As a specialist in oncology nutrition, I am passionate about helping people meet the many challenges of managing their diet as best they can throughout their cancer treatment. This work has inspired me to help people put cancer prevention into action through my work with AICR and the New American Plate Challenge, online weight loss program launching this week.
Over the past 9 months, participants have shared many reasons why they’ve signed up – to lose weight, improve their health and just feel better. I spoke with one woman, Lisa, a mother and a breast cancer survivor who participated in the challenge while completing her cancer treatment.
After her diagnosis, she had been trying to lose weight, with the guidance of a nutritionist, with no success. She had been looking on the AICR website for recipes and came across the NAP Challenge. “I realized that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain due to my unexpected cancer diagnosis.”
“A big part of this challenge was to break some bad habits. It was most helpful to focus on one new change each week while continuing to build each previous week into my daily routine.”
Lisa has incorporated cancer-fighting habits into her life. “I have increased my walking. I wear my pedometer all the time and check it mid-day to see what I am up to and if I need to add or am good to go. I plan on beating this cancer through this method and relaxation techniques to reduce the stressors in my life, in conjunction with my maintenance meds.”
The Challenge helped Lisa focus on herself and making healthy changes instead of focusing on her cancer and its treatment. “The challenge has had an incredible impact on my life as I set out to lose 10 pounds and lost 11.5 pounds. This has been incredible and I feel fabulous as a result!”
Lisa wrote in her personal blog, “In less than 12 weeks I have done an amazing job by following all the dietary and exercise strategies on this site coupled with the work I have done with my nutritionist at Sloan Kettering, who I met with once before my treatment began and as it was ending. AMAZING!
Lisa’s inspiring story is one example of how many Challengers were able to make healthy lifestyle changes with realistic goals, support and lots of hard work.
Make a permanent lifestyle change and reduce your cancer risk – Take the Challenge. Sign-up at www.napchallenge.org today and change your life!
Angela Hummel, MS, RD, CSO, LDN, is a consulting dietitian with AICR. Her passion is for helping people make positive diet and physical activity changes for reducing cancer risk and for healthier survivorship. You can follow her @OncologyRD on twitter.