Tag Archives: weight loss

New Year’s Resolution

I typically do not make a New Year’s Resolution because by February it is usually forgotten about. I am not the kind of person who has a planner or writes things down to remind myself that I need to do something. I’ve tried that but I forget to look at it.

I am pretty happy with my life now. Sure, I would love to have a lot of things but I don’t need much. I think my top two realistic wants are to lose weight and be able to work from home, but I am not going to make that my resolution this year because I am already working toward those goals.

One of the blogs I read is David Padfield’s All Seasons Cyclist. In two recent articles he mentioned that in 2012 he got 330,000 views on his blog and that he rode 6444 miles. I didn’t realize it until he mentioned it in his last post that he is 53 years old, four years older than me, and he is kicking my butt in miles (and readers) but I have four years to catch up.

When I was in my early forties I started developing signs of getting older: aches and pains, sluggishness, etc. I then did a lot of research and learned about healthy eating and since I started commuting to work on my bike, I have got more exercise than I have had in a long time.

I am by no means in perfect shape. I have been somewhat disappointed in my weight loss and I still have some stiffness, which I attribute to my job, but I have improved so much these last few years and I know if I stick with it I will get even better as I get older.

So my resolution this year is to stick with it and never give up. I am going to keep riding and keep writing and I hope by the end of the year I can put myself out there as a good example to others, just as David has done for me.


My Health Conscious Roots

Today I consider my lifestyle to be in the top 20 percent of Americans when it comes to healthy living. When you consider the way Americans live, that is not a difficult accomplishment and I am working on improving. For now, I would like to reflect on how I got here.

Way back in the mid to late eighties, I took a class in college called Personal Wellness. In that class, the teacher casually mentioned the downside of sugar and instead, focused on the evils of fat. She made it seem like as long as our calories were from less than 30% fat, we were eating a healthy diet. Coke has no fat so it must be healthy. That was message I got, although I never thought Coke was healthy, I just thought it was better than a bacon cheeseburger.

I moved to Florida in 1988 and my son was born in 1989. By the time he was around four years old I noticed he was becoming overweight and I wanted to try to buy healthier food. At the time, my ex did the shopping and was buying tons of crap food like soda and honey buns so I decided to do the shopping myself and I bought what I thought was healthy food. I know now it was really just less unhealthy. It didn’t matter though because my ex put up a big stink about it and the crap food came back into the house.

In 1999 I married Rose, my current wife. She was a bit more health conscious and would usually make nice home cooked meals rather that eat something out of a package. The problem was, about eight years after I met her I had gained over 35 pounds.

One day in 2007, I was listening to a radio show in Tampa Bay where the host was skewing a guy named Kevin Trudeau who wrote a book called Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About. He made it sound like the author was crazy nutcase that just escaped from the asylum. The fact that the host had no medical expertise made me think he was just a close-minded jerk. A few weeks later I saw the book and decided that I could read it with an open-mind, so I bought it.

I must say that it was an interesting and informative book that made a lot of sense but it was written in a somewhat arrogant style that put everything in black and white. This side is good, that side is bad and there is no in between. I decided to do research and found many natural health experts that agreed with much of what was in the book.

My research led me to another book by Raymond Frances called Never Be Sick Again. This was the best book on health I have ever read. The basic premise of the book is that all illnesses are caused by malfunctioning cells and cells malfunction for two reasons: lack of proper nutrition and toxins. So the book is about caring for your cells which in turn will lead to better health.

This made perfect because I had already concluded that a lifestyle similar to our early ancestors is how we were meant to live and everything in this book pointed in that direction. It also talked about all the toxins in our environment and how to avoid as many as possible.

From that point time on I was hooked on healthy living. My wife was interested too but not to the extent I was. This made it more of a challenge, and still does, but I still managed to drop from 222 pounds to 189 pounds in about a year or so. I stayed there until we moved to Myrtle Beach in 2009 when everything changed.

