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  1. #1
    Senior Member Falchoon's Avatar
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    My workmate has no idea about nutrition - how can I help him?

    A workmate purchased a nice MTB a few months ago and goes for semi-regular rides. He is quite unfit, hasn't done any exercise previous to buying the bike (aged mid 30s) and is overweight (about 14 stone 5.5ft tall) and until recently was a pack a day smoker! He has given up smokes now he reckons though he still has the occasional one. But he has (IMO) a shocking junk food habit and doesn't seem to understand that this effects his cycling ability not to mention his general health. He'll have a bunch of fried food including hamburgers, chips, KFC, Maccas etc for morning tea (often skips breakfast) and more of the same junk for lunch and probably dinner as well. I'm not a nutrition expert but I like to think I have a pretty reasonable idea what is good for you and what is bad, especially as it relates to cycling performance (I ride/race road bikes).

    He has a bit of a thing for high performance cars too (as do I) so I tried to compare his junk food habit to crap fuel in a finely tuned race car. Say the race car is tuned for high octane C16 or Avgas fuel and you put crappy ordinary unleaded fuel in it it will at best run **** and at worst damage the engine (melt pistons etc).

    Also if you keep putting fuel in and you haven't used up all the fuel that's already in the tank then eventually it will swell up and break (OK that's not exactly true but you get my point...). Like the human body. If you keep feeding it 'fuel' that isn't being used it converts to fat.

    He still doesn't get it (or doesn't want to get it maybe...). He saw a $8000 CF MTB in the shop the other week and figures if he buys this he will be able to fly up hills and be king of the trails. I tried to tell him it doesn't work this way, he may see a very slight improvement in performance but he needs more training and better nutrition way more than he needs an $8000 bike (his current bike cost $1600). He ignored my advice and is paying the new bike off and has seriously told me he doesn't intend to ride it off road incase he damages it so it will be for the road only!

    Aaaaarrrrrgggggggghhhh! He drives me nuts!
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

  2. #2
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Good luck with changing him. I have a friend that is very similar in his ways. He will not exercise or eat right, but he does have a lot of money in his 401k. Too bad he probably won't get to use the money when he retires, because he probably won't have good enough health to retire.

    I have been working on him for years. If he lost half his weight, he would still be overweight.
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  3. #3
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    in some ways i used to be the person you are describing, i too have a love of high performance cars, i currently drag race an 89 mustang. and for a long time i thought more about the parts and fuel that went into it. at the time i weighed 350 lbs did not exercise and ate a lot of junk but i never was a smoker. all of a sudden i began to realize i was caring more about the car than myself. that is when i started to think of my self as a performance machine, that was about 30 months ago. since that time i have lost 140 lbs, completed 1 marathon and 3 1/2 marathons, and i did my 1st sprint tri last year. right now paying attention to my fitness/nutrition is real important because it seems the better i eat/exercise the better i feel.

    good luck on helping your workmate, but my expirence has taught me until that persons wants to change, they are going to make every excuse possible not to.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Invite him to a bike riding clinic near you. Contact the local bike clubs to see what's going on. Both of you do group rides and begin socializing with other riders. The more bike riding peers he is with, the more he will see the light. Its called "willful intent".

  5. #5
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Invite him to a bike riding clinic near you. Contact the local bike clubs to see what's going on. Both of you do group rides and begin socializing with other riders. The more bike riding peers he is with, the more he will see the light. Its called "willful intent".

    I have tried similar things, but no go so far and now he is moving away. I am hoping something will click with him soon.

    I hope the OP has better luck than me. I have helped jump start quite a few, but the one I am most worried about is getting worse instead of better.
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  6. #6
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    In all honesty, some people just don't want to hear it while others are more open to suggestion. A relative of mine made fun of me for years for being a tofu-eating bike-riding gym-going hippie while his weight ballooned higher and higher. I tried reasoning with him about family history of heart disease and cancer but to no avail. It was only recently that he asked me for a lot of advice on buying a bike (ended up with 2, mtb and road) so that he could get more exercise and on better things to make for dinner. I didn't rub it in his face because I've realized that people need to come out of their comfort zones on their own time so just be ready to offer advice when they are. He'll learn on his own and hopefully something you said to him will have sunk in.

  7. #7
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    Not much you can do, IMO. He will have to have a life changing event for him to open his eyes though. Good luck.

  8. #8
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    You can't change other people, they have to want to change themselves.

    Best thing you can do is to set a positive example.

  9. #9
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    that person is not a cyclist

  10. #10
    okay maybe not. mmerner's Avatar
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    Sounds like he has already made a lot of positive changes. Quit smoking and is doing some exercise. Can't expect him to totally change over night.
    question everything.

  11. #11
    bac
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    has seriously told me he doesn't intend to ride it off road incase he damages it so it will be for the road only!
    You need to break ties with this young man in terms of cycling. He's lost it.

    ... Brad

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmerner View Post
    Sounds like he has already made a lot of positive changes. Quit smoking and is doing some exercise. Can't expect him to totally change over night.
    +1. If you pester him too much, you might turn him off more ... Give him a break and let him progress at his own rate.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  13. #13
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Couple of other ideas.

    1. Praise him on the good changes he has already made (giving up smoking, going for rides). Positive reinforcement is always good.

    2. Why not bring in some tasty, healthy snacks to share?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    He still doesn't get it (or doesn't want to get it maybe...). He saw a $8000 CF MTB in the shop the other week and figures if he buys this he will be able to fly up hills and be king of the trails. I tried to tell him it doesn't work this way, he may see a very slight improvement in performance but he needs more training and better nutrition way more than he needs an $8000 bike (his current bike cost $1600). He ignored my advice and is paying the new bike off and has seriously told me he doesn't intend to ride it off road incase he damages it so it will be for the road only!
    Well, hopefully the large investment will help motivate him to keep riding.

  14. #14
    Look 555 fledgling catherine96821's Avatar
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    I like to tell men that drink too much that it converts their testosterone to estrogen and they then get feminized. (pointing out the big drinkers wherever we go)

    Then I print the information and throw it on their desk.

    Then I move on to trans fats and erectile function.

    lol you have to take one thing at a time.

    But, I always start with sexual function, they seem to respond to that.

    Oh, fat produces estrogen too.
    from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.

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