Friday, January 24, 2014

D minus 17 - Dealing with loss....

Until yesterday my weight loss was just a number on a post-it-note on the cabinet above my work station.  Over the past 2 years I have gotten used to acknowledging the 20+ pounds of weight gain, and how most of my clothes were uncomfortable.  I resisted, to some degree, buying bigger and bigger pants, because I felt I would be giving up if I did.  Even the pants I did buy were for someone with a 36" waist, and that was not me, so they were uncomfortable.  I could wear them for an hour, or so, but by then my body was screaming to be set free from them.  I was reduced to wearing shorts with an elastic band, which was pretty much what I have worn for the past two years.  

I had plans......many different start losing weight over the past year.....working at Amazon was one of those plans.  I figured 10-12 miles of walking per night couldn't help but melt a few of those unwanted pounds away.....the problem was there was always another micro-brewery to visit....another interesting restaurant.  I did lose about 8-10 pounds, but within a couple of weeks of arriving in Cedar Key I had gained most of that back.  Of course, we know the key to losing weight long term is to eat LESS and move MORE....."move" being regular exercise.  It was easy to continue eating out a lot, and drinking a couple of pints of beer with a meal, because we were spending our time where the weather was pleasant most of the time and I could just wear those shorts with the elastic waist band.  I stopped weighing myself, and stopped looking in the mirror.....well, I snuck a peak once and a while.  Whenever someone would be taking a picture I would suck in my belly.

Well, each and every one of those "plans" came to naught.....I just could not get started, or I could not sustain any effort for more than a few days.  That is one of the downsides to changing your view all the is difficult to establish any sort of routine, or habit.  Finally, on November 25th.....10 days after arriving at RJRP I took a good look at my naked profile in the full length mirror.....who is that fat old man staring back at me?  Then I got on the scales and closed my eyes.....I didn't want to see the number that would register on the digital read out......finally I opened my eyes to see a number I thought I would never see.....


.....that number was higher by 6 pounds than I had ever weighed in my life.    About 5 years before I had gotten up to 205.5 before starting on a 6 month effort to get back down to 179 through vigorous daily gym workouts, riding my bike, and eating less.  I was able to maintain my weight in the mid 180's for a couple of years, but then, gradually, I began to move less and eat more again.

Sure, I was disappointed in myself, but the problem was  I had set such a high bar for myself on the kind of workout I did every day that I could not sustain body just wore down.  Of course, in order to eat what I wanted, and drink the beer I wanted with no weight consequences I had to work out hard to keep my metabolism at a level where I could burn off those calories.  

Seeing that number made me feel numb all was I going to lose that weight again?  Six, or 7 months is such a long time, and I didn't see how I was going to sustain a diet for that length of time traveling as we do.  

When I was 19 I ate all the time, and thought nothing of drinking an entire six pack of beer in one sitting.  It had very little effect on my weight......however, I am no longer 19.  I have been active all my life.  Before I severely broke my right ankle in 1978 I ran for exercise, and we snow skied a lot.  After that I took up bike riding as it was easier on my ankle.  In the late 80's when the mountain bike craze struck I bought a mountain bike and rode pretty much every weekend.  In the mid 90's I became a professional soccer referee did as many as 6-7 matches every weekend, as well as indoor soccer during the week.  It was then, also, that I met my good friend, Paul Hood, who took mountain biking to another physical level.  We have ridden mountain bikes a few thousand miles together.  All that combined helped me maintain my weight in the mid to high 190's for a long time, but eventually my metabolism began to slow, even with all the physical activity, and I eventually found myself north of 200 pounds at the aforementioned 205.5.

This time I had to figure out how to eat less, but not MISS all the things I love to eat......not spending every day craving the things I love to eat.....bread, meat and cheese.  Plus I had to figure out an exercise regime I could sustain.....all while losing at least 22 pounds in a relatively short period of time.  If you have been reading my blog for the past 2 months you know I found my answer.  I started eating a footlong Subway Club sandwich every day, and started riding my bike.  I was so out of shape when we arrived in RJRP I could not sustain riding more than 8 miles on my bike, and then only 3-4 times a week.  I had to build up my stamina again.  Eventually I got to where I could do a 12 mile ride 6 days a week....I give myself one day off a week from my diet, and one day off from riding.  Recently I've taken to riding 20+ miles a few times a week....sometimes by myself, and sometimes with TLE on the tandem.  We've done a number of 20+ tandem rides over the past few weeks, and just yesterday rode over 26 miles on the tandem.  If for some reason I cannot ride on a given day I would normally do so due to weather, or too much to do I take a walk with TLE.

Anyway, the bottom line is I found a routine I could sustain.  I love the Club sandwiches, and I love riding my bike.  The trick is once I get to my target weight what will I eat every day, and how will I get in the exercise I need to burn at least 800-1000 calories through exercise at least 6 days a week?  I'm still working on that, because at some point I need to return to a more normal, balanced diet, plus figure out how to exercise every day on the road.

Yesterday, for the first time my weight loss became more than just a number on the wall....I stood in front of that same mirror and could see the results of my hard work....a much flatter stomach.  I can wear pants again for hours at a time, and I am pulling pants out of storage I thought I would never wear again.  My shirts hang loose around my torso.....I wear a belt with pants again.......I can bend over and tie my shoes without having to hold my breath.

On a side note Thursday was a very pleasant day....I heard from Rich that he had set aside two boxes for me, so I ran over and got them, then packed up the last eBay item, the wheelset, and delivered it to the USPS.  I installed new handlebars on the tandem for TLE, and she loves them much better than the old.  We rode 13 miles north on the SART to San Bernardino, had lunch at the local Subway, then 13 miles back.  For the nightcap we headed over to Riverside Plaza Regal Theaters to watch "Gravity" in 3-D.  What an amazing movie, and what a great venue to see it at!  It is just over 90 minutes long, but I'm not sure I we could have taken more than that with the intensity level as high as it was for pretty much the entire movie.

I can't believe yet another week is coming to and less than 17 days we will be rolling our wheels again.....we both agree we are ready to do so, but the gravitational pull of this place is strong, too.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Good for you on your weight loss! I've experienced a similar issue with weight creeping on these past few years and more so since we started living on the road. Keeping a routine is challenging. I'm not prepared to eat subway sandwiches every day, but I am inspired by your commitment!


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