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  1. #1
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    A problem in the foreseeable future with losing weight...

    Any other poor folk on here? I see a problem in the future with losing weight, might even be happening now. I asked my wife just yesterday, does my t-shirts look too big now? I was wearing a XXXL. I like my shirts big. Now they are too big. The shorts and pants are the same way. I wear shorts almost year round, it is pretty far into winter before I'm going anywhere other than work or to church in long pants. I'm pretty much a t-shirt and shorts or jeans person. I also wear shorts at work until they no longer allow it (why I don't know, even with it 5 below outside, it is still in the 80's on the plant floor...)

    Ok, I'm not exactly poor, about median income for a family, but I do have a house payment, wife, kids, huge grocery bill, live in the middle of nowhere so spend a LOT of money on gas, etc. It's hard to constantly be buying clothes for the kids, my wife and I haven't bought clothes for ourselves in a very long time. Heck, I'm short by about $100/month just on regular bills and have nothing extra I pay over regular living expenses. My shorts are now almost falling off. My shirts now look like I'm wearing a tent. How does one replace an entire wardrobe of clothes, not only for oneself, but my wife is also along on this weight loss ride with me (on a stationary bike, she won't ride by herself and we are never home together because of her part time really low paycheck job.)

    The only way I hope to keep riding next year is by hoping to spend a little of the tax return on a new bike. Even that might not happen since my tax return is hardly anything, I changed that years ago to keep more of my paycheck for bills. I see everyone else around me as well as everyone on financial boards on the internet able to live so easily with same or lesser income, yet I can't do it at all. I live out in the middle of nowhere so I could afford a house (about the same cost as renting would be close to anything) but unfortunately it also adds a giant amount to the gasoline budget to get to work. Just in gasoline I'm spending about $600/month and we don't go anywhere other than work and grocery shopping. Now I'm spending even more in my own car (I was $50/week, my wife is about $100/week for the gas budget) because I'm going daily to the trail for exercise. That is costing me another $20/week in gas.

    There was a thread started a bit ago about depression and yes, I have a case of depression pretty bad. The bike riding and getting in better shape makes me feel better, but doesn't exactly cure the depression. My depression is caused by financials and the bike riding actually is a slight cause of making it worse because of the extra cost associated with it. My goal for fitness/weight loss is 200 lb by Christmas and 180 lb. sometime next spring. Unfortunately I'm going to look like a complete idiot at 180 lb. wearing triple XL size shirts and 42 inch pants with a belt cinched tight to keep them from falling off.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  2. #2
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    Instead of spending cash to get to a trail why not ride from your house to the trail or anywhere?

  3. #3
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Well yeah, as is pointed out, why drive to the trails (Bike Snob NYC is hysterical on the topic of Americans driving their bikes to go ride somewhere)?

    As for clothes and new wardrobes, you might have to go to Goodwill or something, or garage sales? And really, that makes sense because whatever size down you are next, if you keep at it (AND YOU SHOULD! ) you're going to need newer clothes again when youget even smaller.

    Talk to friends/family? Anyone you know in a similar boat, who has gotten smaller than the next size down and have a bunch of clothes? Or worse, who have outgrown your next size down? Maybe you can trade clothes?

    It sucks, but in one way this is the price to be paid for our own gluttony (and I say that as one who has done this too and who struggles financially -- albeit for different reasons). There's not only a health cost but a financial cost. You're paying it.

    Any other poor folk? Absolutely ... I'm a single (dating someone) dad of three kids. I pay a metric a$$load of child support and prior to very recently, I was shelling out twice what you are paying for gas weekly. For the past almost four years now I was scraping by and the prior 10 months or so to right now I was beyond poor.

    But I managed to change my circumstances.

    You'll have to get creative ... but there are ways.

    I'd offer to send you some of my clothes but my weight loss is going slower than I want, so you'll probably beat me to it.

    All that said ... don't give up. It's easy to say that, I know ... but trust me, the hell I've been through over the past four years, I never gave up, and god how I wanted to. DON'T stop riding ... that may be your moment of sanity (and on the whole, it's the cheapest therapy I know of).

  4. #4
    Senior Member SammyJ's Avatar
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    Agreed on riding local. Also, don't forget Good-Will, and other thrift stores. Lots of good usable clothing for you and you wife. No self respecting teen wears thrift store clothing! ha ha..

    And yes, Cardiovascular exercise is very effective for depression! Got that T-shirt.

