Guess who is all signed up for the Tri-State bike ride? Yup! Adding some life to my thirties, facing some new challanges, and they don’t have a weight limit lol…
This will be my longest ride to date, and am looking forward to writing my review of it.
If you want to come join me, you can sign up through the link here or just click on the picture.
August 10th http://www.active.com/chicago-il/cycling/races/tri-state-tour-2-powered-by-bicycle-illinois-2014
“Before we go any further, how much do you weight?”
“Sorry you have to be 249.9 or less, that limit is to the gram!”
It was a very embarrassing moment in my life, this is the conversation that took place today at the Chicago Science and Industry museum, for their flight simulator. I have always wanted to try one of these things, but never even attempted due to my weight. When I saw that the offered it my hear skipped a beat, I HAD to try it out! It would be a great thing to remind me of this weight loss journey! I convinced my brother in law to try it with me, and as I walked up to the counter I was very excited. As shared above though, those thoughts were dashed upon the runways of my dreams.
It took everything I had in me to walk away with my chin held high, and to not rip that guy a new one! I wasn’t going to give the guy the pleasure(which I doubt he took, but in my mind at the time it felt different) of seeing me sulk away. I didn’t really argue, I said ok, and walked away. I saw my wife, sister in law, and the boys sitting near by and she noticed right away that something was wrong. I didn’t want to really talk about it, well I DID want to talk about it, but I couldn’t really do it yet.
I did talk about it with her, but it didn’t really help. I feel like crap even right now, it makes me feel like a failure. I even feel like I let my kids down, that they are stuck with an incompetent failure for a father. It makes me wonder why I bother in the first place, if this is what happen still, I may as well put all that weight right back on! I am a worthless, fat, incompetent failure of a father, and how could I feel any other way? Thankfully I have learned one thing over the years, feelings aren’t always rational. That is why we don’t call the factings, they are our inner most thoughts wrapped up in bacon and served with a side of eggs. OK, maybe not eggs, but I am sure feelings are wrapped in bacon, why else would we swallow all the lies our feelings tell us?
The feelings I have of incompetency are really my feelings of self-doubt, my feelings of failure are really my fear of trying, my feelings of self-loathing are really a projection of the teasing that happened to me as a child. When you get down to it, my feelings had nothing to do with happened, they are irrational for the most part and were simply triggered by the event. Yes it angered me, but why? Anger is really a secondary emotion, it comes from sadness and fear typically. You can often tell which emotion it really is by taking note of the emotion you feel before you feel angry! This time it was sadness, I really wanted to do this ride and I was told I couldn’t do it. All the rest of the feelings I had point back to my sadness.
Ok, I am sad, now what? Now I apply my “winning steps” to the issue!
1. Is my sadness justified?
2.Is it fixable/changeable
3.What do I need to do to change or fix it?
Pretty simple steps, and I invite you to come along with me as I work them. We established that my emotions were justified, sadness is a reasonable feeling to after a rejection. I can change it and make it not happen again! In order to change it, I need to work the program and need to loose some more weight. I tracked everything today as always, got in some great walking, and am still feeling motivated! I look forward to walking up there soon and saying 249.8! I am not a failure, or an incompetent father, I am a strong capable man, who has struggled with an addiction and is making great changes in his life.
Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker
So the last few days have been a bit hellish in the BBB household, my boys both have been working hard at stressing me out. LB1 has been melting down every time I ask him a question, ranging from “do you need to go potty?” To “ready for dinner?”. LB2 is at a stage where he doesn’t want to nap, and he doesn’t want to be put down, he just wants daddy to hold him. Yes, I know he will only be this little once, he is almost 6 months old, but sometimes daddy has some stuff to take care of! Dishes backed up in the sink, and by the time my wife comes home I am ready to pull my hair out. Lovely eh?
