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  1. #1
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Breaking Down the Walls of Denial

    I just finished reading the "Fat Person Mentality" thread and was inspired to get honest about something; my own personal struggle with my weight. I briefly considered posting my thoughts there, but sensing a need for accountability, I thought it would be better to start my own thread. I have posted many times here, but have never really talked about my own journey before today.

    I have read many threads/posts on this particular sub-forum and I have found myself inspired, appalled, amused, intrigued, and everything in between many times over. I have been most affected by the writings of Tom Stormcrowe, Sayre Kulp, The Historian, Mr. Beanz, and Peter_C. There were many others, I'm sure, but these come to mind most readily. I would like to thank these and all the folks who have taken a risk and made themselves vulnerable to readers here in Clydesdales & Athenas. The things that I've read here since becoming a member a little over a year ago have emboldened me to allow you, my peers, a glimpse into my personal battle with the bulge.

    I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Growing up on comfort food, bread and butter with every meal, and daily desserts instilled in me early a tendency to turn to food for solace. Food has always been there for me; more so than family, friends, music, or other interests ever seemed to be. As soon as I hit puberty I began to put on weight. One of my most poignant memories was having a classmate yell out, "Look at the rolls on that guy!" while we were all getting dressed after swim class. I think I was about twelve years old. Since then I have always been self-conscious about my weight and my appearance.

    In my adult years I have weighed as little as 163 pounds and as much as 325; in essence I have been twice the man I once was. Today I weigh 297 lbs and I have been hovering between here and 10 to 15 pounds heavier for a number of years. My low (163) weight was achieved by simply moving away from home; I was somewhere around 210 lbs when I moved to Ontario at 19. I landed a job in a factory, and the physical labor combined with my poor eating habits led to my weight loss. In later years I took a more sedentary job (taxi driver), got married, had kids, and started putting on the weight. I managed to double my weight in only a few years.

    Before my first kids (twins) were born I got clean; drugs and a partying lifestyle had also contributed to my weight loss and I replaced those things with food. I have remained clean from all drugs (including alcohol) for almost 20 years now and I have a support group that I remain active in. Through my recovery I have made profound changes in my character, curbed other destructive behaviours, and have become a productive member of society. Food, however, remains my vice. I remain abstinent even though my current wife (the third Mrs. Clean) is a social drinker; we were at a Halloween party tonight and I was the designated driver. I can resist the temptation to drink, but I spent the night snacking on potato chips, countless snack-sized chocolate bars, and helped myself to five or six slices of pizza. Pop, thank goodness, is not a weakness of mine and I spent the night drinking club soda with lime.

    Anyway, to make a long story a little bit shorter, I will try to summarize what I am attempting to say in a couple of paragraphs: I was deeply affected by what I read in the aforementioned thread, especially when one of the posters shared a story about an amusement park ride and his difficulty in being strapped therein. I had a similar experience years ago, and had to delay everyone's ride while I got off and slunk my way down from the platform. I have not been on a ride since. My wife has recently joined Weight Watchers and has lost 26 lbs. We have a 3-year-old son at home. I want to be able to go on amusement rides, share my wife's weight loss successes, and be there for my son instead of dropping dead due to a weight-related health issue before he has a chance to grow up.

    I suffered a spinal fracture in 2006 and will soon finish my retraining program in a new career. I picked up cycling as a form of exercise a couple of years ago since I hate going to the gym, but I knew I needed to do something to get the unnecessary strain off of my back. I am not an avid cyclist, but I do try to commute on my bike regularly and I also cycle recreationally. I estimate my mileage to have been between 1000-2000 km (~600-1200 miles) per year over the last two, and I hope to increase that dramatically over the next number of years. I would like to get down to the low 200s, and maybe even cross that magical Clydesdale barrier of 200 lbs. One thing I learned in my early struggle with substance abuse is that I can't make profound changes to my character and in my habits alone, so I am making myself accountable to all of you here in Clydesdales and Athenas. My first step is to follow my wife's example for healthy eating since she is taking a very sensible approach. I also plan to ride my bike at least once per day, even if it's only for a short ride, and not just when I need to commute somewhere. I already have my gear for winter since I commuted through last year's ice and snow, so a trainer is not necessary. Lastly I plan to check in here with you on a regular basis to let you know how I'm doing.

