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A Fight For My Life And Also Yours.

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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.

A Fight For My Life And Also Yours.

Old 09-26-12, 09:42 AM
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melvinator
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A Fight For My Life And Also Yours.

Most of my life I was a pretty active kid played football till the lights came on outside and barely came inside the house only to eat and shower(as most of you can relate to), was never very skinny but was considered “corn fed child” but was very strong. As time passed I became older and girls came in the picture and I spent less time outside and more time talking to girls. Years went by and I decided to become a paramedic and started medic school at the age of 18. I became one of the state’s youngest EMT's and promptly started Paramedic school after becoming a EMT. As you know college involves lots of drinking, sedentary life, eating fast food, and lacking sleep. After suffering from PTSD I quit working as a Medic and got a job in accounting and sat in my office 8 hours a day 5 days a week. Before I knew it I had gained 70 pounds in 3 1/2 years

I am 22 years old 6'3 and one night felt chest discomfort that lasted for weeks. This kept occurring for 2 months and I kept loosing less and less sleep every night until I barely slept 4 hours a night. Me being a paramedic I knew that this was the beginning of a bad road that could cause for me to have a heart attack or stroke. My blood pressure was around 160/88 and my resting pulse in the high 80's and in my head I just kept telling myself it’s only a matter of time before I won’t wake up. This caused panic in me and in turned dreaded to going to bed every night.


I couldnt allow myself to die I was getting married in less than 6 months with a beautiful young woman that I loved dearly (sometime I wondered what she saw in me).
She in turn was fit thin and lived an active life style. As I lay in bed worrying about my future I told myself I must do something to change this. Sadly I knew everything I had to do to better my life but could never stick with a workout routine and food is always a comfort for me. As I lay in bed worrying about my future I told myself “I must do something to change this.” The next morning before getting in the shower I decided to do something I haven’t done in year’s stand on the dreaded scale. Last time I did I was 210 pounds and I looked great from football and active lifestyle. I was in shock as the scale said 280. As I was getting ready for work I thought to myself “what have I done to myself”.

I got in the car as usual to start my day, but as I turned the ignition I noticed the car wouldn’t start just heard the click of the starter. Me knowing a little bit about cars (due to my father) I recognized I had a dead battery. Unfortunately I had no way of charging it or anyone to come to my rescue. As I rummaged through my garage I saw my old MTB sitting on its side, dusty, and beaten up. Wasn’t much of a bike a POS if you ask me from Wal-Mart. I thought to myself, “hey I will just ride to work!” .I pumped up the old tires and started on my way to work. I forgot how hard it was to bike(especially on a cheap bike)! And to be honest almost passed out twice on my 10 mile journey to work. I got to work people looked at me wide eyed and said you okay?! And said no I am not as I plopped in my seat panting. This was the most alive I have felt in years! I felt great! Even though I could barely feel my legs as they were plain mush. I had to get a ride bike home ha-ha. Finally the third ride in my rims turned to an S and collapsed under my weight and I went to my LBS and I purchased a Marin Larkspur CS series and my true journey began. At first I could only bike ride to work and NOT back 2 times a week, then it increased to 3 times a week. I also felt embarrassed as cars drove past me and I felt silly riding my bike.

Then I found this website and started reading everyone’s success stories which motivated me to telling myself if they can do it so can I, and spend hours reading the knowledge many had picked over the years.

Then one day I said I think I should be able to do it both ways now! I pushed through the pain and made it home! First time I had ever done 20 miles in one day! I slowly increased my rides as the weeks passed going 2,3,4 times a week until I could make it 5 times a week to work and back and my confidence increased. Even to the point that I tired to find ways of increasing my miles to get home just to make it a challenge.

This week I finally decided to become a member and it was my turn to tell my story and maybe help someone in the same position as me.

In three months my resting heart rate dropped to 70 and my blood pressure 140/80 and I can finally sleep and I feel no chest discomfort. I truly feel alive and like a million bucks! I have only lost 4 pounds but have lost 2 inches off my waist and 2 inches around my legs and see muscle definition. I was burning 2000 calories a day but eating 3000. I am now starting to change my eating habits as well and am starting to lose weight faster and believe me I have a looooong way to go. This story is not written so you say good job! Or way to go! It’s meant for those that might say “I can’t do this”. For you to say to yourselves as I did “if they can do it, then so can I.” and please don’t quit its worth every drop of sweat.



Please read Post #9

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Old 09-26-12, 09:54 AM
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Thank you for sharing your story!!! I love hearing how others got started on their journey and how what to some seems like such a little thing (riding a bike)...is really an ACHIEVEMENT for those of us struggling with weight/health issues and how great riding the bike makes us FEEL.

