Category Archives: Losing that tyre – diet

Cycling in the mud and sun

Two months since I have found time to blog. I was trying to do it as much as possible but, work and family became hectic.

What has happened in the 2 months since my last post?

I am down to 95KG which is a total of 9KG lost since January. I have bought a mountain bike (Kona Hei Hei – for the tech heads), have let my weekly total drop to 20 miles a week (meaning I have only totalled 700 miles this year), competed in a 12 hour relay mountain bike race and have tried to get mileage back up again in the last couple of weeks.

These last two months have been crazy with work. I have been struggling to get the motivation to cycle while giving work my all. It has been an unusual 8 weeks, so I am hoping to get things back to normal.

I have come on holiday with the family this week to reset the mind and body. It has been great, I have managed to get 10 miles in a day and around Falmouth that is just up and down. The roads all start with sharp steep climbs with equally steep downhills. In 10 miles I have been averaging 1400 feet of ascent.

The Zing Deluxe On Holiday
The Zing Deluxe On Holiday

Last weekend, I went on a great friends stag weekend. It must have been one of the best stag weekends of all time. No forced drinking and stupid night clubs where you spend tonnes of money. Instead we did a 12 hour mountain bike race at Erlstoke. Guess what?  We even podiumed.   We came 2nd out of the whole field. I got a new set of Truvative bars for the Hei Hei as a the prize.

Stag Getting on His Way
Stag Getting on His Way
A muddy Team Mate
A muddy Team Mate at 2300 hrs
The Red Bull Tent At Prize Giving
The Red Bull Tent At Prize Giving
A Podium Finish For the Stag Team
A Podium Finish For the Stag Team

In terms of diet, I have kept up the 5/7 diet and added in natural green juices for breakfast every day. Which is a an elixir for life. Great to give your body all the natural vitamins and nutrients one requires. It has also helped to get me more into shape.

The holiday may have set me back slightly on goal, as it has been indulgence fest.  I figure that everyone needs to release at least once a year.  However, I have been cycling 10 miles a day.

Time to cycle, juice, work and have fun like never before.

Goal for June – kick it to 93KG (keeping the weight slow, so it remains off) and cycle at least 10 miles a day with a couple of 40+ days chucked in for fun too.

Sunny Falmouth
Sunny Falmouth

FC

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February – a lack of pedal pushing

Sitting on a flight back home from the UAE for the second time in less than a month. And February was supposed to be my ‘month of pain’ which at the moment is fast becoming the month of ‘lack of cycling’.

The F1 track was closed to cyclists as they had Le Mans 24 hour testing. That in self was pretty cool but did not add to my goals.

I also have missed a fasting day and have eaten like a stuffed pig.

So all in all not the start that I had hoped for.

However I do have to look at the positives. I recently read two articles in the Harvard Business Review that I think are particularly relevant here are two small extracts:

1. Take on your challenges one at a time.
How long was your New Year’s resolution list? How many items have you ignored. If you want to shake a particular habit (or build a good one), you should focus on one major change at a time. Start, for instance, with your resolution to check Facebook or Twitter only twice a day; then, once you’re free of that habit, move on to your new diet and exercise plan. In short term, the amount of will power you have is fixed, and overloading yourself with new tasks that require it may diminish your ability to accomplish any goal.

2. Tame your frenzy.
Frenzy is an emotional state, a feeling of being a little (or a lot) out of control. it is often underpinned by anxiety, sadness, anger, and related emotions. Emotions are processed by the amygdala, a small-almond shaped brain structure. It responds powerfully to negative emotions, which are regarded as signals of threat. Brain studies has shown that activation of amygdala by negative emotions interferes with the brain’s ability to solve or other cognitive work. Positive emotions and thoughts do the opposite – they improve the brain’s executive function.

In other words small steps to big goals and one at time. Focusing on positive thoughts will allow your brain to help you reach your goals.

As for me my positives are………

1. I have been excepted into Oxford University for an Exec Diploma, which I never thought in a million years I would get onto. It starts next week.

2. I have not gained weight.

3. My new bike is ready on Monday…….

I am planning to get some serious miles in and learn allot.

Focus on the positive the rest will follow.

