Dawn O’Roark

Dawn O’Roark


“I am a breast cancer survivor going on almost 2 years, but it’s just recently that I started feeling like a survivor. I had a rough rebound after finishing all my cancer treatments and surgeries and just as I was cleared to get back to living, the pandemic shut down started. Most days I didn’t want to get off the couch and when I did I couldn’t wait to get back to it. In addition to being very sedentary, I did a lot of comfort eating and justifying about what I deserved because of what I had been through. I knew I needed to do something to overpower my excuses, to become healthier and gain back my life. That’s when my good friend told me about Ignite 90 and suggested I message Kelly.

I did everything to try to convince Kelly to let me do the program outside the gym. I had never belonged to a gym and just thinking about going to the gym gave me anxiety. I had such a fear of being judged and being imperfect in a pool of perfection. However, my biggest concern about starting any workout was getting injured since I had been so inactive so I decided to dive all into Kelly’s program and joined MorGainz Fitness Richland and started Ignite 90!

During my initial visit Kelly I wasn’t surprised, but was completely mortified that my body composition measurements showed I was over 40% body fat. I thought for sure I was never going to be successful when she told me I should only eat 1400 calories and only 39 grams of fat a day!!! The workout routine, however tough, did not seem as torturous as some of the home programs I had tried to work through in the past so I didn’t dread them. I began to view the gym as a retreat—a place where for 45 minutes or so I could focus only on me. No one was judging, everyone was friendly and lots have been really encouraging. I began to feel so alive, so strong and so happy to be alive and I am absolutely in love with feeling this way!!! I have found myself again. I have rediscovered my joys—there is so much I want to do now that I don’t have enough time in each day to get them done!

None of my days are perfect-I eat chocolate and sometimes more than I should, but I am learning to find a better balance. I have discovered that my idea of trying to be perfect is ridiculous—no one’s perfect and no one should demand perfection. I keep reminding myself that if I have a bad day—it doesn’t mean I should give up and return to all my bad habits thinking I am bound to fail anyway. Now I just remind myself that I will just do better tomorrow. With Kelly’s help, I have learned to change my thinking—I am not on a diet, I am on a journey to live better. It doesn’t come easy, it’s a constant conversation I have with myself every day, but anything worth doing isn’t easy.

As a survivor I feel inclined to share a Breast Cancer Awareness plea. Please take time to become breast aware. Talk to your doctor about your breast cancer risk. If you are over 40, call today and schedule your mammogram—I know it’s just one more appointment and one more thing to do but believe me, making time for a mammogram is much easier than making time for all the appointments you will need as a cancer patient. Early detection is the goal. When you are breast aware and know your risks, you are more likely of detecting cancer early. Early detection could save your life but it could also spare you from having to endure some of torturous cancer treatments. I was 42 when I was diagnosed—still considered young in cancer terms. I was 6 months over due for my mammogram. After mastectomy surgery my lymph nodes showed minimal traces of cancer cells resulting in the need for chemotherapy. I can’t help but think that if I would have gotten my mammogram on time(6 months earlier) before the cancer began to invade my lymph nodes, that maybe I could have avoided the need for chemotherapy—and never lost my hair, never developed a blood clot from my chemo IV, not had to fight the nausea, the depression, and been able to move past cancer sooner. Please learn from my mistakes!”

Can I also add that she lost 30 pounds of fat, evidenced by her repeat body composition. She lost 8% of her body fat and a total of 23 1/2 inches from top to bottom. Her calories were based off of her metabolism test. She is an absolute rockstar! #transformationtuesday#yesyoucan

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