personal trainer

You are creating a new habit NOW....and now....and again now!

You're either creating new habits or reinforcing old ones every single day!



NOT working out is actually a habit. Yelling at your kids… a habit. Snacking at night, avoiding new situations like the plague, complaining to anyone who will listen, stopping at the drive-thru, your 3 PM coffee….all habits.


I'm not one to judge what your habits are. No way! I'm busy working on optimizing mine - and teaching you what I learned from years of coaching myself and others.


Here's what you need to know if you are actively pursuing something greater for yourself...


Your brain does not know the difference between a "bad" habit and a "good" one. It just likes to create systems (a.k.a. habits) for efficiency out of anything you do - or DON'T do - often.


The first time you walked, you had to try hard. Same thing went for brushing your teeth, tying your shoes, and your first commute to work.


The best part is that our brains can be 'rewired' at any time! You get to upgrade your habits whenever the heck you want to.


Here's how:


1) Keep doing the thing you want to become a habit. Understand that it will feel hard for a while, but eventually it WILL become second nature. You are in control here. Stick with it.


2) Celebrate every baby step towards your progress. Yes, it'll make you smile in the moment. But here's what's even better than that - your brain will start to associate your new habit with the feel-good hormones you get from the feeling of pride and hope. This is the best way to fast-track your way towards turning that action into a habit because our brain is always seeking out the things that leave us feeling good.

What’s one habit you’re currently working on?! I’d love to hear about it!

If you’d like to join my newsletter list, where I share healthified recipes, more video trainings on wellness and weight loss, and other tips and resources for you on your health journey, come on over! You’ll get an instant download of my favorite 3-day plant-based meal plan for losing body fat. It’s a great way to kick off some results or just get to experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

5 pillars every weight loss program needs to have (that no experts are talking about)

WHAT IF YOU ARE MOTIVATED TO MAKE A CHANGE, BUT NEED SOME GUIDANCE?!?

In another recent video, I cover the 5 pillars that need to be a part of every healthy + sustainable weight loss program. You don't ever have to pay me a dollar (and I'm gonna keep showing up for you for free anyway!) But, I do want to make sure if you're ready to finally lose the weight once and for all (or otherwise heal your body), that you're going about it with all angles covered. If not by me, then on your own or with help from someone else.

Many nutrition experts just address nutrition.
Fitness experts will tell you it's all in the workout plans.
Occasionally you'll find someone that covers both nutrition and fitness.

But if that was truly all you needed, you'd have accomplished it already, right?!

This is GOOD news! It's actually great news because it means YOU are not broken, but rather the approach you've tried in the past didn't actually get to the root cause of what is going on.

A truly effective coach or weight loss program will cover all of the following - in depth:

  • Mindset (emotional eating, creating new habits, etc.)

  • Mindful eating (slowing down, internal hunger cues)

  • Nutrition (including portions, meal timing, actual real-life recipes)

  • Fitness

  • Lifestyle (sleep and stress play a huge role in healthy weight loss)



A program that thorough is hard to come by. In fairness, I don't know other professionals that are trained in all those areas. So it makes sense. Scope of practice laws are in place to protect us!



If you are interested in hearing more about the 5 pillars…or if you've ever been curious about what it looks like to work 1-on-1 virtually (completely online) with me to make a health transformation, definitely check out the video!

If you are READY to make a change and would like to find out if we are a good fit for working together, you are welcome to schedule a (free) 15-minute call so we can chat about your goals and next steps.

In good health,

Tara

Get Motivated NOW

Get Motivated NOW



It's a top-5 question I hear, "Why can't I just get motivated to______?" (workout, meal prep, work on my emotional eating…)


Here's why…you are going about it in the wrong order! Motivation doesn't come first. Rather, motivation comes after we've:


1) Decide to change
2) Start asking better questions
3) Take small action ("5-minute action")
4) Gain momentum
5) MOTIVATION shows up!


If you'd like to learn more, watch the (20-min.) video below that I recorded live last week with more details and suggestions on how to work this process. 

In good health,

Tara

At-Home Booty Exercises

Ready to work your backside?


