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Increased health passion, through your bike passion?

3922 Views 69 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  Bigsteve3570
How has your biking passion complimented your health passion?

This is my story about how my desire to lose weight, turned into a passion for mountain biking, which turned into a passion to lose weight and become a healthier person.

This year I seriously got into mountain biking for the first time, and it has since become a passion for me. I started, mostly because I was intent on losing weight after tipping the scales at 220 in January, and I knew how much I loved biking when I was a kid, when I raced BMX.

So, I made the investment and bought a legitimate bike in the last week of June. Unfortunately, my excitement to get back on a bike, my not realizing that I'm a lot older and not in as good a shape as I was when I was a kid, and my underestimating how many skills I lost over the years, combined forces to put me in a wheelchair after my first ride on my new to me bike.:madman:

Undeterred, I was determined to not gain anymore weight while wheelchair ridden, and I kept myself pumped up to ride by spending time on this site, and researching anything and everything bike related I could.

As soon as I was released by the doctor to continue my life as normal, I got on the bike, and started tweaking my diet. It was slow going at first, but I started eating fewer calories and better food, and riding 2 to 3 times a week. Soon my metabolism started kicking in and I was at a point were I was losing a pound a day, with the exception of weekends were I may put on a pound or two. This last month has been my best stretch yet with a loss of 10lbs. When I can't ride, like right now *&%$ rain... I adjust my diet. Right now, I'm at 1,000 calories a day when I don't ride, and 1,500 when I do ride.

I've been keeping track of my weight with an online weight tracker. The graph is a great tool that has helped motivate me by showing me how my daily diet and exercise effects my progress. I am now within 6lbs. of my target, which I hope to hit by new year if 3 Christmas dinners don't completely ruin my progress.:rolleyes: And I will likely drop my goal by 5 to 10lbs. depending on how I feel.

So far, I am eating better than I ever have, feeling better, looking better, have more energy, and my health is great!

Below you can see my progress on the graph, and the ticker in my signature shows my starting point and my current goal.

So, let's hear how Biking has effected YOUR life, and YOUR health.

1 12/15/2009 186.0
2 12/14/2009 187.0
3 12/13/2009 187.0
4 12/12/2009 189.0
5 12/11/2009 189.0
6 12/10/2009 191.0
7 12/09/2009 190.0
8 12/08/2009 190.0
9 12/07/2009 191.0
10 12/04/2009 189.0
11 12/03/2009 189.0
12 12/02/2009 190.0
13 12/01/2009 191.0
14 11/29/2009 193.0
15 11/25/2009 191.0
16 11/23/2009 193.0
17 11/16/2009 194.0
18 11/13/2009 196.0
19 11/02/2009 198.0
20 10/31/2009 199.0
21 10/29/2009 200.0
22 10/09/2009 198.0
23 08/28/2009 199.0
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I peaked at 285lbs in 1999 and built my first real mtb and brought it down to 245. In the past 2 years I brought it down to 220. It went up slightly last year due to shoulder injury which kept me off my bike for almost a full year. Im back down to 220 and focusing on climbing and XC these days. My Turner Sultan just came in and hope to get down to 210 (Im 6'4), passionate as ever about riding!. At peak weight my Blood Pressure was 15x/8x and cholesterol was 245, Im now 13x/7x and 155. I owe it to biking mostly...Ride On!!
Nice work..

Keep it up!
Right on RipRoar, that is awesome progress, especially the change in blood pressure.
I was into mountain biking heavily back in the 80's and early 90's, then my career and family started to get my focus. I would ride, but only off and on. I did other things to keep fit, I was in law enforcement and had to out of necessity, but the pounds would work their way on and never leave.

In the summer of 2007 I decided to start riding seriously again. Not that I rode that much, but even riding at all was good. Still, my diet did not change and my time in the saddle was not at the highest efforts.

I was in a traffic collision in October of 2007 that injured my back. I was off the bike and pretty much all other exercise until 2009. I snuck in some rides here and there, but it was painful enough to keep it from happening often. Eventually my back improved enough the doctor said I could take things a little more seriously.

In October of 2009 I had something personal happen in my life that gave me the drive to finally get off my ass and start doing things right. I committed to the bike and getting healthy. I started to bring my bike to work every day on the rack so I could always stop and ride on the way home. I put the road bike I had kludged together out of spare parts on the mag-trainer and rode it every day for a minimum of 1/2 hour. I bought a Bowflex and did a circuit every day. I changed my diet, cutting out all "extra" foods, sodas, sweets, fast food, processed foods, and so on.

