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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.

I'm desperate for help

Old 06-03-07, 06:25 PM
  #1  
kenseth03
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I'm desperate for help

I have been out of cycling for 4 years and have ballooned up to 235 lbs. I have a brand new Trek 6700 and I rode about 8 miles the other day and I was in rough shape when I was done. Not being able to do 8 miles is pitifull!!!!! Now i am having motivational issues. I love biking alot but I am extremely discouraged!
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Old 06-03-07, 06:32 PM
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Rome was not built in a day! Start out with three miles and increase as you feel able to do so. It is so easy to get discouraged but we here will root for you! At first skio a day in between rides to let your muscles recover. Hydrate and get good food and cut out the junk! You can do it!
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Old 06-03-07, 06:35 PM
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Just go at a slow pace that works for you before you know it 20 miles will be nothing
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Old 06-03-07, 06:40 PM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement. Perhaps my biggest issue is cutting out the junk food. I think my local McDonalds would go out of business if I started eating healthy. Anyhow I will do as you guys say and ride between 3-5 miles every otherday. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 06-03-07, 06:45 PM
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Keep at it ... I think you're better off if you enjoy it and it's not a huge pain. Do a few miles several times a week ... have fun with it and you'll be surprised at how much you'll improve. And by the way ... I wish I was 235 ... I'm 5'11" 255 ... and I'm old (49). I did 170 miles over the past 3 days (70-70-30). Trust me, you can do it if you just keep riding regularly.
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Old 06-03-07, 07:21 PM
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I used to ride a lot. There was a point when I was going 5-6 times a week, 20, 30 or more miles a day. I once did a century all by myself on an low end late 80ies Specialized Street Stomper with Fat Boy slick tires on it. I still remember the odometer kicking over to triple digits. But that all ended 10 or more years and 50 or more pounds ago. lol

I just started back up and got a new bike. I have been doing 8 miles, 10 miles, etc. I did 15 miles yesterday and two 10 mile rides today. I am not setting any speed records either but I am happy that I can get out and ride at all.

I know the miles and endurance will come. I can already tell my legs and mind are remembering why I loved cycling so long ago - even my arse is starting to figure it out.

Just keep with it. Enjoy it and don't stress over it. You have a great bike and love of cycling. It is going to come along.
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Old 06-03-07, 07:26 PM
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Everyone on here is awsome!!!! Thanks!!!!
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Old 06-03-07, 07:28 PM
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It will come very quickly for you, just don't stop. Think how much harder it would be if you stopped now ant tried to do it again when you weighed 50 pounds more than you do today? Tomorrow will only be better than today if you do something different today than you did yesterday.
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Old 06-03-07, 07:38 PM
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I'm 49 6'6" and was 298 when I started back up after a 20 year absence. I bought a mountain bike about 15 years ago and never used it. First night riding it with the kids, a half mile about killed me. This morning, 3 weeks later, I clicked off 10 miles on it, in about 50 minutes. If you have ever ridden before, it will come back quickly. I was very surprised. I'm even pulling on the straps now.

Yesterday morning I was chugging along a roadie passed me. When I saw him pull in front of me, I really wanted to go; But, the legs just don't - currently - have what it takes.

Keep up the good work. It will become fun in no time.

Down 15 pounds and feeling it.
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Old 06-03-07, 11:03 PM
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When I got back on the bike a couple years ago, I was working in a gas station 7 days a week. A LOT of "sprint walking" short distances. I did about 5 miles the first day. I could hardly move my legs the next day when I got out of bed. Back of the thighs were SORE!
Just start easy and DON'T push. If you're undecided if you should shift up, you probably shouldn't. It's easier on the knees & legs to spin fast than to mash.
Ride a mile a day on days you don't have time. It keeps you from regressing.
I really hadn't planned on riding today, but I noticed this ad on CL just a couple minutes after it appeared. It was about a mile from my house, so I just cruised my neighborhood looking.
https://corvallis.craigslist.org/bik/344202452.html
Motivation is where you find it. I just wish it had a "white hat" ending.

