Baby Steps, Beer, and Bikes

My last post was pretty negative.  I was having a bad day.  Today is much different.

I had a good day yesterday, but last night was rough.  I had drank too much and eaten some questionable food.  I had trouble sleeping with an upset stomach and a headache.  I also had muscle aches that are probably due to dehydration due to alcohol consumption.

Getting up for work this morning was hard.  I made it in to work a bit later than intended, but still before 9:00am.  Work was a busy blur.  I can’t complain – I was productive and time flew by.

Before I even made it to work, I’ve decided to quit drinking.  I seem to have an issue with moderation.  I’m also not going to lay around like a lump until my leg heals.  I’m borrowing a trainer so I can use my recumbent bike as a stationary bike.  I’ll pedal one-legged with my SPD shoe until I’m cleared to use both legs.  I’ll have the trainer tomorrow.

Two days ago when I complained about lack of progress with my leg, things got better.  I can walk now.  I’m not supposed to, and I rarely do, but if I need to get up some stairs without a rail, I can.  I only walk slowly taking very small steps.  It’s almost a shuffle.  I can’t “push off” with my right foot, but it’ll hold me up.  There’s no pain when doing this either.  I only do this when wearing the boot to support my ankle.

I’m still using the Knee Scooter.  I hate the crutches and the walker.  I don’t need the wheelchair.

Now I just need some exercise.

The Plan for 2014

My weight today was 256.8 lbs.  That’s almost 20 lbs more than a year ago.  That’s unacceptable.  There are a few factors – and I have some ideas to combat them.

Goals

I still intend to get down to 175 lbs.  Anything under 200 is great, but 175 is still the goal.  I need to lose 7 lbs a month.  That will get me to my goal weight before the end of 2014.  It’ll also have me solidly under 200 for Gravel Grovel in November.

Accountability

I started this blog to be accountable.  I’ve lost track of that.  I no longer weigh daily.  I don’t track my calories.  I’ve been soft on goal-setting.

I’m weighing again every morning and will be updating my weight page.  I may even start the progress photos again – even though I’ve gained weight and a few years.

Food

I don’t believe food is the biggest issue right now.  I’ll need to watch what I eat, but in some ways, my eating isn’t bad at home.  I do poorly when I go out to eat, but Diane prefers we eat at home most days.  If I continue to gain weight I’ll start tracking calories again.

Beer

This is the big one.  I’ve dilly-dallied around this one.  I love beer.  Not just drinking it, but tasting it, talking about it, and trying new beer.  I’ve considered giving it up entirely.  Normally, just cutting back works for a while, then I slip back into old habits, so I need something new.

I’ve thought of something that will control my consumption, and allow me to further enjoy the beer.  Beer Tickets.  I’ve printed out a sheet of seven tickets – each good for one beer.  I get a new batch of tickets every Sunday.  The tickets expire that Saturday night so I can’t hoard them.

I can have one beer a day, or seven all at once for the week.  I’ll probably drink a couple a few nights a week.

How will I enjoy the beer more?  The tickets are mostly blank.  I write the name of the beer, where I had it, what I paid for it, and what I think about it.  I can review it later to determine what beers I prefer, or what I drink too much of, and tell me when it’s time to branch out.

If seven beers per week turns out to be too much, I’ll drop the number down.

This is the beginning of the year.  It is effective immediately.  I’ve had no beer today, so I have my seven tickets, but three are already crossed out due to the “partial week” so far this year.

A ticket is good for a normal size beer.  An 8, 12, 16, or 22oz pour is all “normal”.  A can or bottle is normal.  A monster 32oz beer from the Mexican restaurant is two beer tickets – and not really worth it.

Exercise

I need more fast bike rides.  I generally plod along at a leisurely pace now.  That’s fine for getting to work, but I need to step it up to burn calories.  I need to get faster to feel better on longer rides.

I need to branch out and do some strength training.  Maybe Diane and I could do a little running.  These are not new ideas.  I’ve been trying for over six years now.

Depression

I’ve suffered with depression pretty badly over the last year.  In April I started an anti-depressant.  It worked for a while, then it didn’t.  I quit taking it.  I’ve since started taking a different one with mixed results.  I’m still taking it.  Cutting back on alcohol could be hugely helpful here.  Easing the depression helps me control overeating and drinking too much.

Habits

I’m in the habit of going out to eat and drink.  Diane and I need to build habits of doing healthy things together.  When we ride the tandem together, it’s usually to ride to a restaurant, bar, or party.  We need to change that.

Happy New Year

I don’t know why we make changes with the new year.  Wouldn’t it make sense to do it on your birthday?  I dunno, but it’s time to change.

Sick Day

I’m still sick today.  I stayed home from work and skipped volleyball.  Diane had to work so I spent most of the day in the company of the dogs and my Kindle.  I didn’t leave the house.

Since getting sick, I haven’t been drinking beer (other than the partial one in Michigan City that I couldn’t finish).  This has made me re-think my dietary choices.  I need to lose weight.  I need to get fitter.  I intend to race Gravel Grovel in November.

If I could drop under 200 lbs sometime next year, and ride six centuries… that would make up for a lot.

