My Journey into a new and Healthier lifestyle

Tag Archives: taking back your life

From the Desk of the Big Boned Biker:

Still going strong here! I haven’t posted in awhile, life has gotten in the way, and maybe a touch of laziness. I have been doing great with my workouts; consistently on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. I have found my time lifting at the gym almost as relaxing as well as fulfilling as riding my bike. It helps me focus and really centers my mind. Here are a few pictures from the gym, though they might not be the most “flattering” I am still proud of them.

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I have also been training for my up coming ride with Le Tour De Shore! Day one will be the toughest day as it will be a bit over 60 miles, though I was able to do 60 last month it was still a struggle to complete it. I really need to work on my food intake, as I think I bonked at the end(ran out of “fuel”).

The ride started out well, it was a cooler day and I wore some gym pants and a light jacket. I wish it had been a touch warmer as I felt a bit overheated wearing the coat. I did try taking it off a few times but the wind from riding made it a bit to cold still. I had originally planned to ride to Michiana MI. but decided the night before to ride to La Porte instead. It looked like a nice easy ride, mainly on calm country roads, in other words some of my favorite riding.

I took off around mid morning and quickly made my way down the Prairie Duneland trail that runs near my house. That took me to Chesterton, and even though a couple people have shown me a route around the downtown, I couldn’t remember it for the life of me. I HATE riding through the busy intersection that is there, and I am pretty sure the cars behind me hate it too. I continued along the roads, I knew them pretty well as it is the same route I take to get to the campground. When I reached the point where I normally turn left, I continued straight. This was my first break, and about 20 miles in!

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I was feeling strong and had only about another 10 miles to go before I turned around. Piece of cake! I take off and am riding along with a big grin on my face. There is something about being on a bike to make you feel alive! Wait, what was that up ahead? Ahh @#$@ a hill. Yeah, I didn’t know about the hills on this route! I ended up having to walk up one of them and this was waiting for me at the top.
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So apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt this way! Despite the hills though I enjoyed the country scenery. I even stopped for a couple of pictures, or at least that is what I told myself the reason for stopping was.

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Now my wife and I have a deal of sorts, when I go riding she wont come get me. If I got myself somewhere, I can get myself back. Now this isn’t serious, and it is more of a joke than anything, but it is a mentality that helps me push through some tough spots. This ride though, she had said that if I needed a ride she would come and get me. As I pulled into La Porte, I stopped for another couple of photos.

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I was half way, I was tired, I was drained, I was feeling like quitting. I called her up, and told her how I felt. Those hills had wiped me out, and there wasn’t even that many of them. I also was getting over a bad cold and would go into minute long coughing fits, which didn’t help the matter. I told her though that I wasn’t 100% sure I was ready to give up, and decided to rest for about a half hour before heading home.

One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. I counted a cadence in my head as I cycled slowly along the road. Through a bit of luck I took a wrong turn and ended up missing a couple of the hills, but I still was feeling like I was running on fumes. When I made it back to where the campground turn was though, I knew I could make it home. I called my wife and said to cancel the red alert, I would be biking home today! 4 miles later I was on the side of the road coughing, sore, tired, and wishing I hadn’t made that call. One positive note though, I did figure out the alternative way to go, so i was able to skip the busy area!Still, all the way home, about every couple of miles I was having to stop to rest my legs. I was finished. I couldn’t go one bit more. I stopped on the side of the trail, sat down and felt like crying. How could I have let myself get this far our of shape! I had done harder rides with ease in the past, even at heavier weights! The ride to Dodgeville was a tougher ride and I don’t think I could do that right now. However, I gathered my strength and pushed on. I just kept pushing myself, on pedal stroke at a time. I eventually made it home and I remember saying out loud “I f’ing made it”. It was a hair over 60 miles, but it felt like I had ridden a century.
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I learned for my June ride that, I can make it if I push myself(at least I won’t be riding alone hopefully) and that I really need to get my food intake figured out. The power bars I brought just weren’t enough fuel for my body. I further learned that, when you do a big ride on Tuesday, make sure Wednesday isn’t leg day! Ouch!

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Keep on Rolling,

Big Boned Biker


Hey Howdy Hey!

I want to talk about a specific subject today, which I think is important this time of year. Lets talk about working out and New Years resolutions. Wait BBB, New Years was last month! Yes I know but I also know so many people decide on that special day every year that “this is the year I will loose weight and be healthy!”. Great! That IS the first step, but what is the second one?

Step One: See above…ok I will repeat it. Admit you have a problem, and decide to seek some sort of help. That help could be in the form of my favorite program, Weight Watchers(TM). It could be in the form of a host of other diets. More often than not though, it is joining a gym or buying a work out.

