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


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Perceptions


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.

Never

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….

 

Peace


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The Black Dog Won


Not the Weekend I Wanted

This was the weekend of the Five-Boro Bike Tour.

I look forward to this ride for one reason: Riding with my friend NI.

The rest of it is OK.  Thirty-two thousand riders make for quite the spectacle.

The ride was Sunday.  I had a good time on Saturday.  I met up with NI and a friend of his and we traipsed around the city, had a good lunch, did the registration thing…

It was Sunday that The Black Dog took his bite and I couldn’t, or didn’t, fight back.

I awoke at 4:00 AM, got ready for the ride, loaded up the car and drove in the New York City.  By 5:30, I was approaching the area where I would meet NI.  Then it happened.  The stress?  A stomach bug?  I am not sure.  I pulled over to the curb on a side street in lower Manhattan.  There and then, I lost what little breakfast I had.

I contemplated this.  Thought about what it was all about.  What caused this?  I turned around, went home and went to sleep.  I didn’t do the ride.

I never really felt any better yesterday.  I thought I would ride in the afternoon if I did but I didn’t  I didn’t feel much better and I didn’t ride.  Riding might have been the best thing for me.  Doing the tour might have been the best thing for me.

I simply couldn’t fight The Black Dog.

I sat on the sofa speaking to no one, doing nothing.  I wanted to climb into a hole and pull the earth back over me.

I don’t like when this happens (no kidding, right?) and I am not sure why it does.  I wish I could understand what is happening in my head a little better.

If I did understand it better, then maybe this would have been the weekend I wanted.

Guilt

I am not living the life I imagined I would have when I was a teen and well in to my twenties and even my early thirties.

I didn’t expect to need two jobs.  I didn’t expect not to be able to afford a vacation once a year or to have the difficulties I have.  This is not what I expected at all.  I really don’t like my career.  I am good at it.  I just don’t like it.  I don’t have time to do the things I like.  I work seven days a week.  I take off a weekend and I feel guilty.  I am taking money out of the family pot and I am leaving the shop shorthanded.  I don’t get to do the activities I so enjoy: hiking, cycling, spending time with my family and friends.

It is the guilt that cripples me.  If I work all seven days, I feel guilty for taking time away from the family.  If I don’t work the weekend, I feel guilt over not making the money.

This is not a way to live.  This is a way to die.

At this time there is little I can do to change all this.  I have to keep pushing.  I am not sure where this pushing will get me but I have to.  There is no other choice.

So I deal with the guilt.

My weight

I am the heaviest I have been since the middle of the summer of 2012.  I am up to 217.  This is not a good thing.  I have no excuses.  I have given in to the depression and the stress and I have over-eaten.  I have not pushed past the depression to get on the bike.  I have walked.  HUGE amounts of walking.  I have set a course in the factory and I make sure I walk it throughout the day.  It is great for fitness.  I am fit.  But I have out-eaten the calories I am burning and that is no one’s fault or responsibility but my own.

217-pounds. Pants are getting a little snug.  T-shirts are getting a little tight.

I have to get back to what I know works and I need to stay there.  I have indulged.  Cookies.  Buffet.  Not what, who or where I want to be.

It will not stand.

Getting it back together

I will take some days off work in the next couple of weeks. Take a few vacation days.  I will get on my bike and ride.  I will get out and hike.  PGB is sometimes available mid-week.  Perhaps he will be able to join me for a hike in Harriman.

If I don’t get my mind cleared and my heart right I will surely end up either insane or fat.  Insane I can accept.  Fat I cannot.

I understand the expression “a life lived in quiet desperation” now.  I didn’t always.  I do now.

Things have to change.  I need to make them change.  I need to get my heart and mind back on the same page, focused on the same goals, the same life plan.

I cannot accept what I am doing to myself with food, with stress, with life in general.

Getting it back together is must happen.  It has to start happening now.

Is life a constant battle for everyone? So many people I see seem to have it together.  I sometimes feel I am a single step away from the abyss.  Stepping back from that fall is the hardest thing to do when the Black Dog seems to be standing behind me baring teeth and growling.

Cycling, and time with friends, has been my escape from The Black Dog.  This weekend I didn’t fight hard enough.  I let the Black Dog win.

I have to find a way to fight harder. Or maybe I just need to be smarter than The Black Dog…

 

Peace


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Turns


Life

I was sick two weeks ago. I wrote about it. Just feeling normal again now.

Life has been interesting recently. I would like life to be a bit less interesting.

I love being who I am now. I have to tell you that.