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    I dislike buying clothes, but thankfully weight loss is making it necessary. I'm trying to "stage" replacements carefully; getting my dress pants tailored is cheaper than buying new for now. Casual pants - I'm buying as needed on ebay. Shirts, watch for sales and look in the back of the closet for ones I'd outgrown in the past. It's a problem, but a good one for me. And manageable without blowing the budget if I'm smart about it.
    "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." chasm54

  6. #6
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    Thrift shops, consignment shops, good will all have clothes in good shape at great prices. Just a little at a time. Now that you are in better shape and a little lighter maybe try riding the hilly road around your house more to help with the gas costs. Use what you have learned about using your gears to keep from burning your legs out and you should be able to concur those hills, and that is a very rewarding feeling in itself. With you and your wife working different shifts would it be possible to get by with only on vehicle? The savings in gas, maintenance and insurance would be a big boost to your budget.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Why not ride to the trail? Because my car barely makes it back up the hill to get home let alone ride a bike, and that is driving a turbo (sure is fun putting the hammer down though to wind my way up that hill but boy does that suck down the gas.) Like I said, I'm in the middle of nowhere. I started out riding behind my house, 3 miles and it took me an hour. It is absolutely exhausting. There isn't a flat road to be found around me. It is all up and down hills, constant turns and wouldn't be very fun. It wouldn't be safe to ride on the roads around me. Any straight road is 70 mph traffic with nowhere to ride other than in the lane. The back roads everyone drives 60 mph and probably isn't 1/4 mile worth of distance that I wouldn't be blind to a driver. Not feeling the thrill of being run down by a 60 mph car because I'm still in the turn out of sight of a driver as he comes from around the previous turn. The roads around me are pretty much an up down +5% to -5% grade on every hill.

    That's about the only thing I envy about you city folks, being able to ride anywhere because of straighter and less hilly roads with slower traffic (Pittsburgh as a cycling city though would be crazy as well.) Other than that, I could never live in the city, it would drive me nuts.

    I just checked on a biking planning map (ridewithgps.com) It is 12 miles to the trail with a max of 14% grade to climb and 610 foot elevation in 2 miles just for that one stretch (also VERY narrow and windy, would definitely be plasterville by a car if you rode this road.)

    Been trying to find a local to the house loop that I could ride that wouldn't be non-stop coasting downhill and then pedaling at 3mph uphill (that is the speed I was riding at behind the house before leaving the kids for an hour and a half to go to the bike trail.)
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Solare's Avatar
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    Here is my $0.02.

    Learn to sew. That way you can take in your pants, shorts, and dress shirts. Old Navy does sell shirts that are sewn together so you can do that to your t-shirts as well. Or Goodwill/Salvation Army as stated above.

    Ride to the trail instead of driving to the trail.

    Automobiles. $600 is a huge amount to spend. Take a look at the vehicles you drive and down size and switch to diesel vehicles. Diesel is great as long as your not doing 5 mile commutes and from the $600 a month it doesn't appear so. I know the argument that diesel is more expensive but when you can get 50+ miles per gallon compared to a gasser getting 30 (at best) it is cost effective.

    Needs and wants. I am assuming that you have cable/satellite for TV. You don't need that so you can cut it back to the minimum or cancel it altogether. I have rabbit ears and use the library for videos and audiobooks. Library systems also have ebooks available.

    Tax returns. Stop giving the government a free loan. Adjust your with-holdings to allow you to get very minimal back or pay a little bit. I makes me mad when I have to pay taxes on the State refund (overpayment) to the federal gov.

    Do you have a garden? You can grow some of your own veggies and fruits this way and it is a low cost choice and educational for the children.

    Take it for what it is worth and I hope this helps you out.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Solare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Because my car barely makes it back up the hill to get home let alone ride a bike, and that is driving a turbo (sure is fun putting the hammer down though to wind my way up that hill but boy does that suck down the gas.)
    Get your car tuned up and check out this link. https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&s...ing+techniques

  10. #10
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    What sort of gas mileage do your vehicles get? Is there a possibility of trading for more efficient vehicles. Also, combining trips if possible. Don't make separate trip for groceries. Get them on the way home from work. Shop less often. Definitely ride locally. Where in western PA are you? What are your TV, Internet and phone bills like? I would slash them before I made the decision to stop losing weight becaue I can't afford clothes. Conserve energy by switching off lights you are not immediately using. Turn down the thermostat of your heating system and put on a sweater. Tunr down your water heater's thermostat. Line dry your clothes when you can. (A clothes dryer can be a huge energy sucker.) Sometimes you have to sacrifice conveniences.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    That's about the only thing I envy about you city folks, being able to ride anywhere because of straighter and less hilly roads with slower traffic (Pittsburgh as a cycling city though would be crazy as well.) Other than that, I could never live in the city, it would drive me nuts.