Since October 15th I have lost 30 lbs, replacing it with lean muscle. I am 43 years old, so this does not happen as easily as it would have if I was younger.

I have become a lot stronger in my riding, my endurance is much better, and I get to that point quickly where the endorphins are flowing so much I feel I can ride all day long without tiring.

The better health has resulted in more interest in other activities. Because of the fitness, I no longer just walk, I run. I have never been a runner, but now I find myself breaking into a run just because it feels good.

My attitude has changed, as I feel better about myself. I find myself more positive about things, and this attitude makes me want to keep going, to push myself even more.

My overall health is to a point it has not been in over a decade. And it is going to get better and better, all due to riding.
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Kept me alive and riding, four years later, thanks to a mountain bike. :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the story, it's very similar to mine:

I have always considered myself an active person, love skiing, road biking, kayaking, fishing. The reality didn't jibe with my self-image however. Reality and my self image, in fact, became less and less congruous over the years as I gained weight slowly, skied less, quit biking all together, etc.

In September of 2004 I was found to have a neuro-endocrine tumor in my lung. This scary bit of news resulted in a hospital stay for surgery, my overweight status made recovery harder, I am sure, and I gained more weight.

Fast forward to December of 2006. At 5'9" I am not sure how much I weighed, but I am sure I was over 260. Not lots of muscle either. My brother had health complications that mirrored my own and developed type II diabetes. I knew I was heading for that and worse. I found a goal to motivate me beyond my health, as I know myself and I knew I would need some sort of carrot in addition to the stick of health complications. I found a charity motorcycle ride across Italy. It was to be a sports bike ride (Ducatis!) and would require a fit active person to complete. With that goal in mind I started going to the gym and eating more carefully. I started right before New Years of 2007 with a schedule of three days a week. By spring I was up to six or seven days a week in the gym, four or five cardio and two weights. My weight was dropping rapidly in these early days of a new fitness lifestyle, I was only a little over 200 now, good for where I started from. I dusted off an old GT roadbike and began riding with a woman at work who regularly rides and does one MS150 and one or two Triathlons a year. She's also pretty cute which didn't hurt my motiviation. (Oh, BTW at this point the charity ride got cancelled due to petty organizational politics, but I didn't need that carrot any more, I was now hooked on getting fit.)

Well, the GT was a little old and the components were a little lower level, so I decided that as it was obvious by now I was really going to stick with this, I could treat myself to a new bike. After lots of looking around I settled on a 'cross bike, a steel-framed Jamis Nova. I had always thought CX looked cool, and I got two wheelsets so I could do road rides (my first cycling love) with it too.

I eventually followed some friends on mountain bikes into some single track. The 'cross bike and my meager skills were ill-equipped to go there, but I loved it. The next day I went to an LBS to "ask some questions," and left having put a deposit on an '06 Stumpy HT.

Fast forward to now. I'm hooked on mountain biking, I now ride a Titus Motolite and the Stumpy became a donor bike to build my GF a bike of her own on a Sette HT frame. Still ride road and some 'cross rides on the Jamis, looking to build a disk brake 'cross bike this winter. I keep my weight in the 180s to high 170s, still would like to get it a little lower but am pretty happy with my fitness level. The friends I followed on mountain bikes are still a part of my life, although one moved away. My place in the pack started at dead last with lots of waiting at trail intersections for me. I am now generally right behind our hammer, still getting used to my new role waiting for the guys (and one gal) behind me at intersections. Loving life and mountain biking and being fit.

David B.
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Wow, great stories guys!

Funny how being healthy effects so much more in your life, your attitude, your energy...
Weighed 228 around the beginning of 2009. I'm stalled around 200 lbs right now and feel a ton better. I need to re-apply myself and get down to 175.

Are you saying you are eating 1000 to 1500 calories per day?

Great job! Keep on pedaling!
Bokchoicowboy said:
Because of the fitness, I no longer just walk, I run. I have never been a runner, but now I find myself breaking into a run just because it feels good.
I've found the same thing. I now augment my mtb with trail running 3-7 miles, no problem, no pain.:thumbsup:
Biking was one of the first steps I decided to take to create a healthy, more active lifestyle. I wanted to establish good habits after I graduated college that would make things easier in the future. It's much harder to get in shape than to never get out of shape. Biking gives me a good basic level of fitness. I bike to work and get so used to getting that little workout in twice a day that some times I forget I work out at all. A number of years have passed since college and I still feel good.
I took years off the bike, and had ballooned from about 180 up to 250 while eating donuts for dinner and restoring cars as a hobby.

