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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 07-14-08, 10:09 PM   #1
SoCal Commute
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The car made me Fat!!

Ok, new to the forums and just wanted to introduce myself in the clyde's section as well. I'm a 280 pound college student.

Here's my story: Graduated HS 3 years ago at 200 lb's, went straight into the work force where I had to drive as my job(mobile tech support and such) and IMHO 80 lb's in 3 years is a bit much. I'm a total sugar addict and have decided it's time to ditch the car as much as I can, so I'll be heading down to the local police auction here in the next week to see if I can get a decent bike there. If I strike out, it's on the the LBS.

My plan is to drive to work and commute to school (I'd ditch the car all together but I need it for work.) It's 10 miles one way, so here's what I'm thinking. I'll start out local for the first 2 weeks or so, get my bike legs back. Then do the commute from work to school and back 2 or 3 times a week for about a month. Then I'll step it up a notch and do the double trip in the morning and night once or twice a week for another month. Finally after 2 (or 3 depending on how I feel) months I'll do the double commute 3 times a week.

My goal is to commute to school exclusively by bike by 6-8 months. A total of 200 miles a week. I realise this will be pretty tough, but I need a plan because I'm not the go to the gym and run on a treadmill kind of guy. I have to go somewhere or do something for me to not feel like I could have spent my time more effectively.

What do you guys think? I really need the input from some of you experts
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Old 07-14-08, 10:17 PM   #2
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You'll need to build up to it, but you have an achievable goal here. Welcome to CLyde's.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:19 PM   #3
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Ok, new to the forums and just wanted to introduce myself in the clyde's section as well. I'm a 280 pound college student.

Here's my story: Graduated HS 3 years ago at 200 lb's, went straight into the work force where I had to drive as my job(mobile tech support and such) and IMHO 80 lb's in 3 years is a bit much. I'm a total sugar addict and have decided it's time to ditch the car as much as I can, so I'll be heading down to the local police auction here in the next week to see if I can get a decent bike there. If I strike out, it's on the the LBS.

My plan is to drive to work and commute to school (I'd ditch the car all together but I need it for work.) It's 10 miles one way, so here's what I'm thinking. I'll start out local for the first 2 weeks or so, get my bike legs back. Then do the commute from work to school and back 2 or 3 times a week for about a month. Then I'll step it up a notch and do the double trip in the morning and night once or twice a week for another month. Finally after 2 (or 3 depending on how I feel) months I'll do the double commute 3 times a week.

My goal is to commute to school exclusively by bike by 6-8 months. A total of 200 miles a week. I realise this will be pretty tough, but I need a plan because I'm not the go to the gym and run on a treadmill kind of guy. I have to go somewhere or do something for me to not feel like I could have spent my time more effectively.

What do you guys think? I really need the input from some of you experts
I think your plan is good and ambitious, but you really shouldn't blame the car for your "fat."
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Old 07-14-08, 10:23 PM   #4
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lol, yeah I know it's mainly because I've been lazy and I shouldn't blame my car. But you have to admit that having gotten my license at 18 and 3 yrs later having over 200k under my belt is a lot and probably didn't help any.
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Old 07-14-08, 11:48 PM   #5
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Yep, sugar made you fat, not the car.
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Old 07-15-08, 04:45 AM   #6
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Stick with the plan, however you forgot to include the following key sentence:

"Part of my plan also is to cut back on my sugar intake."
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Old 07-15-08, 05:13 AM   #7
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You should really look at a lifestyle change, and not just a bike change. Change in diet and change in exercise. Just my opinion. I have seen too many people just make a temporary change in diet and lose fat and gain muscle and then go back to where they were before, and weigh more than what they started a year before.

I am not saying completely remove sugar, but change your entire diet and get your sweets from fruits and vegetables. It is amazing how good pineapple tastes again for me and I love chocolate, so it is hard for me to give up, but I only have it once in a while and eat a lot more fruit.
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Old 07-15-08, 05:57 AM   #8
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I agree with the lifestyle change suggestions. You've got a good progressive plan for exercise using the bicycle -- now you want to also think about a progressive approach to cleaning up your act in other ways, including (but not limited to) diet. Here are some small incremental changes you can think about making:
  • Cut down soda, or get rid of it altogether. There's a lot of calories in this stuff, and with the sugar and caffeine, it jerks your whole system around -- it messes with your natural appetite, makes you feel artificially energized or artificially fatigued, etc. Start weaning yourself off soda.
  • Substitute some whole grains for the white stuff -- it's healthier and more filling. If you buy bread from the supermarket, or eat pasta or rice, look for something that's got a significant amount of whole grain. Cut way down on white potatoes.
  • Add the "good stuff". When you eat, start with vegetables. If you fill up with the good stuff, you won't be hungry for the bad stuff.
  • Practice portion control. If I told you what a reasonable portion of food was, I'd probably scare you off, so I won't go there yet...but I will suggest that when eating, you 1)take a smaller portion, 2)eat it slowly and with attention (not gobbling, and not while reading a book/watching television/playing a video game), and 3)wait a good ten minutes after you finish it, before you eat anything else. Most people gobble their food so fast that their body's signals can't catch up in time -- the "still hungry" signals don't go away as soon as the food hits your stomach, you have to wait a bit.
  • Cut down on stimulants like caffeine. Anything that artificially affects your energy levels is going to interfere with your ability to listen to your body and properly decipher its messages (do I really feel tired, do I really feel hungry, etc.).
  • Keep more regular hours and get adequate sleep. If you're tired from insufficient sleep, you won't have energy to exercise.
Try something off this list each week, stick with it, and see how it goes.
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Old 07-15-08, 06:07 AM   #9
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Arrrrgghh! Lil Brown! Messing with the IT lifestyle! No sugars? No Soda? NO CAFFEINE! *lol* I drink Diet right now-that was a switch, but I do love whole grain bread and pasta and a good salad.

