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On the Weight Front…  Cycling, Fat, Happiness, Dieting, and Body Positivity


When I came back from vacation, almost as soon as I walked in the door, I jumped on the scale to assess the damage done by a week of excess (only in the form of food – let’s say I didn’t push away from the table very often).

I was happily surprised.  Only three pounds.  I went from a steady 180 to 183.

The next day I wrote that I would probably lose that excess in a week, now that I was back to regular cycling mileage.

I was off by one day.  It took 8 days.

Humorously, and I apologize if this is TMI, but I’d be willing to bet that two of those pounds could have been attributed to being “regular” again.  

Physical activity is awesome that way.

In any event, it’s been 2-1/2 weeks and I’m down five.  For 2-1/2 weeks I’ve been out-riding a good diet, to the tune of dropping another belt loop.

Cycling is awesome that way. 

Notice, my friends, how many glum faces and fat bodies there are in that photo – and that’s after 3 hours and change cycling over some excellent hills.

Other than Ron (the guy on the Cannondale with his hand on his hip), there are no perfect bodies in there either.  Mine is good, I’m the guy on the right, Chuck’s is better (third from the left), Travis has the upper body of a Greek statue (the guy in the hand bike)…

We are not perfect sculptures, save Ron, but we are happy, joyous and free.

Nobody in that photo imbibes in alcohol.  Not a one smokes. Not one vegetarian.  Not a gluten-free fella in the lot.  None of us turn up a nose at a burger or roast beef sammich, or even the rare desert.  We are balanced.  In that photo are two business owners (a bike shop and a construction company), a GM retiree, a farmer, a teacher, another retiree and an hourly employee.  We come from all walks of life and run the middle-class pay scale.  From lower to upper.

The only things we really have in common are that we love a good bike ride and we’re not fat (on the BMI scale, we’re all in the green).

This is not rocket science at work.  

We’ve all developed good, balanced, healthy eating habits and we literally ride our asses off (well, technically we rode the fat off of our asses, a cyclist’s ass is actually quite bulbous for all of the miles in the saddle).  

Going back to me, though I know this applies to many of the others as well, I am not a happy man at 180 pounds.  I’m happy at 170.  I don’t have a positive body image at 180.  I do at 165 but my wife likes 175 so I go with that.  I certainly don’t have a positive body image at 185 or 190.  I have a bit of a gut at 195, and a double-chin.  There’s no peace with either.  At 190 I start pushing the BMI line into “overweight”. There is no chance of positivity because if I am overweight, I am doing something severely wrong.  I know it, and no amount of bullshit, donut shop lies or fluff will change that fact. 

Not even positive action will change my perception when I’m overweight.  Action only gets me through the day.  I can find temporary peace in this: “I did my best today”.  My body positivity is a temporary reprieve that resets every morning when I wake up in the morning.

What have I done today to get achieve my goal weight?  What have I done to maintain my fitness?  What will I eat today to continue on my most excellent path?

As long as I’ve done my best at all of those, my reprieve continues. 

Just for this 24 hours, I will live, eat, and exercise well so that I can enjoy peace with my body.  I can’t change yesterday.

And tomorrow never comes.

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15 Comments

  1. Ian says:

    Great post (as usual) you make some great point. I feel miserable at present and it’s down to a lack of physical exertion. You’ve motivated me there thankyou

  2. My wife had a friend over yesterday that we had not seen in awhile and the conversion went in the direction of up coming events. After a few minutes the conversion rabbit holed on different friends and people I know, that is when the friend gave me and my wife an odd look. I thought everyone knew their weight and all their friends weight and watts per kilogram.

  3. […] via On the Weight Front…  Cycling, Fat, Happiness, Dieting, and Body Positivity — Fit Recovery […]

  4. sarahdudek80 says:

    Oh you must know me quite well….first thing I do when I walk in from vacation is hop on my scale. We are currently between moving from an apartment to a home and are technically homeless. So while we are on vacation I have my scale here and it actually keeps the noise of out my head. I was up two pounds for a few days and today was happy to see that I went back down. And yes, the vacation regularity is always a factor, for everyone. Hooray for meat eaters! Roast beef is my favorite and FYI, provides plenty of iron, which keeps our hemoglobin levels up, which in return helps our cells get oxygen to our muscles…..Long story short, it’s good stuff!

  5. Most cyclists don’t just live to ride.. they live to eat. Congrats on not only purging (snicker) the vacation weight, but losing a few more.

    It’s amazing how much weight that I lose when I watch my diet and ride. It’s been a few years since I have done that and it shows!

  6. saoirsek says:

    Great post, I’m in a post race slump so feeling a bit directionless. Thanks for the reminder that ‘adaat’ applies to lots of things in our live, be it having a training plan or just for today I’ll train and not eat cake!!

  7. adarling575 says:

    I’ve just got my scales out again after a good few weeks enjoying myself before my boyfriend moved to the US. At that time, my weight was not a priority for me, spending time with my boyfriend doing te things we loved doing together was – plus I knew there was a stop date! It was interesting though – although body-image wise I wasn’t happy, I was still training a lot, running PBs and cycling fast so those few extra kilos didn’t affect my fitness at all – just the way I looked in clothes! Focussing on getting the weight down now though 🙂

  8. fitnessgrad says:

    I enjoy reading your post, not because I cycle (because I don’t) but would love to get into it possibly since I haven’t been on a bike in years! but I enjoy reading them because they are always such a positive things that don’t just revolve around your love for cycling but your love for the people in your life! that is amazing, beautiful to say the least!

    Shay-lon

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