Goodbye 2011. What’s In Store Now?

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  When it’s time for a change, you should work at it immediately.  I do, however, believe in looking back at things.  I’m looking back at 2011.

Bike Miles

I rode 5502.9 miles in 2011.  That’s more than 400 miles over 2010’s 5087.2.  By comparison, 2009 was only 3860 miles.  November 2011 was a new personal record month.  I had 697.7 miles.  December is my best December yet, but nothing exceptional at 444.9 miles.

I hope to surpass 6000 miles in 2012, and have a one-month best of 750 miles.


I sold my truck and became car-free on November 4th.  I’m still adjusting to living without a car, but it’s not a difficult adjustment after living most of the year as if I were already car-free.


I bought the Big Dummy as my car truck replacement once I knew I actually would sell the truck.  I still have some fit issues to get dialed in, but the bike has been great at hauling things (and people!).

I’ve spent a lot of money on bikes this year.  In addition to buying the Big Dummy, I bought a SON dynohub and lighting system for the LHT in April.  I later moved the wheel and lights to the single-speed.

In March, I bought a used kid-trailer as an affordable cargo hauler.  I haven’t used it since buying the Big Dummy, but it could be useful to tow it with the Big Dummy if I really need to haul a lot.

In December I bought new wheels (including Shimano dynohub) for the LHT.  I also bought new brakes.  Now, January 1st, the bike is still partially assembled in my kitchen.


2011 has been a challenging year due to health issues.

In June I had a horrible neck pain problem.  It kept me off the bike briefly.  It made me miss some longer pleasure rides that I wanted to do.  With some treatment and strength training it was resolved to the point that I can function normally, but it never went away.

In September I was hospitalized due to a bowel obstruction.  Luckily it resolved without surgery, but it was scary.  I only missed one important ride, and had no lasting effects.

On the day after Christmas my neck issue returned.  I’m still struggling with it, and I see myself riding the recumbent more often now.  I wasn’t car-free last time, so my options are a bit more limited now.

The various doctor visits may have actually added to my overall mileage for the year.  I had doctor visits in New Albany and east of Lyndon that took me a bit farther for transportation cycling than I normally go.


Ah, the elephant in the room.  First let’s look at my monthly average weight since I started tracking it in 10/2007.  Up until July 2009, things look great, then a bit of a bump, lost again, then steady increase since March 2010.

Now let’s look at the same values beginning January 2009.  You’ll notice that most of it is between 200 and 220lbs.  That changes when it goes above 230 in July 2011.  It stays above 230 until the last two month of the year.

It’s a little bit depressing, but not all that surprising.  I’ve been treating myself to good food and beer as if I don’t have a weight problem.  I not going to give these things up, but I need to make better decisions on how much and how often to consume these things.

2011 was not a good year for weight loss.  I ended the year 13lbs heavier than I started it.  Ugh.  As Tim would say, I have an “intake valve problem”.


Other than cycling I’ve done little exercising.  I had my push-up plan back in 2008 that I abandoned after suffer shoulder pain.  I’m supposed to be using some dumbbells to strengthen my upper body to help with the neck and shoulder issues, but I’ve not been using them as much as I should.

I was training for a triathlon early in the year, but ditched that after suffering problems in the swim portion of the training.  I did not enjoy the running, but I was capable of performing what was needed.

I did race my first bicycle race in November, the Gravel Grovel.  I met my goal of less that 6.5 hrs (just over 6 hours).

My biggest problem right now, is that my most common exercise other than cycling is the 12 ounce lift (lifting the beer to my lips).


Okay, where to begin?

When I started this blog in November of 2007, my 13-year marriage was ending.  I didn’t talk about it publicly for months, but it was happening.

I married Kristy in 2009.  It was a much different marriage than the first, but didn’t work out for much different reasons.  We are now officially divorced.

Interesting tidbit.  I met an interesting woman, Robin, a few days ago.  My desires in a relationship are a bit different now.  I’m not ready to rush in to living together or marriage (eek!  I said the M word!), but she lives nearby (walking distance, no bike even needed!) and we have some common interests.  We rang in the new year together.  I’m not going to talk much more about her for the time being.


Most goals stay the same.  Goal weight of 175lbs.  Stay sane.  Be happy.

Some goals have changed.  Ride 6000 miles for the year.  Ride 750 miles or more in at least one month.  Save more money.

All of this is for nothing if the Mayans were right.

Happy New Year everyone!

Four Years?

Time flies.  I started this blog four years ago today.  November 11, 2007 was when I started documenting my weight loss effort.  I had actually started the effort in late October but took a little longer to get the blog moving.

