Getting back on track

When I was diagnosed with cancer at the end of August, it would have been easy to fall into a deep pit of anger. After all, I don’t smoke, I only indulge in an occasional glass of wine, I’ve never even experimented with street drugs, I eat a healthy diet and I exercise regularly. I’ve taken excellent care of my body, so why cancer? Why me? There are no answers to those questions. I don’t think there’s anything more that I could have done to prevent such a catastrophic diagnosis, but life’s not fair and cancer is no respecter of persons.

Fortunately, I managed not to wallow in anger, but for awhile I definitely let a “why bother” attitude take hold. Why bother exercising? Why bother watching my weight? Why not eat whatever I want? After all, I have cancer. I deserve a treat, don’t I? Now, every time I look in the mirror, I see an unwelcome “why bother” bulge around my middle and every time I zip up my jeans, “why bother” gets in the way.

In spite of the delicious food, I actually lost a few pounds while we were in China.  The amount of walking and stair climbing that we did on a daily basis more than made up for the extra calories I consumed. I was surprised that I didn’t gain the weight back as soon as we got home and after being diagnosed with cancer, I actually began to worry about that. I knew that if I had to have surgery or if treatments caused me lose my appetite, I didn’t have any extra weight to spare. That made it easy to get lazy about exercising and to start indulging in fattening foods. I kept up my morning exercise routine but when winter arrived, I quit walking and the weights and the treadmill gathered dust in the basement. Suddenly my weight started to climb again and it didn’t stop! By early December I was seven pounds heavier than I’d been just three months earlier!

Seven pounds isn’t a lot but it’s five percent of my present body weight and on my slight frame, it shows. Also, I realized that if I kept gaining at that rate, I’d put on 28 pounds in just one year! There’s no way I wanted that to happen! It was definitely time to do something about the “why bother” attitude, but with Christmas goodies staring me in the face, I decided not to make any drastic changes until after the New Year.

Now, with Christmas behind us, most of the goodies eaten and the family gone, it’s time to get back on track! Today I bid “why bother” good bye, dug out my virtual walk DVDs and got back on the treadmill. I only walked 1.2 miles (just under 2 kilometres) but it’s a start and it felt good. Before we left for China, I didn’t have time to finish my video course, The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins so, when I’m not enjoying scenic pathways around the world via DVD, I’ll be watching lectures while I walk.

When the little ones were here for Christmas, we had to hide the free weights to keep them from dropping them on their toes but I’ll be digging those out again next week. It’s been almost a year since the last time I lifted so I’ll have to start small but that’s okay. Cancer may have slowed me down for awhile but it hasn’t stopped me yet!

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 19:36:29

    Okay Elaine, I am in…. we will need to organize ourselves and we can help keep each other on track, however I wont be starting until back from St Kitts… I am sure I will have an extra 7lbs (at least)

    Reply

    • edebock
      Jan 03, 2014 @ 20:18:19

      This is a fabulous idea, Deb! One of the reasons I blog about my fitness plans is because it makes me feel accountable. Having a fitness partner or buddy is even better. Let me know how you want this to work. 🙂

      Reply

  2. Anonymous
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 23:51:46

    I admire your attitude and your resolve. Now to have it rub off…

    Reply

  3. Elizabeth
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 11:32:32

    I have gone through my own “why bother” for the last couple of years…although it’s more like “I’ll deal with it later”. Well, later has arrived. I let myself go amidst two job changes and a couple “life changes” including a pending marital dissolution. I just lost all will and energy to take care of myself. But I’m starting a new life – or restarting my current life – and I can’t not take care of myself. I’ve gained about 30 pounds in the last two years, and while I’m rather amazonian in build, I can’t ignore the fact that I’ve had to size UP on my pants TWICE. I have to take care of myself so I can better take care of my children and do my job well.

    Reply

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