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

BLPRETTYGIRL1 2/16/2019
Congrats with your progress and you are in control of your journey. Report
KAEDWARDS2 2/16/2019
You are such a strong, courageous person! Way to go, keep on keeping on. Thank you for sharing your journey. Report
KAEDWARDS2 2/16/2019
You are such a strong, courageous person! Way to go, keep on keeping on. Thank you for sharing your journey. Report
SHOAPIE 2/16/2019
Congrats. Report
DDMAC98042 2/16/2019
Congratulations! You are a positive shining light! Report
STARDUST53 2/15/2019
Your ‘never give up attitude’ is such an inspiration! You are an amazing woman! Report
_CYNDY55_ 2/15/2019
congrats Report
BILLTMAN 2/15/2019
Inspirational story. Congratulations on your weight loss Report
POETLKNG2LOSE 2/15/2019
Thanks for sharing your story here; you really are an inspiration to all of us. Congratulations on your success. Report
THEODORE1958 2/15/2019
Wonderful inspiring story! Congratulations on winning your cancer battle and your weight loss. Thanks for sharing. Report
PICKIE98 2/15/2019
I was surprised to read that she felt that she could not live without any of the foods she was eating. I had a list as long as my arm. It is so different for everybody. I am glad her journey led to a wonderful life. Report
JENJENN7 2/15/2019
Thank you for sharing! You are a mountaineer, conquering the mountains as they loom up. Report
CECTARR 2/15/2019
Congrats! Report
TOMATOCAFEGAL 2/15/2019
So proud! And totally agree on being honest In Tracking, and doing. Only way you can move forward! Report
NEPTUNE1939 2/15/2019
ty Report
PELESJEWEL 2/15/2019
SURVIVOR, WARRIOR, SHINING BEACON! This is Awesome! Report
GODSBEST 2/15/2019
Awesome, inspirational story - thanks for sharing. Report
PATRICIA-CR 2/15/2019
You are an awesome woman! Report
NELLJONES 2/15/2019
What an amazing, inspiring story! Report
LEANJEAN6 2/15/2019
This is an amazing story-- She really deserves a Medal!--Lynda Report
GEMACO 2/15/2019
Jane you are the best, so honest and your stenghth shines so beautifully, thank you for sharing and inspiring. Report
PINKGLOW9 2/15/2019
You are a Blessed Woman.. Congrats on your beautiful journey Report
J-ALEXIS 2/15/2019
I intently read every word of your post. Your story is a remarkable one. You truly have been through a great deal, learned a lot, and now have your good health as a result of everything that has transpired. Congratulations doesn't seem like the proper word for you. Therefore, for lack of a better one, I will use it. Congratulations for being successful in regaining your good health, in the face of tremendous challenges.
Report
AQUAGIRL08 2/15/2019
Congratulations! You are an inspiration! Report
COLOGRAMMY 2/15/2019
Congratulations. Your story is very much like mine. I was having stomach issues in 2016. Ended up having my gallbladder out in October. Then on December 1,2016 I found a lump in my breast. Was diagnosed with breast cancer January 2, 2017. I weighed 258 at the time. I had been keeping track of my weight on SP for years but never my food. 20@7 was a very rough year with chemo and radiation. Many stomach issues. Still can’t eat many raw vegetables, some fruits, red meat. All that is ok. I started keeping track of my food on SP and now try to write down everything I am going to eat before I eat. SP sure makes it fun and easy. I have lost 113 lbs. and don’t plan on gaining it back. God has been good to me and I am thankful for my life back. I am 71 years old. Thanks you for sharing your journey with us, Report
AZMOMXTWO 2/15/2019
thank you Report
DMEYER4 2/15/2019
congrats Report
FERRETLOVER1 2/15/2019
Fantastic! Report
NASFKAB 2/15/2019
Inspiring story Report
LIS193 2/15/2019
Thank you for sharing your story Report
RAPUNZEL53 2/15/2019
Awesome. Report
MARILYNS71 2/13/2019
This story is very inspiring - I too am a cancer survivor of 16 years Report
NANCYPAT1 2/13/2019
That is an awesome success story. Report
ANHELIC 2/13/2019
Thank you and a big congratulation. Report
DWROBERGE 2/12/2019
great inspiration Report
AMOBRASIL83 2/12/2019
So proud of you and your pushing through all these difficult situations to do what was best for yourself! You are an inspiration to us! Report
BONNIE1552 2/12/2019
Very inspiring. Thanks. Report
JUNETTA2002 2/12/2019
Thanks for sharing. Report
MNABOY 2/12/2019
Thanks for sharing Report
AIYANASMAMA 2/12/2019
Thanks for sharing! Congrats! Report
LAVENDERLILY13 2/12/2019
Your story is an inspiration! Thank you for sharing. Report
KRIS-2 2/12/2019
You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story.
Report
CRUISINLOSIN 2/12/2019
You are truly an inspiration for all of us struggling with health issues and trying to lose weight. Congratulations on your progress so far! Report
JANIEWWJD 2/12/2019
Congratulations!!! Report
RCLYKE 2/12/2019
congratulations Report
NVRGIVINGUP 2/12/2019
Jane I think it was awesome that they chose your story to highlight what a blessing! You are absolutely amazing! Report
HAPPYMIMIOF7 2/12/2019
Thank you so much for sharing your weight loss journey Jane. This was just what I needed to read tonight as I sit here feeling sick from eating too much and wondering why I cant get a grip. This read inspired me so much. It sounds like you have worked so hard and you didn't even let cancer stand in your way. BTW, You look great too. I wish you the best and congratulations. Report
ANHELIC 2/12/2019
Congratulations. Thanks for sharing your success. Report