After the move I tried to continue my healthy eating habits but the weight started coming back. Even after moving back to Florida, I continued to gain weight. It didn’t come back as fast as I lost it, but after three years I was five pounds heavier than when I started my healthy eating habits. I should note that even though I gained the weight back, I was still much healthier than I was five years before. I had more energy and never got sick, except for what I would consider the beginning of a cold. My immune system always fought it off before it got bad.

The only thing that was different about my life these last three years was that the amount of exercise I was getting dropped to almost nothing. Before moving, I was walking everyday during my lunch time, but I did not take a lunch break at work in Myrtle Beach. I bought a bicycle to compensate but it is not a bike friendly area. As a matter of fact, there was absolutely no safe way to ride to work without adding too many miles to the trip.

Before I bore you with a long story, I just want to say that since buying my recumbent bike and riding the ten miles to work about three times a week, I have even more energy and the weight is slowly starting to come off again. I feel really good about my future and I plan to improve my eating habits even more.

My motivation to write this was because my weight this morning was 221, under the 222 that I was at before starting my new health habits in 2007 and six pounds less than when I bought my bicycle. I know six pound is not much but I also know the cooler, drier weather is coming so I will be riding almost every day. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Tropical Storm and Weight Loss

As I write, Tropical Storm Isaac is preventing me from riding my bike again, which is why I have time this morning to write a post. It looks like the rain will be here for a few days and then we will go back to the normal summer weather, which is rain.

On a better note, I weigh myself most morning and I have notice a slow trend downwards. Before you say it, I know weighing yourself everyday can be bad, but I think for me, it is good, because I am encouraged and energized when it goes down and when it goes up I am motivated to reverse it. I also know weight fluctuates day-to-day so I look for lasting patterns.

When I bought my recumbent bike and started riding, my weight went up about three pounds and stayed there for quite a while. That was discouraging. Several people mentioned that muscle weighs more than fat, which I knew, but I expected better.

I did get a comment from David Clancy who has an excellent blog, College Tri. He said, ” …you may not have a big change in weight at the beginning. It’ll get there though, trust me. When I started running and cycling, my weight declined very slowly for a while then sped up at a point before leveling off…”

This gave me some hope. It is always nice to get advice from someone who has been where you are at. Hopefully I will someday be the go-to guy when a newbie needs advice.

Rain Jacket alternate storage
Alternate storage for my rainjacket.

Speaking of advice, I figured out a way to keep my rain jacket from taking up half the room in my bag. I stuffed it between the seat and the bag. It is in there pretty tight. I wrapped the arms around the seat frame just as a precaution, but either way, I don’t think it will fall out. This of course is only useful if you have a recumbent bicycle with a seat bag.

Three in a Row

I was actually able to ride to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. I was allowing myself to rest between rides but it seems I have reached a point where that is no longer necessary. The only questions remains, if I am really starting to improve physically, why have I gained two pounds since I started riding?

I guess I have only myself to blame. Last night I did not get home until 6:45 and then my wife wanted to go out for dinner. Since I am a pushover, I said “okay.” I then proceeded to eat a large Italian dinner and  went to bed shortly after getting home.

Today I am bringing the car to work so I can get home early enough to do some other bad thing. Perhaps we will go see a movie. Just one more reason I need the bike.

I just want to change gears a little (pun intended) and share something I learned. In fact, one reason I started this blog was so that newbies like myself could learn what a new rider might encounter on a recumbent bike, or any bicycle.

When I bought my bike it came with two drink holders. It did not, however, have the bottles that they were designed to hold. I didn’t mind though because I am not a big fan of squirting water in my mouth. I prefer to drink from a standard bottle.

So on my first practice ride my half-liter water bottle fell out every time I hit a bump. My good friend Rick, who has many more miles under his belt, suggested I loop a rubber band around the top part of the holder and then loop the other end around the neck of the bottle. This worked great. Thanks Rick. Hopefully I will be able to share more great tips in the future.

If anyone has more tips they would like to share, please leave a comment. Also, check out my other blogs at badcatchris.com and RomeoRooster.blogspot.com