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1 year into commuting and I'm heavier than I've ever been

DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
edited September 2009 in Commuting chat
OK, this time last year this is how my week would pan out:

Wake up go to work, smoke (sometimes), subway/chinese or something of that nature for lunch and then dinner really late. My week days were unhealthy.

This was nothing compared to the weekends, which consisted of:

Doing nothing until 8pm, get ready, go to a bar £40-£100 on alcohol, smokes and a takeaway at the end of night. If I didn't go out it would be a bottle of wine and a takeaway every Friday and Saturday.

Needless to say I was unhealthy and I was beginning to feel my body complain.

So. I polished my Giant Escape M2, which later became my Giant SCR3 and I rode to work so on and so forth and we arrive at today. I've all but given up alcohol, fast food and smoking. I changed my diet and lifestyle, my friends moan at my reluctance to drink heavily or go out excessively. I ride nearly everyday and I can haul my bike up hills, that were impossible to climb last year. My waist size has diminished.

So. I visit the doctor today and I step on the scales. 95kg was my weight last visit :( its the taget to beat. With one foot gingerly on the scales the dial shoots past 80/90kg. I get off take my shoes off contemplate extreme stripping to shed weight but their was no denying it. I step on, 102kg. What The Flying Smeg Headed F*ck!

I've never felt stronger, fitter, faster, healthier or more aware. Yet at my worst and most unhealthy I've never been that heavy. I want to be lean and quick not bulkiy and muscular... I feel dissapointed...

Cycling doesn't work. :(
Food Chain number = 4

A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
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  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    But has you're body shape changed? Don't forget muscle weigh's more than fat so as you loose the flab you'll firm up and get fitter. Anyway if you feel better does it really matter how much you weigh?

    My weight is pretty much static now, give or take the odd pund or three, yet I know my body shape is changing as my clothes are looser everywhere but arround the thighs :lol:

    Don't be a slave to the scales
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    And most of your riding is sprinting between lights.
    DDD SCRing on london's gold-paved roads: http://www.velonews.com/photo/89984
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Do you snack on high sugar or fat? Although you have eschewed take aways, do you still eat relatively high fat, albeit home cooked, foods? I concur with the previous poster in that you may have more muscle than previously. Do yuo also do weights at a gym?
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    But has you're body shape changed? Don't forget muscle weigh's more than fat so as you loose the flab you'll firm up and get fitter. Anyway if you feel better does it really matter how much you weigh?

    My weight is pretty much static now, give or take the odd pund or three, yet I know my body shape is changing as my clothes are looser everywhere but arround the thighs

    Don't be a slave to the scales

    Well that's the thing.

    I'm using the smallest notch on my belt (for the first time) and my trousers are baggy around the waist as they're falling off. Around the thighs and I may as well be wearing skinny jeans.

    It's my 16.5 inch neck, 42inch chest (or there abouts) and shoulders that are bothering, the shoulders are huge a lot bigger than before

    I feel like this:

    ascended6au.jpg
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    You need to run a bit Don. Why not ride the c*ap old bike to work one day and run home? Then run back in the next day and ride back? Also enter the Serpentine 5k at the end of each month to keep you focussed and your speed up. Then the weight will fall off. LSD is what you need - long slow distance running - plus a perky 5k regularly to keep you interested. Oh, I remember now, this is a bike forum! :o
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    JonGinge wrote:
    And most of your riding is sprinting between lights.
    DDD SCRing on london's gold-paved roads: http://www.velonews.com/photo/89984

    That's the thing, I stopped doing it as it was becoming pointless as very rarely could people catch me on a commute. Instead I've been focusing on steady cadence big gear for longer periods.

    Just yesterday I went to Richmond Park, road up Wimbledon Hill (to Wimbledon Village) in the 50ring, and did a couple laps around the park (including the hills with relatively less struggle than last time) and came back home with really feeling tired. My lower back at the base of the spine did hurt though...
    Do you snack on high sugar or fat? Although you have eschewed take aways, do you still eat relatively high fat, albeit home cooked, foods? I concur with the previous poster in that you may have more muscle than previously. Do yuo also do weights at a gym?

    I don't snack on high sugar or fatty foods as much as I used to if at all now. My girlfriend has me eating all kinds of healthy posh stuff I can't pronouce... I don't go to the gym, but during the winter I might - to work on my cardio vascular fitness.

