One hundred ninety-six pounds (89 kilograms). That is what the scale showed as my weight on April 15, the morning I went in to see my doctor for a troublesome right shoulder. I mentioned previously that my doctor is also a cyclist. For him, the longer a ride is and the more climbing it has, the better. My doctor, who is in his mid-50s, weighs 136 pounds (62 kilos). I kid him that he is the size of a seventh-grade boy.
And each time I see him we discuss my riding, climbing and eventually my weight. And I always pledge to lose some. And I do. I have lost as much as five pounds. The only problem is I usually to gain it back.
I watch what I eat. I eat no red meat, only poultry and fish. And I don’t snack between meals. But it seemed that no matter how hard I tried I could not lose a significant amount of weight or keep it off. So I was kind of resigned to remaining in that low-to-mid 190 pound (86 kilo) range.
That is until that doctor’s visit. For some reason I left vowing to lose weight and to keep it off. Maybe it was because I was tired of struggling up hills. Maybe it was because I was tired of my little doctor chiding me. I don’t really know.
During the first two weeks I lost four pounds. I was pleased and prepared for the long, hard slog.
Then a friend, a former work colleague, announced that he had lost 74 pounds (33.5 kilos) over two years. When I asked him how he said: “Just what you used to always tell me, diet and exercise. There are no shortcuts.”
And as a throwaway line he mentioned that he also used myfitnesspal, a calorie-counting app. He suggested I check it out.
And I did.
What did I do differently? In short, I used the calorie-counting app to see exactly what I was eating. Quite frankly, I had no idea of the calorie content of some of the foods I ate. And although I worked out regularly, I often ate more calories than I burned. (Let me know if you want more detail and I will send it to you.)
And although these calorie counts are only estimates, they served as a good guideline for me to follow what I ate. For me, it became a daily goal – Win the day. To burn more calories than I consumed. It later became a guideline. Eat 2,000-2,500 calories a day and be active.
I made sure to consistently go to the gym and to consistently ride my bike.
From April 15 to July 31 I rode 1,802 miles (2,900 kilometers). That is 460 miles (740 kilometers) more than I rode during that same period last year.
I rode 505 miles (813 kilometers) in May, 543 miles (874 kilometers) in June and more than 573 miles (922 kilometers) in July.
Weighing less is better both in everyday life and for biking. I now look forward to rides I would not have considered just a year ago. (And don’t tell the hills but I no longer consider them evil, at least most of them.)
And although I am not yet at my final goal I am already thinking of how to stay at this smaller size.
As my doctor says: What comes off, stays off.