We recently implemented the practice of writing in a family gratitude journal in our house. The premise is for us to write when we experience things that may feel mundane, tedious or challenging. For example, while loading the washer for the 3rd time in one day, I stopped for a moment to contemplate and eventually write that "I am grateful for all the clothing I have and the ability to keep it clean". While we are still working on enthusiastic household compliance, the concept seems to be sinking in.

Another thing I've been feeling grateful for is my ability to move my body freely and test my physical capacity, especially during stationary cycling classes, which have become my favorite form of exercise. Not only do I work out hard and take care of my physical health, I am inspired and motivated by the teachers, especially Tammy Pigot, and I get my emotional cup filled as well.

Tammy has invited me to join her team for the Wheel to Survive San Francisco 2016 ride. I'm excited to take part for a number of reasons. Cancer, in a number of forms, has touched my life, as is true for many of us. I can't turn down an opportunity to help raise funds and awareness for the fight against ovarian cancer, which accounts for more deaths in the U.S. than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. I can't think of a better way to combine my passion for riding with my desire to help and support women through all phases and experiences of their life.

As a not-so-side-note, in my role as a lactation consultant, I have made it a priority to support women through the breastfeeding years with evidence-based information, coupled with a caring, individualized approach that allows for all types of feeding practices and choices. My mantra, "Happy Mom, Happy Baby" which allows for flexibility extends to "Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby". I'm occasionally asked, "What are the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers?" There happen to be a number of things including less post-partum depression and stronger bones, but most relevant to my efforts as I embark on this ride, is the fact that prolonged breastfeeding reduces the rate of ovarian cancer significantly. If you like to read research papers, you can learn more specifics here:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/97/2/354.long

While breastfeeding for an extended time isn't for everyone, especially in our culture, I think it is relevant to be aware that there are a number of ways to weigh pros and cons and I encourage my clients to search their feelings to make the best choice given their individual circumstances.

If you are interested in helping me support the Be the Difference Foundation by making a donation or joining the Wheel to Survive San Francisco 2016 ride, click here. There you can register and/or search my name from the Donate Now link. Thank you so much for your support.

Comment