I mentioned a while back that I wanted to drop a few pounds before DALMAC. I did and well, it took a minute, like two more weeks than I’d wanted, but I’m done.
The other day, Mrs. Bgddy said so. Now, she didn’t actually say, “Cut it out.” Close though. See, I know my wife, and “Wow, you lost some weight.” means more than that.
Being with the same woman for more than twenty years, you come to learn that certain phrases mean something more than what the words actually mean on their own. Make sense? If you’ve been married for more than a few years, that makes perfect sense.
In this case, my keen Little Orphan Annie decoder ring says “Wow, you lost some weight” also includes the following: “I love you, my knight in shining armor, but let’s stop at Mark Cavendish rather than going all Chris Froome on me, eh?”
See, and this is kind of ironic (or maybe twisted), I’m like anyone else. I don’t see my body like other people see me, except years later, in photos. Three years ago, I felt a little fat in the gut. I was skinny as a rail:
I gave that jersey away because it doesn’t fit in the arms and shoulders anymore. Point is, I don’t do the whole “scale” thing because I’m thin enough now that it really doesn’t work. My legs are easily five pounds heavier (maybe more), each, than they were in that photo – just in muscle mass alone. If I went by the scale I would drive myself crazy trying to hit an imaginary number. Instead, I rely on what I see in the mirror in addition to what my wife sees. I know if I’m exactly smack-dab, right in the middle of what I think I want and what my wife wants, I’m pretty close to exactly where I want to be… well, call it close enough to perfect for a 45 year-old kid.
With that, allow me to share what I did to get results. First, there was obviously a lot of this:
Then, in my diet, to drop my five or ten pounds… I quit snacking on candy and soda entirely, except for a Snickers or Payday and a Coke on a ride longer than 50 miles. Then, and this was really tough, I cut out lunchtime fast food burgers and switched to a footlong Subway Italian BMT with spinach, green peppers, onions and cucumbers and mayo :D. I know, the mayo’s not the best, but it’s yummy. Also, I went with the full sub rather than the half – half just wasn’t enough fuel for the engine of that bike.
After two weeks I realized I was blowing $40-$50 a week on subs, which seemed a little excessive as one can buy a lot of ham, salami and pepperoni for $40… My wife picked up the 8″ buns. Two subs were too much, so I packed just a little bit more meat in there and stuck with one… That did the trick and the inches burned off, quick.
Now, to be fair, I already had a decent diet, with the exception of my love of fast food and restaurant burgers. I was also, at the time I decided to lose a little weight, not heavy by any stretch. I just wanted to drop a few pounds, quick, to make the hill climbing involved in a four-day 380 mile tour, easier.
Still, as much as I would like to deny it’s true, fast food in my diet is all but impossible to cycle off. I can, and did, ride enough to maintain my weight but there was no way I could lose weight with fast food in my diet. I’ve never liked the saying “you can’t outride a bad diet” (I can’t outrun a bad diet, that’s for sure) because I think it oversimplifies reality for the sake of a cool-sounding phrase. However, I think I have to forego burger joints except for special occasions because I’m much happier with how I look today than I was four weeks ago.
There is no place for a daily burger in my life. Simple as that.
While I’m much happier like this…:
…than the skinny guy in the photo above from three years ago (though I’d take the skinny guy over the pushing 200 pounds Jim any day of the week and twice on Sunday), in the midst of 200 mile weeks, I still managed to put on weight because I’m not eating wisely. In other words, I didn’t outride a bad diet.
So, while I will never push a vegetarian diet, I’ve proven that I absolutely can’t do “anything goes” either, even at 10,000 km a year.