One plus though, I have an amazing wife who has been very understanding about it all. She doesn’t get upset at the state of the house when she gets home, she comes home and hops right in. I often hear from other stay at home parents how their spouses come home and won’t help out around the house/with the kids. I consider myself lucky to have her in my life, and wouldn’t trade her for the moon(sorry hun you’re stuck with me). I know that this too shall pass and I need to find a positive way to get these emotions out.
As some of you already know I tried out simply filling from weight watchers, and I just wanted to share my experience with it. First you have to understand what the difference is, simply filling(and simple start) is a secondary program that Weight Watchers offers. In this program you don’t get daily points, instead you only get your 49 “weeklies”, the reason for this is that any “power foods” you eat are zero points. Any food other than power foods come out of your weekly 49, and activity points. What is a power food? No clue how they decide which is or which isn’t but there is a big list of them all.
The part that is also different, by nature of not counting points you also get to eat as much as you need. Please note, NEED not WANT. You are able to eat until you are satisfied, how ever much that might be for you. First thought, or at least mine, if I knew how to do that I wouldn’t be fat! Right? The principle behind this is, the power foods are more filling and you won’t eat as much. Makes sense, sorta, but I wondered if it would work for me. I figured at this point with the ups and downs(more up than down right now), it couldn’t hurt to try it.
Day one: Went very well, but doesn’t it always?
Day two: Not so well, ate out and blew through a bunch of my 49
Day three: Back on track I got this..whats for lunch?
Day four: Dinner got messed up, lets get pizza and find myself in the negative..whats for lunch
Day five: F it all, but I will stay “on plan”..whats for lunch
Day Six: CRAP, I need to be good, I need to be good, I need to be good..whats for lunch
Day Seven: I wasn’t as good as I should have been, but one last chance..whats for lunch
Weight In: Down! .4 ….:-| ..whats for lunch
Everyone I had seen who tried it lost big # on their first week, and I had expected the same for me. I sat down and cried to myself after WI. Why? Why didn’t it work for me? Have I hit the end, and I am going up? Is this my “set point” and my body says this line and no further? Did I stop when I was satisfied? BINGO, that was the right question. NOPE, I kept hitting just past the point of satisfied, by just past the point I mean I stuff my gob(always a fun work to use, no?). Lunch was still a struggle for me, and I found myself eating a huge salad, 2 sweet potatoes, 2 yogurts, and gnawing on the chair. It wasn’t truly out of hunger, and I knew it, I was bored/stressed out. Emotions tasted so yummy! SMH
I should tell you right now, SF(simply filling), not for me! I can’t stop, which is a sobering thing to realize and admit even to myself. The points act as an anchor for me, one I never realized, they keep me from drifting away from the docks. I could tell when I was satisfied, but I simple made a choice to ignore it. I did however learn something about myself, and that alone is a bit of a victory. Does SF sound horrible to you? Sorry, not my intentions, I just wanted to share my personal experience on it. Many people love it, and I encourage people to try it if they find themselves in a slump. One nice thing about it is that you can switch from day to day, you just can’t switch mid-day. I also switched my WI day from Saturday mornings to Wednesday nights again! I missed my Wednesday WI and feel very rejuvenated!
What have we learned today? I am stressed out, have an amazing wife, tried SF, didn’t like SF, and learned more about myself in the process. I learned I am not superman, I can struggle just like everyone else(and that is perfectly ok), I will likely never have full control of my eating(like an alcoholic and drinking), anchors can be in places you never expected to find them.
If you have any questions about my experience feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer/share about it!
Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker
I had a big long post in mind, all about trying out simply filling, a version of weight watchers where you don’t use points. The thing is, I just really don’t want to write about it right now. I don’t want to write about much of anything. Things aren’t going great, nor good, nor bad, they are just going meh. Each day is just rolling into the next, and I sit at home with my boys watching tv, eating, maybe play in the backyard a bit, and then its dinner and bed. Wash rinse repeat..over and over again. My youngest of course still needs to be fed every 2-3 hours, seemingly a endless chain of feedings(lately he also doesn’t want to nap much). Potty training my older boy, and it SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. It makes me not want to go anywhere because I have to bring 5 pairs of clothes for the boy. I still struggle with my shyness and it makes it hard for me to meet new people(have to leave the house for that I suppose). Just not doing great right now, but it could be worse.