What a strange trip it’s been.

It’s time for me to reflect where I’ve been and where I need to go.  I’ve gotten too used to “instant gratification” in everything.  I feel I “deserve” things that in the long-term are bad for me.  So I’ve gained weight.

This is more than eat less/ride more.  This is my relationship with food.

Looking back on old posts to write this has been illuminating and given me new incentive to work at this again.  The wedding pictures especially.  I was about 20lbs lighter then than I am now, and I looked quite a bit better.

So, I’m going to work harder and see where I am in another year.  I hope some of you hang out and enjoy the ride with me.

Good Monday

I normally loathe Mondays.  Today turned out good.  Tim and I have standing plans on Mondays to meet in the afternoon for cyclocross training.  My LHT is the only ‘cross-worthy bike, so I rode it to work this morning.

I had a light breakfast of a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.  That’s mostly because I overslept and didn’t have time to cook bacon and eggs.


I had a productive day at work.  Although my official duties are database related, I get pulled into various IT projects.  Today, I finished up a small Windows application to make deployment easier for one of our line-of-business applications.  Just a little thing, but it was nice to write software again, even on a small scale.

New Bike

I heard from Ian today.  We agreed upon a price and payment plan.  The Big Dummy is mine.  I’m getting the KickBack kickstand and wide loaders in the deal.  Now I truly have a pedal-powered pickup truck!


After work I rode out to the park to meet with Tim.  We did a couple of easy laps around the course, then he started a faster lap.  I fell back, stopped and took a breather.  I really wasn’t feeling strong.  We then did a lap with me in the lead – running at my pace. It wasn’t much faster than an easy lap.

I’ve made up my mind that cyclocross is not for me.  I’ll continue to do these practices for fitness and fun, but I don’t want to race.

Tim gave me a ride part of the way back home.  I rode home from the Highlands.  I still rode 12.5 miles of commuting/errands and 12 miles of ‘cross practice.


I go out to eat entirely too much.  I still haven’t been grocery shopping, but I had enough stuff to cook spaghetti, so that’s what I did.  I have no beer, but I need to avoid it for a while.  I had a filling meal, and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Late Errand

My daughter works at a local drug store.  She called me to ask me to bring her something.  I hopped on the single-speed, went to the ATM, then the drug store, dropped off something for her, and bought some stuff for me.  The round-trip was only 2.5 miles.

What did I learn on my errand?  I learned my Acorn handlebar bag will fit two large bottles of supplements (glucosamine) and a 14oz tub of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.  So, dessert too!

More Saturday

I got an email from Michael, who I rode with on Saturday.  He passed along a couple of pictures of me.

The first is just me riding through the woods on my single-speed road bike.  Not the ideal bike for the terrain.

Action shot
Action shot

The second picture is hilarious.  We were at the nearly impassable stretch of the Riverwalk behind the golf course.  I had no idea he was taking pictures, but I needed to lift my bike to get through.

Upward and onward?
Upward and onward?

Exercise & Stretching

I’m doing my dumbbell exercises.  Even the 5lb stuff hurts after enough repetitions.  I have no upper body strength.

I’ve also noticed over the last few months that I hurt more.  My legs were so tight last night that any movement was painful.  I realized that somewhere over the last six or so months I quit stretching.

So, I spent about 30 minutes stretching my legs, back, and torso yesterday.  I’ll do it again tonight.  Hopefully I’ll notice a difference soon.

The Truck

The gasoline-powered cargo hauler (as opposed to the pedal-powered cargo hauler) is going up for sale this week.  I’m done using it now, I just need to find a buyer.  Then I’ll be officially car-free.

This Weekend

Tim, Michael, and I are heading to Red River Gorge (in Tim’s SUV) for two days of riding, and one night of camping.  It’ll be cool during the day, and cold at night.  I’ll be wearing as much wool as possible at night.  I hope there aren’t any burn-bans in effect this weekend.  We’ll really need a fire.

Either way, it’ll be a blast.  Much like the Big South Fork trip was last year.


More than two years ago I started doing some upper-body strength-training to help with my shoulder pain.  I did it for a while, but I eventually quit doing it.  Letting the muscles atrophy may have exacerbated the cervical spine issue.

On the advice of my chiropractor, I bought some five pound dumbbells.  Then they sat on the bedroom floor.  Five pounds is nothing.  I can easily lift them.  Then, today, I did the exercises she told me to… and it hurt.  I’m glad it’s only five pounds.

This is one of those things that isn’t so much for weight loss as it is general health.  If my neck gets worse again, I’ll be off the bike.  I can’t have that.  I need to stay mobile.

