When it comes to weight and body dysmorphia, we cyclists can go toe-to-toe with any thirteen year old tween who has done their time flipping through the pages of Vogue and Sixteen. However fit and thin we might be, at some point it dawns on us that we’re not as light as we could be. The obvious solution is to buy lighter parts for our bikes, but eventually we will run out of parts to buy or money to spend. At that point, we’ll have no alternative but to start losing weight.
On the surface, this is a fairly simple matter; calories in minus calories out is the magic to any weight loss voodoo, right up to the point where it stops working because the “calories in” part deviates from our lifestyle or our metabolism decides we’re old and that since everything else is slowing down, it should too.
It is at this juncture that we ask ourselves how we can lose those kilos that seem unwilling to melt from our bodies. The answer varies depending on your lifestyle, body type, how loud your Awesome is, and your ideal riding weight. (By the way, similarly to the number of bikes to own, your ideal riding weight is one kilo less than your current weight, or weight ideal = weight current – 1). But assuming that you enjoy eating, alcohol, or anything else that doesn’t suck, it will require doing something drastic.
My journey through weight loss started with doing everything the same but riding more until that program stalled, and then I started doing sit-ups and leg lifts, both of which meet the aforementioned suck requirement. And then I cut back on beer and wine, which sucks even more, but that’s when things really started happening. A surprising side-effect of cutting down on booze, by the way, is that although you get less charismatic, you feel better in general and sleep better in addition to losing weight. It turns out that alcohol is a poison or something. Who knew?
But now that my V-Jersey isn’t stretched like a balloon on a pumpkin, I’ve moved on to worrying about my upper body, which is bigger than a typical cyclist’s thanks to 15 or so years of nordic ski racing. Which brings me to Ullrich’s sleeves. I have always had it in my mind that Jan and I are of similar physique, aside from the quads and calves and the devilishly good looks. But my stupid sleeves are always tight, and his were always loose. I take off my jersey, and sure enough, there’s that little mark that the sleeves made on each of my arms. Infuriating. The only solution is to focus completely on wasting my upper body into nothing.
Since I’m not doing anything outrageous like routinely lifting weighty objects or doing pushups, the only conclusion I can draw is that I’m carrying too many groceries into the house at once. I’ve therefor moved to a strict regimen of only carrying one gallon of milk at a time. It takes twice as long to unload the car that way, but all that walking is good for my cardio, you just have to push through the pain. I also alternate hands every few strides if I’ve parked more than a hundred meters from the house in order to avoid becoming lopsided.
Finally, if this latest program doesn’t work out as well as I expect it to, I’ve also realized that while carbohydrates are an athlete’s friend in terms of providing easy energy to burn during a workout, they are heavy on the fork, and repetitively lifting forkloads of pasta into my mouth may be what’s causing my shoulders to bulk up unnecessarily. I’m therefor on the lookout for a healthy food source that can be drank from a straw or something in pellet form that I can peck out of a bowl.
It’s drastic, sure, but drastic times call for drastic measures, and I’m determined to get there eventually.