On the plus side, we are switching out WI day back to Wednesdays! This means I will have my Saturday mornings back again, and can maybe put in some longer rides. It is tough, I want to spend time with my wife and kids, but I am craving some alone time as well. I am relatively alone all day, as three year old aren’t much for talking politics or the latest movies. Yet I just crave those hours I can sit on my bike and just zone out for awhile. The wind blows past my ears, the monotonous sound of the pedal strokes, the gentile sound of the tires buzzing on the path, all come together to create an almost zen like mood. I have never found anything else like it, the harmony of my body working with the simple machines. It releases my soul, and rejuvenates my entire being, it makes me whole again.
I can not wait till next year when I can take both boys out on the bike with me! It will feel like I am getting some freedom back again (since my car is broken right now), and it will be nice to get to some fun places a bit further from the house. So while so much sucks right now, I know it will only get better! Until that time I keep repeating my motto—
Keep On Rolling!
Big Boned Biker
My son’s first camping trip or I am crazy
To start off the day I first had to go to weight watchers to WI, and because I have my new bike I decided to pedal my way to the meeting. It was only 14 miles and it was a nice cool morning, I put the bike rack in the back of the car so I could head back home with my wife. The trip was pretty uneventful except for two things. I took a wrong turn and ended up on a very busy road and adding about 4 miles to my trip. Second as I was preparing to make my turn into the strip mall where the Weight Watchers meeting is held, a guy in a white truck lays on the horn, calls me an A-hole, and runs me off the road(where I ended up hitting a huge pothole). Luckily, both Tallulah and myself were ok, though I was shaking very badly when I dismounted. I was down almost a pound though, which makes two losses in row for the first time since mid March!
So we grab an early lunch of subway and head over to the local big box store for a few last minute supplies. Glow sticks, hot dog roasters, lighter, and some swim diapers. The excitement is already growing inside of me, I have not been camping in years! I still haven’t told my son yet, with plans to wait until the last moment to spring it on him. I had packed 90% of the stuff the night before in my panniers ( learn more here ), and after adding the last few items I started setting up Katrina for her big ride. My pack list was a bit more than I would have brought for just myself but it is roughly as follows:
Tent (Eureka! Apex 2)
Small Stove w/iso butane fuel (Ultra Light Stove)
Sons Thomas the tank engine sleeping bag(stuff inside itself to a small throw pillow size)
Snuggie (used instead of sleeping bag since I don’t own one)
Short sleeve t-shirt
Extra clothes for my son
4 Diapers w/ wipes
2 swim diapers
Cooking pot (cheap 5 dollar one from wal-mart)
Spray on Sun Block
4 Water bottles(Two on Katrina, one in the back of the trailer and one for my son)
2 collapsible hotdog/marshmallow cookers
Bike tools(tire levers, patch kit [with more tire levers], bike specific multi-tool, some cash,spare tube, and Advil)
Chargers for phone and ipad
Special bedtime book (Just me and my Dad)
Hebrew national hotdogs (only one point per dog up to 4)
Hot dog buns
Pancake mix (in a packet)
Small Maple Syrup
Chocolate chips/peanut butter chocolate chips
As you can see I was able to fit a lot inside the panniers! The only items that didn’t go in them were the bananas(which did NOT survive the trip) and an extra water bottle, both of which went into the trailer. One thing that surprised me is that I actually didn’t pack anything I didn’t use, and in fact found that I was needing a few more items. One thing I plan to do is mark a water bottle with ¼, ½, and full cup marks for measuring water amounts.
After loading Katrina down with her load, hitching her up to the “wagon” and double checking tire pressure I wheeled her out to the front of the house. I walked in and told my son I had a surprise for him out front! He rushed to the door and saw the bike, his face started to light up and when he noticed the tent!
