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  1. #1
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    And it begins: The road to a healthy and active life.

    I've been lurking on here for a little while now mostly in the beginners threads. This is an amazing forum with so much knowledge, and some great people. I've read through several of the stories on here and they have been very inspiring. I found this forum with a simple google search so I could hopefully find some good information about mountain bikes. Now I find my self here nearly every day checking the threads out.

    Well I'm obviously a bigger dude seeing how this is in the Clydesdale section. I'm 27 roughly 5'9" or so and weigh around 265 give or take. I'm married and have a 2yr old daughter with another baby on the way. I use to be fairly active going outdoors all the time, playing football, etc. Now, I find myself to be just flat out lazy. I think some of it has to do with the job I have. I work shift work as a pipeline controller for a natural gas company in Tulsa, OK. I basically sit on my ass for 12hrs at a time. Great job, great pay, but it's making me lazy and fat(ter).

    I recently went and bought, IMO, a decent entry level bike. I got a 2012 Giant Revel 1 from my LBS. Picked up a new helmet, and shorts as well. That was a few weeks ago. I finally took it out today. I had a blast. I went by myself and was unfamiliar with the trails so I took it pretty easy.

    It didn't take much time for me to realize how out of shape I actually am. I was huffing and puffing like crazy and my quads were on fire. I was only able to stay out there for about 45min before getting back to my truck. I nearly puked twice...I know you all wanted to hear that.

    So I'm creating this thread to hopefully hold myself accountable. I want to keep at it and not give up and would really like it if you all would help hold me to my goals and maybe even inspire me and motivate me.

    I want to be there for my children and wife. I need to live by example and be healthier than I am right now. I plan on not dieting, but rather making a lifestyle change to eating/being healthier. Exercising or being active daily. Trying to get my friends and family involved as well.

    Currently I'm at 265lb and my end goal weight is 200lb. I would just be amazed if I could get to 200lb. I've a bigger body guy anyway and I think too much more than 65lb loss would be too much.

    My brother and I are going on our annual "mantrip" in June. We go up to the Boundary Waters and canoe, fish, and live off the land basically. I've set a goal to lose at least 20lb by that trip. That will be my first big goal of weight loss.

    I've also set a few smaller goals for now as well: NO soda. NO fast food. Ride my bike at least 3 times a week.

    I plan on setting other goals as well but I don't want to overwhelm myself and not follow through on any of them.

    I look forward to updating this thread and all the advice, stories, and criticism from you all.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully offering some advice.

    Regards,

    -John


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  2. #2
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    Good luck John. No wait, not good luck. Luck has nothing to do with it. Just do it as the ad says. You can do this. One day at a time. You have many reasons to do it as you indicated. What is working for me is counting calories. Every single freaking thing I eat gets counted. I use a Droid app for free, and EVERYTHING is accounted for. NO processed sugar is added to my food. I get enough of that in food wheather I like it or not. NO soda. Not Diet, nothing. I do not drink beer anymore, except rarely. I mean rarely. ZERO fast food. Low starchy carbs. High protiens, complex carbs, ride like hell, take days off riding to rest, protien shakes, and do NOT drink your calories. No fruit juice, mostly only water. I have lost 18 lbs in 37 days. I am 6'2, 232, and was 250 just a short while ago. My goal weight is 210. If you ever need any motivation or ideas, drop me a pm. Not that I know it all, but will always try to lend an idea. Have a good day!
    Last edited by trmn8er; 03-11-2012 at 09:50 AM.

  3. #3
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    Your situation sounds pretty close to mine when I decided to drop the weight and get healthy. I was 10 pounds heavier than you when I started a little over a year ago and I should hit 235 when i step on the scale monday morning so dropping the weight is definetly doable. I went into it shooting to get off 15 to 20 pounds in the first year and make small lifestyle changes to keep it off. This year since I am now in alot better shape I am slowly ramping up my excercise level and shooting for another 30 to 40 pounds. I am already almost 20 pounds into that goal since the start of the year so it seems that taking my time, making the changes slowly instead of radically, and having my families support has paid off.

    Now not everything works for each person but since my height, starting weight and the fact that I work 12 hour shift work mostly sitting on my butt here are a few things Ive worked out that may or may not help.

    Dont be scared to take your mountain bike around the neighborhood miles are exercise and not all of em have to be on dirt if you don't have time to hit the trails.

    I have a 2 year old also and she "loves" going for rides with daddy. A bike trailer is a great way to be inspired to get out and spend some kiddo time. Riding to a playground, chasing the kid around, and riding back burns a suprising amount of calories.

