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.  





I am doing Well

Hi ya

Hi ya


I haven’t posted much recently. I have been working 10-12 hour days and I have been very tired but I am fine. Thanks for asking.

The weight is good. A little elevated but I am on top of it and the cycling is going very well. IT has just been hard to find the time to do much of anything other than work and get in a couple of rides on the weekend.

Today’s shop ride was called off due to the threat of rain and the wet roads from the overnight rain. So of course the weather cleared as soon as we called off the ride. The radar showed more rain coming…


I did get in a good 32 mile ride yesterday so it is not a total loss.

Coming up to the Anniversary

On August 8, 2012 I made it to my goal weight of 210 pounds. The anniversary is coming up and though I am a few pounds above that weight right now I am still very pleased with where I am weight and health-wise and I will observe the date with a couple of slices of Reservoir Tavern pizza.

I am beating the odds. The averages say that I should have gained back at least 50% of the weight I lost by now. Some studies suggest that 80% of people who lose more than 1/3 of their body weight will regain 100% of that loss within two years. Those odds are terrible.

I have gained back 10 pounds. Not happy about that but I am not distressed over it either. I am working to bring it back down slowly and I will get there. The important thing is I am not eating the wrong foods nor am I snacking. My meals got a little too big. I recognize that and I have corrected it. The activity level is high. I just adjusted wrong…

So how have I managed so far to “beat the odds”? See above. I track it. I watch it. I adjust. I plan. I ride and I walk. I work at it. I look at before pictures. I look in the mirror and I tell myself NO. It will never stop being a THING for me. I will not relax, indulge, splurge or walk away from all that I worked so hard to accomplish.

The anniversary is coming up. This is a very important date for me. It marks the day when it all came true. The dream of no longer being a fat man. If I ever get a tattoo I think it will be a bicycle wheel with the date 8/8/2012 under it and the motto “Eat Right-Eat Less-Move More” above it.

So PGB, you up for some pizza in a couple of weeks?


Not there yet. Not sure how to give up fish. I love lox and I love sushi and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to give them up entirely. I rarely eat poultry and I never eat red meat (defined as any meat from a mammal) but so far giving up fish has been harder than I am willing to deal with right now.

The interesting thing I find is that people assume that it has something to do with animal rights and cruelty and so forth. While I deplore cruelty towards animals (including the human animal) I have no real issue with animals as food for humans and I am by no means an animal rights activist.

For me it is purely a health issue. The research is overwhelming that people whose diets are high in red meats have a significantly higher rate of cardiovascular disease and live shorter lives. That was the drive behind giving up the red meat. Giving up poultry was a simple and easy next step towards a healthier diet. Next would be fish but I just can’t get there. Yet.


When I started this Journey fear was a big part of my life. I was afraid of dying. I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of the Journey itself and what I would learn about myself.

I am not afraid so much anymore. I am comfortable with who I am and what I have learned. I am healthy now. No more BP meds, no more “pre-diabetic condition”, health at rest heart rate, healthy weight. Blood numbers are all good.

I am much more comfortable with being me. I am not as easily angered as I was. I am pleased with me.

And this is what I tell people who ask me about losing weight: Eat Right-Eat Less-Move More and get to know who you are. If I had not explored me, primarily though the exercise of writing this blog, I would never have gotten here. I would not be just a couple of weeks away from two years reaching my goal weight still lean and healthy. I Would have been another who didn’t maintain it. I would have been another who gained it back. The battle is not won. It will never be won. I am still the person who weighed 320 pounds. The ghosts are still lurking. I know them now. I understand them better. I can keep the demons at bay now. I can because I confronted them.

If all I did was Diet I would be fat again.

I know this as an unquestionable truth.

I never Dieted. I am still not Dieting.

Eat Right-Eat Less-Move More and get to know yourself.




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….



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Climbing Hills and Other Points Along the Road

Living this way.

If you read this blog with regularity, you know the date. December 27, 2011. That was the day I began the Journey. I wanted to lose 75 pounds. I weighed 306 pounds and I figured losing 75 pounds would be a heck of a good thing. That would bring me down to 231-230.

I revised that quickly. A few weeks in to the Journey I decided that 210 was a better weight and that became my target. I wanted to lose 96 pounds.

I really didn’t know what I was doing. I started this blog so I could keep a diary of the trip and to keep me motivated.

On August 8, 2012 I reached 210 pounds. I have been below that weight for much of the journey since and I have learned to love the way I live.

I am so far from that person. The FAT person. The man in the pictures, hiding behind everyone else, trying to not look so large. I was “The Great Carnivore”. My diet was heavy on meat. Also heavy on Peanut Butter and Jelly. And White Bread.t

And I was fat.

Now? I have not had red meat since March of 2012. I rarely have poultry. I sometimes eat fish. I haven’t had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in more than two years. I will have a piece of whole wheat bread with a light spread of peanut butter about once every two months.