Morning Metric

Tim called it “furly”, and it was.  I got up at 4:00am, made breakfast and coffee, showered and was out the door at 5:30 to meet Tim and Patrick for a 50 or so mile road ride.

I was concerned about the weather.  It was quite cool, but not quite cool enough for long-sleeves.  There was a chance of rain, which would make it cooler.  I wore shorts and short sleeves and brought a long-sleeve compression shirt with me.  Although it did start raining, I never felt cold enough to change.

We met near the intersection of Bardstown Rd and Douglass Blvd, known as “The Loop”.  We had planned to meet at 6:00, but were underway by 5:45.

Tim planned an urban route that would still get some climbing in.  We headed west, then south and looped around in Iroquois Park.  We stopped for bathroom/water break before leaving the park.  I ate a peanut butter sandwich while waiting.

We headed back north, through Old Louisville and downtown.  We shared River Rd with runners (there was a race of some sort going on).  We stayed out of the way.

We cut up through the Mockingbird Valley area, then over to Indian Hills where we did some more looping, just to ride the hills more than once.

Then back to River Rd and out to Wolf Pen Branch and Barbour Ln.  We took some neighborhood streets and were near Patrick’s house, so he headed home to take care of family duties.

Tim and I headed west on Westport and into St. Matthews where we stopped at a bakery for some much needed carbs.

We continued through Seneca Park and to The Loop and had breakfast and Twig & Leaf.  There was an LBC group having breakfast there because they cancelled their ride due to rain.  Tim and discussed riding a little extra to get 62 miles (100 kilometers) to have a metric century.

We each headed home from there.  I took a roundabout way to Sunergos Coffee and enjoyed a good cup.  I then took a wandering route home.  My bike computer said 62.3 miles, which is just over 100 km.  It wasn’t even noon yet.  That’s a pretty good start for the day.

Download file: 2011-09-18.gpx


I’ve never really been a morning person, but the lifestyle change that I started in October 2007 has “normalized” my sleep schedule quite a bit.  I used to stay up late on the computer nearly every night.

Riding a bike and other exercise left me tired enough to sleep, and I got into better habits.  My wife’s schedule has sometimes interfered with that.  Well, it should help now.  She now leaves the house at 3:45am.  I get up sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 unless I oversleep.

On Tuesday, I was up early, and left the house early enough to take the long way to work.  Yesterday, I overslept and <<shudder>> drove to work.

I got up at 3:00 today.  That gives me plenty of time to read email, make coffee (I started drinking coffee again), make breakfast, possibly write a blog post, and ride a few extra miles.

If I can fully get my body into this early morning thing, it’ll be nice.  Mornings are quiet and peaceful.  Traffic is still light if I head out early enough.

Too Far?

I may have been pushing myself too far.

I ran another race last Saturday, the Reindeer Romp 4k.  It was originally scheduled to be before the 5k I did a while ago, but it was rescheduled to to weather.  I did run a bit better pace (26:54 for the run, 10:49 per mile), but I was incredibly sore after the ride.

Running in general just seems like a bad idea for my body.  I have issues with my knees and hips when running.  I also end up sore all over the next day.  I do get a stronger endorphin buzz from running than cycling, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it.  I don’t enjoy running much at all.  I sort of enjoy the first hour or so after a run though.

My shoulder arthritis has flared up again.  I’m not sure of the cause.  That started to cut into my bike riding, until I got the recumbent out again.  I can ride the recumbent without aggravating the shoulder, but now it’s causing knee pain.  It may be I need to readjust the seat.  I’ve actually gained a little weight since I last rode it regularly.

I took (yet another) break from the YMCA.  Spin class really hurts.  Swimming aggravates my shoulder.

The real question is am I pushing myself too far?  I’m seriously considering dropping out of the triathlon training.  I don’t want to.  Completing a triathlon would be really cool.  It’s still the swimming I’m most worried about though.

I should know in a few more days or weeks.

Starting Again

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m still gaining weight.  I’ve made a few drastic decisions today with some exceptions.

No more coffee. My coffee consumption has skyrocketed.  I seldom brew my own, I go to the coffee shop and end up buying snacks while I’m there.  It’s hurting my weight loss effort, and my wallet.  I’ll drink water and milk.

Very little eating out. I guess it’s a mental thing where I feel like I have to treat myself.  I’ve been doing it too often, and it’s causing problems.  I need to pack a lunch when I go to work, and cook dinner at night.

Very little beer.  I love beer.  It’s something I treat myself with, usually when going out for dinner.