I was never all that much a fan of me over the years. I have battled depression, fought off per self-image. I have been shocked when I was complimented on anything. I have been riddled with doubt.

I caved in to the negatives and I made them self-fulfilling.

I just don’t do that now.

And I like this about me.

Yesterday I led the shop ride and had a really good time of it. A group of seven of us left the shop at 8:30 in the morning and we did a 25 mile ride over the roads of Northern New Jersey. It wasn’t a fast ride but it isn’t intended to be a fast ride. It is a beginner/intermediate ride and we try to keep a moderate pace. Yesterday we averaged about 13 miles an hour while moving. And that is just fine. The important thing is we had a good time.

Living is what you decide it will be. I have decided life will be fun.

I am not going to live the rest of my life the way I lived the first 50+ years.

That Said…

I have been dealing with The Black Dog recently. I think the flu had something to do with it. Also stress at work. My “real Job”, not the bike shop job. The only stress there is I don’t get to work there often enough. Like Every Day…..

The shop can induce some stress. Trying to keep several customers happy at once when the store is very busy… But there are rewards. Making friends out of customers. Seeing a customer get on a bike after years of not riding and seeing the joy on their face as they test ride a bike. A customer recovering from an accident getting the bike of their dreams…

There are the rewards of working with really fine people. People who are passionate about bikes. Passionate about customers. Passion is something missing from my “real Job”. No one there has it. They go through the motions. They get the job done.

The Black Dog tends to hide after a couple of days with me at the shop. He can’t keep up with me. If I didn’t work at the shop I would surely go insane.

Recovery

This past winter was hell. Truly hell. I was depressed much of the winter. The cold kept me from riding. The ice, the snow, the rains, the grey… I gained a few pounds. Nothing terrible. I expected it but I did gain a few more than I thought I would. That gain is mostly gone now. I am riding. Eating right. I am doing the things I know will help me stay in the range.

I am recovering. Slowly.

My head concussion symptoms are fading. I do still have some trouble putting a sentence together once every so often. The owner of the shop asked me a question and I had trouble answering. He said for a moment he thought I was having a seizure. I think it scared him a slight bit. Just the way my mind works now. Sometimes the words get stuck on my tongue.

I am told by people with MD after their name that this is normal and it will pass. I didn’t do what the Doctor told me to do when I got the concussion. I didn’t stay in bed for a week with not TV, no computer, no books. I took two days off and I went to work. Why? Because I was afraid of losing my job. Because my company has an immature approach to illness and injury. Such is life.

The effects of the flu lingered longer than I expected. Two weeks later and I am finally feeling myself….

This is good.

So I can ride. I can eat right. I can work at the shop and I can save my sanity by doing so.

I am recovering from a lifetime of issues. These latest are just minor bumps in the road.

Rides

Ride season is here.

Next Sunday I will take part in the TD Five Boro Bike Tour

Me and 32,000 of my closest friends…

It will be insane but I am looking forward to it. There is only one reason I am looking forward to it. The opportunity to ride with my friend NI. We met through this ride and we have now been friends since 2010. I list him high on my list of good people and I only wish we lived closer together so we could ride together more often.

NI and I do five rides together. The TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour, The Ride For Autism, The NYC Century, The Discover Hartford Ride and, Boston Hub on Wheels (the best of the bunch in terms of quality of the ride). I would do Montreal as well but it is out of the scope of my budget….

I cannot tell you how enjoyable rides like this can be when you ride with a friend and you can share the accomplishment.

Fun time.

I am a little discouraged with the fund-raising efforts for the Ride for Autism and Danny’s Team. I had hoped we would raise more than last year. I raised $1495 last year. This year we are at $1,118. Maybe more will come in. It is for such a good cause….

We do have 8 or 9 members of Danny’s Team now. This makes me very happy. That is a few more people who signed up for the ride and that is the primary fund-raising means for the ride anyway.

I hope to find a few more rides to do this year with NI.

Join us!

 

 

Peace


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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.

Bikes

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.

Friendships.

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”.

 

Peace.


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A Weekend in New England


Hartford

My good friend NI has been after me to ride with him in the Hub on Wheels ride in Boston for several years now. He is a Boston native and justifiably proud of his city and “The Hub” ride. I was signed up to do it last year but the knee injury put the stop to that.

After I signed up this year, NI said “well seeing as you are driving up this way anyway why not sign up for the Discover Hartford Ride held the day before “the Hub”?”

So I did.

The “Discover Hartford” ride is 40 miles through the streets and parks of Hartford. I would guess at about 1000 riders take part.

I know very little about Hartford other than my friends MK and LS and their twin sons live in the area. I have only been to Hartford once or twice and those were brief visits.