Well gee…that was really personal!  Sorry about that.  But not really ;-) because I hear from so many women about how they'd love to sneak in workouts at home and focus on toning up their boot-y!

So, I figured I'd share a few of my favorite moves in a super-duper-fast video demo (do you have 36 seconds?!).

Try these 2 exercises for your glutes.  Scale the reps and sets up or down depending on your current fitness level.  Add in a march-in-place warm-up and weave in a few sets of jumping jacks or stairs to turn up the heat.

In good health,

Tara

Cut back your workout time!

Hey guys,

If we are friends on facebook, then you may already know that I do a weekly, live show on my business page on Wednesday mornings. In this “show”, I talk about something related to overall wellness, nutrition, and/or fitness…often talking about many somethings each week because sometimes I can’t shut up. It’s both a skill AND a flaw. ;-)

Anyway, in my latest live video, I talked about how you can cut your workout time by 2/3 and still get BETTER results. We get into time management and common excuses. We talk about fear how to gain momentum, and how to start working out at all if you haven’t started yet. I shared a rather, um, disturbing thing someone said to me that day in the gym locker room.

So, if you are either not working out at all (and want to be) OR feeling as though you have trouble fitting in your workouts or spinning your wheels in the gym, this video was made for you. :-)

Please tell a friend that may have told you recently that she wants to exercise, but can’t seem to find the time. You could be helping her in more ways than you might know.

In good health,

Tara

Fit As A Mother (the series) - MegaBlocks

No excuses, right?!

I know I'm in jeans here as I demonstrate some exercises, but that's just it.  Even if you don't have time to change clothes, you can sneak in a workout almost anytime and definitely anywhere!  Here are 3 exercises you can do with your kids' Megablocks.  :-)

How about you?  When are you getting your fitness in?

In good health,

Tara

15 small dietary tweaks to help you lose weight - Insider & Business Insider

Eek!  Ya know that feeling when you're so excited you wanna scream it from the rooftop?!?

I was featured TWICE in Insider and Business Insider this week.  The article is about small dietary tweaks you can make to help you lose some excess weight.  Check out my tips (the last two) about tea and bread.  :-)

You can read the article here.

I'd love to hear from you.  Have you tried implementing any of these tips already?  

In good health,

Tara

Wine and Weight Loss

Have you ever wondered what, if anything, your beloved glass of wine at the end of a long & hard day might have to do with your weight loss efforts?

I went live on my Facebook page yesterday to discuss how your (well-deserved!) glass of pinot or merlot is messing with your fat loss efforts.  I know, I know....don't shoot the messenger!

Check out the video if you want to learn the 3 ways alcohol consumption can interfere with your weight management and body composition goals.

What's coming up???

FREE Webinar: The Truth About Calorie Counting: Why it doesn't work and what you can do instead.

Whatcha doing next Tuesday, August 22nd at 8 PM EST?  Join me LIVE as I talk about the reasons calorie counting does not work for weight loss and tell you what you can do instead!

This free webinar will be hosted inside of my Facebook group, Lean In with Tara Allen Health.  The replay will be made available there as well if you can't make it at that time.  :-)  Join now so you are all ready to watch on Tuesday!

In good health,

Tara

Pioneer Nutrition and Fitness Coaching

Some of you have been requesting more information about my new coaching program.  Most importantly, you get me as your coach.  ;-)  I am your partner, guide, educator, cheerleader, and accountability buddy.  I have partnered with another company to bring you the best of the tech world, while allowing me to focus completely on YOU and your health journey.  Along with high-quality videos, we will be communicating through the very portal where you will also view your daily lessons and workout program. 

What does this portal look like once you get started?  Well, here is a sneak peak!

This is a 12-month program.  12 months will pass whether you make a change or not.  I want you to be the person you've always imagined one year from today.  And, I want you to start seeing and feeling this progress as soon as we start working together!

Hit me up with all of your questions!  Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com

 

In good health,

Tara

Bringing Your Own Food

Hey Superstar (felt like an appropriate greeting for this rainy, Monday afternoon),

Have you ever tried to bring your own food somewhere and been denied?  Maybe you or your kiddos have food allergies or you're just trying to feed real food to your family?

