Losing weight while taking Tamoxifen is like:
A. Shoveling shit against the tide
B. Cleaning up after your kids while they are in the middle of playing
C. Shoveling snow during a blizzard
D. Being a one legged man in an ass kicking contest
(credit my big brother for that last one)
All of the above, my friends.
I need to talk about this topic because it's been weighing heavily on me for too long. Well, actually, just a few short months but it feels like an eternity since I was thin. I wish I knew how skinny I was when I thought I was fat, if that makes any sense, because now I am technically obese and way out of my recommended weight range. Forty pounds over to be exact.
I went to my doctor 2 months ago and all we talked about was my weight. He kept trying to drill into my head that I need to "Break through my exhaustion" and exercise because not only will I feel better and lose weight, but I'll start to sleep better too, which helps the exhaustion cycle. Now, I am not stupid. I have a scale and a mirror, both of which haunt me daily. I have never been this overweight in my life (not counting 2 pregnancies where I gained 42 lbs each time, but then eventually lost it.) And to all those girls who are trying to shed baby weight? I really have no sympathy for you! Sorry. That was a fucking piece of cake compared to this.
Did someone just say "cake"?
Anyway, with each chemo cycle I gained 5 lbs. There is 20 lbs, right there. There were 3 days of steroids for each chemo cycle which certainly did not help. Then, chemo ended and I had a "break". A month later, I had a bilateral mastectomy and my most strenuous form of exercise was doing arm circles in the shower. Two weeks after the surgery, I started on Tamoxifen and since then, 20 more lbs have been added for a grand total of 40 extra pounds. (Peppered in between all of that was Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, just sayin.) Now, there are some girls (I know of only 3, and I know a LOT of pink ladies!), who never gained an ounce. In fact, they lost weight. Just so you know, if they weren't such nice people, I'd hate them and I don't know why some gain and some don't. But the majority of women who are in my age group or older have gained weight. We are the peri-meno or menopausal women. The cards are stacked against us. We are thrust into instant menopause and suddenly, we have these fucking bellies that popped out of nowhere. Not a day goes by where I am not grunting and groaning every time I bend over, get out of bed, or haul my ass off the toilet. That alone is a fucking workout! Trust me, all the skinny cancer patients you see in the movies must have another form of cancer.
I told my doctor, "I'm a skinny person trapped in a fat person's body!" He thought this was hysterical. Sure. He has a fucking 32 inch waist and has no idea what I am dealing with. Twerp.
Can you tell I am angry? I am. I've really not been angry throughout this "journey" but now I am. I could deal with all the garbage this journey put on my lap. But now, being fat after all that I had to go through, well, it's just a big kick in the tits! And again, I'm speaking for many. It's not just me. We have been through enough already and now, we are supposed to deal with this next mountain in front of us when we are not only sapped of energy and strength but we are dealing with mood changing drugs, unpredictable appetites, strange body aches, crazy cravings, trying to get back to "normal", whatever the hell that is. And yes, sure, let's just plow through and lose 40 lbs now.
So, I'm doing everything I can to lose weight. I joined the LiveStrong program at the Y. I've been working out 4-5 days/week, sometimes more. I've cut way back on sweets, eating more fresh fruits and veggies. I even make my own granola! And do you know what? I think my granola was making me fat. Sure, it was homemade, but it had maple syrup and coconut oil; all well and good, but I am not really known for my portion control so a few too many handfuls during a stressful Breaking Bad'athon and the next day the scale would be scorning me, once again. Sometimes it seems I just look at food the wrong way and I gain weight.
But I am determined. Not only do I HATE being fat, I do not want to spend money on new summer clothes. So, I took my journey a step further and signed on to MyFitnessPal, again. It's a lot like Weight Watchers, only it's free. Plus, you can add your friends and cheer each other on as you add in your exercise for the day and track your food. It's very easy to use and keeps me conscious, once again.
I had this blog in a draft and wrote it when I really was angry. I've since turned my anger into action because hanging on to anger, stress, bitterness, and "why me", does not do a body good. Cancer cells despise happy people but it loves miserable ones.
I look back on pictures from the beginning, just 10 short months ago. The girl on the left was skinny and she had cancer. The girl on the right? She is cancer free. Which one would you choose to be?
I can't look back because I'm not going there and that is definitely a reason to be happy!