I was sedentary. Sitting on the sofa and watching TV was my evening, my weekend day, my activity of choice for times away from work.

I ride my bike now. I lead rides. I often do 40-mile rides. 60 miles? 75? Yes. I rode 3000 miles last year.

I eat right. I eat less. I ride my bike.

I am living this way. I am not afraid of regaining the weight. I know I have to watch it. I know I have to be careful. I can’t get careless but I know I have the plan, the knowledge and the habits developed to stay in my weight range.

This is how I live. It is not a fad, a DIET, a “program”. It is my life.

I understood right from the beginning that this had to become life. Diets are designed to end. They are designed to fail. “Programs” end. Programs Fail.

I had to make this the way I live. For the rest of my life.

Climbing Hills

It is a matter of perspective.

I love to ride. I am good on the flat roads, the rolling roads and the down hills (I LOVE DOWN HILLS) but I am not good on the hills.

Now BP, my boss at the bike shop, says I lack perspective. We are all bad at hills if we compare ourselves to others. And there is a good point there.

Here is my point: I am a weak hill climber. I climb them anyway. I am better than I was two years ago. I am better than I was last year. I may never be a really good hill climber but I am getting better. My point is that I am doing it. Despite how much I hate the hills, I am doing them. Despite how much I struggle, I am doing them. I am in the game. I am fighting my way up the hills.

Bad at running? Run anyway. Bad at hill climbs? Climb them anyway. Get in the game.

One the first shop ride I went on in early 2013 I had to walk a couple of hills. The group had to wait for me. I was the slow rider in the back.

I stayed in the game.

By July I was leading the ride.

I am not good on hills. I climb them anyway.

I am better at climbing hills than everyone who doesn’t try.

All a matter of perspective.

The Man in the Mirror.

I cried. I stood there and cried. I was seeing me, it seemed, for the first time. I cried.

Never again

Never again

I was in my late forties. 48, on the cusp of 49 I think. I was looking in the mirror and for some reason I realized just how big I was. I cannot tell you why. I think I have written about this before. I still have no answer.

I was around 320 pounds. Looking in the mirror that day I saw the roundness of my face, the second and third chin and the sheer size of ME.

And I cried. For a moment. I stood there and I cried.

It was the second time that I realized just how very large I was. The first was a picture taken at a family celebration a few years earlier.

This time… Looking in the mirror. Not able to blame the ten pounds a camera puts on.

I cried.

This weekend I looked in the mirror. I was getting ready for my Saturday morning ride (more on that later) and I saw a different me and I have to tell ya… I didn’t cry.

I saw the lean face. I saw the lean neck and shoulders. I saw a me that is very far from the person I was 5 years ago, 3 years ago, even two years ago.

Thought I would mention it.

The Saturday Ride

I have not been getting the miles I want on the bike.

The irony of working part-time in a bike shop is how little time I have to ride. I work my regular job Monday through Friday and I work the shop on weekends. This leaves precious little time to ride.

The nice weather helps on Saturdays and I lead the shop ride on Sundays.

Saturday is my solo time. It is the ride where I push myself and challenge my abilities. I ride as hard as I can for as long as I can within the 18 miles or so on the route to the shop.

This weekend I changed the routine. I changed my course.

I left earlier and I plotted out a course to take me about 29 miles with a little treat at the halfway mark.

At a little after 7:00 AM I mounted up and set out.

Now to really appreciate this ride I need you to remember what I said about climbing hills..

The first quarter of a mile of any ride from my home is downhill. If I turn right at the bottom of the hill I can stay on a generally downhill course with only a couple of climbs all the way to the shop over the course of about 18 miles. If I go straight I have a nearly two-mile climb. The first part is relatively steep. The rest is just long.

I went straight. I had my third best time climbing that hill. Proud of that.

Elevation Map from the ride on Saturday

Elevation Map from the ride on Saturday

Then I continued on past some beautiful farm fields, winding roads through wooded areas, a couple of nice climbs and then a ride through one of the underappreciated towns in New Jersey, Denville. A quick stop for a small coffee at Smart World and back to the ride.

Along the Route of the  Ride on Saturday

Along the Route of the Ride on Saturday

Some rolling hills and a couple of short climbs, a wrong turn or two and I saw a friend from the shop cycling in the other direction. I waved, he waved and I rode on. A few minutes later JS rode up to me, deciding that riding with a friend was worth diverting from his planned route. We rode the remaining eight miles together, a little chatting but mostly just two well matched riders enjoying a roll through the towns along the route. JS could easily ride away from me if he wanted to but we ride well together. It was fun.

At the end I had 29 miles in and a new route to follow on my way to the shop.

It was joy. Challenging myself, picking the harder, longer route. And to ride it so well.

Yes BP, you are right. It is a matter of perspective.



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The Monday after a Really Good Weekend

A Week can Change so much

A week ago, I was counting the wounds, measuring the damage and thanking the fates that the crash was not worse.

