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  1. #1
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    Rock bottom

    I've now hit rock bottom. I just returned home from the MD and he laid down the law: lose weight or become diabetic. I've posted on here before about loving to ride, and now I need to make it a life style. Being 40 lbs overweight sucks, and I'm choosing to ride the weight off. Took my bike in to the LBS for a tune up, should be ready Thursday. Now I need the upstate NY weather to cooperate. Any other overweight (or formerly overweight) riders have any keys to success. I'm dying for the help (literally).
    Last edited by FatMike; 04-13-2015 at 04:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    What part of upstate NY? If you ever want to ride around the eastern side of the state let me know, I'm in Vermont and will be riding around NY this summer. If you want a cycling buddy let me know.

  3. #3
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    Lot's of success stories here. See this thread. You'll see more if you browse around.

    A question, and some thoughts:

    What's your background / experience in riding - what / when / how often / how far / last rides?

    Now some thoughts:

    Given what your obvious goals will be (health) depending on your background, get in basic shape (on the bike), and then slowly advance to regular rides of an hour 3-4 times per week, then start working up to two hours, or more, over time. It will take months, but keep to it, go slowly, but steadily, and don't force anything. You didn't get here overnight, and you won't return to where you want to be overnight either. Above all, enjoy what you're doing.

    For some background on the condition you're facing I'd suggest reading Fat Chance by Robert Lustig. It's got in it what you should know, setting aside the rather strong political message that comes with it. Its not a diet book, nor a how-to book. It's a book that will enlighten you about how, most likely, you ended up in your current state, with some pointers on how to get out of it.

    As much as you will focus on exercise, also focus on your daily diet. Don't try an overnight overhaul, but take positive steps, a few at a time, to change your relationship with food. When you get it right you will be able to eat plenty, you won't be deprived, but you will likely be eating differently. This is a whole separate issue and topic, with lots of opinions and thoughts, as well as snake oil types. Read, study and learn.

    Finally, while there's no hurry, if cycling will be your primary physical activity you'll need to sort out something to keep going when the reality (or brutality) of upstate NY winters return. There are many options, some of which include cycling, and you have at least 6 months. Just don't ignore it completely.

    Stay dialed in here both as you progress and have questions. It's a great community with a lot of diverse experience to draw from.
    "When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments."
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    If you take X amount of time and consider it takes X amount of calories... The math and science are pretty straight forward. Take out 3,500 calories a week. That's one pound. Track your calories, every single one.... Create a baseline calories to maintain your current weight and develop a diet that subs that by 3,500 a week. Keep track of all of your data. You can't be successful without knowing what you are doing. Workouts/rides are subtracted calories, great job! Keep at it! But if sub out 500 and consume 1000 extra? Science is science... You can decide the weight you want to be and be it... It's a matter of time.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  5. #5
    Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatMike View Post
    Now I need the upstate NY weather to cooperate. Any other overweight (or formerly overweight) riders have any keys to success. I'm dying for the help (literally).
    If you're using the weather around here as an excuse not to ride, you've already lost the battle.

    I live in Rochester. Today is my 60th workday of the year, and 60th bike commute of the year.

    Weather is weather--there is no good or bad. The good or bad part exists only between your ears.

    What I'm saying is that most people are excuse factories. We can make excuses to get out of anything, and speaking only for myself, I'm damned good at it. It's an easy trap to fall into, and once there, there's no getting out. Recognize that it's your own brain getting in your way--nothing else. Once you learn not to listen to that part of yourself, it's easy to just go do it.

    So the key to success is overcoming the internal obstacles we set up for ourselves. Nobody else can do that for you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucew View Post
    If you're using the weather around here as an excuse not to ride, you've already lost the battle
    I couldn't agree with this more. I used this one for a long time honestly. This winter I finally decided to get over it. I rode my rollers a lot and invested in some nice clothing that made all the difference in the world. Once I got in the routine of doing something, it became a habit and eventually I really enjoyed it.

