It’s That Time Of Year…

Not only are people starting to count down to Christmas, shops are getting stocked for Christmas and everyone is whining about Christmas decorations in public places already, but the nights are getting longer and the days shorter.

Along with longer night come cold mornings and just and cold evenings (though so far in the UK this week hasn’t been to bad in the evening).  Last week I started riding in a Windproof Jacket and some Bib Tights, but last week is as far as I got.  I’ve not been out on the bike since Tuesday last week because of a cold.

This time of year is when I start to get colds more and more frequent.  All through Winter I will have a cold from one week to the next, but I try not to let it get in my way.  I still work, I still help out with the kids and around the house, never moaning about having a cold.  I soldier on through where I can, but I can’t face getting out on the bike.  The thought of getting outside and panting while pushing down on those pedals really doesn’t appeal to me right now.  All I want to do is cosy up on the sofa and eat junk food.

It’s not doing any good for me mentally not getting out on the bike.  Right now I am feeling down and demotivated.  The constant headache, the constant snot pouring from my nose and the sore throat is driving me nuts!  All that mixed together means I’m not getting the sleep my body and my head requires at the moment.  Lack of sleep means lack of energy.  Lack of energy means lack of desire to get out on the saddle.  That then leads to me not feeling good about myself and comfort eating.

This last week hasn’t been great for sticking to the Slimming World plan either.  I even missed last nights weigh-in and IMAGE Therapy that I need.  This is a danger zone for me.  Missing a group often leads to me going way off the rails when I’m feeling fit and healthy, image the temptation of just consuming huge numbers of unneeded calories while I’m feeling like I am.  This leads to constant battle in my head.

I depend on my Slimming World group each week to keep me on track, it’s what it’s there for.  Other people in the group are likely the same as me, it’s routine and it’s required in order to keep that weight figure down.  Already today I’ve had a fight with food.  How I feel I just want comfort food; Bread, Chocolate, Crisps.  I don’t want to eat healthy foods right now, but I need to.  I can’t afford to go back to group next week with a huge gain and undo what I’ve achieved already.  I also know from previous experience that if I start to eat unhealthily because I’m not feeling great, I start to feel worse.  I start to feel depressed that I’ve given into myself, that I wasn’t strong enough to no to that take away or that sharing size bag of crisps.

This is where the Slimming World group comes in.  It gives me a new lease of life each week through my ‘life style change’.  It gives me the motivation to keep going for the next week and make the better choices.  I’m missing that now this week.  I’m sat here writing this thinking but there is a group tonight or tomorrow nearby, but I’ve a really bad cold and I don’t want to go coughing and sharing germs around other people – they certainly wouldn’t approve of it.  It’s an excuse, it really is, but it’s the time of year that colds are more common and we should be doing what we can to stop spreading them.  I’m working from home today as I don’t want to be responsible for other people in the office getting the strain of cold I have.

Physically I’m exhausted, mentally I’m tired.  I just have to keep reminding myself of the long game here.  I want to shed that weight so I can get that new bike and carry on with what I’ve found I’m really enjoying.  This cold can’t stop me achieving that, it can only set me back.  But I don’t want a set back, I want to keep going forward.  I’m going to keep drinking fluids, I’m going to try my best to keep to healthier foods.  I’m not going to give into temptation just because I feel down and tired, I can do this.

But Why Cycling?

People have asked me why I’m using Cycling to loose weight.  There is not real reason behind it other than it’s something I used to enjoy as a kid.  Long before I passed my driving test at the young age of 17 I used to go everywhere on a bike.  I used to race up to my weekend job on a bike, I used to go out with friends on my bike.  Then along came a car and convenience.

If you properly look into cycling while overweight, there are warnings of back problems, neck problems and actually having a bike that will cope with a larger person.  I currently do not own a bike, I am using my dads mountain bike.  He isn’t using it and it was stood collecting dust, so I have it for now.

