Weight loss challenge

Posted by SuperClydesdale on January 20, 2010 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

I signed up for my riding organizations’ racing team this month.  No, I have not gone insane.

Without a Clydesdale class in most races, let alone a superclydesdale (> 220 lbs), and god forbid a pachyderm class (>230 lbs), I don’t know how competitive I could be unless it was a pretty darn flat course, straight course, like a time trial.   Don’t get me started on time trials.   I’m not going all Quasimodo –  hunched down and alone for an entire race.  Time trial specialists are loners and outcasts.    It’s just a sufferfest, competing with yourself for the entire duration.   If I wanted to do that I would just hop on a trainer to see if I set a personal best for total watt output every time.   Woo hoo!!!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

If they had invented bikes back in 1482, Quasimodo (the Hunchback of Notre Dame) would have been a time trialist.

So, no, it’s got to be road racing for me.  Out in the open, using strategy, riding with and against other people.

What kills heavier riders are hills and rapid accelerations.  I have a lot of power, but in a sprint, a light powerful guy is doing to accelerate more quickly.

While being devilishly good looking, and a superclydesdale, I have a personality flaw.  I cannot compete in anything unless I think I will actually be competitive.  Why pay the fees and take the time, just to be fodder for people that actually have a chance to win?   I don’t want to be the Jamaican bobsled team of road racing.  While its true that one of the keys to winning is simply to show up, it doesn’t win a lot of road races (or ski jump contests — I don’t want to be the next Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards either).  So, if I really want to compete – I need to lose weight.

Genetically, I am a superclydesdale.  My body seems to want to be at 230.  I’m pretty fit.  But, I think I need to drop to about 205 to have a power to weight ratio that will make me at least competitive.  At 205, I will be pretty darn lean.

How to do that, and keep the weight off?

Team Revs has a nutritionist, Sheila Leard, and this year, the team is offering a “weight loss challenge.”  This is an  informal contest, but its really trying to guide people to a lifestyle that will allow them to lose weight at keep it off.

Now, to be fair, I am not really interested in doing this long term, but am willing to do it for a season to see if it will get me down to my target racing weight and not be so terrible as to make me want to crash my bike into a pole.

The primary recommendation is about changing the types of foods eaten.    Shifting from “processed foods” to more natural forms of food.  I get that – not a huge leap.    They spoke of a “Mediterranean diet” which, truthfully, causes somewhat of a gag reflex in me.   I’ve always shuddered when people look to Europe for any sort of lessons as to what Americans should be doing, as if they are some source of enlightenment.  I’ve been all over Europe and really enjoy it, but I kiss the freakin’ ground when I get back to California.

But, I digress…  the Mediterranean diet is one of more fruits and vegetables, more lean proteins, and it cannot be all bad since the chart I saw had a wine bottle on it  (perhaps there is some enlightenment there).

Wine in moderation… I wonder what “moderation" means?

Sheila led a “weight loss challenge” kick-off meeting, with a presentation.   I knew it was going to be rough.  Keep in mind that this is designed to be a lifestyle change (i.e., forever).  One slide that Sheila presented showed “alcohol – once a week”.   I can tell you the entire room groaned when they saw that.   Women were weeping, men had blank stares on their faces, some looked like they just saw Janet Jackson’s breast on the Superbowl halftime show.   There was tension in the room.

The main theme of the evening is that you cannot simply out-train your poor nutrition.  If you want to keep off the weight, you need to change what you eat.  Otherwise, you will have to keep up an insane level of training in order to maintain your weight.   I can certainly attest to that.  More on that at a  later date…

So, I am going down this path.  It’s a three-month challenge to see who can lose the most percentage of body weight.  My goal is not to win this, as, frankly, I could care less about other people – what they lose, how much they need to lose.  I laugh at other’s misfortune – can I change that just for a weight loss program?  I don’t think that would be appropriate.   I just want to get down to 205, and see if I can be competitive racing.

Starting Feb 1st, and as I ramp up my Winter and Spring riding, I am going to shift my nutrition, and adopt the program that Sheila presents through the Spring.  We’ll see where it goes and I’ll share more info as to what exactly the program entails once I see it.

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