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Breast Cancer Awareness: How Fitness Helps Nastasia Fight Cancer Like A Warrior

I've devoted the majority of my adulthood to fitness. It began with a personal transformation after committing to changing my lifestyle through working with a personal trainer shortly after I graduated college.

The physical and mental changes the experience gave me inspired me to change my entire career path and become a personal trainer. Most recently, I've served as the Vice President of Fitness for Steve Nash Fitness Clubs, and I've passionately devoted my career to fitness for over 12 years. In ways, you can say I'm the poster child of fitness; I breathe, eat (literally) and sleep fitness.

So, you can imagine, hearing the words "you have breast cancer," at age 37, was nothing short of a major shock. How could I, of all people, have breast cancer? I workout 5-6 days a week, I prepare my meals and consume a healthy diet, I take all of my supplements, and I even work in a gym. It's clear this disease doesn't discriminate, and even if the outside looks healthy, there can be something going on in the inside.

I was lucky enough to find my tumour, on accident, because I vowed to start self-exams at the age of 40. I immediately took action with my physician, which was both scary and empowering at the same time. After a series of tests, it was determined that I would have to undergo both surgery and treatment for my condition.

I asked SNFC if I could write this blog, not to dwell on the fact that I've been diagnosed with breast cancer, but to share my perspective of how fitness has allowed me to take it on like a warrior. Once the shock of those words passed, I was ready to get prepared to take on whatever was necessary. I had about 5 weeks between the time I found out I was breast cancer positive and my double mastectomy surgery date.

I committed to continuing all the great habits I've built over the last 12 years. I never missed a workout, I dialled in my nutrition, I diligently took all of my dotFIT and Biosteel supplements, and I took time in each day to enrich my mental health and strength through reading and journaling. I quickly realized, maybe my fitness lifestyle didn't "protect" me from this diagnosis, but it will 100% get me through it.

On days I felt fearful or anxious, I found strength and confidence after each workout. I firmly became to believe, "this body WILL get through" whatever is to come because I am STRONG. My physical strength has helped build my mental strength, putting me in a position where I believe I can conquer anything. I feel so blessed to have had these habits in place prior to ever getting sick. I feel empowered to have my health in my own hands, and the knowledge of exactly how to do that.

I am just over 1 week post a double mastectomy and direct implant surgery. With my body & mind being so well prepared prior to the procedure, I've recovered exponentially quickly, to the point where the doctors are astonished with my progress. While they may be confused as to how this can be, I know exactly why it is: fitness.

Fitness is literally saving my life. I still have a journey ahead, including treatment, where I will continue to commit to my fitness lifestyle. In my wiser years, it's become very clear to me that fitness is far beyond looking a certain way. Fitness is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself, both inside and out.

I am blessed to have spent the last 7 years with SNFC. I draw love and strength from this team and the members daily. While we are all different, we are all the same in our passion for fitness. I am inspired daily by every member making a change, every team member serving their communities, and I now hope to be an inspiration to others as to what's possible if you allow yourself to fall in love with fitness.