Since finding out I need to start chemotherapy drugs in September, I have to confess my inner rebel has been having a field day. I think we all have one of these, but mine happens to be particularly powerful......It's the rebel in me that I have to thank for countless amazing experiences in my life. But it's also the rebel in me that has led me to feeling sub par on many occassions too.
When my oncologist broke the news that I need to start these drugs he also gave me a warning. The warning was, whilst I am on them (which may be for a year+) I am not to binge drink or sun tan. Holy moly, how does this doctor know me so well to understand this is a conversation he definitely needed to have?
I pretty quickly decided that, on the cusp of a summer of fun there was no WAY I would be starting drugs immediately. We negotiated a September start date. Yes this is going to impact many other times in my life (including next summer) but I'm about the right now so I decided I would deal with that down the track.
I set off for Ibiza determined to throw caution in to the wind and proceeded to sun tan and drink at every opportunity. On my return to NY, I was feeling so bad I made the sensible decision to revert to healthy everything with a vengeance. Since those first few days home though, I find I am more leaning toward the anything goes rebel in me I've been negotiating with since birth (some times more effectively than others!).
Last week I well and truly had a night out where I would use the term binge drinking. When I woke up the next day I felt so awful I spent some time processing all of this.
As a health coach in training I am fully conscious that this is not the best behavior to model. As a human being though, I totally get it. I'm now in the space of trying to figure out how to find a happy medium. It's clear to me that I am happier when I have sleep, drink less, eat better (suntanning makes me happy though so I can't put on the list). But, right now I am having a lot of fun free from restrictions too. It's just the sort of fun that doesn't last......
So what to do? I think calming it down is the answer. Crowding out the bad stuff with much more good. But allowing myself this time to release guilt while I head into a period of my life where I can't really operate like that. Life is a journey, it's not black and white and I continue to learn about myself along the way.
The next six weeks are going to be awesome. I have a house in the Hamptons, my family is visiting, I will be spending big stretches with loved ones. I know my healthy behavior will be far from perfect. But, I'm here to say I am committed to taking lots of opportunities to embrace the good stuff too.
Which reminds me of other times in life when rebellion takes over good sense. Birthdays and holidays are top of the list, as is vacation times. I like to think that it's these times when you need to cut yourself some slack. But while you are doing that you don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water. If you can still get the basics right you will feel a whole lot better along the way.
So, I say; eat your greens, drink tonnes of water, get quality sleep in, and exercise. That way you will feel a sense of balance AND have a whole lot of fun too.