No ice cream. I haven’t had any recently, but if it’s in the house, I’ll eat the whole container.  Kristy will be home soon, and probably bring some in the house.  If the allowed amount is none, it should be easier for me.

Changing weight-tracking. I’m still weighing daily, even if I haven’t updated the page here in a while.  I’m no longer going to post daily weights.  I’ll change the weigh-in page to be weekly averages.  Then maybe I’ll be able to keep posting regularly.

I did mention some exceptions to the changes.  I may occasionally violate one of the rules during social functions.  This could include an RCCS coffee ride, pub crawl, whatever.  If I ride a 40-mile round-trip to have pizza and beer, that’s okay.

I won’t be training this week, but I will be back at the YMCA on Sunday.  It’s time to get in gear again.  After the triathlon in July, I’m going to re-attempt switching to a paleo-diet.  I tried before, but I felt like crap when I didn’t eat carbs.  I’ve since learned that it takes 2-3 weeks to adjust.

Am I Training?

Yeah, ouch, I am.

After running the 5k yesterday, and attempting a spin class last Tuesday, not to mention the four days I went to they Y for swimming and weightlifting… I met up with Tim this morning for a 34-mile ride on the single-speed.

After the ride this morning, I intended to be lazy around the house.  Debbie, my training partner, sent me a message about a 2-hour spin class this afternoon, so why not?.

I had only managed 10 minutes of my previous attempt at a spin class, but I realized that I tried to go all-out too often.  So, I met up with Debbie at the Y, and managed to complete the class.  I did take it a bit easier in the beginning, but in the last hour, I was keeping up, and could barely walk when I left.  Not a problem, I only had to ride home.

I took a small detour and stopped for food.  I was famished after eating very little all day.  I overate, and had a few beers before trundling home.

My legs?  Do they hurt?  Uh… yeah, actually they do.  Why do you ask?

I’ll be up tomorrow morning early for swimming and weightlifting before work, and running after work.

My First 5K

As part of my Triathlon training I ran a 5k this morning.  This is not only my first 5k, but my first organized run.  I met up with my training partner (Debbie) at the Frostbite 5k.

A week ago I was supposed to run a 4K. I didn’t even buy running shoes until two days before. I didn’t train at all. I was saved by bad weather. I didn’t run.

This past week I ran indoors at the YMCA. 1 mile, 3 times. Not a huge distance, but I did better than I thought I would. For some perspective, the last time I ran a mile, I was in high-school, and despite being lean and muscular I could barely breathe and almost vomited.

So today, I didn’t wimp out.  I even rode my bike to get there, which was a good idea due to lack of parking.  There were over 700 people running.

For the first 1.5 miles I kept up a good pace without walking. I think my first mile was about 11:30. After the halfway mark I did drop to a walk a couple of times to recover before getting back to a jog.

I saw a lot of Couch to 5K t-shirts. There were some icy spots on the road.

My finish time was 34:16. I did a lot better than I thought I would.

The ride home was at a leisurely pace. My legs are sore.

Some observations from a bicyclist point of view:

  • Running requires fewer layers of clothes in cold weather
  • A 5K run wasn’t bad, but a 5K bike ride is nothing
  • I was generating enough heat during the entire run, it was like climbing a hill on the bike, constantly
  • A lot of people run – how can we get them on bikes?
  • Once the run was over, I quickly got chilled
  • I had minor knee pain, and will probably look into one of those bands that goes around the leg just below the knee

I don’t think I’ll ever become a regular runner, but I’ll do it enough to train for my Triathlon in late July.

More Snow

After reading the weather forecast last night I fully expected to see some snow on the ground when I got up.  I got up at 4:00 a.m., and it hadn’t even started snowing yet.

By the time I was heading out the door at 5:15 or so the snow was coming down.  I rode to the YMCA and got in a small amount of exercise before heading to work.  There was some snow on the ground by then.  I was surprised that my bike was one of four in the parking garage when I was leaving.  Notice the XtraCycle on the far-right.

During the day we got a couple of inches of snow.  The main roads were kept clear and the warm-ish temperatures meant that nothing iced up (on the roads I was on).

My commute home was pretty uneventful, but the dogs seemed happy to play in the snow when I got home.

Notice all of the "luggage" on the bike.  Commuting and a stop at the Y means I get to carry more stuff.  There is a thermos for coffee buried in there to cut back on the expense of the coffee shop.

Now that I’m home, I need to get to sleep so I can get up at 4:00 a.m. again, but I’m not sleepy.  I’m considering walking to go out to dinner.  I’ll overeat, but a full belly might be what I need to sleep well tonight.

