Sunday, August 29, 2010


I was meandering around the interwebs today and stumbled across this blog post and it just made me happy.  It is entitled Awesome and it is.  Just to warn you, though, the photo is probably not safe for work. 
Needless to say, I'll be following this guy's blog from now on.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Stats

Miles ridden this week: 42 plus 30 minutes on the trainer
Average calories per day: 1792
Pounds lost: 3.5
Current weight: 246.5 lbs (112 kg)
Total weight loss since 3/26/10: 44.5 lbs.

I haven't seen the south side of 250 in about five years and then only very briefly.  It is kind of a milestone for me because I use one of those old fashioned balance scales with the sliders.  I got to move the big weight over from 250 to 200, I slid the little weight back up to 46.5 and I got a start on a whole new 50 pounds.  I like it!
This is also the first week that I've actually felt like I look different.  I've felt smaller up until now but felt like I was essentially shaped the same as before.  Now, I actually feel like my shape is changing.  Losing weight is so weird because it can change how you look so drasticly.  I once had a friend ask me what it felt like to be fat and if, when I lost weight, I felt like I was losing part of myself.  So far, I've never missed weight I've lost.  I tend to go off diets simply because I'm so horribly tired of being hungry all the time.  I've always felt my weight was like a hot, heavy suit that I'm forced to wear and can't take off.  It pulls at me and drags at me and carrying it around makes me feel tired and slow and sweaty.  I don't miss the weight I've lost and I don't think I'll miss the rest when it's gone.
That said, I think there will be a lot of adjustment, should I lose all the weight and become what society views as normal.  I've never experienced what it's like to live life at a 'normal' weight.  I've been overweight since I was seven.  My mother put me on my first diet when I was eight.  My weight has impacted so many of my social interactions, it will be very interesting to observe any changes that occur as my weight gets lower.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finding the Love for the Trainer

Doesn't it figure that I get fancy new shoes and then it rains for four days?  I usually ride in the rain but I've been feeling like a wimp about the cold.  So, today I busted out my trainer, put the bike on it and went for a ride.  I had a pretty good work out.  I rode for half an hour (a huge amount of time for me on the trainer) and did four sprints.  I watched Giro d'Italia highlights on tv while I was riding and that helped pass the time.  I also wasn't as uncomfortable on the bike as I usually am when it is on the trainer.
I have been trying to find the love for riding on this trainer for years.  I really don't ride much in the winter.  I'm a complete wimp about the cold and it is also very hard to find any kind of serious plus-sized winter cycling gear.  Us fat chicks are a small enough market for summer gear.  For winter gear, the demand is so small that apparently the companies see no point in making it.  They make large sized men's gear but it never fits.  Companies assume a XXL man is 6'4", broad shouldered, narrow waisted and long armed.  That shape doesn't work at all for a short round woman.  I have a wonderful, warm, Gore-Tex rain jacket that is a men's XXL.  After losing 40 lbs, it swims on my shoulders, the sleeves hang down below my finger tips and it is still tight over my hips.  Don't even talk to me about rain pants.  I won't be able to get a pair of those until I'm what the industry considers to be a 'normal' size.
Well, I didn't mean for that to devolve into a big gear rant but that's my reality.  So, to solve this problem, I'm trying very hard to if not enjoy, at least get myself onto the trainer as the weather gets colder and I don't want to ride outdoors.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Yesterday, I splurged and got the new bike shoes.  Ho boy were they expensive and it wasn't the shoes that were the real problem but the pedals.  I have to get two sets because I have two bikes that I spend about equal amounts of time on.
This is my first time with road shoes and road cleats.  First of all, the fit of my new shoes is fantastic!  I was pretty sure I was going to have the hack off part of the strap because it would dig me in the ankle but if I have it a bit loose, it doesn't bother me.  This makes me very happy because the idea of buying $250 shoes and then immediately cutting them up makes me feel slightly ill.  The clips are a little harder to get in and out of.  This won't be such a problem on long rural rides but coming down Mass Ave stopping at stop lights, it was a bit of a pain.  Good practice, though.  Rustem also gave me the big talking to about doing a lot of walking in these shoes.  Apparently, if I want to do errands, I need to bring a set of flipflops with me since more than a tiny bit of walking in the cleats will ruin them.  For now, I'm going to look for a pair of packable, slip-on shoes that I can stuff in the back of my Camelbak and use if I'm running around the grocery store.  The good news is that since I'm getting two sets of pedals, I'm getting two sets of cleats.  When (not if) I ruin the first set, I can just change them out.  Also, replacement cleats aren't that expensive.  In the long run, I can see there being an errand bike (probably the one I'm riding now) with my old pedals and shoes and a fancy long distance bike with the new pedals and shoes.
I'm taking a long ride on Monday with Stef and our friend Kuen and I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that the new shoes don't make my toes go to sleep like the old ones did.  I'm really concerned about developing nerve damage in my feet, not to mention how inconvenient it is to have to unclip all the time to shake some life back into my toes.  I so hope the new shoes solve this probelm.  It is the whole reason I bought them.

