3 years ago was the start of a difficult time in my life.
Having found a fairly large lump in my abdomen, I took myself off to my Doctor to be told I probably had an ovarian cyst and sent for blood tests, scans, ultrasounds and numerous consultant appointments.
To cut a long story short, after a hysterectomy, the biopsy results came back and I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Six rounds of chemotherapy followed as well as surgical menopause and all the symptoms associated - weight gain, hot flushes, broken sleep, food cravings and a rollercoaster ride of emotions for absolutely no apparent reason.
As my cancer was hormone based, HRT was not an option.
What did work? Healthy eating, keeping an eye on my calories, staying hydrated, 3 to 4 weight sessions per week and a steady walk everyday.
NO hours and hours of cardio NO HIIT training NO restrictive diets NO cutting out certain food groups NO starvation calories
In fact, my calories were put up.
Overtime my weight and fat came down and menopause symptoms subsided.
Will this work for everyone? I don't know is the honest answer, and it is now something that I am studying.
The biggest lesson I did learn was to be honest with myself about what I was eating and consuming. Yes, I had food binges, whole packs of biscuits, cookies, cream cakes and felt ashamed after.
I learnt to forgive myself, think about why it happened and work out how I could reduced the risk of it happening again.
It's taken nearly 3 years of two steps toward, one step back to get to where I am. I'm fortunate to have a fantastic support network of family, friends and work colleagues as well as fantastic support from Kingsmill Hospital.
There is no specific lesson here, and it's not something I talk about. Life happens and you deal with it at the time and move on. Others are dealing with much harder situations than me.
Take whatever you wish from this post. I just hope it helps in someway.