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Hi, my name is Debbie Cysiewski. I have been married to a wonderful man named Greg for almost 22 years and we have lived in Rosemount, MN for 21 of those years. Children were never in the cards for us but we had dogs for many years and we still have two cats.
I have always been active, doing lots of various activities like walking, biking, and Jazzercise. I’ve gained weight a few times in the past when we had major changes in our lives, but I was always able to shed it, sometimes after just a few months. But this last time, I just could not get rid of the 10 pounds I gained after I had surgery.
On March 15, 2012 I heard that word no one ever wants to hear, cancer. I was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer and I still get choked up sometimes when I think about that day. I underwent a double mastectomy on April 12, 2012 and was on pain pills for 10 days. I was lucky, they caught it early, it hadn’t traveled to my lymph nodes so they took off the bad parts and gave me some new (and improved!) ones. No chemo or radiation needed. I had prepped a bunch of veggies in anticipation of the surgery and had lots of healthy options in the pantry, but nothing tasted good except CHOCOLATE! I was eating about one jumbo Snicker bar every day! I would eat food if it was put in front of me, but not otherwise.
For a good year when I told people I was a breast cancer survivor I felt like a cheater. I didn’t feel worthy of that ‘survivor’ title because I didn’t need chemo or radiation like many other women I knew. Then one day I was talking to a co-worker, explaining my feelings about being a cheater. She told me I was not a cheater, I had cheated cancer and I should be proud of that. What she said really stuck with me and does to this day. TAKE THAT CANCER!
Going from being very active to no activity at all, then having to slowly work into it again before having another major surgery and starting all over again, took a real toll on me. I gained 10 pounds over that summer and fall. I felt fat and it seemed nothing I did was getting rid of that 10 pounds.
Jazzercise, as much as I love it, just wasn’t getting the job done, and I had researched a few other options but they just weren’t right for me. Then last August I found Nickie and the Warehouse. The high intensity workouts, Shakeology, and support from everyone there, and BOOM that 10 pounds is gone! Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite like BOOM, it did take me 8 months, but it’s gone none the less. More importantly, I am leaner than I was before my surgery and of course healthier.
I think learning to eat differently was a key factor too. We’ve never been fast food eaters, we bring our meals to work with us every day, and only go out to dinner about once a week, so there didn’t seem to be a lot of wiggle room with my diet. But I did find room to change, adding Shakeology and I am learning to cook and eat cleaner. Having a cabin may prove to be a challenge this summer, but in changing my eating habits I don’t crave potato chips, Cheese-it crackers and Chex Mix anymore. It’s now apples with peanut butter or fruit with plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey. Once you stop eating crap your body stops craving crap!
I am so happy to have found Nickie and her crew, and all my fellow fitness partners. I know I would still be carrying around those 10 pounds if it weren’t for all of you! What I have learned from being a Warehouse Member will prove to be invaluable in my many healthy years to come! Thank you.
“For a good year when I told people I was a breast cancer survivor I felt like a cheater. I didn’t feel worthy of that ‘survivor’ title because I didn’t need chemo or radiation like many other women I knew. Then one day I was talking to a co-worker, explaining my feelings about being a cheater. She told me I was not a cheater, I had cheated cancer and I should be proud of that. What she said really stuck with me and does to this day. TAKE THAT CANCER!” ~ Debbie Cysiewski