Sunday, 1 June 2008


OK, time for a rethink and some re-focusing.

I feel a bit out at sea at sea moment. From January, I had the shock of being the size of a whale motivate me. With this motivation I made some radical changes to my diet and exercise levels. Thankfully my weight fell quickly, adding to my motivation. As the following couple of months passed, the weight was falling almost despite what I did (or so I thought, but in reality I think I had just changed my habits enough to make the difference).

Into March my focus started to shift onto the goal of the 81 mile Etape Caledonia cycle on May 18th. There was just no way I was going to miss that, so I had to start training in earnest. My thoughts turned from solely being focused on my weight, to more and more obsess about how I was going to do such a long distance on a bike.

Training and weight loss are two balls that are harder to juggle than I thought. The harder I worked at the cycling, the hungrier I was, and the more slack I gave myself as to what I could eat. So while I managed to ditch over a stone in the first six weeks, I only lost a further eight pounds from the middle of March to the Etape on 18th May, even though I was cycling my ass off, literally. When I rolled up to the start line on May18th I weighed in at a still hefty 16 stone 4lb. I had mixed feelings about this, as my target was a good 10 to 12 lb lighter than that. Weight makes a huge difference to cycling; people pay hundreds or even thousands on bikes that are lighter than the average by onto a kilogram or so. I was carrying maybe 16 kilos extra than a normal person would, or 20 kilos more (44 lb) than a serious cyclist would. That made me nervous. But my training had gone well; I had completed a 65 mile training ride, and could easily do 25 the 30 miles on an evening, so I wasn't too worried (maybe 5 out of 10 on the panicometer). I think I am as fit or fitter now than I have been at any time in my life, so I had that to balance out with falling short on the weight target. On the whole, I’m well pleased.

But the thing is, the Etape is now in the past, but the job has not been completed. The weight loss has to continue. This is a war in which I have won a significant battle, but there is no point in stopping now. I need to have a healthy lifestyle; I want to be cyclist, not a ‘fat cyclist’, or a fat runner or a fat swimmer. I need to loose another 2 stone to loose the ‘fat’ prefix, 3 stone to replace it with ‘fit’.

So I need to reboot my training program. I need another goal far enough away that I can start again, focus on my weight again for a couple of months; but with a goal looming in the future to add the glue that will keep me motivated. So I’m looking at a few things which I’ll write about later, something in September or October would be best I think.

Meanwhile, its time to get serious again about loosing weight. I’ve got a new powerfu weapon, fitness. But is it a weapon for good or evil? On the bike, I feel compelled to try and improve my times (average speed mostly; it used to be 14 mph, now its 17mph). So when I go out I tend to try hard, and not surprising, afterwards my legs hurt. I was out yesterday and despite planning to take it easy and enjoy the weather, I ended up blasting (well, kinda) up the hills, and soon enough I was working pretty hard. All well and good, you may think, but because of that, I didn’t go out today because my legs were sore and tired; not productive at all really. Weight must be my priority, and consequently, speed must take a back seat for a while.

But how the hell do I stop myself from trying so hard? Answers on a postcard please.

Anyway, tomorrow is reboot day. Excel comes back out, the scales come back out, the soup comes back out. Let the obsession re-commence.

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