17 March 2009

Q: How do you guarantee you will crave something like never before?

A: Just try to cut it out of your diet…

Some extra stress in my life, the crummy weather we've been having, a lackluster race result, throw in an untimely zit and mix it all up with a bad day on the bathroom scale and Martin now has a sub-par self-image.

So what better to do than try and lose some weight, right? Right. That was a rhetorical question.

Weight loss and cycling have been married since the dawn of time, Lang R said it pretty well over at the Cycle University blog and I guess I'm not immune. My mind keeps going back to one ride after I stopped racing (a few years after college) that I attended right after adopting a vegetarian diet. I was riding much less than when I used to race and certainly not as fast but I had lost about 10 solid pounds when some friends and I went for a jaunt in the mountains down by Rainier. And I was climbing like crazy!

Not only was I climbing pretty well but my breathing was never labored. What a glorious feeling being able to keep up with racers while chatting.

ASIDE - another interesting (and when I say 'interesting' I of course mean 'not rational') thing about cyclists and probably athletes in general is that they hold themselves to the highest standard that they have ever achieved. Instead of being realistic about the goals they can attain because of fitness or age or ability to train, they lament the good old days when they were at some brief, difficult to attain peak of fitness.

Well that one ride or that peak kind of sticks with you. And when your ability to train is limited (for good reasons I'll grant you - stuff like family, work, having a life off the bike and maintaining friendships, etc.) you still constantly live in the past replaying your (probably brief) moments of glory over and over in your mind. Sometimes this human VCR behavior is accompanied by intensive intervals of couch time super setted with Costco size bags of potato chips and whatever local micro brew is in season which unfortunately only compounds the problem. Well, the feelings of inadequacy and slothliness anyway.

All this is a long way of saying that I am now on day two of Martin's no sugar and alcohol regime.

I'd like to lose a few pounds for racing and figure this is hopefully an easy way to get the job done plus also a healthy thing to do. Sugar and alcohol seem like the epitome of empty calories to me. Fun yes, but not anything to worry about if it's gone. As much as I believe you can eat most anything when you are exercising a lot, I also believe you should still try to eat a lot of GOOD things instead of crap. At work people are constantly bringing cookies, cake, chocolate, treats, etc. to the front office and we also get the catering leftovers from staff meetings, recruitment sessions and faculty events. We get a LOT of food and I (usually) have zero will power to resist. My goal is to change that. For a while anyway.

ANOTHER ASIDE - at what point do you reach a milestone when embarking on a course like this? I imagine that 24 hours is one, and maybe 72 hours is another. Then a week probably and then a month? Who knows if I will make it that long, i seriously doubt it… They say that to effectively lose weight you need to change your lifestyle and not go on a diet and I believe that.

So back to the point of this post. Once I decided to not eat any sugar I am f'n CRAVING things like a peanut butter cookie, ice cream and a nice piece of dark chocolate. Oh my god, I feel like what I imagine a smoker that is trying to quit feels like. Okay, not. That has got to be much harder; but hyperbole can be used for effect and I want some drama here.

And what did I buy just before deciding to do this…?! An 18-pack of Bud Light, that's what. :( Don't get me wrong, Bud Light is not Martin's idea of the next Oktoberfest gold medal beer or anything but when you are thirsty and just want something refreshing, it sure hits the spot without weighing you down. Hey, that could be a slogan…!

How bad was that 'bad' day on the scale you ask? It was about one week ago and the scale read 183. OMG shut up you say. Well I hear you but I also know that I need to really strong at 180 to climb well and if I'm 175 or less it gets noticeably easier. In the winter my weight usually hovers around 185 and in the summer - if we have one - I usually get down to 175 at some point. So I got myself all jacked up, got my psych on, made the decision yesterday and then this morning I stepped on the scale. 176. WTF?

I should know better. I bet my weight varies up to five pounds depending on how hydrated or stuffed I am so I will need to back off of the snap judgments and just build a baseline by weighing myself at the same time of day for several days here. What's the goal? A consistent 175 or slightly less. If I can hold that for a few weeks then I'll be happy.

Sheesh, after reading this you might think that:

  • Martin is a girl.
  • Martin is off (or on depending on your perspective) his medication.
  • Martin has taken cycling at the local/club level and blown it WAY out of proportion.
  • Martin isn't listening to his own advice and is still living in the past.
  • Martin just needs to throw his scale in the nearest dumpster and ride harder.
  • Martin needs to man up and stop blogging about things like weight, maybe switch to something like trucks or guns or hot chicks or hot chicks that shoot guns while driving trucks.

And you might be justified. We'll see if I make that second and third milestone or if I fall off the wagon and into a bottomless Guinness ice cream float.

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