It’s Been A While…

I’m still here, and I’m still riding.  I’ve been busy.  I spend time with Diane, I have social gatherings, and I ride my bike.  Having Diane around has been a positive to my bike commuting – as in she pushes me to ride instead of driving me to work.  She did drive me to work today though.  I wasn’t feeling well.

Here’s some random things since my last post.

Heavy Hauling

Heavy Hauling

Heavy Hauling

I hauled a kitchen table on the Big Dummy to my daughter’s house.  This was a four mile trip down Preston Highway.  I got some weird looks.

The hardest part was strapping the thing down securely so it wouldn’t slide off.  It was a bit wobbly, but I made it without dumping the table in traffic.

Part of the ride was a rather intense downpour.  Somebody took a picture of me while stopped at a traffic light.

Diane’s Bike

Diane's Bike

Diane’s Bike

Diane has her own bike now.  We met somebody at volleyball getting rid of a bike.  We got it for free.  It needed a tune-up, tubes, a brake cable, and a water bottle cage.  I put my dyno-wheel on the front.  Since the picture was taken I’ve added a rear rack and dyno-headlight.  I’ve still got less than $100 into it.

It’s a Specialized Crossroads Sport (step-through version).  It’s a size small, so it fits her well.

She doesn’t want fenders on it.  She may change her mind once she gets a “skunk stripe” up her back.

June Populaire

 

rSogn cockpit

rSogn cockpit

The Louisville Bicycle Club (and Timothy) put on a 100K Populaire on June 2nd.  It was leaving from Charlestown Indiana.  Tim, Asher, and I left from Louisville and rode to Charlestown (21 miles).  Tim had other obligations, so he rode back rather than participate in the Populaire.

Asher and I rode with another dozen people.  The route took us to Hanover Indiana for a lunch stop before going back to Charlestown for the finish at Charlestown Pizza Company.  - 64 miles later.

Diane met us there, and Asher and I enjoyed the comfort of a motor vehicle for the trip back to Louisville.

That was 85 miles for the day – more than I’ve done in a while.  Although I was slow, I felt like a cyclist again.  The rSogn is a wonderful bike.  The weather was gorgeous.  The company was pretty good too.

Relationship

Diane is effectively living with me, it’s just not official yet.  We’ve found the things that irritate each other (that’s what it’s about, right?)  Relationships can be a challenge, but I’m optimistic about ours.

She’s decorated the house a bit.  She keeps it clean.  She loathes the dog hair, but keeps it clean as she can.  Yes, I help with housework, but I basically just take direction from her.  She’s the expert.

Company

Diane and I have entertained company a few times at the house now.  She had her family over for dinner.  She cooked a large meal (with dessert!).  Everyone was pleased.

My mother and my niece came to visit.  They’re actually at my house for a few more days yet.  I’ve had a week of visiting with my mother.  I hadn’t seen her in person since 2009.  I hadn’t seen my niece in about ten years.  Diane and my mother seem to like each other.

Car-Free?

Diane won’t give up her car.  I don’t expect her to.  It did break down on her on Thursday.  It was about fifteen miles from my house, so it was several days before I got out to look at it.

She spent those days riding her bike around for errands.  I guess she got a bike just in time.

I fixed her car on Sunday.  She still rides with me on errands though.  She has a potential job downtown.  If she gets it, she’s talking about riding to work, weather permitting, to avoid paying to park.  She doesn’t want to ride in rain, cold, or hot weather, but it’s a start.

 

Shifting Priorities

If you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever, it’s apparent that I’m in a relationship again.  Things are going well with Diane.  I bought her a new cell phone yesterday, and put her on my plan.

Diane is not living with me, but that will probably change in the near future.  I will remain car-free, but she will keep her car.  It’s paid off, but needs a little work.

My lifestyle will be going through some pretty big changes.  I have a variety of things I need to spend money on.  The plans for swapping handlebars on my bikes (or any other major expense) are on hold.  This seems to be working well as my neck issue has abated a bit, and I can ride any of my bikes again.  I rode the rSogn to work today.

Diane wants to fly to San Francisco with me this summer.  That will mean we need some extra money for spending and her flight.  I hope we can book her flight in the next few weeks.

Diane remains a good influence in my life.  She (nicely) reminds me not to overeat or drink too much.  She still enjoys an occasional drink with me.

Not everything is perfect.  As we’ve spent a lot of time together recently, we’ve discovered some of each other’s insecurities and personality flaws.  I don’t believe any of it’s a real problem, just a challenge to overcome.

I read something years ago about “being the perfect partner” rather than “looking for the perfect partner”.  That’s what I’m working on.  In the short-term, that means keeping my life in order from housework to eating habits.

Life continues to be a strange adventure.

Whatta Week!

Okay, it’s only Thursday, but this has been a busy week already.

On Monday, my daughter, Dawn, married Guthrie.  I present Mr. and Mrs. Smith:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

It was a simple wedding.  There was a dinner afterward.

Later in the evening I went to play volleyball.  I’ve been using a dating site to try and meet women with mixed results.  While at volleyball, a woman approached me and we talked.  We had a date on Tuesday.  Her name is Diane.

I had a date with Renee that I thought went well last week.  She told me that she didn’t think we should have a second date a couple of days ago.

