April 20, 2015. My mouth waters with sickness as I write this, even today, replaying that day in my head again. It was overcast and gloomy, like God already knew the results. Yet on our way there, we belted out “girl crush” by little big town, like our lives weren’t about to change forever.
“It’s cancer,” the doctor said. My mom and I looked at each other and couldn’t fight the quivering lips or the fear running down our face in the forms of tears. No. No. No. NOT my mom. She’s young. She’s healthy. She goes to all her doctor appointments. She can’t have cancer. Then the instant role reversal. All of a sudden, I was the adult. I was the one trying to be strong. Trying to be positive. Trying to take care of my mom. I was sick to my stomach. I had to text my siblings the results. HOW. HOW THE F DO I ADMIT THAT OUR MOM HAS CANCER?
I sent the text. My brothers reply still knocks me out. “You have to beat this mom. We need you.” The doctor was cold as ice. Zero reassurance. Zero comfort. She told us the next steps. All we could ask was HOW? What caused this? Why did my mom get cancer?
We left the office, and I drove us home, shocked and silent while my mom told my aunt the news. No loud music. No singing. No passing cars and changing lanes. Just leaving life as we knew it in the rear view mirror and on that day, April 20, 2016, my outlook on life, and fitness, just changed. Forever.
My mom beat her cancer. After weeks of tests, hours of waiting, three surgeries, 8 rounds of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation and too many moments of uncertainty, the cancer was gone.
You think strong is benching your weight? Doing a pull-up? Picking up 200 pounds? No. I learned what true strength was when I watched my mom fight this, through mastectomies and hair loss, medicine and poison, tears and hugs, I watched her win.
But Lisa, you didn’t have the cancer. And your mom beat it. How did it change your outlook forever?
It woke me the F up. That decade of yo yo dieting? Chasing the perfect body? Counting calories? Burning calories? Losing pounds. Gaining pounds. Comparing myself to other girls. Competing against other girls. DONE. It was all a waste of my freakin life. NO MORE. I was agonizing over my body. My abs. My ass. My weight. My food. My workouts. The next diet. The next cleanse. The next plan. Agonizing over which pants fit or didn’t fit. And my mom, with millions of other people, were fighting for their life. They would have given anything to be cancer free, to maybe have their pants a little tight, or their glutes not as perky, if it meant they were healthy. And that was the lightbulb. HEALTHY. I was so focused on the vanity of my body that I didn’t even care if I was healthy, physically or mentally. I realized I was wasting day after day worrying about my weight, ten pounds up or down, what I look like in a bikini, do I look as “good” as I can? FOR WHAT? Because I would have traded ten pounds gained, a size 8 instead of a 4, and a healthy body instead of a six pack if it meant I got to keep my mom alive.
So, I started my journey which turned into my mission. I’m not selling you guys anything but I am doing my best to be the wake up call, before it’s too late.
Because here’s the cold, hard truth. Ten pounds don’t freakin matter!!! They don’t. Kudos to goal weights. You aren’t my client. Kudos to the dress you want to fit in, you aren’t my client. Kudos to measuring your carbs every meal, you aren’t my client.
I don’t care about goal weights and carbs.
I do freakin care if you’re gonna wake up one day and want this time back. The time you spent obsessing over your body not being good enough when you could have been enjoying your life and making memories. No one remembers your six pack or that your ass grew 2 inches. They don’t give a shit. Really. I thank god every night that I still have my mom and I got my mindset right so I can enjoy the time with her and everyone else in my life. I don’t pray for millions. I pray for good health for all my loved ones. That is and always will be, my prayer.
So if you think your fitness goals are detracting from your life, you’re my client. If your obsession with food, fitness and your body is preventing you from living and enjoying your life and loved ones free from preoccupation, fear and moodiness, You’re my client. If you want to give up the bullshit, wake up, be you and have fun in this one go around we call life, then you, my dear, are my client.
My vision has never been clearer and my desire never as strong. It pains me to see people missing out on their life because of insecurity, fear and obsession. I’m pretty sure dieting isn’t the key to happiness, goal weight or not. And I’m pretty sure sitting with my mom through surgeries and chemo means more than any macro counting guide ever will.
That being said, I’ve either pissed you off because you have to go measure your food and begin your next sugar detox, brought you to tears, or lit the fire of radical acceptance under you.
True health is not about weight loss. Illness can teach you to treat your body a way you may have forgotten about. Real food. Balanced meals, a balanced mind, and a balanced life.
You eat. You move. And you love.
The rest is bullshit weighing us down. You don’t have to change. But I do ask you to ask yourself, what is most important to you and do your actions align with that. I lost a lot because my actions didn’t align with what was truly most important to me, but I woke up before I lost it all.
Cheers to you momma and every other cancer survivor out there. You are true strength.
Ready to make your shift? Need some support? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to see if we are a good fit to work together.