This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cycling, weight control and ag..,ah,ag...nope can't say it ...maturity (that's it)

    As I have mentioned before, I have been riding my bikes now for about 40 years as an adult.   I've always been a good athlete and it's been a great way to work that talent into my daily routine.  I have also continued over the years to pursue a rather passive weight training program on my own and the two combined have managed to keep my strength and fat under control for the largest part of my life.   Maturation presents some new problems to us,  our metabolism slows, it's easier to retain fat than lose it and it becomes even more important to remain lean just to protect our health and longevity.
   Despite being conscientiously active, events sometimes force a change in routine which manifests itself in fat.
A couple of years ago, on December 7, 2009, my house burned down while I was working.  Obviously that disrupted our life and routine.  We found ourselves living in a furnished apartment provided by the insurance company and financial decisions had to be made regarding the settlement and property.  I ended up spending most of 2010 commuting between a condominium I was remodeling to the house I was tearing down.
I went from this

at age 57
to this 
at age 58.
    All arguments about vanity aside, this was not a healthy transformation I could live with.  A few months of stress, disruption, convenience food and beer too often resulted in a very unhealthy physique to drag around.  For the first time I found out how the other half (majority) lives.  Stairs were more taxing, muscle strains more frequent, sleep disruptive, and when I got back to riding, the hills were just plain steeper. 
     I know enough about weight loss to know that it can generally take twice as long to lose it as to gain it, so I have been patient and have lost about half the fat I put on.   Unlike my younger years when just "getting back on the horse" and riding more would help, it now takes a more comprehensive approach.   Riding a bike by itself will not remove excess weight.  Dietary control is necessary also.  That does not mean abstinence and deprivation are necessary, but eating a high protein diet and controlling calories are.    I've always been good at eating high quality food, I understand it and have always made the right choices, but the amount is a different matter.  Along with high activity comes a large appetite.  Rather than going to the latest fad gelpack/supplement/apettite control drink or pill, I looked to technology for assisitance.
   I found this nifty calorie counter program in the Android store and loaded it into my Galaxy tablet.
It allows me to track my meals (even by food or restaurant brand), my daily exercise and the calender shows what type of calorie deficit I attain each day.  
It helps breakdown the food intake for each day and lets you know what ratio 

of macro nutrients you have consumed.
This really helps without the drugs, fat burners and gimmicks.  Daily calorie limits can be set to coincide with your weight goal and the best part is the operation.  It is really simple, retains items eaten on a regular basis, and is connected to a huge database of food items which are all broken down to the ounce or gram if necessary.  Just record what your meal, snack or exercise was and the consumption/expenditure is calculated for you.  There are probably a lot of these around, this one happened to be a free download and fits my needs so I grabbed it.  I'm really pleased to have worked half the excess flab off and look forward to getting rid of the rest, and getting back to "normal."

Ok, maybe the vanity thing is an issue.