Cancer Couldn't Stop Jane from Losing More Than 140 Pounds

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In the fall of 2015, Jane (FUNNYFACE101002) was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. At 348 pounds, she was embarrassed by the number on the scale. Jane was wearing size 28 pants and a four or 5XL shirt. "[If I gained more weight], I was at a total loss as to where I would buy myself clothes," she recalls. Luckily Jane had no other known health issues, but after surgery to remove the cancer, she knew it was time to make changes.
 
Jane's first step was to buy a FitBit. Although her husband told her that alone wasn’t going to help her lose weight, she knew it would be a constant reminder of the lifestyle changes she was making. Jane also decided to start counting calories, which is what brought her to SparkPeople.
 
"I logged everything I put into my mouth, [and] then had to decide which foods I could live without," she remembers. "I decided I couldn't live without anything, so that meant I had to budget for it in my calories every day." Jane loves ice cream, so instead of giving it up completely, she bought portion-controlled ice cream bars in place of a half-gallon of her favorite flavor. "I would log the ice cream [at the beginning of the day]," says Jane. "That way I knew I could have it, but I'd have to stay within my calorie range in order to be able to eat it."
 
In the beginning Jane only used SparkPeople to log her food, water and weight-loss progress. Eventually she became involved in the Community, which she credits with motivating her to lose more weight. "I felt supported that I was not being judged for my weight," she says. Jane found others like her who were facing the same ups and downs. She was getting support and giving support and felt that the time and energy to make connections with others was well spent.

 

Health Setbacks Made Her Stronger

 
In 2017, after working hard on her healthy lifestyle for over a year, Jane started having chest pains. Initially, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, but something told her to wait on the surgery. Within a month she could hardly swallow and eventually received the proper diagnosis: esophageal cancer. "[I] hadn't heard a lot about [esophageal cancer, but knew that] not many people survive it. I'm going to," she affirms.
 
Jane spent some time away from SparkPeople as she went through chemotherapy and radiation. "It was not fun. I wanted my Spark life back," she recalls. Jane put all of her energy into fighting the cancer and getting better. She never stopped wearing her FitBit and ate the foods her care team recommended to keep up her strength. As soon as she was able, she started walking again. "[Eventually] I was back up to over 10,000 steps a day. I would walk 1,000 steps and take a nap," Jane says.
 
In February 2018, Jane had her esophagus removed. "Talk about a new relationship with food," she jokes. "It was a huge struggle."
 
Although many high-fiber foods and raw fruits and veggies are off-limits, Jane is grateful to be alive. She has gained some weight back since the surgery, but considers herself lucky that she was working so hard to lose weight before the diagnosis. "I'm not sure they would have done the surgery with my weight so high. I consider it a blessing [that I made those changes when I did.]"

 

It's Not All About the Weight!

 
Jane's advice for those who are just beginning or those who are struggling along their weight-loss journey is simple: "Grab onto a few SparkFriends that have similar goals and are as serious as you," she says. Social support can make such a difference when it comes to progress and success.
 
"Everyone is here for a different reason, so don't judge," she advises. "I remember seeing [members] struggling over losing 10 pounds while I was struggling to lose over 100 pounds. [While it might seem less important,] their 10 pounds are as real and as hard as yours." Jane recommends being honest, because in the bad times, she's received great support. "It's not easy, but that's okay. You can do hard [things]," she declares.
 
She also recommends being honest when it comes to tracking. "Start by logging everything that goes into your mouth," Jane recommends. Even if you aren't making changes to your diet right away, you can still see areas where you need to adjust when you're ready. "Once you can do that honestly, move on to another [healthy habit], such as drinking enough water daily."
 
Jane does not believe in cheat days or giving up certain foods completely. Instead, she still makes room in her eating plan for foods like chips or chocolate-covered almonds, but she's strict with portion control and logs everything. "If I can't control how much of a food I'm going to eat, I just can't have it in the house," says Jane.
 
"[This journey] is about feeling good in your own skin," Jane says. "Look at yourself and love you—you can be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. Don't do this for anyone else but you."
 
Although it might sound selfish, Jane believes that if you're feeling good about yourself and the choices you're making, you will become a more positive influence on others. She says it's important to realize that not everyone is in the same place. You can share your story, but you can't force others to change—that determination must come from within.
 
