Media Attention

The “exciting news” I alluded to in my last post is obvious now.  WAVE3 wanted to do a story on bicycle commuters, and they found me.  I really hate seeing myself in video, but I have to admit that this is cool.  I’m just glad that I’m in touch with my geek side, as this news piece really shows it.

Read the story.

See the video below.

Thank you for the comments and email that I’m still receiving.  I just got back home, and it will take me a while to read all of my email.

Damon asked what the bike costs.  That bike retails for $1300-$1400.  I’ve got quite a bit into accessories also.  However, a recumbent bike isn’t necessary for commuting.  I like it, but it’s probably not for everyone.  The bike I originally started commuting on was a $225 hybrid bike.

Whatever bike you use, I recommend a helmet and lights.

Solidly Below 250!

I thought my weight would bounce back up from the 249.8 lbs that I weighed on Sunday.  It didn’t.  On Monday it was 249.2, and today it was 247.4.

Some of today’s loss might be the blood I donated at work today, but I drank plenty of fluids to make up for it.

I believe that It’ll stay under 250 as long as I keep riding my bike to work and eating sensibly.

49 lbs down, 72 to go.

I have some other exciting news to share, but that’ll wait until next time.

Charting My Loss

My plateau wasn’t as bad as it appeared.  My initial weight loss was great.  I continued to lose at a much slower pace for a while, with some peaks that probably depressed me at the time.

You can see at the end where my loss has started back at a good pace.  At the very end of it, my weight dips below 250.  Yep, tonight’s weigh-in was 249.8 lbs.  I’m sure it will jump back above 250, but within a few weeks, I’ll be solidly below 250.

Weekly Average Weight for July 26, 2008

My average weight for the week ending 7/26/2008:
252.7 lbs

Down from last week:
3.1 lbs

Down since I started on 10/31/2007:
43.7 lbs

My weight loss has started to accelerate again.  I have ridden my bike a lot in the last week.  My eating has been better, with only a couple of big splurges.  I’m feeling good.

Updating and Restating My Goals – Second Time Around

I’ve changed my goals for the second time.  My new target weight is 175, and I’ve given myself more time to get there.

Here are my goals:

  • Summer 2008: be able to ride a bike for 15-20 miles. *Achieved*
  • Early Late 2009: achieve my goal weight of 200 175 lbs.
  • Summer 2009: be able to run 10-20 miles. I’m taking running out of my plan.
  • Bicycle to work an average of 4 days per week.
  • Get involved with group bicycle rides.  I need to get a little faster first.

Why I have these goals:

  • I don’t want to suffer a heart attack in my 40s or 50s.
  • I hate not being able to fit properly in a roller coaster (I love roller coasters).
  • Being obese leads to lack of self-esteem and depression.
  • A 300 lb man looks funny in a Kia Rio.
  • To set an example for my wife and daughters.
  • My weight causes pain in my back, neck, and shoulders, especially after sleeping. Much of this pain is muscle tension from stress, not weight.
  • To fix a few problems with my digestive system, that I won’t discuss here. Fixed.
  • I want to be able to skydive without fear of breaking my ankles.

What have I achieved so far:

  • My current weight is down to 251.0 lbs.
  • I am able to do two 45-minute sessions on the elliptical in a day, instead little ten-minute sessions.
  • I bought two bicycles, and basic hybrid commuter style, and  a recumbent that I’ve fallen in love with.
  • I am able to ride the 32 mile round-trip commute to work.
  • I can ride my commute three days a week, but I’m quite sore at the end of it.
  • I have changed my eating habits, so that eating healthier comes naturally to me.
  • When I eat a dessert (such as ice cream) I have a very small serving.
  • My beer consumption is down to about 5% of what it used to be.  I rarely drink now, and don’t drink as much.
  • I can walk up eight flights of stairs in the parking garage without feeling ill.

Considering I started all of this at about 300 lbs, and I would get winded by a short walk, I’m quite happy with the progress that I’ve made.  I still have a way to go, and like everyone else, still have the other day-to-day issues to deal with, but I’m confident that I will achieve the three goals.  I’ve even considered making a 2010 goal to run a marathon, but I’ll wait until 2009 to make that decision.

Massage

Last Friday I went to a licensed massage therapist.  It was the first time I’ve ever had a professional massage.

I went because I’ve had very tense neck, upper back, and shoulder muscles for months.  The massage was great, and I left the office pain free.  The pain-free time was short-lived though, the pain returned a few hours later.

The therapist also taught me a few stretching techniques that I’ve done several times a day.  I’m still in pain, but it’s not as bad.

I made another appointment for this Saturday.  I may continue to go even if the pain goes away completely.  It’s a very relaxing, enjoyable experience.