Spin Class?

I went to the 5:45 a.m. spin class at the Y this morning.  I was the only male in attendance, and I was probably about average age-wise for the group.

We quickly got going.  Maybe I started off too fast.  Maybe I’m still too weak from yesterday’s workout.  I am still sore from yesterday.  In any case, I lasted all of ten minutes in the spin class before I bailed.  I went and swam for a while, now I’m sitting here at the Y watching the news channels go crazy about the snow.

I’ll be riding to work in a minutes, but my shortened workout has left me some extra time.

I Ran a Mile!

I haven’t run a mile since high school.  Although I was lean and muscular at the time, I still remember feeling like I was going to lose a lung.

Today, in addition to swimming and weight-lifting, I took advantage of the indoor track at the Y.  I settled into a steady pace, and before I knew it, I had run a mile.  I felt fine.  I guess my cardiovascular system is stronger now than when I was in high school, even if I sag more now.  🙂

I’m a bit sore now, but I’m pleased with myself.  I’m going to the Y again tomorrow, but I’m not sure if I’m going to run.  I’ll see how my legs feel in the morning.

I have an appointment on Thursday morning with a “wellness coach” at the Y.  I basically just asked how to use the computer-fitness-tracking-thing (I can’t remember what it’s called), and had to schedule an appointment.

I’m really only doing strength training for my upper body, arms, and core.  I think my legs are doing  just fine from a few years of riding a bike.

How’s My Week?


I rode to work and back.  Not much else to add.


I rode to work, then to a massage appointment, then home.  I ate too much.


Woke up with a horrible headache, called work to let them know I’d be late, then went back to sleep for a while longer.  I did go into work, but I drove.

Since I was driving anyway, I ran some errands after work.  I went to Swags to buy some running shoes.  Found some that will work for about $60.  Then I went grocery shopping.  Now that 2011 is here, I’m tracking all of my driving miles.  Well, Wednesday was 22.1 miles put on the truck.

Thursday (Today)

Rode to work again.  After work rode across the bridge to Jeffersonville to meet up with Debbie, who I’m training with for the Triathlon.

We discussed scheduling, training, and whatnot.

After I got home, I put on my new running shoes, and some thick base layers (it’s cold outside!) and my reflective vest, and went for a quick run.  The shoes will work.  I should probably buy some thin gloves.  I have thick ski gloves I wear on the bike, but they are not ideal for running.

Rest Of The Week?

I’m now committed to running the Reindeer Romp 4k on Saturday.  I might be crazy to run this soon, but at least it’s only 4k (2.4 miles) and I can walk as much as I need to.

I also need to spend some more time at the Y.  My swimming technique needs a lot of work.  I also need more miles on the bike.

2011 Goals

It’s almost a new year.  Here are my goals for the next year.  This is not a “resolution”.  These are goals I can re-visit, track progress, and modify if I need to.  🙂

  • Train for and complete an Olympic Triathlon on 7/31/2011
  • Weight lifting for upper-body strength (I’m pretty pathetic above the waist now)
  • Get to my goal weight of 175lbs by 7/1/2011, and never go above 180 again (at about 216 today)
  • Ride at least 5000 miles for the year
  • Drive fewer miles than I ride (this could be hard due to most driving being longer trips)
  • Do at least three overnight bike camping trips
  • Start riding with the local club – on my single-speed (I’ve done that once this year)

