My friend Linda, who is a strong independent woman, has spent the last 20 years of her life building a career in marketing for a college university. Very goal driven and structured, she worked hard to get ahead while providing a good home for her husband and two daughters. However, her plans and goals were interrupted the day she heard the words “it’s cancer”. At age 43, after discovering a cist in her breast, she was given the news that she may only have one year to live. She was “mortified” and knew this was a situation that she could not control no matter how hard she tried. After picking herself up and turning to God, she knew she could not control the news that was given to her but there were things that she could control. Her first plan of action was to completely release it to God and become proactive in her treatment. By not accepting the recommendation of the first physician, she became proactive and found a new Doctor who was able to relieve some of her fears of and provide comfort with a treatment plan that worked for her.
After battling her weight for many years and yoyo dieting, she realized that it was time for her to take control of her health. Although Linda had been very successful in other areas of her life, eating healthy and exercise were never something that made it to her priority list. Fast food three times a day, working long hours, and rushing her daughters to dance rehearsals each day was a way of life. She gave no thought to what she ate and usually used food to deal with her emotions.
When introduced to a healthy weight loss program, she decided to take control of her weight and join. In the past, her motivation to lose weight was for looks only and tended to last only for a short time. It was different this time. She wanted to be healthy for herself and be an example to her family. She realized that her “disease and lifestyle, not only affected her, but her friends and family.”
Linda is a success story. Thankfully, the cancer did not spread to the lymph nodes, a miracle according to her Doctors. With a full mastectomy and successful reconstructive surgery she is cancer free.
Today, ten years later, Linda is gracious to God and believes he saved her for a reason. She knows she was given a second chance and should use it to the very best of her abilities. Her purpose is to live a healthy lifestyle and to set an example to others. She believes that life is a journey with twists, turns and bumps in the road and how she takes them are up to her and will make a difference in her success or failure.
In her journey to healthy eating and overcoming her emotional triggers, she has come to understand a piece of chocolate cake is comforting until 30 minutes later when her sugars are out of control, she’s hungry again and has little energy to exercise! She chooses to eat healthy and exercise so that she can feel better, stronger and more powerful.
She makes a conscious effort each day to take control of her health.
“I know”, says Linda , “there are things I can do”.
- “I can choose to eat when I am hungry, not emotional”
- “I can make the right food choices”
- “I can choose to be more active”
- “I can choose to make a lifestyle change”
Linda is an inspiration and example of how to stay strong when hit with things that are out of your control even being faced with health issues. She has shown how to be proactive and take charge of your health. She is a reminder to stop focusing on what you can’t change and have courage to take control of what you can change.