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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 01-30-11, 12:14 PM   #1
bdinger
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It's about time I came back

Hi C&A,
It's been a long time (too long) since I've been a regular, and it's time for me to come back. It's, frankly, been a tough two years and I'm ready for the clean slate I've been given. Those who remember know that I went from a nearly 600 pound man on his deathbed to down to 330 and riding a 135 mile gravel grinder. Since then, though, it's been on the down slope. I've fallen out with and cut my old riding partner/good friend out of my life, been on a rollercoaster of drugs prescribed by "doctors", realized I was an alcoholic, had a rather scary run in with high blood pressure, and haven't ridden a bike in over six months. I can only thank God for my wife, my children, my actual doctor, and AA for catching me before everything fell apart. So herein lies a true, raw, and probably at times disturbing tale of a Clyde who lost his way.

Almost two years ago now my old riding partner and I had a falling out. I won't get into details, but the summary is that it did a rather excellent job of completely throwing me off on my hardcore cycling. Shortly before that the local newspaper had done a story on me and while flattering, frankly it threw me completely off. No longer was I an anonymous fat guy on a bike, no now I was someone who had things expected of them on the bike. I was stopped and asked for advice, held up to a higher standard, and overall just completely thrown off by the attention.

Early last year (2010) after seeing a therapist for about 9 months, I was sent to a "psychiatrist" to help with some issues I had that were "diagnosed" as ADHD. After meeting with me for all of 15 minutes - which he spent typing on his laptop - the "psychiatrist" prescribed me Adderall XR, which is a very close relative to crystal meth. At first it was great - I had focus, loads of energy, and absolutely no appetite. I rode my bike with vigor on little sleep and little food, perfect!

Along the way stress was getting worse at work, and so on the weekends I drank more and more. I've always drank a lot, in retrospect even my best friend said "yeah, I wondered about you", he was the only one who really knew as he had lived with me for three years. It was a clear pattern, as the stress and annoyance with others got hotter, the drinking increased. It always has, but was overshadowed by the food consumption at the same time.

Sometime in May, one day I came home and literally collapsed into a ball of tears. I had no idea why, and it scared the hell out of my wife. Went back to the "doctor" and the prescription must be right - his nurse said - and so she'd add an anti-depressant to counter any side effects of the meth. Great idea. After a couple of weeks it started to work, sort of, but I was still pretty unpredictable. I lost my sex drive, I lost my desire to ride my bike or work out, but hey - I still felt pretty good and wasn't depressed at least. Never mind that I'd been fine two years ago..

Meanwhile I kept increasing how much I drank, somewhat hiding it. Everything came to a head in August, one Friday night instead of my usual Friday twelve pack of Fat Tire, I picked up a good bottle of whiskey. I really won't get into it further, but that night I hit the lowest point I've ever hit, and knew it was time to seek help. The irony of the fact that just two days before watching a co-worker photocopy his AA "cards" for the court after finishing his DUI sentence, I commented on how "horrible" the meetings must have been. Not as horrible as, frankly, almost losing everything. No I didn't go to jail, no I didn't get a ticket, but no I won't get into it.

Shortly thereafter I flushed the Adderall down the toilet. I had enough, at that point I was happily miserable, not riding my bike, and not really enjoying anything. I went to my first AA meeting on a Tuesday night, scared as hell but welcomed with open arms. IN the past 5 months I've discovered that no therapist can really help with something like that, it takes a brotherhood of those who have been in the same hell to bring you out of it.

I focused on that, and picking up the pieces of everything while also working to make my work life more sane for the past 5 months. About a month ago while at my actual M.D. (a great, great guy) I got a scare with my blood pressure.

I've tried buying a spin bike to use inside, and I've tried dieting. The spin bike is great but frankly, I miss the pure serenity of riding my bike outside. I miss riding into work every day listening to music, the power of my legs and the strength of my conviction being more powerful than my V8 powered truck. I also miss C&A, reading stories and helping other Clydes on their journeys.

So I'm back. I'm not sure why I typed all of that, aside from my wife and the folks in AA only one other person - my best friend - knows all of the above. My co-workers still ask me for beer suggestions, but really, nobody has any idea. All I know for certain? I'm ready to be back.
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Old 01-30-11, 12:42 PM   #2
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Welcome back.

Sometimes you have to fall hard to realize how bad you are, now you know where you are, it's time to heal and get yourself better.

Get back to riding, seek things that make you happy. At this point that might be easier said then done. Either way, I am sure everyone here will be helpful with advice and support.

I always have a ear open if you need someone to holla at, pm is always open. Consider it a open invitation if you ever need to vent, pump your chest out on an achievement or anything...