    Good on you for recognizing this wake up call. Now it's up to you to do something about it. Get out now, don't wait or it will only continue to be a crutch to fall back on. Good luck and keep us posted.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure how this interacts with your current health, but I've had to cut my calories too - just riding a lot, at least relative to how much time I can devote to it, isn't enough.

    I don't feel any particular need to prove anything with respect to riding in bad weather. I still do it sometimes - it's still riding outside, which I love to do - but I also do some workouts on my trainer. Lately I've been using TrainerRoad. The workouts are more engaging than the ones I program.

  8. #8
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    yep, kind of a weather wimp here too, however a set of rollers in my shop at home and a set here at the office takes care of that. I get the exercise I need regardless of the weather...I lost 80 lbs, got off my diabetes medication, reduced my blood pressure meds...got all my other "numbers" in order... sleep better (no longer snore) and just feel better in general...results are much better than excuses.

  9. #9
    Forever a Student
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    Have netflix? Fat, sick and nearly dead or something like that.
    use a torque wrench

  10. #10
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    So, I've lost a bit over 40 pounds in the last 3 years. My keys to losing weight (and keeping it off) are:

    1 - Learn that being hungry is not going to kill you.
    2 - Eat more protein after exercise, not carbs.
    3 - Snack on things you don't mind and are calorie free-ish. For me, it's carrots. You know those 5lb bags? I have been known to eat more than one in a week.
    4 - Ride more. And more. And then some more. I slacked off this winter because it was horrible and because I wasn't properly prepared and gave myself some nasty damage to my fingertips. I will be more prepared next winter. Anyway, the key here is that having now restarted my commuting, I'm expecting to do ~160 miles a week, which isn't hard since my commute is 19 miles each way.
    5 - Take real pride when you see improvement. Let it motivate you. Tell the negative thoughts to STFU.
    6 - If you need to, give yourself license to bail on any or all of the above periodically. For example, you don't ride one weekend and instead pig out. Don't let that prevent you from either enjoying that binge OR getting back on the bike and the diet thing. You'll also, hopefully, find that doing that will make it easier to resist doing it more often than not.

    Good luck. Just so you know, I feel a hell of a lot better at 52 than I did at 48. And, I have an entirely new wardrobe. (I actually went through an intermediate set of clothes in the process. Yikes!)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucew View Post
    If you're using the weather around here as an excuse not to ride, you've already lost the battle.
    Agree.

    Although I don't bike all year, the days I don't bike I jog, and that includes -30 blizzard days. Buy the right clothes and you will be warm and if that doesn't work, pick up the pace and go harder. If I lived in the city, I would bike all year round. Exercise is the only way I can keep the weight off and I feel a lot better for it. Just remember, you don't burn as many calories as they say you do in the estimates. One thing I do before I eat any junk food is to think about how much exercise it will take to burn that sucker off. Then I decide if it's worth eating it.

    You CAN do it if you want to, so go for it and never mind the weather.

    Good luck.
    While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. - Stephen R. Covey.

  12. #12
    jkc
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    I lost 44lbs since starting last May for the bike month. I'm 5'8" was at 210 and currently 166 with 6 more to go in terms of BMI and 5 after that to get back into my racing weight that I haven't seen since 1990. I did mostly indoor riding initially after May and did not really hit the road consistently until January when I join a local cycling club (in central CA so weather was OK). I'm just hit 180 miles per week and have completed three centuries (one per month starting in February); just finish one last Saturday and got another planned on the 25th (my club is training for the Death Ride and I'm sucking wheels).

    * Do it steady, I found some of the post on Bodyrecomposition very useful;
    * Track of your intakes, calories in/calories out, I use MyFitnessPal;
    * Get a trainer and end the excuse;
    * Get a tape and track your measurements along with weight;
    * Join a local club to help with motivation (not getting drop on the first incline was and continues to be a great motivator for me); and
    * Just ride!