FC

Its the end of the……..month as we know it

…..and I feel fine …..great

31 days of no wheat, no alcohol and on the 5:2 fasting diet.  What is the result?

I have lost 5kg (11.02lbs)!

My body is definitely less bloated.

I have way more energy!!

I have cycled 230 miles in 2 continents.

The bonus is I have not had a hangover for 30 mornings (obviously discounting new years day).

But what have I learnt?

That I can go for a whole day on 2 apples plus an evening salad and not even notice.  This is something a month a go that I thought would be impossible.  I also thought that on the 5:2 fasting diet I would pig out the day after each fast.  Looking back, at the beginning I did at least for the first two fasts (first week), but after that, my body felt so good the next morning I did not want to fill it up and feel lethargic.  In fact the fasting diet has made me control portion size and only eat when I am actually hungry.  Incredibly I am doing this with out even thinking about it.  This is a real positive change for me.  I feel I am getting to know my body for the first time and I am sure in a couple of months this will be even more apparent.

However the plan to masticate and not eating in front of the TV has not gone so well.

I am constructing a plan for February and masticating / TV dinners are going to be the focus.

Heres to completing the first month of 2014.

FC

Making Business Trips Work

Cruising to the back straight.
Cruising to the back straight.

I am not sure that this is always possible, however I like to try and find the hotel gym or similar when staying away.

To be honest, I usually find the hotel gym, acknowledge that it is there and feel that I have worked out.

But not this trip.  I am currently in Abu Dhabi.  In my new state of I am going to crack this being fat thing.  I thought I would plan ahead and sort an activity that I would really enjoy and that would work my body.

When the research started little did I know that I could link to of my favourite things together….cycling and F1.

On Tuesday night the F1 track is opened to cyclists for free (if you have your own bike) or 100 AED for 2 hours to rent a bike, you can then race round the F1 circuit (at 10% of the speed of the drivers).

I am feeling on top of the world, incredible day of meetings, then rather than drinking at the bar to celebrate , I pumped out 38 miles on the most glorious smooth asphalt I have ever ridden on.

Smooooth Asphalt
Smooooth Asphalt

I have started planning February more to follow.  It is going to be more painful.

FC

3rd weekend the downfall of New Year Resolutions

Did you know that the 3rd weekend in January is when most people give up their New Years resolutions.

Although I have said that my experiment is not a New Years Resolution, the fact that I started it on January 1st is not helping.

However, I am staying strong. After a dinner party last night and a wedding today, I have still not drunk a drop of alcohol and I have not knowingly let any wheat into my body.

My thoughts to people who are thinking the hell with it or are about to quit what ever they are trying to achieve in 2014 as a ‘new you’ are as follows:

1. It is half way through the month, you have made it this far. What is one drink or whatever you have given up going to achieve in the grand scheme of things. Whatever the reason, I will guarantee that in the back of your mind you will feel you have let yourself down. Keep going for only a bit longer.

2. Think back to why you are doing this anyway. I am sure you had some fairly good reasons. Really try to picture those reasons. Maybe write them down. What ever it takes to re-focus your mind.

3. Life is full of little challenges. If you have set yourself a challenge for January and you complete it, think, how you will be able to tackle the rest of the challenges that crop up over the next 11 months or even your life.

Even writing this has made me even more determined. Good luck.

One last thought. Surround yourself with people who will support you. The longer you go on the easier it will get. But at the beginning of doing anything ‘different’, for some reason some people (even so called friends), will try to talk you out of what ever you are doing. For example not drinking. Why is it such an issue? Some people just cannot help themselves from trying to persuade to have “just one drink” or “this is a special night, how many weddings/birthdays/team building nights are there this year…….”. Why?  because they feel guilty that you are about to do something to better yourself. If what you are doing makes you happy keep going. I have surrounded myself with some of the best people I know for January. Two of which are new to my life, but little do they know they have made a huge impact. No malice and supportive of whatever others are trying to do. I am sure it is to do with their labradoodle…….

Life feels great. We have one life. Lets make the most of it and enjoy every second.

FC

On the 11th day things are looking up

On top of the world with a cracking sunset.
On top of the world with a cracking sunset.  Click on the pic for a better view.

What a great day.  So much energy.

