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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Weightloss success stories

    Do any of you have weightloss success stories which you'd like to share with the rest of us?


    I'm currently 5'6" and 130 lbs. I range from about 115 lbs toward the end of the summer season and as high as 135 lbs late in the winter season. If I can get up to 135 lbs that's good. I like to start my heavy cycling season a little bit above 130 lbs so I don't lose too much over the summer.

    BUT ...

    Back quite a number of years ago, I was 170 lbs, which for my height, was quite overweight. The day I stepped on the scale and saw that number I nearly wept! I had no idea I had gained so much weight. Then and there, I devoted myself to at least an hour a day of exercise - weightlifting and cardio (exercise bike, and some outdoor cycling). I also started watching what I was eating, and cutting back on unnecessary calories. It wasn't long before I was down to 145 lbs.

    Then I sat at 145 lbs for years, desperately trying to lose a bit more. I tried diets - they didn't work - I actually GAINED weight when I dieted. I thought I was exercising a lot (still about an hour a day), and couldn't figure out what the matter was.

    Gradually though, I began increasing the amount of exercise I was doing, while still eating whatever I wanted. I started racing and doing centuries every year, and my mileages crept up from 1000 miles a year ... to about 3000 miles a year ... and then to about 5000 miles a year (and even more in the last couple years) ... and gradually my weight started dropping off!! By 1998, I was down to a comfortable 125 lbs and I've stayed roughly there (slight fluctuation for summer and winter, see above) ever since. I'm not racing anymore, but the long distance riding I do is doing a great job of weight control.

    There was one winter in there though, where my weight shot up to 150 lbs. Using long distance cycling, and training for long distance events, I was able to bring it back under control again. The next winter I wondered if a similar thing would happen ... see what happens is that I'm so used to eating 3000+ calories a day to support the amount of energy I burn, that when my cycling drops off in the winter, and I still eat that amount, I gain weight. As it happened, the next winter I suffered a very bad burn and was stuck in a chair for 3 months. I couldn't get up to grab snacks in the evenings, I could barely get up to feed myself at all ... and I didn't gain weight that winter. I used those principles the next winter - cut the snacks!!

    I've discovered there are three main "foods" which cause me to start gaining weight in the winter:
    - sugared drinks - I drink these in the summer for extra energy when I ride, but have to cut them out in the winter.
    - costco muffins - you know those HUGE muffins sold at places like costco and superstore - each one is 700-800 calories!! Great for a long distance brevet, bad for sitting in front of the computer in the middle of winter.
    - microwave popcorn - I would consume a whole bag of the stuff in one sitting, then I discovered that it is also 700-800 calories per bag, and out it went!


    So, let's hear YOUR success stories!!

  2. #2
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    My story...

    I have always been about the same weight. Seven years (yes 7) ago I worked at a fast food place and gained 45 pounds in 2 years, yes not a huge amount but it pushed me to almost 260 pounds at 6'6". I was active in high school but through the long hours in the library I kept the weight. I was eating at my peak 4 jumbo jacks in a sitting, fries, etc when I worked fast food. I still can not believe I would eat that much.

    I continued working in the industry, now at a super market. The constant running around let me lose a few pounds but not fast enough. Fast forward 6 months ago. I found a job working security at my local college, I got placed on a bike unit and fell in love with cycling. I was biking 8 hours, 25+ miles per day and the weight came off slowly. In 2 months I had dropped 5 pounds and rode over 2000 miles on my MTB.

    I thought, would it not be cool to go and ride with the local bike club. I was hooked yet the weight did not come off. Slowly over the next month I began changing my eating habits, cut out most soda, candy bars and sweets to a minimum, etc, and began eating less. In november I rode in the local club itt and placed extremly well after only being on a road bike for 2 weeks. I was hooked and started base training to build up speed.

    Over the next 3 months I dropped 25 pounds, now down to 230 pounds. I saw my first criterium and decided I wanted to race, joined a race team. Now I am almost at 220 pounds, I hope my race weight will be right at 220 pounds in the morning. I have lost 35 pounds in 4 months and the weight continues to come off slowly. I hope by end of summer I will be at 200 pounds, my ideal is around that weight.

    All it took was a change in attitude. Now I have a hard time eating a full meal at fast food, fries make me sick, I drink almost no soda, it had been 3 months since I had a candy bar. I am getting stronger all the time, riding 5 - 6 days per week. I have now raced in 4 races and my 5th is tomarrow...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  3. #3
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    Started out at 200lbs about a year ago and was down to 160 in about four months riding about 5 or 6 hours a week. The beer and the snacking went by the wayside but other wise I eat what I want, 5 hrs a week on the trainer this winter kept the weight at 160. I Plan on getting down to about 155 this summer.

