I started exercising again a few weeks ago in an effort to get my health back and to lose the 15-20 extra pounds chemo added. That's the ultimate insult in the end. You think you'll lose 20 on chemo, but no. Unless it makes you unable to eat, but that's not really common for young women. Instead, it nukes your reproductive system and hormones, which throws you into early menopause (some call it chemopause), and this plus any stress/comfort eating and no energy for exercise means your favorite jeans don't fit anymore.
Well mine do again. Take that, chemo bitch.
I'm doing Body Pump once a week (hopefully twice a week soon), and running twice a week in preparation for a 5k in October (p.s. happy birthday to me, and go fuck yourself cancer). My initial thought was that I just wanted to be able to run/walk the whole way and finish, all the while telling cancer to stick it up its ass. Now though, I want to go faster and faster. I'm not sure it will be a 'fun run' if I leave my team behind, so we'll have to see what that day looks like. Right now I want to run like cancer's right on my ass. I'm crossing that finish line first, mofo. After the 5k, I intend to keep going and working up to longer distances.
There's been a fundamental shift in my approach to exercise in the last few months. Before cancer, I would set a goal for myself and stop as soon as I reached it. Or if I didn't reach it for some reason, I'd give up entirely because "omg I can't reach that goal, so fuck it, where's my ice cream?". Without a goal, I was nothing, even though I really enjoy exercise. Now the goal is more holistic in that I simply have to get my health back. I'd give anything to take running up a flight of stairs for granted again. Or running more than 30 seconds at a time - thank the unicorns for walk intervals!
So those are my new goals. Being comfortable in my body again. Being healthy enough for stairs and jogging. All other goals are fluid and arbitrary. If I don't get what I want from the 5k? I'll just run another one. It's all just a matter of telling my brain to shut up when it wants to hit snooze again, get up, and get out there. I'm always happier after I exercise and that's what I focus on.
Reading The Happiness Trap has certainly helped a lot with the mental process. I've come to understand that my brain is ALWAYS going to say 'but the bed is so warm, go back to sleep' and it will likely never say 'LET'S GO RUN' at 5:30 a.m. But I have to do it anyway, no matter what my head tells me.
I'm taking my life back. Staying comfortable is not going to get me where I want to be.