Today, I went for a ride with my eldest son, Jago.  He easily managed 5.2 miles on rural roads.  See instagram feed on the right hand column.

I then felled 3 trees, cross cut the wood and split it for my in laws.  They think something is very wrong with me.

After a lunch of Chicken and avocado I proceeded out on what was to be a leisurely hour ride.  But what happened was unexpected.  I climbed over 2,400 ft, rode for 30 miles and got 4 personal bests on Strava.

After the first climb (which was created by the devil himself for fat guys to cry at the top of), I cycled over to my other least favourite climb 10m miles away and climbed that too!!

Planes, bikes and beautiful views what more could FC want.
Planes, bikes and beautiful views what more could FC want.

What is up is with me?

I think there might be something in this but I do not want to jinx it just yet.

The question is, do I jump on the scales to find out if it is working?  I feel slimmer and Mrs. FatCycles is saying that I look slimmer, but she is very kind and slightly biased.

Well I am going to treat myself with some Green and Blacks Chocolate and revisit the ride by staring at my stats on Strava.

Oh and one last thing.  If you are crazy enough to give up alcohol for a month like me.  I have discovered a great trick for dinner parties.  I have been putting a bottle of Shloer – fizzy grape fruit juice – in the fridge.  When topping up guests with wine, I re-fill my wine glass with Shloer.  No one questions it and thinks that I am drinking wine.  This is great because for some reason when you are not drinking everyone feels the need to encourage to drink with them. This negates that.  Added bonus of no hangover and loads of energy for the nippers.

FC

Of ‘Diet’ Drinks

Fat Coke

For a long time I have quite happily drank a can of Diet Coke rather than a ‘full fat’ variety, with the thinking that I was helping my weight loss.

However, and as anyone reading this probably already knows, ‘Diet’ drinks should be called ‘Please can I put more weight on’ drinks.  Why?

Well several reasons:

1.  Unhealthy eating habits – Dr. Mike Russell believes that the usual ‘Diet’ drinkers have far worse eating habits.  This could be due to the fact that consumers believe they are saving on calories so a couple of chips will not matter.

2.  Higher risk of Diabetes– Dr. Mark Hyman, writes about a study of 66,118 women showed that the risk of diabetes was increased by drinking Diet Drinks rather than regular drinks.

3.  Tricking your metabolism – Dr. Hyman, goes on to say that, due to artificial sweeteners being so much sweeter than natural sugar, it tricks your body into thinking a bucket load of sugar is on the way (especially if you are starving your body on a calorie controlled diet).   The result is that your body produces insulin (a fat storage hormone).  When no sugar arrives in your stomach, any fat your body subsequently receives is hoarded by your body.

4.  Craving starchy food – the net result of the above is that ‘Diet’ drinks make you crave starchy, sugary and fatty foods.

So, from now on, if I really want a fizzy drink, it will be regular.

FC

2nd day of fasting 7th day of experiment

Energy levels and motivation very low.

Let’s re-assess why I am doing this, I am hoping this helps:

1. More energy – ok not a great one to start on.
2. All the health benefits – true but I have an excruciating headache
3. To get faster going up hill – losing weight is the best way to make it easier to go up hill on your bike
4. Being able to fully enjoy my young family playing games and giving them an active Daddy

This really does help. But the second day of fasting has been hard.

I also have to admit that I cheated slightly today. I ate a small piece of dark chocolate, this has tipped me over to 700 calories today. I am hoping that the amount of cycling I am doing counter acts this.

The books says that at the beginning it can be hard. So I am determined to see the month out and then really report on how it is going.

That is it for today,

FC

‘Fast’ away

With a quick look at the boys eating their breakfasts and a longing look at my beautiful lunch box, I strode out of the house, resolute that I was not going to find this 5:2 diet even a tad trifling.

And I can happily report that to anyone contemplating this diet, that my first day was a breeze. I highly recommend the book I mentioned in my post ‘The Jan Plan’ by Michael Mosley.

I even managed 16 miles through this never ending storm.

Lastly on this short post I can truly say that I am enjoying my experiment of becoming a master ‘masticator’.

Also a quick thank you to my cycling Buddy Joe for following this blog…..remember you promised not to laugh. However I should of said judge…..