    Gonna watch my diet and portions more carefully.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    Muscle is not heavier than fat - it's more dense. For a given volume you will weigh more if you have a higher muscle content

    the whole BMI thing is bollocks DDD, you may be heavier but I bet your fat content is WAY down.

    You're simply going to have decide whether to want to lose weight or fat (or both). If you are att he stage where your fitness is where you want it to be, but your body shape / size is not, then you need to start getting advice.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • janiemjaniem Posts: 3
    I'm the same. Been training for the Alps (next week, quite scared) and commuting all summer. Still punching 3 STONE (!!!) above weight. I really wanted to be skinny with a power to weight ratio that was out of this world. No chance. Had to have bigger cogs fitted to the back wheel in case I need to 'escape'. Totally embarrassing.
    I blame the hunger. If you're training up near your threshold it turns you into a lycra clad pacman. I was doing ok in October when I was base training on the turbo and eating cup a soups.
    I am going to have a month or so off the bike soon and starve myself.
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    Quite sure it's not your head then? :wink:

    But Rich158 is right about the muscle being heavier that lard... feeble googling is giving lots of different figures, but 1.5 times the weight seems a pretty common ratio. Hurrah for unreliable internets!
  • R_T_AR_T_A Posts: 488
    I've never felt stronger, fitter, faster, healthier or more aware. Yet at my worst and most unhealthy I've never been that heavy. I want to be lean and quick not bulky and muscular... I feel dissapointed...

    [/quote]

    Did the doctor rush you to A&E because of your ill health?

    No. That's because you're significantly healthier and fitter than a year ago.

    Weight isn't the be-all and end-all. It sounds as if you've built yourself a sprinter's physique, and no one would say someone like Usain Bolt is unhealthy/lardy. The fact you carve up others in SCR is also a credit to your fitness :wink:

    If you want to lose weight, the best way is to do consistently long bouts of exercise and (dare I say it) not at maximum warp. I've just read your last post and it sounds like you're doing that - it'll just take a bit of time for your body to adjust (hence the knackeredness).

    I lost loads doing marathon training when I moved away from 10K and started doing 10+ miles more frequently. I'm sure it's the same with cycling.

    Cheer up - look how much joy cycling has given you in the last year! :D
    Giant Escape R1
    FCN 8
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    - Terry Pratchett.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    OK I stand corrected on the fat thing.

    If you've just been sprinting between the lights then you won't be in the correct HR zone for fat burning. By going for steady longer rides you're doing the right thing, although at the end of the day if calories out exceed calories in then you'll loose weight. I'd still keep up with the commuting though, it'd be a shame to let all those scalps go to waste :wink:
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • unscarredunscarred Posts: 208
    I sympathise. This year I started a major (for me) programme of races, mailnly running. Since March I've done my first 10K, my first duathlon, my first 10 mile, my first Triathlon, and this month I'm going to do my first half-marathon. My friends say I've never looked better, and I feel great.

    However, I haven't lost more than about a kilo in all that time, still 105kg.

    I'm now starting to work on my diet. They say "champions are made in the kitchen", so today I start keeping a food and training diary, we'll see what difference it makes...

    BTW, try www.fitday.com, free online training and nutrition logger, useful reporst and so on.
    FCN 6 in the week on the shiny new single speed.

    FCN 3 at the weekend - struggling to do it justice!
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Long and slow. If you want to lose some muscle try not to eat after exercise.

    As others have said, i bet you look better for hte previous year.
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    Do you do long rides at the weekend? i.e 40-50+ milers? Its that kind of riding I think you might need, but happy to be corrected! :)
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    But has you're body shape changed? Don't forget muscle weigh's more than fat so as you loose the flab you'll firm up and get fitter. Anyway if you feel better does it really matter how much you weigh?

    My weight is pretty much static now, give or take the odd pund or three, yet I know my body shape is changing as my clothes are looser everywhere but arround the thighs

    Don't be a slave to the scales

    Well that's the thing.

    I'm using the smallest notch on my belt (for the first time) and my trousers are baggy around the waist as they're falling off. Around the thighs and I may as well be wearing skinny jeans.

