A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more


The Journey, The Shoulder, The Winter and the Coming of Spring

The Journey

Long time. How are ya?
This winter….

Despite the impression some may have, I am not done with my Journey. I took a break from writing because I wasn’t sure I had much to say. After this difficult winter, the pressures of my job (I got a promotion!) and the depression I have been dealing with over some physical issues, it just wasn’t in me to write. I am still working on a healthy life, eating right, moving more. I did gain weight this winter, a little over 20 pounds, but nothing like the weight I have lost and nothing that sets me too far back of my plans and goals or discourages me. I knew from the start that I would have successes, failures, victories and setbacks. Admittedly, this winter was not a victory and it was not a success. It is not how many times you fall that determines success. It is how many times you get back up. I keep getting back up. I am back up now.

The Journey, as I have said from the first, is a life-long thing. There is no final stop but there are many stops along the way. I know what I want from the Journey. I know what I want from me. I want to be fit. I want to be reasonably lean, 200-210 pounds. I want to eat right and still enjoy what I eat but in smaller portions and without snacking and indulgence.

I want to encourage other and to be encouraged by other. I want to recognize in myself the issues that have driven the obesity. Why I overeat if I let my guard down. I want to be optimistic but cautious and practical in my approach. I want to ride my bike, go on hikes, be comfortable in my skin and happy with the course my life is taking.

I see in some people a disturbing tendency to revel in the failures, misfortunes, missteps and pain of others. I feel sad for those people. Sad and twisted little beasts who cannot enjoy the success of others because their own life is hollow and riddled with failures they cannot see as their own.

When I learned that I am responsible for all that I am I was able to start this Journey and make of it what it is. It is a ride. I have had up days and down. I have lost weight, gained a little back, lost it again, gained a little back….. I blame no one because this is not an issue for blame. It is a part of life, my life, my Journey.

Anyway, Hi, I am back and I hope you will stop by and read a little….

My Right Shoulder

A couple of years ago while doing longer rides I started to experience pain in my right shoulder and between my shoulder blades. In 2013, while riding the NYC Century, the pain became so sharp that I nearly abandoned the ride at the 35-mile mark.   I continued on despite it all and I was able to ride 75 miles. It was a week before the shoulder stopped hurting. It has been a constant issue since then and it has really caused issues with my riding. Anything over 35-40 miles and the pain in the shoulder and between the shoulder blades became hell. The pain in the shoulder became a constant companion. Something like a dull toothache with occasional flares of eye-crossing pain. Since I crashed last summer there has not been a day without some pain in the shoulder. Since last fall it has been a steady presence.

I finally went to the Doctor about it last week.

The news was not good but it could have been worse.

Torn Labrum


Arthritis (this getting old stuff…)


A cortisone shot has helped with the bursitis. We are taking a wait and see with the rest of it.

The upshot is that I was able to ride yesterday for the first time in a long time. I did a short ride, fifteen miles, and I didn’t push it but I rode and I didn’t have pain in the shoulder.

This is a victory.

I am out of shape, carrying 20 pounds more than I want to, but I rode and it didn’t hurt.

It’s a start.


Maybe winter is finally leaving? We had snow just a few days ago. Not much, an inch on the lawns, sidewalks and cars…

But still snow.

My mother used to have the “winter blues”. Today they call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I too do not deal with the long winters as well as some. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have SAD but I don’t like the winters the way I once did. I didn’t do any cross-country skiing this winter; I didn’t ride my bike at all. I went outside only so much as necessary. And this has been the winter that refuses to end.

Yesterday made it to the low 60s and I rode my bike for the first time since last November. It is a grey day today but warm enough to ride and I will get in another hour ride today. Tomorrow I will hike with my friend PGB. Starting to get outside again. Starting to get fresh air in my lungs.

It is finally feeling like spring. Finally feeling like there will be warm sun on me.

