Not long after the birth of her second child in 2003, Brandie Sellers took up yoga and running.
"I wanted to feel more energetic and take better care of my body," says Sellers, who became a yoga instructor the following year. "Being a mother also really motivated me; I wanted to set a good example for my children."
But sometimes, no matter how fit you are or how much you put into being healthy, something totally unexpected can thwart your efforts. For Sellers, that was breast cancer in 2011. She was 37 years old.
Typical week of workouts: I practice yoga two to times per week, and I walk outdoors two to three times per week. If it's too hot or rainy, I'll use the elliptical.
If I had just 20 minutes to work out, I would: Do some sun salutes and lunges at my house.
What gets in the way of my workout? I'm a full-time graduate student, I work part-time, and I'm a single mom with three kids. All of those things piled together can really derail my workout plans some weeks.
How has having breast cancer affected the way I exercise? I have to be more gentle with myself now. There are still things I cannot do, even almost six years out from breast reconstruction. I also have less stamina overall. I used to have negative self-talk to try to motivate myself, but since I got done with treatment, I give myself a lot more grace now.
Fitness goals: My goal is just to keep moving. I don't have specific goals that I'm trying to reach. One thing cancer taught me is that you can do all the "right" things and still not get what you want. So I try to maintain a balance and have a happy, meaningful life. That's what is most important to me.
Proudest fitness moment: I ran a half-marathon a few years ago. It was a great accomplishment, but I hung up my running shoes when I was done. There are side effects related to my treatments and surgeries that are hard on my joints. I have had to accept that running isn't my thing anymore. That is part of the grace I give myself now.
Three things you'll always find in my refrigerator: Orange or lime LaCroix sparkling water, seasonal fruits and some kind of green leafy vegetable.
What I should probably do more of, health-wise: Meditation. We can all use more of that!
What I should probably do less of: Eating out.
Favorite healthy food: I really enjoy a huge salad with a lot of different veggies and some fruits thrown in there.
Favorite indulgence: Ice cream or chocolate cake made from scratch.
Why I'd recommend exercise to someone diagnosed with breast cancer: Exercise helps relieve anxiety and keeps your joints happy. Especially for those of us who have no estrogen due to cancer treatments, we have to keep our joints moving. Move it or lose it!
What my workout says about me: I have learned how to moderate myself and be kind to myself.