This is something we are faced with all the time.  Usually it's no big deal - we just bring our little cooler bag everywhere with us.  However, there are some instances where outside food is not permitted.  

What do YOU do?  What has your experience been like?

Let's change the culture!  If there is a facility that cannot accommodate allergies and those looking to eat mostly unprocessed food, then they should be allowing outside food.  We're more than happy to buy silly souvenirs to make sure you make money on us.  :-P

In good health,

Tara

Watermelon "Cookies"

I've been on a watermelon kick lately, because…Summer.  Our latest creation involved the baby, the toddler, some fun cookie cutters, and MOST DEFINITELY a couple of baths afterwards.  ;-)

Check it out:

Squeezing Exercise in (For Busy Peeps)

I was approached by the Diabetes Council a few weeks ago to participate in an article about squeezing movement into our busiest of days.  With a little preparation and a bit of creativity, you can rack up a good amount of heart-racing, muscle-pumping exercise right there inside of the daily grind…and fun!

Interested in these tips?  Be sure to stop and read #26.  ;-) 

Organic Landscaping - weeding through the options

Check out my latest video in which I am asking you for help.

Weeds, and lawns, and organic landscaping…oh my!

Just another decision to make in the "real world".  Another set of priorities to reconcile.  This is life!  We want our children to have a beautiful, lush lawn to run around on, get their fair share of grass stains on, play ball on, and take their obligatory prom pictures on.  We want to have BBQs, cookouts, and fun with friends and family.  We want to sit around the (baby) pool and under the shade while we take too many pictures on our kiddos.

AND, we want to do all of this without the use of industrial pesticides.  No Monsanto.  No Glyphosate.  No thank you!

So, where does this leave us?  What to do?  This is a real question!  Please weigh in and help us with our dilemma.

P.S. We live on Long Island (New York) and are open to both organic landscaping company recommendations and DIY options.

Thanks!

In good health amongst the weeds,

Tara

Stretch and Relax….and eat muffins!

You know what I love almost as much as helping people for a living?  I love, love, LOVE, the diversity in my days and weeks.  I enjoy working one-on-one with my clients, and then heading to a corporate wellness event.  With a parent expo, speaking engagement, and LIVE (what!?!?) show all coming up in the next week, taking the time to visit my friends at National Business Capital here on Long Island last week to STRETCH and RELAX came at a good time.  Besides, it was about 12 hours after the Blizzard and everyone's tired backs needed the break!

We started with a silly little game to warm up our bodies, minds, and hearts.  Followed that up with some deep breathing and full-body stretching.  Topped it off with healthy muffins for everyone…"You get a muffin, you get a muffin, YOU get a muffin too!" (in my best Oprah voice).

Thanks for having me back, National Business Capital.  You guys rock!

Tip for you all:  Take a few minutes extra in your warm shower.  As you're washing your body, take an inventory of how things are feeling.  What's tight, what's achy?  Then after you've shampooed (or do you shampoo first?  Hmmm), do a little self-massage on tight areas and practice some range-of-motion right there under the warm stream of water.  Your muscles will be looser and more forgiving when they are warm. Plus, it's a nice quiet place to get an uninterrupted minute or two.  Well, unless you have young children.  :-/  They follow us everywhere.  

Let me know how it goes.  Disclaimer:  NO slipping allowed!  We're not talking about big, sweeping movements that should leave you off-balance, but if you're a bit unsteady on your feet, do the stretching after the shower instead.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

In good health,

Tara

Red Velvet LOVE Brownies

February is in full swing as we are approaching the middle of the month already.  How?!?  With the famous groundhog forecasting 6 more weeks of Winter, I suppose we should've been expecting the blizzard we were met with today on Long Island.

Snow and all, February is a time for love, heart-shaped everything, shades of pink and red, heart health, and lots and lots of…chocolate!!

So, what if you're on a roll with upgrading your health so far in 2017, but still looking for something that looks and tastes like an indulgence?  What if you or a family member have some food allergies / sensitivities that prevent you from being able to eat most of the store-bought or homemade recipes out there?  I hope this Red Velvet Love Brownie recipe fills that void for you!