Though my ride yesterday was short it was a great feeling. The wind over me, the legs pumping, the heart beating harder the lungs pulling in the air… I love the feel of sweeping through a turn, bike leaning, tires digging in to the road. I got that feeling yesterday and though I only averaged around fourteen and half miles per hour I did have short stretches of good speed. And it felt wonderful. It was the type of first ride of the year that makes you want to get back out the next day.

So, yeah, winter seems to be leaving and spring, though a little later to the party, seems to be bringing with it the excitement I usually feel when spring and cycling season arrive…

The Journey…


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The Cold of the Winter

Not a Fan

When I was a teen and then in to my early twenties I enjoyed the cold.  It rarely bothered me.  I would shovel the snow in a T-shirt.  I walked two miles after a blizzard to see my girlfriend when I was sixteen.  Winter was not a problem for me.

It is now.

I hate the cold.  Truly hate it.  I rarely ride in the winter.  I barely get out to hike.  I dream of a job transfer to the dessert southwest….

I haven’t cross-country skied this winter.  Not nearly enough snow most of the time and a little leery of it since my concussion last winter.

So I sit and wait for spring.

Winter?  Not a fan.

Plans for Spring

I have the usual bike ride planned this year.  I am doing the 5-Boro Bike tour again.  I went off the deep edge and paid for the VIP package so I can be sure to start near the front of the 32,000 riders.  Nuts?  Yes.

I am doing the Ride for Autism as I do every year.  It is the one ride it would hurt me to miss.  Eighteen people have signed up to ride as a member of the team.  I hope we get more before the ride in June.

I hope to lead the beginner/intermediate bike rides again for the shop.  If I don’t lead I will still partake.

I didn’t come anywhere close to my mileage goal last year.  I hope to get the miles in this year.  If all goes well I may be able to limit working at the shop to Sundays.  That would certainly make Saturday an easier day to get in the miles…  Maybe get some club rides in.  I haven’t ridden with the club in three years.  I pay dues…  I really should get out on a club ride or two.

Spring is only 6 weeks away, not matter what the forecasting rodent says….


Udon and VEgetable Soup.  Perfect for this cold winter night

Udon and VEgetable Soup. Perfect for this cold winter night

This time of year there is a positive for me: I cook.  I make soups.  Pot upon pot of soup.  Today I made my “everything in the pot” veggie soup.  Whatever is in the fridge and the freezer and is considered a vegetable gets tossed in and I cook it until it is soup.  Today it was mushroom, onion, kale, corn, broccoli, sugar snap peas, tomato and tofu.  Cover with water, season, cook…

I served it with Udon noodles…  It made for a wonderful dinner.

Tomorrow I will roast some squash and make roasted squash soup…  Fill up the freezer, it is a long winter.

I also plan to bake some breads.  I am picking up a computer from a friend and I am going to bring him some breads to thank him for his help.  Good man.  Deserves some fresh-baked breads.

I love to cook.  I just wish I could get out of the house…  I need to hike… I need to bike…  Cooking will have to do.  And the treadmill….

My Weight

I am doing OK.  Not great.  OK.  I have put on a little weight, 10 pounds, this winter.  It is slowly coming down.  Lost 5 last week.  Want to lose 20 more by the end of March and then 20 more by June.

I sometimes stop fighting the fight.  I admit it is hard to always say no to pizza and cookies and donuts.  I do.  I still do.  But the fight is hard.

I have been fighting The Black Dog again.  It has had the upper hand recently but I can feel that I am pulling out of it.  Missus is so tolerant when I am in the cave.  She waits, knowing I will pull out of it somehow.

I have some very big decisions to make and I am struggling with the choices.  It isn’t always easy to know what to do with one’s life.  I am still trying to decide what to be when I grow up and here I am in my mid 50’s….

So eat right, eat less, move more….

It is always a struggle.  I will not be fat again.

A Little of my prose:

One advantage to being depressed is I write….