    Thanks for reading, and for all of your inspiring stories. Ride safe!
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Wow, reading this really reminded me of how I turned to comfort food when I quit smoking 13 years ago, instead of smokey treats, I'd get fried potato ole's from the taco place down the road near the factory where I worked. Since you've posted and made yourself accountable, I want to invite you to post in the 'Biggest Looser' thread, it's not a competition but a weekly weigh-in and support thread. Come on over, I need to have the support as much as anyone, everyone I started to work on weightloss with this year in the non-virtual world has dropped out. That also reminds me of quitting smoking, the last time I quit I did it with a group and one-by-one they dropped out and quit quitting. Sorry for the rambling, I just woke up and I'm typing this in a brain fog.

  3. #3
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    This is my first post on this forum. I have been above 200 since I was 14 or for 40 years. I have had 2 other times in my life when I've lost considerable weight. In 1975-1978 I went from 320 to 205 and In 1993-1995 when I went from 325 to 240. In August of 2009 I weighed 425. I "decided" to lose weight by exercising at the Y. From Aug 2009 to Feb 2010 I lost 25#.The only way I knew this was I had to go to the docter to have a cyst removed and he had a scale with enough capacity to weigh me.He required me to have blood work done and they found I had type 2 Diabetes and high Cholesterol. He prescribed 6 pills a day,many at the maximum dose.He also said 1800 calories a day. My response was "Impossible".Well, the side effects of the medicine were so severe that I couldn't eat very much anyhow. Back in at his office a month later to see how I was doing and I'd lost 25#. He said " You keep losing weight and we'll be able to lower your medication."Finally I'd found the perfect motivation to really make lasting changes to my fitness.

    Jumping ahead to today, Weight 253, resting heartrate 46,down to minimum dose of just one of the 4 medicines I was taking. The hardest thing is the plateus. I don't lose weight linearly. Exercise seems to be a way to break thru these motivational roadblocks. However, I also found that my body adapts very quickly to any form of exercise. Point in case Walking. This summer to shake things up, I started long walks. I have a Garmin FR60 heartrate/speed/cadence ect monitor. It also estimates Calories burned. I went on a 4.5 mile walk it estimated 1160 calories. I kept adding distance each day. 2 weeks later I walked 8.2 miles. Estimated Calories 985.

    Bicycling is the latest addition to my exercise program. It helped me blast the latest plateau. Lost 15# this month. I told myself that when I got below 250 I'd start running. I think bicycling will get me simular results without the impact damage.


    irclean: Find a nonfood reward system. Expect to plateau. How you deal with it is how you'll succeed. Think long term. Can I continue with whatever, forever? Keep changing things up.
    Last edited by jethro56; 10-31-10 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Not Done

  4. #4
    Senior Member retnav94's Avatar
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    Most of us who hang out in this forum struggle with weight or have at some point, so we identify to some degree with the majority of the folks that post here. I am 54 and my adult weight numbers are almost identical to yours. In may I decided that being 311 was not what I wanted anymore. I mean I really decided, not just kind of decided. Not the too numerous to count false starts I had in the past twenty years but a real decision to make some changes. We are all different. I am not in any way assuming you are identical to me or anyone else for that matter, however, there were some facts that helped me start the endeavor.

    1. I am fat. Not big boned, bones don't jiggle.
    2. Being fat is not something I need to be ashamed of, if someone else has issue with my size it is their problem.
    3. I refuse to beat myself up for poor choices in the past. (this was a new revelation, I had done this for years.) It is what it is. The past doesn't change.
    4. Focus on me. Be positively selfish.