Keep the stories coming!
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Old 09-26-12, 10:19 AM
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I appreciate the story VERY much. I think we all can feel intimidated getting started, or discouraged when we plateau, but it is stories like these that keep me going and getting my butt out of bed early enough to ride to work (like today!). Or when my legs are on fire during a ride and I want to cry.....ironically like today.

I will be sure to hold my applause and congratulations (seemingly at your request, not to be rude) until I get a chance to see your post that you're at 210 again. Until then, keep at it and enjoy the ride!

If you are ever up in Chicago PM me and I would gladly ride out to meet you and buy you a bottle of water!
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Old 09-26-12, 10:25 AM
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Thank you for sharing. I think a lot of people can relate and will give so much encouragement and advice. Keep your mind focused on your goals and remember the only thing that can hold you back is well.....YOU. That athlete is still inside you, the 210 lb guy is still there. Stay on the bike and keep pushing. I just got back off my morning ride even though I'm fighting a cold/stomach virus, I even had to stop at 5 miles to barf...but I got back on the bike and finished my ride. Keep pushing my friend.....
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Old 09-26-12, 10:32 AM
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When is the wedding? Hope to read about more of your successes as time goes on. It's good that you took control at such a young age.
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Old 09-26-12, 10:36 AM
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Thank you for your inspirational story. Don't get fitted for your tux yet. I fully expect you will need a smaller size come wedding time.
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Old 09-26-12, 10:36 AM
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Cool story, more milestones to hit along the journey. One thing that strikes me about your post is that there's no mention about double checking that chest pain with a doctor. Either your background/studies in paramedicine are enough to give you peace of mind chalking everything about the chest pain to weight gain or you missed mentioning it in your post. In any case, it wouldn't hurt double checking with a doctor, making sure that there's nothing else hiding behind the symptoms.

Good luck in the journey.
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Old 09-26-12, 10:46 AM
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Great story, and I look forward to updates as you go. Just remember, yours is (and will continue to be) one of those stories that encourage others, like others' encouraged you. Keep it up!
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Old 09-26-12, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Acquaspin View Post
One thing that strikes me about your post is that there's no mention about double checking that chest pain with a doctor. Either your background/studies in paramedicine are enough to give you peace of mind chalking everything about the chest pain to weight gain or you missed mentioning it in your post.
In a way i felt confident that i was okay, before starting to intensify my work outs i talked to my old Medic friends and did a EKG on myslef and other tests we do for myocardial failure and other than some elevated wave readings (which is normal when your over weight) there was nothing out of the ordinary. This of course will never compare to a myocardial heart scan but me knowing what i know A) makes me stubborn as hell lol B) makes me more confident than i should be. Everyone should do what you suggested and go to a doctor if you have any symptoms as myself no matter what.

When you are (were in my case) in the medical feild you are to confident in what you know. Like doctors who tell you not to smoke becasue you are going to die but go light up a ciggerate after they talk to you. Why does that i happen idk lol.

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Old 09-26-12, 10:57 AM
  #10  
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Great success story, but it's just starting. Keep it up! The best thing about getting fit by cycling is you end up doing it just because you enjoy it. That's the best motivation.
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Old 09-26-12, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
When is the wedding?
November on thanksgiving weekend!

Last edited by melvinator; 09-26-12 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 09-26-12, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
I just got back off my morning ride even though I'm fighting a cold/stomach virus, I even had to stop at 5 miles to barf...but I got back on the bike and finished my ride. Keep pushing my friend.....
That sir is hard core and as you said

"I think a lot of people can relate and will give others so much encouragement"
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Old 09-26-12, 11:16 AM
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Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. The best part is your age. It's a whole lot easier to fix things when you're 22 than when you are 50 something! Keep it up.
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Old 09-26-12, 03:51 PM
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Truely an inspiration to everyone who struggles !
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Old 09-26-12, 06:05 PM
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At 22 you'll soon be back in good shape. I got sick of being fat at 39 and it was... somewhat harder than I remembered it being in my 20's. Still, it can be done if you just keep at it.
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Old 09-26-12, 06:29 PM
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I'll add my thanks for sharing your story. Everyone is right because it's everyones successes and challenges that help us realize we can do it. I keep a biking journal that records my distances and how I feel on any particular ride. I add pics of things I have seen along the way. That way when I get discouraged and haven't lost any weight or don't feel like going out there I go back to the beginning and see how far I've come.

Karen
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Old 09-26-12, 06:58 PM
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I am happy for you. You have accomplished great things in your short life and it looks like you are about to make another great accomplishment. I wish you success in your goals, your marriage, and the rest of your life.

Take some before pictures so that you can use them later when you are encouraging others to take charge of their lives.
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Old 09-27-12, 06:35 AM
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This isnt the picture you were looking for but this is a picture of down town St Petersburg in Florida on my 28 mile bike ride home. Sure the folk up north will appreciate scenery of good wheater lol.

