Monday, January 30, 2012

26 Points

I have gained just over 20 lbs. since my diagnosis. I thought most of that weight was due to water retention and bloating from chemo. My doctor and nurses all said the weight would come off a couple of months after I finish chemo.

Well, it's been almost two months and guess what? They were wrong. I still weigh exactly what I did on December 7 when I went in for my last round of chemo.

I was one of those rare people who didn't get sick during chemo. If anything, my appetite increased due to the steroids I was on. I also gave myself permission to eat anything and everything that appealed to me. After all, I had cancer and I felt like I DESERVED that piece of chocolate cake! Now I am paying the price.

A few weeks ago I decided to take action and joined Weight Watchers. I joined online, set up a profile, answered a bunch of questions and was told I could eat 26 points per day. How much is 26 points, you ask?

- A packet of unsweetened instant oatmeal is 4 points.
- An egg is 2 points.
- A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is 12 points.
- Most fruits and veggies are less than 2 points or no points.

You can swap food points for activity points. It's simple - the more you work out, the more food you can eat. For example, my 90 minute hike yesterday earned me 7 points to swap out for food. woo.

So what's my point? (Yes, the pun was intended.) 26 points is not a lot of food.

And here's a newsflash: Just because you join Weight Watchers doesn't mean the weight is going to magically come off. You still have to do the work!

I am ready to take this seriously though. I stocked my fridge at work with all kinds of good snacks - fruit, hummus, yogurt. I need to fit in a minimum of 30 minutes on the treadmill every day. That's going to be tough because I am doing radiation every day, too.

But I will get there. I must get there. I have my 30th high school reunion to attend in June and I absolutely cannot show up looking fat, bald and sick!


  1. They seem to leave that whole weight gain thing out. I actually heard more women gain weight than lose it (from steroids), I also didn't get nausea.

    Exercising and eating right is good for you any way you look at it, but have a slice of chocolate cake sometimes, life is too short. ;)

  2. My weight stayed constant throughout chemo. I am not prone to weight gain, which is lucky for me. But a lot of women I talk to gained during chemo, so don't worry about it. Another factor I think in weight gain is everyone wanting to FEED you. It is a comfort thing I suppose. That said, I am kicking up my healthy living habits a few notches despite a healthy weight. That is our best defence against re-occurence!!!
    Cancer Warrior
    p.s. I still don't have any hair, but yours seems to be coming in quite nicely:)

  3. Hi Hon,

    I'm with you on the healthy eating and exercising. I must get back to it. I've also gained about 20lbs. Ugh! I've never tried Weight Watchers. I wish you lots of luck with it, I'm sure you will be lean before you know it!

    You are so beautiful, with or without your hair! Just gorgeous. The healthy eating and exercising will help your hair to grow too! Yay, bonus!

    Love ya!

  4. You reacted much the same as I did. I gained about 20 lbs during chemo, and instead of it coming off naturally after I finished, I actually CONTINUED to gain a few pounds a month! I was mortified. My oncologist was NOT happy. Although she attributed the weight gain during chemo as acceptable due to the inactivity, steroids, and comfort eating (eating what appealed to us!) to keep gaining after was frowned upon.
    Everyone has their theories on nutrition and such. You'll hear a thousand different opinions. I wanted to do more than diet. I wanted to eat nutrient-dense foods. I bought "Eat to Live". I recommend it highly. It is a plant based, nutrient rich way of eating. Not a "diet". Plus it is full of cancer fighting foods.
    Even if you choose not to follow it to the "T", it is a good education in nutrition.
    I've been following it loosely for over a month and have lost 10 pounds.