    It's my 16.5 inch neck, 42inch chest (or there abouts) and shoulders that are bothering, the shoulders are huge a lot bigger than before

    I feel like this:

    ascended6au.jpg

    Now you're just showing off. It sounds like it's something to do with your body type. I cycle run and do weights at the gym in attempt to improve both my cardio fitness and build some upper body strength. MY CV fitness is vastly better, my resting heart rate is around 48 bpm but despite hammering heavy weights at the gym for about 6 years I am still 6'3" and of "athletic" build. I am sloooooowly, oh so slooowly putting on some muscle up top, but my legs are like tree trunks. I drink protein shakes after the gym and everything. Sounds like we need to swap bodies...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    Rich158 wrote:
    If you've just been sprinting between the lights then you won't be in the correct HR zone for fat burning.

    The "fat burning zone" is a myth. The higher the intensity of your exercise the more calories you will burn. This increase overcomes the higher useage of fat at lower intensities just by the number of cals you burn.
    When it comes to calorie burning during exercise, research shows that short, high-intensity aerobic session burn more calories than longer, lower-intensity aerobic workouts. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned in short, high intensity exercise.
    For example, a 154 pound person who runs at a pace of 8 mph will burn 320 calories in 20 minutes. That same person, walking at 3 mph for an hour, will burn 235 calories.


    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa112701a.htm


    Low reps / high power builds muscle = sprinters and body builders are big (and also low body fat).

    If you spend your commute giving it the big hammer from the lights for 30 seconds and then dropping down for the next set you'll get big old quads.

    High reps / low power = marathon runners and endurance cyclists - they look like Skeletor on a high fibre diet.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • I have a similar issue to you. five years into commuting and I am around same weight as you. Did not start from such an unhealthy position though, but I am a good 10 Kilos heavier.

    I have a very healthy diet as well......but too healthy. It might be good stuff i eat but the calories still count!

    My problem is/was that snacking seems easier to justify when you exercise for close to 2 hours a day, but it can get out of hand.

    So, like unscarred I am currently keeping a food diary to help me drop 10 kilos from 100Kg.

    It seems to work as it is motivating to write less down at the end of the day.

    You sound like you know about diet etc.

    So won't repeat same old stuff, I just load up with a good breakfast and then hold out for lunch as long as I can.

    When I have another good meal, soup & sandwich & fruit.

    Then dinner which is late (post 10pm due to two babies) To tied over the gap from the commute home I allow myself a healthy snack when I get home. A glass of semi skimmed milk really keeps hunger pangs away....
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    @Sewinman, am now going to dedicate Sunday's to long morning rides.
    Greg T wrote:

    High reps / low power = marathon runners and endurance cyclists - they look like Skeletor on a high fibre diet.

    So what you're saying is spin in the granny gear from Sun up to Sun down?

    May have to do that.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    One thing I learned, DDD, is that although the cycling seems a lot of exercise, it doesn't give you the golden ticket to eat whatever you want. It's great, though, that you've cut out the really unhealthy stuff.

    Although I dropped a lot of fat through the first year and a half of commuting, it's slowed down a lot over the latter 2 years, and I'm now really starting to watch my food intake in earnest... avoiding things like cheese and fatty meat like bacon, and picking fish over red meat, for example. I've also stopped snacking altogether, and am trying to eat my main meal at lunchtime, and considering 2 smaller meals at 11 and 3. I also try to eat dinner as early as possible and maybe go for a walk or a spin round the park after it.

    I'm also taking up other sports to try and stop my body doing that increased efficiency thing, as well as putting in more distance rides over the weekend.

    It seems that the fitter you get, the harder you have to work to shift the fat - I don't really consider the commute to be proper exercise, even if I really hammer it.

    What's more I know that in my book weight is irrelevant compared to fat and shape.
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    edited July 2009
    EDIT Gret T beat me to it in a MUCH more succinct way!!


    Why is everyone so hung up on weight? When you've clearly said that you're looking better, clothes are falling off you, and you feel better?

    From what I (barely) understand, you get the cardio light-but-long sort of workout, or an anaerobic grunty-and short sort. Cardio isn't physically hard initially, but gets tiring - it's designed to burn energy and not much more (hence lose you fat). The grunty stuff builds muscle, as you're going hard from the start and tearing up your muscles which then rebuild stronger, and often heavier.

    BUT these things can work together, can't they? The more muscle you have, the higher your base metabolism, so the more energy just gets burnt off during normal activity.

