I have never been a small person, and in reality, I've never had much of a problem with it. After college I had gained more weight than was probably good for me, but I was sure that I would be able to focus on loosing it, once I realized that I had gained it all. For a while I was doing pretty well. After I got married in 2008, I lost about 20 lbs before I got pregnant, a year and a half later. I gained a very reasonable 25 lbs while pregnant, and then figured I'd have to work at loosing it once she was born.
To my surprise, by two weeks post baby, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. At six weeks post-baby, I was 10 lbs lighter. I was excited - I thought "wow, best weight loss plan ever - have a baby, nurse that baby, and give up dairy because she's sensitive to it. Easy as pie!"
By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, none of my clothes fit. I finally had to steal some of my sister's pants so that I wouldn't keep having to pull mine up and wear belts all the time (I hate belts). I hadn't been that small - ever. For a little while, I was sure that nursing was a magic fat burner.
Then the bubble broke. I started in on my tests and my biopsy, and all the doctors kept asking me if I had been loosing weight. I felt like my weight loss was justified, between the nursing, the cutting out of dairy, and the dancing I had been doing, I was sure I was loosing it on my own merit. But when I was finally diagnosed, I realized that it was the cancer that was causing my rapid weight loss. From the day Saoirse was born, to the day I was diagnosed (7 and a half months later) I had lost over 55 lbs. I was feeling good, but I knew that my inside wasn't.
Once I started chemo, I started to gain some weight back. It was a sign that the chemo was working. I gained about 10 lbs back, and stabilized. I was happy. I knew that my treatment was working, and I was glad that I didn't snowball back up super fast.
Sadly, when Saoirse was diagnosed, stress, hospital food, and exhaustion undid all the wonderful wight loss that cancer had done for me. As she got sicker, I overlooked myself more and more. Everything was about her. When she died, all bets were off. Grief, stress, lethargy, and rich comfort food, all led down a terrible path. I felt horrible.
When I was lighter, I felt better. Not so much emotionally or confidence wise, but physically. I've always had knee and ankle issues, and my knees felt great. My hips seemed to not stick so much, and I felt like my posture was better. I am determined to feel like that again. Our new healthy diet will help with that a lot (I know I have already dropped at least some wight, as there are some pants that I can now button). I have started my dancing again, and I think I'm going to make more of an effort to walk the dog down to the park. The goal? Feel better! Maybe I'll even photograph my project. I should start now.
So what's the moral of this story? I'm not sure. But what we have learned is that Cancer is may be great for weight loss if you have it, but it's a real deal breaker if someone else you love has it. Think I could turn that into a fable?