Archive for March, 2009

I’m losing weight. It’s hard.

Two years ago I found the recipe and lost 22 pounds and managed to train into pretty good shape. Last year I had a some challenges (well documented on this blog) that left me a few pounds too heavy and not very well trained. I had the stroke and was off the bike for a while and just when I got back to riding, we had all the snow. That was a very good excuse for me not to ride. Of course all that was through the holidays with plenty of good food around. So I ate and got fatter.

Now I’m left with the double duty of shedding pounds and getting in shape. The getting fit part is pretty straightforward — ride my bike. Losing weight is more problematic.

I’ve shed lots of pounds four or five times in my life so I know what it takes. Even so, each time is difficult and the most challenging time is the first two weeks. So far this year, I’ve tried to start losing weight a few times so what’s going to make this time the one that sticks? It just is. I have the feeling that I’m prepared to make the commitment.

Losing weight is easy. Just make calories out more than clalories in. I can directly control both of those variables. The trick is to keep things at a sustainable level. I’ve seen people lose big pounds the first week or two because they are implementing a hunger strike diet. That’s just unsustainable. The hunger and weakness will drive you batty and the usual culmination is a loss of will and the end of the diet. Sometimes people will have a good start on a reasonable program and then they will kill it through a thousand cuts. Oh, this won’t hurt, that won’t hurt and before they know it, they are off the diet.

My program is portion control and limited (smart) snacking. I eat a reasonable amount of food that is a bit less than my total caloric expendature. Three meals plus a couple of healthy snacks. No junk. The problem is that I’m hungry a lot and it’s especially severe during the first couple of weeks. Eventually, my body gets the message and I’m hungry less often — but if I’m not hungry, then I’m not losing weight. Being hungry and not eating is tough. I find it especially tough if I’m around the house or sitting in front of the computer at work.

I weight myself every day but try not to pay too much attention to daily fluctuations. The important thing is to see the data points trend down at a reasonable slope. Since I’ve done this before, I have a pretty good idea of what that slope will look like. For the first three weeks, I can count on 2-2.5 pounds a week. Then for about six weeks, I can count on 1.5-1.75 pounds a week. Then it tapers off to about a pound a week thereafter. After about 12-14 weeks, I should be where I’d like to be.

As long as I can hold all this together.

Since nothing much is going on, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. I’m riding my bike — slowly — and have been pretty unsuccessful at trimming any weight from my bloated frame. However, a couple of things are going on now so I thought I’d share.

A while back, I broke the non-replaceable derailleur hanger on my Trek 5500. Since the, I’ve been riding my Redline cross bike fitted with fenders and really heavy tires. That’s been fine but I miss the responsiveness of a real road bike with not so heavy tires. By the end of the month, I should have just that. I’m either getting a frame or a whole bike (both used). Or I might just fix the 5500. Later this morning I’m talking to a friend about milling the right side rear dropout to take a replaceable hanger. Fixing the 5500 is a long shot but I figured I’d investigate it anyway.

I am really enjoying Washington county roads. With the family schedule, I haven’t been able to continue commuting to work on my bike. Instead, I’ve been riding at lunch. Just this week, I figured out how to get from my office at Amberwood and John Olsen/206th to West Union without using 185th. There is a MUT along Rock Creek under the Sunset that connects Evergreen with a golf community and West Union. Not only does it save a couple minutes getting to West Union, it 1) isn’t littered with glass, 2) doesn’t have a succession of lights, 3) doesn’t have a bunch of dangerous intersections, and 4) is a lot prettier. It’s amazing how much more I enjoy riding at lunch now that I found that route.

I also explored some new territory this week and am really pleased with the results. On Tuesday I went out West Union to Jackson School. I headed south to Evergreen and looped back to the office. That route sucks. Lots of traffic and lights on Evergreen. Wednesday, I rode out 185th (from West Union), jogged over to Old Pass, and rode that to Skyline. I returned on Springville. Very nice. Yesterday, I rode west on West Union, turned north on Dick, west on Phillips to Helvetia, north on Jackson Quarry to it’s end, south on something HIll, south some more on Jackson School, and back east on West Union. That was a really nice loop too.

I’m on my bike which is great. I could be riding a bit more and I could be shedding some pounds. But I’ve got to start with something, right?