My Journey to Wellness (short version)
In September 2013, six months shy of my 50th, birthday, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Two urologists, including a surgeon from one of the leading cancer centers in the world (my “second opinion”) recommended surgery. Instead, I adopted a comprehensive, doctor-supervised program of lifestyle interventions – diet, exercise, supplements and stress management – that have been known to slow progression of the disease and which I hoped would buy me some time until less invasive treatment options became available.
I became a Health Warrior.
- I adopted a whole-food, plant-based diet
- I dialed up my exercise routine to 11, in frequency, duration and intensity
- I supplemented my diet with healing herbs, botanicals and vitamins to reduce inflammation and support my innate immune response
- I developed a mindfulness meditation practice to manage the stress (which also causes inflammation) of knowing that I had cancer inside my body
These lifestyle changes were so effective that within a few months I lost over 30 pounds and the curious skin tags that had been growing on my lower eyelids for the past 5 years disappeared.
Nearly two years to the day after my initial diagnosis I learned that my cancer was in remission. I had effectively hacked my body chemistry, making my internal terrain inhospitable to cancer growth, using entirely natural interventions – diet, exercise, nutritional supplements and meditation.
My journey continues. I’ve come to realize that the path to physical, emotional and spiritual health – The Health Warrior Way – does not have a fixed destination. I will never be finished with the job of caring for myself, so long as I have breath in my body and a mind capable of choice. There will be many more obstacles and opportunities, and I want to ensure that I’m ready for them – sound in mind, body and spirit – when they drop.
People that listen to my story want to know how I reversed my cancer diagnosis and reclaimed my health. They ask for a friend that has diabetes or a father-in-law that has prostate cancer or a brother that has heart disease. Or they ask for themselves.
Hence the reason for my blog: The Health Warrior Way. This is where I share everything I’ve learned along my wellness journey. This is where I provide my ideas and strategies and tactics for making meaningful, long-term, sustainable changes to your lifestyle to preserve your health (if you’re lucky enough to still be healthy), to recover your health (if you’re currently suffering from a chronic illness), or to avoid a relapse (if you’re currently in remission from a chronic illness).
This is where you will find everything you need to know about the 8 Life Practices that comprise The Health Warrior Way:
- NUTRITION: feed your body high quality fuel and it will answer the call for years to come
- MOVEMENT: treat your body like the complex, high-performance machine that it is. Put it through its paces regularly; it can more than handle it. In fact, it will soon begin to crave it.
- MINDFULNESS: learn to control your mind. Practice mindfulness to stay present and to avoid obsessing about a past you can’t change and a future you don’t control.
- CURIOSITY: be curious! Find something that fascinates you and learn everything you can about it. Feed your brain like you would feed your body.
- LOVE: train yourself for optimism, whatever your circumstances. Cultivate the patience and equanimity to find the learning hidden in every challenging situation.
- COMMUNITY: surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you. Use them to hold you accountable, a hedge against backsliding into unconscious, unhealthy behaviors.
- NATURE CONNECTION: don’t forget that you are fundamentally a biological organism in a vast natural world, with its own timeless rhythms and laws. Immerse yourself in nature regularly to get back in touch with this essential part of your being.
- PURPOSE: find and relentlessly pursue your purpose, the thing that stirs your soul, fills your life with meaning and makes you look forward to getting out of bed in the morning
My journey to wellness changed my life. Through that lens, I look back on my diagnosis in September 2013 as a blessing; it motivated me to make changes that I would otherwise probably not have made, changes which helped me to recover my physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Even more than that, it has helped me discover my life’s purpose: to help you take control of your health and well-being in order to live the best possible version of your life, for as long as you have a life to live.
You might be skeptical. You might be thinking: this won’t work for me; or, it’s too late for me; or, it will be too hard for me. I thought all these things too, and more. But those thoughts didn’t stop me; they didn’t undermine or deter me. I replaced those thoughts with action. Decisive action.
And if you open your mind and your heart you too just might see a way through your doubts and fears.
The Health Warrior Way can show you how.