Getting Better, but Not Ready to Hang Out with the Big Boys

I’ve now ridden my new recumbent to work for the third day in a row, and I intend to do it again tomorrow.  It’s a great bike, and it’s comfortable.

I had planned to attend a group ride tonight, to get to know more people and get some extra riding in.  However, that would bring my total riding for the day to over 60 miles.  I’m not ready for that.  I canceled my plans for the group ride.

I still want to attend some slower-paced group rides.  I’ll probably find some on the weekends, to avoid having to commute to work, and ride again.

I fully intend to ride to work again tomorrow.  That means I’ll have put about 150 miles on my bike in a week (commuting and other riding).  I’d like to get to commuting five days a week, plus a nice weekend ride.  That would get me about 200 miles per week.

It is kind of cool, that it is Thursday, and I haven’t even started my car since Monday.

2000 Calorie Meal

I rode to work to back on the recumbent yesterday.  The ride in was great.  The ride home just seemed harder.  Part of it may have been the heat.

By the time I got back to Charlestown I was extremely hungry, and I was too tired to cook.  I stopped at Domino’s at grabbed a pizza.  I strapped it to my rear-rack and went home.

I only intended to eat half of it.  It was only a 12″ medium.  It was gone within ten minutes of getting home.  I looked up the calorie content on calorieking, and found that it was 2000 calories.  So I ate 3320 calories yesterday.

I rode my bike to work again today, determined to burn some of those calories.  I’m planning on riding the rest of this week, plus a group ride tomorrow night.

It’s Official. I’m Weird.

I’m getting stared at by the neighbors.  Passing motorists point and laugh.  It’s all fun though.

I bought a new bicycle.  It’s a Bacchetta Agio.  It’s a very strange looking bike.  People who ride these are considered weird by other cyclists.  I love it.

The balance is much different on a recumbent bike.  I’m still getting used to it.  I will start commuting to it once I’m not so wobbly at low speed.  I’m still riding my hybrid bike, but have been taking the new bike out in low traffic areas to get used to it.

It has a few drawbacks:

  • Harder climb hills
  • More difficult to haul on my car
  • Larger turning radius
  • Instability at low speed
  • You can’t “bunny hop” it over curbs

On the plus side:

  • A recumbent is faster
  • It’s much more comfortable
  • It’s very attention-getting

This particular bike has disc brakes.  They don’t feel nearly as strong as I thought they would.  They are just different, and shouldn’t be affected by getting wet.

The bike is currently back in the shop getting a rear rack installed, so I can use my panniers on it for commuting.

This is fun!
This is fun!

Weekly Average Weight for July 12, 2008

My average weight for the week ending 7/12/2008:
256.2 lbs

Down from last week:
1.9 lbs

Down since I started on 10/31/2007:
40.2 lbs

My vacation held up this post for a few days.  I also did not eat very well over the weekend.  I did get some bicycle riding while in Niles, Michigan.  It’s weird, I don’t remember the roads being that rough there, but  they really were bad.

I also did some swimming at the hotel pool.  Now I’m just tired, and glad to be home.

Strange Vacation

I’m traveling to Niles, Michigan (in the southwest corner of the state) for the weekend.  I’m going to my oldest daughters graduation party.  I’m traveling with my wife, even though we don’t live together anymore.  We’re taking her van, and I want transportation while I’m there, so I’m bringing my bicycle.

The interesting thing is, I know all of the streets in that town.  I used to deliver pizza there for Pizza Transit, and Milano’s.  I’ll be staying alone in a hotel, and riding my bike around town just to kill time.  I’m hoping I can find enough to do to avoid getting bored.

It’s a small town, so I can ride anywhere in town in a reasonable amount of time.  I may have to get re-acquainted with some of the popular hang-outs.

I used to have quite a few friends in Niles, but most of them have moved away, died, or lost touch.  It’s strange, I’ve only been away for eight years.

Got Rid of the Elliptical

I haven’t used the elliptical since April.  Maybe is was a mistake to buy it, but I didn’t know at the time that I would be replacing it with a bicycle.  I will be riding the bicycle year-round, so I don’t need the elliptical.

I’ve been needing a second car.  My current car is in pretty bad shape.  I traded the elliptical for a ’97 Thunderbird.  Now I have two cars, and no car payment.  I’ll also have more room in the livingroom for an exercise mat.

New Goal Weight

When I started this, my initial goal weight was 180.  I later adjusted it to 200.  I had an appointment with my doctor last week, and I talked about my weight.  He tells me that my ideal weight should be 165.  I don’t think I can make it to 165.  I’m not going to try to make it to 165.  I am, however, going to try for 175.