    I just checked on a biking planning map (ridewithgps.com) It is 12 miles to the trail with a max of 14% grade to climb and 610 foot elevation in 2 miles just for that one stretch (also VERY narrow and windy, would definitely be plasterville by a car if you rode this road.)

    Been trying to find a local to the house loop that I could ride that wouldn't be non-stop coasting downhill and then pedaling at 3mph uphill (that is the speed I was riding at behind the house before leaving the kids for an hour and a half to go to the bike trail.)

    Eh, riding in the city has its own issues and challenges and for the record it's not all flat either BUT ... there's nothing like your hills.

    Keep looking for alternate routes/rides ... you'll find one or two.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Solare's Avatar
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    Good points indyfabz!

    Here is a link for low cost or no cost energy savings. http://www.builditsolar.com/

    Also, talk with the electric and gas companies. They do give rebates to purchase energy efficient items. +1 on the clothes line it works even in the winter.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    That's about the only thing I envy about you city folks, being able to ride anywhere because of straighter and less hilly roads with slower traffic (Pittsburgh as a cycling city though would be crazy as well.)
    I lived in PGH for 3 years without a car and rode a lot of places. It's wasn't crazy. I live in Philly now. Plenty of fast traffic and plenty of hills in the city, immediate suburbs and NJ. (I commuted to work in NJ for several years.) I am wondering if you are overstating the traffic "problem" in your area because your comfort zonel is on the trail you ride. What's the name of the trail?

  14. #14
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I'll approach things differently. What is your skill set and do you have any opportunity to make more money? Can you spend a bit of time that you are on your bike studying to increase your skills for a higher paying job? I'm not saying to stop riding your bike but how about back it down to every other day and go longer on those days? That would save you some transport money and possibly put you in the direction of increased or new skills.

    Making more money should not be a substitute for managing your current income well. Since you seem to be conscious of it I will make the assumption you are doing ok there. If you don't mind saying what do you do for your work and what is the market around there?

  15. #15
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Can you go ride on the way home instead of going home then going riding? Is there a place you can go that is along your path to your house? Can you ride during lunch at work?

  16. #16
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    I used to drive allot just to ride my bike, now I just leave earlier and ride to where I want to go. It can rack up stupid miles but fun. Just manage the time w/ the fam. I'd suggest the same. For every week you ride to the trails oppose to drive, you can get 2 or 3 of these http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hanes-Men-...shirt/22471471

  17. #17
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Can you go ride on the way home instead of going home then going riding? Is there a place you can go that is along your path to your house? Can you ride during lunch at work?
    this was going to be my suggestion. Bring your bike to work and ride after work? lunch? maybe arrive early? You mention that the 3 mile loop around your home is intense, why not ride that more? Perhaps do your trail once a week as a bit of a reward, that way you still get to do it, but you save some gas. Remember this, 3 miles an hour is still faster than your couch at home rolls.

    As for clothes, try freecycle and see if anyone has some they are getting rid of/trade you for. I am in the same boat, can't really afford new clothes and I went from a 5/6xl to a 3xl. I know you will figure things out and make it work

    Good luck!
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  18. #18
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Get your car tuned up and check out this link.
    Eh, not a chance. 180 HP, 173 torque peaked at 2000 rpm, the car doesn't need tuned up. Certainly not fast but drives like a diesel with the kind of torque curve it has. I'm never even out of 5th gear in this thing because of that torque curve, VW certainly designed the old 1.8t right. Ok, "can't make it up" is a bit of an exaggeration. It's the type of hill though that you do have to hammer it up. You wouldn't want to just sit in 1st gear and crawl around on the roads. It is tough to get up into a decent gear without hammering it a bit from turning off the road along the river into this massive hill. Not only does it have 14% grade and 610 feet of elevation change that I said, but it is, let me think, about 8 left/right combinations around the rocky cliff terrain that they cut out of the hill to make the road. It is a lot of fun in a car that has enough power and doesn't have a bike hanging off the back of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    What sort of gas mileage do your vehicles get?
    Quote Originally Posted by Solare View Post
    Automobiles. $600 is a huge amount to spend. Take a look at the vehicles you drive and down size and switch to diesel vehicles....
    Yeah yeah, gas mileage is 28 highway EPA for me and I average 30 while my wife is 27 EPA highway and she averages about 26. We don't drive highway as in interstate driving, but everywhere we go is at least 30 minutes of 60ish mph before needing to stop, all up and down hills of course.