These bad boys are gluten-free, dairy-free, high in protein and fiber, and contain healthy fats plus a full serving of veggies.  They're chocolate-y, yet low glycemic…how's that for showing your heart some love this month?!

Black beans in brownies?!?!  Yup!  They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition!  

Black beans in brownies?!?!  Yup!  They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition!  

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Red Velvet Love Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-oz) can of black beans, rinsed (BPA-free can)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup beets (sliced and cooked - either roast in oven or buy a jar)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened / dairy-free / gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in food processor, high-speed blender (keep scraping sides down), or with a mixer.
  4. Combine wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour into well-greased muffin tin or line with paper liners.  This makes adorable, round brownies with slightly crispy edges that are like getting the highly sought-after corner piece each time.  ;-)
  6. For the look pictured up top (with the heart in the middle), cut a beet slice into the heart shape and press onto top.  Other ideas for toppings include: chocolate chips, hemp seeds, walnuts, or anything else your creative mind comes up with.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes - until edges start to pull away from muffin tin and become slightly crispy.
  8. Share with your favorite people!
Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot.  ;-)

Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot.  ;-)

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings. Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings. Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Alright guys…will you dare to try these?  It is definitely "different" to bake with black beans, but they taste so chocolate-y and are healthycome on now!  Brownies for lunch, anyone?

In good health,

Tara

Stretch and Relax

Last month I was asked to come into the very friendly and progressive company, National Business Capital, to have a bit of fun with the employees and take them through a nice stretching routine that they can implement into their busy days right at or next to their desks!  We laughed, we took deep breaths, we got the blood flowing.  I received several awesome emails afterwards letting me know about different ways in which that morning visit improved their day.  :-)

It's a new year and as such, I see many companies embracing employee wellness programs now more than ever.  Yay for 2017!  Yay for smart management!  WIth increased employee satisfaction and productivity and decreased sick days, you can see how the value and ROI far surpasses the investment.

Do you own or work for a company like this?  Do you want to see more companies - large AND small - taking time to educate and motivate their employees to take good care of their minds & bodies?  

Employee wellness programs may include stretching breaks, yoga, meditation, workout classes or personal trainers, nutrition consults, cooking demos, one-on-one health coaching, vital signs and consultations, a group sport, race, or contest.

I challenge you to speak with your boss about a potential employee wellness program being implemented or upgraded in your company.  If you ARE the boss, keep this in mind… healthy and productive employees are your biggest asset!

Pictured:  Silly activity at National Business Capital to "break the ice" before we started Stretch and Relax.  (Sorry to those I did not capture in the picture!  Next time I'll try to take more pictures).

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies

Baby it's cold outside!  And, with the holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and uber-sweet festivities practically upon us, we need a new cookie recipe!!!  

For me, baking Christmas cookies with my mom is an annual tradition and one we haven't missed for even one year.  We follow my Grandmother's recipe and I feel bittersweet knowing although I never had the chance to meet her, that we are now 4 generations of girls/women (plus Jagger and sometimes my husband) being connected every year while we follow the instructions on this well-loved piece of paper that is stained, falling apart, and very hard to read.  But, it was hers!  There are just some things that don't need upgrading.

However, with shortening, loads of butter, mounds of sugar, bleached / refined flour, and artificial food dye, I just can't let that go over with my very young toddler.  We'll reevaluate as she gets older (this motherhood thing is a constant moving target), but as for now, she eats only foods that *cause* health.  As for baby Jagger, well, he won't be eating (or missing out) on any of these cookies this year.

So, what's a sensitive-daughter-and-granddaughter slash health-conscious-mama slash Christmas-tradition-lover to do?  Come up with a new recipe that's just as fun to make, tastes like a treat, and adds some extra fuel to our day!  It's almost-Winter and absolutely cold & flu season - let's stack the deck….ok?  ;-)

These cookies are easy to make and work well with your favorite cookie cutters.  Feel free to decorate them as you choose.  

What they have: protein & fiber.

What they don't have: refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, flour/grains, artificial anything, trans fats.

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven!  

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven!  

