June 1, 2021

How Cancer taught me to Love my Body.

I ran my poor body ragged for years.

I was a runner, weight lifter, cyclist, and exercise addict.

There were days I would run to the gym, actively leading up to eight fitness classes a day, including cardio and weights, then run or cycle home and even do another run later in the evening.

I was eating a bodybuilding diet (lots of chicken, rice, and broccoli meals); often starving my body of fruit and carbs.

From the outside, I looked lean, muscular, and fit. I looked, you would assume…healthy.

That assumption could not have been more wrong.

I felt constantly tired. My joints and muscles were always hurting. I was coming down with repeated infections and my skin looked lean and drawn, aging me years. But I fitted into a size four and everyone commented on how great and fit I looked, temporarily bolstering my neglected self-esteem.

It felt good to get those compliments. But my body didn’t feel good. Or healthy.

Since my diagnosis, I have gained 50 lbs. I now weigh 160 lbs. That’s more than I have ever weighed in my life!

I had to buy all new clothing in size large—something that prior to my diagnosis would have horrified me. (My ego was delicate and I had almost non-existent self-esteem, so how other people perceived me used to matter a lot. It does not anymore.)

Cancer removes your ego.

You simply don’t give a f*ck what the number on the scale is, what size your pants are, or what other people think of your weight and body. All that matters is feeling good and healing.

So, I am letting my poor body heal.

I am feeding it well—eating what my body wants when it wants. I am feeding it healthy, vegan meals, lots of fruit, carbs, and water. I’m listening to what it wants. I’ve gained a lot of weight due to the cancer, hormones, and my new eating habits. And I feel…absolutely great.

I feel healthier than I have in years.

I have energy, my skin is glowing, my belly is soft and round, but I feel sexier and more feminine than ever.

Cancer has taught me to love this new softer body of mine, because of how good I feel in it.

I wish I could give this gift to all the women out there who struggle with their self-image, exercising obsessively and hinging their self-esteem on the comments, likes, and thoughts of others:

None of it matters.

Live your life. Eat all the things. Enjoy your body in a softer way.

Be gentle to it and listen to it always. You will feel so much benefit from these simple things.

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