Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0634 - Body Mass Index

My family and I had a great long weekend in the Muskokas with family. But even there, I was constantly reminded of the after effects of colorectal cancer treatment. Coming home, I decided that it was time to take action to mitigate those annoying side effects.

I've decided to lose weight; more precisely to reduce my body mass index. I'll do this gradually by a simple technique that always seems to work for me when I am disciplined enough to do it - counting calories. This time, however, I have the benefit of using a Pocket PC with the necessary software constantly with me (My Personal Diet from VidaOne Inc). The software has a decent database that tracks health measures like body weight and body fat percentage, blood pressure, feelings, etc. It also has a place to record workouts and meals without having to write down everything and then later remember to do calorie, carbohydrate, protein, fat and other nutritional lookups later. This makes the likelihood of maintaining the regimen greater - convenience should never be underestimated in designing a routine.

I haven't done this before in my recovery period mainly for two reasons: 1) I didn't want to impose another set of restrictions on myself immediately following all the restrictions of my treatment period; 2) the research doesn't show any correlation between rectal cancer and BMI, although there does seem to be a clear correlation between colon cancer and BMI. Finally, more recently, the evidence that a prudent diet can cut one's risk for recurrence of generic colorectal cancer seems to mandate at least a diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish and chicken.

But now, no matter how equivocal the research may be, I want to reduce symptoms like the frequency of bowel movements and to simply feel more flexible, energetic, and lighter. By reducing my BMI over about 45 weeks, even if I don't reduce risk for recurrence, I'll feel better and I hope to have a better quality of life. Not to mention that I should look better in jeans!

Anyway, that's the plan. It will take a while to report on progress, as it will with my new yoga regimen.

No comments: