I Have to Ride Everyday

After too many times of not riding, I now think I have to do it everyday, even if I only ride part of the way to work.

Today, I rode from Jeffersonville (on my hybrid bike).  I rode to a local restaraunt for lunch.  After getting home, I rode to the grocery store.  That added up to 13 miles.

I plan on doing the partial commute tomorrow also.  The full commute is a bit too much, so I guess the hybrid bike is going to get some more use.

Bicycle Touring

Dave, one of my few readers, mentioned in a comment that I’m all ready for touring.

Well, Dave, that is the plan.  I’ll probably start on several-day rides next year.  I’d like to ride cross-country someday.  I’m not sure about the camping part.  I enjoy camping, but after spinning the pedals for 80 to 100 miles a day, I’d like a comfortable bed rather than a sleeping bag.  I’ll probably stay in motels along the way.

I’d like to do a several hundred mile ride as a nice vacation next year.  I’d like to do that solo.  However, as I get into longer rides, I’d really like a partner.  When I meet the right woman to spend the rest of my life with, she’ll need to ride a bicycle.

Struggles

My weight has pretty much plateaued right around 238 lbs.  It’s entirely my fault.  I’ve eaten poorly, and went too many days off of the bike.  I’ve made progress is spurts, then backslide back to where I was.

I’m going to have to put a little more effort into my eating habits.  I can eat fine for three days, then consume 3000 calories in one sitting, and that isn’t helping my weight loss.  I don’t want to deny myself the things I like, that’s not sustainable long-term.  I just need to control the amount of the things I eat.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been skipping tracking my calories on an occasional basis, usually when I’ve eaten too much.

I’ve made excuses for not being on the bike enough.  If I lived closer to work, I’d have someone take my car keys for a few weeks, but I really don’t think I’m ready for a car-free existence, not even on a temporary basis.

I will be taking another ride this weekend.  I’m shooting for 70-75 miles.  I’ll leave early enough that I can get home before dark.  I have a route in mind:
http://tinyurl.com/4hhz5s

The route is about 75 miles, and it’s a little flatter than the last ride I took.  It does have a few hilly areas, so I’ll get to work the legs some, but hopefully without turning into a pile of rubber.

Don’t let anyone lie to you.  There are no magic pills or diets.  Weight loss is hard!

Feeling Good

I feel good.  I rode into work today.  That’s three days this week, and I plan on riding tomorrow too.

My weight last night was 235.2 lbs.  That’s the lowest weight yet.  I’m halfway to my goal weight.  I’m not going to celebrate yet though.  I want to have a weekly average that puts me halfway to my goal before I bring out the fattening celebratory sweets.

In addition to riding my bike to work 3 to 4 days a week, I plan on a longer weekend ride at least once a month.  Last Sunday’s ride was very enjoyable.  Now that I know how far I can go, I can work on building that distance up.

Back On the Bike

Yesterday was my first day back at work.  I intended to ride my bike.  Apparently I prefer sleeping over riding, as I overslept, and had to drive to work.  I felt like a lazy slob all day because of it.

I made up for it today.  I rode into to work this morning, and made good time.  I felt incredibly fast (although my bike computer said I averaged less than 17 MPH).  Some of it was good luck.  I didn’t hit many red lights.  Traffic was light.  The weather was wonderful.

I still have to ride home later.  It may rain.  The temperature will probably be in the 90s.

I hope to ride everyday the rest of the week.

Over 1000 Miles

It’s hard to believe it, but I’ve ridden my two bikes a total of 1044 miles since I bought the first one in late April.  When I first got the hybrid bike in April, several miles was a ride.  a dozen miles was downright painful.  Today, I rode about 18 miles, including some killer hills, and I feel great.  The 18 mile ride is a short ride, I have ridden a 50 mile ride.

Of those miles, about 650 was on the recumbent.  The rest was on the hybrid.

I’m still pushing myself to go farther and faster.  I’d like to measure my rides in hundreds of miles.  I’ll need to be in better shape, and have some time off of work for that though.

Gotta Work to Make Progress…

I’ve been meaning to do some exercise besides bike riding.  I still haven’t done much.  I also didn’t ride my bike very much this week so far, until today.

I rode to work and back on my recumbent with the clipless pedals today.  The ride in was great, the ride home was windy and slow.

After getting home, I rode my hybrid bike to the grocery store.  There was another guy there with a similar bike buying groceries, but he didn’t have a rear-rack or bags, so he was tying the plastic grocery bags to his handlebars.

My weight tonight was 239.2!  Under 240!  It was just July 27th when I dropped below 250.  I don’t know if I’ll gain a little, and have to wait a little longer to stay under 240 or not.

175 — here I come!

A Little Exposure at Work

I started this blog to document my weight loss, and publicly embarrass myself.  I knew people from work would see it.  Other than comments that I should wear more in the progress pictures, the comments at work have been positive.

A few weeks ago, I had a little media exposure, and that really got people at work talking.  Today, my company blogged about the TV spot featuring me.

I really feel bad now…. I didn’t ride my bike to work today.  I haven’t ridden to work yet this week.  Oh well, there are still three more days in the week.

Still Plugging Along

I’m still working at my weight loss, still losing weight, and still riding my bike.  I feel like there isn’t a lot to post about though.

Anyway, I’m only riding my bike to work three days this week.  I rode yesterday, today was a “lazy day”, I have other plans tomorrow and I need my car, and I plan on riding Thursday and Friday.

My weight has been hanging right at 243.6 lbs for three days.  There is no fluctuation at all.

I’ve been better with my eating, but I have had a six-pack of beer over the last four days.

Sometimes when there doesn’t seem to be much going on, I feel like I’m not making progress.  Then I pull up my spreadsheet, and I can see that I’m down 52.8 lbs.  I can also see that I’m down 16.6 lbs since June 30th when I started tracking my calories again.  So, really, I just need to keep doing what I’m doing for another 68.6 lbs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Back to Basics

My recent posts have been about biking.  I’m still biking, but that’s not what this post is about.

When I first started this endeavor, I was in such poor condition, that almost any physical exercise was nearly impossible for me.  So, I started with diet, and simple exercises.  The diet was key.  I tracked everything I ate, and counted every calorie.  Once I had gotten into better eating habits, I quit keeping track.  I was happy, at that point, my weight loss had progressed quite nicely.

However, it did begin to slow down, and I’ve been hovering just above 260 lbs for too long now.  This is in spite of all the extra exercise I get now.  I realize that I’ve been eating poorly again.

Here is monthly average weight from November (first full month since I started) through May:

Month Average Weight
2007-11 286.5
2007-12 276.4
2008-01 270.5
2008-02 268.9
2008-03 266.9
2008-04 262.6
2008-05 261.5

It’s not horrible.  I’m rather happy with the progress in the first few months, but talk about diminishing returns!

I need to focus on my diet again.  I’m going to continue to work on lengthening the bicycle portion of my commute (I’ve found a place 6 miles out to park).

Scooters

I really want a scooter.  I can justify it with the gas savings.  I’d like to rarely ever drive my car.  I’ve been planning to buy a scooter.

I took some time to think about the real reason I want a scooter, and what that would mean.

I like gadgets.  I like spending money.  A scooter is a cool gadget.  Riding the scooter would mean less time on my bicycle, therefore, less exercise.  I need the exercise, and I really can’t afford to drop $2000 on a scooter right now.

So, I’ve made a promise to myself to not buy a scooter this year.  Next year is fair game though.

This year, I keep riding the bike, try to get to where I can bike all the way to work (16 or so miles) instead of the 3.5 I’ve been doing.  Next week I’m bumping my ride to 6.5 miles (one way).  I’d like to do that 3-4 days a week.

My Eating Habits Are Off-Track Again

My eating habits have been bad recently.  Holidays don’t help, but it hasn’t just been the holidays.  I’m considering tracking everything I eat again to find out where the problems are.

My weight has been holding steady around 260 to 262, but holding steady isn’t going to cut it.  Nobody ever said this would be easy.

It Should Have Been a Beautiful Day for a Ride

Today started wonderfully.  I woke up in a good mood.  The weather is perfect for a bike ride.  I had a few things to do first.

I went to the bike shop, and bought a helmet.  I’m old enough to know I’m not indestructible.  The guy at the shop was helpful, and understood that I had never worn a bike helmet before.

I also bought a stereo receiver and speakers for my living room.  I guess I’m an old fart.  I just want good stereo speakers.  I don’t want a surround sound thing.  I got a decent receiver, and settled (temporarily) on some bookshelf speakers.  I’ll probably replace them later with some big Cerwin-Vega speakers.

I got home, tested out the new electronics, then took my bike to the state park for a (mostly) traffic-free ride.  The helmet didn’t bother me, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get into the ride.  I only rode about 30 minutes before packing up and heading home.

Now I’m at home bored and somewhat depressed.  I really don’t know why.

I may go out for another ride today.  I will go out tomorrow.  I will also do my partial commute at least three times next week.

11 Miles on the Bike Today

I found a place to park that is 3.5 miles from work.  The commute round-trip is now 7 miles.  I also took a leisurely ride of 4 miles during my lunch break.  I won’t be riding again until this weekend.  My legs need a break.

I also really need a helmet, so I’ll buy one this weekend.  I’m also planning a long ride this weekend.  I’m going to explore the bike trails in Louisville.

I’m not sure how much of it is due to the riding, but my weight is down under 260.  I weighed-in at 259.4lbs tonight.  That’s a loss of 37lbs.  I extremely pleased with that.

If you 100lbs or more overweight, you can do it too!  Less than a year ago, I viewed this as impossible.  Just set some realistic goals, and get busy.

I’m Just Getting Started

Since starting this blog, I’ve found others.  Some of them have been dormant for a while, and others have been a huge success.

Looking at some of the history of the successful ones, I’ve noticed that most had bad times near the beginning.

I was looking at Jennette Fulda’s blog (She lost half her body weight).  She started documenting in November 2003, but didn’t seem to make much progress until July 2004.  Her posting frequency was pretty sporadic until that time also.

It seems that I’ve had the same pattern.  Some early progress, then the progress fades away, then I quit posting (or weighing) very often.

I’m hoping that today is my July 2004.  I weighed in at 265.4 tonight, I’m down 31 lbs.  I spent 86 minutes on the elliptical watching Stargate Atlantis (I love iTunes).

I’ve said before that my weight loss began when I stopped being so depressed, and saw the changes that were needed.  I’m not so sure of that now.  I’ve been through another bout of depression, and I’m trying to use the focus on weight loss as a coping mechanism.  If it works, and I get to lose weight too, that’ll be more reason to feel better.

No Progress?

I just got off of the elliptical.  I felt good, until I weighed, and looked at recent weigh-ins on my spreadsheet.

I weighed 268.8 today.  I weighed 268.2 on 12/30.  I weigh more today than I did ten weeks ago.  That’s really frustrating.  I was rather pleased with my March 4th weight of 265.4, but it was just a temporary dip.

Dave commented in an earlier post that he doesn’t like to keep weight goals.  For me, it’s the only objective measure I have.  Subjectively, I feel better than I did at the beginning of this, back in early November.  Objectively, I’ve made progress, but very little since the end of the year.

I’m going to have to work a little harder.

Updating and Restating My Goals

I’ve changed my goal weight from 180 to 200 lbs.  I think 180 may be a little too thin.  I want to get a little more muscular, and I probably can’t do that and be much under 200 lbs.  This means I only have 70.6 more pounds to go.

Here are my goals:

  • Summer 2008: be able to ride a bike for 15-20 miles.
  • Early 2009: achieve my goal weight of 200 lbs.
  • Summer 2009: be able to run 10-20 miles.

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.
  • To fix a few problems with my digestive system, that I won’t discuss here.

What have I achieved so far:

  • My current weight is down 25.8 lbs to 270.6
  • I am able to do two 45-minute sessions on the elliptical in a day, instead little ten-minute sessions.
  • 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.

A New Year

It’s just hours away from the new year here in North America.  Many people have resolved to lose weight next year.  I resolve to continue losing weight.

Due to some issue I’ll blog about at a later date, my tracking of food and weight has fallen behind, and I’ve skipped workouts now and again, but overall, I’m still losing weight.

My weight last night was 268.2, so I have dipped below 270.  I’ll probably peak back above it before dipping down below, hopefully to stay.  I have not updated my weight on this blog, or on traineo.com, but I will.

Since the weight loss began I have felt better physically than I have in a long time.  However, the last few weeks have left me with painful muscle aches that are probably due to stress.

I will probably be in bed before midnight tonight.  I’m not going to any parties, or getting drunk.  I’m at home, having a few beers.  Last year I got rather drunk, and there are embarrassing pictures to prove it.

Happy New Year!

Tying My Shoes

I miss being able to tie my shoes without experiencing something between extreme discomfort and minor injury.

I’ve been wearing velcro shoes that last couple of years to make it easier, but my current shoes have laces.  I’ve been having my daughter do it for me a lot.  That’s sad.

I’ll tie my own damn shoes from now on.