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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 03-04-12, 07:45 PM   #1
recumbenttoad
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I Thiink I May Have Reached The Breaking Point

Well, I stepped on the scale today for the first time in a long while and I while I wasn't shocked, the 337 staring me in the face certainly caused me to hang me head in disappointment.

Fifteen years ago I was averaging 225 miles a week on a bike and loved it. Somewhere along the line I stopped riding as much and after my Dad died 6 years ago it's been a real chore keeping my Mom going. Other than riding my bike exclusively for four months straight 2 1/2 years ago, I just ride every once in a while for fun. It's taken its toll as I can barely get my shoes tied and the other day it was like doing a chest workout trying to get my pants buttoned.

Well, something's got to give and soon. I have horrible eating habits. I eat at night before I go to bed after getting home from my Mom's house and go through about a 30-pack of beer a week. I really only drink the beer when I'm eating something at night, so, getting the eating under control will erase the beer completely.

I'm trying to psych myself up to start commuting to work again. I'll ride to work every once in a while now, but I want to do it on a regular basis. I'm getting ready to turn 52 and it's not going to get any easier.

I'm like everyone with an eating problem - I eat when I have a good day, I eat when I have a bad day. I generally live to eat instead of eat to live. That's what I have to reverse. It isn't going to be easy, but I think I'm about ready to give it a serious go.
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Old 03-04-12, 08:09 PM   #2
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A lot of here have some of those very issues... you can do it, it sounds as though you are ready, so step on the bike and ride. It won't be long till you'll have the bug again...

We are all pulling for ya!!
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Old 03-04-12, 09:14 PM   #3
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It's not a breaking point, it's a starting point. Now you have to decide where you want to go and how you want to get there. It sounds like you've had some tough going, so don't be afraid to get some professional help, at least a physician's checkup. Nutritional and behavioral counseling are other options. You've taken the toughest step, admitting there is a problem. You'll get a lot of support here, but you have to dig down within and find other support in the non-cyber realm.

Go for it and good luck
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Old 03-05-12, 08:03 AM   #4
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It's not a breaking point, it's a starting point.
I love this thought. A much more positive way to start off the journey to better health....
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Old 03-05-12, 08:13 AM   #5
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Penny-

I'll second what Myosmith said yesterday. Make it your beginning. We can help and encourage you, but it's on you to do it. You have taken the first step...now KEEP WALKING! Changing eating habits for me involved a complete lifestyle change, I was a "night eater" like you for decades. YOU CAN do this, just grit your teeth and keep your chin up and get on your bike.

I ride because I get nothing from it.
No e-mails, no faxes, no phone calls, no meetings, no what-tie-today. Nothing.

Good luck!
-Doug
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Old 03-05-12, 08:26 AM   #6
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I'll second what dougclyde and Myosmith said. You've taken the first step which is the hardest. I've found that if I have 'bad' food in the house I'll be sucked into it. I've killed so many chickens, apples and other 'better' foods in the past 8 months it's not even funny.

You might want to look for the WIN (Weekly Inspirational Network thread); this weeks -

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...rch-5-March-11

Good luck
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Old 03-05-12, 08:46 AM   #7
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Riding a bicycle to lose weight won't work. It will certainly help, but you can't ride long or hard enough to make up for the calories in those 30 beers. If you want to lose weight you have to get your eating and drinking under control. The good news is that it can be done. There are many on here who have gotten to the point you have and said "No More". The first step is tracking your calorie intake so you can see just how many calories you are eating and where they are coming from. I used Weight Watchers points system for this and I lost 70 pounds.

Like others have said, this is a great starting point. Don't do like I did and let a heart attack be your wake up call (at 46), you might not be as lucky as I was to survive it.
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Old 03-05-12, 08:47 AM   #8
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Today is day 1 of your new, healthier lifestyle. You can do it.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:14 AM   #9
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Yup! We're rooting for you...

I don't know if my experiences with food and beer will apply to you, but I'll offer them just in case. I've always (and still do) loved to eat garbage. Big Macs, Hershey bars, etc. And, for that matter, I love to eat healthier foods as well. (Though I turn up my nose at most vegetables and barely tolerate the rest.) In my early 20s, the only period in my life that I was not riding a bicycle, I got up to 240 lbs. Not huge, granted, but definitely fat. Circumstances (a job as a bicycle messenger) put me back on a bike, my eyes were opened to just how much fun a bike can be for an independent adult, and I've not done without a working bicycle since. During this time, and for a couple of decades after, I also had quite an appetite for beer.

