I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post for a while, but wasn’t quite sure how to start it. I suppose there’s no real way other than to acknowledge the blindingly obvious:
I’m fat. I’ve been fat for a while. And I refuse to be fat when I’m thirty.
This was, partly, my reason for returning to cycling as an adult in the first place. I had been challenged by a couple of co-workers to enter a triathlon, and so I bought a pair of running shoes, some swimming goggles and a bike. Running, as it turns out, wreaks havoc on my legs and I found swimming incredibly boring but something about cycling just clicked with me. It’s the only thing that has survived, although I’m beginning to give the running another chance.
And it’s really working. I’ve got a long way to go, but in a month and a half or so I’ve managed to lose 17 lbs and get myself from “obese” to merely “overweight”.
I have a lot of thanks for my bike for this. I don’t remember any kind of exercise I’ve ever been able to maintain at a reasonable level of intensity for as long as I can sit on a bike and tap out a steady rhythm, and two- to three-hour rides are becoming easier and easier on my legs. Today’s ride back from Westbury was 35 miles in about 2h 20, which apparently burned over two thousand calories and now I’ve done a few rides of that length or longer, they’re really starting to feel quite comfortable. I’m definitely a distance rather than a speed guy, although I’m not going to complain at a 15mph average!
Of course, a lot of it is down to diet as well as exercise. I’m a simple bloke and I really can’t be bothered with all of these fancy diets – when you distil it down to the bare bones, they all equate to a very simple principle. Fewer calories in, more calories out. The rest, in my opinion, is just fluff and willpower. I’ve been using the rather excellent MyFitnessPal app to track both my food and my exercise, working with a target of 1,000 kcal a day deficit. This should – in theory, at least – result in an average 2lb per week weight loss, as a pound of fat takes about 3,500 kcal to burn off. It’s a big deficit but leaves me about 1,450 kcal a day for food, and if I want any treats like chocolate or takeaway food I have to get off my arse and earn them first.
So a stone and a bit down, and just another three stone to lose… eeek. Wish me luck!