That eating portion control is the hardest, especially when you are facing 3 pm and haven't gone to lunch yet because you were knee deep in editing tables that should have been written to by a process that went errant. You come up for air, and suddenly "brave warrior needs food......badly".

Physicsdiet.com, dailyplate, fitday, etc all give you the ability to track weight, water intake, and food/calories and have neat charts/graphs if you are into that for visual tracking. Each site is a little different focus, but there are lots out there to monitor this stuff with. Ive found that im a visual person so If I can look at a chart that shows me im being a sludge and getting off track or nudging back up, I adjust accordingly.

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Old 07-15-08, 06:42 AM   #10
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That eating portion control is the hardest, especially when you are facing 3 pm and haven't gone to lunch yet because you were knee deep in editing tables that should have been written to by a process that went errant. You come up for air, and suddenly "brave warrior needs food......badly".
And that is why you carry a Clif bar, or keep healthy snacks around, so it doesn't get to that state. It's easy to do, it's just that most people want a nice burger platter or whatever for lunch, and can't think of a Clif bar as a meal...well, it is. It's also convenient enough that there's no need to miss a meal and then end up starvin' like Marvin three hours later -- and given that that's the case, I think it's really important to not consider that raging hunger as something you can't help. It's not like you're hungry because you just did a 20 mile forced march with a 60 pound pack on your back and no breakfast...you're hungry because you didn't keep regular habits. Think about it: when you were a kid, meals were served at certain times, your mom and dad didn't let you have too many sweets or too much rich food, they made you go out and play, and bedtime was bedtime. Metabolism changes as we get older, but it's not to blame for adults getting out of shape. A lot of it must be attributed to bad habits that, if the truth be told, we choose, and we could choose to do otherwise. We can keep the kind of regular habits that kept us healthy as kids; we just don't, because it's work and we don't have mom and dad standing over us and making us.

If your job is demanding and prone to disruption, carry a convenient lunch substitute that you can literally tuck into a pocket. If there's nothing healthy to eat at the company cafeteria, brown-bag. If you're not eating at sensible intervals, ask yourself why -- were you really unable to eat, or were you surfing the web or doing something else that you could have set aside? If you're tired and sleep deprived, why didn't you go to bed at a reasonable hour -- because you were doing something necessary, or because you were playing World of Warcrack? If your sleep quality isn't good, does it have something to do with all the caffeine you're sucking down, or the fact that you go to sleep at a different hour every day?

Very few people are in a situation where they really can't hold to regular habits. For people who claim to have "tried everything" and it hasn't worked, you might take a hard look at something as simple as this.
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Old 07-15-08, 06:49 AM   #11
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200 miles a week is possible, but work up to it. I've been riding for two and a half years now, and the 200 mile weeks I'm working on right now are difficult. You just don't realize how much until you consistently are on the bike THAT much for THAT long. Slowly, very slowly, work up to it and you'll be fine.
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Old 07-15-08, 06:51 AM   #12
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when it come to the computers they will wait 15 more minute while root gets an sandwhich. maybe i am just a jaded greybeard now.
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Old 07-15-08, 06:54 AM   #13
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when it come to the computers they will wait 15 more minute while root gets an sandwhich. maybe i am just a jaded greybeard now.
I learned that as well, and agree 110%. My lunch is from 12p-1p, everyone else can adjust accordingly .
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Old 07-15-08, 06:57 AM   #14
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*grin* done that...[60 lb pack, etc]

Whhoooo! THAT is hungry!

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Old 07-15-08, 07:21 AM   #15
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I used to be in IT (20 years) and got overweight because I thought everyone else had to come first, so I did the crappy food thing. Now I take pineapple in small containers and have them near me. I also have a Clif bar somewhere handy also. More water and it helps keep you full.

It had to be a lifestyle change for me or it was not going to work.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:34 AM   #16
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Wow, great tips guys, thanks.

I cut most of the sugars out of my diet about 2 months ago. I only have soda maybe once a month when I'm in a time crunch. My biggest problem is taking it slow and I've been working on that. Eating too fast makes me eat more.

