101 HEALTH – GETTING STRONGER
Ok gang, it’s fair to say that my body has turned to cookie dough these past couple of years and it’s time to do something about it. I’ve always struggled with my strength and fitness but as I get older I am noticing it even more.
The life saving operations and treatment I received as a child have had a significant impact on my health in later life. As I was only 7 and 8 years old when I had this treatment, I was more susceptible to damage and it also means i’ve pretty much grown up not really knowing what normal is. I’ve always found exercise quite challenging, I struggle to put on muscle and fat on my upper body and i’ve always had issues with my back.
It turns out my treatment and operations have caused the following health issues:-
Scarred Lungs – a side effect of the radiotherapy used to get rid of the tumors in my lungs.
Heart Failure – a side effect of the chemotherapy where the heart muscle is no longer as efficient as it should be at pumping blood around the body. I now have the heart of your average 60 year old. (No offence to any 60 years olds out there! I’m sure your hearts are amazing;)
Upper Body Damage – Due to me being only 7 years old the high doses of radiotherapy to my chest burned away various cells which means it is difficult to put on muscle or fat.
Scoliosis – I’m not entirely sure why this is but a combination of radiotherapy and the removal of my right kidney has left my rib cage pointing one way and my pelvis the other. This has resulted in a curved spine.
Prior to the arrival of my beautiful baby boy 5 months ago I decided to not only do something about some of these issues but that I was also going do deal with them naturally, without the need for operations and medication.
I wanted to be in the best physical condition I could be in for Jospeh’s arrival and I wanted to be able to pick him up without feeling like a 90 year old.
I only learned a couple of years ago that if I had received physio as a child I may not have had the issues I do now with my back and upper torso.
I was offered medication for my heart but I refused it as I firmly believe that this can be dealt with via good nutrition and exercise.
See below to find out how I plan on achieving this:-
I booked an appointment at the Centre for Health and Human Performance in London for a one off intensive physiotherapy session. An amazing physiotherapist called Rob Madden developed a physio plan I could do on my own at home which would help strengthen my back, lessen back pain and improve my posture.
HEART AND BACK
My brother arranged three sessions with a cross fit instructor (pictured). I was expecting a drill sergeant and I got one of the loveliest people you could ever hope to meet. Natalie Fitzpatrick is a professional cross fit instructor and she worked with me on developing a workout plan that would improve my core and all round body strength as well as improving my cardiovascular health.
My diet has been evolving ever since my second diagnosis in 2010. I’ve seen many a nutritional therapist over the years but this time I saw Deb Archibald who is a breast cancer survivor that specialises in cancer based nutrition.
I BUILT THE 101 GYM
And finally I have set up a mini gym in my garage which is freezing cold, damp and dusty and I love it! I’ll give you a better tour soon.
Jaime suggested that I share some of the things I have learnt and implemented in my own life over the past 7 years. If people ask, I am more than willing to tell them but I often find people aren’t interested in changing their diets or lifestyle which breaks my heart.
Cancer and many other forms of physical illness have been shown to be the result of a combination of environmental, life-style and biological factors. It makes perfect sense that the key to both preventing and overcoming these illnesses is an overall improvement in the exact same things that cause them.
I hope you get something from these ‘101 Health’ posts and please know that I will not post anything that hasn’t been PROVEN to have a positive effect on your physical and mental well/being.
Lets make this our healthiest year yet.
NEW BIKE, NEW CHALLENGE
Ladies and gents, please meet the newest member of the 101 gang…..my brand spanking new bike!
I need some ideas of what to call it so please let me know of any suggestions you have? A good bike should have a name!
Those of you who have followed my adventure for the past few years will know that in 2014 I took part in a charity bike ride in the states called AngelRide. It was the first and, up to now, the only time I had ever been on a road bike.
I fell in love with cycling and Angelride turned out to be the most incredible experience of my life.
I have sworn ever since that I would get my own bike and also added a couple of cycling challenges to my list, one being to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End, which I hope to complete next year. The other is to cycle across the USA….date still to be announced for that puppy!
I had hoped to complete John O’Groats to Lands End (the length of Britain) this year but my fitness and motivation took a bit of a knock this so I decided against it until I had adequate time to train for it. Especially when Andy, the team leader for Team 101 in the USA presents me with a map of what he thinks we should do! Yikes! We may have to modify those timings a wee bit Andy……or a lot!;). My haematology doctor may have a fit if she saw that!
Anyone who watched my interview on the BBC this week will know there are a couple of little physical issues caused by my life saving treatment as a child that make my idea of normal slightly different to that of others.
The main ones are the blood clot I have in the vein that takes blood back to my heart and the others are scarred lungs from radiotherapy and a bit of an aged heart caused by the chemo.
The good news is…. I visited Bristol Royal Infirmary last week and had myself a little MOT to see how the old lung and heart are doing.