    By my calculation, it's never advantageous to get rid of a good lower mileage car just for better gas mileage. You never recover the cost of the car, especially when you drive as much as us. I put about 18k on a year but my wife is the one driving, she puts over 25k on. She did just get a "new-to-her" car in February. 29,000 on it when we bought it and she just rolled 48,000 on it. 19k in 7 months. We pretty much live 35 miles from anywhere, right smack in the middle of 4 areas to go to the north, south, east, and west.

    As for what I didn't keep in the quote... Been there done that. You can only go so low in heating fuel. In contract with satellite because of changing things around last year. Don't even have "real" cell phones, ours cost us $5/month for each phone. Yadda yadda yadda, believe me, been through it all. m

    Tax returns. Stop giving the government a free loan. Adjust your with-holdings to allow you to get very minimal back or pay a little bit. I makes me mad when I have to pay taxes on the State refund (overpayment) to the federal gov.
    Yup, I did say I get very little back. Drives me insane when tax return season comes around and everyone at work is talking about what they are going to do with the $6-8000 tax return. They all think I'm doing something wrong because my return is about $500 with the same 2 kid family status. Not very many people understand tax returns and think it's free money. They can't understand that my paycheck is about $300 more than theirs because of me not giving $7000 more to the government than I owe.

    Do you have a garden? You can grow some of your own veggies and fruits this way and it is a low cost choice and educational for the children.
    Yeah, I think it is a requirement to have a garden when you live where I live. Not just a garden, beef, chickens, and eggs as well (ok, the beef isn't mine, my father-in-law raises the beef. Just for being married to "the farmer's daughter" I get the benefit of eating the grass fed rotationally grazed beef )

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I lived in PGH for 3 years without a car and rode a lot of places. It's wasn't crazy. I live in Philly now. Plenty of fast traffic and plenty of hills in the city, immediate suburbs and NJ. (I commuted to work in NJ for several years.) I am wondering if you are overstating the traffic "problem" in your area because your comfort zonel is on the trail you ride. What's the name of the trail?
    Funny story about my last experience in Pittsburgh. I was looking for a new car. I had a 1994 Honda Civic automatic running on it's last legs. It was a pile of rust, shimmied like crazy, couldn't get it up above 45 mph, blah, blah. I was just punching in dealerships in the old GPS looking for used cars and I got closer and closer to Pittsburgh. I ended up on a road and literally my little poor Honda could not get up the hill. I had it on the floor and it groaned the whole time up. That evening when I was home I'm channel surfing and on the PBS station, they are showing a bicycle race in Pittsburgh. It was some ride where they seek out the biggest hills in Pittsburgh and ride them. As soon as I turn it on, there they are on that same hill that I couldn't get up in my Honda, LOL. I'll say it again, you folks riding bicycles in the streets of Pittsburgh? Yeah, you're crazy, LOL.

    Can you go ride on the way home instead of going home then going riding? Is there a place you can go that is along your path to your house? Can you ride during lunch at work?
    Some more.... What do you mean "during lunch" at work? I don't get a lunch break, everyone else does, but us select 8 people don't. Our equipment has to run, we eat lunch while watching our equipment. The benefit to that is, I'm in front of this computer in an 85 air conditioned building typing this as opposed to standing on the concrete out in the 115 heat in front of a machine but getting a relief for half an hour for lunch. Yeah, I don't get a "lunch break" but my boss goes out running for an hour on his "lunch break." It is what it is though, 85 enclosed in a room is tough, but it is better than 115.
    Last edited by mrodgers; 09-05-13 at 09:56 AM.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  19. #19
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Why not ride to the trail? Because my car barely makes it back up the hill to get home let alone ride a bike, and that is driving a turbo (sure is fun putting the hammer down though to wind my way up that hill but boy does that suck down the gas.) Like I said, I'm in the middle of nowhere. I started out riding behind my house, 3 miles and it took me an hour. It is absolutely exhausting. There isn't a flat road to be found around me. It is all up and down hills, constant turns and wouldn't be very fun. It wouldn't be safe to ride on the roads around me. Any straight road is 70 mph traffic with nowhere to ride other than in the lane. The back roads everyone drives 60 mph and probably isn't 1/4 mile worth of distance that I wouldn't be blind to a driver. Not feeling the thrill of being run down by a 60 mph car because I'm still in the turn out of sight of a driver as he comes from around the previous turn. The roads around me are pretty much an up down +5% to -5% grade on every hill.
    +1 on this. I live in an area that has high traffic volume and I was a proponent of riding everyplace without driving to trailheads etc. That changed last year when on two seperate occasions I was almost run over by drivers on cell-phones. It was so close I watched the ladies reaction when she realized she was a foot away from me. Also, two cyclists were killed this year in my locality.