Yesterday was a housecleaning day.  I’ve been trying to keep my life more in order.  The anti-depressant seems to be working.  My moods have been more level.  I’ve been drinking less.  I’m not “stress eating”.  I have more motivation to do simple things – but not enough to do great things.  Hmmm.

I had a date scheduled with Melissa today, but she never called or showed up.  So I sat and ate pizza and had a beer by myself.  I wasn’t really bothered much by it.

I have a second date with Diane tomorrow.  It’s odd that the only second date I’m getting out of this is from a woman that I didn’t meet online.  We have a few friends and acquaintances in common – mostly through the Louisville Ski Club, of which I’m a member.

I’ve ridden the bike to work every day this week.  I’ve ridden the bike everywhere.  I haven’t missed work.  I’ve done some cooking at home.  I’ve been keeping the house clean.  I have a second date tomorrow.  This is progress.

Spring Day

I think this nicer weather is the boost I need to be on the bike every day.  Although I decided not to participate in the #30daysofbiking thing over on G+, where we ride every day of April, I have been on the bike every day this month, except the 1st, when I got around via cab and bus.

Today’s weather might have been the best yet.  It was in the low-60s when I rode to work.  I wore short sleeves and no jacket.  Signs of Spring were everywhere.

Along my morning commute in Old Louisville

Along my morning commute in Old Louisville

I failed to pack a lunch for work, which meant a quick trip across the street to the Mexican restaurant.  That’s not ideal, but I knew I wouldn’t be going out for dinner.

After lunch, I was jaywalking across Main Street,  a one-way street and I was almost hit by a cyclist riding the wrong way.  I normally look both ways, even on one way streets, but I was distracted by a woman who also showed that Spring was in the air.

There was no collision, no yelling, just some rattled nerves.

After work I had a massage appointment.  I took a slow pace in the now 80-degree day.  I didn’t want to get too sweaty.  The ride up Baxter Ave and Bardstown Rd was pleasant and uneventful – which is something during rush hour.

My massage therapist found a particularly nasty knot in my left leg.  I’ll need to do more stretching to keep it from coming back.

I had a leisurely ride home where I cooked beef and pork on the grill for several meals.  I steamed some broccoli, which I overcooked and it turned to mush, and later I made a potato soup. I have enough food prepared to last until the weekend.

Potato Soup!

Potato Soup!

It’s supposed to cool off later in the week.  That’ll be a shame, I’ve been enjoying sleeping with the windows open.  The weekend is looking nice.  I need to plan some bike miles.

I’m still beer-free since Saturday.  I think some of my depression and muscle aches were from too much beer and not enough water.

So, another glass of water, and I’m off to bed.

A Stumble

So Friday was my “new beginning”.  Then Saturday happened.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I had no coffee in the house.  I headed out on the bike to Sunergos where I bought three pounds of coffee and sat and drank a couple of cups there.

The plan was to go home, then later go grocery shopping.  Instead, I went to Four Pegs with the intention of a late lunch and a beer.  I had the food and seven beers.  I was sober enough to know I needed to walk the bike home.  So, I walked home.  It was still early afternoon.  I slept for a few hours and woke up in the evening with a hangover.  That’s a new one for me.

I was unable to sleep most of the night.  It was miserable.  I metaphorically pulled a muscle by kicking myself over it.  I felt very stupid.  I was depressed.  Sometime overnight I had a bit of an anxiety attack.

Today was better.  I didn’t get out for a long ride, but a puttered around the house.  I went grocery shopping and didn’t get beer.  I didn’t go out to eat.  I can’t say I ate healthy today, but I ate food from the grocery store that I prepared at home.  That’s an improvement.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my first volleyball game, but it’s been put off another week.  That’s actually a good thing.  I have a lot to do this week.

Spring is for New Beginnings

So it’s good that I got up and rode the rSogn to work, albeit a bit late due to the damn snooze button.  I brought leftovers for lunch, but a friend invited me to lunch.  I’ll save the leftovers for another time.

I really wanted to go out for a beer after work, but I stuck to plan and came home.  I set up my new tent, so I know how for my next camping trip (possibly tomorrow).

I’d order this tent a while ago.  It arrived a while ago.  It’s been sitting in it’s unopened box until today.

Mesh

Mesh

Without the rainfly, the tent is mostly mesh.  This helps with ventilation.

With Rainfly

With Rainfly

The rainfly sits far enough away from the tent that it should be more waterproof than other tents I’ve owned.  It also creates two vestibules (one on each side) to store things outside the tent, but covered.

All packed up

All packed up

The whole kit, including the footprint I purchased separately packed into the tent tube on my tour panniers.  It was a tight fit, but it worked.  The main body of the pannier is empty.  Only the tent tube has anything in it.  The rest of that pannier can hold sleeping bag, pad, etc.  I still have the other pannier available for cooking stuff.

I’ll write more about this tent once I actually get to use it.

Once I was done playing with the new toys, it was time to cook dinner.  I threw pork chops on the grill, steamed some veggies.  I drank water with it.  I’ll admit to craving a beer.  I don’t have any in the house.

I’ll be up early tomorrow.  I have no coffee in the house.  I consider that an emergency.  I’ll run by Sunergos and grab a few pounds.  After that I plan to go to the farmer’s market.  Yes, I’ll be riding the Big Dummy.