    Add some variety to your exercise. The body learns activities and if you only do one thing all the time it could possibly slow your weight loss down. Take a walk, use the gym for weights or cardio machines, hit the pool etc etc.

    Drink lots of water, get a bottle and carry it around with you. Use it to replace soda's and the like when your out and about. The hardest thing I had to give up was my addiction to sweet tea so I know that one is difficult. I swear southern sweet tea is worse than crack.

    Like the above poster said get a calorie tracker, either an app or online. Set a goal weight and a weekly loss weight thats realistic and log everything. Take the time to measure or weigh serving sizes. Right now I have mine set for 1 pound a week loss and try to get to having a whole days worth of calories extra at the end of the week. I still eat alot of the food I enjoy just my portions are radically changed now that I stick to the serving sizes.

    Join the weight loss thread in this forum. It's not a contest, no one critizises you and since I started doing it I have found it inspired me greatly to be able to log on here monday mornings and type in a few more pounds gone. I have actually found myself passing on the bigger piece of birthday cake with the thought in mind that I have to chart my weight on here the next day.

    That was pretty rambling, hope some of it helps. But advice is advice, take it in, find what works for you and what doesn't and enjoy shopping for a new belt to hold your new pants up. It has been my happiest unexpected expense of the year replacing my wardrobe and getting my wedding ring resized so it stops falling off my hand

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies and great advice!

    I'm gonna try to find an app for my iPhone to track my food. Unfortunately I found out today that I'm gonna be without a bike for at least 2 weeks. I got up this morning and was headed to the trails. My bike had a flat so I went to my LBS. They replaced the tube for me but also informed me that they just got notice Giant issued a safety recall on some of their bikes. The forks are failing causing them to separate while riding. My bike just happened to be on a recall list.

    The guy said he couldn't make me not ride my bike but strongly advised against it. He said it will be at least 2 weeks until they get the new fork in.

    As a back up plan I will do some p90x. I plan to stick to it no matter what. I'm also going to go grocery shopping and completely buy all healthy items and throw out all the junk.

    Once the weather stays consistently decent I'm going to try to ride my bike to work. I work probably about 4 miles or so from my house. I'll need to check to be sure, but it's not too far. I think that would really help me out.

    If I were to do that do you all suggest getting a separate set of tires/wheels? Or would the stock set be fine for road riding?

    Thanks again!

    John


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  5. #5
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    I'm not expert but I wouldn't bother getting new wheels/tires for 4 miles. Yes it will make more noise and take more effort but isn't that the whole point? It's like driving to the gym and parking as close to the door as you possibly can.

  6. #6
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    I've been using the livestrong app for the last 2 weeks and have been having great results. It has a very nice calorie tracking app with online look up of food items. Every time I've tried to calorie count before I've not been able to keep it up due to the work of tracking, but this app makes it pretty easy. At this point the hardest part is just being disciplined about the "every little thing that goes in your mouth" rule. The livestrong app also syncs with a desktop net based interface that makes data entry even easier.

    The other thing you want to look at is Strava. Strava is basically a GPS bike computer that up loads your riding track to a web site, pulls out the segments that you've ridden before or that are commonly ridden in your area and ranks your performance and keeps track of your improvements on segments. Very motivational. The net desk top interface will also calculate your calories burned. You take those calories burned numbers and poke them back into the livestrong app and suddenly dieting gets a lot easier.

    I've found it to be very motivational. Livestrong has me on about 2200 calories to loose 2 pounds a week. But if I go out for a 90 minute ride I'll burn 1200 calories. On big ride days I'll sometimes go to bed with 500 calories unused.

    I started back to riding after a 20 year hiatus back April of 2011. I was running 265-270 then. Just biking with no real diet discipline I dropped 10. Since starting with the livestrong 2 weeks ago and ramping up the cycling I've lost another 9. First time I've seen the 24x's in over a decade. I know that's probably too fast to loose, and that that rate will obviously slow down here shortly, but I dont feel like I'm really dieting that hard, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing as long as I'm getting good results.

  7. #7
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    I tried that switching tires to a hybrid set with my old bike and it lasted about 2 weeks before the effort of switching back and forth outdid the very little gain I got from using them while riding on the road. I don't mind the extra effort and I am not out to break land speed records so the knobby tires work fine. I will probably pick up a road bike at some point but I am in no hurry.

