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My story - success losing - disaster - trying to lose again

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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 - success losing - disaster - trying to lose again

Old 05-20-13, 05:05 PM
  #1  
hobkirk
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My story - success losing - disaster - trying to lose again

I used to visit this forum. Then I didn't. Now I'm back. Will my story help anyone? I always considered this sub-forum mostly about issues involving weight. Weight cases lots of problems, but cycling is one of the activities most impacted by it.
Joel Friel - "1Kg at a 5% grade over 1 Km = + 3 seconds." So 20 Kg (my case) = 1 extra minute. No wonder everyone would go by me on inclines on my group rides.
PC disclaimer - I believe that weight loss does not matter for lots of people, even obese people. Although it obviously does to me. I also believe that most people strive to be better at something. That is the point of this post -
  • Strive. If you lose progress, strive again.


Last April I finally reached the point (6'2", 237#) where the agony of "being fat" outweighed the perceived horror of "going on a diet." I had recently read The 4-Hour Body which had a diet that appealed to me.
  • Every meal = protein + vegetables + beans (no fruit, grains, dairy, etc.)
  • Eat as often as you want and (I think) as much as you want
  • On the 7th day you must eat anything you want - go crazy!
I cheated very little. I'd often use hamburger or steak as the protein. My standby was a stew - 2# of peas, 2# of beans, 2# of hamburger or turkey or chicken, 2# of onions & peppers & mushrooms. Breakfast is a two egg omelet with spinach and turkey bacon and re-fried beans. (I had my cholesterol checked after 4 months - it was good). Dinner was usually whatever protein and vegetable(s) my wife was making plus re-fried beans. The 7th day would include cheeseburgers, pizza, strawberries and whipped cream on pound cake, vanilla yogurt, cinnamon raisin bagels, etc. Especially for the first few months, I REALLY looked forward to the 7th day.

The wight went. By September I saw 197, although I felt stuck at 200. I felt vastly better in every way - fitter, better looking, more spry (I'm 67), etc. Everybody commented. After a while my cycling improved dramatically. My personal doctor (he's skinny) of 25 years suggested I stop losing weight. I contemplated easing back or continuing the diet and trying for 185# (I think I weighed about 175# at age 40 when I was running marathons under 3 hours). And, miracle of miracles, I had actually begun to exercise portion control, something I have never done!

Such a great story. But we Clydes know weight loss is seldomly a "great story." Something upsets the cart.

In my case it was breast cancer. Instantly my body demanded I eat more. But there are innumerable other events that could have "upset the cart." I thought the one good thing about cancer treatment is the nausea from chemotherapy. Didn't happen to me. I continued cycling, but only about half as much. I ended up regaining 25 of the 40# I had lost. I was pleased I had not retained it all to 237# (247# when I started cycling). I am all done with treatment, including seven weeks of radiation (burned skin was my only problem). And now I am back to riding pretty normally - 3 or 4 rides a week, 20-64 miles per ride, average heart rate 120-135.

I never full went off the diet, but I "cheated" more. I have lost any sense of portion control.

Now I am not cheating much. The primary effect so far (3-4 weeks) is that it enables me to maintain my weight. I am putting more emphasis on losing weight than on cycling. Hopefully I can get back to losing 1-2# a week (last year it was 40# over 5 months). On my cycling, I am attempting to incorporate more recovery days - I am not very good (yet) at going for rides without raising my heart rate over the "recovery" standard of 118 (for me). So now "recovery day" pretty much means "rest day."

So I have survived. I am making progress, slow that it may be. I hope this story helps you feel more comfortable if you have suffered an upset and lost some of what you had achieved - be that weight loss, better cycling, being more sensitive, whatever).
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Old 05-20-13, 06:25 PM
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Like you I have success in weight loss followed by the failure of regaining the lost weight. I am once again on the road back down having lost 44 pounds, with more to come. Keep up the good work.

