Thursday, March 28

The Leadville Saga: Fat No More

I’m fat.

If EldenNelson had not already taken it I think I would have to register the domain for www.fatcyclist.com. My legs hit my belly when…well, a lot of the time…but especially when I’m riding.
I’m not squishy and pudgy all over. No, I actually have muscle tone in my arms and legs. There is no double chin, no back fat. I have semi-discernible pectorals (not man-boobs!). Basically I have abdominal fat and the beginnings of love handles. There, I said it.
I’m 5’9” and on my last visit to the scales I weighed 197 lbs. Unacceptable.
When I was 18 months old I had a hernia operation. My belief is that because of that, despite a very active childhood, I never developed my core as a normal person would. And when I got older I avoided working on conditioning my core because it has never been comfortable for me.
Into adulthood I stayed relatively thin because I do have a high metabolism. But as I got older, and more settled into a domestic lifestyle I slowly began putting on the pounds. I went from a steady 155-165 early twenties to a solid 190+ thirtysomething. I know I’m defying traditional biology, but I want to get back to that 165 neighborhood into my forties. And I know that hernia excuse is a cop-out.
There are two factors that influence all of us: diet and activity levels.
Activity has decreased because we use more and more tools of convenience instead of good old human power to do things. We’re going to continue to have an obesity epidemic as long as we continue to use energy slaves to do our work. Regardless of our diets, if we don’t stop being intentionally lazy then we is not going to lose the weight and keep it off as a culture (hey Jack, Spellcheck told me to do it that way!)
Diet is a whole different issue. Our food is designed in such a way that we want more of it and more frequently. Our obesity epidemic is at least partly the cause of a food-oriented planned-obsolescence. We’ve ("we" being the corporations that run the world these days) eradicated nutrition from our diets and replaced it with substances that provide the most instant gratification to the pleasure centers of our brains.
So this is my reality:  food, for whatever reason, is such a short term satisfaction that it overwhelms all dreams of mountain biking glory. But then on a full belly (when blood has returned to my brain from its trip down to my digestive system to furiously try and keep up with my gluttony) I remember I want that buckle. And I look down to where I'd be wearing that buckle, and I weep.
I have a willpower problem. I know what I need to do, and yet I just can’t do it consistently. Of course, our currently living arrangement is a ballet of turmoil and chaos. We don’t have our own space and it’s hard to get into a solid routine where I can control all of my inputs. So hard… But, even when we did have our own space and I could control all of my inputs I rarely did it successfully. Last summer I had a lot better success with controlling my diet than I ever have in my life, and I still didn’t manage to get below 180 lbs. I still didn’t get control of my diet. And I have only myself to blame.
I’m behind schedule to be able to lose 30 pounds at a pound a week (healthy rate) before Leadville, but I will do what I can. I vow, as of today, that I will lose 10 pounds by the Mohican on June 1 and then another 10 pounds by Leadville on August 10. If I can maintain that rate then I should have no trouble dropping the last 10 pounds in the 10 weeks between Leadville and the Iron Horse Half Marathon.
Of course the other difficulty has been that I’ve almost ceased activity (I’m approaching Absolute Zero Dark Thirty) while not really cutting back on my calorie intake. It’s nearly a miracle that I’ve not put on 20 pounds since the beginning of the year.

 
By June 1 (Mohican 100) I’ll lose 10 pounds.

By August 10 (Leadville 100) I’ll lose 20 pounds.

By October 13 (Iron Horse Half Marathon) I’ll lose 30 pounds.


No. More. Excuses.

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