I wrote this last week.

The Photograph of the Moment



Sitting on the hill, waiting to take photographs in old style with film, sitting on the ledge looking out to the valley with a camera ready in hand.  Looking for that moment when the light would be just right, the perfection realized, sitting still up on the hill waiting for the sun to set.


Sitting in the special quiet and looking out to the distance where a bird is gliding. Sitting waiting for that perfect moment in old style with film, when the moment would be just right, nearly perfect, sky and earth one.


Sitting, now watching as the sun begins to set, sitting on that ledge, sitting as the slight chill sends a shudder along the arms.  Sitting on that ledge as the sky begins to glow a softer light, nearly perfect, nearly right.  Sitting on that hill with the old camera in hand, film is wound and shutter cocked and the light is nearly there.


Sitting on the hill with the camera at the ready, sitting watching for that moment coming soon, with the sky now orange and the clouds now fringed with light, sitting on the ledge, feet near the edge, watching for that perfect moment, that perfect light. The sun now setting in amber, the sky now perfect, the moment is now and then nothing.


Sitting on the hill, the moment passes, camera hanging from the hand, the sky was perfect, too perfect to photograph in old style on film.  The moment committed to memory where it will stay in perfect light. Now standing, now walking away from the ledge.  






This confuses me

It is almost as if people want to diminish the accomplishments of others. I will see if I can make this make sense.

First: I know everyone is unique. No two people, even twins, are exactly alike. Our life experiences shape us and even raised in the same household by the same parents at the same time and sharing identical genetics will still result in two unique individuals.

That said…

I lost weight because I ate less and I moved more and I stuck to it. I didn’t follow a DIET. I didn’t get on a program. I just reduced my intake, watched the nutrition, walked, then hiked, then rode my bike. I am keeping the weight off by doing the same things…

And it was never as easy as it looked.


If it had been easy I would never have started this blog to keep the momentum going. I would not have needed this outlet if it was easy.

I was fat for so long that I had come to accept that it was my lot in life, that being fat was who I was. It wasn’t easy, it still isn’t, to deal with my failures and my insecurities and the emotional train wreck that had helped fuel the weight gain and my perception of myself as that fat guy.

So when you see me and remark on my weight loss and then tell me who you just cannot lose weight… Well, it almost feels as if you are diminishing what I and other who have lost weight have done and continue to fight to do.

I cannot think that this is how it is meant but it is a thought that tickles at the back of my mind and it bothers me.

PGB is an example of misperception. I am sure he weighs within a few pounds of his High School weight. My mindset was that he was one of those lucky people who simply didn’t gain weight. Somehow, magically, he was able to eat JUST the right amount to stay at a set weight range.

I am sure he would beg to differ on that point. He works at it. He watches his weight, adjusts his activity level and food intake to pull the weight down when it creeps up and makes sure that he stays in the range he has set for himself.

My typical dinner

My typical dinner

It isn’t easy. It takes focus and discipline.

When someone tells me how hard it is for them… Well, it feels like they are saying it was easy for me. It wasn’t and it isn’t.

I watch everything I eat and I try to keep the weight down. It creeps up and I get on top of it. Right now I am about 6-7 pounds higher than I want to be. I want to stay between 205 and 210. I am at 216 right now. I am adjusting. I am bringing it down. It isn’t easy. It will never be easy.

It has nothing to do with looks

“You Look Great”.

I like hearing it. I am human and I have my vanities..

It isn’t about looks. I was never particularly handsome and being lean doesn’t change that. My ears and nose look huge now than there isn’t a fat face to hide them. Nothing is going to change that this side of plastic surgery and I am just not that interested….

It isn’t about looks.

The young lady who grew up across the street, and went on national TV to lose weight, looks wonderful. She was always pretty. Now her beauty shine through. Ask her and I suspect that she will tell you she is happy about her looks but even happier about the improvement in her physical and emotional health. I haven’t spoken to her. This is purely assumption on my part.