Jane is now a year out from surgery and looks forward to getting back into the "under-200-pound club". She knows it won't be easy, but Jane is hopeful about the future and continues to log all of her food and get at least 10,000 steps most days. "Cancer was my biggest obstacle. It has been very difficult," Jane reflects. "If I have to gain weight to live, I will, but I do not have to be that obese ever again."
 
How have setbacks made you stronger in the journey to a healthier lifestyle? Share in the comments below, and give Jane your well-wishes and congratulations!

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Comments

HEAVENLY15 11/27/2019
Hey Jane, I was wondering if you have heard of this weight loss program before? https://cutt.ly/oe1QkQd. It looks like a great program to help people lose weight. I was just looking for some opinions before I made my decision. By the way, I love the content you've been posting lately! Report
HEAVENLY15 11/27/2019
Hey Jane, I was wondering if you have heard of this weight loss program before? https://cutt.ly/oe1QkQd. It looks like a great program to help people lose weight. I was just looking for some opinions before I made my decision. By the way, I love the content you've been posting lately! Report
KRISKAY1962 11/17/2019
Thank you for sharing, it really helps and gives me strength to continue. Report
KHALIA2 11/16/2019
Congrats! JOB WELL DONE! Report
MONICA208 11/15/2019
oh...Thank you very much for this wonderful post as we all know Health is Wealth,some peeps find it difficult to procure the right steps to loose some pounds,let me share what work very well for me its definitely gonna work for you "only" if you have faith just give it a shot... https://bit.ly/33uzXqt Report
GEORGE815 11/1/2019
Congrats,good job. Report
FNLUVNANGL 9/17/2019
Congratulations on your weight loss and fighting cancer, you are a very strong woman! Never give up, you are an inspiration to me. I also had cancer but have been cancer free the last four years so I'm hoping I kicked its butt! Keep up the good work! Report
_LINDA 9/11/2019
Jane you are amazing! Praying you remain cancer free. You are an inspiration for anyone with health issues and beyond! Report
NASFKAB 9/11/2019
Great Report
AQUAGIRL08 8/26/2019
Way to go Jane! You've overcome some pretty severe obstacles. You're a great inspiration to us! Report
JULIENSMITH 8/26/2019
I am moved by your attitude & dedication to your health. To me you are an amazing role model. Report
7STIGGYMT 8/8/2019
Jane is one of my SP friends. This article only tells the "tip of the iceberg " of what she is like. She's a very outstanding Christian woman. Her faith in God has been a big part of her journey, as well as SP. Report
2DAWN4 7/20/2019
Your story brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face! You are a rock star! Report
PAMBROWN62 7/7/2019
Congratulations on your successful fight. I agree, deprivation is not the answer. Portion control and moderation will work successfully as long as you are willing to make it work. I wish you continued good health. Report
MOMWANTSNOWAIST 7/5/2019
Congratulations on your success with weight loss !!You fought cancer and are a great inspiration! Thank you for sharing !!!! You have inspired me!!!! Report
DIROB57 6/30/2019
What an amazing job you have done overcoming whatever obstacles come your way...that's the true mark of a winner! Way to go! Report
DIANEDOESSMILES 6/18/2019
I agree Jane, to NOT cut out any food that I love. I've lost 125 lbs doing just that, not cutting out foods I love, being honest with tracking. If I bite it, I write it.