Mountain bikes and Hybrid bikes are likely the better bikes for us who are on the larger side.  They tend to have sturdier wheels and thicker tubes that make up the frames.  Usually so they can take the impact of off road mountain biking, but in my case it’s on a road and supporting my overweight body.

I really want a road bike and I love the idea of getting out on the bike and churning out 20+ miles.  But virtually all road bikes come with a weight limit for the rider, of which I am a few stone over.  But it’s my goal, it’s what is keeping me going at the moment with trying to loose weight.

I am getting out on the mountain bike when I can, permitting around the kids, work and life.  The nights are coming in earlier and earlier at this time of year, but that hasn’t bothered me of late.  I’ve managed to get some cheap ‘winter’ gear in the form of a windproof/shower proof high-vis jacket, some cycling bib tights and some winter cycling socks.  Armed with these I be looking to continue going out as the temperature drops.

Cycling can be seen as a better exercise for people who suffer with their weight.  It’s not impacting the knees and ankles like running does as the bike takes your weight.  You can also very easily complete interval training on a bike too, your heart rate will increase as you pedal up the slightest incline, but then you can rest as you come back down again (when you go up you have to come back down again).  I’ve found this has helped as it gives me chance to recover a little before attempting the next incline – much better than running or swimming which I feel are constant (though swimming also has it’s advantages for larger people).

Using an app on my phone called Strava is also helping me.  It tracks where you’re cycling so you can see how far you’ve gone and how quick.  But the mist impressive thing is it’s segment information.  It breaks you ride into segments and you can see if this time you set a quicker time than last time.  It keeps me motivate towards the end of my rides as I keep trying to lower the time on the last stretch home.  It’s also free which helps those of us on a budget.


I Am Who I Am, Not What I Am

Weight loss for most people will give all sorts of benefits to their health and lifestyle.  Unless you’re already at a desired weight or underweight, loosing weight can make you better mentally as well as physically.

Being overweight can increase the risk of all sorts of conditions and issues, not least to mention;

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stokes
  • Pains in Back and Legs

These are only some things that can be linked directly to being overweight.

Me, I’m very overweight.  I joined Slimming World back in May this year and since have managed to shift a little over 1 and a half stone.  My blog isn’t going to be a giant advert for Slimming World, instead I want to share my journey of loosing weight and share the benefits of loosing weight.

I don’t want to suffer from Diabetes (though I’m currently at risk).  I don’t want High Blood Pressure.  I certainly don’t want to suffer from a Stroke and I have the fact I sometimes suffer with back pain and pains in my knees.  Loosing weight is best way forward I see to turn my life around.

I’ve two small children, both of which I want to see live until they’re getting old.  I want grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  I face a seriously reduced chance of seeing them at my current weight.

Now I won’t at any time reveal my weight, that’s personal to me, but at times you will see posts indicating how much weight I have lost.  Hopefully if there are other people out there who are thinking about their future and are current overweight, maybe I can inspire someone to loose a little too.

A lot of people link our weigh to who we are.  My weight is not who I am.  I am who I am regardless of whether I way 25st or 15st.  There is no right weight for anyone, other than feeling comfortable with yourself.

People have interpretations of what you’re supposed to be like. If you’re unattractive and overweight, you must have a great personality. If you’re attractive, then you must not be nicest person.

Above is a quote from Mila Kunis (according to anyway).  It hits the nail on the spot in the world we live in.  So often are people who are smaller branded as not being nice, I know bigger people who aren’t nice.  Who we are is not defined by what size we are.  I like to think I’m a nice bloke and at the moment I am overweight (quite a bit overweight actually).  But eventually I will be at a weight that I feel I’m comfortable at.  That doesn’t mean I wont suddenly turn from being nice old me into someone not so nice.

Weight loss, as I said above can be good for you mentally.  Since joining my local Slimming World group, I feel better about myself.  I know I’m not the only person in my local area who wants to loose weight because they’re on the larger size.  Everyone has an idea of what size they want to be, for me I don’t know what weight I want to target, but I’ll know I’m there when I’m there.

For now though, my journey is only just beginning.