Useless Sunday

After yesterday’s blah-a-thon due to pain medication, I figured today would be more productive, but with more pain.  I was half-right.  I am in more pain, but I wasn’t productive.  I did eat better though.

I need to clean my house.  The dog hair has a life of it’s own, and is threatening to take over.  I need to get back on the bike.  I did ride 100 miles for the week, but 120 would have been better.

I did cook dinner today, but other than that I’ve watched some TV shows on iTunes, played with the computer, and talked to Kristy on the phone.

Back when I suffered from more serious depression I often felt like this, but I also felt trapped, or hopeless, or something.  I don’t feel those things.  I just have a complete lack of motivation.

The Week is Off to a Great Start

I rode a repaired and improved Nermal to work on Monday.  I felt strong, and made great time going to work, and on the return trip.

My mental state is greatly improved from being back on the bike.  Starting off the workday with a bike ride is a huge boost to my mood and attitude at work.

I was highly motivated to get home quickly after work, so I could drive to go visit Kristy, my girlfriend.  I have to drive to see Kristy, as she lives about 90 miles from my house.  I may eventually ride there, but I’ll need a few days off work to do that.

I did drive to work today, but I’ll be back on the bike tomorrow.

My weight is  still up, but I’m back to eating healthy, and plan to put some serious miles on the bikes, so I should be back to losing weight very soon.

Back on the Wagon

I rode to work today.  It’s been over two weeks since I rode to work.  It was a beautiful 50 degrees with a few clouds.  Traffic was tolerable.  I made good time, at one hour and ten minutes.

I’ve been lazy, but made up my mind this weekend to overcome it.  Today was a great start.  It felt good to arrive at work completely awake.

I’ve spent too much time thinking of my 33-mile round trip as long.  Thinking of it that way makes it hard to do everyday.  I need to remember that I’ve been on several trips longer than that, and that weren’t split in half by a work day.  If I can convice myself that the 16.5 mile one-way is “short” then I’ll do it more often.  If I can get where I can do it in an hour or less, that’ll make it easier.

Re-Thinking Some Goals

Every once in a while it’s good to look at goals, and revise them.  I think it’s time for that again.  This is the third set of goals since I started this blog, and my lifestyle change.

  • Goal weight will remain at 175 lbs (for now).  I hope to reach that goal by the end of August.
  • Ride a century this year (100 miles in one day).
  • Raise $3200 for The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and complete the entire ride under my own power.
  • Learn to ride my new unicycle, and complete a ten-mile ride on it by June 2010.
  • Juggling?
  • Ride to work more often.  I had hoped to average 3 days per week, but I’m not even managing that right now.
  • Ride to work five days a week at least 3 weeks per year.
  • Increase my average speed on the bicycle a little bit.
  • Learn to kayak this year.
  • Get a rod, reel, and fishing license, and spend some time relaxing and fishing.
  • Find new fitness activities.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 had planned to try to drive less than 3500 miles per year.  I’m giving up on this also.
  • Ride in a roller coaster this year.  I’ll actually fit now.
  • Go skydiving in the summer of 2010.
  • I want to be a better cook.
  • I want to find a wonderful woman to enjoy these activities with.

What I’ve achieved

  • I’m no longer obese.  My weight is hovering just above 200 lbs.
  • My blood pressure and resting pulse rate are low.
  • I am physically stronger than I’ve been in years.
  • My pants size dropped from a 44 to a 36.
  • I feel better about who I am, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Others have been inspired others to improve their lives.
  • I am more confident in all aspects of my life.
  • I am usually much more upbeat, happy, and optimistic than I used to be.

What I’ve learned I still need to work on

  • Occasionally, depression still gets the better of me.
  • I’m still lazy by nature, and have to fight this every day.
  • The “I want it now” mentality is still hiding back there, and surfaces occasionally.
  • I am still somewhat self-centered.  I don’t think having a blog helps in that matter.
  • The depression and “I want it now” mentality sometimes team up to hurt my financial state.  I need to get better about that.

If you think I’m going off-topic… I’m not.  What started as a weight-loss effort has turned into a complete transformation of who I am.

Happy, but No Riding

I haven’t ridden a bike since Monday.  I was going to yesterday, but I had a date after work.  I’m not going to chronicle my love life here (or lack of it), but I had a good reason for not riding.  A first date is probably not ideal for showing up in cycling gear, drenched in sweat.  I’ll save that for the second date  🙂 — If there is one.

This morning, I can hear the wind howling outside.  Not ideal weather for a ride.  I also woke up late.  Apparently I had a brief power outage overnight, and my alarm clock didn’t go off.  The alarm on my cell phone did go off, but it took it almost 2 hours to wake me up.

