Well, No Fucking Wonder


What the author kinda feels like lately. Photo from the Library of Congress.

It is now the snowy month of December, when cyclists’ dreams turn to spring and racing and suffering. And that can only mean one thing: off-season training.

I’m in a weird spot, being in my mid-30’s. My metabolism has shifted, and since about 2003, I’ve slowly piled on about 30 pounds. This leaves me hovering around 205 pounds, the most I’ve ever weighed.

To look at me, you’d be hard-pressed to figure out where I carry the weight — I still look skinny. The thing is, I’m one of those “fat-thin” people — I carry it internally, between the organs, rather than externally. Generally, not a good thing.

And in my training program, diet has always been my weakest link. I’ve got a sweet tooth (inherited from my maternal grandmother, a diabetic who loves chocolate cake and hates the glucometer). There are vending machines not 30 feet from my desk at the office. At the bike shop, I am surrounded by decent sandwich and pizza places and there’s always the gas station/convenience store across the street if money’s tight.

This year, I decided that I really should do something about getting back down to my fighting weight (175-180 pounds). Last night, I came upon a solution while surfing for new iPhone apps. The Livestrong app, which features a calorie counter, was a free download, so I installed that, and this morning, started to make use of it.

First, I went through the set-up process, and to lose 2.0 pounds a week, I need to keep it to about 1900 calories a day, based on my lightly-active estimate of my life. Okay. No problem, right?

I started my day with a 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew. A good wake-up, right? Right. Got to the office, got a 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi and a sausage, egg, and cheese croissant.

This plethora of food put me to 50% of my daily intake already. I nearly shit. It’s true, too, what they say about people’s inability to judge caloric intake. I had no friggin’ idea what I was eating.

I think this will help get my shit on-track as far as food goes, and hopefully I’ll be down to racing weight by the end of March.

Tonight, I’ll be setting up my off-season training program.