Commuting Update

I really wanted to commute by bicycle all four days that I’m working this week.  (I have Friday off).  I did commute today, and on the way home, pushed myself harder and improved my time by ten minutes.  Pushing myself might have been a bad idea.  My legs are toast.  I’m going to drive tomorrow.

It was fun though.  On one flat stretch of about 2 miles, I was able to keep a steady speed of 20 mph.  My usual pace is 13-14 mph.  My legs and lungs were burning though.

I went for an 11 mile ride on Saturday, and did about 14 miles of riding on Sunday.  It wasn’t enough to prepare for my 32 mile round-trip commute, especially pushing for better time.

I also noticed that I ate more today (2255 calories).  Is it just bad habits returning?, or the fact that I burned more calories?

In either case, today’s weigh-in was at a new low of 253.8 lbs, which means I’ve lost 42.6 lbs.  I expect that some of that is dehydration from the ride home.

Weekly Average Weight for July 5, 2008

My average weight for the week ending 7/5/2008:
258.1 lbs

Down from last week:
3.2 lbs

Down since I started on 10/31/2007:
38.3 lbs

I don’t know how much is fluctuation, and how much is real loss, but this week has been awesome.  I haven’t exercised as much as I wanted to, but I’ve been eating better.

Tonight’s weigh-in was 255.0 lbs.  I’m solidly in the 250s now.  That feels great.

Nice 11 Mile Ride

I’ve been a bit angry with myself. I haven’t done much bike rding since Monday. Actually, the only riding I’ve done since then was a few around town trips.

So, today, I went for a nice ride in the country.

It was only eleven miles, but it was hillier than I’m used to. There were very few cars, and it was peaceful.

There was a steep downhill near the beginning of the ride, and I hit a new top speed of 35.1 mph. That was exhilarating.

Map here:
http://tinyurl.com/6oqryy

The (Short) Week in Review

Due to tomorrow being a holiday, this was a four-day work-week.  I only biked to work on one of those days.  I had intended to bike all four days.  There were various reasons for not biking, none of them very good.

On the other hand, I have been tracking my calories, and controlling my eating.  I had been eating too much, especially carbohydrates, and I had not lost weight.

On June 30 my weight was down over 4 lbs to 260.2.  I assumed this was just a fluctuation, but it has continued.  My weight today is 256.2.  This is the lowest weight I’ve been at since starting this.  My last “big” weight loss was April 30, and I’m 3.2 lbs less than that.

I feel good that this is partly due to just the calorie tracking (averaged 1826 calories per day since June 30), and partially a fluctuation.  The bike had little to do with it, because I’ve barely ridden it since Monday.  I will be back on it this weekend, and commuting next week.

Counting Things

This is my life right now:

  • Counting calories
  • Counting every penny spent
  • Counting pounds lost
  • Counting miles ridden

I’m counting calories again, because my eating habits got out of control.  It is enlightening to see how much you really eat.  It’s also helpful to know that if you eat it, you’ve got to count it, no cheating.  I ate 1685 calories yesterday, and 1595 today.

I’m counting money spent, everything, even small cash purchases.  Like my eating, my spending is a little out of control.  Forcing myself to see where it all goes should help.  I just started this today.  I won’t be putting numbers about this on the blog though.

The daily weigh-in needs to be daily.  I’m trying to get back to doing that everyday again.  I was pleasantly surprised with my weight tonight.  I weighed in at 256.8 lbs.  That is the lowest since I started.  I realize it’s just a fluctuation, but I’m going to do my best to keep it there, or below.

My bike has had an odometer since June 17th (two weeks now), and I’ve put 148.7 miles on it.  I’m tracking the mileage on a weekly basis, but I don’t yet have any plans to post that here.  I didn’t ride today.  My legs needed the rest after yesterdays hellish headwind on the way home

I do sometimes feel like I’m spending more time counting things than doing them, but If that’s what I have to do to get my life in order, then it’s worth it.

Ah, Food. I Love Food

I love food.  I have a problem with eating too much of it, and for the wrong reasons.  That is the whole reason for the existence of this website.

I’ve seen almost no weight loss in two months, just fluctuation.  This is discouraging considering the effort I’ve put into biking.

As of today, I’m tracking everything I eat, and the estimated calories, just like I did when I started this adventure.  I done eating for the day, and I’ve consumed an estimated 1685 calories.  That’s pretty good for someone who rode about 34 miles on a bike today.

Putting the food I eat in a list, even without calories counts, makes me aware of what I’m doing wrong.

So, I’m aiming for under 2000 calories per day, and biking to work and back (32 miles round trip) 3 or 4 times a week.  As always, I’ll adjust any of this as I need to.  I’d love to see my average monthly weight drop by 5 or six pounds for several months in a row.