Home Cooking

Yes, I need to cook more.  Tonight, I cooked a simple spaghetti meal, but I steamed fresh broccoli, and served it on the side.  I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and one more meal after that.

I’m not currently counting calories, so I didn’t try to total them up.

Dinner!

Dinner!

I weighed myself on April 1st.  I gained 3.2 lbs.  I’m up to 237.8.  That’s now how to do this.  Hopefully the change going on now will make my May weigh-in go the right direction.

 

Acceptance

I’ve been frustrated with life recently.  I’m unhappy with my weight.  I’m unhappy with being alone.

It’s time to accept things.  I need to not worry about being single.  I’ve done it before.  I can do it again.

I need to acknowledge my eating issues and work on them.  I need to cook at home, give up the beer for a while, and do some exercises in the evening instead of sit at the bar drinking.

One thing will help me to achieve the “stay at home and cook” goal – I’m going to be broke for a few weeks.  Poor planning and unexpected expenses teamed up to take my beer away.  Maybe this is a good thing.

I have been riding.  I’ve even been back on the rSogn.  I still need to replace the handlebars with Albatross bars, but that’ll have to wait for finances.

Tim got a new bike.  He calls it SeaFoam.  We managed to get out for a ride both Saturday (foggy) and Sunday (Easter).  I have a few pictures from Saturday.

SeaFoam and rSogn

SeaFoam and rSogn

If you can’t tell, SeaFoam is a Rivendell Atlantis.  Tim always has the nicer bike.

Foggy

Foggy

A trip through Joe Creason Park in the fog completely hid the fact we were in an urban area.

I didn’t ride the bike to work on Monday or Tuesday.  I took a cab (waste of money) to work.  I took the bus home.  Both days involved walking, and drinking at a bar (more money wasted).

Tuesday, I had a few beers after work, when Tim contacted me about an evening ride.  I ran home and got ready.  We met and rode 15 or so miles after dark.  Again, I was on the rSogn, and he was on SeaFoam.  Both of us with dyno-powered headlights.

As he headed for home, I stopped again for another beer.

Bike and beer - a match made in heaven

Bike and beer – a match made in heaven

See?  This one was totally the bike’s fault!

It’ll be at least two weeks without beer now.  I’ll then limit my drinking to one day a week.

In addition to spending more time at home with my dogs, I’m starting back with sand-court volleyball next Monday.  This will hopefully give me enough social interaction (and some exercise!)

Life is an interesting journey.  It’ll be fun to see where I end up by the end of the year.

 

More Adjustments

I rode my bike to work four days last week.  I still don’t feel much like a cyclist, but pushing myself out the door is getting a little easier.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, but I spend the day running errands on the bike and doing housework.  I hauled a large load of groceries on the Big Dummy

Dummy Load

Dummy Load

I’m still drinking too much beer.  I love beer, but every time I try to cut back, my consumption climbs back up in short order.  I may have to give it up entirely.  I’m tired of still being fat.

Beer!

Beer!

I’ve pondered the idea of a paleo-diet multiple times.  I tried it once.  I wasn’t able to stick to it.  I lost my weight before with calorie counting and sensible eating (and little beer).  I’m not going to do the paleo-diet.  I’m going to eat a sensible diet, mostly home-cooked, mostly non-processed, and heavy on the plant matter.  I’m not going vegetarian, but smaller amounts of meat, and larger amounts of vegetables are in order.

The bicycling situation is complicated.  I’m out of shape.  I’m slow.  I can putter around town all day, but longer rides are hard.  I’m mostly limited to riding the recumbent.  I need to take off on some long solo rides, but time and weather have been limiting factors.

I feel like I need to take a break from worrying about the cycling for a while.  I can work on other issues in my life in the meantime.  So, I don’t care about bike miles.  I care about getting around by bike.  I care about making my house a more pleasant place to live.  I care about cooking healthy meals at home.  I care about spending more time with my dogs.

I used to have an exercise mat.  I should replace it.  I need to do some strength-training.  I’m getting too old to ignore my upper body.

Maybe it’s not too late to rescue this calendar year.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

For some reason Louisville has the St. Patrick’s Day Parade eight days before the actual holiday.  I’d never attended before, but Timothy told me the Pedal de Ville team needed some help.  He wanted to, but he was busy racing Death March with Asher.

I didn’t want to leave a bike locked at the parade staging area so I walked the two miles there.  It was a nice day.  I took the shortest route which took me through a bad neighborhood, but it was the middle of the day and I had no issues.

I knew nobody there.  I was introduced to Scott, the Schlafly representative.  Schlafly was sponsoring this “float”.  It’s not really a float.  It was a decorated, pedal-powered, bar.  It could hold over a dozen people.

Green everywhere

Green everywhere

They were still in the process of decorating the “float” for quite a while after I arrived.  Some stuff was St Patrick’s-themed, other stuff was Schlafly-themed.

Last-minute preparation

Last-minute preparation

This was Lilly.  Poor dog.

Festive, yet sad

Festive, yet sad

We eventually got underway.  We began with a minor hill, but this thing weighed 2500 lbs. I think a few people didn’t pedal.  There was no shifting, and the first few feet were difficult.  After that we had to be careful to not run over children.

