This story is a guest post from Amelia Johnson who wanted to share their personal health story. Amelia is a writer on her blog StayHealthyWays.com. This reader wanted to share their story of witnessing their mom succumb to stage IV ovarian cancer. Watching her mom helped to shape her views on health and be proactive in being the healthiest version that she could possibly be. Want to submit your own healthy story?  Contact us.  Your story could help inspire me or someone else.  

How Cancer Transformed My Entire Outlook On Health

I wish I could tell you that my health transformation took place overnight. To be honest, it didn’t, and I stumbled several times over the years, but I never lost faith. I hope my story inspires each one of you to get to know love your body, and to most importantly never lose faith along with your journey to good health no matter the obstacles. I started my health blog, StayHealthyWays.com in the hope it would empower readers with the knowledge to take control of their health. To understand my motivation, you first need to get to know my story.

The Beginning Of My Journey

My journey began at the age of 24. Life was pretty good. Here I was in my senior year of college, with a steady job, a loving boyfriend, and fun group of friends to hang with after work. The future was never brighter. That was when the grim specter of cancer crept into my life.

My mom was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. The concept was so alien to me that I sometimes felt the only way the reality of it would sink in is if I got onto a rooftop and yelled it out loud in public. For a long time, my mom was my rock; a pillar of support, and despite her strong will to survive, seeing her slowly wither away served as a wake-up call for me to change my lifestyle.

No matter the hand life has dealt me, I strive to achieve my goals and dreams. My biggest dream was to start a family. I know now more than ever that I have been placed here on this planet to experience motherhood.

You can only imagine the emotions I felt when I first heard the words “ovarian cancer.” Naturally, I despaired and descended into a deep depression. Those words forever changed my outlook on life. It was then I decided it was time to take my life back and not to let the threat of cancer overwhelm me.

How Cancer Changed My Mindset

Knowing that certain cancer factors were hereditary, I quickly made an appointment with my physician to get checked up. While I was fortunate to have tested negative for all known genetic mutations, I knew I couldn’t afford to grow complacent. Changes had to be made. Determined not to break my resolution, I renewed my gym membership and started hitting the treadmill, slowly advancing to the bicycle and rowing machines. My diet had changed drastically. Lean chicken and cottage cheese replaced steak and potatoes.

Double chocolate chip ice cream was substituted with low-fat yogurt. I swapped milkshakes for green smoothies. Not long afterward I enlisted a personal trainer/health coach, and that’s when I started seeing noticeable results. Step by step, meal-by-meal I learned to listen to my body and respond with the attention it deserves.

This lifestyle and a new outlook on life inspired me to go back to school and graduate with full honors, all the while pushing myself to new limits, both physically and mentally. The unwavering support and validation I received from my loved ones help me leave behind the ugliness of my mom’s disease.

What was my reward for forgoing all those cheeseburgers? A clean bill of health, I hadn’t taken a sick day in over five years. Not once.

My Mindset Going Forward

Today, at the age of 30 I am in the best health of my life, and I continue to keep the same positive outlook on life I had when I started my journey. I also continue to allow myself to have hope in achieving my biggest dream, to become a mother. Though it was difficult at first, I’ve learned to rely on and trust in my friends and family. It was hard to reach out, but the experience of going through my mother’s illness, I know now, more than ever, we all need each other. We are all vulnerable, and we all need help.

Over the years, after much trial-and-error, I’ve formulated a foolproof diet plan for painlessly breaking unhealthy habits such as eating too much-refined sugar, late night eating, binge eating, body bashing with healthy habits, like craving vegetables, making smarter food choices, and even honoring, respecting, and loving your body. Several recipes complete with meal plans can be found throughout my blog.

I hope my story has encouraged you to keep pursuing your dreams, never to give up and to live life to the fullest. My experiences have inspired me to start this health blog to share my adventures in healthy living and my latest concoctions from the kitchen.

Through my blog, I want to share my philosophy about health, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles. I hope that my story will inspire readers to draw the connection between what you eat and how you look and feel, and of course, to help you fall in love with wholesome, healthy foods so that you can reap the benefits of better health.

Amelia is a writer/editor with an endless passion for bringing a lot of useful and trustworthy information to the community. She founded StayHealthyWays.com, a blog dedicated to sharing quality articles related to health, nutrition, fitness, and beauty. As a typical interior, Amelia is a perfectionist in work. At times of leisure, she reads, listens to music, chats with some close friends and walks with her pet.

Reminder: This is a story from one of your fellow readers. Please be respectful!. It can be a bit nerve-wrecking to put your story out for others to read for the first time. Keep in mind that this guest isn’t a professional writer; just a person with a passion for healthy living like you. Negative comments on reader stories will be removed.