Sunday, January 2, 2011

Goodbye Fat Jeans. Hello Skinny!

This post isn't exactly about cycling, but cycling plays such an important role in the subject.

Two and one-half years ago I started commuting to work by bicycle to save money and to attempt to get into shape.  I enjoyed bike commuting, but also began incorporating cycling into my daily life.  I learned to ride my bike, not only to work, but for grocery shopping, errands, and for fun.  I made many cycling friends and have since been on many long rides, as many as 120 miles in a day.  I've since moved closer to town and in addition to cycling to work, I can easily walk to work, the grocery store, movies, bars, restaurants, etc. Basically, I've tried to simplify and orient my lifestyle around active transportation.

When I started cycling to work, I weighed about 213 pounds.  I was able to get down to 188 within a year by cycling alone.  Then this summer, I decided to shift fitness into high gear by joining Weight Watchers.

After five months, I am now down to 165 pounds.  As an aside, I weighed 250 pounds about 10 years ago, and lost a lot of that by switching to a vegan diet.

Between cycling and sensible eating using the Weight Watcher system, I have lost almost 50 pounds.

If I count back to 2001, when I was at my heaviest, I have lost a total of  85 pounds, most of it lost by diet.

So now that I'm at a weight I like (perhaps even lighter than I was when I graduated high school), my plan now is to perform regular workouts to get into a better form and shape, both for cycling and general fitness.  So far, my sessions with a personal trainer are proving to be both fun, and productive.  I've lost another inch around my waist, and gained a little around my chest and arms.

If you've made it this far into my seemingly self-gratifying post, please note that this isn't about bragging.  Simply, I want to pass along to anyone reading this that weight loss is, indeed, possible, and within reach.  As a lifelong pudgy guy, I always thought the natural order of things was to get fatter and fatter as I aged.  Between my diet and exercise, I'm finding that it's not only possible to lose and keep off weight, but once the proper mind frame and motivation is found, it's not as hard and I imagined.

Many pairs of fat jeans are going to Goodwill. 
I much prefer the new skinny ones.

Weight Watchers tool help me track my progress.

I'd be remiss if I didn't shout out to my brother, Jason, who, over the past year, has lost 118 pounds through cycling.  He really put the fire under me and inspired me to get more serious with my weight loss plans.  Thanks, bro.