Taking control of my diet and fitness really helped my cancer recovery.
I moved to Bath as a student and loved the city so much that I stayed and forged a career in marketing with local companies. I’ve always loved food and can’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight. Sport and fitness was never on my radar and after feeling emotionally scarred by school PE lessons, I felt that exercise just wasn’t for me. My weight increased gradually and by my mid-thirties I weighed over 16 and a half stone. At 5 foot 2 inches, this was morbidly obese.
Determined not to be ‘fat and forty’, I embarked on a long-term health and fitness journey. By improving my diet and finding ways to move more, I lost 7 stone over 5 years. I went from walking Bath’s hills to eventually running 5k, and with my new healthy weight, I felt amazing.
Then, just six months after my fortieth birthday, I found a lump in my breast (a lump I may not have been able to find, had I not lost weight) and was diagnosed with breast cancer.
It was such a shock – I couldn’t stop crying! How could this be happening to me? There was no history of cancer in my family. However, once I’d had time to get used to the idea, I was determined to do everything I could to improve my health and outcome. I carried on running and set a goal to run the Bath Half Marathon the following year. I also read everything I could find about anti-cancer foods and incorporated as many of them as possible into my diet.
The RUH in Bath was amazing and within four weeks I was in surgery having a wide area excision. This was followed about two months later with a course of radiotherapy. I wasn’t allowed to run for six weeks after my surgery, but six weeks to the day I got back out there and was relieved to find I hadn’t lost all the fitness I’d built up over the last few years.
Taking control of my diet and fitness really helped my cancer recovery. It’s easy to feel a lack of control when undergoing cancer treatment but there are plenty of things that you can do to help yourself, and by doing so it creates a positive outlook and can really help lead to positive outcomes.
My cancer diagnosis also caused a long-term change for me. Realising the power of nutrition, I’ve now retrained as a Nutritional Therapist and I’m part of the We Get It team.
I feel as though my cancer story has given me a whole new direction. If I hadn’t had breast cancer, I may never have taken the leap to become a Nutritional Therapist.