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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-07-08, 03:59 PM   #1
Neil_B
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"I Like The Island Manhattan" - Non Scale Victories

A question for the Clydes and Athenas trying to lose a LOT of weight: do you have any good Non Scale Victories to share? A Non Scale Victory is something that you can do that you couldn't do before. Fitting into a smaller size, fitting into a diner booth, walking around in a major American city. It could be cycling related, but it doesn't have to be. I've included one below, a victory I achieved this Sunday. It also appears on my blog. Be warned, it has almost no cycling content.

****

No cycling on Sunday. Instead I've celebrated another non-scale victory in my first trip to New York City. Neil F. and his wife brought me to town for our joint birthday celebrations.

While some folks may think this is a trivial milestone to celebrate, it's actually quite an important one. The victory over obesity isn't just a matter of removing pounds from your frame. It's changing the way you think. The sort of super-obesity I suffered breeds an isolation in your soul as it limits your mobility. As a 385 pound man two years ago I never would have imagined I would spend a whole day in New York, and pound the pavement for nearly four miles. Regaining mobility means regaining the desire to do something with that mobility. Now, thanks to my shrinkage and the gentle prodding of Neil and his wife - their friendship in itself a benefit of my weight loss - I've seen Rembrandt paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, been through Central Park, visited The Strand bookstore, and seen an endless parade of helmetless, unsafe cyclists. Well, the last item I can see anywhere, but you get the idea. I can hardly wait for my next trip to the Big Apple. It's not that there's so much to do there, it's that there's so much I CAN do there. I can do no better than quote Anita in West Side Story:

"I like the island Manhattan.
Smoke on your pipe and put that in!"
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Old 01-07-08, 04:53 PM   #2
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Towards the peak of my weight gain, I had to start using the seatbelt extenders on airplanes. Talk about embarrassing, having to ask for those. First time I flew after starting my diet, I had lost about 120 pounds, and had no problem with the normal seatbelt. As an added bonus, the seat itself was more comfortable, and the tray could be down without digging into my stomach
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Old 01-07-08, 04:55 PM   #3
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I can fit into a size 36 wast. I am a turkey hunter where I hunt is a long steep climb. I could make it to the top before but now I can go non stop.
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Old 01-07-08, 04:56 PM   #4
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A question for the Clydes and Athenas trying to lose a LOT of weight: do you have any good Non Scale Victories to share? A Non Scale Victory is something that you can do that you couldn't do before. Fitting into a smaller size, fitting into a diner booth, walking around in a major American city. It could be cycling related, but it doesn't have to be. I've included one below, a victory I achieved this Sunday. It also appears on my blog. Be warned, it has almost no cycling content.

****
Walking to my office without running out of breath. Wearing clothes that don't have to come from a "special" store. Putting on my seat belt and still be able to lean forward enough to reach the stereo controls. Fitting in ANY booth. Getting a hug without the huggee having to bend over my belly first. Fitting into my seat at a football game without annoying those around me. Sleeping on my belly. Not sweating for an hour after walking to my office. Looking REAL GOOD in tights
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Old 01-07-08, 05:19 PM   #5
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Your list sounds a lot like mine, Historian. I used to hate getting on airplanes, or finding a place to sit in a bar or restaurant in places like NY. I had to worry about tearing the pockets off of my pants on the chair arms...stuff like that. Now, I don't crowd the people next to me on the plane, can sit in just about any chair outside of schools for younger children, and the BIG one, is that I can just leave the house and walk or bike anywhere that I want. Being able to do what I want, when I want makes me feel so...free! I did not know how good it would feel, not to have to worry about stuff like that. Very liberating.
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Old 01-07-08, 05:51 PM   #6
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Well, I've lost 34" of waistline, no longer have to use Oxygen, can ride further in a single day than a lot of people ride a bike in a month, heck, make that a year! There's actually a giant ,list of these types of victories.
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Old 01-07-08, 08:55 PM   #7
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Good stuff Neil...
For myself -
#1 - it's being able to go into stores and buy normal, hip, stylish clothes. I used to have to catalog everything and it was such a gamble to figure out if you'd even like it or not. Heck, I'm wearing clothes I couldn't hardly fit into in high school.
#2 - That first gasp or 1-2 seconds that old acquaintances (stuck up girls from the past) do when they see you and mention how different you look...just fuels the fire if you ask me.
Finally #3 - No man boobs!!
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Old 01-07-08, 10:42 PM   #8
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Awesome to hear, Neil! I think I had a couple big ones:
1.) Fitting into a Mustang. Before I never really could drive such cars as, well, 560 pounds + sports car /= comfort! Then one day I got in and was like "holy crap..."

2.) Buying clothes at a store lacking "big and tall" in the name. This one was HUGE (literally) for me, when on a whim I went to Scheel's and needed a shirt (long story). So on a whim I tried on something off the rack.. and it fit! It became pretty novel to me for awhile . Now while I'm still a large size, I can get still fit into clothes purchased without lots of X's in front of them. In fact, other big victory was when I tore a pair of pants on vacation. In a panic, stuck in Nowhere, Arkansas I went to the only store in town - Wal Mart. Same thing as Scheel's, walked out with a pair of pants!
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Old 01-07-08, 10:52 PM   #9
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Awesome to hear, Neil! I think I had a couple big ones:
1.) Fitting into a Mustang. Before I never really could drive such cars as, well, 560 pounds + sports car /= comfort! Then one day I got in and was like "holy crap..."