    Good luck

  13. #13
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    Diabetes sucks. Do whatever it takes to avoid it. You may need to modify your diet (removing sugar and high glycemic carbs) in addition to exercise.

    I lost 35 lbs in 2001-2 when I got back into cycling. I'd been in pretty poor shape due to working way too much and not getting exercise. i did not like being flabby and out of shape at age 40. Since then I have done a bunch of century or longer rides, 11 Death Rides and went back to racing. I ride about 600 hours a year and did 8500 miles and a million feet of climbing last year. It took me some years to build up to that of course and I didn't start out with the intention of racing again.

    For me the important thing was that I like riding. Most days it's not a chore to get kitted up and go. On days that I'm reluctant to ride, if I get out anyhow I end up enjoying it.

    I re-arranged my life so I can fit my cycling in and still have time for work and family. It means getting up at 4:30 or 5am during the week so I can get my ride in and get to work at a reasonable time. It's become a lifestyle, but I take cycling more seriously than needed to simply lose some weight. Even without being as hard core as me you will need to make some life changes in order to make cycling a priority.

    I find it better to get my ride done in the morning. It's much more difficult for me to get away from work in the afternoon, and if I wait until after normal work hours I would be riding in the dark much of the year. As it is I ride in the dark in the mornings but at least it gets light during the ride, so I get some sun.

    Good luck and make it fun.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatMike View Post
    I've now hit rock bottom. I just returned home from the MD and he laid down the law: lose weight or become diabetic. I've posted on here before about loving to ride, and now I need to make it a life style. Being 40 lbs overweight sucks, and I'm choosing to ride the weight off. Took my bike in to the LBS for a tune up, should be ready Thursday. Now I need the upstate NY weather to cooperate. Any other overweight (or formerly overweight) riders have any keys to success. I'm dying for the help (literally).
    If you have a smartphone install myfitnesspal and keep track of your calories in (food) and out (excercise) for a week. I did the month of February and it really changed some habits I have (had). I only commute 1 or 2 days a week but it really helps. Track miles or times for a bit. I don't set goals all the time but hitting them forced me to find ways to get more rides in.

    It's so hard to give advice because everyone's bad habits are different. It was relatively easy to go from 240 down to 205 over about 12 months by eating better and excercising more. But I had some pretty obvious habits that needed breaking.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatMike View Post
    Now I need the upstate NY weather to cooperate.
    Your first mistake.

    If you need to wait for the weather, it's already a sign you're not motivated enough.

    Get on a trainer.

    Start small. No need to get on the trainer for an hour. 30 minutes will do. Do so whenever the weather prohibits riding outside.

    Get a copy of the book, Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes by Monique Ryan. Sensible information for weight loss.

    The problem is, the more you restrict your diet, the more your body will crave, and then you will cave.

    The book mentioned above recommends a mere 300 calorie/day deficit vs. the 500-1000 calories of more faddish diets.

    And no need to eliminate your favorite foods. Instead, merely reduce the frequency of intake.

    And don't forget to ride the trainer when it rains.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    ...Get on a trainer.
    or sign up for a spin class, or anything class. Just get started. Weather is no excuse. It's seldom perfect, it just is.

    On eating too much and calories:

    100 kcal per day x 365 days per year = 36,500 kcal per year

    36,500 kcal/3500 kcal lper lb at = ~10 lbs fat

    Just 100 kcal per day too much consistently leads to 10 lbs per year.
    Last edited by ibericb; 04-14-2015 at 05:35 PM.
    "When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments."
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  17. #17
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    A lot of great feedback here, I'd spread more rep if it would let me... Both ericm and jkc are SPOT ON! You want data and need to realize that this is a lifestyle change. You will NOT drop pounds cycling. You don't lose weight in a gym or on a bike, you lose it in the kitchen. Exercise subtracts additional calories. That's why data is important. If you rely on "eating healthier" you will likely fail to see the results you want. If you embrace the science you will yield results exactly as you make those changes. Nutrient dense foods are the best but carbs are essential, especially at breakfast (break the fast) and after exercise. Like I said above, calculate your baseline calories, no gain, no loss. Read Nutrition for Endurance Athletes. Sub out the calories at 3,500 a week. Let rides be extra. At least until you are steeped in a new paradigm. Eat 4-5 servings of fruit/veg every day and eat a rainbow of colors. Get AT LEAST .7g protein per pound of body weight. Like I said above, you can select a weight and be it... But you need to be in control of your two most important inputs, what you put in your head and what you put in your mouth. And, know at the get, lifestyle changes stress family systems. A lot. It's why so many people suffering from addiction wind up divorced after they get healthy and clean. I'm not suggesting jeopardizing your relationships, but making substantive changes has a huge ripple effect. Eventually, it's a positive effect. But initially it can be hard. Make a plan and make it stick. That will make it a routine and if you have kids you will understand how important it is to have a routine. And I'll agree that you need to love riding. And you absolutely need to ride a crap pile of miles. But I'll also second ericm again and say, there will plenty of times you won't be loving this, go kill it on those days. Earn some hard man points. They matter. Maybe only to you, but you are the most important audience. Keep us posted!
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    Your first mistake.

    If you need to wait for the weather, it's already a sign you're not motivated enough.

    Get on a trainer.
    And if no trainer, go get wet and cold, just go out. It may well be a shorter 'session', but at the end of the season you got out that many more sessions and pedaled that many more circles. I went out earlier and in a few miles I knew it would be a short ride. The sun burst made me think it might be better, it wasn't ;) Tomorrow does not look that much better, but will dress better and stay out longer.. It may wind up better than expected, and will be longer. ;)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt57 View Post
    And if no trainer, go get wet and cold, just go out. It may well be a shorter 'session', but at the end of the season you got out that many more sessions and pedaled that many more circles. I went out earlier and in a few miles I knew it would be a short ride. The sun burst made me think it might be better, it wasn't ;) Tomorrow does not look that much better, but will dress better and stay out longer.. It may wind up better than expected, and will be longer. ;)
    I agree 100%. Force yourself to ride in bad weather. I am good in the rain and good in the cold down to 20 degrees. As the rule says , if you ride in bad weather you are a badass, no matter what .

    Do you have a bike computer? To get started I would suggest working on cadence between 80' nd 100 to make sure you are in the right gear and just log time on the bike. 3 to 4 rides a week would be great. 1.5 to hours to start then work up to longer ones. I was 213 lbs and not in shape at all. I rode 15 miles, then 25 miles then 50 (and bonked bad), then did a regular 40 mile ride that I still do today. My first century was probably 6 months after I started riding and I think that a long ride of 60 or 100 is a good goal to work towards. Use garmin or whatever to track your speed and watch your fitness improve.

    If you have the cash get yourself a toy to get kicked off again, new bike or bibs or whatever.

    Next up is food....I am doing mostly real food and still having some pasta and other carbs to make sure I have juice for longer rides . For the most part I have cereal like grape nuts in the am, a salmon filet or two with an Apple for lunch and then chicken, pork, turkey or fish with some great beans or Brussels sprouts for dinner. I do eat pizza once a week as well as a cheeseburger once a week and I look forward to those meals more than you might believe! I also cut all sodas out of my diet and snack on fruit. For me it has made a huge difference ..good luck
    Dogma, synapse disc, caad 10, de rosa neo primato, felt CX, epic, fat bike

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donn12 View Post
    I agree 100%. Force yourself to ride in bad weather.

    But don't conceptualize it as forcing yourself. Just fooking do it with no more thought than that. As I said, it may be shortish, but that is doing!

    If you are a bike rider, ride!
    Quote Originally Posted by Robt57/Me!
    Everything you read that I post is just '1' guy's opinion, try to sort it all out best you can. ;) I will try to add value in my posts, if I miss the mark please let me know using a little decorum.

