The title of this article is not my own, but rather it is the first step mentioned in a book that changed my life. That book is Busting Breast Cancer: Five Simple Steps to Keep Breast Cancer Out of Your Body by Susan Wadia-Ells, PhD. I have to begin by thanking not only Dr. Wadia-Ells for writing the book but also April Beaman, my thermographer, who recommended it to me.
I have struggled with my weight off and on throughout my life, and most recently after the age of 50 when I entered menopause. I didn’t, by appearance only, look to be dangerously overweight, but when you looked at the specifics of my weight and my body composition, I was. I have read enough and know enough about visceral fat to know it can be dangerous, and I was aware that the fat I carried in my midsection was this very type. My thermography results confirmed that, and I knew I needed to do something about it. Having tried various nutritional plans and exercise routines throughout my life, I knew I needed something more specific that was going to get me the results I was looking for.
Dr. Wadia-Ells states that 75% of American women are overweight or obese, and the longer post-menopausal women remain overweight, the more their chances of developing breast cancer increase. Add any type of stress to that and the chances increase even more. That was enough to wake me up! The book does a beautiful job of explaining all of this, and I highly recommend you read it!
Reduce Sugar to Reduce Fat!
Dr. Wadia-Ells suggests that to reduce our body fat and thereby reduce our chances of developing breast cancer, the first thing we must do is get rid of sugar. Recent research has confirmed that a metabolic approach to preventing cancer has resulted in understanding we have much more power than we ever thought we did in its prevention. One element of that power has to do with the food we choose to put into our bodies. Our American diet and many of the products that are staples in people’s diets are loaded with sugar. Sugar is in so many foods and is often hidden by other names or products that sound healthier but are basically still sugar. Unfortunately, we are paying for that with our health.
The solution Dr. Wadia-Ells suggests to combat this situation is to upgrade our bodies’ sugar-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism: “A fat-burning operative system allows our bodies to lose weight as the liver is able to process our excess body fat into highly efficient and clean-burning ketones, producing high amounts of energy,” and that, “once our fat-burning system is switched on, two different ‘I am full’ signals can go on in our brains. Switch #1 suddenly makes it incredibly easy to not overeat today. Switch #2 enables us to be a ‘naturally thin’ person for the long term.” Her suggestion: A low-starch/high natural-fat lifestyle.
Not Keto, but Close
I immediately cut sugar completely from my diet. I will admit there were one or two times I had a small serving of ice cream or a piece of 72% cacao dark chocolate, but that was it. And, to my surprise, I didn’t miss it. I cut out all processed carbs and for the most part all starches as well, except for a very lightly roasted potato or sweet potato. You may notice that the word “ketones” appeared in the above quote, which likely makes you think of the very popular ketogenic diet. There are similarities between what the author suggests and the Keto diet, as it is commonly known, but the bottom line was to cut out the sugar completely and keep the starches as low as possible. This also meant no processed carbs such as bread, crackers, and the like.
I think it’s safe to say that for most of us, cutting out sugar completely would make a huge difference in our health. We know so much more now about sugar’s effect on our bodies, and, simply put, sugar feeds cancer. That one phrase was enough to push me to make the difficult decision to cut it out and see what happened. I am happy to report that I did begin to lose the visceral fat (my midsection measurement went from 37 inches to 35 inches, which is the number Dr. Wadia-Ells indicates is the highest we should allow it to be.) So, I am not finished—I am a work in progress. But I’m headed in the right direction. I will add that I am active and exercise regularly, but I sit a good portion of the day for my work, and that is a challenge. My husband and I also practice intermittent fasting fairly regularly. However, I have done those things before with only “limiting” my sugar, and I did not see the results I am seeing now. Adding a prebiotic and probiotic has helped to reduce bloating as well.
We are all a work in progress in one way or another. I would venture to say that if we all eliminated sugar from our diets (including sweetened coffees, creamers, sodas, juices, etc.), it would make a huge difference in our weight and in our body composition. That alone would help to prevent many diseases, including breast cancer, which is on the rise. If we can prevent cancer from happening, we won’t have to worry about how to treat it. To me, that’s a plan I can embrace.
Charleen K. Miele, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor who started her journey as a teacher, church music director, and fitness instructor. Charleen works with clients both in person and via telehealth and has recently added Trauma Informed Breathwork to her work. She offers her clients the opportunity to experience IFS and/or breathwork through in-person and online sessions and is currently offering group breathwork sessions online and will be hosting workshops and group sessions in person in the new year. Life coaching and spiritual life coaching, including breathwork and IFS work, are also available both as individual sessions and as packages of two, four, or six sessions. Charleen will soon be offering self-paced online courses as well as interactive groups that will meet for a series of weeks and will include lectures, discussions, journaling, and experiential somatic work through breathing and movement.
Visit: https://www.thesacredselfllc.com/ Contact Charleen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860.614.8382. Located at 171 Market Square #102, Newington, CT.