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Old 06-04-07, 07:16 AM
  #11  
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On the riding side, consistency is your friend, particularly when you're just starting out. I have a friend who constantly fails in her efforts to "get fit" because she'll sit around for a week, then go out and try to ride 10-20 miles on a weekend, and of course it kicks her butt and she ends up calling for a sag wagon. Two miles a day is better for you than twenty miles once a week.

On the food side, think positive, not negative. You're feeling like it will be a struggle to give up your beloved junk food...well, you know, that stuff is designed to be addictive, just like cigarettes. So don't fight it head on. Instead, start adding healthy food to your diet. Keep healthy snacks around -- plain roasted nuts, fruit, etc. Plan to snack -- midmorning eat a piece of fruit, don't wait to feel hungry, because that's when you're most likely to automatically respond by reaching for what you're used to which is junk food. Fill up on healthy food, and the desire to eat junk will diminish. Furthermore, the exercise will start to create a positive feedback loop: if you eat right, you'll have energy to ride; if you ride, the exercise will help to regulate your appetite.

Also, try to keep regular habits -- not just the exercise, but also things like the times you eat and the times you sleep. Bodies run best on a routine, so if youy breakfast is a latte and a bagel at 8 am during the week and then a huge pig-out at 11 am on weekends, your body won't like it. Try to get a higher proportion of your calories early in the day: breakfast like a king, lunch like a merchant, sup like a pauper, that's an old saying, and it's really true. There was a study that had people record what they ate, and they found that people who ate according to that pattern consumed fewer calories overall -- it seems that that pattern helps regulate appetite. Sleep also plays a pretty important role in digestion, the insulin response and appetite regulation -- people who are chronically sleep-deprived are a lot more likely to be obese. Something to think about...
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Old 06-04-07, 09:23 AM
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Start out easy. I have a 5 mile each way commute. The first month I was happy if my average speed was close to 13 MPH, and I was quite tired after each ride. Now that I've been riding for 2 months I frequently average 17 MPH, and I am less tired. I ride on a Gerry Fischer Nirvana. I like sitting a bit more up right so that I can see and anticipate what the traffic around me is doing. I have front suspension to soak up the bumps thanks to the hard winters we have here. I also carry with me food and water for the whole day, some emergency repair tools, a pump, spare tire, and rain gear. I figure the few extra pounds of equipment is just adding to my daily workout.

The first few weeks besides being tired, my rear end would also feel the ride a bit. You rear end does get used to the saddle after a while. In the weekends I have been slowly doing longer rides as I am getting ready to participate in a charity ride on June 23rd and will be riding 33 miles. For me this is a good goal. I started with 8 mile rides, and yesterday I did a 20 mile ride. I was riding with friends that don't move so fast, otherwise I would have kept on going. After 2 hours in the saddle though I was ready for a break. As others mentioned as well Rome was not built in a day. For some it takes a little longer to get back into riding shape. I am also working on getting my wife to ride she would qualify to participate in the list forum. She knows she needs to get more active as well and is finally starting to see how enjoyable riding a bike is. My next goal is to get her to take the bike rather than a car to get some presciptions or a small amount of groceries. Besides saving real $$$ in fuel, I always find it easiest to be motivated when I have a destination to reach.

Enjoy the ride,
André
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Old 06-04-07, 09:36 AM
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i know how you feel man - i love the junk food to + the cigarettes.
Todat was my first day out and i could only manage about 3 miles now i have a thumping headache.

I think the key to keep motivated is a little bit often.
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Old 06-04-07, 10:33 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by kenseth03
I have been out of cycling for 4 years and have ballooned up to 235 lbs. I have a brand new Trek 6700 and I rode about 8 miles the other day and I was in rough shape when I was done. Not being able to do 8 miles is pitifull!!!!! Now i am having motivational issues. I love biking alot but I am extremely discouraged!
OK ... there is one for a discussion.

