“Cancer didn’t bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet. I stand tonight because I want to be part of this effort to find an end to cancer. This is possible.”
I recently saw this Michael Douglas quote from September’s Stand Up to Cancer event and was floored. This really embodies what I’ve been feeling in so many ways. I just want to do more, say more, put my story out there more. I just have this drive. I’m not quite sure where its taking me yet, but I know its going somewhere!
Cancer has quite literally brought me to my feet. This Saturday is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. My friends and family put together a “Team Laura” for the event and I’m super excited that I’ll be able to participate. The timing was perfect for me to attend and also feel good walking the 1.5 miles. We are extremely close to our fundraising goal and would love to smash it, so please consider donating to our team at http://pages.lightthenight.org/sctx/AustinL12/TeamLaura.
I was so excited. I already love this organization because of their Troops program, and now I love them even more.
I’m also becoming much more focused on fitness. The whole year leading up to my cancer diagnosis I had been trying to get in shape. I worked out with a trainer for several months and had just started CrossFit when I received my diagnosis. I never saw a ton of results and it was very frustrating. Knowing I had cancer now, I can understand a lot of my struggles better. I sadly didn’t work out at all while I dealt with cancer, and I’m definitely paying for it now.
When I was in treatment there was this huge focus on me NOT losing weight. Losing weight was bad. Since I had random dietary restrictions, like no raw vegetables or fruit, it was really easy to fall into poor eating habits. My doctors also took the “eat what you can, when you can” approach. So I did. And sometimes what I “could” eat was not extremely healthy. Coupled with never exercising, I gained about 10-15 pounds. This seems to be a running theme with my other “cancer friends” as well. I don’t know if its mainly an issue because we’re young adults or not, but it wasn’t really something I had on my radar in treatment, so the pounds snuck up on me.
However, this whole experience has taught me to seize the day. And that’s just what I’m planning to do. This week I started Couch to 5k, using the ZenLabs iPhone app. I’m very lucky to have a few friends that do long distance races and triathalons, so they’ve been giving me lots of tips and advice. You can follow my friend and fellow Army spouse Maddie at Food, Fitness & Family for some great fitness and nutrition tips. It’s nice to know I won’t be alone in this journey! My husband, Rene, has also dubbed himself my “trainer.” As a soldier and athlete, he far surpasses me when it comes tofitness, but its been really nice sharing this interest with. It’s also nice that I have someone there to hold the iPhone and handle the dog so I can focus on my “running.”
For those of you not familiar with Couch to 5k training programs, its basically a schedule that guides you to building up your endurance by alternating walking and running. Eventually you do less walking and more running until you can run a 5K. There’s several different programs and apps out there that accomplish the same goal: going from not running at all to doing a 5K in 8 or 9 weeks. This week’s workout for the program I chose was a 5 minute walking warm up, followed by alternating 1 minute of walking and 90 seconds of jogging for a total of 20 minutes, followed by a 5 minute walking warm down. In conjunction with my twice weekly LIVESTRONG workouts, I’ve been quite sore. But I also feel amazing. I’m hoping the hard work pays off.
I plan to update with my measurements on the first of the month. I’m somewhat mortified that I’m publishing these, but I wanted to be open and honest about my experience, so here we go.
My starting measurements are:
Weight: 154.4 lbs
Waist- 34.5 inches
Bust- 37.5 inches
Hips- 41.5 inches
I’ll also update with photos. Hopefully as time goes on I’ll have more hair and less weight to show off!
The exercise really helps clear up the residual mental cancer “funk.” Having solid fitness goals is also very encouraging. While I was in treatment I gave myself major props just for walking around the block or going to the grocery store. Now I’m training to do a 5k and it feels amazing. I would LOVE to do a half-marathon team-in-training to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (like my friend Amy) or LIVESTRONG sometime next year, so I will keep you posted on what I decide to do and when.