    Now I ride 'quiet' streets or take the bike to bike paths. To get to any of these bike paths includes 6+ miles of busy roads.

    I ride extremly defensively and perhaps thats why Im still around. If I hadnt been second guessing what the drivers were going to do, it may have cost me the one extra second that saved my life.

    OP - How much weight have you lost?

  20. #20
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    OP - How much weight have you lost?
    Couple days over a month, first ride was July 31st, about 230 miles thus far. The beginning of summer my wife and I started changing what we ate (should say, changing what we bought because she would buy all the junk for the kids, but we would eat it because it was there.) Lost 12 pounds for June and July before starting to ride and another 10 so far since starting to ride. I don't check though unless it is morning and I keep the house pretty dark when I'm getting ready for work (really small house) so I can't see it. Since I was up early all weekend I couldn't see the scale without light those mornings either and didn't want to weigh in after riding (I lost 4 pounds once between a pre and post ride weight check.)

    So, my triple X clothes come from my 247 lb prior to starting to lose weight in the summer. The way I carry the weight is, it is all in the belly and I believe it to be that internal fat underneath the ab muscles. From the back, I'm not fat looking at all. Stomach is/was quite large and very hard, not a, excuse the description but, a blubbery weight carry.

    I'm not really riding for weight loss. That already was coming from changing how we eat. I'm riding for the fitness, my cholesterol and especially the triglycerides are through the roof. Finally got in the mind that it's time to do something about it.
    Last edited by mrodgers; 09-05-13 at 11:04 AM.
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  21. #21
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    Well, lot of advice, but seems like you don't really want advice. All you have is excuses so as stated before:goodwill/freecycle, make your own clothes, re-size what you have or gain the weight back.
    www.BigBonedBiker.Wordpress.com

  22. #22
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
    Well, lot of advice, but seems like you don't really want advice. All you have is excuses so as stated before:goodwill/freecycle, make your own clothes, re-size what you have or gain the weight back.
    In the OPs defense, the suggestions really arent practical. A 'garden' isnt going to yield anywhere near the amount of fruit and veg a family needs. We have three planter beds and at most it yields 3-4 weeks of veggies in the summer. What about the other 11 months?

    As for 'making your own clothes'? Seriously?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAMAMRA View Post
    Well, lot of advice, but seems like you don't really want advice. All you have is excuses so as stated before:goodwill/freecycle, make your own clothes, re-size what you have or gain the weight back.
    +1. This thread has shades of the thread someone started a few years ago asking for alternatives to the two fat-ladended breakfast sandwiches he ate every day. Lots of good suggestions were given. The OP had reasons why none of them would work.

    And I am still interested in where he is and what trail he is referring to. I find the lack of answers interesting.

    Jack: I read several good, practical suggestions and offerted some of my own. Combining trips is a great way to cut fuel costs as are some of the other suggestions I offered. No clothes dryer not practical? Tell that to a lot of Amish familes. Hell. I have a friend who is cyclist and a well-paid pathologist with a family. He does not own a clothes dryer. And people do make their own clothes. What are your suggestions? Stop losing weight? I would think that the potential for increased health care costs would make that a risky way to go.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Jack: What are your suggestions? Stop losing weight? I would think that the potential for increased health care costs would make that a risky way to go.
    When did I suggest the OP stop losing weight? My point is that suggestions such as making your own clothes or veg gardens as a solution are silly and impractical. Just because impractical suggestions are floated does not mean that I have to provide nuggets of wisdom. I have no idea how the OP will fix his predicament.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    When did I suggest the OP stop losing weight? My point is that suggestions such as making your own clothes or veg gardens as a solution are silly and impractical. Just because impractical suggestions are floated does not mean that I have to provide nuggets of wisdom. I have no idea how the OP will fix his predicament.
    1. I did not write that you suggested that he stop losing weight. There is a question mark at the end of the sentence you refer to. I was asking if that was your suggestiion, not stating that it is.

    2. You wrote this: "In the OPs defense, the suggestions really arent practical." (Emphasis added.) "The suggestions." Not "some of the suggestions." Not "a few of the suggestions." While you then focus on two of the suggestions, because of the way you wordered the first sentence, one logical reading is that you think all of the suggestions are not practical.

    I am leaving for Pittsburgh tomorrow morning for a self-contained tour across PA with all its ups and down. Enjoy the weekend and next week.

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