January 2009 Overview

The month has come to and end, so it’s time to look at my progress for the month.


My average weight for January 2009 is 216.5 lbs, or 7.3 lbs lower than last month.  My progress during the month has been mixed.  On 1/1/09 I weighed 215.0 lbs.  On 1/31/09, I weighed the exact same 215.0 lbs.  There was a fair amount of fluctuation in between those dates.  The highest weight was 221.4 lbs, and the lowest was 211.6 lbs.


I rode 277.8 miles for the month.  I need to ride 417 per month to meet my goal, so I’ve only achieved 67% of what I intended too.  I drove 678 miles for the month.  I intend to drive only 292 miles per month, so I did poorly there also.

The weather has not been kind to me this month.  We had bitter cold, ice and snow, then an ice storm that really derailled my cycling.  Hopefully February has better weather.

I’m beginning to re-think my idea to become car-free at some point.  I still want the bicycle miles, but the bad weather we’ve had this month has made me wonder if I’m cut out for a car-free life.


My diet is fluctuating as usual.  I have a number of good days in a row, then I overdo it.  Obviously this pattern works for me, as I have continued to lose weight.

I have been changing my diet up a bit.  I’m trying to continue to eat healthy, but spend less money.  One of my other goals is to pay off my debt, and that will be slightly easier if I spend less money on everything, including food.

I’ve been spending more time cooking, instead of using the microwave.  Overall, this is a good thing, and maybe I’ll actually learn a bit about cooking.  I’ve also become a big fan of beans.  They are high-fiber and high-protein.


I have done very little exercise other than cycling, and cleaning up debris from the ice storm.  My dumbbells have been sitting in a corner unused.  My push-up plan has been all but forgotten.  I need to start doing these things again.

One new exercise I’ve begun doing, and need to do more often is hiking.  This is an activity my dogs and I enjoy together.

Weekly Average Weight for January 31, 2009

My average weight for the week ending 1/31/2009:
213.3 lbs

Down from last week:
1.9 lbs

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

My average loss per 30 days since 10/31/2007:
5.44 lbs

Weight until goal:
38.3 lbs

This week has a couple of missing data points.  I didn’t weigh-in on three days.  The fact I’m still showing loss makes me happy.

This picture is from August 1999.  I was on vacation in northern Michigan, and went on my first plane ride.  I had a noticeable gut and my face looks fatter than it does now.

Exercise Through Hard Work

Tom was generous to loan me a saw.  It wasn’t a chain saw, just a simple hand saw.  I was able to clear my driveway of downed limbs just fine with it, although it did take a few hours.

Here are the before and after pictures.



I have no idea how many calories that burned, but it felt good to do it all with my own work.  Much like the first time I rode my bike all the way to work.

I still have more limbs to carry from the back and side yard and I’ll have to have a tree service come in to do some work that I’m not comfortable with, but my driveway is clear now.

I’m a Creature of Habit

I have electricity again.  It could be a few more days before everyone affected by the ice storm has power and I feel for those that don’t have power yet.

The disruption to my routine has really thrown off my daily weight-loss related activities.  I haven’t weighed since Tuesday.  I haven’t tracked my calories since Wednesday.  Riding a bike is almost out of the question.

Now that I’m home from work, and my power is on, I just ate some stuff I had.  I’ll prepare a grocery list and ride my bike to the store tomorrow. Tonight, I clean the house.

My bike mileage for the week will be pitiful.  I imagine that my weight is up a bit.

I have a huge mess in my yard to clean up.  I hope to borrow a chainsaw this weekend, so maybe I’ll get some kind of a workout.  🙂

It Went Dark

It got dark and cold.  The ice storm took my power out at 5:30 a.m.  I spent most of the day trying to clear snow and downed limbs from my driveway.  It’s going to take me a long time to clean up the mess from this storm, but luckily the only damage to my house was part of the gutter.

I cooked dinner on my gas grill, but my house continued to get colder.

Although my laptop has a battery, my cable modem and router do not.  So I didn’t have internet access to keep me occupied.

