Desperately sad news from my eight-year-old daughter: one of her classmates’ mums has died from a brain tumour. She was only 35 and leaves two little girls. It’s heartbreaking and I don’t know what to say to my eight-year-old. How can I explain something so frightening and inexplicable? Life is so fragile, but we tell our kids it isn’t and block out the fact ourselves, because confronting our mortality at every step would leave us in a permanent state of fear.
It gave me sobering pause for thought: brain tumours are completely unpreventable, a horrendous kind of lottery. Any one of us could develop one. But working on my new book on health, I’ve realised some cancers are very preventable, and one of the biggest risk factors for them is obesity. I’ve lost a stone and a half so far this year, but I’m still obese, mainly due to my lack of willpower. Why am I risking my life when my daughter is so precious to me? I’d do anything to stay alive and care for her. The thought of not being there for her is unthinkable.
So today I’m starting my diet over and making a vow to stick to it. I won’t be blogging about it much, but from now on, I’m going to follow a diet of fish and tofu, whole grains, vegetables and fruit – along with loads of exercise. This is the most horrible kind of wake-up call, but I really need to heed it.
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