Mike

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Old 01-30-11, 12:50 PM   #3
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Welcome back, Ben.
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Old 01-30-11, 12:55 PM   #4
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Ben-
It's good to see you back. I'd been following your blog and could see that something was going on...been worried about you man.
I'm glad you've finally found what you need (I hope, anyway). Too many times, we see weight loss as purely "Calories in...Calories out" and ignore the underlying causes, often traiding one addiction for another. (one of the reasons that I don't think I'm a good candidate for bariatric surgery.)

"One day at a time" can sometimes come down to one minute or hour at a time, and I can commiserate with you on that as someone with his own issues to work through.
The good news is that even though you my be rejoining your therapy (riding) and feeling that you are kind of starting at zero again...you, in reality will regain your fitness level faster this time. Just don't get too frustrated with your self (heh...my advice to myself as well. I figure if I keep starting over, one of these times it'll stick).

Hang in there....we're all pulling for ya.
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Old 01-30-11, 01:38 PM   #5
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Hi Ben,

I'm sorry you've had to deal with everything you've described above. I wish I could say something stronger than I'm sorry, or offer some solutions for you. I can't.

All I can say is that I've always admired you and your accomplishments. I still do. I'm proud of you. As I wrote a year or so ago, the question is if you still are proud of yourself. I hope you can say "Yes" to that.

I consider myself very fortunate to be your friend. Anytime you need to talk to someone, I'm there, Ben.

Your friend, Neil B.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:32 PM   #6
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Welcome back Ben, you have been missed. While reading your post, I could only think, "wow, and he's still here". You are stronger than you can ever imagine. We all have our tales of hitting the bottom; some are worse than others, but the one constant seems to be that Clydes are Weebles. We wobble, but won't fall down. You are a Weeble and so am I. Wobbling is just part of what we do, but we always get back up. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us and remember that you always have friends here.
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Old 01-30-11, 04:26 PM   #7
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Ben -

I'm new here in the past year or so, so this is my first time meeting you. Thanks to The Historian for bumping a few of your older threads back to the top.

Welcome back.
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Old 01-30-11, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdohertyjr View Post
Welcome back.

Sometimes you have to fall hard to realize how bad you are, now you know where you are, it's time to heal and get yourself better.

Get back to riding, seek things that make you happy. At this point that might be easier said then done. Either way, I am sure everyone here will be helpful with advice and support.

I always have a ear open if you need someone to holla at, pm is always open. Consider it a open invitation if you ever need to vent, pump your chest out on an achievement or anything...

Mike
Thanks Mike! Six months, heck even two months ago I wasn't ready to get back on the bike. Now I'm ready, if only mother nature would cooperate with me..

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Welcome back, Ben.
Thanks, Ben!! Very glad to see that you're still here

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Originally Posted by Jtgyk View Post
Ben-
It's good to see you back. I'd been following your blog and could see that something was going on...been worried about you man.
I'm glad you've finally found what you need (I hope, anyway). Too many times, we see weight loss as purely "Calories in...Calories out" and ignore the underlying causes, often traiding one addiction for another. (one of the reasons that I don't think I'm a good candidate for bariatric surgery.)

"One day at a time" can sometimes come down to one minute or hour at a time, and I can commiserate with you on that as someone with his own issues to work through.
The good news is that even though you my be rejoining your therapy (riding) and feeling that you are kind of starting at zero again...you, in reality will regain your fitness level faster this time. Just don't get too frustrated with your self (heh...my advice to myself as well. I figure if I keep starting over, one of these times it'll stick).

Hang in there....we're all pulling for ya.
Heck, it can be a second at a time. These days I do a lot of meditation, and try to keep myself busy. I also practice a lot of forgiveness and temper control. Even a little bit of annoyance or resentment can spiral, and would lead me right back to the bottle. And I'll be damned if I ever go back. I have a little girl I made a promise to, and I won't be one of those Dads.

Starting at zero again, haha, I was just thinking that! It's going to be tough for a bit, but I'm going to give it a whirl and see what happens .

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Hi Ben,

I'm sorry you've had to deal with everything you've described above. I wish I could say something stronger than I'm sorry, or offer some solutions for you. I can't.

All I can say is that I've always admired you and your accomplishments. I still do. I'm proud of you. As I wrote a year or so ago, the question is if you still are proud of yourself. I hope you can say "Yes" to that.

I consider myself very fortunate to be your friend. Anytime you need to talk to someone, I'm there, Ben.

Your friend, Neil B.
And what a good friend you are, Neil. Thank you for sticking by me, and holding me up on a real platform, not the artificial one I've seen from others. It's cool that one of my heroes I can count as a friend, very cool in fact.