On the scale of bike crashes, mine was quite minor. I had road rash, a broken helmet and some sore spots. Overall, I was lucky. The was nothing broken and nothing requiring surgery to put right.

This weekend I returned to riding. I have never been the sort to be afraid to do something that got me hurt previously. If I were, I never would have fallen in love a second time. There was no hesitation to getting back on the bike. I never worried about it, never questioned anything once on the bike.

Saturday was the day of the most important ride on my calendar. The Ride for Autism. I first did the ride in 2012. Now it is my annual focal point. So appropriate that the ride would fall on the Older One’s 23rd birthday.  He was very excited that I was riding for him on his birthday.

It was also my first ride since the crash. My only concern was the ability of my body to rise to the occasion, past the bumps and bruises, past the lack of conditioning. There was no fear.

I love riding. No crash was going to change that.

My annual picture at the first rest area of the ride for Autism.  Missing NI

My annual picture at the first rest area of the ride for Autism. Missing NI

The ride was WONDERFUL! Sixty-two miles through the New Jersey countryside, past horse farms and cornfields, through small towns and along country lanes and orchards, rolling hills and long flat sections. It was a blast.

I was tired and sore at the end of the ride. The body was not quite ready but we managed, my body and mind, to get the full distance in. I might have been able to do the 100 miles. I am glad I did the 62 instead.

Overjoyed? The first time I did the ride it was the furthest I had ridden in 20 years. It was a slog. My good and true friend, NI, pushed me up hills. Exhorted me to push myself, nearly dragged me across the finish…. Last year I was very strong and we rode together well. This year I rode with a group from the cycling club as NI was unable to make it. WE had a good time. They rode better than I did but we finished close together and enjoyed lunch at the end of the ride as a team.

Yes, I was Overjoyed.

Saturday night I sent a text to my friend and co-worker asking him to lead the Sunday ride. My legs were tired and sore and tight. I didn’t think I would be able to ride on Sunday morning.

Sunday I awoke feeling strong and rested with no tiredness or soreness in my legs.

I lead the ride on Sunday. We rode Twenty-five and a half miles. There was one good hill and it let me know the legs were tired. On the downside, I blasted. I went in to the highest gear and spun like mad. I hit 40+ miles per hour and felt no fear at all. Only exhilaration.

Feeling Right

I am feeling “right”. I like the way I eat, I like the activity level, I like the way I look. Most importantly I like the way I feel about ME. The inside ME. I feel so right within my skin.

Yes, this is because of the weight loss. It is more because of the changes I need to bring about for the weight loss to happen.

Introspection, deep-diving one’s brains….

Has its place.

Just thought I would mention it.

The Sunday Ride

So, as mentioned above, I rode on Sunday. I led the Sunday ride with the able co-leadership of JS, one of the people I work with at the shop. I took lead, he was the sweep. The sweep is the fellow who ride along at the back of the ride to make sure we don’t lose a rider off the back…

We had nine other riders along yesterday. Nearly perfect weather for eleven riders to explore northern NJ.

What a fine ride. I think the good weather put everyone, riders and drivers alike, in good moods. We had none of the typical close encounters with drivers. No nasty long and loud honks of the horn, no close buzzes…. Several times the drivers stopped to allow us to cross a street or hung back until there was a good and safe place to pass. I cannot tell you how much that was appreciated.

Getting in the 25.5 miles on Sunday told me so much about myself as a person and a rider. I was sore from Saturday. Not painfully so, not “DON’T RIDE” sore, but the kind of sore I might have used in years past as an excuse to chill in the morning, have a lazy morning… I rode. I knew I could work the kinks out. I knew I WANTED to ride.

Felt great. Felt truly great.

Rides like this remind me why I love to ride. I am not a racer. I never was particularly fast. I can hammer it on the flats when the spirit moves me, but I was never a racer. I have never competed on the bike…

I love to ride to the best of my abilities, get out on a beautiful day, feel the road roll under the wheels, the bike banking in to a turn, the satisfaction of getting to the top of that brutal hill, enjoying the thrill of the fast downhill and enjoying the properly sore muscles at the end of a good brisk ride.

And I am able to do this now. Not three years ago. I couldn’t do it. Three years ago, Summer of 2011, I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t ride. I could barely walk up stairs.

While riding yesterday I thought about this. I thought about riding 62+ on Saturday and another 25+ on Sunday. Not bad for a man who was close to 320 pounds three years earlier. I kind of smiled as I thought about it.

The Journey… 88+ miles of cycling this weekend. Another 6 miles of walking. All in all a busy weekend. I have done more miles in a weekend that is certain. But it doesn’t matter. What matter is I what I did this weekend. What I will do the next weekend. What I CAN do now. All this is what matters. I can play with my children, take walks with my sons, work in the yard, climb the stairs, take hikes with friends, ride…

I can do this now. The Journey has brought me here.

All it took was deciding to take the first step.





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.