I like the line, “take care of your body, it’s the only one you get”.
I don’t argue for expunging meat, burgers, pizza or any other fun food from the diet. I’m not going to recommend a diet that consists of food from an Era when, seriously now, the average lifespan of a man was less than half what it is now. I don’t recommend a diet of extremes, neither only meat nor only vegetables. Both are equally laughable as far as I’m concerned. In fact, while in line at a local Subway the other day, a woman asked the sub maker to change her gloves to make her veggie sub… So I asked her to change them again when she got to mine so she didn’t get any veggies on my meat.
I haven’t had to completely give up ice cream or chocolate chip cookies. I still eat popcorn every now and again. I still enjoy a donut two or three times a year. I eat pizza once a week and always have the flexibility to fit in a good burger in for dinner.
There does happen to be a but coming though. There’s always a but, or in this case, it’s either a but or a butt and a gut.
I can’t eat a lot. Even in mid-cycling season when I’m cranking out a thousand miles in a month (I had 920 in May), I have to watch how much I eat. I can have a treat now and again, especially after a long day on the bike, but for the most part I choose to abstain so I can look awesome in my cycling kit.
Then there’s part two of the but. I actually have to put in long days on my bike every now and again. I have to find time for fitness (or we could say I have to make time, you say tomato…).
An hour a day on the weekdays and a couple of long days on the weekend. The shorter hour-long rides during the week help me to cope with stress and allow me to eat what I enjoy – not try to make otherwise gnarly, calorie sparse foods (i.e. quinoa or chia seeds) seem appealing by dressing them up a little bit.
Last week, one of my customers said to me, “Damn Jim, at your age you’re wearing shirts that I haven’t been able to fit into since I was in high school”. Ladies and gentlemen, the circumference of my waist is still less that of my inseam. This isn’t by accident and it certainly isn’t because I have good genes (they’re fair, nothing more). The reality is, I found a way to stay fit that keeps my interest and puts a smile on my face in cycling. I wasn’t always so lucky though. For eight years I stayed fit by running three or four times a week. I put up with running because it beat gaining weight, but I never loved it like I do bike riding.
The secret to my success is this: I found something I could live with until I found something I loved. It’s as simple as that.
Fat is no more an accident than fit. Just remember not to quit five minutes before the miracle happens.
Ride hard my friends.
UPDATE: Rex added in the comments section: “The one thing I hope readers don’t miss here is that you cannot neglect proper nutrition! The latter combined with exercise is what will give folks results like you’re seeing.” Rex and I are in complete agreeance on this. I always find it difficult to make sure and get this important reality across clearly. Thanks Rex.