Saturday Stats

Miles ridden this week: 41
Average calories per day: 1839
Pounds lost: 3.5
Current weight: 250 lbs (113.6 kg)
Total weight loss since 3/26/10: 41 lbs.

The regroup seems to have worked but we're only a week in so we'll see what next week brings.  I actually feel like I'm retaining water today and the only new thing I added to my diet yesterday was some cherries.  So odd.
It's been an interesting week.  I cut way back on riding as you can see.  I didn't eat any fruit at all until Thursday when I had some raisins and then the cherries yesterday.  I've added another Metagenics drink for breakfast and am eating a lot of eggs to boost my protien as well as a suppliment to support my adrenal gland.  I'll make a list of them soon.  I also cut out yogurt completely.  It continues to make me sad that anything I really like turns into something I should never eat.  Guess what?  I loooove cherries.  Probably allergic to them too.
The good news is that my hunger is back to being trustworthy.  If I'm super hungery, it's actually because I should eat something and I've been far less hungry this week even though I've eaten a lot less.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Regroup

The last three weeks on this diet have been really bad.  I'm back to being hungry all the time as well as dragging around with no energy and bearly losing any weight. Nothing makes me more frustrated and downright mad than working hard, suffering through the hunger and not losing any weight. Add to that all the money I've been spending on suppliments, shots and doctor visits.  All of this is fine to deal with IF IT WORKS!  If it doesn't, I get royally pissed.  I've just been fuming the last few days.
So, today, having eaten without guilt for a day, I regroup.  I took my food log with me to see the nurse practitioner yesterday and we had a good long talk about it.  Apparently, I'm not eating enough protien.  Also, I'm eating too much fruit.  Two servings a day is too much fruit?  Apparently, so.  I told her that being summer in the yarn business, I couldn't afford to buy fancy, grass-fed beef to eat everyday so what was I supposed to do?  Her suggestion and it was a good one, was to eat eggs.  I'm also not eating enough vegetables and should be eating a bigger, protien heavy breakfast.  She suggested doing four days of an ultra low carb diet to get my weight loss started again and then continuing with the above suggestions, cutting out yogurt altogether (I knew it!) and getting a bunch of food allergy testing done the next time I see Dr.Rothfeld.  I'll give it a try (I'll give anything a try at this point) and see how it goes.
Also, the ice cream for dinner thing didn't really work out for me.  I was supposed to get up early and go for a ride with Stef this morning but felt so lousy I had to cancel.  The ice cream was good, though.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day Off

Today I'm taking a day off from my diet.  I've been feeling hungry, cranky and deprived for too long.  I've spent a glorious day eating whatever I want until I'm full.
Tomorrow, I'll be back on the wagon but today I'll be having ice cream for dinner.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some Days

Some days dieting is made of suck.  Today is one of those days.
On the bright side, Stef is feeling much better.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Manners or the Lack Thereof

You've all heard me complain about the bike path.  Well, here I go again. 
Why is it so difficult for people to say "On your left" when they are passing??!!  Seriously!  It's not that hard!  Fancy bikes are really quiet and you can't hear people coming up behind you.  I swear, every person who passed me today (and there were a lot) didn't let me know they were there.  This is a safety issue and today was a prime example. 
One of the reasons the tandem works out so well for Stefanie and me is that, though Stef has everything it takes to be a good cyclist, she learned to ride as an adult and isn't super confident about steering.  One of her goals this summer has been to get out on a regular bike and build up her skills.  So, today was our big day to all go out on seperate bikes.  We were not out on the path five minutes when some idiot passed Stef real close without warning her, startled her and she crashed.  Fortunately, she knows how to fall and though she will have some really spectacular bruises and road rash, she didn't break anything. 
So, Stefanie gets to spend the day snuggled up to ice packs and eating Motrin all because some asshole couldn't be bothered to say "On your left".

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Revere Beach

I just got back from riding to Revere Beach.  I couldn't face taking the train on a beautiful day like today but the ride wasn't the most fun I've ever had.  Anyone have a route they like to use to get out there on a bike?  I took Route 60 most of the way and there were some really delightful rotaries.  Let me take this opportunity to thank all the nice people in those rotaries who were paying attention and showed concern for my safety.  I really appreciate it!
Google suggested Route 16 as well but that is two narrow lanes of people going 45mph and no bike lane.  I decided to pass.
I had a good time when I got there because I met my sister and her daughters for some fun at the beach.  When we left, my nieces were tired and asking to be carried so I offered to push them on the bike.  We put the little one on the seat and the big one on the rack and I pushed them down the sidewalk to the car.  It was a big hit.  My sister got a super cute picture of them both on the bike.  I'll post it as soon as she sends it to me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Stats

Miles ridden this week: 100
Average calories per day: 2069
Pounds lost: 0.5
Current weight: 253.5 lbs (115.2 kg)
Total weight loss since 3/26/10: 37.5 lbs.
No more big rides scheduled this summer.

