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  1. #1
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    40 Pounds Overweight, Looking to Slim Down

    Hey Guys,


    I think it's important to start by saying that I'm fifteen, going on sixteen in September. When I was a few years younger (10-12), I used to be an avid week end cyclist. I'd ride for maybe an hour to an hour and a half every day and (off of memory) had an average speed of 13-15 MPH and a max near 32. Unfortunately, I ended up damaging the cartridge and ligaments in my right knee in an unrelated incident. Because I was injured, I was under doctor's orders to not ride my bike or partake in any physical exercise other than what the physical therapist ordered. Being the kid that liked to eat and drink a lot of sugary sweets, I ended up gaining a lot of weight; I went from being underweight (around thirtieth percentile) to the eighty-fourth percentile. It has come to the point where I can barely ride for ten minutes at an average of 8 MPH. This is concerning.

    My question to you avid riders is this: how can I get myself in better shape? When I was younger, I had dreams of a pro career... being American, I wanted to be the next Lance Armstrong -- actually wanted to be the next Michael Rasmussen (without the blood doping), as he was my favorite because nobody could keep up with him on the climbs during the Tour de France. I think that's impossible, or rather, more unlikely than the 1% shot I had before.

    I have all the equipment at my disposal and am very committed to getting myself in better shape and being able to "fly" once more. I recently bought a 2005 LeMond Chambery (full Shimano Ultegra) for a little under a hundred dollars. I have access to a treadmill and other aerobic exercise machines (think I even have my old bike trainer somewhere).

    So do you guys have any training regimes that you could recommend to me? I'm willing to try anything. I've already made the decision to cut soda and all processed foods from my diet which I think will help weight loss.

  2. #2
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    disclaimer: I am not a doctor


    If younar etoo out of shape and or heavy, I wouldn't start out on a real bike. You need to see a therapist, a physical therapist and get checked out for muscle imbalance and any further knee rehab you might need to strengthen your legs. Next or if you get an ok from the doc. I would try interval sprints on an exercise bike. 30 second sprints followed by 1 minute rests. You should be able to do that 8-10 times pretty easily. Don't worry about resistance worry about pedaling as fast as you can. Use the same bike and track your results. You need cardio probably big time. As it starts to get easier up the resistance as long as your knees feel ok. Take it slow in in steps. Use elipticals and do some long walks as well.

    From the diet side your just going to have to get strict without starving yourself. It's not rocket science.

  3. #3
    Ride like the wind! nutmegTN's Avatar
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    Welcome! Hopefully the guys will have some great advice on training for you here.

    One thing I know is important is that you enjoy the exercise so that you will keep on doing it. Keep it fun.

    I think the tip you will hear the most is to just get out and ride. Don't worry that you can't go a certain distance, or a certain speed right now--just ride, and you will get better and stronger each day.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Eat less and ride more!
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  5. #5
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    Ditch the soda, drop the processed foods, and cut back on soft bread. Cut back on your meat intake. You don't have to go vegetarian, but we find that if we crank the meat portions up to what most consider normal, our pants get tight. Drink a glass of water before every meal. Up your water intake in general.

    Check with your medical people on whether you have any damaged stuff left to watch out for. You're probably fine to do things that aren't foolhardy.

    Learn to spin your pedals instead of mashing. (Very important for those who have had any sort of injury or weak knees). Go riding. Don't putt around lazily but don't hammer to the wall either. When you start to feel tired (not exhausted, just tired) come back. Do it again tomorrow. Work on going just a teeny bit faster this week than you were last week, but don't make any huge pushes. Improvements are not like a training montage, they're more like knitting a scarf or something.. lots of tiny steps added together over time.

    One can lose the habit of sugary stuff. I for instance can't stand chocolate, it's too sweet. I like to drink things like - water with a squeeze of lime juice or similar in it.. not even a big squeeze; soda water (just soda water by itself), unsweetened tea. They all have interesting flavors, and they're refreshing. Unsweet tea and soda water are even available at a lot of restaurants.

    Don't get super obsessive. For instance, McDonalds et al. food isn't unhealthy because it came from McDonalds. McDonalds actually is one of the reasons our meat is as good of quality as it is these days, because they put their foot down and said "We don't care what garbage the FDA will pass, you have to pass OUR inspectors or we blacklist you".
    It's unhealthy because people sat on their butts in a moving living room, ordered a double, with a supersized fries and a half quart of sugar water, and couldn't even be bothered to get out of their couch to get or eat it. So if people take you there, order one of the little burgers, unsweetened iced tea, if you end up with a SMALL fries don't sweat it. Don't think "I'll get the salad and be healthy" because after the dressing, that's about the most fattening thing on the menu.
    I say this because sometimes people take me out to eat places, and it is much more socially acceptable to go and order a smaller portion (if they're paying, they'll appreciate it) because "Oh, it's no biggie, just not all that hungry right now" than it is to go all moralistic crusader of health and come off as being a bit odd.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  6. #6
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    Gotta add this one, since it's really effective.