Old Goals

Let’s look at some goals I posted on 2/28/2009

  • Goal weight will remain at 175 lbs (for now).  I hope to reach that goal by the end of August.
    Didn’t happen.
  • Ride a century this year (100 miles in one day).
    Didn’t happen until 2010.
  • Raise $3200 for The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and complete the entire ride under my own power.
    I raised over $2500 and completed the ride.  I’ll call that success.  I did not participate in 2010.  The fundraising part really is the hardest.
  • Learn to ride my new unicycle, and complete a ten-mile ride on it by June 2010.
    I gave up the unicycle.
  • Juggling?
    Didn’t bother.  Without the unicycle it wouldn’t be as cool.  🙂
  • Ride to work more often.  I had hoped to average 3 days per week, but I’m not even managing that right now.
    This was up and down for a while, but I moved to Louisville, and I ride (almost) every day.
  • Ride to work five days a week at least 3 weeks per year.
    See above.
  • Increase my average speed on the bicycle a little bit.
    Hasn’t really happened, although the triathlon training should help that.
  • Learn to kayak this year.
    I still haven’t touched a kayak, but I did take a canoe trip.
  • Get a rod, reel, and fishing license, and spend some time relaxing and fishing.
    I didn’t do this either.  Most of my free time is gone.  I have been reading a lot though.
  • Find new fitness activities.
    I guess training for a triathlon counts.  I’m also starting weight lifting.
  • I had made a goal to live-car free.  I think I’m giving that up.  I do want to drive less, but realities of the modern world make this a very unpopular choice.
    I wrote this when I had an old car that was paid for.  Then it died.  Then I bought a truck.  I seldom drive now, but I’m now married, and have a car payment.  It’ll be a while before I can become car-free.
  • Ride 5000 miles this year.  I’m way behind on this so far.  I’m two months into the year, and I’ve only ridden 541 miles.
    I did not make 5000 miles in 2009.  I did in 2010, and hope to in 2011.
  • Get better about riding in cold rain.  I often use this as an excuse not to ride to work, but I have the gear to do so.
    I ride in cold rain.  I still don’t care for it, other than the “crazy factor”.
  • I had planned to try to drive less than 3500 miles per year.  I’m giving up on this also.
    I’ve modified this to simply ride more than I drive.
  • Ride in a roller coaster this year.  I’ll actually fit now.
    I didn’t get a chance for a real roller coaster, but I did ride in a number of other amusement park rides.  Yes, I fit.
  • Go skydiving in the summer of 2010.
    Didn’t happen.  I still want to do it someday, but I’ve got too much else going on financially and time-wise.
  • I want to be a better cook.
    I may be slightly better, but only slightly.  I still don’t cook often enough.
  • I want to find a wonderful woman to enjoy these activities with.
    I did.  I met her shortly after writing that blog post.

    Walking, Raw-Food, and Getting Up Early


    Candy is unsure
    Candy is unsure

    After riding my bike to work and back home, I needed to go to the grocery store.  I didn’t feel like riding, so I intended to drive.  Once I was standing next to my truck, keys in hand, I realized it was silly to drive.  The local Kroger is less than a mile away.  I didn’t need much, so I walked.

    The sidewalks had been ice-covered a few days ago, but they seem to be clear now.  I bought what I needed and headed home just as it began snowing.  By the time I arrived home it was sleeting.


    While researching paleo-diet stuff (which I’m not doing right now), I came across raw-meat diet for pets.  Dogs and cats are carnivores, so I did a little reading and decided to give it a shot.

    My finicky cat is not taking to it at all so far.  The dogs however, love it.  They’ve eaten pork ribs, eggs, and chicken legs.  I need to buy some organ meat to round out the diet.

    I was buying some fairly expensive dog food before, so I may actually save money doing this.  You don’t have to buy expensive meat.  The cheap stuff is fine.  Watching a dog eat an egg can be funny.  Both of my dogs eventually eat the whole thing, shell and all.

    The downside to this plan is that I’ll have to mop the kitchen floor much more often.

    Sandy is being protective
    Sandy is being protective

    Getting Up Early

    I hate mornings.  Even if I go to bed early, I still really dislike getting up.

    I need to start getting up earlier so I can train for the triathlon.  I’ve got a couple of weeks before I really start training, but I need to get up tomorrow and get down to the Y before work and work on my swimming.

    The Organization Formerly Known As YMCA

    … is re-branding themselves as “The Y”.

    Why?  I don’t know.  How do I know?  I was at the downtown location today becoming a member.

    Why am I becoming a member?  Well, I will write more about that later.  I have a new goal, a new obsession, and a good way to lose weight and get more fit.

    I will tell you why I’m doing what I’m doing, even if I’m not telling you what I’m doing, yet…. Confused yet?

    I was involved in an online discussion about the “fat person mentality” that tends to hang around people like me, even after shedding the pounds.  It becomes an excuse to not do things.  You tell yourself “I can’t do that, I’m just a fat guy”.  The name of this blog really shows the issue.  Yes, I was a fat guy when I started it, but am I still?  Even if I am a little, is it enough to prevent me from doing things anymore?

    No.  It’s not.  I can do anything that any other normal person can do.

    So, I’m taking a challenge.  I’m going to push myself.  The Y membership will help me.

    More tomorrow.

    5000 Miles?

    I rode to work and back today.  Yes it was cold.  I met another commuter on the way home.  George lives near my home, and I ran into him in the Old Louisville neighborhood.  He was riding a fixed-gear, and knows one of my co-workers.  Not as many of us are out in the bitter cold.

    I’m up to 4900 miles on the bike so far this year.  I’ll easily hit 5000 for the year.  Getting 5000 next year will be the real challenge with my shorter commute.