I took a short bike ride, which was probably a bad idea.  The roads were a mess, and my brakes and derailleur iced up.  I got back home safely, but I have a new respect for those that ride to work in snowy/icy conditions.

I’m staying the night at a friend’s house.  He came and picked me up in his four-wheel drive truck.  The drive would have been dicey in my car.  It’s warm here, and I have internet access.  I’ll be back home in the morning, and will hopefully have power by then.

Due to disruption of my routine, I didn’t weigh-in this morning.  If it’s still cold at my house in the morning, I won’t weigh-in tomorrow either.

I’m not entirely sure what my work plans are for tomorrow.  I went to work on Tuesday, when many others didn’t.  I skipped today, as I was unable to even get my car out of the garage for most of the day, and I’m still not sure I can get it through my neighborhood without getting stuck.

If the roads are passable, but my power is still out, I may go into work just to be warm.  If my power is on, I’ll probably stay home, and catch up on sleeping.  I also desperately need a shower.  🙁

Both Duke Energy here in Indiana, and LG&E in Louisville say it could be this weekend before all power is restored.  I’m seriously beginning to consider an alternate heating source for times like this.

That's unfortunate
That’s unfortunate
Why not take a ride?
Why not take a ride?

Winter Storm Warning

There is a winter storm warning in effect.  The snow is supposed to start in earnest tonight.  It did snow some yesterday, and a little overnight.

I wouldn’t have been able to ride my bike the full distance to work due to accumulation on the roads, then pushed unto the shoulder.  I considered a partial commute, but I am attending the Louisville Geek Dinner tonight, and having my car is probably safer.

I will have to watch what I eat and drink, but it should be a good time.

I’m not sure how much riding I’ll get in this week with the snowy weather forecast, but the dogs and I may go for another hike.

Snowy Store Run and 106 Miles

After getting back from the 28-mile RCCS ride, I needed to go grocery shopping.  During the ride, there were some occasional flurries, but that was about it.

It had started snowing a bit more here in Charlestown.  By the time I was ready to go to the store, there was accumulation on the roads.  The store trip is only about 1.3 miles round trip, so I did it anyway.

I found that if I used the rear brake, I could skid sideways.  It was actually fun.  Don’t worry, I didn’t do it in traffic.  🙂

By the time I left the store the snow was really coming down.  People looked to be doing their panic milk and bread thing.  I got some strange looks leaving the store.

I track my bike miles on a weekly basis, ending on Sunday.  My mileage for the week was 106.  Not my best week, but not bad either.

The First River City Cycling Society Ride

Today was the first ride for the new River City Cycling Society.  Tim planned this ride, and did a good job.  If he had control of the weather, then he didn’t do such a good job, as it was cold.  At 28 miles, the cold wasn’t a huge issue.

I wrote more about it on the RCCS blog.  I didn’t get many pictures, but I’m including a few here.

I believe the RCCS plans on doing one ride per month, on a Saturday or Sunday.  Dale is planning one for February.  I will probably plan one for March.

Weekly Average Weight for January 24, 2009

chart-2009-01-24My average weight for the week ending 1/24/2009:
215.2 lbs

Down from last week:
3.9 lbs

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

My average loss per 30 days since 10/31/2007:
5.40 lbs

Weight until goal:
40.2 lbs

It really is hard to know on a day-to-day basis if I’m losing weight.  That’s why I really like my weekly and monthly overviews.  I had gained weight last week, but lost it (and then some) this week.  The chart above makes it clear that the weight loss is still going well.

Fat Guy Grilling

This picture was taken sometime in the summer of 1999.  Despite my 1997 revelation that I was indeed fat, I think I was in denial.  I was still physically active and relatively fit.

River City Cycling Society

Tim had ideas for a loose-knit group of people to participate in more casual rides.  He came up with the name River City Cycling Society.  I set up a blog, and off we go!

The first ride is Sunday, January 25th.  If you want to attend, just show up at 11:00 a.m.

Rather than tell you what it’s all about, just visit the site, and find out for yourself.  🙂

Beautiful Day

I had felt stupid that I seem to ride on the colder days, and take the nicer days off from riding for various reasons.