I’m happy and in a good mood despite these setbacks, mostly because new possibilities seem to have opened up.

Pulling Out of the Mental Funk

I’ve been in a “mental funk” since Monday night.  I initially thought it was food, but now I think it’s more complicated than that.

Anyway, I feel better now.  I haven’t ridden my bike since Monday, but I will tomorrow.  The weather forecast is calling for a chance of rain, so maybe I’ll get wet.  Big deal.

I’m just a couple hours away from seeing The Pink Floyd Experience.  I almost skipped going, even though I already bought the ticket, but my improved mood has helped.  The last thing I need to do is hide at home all the time.

It Was a Beautiful Day for a Ride

… but I drove.  I woke up in a foul mood.  I woke up at 5:00, but reset my alarm clock for 6:00.  Nermal had a flat tire. I could have rode Oria, but I just wasn’t in the mood.  Now, I’m at work, and I really wish I had gotten up at 5:00, and rode to work.

I ate Girl Scout Cookies for breakfast.  At least those things are gone now.  I now know not to ever buy them again.  I apologize to the Girl Scouts, but my problems with food are not solved.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer,  but with a good chance of rain.  I may ride anyway.  I may even ride Nermal the entire distance.  I will fix the flat tire tonight.

I did do some dumbbell workout routines last night, and this morning, so my chest and arms feel a little weird.  They’re not really painful, just weird.

The Car Won

I really had planned on riding to work again today, but the allure of the car won.  The heated beast with a radio has preyed on my weaknesses.

In reality, my legs hurt and I feel “blah” from my sugar consumption yesterday.  I know the best thing to do would be to ride anyway, but my ability to do so seems so far away.

Liquid Crack

As an addendum to my earlier post… Ohmygod they gotta outlaw soft drinks!

I had a soft drink with my fast food.  I drink the stuff so rarely these days… and now I want another, in a deranged kinda way.  I actually considered getting dressed and riding down to the gas station to buy some more.

That said, I’m going to go to bed and curl up in the fetal position.

Happiness

Wanting something better in life is a good thing, unless that is all you ever do.  Constantly wanting the next goal means you never enjoy the now.

Enjoy the now, they are around for a limited time only.

Short Ride, and Clothes That Fit!

I really wanted to do a lot of riding this weekend.  It didn’t happen.  I went on one 13.8 mile ride today, and that’s it.  I just didn’t have the energy.  It’s a bit colder than I really wanted to ride in, but not so cold as to make it miserable.  I tried some sprinting uphill runs for practice, but my clipless pedals weren’t adjusted properly, and the cleats kept pulling out.  I guess I need to adjust that.

I have my new clothes that actually fit now.  I took a picture of myself, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that I still need a smaller belt.  🙂

I’ve gone through another transformation recently.  My previous transformation was just the realization that I wasn’t going to be fat forever.  That I would reach my goal weight.

This new transformation is me realizing that I’m not a “fat guy” anymore.  I don’t feel fat anymore.  I still have a few pounds to lose, but I’m nearly at my goal.

Drained

I did a lot of physical work over the weekend.  I used a hand-saw on Saturday to clean up tree limbs.  A friend came over on Sunday with a chainsaw, and I carried heavier limbs.  I also took my bike for a short errand ride to the post office and grocery store.

Last night, I cleaned Nermal’s drivetrain.  I took it as far as removing the chain, and soaking it in a degreaser.  I didn’t have a spare pin for the chain, so I just re-used the old one.  It seems to make a stiff link, so I’ll probably have to replace the chain soon.  Oh well, live and learn.

I was still pretty sore from the weekend this morning, and I don’t fully trust the chain on Nermal now, so I drove to Jeffersonville, and rode the rest of the way to work.

On the ride back to my car, I broke a spoke on my rear wheel.  The chain is still working fine though.

It’s been a long time since I broke a spoke.  That bike has had problems with that in the past, but I replaced the rear wheel, and that solved it, until now.

I’m pretty tight financially right now, so I can’t fix the bike.  To ride the other bike to work means riding the entire distance, and there is snow in the forecast, so I might be done riding for the week.

All of this just made me angry.  Then I get home, start browsing, and find this:
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090131/NEWS01/901310438

I had heard about this a few days ago, and forgot about it.  I read this today, then read the reader comments.  Now I am angry that I am part of the human race.  Luckily, most of these people that talk shit would never do anything stupid, but there are just enough that will to piss me off.

Feeling this way makes me want to overeat.  I think I’ll sleep instead.

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.  🙂

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.

A Great Week

As I blogged about on Monday my weight was up, and I knew it would come down.  It didn’t come down as much as I had hoped, but overall I’m still doing well.