    I still don’t seem to be losing weight.  I am eating better now.  There was a company potluck yesterday, but I skipped dinner after I got home.

    I ate much better at work today, but don’t feel like cooking tonight, so I’ll probably just microwave some frozen vegetables.  I’ve been ignoring my food diary.  I still need to start using my dumbbells, or doing push-ups, or something.  Writing blog posts, sleeping, and reading are taking up my time though.

    Back To The Food Diary and Better Eating

    I lost weight from late 2007 to early 2009.  It’s now late 2010 and I haven’t lost weight.

    The things that were successful during that time?

    • Tracking everything I ate and adding calories
    • Exercise
    • Ate most of my carbs early in the day
    • Limited snacking
    • Very little consumption of beer
    • Weighing myself daily

    From early 2009 to now this has turned into:

    • Not keeping track of anything I eat
    • A lot of exercise, but nearly all of it cycling
    • Food binging
    • Higher consumption of beer
    • Weighing myself sporadically

    I will be accountable again.  I will track what I eat (although I’m going to forgo the calorie counting).  I will weigh everyday.  I will post what I eat here (sometimes).

    As I said in my last post, there are several changes I’m making.  They started this morning.

    I was actually off to a bad start.  I didn’t want to cook, and due to laziness I still needed to wash dishes.  I hadn’t been to the grocery store so I had nothing quick, easy, and healthy around the house.  So, I just didn’t eat.

    Around 3:00pm, I was too hungry, and went looking through cupboards again.  I spotted the oatmeal.  I had given up on oatmeal a while back when I started following the paleo-diet.  Now that I’m back to my original weight-loss plan, paleo is out the window.

    I put 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup water, and a dash of salt in a large cup, and microwaved it for 2 minutes.  I stirred it, added a small pat of butter and some cinnamon.  I did not add sugar.  It was a late lunch after skipping breakfast, but it’ll do.

    The dishes are nearly done.  I’ll cook a proper dinner tonight.  I’ll go grocery shopping tomorrow (after the RCCS ride).

    I have some other changes I need to make.  I need to start doing some more exercises to strengthen my core and upper body.  I need to drink more water. I need to limit my coffee consumption to one pot per day.

    Just Pedaling Around

    Dog food on the 'bent
    Dog food on the 'bent

    It looks like this week will be transportation cycling only.  That’s okay, that’s why I live in town now.

    I woke up feeling horrible on Monday and almost drove to work.  I hopped on the single-speed and pedaled my way in anyway.  It made me feel better.

    I adjusted the brakes on the recumbent, so I rode it into work today.  I had to stop for dog food on the way home.  I was leery of trying to haul a 40 lb bag, so I grabbed a smaller one.  It worked fine.  I’ll get the 40lb next time.

    I thought about the fact that my commute and errands over the last two days haven’t been many miles.  Then I realized that although 15.5 miles over two days may not be much, it’s a lot more exercise than I used to get.

    I also didn’t burn any gas to get to work or get dog food.

    Yes, I am happier this way.

    Workout = Sleep

    Yesterday’s single-speed ride wore me out.  I went to bed early and slept well last night.

    I was up early today, undecided what riding I was going to do today.  It looks like I’m not riding.  I’ve been doing housework this morning.  I need to mow two lawns.  Then I need to hang around the house for the trick-or-treaters that will come by.

    Maybe I’ll find the time to get the brakes adjusted on the recumbent.

    Happy Halloween!

    Haven’t Been Under Control

    I haven’t been under control recently.  I eat too much.  I spend too much.  I eat the wrong things.  I’ve gotten out of the habit of cooking.  I’ve gotten into the habit of stopping at restaurants and coffee shops way too often.

    I’ve gained weight.  My weight this morning was 221.2.  I’ve erased a lot of progress, but that’s changing today.

    My Dinner - Low Carb
    My Dinner - Low Carb

    I haven’t spent a penny today.  I brought a lunch to work.  I carried a thermos of coffee to work.  I cooked dinner tonight.  I have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

    I want to be at my goal weight of 175 (less than 50 lbs away) in one year.  Then I want to maintain between 170 and 180 indefinitely.

    In addition to controlling myself again, I’m going to start doing some upper-body exercises.  I have a set of dumbbells, but haven’t touched them in a while.  I need to quit busying myself with stupid stuff.  I can exercise all I need in a few minutes a day.

    Change of Focus?

    This blog started as a way to document my weight loss and keep me accountable for my eating habits.  Once I started bicycling that was simply added into the mix.  More recently, the weight loss aspects have been ignored.  I’ve gained some weight.  I don’t weigh myself regularly anymore.

