I started a new diet the day after my radiotherapy ended, which was 18 consecutive (week)days. I knew that the end of radiotherapy would mean a big change.
Although I am taking pills daily for hormone therapy, the end of radiotherapy would mark the end of having somewhere to go where people were gentle and kind to me, and where I had a steady stream of people to chat to in the waiting room.
After nine months of treatment for breast cancer, this new diet is my new hobby. :-)
Weight-gain during chemotherapy
I put on a stone (14 lbs / 6.4kg) during chemotherapy. I had six three-weekly sessions.
Chemo buggers up one’s appetite; you just don’t feel like eating, instead you feel the opposite.
I quickly found that carbs (bread, crisps, bran flakes) alleviated the nausea in the first week and so I was eating bread and crisps several times a day. I also bought yummy food to entice myself to eat. Once I started eating, I could eat okay. It was just bringing myself to eat that was hard.
The post-chemo nausea wore off after 7-10 days but I’d still have loads of bread, crisps and whatnot in the house. And so I ate it. That’s how I put on weight.
On being bigger
I had been putting on weight since I stopped calorie-counting (Nov 2009, I think) but May-August this year was the biggest gain.
As I got bigger this year, I wasn’t happy with the changes; it became an effort to cross my legs, I couldn’t keep up with Frank when we went out (he walks fast) and I was bursting out of my ‘thin’ clothes. I ended up buying larger second-hand blouses and trousers on eBay, just to be comfortable.
I really noticed how big I got when I had my (first ever) bra fitting before radiotherapy. I was disgusted with the massiveness of my body seen in 270 degrees of mirrors! And, during radiotherapy, I cringed when I saw a reflection of myself wobble as the nurses adjusted my position.
I have continued to photograph and write down what I eat since the start of 2008, the year I lost 70 lbs (31.8kg). (Gosh, that amount still surprises me.) I started the diet last Thursday (it’s now Monday) and I have made good progress.
My approach is:
- Only eat when I’m hungry
- Have one portion of carbs (bread, rice, pasta) a day (100-200 cals)
- Don’t wait to get so hungry that I feel like breaking my diet
- Try to savour every mouthful
- Eat on small (side) plates and with a teaspoon when possible
- A second portion is allowed but wait 10 mins
- Have a piece of fruit of low-calorie hot chocolate when I crave something sweet
The lack of carbs (bread) means that I get hungry after a couple of hours but that’s okay if I just have a plate of veg or a snack of Crackerbreads.
I’ll post weekly weigh-ins.