healthy living play in disease prevention and longevity.
I wasn’t born into a family with the healthiest genes. Heart disease, stroke and cancer killed my grandparents – none of them lived to see their 70th birthday. Breast cancer has plagued my mother in her 30s, again in her 50s and her mother in her 40s. (On a side note, my mom tested negative for the “known” breast cancer genes.) My mom has also battled thyroid and skin cancer. Many of my great uncles and my maternal grandfather battled melanoma. Blood pressure problems and diabetes run strong on my father’s side of the family.
No matter what direction I look, I see potential health problems in my future. But – I CHOOSE to live a healthy life. An optimistic life. An active life. I have made healthy-living a part of my lifestyle and I love the way these things make me feel. I don’t smoke. I drink alcohol sparingly. I eat mostly from the earth, following a flexitarian diet (mostly plant based with occasional animal meat). I exercise daily. I try to keep a healthy level of stress in my life.
I have definitely pondered whether this way of life is worth it. I’ve thought, “what would I change if I found it didn’t matter?” Would I eat twinkies all day? Would I stop running? Would I be a half-glass-empty type of girl? The answer comes naturally – I really wouldn’t change anything. The choices I’ve made help me feel energized and strong and good about my life in the present moment. And when it comes down to it, that’s really the only thing I can control.
Have a great Monday!
How is your family health history? Does it influence the way you live your life?