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Old 04-23-05, 11:37 AM   #1
Mikabike
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Turning it all around, my progress

OK for those that don't know me I'm a 30 yr old 6'2" 563lb man. I was a 30yr old 6'2" 600lb man at Christmas but I started making changes to my diet and dropped close to 40lbs in the last 4 months. Earlier this month I decided to take up cycling again since it used to be something I loved, and it's a low impact aerobic workout. I will be posting to this thread with my progress. I hope maybe someone might be inspired to make a positive change in their own lives too.

I asked for advice on a safe bike, convinced people I wasn't BS'ing, got the advice and bought a Kona Hoss. I had to have a few things on the bike modified for my needs and I just got it back yesterday, went on my first real ride of 1/3 a mile and thought "no way in hell can I do this".

This morning I ignored my fears and got back on the bike.

This is how it went.

OK just got back...Oh my god....dying here....can't breath....typing and breathing really hard....holy ****...I went 1/4 of a mile slight incline/decline.

Ok breathing easier now, heart rate is 110, I'm recovering. My heart rate was in the 150's riding.

Ok so how it went? I did a long lap around my apartment complex, I was wearing sweats which offer little resistance to the bike seat. IE I wish my bike had bought me dinner before it violated me. It was a good ride though. I actually felt like 'maybe' I could do this. I re-learned some tricks from my last time riding, like supporting my weight partially through pedals and not 100% seat. This helped me shift my weight so that I wasn't in 100%agony, just 90%agony 10%serious pain. I got the bike up to 11 1/2 mph and started to realize how sensitive the bike is to steering. The slightest twitch of the handlebars would have the bike diving into a turn eating the asphalt for breakfast. I passed another guy on a bike and his mouth smiled while his eyes said "What the ****?" I had a little laugh over that.

The hardest part was the back leg where I was pedalling up hill as I couldn't 'stand' on the pedal to offset my weight and I thought that seat was going to kill me. It felt terrible, and it was really up there too. I'm still hurting, sitting here typing. The flesh around my sit bones is burning and probably bruised. However I remember this from before, I remember it hurt like hell but that it got better. And as my legs get stronger I will be able to float on my calves to keep the weight off.

As it was, when I saw my apartment in sight, and finally got off the bike I was dying and my legs felt like flacid meat poles. I could barely walk and had to support myself on the bike to make it to my door. My legs got the work out they have been waiting for.

The good news? I had the seat low enough that I could easily get on and off the bike safely, and in these sweats I had almost no trouble with the range of my pedal motion. So that is good news for me because it means I probably won't need any special attatcments or have to worry about emergency stops without curbs nearbye.

Well I'm done for the day. I'll do it again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after etc until either my ass gives up and dies, or I get used to it.

Mike
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Old 04-23-05, 11:53 AM   #2
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One step at a time, my friend. One step at a time.


Good job.
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Old 04-23-05, 11:54 AM   #3
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Way to go and keep it up.
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Old 04-23-05, 02:24 PM   #4
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Outstanding. Keep it up. After a few weeks you will feel better and better. Someone has probably told you this or you have already done it but make sure you see your doctor. Want t make sure you don't overdo it and hurt yourself.

Good luck, keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 04-23-05, 05:35 PM   #5
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Good job, Mike!

I have one suggestion that you may want to try: buy yourself a bike trainer. It will turn your Kona bike into a stationary bike, and you'll be able to sit and pedal in safety at whatever level of effort you want--and for as long as you want.

It should let you work out for longer, since your effort level is controlled by you. Also get yourself an electric fan--you'll be sweating pretty heavily indoors. Now that the weather's getting better, "trainer season" is coming to a close for many riders, and bike shops are having sales on their trainer stock.

Here's one at Performance Bike that's on sale, for example.
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Old 04-23-05, 07:36 PM   #6
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I sure have a lot of respect and admiration for you! I love your sense of humor too.

I know you don't want to hear this BUT...if your butt gets too sore, you might want to ride your bike every second day, then walk for exercize on the off days. That's what I had to do when I first started riding, and I weighed only 250. Now I can pretty much ride all day, every day.
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Old 04-23-05, 10:34 PM   #7
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Good Show Mike! Keep at it and the weight will come off even faster!
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Old 04-24-05, 12:32 AM   #8
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I was thinking--if you can even barely walk carrying almost 600 lbs. you must have mighty leg muscles. The rest of us would collapse if we tried to carry that much wieght. You are going to FLY on that bike when you drop a couple hundred pounds!

Also, the heavier you are, the more calories you burn with any activity. The weight will fall right off if you drop your calories a bit and stay more active. You have already lost 37 lbs. in less than four months! What is your diet like now?
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Old 04-24-05, 01:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I was thinking--if you can even barely walk carrying almost 600 lbs. you must have mighty leg muscles. The rest of us would collapse if we tried to carry that much wieght. You are going to FLY on that bike when you drop a couple hundred pounds!