HOLIDAY SPICED SUGAR COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • coconut flour (for dusting cookie cutters and rolling out)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor, mixer, or with (clean!) hands.
  3. Flatten dough to about 1/3 - 1/2 inch thickness.  Cover and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Place dough between wax paper, sprinkle with coconut flour, and roll out with rolling pin. 
  5. Dust again with coconut flour before using cookie cutters.
  6. Collect "scraps" and repeat steps 4 & 5 until all dough is used.
  7. Place cookies on a baking sheet greased with coconut oil.
  8. Decorate as desired or leave cookies plain.
  9. Bake 7-10 minutes (until edges start to turn golden-brown).  Thin cookies will cook faster - keep your eye on them.

They were a big hit and I didn't get any pictures on the finished product.  I'll take that as a good sign instead of an oversight.  ;-)

Please leave me a comment or an email if you make these cookies.  I'd love to hear about your holiday celebrations!

Peace, Joy, and Health,

Tara

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

It's the day before Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and most folks are either traveling to be closer with friends and family or hunkering down to get their meal prep on.  It's also day 3 of my GREAT and GRATEFUL week here at Tara Allen Health.  I'm grateful to have spent previous years helping patients in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day.  There's nothing quite like seeing how important you are in someone's day than when you are caring for them on a holiday while they're missing out on their own traditions back home.  Therefore, as I enjoy a day off with my family tomorrow (well, limited work - I am an entrepreneur!), I am grateful for the nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, and ALL service professionals that will be working hard tomorrow to keep this country running as safely and healthfully as possible.  I'm grateful for all experiences that have lead me to where I'm at currently - as a wife and mama to an infant and toddler, and a business owner that gets to CHANGE lives in the best way on a daily basis with a schedule flexible enough to allow me to "mom" when i need to "mom".  GRATEFUL!

Now to share something GREAT in celebration...

A little birdie told me you may be in a pinch for a last-minute Thanksgiving dessert recipe.  This pumpkin pie comes together quickly and is something you can feed your guests, young and old, and feel good about!  It takes about 5 minutes to prep, so throw it in the oven while you relax, chase your kiddos, or figure out how the heck to carve that turkey.  ;-)

Cheers to a peaceful, smiley, laughter-filled Thanksgiving to you all!

In health and gratitude,

Tara

CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE

 

 

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

 

 

Ingredients:

 

15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)

1 cup coconut milk (full fat)

3 eggs

¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup (ok to sub with 1 T stevia for an even lower glycemic index)

¼ cup crushed walnuts or pecans

2 T chia seeds

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

coconut oil (to grease pan)

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Grease baking pan with coconut oil.

3.    Mix all ingredients in blender, except crushed nuts.

4.    Pour mixture into pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

5.    Top with crushed pecans / walnuts and allow to cool.

6.    Serve yourself a slice before it gets eaten all up.  ;-)

Baby Skull Crushers

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's….Jagger (all 20 pounds of him) and we're working out together!

Today is part 2 in my GREAT & GRATEFUL series that coincides with Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  As many of you know, I had an incredibly difficult time both with getting pregnant and during my two pregnancies as well.  After multiple rounds of IVF and two pregnancies with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (check out helpher.org for more about this disease), I might be the luckiest person I know to be on the 'other side' with two wonderful, healthy children.  In today's video, I share a brief, fun moment on the kitchen floor with Jagger.  We workout, we laugh, we play.  Magnolia just so happened to be upstairs avoiding her nap when this was shot.  ;-) Today I mention my journey, my babies, the beautiful life of joy and health we can now share together.  GREAT & GRATEFUL!

Try these at home with the nearest baby, toddler, or gallon of water you have for a good triceps burn.  **Please note: no skulls were actually crushed in the making of this video!  It's a weird name for an exercise, right?

In health and gratitude,

Tara

Guest Kimberly Chacon - Breast Cancer Thriver & Super-Mom

Today's blog post kicks off my GREAT & GRATEFUL SERIES that seems more than appropriate to share during Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  Kimberly Chacon is an amazing woman, breast cancer survivor, mom to 3 under 2(!), teacher, and now pours her heart and soul into spreading awareness about breast cancer diagnosed in young women.  Check out her blog,  www.partyoffiveblog.com.  Kimberly is not just a survivor, but a mighty magnetic individual that I had the pleasure to meet with in-person.  A quick example...she knew I'd be showing up to our meeting with my two kiddos and thought to bring a few seasonal crafts for my toddler to have fun with as we chatted about business and motherhood.  There should be more people like Kimberly in this world!

