Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) - 50+ clyde with a serious question
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09-02-07, 05:23 PM
I'm posting this here as well as in the 50+ forum because they both apply to me.
I would like some help with what I guess would be an attitude question. I am 58 years old, in good health, with the exception of the clyde status. I have never been much of an athlete, just played some baseball, but not much else. Was in the best shape of my life during military service, but after that, kinda let things go. Never really involved in team sports and so probably never learned the discipline that can give you. So I find myself overweight (which I can do something about) and getting older (which I can't do anything about), and I am getting more concerned about my condition. I know I should have done more earlier, but I am where I am. My basic question is: if you have never had the kind of discipline it takes to make drastic changes, how do you do that now? Or, what do you do to keep "pressing through" the wall until you have a habit of losing weight and getting in shape. I know it can be done. But I have not been successful at it. What I would really like to hear is some success stories that can give the kind of boost (hope) that it will take to carry me through. I am a great starter, but not a good continuer. What did you folks do to press on through? Any help would be appreciated. I am riding a bit now, but my body (mind?) does not like what I am doing. The spirit is willing but the flesh is winning. What have you folks done to make the change? I really would like to hear. Sorry for the rant, but this may help some others also.
09-02-07, 05:40 PM
For inspirational stories, check out the "weight loss, before and after" sticky at the top of the page. Reading those gave me the last nudge to making the decision to get fit (and stay that way) once and for all. ( A work in progress, but 7 pounds down already, and up to 25 miles)
As for the rest ... try not to make things so sudden, drastic and unpleasant. Think of it as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet and take it slow. I took to biking for the excercise becasue I love being on my bike ... make sure you're doing an activity that you enjoy, and don't lose sight of that. I got a little caught up in "training" but a couple of rides just to look at the scenery rekindled the fun ... not that training can't be fun also. Just don't burn out.
Have you ever kept a food log? I've been keeping one and it's really helped. When you start to realize where the stupid calories come from, you can more easily cut them out. For me, this has meant that I can more or less keep eating the things I like, just no more crappy snacks and keeping an eye on the booze consumption. Portion size, I find, is key. The food log has made me much more aware of what I eat, and when, and has been instrumental in enabling me to make good food choices most of the time.
Perhaps set a goal, and come up with a reward for yourself if you make it? For me, it's going to be a new bike. :rolleyes: As I work toward my weight goal, I'll allow myself the occasional food related indulgence ... but now I recognize it as an indulgence, a treat, rather than something that should be allowed everyday.
If you can find someone to ride with, and to work on changing your eating habit with, that'll help. This board can also be a great source of encouragment.
Once you start to ride regularly, drop a little bit of weight and start to feel the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, it'll make too much sense not to continue. You can do it. Be nice to yourself along the way. :D
09-02-07, 06:02 PM
Don't get frustrated, small steps forward are better than no steps at all. Seriously though once you start riding and exercising you'll start to get that endorphin rush and though it may hurt now and you want to stop you'll find yourself looking forward to a ride. Just keep @ it next thing you know you'll be an addict like the rest of us. Also something that helps me is to find someone to ride with.
I'm 3 months into what is definitely a lifestyle change, not a diet. Even with no faltering, it would take me about two years to get to my desired weight, so this has to be something I can stick to long term, even after I reach that goal, so I can STAY there! I think the #1 most important thing is doing something active that you enjoy (for me, that's cycling, and I'm thinking of adding dancing and swimming) and setting goals for that activity, both long- and short-term. I never realized what a huge component exercise is, until I noticed that I have a much harder time sticking to my "diet" when my bike is in the shop.
I think it's important to remember, too, that health is a long-term goal with no end point (at least not until you die!). You get to choose how you live - I loved what someone posted not too long ago about having the choice between being an unhealthy person who spends his life watching bad tv and eating pizza, or a healthy person who goes out and rides his bike, eats right, and has lots of energy for other fun stuff. I know which life I want! And the best thing is you can start living whichever you want, right now!