Then last Christmas my wife bought me a crap load of new cycling gear and told me to get my butt back out on the bike and exercise. Since then I've lost 30 pounds.

I hope all of you get such a great gift for your health this year. :thumbsup:
After 22 years of smoking and methamphetamine abuse, I decided enough is enough and quit all of it, in 2006. After my physical exam, I was diagnosed with hypertension(195/120), congestive heart failure, and obesity. Doc suggested I buy a LBS bike and ride the hell out of it.

Three years later, I am nine pant sizes smaller, 75 pounds thinner, with a ripped six-pack to show for it all. My bike saved my life. Doc took me off four of the seven meds I took just to stay alive. My waist went from a barrel gut 39 to a 30. I am now at 8% body fat after being 22%. I now ride 100 miles/week of combined road and MTB. Cycling is the BEST distraction against relapse, and is my fountain of youth.

After losing all that weight - I "rewarded" myself with the 19 pound XC race rocket and 16 pound road bike below(yes, I am a weight weenie now!!!):

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Right on guys, some great stories so far.:thumbsup:

Pittzer said:
Are you saying you are eating 1000 to 1500 calories per day?
Yes Sir.:D are soon gonna reach a weight loss plateau, by eating barely enough calories to keep you alive. Once your body catches up to the fact your caloric intake is actually putting your metabolism in "starvation mode," your weight loss will STOP COLD.

How did I "wake up" my slowed metabolism? I used an old bodybuilder trick...I did a "re-feed" for three days, where my calories exceeded 3000/day. Although it makes absolutely no sense - tricking the body into not knowing how many calories I eat each day will force it to give up body fat...something your body is very reluctant to do. Here is a sample of my weekly caloric zig-zag:

Monday=1850 calories
Tuesday=2000 calories
Wednesday=2300 calories
Thursday=1900 calories
Friday=3000 calories(my "cheat" day)
Saturday=1900 calories
Sunday=2600 calories

Another way to accelerate fat loss is to ride moderately(60% effort - any more and you'll BONK) before breakfast. By exercising on empty...your body utilizes stored body fat as the only fuel source. Just make sure you consume lots of protein and carbs post-ride...because muscle mass will be robbed to "pay" for the empty stomach workout. Works like a charm!
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Well, my job is REALLY sedentary, as in sitting on my but for 8 hours. So, that is the main reason why I've gone down to 1,000 calories during the week. Like I said, if I do any exercise after work, I will eat dinner to bump me up to 1,500 calories. I also eat a lot more on the weekends, and I do not really watch my calories, and it usually shows by the addition of a couple pounds.
I also do mild weights every morning before breakfast. I will keep in mind that "re-feed" tip though, if I do run into a wall, but as you can see I have been on a steady decrease in weight since I started this diet.
Also, I try to stay away from empty calories. For instance, my ~500 cal breakfast every morning, is a bowl of mixed chopped fruit with a 2 spoons of light vanilla yogurt, 1 slice of whole grain wheat toast and a glass of milk. My ~500 cal. lunch is a 6" sub with all the veggies on it and water only for the entire day. I do not eat dinner, except for a banana sometimes, unless I get some exercise, in which case I'll try to eat some fish or chicken. I still have my pizza once a week on the weekends though :D
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i have a story to share i to was over weight not by a lot but i weight in at 180 and i wanted to get back down to 160. i was tired of people telling me that i was getting fat. so i started running but i soon found out that running was boring.
so i started riding a cheap wallgose bike and i found out it was really fun and i had lost ten pounds by then so i kept riding and i eventually reached my goal.. the end.
keep it up man
I eat better because I want to ride better.

I don't have a "weight loss" goal acheived through riding. All I want to do is ride and get better at it - so a very good diet is kinda key to acheiving that. Weight loss and better health may be a result of that but if I could keep up with my brother and be a fat azz, then I wouldn't mind. Unfortunately, keeping up with him and being a fat azz doesn't go together!
How About This.........

.................Me three years ago. 325 pounds:

People Leisure Vacation Forest Woodland

Stairs Waste collector Farmworker

Human body Cap Human leg Hat Shorts

Me today three years later. 205 pounds:

Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Mountain bike Spoke

Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim

Tire Bicycle wheel Wheel Bicycle frame Bicycle tire
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I started riding to stay in shape for hockey during the summer months. Now I play hockey as cross training for bike racing. :lol:
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