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Mr Vain :-)

Posted 27 Dec 2020 at 22:34

Hi All,

I have been neglecting my self in terms of not doing much exercise. Often I do manage around 10000 steps every couple of days so that bit is fine. What Im starting to become very concious of is a huge change in weight. I was at last count, 86kgs and now Im going over 90kgs. I have always been quite toned and just over the past month my arms are losing definition and just becoming flabby (for want of a better word). I find it difficult to put my shoes on and tie them. My mid area is huge now, just 2 years ago I actually had close to a six pack (well nearly!)

I'm aware that hormone treatment contributes to all of the above but is there anyone here that is able to manage their weight well and what exercises are done to maintain a healthy physique. My head of all things, well my face it just appears bloated a lot, especially at night. I hardly recognise myself when I look in the mirror.

Hormone therapy keeps me going but there must be some means to address this situation Im finding myself in. Ive never been vain but Im really starting to get that way :-D

Any advice or anything related to this will be much appreciated.


Posted 27 Dec 2020 at 23:13

I frequently say exercise while on hormone therapy should be regarded as essential - it counteracts many of the side effects.

However, you need to do a hell of a lot of exercise to lose a small amount of weight, so you're not going to do this without significant diet adjustments too.

Posted 28 Dec 2020 at 08:30
I’m slightly worried in that I have osteoarthritis in both knees which is agony , before I start HT !! God knows how I’m going to exercise enough to keep the weight off

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

Posted 28 Dec 2020 at 08:58
Exercise keeps you fit, and is obviously important for health, but you lose weight at the dining table, not the gym. I find an "intermittent fasting" diet to be very effective - I've lost 17kg since the end of June. I eat normally but moderately five days a week, and on the other two days (Monday and Friday in my case) have no breakfast (other than a cup of tea) or lunch, and restrict dinner to 500 calories or less. I've found this an easy and relatively painless way to lose weight.

Best wishes,


Posted 28 Dec 2020 at 10:08

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I’m slightly worried in that I have osteoarthritis in both knees which is agony , before I start HT !! God knows how I’m going to exercise enough to keep the weight off

Chris, ask for some help from physios, and dieticians right at the start (it's much easier not to put it on than it is to lose it), and you can probably negotiate consultations with both of those through your onco or CNS as part of starting HT, or even beforehand.

I don't know what constraints you have on your knees, but would cycling, rowing machine, swimming (all no jolts) be possible? I do a home exercise class 3 times a week on Zoom which is for cancer patients (we're nearly all prostate cancer), and the trainer takes into account each person's limitations, and gives them something different to do when necessary - she would discuss this with you beforehand. I do them pretty energetically, and consume 500-600 kCals each class, which is baseline of over 1500 kCals/week before I even get out on my bicycle (which doesn't happen in cold wet weather). But it's at your own pace - most people are older than me and  take it more gently. The only things needed are hand weights (I'm still using two Pepsi bottles) and an elastic band (which the trainer sends you). There's a small charge (we made her charge, to keep it going during COVID).

The other thing is how to protect bone health which is normally done by stressing bones, but that needs guidance around where any bone mets are, so again, ask for physio support to undertake this. They might decide to do it just with drugs (such as calcium, Vitamin D, bisphonphonates/denosumab, etc.), or that you don't need anything.

You've probably seen me mention this before, but I also bought body composition scales so I can monitor my weight and composition of muscle/fat, which I do daily, and try to keep an eye on it. When I'm over my self imposed limit, I skip breakfast. It's also interesting that I found I need quite a lot of protein in my diet in order to maintain my own muscle mass. Without the body composition scales, I would not have noticed I was losing weight by losing muscle when cycling a lot, and eating more protein while exercising reduced the muscle loss.

Posted 28 Dec 2020 at 16:33

Hi Ian,

I'm not on hormones but am aware of weight.   

Last January my wife and I had health checks at the GP and were told our cholesterol was high. It was just after Christmas and we've since learnt your cholesterol is a function of what you've eaten in the last 3 months.

We changed our diet to cut out as much saturated fat as we could.   That meant we had no biscuits, chocolates or cakes in the house at all.  Also the coffee shops were closed in lockdown so our daily coffee and pastry was out.   Surprisingly we both lost 5kg in a few months.   We lost it so fast we both thought if we'd done it alone we'd think we were ill.

It was lockdown and sunny so we walked every day but we both stopped going to the gym so cardio activity was out.

We've since relaxed it to stabilise our weight.  My weight in total had gone down 7kg but is now around 6kg down and pretty stable.

As said above what you eat has far more impact than what you do.  It can be difficult. The temptation is overwhelming but if you've no biscuits in the house then it can work.  If you don't make it more a way of life then it won't work for long.  All the best.


Posted 28 Dec 2020 at 20:08

It seems that diet is very important and I didn't mention that bit in my original post. I've been eating a lot of sweet things, quite a lot actually.

So I guess what's been said here is that I should just get a grip and sort my diet and fitness out and make sure I'm disciplined enough to keep it up. I made a start today on counting calories, doing with a food type of diary in its early 'development' - Ill get onto he fitness thing next week.

Its amazing really how that although you may have an idea of what's not right, just getting feedback and some good advice, (well for me anyway), just puts you into a different and more positive mindset, makes you realise what you actually know and what information is new for you. I think for me it got to the point where I cant see the trees in the woods anymore :-D 

Thank you all for your replies, some great feedback, ideas and motivation there. 



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