Diagnosed with cancer, actress Valerie Harper recognized that she had a variety of ways that she could handle it, from traditional medicine to holistic options such as a macrobiotic diet and a positive attitude. Her choice: Go for a blend of all - and do something that no one expected: Accept the offer to twirl on "Dancing with the Stars," reported the Washington Post on September 4. And when questioned about how she'll manage the symptoms that typically accompany cancer treatment, Valerie gave a response that is more typical of a healthy, youthful actress than a 74-year-old woman battling a terminal disease: "I just try to stay healthy and continue to lose weight so I look halfway decent in the costumes," she laughed.
For those questioning her wisdom, Valerie said that her doctors encouraged her, reported ABC New on September 4. "The doctors want me to exercise!" she said. "I asked, 'What do you think?' They said, 'Fine, if you feel like it and you think you can, go for it.'" In addition to exercising on the show to achieve her weight loss goals, Valerie is careful about her diet with the help of her husband, according to the Washington Post. She says her husband is proud of her but is also supervising her health lifestyles such as "saying, 'Get to bed' and 'Eat the right food' and 'Why did you put honey in your tea?'" In terms of the reference to the tea, Valerie has said that she's including holistic options in her life such as Chinese tea supposedly formulated to help her battle cancer.
Why the desire to lose weight? Valerie says that the treatment caused her to gain weight, according to Contact Music on September 4. However, learning that she will be on the show has "forced me to get serious about dieting. Since I'm no longer on steroids, I've dropped 20 pounds, but I'd like to lose another 15. I told the wardrobe supervisor, 'Your job is take six inches off my butt'."
And Valerie isn't alone in terms of "DWTS" contestants battling disease with diet. Also on the show is Jack Osbourne, who earlier this year told Dr. Mehmet Oz that he is using a Paleo diet to help him manage his multiple sclerosis. Learn more by clicking here.