Also, the heavier you are, the more calories you burn with any activity. The weight will fall right off if you drop your calories a bit and stay more active. You have already lost 37 lbs. in less than four months! What is your diet like now?

I have no idea how strong my legs are now because I've been doing a lot less walking than I did the last time I tested em in the gymn. At that time I could do a grand on the leg press easy. I know my muscles have atrophied quite a bit because the last several years have been the most miserable and non physical in my life. I put on 100lbs in 3 years and that forced me out of most physical activity. I ate normal amounts of food before the old diet of 2002, after the diet is when I really started having problems with food. Even friends and ex roomates have told me that I ate no more than they did, but after several months of starving myself on that diet my body said "Me want food NOW". I've only just pulled out of that nose dive. My friends and family never knew how bad I was because I tended to hide that kind of thing. IE walking was very difficult but I never breathed hard or showed outward signs even though I felt like I was drowning from wanting to breath. I'm reminded of that scene in Gattaca where Ethan Hawke's character is on a treadmill pretending that he was doing it effortlessly, then we see him in the locker room gasping for air by himself.

Part of what made the last 3 years hell was trying to do too much too fast and too hard, it throws your whole body out of whack. So as for my diet now? I don't consider it a diet. I recognized what I was doing that was bad for me and started making changes that were healthy but not in-conveniencing. IE switching to diet soda and learning to like the taste. Eating salads for breakfast instead of fast food. Drinking soy milk and 2% milk instead of regular milk and such. Learning to love fresh fruits and vegetable because they taste great, and are guiltless foods. Cutting the guilt out of the equation and not mentally limiting yourself to certain types of food cuts a lot of the red tape out of the whole diet thing. No guilt = no guilt/food cycle = steady regular weightloss.

It took a long time to gain the weight and it's going to take a long time to loose it. So I'm taking it easy at first, making the change permanent so it becomes my new 'normal' then cut back a little more, then that becomes normal etc etc. I had to come to some honest truths with myself about why things turned out how they did. I looked at my pitfalls, and my strengths and came up with a game plan. I didn't even tell anybody about my 'change' until I had already lost and kept off a good amount. Because part of that guilt is telling people "i'm dieting" then have them ask about it later and you have to tell them it failed. I know how my mind twists things and steers me wrong sometimes so I have to grapple with the mental aspects more than anything else. The physical isn't nearly as hard for me as the mental anguish I put myself through thinking about how hard the physical is going to be.

My ride today was tough, but my worrying over it and anticipating the pain and fatigue was harder on me than the actual ride. So I try not to think about it. BTW I just checked the odometer on my bike and realized I fudged my actual distance today. It wasn't 1/4 of a mile. It was 2/3!!!!!!!! The odometer was at .3 this morning, and now it's at .96 so It's almost a full mile. I know how pitiful that is and I try not to look at it in those terms. The thing going through my mind that I am focusing on is that this is rock bottom. Every time I go out and ride I'm going to get a little stronger, a little faster, a little more comfortable, and feel a little better. That is what gets me back up that little hill leading back to my apartment. And if I am so out of breath I can't talk and my legs are so tired I can't walk straight so be it. I am not thinking can I do this for life? I'm thinking I 'can' do it tomorrow.
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Old 04-24-05, 06:45 AM   #10
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I hope that you are taking pictures along the way as yours will be a story for the ages and should inspire all who wish to lose weight by riding bike. Keep up the good work and you will find a new person inside of your body, best of luck with a new healthy lifestyle.
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Old 04-24-05, 08:00 AM   #11
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Mike, you're absolutely right. You need to concentrate on the improvement, and yes, celebrate nearly a mile of riding, because soon it will be a full mile! And you're not even walking the bike up the incline to your apartment!

I can hear your fifty year old self thanking you now. You are on your way to a healthy lifestyle.

Can I share parts of your reports on my personal journal? There are two guys who read it who aren't as big as you but who do use a bike to try to overcome their personal obesity battles. I think your story would be inspirational.
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Old 04-24-05, 08:14 AM   #12
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May I be the first to invite you to 2006 RAGBRAI, you can be ready by then.
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Old 04-24-05, 09:00 AM   #13
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2/3 mile is definitely not "pitiful." The difference between your weight and my weight is more than 400 pounds. There is no way I could go 2/3 mile on a bike while carrying well over 400 pounds on my back! It is all relative. The mental anguish will diminish if you work at making exercize a daily habit. Accept no excuses for skipping your exercize!

The only thing that would be pitiful would be if you gave up. I would feel real bad if that happened!
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Old 04-24-05, 11:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
Mike, you're absolutely right. You need to concentrate on the improvement, and yes, celebrate nearly a mile of riding, because soon it will be a full mile! And you're not even walking the bike up the incline to your apartment!

I can hear your fifty year old self thanking you now. You are on your way to a healthy lifestyle.

Can I share parts of your reports on my personal journal? There are two guys who read it who aren't as big as you but who do use a bike to try to overcome their personal obesity battles. I think your story would be inspirational.
Yes you can share.

