Tuesday 24th May 2022

Changing Me. 19/2019.

Changing Me. 19/2019

Changing me is I now realise ON-GOING!

It has been many years as I have mentioned in previous posts of living overweight and obese that has given me a skewed view of my image. My most recent post is here.

I am doing what I can now, to approach my thinking with:

  • kindness
  • self-care
  • words of encouragement

and seeing that thoughts are not always true.

I already use the Calm app for meditation each day, and often in taking a time-out will be mindful in whichever are my circumstances as I learn to be present and here….in the now.

Eating mindfully (and planning to eat) is helping me in these ways:

  • I do not follow those rules of ‘only concentrating on one food and mouthful at a time’ mindfully in eating.
  • I do now examine and observe my inner feelings (physical and emotionally) about the why and when of eating.
  • I am getting so much better at this!
  • I am also recording what I eat via a free app and it is Australian foods-based and gives me an idea of how well I am doing.
  • As a no-diet person, this feels good to have some control but also to eat within the generous range I have allowed myself.
  • I am using my fitbit to slowly up my steps each week by 500 steps  from a base of 6000.

On Tuesday 19 February 2019 I had my 3 month cancer check, and my Professor Jonathan Clark was delighted to see no reason for further surgery (yay for now) and when I mentioned my weight gain since ‘teeth’ he said “that’s good.” Oh, he means that is healthy and I am doing well! Of course now I get it…but as I chatted with his clinical nurse consultant who is just the best for me, she and I agreed that moving more is a good idea!!


On 23 February 2019 I posted this image and the words on Instagram.

One Year On.

As a person who was overweight to obese for decades, losing weight pre-cancer diagnosis & post cancer surgeries has been a mental issue.

I realise to others I look well, healthier and ok now.

I acknowledge I was 5kg+ lighter a year ago & pretty darned miserable at times because of eating restrictions due to 4 cancer surgeries & reconstruction inside my mouth.

I do think I did the best I could at the time to nourish myself but acknowledge how much I missed:





FOOD from a variety of offerings! My shopping for over 14 months took me away from foods I missed biting, chewing, crunching & savouring.

From 21 Aug 2018 this changed. My upper prosthesis was fitted. It was novel to try the foods I’d missed: cheese on a cracker took minutes to eat. Then over time as my mouth & my brain handled the different foods better it was/is great.

Then, about a month or so ago the creeping up of my weight on the scales (once a month weigh in- years of measuring my worth via the scales is a horrid memory) was noted & I “have” to admit I knew what to do IF I still wanted to:

*like wearing my new clothes

*feel comfortable in my body

*enjoy all aspects & variations of foods I could now choose from

It was time to choose a better balance between foods that nourish & are enjoyable & to increase my movement each day.

This mindful eating plan I’ve made up is working for me.

I am now understanding the WHY of how I used food to deal with emotions & that it does not work like that MAKES so much sense!

Keeping myself active by changing my approach to movement. Upping the steps weekly by 500 a day,  starting at 6000 a day.

Most of all I want to add is how grateful I am to be well after nearly 2 years of oral cancer & that I can continue to learn best how to care for myself emotionally & physically!

Changing the voice in my head…. the inner critic…to low volume or mute whenever she begins to shout!

So have you ever taken steps to change you?


Joining with Min for Zen Tips Tuesday here.

Finding a place with Sue and Leanne here in MidLife Share The Love on Wednesday

and, of course, Lovin’ Life with Leanne here each Thursday.



  1. Denyse you don’t look overweight. You do look healthy in a good (not overweight) way and it really brings joy to my heart to see your lovely smile again! Fantastic to hear there is no further surgery on the horizon! Yay! You’re doing a wonderful job of looking after yourself at all levels and ‘coming home to yourself’. Thanks so much for linking up with #ZTT xo

    • Thank you Min for your kind and caring comment.

      I do agree, now, I look well and understand my somewhat negative view has been a default rather than using the information I have.

      And I love that “coming home to myself” expression.

      Denyse x

  2. For cancer patients, especially head and neck, weight gain is quite a good sign. Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom. So weight gain is a mixed blessing but yes, we don’t want to carry too much unnecessary weight around so it’s good to eat mindfully and get some exercise.

    • Thank you so much fellow HNC patient. So true I now realise.

      Those words about eating to put on weight back when I left hospital were foreign.

      However, as you say, we want to be comfortable in our bodies too so I am grateful to be more mindful now in moving and eating.

      And keeping each other supported is one very pleasing reason why you are my friend!

