Q&A With Chandra Wilson
Actor Chandra Wilson talks about breast cancer, Denim Day, and her personal health philosophy.
Who has influenced you most when it comes to your health?
Probably my very good friend Thaanha Lai, a breast cancer survivor. She was
diagnosed in 2001 and just came off tamoxifen. She grew vegetables in her
garden in New York City, walked and rode her bike everywhere. When she was
diagnosed, it was such a surprise because she was so healthy and she wasn’t
even an A-cup! But her doctor told her that her body was in such good shape
that she was far ahead of the game in dealing with the effects of cancer
treatment. Because it’s not just the cancer, it’s the effects of treatment like
chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Watching her go through that stuck with
me: Pay attention to what you’re putting in your body because it’s equipping
you to be able to handle it if you have to fight.
What healthy habits are you pursuing and trying to teach your kids, who are aged 15, 13, and 2?
I’d love to say that I’ve made a 180-degree turn and gone from night to day,
but we’re making progress. We tried going cold turkey with things like healthy
foods, and the kids acted like they were starving to death. It has to be baby
steps -- I’ve had to wean them. Now they do fine with fruit and vegetables and
yogurt. We’ve been experimenting with smoothies, and everyone likes apple
slices, so we do those with a little peanut butter. And we’re drinking a lot of
water and cutting out most sodas and juices, except orange juice and grapefruit
juice for breakfast.
What’s your favorite part of your body?
That’s a fantastic question! What makes me happy? I have nice hands. I like
them a lot. I have nails, and for a small person, my fingers are kind of long.
They present well -- they wear jewelry real nice, you know what I’m saying?
They can wear a ring.
You’re now 39. How do you feel about aging?
Bring it on! The word is that you get better and smarter and wiser with
every year, so I’m like, c’mon, let’s get to that part. I’m looking forward to
40. Oprah says 50 is better, so I’m trying to get there.