Why Losing 10 Pounds is One of My Key Anti-Cancer Goals for 2016
January is the month we all make New Year’s resolutions that are important to us. If you are a prostate cancer survivor, or a cancer survivor of any type, modifying your health habits can have a profound effect on your cancer outcome and your quality of life.
American Cancer Society research shows that fully one third of all cancers are related to poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I started riding my bicycle again right after my treatment for prostate cancer in May 2003, and bicycling has been a key element of my personal cancer battle plan every since.
Since my treatment in May of 2003, I have risen 27,318.28 miles, more than once around the world at the equator, and climbed almost 600,000 vertical feet. This equates to 1,238,428 calories burned, or 353.84 pounds of fat.
The results? I dropped from 165 lb. to an almost optimal weight of 150 lb., felt better, slept better, and earned two Southern California state cycling championships in track riding at the velodrome. More importantly, my PSA stayed in the .02 – .06 range for that entire period.
Bad Luck on July 21, 2015
October 5, 2015, was to be my first try at competing in the World Master’s Track Cycling Championships in Manchester, England, but a training accident at the Velo Sports Center in Los Angeles left me with a fractured pelvis and assorted other nicks that keep me off of my bicycle until December 26th. No Manchester and, maybe even worse, no real exercise for just over 5 months.
The results? I regained 10 pounds and those pesky bad eating habits returned. You now, kid food – chips, an occasional ice cream, peanut butter – which I love, and other stuff. I’m now back on my bike but I’m lugging around an extra 10 pounds – not muscle, sadly – that does nothing but go along for the ride.
My 2016 Cancer Recurrence Prevention Plan
My doctors tell me that I’m cured, but my PSA went from undetectable for the first two years after surgery to the .02 – .08 range for the past 10 years. I’m not a doctor, but I have this nagging feeling that there is some residual prostate cancer hanging around somewhere.
I have control over what I do – or don’t do – and what I eat – or don’t eat, so fully 1/3 of my risk of recurrence is within my personal control. Here’s what I plan to do . . .
- Reenergize my cycling program now that I’m fully healed. I plan to race in track nationals this year, so I’ll be doing at least one workout at the track each week.
- Get to the gym for weights. Muscle burns calories so I’m going to include two weight days in my weekly calendar. I have a gym close by that I can use. I’m also building a body weight routine that I can use when I’m traveling.
- I got a cute roll of Duck Tape for Christmas – with bacon pictures on it – and I’m going to use it to tape my mouth shut! Ha! Not really. But I am going to carefully log what I eat in my MyFitnessPal app and play around with creating an eating plan that’s tasty, fun to eat, easy to create, and packs the training nutrition I need. Feel free to share your favorite recipe in the comments section below and I’ll give it a try.
- Track my activity on using my Strava account, my Withings Pulse O2 app, and my cycling Excel spreadsheet that I have used since May of 2003 to track all of my cycling mileage for my Around the World Cycling Adventure.
How You Can Join Me in My 2016 Anti-Cancer Campaign . . .
Most things are easier and more fun if you have a partner. Working with someone else generates a sense of mutual accountability and that exercise actually goes on the calendar. Trust me, I know how easy it is to push things off. I fight that battle every day and my riding buddies are really key for me.
If you live near Manhattan Beach, I’d love to connect with you for one of my weekly rides.
You can also connect with me on my Strava.com account, Athlete #58546, and we can ride virtually. We can see each other’s rides and runs and share comments and pictures. It’s really very cool. Plus, you can use your Strava.com account to track your mileage toward your Around the World Cycling Challenge jersey. Click the following link for more information . . . Around the World Cycling Challenge.
All the Best to You and Your Family for 2016!