This mornings ride.....


Just....got.....back.....dying.....but not as.......much as yesterday.....Butt hurts, legs hurt, lungs hurt.

I got my heart rate up to 150. I rode .4 of a mile whatever fraction that comes out to be, its close to a half mile. I pedaled harder and faster yet. I hit 13mph (odomoeter says 15 but I know for sure I didn't go that fast) average was up 1.4 mph to 5.6mph, total time on bike, 15minutes.

Improvements:
There was a moment of pure agony on the uphill stretch when the seat pinched something and I lacked the strength to re-sit myself. However I am not wheezing this time, well not much anyways. And despite that moment of agony the pain was definately a little less than yesterday. Maybe because the nerves are still talking to themselves in confusion over what the hell just happened. And as I'm typing this my heartrate is at 96 after just a few minutes of rest. I recovered much faster this time, maybe because I was more awake this time.

I do my rides in the morning before breakfast or even a shower. On another positive my scale shows me down 2lbs from yesterday and I'm just about to crack the 560 barrier to 559. It hovered right between the numbers.
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Old 04-24-05, 12:50 PM   #15
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Mike: You are making progress, before long you'll be riding several miles on each outing. Don't become a slave to the scales. I make it a point to weigh only once a week and don't sweat the week to week variations.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-24-05, 12:53 PM   #16
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Great job, man! It's small steps. You crawl before you walk, and you walk before you run. Just stick with it and only add as much as you can add. Don't overdo it, and you'll do just fine in the long run.

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Old 04-24-05, 01:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Great job, man! It's small steps. You crawl before you walk, and you walk before you run. Just stick with it and only add as much as you can add. Don't overdo it, and you'll do just fine in the long run.

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Is your avatar a self portrait? I like the black and white and classic loop lighting.


Thanks for all of your guys support.
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Old 04-24-05, 02:22 PM   #18
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Hey man you can do it! It took me 2 years to get to my goal weight and many attempts at finding what it is I enjoy doing (cycling). You can do it I'm sure. Once you get up a little cardio fitness, if you still go to the gym you spoke about you ought to see if there is a beginner spinning class you can attend! Those things rock and are what REALLY got me back into cycling! Best of luck man!
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Old 04-24-05, 07:47 PM   #19
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Is your avatar a self portrait? I like the black and white and classic loop lighting.


Thanks for all of your guys support.

No self portrait. I stole the pic off the internet and am currently impersonating her on the forums.

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Old 04-24-05, 09:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
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No self portrait. I stole the pic off the internet and am currently impersonating her on the forums.

Koffee
Hey, so how about a real picture Koffee? By the way, my avatar is my real picture...
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Old 04-24-05, 11:24 PM   #21
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Inspiring Mike. Incredible amount of fortitude. I'm going to make one suggestion, and that is to give yourself a day off the bike every couple of days until your butt gets used to the seat. If your sore and don't give it a rest, you'll just get more sore, but if you take a day to rest, you can heal. It'll seem to slow your progress at first, but if it allows you to ride more after the recovery day, it's doing you good.

A general rule is to add 10% every week, so don't push yourself too hard.
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Old 04-25-05, 08:19 AM   #22
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Mike,

Please keep us updated on your progress. Your story is inspiring me to make sure I get out and ride too!

Someone suggested that you try not to weigh yourself every day. You should really use things like how quickly your heart rate recovers as a guide, not the scale. Your weight flucuates daily, even throughout the day. (Think about it, a glass of water weighs half a pound, so the scale can vary just based on what you drank or ate) And, over a week, you'll have bigger losses to celebrate. Or, don't weigh yourself for a long time. I just had a physical and found out that although I feel fitter and thinner than I have in a while, I weigh more than I have in years - obviously, muscle weight. So, as you build muscle, the scale can be discouraging. And, we all want you to be ENcouraged instead. So, lay off the scale, and get on that bike!

Keep posting your reports. We all are cheering you on!
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Old 04-25-05, 08:44 AM   #23
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Mike, Cycling is the best thing that has happened to me and my health. Keep it up!
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Old 04-25-05, 08:54 AM   #24
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I'm all but tearing up reading this. Mike, you are an inspiration! Keep it up and focus on weekly progress, it's much easier than the stress of worrying about daily progress, and weight will fluctuate daily anyway. Keep it up, we're all here for ya man!
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Old 04-25-05, 09:04 AM   #25
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Hang in there man, good things will come with time. I started out in a very similar way to you, I was 300 pounds and a heavy smoker. I have since dropped 70 pounds overall, and ben a non-smoker for almost one year (May 15th will be one full year). At my lightest, I was 205 before I quit smoking, which meant I had lost 95 pounds. I gained some back and I am steady at 230, but this summer I have plans to try to lose more and break below 200. You have discovered the essence of cycling; pain, recovery, improvement, repeat and have fun. Please keep it up and don't let anyone or thing steer you from your course!
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