New year, new you.

As sure as the New York City’s Times Square ball drops, you can bet the commercials for health clubs, diet plans, and a plethora of exercise equipment you already own and rarely use will flood the airwaves and social media space at exactly midnight on New Years Eve. Actually, they’ve already begun, all designed to unearth the NEW YOU, waiting just beyond the extra poundage you carry and the de-conditioned body you inhabit.

That’s the standard New Year party line, right?

Well, for everyone, that is, except you.

The you recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

The already new you is desperately longing for the familiar old you – because you want her back. The NEW you is not the one you would have chosen, given the option.

Not that you were.

You want the old you who, on most every New Year’s Eve prior to this one berated her out-of-shape body, unhealthy eating habits, and nightly wine pour as something just this side of illegal, vowing to change all of it at the stroke of midnight into something just this side of virtuous.

Oh yes, you most definitely want those pre-breast cancer problems back as the ONLY problems you need to solve.

Lose weight, start exercising, eat better, cut back on the booze.

How simplistic and almost trivial that thinking was in comparison to the thoughts now crowding your mind, right?

2018 lies just a couple of days away, ready to dump at the stroke of midnight, 365 days of unknowns at your feet. Your thoughts are spiraling out of control, lunging between anxiety, fear, disbelief and back again; what would you give to need only decide which diet you’d be able to stand for more than a 24-hour period?

I’d like to suggest, if you’re open to it, a different way to welcome the New Year. After all, to quote Grand Funk Railroad, “nothing is the same.”

What if, by the sheer wonder of alternate thinking, you were to celebrate your body in all of its forms – the current one fighting to regain equilibrium, the new one to come, and the one you were before your diagnosis?

I know – you feel like your body betrayed you – manifesting that damn breast cancer even though you’d done your best to (mostly) exercise it and feed it (mostly) right.

Even still, what would it look like/feel like if you celebrated your body for. . .

  • Its raw strength – even on days you may not feel particularly strong.
  • Its ability to heal and recover.
  • Its miraculous digesting and metabolizing of food for energy and curative properties.
  • Its tendency toward balance in support of normal blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, blood sugar levels, and kidney function.
  • Its power to get you off the sofa and into the kitchen for a nourishing snack.
  • Its signaling, subtle and strong alike, that alerts you to feeling too hungry, too full, too cold, too hot, so you can respond in kind and keep yourself safe.
  • Its ability to bounce back from surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, medication – perhaps not exactly as it was before – but here, solidly on earth, participating in the messiness and reality of life.

I could go on.

The miracle that is your body deserves your love and respect, because it is exactly this miracle that will get you through your treatment – whatever that holds and looks like for you.  

The world as you know it has been upended, there’s no denying that. But your body is still here for you – doing its best. What do you say to helping it along – now and in the new year to come?




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