    I use the Lose It app for my Iphone to track calories. It's free, easy to use and has a bar code scanner that picks up most of the things I have entered into it. It also has some online functions but I don't use them so can't really rate how well they work. The food database is pretty extensive and I have been able to get either the exact item I am eating or something thats pretty close including alot of resturant foods. There are alot of calorie tracker apps for the iphone so just try a couple till you find one you like.

    For riding I use the cyclemeter app. Think it cost 5 bucks. I know there are better one's out there but I got it before I started to lurk around here to get opinions and since I paid for it and it does a halfway decent job Ive just stuck with it. It works as a gps tracker and also does pretty good for walks and or runs.

  8. #8
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    Awesome info guys, thanks!




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  9. #9
    B.Ike
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    I don't like riding pavement on mtb tires, not because of the effort but because they get chewed up so fast. I like to get at least a season out of my tires. What about a craigslist cheepo for road riding?
    I came back to mountain biking a couple of years ago when I discovered that my knee problem was unaffected by cycling. In quick order my knee got better and I got hooked again on riding. And that I think is key: get hooked. I don't count calories but I eat better so i can ride better. I didn't quit beer but i rarely drink unless I'm at a party and even then if I have a ride in the morning I wont. That puking feeling goes away quick, the burning in the thighs should as well. Stick with it and results will come on their own. My senior year I played football at a fit 220 but wrestled that same year at 190. My coach said don't count calories or diet just practice hard and eat well, and you'll drop the weight, and he was right. Its the same for mountain biking: put the miles in and your goal will come to you. Stick with it bud.

  10. #10
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    Well, its been a couple weeks since i have been on here.

    I just got back from a trip to Washington state. Traveled all around the western side and center of the state. Drove there and back taking different routes. It was awesome. Needless to say, I didn't really pay any attention to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So now, i plan on hitting it much stricter.

    My wife and I have gotten on a "Wholefoods" organic kick, and are now buying better food to put in the house which will in turn hopefully become a lifestyle change. My bike still isn't fixed after learning about the recall on my fork. I am eating better now, and once my bike is fixed i plan on riding it to work. (if i don't get a road bike then i will use my mtb)

    The distance is ~2.4 miles from my house to the office downtown. I'm thinking i can make that is 25min or so. I'm thinking about selling my truck and just riding my bike, and my wife has a brand new car that we can use if need be. I'm finding there isn't a need for us to have 2 brand new vehicles at the moment.

    anyway, i just wanted to update you all.

    thanks,

    John

  11. #11
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    maybe this is completely in the wrong place, but i was just curious if you all could recommend a starting point for a road bike search. i'm looking on CL and finding tons of bikes for cheap prices, but really don't know what is what.

    thanks,

    John

  12. #12
    B.Ike
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    sell the truck ftw. I'm no help on a road bike. Compare prices at bikes direct and nashbar, for clearance type pricing. You could consider a hybrid for such a short commute. Good luck.

  13. #13
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    one word stay away from the fast food joints .. i know we all love a burger but its to easy..

  14. #14
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    Burgers at home are much better tasting anyways and can be healthy as well. Lean beef, no fillers, whole wheat bun, lots of veggie toppings...mmmm...sounds pretty good to me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatguynewtobiking View Post
    maybe this is completely in the wrong place, but i was just curious if you all could recommend a starting point for a road bike search. i'm looking on CL and finding tons of bikes for cheap prices, but really don't know what is what.

    thanks,

    John
    You can also ride a mountain bike on the road. Just swap the tires. If you aren't racing it doesn't really matter if you go a little slower than you would with a road bike. I have a Jamis Dragon 29er that has been great on the very hilly Connecticut roads.
    He who dares....wins!

  16. #16
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    First, I want to say congratulations on taking that first step. It really is the hardest.

    Good idea to tell others of your goals. It adds a level of accountability most need to keep themselves motivated.

    I also like that you are getting your wife involved, at least with the diet. Much easier when you're not fighting your other half over how to eat, etc.

    One thing I'd like to caution you on, and that is the setting of weight loss goals by a certain time frame. The problem with that is that you don't really have any direct control over weight loss. You can follow the perfect diet and exercise plan to the letter and not loose as much as you'd hoped. That can be demoralizing. Better to set your short term goals as things you do have control over.

    For example: Eat healthy and at or below my calorie goal at least 6 days a week. Go for at least a one hour bike ride at least 3 times a week. Go for a half hour walk at least 3 times a week.

    Notice that these are not absolutes, or things you to have be perfect at in order to meet them (you have a cheat day in the diet, you have a day you don't need to exercise, etc.). At the same time, there is a definite minimum amount, so the goal is clear.

    Good luck in your continuing journey!

    R_M

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