09-02-07, 06:39 PM
First off I agree with what the other replies have said. I am as well a clyde and over 50. several years ago I tipped the scales at 290 and was put on high blood pressure medicine. I now weigh about 245 and have cut my medication in half. Two things that you said made me think about where I was and where I am now. I also was at my best during military service. There is something to be said for three square meals a day and proper sleep. I work shifts so I have battled with a normal schedule for years and I still do. Also you said " drastic changes". I found that small changes and little victories added up instead of trying to do everything at once. I started with an old bike doing 2 miles. When I got up to 15 I rewarded myself with a new bike like a previous replier. I also decided to not weigh myself as much. My pants getting looser was more important than weight loss. Once you start seeing those little victories you begin to feel better about yourself and that will spur you to do more. I have a ways to go but now the thing that makes me feel bad is when I can't go out on my bike for whatever reason. When it comes to biking someone once said " It doesn't get any easier, you just go farther". I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV but these are a few things that have worked for me. Good luck and stay with it.
09-02-07, 06:42 PM
+1 on on all that above and easing into.
I started cycling again a year ago September. I didn't change my lifestyle other than the cycling. I still ate out a lot, drank a lot, smoked a bit etc.
I stuck with the cycling and gradually upped the miles. I found as the mileage increased, my desire for the crud and excess diminished. As of New Year, I cut the drinking back about 95%, cut the occasional cig altogether, cut way back on eating out, and now eat a high vegetable, generally healthy diet just because that's what I want to do. In the process, I dropped about 70 pounds.
It'll help if you can find a bike club with a good variety of ride options and/or an organization like Team in Training (shameless plug) that'll provide regular rides and a group of people to ride with. It can be hard to motivate yourself to ride further and further if you're out there by yourself.
09-02-07, 06:44 PM
I would like some help with what I guess would be an attitude question.
I've had cancer three times and five years ago I found myself sitting on the couch weighing 270 with depression, hypertension and ostio-arthritis from chemotherapy. I knew that to continue would reduce my ticking and kicking time on earth.
I went out and bought a cheap mountain bike and started to ride it and my body screamed with aches and pains. I wanted to give up but I made a committment to keep going for 30 days.
At the end of 30 days I started to feel better mentally but riding hurt my shoulders and neck so I bought touring bike. By the end of the year I was doing 30-35 miles a day on the bike paths around Montreal.
The next year I bought a CX bike and put 7,000 miles on it and toay I have a road bike and a mountain bike that I also ride.
The past three years I've done years 7 to 8K miles and I love it. No depression, my weight is down to 220-225 and my joints don't ache unless I don't ride for 3 or 4 days and my BP is way down. I just turned 65 and I just feel great. The price for this is 3 to 4 hours of cycling a day.
What I found is that it is not a question of try but rather of do or don't do. It is an investment in your future.
09-02-07, 07:20 PM
Here is my personal philosophy about health and weight loss… I’m just trying to have fun. I’m cutting back where I can, I’m riding my bike as much as I can… and most of all, I’m not forcing myself to do any of it as a punishment for the way I have lived in the past.
The past is gone, you can’t re-live it, you can’t change it, you can only learn from it and try to change your future. I have lost over 150# in my life, and over the years gained back at least 80# of it, but it took almost 23 years to do all of this… now I want to go the other way and lose it again… but it didn’t come back over night, and it won’t go away over night either.
But, to me the bottom line is if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it…
Either way I wish you all the best, but remember what works for someone else may not work for you… You are the only one that can answer your own questions.
09-02-07, 08:25 PM
Just wanted to post a great inspirational story that can be found here: www.littlechanges.com
Priscilla and Morton started walking from Key West with the idea that they would walk the perimeter of the US. That seems doable until you find out the two of them were overweight and SHE weighed 390 lbs! About 150 miles in they got bikes, so now they're biking. They've gone from KW to Maine and are now on their way (by car) to Seattle to go down the west coast. Check out the page, and try to send some cash their way if you can. Just reading the page will be a lot of inspiration. Oh, and she's down 150+/- lbs since they started in May? March? can't remember.
