I have made a decision that all my posts of rides will include one additional metric: Weight.
Like many adults, I have a problem maintaining a healthy weight. And last month on my birthday, I made the determination – I will get down to that healthy weight. And by publicly posting it, I will force myself to maintain that – once I reach it.
In cycling, a Clydesdale is a category for heavy riders. Some could be simply that they are big men (very tall) but most are just overweight. And they cannot compete going uphill with their lightweight competitors. So some events, hill climbs usually, have a Clydesdale category. It may vary but is usually 190 pounds. And the women have a Philly category.
Sometime after cancer treatment 10 years ago, my weight started creeping up. There is a medical reason for that but that’s not an excuse. It’s a challenge. And we all have challenges in life.
I’ve never registered as a Clydesdale. But the best opportunity for me was at the 2018 Hillclimb World Championships in Santa Barbara. I did not because I always held this belief that I would lose the weight before the event. And I never did.
Only after the world championships did I see it. Just two people had registered as Clydesdales. No matter how bad my time (and it was), I would have finished on the podium (Top Three). Damn me. And possibly, if I rode with those two guys, I could have stayed with them until the end and maybe even pulled out a better time. Or maybe not. I was, after all, coming off knee replacement surgery just a few months earlier.
For me, all my adult life, to control my weight I have to be aware. That means the scale has to be my friend. And I’ve gone too long without stepping on the scale.
On my birthday I went for a 65-mile ride near Altoona, Pa. I bonked. I blamed the heat (true) and lack of hydration (true) and lack of nutrition (also true). But I realized also that I was carrying too much weight. When I got home I made the determination to lose weight.
I stepped on the scale. 210 pounds. Ouch. And that was that.
I made a spreadsheet. It was simple. Date. Weight. 7-Day Moving Average.
I chose this method of tracking with a focus on the seven-day average. This would allow me to miss a day of weight tracking and not worry about it. It also accounts for the daily fluctuations that occur depending on when I can weigh in. Sometimes a loss, or a gain, is all water weight. In the chart, above, I gained three pounds (Aug. 21) but the moving average was down (because the 189 replaced a 190 value seven days earlier).
My “program” is simple.
- Eliminate grazing, that between or after meal snacking
- Eliminate deserts
- Eliminate all the sugary stuff (candy bars – no Mint Twixt, donuts, Pop-Tarts)
- Portion control
And that is the magic plan. From early July to late August – down 26 pounds.
There is a side benefit to this. My riding is getting better. I bemoaned the fact that 10 years ago I would do a long ride at 17 mph+. This year it has been more like 14.5 mph+. A few weeks ago I did a ride and set 23 PRs. Had another 48-mile ride where I averaged 17 mph. Dropping the extra 25 pounds has really helped my cycling.
It is embarrassing to admit this but this is public to hold me accountable. If I put future posts with my weight I have to be aware. And if I’m aware it won’t get away from me. No more Clydesdale.