During my bike messenger days I ate like a pig. You really need to pack in the calories for that job. But afterwards my appetite shrunk down to reasonable levels. To this day I still eat garbage, but only small amounts at a time and less often than one really should if three meals a day is the goal. (Though I am capable of eating chocolate by the pound.) I rarely eat fast food burgers and such. Not because I don't want them, but because I don't want them badly enough to go through the trouble of locking my bike (or parking my car) and waiting in line, dealing with the packaging,etc. My appetite for alcohol has been down to just about zero for the last several years. I probably drink a dozen beers a year.

I'm not able to prove this, but I know, know, know!, it's the bicycle that has done it for me. Without it I surely would be a 52 yr old with a big, or huge, belly and thin, baggy arms and legs. With it I look better than nine out of ten men my age. (Sounds egotistical, doesn't it? But I promise I don't say it very often. But I know it all the time.) People at work or in the neighborhood are often shocked when they learn how old I am. Then they look a bit more closely at my face and I can see the recognition; "yeah...that is a fifty-something face, isn't it?' But until that moment they often think that I'm twenty years younger. I'm not exaggerating.

So ride, ride, ride three or four times a week. More if you can find the time, but about a hundred miles a week should do the trick. You'll feel better very soon and your appetites will very likely subside. And while it's too late for you to be a fifty-something who looks like a thirty-something, you have the potential to be a sixty-something who looks like a forty-something.

Watch out for medical people and 'health coaches' and such. I know that they are well-meaning professionals, but there really is very little that they can do for you. If you consult with them and come back without having exercised and reduced your calorie intake they'll know it. They can figure such things out. They won't tell you, "There's nothing more that I can do for you" (Even though that would be the most honest thing for them to say) What they will do is fall back on "plan B". The health coach will try to convince you to love smoothies. The doctor will put you on a different diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure medicine. (If you're not on these things now, then you soon will be. Sorry if I sound cruel, but we both know it's true.) When that doesn't work, he'll start telling you that you might want to consider gastric bypass or lap band surgery. (Please don't mis-understand; I'm not accusing your doctor of being a quack. But plan A didn't work, plan B didn't work, so now it's time to try plan C. The only other thing he/she can do is show you the door.)

You can eliminate, or at least reduce, your medications with exercise. But the professionals can't really help you with that. You are on your own. You do not want to go with plan C; it'll use up the remainder of your life-span to, likely, no purpose. Plus they'll cut you nearly in half and rearrange your insides. That's a last resort and, maybe, not even worth it under any circumstances.

So ride, ride and ride some more. Put a smile on your face and a sense of pride in your soul. Be gentle on your knees until you get in shape. Don't be too proud to downshift and proceed at a slow pace when needed.

Odds are that it will reward you very handsomely. Nothing else stands any realistic chance of managing this.

And the rest of us will be very pleased when you start making, and continue to make, progress.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:53 AM   #10
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You've done it before and you can do it again. I've been on an off the bike for a year or two at a time over the last several decades (intending to keep on it this time) and it's always tough getting started again. But I also know when I am riding regularly, I get to a point where my body craves the exercise.

I recall after a 4 year period of no riding, I picked up a used road bike in 2000 and went out for an "easy" 5 miler to start. Toughest 5 miles I've EVER done. I was totally unprepared for how out of shape I was. Dropped the bike in the yard and stumbled in the house hyperventilating like a woman in labor.

On and off a year or two at a time since then, but I went out Saturday and did a pleasant 34 miles around the lake, knowing it was well within my capability. You'll get there as well.

The eating habits are actually the hardest part. For me, it's been modification of my habits a little at a time. I can't change things overnight and stick with it. I've never been much of a drinker, so I don't have that part of your issue, but it sounds like the beer is a major factor for you. My weakness was potato chips & onion dip, almost pure fat going into my system. That's been replaced with a addiction to pistachios.

We're all rooting for you. Go for a ride and post some pics periodically!
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Old 03-05-12, 09:57 AM   #11
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You can eliminate, or at least reduce, your medications with exercise. But the professionals can't really help you with that. You are on your own. You do not want to go with plan C; it'll use up the remainder of your life-span to, likely, no purpose. Plus they'll cut you nearly in half and rearrange your insides. That's a last resort and, maybe, not even worth it under any circumstances.

So ride, ride and ride some more. Put a smile on your face and a sense of pride in your soul. Be gentle on your knees until you get in shape. Don't be too proud to downshift and proceed at a slow pace when needed.