I think I'm finally proud of myself. Six months ago I wasn't, heck even two years ago I wasn't. Finally, I'm getting there.
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Old 01-30-11, 05:55 PM   #9
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Welcome back Ben, you have been missed. While reading your post, I could only think, "wow, and he's still here". You are stronger than you can ever imagine. We all have our tales of hitting the bottom; some are worse than others, but the one constant seems to be that Clydes are Weebles. We wobble, but won't fall down. You are a Weeble and so am I. Wobbling is just part of what we do, but we always get back up. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us and remember that you always have friends here.
My three year old calls them "Whoopies". I guess we're kind of like that, too! LOL Yeah I'm still here, it just took a little time to come back. Heck, I have been hiding out successfully for about five months now from everyone, the past year and a half from the bike. No more hiding, I see a very clear correlation between the downswing on my weight loss chart and how active I was on here.

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Ben -

I'm new here in the past year or so, so this is my first time meeting you. Thanks to The Historian for bumping a few of your older threads back to the top.

Welcome back.
Thank you! I'm planning to be around a bit more
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Old 01-30-11, 06:02 PM   #10
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I think I'm finally proud of myself. Six months ago I wasn't, heck even two years ago I wasn't. Finally, I'm getting there.
Ben, tonight, when you look in the mirror, say these these words aloud:

"I'm Ben, and I'm awesome!"

Repeat as needed.
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Old 01-30-11, 06:27 PM   #11
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I read the old thread that Neil bumped first and then this one. I'm new here and on my own journey. I am very thankful that I don't struggle with alcohol addiction and am one of those that can enjoy a drink or two on occasion without worry. My closest friend in my adult life was a recovering alcoholic and had celebrated 2 years sobriety not long before he received the diagnosis of the scariest word in the English language - Cancer... AA is a wonderful organization and along with family and a few of his musician friends, they were right there with him until the end. At his funeral, several of them spoke of his help to them even while he was dying. Recovery for him was particularly miraculous because he was a singer in a funk/jam band, in which I played bass guitar, so we were in bars several nights a month, but the bartenders knew to just put a pot of coffee on for Brian and he'd be good. I saw tremendous personal growth in him as he got further along in recovery; reconciling old relationships, even marrying his true love whom he had dumped for a woman 15 years younger than him just a year earlier because she lived on a lake and that meant better parties...

You are an inspiration to many people and admitting your alcoholism and seeking help for it is the hardest step you'll ever make, but the best. Now, you can LIVE!
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Old 01-30-11, 07:00 PM   #12
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Hi Ben,

Welcome back. One thing that I'm sure hasn't changed since you were last here is the amazing family of folks that make up the C&A forums. Really great people who always seem to have your back. I've only been around these forums for about a year, so I look forward to reading your insights.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:04 PM   #13
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Hi C&A,
It's been a long time (too long) since I've been a regular, and it's time for me to come back. It's, frankly, been a tough two years and I'm ready for the clean slate I've been given. Those who remember know that I went from a nearly 600 pound man on his deathbed to down to 330 and riding a 135 mile gravel grinder. Since then, though, it's been on the down slope. I've fallen out with and cut my old riding partner/good friend out of my life, been on a rollercoaster of drugs prescribed by "doctors", realized I was an alcoholic, had a rather scary run in with high blood pressure, and haven't ridden a bike in over six months. I can only thank God for my wife, my children, my actual doctor, and AA for catching me before everything fell apart. So herein lies a true, raw, and probably at times disturbing tale of a Clyde who lost his way.

Almost two years ago now my old riding partner and I had a falling out. I won't get into details, but the summary is that it did a rather excellent job of completely throwing me off on my hardcore cycling. Shortly before that the local newspaper had done a story on me and while flattering, frankly it threw me completely off. No longer was I an anonymous fat guy on a bike, no now I was someone who had things expected of them on the bike. I was stopped and asked for advice, held up to a higher standard, and overall just completely thrown off by the attention.

Early last year (2010) after seeing a therapist for about 9 months, I was sent to a "psychiatrist" to help with some issues I had that were "diagnosed" as ADHD. After meeting with me for all of 15 minutes - which he spent typing on his laptop - the "psychiatrist" prescribed me Adderall XR, which is a very close relative to crystal meth. At first it was great - I had focus, loads of energy, and absolutely no appetite. I rode my bike with vigor on little sleep and little food, perfect!

Along the way stress was getting worse at work, and so on the weekends I drank more and more. I've always drank a lot, in retrospect even my best friend said "yeah, I wondered about you", he was the only one who really knew as he had lived with me for three years. It was a clear pattern, as the stress and annoyance with others got hotter, the drinking increased. It always has, but was overshadowed by the food consumption at the same time.