  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I don't think most people would call mine a success story, but at least it's an improvement and a work in progress. My weight went up gradually to about 325 pounds by age 45. Predictably, I had a fairly mild heart attack and picked up three stents. I was also diagnosed with diabetes.

    I was serious about cardiac rehab, started walking and switched to low fat, high carb diet and lost 140 pounds. I started cycling two years ago and I ride about 3000 miles a year. About 2/3 of that is at a pretty good pace, but I have never competed. I also continue to walk a lot, so I exercize 90 minutes or more everyday. However, after some emotional stress, a serious fall and quitting smoking, I have gained back about 50 pounds, so I'm 235 at 5'11". I obviously eat too much. Almost everything I eat is "healthy," so I prove the point that it ain't what you eat, it's how much. I also prove that exercize alone is not enough to lose weight or even maintain weight--although it certainly helps.

    So--I have had a net loss of 90 pounds, which is holding steady. My blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are all normal now, even without medicine. (I do take drugs for cholesterol and blood pressure because these also help prevent second heart attacks.) I am not totally satisfied with my weight, and I am currently developing a plan to take it off and keep it off. However, I am proud of the hard work I have devoted to my goals, and I'm especially proud of the progress I continue to make with my cycling.

  5. #5
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Not a success story yet, but I'm working on it.
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  6. #6
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    14 years at a sedentary office job increased my weight from 170 to 212 at 6' tall. I was always tired, battling bad knees and my exercising became almost non-existent.

    I quit, started reading diet books, went on a low calorie, high exercise mode for 3 months and I've lost 50 lbs. I'm at the first notch on all my belts now. If I lose anymore, I'll have to purchase a leather punch. Woohoo!

    Secrets to my success:

    1. Lots of free time to exercise (at least twice a day)
    2. Eliminate bad fat and simple carbs from diet (white flour, sugar, candy, soda, pizza, pasta, burgers, ice cream, etc.)
    3. Cross training to keep knees healthy. (biking, running, ellipetical).
    4. Avoid eating out as much as possible to reduce temptation.
    5. Focus and dedication. It really helped to sit down and read the diet books to keep myself from straying. (Abs Diet, South Beach, Dr. Weil, Atkins, The Zone were some of my light recreational readings)

    Although it's a controversial topic on this forum, I feel that limiting carbs, especially high Glycemic Index carbs is very effective. I did three and four hour rides and never bonked.

    I'm at my "maintenance stage" now, where I'm down to one cardio workout per day and I allow myself much more freedom in my diet. (Pedone's pizza last night and Haagen Dazs).

    Good stories everyone. Keep up the good work. Let's hear some more. I need more positive reinforcement.

  7. #7
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    Try the weight loss club thread. It's chock full of success stories!

    Weight Loss Club

    Koffee

  8. #8
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    8/1/04 225 lbs
    3/26/05 197.5 lbs

    Weight was coming off relatively slowly until I joined CTS (Carmichael Training Systems) about two months ago, then it came off very quickly! I don't know if it was the program or just being more disciplined. Either way, well worth the money.

    Woohoo! No more clydesdale status!

    Qroo
    "I gotta have more cowbell!"

  9. #9
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    12/1/04 - 220 pounds, 24% body fat
    3/29/05 - 181 pounds, 17% body fat
    29 years old, male, 5' 10"

    I consider it to be a success. It definately has not been easy. I have been watching what I eat and going to the gym for 2 - 3 hours a day four or five times a week. I am almost at my goal weight wise, I wanted to be 180 pounds by this coming Sunday (4/3) since that is my first race of the year. My main goal is to get down to 175 pounds though. Once that happens I want to start really concentrating on getting my body fat percentage down. I am hoping to eventually get it down to 12% - 13%.

    I have recently changed my workout quite a bit. For the first three months I was concentrating primarily just on cardio work. I was spending 28 minutes on the stationary bike, 28 minutes on the stairmaster and 28 minutes on the treadmill five days a week. Once I got my weight down to around 187 I started concentrating primarily on weights. I do upper body 2 - 3 times a week. Once I fininsh the workout I do 40 minutes of cardio on a cross trainer. On the other days I either do an hour or so of cardio or get out on the bike, which is my exercise of choice.

