First picture is at my heaviest on June 24, 2017 178 pounds; middle picture is July 24, 2017 and last photo is from August 2017
I have been posting a lot on Instagram (follow me @thetimebetweenis; I follow back) about my weight journey post breast cancer treatment. It is strange to be sharing so much - I do not know if I will ever get used to it - including the photo of my naked chest...
Anyway, my whole life post puberty I was about 135-137 pounds and almost 5 foot 6 inches. I was never happy with my body. I do not know why - when I look back on pictures even before I went down the road of breast cancer, I do not know what I was complaining about. I looked healthy and curvy. I wanted to be 120 pounds though. HA! (Picture on the left is on the night of my high school ring ceremony when I was a junior in high school.)
I was never a very active person BUT I had a wicked fast metabolism. I would eat so much junk - my house was Entenmann’s Central - my grandma would go to the outlet for the baked goods and load up once a week. I remember trying to weigh less but not really caring enough to eat a vegetable or do any exercise.
When I moved to Italy, I walked like no one’s business but only on weekends. During the week, I had work each day in the office and classes 4 nights a week oh and homework. Living in Italy, I was called “fake skinny” by my friends who put me on a scale during one of our infamous all night study sessions. It was in kilos though so I did not really understand but they both told me their girlfriends did not even weigh ½ of what I did which led me to believe their girlfriends did not get anywhere near a scale around them.
So for me once I returned from Italy and could read my scale I had gained 10 pounds but I am sure it was muscle. No really, I am sure of it. You see, in Europe and basically everywhere except here in the USA portion sizes are “normal”. When you go to an Olive Garden (for example) and order a pasta dish, you are seeing a size of plate that is at least 4x larger than the size of a dish you would order in a restaurant in Italy.
All of that walking and moving when I lived in Italy (I had no car so every errand was done on foot especially my solitary Sunday walks from my apartment near the Vatican to the city center and beyond). Once I returned from living overseas, I went back to my car and driving everywhere so those pounds of muscle became something else.
Then, before I knew it, I gave birth to two children - with my daughter, the scale was in the 200's and everyone thought I was carrying multiples; with my son, I lost weight until the 6th month of pregnancy and at my heaviest right before delivery I was 170-175. I creeped up each year, it seemed, little by little until I was hovering more in the 160-170 range than the 135-145 range even 7 years post the birth of my second child.
It does not sound like a big difference but it is when you think about height. I was never ‘overweight’ but I was definitely heavier than I should have been.
THAT BEING SAID IN NO WAY DO I THINK MY BREAST CANCER WAS CAUSED BY MY WEIGHT. I understand there are “risk factors” to cancer and that people like to think about prevention and how to avoid these diseases but the fact remains that even at my “heaviest” I was nowhere near obese and in fact smaller even than many people in my life - all of whom have never had gotten breast cancer (that I know of).
I have exercised for an hour a day since April 2014. I meditated daily since 2015. I did yoga and other stress reducing exercises. I gave up all processed foods in 2014 when I was misdiagnosed with a corn allergy. There is an idea of “prevention” and “it won’t be me” that does not quite exist. I should have never gotten breast cancer but I did.
Now post cancer and the huge amount of weight gained during treatments, I decided I was ready to get moving. This was something I was not ready to do until after I finished treatment and healed from radiation.
I began slow but stuck with it. The weight began to come off but so slowly. I was eating super clean and not much of anything and moving but my weight froze at 158-160. I could not lose any more. I met with the integrative medicine doctor at Sloan and he recommended that to limit my risk of recurrence I should weigh 147 pounds.
I was incredulous. I was already working out daily, eating so healthy it was ridiculous and I straight out told him I cannot lose anymore - I lost 20 pounds and that is all I can do. He told me to get the book 10 Day Smoothie Challenge by JJ Smith so I got it. (Again, I am very medically compliant).
I began the cleanse on September 12 2017 and did it until September 20 2017. In those 8 days, I dropped 10 pounds. The only reason I stopped was because my dad was being admitted for open heart surgery and I could not get smoothies while I was with him. However, since that smoothie challenge, I have found that I am not as hungry, that I am not interested in eating as much volume and I am keeping the same routine for some parts of my diet plan.
I did the modified cleanse meaning I ate a small lunch. I also snacked on veggies and apples and unsalted nuts throughout the day, as needed. I continued to bring these snacks with me when I was away from the cleanse and away from home. I have been eating healthier and feeling lighter. My weight is now 148 pounds. I am 1 pound away from the “suggested” weight.
I did not do this to get “skinny” - to be honest with you, even when I weighed more I kind of still looked the same. I carry my weight in my stomach so I either look pregnant or I do not. That being said in June when I was at my heaviest, you could see the weight everywhere. I am including photos to show my journey here in this blog.
I hope you, when you are ready, consider getting fit in a healthy way. Make sure it is not too much for you. Do not stress your body during treatment. I have never appreciated just being me before - now I love every inch of me even the inches that used to house my right breast. I hope you can be at peace with your body. I love my body even when I weighed the most. All of this is post cancer though - I was the 16, 26 and 36 year old who was not happy in my own skin and now I am just so damn happy to be alive and my focus is staying that way as long as possible. I know weight is not the key to this but I figure it is never a bad thing to be as fit as possible…
This is what I do in the time between..
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