It is hard for me not to be disappointed with a lousy half pound of weight loss in a week where I struggled so hard not to eat more.  I had a couple of days where I was so hungry I kept looking back at my food log and saying, "How can I possibly have eaten this much and still be so hungry?"  I've since added back one more Crave Arrest at night hoping it will curb my appetite without making me sick.  I've also added a salad as an afternoon snack.  I've always had a hard time eating vegetables but my diet has been a bit too fruit and protien heavy and needs a little vegetable action.  Also, if my weight loss does not improve next week, I'm going to seriously rethink the shots I've been getting.  They cost a $90 a pop and I just can't justify them if they aren't going to do that much good.  I'm giving it another week and if my weight loss isn't more in the two pound range, I'm going to stop getting them for a bit.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kitchen Day

I was planning to ride today but then I realized something.  I hadn't had a 'kitchen day' in a long time.  One of the problems I've always had with eating right is food preparation.  Now that I'm on this diet, eating prepared foods isn't an option anymore and I have had to commit time to food preparation and kitchen clean-up.
This morning the dishwasher needed to be run, pots and pans needed washing, I had a half done soup to finish and a head of lettuce to wash.  There was no way I could get in a bike ride and get all that done too so I decided to ride tomorrow. 
I really like working in the kitchen if I give myself enough time to do it.  Cooking is soothing and, somehow, makes me less hungry.  I got the soup done and into the freezer, the pots and pans washed and the dishwasher running.  I've got the lettuce soaking and will spin that and put it in the fridge in a bit.  All in all, the food situation here feels a lot more under control than it did this morning and that makes me happy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Adventure Way

Stef and I have had a saying for years now. If we get lost, we say, "We're not lost. We're just going the adventure way!" The ride down to Providence Zen Center and back was a bit of an adventure. Not so much with the getting lost though there was a little of that.

Three of us were planning to set out around 4:30am or so Saturday morning so as to be all cleaned up and ready for the festivities at 10am. At 3:45am, I gave the tandem a flat rear tire while trying to pump it up. I had broken the valve a few days before but hadn't thought much about it since it was holding air. When I pulled the pump off, the whole thing deflated. Now, I'm not much of a tire changer. I actually had a bike that I rode for 15 years that never once got a flat. I usually just take it to the bike store and have them change it. Not an option at 3:45am. Crap. Well, no choice so I flipped the bike upside down and started changing the tire. To my great relief and complete surprise, I had the tire changed and the wheel back on in about ten minutes! I think it had more to do with the tire than me but it was a big confidence boost.

When I got to the Cambridge Zen Center, we found out that one of our group had over slept. Ah, well. What could we do. We waited and he got there by about 5am.

We headed out and had a very lovely and uneventful ride there. The new route I found to Dedham was much nicer than last year's route through JP and W. Roxbury. The weather was perfect and it was a fantastic ride.

Parked outside the convenience store about half way there.
I want to note that it can be hard for someone who's never ridden stoker on a tandem to do a long ride.  You have to be very still, you have no control over the steering or braking and you have to pedal at someone else's speed.  MJ did an amazing job dealing with all of this and I'd ride with her again anytime.
This is Mike.  He rode down with me last year too!

We, on the tandem, weren't up for the ride back so we decided to take the train. (Mike was going to ride back by himself but ended up getting a ride Saturday night.)  Fortunately, we left ourselves plenty of time to get to the station because I took a wrong turn that sent us about two miles out of our way. We made it to the station about ten minutes before the train got there and all was well from there to South Station. I figured the toughest part after that would be getting the bike down the stairs to to the Red Line platform.We bumped it down the stairs since I figured it wouldn't fit in the elevator. We managed to get the bike and our stuff onto an Alewife train and again, all was well, until Park St. Of course, they were doing some work and running shuttle buses yesterday. Tandems don't fit on buses. So it was ride the thing home or bust. Oh, and it seems you can get a tandem in a T elevator. You just have to stand it straight up on its rear wheel. We found this out getting out of Park St because we were going to damned if we were carrying it up all those stairs.

Two elevators and some foul language later, we got the bike to street level, gave the shuttle buses a sigh and struck off across the Common walking the bike. What did we find at the other side? More stairs. Ugh! Fortunately, I spied some nice young men headed our way and they were kind enough to carry the loaded bike up the stairs for us (thanks guys! You're the best!). After that, it wasn't too bad. We rode down the hill from the State House to Cambridge St, past MGH and over the bridge into Cambridge. A very nice T bus driver made sure we got through the Charles/MGH traffic circle without getting killed. I dropped MJ off and got home in one piece. It was pretty funny riding the tandem with a pannier on the back and no stoker. It does this funny wobble thing for a bit then settles down.

All in all, it was a great ride. Next year, I want to bring a bunch more people. I talked to a lot of people who wanted to come but didn't know how to get ready. My goal next year is to start talking to people about it in late March and help them figure out how to train for it. It should be fun. Mike's already started calling it the annual Zen Bike Challenge!