‘This time it was different because it’s working!’

I had my half-way point body composition weigh-in last week for the #SuwaneeGetFit challenge.

I’ve been so disappointed the past few years with how unhealthy, unhappy and out of shape I had become. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2014, I was the heaviest I had ever been. I weighted over 200 pounds and I was as large as I had ever been, even after giving birth to three babies! I had every excuse as to why I was that size. I had spent a lot of 2014 in a boot cast for plantar fasciitis. I knew with cancer treatments of chemo, radiation and surgery, I was bound to lose some weight because of all the stories I heard about chemo making people sick, unable to eat, etc. So I did lose some weight. I lost about 20 pounds over 6 months. Then when it was time for surgery, I chose to do a transabdominal flap breast reconstruction. With this surgery, they use fat from my belly (and I had PLENTY of it) to reconstruct breast. I lost about 10 pounds from the surgery and was given a trimmer stomach. The extra rolls of fat were gone! I looked better and was under 200 pounds. Things seemed to be going fine. But I never got back my energy, my tone and just walking up a flight of stairs left me winded. I was down in weight but I was by no means “fit.”

But last Friday, things changed for me — mentally AND physically! This time it was different because it’s working! I saw the body fat measurement go down, the weight go down and the points change in the fat around my vital organs is down! Thanks to Anthony at Alloy Personal Training for Women for keeping me focused and Suwanee Magazine and my fellow Get Fit contestants for giving me the motivation to be fit again! I can’t believe how much I am enjoying exercising at 6 a.m. three days a week! I also make sure that I am moving three more days a week by walking or playing tennis. I knew that fighting cancer at a young age could have some long-term risks for my health. My mom had heart issues and I had 16 rounds of chemo. That can’t be good for ANY of my organs! Having the realization that I was in control of certain factors of my health was eye-opening. Reducing the fat around my organs so that I can reduce certain risk factors as I get older is all in MY control. I have beaten cancer. I am taking over my health, weight, and outlook to make sure I am here for a LONG time. I want to live long enough to be a burden to my kids!

It has been a slow process to see the changes. I mean, I have great friends, family and neighbors who encourage and compliment me. My co-workers let me talk about my packed-lunch, and getting exercise, drinking lots of water and even encourage me. My family says nice things to me but one of my favorite compliments came this week from my 12-year old son. Let’s face it, he doesn’t just look for nice things to say to his mom on any given day! He was handing me my phone the other night and he looked at my screen saver photo — which was from Disney last spring break. He looked at it and looked at me and said, “Wow Mom, you aren’t nearly as big as you were in this picture for last year.” Now I’m sure that in there somewhere is a BEAUTIFUL compliment from my son! And he is right because I was at least 20 pounds heavier last spring break!

I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 6 weeks!!! If you think you want to be a better, more fit person, you can do it! If I can, then you can! It just takes commitment and accountability. It also takes adjustments. Anthony at Alloy confirmed this for me when he posted an inspirational quote one day that said something like I will not feel guilty if I fall off the wagon. I will get back on it. Have I been perfect every day? No. But do I try hard? Heck YES! Can I say I am where I want to be? Not yet but I AM going to get there! After all, spring break is coming up again and I need to retake some photos!