    I started walking because I am lazy at times. (normally it is the times that I am awake). I made a point of walking everyday, first 2 miles now 5 a day. The weight dropped off at a very steady pace. I also focused on 3 small meals with fruit in between. It has been working for me. I only picked up cycling when I hurt my foot and the weight loss has been much slower. The foot is better so I am going to do both. I have only lost 65lbs of the 130 I want to, but I feel like I have lost 200. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the physical things in life and my confidence is at an all time high. The key to weight is the same as the key to cycling, YOU are the driving force behind both. No one is putting food in your mouth or helping you turn those pedals. Good luck, and you are definitely in the right forum for support. Lots of good folks in here.
    Last edited by retnav94; 10-31-10 at 06:51 AM.
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  5. #5
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    irclean, that was wonderful "introduction," and I'll join BigPolishJimmy in inviting you to participate in the Biggest Loser thread (you too, jethro). And don't discount your activities as a cyclist - you say you aren't an avid one, but in my book anyone who has the determination to commute, particularly in bad weather, is avid, in all the very best senses of the word.

    Jethro, your doctor is right about weight loss and how it can change your need for meds. When I was 304, my doctor put me on a low dosage of hypertension meds, including a little bit of a diuretic, plus a statin for cholesterol. They worked, and I was lucky not to have any side effects from any of them, but my cholesterol hovered pretty consistently at just under the "acceptable" threshold of 200 - I think it was about 190 or so. My last time in, in late September, I was 220 pounds, and my blood tests showed a total cholesterol of 124, with LDL at 60 and HDL at 61. How much of that was weight loss and how much was the change in eating that led to the weight loss I'll never know. I know I seldom eat red meat now, and cheese consumption has just about dropped off the chart - much my own pizza-loving chagrin. But I know high cholesterol can actually be caused by obesity, too, regardless of diet. Anyway, the net result of the weight loss so far on my meds is the doctor deleting the diuretic. I hope that if I'm able to get under 200 and stay there, the other hypertension med can go by the wayside. As far as the statin goes, the doctor is hesitant to drop it, as he says they've been shown to provide other cardiac benefits, and my family has a history of heart disease, so I might have to stay on that. But for the first time in, like, forever, I've got at least some hope for a med-free future.
    Craig in Indy

  6. #6
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    My cholesterol levels are very similar to yours (CraigB) and the doc said the same thing ( statins ...other benefits) at least now I only take 10mg instead of 40mg.

  7. #7
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies thus far, and I will join the "Biggest Loser" thread. I already weigh myself once per week so I will endeavor to post the results regularly. I have read and identified with many posts here in Clydesdales & Athenas, but I feel that now the time has come to be more than a fly on the wall. I will instead use this sub-forum as my support group for not just losing weight, but adopting a healthy lifestyle that revolves around cycling.

    Here I am with my small fleet; I plan to use this pic as a starting point for my weight loss goals:



    And here is my little guy for whom I'd like to set an example of a healthy, cycling lifestyle:



    Edit: Can someone please post a link to the "Biggest Loser" thread? I can't seem to find it.
    Last edited by irclean; 10-31-10 at 10:53 AM.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Welcome aboard the party that never ends. If you need to talk to someone privately, feel free to PM me.

  9. #9
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Or me, as well. My PM box is always open.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Or me, as well. My PM box is always open.
    And staffed 24/7, it seems. :-)

  11. #11
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    And staffed 24/7, it seems. :-)
    What can I say.....I get a prompt to my phone if I get a PM, or if I get specific email messages. I truly love custom filters and forwarding.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Welcome aboard the party that never ends. If you need to talk to someone privately, feel free to PM me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Or me, as well. My PM box is always open.
    Thanks, guys! And if you have that link to the "Biggest Loser" thread I'd really appreciate it.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  13. #13
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by irclean View Post
    Thanks, guys! And if you have that link to the "Biggest Loser" thread I'd really appreciate it.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?690293-2010-Clydesdales-Athenas-Biggest-Loser-Week-43-10-24-10-30-Come-join-us!!!

    BigPolishJimmy posts a new thread each week.

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