Canadian woman credits dramatic weight loss for breast cancer discovery
TORONTO -- In 2014, Lindy Cellucci made a life-changing decision.
“It’s time,” she said aloud to herself as she stood at the top of the stairs leading down to the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick.
Weighing more than 299 pounds at the time, Cellucci watched as her thinner friends made it down the nearly 500 steps to the ocean floor for a close-up look at the towering rock formations.
“They were laughing, taking selfies and I was up top and I was feeling very sorry for myself. I was ashamed,” she told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday. “I said ‘It’s time.’ I can’t do this anymore. I’m missing out on life and I’m not going to see my kids have kids.”
Soon after, Cellucci signed up for Weight Watchers, bought a Fitbit, and began an incredible weight-loss journey – one that would eventually save her life.
A year and a half later, the mother of two had lost 82 pounds and was turning around her health. That is, until she received some devastating news around Christmas.
Cellucci had just come inside from a walk on a cold day and placed her hands in her armpits to warm them up when she felt a lump in her breast, which she said she wouldn’t have been able to detect had she not lost the weight.
The Toronto woman was diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer and began six months of chemotherapy and radiation. Because of the steroids she was taking as part of her treatment, Cellucci gained back all of the weight she had lost.
Despite the setback, Cellucci was determined to shed the weight again.
In January 2017, she was given the all-clear from her doctors and she went right back to her Weight Watchers program, walking, boot camp, Zumba, and aqua swim classes.
“I just said ‘You’re going to live. This is all done. Let’s just get on with it,’” she recalled. “And I just started again.”
Now 60 years old, Cellucci has lost 150 pounds, or half her body weight. Her remarkable transformation has even attracted the attention of the editors of People magazine, which featured her on the cover of the annual “Half Their Size” issue in January.
And while she’s embracing all of the positive feedback she’s received, Cellucci said she’s still in the process of forgiving herself for gaining that much weight in the first place.
“I need to forgive her because I don’t. I still don’t,” she explained. “I’m still working on forgiving her because I was a good person, even though I was fat. I was a good mom, and generous, and funny. I was just fat.”