Thanks for that tip flip, I work in IT and I guess I should revamp my thinking a little. Everyone can come first to an extent then they are just taking advantage of me.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:42 AM   #17
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If you're in IT I reccomend myfitnesspal.com, the site changed my life. Its calorie tracking, exercise tracking, and a GREAT community forums that come along with it. Plus they have recipies, challenges, fitness groups, etc, all free. I use it to track everything I do, and starting to use it really opened my eyes about my caloric intake. I tried fitday but it was just too complicated and the lack of a community just kinda made it.. blah in my eyes. Also for food, if you don't mind cooking, check out hungry-girl.com. Its a mailing list that basically provides low-cal versions of high cal foods - most of which are vegetarian friendly.

Plus - ladies like guys who can cook

It sounds like you want a lifestyle change, not just an exercise change I agree. As for sugar - a good way to get started is to cut out almost all sugarry foods for a week. You'll notice the cravings start to quickly subside after about day 3. Bet you never knew you could be addicted to sugar, huh?
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Old 07-15-08, 08:46 AM   #18
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Try riding 10 miles first to see if you've got the legs and lungs for it. You may be able to knock it out like a walk in the park or you'll find it the longest, hardest 10 miles ever and you'll miss the A/C in your car. If you find it difficult, then you'll have to work up to the distance which won't take more than a couple weeks if you ride 3-4x a week. Ride regularly and the weight will melt off. Eat healthier, normal portions and the weight will drop even faster. Remember, the fuel you use to ride has to be good otherwise your performance will suck. Good luck!
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Old 07-15-08, 08:47 AM   #19
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Plus - ladies like guys who can cook
+1 This also has the added convenience of saving money on dates by staying in and cooking plus you don't have to convince them to go back to your place (or hers) cuz you're already there.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:53 AM   #20
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Ill have to look at that other one (myfitnesspal). I like physicsdiet. Its based on a book written by the guy that created AutoDesk in the 80's, called "The Hacker's Diet". He pretty much approached the weight issue as a project/problem and tried to simplify it to a basic cal in/ cal out type of equation. He had lots of spreadsheets and stuff that would show rolling averages so when you hit the scale after a particular bad day and it was higher you could see that overall you were still losing. Physicsdiet.com just updated the interface and has a small forum that goes with it. Has some neat only charts you can customize. It probably over states resting maintenance metabolism, but most of the sites do-I just like seeing the trend line drop.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:54 AM   #21
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Oh, I kinda lied about shortcuts.. there are some safe ones.
-Green Tea
-Look up thermogenic foods. They're your best friends.
-Ice water. Your body has to burn calories to bring ice water up to body temperature. If you drink a gallon of ice water daily, your body burns about 140 calories. Not bad for drinking some water.

I also read Hacker's diet - really great book for those who are tech minded. The author did a great job at simplifying everything and explaining the mechanics of it all I really liked the whole eat-watch analogy!
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Old 07-15-08, 09:08 AM   #22
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EAT-NOW!

It's a really simplistic way of looking at things. He's no dietician, but he faced many of the issues we do-lousy hours, food, and stress. Granted all are controllable, but it's easy in any job to feel that you have to do just one more quick thing. His simplicity is something I needed-others like the 'warm fuzzy' approach and affirmation, some need boot camp type tactics or limited dietary choices. I know one guy that lost a ton eating only hot pockets and pot pies ( I call it dieting via poverty-damn we was poor in college!) All in all, whatever works for you works-you just have to find it.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:37 AM   #23
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Thanks for that tip flip, I work in IT and I guess I should revamp my thinking a little. Everyone can come first to an extent then they are just taking advantage of me.
DING DING DING! At my old job I worked 10 hr days (and kind of got paid for 8), and let everyone dictate my schedule to me. 9pm phone calls from half-drunk salesmen, 6am calls from overcaffinated warehouse workers - you name it. Lunch hours were a joke as my boss generall took a 12p-2pm lunch, and one of us always had to be there... you fill in the rest..

My "new" employer, it's a whole lot more employee-focused. Granted I'm high up on the proverbial totem pole, which does definitely help me dictate my now very normal schedule with normal lunch breaks. That's not to say I don't occasionally work odd hours - in fact quite often you'll find me doing email at night - but I also get the benefit of being able to leave early on a Friday if I'm done for the week. Here I have respect, and I give respect back - it's a whole different ballgame. Heck, I have a company phone, and I can count the times on one hand that it's rang after 6pm in the past 10 months.
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Old 07-15-08, 06:07 PM   #24
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Oh, I kinda lied about shortcuts.. there are some safe ones.

-Ice water. Your body has to burn calories to bring ice water up to body temperature. If you drink a gallon of ice water daily, your body burns about 140 calories. Not bad for drinking some water.
That's really interesting, I already drink ice water cuz I think it tastes better. Good to know I'm making my body work by doing it.

Keep em coming guys, every tip adds to my knowledge of what I need to change in my daily routine.
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