    Hearing blokes talk about body building, I understand they beef up first, eating lots of protein etc and pumping iron until their underlying muscle is going somewhere - then they 'cut' by using their now faster metabolism while doing cardio sort of exercise, in order to bring the fat levels down, get lean, and let the muscle show.

    Sooooo I guess cyclists in their first year (and this includes me, I'm losing no weight but my legs are MUCH more solid now than wobbly like they were) are going to be building up all those cycle-specific muscles, esp those on hills! High gears and slowish cadences are going to help build muscle.

    If you're sick of muscle building and would prefer to cut - I guess you need looooong, spinny, and not so hilly rides. Endurance stuff rather than power stuff. Now you've got the base level set a bit higher, and your health is good, it should (hopefully!) be "easier" to lose weight. I say that as one that struggles myself - because it's hard to change habit - especially that awesome one which lets you eat LOTS while cycling everywhere!
    4537512329_a78cc710e6_o.gif4537512331_ec1ef42fea_o.gif
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I have a similar issue to you. five years into commuting and I am around same weight as you. Did not start from such an unhealthy position though, but I am a good 10 Kilos heavier.

    I have a very healthy diet as well......but too healthy. It might be good stuff i eat but the calories still count!

    My problem is/was that snacking seems easier to justify when you exercise for close to 2 hours a day, but it can get out of hand.

    So, like unscarred I am currently keeping a food diary to help me drop 10 kilos from 100Kg.

    It seems to work as it is motivating to write less down at the end of the day.

    You sound like you know about diet etc.

    So won't repeat same old stuff, I just load up with a good breakfast and then hold out for lunch as long as I can.

    When I have another good meal, soup & sandwich & fruit.

    Then dinner which is late (post 10pm due to two babies) To tied over the gap from the commute home I allow myself a healthy snack when I get home. A glass of semi skimmed milk really keeps hunger pangs away....

    5/6 small meals a day are where it's at evidently. That way you even out the dips in your blood sugar levels that lead to craving sweet stuff. iirc correctly it's best to eat every three hours or so. I try to eat a decent breakfast, mid morning snack including fruit, a decent lunch, then a mid afternoon snack to get me home, dinner, and a late evening snack. The only problem is getting the size of the snacks under controll :roll:
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    An aside - the cutting thing is madness at some points - a very good friend of mine is really into the bodybuilding thing and dehydrates himself intentionally to get the maximum 'cut'...

    How? Well by drinking lots of white wine and really minimal water, going for runs dressed in bin-bag suits, other insanity... :shock:
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    edited July 2009
    An aside - the cutting thing is madness at some points - a very good friend of mine is really into the bodybuilding thing and dehydrates himself intentionally to get the maximum 'cut'...

    How? Well by drinking lots of white wine and really minimal water, going for runs dressed in bin-bag suits, other insanity... :shock:
    Well yes, that's silly. Body builders are silly, in the main - but they're on the knife edge of getting their bodies exactly how they want them, so I steal a few ideas to understand how to try and get mine how I want it...

    ...I have however also fallen into the trap of wanting to hit a certain weight. It's censored , really, but it'd be nice to see 10 stone dead on the scales again just the once. I'm only small!
    4537512329_a78cc710e6_o.gif4537512331_ec1ef42fea_o.gif
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    edited July 2009
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    So what you're saying is spin in the granny gear from Sun up to Sun down?

    Nope.

    Exercise as hard as you can for as long as you can.

    Interval training / hill reps etc are all designed to let you spike up to very high intensities and then recover. This lets you train longer at higher intensities = good for fat loss and also works you at close to you anaroeboc threshold - which is good for your CV fitness, fueling and efficiency.

    When I'm trying to lose weight I find that managing the calorie balance is the hardest thing.

    So you have to be in calorie debt to drop weight. Fewer cals in than cals out.

    However - at higher intensities you burn glycogen (ready to use fuel stored in muscle and liver) to a greater degree. Mobilising fat to fuel your machine doesn't happen quick enough and once you chew through your Glycogen you bonk.

    Your brain only uses Glycogen as fuel - that's why you suddenly feel like death.

    I find that getting to work I'm fine - however getting home can become a death march.

    Ironically I find that taking on 250 cals in carb sports drink as soon as I get in gets me fuelling again (immiediate post exercise is the best time to do this) and lets me eat less during the day whilst still getting me home at night.

