Alana Henderson had never planned to write a book but in the days after suffering a stroke she penned her memoir title Out of the Fog.
Writing those four words were significant in many ways for the Holmesville business consultant and editor.
She had lost all of her communication skills and putting those words to paper signified the journey ahead.
“Writing those four words took me ages because I really couldn’t write, I couldn’t do much at all,” she said.
“The title came out of the idea that I woke up the following morning after the stroke and realised that I had survived. Many people will either have a second stroke and live with that in some terrible way or they will die with the first stroke or a second one.
“So I felt really lucky that I had actually come through the stroke and that was the first thing I wrote down. I thought, ‘I will write a book, if I get through this I will write a book and I will call it Out of the Fog’.”
The stroke was not the only health setback Ms Henderson had to overcome as three weeks later she was diagnosed with breast cancer and diabetes.
But writing those four words had already propelled her towards changing her lifestyle for the better. It was the start of a journey to good health.
Ms Henderson went from a very stressful and busy life where she had trained herself out of sleep and was admittedly obese.
She went “cold turkey” with her diet and embraced exercise with a vengeance. She lost 45 kilograms in as many weeks and never looked back.
“It was replacing one lifestyle with another and the book is about changing the lifestyle and that is what I’ve done,” she said. “I went from doing no exercise to now being a parkrunner and I’ve done 88 parkruns. I do parkrun, I do cycling, I do pole fitness, I love pole fitness.”
In her memoir, Out of the Fog: Adventures through Lifestyle Change, which was launched over the weekend, Ms Henderson also describes how she took charge of her recovery from the major illnesses to build a confident, healthy, exciting and quality life.
“The book challenges [health professionals] to apply best practice and creativity rather than limiting their knowledge in day-to-day work tasks,” Henderson said.
“This includes learning from health and educational models where everyone wins.”
Ms Henderson questions stereotypical images and expectations of people as they age, especially in the face of major illnesses. The book provides a strong basis on which to proceed into the next phase of one’s life with health, fitness, confidence, enthusiasm and creativity.