CONGRATULATIONS on beating the cancer!! An amazing life, because you are about you. TY For sharing. Report
ERIN_POSCH 6/6/2019
Congrats Report
KARENE10 5/25/2019
Congrats with all your progress! Report
KHALIA2 4/25/2019
Congrats! Report
JOHNMARTINMILES 4/25/2019
Inspiring! Report
KHALIA2 4/18/2019
Congrats! Job well done! Report
SORASEEDO1 4/17/2019
Congratulations on becoming a survivor! This is my 10th year as a survivor of breast cancer that had already spread. I agree, Chemo and radiation is not fun but the chemo is horrible and I hope to never go through that again. I admire you for being able to diet while going through chemo. I could barely eat but did manage a lot of sherbet since the chemo gave me terrible sores in my mouth. Your story is so inspiring and now I'm on my journey to be healthier and at my ideal weight. Thanks for sharing your story with us!!!!!! happy face!!!! Report
KHALIA2 4/17/2019
Congratulations on your success! Report
KHALIA2 4/16/2019
Congrats! I drink my decaf coffee with no sugar. Report
MRGE18 4/15/2019
Thank you for sharing. I don't know how I got here today but I just found out I am at risk for this type of cancer. It's nice to hear such a positive recovery story. Report
TSMM2019 4/11/2019
Jane your story was such an inspiration to me! I am also a cancer survivor (3 months now). I have survived chemo and radiation and now it is time overcome obesity! God Bless you Jane on your journey to weight loss! Report
BONDMANUS2002 4/7/2019
Absolutely great Report
MSMAGALY 4/5/2019
You are an amazing person, you sure inspired me and continue to press forward - best wishes on your determination- congratulations Report
DLDMIL 4/5/2019
Congratulations Report
PEGJW111 4/5/2019
You have met your challenges with strength and determination. Congratulations!!! Report
STEEPERSLOUNGE 4/4/2019
Congratulations Jane you're an inspiration to many. As a Cancer survivor, myself I have given up sugar/gluten and I do not eat any soy products. Everyone is different. I am very happy for you. Report
JENNAAW 4/4/2019
What an intelligent way she handled her weight loss endeavor! She is so inspiring to me. Report
MARITIMER3 4/4/2019
Congratulations on your weight loss and especially on learning how to lose the weight while still enjoying your favourite foods in smaller portions. Report
LEANJEAN6 4/4/2019
Wow!--Whatta strong person! Report
KAREN_EDMONDS 4/4/2019
Congratulations! Your story is such a great inspiration to others. Report
L_DROUIN 4/4/2019
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You have really touched my heart! Thank you! Report
MAREE1953 4/4/2019
Congrats on surviving a horrible disease! Maintaining weight loss = gaining and losing the same 3 to 5 lbs over and over and over again, so I can relate to the statement that losing 10 lbs is just as important as losing 100 lbs. Also, the food we eat can truly be our medicine. It can be the difference between good health and chronic disease. Report
ANHELIC 3/26/2019
Thank you for sharing your determination. God bless Report
MNABOY 3/14/2019
Thank you for sharing your story! Report
MNABOY 3/14/2019
Thank you for sharing your story! Report
MNABOY 3/14/2019
Thank you for sharing your story! Report
KIRSTI2016 3/4/2019
Jane has a fantastic attitude even while facing great challenges. Thanks for sharing your story, you give a lot of encouragement to me and others! Report
KATHYJO56 3/2/2019
This is the most inspiring story I have ever read here. You are an amazing woman who has shown that we can all carry on no matter what the circumstances. God bless you! Report
CECELW 3/1/2019
that is a fantastic testimony! My daughter is a brain cancer survivor Report
CHERYLHURT 2/27/2019
Great Report
TXGRANDMA 2/23/2019
You are amazing with all you've been through! My husband and I are both cancer survivors, my husband had throat cancer, diagnosed in 2017. I had a rare cancer in my small intestine, diagnosed in 2013 and since it was found very early, was cured by surgery. We both feel blessed to be here! I wish you the best with recovery from your disease, and also with your weight loss pursuits. May God bless you in all the days to come. Report
SWEETBUNNIE50 2/23/2019
Thank you for sharing your story with us Jane you are an amazing woman & such an encouragement to me. I like what you had to say about not cutting out all the foods you like but learning how to fit it in your calorie intake, such an eye opener to me i never thought of that way, i thought i had to be perfect with logging my food & when i couldn't be honest with myself with what & how much i was eating i just chose to give up. I just recently came back to sparks people about a wk & a half ago & your life story has truly inspired me not to give up. So again Thank you Jane Report
PCK12J 2/21/2019
I am so proud of you. I didn't know you before this morning. Now, I feel like we are comrades and friends in our journeys. I'm so glad you are healing and perseverant in walking your path. You inspire me. Way to go! Report
GETULLY 2/19/2019
So glad you are cancer free now. You are amazing!
Report