“daddy, your tent is on tent on the bike” he says to me
“Yes, what do you think we are going to do with the tent?”
“Camping!” he exclaims
Do yourself a favor turn up your speakers and hit play while you read the rest of this(maybe even hit replay if you want) 😀
I go to put on his helmet and he freaks out at me about not wanting to wear it, I remember thinking “great what am I getting myself into?”. After I get him his helmet on we pose for the mandatory “heading out” pictures. That formality done, we load up and hit the road! Ahh the smell of a fresh summery day with the world out in front of us! Life doesn’t get better than this, does it?
We ride for awhile, the load is actually more comfortable to pull than I thought it would be, thought when I corner I have to be careful as the load makes me skid a bit if I go to fast. I get up to where I know that we will be crossing the railroad tracks and am greeted by construction signs! The track crossing is closed, and there is no way for me to get the bike over the tracks. I swore a little bit in my head and proceed to find a way around this issue. I go into a little community only to find it is full of dead ends. UGH! As luck would have it though, I found an couple of folks cleaning up their garage sale and after a few minutes of them arguing between themselves about which way to go; only to find they both were essentially telling me the same thing, I get the directions I need. It does take a bit of back tracking but I was eventually able to get going again
I am going along for awhile, and not coming across the trail intersection like they said I would. This is starting to piss me off a bit and I am wondering if I am going to have to go home to get the car. For those that know me in person though, I don’t like to give up and I am very stubborn. I keep pushing on and after about 4 miles I finally hit the trail right next to the big bridge. One issue though, I got a bit turned around and am not sure which way I need to turn. I make the best guess though that I can and luckily it was the correct one. The ride is uneventful as we pull into Chesterton, IN. and I make the first turn from my cue sheet.
Is this the right road???? I wasn’t coming across the next turn and I was beginning to wonder if I had A. Missed my turn B. Taken the wrong turn C. just not gone far enough. I spotted 3 people sitting on their lawn and decided to pull over and ask for directions (See us men CAN do that sometimes). As I pull up an older lady asks, “do we know this guy?”. I chuckle a little and say no, explaining my predicament. One of them, a guy about 45 I would guess, explains that he had just showed up after 15 years of being away and thus the reason the woman had asked jokingly if she knew me. He tells me I simply need to keep going, and double checks the rest of my directions(point out a few landmarks for me to look for ahead). I wave goodbye and keep pushing on, suddenly I find myself in a VERY busy down town area that I didn’t know existed. I thought that little historic area was the”downtown” but I was very wrong.
I spotted my “rest stop” up ahead though, a Dairy Queen! One of the best parts of bike touring/camping is that you burn a LOT of calories, calories which you get to replace. So we go inside the wonderfully cool and refreshing air conditioning, and order up a couple of ice cream cones. Already, I feel that special bonding moment happening! Here we were, father and son, enjoying an ice cream cone on a hot day, while heading out for a camping trip. It is a memory I will continue to cherish.
The lady at DQ though was very annoyed with me asking to fill my water bottle(they have to go and do it as they don’t have it on the self-fill station). So I I decided to just leave it as it was, at least she had put lots of ice into it. As we head out of town, my chain ends up coming off at a traffic light, but I was surprised to find that the driver behind me was understanding as I hopped off to move the bike out of the way. They didn’t honk or pull out fast around me, so thank you random unknown person for being kind to a cyclist! It was only 10 miles from DQ to the campground, but that was one of the longest 10 miles I have dealt with in awhile. Hauling 30 pounds of gear + 30 pound of kid with a little wind thrown in of course, makes a nice recipe for getting tired out. I went through 2.5 water bottles on that final section. The sun was brutal and I was worried as I was on some rather deserted county roads. The kind of road where if something happened I don’t know how long I would be laying in the ditch. The ice water that melted though was a life saver, it was the last bottle I hit and it was beyond refreshing!
YOU CAN’T CARRY TO MUCH WATER ON A HOT DAY!
