I’ve always put forth a decent effort to stay healthy, but when I lost my father to pancreatic cancer, and later discovered that this disease could be genetic, my desire to stay healthy quickly turned into a passion. And I use the term “passion” in its most vivid sense because I’m still reluctant to admit that my passion may have quite possibly turned into an obsession.
I believe that my passion (or obsession) has one main driver: fear. I fear getting sick. There. I said it.
I also fear others around me getting sick. I want my family, friends…heck, I want everyone in the world to never get sick. I admit I’m delusional because this mindset doesn’t mesh with reality, but one can hope, right?
Fear wasn’t an emotion that struck me overnight. It was slow to develop. I say this with all honesty because over the last couple of decades I’ve watched not one, but many people whom I’ve cared for very deeply suffer and eventually die from serious illnesses. And sadly, it wasn’t until I lost my own father that I became hypersensitive to these unfortunate health events.
- Prostate cancer – Mr. FE’s father.
- Pancreatic cancer – My father, grandmother, and aunt.
- Breast cancer – My cousin, my friend
- Stomach cancer – My grandfather
- Colon cancer – My friend
- Lung cancer – My aunt
- Kidney cancer – My aunt
- Leukemia – My uncle
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma – Mr. FE’s friend/colleague
As a result, I can’t help but ask the following questions –
- Will there ever be a cure to cancer?
- Why is this disease effecting so many?
- Why was this disease uncommon decades ago?
- It this disease preventable?
- What can we do about it now?
These questions are just a handful to start, but the more I research and learn about cancer the more questions I have. It’s almost like being on a hamster wheel. This is again why I admit fully that my passion may have quite possibly turned into an obsession.
If we plan to live out our best lives, than we must discover the absolute best strategies for us to stay healthy.
Why this relates to a blog on frugality –
If you’re wondering why I have chosen to discuss a topic like health on a blog in which its primary focus is on frugality and reaching financial independence, the answer is easy. If Mr. FE and I don’t make our health a top priority, then the financial challenges we have set out to overcome, that is our goal to achieve financial freedom, will quickly turn futile and a complete waste of our time.
Our retirement or semi retirement will turn from experiencing joy and fulfillment to one where we will feel robbed of the fruits of our labor. Travel will be impossible and most of our decisions will need to be based on sickness, not health. This means that when we reach financial independence, the choices we would have had available to us will be stripped from our very existence.
Our health is critical to our overall financial well-being because being sick is a costly event no matter how great our health insurance plan may be. Although we are very fortunate to have a top health insurance plan at this present time, the future holds no guarantees, and we don’t yet know what the health care industry will look like 5, 10, or even 20 years from today. It’s a risk we don’t believe is worth taking.
Our health deserves to play an important part in our desire to reach financial independence.
The urgency in focusing on maintaining our health is also driven by the fact that the American Cancer Society has issued a report¹ that statistically, men have a 39.66 percent of developing cancer in their lifetime, and women have a 37.65 percent chance. And it’s a disease that kills 8.2 million² people each year.
Some of the strategies we may implement and will discuss in future posts may involve –
- Biohacking our health
- Diet analysis (Ketogenic, Mediterranean, Paleo, etc.)
- Cancer research
- Mid-40 fitness goals
- Life improvement and other general strategies
We’ve made some health changes already –
- We have dabbled with the Ketogenic diet. Mr. FE lost 60 pounds, I lost 28 pounds.
- We eliminated all processed foods from our home and only allow a few splurges when eating out.
- We’ve set a new goal to get some form of exercise every single day. No more excuses.
We both realize that despite our best efforts the strategies we implement to improve our health and well-being may backfire at times, but we are both extraordinarily committed toward adopting a healthier lifestyle, and most importantly, upping our health game.