What Goes Up Must Come Down

My Slimming World journey lately has been very much like the bike rides I do.  I normally start and finish a ride at the same point, so what goes up must come down.  This is what I tell myself when I’m struggling up a hill (a hill most people wouldn’t even huff and puff at), it often gets me to the top knowing that at some point I will be going down again and can have a break, I mean recover.

I was on a roll a few weeks ago with my weight, I’d lost 12.5 lbs in the space of 4 weeks, that just over 3 lbs a week… I was feeling good.  Then the dredded manflu set in and this is what kills me more now than the actual weight gain during this period.  In the last two weeks I’ve gained 7.5 lbs, a whopping 3.75 lbs each week on average.  It kills me that it is so much easier to gain weight than it is to loose it.

The bike (or rather my dads bike) hasn’t seen any action in 3 weeks now.  That coupled with two weeks of really bad decisions food wise has left me in a state.  At the start of last week I felt really low, low enough that I started not to care about what gain I may see on Wednesday weigh night.  But then Wednesday weigh night came and long behold I found 5 lbs of that 7.5 lbs I have gained.  This hit me in the face as hard as one of those freak flies that catch you when hurtling down a road at 20mph on the bike (not that I often reach that speed).

So now the up is here, I’m not feeling all that confident for this weeks weigh-in either as I’ve not been on plan, though some meals have been.  I keep telling myself it’s time to be an adult and make the right choices when it comes to eating, my head is in the game, but unfortunately my stomach keeps winning.

But I’m not well over the spurt of manflu I had for a couple of weeks and I now have some time to get out on the bike again.  I was on call with work last week whihc restricts me a little, but no excuses this week.  Come rain or shine I will be pedalling away.  They say at Slimming World you don’t have to exercise when you stick to plan, that’s all well and fine, but getting out on the bike is the only time I get to myself, the only time I get to clear my head of all that goings off.  Being on my bike is more than just exercise, it’s where I can turn off from thinking about work for a bit, turn off from thinking about home for a bit, for that time is just me, the bike and the road (not forgetting all those impatient drivers of vehicles with engines).

Hopefully I am now at the crest of the hill with this weight gain and come Wednesday next week I will be well and truely on the way hown snaking around that bag of crisps there or that sausage roll over there.  It won’t quite be like cycling up the alps and back down again, but as long as I’m going down I will be happier.  I will believe inmyself that little more and I will not get myself stuck in a rut.  Afterall, the lighter I am, the easier it will be to get up those hills on the bike.

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.

 

Fighting with myself taking on the war of being severely overweight with dieting and cycling

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