I had a “back to basics” moment this morning while preparing to drive to work.  I realized that the goal was to get exercise, not to ride the entire distance.

So, I loaded my bike on the car, drove to within 3.8 miles of work, and rode from there.  The temperature was in the 40s, and with such a short ride, I just wore my work clothes.  I was a little bit sweatier than I intended to get, so maybe a spare shirt is in order for next time.

I saw two other bicycle commuters.  One of which was wearing a reflective vest just like mine.  I wished him a good morning, and he said “nice vest!”.  It certainly was a great morning for a ride.

Feeling Better

I felt terrible after riding home last night.  I felt weak and sick.  I partly blamed it on the cold, and partly on catching a cold.  I almost called into work today, but it was important for me to be there, so I pulled myself out of bed, and drove to work.

As the day went on, I felt much better and wished I had ridden to work.  I think my “cheap eats” post from earlier this week explains the real problem.  I wasn’t eating much, and I rode to work two days in a row.  I needed more energy than that.

I basically blew my goal to not buy food until Friday.  I bought a candy bar yesterday, and after work today, I rode my bike to the grocery store and bought a few necessary items.

  • Bananas!  I need the potassium when I exercise.
  • Yogurt.  Calcium, and one of my “comfort foods”
  • Cereal… I was running low
  • Milk, for the cereal
  • Orange juice.  Helps the immune system.
  • Lunch meat.  Not necessarily a healthy food, but something to stuff between to pieces of bread.

That’s all I bought.  It came to about $15.00, and easily fit on my bike.  I still ate beans for dinner, but I also had a banana, orange juice, and yogurt.

My limited diet this week and the two days of riding did help my weight.  I weighed-in at 212.8 lbs.  I first got to 215 lbs on the first of the month, and was unable to get below it, until today.  It’ll probably be up tomorrow, but that’s okay.  Overall it’s still trending downward.

Watch Out for Candy Bars

I stopped on the way home to get a snack.  I shouldn’t have spent the money, but I felt I needed some sugar to make it home.

I grabbed a Snickers bar.  I devoured it, then looked at the label.  The King Size Snickers is considered 3 servings, each serving is 170 calories.  In other words, I ate a quick 510 calories, and it wasn’t even filling.

That candy bar was the highest calorie single item I’ve eaten since Friday of last week.  The item on Friday was a foot-long sub from Subway.

Commuting Issues

Well, I’ve ridden to work and back two days this week, on two different bikes.

I’m slow, tired, and I ache.  I did better than this months ago.  Is it just the cold?  Have I gotten more out of shape due to less riding in the winter months?

I don’t know the answer, but I’m not riding tomorrow.  I really need a break.

I’ve ridden about 66 miles for the week so far, and I intend to ride a 30 mile ride with the RCCS on Sunday.  I won’t make my mileage goal for the year if I keep doing this, but I’m assuming it’ll improve once spring arrives.

Why Am I So Slow When It’s Cold?

I rode Nermal to work and back yesterday.  The ride in was pretty good, but on the way home, I was incredibly slow.  I’m guessing I’m slower when it’s cold, but it may be something else.  I guess I’ll find out in the spring.

I’m still on track for my “cheap eats” track for the week, but eating beans is getting old.  🙂

I rode Oria to work today, and don’t have much choice other than to ride home later.

I thought being back on the recumbent would speed me up.  However, I still made poor time.  Part of the issue was backed up traffic, but my average speed was pretty bad before I ran into traffic issues.  Overall it took about two hours for me to get to work today and it was 13 degrees.

For those of you wondering why backed up traffic would affect me, on a bike, well, I ride with traffic.  I don’t ride on the sidewalk and I don’t ride between lanes of cars.  What I do is the legal and safer way to ride.

Cheap Eats

Due to a number of unusual expenses, I was left with very little money for groceries.  I did drive to work today due to snow, and had to spend $7.00 to park.  That’s coming out of grocery money too.

I went through my cupboards yesterday to figure out how long I can go with my existing stuff before having to go to the store.