    I believe that the biggest mistake I have made is by not getting enough protein. I didn't realize it but you are supposed to have 1 gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass. I had been getting less than 50 grams of protein a day which meant that a good part of my weight loss has been muscle. I have recently started drinking 2-3 protein shakes a day, this makes sure that I get my 150 grams of protein a day.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    12/1/04 - 220 pounds, 24% body fat
    3/29/05 - 181 pounds, 17% body fat
    29 years old, male, 5' 10"[. . .]
    I believe that the biggest mistake I have made is by not getting enough protein. I didn't realize it but you are supposed to have 1 gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass. I had been getting less than 50 grams of protein a day which meant that a good part of my weight loss has been muscle. I have recently started drinking 2-3 protein shakes a day, this makes sure that I get my 150 grams of protein a day.
    Be careful! I successfully lost > 140 lbs. Then I read that 1 gram/pound thing on the internet when I started lifting weights. I started with the shakes and cottage cheese, and before long I had gained like 30 pounds. And it was not all muscle either! Those shakes have a lot of calories, so you will need to cut out some other food if you keep using them.

    I wonder if that high protein advice is intended more for competetive body builders who are bulking up? I also wonder why you think you made a "biggest mistake?" You have lost 39 pounds in four months. That doesn't sound like a mistake to me! Congratulations.

    What food plan did you use to lose all that poundage?

  11. #11
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Thank you for the advice, I will definately keep an eye on the scales (and body fat meter).

    The protein shake I am using has 110 calories per serving. I am using the Optimum Nutrition 100% whey.

    Here is my basic diet. I don't always stick to it 100%

    6:30 am - 1 ounce brown rice, 1 ounce oatmeal, flax oil, ground cinnamon, blue berries, 2 packets splenda
    9:30 am - protein shake
    noon - either brown rice or soup
    2:00 pm - protein shake and a fruit of some type
    3:30 pm - nutrigrain bar
    4:00 pm - hit the gym
    7:00 pm - a 6" subway sandwich or something else filling and somewhat healthy

    I drink approximately a gallon of water per day. I don't drink any soft drinks, haven't for 4 years now.

    On weekends I generally cheat once or twice on dinner.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  12. #12
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Your protein shakes were lower in calories than mine were. Also, your diet sounds almost macrobiotic (other than the Subway) so you might need additional protein anyway. You don't like vegetables much?

  13. #13
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Yeah, I love vegetables (except tomatoes). Have vegetables on my sub and when I don't have a sub and actually have a normal dinner.

    Here is my little thing over at fitday.com. I just started it yesterday so it isn't much to see. clicky clicky
    Last edited by LowCel; 03-29-05 at 01:47 PM.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  14. #14
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    I am finding at age 45, it is getting harder and harder to shed the unwanted pounds. At 202 lbs and 6'2", I really want to be around 190 or so by say May 1 when the real good outdoor riding season gets here in New England. I figure I have lost about 7 lbs in 12 weeks, or just over 1/2 lb a week.

    I've upped the cardio and weight training - fortunately for me, my office moved across the street from a gym and I can get more workouts in each week. One mistake I think I was making diet-wise was going too low with daily protein (maybe 70 grams avg) and I have upped that a little for a better balance of protein/carbs/fats.

    Oh - less beer probably helps a little too :-)

    Other than that, it's sort of common sense and sticking to not a diet, but lifestyle changes that I hope I can stick with.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/articles/a-83.html
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  15. #15
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    I've dropped 71 lbs so far.

    Nov 1st - 2004 = 320 lbs
    March 30th - 2005 = 249 lbs.

    If you want to see a visual representation of what losing 70 lbs look like take a look at this small video file I did of myself: http://home.comcast.net/~daryl.welsh...face_morph.wmv

    I've done this through eating better (averaging about 1600 to 1800 cals a day) and working out 4 or 5 times per day (60 to 90 mins). This included a lot of indoor cycling classes at the beginning, but I've recently got a new bike and have been doing half-centuries on the weekends when the sun is out.

    None of this was easy but I was fortunate to be able to participate in a structured program that provided solid nutrional information (via a registered dietician) and a certified personal trainer. I've journaled my experience on my blog.

    -daryl welsh

  16. #16
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I don't think most people would call mine a success story......
    I'd call it a success story, or at least a successful progress report.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  17. #17
    The Question Man
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    well this thread tends to be more active than the weight loss club thread so I guess I'll share here.

    Was on steroids (non-anabolic) for an illness when I was 15. This caused my weight to balloon even beyond the point that it was at. I was already overweight but the steroids combined with lack of activity put me square in the obese category.

    It took me 3 years to finally get on track. I started eating better last May. I started riding my stationary bike in July. I was very determined to drop the weight. I am 5'8 and I weighed 235 pounds back in July. Today I'm in at around 156-157 with around 16% body fat. Still trying to work on reducing that body fat.

    Also I'm a little sad in that I can't really ride like I used to. The only exercise I can get is when I go to the fitness center on campus. They have bikes but I don't really like them. Good news is though that I'm going to get a real bike (road bike) this summer when I go back home (San Antonio). OOOOO, I can't wait. I've never really ridden long distances outside before but I'm anticipating a great time.

