Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Body Work II: A Summary and an Introduction

An Assessment:

In the first version of my Body Work series, I managed to journal, exercise, and eat my way through over 30 pounds of weight loss, which was my goal. I’ve stood on that finish line and had a look around, and I’ve decided to keep going. What did 30 pounds of weight loss get me? Well, I feel immensely better, I’m stronger on the bike, I have more energy overall and I’m more comfortable in my clothes. What does it mean to weigh 194 pounds instead of 224 pounds?
  • As a 5’10” man, it means my BMI, which was 32.1 (solidly in the “obese” category) is now 27.8 (in the middle of the “overweight” category). I would need to weigh no more than 175 pounds to be at the tip-top of the “normal weight” category and could be as light as 135 (which is insane) before I am considered “underweight.”
  • According to Wikipedia (which is where I get all of my diet and exercise advice),  my starting body fat percentage of almost 30% put me in the “obese” category, and my current 24% reading puts me at the very top of the “average” category.
  • According to what I can observe about myself without a scale, the Internet, or anything else, I still have a bit of a belly and am also carrying some weight and bulk on my chest and lower back that is of the decidedly non-muscle type.

I’m Going to Keep Going
Having the success of the last few months is a great thing, and I don’t want to lose any momentum.  I’m not sure how my rate of weight loss might change as I get closer to my next goal, which is to have a weekly average weight of 174.17 pounds or fewer. That would represent another 20 pounds for a total loss of 50 pounds since I started back in February.  174ish pounds would get me just out of the “overweight” category for BMI and I’m guessing it would put me closer to the bottom of the “average” category for body fat.  

It’s Not a Diet Any More
The way I have been eating for the last few months hasn’t really been a diet at all. In fact, my only rule has been to write down what I eat. Despite the flexibility that rule gives me, I’ve arrived at an eating pattern that has resulted in the loss of more than a pound a week, most of the time. Here are my general principles for my non-diet:
  1. Simplicity is Your Friend. I eat oatmeal for breakfast and a sweet potato or a salad for lunch during the week, with very few exceptions.  Not having to think about what I’m doing for just under half (10 out of 21) of my weekly meals makes life easier.
  1. Vegetables Have No Limits. At dinner or whenever, I fill my plate with veggies.  And I put butter on them sometimes. Not a ton of it, but I do. Sometimes olive oil. Always salt and pepper and other spices. I apply the same “rule” to beans of all types. Have as much as you want.
  1. Don’t Drink Calories. Unless they come in really good beer or wine (and then have one or two once in awhile). I was never a really big juice or soda drinker anyway, so this was easy for me. Beer is harder to stay away from, because I brew it in 5-gallon batches at home, but brewing big, flavorful beers means less beer is more satisfying anyway.
  1. Avoid White Carbs. I used to have a white starch (bread, white rice, potato) with almost every meal. I have found other carbs to use most of the time (quinoa is a favorite, whole grain pasta can be bought by the case at Costco) and I reserve the refined stuff and potatoes for when they “make the meal,” like fluffy mashed potatoes with good steak or a crusty piece of bread with french onion soup.
  1. Hydrate. Hungry? Glass of water first. Same if you’re feeling tired, low energy, whatever.
Find something you like to do that involves moving, then do it more.
It has been years, but I’d say over the past three years especially, I have “found” cycling. I used to be a big runner. in fact, all of my other weight loss attempts, going back to my freshman year in college (Yeah, freshman 15, I’m coming for you next!) involved running and no dieting at all. Running is great and I can’t think of a faster way to burn calories, but it lacks the “whee!” factor that I get with cycling. Running without any attempt to eat right is just a way to add a ton of impact to your body, and when the weather goes sour or the schedule gets crazy, the running goes away, the eating stays, the pounds return. The other nice thing, is that if you have a bike you like to ride, cheap rollers can be had for about a hundred bucks, and even the very best rollers out there are under a thousand. That wouldn't buy the worst treadmill out there. So for me, cycling.

Measure, Manage, Commit
I could not have been successful if I didn’t decide to weigh myself every day. and I doubt I would have stuck to it as long as I have if I didn’t commit to tracking everything on my blog. So that strategy stays. Measure every day, manage intake and exercise based on that measurement, commit by reporting the results publicly.

The Finish Line is Just Another Starting Line
So it’s time to keep it rolling. More food journaling and daily weigh -ins, and more riding and doing other active stuff. I’m not sure exactly how it will go, but I’ll be sure to keep it going on the blog.