It really isn’t about looks.

I think the people who lose weight and keep it off, the people who really adjust their life style and their habits, are the people who realize they HAVE to do it for their health. Not just say it but KNOW IT. Know deep inside that is they don’t change, don’t adjust, don’t take of the weight then they are on a quick slide down.

It has nothing to do with looks.

But it’s ok to tell me I look good.

He doesn’t know it yet….

I am going to ask my friend NI if he would like to ride from point A to point B (A and B to be determined) on a week-long ride. I am not in to rough touring. I am thinking motel to motel over the course of a few hundred miles…

My Bike

My Bike

Next spring or summer.

For the hell of it.

If he is still reading my blog…. He knows now….




Family, Overindulgence, and a Ride with a Friend

Memorial Day Weekend with Family

Friday night was a visit to hell.

We drove from New Jersey to Virginia on the Friday night of a long weekend. Had to be done. No other option. It was hell.

The drive from Jersey to my brother’s home in Virginia is a five-hour affair on most occasions. For the annual Memorial Day weekend visit we typically leave at silly o’clock on Saturday morning, pull up to the hotel at 11:00 or so, rest up and then go to my brother’s home around 1:30 to visit a little before the festivities start at 2:00.

That would be normal.

This year was not normal.

This year we had a naming ceremony for the first member of the next generation, my nephew’s daughter, a two-month old bundle of love. This required arriving Friday night for the early Saturday service.

Six and a half hours of heavy traffic, much of it stop-and-go.

The Older Son does not deal well with this. I don’t deal well with this.

We survived.

Grand-Aunt Missus with Grandniece

Grand-Aunt Missus with Grandniece

The festivities on Saturday, both the naming ceremony and the cookout, were smashing successes. Visiting with my niece and my nephews, seeing my brother and his wife and all the friends I only see at the annual cookout, and meeting my Grand-Niece, all added up to pure joy.

The weekend was too short. I would have liked to stay longer on Sunday but obligations drew us home. We had to be back in time to pick up the dogs from the kennel. Other responsibilities had to be met.

But it was a joy.


I thought about it carefully. Then I decided to allow it. I overindulged on Saturday. After a light breakfast, I allowed myself to eat and enjoy the foods at the cookout. Well, not all the foods. The stars of the menu are all red meat related. Ribs, Skirt Steak, Beef Chili, Burgers, Hot Dogs…

I brought a vat of Vegan Chili. It was very well received and went quickly. There were also homemade black bean veggie burgers made by AH, the partner of my Nephew G. They were delicious. And I had fruit, salads, brownies….

Oh yes, rum chocolate bon-bons…. OH MY they were good.

So I went way overboard.

And it is OK.

This morning I was actually down one pound from Friday.

Still heavier than I want to be and I am back on the plan and I am working it off.

But for one day…

It was OK.

A Ride with a Friend

I met ES when he and his wife AS started showing up last spring for the Sunday Shop Rides. A really nice couple. Pleasant to talk with, great to ride with. Bright, Enthusiastic and engaged in the rides.

Everything a Ride Leader could want from riders.

When they didn’t show up for the ride one summer Sunday I assumed that their children were home from camp and that was that.

It was more than that. ES had been involved in a bad bike crash. It took a great deal of focus and effort, I am sure, but he returned to cycling and it was my joy to be involved in helping him select his new bike.

ES and AS have rejoined the Sunday rides and it is once again a pleasure to ride with them. I didn’t lead the ride yesterday because I was heading back north from the family visit.

Riding Country Roads in New Jersey

Riding Country Roads in New Jersey

I had planned to do a 60 mile ride with the bike club in The Hudson Valley but I just could bear the thought of a 120-mile round trip in the car.

I was really pleased when ES told me he was available for a ride today.

