Very loyal and astute readers will know that I have an ulterior motive to my cycling bliss, one that I rarely refer to directly. When I do raise the subject, it is often tangentially, usually in terms of its effect on equipment wear, rather than a detailed discussion of the topic per se.
I am speaking, of course, of my weight. Specifically, I am a tad heavy. And by “a tad heavy,” I mean 20-40 pounds, depending on how hopeful I am on a given day.
In March 2010, after a glorious three year post-retirement run where I ate whatever I wished and did absolutely no physical activity whatsoever, I came to the conclusion that I was killing myself. Interesting (if not fun) Fact: you can gain 40 pounds in three years doing precisely nothing. When I retired from the Army, I weighed 225 pounds. I wasn’t exactly svelte even then and probably should have been 15-20 pounds lighter. When I walked into my LBS three years later, I was up to 265 pounds and the sky was the limit.
I needed to do something. Cycling was a great low-impact cardio workout which I used to dabble in during my younger years. It seemed like a logical solution to the problem of my expanding waisteline. So I started pedalling and shortly thereafter I started this blog. And life has been much improved ever since.
Many bloggers talk extensively about their successes and failures with weight loss. For the most part, I do not. This is for two reasons:
1. I don’t think I could write a very entertaining blog based on my quest to lose weight (and I shall thank you in advance for not making snarky comments about the lack of entertainment this blog provides in its current form).
2. Most importantly, I was hoping to lose the weight by simply having fun cycling. It wouldn’t seem so much like work and I would thus trick myself into becoming thinner. If I told you (and hence myself) that I was trying to actually lose weight, the magic would be gone and disaster would ensue.
So I continued to eat pretty much whatever I wanted whenever I wanted while cycling away. Perhaps I could literally have my cake and eat it to. It was a grand experiment to see if exercise alone without changes to my diet could get me to the weight I wanted to be at. What a wonderful world it would be if such a thing could be accomplished!
After 21 months, I can report that this technique has given me marginal success. I am now holding steady at 240 pounds – a 25 pound decrease over my starting weight. People who haven’t seen me in a while walk up and say, “Steve, you look great!” By that they mean that I am not nearly as obese as I used to be. That’s nice feedback. Thank you.
Still, it’s not nearly where I hoped to be at this point. I am therefore forced to conclude that over a hundred years of medical research is accurate – if you want to lose weight, you need to exercise AND control your diet.
So that’s what I am now doing. I am actually paying attention to what I put into my mouth. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say the amount of vegetables has gone up and the amount of fried foods and candy has gone way down. We’ll see what that does. Hopefully, I’ll weigh less which will mean that I look more dapper, cycle faster, and break my bike less often. That would be nice.
I won’t be turning this into a weight loss blog. Others are far more informed, inspirational, and entertaining than I on this subject. In other words, Reason #1 above is still in play. I may mention my weight once every blue moon, probably as it relates to some other cycling event/conundrum I am involved with. In other words, we shall return to our regularly scheduled programming. I’ve got tires to install and I KNOW you are all simply beside yourselves in anticipation waiting to hear the details!