I cannot deny my sugar tooth. I wish I could, but I really can’t. I was raised with sweets. As a kid, I remember asking to ride my bike to the local market to get some candy. Stopping for gas as a teenager and going inside for a small piece of candy or a soda was normal.
Unfortunately, that has also extended into adulthood where I often find myself desiring a sweet treat.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I made sure I started to work on eliminating those treats. Eating more cleanly was the plan. It was the plan for a better life, a chance to regain the upper-hand on my health. Especially after hearing that cancer can feed off of sugar and that soy helps bond estrogen to cancer cells.
I was good for a year. One year of eating the best I had eaten in many years. And then, my sister and grandmother had their diagnoses. I started to cope with my feelings by eating. I reverted back to the sweets I worked so hard at eliminating. With those extra empty calories I was consuming, I put on weight. Enough weight to gain fifteen pounds. I feel like I’m back at college – gaining the “freshman 15.” Fifteen pounds really isn’t much, but for my petite size, it’s more than my body can handle. I have more aches and pains. I have a hip problem that just doesn’t want to go away. I’m not sleeping well at night (which has often been the norm, but I’m waking up more tired than normal.)
Today, I’m starting over. I’m taking my health back . . . again. Those sugary sweets and drinks are now no longer allowed. I’m sticking to the all-natural food products: meats, fruits, and veggies. I’m shopping the outer aisles of the grocery store. Gas stops are just for gas, not food. It’s way past time to take my cancer diagnoses and fix my life. I want to be here for the long haul. I want to show my daughter that eating healthy is a way of life – especially since she seems to have inherited my sweet tooth. If I can stop cancer from coming back in my body, or help eliminate it from my daughter’s future, than I need to do this.
Why am I telling you this? Accountability. If I’m not telling the world, then there’s a great chance I won’t be as successful as I want to be. My health is more important to me after these past few family cancer diagnoses and now is the time to make that happen.
Angela Banker is a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a sister; she is also a young survivor, a caregiver, a supporter, and a fighter. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, and found herself empowered to share her story to raise awareness about breast cancer. Angela participates in Relay For Life, started the Sisters Beating Breast Cancer page to inspire others, and continues to "fight like a girl" with the hope that her daughter will never have to hear the dreaded words, "You have cancer."