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Edmonton Sun LIFE Monday, November 27, 2006

OK, so were in the midst of a boom, but not everything in Alberta is growing. Take me for example. Im shrinking most notably my Buddha belly, lard butt and jiggly love handles. As you know, last month I entered the media portion of Club Fits Biggest Winner Contest, a 12-week challenge to see who can lose the most body fat and gain the Cary most muscle. Since then, Ive been working out three KEEPING FIT times a week at the south-side Club Fit under the watchful eye of personal trainer Adam Dawe. On most other days when I havent been training with Dawe, Ive been working up a sweat on the cardio machines. Ive also been sticking to a balanced diet that Club Fit nutritionist Rob Lim prepared especially for me. And after nearly four full weeks in the Edmonton Sunsponsored fitness challenge, Im pleased to report that Ive melted 14 pounds off my 5-foot-10 frame. My body weight has dipped to 246 pounds from a button-popping 260. And more importantly, my body fat percentage is at 27.6% down from a belt-

Goal: be the incredible shrinking man

busting 30.7%. Of course, temptation is everywhere, especially since Christmas Cadbury Mini Eggs are now available in stores. I just love Mini Eggs. Theyre like crack to me. But Ive been good. I really dont have any choice. Since I am publicly documenting my progress, failure isnt an option. Besides avoiding Mini Eggs, Im also no longer drinking six cans of Diet Pepsi every day another addiction Ive developed in recent years. These days, Im guzzling up to four litres of water daily. My lifestyle changes are gradually making a difference in my 33-year-old physique. My clothes are fitting better and Im definitely more energetic. But Im still a fatty. And for that reason, I plan to step it up a notch in the next eight weeks. Besides, the five local media challengers Im pitted against are doing well, too. And this IS a contest afterall. Robbie (The Intern) Gibson from 91.7 The Bounce has lost about four pounds, as well as two inches from his waist. My goals arent to lose weight. I wanna bulk up, but I definitely have lost a lot of fat, says the 22-year-old. Fearless Fred Kennedy, 27, from The Bear, says he has more energy and just generally feels better. He doesnt know how much fat hes lost so far, but he knows hes stronger. I tell him (the trainer) to be merciless on me just work me like a dog. Thats the only way, Kennedy says. Rob Hislop, 46, from Citytvs Breakfast Television, hasnt weighed in recently either, but hes steadily plugging away. I am pleased with how the food is laid out. They couldnt make it any easier with the menus, times to eat and grocery list. Plus, the food is easy to prepare. Jackie-Rae Greening, 45, from Big Earl, one of two last-minute media entries, just completed her first week of training. My trainer is finding muscles in my body I didnt know I had, she says, adding shes conquered the intimidation factor. The biggest thing is Ive never had the confidence to go into a club. Tim Schutz, 43, from Cool 880, also just kicked off his training regimen. I need to lose 10 to 15 pounds. Ive got a bit of a gut, he admits, adding hes also hoping to get more muscle happening. Im kinda wimpy and a little flabby. Follow my progress on-




Edmonton Sun reporter Cary Castagna works out with the help of personal trainer Adam Dawe at the south-side Club Fit. Carys entered in Club Fits 12-week Biggest Winner Contest.
line at: Lifestyle/castagna.html and www . c l u b fi t . ca / b igge st winner/blog. Do you have an inspirational

story for Keeping Fit? E-mail Cary Castagna at

Red meats are among the that link to estrogens (female foods most often associated reproductive hormones). with a heightened risk of deBased on this sorting sysveloping cancer, of the co- tem, certain types of breast lon especially. cancers not attribA recent utable to the linkstudy just ing proteins are proved that the designated ER-, negative imwhile others, assopacts of these ciated to large conmeats reprecentrations of sent a major these proteins, are risk factor in dubbed ER+. the eventual Many findings materialization confirming a rising of some forms Richard cancer rate rest of breast canmainly on ER+ cer. cancers, more speIn Canada, cifically in women breast cancer BREAST CANCER aged 40-69. rates have Since the proswollen considerably over gression of these cancers dethe past 30 years. According pends on estrogen (thus setto current estimates, one ting them in the woman in nine will contract hormone-dependent catethis disease at some point in gory), it suggests that horher life. monal factors connected to Breast cancers can be di- lifestyle may be at fault for vided into two broader clas- this increase. For instance, sifications, which are char- nulliparity (the condition of acterized by the absence or women who have never been presence of some proteins pregnant), the triggering of

Daily red meat linked to breast cancer risk

menstruation at an early age, as well as the use of hormonal therapy during menopause, are all factors that appear to multiply blood estrogen concentrations, and which in turn contribute to the surge in breast cancers.

Dietary change a factor

On the other hand, many observers suggest that, in combination with these factors, significant changes in our diet in recent years have probably played a key role in increasing the risk of eventually having to deal with hormone-dependent breast cancer. Over a period of 12 years, researchers from Harvard University studied the relationship between red meat consumption and the incidence of breast cancer in nearly 100,000 women aged 26-46. They found that women who ate red meat every day ran a 50% higher risk of de-


veloping a hormone-dependent breast cancer than those who ate some less than three times weekly. For chronic carnivores who ate more than one red meat meal a day, the risk markup even reached 100%! These increases involved all red meat types (lamb, veal, pork, beef) but were especially striking when it came to deli meats (sausages, salami, franks). For instance, the odds of women who ate deli meats more than three times a week of eventually being diagnosed with hormone-dependent breast cancer were 250% higher! A number of reasons could explain the carcinogenic properties of red meat. First, cooked meats and processed deli meats are a source of carcinogenic molecules, including heterocyclic amines, nitrosamines and aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons. All of these compounds stimulate the growth of mammary tumours in lab animals, and

could therefore contribute to the growth of breast tumours in humans as was demonstrated in a number of studies.

Essential vs. excess

Second, red meat is an exceptional source of heme iron, which is linked to a molecule called hemoglobin. This iron is efficiently assimilated by our cells and is essential to our body processes, but could however excite the growth of cancer cells when ingested in excess amounts (frequent red-meat eaters, beware). Besides, it appears that heme iron could be one of the main culprits of the carcinogenic effect of red meat in colorectal cancer. Finally, since red meat is rich in saturated fats, and since these fats have been suspected to sustain the growth of breast cancer tumours for a long time, it is also very likely that the abun-

dant consumption of red meat leads to a surplus of fat contents and an increased cancer risk. Since the potential development of breast cancer is dependent on a number of aspects of ones lifestyle, prevention becomes a complex undertaking. From a nutritional standpoint, we know that crucifer vegetables (of the cabbage family) and some foods rich in phytoestrogens (like linseed or flaxseed) contain molecules that block the progression of mammary tumours, and that an ample supply of these foods can therefore play a significant preventive role. Along the same lines, stressing the fact that a moderate consumption of red meat can also significantly help decrease the risk of developing breast cancer in women who are still young (25-50) points to how crucial nutrition can be in determining cancer incidence.