Pinto Beans: I had a bag of these that had been sitting in the cupboard way too long.  I cooked up a big pot last night, ate beans for dinner last night, and refrigerated enough for tonight (which I have now eaten), and froze the rest for later in the week.  I added spices and hot sauce, but I didn’t have anything else to add.

Rice: I have a fair amount of rice.  I haven’t cooked any of it, but I will have to later in the week.  I will boil it, or if I’m feeling energetic, fry it first for a different flavor.  I have some olive oil left for that.

Split Peas:  I have a small amount of these.  It should be enough for one meal.

Corn Meal: I have a large bag of this that appears to be several years old.  I opened it, and put it in a canister.  There were no signs of mold or bugs, so it should be fine.  I figure that once I run out of cereal and milk, I can cook cornmeal mush for breakfast.

Lunch: I have enough lunch meat for 3 more sandwiches.  I have a little more bread than that.  I’ve been in the habit of eating two sandwiches for lunch when I ride to work.  I’m planning on bringing one sandwich and a package of frozen brussels sprouts for lunch tomorrow.  I’ll eat later in the day so I have energy to ride home.  I should probably bring an extra piece of bread or two.

Frozen Dinners: I have one frozen dinner in the freezer.  I’ll save it until I’m really sick of beans.

Popcorn: I have a large amount of popcorn, and a hot-air popper.  That will help my small meals fill me up.

What I don’t have: I’m completely out of fresh fruits, orange juice, cheese, and meat.  I’m nearly out of milk and lunch meat.  I don’t have a lot of cereal, but the milk will run out first.

My goal is to make it to Friday with what I have.  Then I’ll spend a little at the grocery store.  The more days I drive (and spend $7 to park), the less money I’ll have for groceries.

I’m actually looking forward to this challenge… mostly because I’m weird.  🙂

Winter Hike With the Dogs

I had planned on a bike ride today, but my dogs were looking sad.  A trip to the park seemed to be the perfect remedy.  It gave me an alternate way to get exercise and a chance to take some pictures.

I went to Charlestown State Park, where I’ve been many times.  I usually hike on trail 2, the shortest and easiest.  Since I’m in better shape now, I hit trail 1.  It’s more rugged and 2.4 miles long.  I could have easily done it a second time, but the dogs were ready to go home.

This park used to part of the now-defunct Indiana Ammunition Plant.  Because of that, there are some weird ruins around.  Before the ammunition plant, much of the area was farmland.  So this is hardly “pristine forest”, but it’s still quite a nice area.





FatGuy Is Now Metric Friendly

I’ve updated my Daily Weigh-In page a bit.  I’ve changed what information I’m providing, and I added my weight in kilograms.

It’s funny, I’ve been complaining about my weight for the past couple of weeks, and now I’ve had a five pound drop in two days.  I guess I should complain more often.  🙂

The recumbent has a name!

Inspired by Susan’s comments in the previous post, I considered shortening her suggestion to Barca, which led to a Google search, which led to an Italian names list.

The company that manufactures my ‘bent, Bacchetta, has an Italian sounding name, but they aren’t Italian.  So I figured an feminine, Italian name was in order.  After browsing around, I settled on Oria.  Oria is derived from the Latin aureus, or “golden”.

So, although Oria is not golden in color, I think it’s a great name for her.

Just A Quick Night Ride

I spent most of the day doing housework and re-arranging my living room.

The weather would have been decent for a ride, except for some wind.  When I finished the housework, the temperature really hadn’t dropped very much, so I went for a 5.5 mile ride midnight ride on the recumbent.  That bike really needs a name.

I expected weekend-night traffic, but it was actually very light.

In my previous post I mentioned not having a TV.  I’m using the extra space to bring the bikes into the livingroom.  Now I have beautiful art on the walls, and beautiful works of art ready to ride.


Now I just need to go on a decent ride tomorrow (later today?), and get serious about commuting again.

TV-Free (for a while)

While my ex-wife was moving, she offered to trade her appliances for my TV.  I had bought the appliances for her when she got her own apartment.  They are nicer than mine.  My refrigerator was okay, but my stove is falling apart.