Read Kimberly's incredible story:

I was 28 when I heard the words that changed my world forever. "You have breast cancer." At the time I was working full time, finishing my graduate degree, and living a healthy life. My diagnosis completely knocked my life into a new reality that was dark and frightening. I did not look or feel sick, but I had a tiny lump that I mentioned to my doctor, and that was where it began.

Going through breast cancer brings with it a palette of mixed emotions. Sadness at those we've lost, pain for those engaged in the battle and hope that we are going to find a cure for this vicious disease. Over the years I have participated in different ways with various organizations, and recently I have made it a point to write about my own experience. This is what I'd like you to know about being a young breast cancer survivor:

1. There is no cure for breast cancer and women continue to die everyday. There is a misconception that this disease is easy to treat. Again, it is still a fact that breast cancer does NOT have a cure and while some prognosis are better than others, breast cancer can come back, even years after you have shown to have NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE.

 

2. Eight years after my diagnosis I still take a daily medication and while you may never hear me complain about it, there are side effects. It is recommended that I take this medication for ten years following my initial treatment. When you are in your 20's and you imagine ten years of medical treatment it seems impossible. It is life saving and a blessing to have it, but it is also a daily reminder of my past with cancer.

2. Medical research saves lives and quite possibly saved mine. Based on the kind of cancer that I had, I was able to take a "new" drug called Herceptin. It only exists because of extensive research which involves lots of $$$$ and brave end-stage patients that agree to try new drugs. This drug became available two years before I was diagnosed and without it my odds of survival would have been much lower. There was even a Lifetime movie made about the breakthrough starring Mr. Harry Connick Jr.
 

3. A mastectomy does not mean you get a free, new pair of boobs. Yes, several people made that comment to me while I was in treatment. (Why?? Why would you say that to anyone? Please don't ever say that to anyone.) Quite the contrary. Having a double mastectomy means that you lose a part of yourself and gain significant scars. It means a painful surgery and a long healing process. It means fighting to gain acceptance of a new version of the most intimate parts of your body. It steals a part of your sexuality and it robs you of the basic human choice of breastfeeding your children. It is often all of these things right before beginning six months of chemotherapy. It leaves scars, both physical and emotional. While the procedure and outcomes have improved over the years, do not believe that a mastectomy is an easy solution.

4. Just because your hair has grown back does not mean that you are "finished". After going through the hell that is cancer treatment you are a different person and it takes time to find your new normal. We have gone down a tumultuous road and it takes time to heal. That can mean that relationships change, you make lifestyle changes, or you look at the world in a new way. Be gentle with someone who has gone through treatment, even if it's two years later. Just because we look fine again does not always mean that it's done.

5. As survivors, we are glad there are many awareness campaigns, but we are always concerned about who benefits from all the pink. First, read the fine print on anything you purchase and see what they are actually doing with your dollars. Second, keep in mind that Avon and Komen get tons of money and they have major corporate sponsors, so don't worry about them. What's better than buying pink socks and glitter boas? Donating to organizations that directly benefit research and women like www.metavivor.com or www.pinkdaisyproject.com. If you want to give, make a smart donation.

Becoming a cancer survivor changed my life forever. Chances are that you know someone who has been touched by the disease.  How can you take meaningful action? Make a donation to a research program or an organization that directly helps women in treatment. If you personally know a survivor, reach out. Finally, if you're putting off having yourself checked, please make sure you make that appointment. It could be the most important thing you do.

 

Tara here, again.  Thanks, Kimberly, for sharing your incredible story with us!  

We're celebrating the GREAT and GRATEFUL for Thanksgiving week!  Tell me what is moving you these days.  What is great in your life?  Who are you grateful for?  Please share here or come join the conversation on Facebook at Facebook.com/TaraAllenHealth.com. 

In health,

Tara