Odds are that it will reward you very handsomely. Nothing else stands any realistic chance of managing this.
I can't agree with this enough!
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Old 03-05-12, 10:50 AM   #12
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Well, something's got to give and soon.
You're right on the cusp of a major lifetime win. I'd keep in mind that weight loss/maintenance requires nutritious eating, and fitness requires exercise. Do not confuse the two.

Good luck - you can do it (start with walking and not eating after 6PM [and get adequate sleep])!
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Old 03-05-12, 10:55 AM   #13
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I think that's the most disappointing aspect of aging - the realization that all the things you could do when you were younger are slowly getting out of reach (and I'm talking about dietary issues, injury issues et). I'm turning 44 this month and through a variety of injuries, have had about 6 surgeries on my left foot and right knee in the last 10 years. About the only exercise I can get anymore is cycling or boring myself to death on an elliptical trainer.

For me it was a mentality thing - I can fool myself all day long into thinking I can eat this or drink that and it's OK; did it for years. Convinced myself that "obese" on the BMI scale was wrong because there's no way I could weigh 140 or so at 6'2". 140 may be ridiculous for me but so was 240.

Look around the forum - NeilB had a thread titled "biggest loser" or something like that listing all the weight people here have dropped and frankly, you'd be skinny in that group at their original weights.

I think if you were averaging 225 a week on your bike, you know what you're doing. I'd suggest finding some local folks you can ride with to get into the swing of things. It's always more fun with people around!

Good luck!
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Old 03-05-12, 12:00 PM   #14
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I think that's the most disappointing aspect of aging - the realization that all the things you could do when you were younger are slowly getting out of reach (and I'm talking about dietary issues, injury issues et).
As far as those issues, yes. But they can be countered to a large extent. I've recently gotten to where I can again do the kind of mileage I was doing in my 20's (I'll be 51 in a few weeks). 30-40 mile rides are now routine for me again. I recently did 60 in one day and I think it was not as rough as I recall it being when I last did that sort of mileage at 25. (Perhaps that's the fog of age...)
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Old 03-07-12, 10:31 AM   #15
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I just dropped you a PM.

Commuting has brought so much joy and also Weight Watchers as well. Its about trying something and fine tuning it.
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Old 03-07-12, 10:41 AM   #16
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I ride because I get nothing from it.
No e-mails, no faxes, no phone calls, no meetings, no what-tie-today. Nothing.

-Doug
Hell yes! I totally agree with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-07-12, 12:10 PM   #17
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Hi,

Long time reader of the forum (getting back into cycling), but this thread moved me to register. Wanted to put in my recent experiences, as I recognize the above as being where I started, albeit I'm a bit younger.

Approximately a year ago I was just north of your weight. At 6'2" and with a 'big' frame, it was still crazy, and there were health issues (diabetes) that opened my eyes. I've always wanted to die with my feet on, so I made some changes.

First thing I had to do - and sounds like you will - is to break the unhealthy emotional relationship I had with food and drink. I did this with a food diary (I have it on my phone, it's really simple to log everything and it tells me my calories I should have, along with protein / carbs (especially important for diabetics) and fat amounts and ratio) - it became second nature after a few weeks, and you get into an understanding of what you really need and what isn't good to eat. You also end up eating at regular times, and (because you level your blood sugar levels via eating good food) you don't feel hungry and tired so much.

I'm currently at around 265lbs, still a ways to go, but happy to report that the health in every aspect is much improved, I go to the gym four times a week now (and thus in terms of inches lost and muscle gained, I'm really much more happy with my progress than just the lost weight), and, as stated, I'll shortly be starting cycling as an extension of my fitness and exercise goals. A lot of people will probably say this to you, but: If I can do it, anybody can!

It has become a natural part of my everyday life, eating healthy and exercising. I couldn't go back now, and I'm quite upset at myself for leaving it so long. You can definitely do this, and do this a lot quicker than you think. Break the emotion / food vicious cycle, and - honestly - the rest is easier!
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Old 03-07-12, 07:06 PM   #18
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Thanks for the replies and encouragement everybody. As they say, "Getting old is not for the faint of heart". For me, getting older has made everything more difficult, and not just physically. Mentally it's a lot more difficult to talk myself into getting up off of my butt and move around. Combine that with poor eating habits and you have a recipe for disaster.

And villi, welcome aboard and thanks for sharing your story.
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