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Old 09-27-12, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by melvinator View Post
In a way i felt confident that i was okay, before starting to intensify my work outs i talked to my old Medic friends and did a EKG on myslef and other tests we do for myocardial failure and other than some elevated wave readings (which is normal when your over weight) there was nothing out of the ordinary. This of course will never compare to a myocardial heart scan but me knowing what i know A) makes me stubborn as hell lol B) makes me more confident than i should be. Everyone should do what you suggested and go to a doctor if you have any symptoms as myself no matter what.

When you are (were in my case) in the medical feild you are to confident in what you know. Like doctors who tell you not to smoke becasue you are going to die but go light up a ciggerate after they talk to you. Why does that i happen idk lol.


Great story. Welcome to the club. Many of us here on the forum have similar "origin stories".

I am not a doctor and my medical opinion may be laughably inaccurate, but I too have felt those vague feelings where you're convinced that you're going to die. I had a gamut of tests run on me, numerous EKG's and even an echocardiogram; every test showed I'm as healthy as a clam... right now. But I think perhaps the body has a mechanism wherein it notifies us that we are on the path to destruction before it's too late, so that we can take efforts to fix things. Regardless, I've felt infinitely better since I started cycling, and I can no longer imagine living a life without it.
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Old 09-27-12, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
But I think perhaps the body has a mechanism wherein it notifies us that we are on the path to destruction before it's too late, so that we can take efforts to fix things. Regardless, I've felt infinitely better since I started cycling, and I can no longer imagine living a life without it.
Actually you are pretty spot on, I remember treating patients that swore they were having a heart attack but after countless test that showed up negative we ended up giving them valium and their heart calmed down and so did they. It seems the body responds in a state of panic like you mentioned. I swear to you that night i slept better than ever, and the only time it would come back was on my rest days inbetween rides now it has completely gone away. It still amazes me how our bodys can have a heart rate of 150 give or take for three or four hours and be totally fine. Now only if our legs were made out of the same myocardial tissue!

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Old 12-17-12, 10:03 AM
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Well lost 16 pounds all together for the wedding which was wonderful! sadly enough gained 8 lbs on the week long honey mooon :-( but hey they had unlimited bacon and pina coladas at the place for every meal! Anyway i wrecked my bike the monday back from the honeymoon and am scared to ride now ... hopefully i can get over this quickly becauses i dont want to loose all the effort and fitness that i have put into this so far.

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Old 12-17-12, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by melvinator View Post
Well lost 16 pounds all together for the wedding which was wonderful! sadly enough gained 8 lbs on the week long honey mooon :-( but hey they had unlimited bacon at the place for every meal! Anyway i wrecked my bike the monday back from the honeymoon and am scared to ride now ... hopefully i can get over this quickly becauses i dont want to loose all the effort and fitness that i have put into this so far.
Did you total the bike...or is it able to be ridden? If you can stil ride it, there is some old saying about having to get back into the saddle after the hors...er..bike throws you. If it has been destroyed, it is a simple matter of the universe telling you its time for a new bike....go ride!!!
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Old 12-17-12, 10:43 AM
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Congrats on the wedding.
Congrats on the weight-loss
Congrats on the determined attitude on winning.

About getting back on the bike - what was worse? The panic/anxiety every night or a bump and bruise from crashing the bike? Learn from whatever made you do down, but don't quit. You have a wife counting on you being around for a while!
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Old 12-18-12, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams View Post
Did you total the bike...or is it able to be ridden? If you can stil ride it, there is some old saying about having to get back into the saddle after the hors...er..bike throws you. If it has been destroyed, it is a simple matter of the universe telling you its time for a new bike....go ride!!!
Well i was on my road bike so i bent the handle bars and shifters and broke a spoke in the back wheel and bent the front wheel and minor scratches to the paint. I have fixed everything and trued the wheel except the back rim witht he broken spoke because i have no idea what to do. Just thinking to taking it to the LBS.

Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
Congrats on the wedding.
Congrats on the weight-loss
Congrats on the determined attitude on winning.

About getting back on the bike - what was worse? The panic/anxiety every night or a bump and bruise from crashing the bike? Learn from whatever made you do down, but don't quit. You have a wife counting on you being around for a while!
Yeah i might take out my hybrid this weekend... Thanks all!

BTW you should deff wear a helmet i slammed my head in the pavement when i went down and my helmet was scrapped and little cracked .... i am sure if i didnt have it on i wouldnt of been able to limp home.
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Old 12-18-12, 01:52 PM
  #25  
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There is nothing wrong with taking it to LBS to fix the spoke, maybe they will show you how. As far as the crash, get back on as soon as you can. You will gain back confidence as time and miles pass by. Hopefully your bride is supporting your efforts to become more fit.
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