Update 2017: Tracey wrote in to share that she is 9 years breast cancer free and has continued to keep the weight off that she lost after gaining weight during treatment. She is fit and fabulous at 50 years old.
I just wanted to take a moment and give you a weight loss/breast cancer update! I am 9 years cancer FREE and I have kept the weight off since after treatment back in 2008! Now, at 50 years old, I am PROOF that GOD, fitness and eating well can carry you a LONG way! Thank you so much for sharing my story a few years ago! I hope that I can continue to inspire just as your page continues to inspire and motivate me and thousands of other women! You give the women in our community the courage to dig deep and GO FOR IT!! BRAVO!
New Instagram: @traceyfit2fly
Success Story of the Day: October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. As we reflect, I want us to celebrate this sista’s story. Tracey Dickson lost 40 pounds after gaining weight during chemo. She said something that I love: “Six months after chemo was over I had done what I set out to do, which was have breast cancer leave me better than it found me.” I think that is something we can all aspire to: to be better and to feel blessed after life’s trials.
In 2008, at the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt like I had run full speed into a brick wall! As a flight attendant and certified fitness instructor I felt pretty healthy. I certainly didn’t feel like breast cancer would ever find me. Boy was I WRONG! I am only 5’3″ and I weighed about 128-130 at the time. By the time I finished chemo, I had gained over 30 pounds! I had won the fight against breast cancer, but in the midst of chemo I lost the fight to stay fit and trim. I knew that I was determined to have breast cancer leave my body waaaaay better than it found me. I remember my mother saying to me “Tracey, you have got to give your body what it is use to, and your body is use to MOVING!” So, with those words I began to FIGHT my way back to a leaner, healthier and more FIT body than ever before.
I started with my diet. I changed to more of a vegetarian lifestyle. I ate a lot of fish, vegetables, complex carbs like sweet potatoes. I also ate berries, nuts, and egg whites. I concentrated on eating more whole foods and less sugary packaged stuff. I drank plenty of water and green tea. I TOTALLY cut out sodas and high sugary juices and I made a point not to eat after 8PM. I also found that bringing snacks and meals with me on the road kept me safe from falling off my clean eating plan. I always try to incorporate a protein into each meal. But sometimes I switch things up and either eat a protein with lots of veggies or a complex carb with lots of veggies. My snacks were and still are nuts and fruit or protein. I also make healthy protein shakes at home.
Next it was time to get back on the trail and in the gym! I started out with 20 mins of cardio and 10 minutes of weights. My body was so tired and worn out it was all I could do. But as time went on I got stronger and I could tolerate more. I worked my way up to 40 minutes of cardio 5-6 days a week and 2-3 days of weights. Upper body then lower body on another day, then full body once a week. It was obvious that because I had more muscle my body was TORCHING fat and calories! The weight lifting was key and I felt AMAZING!
Six months after chemo was over I had done what I set out to do, which was have breast cancer leave me better than it found me. I was leaner, stronger and healthier and I had lost a total of 40 pounds! I was a petite 5’3″ muscle mama weighing in at 117! Sounds tiny but on this short frame I am solid as a ROCK!
I still follow my clean eating but now I shoot for 4-5 days of good cardio/weights instead of the 5-6 days. I learned that if you set your mind to something and WORK for it you can achieve it. Under Armour did a national search for 3 athletic survivors to be the face of their Power In Pink line and I was chosen. Once again I proved to myself that if you work for it God will do the rest!
I remember back when the doctor told me that I would have to jump through hoops to get well. I told her to show me the hoops. Now when I think back to that time I just smile, shake my head and say to myself “wow, I never knew I could jump so high!”
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