March 17, 2015
Adopting a healthy lifestyle after cancer
BY Gail Morse
After my breast cancer treatment, I was so inspired and gung ho about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I had just lost 10 pounds and felt good.
But I didn't stick with my healthy lifestyle. Just before my six-month check-up I realized, I had gained the weight back and then some. So, what happened?
Well, life happened. I'd struggled to deal with my new normal and get back on the old saddle again, and my healthy lifestyle took a backseat.
Finding my new normal
I know I'm not alone in this. I've heard so many cancer patients say a few months after treatment that they felt lost not knowing what to do next. And that's the issue.
During cancer treatment, I had unintentionally created a daily routine. I knew where to go, what to do, what I would feel like. Now the ritual was broken. I had to consider a big question. What did I want to do with my life after cancer?
I answered that question, but I forgot to include taking care of myself in my new plan. Like many other cancer patients, I settled back into old routines. My bad habits from life before cancer crept back in. I was eating out all the time and never eating anything healthy.
Shortly after treatment ended, I had completed a wellness program for cancer survivors. I'd felt good exercising again, but I didn't address my eating habits.
Recommitting to a healthy lifestyle
With my checkup around the corner, I realized what had happened. I was nervous about what my doctor would say about my weight.
I know that research shows that many cancers can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. So if I knew this, why couldn't I put the french fry down? I felt disappointed and discouraged.
My feelings about my health choices spilled over into my emotional life, too. I felt lost.
But I knew it wasn't too late to make a change. I decided immediately to recommit to my decision to live a healthy lifestyle.
I've got a beautiful life to look forward to after cancer, and I plan to make the most of it. I'm ready to get with the program to live a healthier, happier and stronger life. After all, I owe it to myself to do whatever I can to reduce my chances of cancer recurrence.
Cross your fingers for me, and wish me luck at my upcoming checkup -- and next time I see a french fry.
I've got a beautiful life to look forward to after cancer, and I plan to make the most of it.