It wasn’t but just a tad over two years ago that I’d packed on a bunch of weight. Like most Americans, I’d enjoyed the comforts of…well…comfort. Comforting chairs, comforting internet, comforting low-impact lifestyle and comforting food.
Here is a “before and after” and throughout this article, I’ll be pretty transparent about numbers.
I’d gotten up to about 236lbs as my heaviest. It was embarrassing to even thinking about hopping up on the scale and my blue jeans waist size had expanded past 36”. It was pretty damning. I feared I was heading for wearing mom jeans and Shape-Up Weight Loss Shoes.
I told Kate I wanted to start exercising. So I started running. I did well for a big dude. I got up to jogging 10 miles which I thought was huge. I’d actually considered running a half marathon and I was losing some weight (but not a lot). I contracted a brutal bronchial infection as well as some serious runner’s knee (oh go figure…230lbs pounding on two knees already destroyed from playing football in highschool? Who’d thunk it!) which stopped this whole running thing dead in it’s tracks. The weight came back on and I went to minimum exercise if any.
It was sad when I was going to have to consider a size 38” pants size again but I was heading in that direction. So I decided to make a change and I grabbed my old “Wal-Mart Special” bike out of the garage and rode it around the neighborhood.
I couldn’t even get up the driveway I was so out of shape.
This had to end.
I started biking more and more and you already know where this story is going. If you’ve been here for more than 30 seconds and looked around this website, you know I’m already an internationally recognized mountain-bike-road-riding-cyclocross-champion-pro-kind-of guy (okay…how about “strong intermediate rider proffesional pro?” does that work for you??? Sheesh, everyone’s a critic).
I’d gotten hooked on mountain biking and was sure with all this high cardio work, I was going to drop weight left and right. I knew I was getting stronger, faster and I was outside sweating more but for all my efforts, I couldn’t drop a damned pound.
BECAUSE MOUNTAIN BIKING MAKES YOU OBESE! THAT’S WHY!
Good grief, I’ll ride with our local (and awesome) mtb group for 17-18 miles on singletrack and while on the trails I’ll consume, 80 Gu packs, 6 clif bars and then after the ride, we all get out or collapsible seats from our cars consume tons of beer, chips, cookies, beer, beer and more beer.
Then go out and have dinner.
It’s amazing that none of us have dropped from a cardiac arrest yet.
Okay, maybe that’s not fair. I shouldn’t say “us” and more refer to me (but it’s really “us” and you know who I’m talking about…I see that chip hanging out of your mouth while you’re reading this right now).
I remember after around 6-8 months worth of hard mountain biking my weight was still in the 210-220 area. I was thinner, but not like I wanted to be.
I saw an article about Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body and how if you just followed some gradual steps, you could lose weight. I thought “what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.” It worked. A little alpha-male-ish (I could go all day without that) in the way it’s presented, but it worked.
The plan is simple. Cut out all whites out of your diet – eat 0 to no carbs and then on Saturday – eat as much nasty food as you can possibly shove down your mouth for 24 hours.
For me? The plan was awesome. I’d sit and craft out all week long what I was going to put down my throat on Saturday. It was like a weekly Christmas, be good for six days straight and then on the 7th unwrap packages of twinkies, pizza, fried pies and oreos.
The result? I got down to 186 and my pants size is now at a resounding 32” inches (and still there actually, sometimes I can even slip into a size 30”). That’s nearly 6” off my belly.
So this is all awesome and everything. Right? Yes. It was except some issues started happening.
I was scheduled to have a meeting with the Magic City Cycling Chix (an all girls biking community here in Alabama. It’s awesome, check them out here, here and here) about working on their jersey designs. When I came into the meeting, their founder Kim, said:
Kim: Hey Scott whats u…. OH MY GOD, are you sick?
Me: I’m sorry?
Kim: You look…well you look sick.
Me: You mean I look “sexy”
Kim: No…no, you are so skinny…do you have cancer?
Me: No I’m a Gemini and that’s a bad pickup line…plus I’m taken. I’m telling your husband you’re trying to hit on me. And you should be ashamed since I’m with Kate and ya’ll are already friends!
Kim: I’m really worried about you, bro. Do you eat at all?
Me: No…can I have that donut over there… no, not that one…the one with chocolate sprinkles.