  21. #21
    Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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    I'm not sure why one has to force oneself to go out in Upstate NY weather.

    Monday, 81, sunny
    Tuesday 65, sunny,
    Today, 60, sunny.
    tomorrow 70, sunny,
    etc.

    If one is waiting for good weather, one is waiting for Godot.

    Perhaps the better bet is to remove the word "too" from the vocabulary. Doing so turns an excuse into a simple observation.

    It's too hot,
    it's too cold,
    it's too windy,
    it's too still,
    it's too cloudy,
    it's too sunny (I'm a vampire apparently),
    it's too early,
    it's too late,
    etc

    These are all excuses my personal excuse factory has manufactured. When suddenly there was a a shortage of toos in the entire supply chain, cycling became fun and easy.
    Last edited by brucew; 04-15-2015 at 04:47 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    You don't lose weight in a gym or on a bike, you lose it in the kitchen. Exercise subtracts additional calories. That's why data is important. If you rely on "eating healthier" you will likely fail to see the results you want. If you embrace the science you will yield results exactly as you make those changes.
    There is a lot of truth in this statement. That's why I would recommend tracking calories in/out via myfitnesspal or pen/paper. An hour ride might burn 800 calories. The difference between a healthy meal and otherwise can easily beat that. I work in an office where people have snacks that are 800 calories. I sit next to people who drink 800 calories a day in soda.

    I would absolutely be data driven for a week or a month or however long one needs to for them to fully understand whey they are intaking an excess of calories.

    That all being said I find when I do excercise a lot I can pretty much eat anything I want. It's that late fall timeframe when I stop exercising I gain all my weight. But exercising a lot for me is an hour a day, which is difficult when you're just getting started and haven't found ways to work it into your daily routine.

    Best thing I've done lately for fitness is buy a fat bike. It takes care of two too's at that same time... too much snow on the ground for biking outside and too boring to do another hour on the trainer... in one.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucew View Post
    If you're using the weather around here as an excuse not to ride, you've already lost the battle.

    I live in Rochester. Today is my 60th workday of the year, and 60th bike commute of the year.

    Weather is weather--there is no good or bad. The good or bad part exists only between your ears.

    What I'm saying is that most people are excuse factories. We can make excuses to get out of anything, and speaking only for myself, I'm damned good at it. It's an easy trap to fall into, and once there, there's no getting out. Recognize that it's your own brain getting in your way--nothing else. Once you learn not to listen to that part of yourself, it's easy to just go do it.

    So the key to success is overcoming the internal obstacles we set up for ourselves. Nobody else can do that for you.
    So you can ride your road bike in 2 feet of snow? IMHO, 2 feet of snow is a damn good excuse not to ride and stay inside on a stationary bike. I'm all for riding in cold weather in the winter as long as the roads are clear.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperCycle View Post
    So you can ride your road bike in 2 feet of snow? IMHO, 2 feet of snow is a damn good excuse not to ride and stay inside on a stationary bike. I'm all for riding in cold weather in the winter as long as the roads are clear.
    I can't speak on behalf of brucew, but we have snowploughs that plough the roads. I know of one older gentleman who cycles the highways pretty much all year and I live just north of brucew. However, come mid March the blizzard days in upstate NY are quite rare, hence his comment about making excuses not to ride due to weather. There is rarely a "perfect" riding day, it's either windy, rainy, or stifling humid.
    While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. - Stephen R. Covey.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the great replies, and I agree I've become an excuse maker. A previous post asked about my background and previous riding experience. I'm a former college football player (small D1school) and thus am used to serious butt kicking workouts. I am however way pays my "glory days ". I have been riding the past few summers but obviously not enough. In the past I've handled 15-20 mile rides lasting an hour to an hour and a half. I'm picking my bike up from its tune up at the LBS tomorrow and am going to screw the excuses and get it done. Self conscious or not, my fat ass is going to ride!

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