So we met a the bike shop (a good midway point between our homes) and set out on what we originally planned as a 48 mile ride. Memorial Day Parades changed that to a 42.5-mile ride… It was Great.

I can’t speak for ES but for me… It was GREAT. We rode at a relaxed pace, took one long break and a couple of short breaks and chatted much of the ride when we could ride side by side. It was a ride with two personalities. The first half of the ride had nearly 2000 feet of climbing. The second half was flat to downhill…

I knew I would enjoy selling bikes.  I knew I would enjoy leading the Shop Rides.  I didn’t know that I would develop friendships with “customers”

Fun time. ES and I are well matched in our riding abilities. ES is MUCH better on the hills than I am but I am able to ride the rolling hills and the flat areas with him and he is patient about the long climbs.

I am working hard to be ready for the Ride for Autism. A ride like this is good prep….

Thanks ES.

My Attention

I have not been tending to this blog much recently. My efforts have been directed towards WORK and the Ride for Autism.

This ride is very important to me. Raising funds, getting people to join the team… So far the Team has raised $2,600.00. A wonderful thing. Wonderful and generous people have donated whatever they could and I appreciate it more than words can express.

It will be a fun ride. Some are doing the Century. Some are riding shorter distances. It is all good. The important thing is to show up. To engage. To make the effort. I appreciate it all.

So that is where my attention has been. Diverted from this important part of my life to another.

Today I rode 42+ miles. I am preparing to ride 100 in June 7th. I am doing this because The Older One cannot. I am doing this because I want other parents to have the resources available to them that were not available to us 20+ years ago.

To all who are supporting the team or have joined the team I offer you my deepest thanks.

Today’s Ride was beautiful.

June 7th the ride will be meaningful.Dannys team 2





The Healthy Choice

I started losing weight because I was tired of being fat, out of shape, ugly (in my eyes) and embarrassed. I started losing weight because I was afraid of dying early. I started losing weight because it was the right time in my life to change.

From the beginning I understood that it would be about more than taking off the pounds.

It would be about understanding me.

It would be about getting fit.

It would be about staying lean and fit and getting healthy and staying there.

I knew from day one of my Journey that I would have to travel the path physically as well as emotionally. I understood that there would be much more to this than merely eating less and eating right. Moving more, moving right would be a part of it as well. A big part.

It is very possible to lose 100-plus pounds and not significantly improve one’s health. It is very possible to do so and injure one’s health.

I didn’t want to simply lose the pounds. I wanted to roll back the clock if I could. I wanted to be younger. I felt so old on the day I started the Journey.

It is Mid-April now. 2014. I am still 100+ pounds down from my peak. Still where I want to be with my weight. Still building the fitness, riding the bike, walking.

I made a healthy choice. I never have followed a diet. No WW, Jenny, Atkins, South Beach…. I have never followed an exercise plan. I eat right. I eat less. I move more. I didn’t start a diet. I didn’t start and exercise plan.

I started a new lifestyle. I change my life and I made the healthy choice.

The Healthy Choice does not mean illness always leave you alone…

I am getting over the flu right now. It is part of why I haven’t posted on my blog in a while. It really knocked me on my back. It came on last Saturday. I was feeling a little off on my bike ride in to the shop. I started strong but faded badly as I approached the shop. I showered up and started work but by mid day my head felt “off” and I was feeling congested. I thought it must be allergies. It was busy at the shop and I was running about but losing energy with each step. At some point CB, one of the shop owners, asked me if I was OK. I think I was coming across as “cross”. I told her I thought I was dealing with allergies…

By night fall I was sick.

By the time I crawled into bed Saturday night I was running a fever of 101.1. Overnight the fever climbed and I was in hell by 3:00 AM when I sent a text to the bike shop boss that I would not be able to lead the Sunday ride nor would I be able to work. Sunday was hell. 103.4 fever. Joint aches. Violent shivering. Sweats.

