Breast Cancer Treatment Changed My Relationship With Food

By Christine Lakin
Updated 2024-04-04 06:25:49 | Published 2020-10-18 15:11:19
  • Breast Cancer
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Breast Cancer Treatment Changed My Relationship With Food

As I embarked on my chemotherapy journey, I quickly realized the significance of my taste buds in maintaining my overall well-being. The once-enjoyable experience of savoring food turned into a daily struggle, as everything tasted either metallic or extremely sour. Initially, I had hoped that chemotherapy would result in weight loss, as often portrayed in movies. However, the numerous steroid treatments I received before each session led to weight gain, bloating, and a disrupted metabolism.

In my youth, I never gave much thought to my eating habits. My active lifestyle, which included ballet, musical theatre, cheerleading, and dance classes, allowed me to indulge in any food without consequences. Now, I find myself in a body marked by scars and constant pain, making it difficult to recognize the person I see in the mirror.

Adulthood presents its own challenges, but navigating life after breast cancer and being medically induced into menopause added an extra layer of complexity. In the first year after my cancer treatment, I managed to lose most of the steroid-induced weight due to my dulled sense of taste and regular exercise. However, the weight began to fluctuate once more as I entered menopause and developed fibromyalgia. To make matters worse, my taste buds returned with a vengeance, craving sweet treats over healthy fruits and vegetables.

The past few years have been particularly challenging, as I faced additional surgeries, chronic pain, and the trials of menopausal symptoms. A recent severe ankle sprain only exacerbated my emotional eating, leading me to a breaking point. It was then that I sought help from a certified nutritionist recommended by my endocrinologist, and it proved to be a game-changer.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of working with a certified nutritionist, especially for those with post-cancer dietary needs. My nutritionist guided me in learning how to eat for my current stage of life, encouraging me to keep a food journal and be honest about my cravings. Through this process, I discovered that intermittent fasting works well for me, and I use the Fastic app to stay on track. During my eating window, I focus on mindful choices and try to avoid emotional triggers. Seeking professional help has been a relief and has transformed my relationship with food.

I understand that adapting to this new way of eating will take time and patience. It's crucial to extend grace to myself throughout this process, and I encourage fellow breast cancer survivors to do the same.

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