We cruised slowly along Baxter Ave and Bardstown Rd.  The spectators were pretty crazy.  Everybody wanted hand-outs, but I had little to give.  It felt wrong to give green plastic bead necklaces to children.

It's nice seeing these street full of people

It’s nice seeing these street full of people

We were egged on at the end to go faster, so we spun like crazy, taking our speed from 2-3 mph to probably 5 mph.  That thing is heavy!

Is the Schlafly sponsorship obvious enough?

Is the Schlafly sponsorship obvious enough?

We parked at the end, and I walked down with a few of the others to the Schlafly event at River City Drafthouse.  I had three beers and some food.  I paid for the food, Schlafly covered the beer.  That was very kind of them.

I walked three miles home.  This was not in a bad neighborhood, nor was I the only walker out and about.  I stopped again at Four Pegs for a few more beers.

At this point I stumbled home and went to bed.  It wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday.  Five miles, too many beers, too many calories, and a whole lotta fun.

Food, Dating, and a Lazy Weekend

I mentioned a while ago that I joined a dating site.  I haven’t actually had a date yet.  I had one (let’s call her T) that stood me up – probably for valid reasons.  There were two more who weren’t interested once they found out I don’t own a car.  Never mind that I don’t need them to run me around.  I’m quite self-sufficient.

There are still two more, M and L.  M is fascinating.  She’s also found this blog, so of course I’ll say good things about her.   :D  I haven’t met her in person, so who knows what first impressions we’ll have with each other.  L is less interesting, but I’m supposed to meet her tomorrow evening.  She doesn’t know I don’t have a car yet.  We’ll see how that turns out.  I’ll be taking a bus to meet her.

I spent most of the weekend in the house.  Tim, Timothy, and Patrick headed out yesterday for a camping trip and gravel ride..  I didn’t go.  My ongoing neck issue meant no gravel riding.  Although they were quite cold, I’m still jealous.

I wanted to go to Four Pegs for food and beer today.  I still had a lot of housework to do today.  I negotiated with myself.  If I did the dishes, I could go to Four Pegs, so I did the dishes.  I walked to Four Pegs – I haven’t been on a bike since Friday.

I got into an interesting conversation with a woman bicyclist at Four Pegs.  Let’s call her Z.  Z is gay.  So, I’m out of the running.  However, she actively tried to set me up with her friend, D.  It was obvious D wasn’t interested.  Z didn’t give up.  It was really quite embarrassing.  That’s the first time that a stranger tried to “hook me up”.

Oh, and Z knows somebody in common with M… but I won’t get further into that, or somebody will figure something out and get weird… or not.  Louisville isn’t that big.

This dating thing kind of sucks.  Most people (including me) want somebody to have a connection with, to have a partner, to have someone to be affectionate with.  That’s the easy part.  It’s all the other stuff that makes it complicated.  Lifestyle, TV shows, cars, beer, music, physical activity, and just normal stuff like attitude, tone of voice, and body language.

Let’s not forget the weird dance we do.  I am looking for a long-term thing, but you don’t just go out and say, “Hey! You! – you’re attractive and seem nice, will you marry me?  What’s your name by the way?”  Some people already know each other before they get involved.  That’s they way Cindy (my first wife) and I were.  We knew each other since kindergarten.  That makes it a lot easier.

M likes email (as do I), which means we’ve had several long exchanges.  That also means they come once a day at best.  It takes a while to write it all.

L likes texting.  Very little is said in each text, but you can have many in a short period of time.

I really prefer one-on-one conversation, but I haven’t got there with any of them yet, except Z’s friend D, who cut it quite short.

I’m not sure I can handle trying to talk to strangers with the intent of finding “the one”.  I’ll continue for a while, but eventually I’ll give up and go back to not worrying about it.  Too bad I already paid Match.com for three months.

Things Were Good…

My post on the 20th, gained me an email from a friend who wanted to make sure I was okay.  Yes.  I’m okay.  I was actually in a good mood when I wrote that, but had just come out of a bad stretch.

Things were good last week and through Saturday.  I was upbeat, productive at work, and had hope for the future.  Then Sunday happened.

I’ll back up.  Friday after work, I went to Apocalypse Brew Works for beer.  It was packed inside, but they had a campfire in the parking lot, so I sat around with a group of strangers and got drunk.  It was actually a good time.  There’s something about sitting in a circle around a fire that gets you talking to people.

I left there after having one too many.  I still hadn’t eaten dinner, so I stopped at Cumberland for a burger and one more beer.  Cumberland didn’t have a fire or a circle, so I really didn’t talk to anyone.  My ride home was a blur – an uneventful blur, but still…  I got home and went to sleep.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling dehydrated and smelling of wood smoke.  I felt much better after a shower and a pot of coffee.  Saturday’s plans were grocery shopping and housecleaning.  Oh, and I had a growler of beer I’d brought home from Apocalypse.

I drink too much beer.  I realize that.  It hurts my weight loss efforts.  It hurts my mental state.  I’ve cut down for a while, only to pick back up later.  I was determined to not over-do it on Saturday, as I had big bike plans for Sunday.

