Healthy Living and Prostate Cancer – Lessons Learned
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
I have learned that there are no guarantees when it comes to your health, but it is important to see the big picture. Your health is your wealth. Make yourself a priority.
This means optimizing your physical, mental, and emotional health through positive habits. Take care of your body so you will be more prepared physically and mentally when something does happen. For me, that means being prepared for whatever happens in life when things do not go the way I expected.
As a lifelong IRONMAN® triathlete, I’ve learned that there are no guarantees, just like in life. For the first time, I was not able to finish a race earlier this summer. IRONMAN is a metaphor for life; it’s a long day with many ups and downs. The skills and mindset required to compete in an IRONMAN are like a cancer journey. Getting to the finish line of an IRONMAN is tough, just like fighting cancer – mentally and physically. IRONMAN has been my vehicle for several attributes, including determination, overcoming mental and physical obstacles and healthy ideals. I needed all these in my prostate cancer battle. During this recent race, I knew things were not right. I followed my own advice; listen to your body, because at the end of the day listening to your body is the only competition that matters.
After a prostate cancer diagnosis, staying physically and mentally strong as possible improves quality of life during treatment. Focusing on living an overall healthy lifestyle is critical during and after treatment. Focusing on healthy living empowers you to take control of your health. Every man is different; you do not have to compete in triathlons to achieve healthy living. A balanced diet helps maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic inflammation. Exercise boosts the immune system and decreases excess body fat. Physical fitness is a huge factor in cancer recovery. Exercise has not only been shown to increase cancer survivors’ well-being, but it has also proven to be one of the most useful treatments for cancer-related side effects, including fatigue. A strong body can help overcome many physical adversities.
Set goals. Exercise goals will look different for each man. Having goals helped me persevere through the really tough days of my cancer journey. I learned to use setbacks as opportunities to learn. Learn to accept challenges. If you are going to succeed at anything, there will be challenges and sometimes failure. Perseverance is a tool for the mind to keep going despite the circumstances and what seems reasonably possible. It is a trait that many people want but have a hard time accomplishing – that goes for everything in life.
“In a world that profits from chronic disease, taking care of your body is as rebellious act.”
Goals give you structure for an intentional game plan. Goals, when you stick to them, make you accountable to take intentional actions. Being intentional will keep you focused. When you set small goals, you will achieve more. Small daily choices can add up to big changes over time.
Lastly, I’ve learned that when you conquer your fears, you find strength you didn’t know you had. And you’re capable of doing incredible things. No matter how hard we try to avoid the things that frighten us, there is no way around them, only through. Going through fear is being proactive and embracing change. Going through fear takes courage and diligence.
Make a Difference
To celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, all book sale proceeds of THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE Second Edition will be donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).