In my opinion, you need to compute time on the bike and not distance covered.

1 hour on the bike is one hour not on the couch.

Distance does not matter, is effort.
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Old 06-04-07, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by huhenio
OK ... there is one for a discussion.

In my opinion, you need to compute time on the bike and not distance covered.

1 hour on the bike is one hour not on the couch.

Distance does not matter, is effort.
Yup!

I was feeling sad on Sunday because my 24 mile ride on Saturday sorta kicked my butt...my SO pointed out that my usual Saturday of playing on the internet was much less taxing so I should feel good that I got my butt out of the chair and RODE!!
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Old 06-04-07, 10:41 AM
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Old 06-04-07, 12:21 PM
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Listen to what everybody says, its golden.

As far as motivation, and not mentioning the fact all the good things you're doing for your health when you ride, make sure your bike is in tip top shape. That, in itself, will motivate you to get out there and ride when your bike is clean, adjusted and oiled. There is nothing like riding quiet country roads on a bike that is totally silent and efficient from a well maintained bike. It releases your mind from the burden of maladjustment, so you can better enjoy the quiet gliding freedom of riding your bike for health and fitness.

nuff said
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Old 06-04-07, 01:48 PM
  #18  
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I would definitely try to fix your diet while you are ramping up your miles. If you haven't seen Supersize Me, you should. What frequent fast food / junk food does to your system is scary. Exercising without eating better is the opposite of what most of america does (diet w/o exercise), but it's proven that improving diet and increasing activity level together goes farthest toward improving health and fitness. I still have an occasional fast food meal, but they are fewer and farther between, and I don't feel very well after I have one.

My short list of dietary fixes:

Minimal High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Corn syrup solids (they are in everything - check your labels).
Whole grains wherever there is an alternative (crackers, bread, tortillas, etc).
Fruit and veggies several times/day.
Fish, chicken/turkey, lean meat, lean pork, in that order.
Low/reduced fat cheese/dairy.
No soda/punch/anything sweetened with corn syrup.

Try to incorporate some of the above, a bit at a time, and your energy levels should increase noticeably. Allow yourself a 'cheat' or two per week.

Jim
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Old 06-05-07, 09:36 AM
  #19  
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Congratulations for getting on a bike. I have been at it for three months now coming off of 15 years on the couch. When I started I had trouble doing the 1 mile loop around my neighborhood more than a few times. It felt like the hills were impossible.

Fast forward to today. I have no problem riding 20 miles with some moderate hills.

I have been lurking for some time now and feel it is time for me to share.

Things that have helped me –

1.) I started eating better. I cut out soda and refined sugars first. I quickly cut out fast food (grilling up a few chicken breasts at a time and keeping them in the fridge makes for a quick sandwich). Switched from white to whole grain foods. I still treat myself to sweet things like fruit smoothies after a long ride or hard workout. I eat a lot. I just eat different foods. Be sure to get enough calories to keep you going but get the right ones. 1000 calories of cheeseburgers is not the same as 1000 calories of fruits and veggies.

2.) I started taking a good “sports” multivitamin. I used to get headaches frequently. Now that I take a vitamin I don’t get them. When I forget to take the vitamin I get a headache. I am defiantly deficient in something.

3.) I hired a coach. This is not a cheap option but has been a VERY good investment. I have learned successful training methods. I have days that I ride hard and days that I ride VERY easy. My coach tailors my workouts to ME. It is not a set training plan from a book. I let him know how I feel and we tweak things.

4.) I am training with a power meter. This allows me to really understand and profile my rides. It also is encouraging when I see improvement and it is really quantified. This again is not an inexpensive option but I feel like it is a great investment.