2.) Buying clothes at a store lacking "big and tall" in the name. This one was HUGE (literally) for me, when on a whim I went to Scheel's and needed a shirt (long story). So on a whim I tried on something off the rack.. and it fit! It became pretty novel to me for awhile . Now while I'm still a large size, I can get still fit into clothes purchased without lots of X's in front of them. In fact, other big victory was when I tore a pair of pants on vacation. In a panic, stuck in Nowhere, Arkansas I went to the only store in town - Wal Mart. Same thing as Scheel's, walked out with a pair of pants!
Man, I can sure identify with BOTH of these
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Old 01-07-08, 11:12 PM   #10
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Pull-ups
First being able to do just one, then getting the chin over the bar multiple times.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:47 AM   #11
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My boss just told me I need to get new pants because these are looking baggy.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:39 PM   #12
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Being able to walk 3 miles or more without getting out of breath is very cool.
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Old 01-12-08, 08:57 AM   #13
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Enjoying riding my bike without thinking about weight loss--

When I started riding and losing weight in July of 2007, I was focused so much on pushing myself that it became work. Now I can ride and simply enjoy the scenery and motion. Whether I ride 2 miles or 15 doesn't matter, it's simply about being outside and enjoying life. The weight loss and physical changes are almost like a side benefit instead of the result of work, and that really astounds me.

This is a good topic, Historian.
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Old 02-11-08, 10:50 PM   #14
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A question for the Clydes and Athenas trying to lose a LOT of weight: do you have any good Non Scale Victories to share? A Non Scale Victory is something that you can do that you couldn't do before. Fitting into a smaller size, fitting into a diner booth, walking around in a major American city. It could be cycling related, but it doesn't have to be. I've included one below, a victory I achieved this Sunday. It also appears on my blog. Be warned, it has almost no cycling content.

****

No cycling on Sunday. Instead I've celebrated another non-scale victory in my first trip to New York City. Neil F. and his wife brought me to town for our joint birthday celebrations.

While some folks may think this is a trivial milestone to celebrate, it's actually quite an important one. The victory over obesity isn't just a matter of removing pounds from your frame. It's changing the way you think. The sort of super-obesity I suffered breeds an isolation in your soul as it limits your mobility. As a 385 pound man two years ago I never would have imagined I would spend a whole day in New York, and pound the pavement for nearly four miles. Regaining mobility means regaining the desire to do something with that mobility. Now, thanks to my shrinkage and the gentle prodding of Neil and his wife - their friendship in itself a benefit of my weight loss - I've seen Rembrandt paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, been through Central Park, visited The Strand bookstore, and seen an endless parade of helmetless, unsafe cyclists. Well, the last item I can see anywhere, but you get the idea. I can hardly wait for my next trip to the Big Apple. It's not that there's so much to do there, it's that there's so much I CAN do there. I can do no better than quote Anita in West Side Story:

"I like the island Manhattan.
Smoke on your pipe and put that in!"
Finally a picture from New York. In my 385 pound days I never thought I'd pose for something like this:

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Old 02-11-08, 11:31 PM   #15
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I just started trying to loose weight around the first of the year so my 'non scale victory' is not so big but I had a pair of pants that was uncomfortably tight 3 weeks ago and now I have to wear a belt or they hit my ankles after taking 2 steps. Also today one of my friends commented that "you are really starting to slim down". My scale is stuck at the same reading for the last 2 weeks but the muscle definition in my legs is more prominent and I am ridding a lot farther then I could do less then a month ago, and the pants thing so I know my fat is giving way to toned muscle.

Like I said not as big as most of you but after the complement I got today I couldn't stop smiling. Its a lot better to hear that then the 'your not looking so good, I'm worried about you' that I was hearing over the last couple years.
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Old 02-12-08, 07:09 AM   #16
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Many non-scale victories.

Going from 48" waist dress pants to 34" waist dress pants in less than 16 months. I feel better.

Going from not being able to walk 3 miles in an hour to running 3.5 miles in less than 30 minutes in less than 2 years.

Going from a resting heart rate of over 75 to a resting heart rate of under 50 in less than 16 months.

There are many more, and most of this has very little to do with bicycles, because I just started with a bicycle about 7 months ago and use it as only part of my training.
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Old 02-12-08, 07:24 AM   #17
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From the same trip to NYC. Seen on the streets in Manhattan:





a quickr pickr post
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Old 02-12-08, 08:51 AM   #18
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When I started riding to work last Spring, I hd no idea what it would lead to. Initially it was more for fun than anything else. I did a test run and it appeared to be something I should be able to achieve. The first time I did ride to work things did not go as planned as someone hit me when their failed to remain at their stop sign. This was an omenous start to my "improve my health" idea. Luckily the injuries were minor, and my bike was replaced by the Insurance company. A later on April 1st I started realy commuting.

It is now 10 months later, and as I rode more I become more adapt at dealing with weather. I have now gotten to the point where I've only missed 4 days of commuting since November due to weather. When I started the riding I would have never thought that within 10 months I'd ride 2000 miles. This summer I'd hit the 1000 mile mark and didn't realize how far this was until we took a car trip from Buffalo NY to Bar Harbor Maine. That trip was nearly 1000 miles one way. I could not believe that I'd ridden that distance on a bike, and it now seems so simple. At the start of all this riding I thought a 30 mile ride was very long. Now I am planning for a Summer ride where I will go from my house 1 mile up the road to the Erie canal and will follow it all the way to Pittsford NY where my sister lives. That should be about 75 miles.

Here is the good:
- My blood pressure went from border-line bad to within the range of acceptable
- My aerobic capacity has clearly increased
- I lost a little weight, but I need to further improve my diet to get to where I need to be
- My wife tells me legs are strong and have excellent muscle tone
- I am also planning to start adding upper body workout to further enhance my general health, and it should complement my cycling as well.

Happy riding,
André
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