    I have to eat circa 1,300 cals a day to lose weight - at that and 150 miles a week I might lose 0.5 kg a week if I'm lucky
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    1300? That cant be right?
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    sarajoy wrote:
    An aside - the cutting thing is madness at some points - a very good friend of mine is really into the bodybuilding thing and dehydrates himself intentionally to get the maximum 'cut'...

    How? Well by drinking lots of white wine and really minimal water, going for runs dressed in bin-bag suits, other insanity... :shock:
    Well yes, that's silly. Body builders are silly, in the main - but they're on the knife edge of getting their bodies exactly how they want them, so I steal a few ideas to understand how to try and get mine how I want it...

    ...I have however also fallen into the trap of wanting to his a certain weight. It's censored , really, but it'd be nice to see 10 stone dead on the scales again just the once. I'm only small!

    I've given up on weight - I measure myself instead to see if I've lost size, and try to assess myself sanely despite the lunar fluctuations!

    The friend in question has signed up to a triathlon in september and asked me to help him with the bike leg training - he's not a happy bunny about the water I've told him he'll have to consume! Nutter... :)
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    One thing I learned, DDD, is that although the cycling seems a lot of exercise, it doesn't give you the golden ticket to eat whatever you want. It's great, though, that you've cut out the really unhealthy stuff.

    Although I dropped a lot of fat through the first year and a half of commuting, it's slowed down a lot over the latter 2 years, and I'm now really starting to watch my food intake in earnest... avoiding things like cheese and fatty meat like bacon, and picking fish over red meat, for example. I've also stopped snacking altogether, and am trying to eat my main meal at lunchtime, and considering 2 smaller meals at 11 and 3. I also try to eat dinner as early as possible and maybe go for a walk or a spin round the park after it.

    I'm also taking up other sports to try and stop my body doing that increased efficiency thing, as well as putting in more distance rides over the weekend.

    It seems that the fitter you get, the harder you have to work to shift the fat - I don't really consider the commute to be proper exercise, even if I really hammer it.

    What's more I know that in my book weight is irrelevant compared to fat and shape.

    I think this is true. I cycle 100 to 150 miles per week, which is not as much as many out there I know, but I eat LOADS and don't put much weight on. Some of my weekly mileage is commuting so relatively stop start and some is long rides on the open roads in Kent. Occasionally I go from 80 to 82kg, but usually I am dead on 80kg, day in, day out....

    I think everyone has an ideal weight (unless they put on muscle) and as you approach this weight it is harder and harder to shift fat as your body is less keen to get rid of it, thinking it needs it for emergency reserves. Women in particular are unable to go below about 10-20% body fat or they stop having periods and their bodies go into emergency mode. Men are able to get as low as 4% or so without their bodies shutting down...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    I did a food diary at the beginning of the year which was really revealing. I found I was addicted to fat, salt and wheat, plus allergic to Gluten and Dairy. I've made lots of changes to my diet since then and this coupled with the cycling means I've managed to gradually change my body shape which is the traditional curvy Jamaican womans stylee.

    I'm struggling to get the ultra fit body that I want, but think things will improve once I start doing my weekend training rides into kent again.
    8)
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    sarajoy wrote:
    An aside - the cutting thing is madness at some points - a very good friend of mine is really into the bodybuilding thing and dehydrates himself intentionally to get the maximum 'cut'...

    How? Well by drinking lots of white wine and really minimal water, going for runs dressed in bin-bag suits, other insanity... :shock:
    Well yes, that's silly. Body builders are silly, in the main - but they're on the knife edge of getting their bodies exactly how they want them, so I steal a few ideas to understand how to try and get mine how I want it...

    ...I have however also fallen into the trap of wanting to his a certain weight. It's censored , really, but it'd be nice to see 10 stone dead on the scales again just the once. I'm only small!

    I've given up on weight - I measure myself instead to see if I've lost size, and try to assess myself sanely despite the lunar fluctuations!

    The friend in question has signed up to a triathlon in september and asked me to help him with the bike leg training - he's not a happy bunny about the water I've told him he'll have to consume! Nutter... :)

    Women's weight is also more prone to fluctuations, women's body cling on to more fat and/or water etc depending on the time of the month, year etc
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    Paulie W wrote:
    1300? That cant be right?

    I wish it wasn't.

    Experience tells me that unless I'm sub 1,500 a day I'm dead flat.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
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