Riding A Bike To A Spinning Class and It’s OK To Love Food, Really!
I don’t know what possessed me in choosing to ride my bike to the stylist and then onto the YMCA for spinning class today. It was an amazing workout for sure, but I think on spinning class days, I’ll drive. I let loose a little more today than yesterday, because when sidewalk construction forced me to use the southbound lane through a very busy intersection---I just stood and peddled frantically---like a pro. I didn’t have time to worry about who was seeing me---and even if they did see me, I was in complete control of that bike—I had to have looked like I belonged right there in the middle of 5th and Hartford.
I can’t thank Linda and Lindell Senseman enough---what a fantastic gift! Thank you two again. I’m really enjoying it immensely. I’ll be looking for another seat---a bigger, more cushiony seat. My rear isn’t as padded as it once was---and my behind was a little sore from the travels. It’s about 2.5 miles to the YMCA---so 5 miles riding---and then a 45 minute spin class with Maribeth instructing…oh my---I was done! I moved my weight training from today until tomorrow---I was just too consumed with the riding today. It felt just incredible though---it really did.
When I arrived at the Y, I had the front desk crew draw me a number. They don’t look…they just reach in and pick a number. Whatever number they draw---that’s your bike for the class. No cherry picking here. Somehow, I’ve lucked out the last four times. Bikes 12 through 15 are on the back row, where I like to be---and 12 is my favorite, in the back corner. Today I drew 13. That works! Eventually my luck will run out and I’ll have to convince myself that the person behind me doesn’t care whether or not my shirt rides up in the back while we’re hovering. I made my way into the Program Director, Stephanie Williams office and told her of my crazy bike ride to spinning class. She told me that they had a truck and after class---she could arrange someone to give me and the bike a ride home. I thanked her, but declined. I would have been very disappointed in myself had I done that. And once I said that, Stephanie withdrew the offer. But wait!! “No---no deal…good luck---and it’s mostly up hill on your way back.” I should have thought this through better.
I did make it home---and I wouldn’t trade that feeling of accomplishment for anything. I did it---I was sweating, my heart rate was up, my legs were all noodelly---I was beat, and my rear end felt like I still had a bike seat there---But it was OK---and that shower afterward was one of the longest and most enjoyable I’ve had in some time.
Earlier in the day---I prepared a strange little lunch. I had chicken and eggs. It just doesn’t seem right does it? I grilled a breast and cooked two whole eggs, over medium. I put the eggs in the middle of the plate surrounded by the sliced chicken breast chunks. It was delicious, very different indeed.
Yesterday, I meant to share what I found from 04/20 2009, but I forgot. I enjoyed finding this excerpt from one year ago, yesterday…
This journey has been such a mission of self-discovery. I really thought I knew myself before, but I didn't know myself at all. Well, maybe deep down I did, but I was so busy rationalizing bad behaviors and making excuses, that I didn't have time to think about the truth. The truth was very plain: I'm was an out of control food addict and extremely lazy. It's not the best combination for optimal health. And it was something that I wouldn't ever admit back then. If someone asked me to describe myself before this journey, I would have never said “I have a good sense of humor, I'm a proud husband and father, and oh yeah, I'm a food addict and avoid exercise every chance I get.” That kind of honesty is extremely rare. I believed every load of lies I told myself. I think I even talked my brain into believing that I was somehow blessed with such healthy genetics that my body could comfortably handle 500 pounds without too many complications. My healthy sugar levels and great cholesterol levels were all the proof I needed to believe that whopper for a really long time. If I would have allowed myself to continue believing that I had all the time in the world to correct my behaviors and lifestyle, it eventually would have caught up with me, and it would have been a tragic lesson for anyone paying attention. Making an unbreakable promise to myself to do this and break through any and all of my old excuses has been more than a blessing. You know how people say “everything happens for a reason” and “it's all a part of his master plan,” It's thoughts like that which make me believe I was over 500 pounds and struggled with my weight for a reason. Perhaps so I could overcome it now and then share the story of the journey out of the prison of obesity with people who are facing the same confinement.
Today I went back in time to the next day. It was April 21st, 2009:
The number one advice I can give someone is: Keep it simple. If you read everything that comes your way about how to lose weight and which way works best, you're going to read some things that conflict. Keep it simple. Count your calories and get your exercise. Keep a food log if you want, I don't anymore, but you can. Keep it simple. Don't try to make it difficult by worrying about every single bite you put in your mouth. How many carbs did it have? How many fat grams? Who cares. How many calories? That's the question I ask. Simple. Never deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Make them work in regular portions. If you like chocolate, by golly eat chocolate! I do! Not all the time mind you, and when I do it's in controlled portions, but I do! You can make losing weight extremely difficult and confusing. You can make it completely restrictive and absolutely zero fun, and if you do, I'll bet you will not reach your goal. Ultimately the goal is to be able to exist in everyday life and handle food in a responsible way. To learn how, we have to practice on real food in everyday life situations. It's OK to love food. That's right, it's OK to love food. My favorite channel is the Food Network. I love food. But I'm in control now. Food doesn't control me anymore. I'm the one who makes the good choices, I'm the one that treats food responsibly, I'm the one. But I still love food. Remember what I've said many times: Food is not the enemy here. We're our own worst enemy. Food is our friend. When we make a relationship with food a better one, a responsible one, a sensible one, and by sensible I mean a couple of cookies, not the whole bag, I mean a couple of slices of that pizza, not the whole thing, I mean a real honest serving of ice cream, not a whole half gallon, when we do this and realize that all of the foods we obsessed over in the past can still be a part of our thinner lives, then we've made a breakthrough. Our health will be better or worse because of the decisions we make with food and exercise. Make those decisions simple ones and save yourself a lot of confusion and trouble.
I enjoy my trips back in time everyday. It's always wonderful to have a gentle reminder of what has brought me this far. And sometimes, it provides a revealing look into my strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes it just entertains me. I never know what I'll find back in those archives. It's a surprise everyday. Of course it all floods back the second I lay eyes on the page.
I’m going to adjust my workout plans a little. I’m moving today’s weight training to tomorrow and tomorrow’s 6-mile bike ride to Friday. I think that’s a smart schedule change.
I made a grocery trip tonight. Mushrooms, bananas, oranges, pears, tomatoes, light bulbs and trash bags. I almost bought some 96/4 premium ground beef with only 140 calories in a 4 ounce serving. 96% lean would probably need some olive oil spray on the grill to prevent sticking—I think I’ll get some soon. I tend to eat a lot of chicken, eggs, and fruit. You know what I could do? I think I will---make a low calorie meatloaf with that 96/4 ground beef. I thought 93/7 was the leanest cut---I have to try this stuff. I knew I would, I should have just bought it last night!!
I asked my spin instructor to snap some pictures of me on the spin bike after class. She did, and I explained the pictures were for this blog. When I told her what the 505 tattoo stood for, she was amazed. That simple number has been a conversation starter a couple of times now. If I’d put it on my chest, nobody but me would ever see it. The arm was a good choice.
Thank you for reading! Goodnight and…
Which came first? Something wrong about this lunch…
Spinning Bike, or cycle—if you prefer.
Standing atop the pedals. I didn’t find anyone to take pics of me riding my bike—Courtney was working tonight---but we’ll get them soon.
Eye Of The Tiger Baby! Why so serious? That’s not really a serious look, it’s me thinking…oh man---I’m tired, and now I have to ride my bike all the way back across town to get home.