It amazed me to see how beautiful the city is. The parks are wonderful and all over the place. The bike paths trace the rivers and hills and the city seems very bike friendly.

Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT. The start of the Discover Hartford Bike Ride

Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT.
The start of the Discover Hartford Bike Ride

The ride was wonderful. The weather was perfect. My single quibble is the rest areas were not well stocked. Bananas and water. That was it. No “rest facilities” except at one stop where the bakery in the strip mall allowed riders to use the one bathroom. I hope that as the ride grows the rest areas will improve. Otherwise the ride was fantastic.

Until the last one and a half miles

No matter the distance of the ride, when I get within a couple of miles of the end I get a burst of energy. I start riding faster and my aches go away and I am flying. It was under this scenario that NI and I started our two mile run to the finish. We started riding faster, letting it all go, and not saving anything. We came around the bend with about a mile and a half to go and at about 20 miles per hour I hit a small, sharp rock with my rear tire.  Just as I thought “I hope I didn’t damage the brand new tire” I heard and felt the BANG. The tire and tube had exploded. And yes, I mean exploded. We were in an underpass and the bang was dramatic with the echo. I had no problem bring the bike to a quick and controlled halt and was never close to crashing but with the tire totally deflated in an instant and the rim hit the street and was badly damaged.

Death of a Tire and a Wheel. The tire had 38 miles on it when it was dealt a dastardly death

Death of a Tire and a Wheel.
The tire had 38 miles on it when it was dealt a dastardly death

With no repair possible (the tire had an 8 inch rip in the side wall) I had to carry the bike the last mile and a half of the ride.

For some reason, while not thrilled by this development, I had fun with it. I carried the bike, NI rode VERY slowly alongside me under his “no Cyclist Left behind” policy (a good policy by the way) as I walked , and we enjoyed the rest of the ride-walk. It is surprising to me how I now take some things in stride that at one time would have ruined my day.

Across the Park in Hartford

Across the Park in Hartford

A view of the City Skyline on a Beautiful Morning in Hartford

A view of the City Skyline on a Beautiful Morning in Hartford

The Registration Tent for the Hartford Ride

The Registration Tent for the Hartford Ride

The afternoon was spent finding a local bike shop (Center Wheel in West Hartford) and having lunch with MK, LS and their twins while we waited for the bike to be repaired. So glad my friends were patient and flexible. It was a great time eating and chatting with them.

I was lucky (?) that the shop had a used rear wheel in reasonable condition with a tire and tube also in reasonable condition and for a reasonable price they switched over the rear cassette (gears) and mounted it on my bike. If not for that I would have had to forego the Boston ride for the second year in a row.

I have to say I had a great time. I had a wonderful 38 mile ride, a 1.5 mile walk, lunch with wonderful people, and I have a great story to tell.

I will put Hartford on my Annual Ride list along with the NYC Five Boro Bike Tour, the Ride for Autism, the NYC Century and Hub on Wheels.

Boston

The Hub on Wheels ride is better than the Five Boro Bike Tour.

There I said it and I mean it.

It is more fun. It is easier to ride. It is MUCH less crowded.

The ride is fun. The city of Boston is beautiful. The route is enjoyable and varied some of the views are incredible. Part of the route takes you through one of the most beautiful, picturesque, and quaint cemeteries you will ever see. That one of the rest stops is in the cemetery is somehow fitting and odd at the same time. I can only say that this is one rest area you really want to stay for only a short time…

A side Street in Boston on a Beautiful Saturday evening

A side Street in Boston on a Beautiful Saturday evening

Looking down the side street.  It was beautiful evening

Looking down the side street. It was beautiful evening

Wonderful little restaurant in Boston's north end.

Wonderful little restaurant in Boston’s north end.

The ride started in a driving rain but about a half an hour after the ride started the rain stopped and soon the roads began to dry. For a long while it was simply a gray sky and then, with about a third of the ride left, the sun came out and we were treated to clear blue skies and some beautiful views. The last rest area was along the shore and it was magnificent.

Views along the water front as we approach the last rest area.

Views along the water front as we approach the last rest area.

The skies cleared and gave us beautiful blue skies as we finished the last third of the ride.

The skies cleared and gave us beautiful blue skies as we finished the last third of the ride.

A view towards Boston

A view towards Boston

The used wheel on the back of the bike held up and the ride was un-dramatic.

The friendship and the banter and the pleasure of the ride could not be surpassed. In contrast to the New York ride, the Boston ride seemed much more “lighthearted”. People seemed to be having fun. It is a much more hilly ride than New York and, at fifty miles, it is ten miles longer than New York and yet at the end of the ride I felt less worn down.