An Echocardiogram and a lung function test showed that they are a wee bit under the normal scale but that there was nothing to worry about. It also seems that these little issues can be massively be improved upon with regular exercise! I also met my vascular surgeon on Tuesday who pretty much said go for it and then suggested doing a triathlon! Love it!
So gang, I am going to be on an adventure of fitness and cycling for the next 9 months which I plan on sharing with you as a bit of a rehabilitation research. This will also include info on nutrition, rest and coping with fatigue…something I struggle with after exercise.
Due to my messed up circulation system I struggle to run as blood can’t get back to my heart quick enough so my leg swells up and I get dizzy, but cycling is low impact which means it’s perfect for someone with a deep blood clot like mine. I wont lie -i’m super scared of riding on roads but hopefully I’ll get over this with a bit of practice.
So hear goes, I’ll be taking her out and about for the first time this weekend so i’ll let you know how I get on.
A huge thank you to Sales Filter, insurancewith and Snow and Rock for becoming sponsors of Team 101. I can’t thank you guys enough.
The plan is to achieve something incredible, raise a lot of awareness for all things cancer and mental health related, inspire lots of people and hopefully raise a bit of cash for charity.
Let the riding and fitness extravaganza begin!
Greig’s… not so 101 guide to juicing
As I’m not feeling 101% at the moment I turn to nutrition to help sort me out. I was making a juice the other day and thought I would film myself making one. As ever I didn’t rehearse what I was going to say so this is a jam packed video of ‘erms’ and ‘sos’. I also seemed to have misplaced my vocabulary and forgotten vital words like ‘absorption’ and ‘prevention’.
Fear not I will not be making a career in TV chefing but I hope there is a couple of interesting points in here that will help you if you are new to juicing and the benefits of nutrition.
Next video like this will be better and I will definitely consult my nutrition guru Liz Butler before attempting another one of these.
Foods to help cancer fatigue – free course!
Foods to help cancer fatigue
Fatigue is the number 1 reported side effect by people living with cancer and it has been found to be the most distressing treatment-related symptom. However, while 94% oncologists treat their patient’s pain, only 5% treat their fatigue. One of the reasons this issue is not being addressed is that mainstream medicine has little to offer patients, with current treatments – usually stimulants or anti-depressants – showing very mixed results.
On Saturday 1st November Body Soul Nutrition, in collaboration with the cancer charity Maggie’s, are running a free course entitled: Foods to Help Cancer Fatigue. The course will provide those with cancer and their carers lots of information and practical tips on how to build up energy levels and improve overall wellbeing, and will including cookery demonstrations and a free organic lunch. The course will run from 11 am-4 pm and will take place at Maggie’s West London, Charing Cross Hospital, W6 8RF.
Apply to join via link
For those not able to attend, Body Soul Nutrition will prepare a post about the course which I will share.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
Nutrition… and free places on an amazing nutrition course!
Cancer is on the rise and we all seem to be obsessed with the treatment of cancer through medical research. But what about the prevention of cancer? Very few people including the government seem to be talking about why cancer is on the rise. Well it’s easy, our diet and our environment is rubbish (bad)! We eat meats from animals that are pumped full of hormones and are fed un nutritious foods, our vegetables and fruits are covered in pesticides and flown in from 1000s of miles away and our living and working environment is a smog and stress filled land of fast food and lack of exercise.
I’m a big believer in the power of nutrition. It makes perfect sense that what we put into out bodies can affect our overall well being. A formula one racing team wouldn’t put cheap fuel into its cars so why do we put bad fuel into the thing that keeps us alive?!
When I was ill I was overwhelmed by the amount of information on nutrition, all I might add I researched myself. My doctors didn’t mention nutrition once to me. I went to see a nutritional therapist called Liz Butler from Body Soul Nutrition. Liz was amazing and she broke everything down so I understood it and she developed a diet which was the perfect mix of boosting my immune system and making my body an inhospitable place for cancer cells!
Liz is holding a 4 week internet course that will guide you through the maze of information that will help you pick out the tools that are right for your unique situation and allowing you to optimise your own body’s powerful healing capabilities.
Liz is offering free places for two 101 Things followers (all countries accepted). If you are interested then please visit the Facebook Page, and write ‘COUNT ME IN’ in the comments box and I’ll get it sorted. It’s first come first serve so be please be quick.
For everyone else please consider doing this course. You will learn so much and it will not only help boost your immune systems cancer fighting cells but it will also fill you with confidence that everything you are putting into you body is helping destroy the bad cells and strengthen the good cells.
Please see the link below for more information:-
Body Soul Nutrition: www.bodysoulnutrition.co.uk
Body Soul Nutrition is now offering 30% of it’s 4 week nourish and thrive course exclusively for the gang of 101 Things!
If you are going through or have recovered from cancer and want ways to pump up your cancer fighting immune system then this course is for you!
Be quick though as course starts on the 7th May!
Please contact Liz Butler via the website to sign up. I’ve seen Liz for years and believe me she opened up my eyes to how important nutrition is in fighting and preventing cancer which in turn made me feel a lot better and that I was being proactive in fighting it.