Monday morning the Dr. confirmed it was the flu and ordered me to bed rest for the week. Anti-viral meds to fight the flu and antibiotics to prevent the secondary infections that often accompany the flu.

Here it is. Thursday. I am FINALLY starting to feel OK. The fever broke a couple of days ago but the joint aches and the general malaise that comes with the flu linger. Today is the best day so far.

The worst part for me was having to cancel the Father-Son vacation the Younger One and I had planned for this week. I was going to work Monday and Tuesday and then he and I would travel to New England Tuesday night to enjoy three days exploring.

I know it disappointed him but in classic form, he has handled it with grace and understanding.

I doubt I will be able to ride this weekend but I will keep the option open for Sunday. Monday I will return to my regular job healthy and strong. This was not how I wanted to get the rest I needed but at least I rested.




Six-thousand Two-hundred and Forty-one days

March 6, 1997

I remember the day because it is the birthday of my college roommate and so the date imprinted on my mind.

I was just shy of my 36th birthday and I was in the hospital with chest pain. It felt like a fist was being pushed in to my ribs from the inside. It had started on a Sunday. I had gone to my father’s house to move some boxes of books from the house to the shed as he prepared to put the house on the market. I was young. I was big. I was strong. I carried two of the storage boxes at a time. 40-50 pounds? Something like that. Carried them across the back yard. One-hundred plus feet from the back door of the house to the shed. I made the trip 10 times or so.

Later that evening the discomfort started. Monday it was pain. I went to the Doctor and he sent me for an EKG and stress test. By the evening on Monday I was admitted. The EKG was “abnormal”. My Blood Pressure was high. The Doctor decided not to give me the stress test. In his words “this would be a bad thing to do”. Now I was frightened. When he told me not to worry, they would take very good care of me, I nearly started to cry.

That was March 3, 1997.

On Tuesday they transferred me to the hospital with the better cardiology unit. Morristown Memorial Hospital. They scheduled me for a cardiac catheterization and on Wednesday, March 5th I had the procedure done. I was pretty certain I would be having surgery by the end of the day.

I was wrong.

My arteries were fine. “Wide open” in the words of the cardiologist. No sign of any blockages.

The pain? The result of a spasming esophagus. The cause? High blood pressure.

On March 6, 1997 I started taking blood pressure medication.

Today I stopped.

The doctor said it was OK. My health and fitness are such that I no longer have high blood pressure. I no longer need the medication.

Six-thousand Two-hundred and Forty-one days after I started, I have stopped.

I wish I could tell you that the scare I had that week somehow transformed me then. It didn’t. I didn’t lose weight. I didn’t go on a fitness kick. I continued to gain weight. I continued my sedentary ways…

It would be 15 plus years before I started to really change. It would take until December 27, 2011 before I would start this journey. Thousands of pills later.

After I started the Journey and after I had lost 75 pounds or so, I asked my Doctor if there was any chance I would get off the blood pressure medications. He replied that I might and we would see. When I went to him at 204 pounds, when he checked my BP and found it to be 116 over 62, when he found my resting heart rate to be 62 beats per minute he took me off one of the pills.

At my last check up, with my weight still under control, with my BP at 118 over 65 he said I could stop the last pill.

Yesterday morning I took the last pill.

Doc told me to watch my BP carefully and if it goes back up I am to refill the prescription and go back on.

I will do exactly as he said.

I hope, of course, that I do not need to go back on.

Six-thousand Two-hundred and Forty-one days

I am happy about this. It means so much more than simply not having to take a pill.

Back on the bike

The weather is slowly improving. It was very ride-able weather this weekend. Yes, a bit on the chilly side at the early hours I ride but it was very enjoyable.

I rode 17.5 miles on Saturday morning. Twenty-two and half on Sunday on the shop ride. A 40-mile weekend.

Nice start.

The long-range forecast is very good. Next weekend should be in the 50’s at ride time. I can see a 75-mile weekend ahead. At least that is the thinking today.

