What Lizzo (and others) are teaching us about loving our bodies is that body positivity and self-care aren’t just on your Sunday afternoon to-do list, especially during your journey against breast cancer. Learning to love your body today and through the changes during treatment is vital for your mental and physical health, quality of life, and overall well-being.
Lizzo shares with her fans:
“Loving me was the result of answering two things: do you want to live? Because that’s who you’re gonna be for the rest of your life. Or are you just going to have a life of emptiness and self-loathing and loathing? And I chose to live, so I had to accept myself.
This empowerment movement can be focused on overcoming bodily shame and promoting self-esteem while living the battle of breast cancer.
“Breast cancer not only affects our body, it also affects the way we perceive it,” says Dr. Miguel Pelayo, medical oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists. “It is difficult for some patients to accept the temporary variations that can occur with treatment, such as hair loss and weight fluctuations. It is important to promote a positive body image if you start to experience changes as a result of the treatments. I make sure to share with my patients that this is a journey with their mind and body. We are fighting today, for the best tomorrow.
Below are some tips from Dr. Peyalo to help you reframe the feelings you have about your body during breast cancer treatment and beyond.
1. Stay focused and positive by finding your support team
It’s okay to feel depressed, and that’s okay. Always communicate any feelings of long-term depression to your healthcare providers, as they can help support you emotionally and physically throughout your treatment program.
During this time, remember that you are not alone. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness or fear are extremely common. In fact, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Dr Peyalo stressed that this diagnosis is not your fault and that breast cancer can occur through a combination of factors, genetics, exposure to hormones, or lifestyle.
Focus on the positive and know that your medical oncologist can provide you with information about local support groups and community meetings with other women facing the same challenges with changes in their bodies and self-image. Also, be aware that you can reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional on days when you need that extra boost.
2. Show your body love
Allow yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, and don’t forget to thank your body for what it allows you to do today and every day. Even if some days you are able to do less than others.
You can still love your body while battling breast cancer. Eating nutritious meals will give your body the nutrients it needs to fuel your recovery and act as preventative medicine.
Staying active can also have an impact on how you look and feel. Getting active on a daily basis is important, whether it’s gentle yoga or even just walking around the neighborhood. If you don’t have the energy to get out of your house, consider pulling out a Lizzo album and dancing in front of the mirror.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me what you see / That’s it, oh my God, that looks heavenly” – ‘excuse me—Lizzo
3. Adopt a healthy self-image
Body image has everything to do with love: if you constantly laugh at how you look or are judged by others, then there will never be enough time invested in self-care. Having a positive self-image comes in all shapes, sizes, and hair types.
The side effects of hair loss are something Dr. Pelayo talks to his patients often, and it’s not always just about losing hair, but often about gaining something new.
Did you know that your medical oncologist can write you a prescription for a wig while you are in treatment? If you’re not a fan of wigs, that’s fine. DigniCap® systems are also available to reduce the risk of hair loss.
“Because I am my own soul mate, I know how to love myself.” Soul mate — Lizzo
4. Have hope
Embrace the change, you are fighting for tomorrow! You get all the side effects because the treatments help your body fight off a disease.
With so many medical advances in oncology, treatments and medications are more effective than ever. Chances are you’ll be there for that next special event, the birth of a grandchild, or a good night out with the girls.
Embrace your body and all that it does for you. Lizzo teaches us to “come home tonight and look at yourself in the mirror and say, I love you, you are beautiful and you can do anything”.
About Dr Miguel Pelayo |https://flcancer.com/staff/miguel-pelayo-md/
Originally from Miami, Florida, Dr. Pelayo has lived and studied in Florida most of his life. During his internship and residency at the University of South Florida / H. The Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., Was chosen consecutively as Internal Medicine Intern of the Year, Outstanding Resident, and Internal Medicine Resident of the Year. Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Dr. Pelayo has a keen interest in research and has presented several case studies at research symposia for the Moffitt Cancer Center and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is fluent in English and Spanish.