    Get smaller plates.

  7. #7
    Degenerate Grouch xray1978's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    Gotta add this one, since it's really effective.

    Get smaller plates.
    This really works!!!! I agree 100%. Also, the advice about upping your water intake is good advice too.

    I found keeping a food journal and getting a food scale helped a lot. I always knew how much I had eaten and how many calories I had consumed and could make good food choices given the number of calories I had allocated for myself.

    For instance, if I allowed my self 1850 calories per day and I had already consumed 1600 calories I would forgo the cookie and have a piece of fruit or veggies instead. The food journal is a PITA, but it worked for me. There are tons of sites online that will tell you how many calories each food has per ounce. Use them they are your friend. It will also teach you to eat healthier because in order to not be hungry you will have to eat less calorically dense foods (fruits and vegetables) to not be hungry by 7:00 pm.

    What I mean by this is one time I ate a steak with my dad at 5:00 pm and had consumed as many calories as I was allowed that day, but I was hungry again by 7:00 pm. If I had not eaten the steak and had something healthier I would have had room in my calorie allowance to eat something and thus not be hungry.

    To learn how many calories you need per day I found this site worked well for me. http://www.scoobysworkshop.com/caloriecalculator.htm

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    The advice about portion sizes is good. If you're cutting out sodas and processed foods you're already doing most of what is required. Were we to eat nothing but meat, fish, fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, very few of us would be overweight.

    As for exercise, I assume that your knee is now ok and there is no reason for you not to train? In which case I'd just get out and ride. Walking is good too, to start with. Set yourself specific goals, like riding for an hour and walking 10000 steps (about six miles) each day. If it's possible to find someone to do it with, great, you'll motivate one another. But if you're on your own, don't worry. If you can keep it going fr a few weeks you'll find it becomes a habit.

    You're young and likely to be still growing. That's great, it will be easier to lose fat now than it would be later. And there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be an athlete, you have plenty of time. As for the Tour de France, very few of us have the engine for that, but who knows? And if you fulfil your own potential, whatever that might be, you'll have done better than most.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
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    stirner:

    I am convinced the seceret to losing weight is three things:

    1) nutrition
    2) excersise
    3) pyscological (sp?)

    1- whatever you do, dont think of this is a diet. Thinking of it as a diet will mean failure in the long run. Start eating more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and such. Every once and a while, you can have red meat, candy, etc but you will want to limit it for sure. Nothing if off limits but you just have to be careful. Eat six times a day if you can because the more you can kick your metabolism in shape, the better you will burn. People often think eating less is the right way to go but to be honest, it is not. Its about the quaility of the calories you put into your body. If it is all salty and sugary stuff and white processes grains (like white bread, white rice, etc) then that is not quaility. If you eat less, this will have a negative effect on your metabolism and you will not hsed the weight. your body will store the fat. Not what you are looking for.

    2- there is an old saying..... calories in, calories out. For example, I eat 3,000 cals a day and I burn around 5,000 cals a day. If I only burned 2,500 calls a day, I would gain weight. So you need to burn more hten what you eat, PERIOD! If it was me (and with my parents ok and docs ok), perhaps riding your bike to school is an option. Do you work? perhaps riding your bike to work? Working out in a gym is great too. Cardio is where you are going to want to be and if your legs bug you, stay off the high impact tredmill and use the eliptical or take a spinning class. Heck, even walking 45 to an hour 5-6 days a week is wonderful. But a few things I need to stress: 1) dont overdue it. I see it all the time. Thats a recipe for disaster. 2) weight lifting is kep to tone. Its not about adding a lot of weight when you do it, its about a lot of reps with some resistance. At this point, you will want to TONE so when you lose, the skin wont be flabby because as you get older, this happens more. 3) have fun doing it because if you dont, you wont stick to it.

    3) The psycological stuff is so important. You say you like sugar so I would be you are sugar sensative. It is like being addicted to drugs. You need it... want it. Just ask yourself a simple question.... if you came home from school and your mom made this delicious looking chocolate chip cookies.... goey in the middle, sweet.... soft... smells wonderful and still warm where the chocolate is soft.... could you only eat one? Or perhaps not eat any? Or do you eat one and another and could use another? There is a wonderful book that I want you to read called "potatoes not prozac". Its about sugar sensativity. I wish I would have read it at your age because it makes a lot of since.

    At the end of the day it is about you living postiviely with a new life style. You dont want to always think you cant eat stuff because once you get into the mind set, you have failed. You want to be able to live with the chances you make and feel damn good about it.

    I have a dietician that I work with over the phone. She is great and really cheap at $25 for 45 minute session. If you want her info, please let me know and I can send it to you. She has changed my life in so many ways. I think about food differently, not perfectly yet, but differently.

    And if you have any more questions, let me know. Email works great at isaac@sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com

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