Running Away From Fat
By: Jackie Clark
If you have mesothelioma, you are probably aware that it is important to maintain a desirable weight in order to stay healthy. Maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge in general, regardless if you are healthy or battling a disease such as cancer or obesity. After my friends chemotherapy and radiation treatments she needed to get healthy again and I needed to shed a few pounds. We figured that whatever I could lose she could gain. So we implemented a 90-day get healthy challenge.
The truth is, it was no big mystery. Most of us know about good nutrition; we just do not want to think about it! I followed the federal dietary guidelines and paid close attention to the recommended food groups. Most importantly, I cut my calorie intake to 1200 a day, and scorned foods high in fat, starch, and sugar. My friend did the same thing accept tried to increase her portion sizes, but supplementing high fat foods for fruits and vegetables.
We swam and I gardened. I even purchased an inexpensive bicycle. We did floor exercises. (Yes, I admit it. When I first started doing floor exercises, I could not see my toes, much less touch them!). We began walking a lot. I wasn’t used to being a pedestrian and crossing streets was harrowing at first. The traffic made me nervous, so I trotted to beat the intersection lights. As I began losing weight, I found myself crossing intersections on a run, while my friend trotted to keep up. It felt so good, I decided to get up early every morning and go for a run. (I still waddled a bit and didn’t want my neighbors to see me). I had decided to weigh just once a month, but I knew I was losing weight. I could almost feel the pounds melting off, every single day! I was losing weight so fast, I had to go every few weeks and buy a few clothes (Love it!).
In a measly 90 days, I went from tipping the scale at 198 pounds to balancing the scale at 110. (I didn’t get sick, become anorexic, develop the rickets, or experience any of the other dire warnings we have grown up with. In fact, I had never felt so great in my life!). My friend was able gain weight too. So who won? Technically, I did, but in actuality, we both did!
Our weight battles were an exceptionally proud moment in both of our lives. We both had accomplished great feats. I had lost weight and she had gained. However, the mesothelioma life expectancy is between four and eighteen months. So for her the weight gain meant she was able to live one more day. Actually she got 90 plus days and counting. Regardless of ones reasons for trying to get healthy the benefits of exercise and running for me in particular have given me a new outlook on life. I have energy and a new found confidence in myself. Live is good, and I am lucky to have had this experience with a true hero, my friend the survivor.
*This guest post does not reflect my own beliefs on nutrition and weight loss.*