Continuing on with my road back to wellness and we welcomed in 2014…no bubbles for me though, in fact I’ve only had one alcoholic drink since February 2012…I know right, WHO AM I?!?
I’m not a recovering alcoholic or anything I just know how alcohol makes my body feel and it ain’t great. I made a conscious decision not to drink alcohol throughout my cancer treatment, my body was fighting a big enough battle and trying to rebuild and didn’t need the extra pressures of trying to process alcohol. It’s a big change for some but alcohol is loaded with sugars and preservatives that are hard to process and to be honest I just don’t miss it.
In early 2014 I started weekly yoga classes, I know before you all groan and roll your eyes at the hippy image of yoga let me tell you this is the single biggest game changer for me…without doubt!
When I started I was a size 22, had no flexibility and was groaning with joint pain and inflammation. But here’s the thing…I started. Then I kept going.
I wasn’t competing with anyone else in the class, just running my own race so to speak. As the weeks rolled into months the poses became easier to do as I gained strength and flexibility and I realised how much better life is ‘with’ yoga. I had breaks when I went in for surgeries and when returning to class it was like coming home…all is right in the world once my feet plug into the mat.
You can read more about why I love yoga and the benefits I get from it over HERE.
In March 2014 I started my business Styling Curvy, I needed balance…some light n shade and I missed my job working in fashion. It wasn’t an option for me to return to work, I knew I had big surgeries to come and the stress of work just wasn’t something we could afford to invite in…stress is sooooo bad for cancer…actually it’s just bad full stop!
Starting my own business gave me something to put energy into but more than that it gave me something to look forward to and to plan for.
My thoughts had been so stuck on dying and surviving and I needed to start looking at having a future. Getting dressed and doing my daily style pic also gave me back some of my confidence and some days it was the kick up the bum I needed to face the world. Having the photo record of my cancer journey and return to wellness is amazing, it lets me see how far I’ve really come.
I also started preparing for the first part of my major reconstruction which was scheduled for the end of March. I was preparing for a second mastectomy and double Latissimus Dorsi reconstruction…big words for a bloody BIG surgery. I needed to be strong in mind and body to recover from this surgery so was eating good food, swimming and going to physio and massage. I was struggling with the weight loss side of things, sure I was eating healthy but not much seemed to be happening. The doctors would gently nudge me with comments about losing weight, I’d get a better outcome for surgeries etc, but it was slow.
I wasn’t too concerned as I knew I was ‘doing better’ and getting stronger mentally and physically. I couldn’t expect everything to happen all at once…That’s the big change for me.
Previously I would have expected it to all happen quickly but now what I know is that small changes make a difference and health and wellness isn’t just about food and exercise. It needs to be a wholistic approach encompassing all areas of your life…then, when you do that…that’s when there will be great change. That’s when there will be permanent change.