Friends at the end of the ride.

Friends at the end of the ride.

I regretted that we had driven in to Boston instead of riding in because I would have enjoyed another ten miles on the bike. All in all I had one of the best riding experiences in a large organized ride that I have ever had.

I hope to make the Hub on Wheels an annual event. It was fun. Fun is good.

The Weekend Behind Me

When I got home yesterday I could look back at a very good weekend. I had good meals and kept my eating in check. I had good company and many laughs. I got in 88.5 miles of riding and 1.5 miles of walking with a bike on my shoulder. I visited my old college and had lunch with one of my old professors. I spent the evening before with one of my oldest friends (SS) and her boyfriend (HH) and we smiled, we laughed, we had new experiences and we enjoyed each other’s company.

It was a joy to walk in the door at home and have the dogs trample me; the Younger One hug me, the Older One yell down the stairs and welcome me home and the Missus give me a hug and a kiss.

It was the sort of weekend that recharges you even though you are exhausted when it is done.

I could not help but reflect on what this all represented to me. When SS hugged me and realized she could grasp her wrist while hugging me… When Doc (my Old Professor) saw me for the first time without the weight and congratulated me…. When I rode 50 miles the day after riding 40 miles….

It is an amazing thing to me. I know it is me, I know I did it… Still I am amazed. I am continuing to do it. I am still on the plan. I am able to do things I could only imagine doing just two years ago. I now know for certain fact that I could do High Point to Cape May in three 80 mile days. I doubted it. Now I know I can.

I have found life. I have found living. It is not a “me” held captive in a fat body, unable to do, to go, to see, to enjoy. I am doing the things that other wish they could do and I am doing it because I made a choice, a decision to change my life.

This weekend was everything I could have hoped it would be: A great time with great friends doing fun things.

The cold weather is coming. I will soon be riding less. The Sunday shop rides will soon stop for the year and I will ride only when the weather is favorable. Mostly I will hike and ride the trainer and the rollers. I need three hundred miles to get to 2500 for the year. Next year the goal is 3500.

This weekend was a weekend of renewal. It was a weekend to discover how far I have come. It was a weekend to be comfortable in my skin, in my new me. It was a weekend that proved to be affirmation of all that I have been working towards.

When MK saw me for the first time since I was 305 pounds he shook my hand, looked me in the eye and said “who are you and what have you done with the rest of Mark”. I got a good hearty laugh. It was a wonderful feeling.

This weekend was so affirming. It was so strong a weekend for me. I cannot find just the right words to express it. It was a wonderful weekend and everything I wanted it to be.

The Weekend Ahead of Me

I am lucky I suppose. I have a wheel-set that I bought for my old bike just a few weeks before I tore up my knee last year. I don’t think it has 300 miles on it. After I injured the knee I bought the new bike and the old bike was retired to the bike closet.

That wheel set is now on my new bike and I took it in to the bike shop tonight to make sure I had done everything right in switching over the gears and so forth. I did OK.

The positive here is the wheelset I had sitting on the bike in the closet is a little bit better than the set I just took off due to the damage to the rear wheel. All in all I am coming out of this OK.

The best part is it means I can ride more this coming weekend. I would like to get in 75 miles for the weekend. We will see.

The Journey

I am doing well. My mind is clearer than it has been in year. I am happier being me. The overeating that has defined so much of who I thought I was is under control. I still fight the urges and I do slip from time to time but never with the foods I shouldn’t eat. Maybe I have a bowl of cereal when a piece of fruit would have been a better choice but I don’t sit down to a tub of chocolate chip cookies.

I still have to remind myself to stay on course. I still have to push myself out of the chair and get outside. The reason I plan so many rides so far in advance is to make sure I stay motivated.

I will not be fat again.

I have to always tell myself this. I have to continually reinforce the mindset. Eye on the goal, follow the plan, continue the journey.  I never leave home without my Fitbit because I want to make sure I am not deluding myself about my activity level.  The Fitbit rode on my shoe for both rides this weekend as it does on every ride.

Visits from the Black Dog are further apart and are of shorter duration but they are not gone, perhaps they never will be. I understand it better. I know how to handle it better but the depression still hits.

I love the me I am now. This was not always the case.

I write about my cycling so much because it is the cycling that renews me. The successes and even the failures while riding are my energy. They build my confidence. The distances traveled. The hills climbed. All this is what adds to my ability to stay on the Journey, to follow the plan, to set and achieve the goals.

I will not be fat again

Peace