This is Day #2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and I am instructed to talk about what brought me to this place...my back story. Who doesn't love a good story?? So here I go...
In December 2009, Christmas Eve in fact, I received a phone call while I was walking through WalMart, shopping for some last minute who knows what. It was the office of the surgeon who had performed the biopsy on a suspicious spot in my left breast. We know how this is going to go, don't we? Of course the results were positive for malignancy, but I would not have access to the surgeon until the 28th of December...four agonizing days waiting to hear what's next.
After a rather subdued Christmas, I was able to meet with the surgeon who's first words were, "you probably saved your life". She said that because I chose an immediate biopsy over the alternative of taking the 'wait and see' approach for six months. I'm not a 'wait and see' type of person. That has come in handy many times in my life.
Fast forward to surgery in January, chemo February through June, radiation all of July and August, and Herceptin infusions until February 2011. It was a tough year but one that would change my life. While I was unable to do much else, I did some research to try to figure out how I could prevent a recurrence of my cancer. I found that cancer cells are fed by sugar and a lot of the food I was eating easily converted to sugar.
I decided to change my eating habits to eliminate processed sugar and to eat only whole, clean foods. I had not consumed any alcohol since I started chemo because my liver was being abused enough with all the poisons being pumped into my veins and I have not had a drink since. I attended Weight Watchers meetings for the accountability only (because I didn't want to follow their program) and, after a while became that meeting's poster child. I lost 135 pounds and trained for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60-Mile Walk for the Cure.
After successfully losing a fair amount of weight and completely changing my life, I realized I really loved this stuff...living a healthy lifestyle, having a lot of energy and fitting into much smaller clothes. I also realized I could help others do the same so I looked for a way to do that. I found a nutrition program that also taught me how to coach and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC). A few years later I became a Certified Nutritional Consultant (CNC) and along the way, have also earned a certificate in Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition. This is what I was meant to do.
I have been coaching for about five years and it is the most fulfilling work I have ever done. In April, I retired from the career I had for over thirty years that paid the mortgage, put food on the table and gave our family a very nice lifestyle. But now it's time to do something I LOVE and I have found it.
I have known so many people my age who still haven't found what they want to do when they grow up. I am one of the lucky ones because I have.