I originally intended to ride to work everyday this week, but between cold rain and my lazy butt, I skipped two days.  I still rode three days.  That’s about 100 miles on the bike.  That’s 100 miles I didn’t drive.  That’s $21.00 I didn’t pay in parking.  That’s a whole bunch of calories burned.

I had a busy week at work, but that does make the time go by faster.  I also feel that I accomplished a fair amount of work, and have been learning the ropes at the new job.  My eating habits have been good this week, and my weight loss marches on.

I talked to my daughter today, and it looks like we may go see Wicked tomorrow.  I’ve been hoping to spend more time with her, and this sounds like fun.

The Friday evening commute home is usually the scariest and worst with rude drivers.  Today’s commute home was one of my best.  I only had one slightly rude driver, and several polite ones.  I even had someone in an SUV follow a safe distance behind me the entire length of the 2nd Street Bridge.  It was probably someone who knows me, or another cyclist.  I didn’t see the person, and didn’t recognize the vehicle.

I made good time getting home today.  The slight tailwind helped, but my overall good mood for the day helped me pedal faster.

How Much Effort To Save Your Life?

When presented with a sudden, clear danger, most people will take immediate action.  It may mean swerving in the car to avoid an accident.  It might mean jumping back from a loud sound.

When presented with a clear, but not as sudden danger, such as getting stranded in the desert with no water, a reasonable person will start thinking of ways to get out of the predicament safely.

Why is it we, as a species, are almost completely blind to long-term health problems and how they will affect our longevity, and standard of life?

Denial?
I was certainly in denial about my obesity for quite some time, but even when I came to grips with the fact that I was “The Fat Guy”, it still took a few years for me to take action.

Not Taking Responsibility?
It’s easy to blame your health problems on circumstances out of your control.  Genetics, bad luck, too stressed out, and other excuses cause us to not bother making a change, because “it’s not our fault”.

Laziness?
Another “fat guy” I talked to has an elliptical and other exercise equipment at home.  It’s not for him, it’s for his wife.  It’s bought and paid for, he might as well use it. It’s easy to be lazy.  I’m an expert at it.  Making lifestyle changes is hard work, but it’s completely worth the effort.

After years of being obese, I chose to change it.  If you need to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier, or develop some muscle tone, please do.  It will not only prolong your life, but make more of your life happier.

Merry Christmas

Here it is, 3:00 A.M. at Christmas.  I’ve been wasting time all day and night.  I’ve fought with some email issues, website issues, and now my ex-wife is angry at me for things I won’t go into here.

Once I get some sleep, I’m going on  a Christmas ride around town.  Nothing too long, just a ride on my recumbent decorated with Christmas lights.  If I had a Santa hat I’d put it on my helmet, but I don’t.

My diet for the last few days has been pretty good.  I think my Christmas dinner will be small this year, so I’m not worried about diet.

I am worried about not riding my bike enough.  I’ve been suffering from the normal holiday blues, and it is affecting my ability to get motivated.

I didn’t intend to make this such a negative post.  I will enjoy the day, I hope you do too.

Merry Christmas!

A Week Off?

My last post made me think more about what I’m doing.  I was considering riding tomorrow, although there is a chance of ice on the roads.  I’ve decided to give up riding for a week.

Once I’m through this winter, I will revisit my decision to not buy studded tires for the bike.  Next winter I may be ready.  🙂

I haven’t had a week without riding since I started tracking my mileage in June.  My average weekly mileage in November and December was 54.  My average weekly mileage for August through October was 91.

I haven’t done any exercise this week.  I feel lazy.  I’ve been considering starting back on my push-up plan, but can’t seem to motivate myself.  I bought a pilates video months ago, and haven’t used it.

However, my weight is doing just fine.  I’m still eating well, and haven’t had beer in weeks.  I’ve been out to eat a few times, and was pretty proud that I didn’t over-indulge.  I will probably be solidly under 220 lbs before the year is over.

Dedication or Obsession?

This morning’s weigh-in was 221.2 lbs. That means I’ve lost 75.2 lbs.  I know that because I have a spreadsheet to track it all.

I drove to work today because we are under a winter storm warning.  I’ve been thinking about my bikes all day.  I know how often I have to ride to work to make my mileage goal for next year.

I can list off anything I’ve eaten in recent history, again because of my spreadsheet.

I’ve probably changed my perception of myself from “fat guy” to “weirdo on a bike who is OCD about tracking things in a spreadsheet”.  How far is too far?  More importantly, what comes next?

I will reach my goal weight sometime in 2009.  I know I have to maintain, but it won’t require as much work.  I will continue to ride a bike as much as possible (I want 5000 miles for next year).

What will be my next big goal?  I need to find something to achieve, or I will feel lost.  Maintaining the goal weight isn’t enough.  It’s got to be something different.

