It’s not about the cancer

It’s been a long time. My first entry into the 2009 iPresents Archive had better be good. And good it is, well this post might not be, but the site it points to and it’s good cause is very good.

For the¬†umpteenth¬†time I have given up smoking. ¬†On January the 1st 2009 I joined the ranks of every other quitter. I have since forgone one of my favourite addictions. I decided it was not enough just to give up one addiction, so I have replaced it with 2 others. Getting fit and trying to lose some weight. I currently weigh 176 pounds, which would be ideal if I was 6′ 4″ but alas I am 5’8″, however at the¬†beginning¬†of ’09 I was bordering on obese according to my Wii Fit, weighing in at ¬†13 stone 11 (193 pounds). Through the use of cycling, spinning, jogging and a dramatic change to my diet I have lost 17 pounds. I have had several useful tools to help me with my quest, namely my bikes (Specialized Sirrus Pro & Specialized Rockhopper Disc), iPhone (using the Stopwatch and Livestrong App.), Wii Fit for my daily scales, and a digital heart rate monitor.

I think one of the most important aspects in sticking to a regime like this is to have a goal. Mine is to fit into a cycling top which I bought last year! I want to look like Dracula, as Lance would describes his fellow pro cyclists, and in particular  the ultra slim climbing variety.

One tool that I have found useful in my quest to look like a member of the peleton is Livestrong.com’s Daily Plate. Here you can tot up your intake of cereal bars, protein shakes and bacon sarnies. Which makes you think twice before you devour something. This has made it very clear to me how important diet is as well as a physical regime if you want to lose some pounds. A bit of a pain in the butt to use, I now know what being anal is, but it works. This is in essence the same technology that Lance has used to win the Tour de France. I am not guaranteeing that you will win the next Tour, but it might help you drop a jean size or fit into that snug and slinky cycling top that you have always fancied wearing.

In case you don’t know Livestrong is part of Lance’s movement to help fight cancer.

"October 2, 1996. The day it all changed. The day I stated never to take anything for granted. The day I learned to take charge of my life. It was the day I was diagnosed with cancer,"

I am not saying that by visiting Livestrong.com or Livestrong.org and donating something you will beat cancer or get immune to it, but you could play a part in a cure or at least help improve its treatment. I started writing this post in February 2009. Since then I have lost 2 stone, managed to fit into my One Less Car cycling garment and started smoking again. Now, at the end of August 2009, I have decided to finish off this draft.

As I terminate this post, I sit proudly next to my very sick Dad who is lying in his hospice bed asleep. Dad for over a year has valiantly fought bowel cancer. Alas, it seems he wasn’t meant to win. Heaven must really need him. My dad couldn’t have given me a stronger incentive to try and quit my smokes again and get back on my bike. Getting fit and smoke free may or may not help stop me getting this dis-ease, but at least it will reduce my odds. If I am unlucky enough to get it, it will make me stronger so that I might be better equipped to survive it. It won’t make me as courageous as my dad or all the ¬†other ¬†cancer fighters out there, but hopefully I won’t have to be brave, I’ll (hopefully) just act like my astrological sun sign – cancer, the crab and sidestep my way out of they way of it. Who knows what will happen? Cancer could be in my genes, or in my next packet of smokes, or even worse in the genes of my kids or even yours.

Scary. But it doesn’t need to be, we can all pop over to Livestrong and see how we can help. It might not help my Dad but it could possibly help his kids and grand children.

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