Step Two: Ok so you signed up for a diet program, will assume the awesome Weight Watchers(I should really get them to sponsor me with as much as I recommend them), next you joined the gym. Alright lets charge head first into this one! You make out a “workout” plan which may be similar to this:

Monday: workout 2 hours of cardio
Tuesday: workout 2 hours of cardio
Wednesday: workout 2 hours weight lifting
Thursday: Workout 2 hours of cardio
Friday: workout 2 ours of weigh lifting
Saturday:Rest(you don’t want to over do it)
Sunday: 4 hours of cardio

Sounds good! You will drop those pounds in no time! Next you evaluate your eating, hmm lets do a 1k calorie diet of nothing but carrots!

Step Three: This one is the tough one, re-evaluating your goals, and making the changes that need to be made. What that means is, working out everyday for 2 hours sounds good, but in reality it ain’t going to happen. After your first week your exhausted, you hurt in places that you didn’t know you could. Your hungry from not eating, you maybe even come close to fainting(first hand experience here). So you decide well maybe I will just work out 3 times a week instead, and I will start eating more food. Great, so on to step 4.

Step Four: Don’t give up! If you have made it this far(typically around middle of February to beginning of March) your likely to do well for the year. Sadly what has typically happened at this point is you quit working out, who has time for it anyways? When you do work out, your rewarding yourself with food. Your back to your old eating habits because you didn’t like the restrictiveness or the work involved with eating healthy. If you don’t make it past this step you go back to step 1 next year and start again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

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Step Five: If you made it through step four, your doing great! Step 5 is internalizing those changes, which you can do by simply doing them. They say it takes 21 days to learn a habit, but I cry bullsnickle on that one. It take months/years to really internalize a new habit. At this point, your sticking to a workout routine that works for you, your eating healthy, and your loving life. Keep up the good work!

So how do you get from step 4 to step 5? What makes one person quit and the other continue? The easy answer is the Step 5 person has more willpower, but I think that answer is a cop out. What I think, personally, is that the step 5 person got sick of being the step 4. When your pain is greater than your pleasure you find a way to change it. The old adage are you sick and tired, of being sick and tired?

So you find your self at step 4, your about to give up, what CAN you do? Most of the time people find themselves giving up because they are setting unreasonable expectations. Such as expecting to work out 6 days a week, or only eat carrots. There is nothing reasonable about that, and you will burn out quicker than a match. When your setting up fitness goals, ask yourself this question, can I do this the rest of my life? If you can’t honestly say yes, than you’re over doing it. When you first start out, you may only be able to workout one day a week, and that is OK! I know most will disagree with me on this point, and I make no claim to be a medical/weight loss expert. However, one day a week is better than zero. You will find that as you are loosing weight you will want to work out more. Also, remember to mix it up sometimes, in the winter the gym can get boring. Instead of doing the treadmill/elliptical every time try a spinning bike or weight lifting. When summer comes around, don’t be afraid to get outside and “play”. You may find a new sport/hobby that you love, such as my wife who loves running!

How do you loose weight if you are working out one day a week? Your not burning enough calories, right? The answer is at the beginning of this post, exercise and DIET. Though I must admit, I hate the work diet as I am a firm believer that you should never do anything that makes you die. They should call it a livet! You will never be able to work off a bad eating lifestyle. NEVER! NEVER EVER EVER! You can work off the occasional over-indulgence, but try working off a burger and fries everyday. I love love love love love weight watchers. I will sound like a broken record here I am sure but, it lets you eat ANYTHING you want to eat. It will not though let you eat as MUCH as you want.

Now many people tell me that they don’t like tracking on weight watchers. It is to me, one of the key factors of the program(at least at first), as it is teaching you about portion control. You have to make it a priority if you want to succeed. Now the tracking really applies mainly to weight watchers, but the principle is the same. When we take personal responsibility for our lifestyle, we can focus and make it a priority.

Excuses are the #1 reasons that people don’t make changes. It is so much easier to make an excuse than it is to go to the gym. I can’t go I am to busy, I can’t go my son wants a snack(he does so I will come back to this), the weather out side is frightful, I worked all day, I am hungry, today is a day that ends in y, I will do it tomorrow, and a host of other ones. When you make excuses remember, the only one your hurting is you. These excuses don’t apply to just going to the gym, but in making non-regrettable eating choices. An alcoholic knows when he is going to take a drink, just like many people know when they will make excuses. YOU know it is an excuse, you may try and kid yourself but in the end you already know what you want to do. That is the time to make changes, that is the time to put your foot down and do what you know is the better choice.

One more thing I want to talk about, rewards. The one reward that you should never have is food. You just went to the gym, you were an animal and burned 1500 calories! Great! Now you go to McDonalds and have a 2k calorie burger. Seems silly right? It also sets food as a wrong priority in your life, instead find other ways to reward yourself. For some it can be a new outfit, a new bike, maybe even a book? What ever works for you! If your tight on money, make it a different reward such as, going on a hike that seemed to tough before, giving yourself a sticker(this one really does work, I love getting my 5 pound star stickers!), or simply enjoying the view in the mirror.

Lets make it a New Years REVOLUTION and get your life back on track! If you find yourself in need of help, ask for it. Don’t forget to remember that you ARE worth it, and the only time you truly fail is when you truly give up!

Keep on rolling,

Big Boned Biker



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