Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Getting My Body Back After Cancer

I'll never forget the day in January that I stood in front of the mirror, nearly in tears, staring back at the body that cancer left behind.  I had new scars, I was half bald, my skin was so dry it was literally flaking off and had a weird gray hue, and I was nearly 30 pounds heavier.  My cheeks were puffy and swollen (a side effect from the steroids they give with chemo) and my entire body was soft and pudgy from losing muscle while laying in bed for 4 months straight.

While I was SO proud to have beaten this stupid cancer, I was heartbroken and frustrated at what was left behind.  At that moment as I stared at myself in the mirror, I decided it was time to get my health back on track.

In the first couple months, I lost 10 pounds - I got back to the gym and started tracking my calories.  But my body hadn't fully bounced back from treatment and I definitely pushed too hard too fast and ended up with an injury.  It took a couple months to recover from the injury, which was frustrating, but also forced me to slowly ease back into my workout routine, which is what I should have done from the beginning!

On June 1, I decided it was time to make a drastic change!  I cut out 95% of sugar from my diet and went the whole month (minus one cheat day) without any alcohol.  I started tracking my food with the Weight Watchers app, which doesn't track calories, but it tracks macros: fat, protein, carbs, and fiber.  For me, tracking macros made a lot more sense than tracking calories, so I've stuck with it.  By July 1 I had lost another 8 pounds and several inches overall.

I've started running again, ran a 5k last month, and even signed up for my first 10k (which is in a few weeks!).  I incorporated a lot of strength training as well.  I still try to limit as much sugar from my diet as I can, but allow myself the occasional treat or adult beverage.

It's now the beginning of September and I've lost about 30 pounds.  I went from a size 12 to a size 6 (and the 6's are getting a little roomy….).  Even though I beat cancer last November, I feel like I've finally TRULY beat cancer.  I'm stronger and healthier than I was a year ago, and that makes me feel amazing :)

December 2013 vs. August 2014

January 2013 vs. August 2014
June, July, August

I'd be lying if I said that hasn't been hard work.  But it's been worth it.