    Which vehicle to take to the coffee shop?

    This is, in part, due to my focus on bicycling for transportation.  Bicycling for transportation has become such I big part of my life that moved into Louisville (while continuing to pay the mortgage on my old house) so that I could bicycle everywhere.  It’s been wonderful.  I have not driven to work since moving.  When my wife and I go out to eat, I’ll even meet her there rather than drive (if she’ll let me).

    I rode my bike to the coffee shop the other day, when the white truck in the picture on the right pulled up.  One individual drove that huge diesel-powered truck, just to grab some coffee.  I have nothing against trucks.  I own one.  I just believe in using the right tool for the job.

    I’ve been very busy for the last week.  Some of it has been the have-to-do stuff.  Some of it is want-to-do.  In either case it has left me sleep-deprived.  I was up late last night driving to Danville and back.  I had intended to ride the Harvest Homecoming ride today.  I changed my mind at the last minute and went back to bed.  I don’t regret the decision.  I needed the sleep.

    So, this blog… where does it go?  What should I focus on?  I would love to show some positive results in my weight loss and/or fitness.  The truth is, I haven’t really improved either of those since February of 2009.  I’m in much better shape than when I started in 2007, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to my goal weight of 175.  Maybe this is where I need to focus on waist size and strength.  I should add some weight training to the mix.

    So, I haven’t been writing about every bike ride recently.  It’s safe to assume I ride every day now.  I will continue to do so, except maybe today, where I probably won’t be leaving the house.  I will write about exceptional rides.  I will write about what I decide to use as a metric to measure my progress, but I need to figure that out still.

    I love bicycles and bicycle advocacy.  I don’t think I’m a great bicycle advocate, other than just being out there on the road.  I’m not eloquent or persuasive.  I’ll leave the “advocacy with words” to those smarter than I.  I’ll just ride my bike.  🙂

    Getting Fatter?

    I stopped weighing myself a while back.  My weight had been mostly holding steady, but I have noticed that my gut is bigger.  I think the lack of upper-body workouts in combination with poor eating is leading me to lose muscle and gain fat.  So, yes, sometimes the scale lies.

    I’m sitting in the Louisville airport waiting to fly to DC via Cleveland.  I have a work-related conference to attend.  They will provide (too much) food.  I need to control my portion sizes.

    I’m not bringing a bike with me.  Without riding, I should be able to get by with very little food.  When I get home I’ll concentrate on eating right again, re-start the food-diary (again), and start weighing myself again.  I’m also going to start using my dumbbells and doing push-ups.

    The hotel I’ll be staying at has a fitness center, and I am bringing proper exercise attire, so I should be able to squeeze some time in on the weight machines.

    My goal weight is still 175.  My lack of progress has been maddening and a bit depressing.  I’ve used being busy as an excuse to not eat right.  That needs to change.

    Good Stuff, Bad Stuff

    Good Stuff

    I’ve been riding a lot of miles.  I broke a few records on Sunday.  I’ve ridden two centuries in a little over a month.  I hit 3000 miles of cycling for the year during my commute today.  I’m well on track to get 5000+ miles for the year.

    The depression that was really affecting me earlier this year has gone away.  I’m sure it’ll come back again some day, and I’ll have to cope.  Overall, I’ve been feeling really good recently.

    Bad Stuff

    My eating has been crazy.  It’s partially from being hungry from riding.  It’s partially due to treating myself to beer, pizza, ice cream, steak, and similiar items much too often.

    I haven’t had any real weight loss since March of 2009!  That sickens me.  I know weight is just a number, but I still have a gut.  I feel like I’m way too fit for this gut.  I’ve got to lose the gut.  Damn the gut!

    I’m having comfort issues on my newest bike, Surly Sue, the LHT.  Although I’ve ridden two 100-miles rides on that bike, the recent rides have left me with possible ulnar nerve issues in my left hand.  I also have some saddle issues to figure out.  As such, I’m riding Oria, my recumbent, more often, as there is no pressure on the hands.  I will get a bike fit to help get comfortable again, but in the meantime it’s nice to have another option.

    What’s Next?

    I’m trying to get my eating under control.  I had started my “food diary” back up a while ago, but that didn’t last long.  I need to track what I eat.

    I’ve decided that I need a fast bike.  Both my current bikes are designed to be comfortable for hauling stuff long distances.  Neither is really designed to be fast.  After much thought, I think my fast bike will be a recumbent.  Probably a Bacchetta Strada.  It won’t be until at least next year until I can afford one, but that’s the plan.