There is so much joy in me when I ride. Even the flat tire on Sunday did not dampen the spirits. I am pretty good at changing flats so it was only a few minutes lost. NP rode up and quipped “road-side flat tire clinic”. I smiled. It was fun. It is a part of riding.

This weekend I had the pleasure of sharing a friends return to the road. This friend had suffered a bad crash last year. Many months of rehab and hard work. He picked up his new bike on Saturday and he rode with me on Sunday. In his eyes I saw what cycling can be about. It is Joy. It is exultation expressed on two wheels. I saw in his eyes what I feel every time I am on my bike.

My friend came back from terrible injuries inflicted by others.

I came back from obesity inflicted by myself.

Very different Journeys and one cannot be compared to the other.

I can tell you that the feeling is the same.

I saw it in his eyes. I saw it in his smile.

The joy of being back on the bike.

Danny’s Team

Dannys team 2The ride for Autism is two months from today.

I am building to it. I still plan to ride the 100 mile distance, The Century.

I had hoped to raise $5000 but we are still at $1000. We are up to 11 team members riding all different distance. That has me excited. Even if we don’t hit the $5000 goal at least with the registration fee the 10 people who would not be doing the ride otherwise have added over $500 to the cause.

My son will never be able to ride a bike. This saddens me because I would so love to share the joy of riding with him. So I ride for him. I ride the Ride for Autism for Danny. I do all my rides with him in my heart.

He is my heart and my soul.

If you would like to help the Ride for Autism here is the website: http://www.ride4autism.org

If you donate I would ask if you would donate in the name of Danny’s Team.

If you are in the area maybe you could sign up and ride along with us.

If you only cheer us on in your heart I still thank you from the bottom of mine.



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Monday Night by the desk lamp light

My mood is slowly lifting.

I can almost see daylight ahead.

This past week I decided to muscle my way past this sinus thing or whatever it is. I got on the trainer four times, Monday and Wednesday for 45 minutes each and Saturday and Sunday for 30 minutes.

I had to push myself to get on it. Pushing past The Black Dog is the harder than pushing past the sinus thing.

Once I got on and started to pedal I could feel the mood lifting. Something about pedaling…

I would prefer I was pedaling outside. Could have Friday night as the weather was favorable. The traffic in my area kept me inside. Friday night in North Jersey this time of year is not safe ride time. Many cars, a low angle to the sun, tired drivers trying to get home for the weekend… Well, it can get ugly.

So I rode this week inside. 45 minutes. Twice. Half an hour twice. Nothing to brag about but I am glad to have done it. It lifts my mood.

The weight is coming back down

My weight went up a bit during the winter months. All the excuses fit. Now it is coming back down. Three pounds in the last week. It feels good to know that I have started to reverse the trend.

It is not falling that is bad. It is failing to get back up.

I got back up.

The food consumption is back under control and I am ready to start the riding again and that will all add up to getting back below my goal weight (only 4 pounds away) and then to get down to 200 lbs again. I am sure of it. I KNOW it will happen.

This is the biggest change for me over the last year. I do not believe that a few pounds gained is failure but a warning. Something to act upon, not something that signals a return to obesity.

That will not happen. I will never again be obese.

The weight is coming back down. As it should.

Staying Not Fat.

This is my greatest fear

This is my greatest fear

I failed. Many times. In 1998. In 2002. In 2005. In 2010.

I failed. I lost weight and I gained it back. The pounds were so happy to be back that they invited ten or twenty more of their friends along each time.

I failed for a long list of reasons.

I think I know the leading reason.

I expected weight loss to be easy.

I wanted magic bullets, easy diet plans. I wanted to lose the weight and I didn’t want to work at it.

Eating right, changing food habits for the better, exercising to keep the metabolism high and improve the fitness level, is how to lose weight and keep it off.

