At this time of year many of us start to make new year resolutions (not me) and get on the diet and gym bandwagon. The year is fresh and it feels like the perfect time to start…a bit like saying “I’ll start a diet…on Monday”. We’ve all been there haven’t we?
But what’s so special about the new year? Why do we wait until then to treat ourselves a little better? Why do we mix up a diet and exercise venture with New Years resolutions? Just to add some pressure to the mix LOL
I finished chemo in May 2013, radiotherapy finished by late July and I had my port removed in August the same year. At the end of all the chemo and 5 surgeries I was left bloated, broken and in need of repair. By the end of it all I was 136kg and riddled with bone and joint pain, even putting on my shoes was an effort. Throughout treatment I did the best I could to get me through, looking back I would have changed a few things.
I should have tried to eat a little better but at the time what I put in my mouth depended on how chemo made me feel…wether I had mouth ulcers, metallic taste or was feeling pukey. I ate a lot of consolatory cake throughout treatment and Tuesday nights when chemo kicked in and I felt like my cheekbones were being torn from my face. I combated the pain and metallic taste with a huge bag of cheese supreme Doritos…sometimes 2 bags!
I popped sugary mentos to clear my mouth of the metal taste that lingered from treatment and carbs were my best friend. Eating out became almost a daily thing and I wasn’t shy about what I ordered, chemo mornings always consisted of a coffee, bacon and egg sandwich and a sweet treat. Any wonder I gained weight!
The weight gain wasn’t all down to what I put in my mouth but also to being so immobile and medications like steroids. I can pretty much pick a chemo patient by the steroid bloat and round face 🙂
As treatment drew to and end I started to think about a future, something I hadn’t really concentrated on as we were just trying to survive. I recognised that the doctors and hospital system had spent a lot of time and money keeping me alive, they had done their bit and now it was up to me, I had to play my part too.
I needed to shape up, get in tune with my body and keep it going for years to come.
But where do you start when you come out the other side and can’t even recognise yourself in the mirror?
My body was so inflamed, tight and heavy and when I saw the number on the scale it seemed impossible to come back from that.
I guess the silver lining was that I didn’t concentrate on ‘the number’, it wasn’t about losing weight and getting skinny it was about ‘Wellness’, so that’s the word I used when thinking or talking about my weight and body.
I came out of treatment and fell in love with my body for what it had done, what it got me through and as it came back to life in the weeks and months following treatment I was so freakin grateful.
Every hair that grew back, colour coming back into my skin and eyes, being able to stretch a little more, walk a little farther, they were all fist pump moments. I had no real body image issues as I recognised they were such a boring waste of energy and time. Time is extremely precious to me theses days and wasting it hating on myself isn’t something I do. Now it was time to refuel my my body, re energise and listen to my body.
It’s funny how everyone has a cure for cancer and loves to tell me about it LOL, they also love to tell me about their quick fix weight loss plans, yup every week people would try to get me involved in whatever they were spruiking, even strangers approached me. Shit I must have looked real bad!
I didn’t want a quick fix so I started out doing green juice and eating better. I still wasn’t eating great but I had introduced goodness back into my diet and was taking more steps in my day.
This isn’t going to be a quick fix plan, I would stumble more than once but I learnt some great lessons along the way. Stay tuned.