  18. #18
    You're just a fat kid Moistfly's Avatar
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    Hmmmm ... I suppose I have one but it's not very elaborate ...

    Graduated from high school at 6'1" and an incredibly weak 220 (that is to say not only was I overweight but nearly none of my weight was muscle mass)

    I stayed like that for about a year before I realised how unhappy it made me ... bought a membership to a gym and started running every day ... my first day on the treadmill I ran for 5 minutes at 5 miles an hour and was exhausted. That went on for a few weeks during which I didn't really lose any weight or improve but forced myself to overcome the mental blocks a lot of people put up for themselves as an excuse to quit.

    Anyway, eventually of course I did start seeing improvement ... first I could run for 10 minutes, then 15, then 20 .. then I could run for 20 minutes at 6 miles per hour, then I could run at that pace for 50 minutes and so on ... for about a year and a half straight I ran 6 days a week until eventually I was down to 163 lbs... At that point I eased the running down to twice a weak and began weight training trying to improve the musculature of my body and bulked back up to about 180 ...

    At that point I took up cycling (this was last summer) and did pretty well. Unfortunately I enjoyed it so much I got rid of my gym membership and spent the entire off season just being lazy ... now I'm up to 185 ... which is a 15 lb improvement from january and just trying to get myself back into the 175 range ...


    edit: Also, I don't really consider this a success story, and I'd never recommend someone start off the way I did ... thinking back on that, knowing what I know now I'm amazed I didn't severely injure myself or require major knee surgery.

  19. #19
    Junior Member walnuts's Avatar
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    I'm still a work in progress......On January 1, 2004, I weighed 370 pounds. Pretty big guy considering that I'm only 5'8" Through cycling and change of diet...I basically stopped eating fried foods, sodas and all the other "American staples", I have lost over 100 pounds. I am now down to 263 pounds. My goal is to get under 200 for the fist time since 1987. After that, we'll just have to see what happens.

    Several things have changed in my life since I've lost that weight. I no longer have sleep apnea or snore, I no longer have acid reflux...(I was taking Tums just to sleep at night). I can walk up the stairs now. I can tie my shoes without a struggle....and the bow is on the top of my shoe.. not the side. I shop at regular stores now.....I still get the coupons from the Big and Tall stores in the mail....they kinda help remind me where I don't want to be.

    I started 2004 with a cycling goal of 1000 miles. My actual 2004 mileage was 6331 miles. This year my goal is to get 10000 miles. I'm well on my way, and now that the weather is warming up, I can't wait to start really piling on some miles.

    There are a few folks here at work who have been inspired to start riding seeing how much it has changed me. I can't wait to start riding with them. My philosophy is that the more you ride the better off you are...no matter what the pace is. I ride with anyone who wants to ride. If they can't keep up, I slow down. If I can't keep up....I push harder. It's all about miles on the bike.

    I can remember rides last year when I was riding up hills at 8 mph. This year, even after the winter, I am going up the same hills at 17-18 mph. My riding buddies...mostly skinny guys who like to go ride in the mountains just for fun.....are trying to talk me into a mountain ride this fall....who knows....maybe that'll be my big accomplishment this year.

    Reading the posts on these boards and logging all of my miles on bikejournal has kept me motivated.
    Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and helping to keep us "beginners" motivated.

    walnuts

  20. #20
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    Unrelated, stupid question - how do you find time to ride 10,000 miles??
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  21. #21
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walnuts
    Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and helping to keep us "beginners" motivated.

    walnuts
    Congrats on the weight loss.

    On a side note, if you are riding over 6,000 miles a year I don't think anyone is going to refer to you as a "beginner".
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  22. #22
    Junior Member walnuts's Avatar
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    I ride everywhere. I ride any time I can. I ride to and from work. I ride club rides...I ride to and from those club rides. It's not that hard to ride 10000 miles if you put it as your priority. It's only a 200 mile per week average. Like I said before,....I'll ride with anybody. If someone wants to go for a ride...I rarely ever turn them down. I like being on the bike. Whether I'm alone or riding with others, I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.

    I've told others who want to lose weight that they can do it with cycling. If you stop and think for a minute, every reason you can find NOT to ride is just an excuse. It's all about priority...right now, my priority is getting back to good health so I can be around for my wife, kids, and grandkids for the long run.

    I guess I'm lucky to have an understanding wife who would rather have me healthier and happier and riding all the time than fat and lazy and dead before I'm 60.

    By the way,...she rides too. We have a tandem and we enjoy riding together. I use the rides with my wife or the folks from work for my recovery rides.

    walnuts

  23. #23
    Junior Member walnuts's Avatar
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    I only say I'm a beginner, because I've only been riding for a year. I just went a little overboard I guess.......which isn't really a bad thing.

    walnuts

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