5.) I got an indoor trainer. Big guys have to put out much more power to get forward motion, more power means more training stress and can wear you out fast. An indoor trainer allows me to go easy and still get my legs moving and my blood pumping. I use the trainer when I watch TV. It is not as comfortable as the couch but I feel great after.

6.) I take a maximum of 1 day off a week. When my muscles ache I have found that very light recovery rides in a trainer help me feel better the next day.

NOW having said all that the best advice I can give you is just do what you can and feel good about each effort. It becomes easy to make big changes when you add up a bunch of small ones.

-Mark

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Eating the elephant one bite at a time.
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Old 06-05-07, 09:45 AM
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Yeeeeaaah! GOOOOOO BOY! WHOOOOOOOO!
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Old 06-05-07, 10:12 AM
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Salute!
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Old 06-06-07, 09:44 AM
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Ken some advise, don't take it easy, don't try to ease your way back in. Go out and hurt yourself every night, you don't need a power meter, hell you don't even need a cyclometer, just go ride until you hurt and can't breath. You don't need a coach, you don't need to drasticly change your diet, you just need to ride. In a few weeks you'll feel stronger.

Be like me, find a skinny guy to ride with, at first he'll kick your ass up every hill, but in a year or two you'll be able to keep up, you might just beat him up every now and again.

If this advise seems to hardcore then don't follow it.
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Old 06-06-07, 01:32 PM
  #23  
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One thing I found made a big difference when I was getting back into cycling was to buy a wider softer seat. I was really discouraged my first few times out on the hard little seat that came with the bike, but once I got a fat ass seat with springs it was great.

Congrats on getting back at it!
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Old 06-07-07, 08:57 AM
  #24  
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You are getting some great words of encouragement here and I don't have much to add except don't starve yourself. Mostly, you just increase the quality of the food. That doesn't mean fresher Twinkies, either. It means, like others have said, more fruits and veggies, less red meat and cut the fast food back to maybe once a week as a treat. Make your rides interesting. Have a destination, even if it's just to go look at the wildflowers, or get a cup of coffee. I dig breakfast rides on the weekend. I'll ride to a restaurant 15-20 miles away, have a little breakfast and ride home. Ride loops; simple out and backs where you are looking at the same things are boring. Vary your routes, vary your milage and vary your pace. I like doing intervals, where you ride hard for a period, get your heart rate up good and push your breathing to the max, then back off and cruise for awhile. Once you recover, you take off again. Eventually, the recovery times will become shorter and shorter and you'll find your comfortable pace getting faster and faster.

It does help to have encouragement from others. If you have a local recreational bike club, join up and ride. Find a club that encourages beginners, they will likely have a group that's just right for you. Don't be intimidated by the folks in Spandex, they all started out somewhere, too. Just jump in and grab hold of a wheel, you'll be fine.

Mark
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Old 06-08-07, 11:24 AM
  #25  
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With 60 lbs to loose, I was a bit disappointed with only loosing 10 lbs after my first year of cycling - especially when considering how many miles I put into riding each week.

Everyone knows they need to eat healthy, but since it's not what they are used to, they don't know the specifics of how to make it work in their lives. Learning that is a journey; you can't just wake up one morning and know how to accomplish it. I spent time reading and working out solutions with my wife, so that 6-7 months into the second year (while making this educational effort) I had lost the other 50 lbs, even while riding half as much on the bike.

There are lots of ways to jump start the process of understanding nutrition; WeightWatcher's core program, 'Eat to Live', and 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' were most helpful to us. What's most important to know is that you can ween yourself from the addiction to these foods. Your palate does change - you can eventually find that you prefer the flavors to your basic fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains to all the processed reclaimed foodstuffs you now love. Had someone told me this when I started I would have laughed at them, and now I sigh when I see someone desperate for help, as I decide whether or not taking the time to send the message will be worth it for anyone. There is an easy way, you just don't know how easy it is from the perspective you now have.

Best of luck.
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