I thoroughly cleaned the drivetrain on the rSogn for Sunday’s plans.  Timothy was putting on an LBC Populaire.

I woke up early Sunday feeling good.  I cooked a good breakfast and drank plenty of coffee.

The ride was planned at 68 miles.  I wanted 100 miles for the day, so if I took the long way to the ride start location and back (in Prospect), I could do that.

I headed out in plenty of time.  I was underdressed, but I knew it would warm up.  Ten miles in, I wanted to turn around and go home, but I kept going.  It was 18 miles until I arrived in Prospect for the 10:00 AM departure.

There were some interesting bikes there.  One guy from Columbus Indiana was riding a recumbent.  Sam, from Lexington Kentucky, was riding a Velo-Orange Polyvalent.

Being a timed event, I didn’t bother with pictures.  We rolled back toward town.  Many of the riders pulled ahead of my on River Rd.  They were soon out of site.  There were still a few behind me somewhere.  After a bit, the recumbent rider passed me.

Two riders behind me caught up as we were approaching downtown.  They slowed a bit to stay with me.  We crossed the Second Street Bridge into Indiana, and the faster group had apparently made a wrong turn somewhere, and were coming back toward us.  Now I was riding with a group again.

While riding next to the recumbent rider and talking to him, I didn’t spot a pothole in time, and hit it hard.  There was no damage to my bike, but I had to stop to retrieve my pump which had fallen off.  Nobody waited for me.  I was pretty much cooked already at this point.  I had pushed a pretty good pace (for me).  I was unable to catch them.

I continued on to the first control, Quill’s Coffee in New Albany.  Most of them were still there, including Timothy.  My mind was made up.  I let him know I wasn’t continuing with the ride.  I was only 18 miles into the Populaire, 36 miles into my day.  They left while I had a cup of coffee.

I wasn’t ready to ride another 12 miles to get home.  I was that tired.  I was about a block away from New Albanian Brewing, so I rode there for a beer and food, then began a slow amble home.  It took me nearly an hour to go those 12 miles home.

I cooked a nice dinner at home.  I spent some time stretching my leg muscles, which had begun to cramp up.  I was exhausted – much more exhausted I should have been for the riding I did.  I felt kind of “cooked” mentally too.  I went to bed at a reasonable time with the intention of riding the recumbent to work and taking the long way in the morning.

This morning, I hated the world.  I hated the alarm clock, the bikes, myself, and the fact I don’t own a car.  My legs and neck were still in pain, but the mental pain was bigger.  I couldn’t call off work.  I wasn’t going to spend the money on a cab.  I took the bus to work.  Riding the bus made me feel slightly sick, which it normally doesn’t.

Getting to work didn’t improve matters.  I was grumpy.  My co-workers were annoying.  I wasn’t very pleasant to be around.

I left work at 5:00 on the dot.  I didn’t want to miss my bus.  My mood had improved a bit, but I still felt a bit ill on the bus.

I cooked another nice dinner and prepared leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.  I did the dishes.  I played on the computer.  I feel better, but not quite right.

Maybe cutting out beer for a week (or three) will change things a bit.  Maybe just getting back in the habit of being at home, cooking, paying attention to my dogs, and playing on the computer will help.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

I’m Still Here!

I’ve been lax about writing.  Instead, I fire off a sentence or two on Google+.  I’ve also been using Google+ less, which has helped my productivity, but I’ve had nearly no social life – even an online one.  I’ll be curtailing my G+ usage even more to spend the time having an in-person social life, writing here, and focusing on my health goals.

Beer is a problem.  Food is a bigger problem.  Both have been out of control for a while now.  Grocery store? What’s that?  Seriously, I need to buy groceries and cook again.  Yesterday (and too many other days) I went out for dinner and drank too much beer – way too much.  I woke up this morning after a crappy night’s sleep feeling sick and dehydrated.

I went out to eat after work today too.  It was either that or the grocery store, and I loathe the grocery store.  Also, I’d have to cook, which would mean washing the dishes….   Anyway, I had only two beers.  It was enough to enjoy my time, but I didn’t get drunk.  It was quite nice.  I’ll have to try this “not drunk” more often.

So less time on social media.  More time on dishes.

I’m riding the bike nearly every day.  I’ve got just over 600 miles in for the year.  This time of year isn’t conducive to really high miles, so I think I’m doing pretty good.  There’s a populaire this Sunday that I should force myself to ride.  62 miles + 24 to get there and back.  Pushing 90 miles?  Maybe I could go the long way and get an even 100 for the day.  I’ll probably ride the recumbent, as the rSogn will be having new rear wheel built that weekend.  I’ve never ridden 100 miles in a day on the ‘bent.

I’ve had some nice short-ish weekend rides with Tim.  Nothing epic, mostly just around town rides.  Sometimes we had multiple coffee stops.  Most of the RCCS crew has little free time.  They all have family obligations or whatnot.  Darn families.  They take away our freedom.