A few weeks later I was on a road ride with a few folks and my pal, Stacey. We got into a little bit of competitive race and I was doing semi-okay hanging with them
however Stacey was really upset that I was passing her so she flung an object at my head trying to slow me down. I believe it was a burrito as that is what she carries in her feed purse. This hasn’t been the first time. However every time I tried to lay down the hammer and catch up…I could feel my body shutting down. In fact, I had to get off and stop I was so out of gas.
After the ride, I talked to Stacey about it and she said “do you take in any calories or carbs at all these days? Or are you just really that terrible of a rider?” (at least she didn’t ask me if I was a Cancer…she knows damn well I’m a Gemini despite forgetting my birthday year after year.) I realized, I didn’t and that’s when I knew that with all this biking, training, exercising and high cardio work which can only mean one thing…
I CAN EAT ANY DAMNED THING I DAMN WELL WANT TO!
I mean at this point, I am now a calorie burning machine! So I just called off all regimented diet plans and started drinking beer, eating foods, snacking on sugary stuff – all in the name of energy.
That must mean I’m burning food as fuel as a rapid rate, right? So I consumed even more which led to stronger and faster biking. My metabolism was a tummy full of “BURN!”
One day I got up on the scale and noticed I’d gone from 186 to 190. That was a bit of a mental shock. I was a little frustrated but did not think much of it. A week later I was at 195. I started researching muscle mass vs fat and how heavy it was. I had been lifting weights and I figured it was just muscle mass.
Then I saw 200, 204 and then…208!
I have inquired a bit on what could be causing this rapid weight gain when even going back on a very strict diet (I do try to eat clean and watch what goes into my body). I’ve heard thyroid, hormones, hypoglycemic and hyperglycemia could be the cause.
that’s all fine and dandy, and medical science is probably spot on…but I know my body and I know the real reason:
answer: women cyclists.
No really. I get it, I’m extremely good looking and there’s a lot of lady spinners out there that are in a relationship like I am. My body knows this and to not tempt any lady into
forbidden longing, it is purposely packing on weight as a deterrent for the fairer sex. My body gives until it hurts.
I’ve noticed this many times on trail. Women hitting on me. One such example was when I flew off my bike and wrapped myself around a tree separating my shoulder and possibly suffering a concussion.
Gaggle of Girl Bikers: OMG! Dude are you okay?
Me: You know, I’m in a relationship and I’m loyal to her. BE GONE!
Gaggle of Girl Bikers: Your shoulder is wrapped around your kneecap!!!
Me: GET AWAY YOU HARLOTS! I CAN’T HELP THAT I’M THIS SEXY!
Gaggle of girls: I’m calling 911, let me see your Road ID badge so I can get your information
Me: Oh so forward! I swear guys can’t go anywhere these days without being objectified by your race!
Me: …you got an ibuprofen handy?
I mean this happens everywhere now! When I went into get my separated shoulder looked at the female at the front desk said “hey
I need you to sign in here.” Yeah, I know that “hey” I know where this is going. It’s a very tough life being this good looking.
So apparently my body is reacting to all these passes by women thus it’s purposely packing on weight acting as a sure-fire woman cyclist repellent protecting my relationship with my sweetie.
Not gonna work ladies. I’m with Kate and very happy.
Currently I am at 201lbs. Looking at my training schedule for the next four days and I’ll probably weigh 104lbs by Monday (it’s a brutal few days coming up…thanks, Coach). I still can easily slide into size 32″ jeans and generally wear small to medium tees. I also drink a gallon of water a day which I’m going to wager is part of the weight swing sometimes. I do eat a lot of peanut butter but it’s peanuts and oil – no sugar and no bread unless it’s before a long training day. The other foods I generally take in are Spinach, egg whites, hard boiled eggs, broccoli, apples, brown rice, quinoa and chicken – prepared by me. I do drink beer and Cabernet Sauvignon but in moderation.
All silliness aside, the weight gains sometimes are somewhat troublesome. I’ve been doing some research as to what is going on in regards to being constantly hungry. I am a little concerned about this and am planning to seek out a nutritionist or doctor to check out what’s going on.
If you have every experienced this and would like to share, please feel free to comment right there below the sentence.