As I get older, I find that looking death in the face is a pretty good motivator. Seeing friends my age who are practically crippled because they're in such bad shape helps too. I think you have to combine a healthy fear with a positive belief that you are capable of making changes in your way of life. Sorta the carrot and the stick. Follow that with a lot of research into the best approach you can take. And I think getting your family and friends to help and support is important too.
lil brown bat
09-03-07, 06:14 AM
I'm with Roody: carrot and stick. The stick is seeing what happens to people when they have congestive heart failure, when they lose their mobility, develop diabetes, live on oxygen, all the things that will happen if you don't take care of yourself. The carrot depends on you. For some people, it's looking good in a swimsuit. For some people, it's the satisfaction of knowing that they'll be around to see their grandchildren (and healthy enough to play ball with them). For a lot of people here, as with me, it's being able to do things that you can't do if you're not in good shape. Hiking to the top of a mountain, riding my bike as the sun's coming up, carrying my boat down to a river and running a rapid, skiing at 13,000 feet...these are the things I like to do. When you look at it that way, suddenly the appeal of sitting on the couch eating Cheezy Poofs seems a lot less. You can sit and eat the Cheezy Poofs, or you can climb mountains, but you can't do a lot of the one if you want to do a lot of the other.
09-03-07, 06:51 AM
Bigrider, how are things. You can get motivation from anywhere. I suppose sometimes it is easier to see it than other times. Like you I look back at times when I was in good shape and also like you I suffer with discipline problems. If you take nothing else from this post take the fact that you are not alone in this. People are great motivators. Try and meet as many people as you can. Good luck.
p.s. I have yet to find a good motivator for getting on the bike but as far as walking, leaving the house etc. a dog is mans best friend. He sure knows how to work it.
09-03-07, 09:00 AM
My mom called it will power - the power to control yourself and do what you think is right, in spite of urges not to.
I often have a hard time getting out for a ride. I have other things to do; I don't want to go to the trouble of pumping up tires, putting on sunscreen, filling water bottles, making a sandwich, etc. However, over the years I've come to realize that when I do go to the trouble and get out on my bike, I'm always glad I did. I always have the feeling that it was worth the hassles. I also know that I always feel really good after a ride, and the only way to get that feeling is to go on a ride (or do some other form of sustained, strenuous exercise.)
If you're worried about being in shape, start with some ridiculously easy distance - 1 mile, say. Not much chance of getting sore. Gradually increase that until you reach a good training distance. Working up to it gradually will probably mean that you won't ever get very sore. Extreme soreness can often stop a person's effort to get in shape in its tracks.
09-06-07, 05:19 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied to my original post. I have been quite busy and so a bit tardy to respond. Your words of encouragement have been a great boost. I have been pondering them as time permits, and I am going to hang on to them and review regularly.
2006 was a rough year for our family. Lost both parents to cancer, dealing with their affairs (out of state) lost job, and a few other things. I think depression was hitting me pretty bad. More so than I ever imagined. Kind of sneaks up on you. Anyway, THANKS MUCH!!! Keep the good words coming for others as well.
09-06-07, 05:28 PM
bigrider, all I can say is that I feel so much better than I did 3 years ago, that it's just....stunning!
I'm 47 and can outride many athletic individuals now that are 30 years my junior. 3 years ago, I was more or less stuck in a wheelchair because of my weight and on Oxygen, and diabetic. Now I'm on ambient air, diabetes is controlled by diet and exercise (I used to be on insulin), off the heart and blood pressure meds, and far more likely to live a long and healthy life!
Just to help you understand the change, I used to weigh 581 and now it's 215 that I weigh. I did also have bariatric surgery, by the way, as I would have been dead before I could have lost a sufficient amount of weight to affect my medium term survival probability in any meaningful manner.
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