I’ve complained a little (maybe more than a little) about loneliness.  Well, I went and joined a dating site, again.  I’ll try not to marry the first woman I meet within six months this time around.  I texted with one woman late into the night on Sunday.  I was limiting my looking to local women… really local, because I don’t own a car.  Unfortunately, her profile said she was five miles away, in reality she had moved to another town 40 miles away.  We still planned a Monday night date here in Louisville.  She stood me up.  She did contact me later.  She had car trouble.  I haven’t heard from her since.  I’m not going to pester her.  We’ll see if I have better luck (and hopefully someone closer) next time.

Icing on the cake?  My daughter and I had plans to go out on Tuesday night.  Guess what?  She stood me up too.  She fell asleep and didn’t hear her phone.  Oh well.  I’ve spent most of my dining out time alone.  Often I’m surrounded by people, yet I’m alone.  I’m not an extrovert.  It’s difficult for me to just start talking to people, and honestly, some of them don’t want me to talk to them.

I’m a great procrastinator.  I wish I could get paid for that.  I’d easily get that job.  “Senior Vice President of Procrastination”  Yep.  I could do it.  I put off posting here.  I’ve put off my upper-body exercises.  I’ve put off getting my diet back under control.  I should take advantage of my good mood tonight and do something useful, but I won’t.  I’m procrastinating again…… Oh wait!  I’m posting here.  That counts, right?

I’m dreading the March 1 weigh-in.  Unless I starve myself until then (which I won’t do), I’ve probably gained a tad.  Bleh.

It’s past my bed time.  Good night!

Poor Progress

This blog may stay named “The Fat Guy” with my lack of progress.  No, I’m not giving up, just feeling frustrated.

I did my monthly weigh-in on February 1st, but didn’t post it until today.  I need to lose 5 lbs per month.  I lost 3.4 in December.  I lost one pound in January.  This progress won’t get me there.  I’m still 61.4 lbs from my goal.

On the bright side, seeing this has focused my attention.  I was going to go out for dinner.  Now I’ll stay home and cook.  I have no beer in the house, so that’ll help too.  Although I should go grocery shopping, I think I’ll do better if I stay home today.

I’ve mostly been at the computer today.  I should do some exercise and stretching.  I need to get away from the computer.

Setbacks

Yep.  I had beer.  Not a lot, but some.  I also went out to eat for dinner twice this week.

The return spring for my Big Dummy’s kickstand broke this morning.  I had to remove the kickstand to safely ride the rest of the way to work.  I was a little late to work because of that.

After I got home from work, I installed the rear brake on the rSogn.  I also ran the cable and housing for it.  It went well.

The right shifter will need to be replaced.  The ratcheting mechanism isn’t working.  I sent an email to Velo-Orange.  Hopefully it gets resolved quickly.

I may or may not install the chain tonight before I go to bed.  If I do, I could temporarily throw a rear rack on it, and ride it to work tomorrow as a single-speed.  It’s doubtful I will though.

I didn’t take any pictures of tonight’s work.

No More Beer

If one thing has to be to blame for my recent weight gain, it’s beer.  It’s not just the calories from beer, but it’s the fact I generally eat more while consuming beer.  I also tend to go out to eat and drink rather than cook a healthier meal at home.

That’s changing.  I’m cutting out 100% of the beer for an undetermined amount of time.

I went grocery shopping earlier today.  I did not buy beer, ice cream, or snack foods.  I bought the things I need to cook at home, and a few “quick and easy” meals that aren’t too high in calories.

I just ate my dinner, a black-eyed pea soup with onion and celery.  I’ve made better before, but it was warm and satisfying.

Soup

Soup

(Re-)Beginning

I posted the following on Google+ this morning:

Today I’m officially back on the wagon as far as my weight lost attempt.

I stepped on the scale this morning – 245.8 lbs, ugh. I was down to 197.6 about three years ago. So, I’ve gained back about half of what I had lost.

I ate healthy meals yesterday, other than the snack from the coffee shop in the morning. I drank no alcohol.

Today is the real (re-)beginning though. I’m back to tracking everything I eat.

Although as of now, just over eleven hours later, I’m still on plan, I’m already running into difficulties.

I’m in a bad mood.  I haven’t cooked tonight’s meal, which will also provide a couple of lunches.  I have a strong desire to go get drunk.

At this point, I’m going to go to bed hungry tonight, and figure out tomorrow’s lunch tomorrow.  I’m just not in a good enough mood to deal with it.

Mixed Feelings

I’ve been a little sick for over a week.  I didn’t feel up to riding to work today, so Robin drove me.  I called my doctor and scheduled an appointment for today.  Then I realized I had no bike to get there.

I took a bus from work to the doctor’s office without much problem.  The doctor said I have a minor virus and that it’ll pass.  He sent me on my way.

I didn’t feel like taking another bus.  It would take longer than walking.  It was only two miles from home.  So, I lugged my laptop home in the 94 degree temperatures.  It wasn’t a big deal.

The doctor talked to me about my weight.  I’ve gained since my last visit.  I’ve justified my lifestyle.  I’ve promised to do better.  Months have gone by since I knew this was an issue yet I have yet to actually do anything about it.

My bike miles are way down.  I ride slower when I do ride.  I seldom do long rides.  I’m not in as good of shape as I was.

Some of this was precipitated by my neck issue cutting into the long rides.  I have less fun on the recumbent, but am perfectly comfortable with it.