I have some other goals in mind.

  • Learn to ride a unicycle (next year)
  • Be car-free (three years away)
  • Either fix-up my house, or move (three years away)
  • Meet a woman crazy enough to like my lifestyle (never?)
  • Ride a several hundred mile multi-day tour (next year?)

Those are neat ideas, but it doesn’t solve what to focus on.

Mostly, I feel a little lost.  I think people that know me are tired of hearing about my weight loss or bike rides (blog readers don’t count… they just leave when they tire of it).  I really don’t have other things to talk about now.  My life has been consumed with these matters recently.

Putting it in Perspective

I have bad days.  Today is one of them.  Days where nothing seems to go right.  Days where I feel I am failing in my weight loss attempt, and sometimes at life in general.

This blog has been a great tool for me to gain some perspective on what I have accomplished.  Going back and reading what I wrote last year makes me realize how far I’ve come.

It’s nice to put it all in perspective.  I’m still having a bad day today, but I know it has been better before, and will be better again.

I think I’m going to go to bed early tonight, and start fresh tomorrow.

Happy Blogday?

This blog turns one year old today.  Hopefully in another year it will be obsolete.

My focus in this blog has changed over the course of a year.  I started out posting what my goals were, and why I had those goals.  Later it was more of a public humiliation into losing weight.

As of today, I’m down 67 lbs, and have 54 more to go.  I still adjust my goals as necessary, but the why is pretty ingrained in my head.

Many of my recent posts have been out bicycling.  That has been one the major areas of focus for my life over the last few months.  I have picked up a few readers along the way because of that, and probably lost a couple.

I no longer find posting my weight, or progress pictures humiliating.  It’s just part of what I do, almost becoming part of who I am.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Failure

It started Tuesday afternoon, election day.  Rather than ride my bike all the way home and possibly miss the chance to vote, I called for a ride home.

Once I voted and went home, I rode my bike a short distance to buy beer.  Then I ordered pizza.  My ex-wife and daughter came over and brought ice cream.

We all sat around and watched the election results on TV.  I ate way too much, and drank too much.  I didn’t even track my calories.

Wednesday morning I was feeling dehydrated from drinking.  I didn’t feel up to riding all the way to work, so I threw my bike on my car, and only rode a short distance.  I ate reasonably well, but didn’t track calories.

Wednesday after work, I went shopping for clothes, including some more base layers for cold weather riding.  By the time I got home it was late, and I was up too late, and drank more beer.

This morning, I woke up two hours later than expected.  I made it to work on time (barely), but drove the entire distance.

My daily weigh-in has been above 230 for two days in a row.  I need to focus more.

One Year In

On October 31, 2007 I started weighing myself and making steps to change bad habits.  I knew then that it would be a long-term change.  What has changed in one year?

  • I’ve lost 67.4 lbs
  • I’ve been on a 60-mile bike ride
  • I can ride my bike to work (and do on an irregular basis)
  • I can tie my shoes without hurting myself
  • I like what I see in the mirror
  • I have a lot better muscle tone (mostly in the legs)
  • I’ve realized that “fat guy” is not a permanent state
  • I’ve spent way too much money on bike stuff
  • I now know that my goal weight is achievable (54 more lbs to go)
  • I’m not afraid of riding a bike in bad weather
  • People who haven’t seen me in a while are surprised at my appearance
  • My eating habits are much better now
  • I don’t drink soda
  • I drink much more water, and much less beer

I did all of this without any fancy diets, just sensible eating.  No drugs, surgery, or other short-cuts.

On October 31, 2009, I intend to write another post like this announcing that I’ve reached my goal weight of 175 lbs.

Defined by Body Weight?

It took me quite a while into my weight loss process to realize that I defined myself by my weight.  Even the title of this website reflects this.  While reading other weight-loss blogs (mostly the successful ones), I came to the realization that allowing your weight to define who you are makes you not believe that change is possible, because fat is who you are.

Realizing that my body weight does not define me, allows me to feel more comfortable with what I do, and turn the tables, and having me define my weight.  It’ll take time to get to 175 lbs, but I will do it.

I will keep the name “The Fat Guy” for the blog, as a reminder of how I defined myself for so long.

Beer, Candy, and Going Out for Lunch

I’ve been munching on candy around work recently.  Not a lot of candy, just a little bit, several times a day.  I doubt that it’s a lot of calories, but I still shouldn’t be doing it every day.

I’ve had one beer almost every day for the last week and a half.  I’m not going to give up beer, but I still need to cut down more.

I’ve went out to lunch too often recently.  I always overeat when I go out.

I’m not entirely sure why my habits have slipped.  I have been weighing daily.  I’ve been tracking my calories.  I guess I need to “think before I eat”.