      Denyse x

  3. I don’t want to be negative on your determination, but I can’t tell the difference on those photos. You look the same (and good) in both?? Anyway, moving more is always a good idea for those happy endorphins, and fitness (and strong bones?). Cutting junk and fats for the same reasons…we need to also remember we’ve been wired with certain ideas since birth as girls, and not all of them are healthy.

    • You are the kindest cheerleader!!

      I too see them now as markers of my health and progress a year apart.

      The funny bit about how we perceive ourselves is that it’s often from the default negative.

      I do enjoy getting out and about and now that it is slightly more autumnal that is easier.

      Yes, we are indeed wired to seek sugar and fat and carbs. My two books Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Boys MD and MIndless Eating by Brian Wansink PhD are great resources. The latter one was written first, and the first used some of the finding from the latter.

      Denyse x

  4. Do you know what I notice most about the photos from 2018 and 2019? Your beautiful smile. I think we are often too hard on ourselves. I know I also beat myself up all the time about my weight. But I also know that I can look beautiful, too. Focus on the beautiful!

    • I think we should all encourage ourselves more to “be happy/content” with that view in the mirror. I know I need to do this, so Michele, let’s do it!

      Your words are most kind.

      Thank you.

      Denyse x

  5. Hi Denyse I’ve marvelled at the change in you despite your battle. You have maintained a positive outlook and given others inspiration. I love that quote at the end about ‘coming home to yourself’ that is so beautiful. Thank you for being part of #MLSTL and I hope you are having a beautiful week. xx

    • Thank you Sue. I do appreciate every comment and observation from you as you can often bring a perspective I miss.

      Your words are both comforting and encouraging!

      This is why I continue to blog.

      We need the connections and love I believe.

      Denyse x

  6. It’s all about balance isn’t it Denyse? Some people can be thin and really healthy, for others they need a bit more ‘meat on their bones’ to look and feel really well. It’s when the meat starts becoming layers of fat that we have to start putting the brakes on. I think the fact that you’re aware of the pitfalls and taking steps to avoid obesity becoming a problem, means you’re on the right path – and good on you for upping your steps each week.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

  7. What I noticed about the photos was your lovely friendly countenance and your smile. I honestly couldn’t see a big difference in weight. Isn’t weight such a personal thing – we notice it not just by the scales but in the way our clothes fit too. I have what I call a ‘fighting weight’ which is currently about 5kgs under what I am now. However, reaching that weight means a really low calorific intake, which as I age I’m not sure is so healthy. Good luck in your goals. Moving more can only be good 🙂 Sharing on SM and from #MLSTL

    • Thanks Jo. I think I “may” have tried for an unrealistic weight given that I have had head and neck cancer. The positive is that I am eating well and increasing movement so I shall continue this without making the scales my boss.

      THAT was my problem for decades!

      You sound like what you need to do or not is both caring of yourself and realistic.

      Thank you for your caring words.

      Denyse x

  8. Your beaming smile these days says all I need to hear these days Denyse! I am in awe of your efforts and your honesty in sharing your steps along the way. You’ve made some great points here and believe me you look fantastic and so smily! #mlstl

    • Thanks so much Debbie for such kind words..and yes, I realised how much I missed my smile until I couldn’t. Have a post ready about that for Tuesday!

      Denyse x

  9. When I look at those 2 photos I see a woman that looks healthier – both in body and in spirit. Love that your smile is now so wide. #teamlovinlife

    • Thanks so much Jo. Yes, even though I was doing as well as I could one year ago, I see the health and vitality back in me too.

      Denyse x

  10. As you know, I need to improve my eating and health. (As soon as I get past the overwhelm… which is probably partially to blame for the eating and health issues, just as they are to blame for the overwhelm!)

    I saw that pic the other day of you two years apart I think it was and agreed with someone’s comment that you look the same. Back to the old you. But i loved your comment about how much you’d changed mentally – I guess how much mentally stronger and resilient you are and how much you’ve learned from your experience! x

    • Thanks Deb. I know you understand. It is interesting to know of this vicious cycle you are in….and that it’s soooo hard to make it change. I know you will though, because recognizing it is half the battle.

      I agree that physically I might look the same as I did and in one way that would have been a goal of my surgical and prosthodontist team. But only “I” knew inside how hard it was to be looking OK in that first pic and that by the 2 years after, felt better on so many levels.

      I should add, the fear and the worries do not leave me alone completely because as a scheduled appointment comes up or I get a twinge where I don’t expect it then the old default negative comes up and I have to recognise it and then let it pass instead of going down the slippery slope of old with it.

      I hope over time, things get better for you along the way too. Change and identifying it is the first part, doing something about it is the harder part once you realise what it is and what you can do about it.

      Sorry, not trying to “therapise”….lol

      Denyse x