I bought the new bike two be able to do the gravel rides with friends, but I’m beginning to think that neither I, nor the bike, are prepared for that.  I’m wishing I hadn’t spent the money on it.

I don’t have answers yet.  I don’t know how to motivate myself to get in better shape again. I need to figure it out.

Goals, Shmoals

I had intended to not drink for 30 days.  That didn’t happen.  I did cut down a bit though.

I had intended to ride 500 miles (or 700) in July.  500 is unlikely.  700 won’t happen.

I had started to weigh myself again, but that habit never “set”.

I had started to track my food consumption again, but quickly lost interest.

That said, I feel that I’m on the right track.  I’m riding more.  My neck is better (other than some stiffness from Saturday’s foolishness).  I’m cooking more.  I’m happier most of the time.

Maybe it’s time to forget the numbers for a while and enjoy life.

Weird Week, Heat Wave, and Mileage Goals

My eating has been better, even with the large amount of ice cream that disappeared one day.  I’ve been weighing myself every morning again, although I have yet to post it here.  There is a definite downward trend.  It dropped six pounds in three days, then jumped up about three pounds.

It’s only Thursday, but it feels like the week is over.  I still have to work tomorrow.

Robin and I rode bikes to her volleyball game Monday evening.  I signed up for the next session beginning 7/16.  This could get interesting…  We went to a restaurant across the street called “The Brewery” after the games.  I drank water and had a spinach salad.  Success with self-control!

Tuesday morning brought a massive headache of near-migraine proportions.  I wasn’t on a bike, or even at work.  Later in the day I did install the front rack on Robin’s bike.

Wednesday morning was again filled with that massive headache.  I had to work.  I called Robin and she drove me to work.

Today, Thursday, I happily rode the recumbent to work.  The weather forecast has been calling for a heat wave beginning today.  It was still pleasant on the way in to work.

It was 103 degrees when I left work.  It was hot and sunny, but with a bit of a breeze.  The ride home was actually quite pleasant.  I had just got the bike indoors and undressed when I heard from Tim.  He was out on a ride and wanted me to meet up with him.  I got re-dressed and headed out for another 19 miles.

I’m now at 460 miles for the month of June.  I’d like to hit 500, but I’ve only got two days left, and I have other things to do.  I might get up early and try to get extra miles in to hit 500.  I’m also a part of a group on Google+ that are shooting for 500 miles in July, but I’ve got plenty of time for that, and I actually hope to surpass 700.

I’ve been beer-free for a week.  Just a few weeks more before I decide if I will allow myself beer again, and at what quantities.

Fitness, Food, and Alcohol

I’ve been eating poorly for almost two years now.  I’ve gained weight.  I quit weighing myself regularly.  I quit being accountable.  I’ve had a couple of false (re-)starts since posting about this in in November.

Much of the loss of momentum was due to the neck issue.  The neck issue in currently under control.  Moving into town back in 2010 made getting around by bicycle easy, but it also meant easy access to many restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.  I have no desire to move back to an area where I would be car-dependent again, so I just need to be better about going out.

I went grocery shopping today so I would have enough stuff around the house to eat without being tempted so strongly to go out to eat.  Going out to eat usually means drinking beer for me.  Drinking beer means I don’t control my eating.  It’s an ugly cycle.

Beer has turned into a problem in my life.  Not an alcoholism problem, but a weight gain, depression, and digestive system problem.  I’m not planning on becoming a teetotaler, but quitting beer for a few weeks, then giving myself an weekly “allowance” of some reasonable amount thereafter.  I haven’t had alcohol since Thursday.

I’m trying to spend less money on excessive food and alcohol not only for health reasons, but so I can save more money toward my next major cycling expense.  I want a recumbent trike for touring.

I’m also considering going back to the YMCA in the mornings before work.  I haven’t decided if it’s worth the money, as I have trouble getting up in the morning and I’m not even positive what exercise to do.  I need some upper-body strength, yet I need to be careful to avoid hurting myself.  I have arthritis in my right shoulder and my neck issue to worry about.

For accountability, I need to begin tracking what I eat again.  I need to start weighing myself.  I still need to organize a bit on that.  This site should be about weight loss and bicycling again, instead of just bicycling.

 

Where Did May Go?

I last posted on the last day of April.  Today is the last day of May.  What’s been going on?  A lot.

Part of the problem is that I’ve been posting on Google+ instead of my blog.

Although I rode my bike everyday in April, I only managed 300 miles.  In May, I skipped the odd day when I didn’t work.  I still managed 358 miles.  Still down from my normal, but things are improving.

I’m getting more miles on the recumbent.  My neck will bother me if I take a long ride on the other bikes.  If I buy another bike it’ll probably be a recumbent, as I can ride those with no issues.

I’m still spending a lot of time with Robin, and I enjoy that time a lot.  We spent a day at Millionaire’s Row at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs

I bought Robin a bike.

Robin and her new bike

Robin and her new bike

Robin has been a good sport and ridden her bike a fair amount.  She also ridden on the back of the Big Dummy a few times.

One hell of a rig

One hell of a rig

What’s next?  I’m heading out with a few friends on Saturday for a four-day tour around southern Indiana.  We’re camping at four state parks.

Stay tuned!