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My story and journey (so far)...

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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.

My story and journey (so far)...

Old 09-04-18, 01:05 PM
  #1  
KonAaron Snake 
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My story and journey (so far)...

If you don't want to read an emotionally charged, TMI public share, stop now. This is a sort of confession for me.

My name is Aaron, and I am a recovering...something. Obsessive. Occasionally prone to depression. I historically take out my angst on food.

Bikes were one of my first real loves, and bikes have been a part of my life since my teens. Until my thirties, they were strictly part of my life as tools to be ridden. Later, I became more of a "collector". For many years I kept my weight in check through riding. I've often been somewhat heavy, but for the first 34 years of my life, it was, usually, politely heavy. Like most heavy people, I had good years and bad. Last year my wife of eight years separated from me, and weight was one of the continuous stressors on our marriage.

I was 44, morbidly obese and hadn't ridden much in a few years. A fair bit of the weight piled on after I was hit by a car and had my knee broken...it interfered with my enjoyment of cycling, depression set in, and I really piled on the LBs. I was 330 at my heaviest, with a BMI of 47. Walking was difficult, I had sleep apnea and constant back pain.

Oddly, my journey back began with a simple realization; something about cycling was causing me anxiety and I wouldn't stick with it as a weight loss tool. At least at that point. Turning the cranks didn't transmit the same joy to my legs, and looking at a bike brought a sense of shame from not riding it. Riding was a chore...like lifting weights. I felt like a fraud owning so many beautiful bikes that I couldn't ride how they were designed to be ridden. It was another part of my life I saw as a failure.

I began the road to recovery with a therapist insisting I needed diet pills and strongly advocating for surgery. I was heavily resistant to both ideas, but, reluctantly, agreed to a diet pill thing. My doctor wouldn't prescribe until I had some heart stuff done and blood work. I was terrified of the results, but thought it was a good idea. By the time I was tested and cleared, I had lost 25 lbs and decided I could do it on will power. I was also thrilled that. shockingly, those tests were all remarkably positive. I credit cycling in my past for that, or at least some of it.

I began formulating a plan. The plan was based on wanting to do things I wouldn't hate and could maintain long term. It was based on consistency and a regimented approach. I decided not to listen to anyone's advice who wasn't my doctor unless stuff wasn't working. The core of the plan was keeping it simple...

Eat less, exercise more.

I count calories...I am honest with myself. I began walking. In the beginning, I struggled to get around one city block. I am not exaggerating. Stopping constantly, frequent rests...BUT, I walked. Every day. Often multiple times. I used a phone ap to track my progress...and small improvements motivated me. Within a few months I was walking half a mile without pain. Than a mile...etc. Last month I averaged 20,000 steps/10.7 miles a day. I no longer have to stop on walks, ever.

Still, cycling was not giving me much joy, though I began doing it every now and then.

The weight really began coming off. I hold myself to about 2200 calories a day on average. I don't beat myself up too badly on days I slip, but I try to hold myself accountable too. That area between accountability and being decent to yourself is tough for me...I'm a self flagellate guy.

I began riding a little more frequently...once a week I'd take a spirited, slightly longer ride. The past two weeks, I've begun to look forward to riding again. The spark is back. I think about the rides and prolong them. I'm no longer embarrassed to ride with other people.

I write this today at 220...BMI of 31. I still have some work to do, but I feel like a different entity. My back pain is far more manageable. No sleep apnea/snoring. I'm still a clyde...but I'm a clyde on a bike, and about 1.5 months away from being out of the obesity cycle all together. I took a break from cycling, but I'm finding I love it more than ever right now.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 09-04-18, 01:32 PM
  #2  
GZano
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That's a great story. Congratulations and keep up the great work. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 09-04-18, 03:24 PM
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Thats a great story with a positive ending. Keep pushing buddy. Take pics and keep the story up. I bet you will help others see they can also het better.
cheers🍻
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Old 09-04-18, 04:37 PM
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great stuff
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Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
(looking for Torpado Super light 56,57 or so)

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Old 09-05-18, 04:56 AM
  #5  
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Nice job Aaron!
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Old 09-05-18, 05:07 AM
  #6  
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I have had great success going on very long rides, then eating either normally, or actually less than I would normally eat. Easier to do in summer since you won't feel cold from under-eating like you might in winter.

Great story, congrats. Don't backslide whatever you do.
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Old 09-05-18, 06:59 AM
  #7  
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Way to go!
I'm at 235 lbs as of this morning, down from 314 lbs. Same way as you counting calories and riding.
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Old 09-05-18, 12:11 PM
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Yep, counting calories and getting plenty of exercise is the only way to go.
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Old 09-06-18, 06:47 AM
  #9  
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Fantastic story. Extremely similar to mine.
Keep up the good work!
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Old 09-06-18, 07:51 AM
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Thank you for sharing. I've struggled with my weight for 50+ years. Eating was always for comfort vs "fuel the machine". Teenage years, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and I started on a heavy regimen of prednisone in the '80's... some 12 years later, found myself tipping 300#.... and then needing multiple surgeries for my disease. At least I got off the steroids, but unfortunately it did some permanent damage to me physically and mentally. So I struggle. Each day. Move forward to three or four years ago when I was tipping the scales near 275/280# again. Though I could "plod" out a 2.5 hour half-marathon with my wife, the physical toll on my body made it no longer enjoyable ( we ran 5 years in a row together). So I started riding.

I had a crosstrail hybrid that I started pedaling routinely. Found myself out an about more often than not and joined my local pedal club for group rides and "support". The freedom of the road, and the lack of pain from exercise started to boost my spirits and now I'm addicted/obsessed with "feeling good". Today, I find myself at 233#... About 12# away from being off the obesity chart at my physician's office. I've struggled with a lot all my life... relationships, disease, surgeries, sepsis/near death, death of a child... and now a permanent ileostomy... yeah, I carry an "extra bag" on my rides ;-) But I'm getting there, one pedal stroke at a time. I'm competitive and like the thought of racing... but I'm not fast enough for the groups around me (I avg 15-16 mph)... so I challenge myself... weekly, monthly, annually... to do more, to improve personally.
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Old 09-06-18, 08:04 AM
  #11  
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I'm trying to focus on enjoying the ride and personal goals rather than external metrics like other people's speed/ability. That said...I am competitive. Slow though I may be, I hit some hills in a (for me) relatively tough gear and stayed out of my saddle for a decent clip (for me).

I know I'm a HELL OF A LOT faster and stronger than I was, but, most importantly, I'm happier and healthier.

Thanks for the support all!

I'm also about 12 pounds away from leaving the obesity bracket, and I'm excited as heck. OVERWEIGHT! Woohooo!
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Old 09-06-18, 08:58 AM
  #12  
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Great job!
I read all these success stories such as yours and often wonder if someone combined all of them and put them in a pamphlet or some other type of readable form, just how much they could potentially affect someone else's life by giving them the motivation to get out and try.
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Old 09-06-18, 09:02 AM
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Great Story! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-06-18, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by konaaron snake View Post
i'm trying to focus on enjoying the ride and personal goals rather than external metrics like other people's speed/ability. That said...i am competitive. Slow though i may be, i hit some hills in a (for me) relatively tough gear and stayed out of my saddle for a decent clip (for me).

I know i'm a hell of a lot faster and stronger than i was, but, most importantly, i'm happier and healthier.

Thanks for the support all!

I'm also about 12 pounds away from leaving the obesity bracket, and i'm excited as heck. Overweight! Woohooo!
congrats!!!!!
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