So, I now have a stove and refrigerator that are less than a year old, but no TV.

I had bought the TV after she moved out and took the old one with her.  It was important to me at the time, as I had an elliptical, and wanted to watch TV to keep my mind occupied.

I no longer have the elliptical, and time I spend time watching TV is generally wasted time.

I still have my laptop with iTunes on it, so I can continue watching a few TV shows.  At some point in the future I will probably buy another (bigger) TV, but I’m in no hurry.

Weekly Average Weight for January 17, 2009

My average weight for the week ending 1/17/2009:
219.1 lbs

Up from last week:
1.5 lbs

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

My average loss per 30 days since 10/31/2007:
5.22 lbs

Weight until goal:
44.1 lbs

Yep, I’ve gained weight.  I only rode one day in the last week, and I overate on several days.  I can’t lose weight every week.  🙂

Embarrassment in 1997

I think 1997 was the first year I really realized I was fat.  I had a sleeveless shirt that I wore a lot, and it had gotten a bit tight.  I borrowed a digital camera from work (320×240 resolution yay!) and we went to the park.  After seeing the pictures that were taken, I threw away the shirt.  Too bad I didn’t do anything about the weight for another ten years.


New Beginnings

I written about the fact that I’ve recently divorced.  I’ve maintained a good relationship with my daughter and ex-wife throughout all of this.  I’ve supported her emotionally, and to an extent, financially.

That’s changing tomorrow.  The two of  them are packing and moving 300 miles away.  I’ll still visit when I can, and my daughter will probably spend quite a bit of the summer here, but my family, as I’ve known it, is changing.

My daughter is 17.  She’s at the age where she wants freedom from her parents, but has no idea what that really entails.  I have a feeling that her and I will grow more distant for a few years, until she has a family of her own.

When I began living alone, I was extremely lonely.  I have since adjusted, and having the two of them nearby to visit was a big help.  It was an even bigger help that they would go home and leave me alone.  🙂  I won’t have them nearby anymore.

I have no family in the area now.  I have only a few friends.  I have no real ties to any particular city.  I like Louisville, and I like my current job, so I have no plans to move.  If I did move, it would be somewhere else without family, because I’d like to move somewhere west of here, and most of my family is in Michigan.

On the plus side, I won’t be going out to eat with them anymore, so it should be easier to control my eating.  I also feel I’ll be able to move forward with my life.  I don’t know exactly what I want out of life.  I have a variety of ideas, but some of them are in conflict with each other.

Whatever path I choose, it will involve getting fit, staying fit, riding a bike, and doing my best to improve myself as a human being.

That’s Not Going To Help

I was happy to have ridden to work this morning.  My new boots kept my feet warm, so no part of me was too cold.  The wind was harsh, but some days just work out that way.

After work, I was riding home, and although the temperature was warmer, the wind was a lot worse.  The wind was mostly a cross-wind, but it kept changing directions, sometimes pushing me from behind and giving a welcome boost in speed, other times, blowing right into my face and slowing me down horribly.

After 8.5 miles of my 16.5 mile commute I called it quits, and called for a ride.  I could have finished the ride, but I just didn’t want too.  The weather was bad, idiot drivers were everywhere, and I was hungry.

After getting home I went out to (over)eat instead of having a sensible meal at home.

The weather for the rest of the week looks to be extremely cold and windy.  I don’t think I’m riding again this week.

These decisions aren’t helping me with my goals, weight loss, or car-use, but sometimes I need a break.  I’ll have to do a lot more riding to make up for it once the weather warms a bit more.

Slow, Cold, and Windy

That describes my commute this morning.  It was 17 degrees, my average speed was under 11 MPH, and there was a headwind for most of the ride.  It took me 100 minutes to get to work.  I did have to stop at the post office, and stop once to fix my clothing.

I’m glad I rode today.  I’m not sure if I will the rest of the week, as it’s supposed to get colder.

My weight this morning has finally come back down… to what it was ten days ago.  Ah well, long-term I’m still losing weight.