Does heredity dictate our future?

Does heredity dictate our future?  (What motivates me to prioritize my health, and how do I make it work. Part 1)

Any one who knew us could say that my mother and I were attached at the hip.  In the last few years of my father’s life, when distance separated us, we spoke on the phone most every day.  Sadly, I lost both of these wonderful people to cancer at ages 57 and 66.  Much too young, I think!  

When we look at our family history, most of us can list several ailments that have plagued our loved ones.  Does heredity dictate our future?  I don’t think it does.  At least, I hope not!  Surely, heredity plays somewhat of a role, but as many functional medicine specialists are currently proving, my predisposition is not necessarily my destiny.

More often than not, we are raised eating the same as the people in our household.  Likewise, our tribe, if you will, guides our diet and lifestyle choices, and in turn, we tend to develop similar habits.  Doesn’t it makes sense then, that we walk into comparable health issues?  For example, research has proven that children of obese parents have an 80% chance of becoming obese themselves.  This is a sad and staggering statistic!  Some will still argue that it's inherited, but it appears to be largely due to food choices, eating habits, and the importance placed on physical activity.  A study by the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) states that "Genetic factors likely play some role in high blood pressure, heart disease, and other related conditions. However, it is also likely that people with a family history of heart disease share common environments...the risk can increase even more when heredity combines with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes and eating an unhealthy diet."  More and more, health organisations such as The Canadian Diabetes Association and the Mayo Clinic are reporting similar findings; that healthy living plays a major role in disease prevention.

I think it's well worth taking a look at food and lifestyle choices of our tribe before deciding that we are doomed for the same fate.  Of greater interest to me as a nutritional consultant, is to study the lifestyle choices of people who have managed to avert the ailments of their relatives.

My health struggles started from a very young age, and it was only by making changes as an adult, that I began to understand that food played a direct role in my health.  That was my “aha” moment!  That was the moment when I began to connect the dots and realize that I do have some control over my destiny!

Just to be clear, I am in no way saying that I'm exempt from illness and disease, for, as we all know, there are no guarantees in life.  I do, however, believe that I can reduce my odds by making better choices and by living a healthier lifestyle.  My diet is nowhere near perfect, but it's 110% better than it's ever been.  I have tons of energy to do the things I love to do, so, at the very least, I can feel great while trying to stave off disease.

It saddens me to hear people say that there is nothing they can do about their health, that it’s hereditary.  As the saying goes “one reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.”  I have a lot to gain!!

This is Janice, inspiring change

Janice, Inspiring Change

Welcome to my blog!  

Everyone wants to feel great and be healthy!  Well, it's really not all that complicated.  I'll be sharing my knowledge, experience and opinion on health related matters to help you live a healthier lifestyle. But first, a little about me…

During my childhood and adolescence I was overweight and struggled with other health problems and emotional issues.  In my late 30's, when I was teaching cosmetology, I suddenly noticed that it was difficult for me to hold my arms up long enough to demonstrate a haircut.  Additionally, I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without stopping a few times to allow the burning sensation in my legs to ease up, so I could continue.  I finally had no choice but to stop working.  After seeing countless doctors and having numerous tests, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.  One "specialist" reported to my insurance company that I was simply lazy and just needed to exercise.  Me? Lazy?  I don’t think so! 

I had hit a wall.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired!  I knew that my body wasn't designed to feel this way and I was determined to become healthy.  

Fortunately, I found a holistic practitioner who discovered that mercury poisoning was at the root of my problems (there were other problems too, but that's content for several other blogs).  Finally, I had support and a plan in place.  I realised that it wouldn't be easy, but it was either sink or swim (figuratively), and I was drowning fast!  I grabbed onto the life line, and with determination, I rescued myself.   

I was inspired to change my relationship with food, and boy did we have a great love affair!  I immediately noticed major shifts in how my body functioned!  It was then that I got my hands on as many health books as I could...and so began my wellness journey.

I’m living proof that it’s possible to turn your health around and my own challenges have led me to becoming a nutritional coach.  I offer nutritional and lifestyle support for people, like me, who are trying to find answers to their health challenges; for those dealing with existing health conditions searching for a better quality of life; and for those looking to implement preventative measures to help ward off illness and disease, in order to live life to it's fullest. 

I feel great and I have more energy now than I've ever had!  In September 2016 I took on the challenge of learning to swim (literally) and in April 2017 I completed my first triathlon.  Not bad for a lazy person!  

This is Janice, inspiring change