Sometime in May, one day I came home and literally collapsed into a ball of tears. I had no idea why, and it scared the hell out of my wife. Went back to the "doctor" and the prescription must be right - his nurse said - and so she'd add an anti-depressant to counter any side effects of the meth. Great idea. After a couple of weeks it started to work, sort of, but I was still pretty unpredictable. I lost my sex drive, I lost my desire to ride my bike or work out, but hey - I still felt pretty good and wasn't depressed at least. Never mind that I'd been fine two years ago..

Meanwhile I kept increasing how much I drank, somewhat hiding it. Everything came to a head in August, one Friday night instead of my usual Friday twelve pack of Fat Tire, I picked up a good bottle of whiskey. I really won't get into it further, but that night I hit the lowest point I've ever hit, and knew it was time to seek help. The irony of the fact that just two days before watching a co-worker photocopy his AA "cards" for the court after finishing his DUI sentence, I commented on how "horrible" the meetings must have been. Not as horrible as, frankly, almost losing everything. No I didn't go to jail, no I didn't get a ticket, but no I won't get into it.

Shortly thereafter I flushed the Adderall down the toilet. I had enough, at that point I was happily miserable, not riding my bike, and not really enjoying anything. I went to my first AA meeting on a Tuesday night, scared as hell but welcomed with open arms. IN the past 5 months I've discovered that no therapist can really help with something like that, it takes a brotherhood of those who have been in the same hell to bring you out of it.

I focused on that, and picking up the pieces of everything while also working to make my work life more sane for the past 5 months. About a month ago while at my actual M.D. (a great, great guy) I got a scare with my blood pressure.

I've tried buying a spin bike to use inside, and I've tried dieting. The spin bike is great but frankly, I miss the pure serenity of riding my bike outside. I miss riding into work every day listening to music, the power of my legs and the strength of my conviction being more powerful than my V8 powered truck. I also miss C&A, reading stories and helping other Clydes on their journeys.

So I'm back. I'm not sure why I typed all of that, aside from my wife and the folks in AA only one other person - my best friend - knows all of the above. My co-workers still ask me for beer suggestions, but really, nobody has any idea. All I know for certain? I'm ready to be back.
Welcome back Ben.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:12 PM   #14
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Shortly before that the local newspaper had done a story on me and while flattering, frankly it threw me completely off. No longer was I an anonymous fat guy on a bike, no now I was someone who had things expected of them on the bike. I was stopped and asked for advice, held up to a higher standard, and overall just completely thrown off by the attention.
The trick is to have friends who see you as Ben, and not as the Chubby Super Biker. And to KNOW you have friends who see you as Ben.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:17 PM   #15
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So Ben, what are you planning on doing on the bikes in 2011?

If I get working knees in time to ride across the US this year, would you join me? I keep a dry campsite, and I'll not drink anything stronger than diet root beer.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:50 PM   #16
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Welcome back. Let's hope it's a long-lasting relationship.
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Old 01-30-11, 09:27 PM   #17
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I'm new here. Welcome back.
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Old 01-30-11, 11:51 PM   #18
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Glad you're back, Ben because I always enjoyed reading your posts.
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Old 01-31-11, 10:16 AM   #19
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Welcome back Ben. It's kinda hard to remember your extended family when life starts closing in, but here we are.
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Old 01-31-11, 10:26 AM   #20
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WB, Ben. I don't know that our electronic paths have crossed in the limited time I've been around here - I joined a few years back and promptly dropped out of sight, before coming back last summer and finding all kinds of inspiration and support among my friends here. I wish you the best of luck in all your efforts.
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Old 01-31-11, 11:45 AM   #21
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Welcome back, Ben. I have kinda been a stranger around here for the last year or so myself. Time for both of us go get back on the bike and ride!!
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Old 01-31-11, 10:16 PM   #22
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Ben,

I know you don't need the pressure, but dude, you are still my hero.

Welcome back to the short bus. I have missed you.
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Old 02-01-11, 08:35 PM   #23
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Welcome back Ben, I have been laying low here, but check in a couple times a week to see how everyone is doing. You have been missed and I'm glad you are back. The thing I love about the C&A is that sometimes you give, and sometimes receive what ever need out of here.
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Old 02-01-11, 11:52 PM   #24
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Welcome back Ben.

For what it's worth, you can just be Ben and still be a rather amazing person. We've known this for awhile!

I need to not be so scarce around these parts myself.
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Old 02-02-11, 04:32 AM   #25
vXhanz
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Welcome back!
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