Hi, I'm Nicola Naish and as well as being a cancer survivor, I now run Bandana Health and Fitness!
When my daughter started at school I tried to squeeze some exercise around work as a school teacher and being a mum. The key is to find a sport or activity you truly enjoy; mine, I discovered, were boxing and running!
I had just run my first half marathon, aged 39, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having lost my mum, grandmother, aunts and even an uncle to Breast Cancer it wasn't a total shock...
Bizarrely, as I hadn't realised that I was living under a suppressing cloud, there was an element of relief ... I guess I felt it was time to face the disease head on.
I was whisked straight in for a full mastectomy and reconstruction followed by chemotherapy as soon as possible afterwards. I juiced my way through the side effects of the chemo and steroids. I donned my wig and walked every day! (Some days more than others). Then followed a second risk reducing full mastectomy to the other breast and finally radiotherapy.
After a year of treatment my body was far from where it had been a year earlier. But hey! I was still here..my daughter was now 10 and I knew I had to get back to running another half marathon.
I did...one year later in fact (and got a PB!). Then I set my sights on a full marathon, then a better marathon time. In the process I learnt a lot about me, my cancer and my diet. I became so passionate about the benefits of exercise and nutrition with regard to cancer that I chose not to return to my former career as a school teacher, but to retrain as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. Knowing that I wanted to work with cancer patients and survivors I enrolled on a degree course studying Nutritional Therapy.
Our bodies are truly amazing and when running smoothly are a well oiled machine; monitoring, adjusting and self healing. The trauma of cancer, both mentally and physically upsets that balance. Endless chemicals that save our lives are alien to our bodies and upset the equilibrium. I teach people to eat and exercise to first reboot the system, then reset the balance.
I'll be posting regularly with general tips...but do feel free to ask questions.
Thanks for reading!