FYI - I find your diet interesting in that I have settled into almost the exact same diet even though I did not find it in a book. I think giving myself one day a week to eat whatever I want helps me stay on track. I can't imagine having to stay true day after day, week after week. I have also found that on the day I eat whatever I want I am not eating as much as I used to because I get full faster and I dislike the feeling of being too full.
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Old 05-21-13, 01:42 AM
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Rowan
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Not diet related, but what symptoms led to your diagnosis? It might be useful for other males to know what to look for.
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Old 05-21-13, 05:44 AM
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Great story, keep persevering
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Old 05-21-13, 06:11 AM
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It is an interesting story, and I wish you well in your recovery
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Old 05-21-13, 07:22 PM
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God Luck with recovery
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Old 05-22-13, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Not diet related, but what symptoms led to your diagnosis? It might be useful for other males to know what to look for.
Good point. Every so often when I pressed my chest against something (like reaching to get something) it felt like I must have bruised myself. Not a big deal, I do that a lot. But after two weeks it seemed odd, so I examined myself. I found a walnut under my left nipple.

After that everything happened quickly. PCP visit, biopsy, bone scans, MRI's, and other tests. Twice the tests warned me I needed to be aware I might set off radiation screening testers at government buildings. I started chemo about 3 weeks after I found the lump, then a radical mastectomy, then radiation. So that's from about 8/15/12 to 5/5/13. But, FWIW, none of the treatment was horrible and for the most part I could do what I normally would have done. For example (my favorite example by far), I spent a week skiing between surgery and radiation. I only rode about half as much as I had been riding, but that was mostly because of depression, not the treatment.
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Old 05-22-13, 10:03 PM
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I went from 214 to 180 over a couple years, then jumped back to 190 in a few months. Arrgh. I'm working my way back down, about 185 now. 5' 11". Goal 170-175.

The thing that puzzles me is the plateaus - you know, when your weight stops going down even though you're eating a deficit and exercising just as before. I don't know how to bust through them.

I'm currently trying two weeks of ultra low carb (1600 cal total, including max 20 grams carbs, per day). I can't imagine doing this for much longer, it seems like a terribly unbalanced diet. Basically is the initial phase of Atkins.
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Old 05-22-13, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
I went from 214 to 180 over a couple years, then jumped back to 190 in a few months. Arrgh. I'm working my way back down, about 185 now. 5' 11". Goal 170-175.

The thing that puzzles me is the plateaus - you know, when your weight stops going down even though you're eating a deficit and exercising just as before. I don't know how to bust through them.

I'm currently trying two weeks of ultra low carb (1600 cal total, including max 20 grams carbs, per day). I can't imagine doing this for much longer, it seems like a terribly unbalanced diet. Basically is the initial phase of Atkins.
In reguards to the plateau usually happens cause your body adapts to your current exersice. Sometimes to bust it crank the intensity way up but be mindful it may increase appitite. Also try not to cut your calories too low or body my go into starvation mode and prolong it. Try total body workout along with your regular cycling to get all the muscles to help burn. And lastly the closer the to your ideal weight the harder it will be no matter what you do.

Thats been my experance and since we are all different your mileage my vary.
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Old 06-09-13, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
I went from 214 to 180 over a couple years, then jumped back to 190 in a few months. Arrgh. I'm working my way back down, about 185 now. 5' 11". Goal 170-175.

The thing that puzzles me is the plateaus - you know, when your weight stops going down even though you're eating a deficit and exercising just as before. I don't know how to bust through them.

I'm currently trying two weeks of ultra low carb (1600 cal total, including max 20 grams carbs, per day). I can't imagine doing this for much longer, it seems like a terribly unbalanced diet. Basically is the initial phase of Atkins.
What I've heard is the suggestion you go opposite to increasing the deficit, you binge/feast for a day. Just one day. Your metabolism pops up, and when you back on a reduced calorie regime. Burn rate jumps up, the weight falls off.

The scary phenomena suggested is your body gets used to prolonged calorie deficits and starts slowing and shutting down, goes into a starvation / conservation mode. Not cool.

Can't say from a similar experience, but I am IF-ing and I'll say taking a day a week for a more "regular", heavy eating routine seems fairly important to get a little power boost, recovery, metabolism jump.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 06-09-13 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 06-09-13, 10:58 PM
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Good stuff, Hobkirk. Very inspirational, and your diet seems to make sense.

This last time, it seemed to take forever to break through 240, but the scale said 235 for me today... Riding has been paying off slowly but surely for me, though now I must seriously address how/what I eat.

Thanks for sharing!
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