I think the most commons sentence spoken by dieters goes something like this: “now that I am back on (weight-watchers, Jenny Craig etc.) I know I will get back to my goal weight”.

Just my point of view. Eat right, eat less, move more.

The High and the Low.

The high was Saturday night when I received a text message from my nephew that he and his lady had welcomed in to this world their first child, a daughter. My first-born nephew now had a first-born. The next generation has arrived. My brother is a Grandfather. I am a Grand-Uncle. I am overjoyed. If my nephew is as good a father to his daughter as my brother has been to his son, then my grand-niece will do alright in this world.

The low was the news earlier in the day that my Aunt, the sister of my father and the only Aunt I have, has cancer. It is treatable, not curable. My Aunt is otherwise a healthy person who takes care of herself and the doctors are optimistic that she will live a normal life expectancy with a good quality of life. Still…. This is my Aunt. I am quite fond of her and I am pained that she is dealing with this and I am pained that my cousins face all that the word “cancer” brings with it.

Over the last several years there has been an imbalance between the highs and the lows. More funerals, cancer battles, heart attacks, and health scares than warranted by the normal turn of the calendar pages, and not enough engagements, weddings, births, and graduations.

Maybe now, with the birth of my Grand-Niece and maybe some engagements and weddings on the horizon, maybe now, with the generation after mine starting to create lives of their own and a generation to follow them, maybe now life will find a balance.


Riding my Synapse is good for my synapse.  Getting ready for this evening's ride

Riding my Synapse is good for my synapse. The day I turned 53

Cycling has added immeasurably to my life. The fitness? Yes. The fitness. The joy of being on the road? Yes, the joy of being on the road. More.


I am on Facebook as most of you must know. I am an administrator for two cycling themed pages on Facebook. Through these pages I have made a few friendships, notably NI, whom I count among my close friends. Well, as close as the 235 miles between our homes allows. Several others. DK, whom I have not actually met, but with whom I have chatted about bikes and I think my advice was helpful as she selected a new ride, and so on.

Closer to home, there are the friendships I have made at the bike shop, both with co-workers and customers.

There is this shared interest of course. The cycling. The bikes. There is more to it than that I think. There is something about bike people. There is the “come ride with me” approach to things. Even a solo rider, as I am most of the time, welcomes the rider who comes along and rides with them for a bit until they come to the fork in the road and one goes left and the other goes right and they part with a shared “enjoy your ride”.

Are there riders who are jerks? Of course there are and we have all ridden with one or two from time to time, but most are not. Most are earnest in their efforts, friendly in their demeanor and welcoming. I have rarely met the experienced rider who is not willing to share some advice, offer some encouragement or, literally, help push you up the hill.

I am an enthusiastic rider and I am knowledgeable to a degree. Still, I learn a great deal every time I ride with KE, NP, BP and CB and many others from the shop. I am inspired by their skills, energized by the challenge of riding well with them, educated by the experience.

I get to share my passion for the sport with my co-workers at the shop and with our customers and with my friends. When I am able to share some of my knowledge, share my enthusiasm, when I can see the light turn on for a beginning rider… Well, it makes it that much more fun for me. I started as the slowest rider on the Sunday morning rides at the shop and then I went to work for the shop and now I lead the Beginner-Intermediate rides. Giving back to the sport. I hope I help some of the riders grow and develop and then “graduate” from my ride to the faster/longer rides of the intermediate-expert ride.

My greatest joy is giving back to the sport. Working at the bike shop is part of that. I share the love of the sport.

I also ride charity rides. By giving a little money and riding in a ride to help a charity is a small way for me to give back. I volunteer to work support for one of the large local rides rather than ride myself. It is giving back to the cycling community.

If you don’t ride I recommend you give it a try.

My Bike

My Bike

If you do ride I hope we will ride together for a bit until we come to that fork in the road and you go right and I go left and we part with a shared “enjoy your ride”.