YOU CAN’T CARRY TO MUCH WATER ON A HOT DAY WHILE PULLING A KID AND CAMPING GEAR!
To get to the campground the last turn was onto a a major hwy for .5 mile. It was scary, as cars whizzed past me at seeming light speed! It was downhill, and with all that weight on the back wheel, the bike would get wobbly if I went about 13ish mph. I may or may not have been repeating, please don’t kill me, over and over again till I arrived. We arrive at the site and it is time to get to work!
One thing I really liked about our spot here is that we were right next to an awesome playground area! After setting up camp, we change into our swim shorts and go for a quick dip into the pool. It felt amazing, my feet were very swollen at this point and it did wonders to just let them soak for a bit. After our swim, he goes to play at the park for a bit until dinner. Dinner was hotdogs and marshmallows, score 5+ daddy points! The rest of the afternoon was filled with playing at the playground, going for a walk(where we met a rather interesting duck). Just spending some quality time together, it was nice to just spend time with out the stress of home. Not once did I have to yell at him to stop doing something, or send him to a time out. It was a wonderful gift that we both received.
Towards the evening we end up getting some “neighbors” a woman, her daughter, and he boyfriend. We made quick friends, as did my son. Her daughter I think was about 5 but her and my son got along amazingly, spending the rest of the night playing together. I enjoyed getting some “adult time”, visiting with someone how doesn’t need me to change their diaper was a blessing.
I let him stay up till about 10:30 and I finally ended up calling it a night an hour later. Here is one of the things I want to get for next time, a sleeping pad! Did you know; and this is scientific fact; that the older you become the hard the ground gets? I use to be able to sleep on the bare ground no problem, but not any more! It sucked, it sucked bad! I finally passed out at I would guess about midnight, and woke up a few times trying to get comfortable or to throw my snuggie back on. I was finally woken up the last time with a scary feeling of a heavy chest. I was finding it hard to breath, and quickly started to freak out, when I hear from above me “WAKE UP DADDY!”. He had climbed on my back and was sitting on top of me. We get up and he goes to play in the park again with his new friend as I fix us breakfast. This is where that water bottle marking would have been nice as I try to guess how much 1 cup of water is for the pancakes. Another camper comes up, who I had met the day before as well, and offers me a dozen eggs, cheese, and some sausages! So we ended up with a yummy feast for breakfast, need to fuel my legs for the ride home.
We lay around for about an 30 min before packing up the site, and checking out. Right before I go my kickstand comes loose, and it takes me a good half an hour to get it fixed. I HATE this kickstand and really want to replace it, but not an option right now. The bolt is tough to reach and my wrench just barely fit the spot to hold it. Also, when you pack up your panniers, make sure you don’t put your tools at the bottom, was annoying to have to dig them out. I should add that at this point my wife is questioning if I want to ride home or have her pick us up. I was still feeling exhausted from the day before(and late night), but again I am to stubborn for that. The ride home was very pleasant, though the wind was worse today and that trailer acts like a giant sail sometimes.
On the way home though, I decided to stop in Chesterton again, and have something nice a cool/refreshing. So we talked it over and decided to go and get a nice cold “beer” together. So here is my son and I enjoying a post-campout “beer” float.
We both decided to get ours as floats, and after that it was a quick ride to get home, luckily I knew to take that other detour path this time. We arrived home, with smiles and exhaustion on our faces. After we a quick bath for him it was snooze time, and after my shower I followed his lead! I think I slept for close to 3 hours! Man did I need it though, and am thinking of heading to bed here after I am done with all of this.
So, there you have it, our adventure, maybe not of epic proportions but an adventure none the less. I learned a few things on this trip:
I am not ready for that 80 mile ride
I love camping with my son(and can’t wait till my other son is old enough to go as well)
Check for constructive before you leave on a bike camping trip
That I love my son, and need to treasure all of these moments we get to spend together.
I hope to make this a tradition for us, and look forward to more campouts together 🙂
Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker