Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Phat History

Like most people that struggle to keep the weight off, my phat history is a story of ups and downs. I was always overweight as a child (my mom had to buy me the "husky" jeans), but I was never that heavy. Despite being big, I was pretty athletic. I loved playing street-football and basketball which I am sure helped keep me weight stable. After my sophmore year in high school, my whole family went to a weightloss place (Nutrasystems, I think). I lost over 50 pounds. When I returned to school the next year, I weighed 188 pounds. Pretty decent for a kid that was growing to be over six feet tall. I stayed pretty close to that weight until I graduated and when to college.

College was another story. My steady diet of beer, subs, beer, pizza, and beer caused me to start gaining weight. By the time I got married at the age of 22, I had "blossomed" to over 350 pounds. At a physical for a job interview, a doctor told me if I didn't do something to get my weight and high blood pressure under control, I wouldn't live past 30. So I did something. It was a stupid something, but I did it. I pretty much starved myself for the next 8 months. I ate well less than 1000 calories a day and worked out a couple of hours a day. The weight loss was rapid (I dropped down to 178), but I was in terrible shape. I could't bench press 100 pounds because I was so week from starvation. Eventually, I began to suffer from terrible stomach pains. It's my theory that my stomach was eating itself. I'm not sure how scientific that is, but I'm going with it.

Man how I wish I had discovered the cycling lifestyle at that point in my life. Cyclists have it figured out. They realize that to ride insane distances, they have to consume a lot of calories. It's the only way to survive on a long bike ride. If you don't eat, you can't ride very well. Almost every long bike ride features food in some way. Riders talk about how you have to consume so many carbs per half hour to avoid the dreaded "bonk." Think about it. What could be more healthy? Wanna eat pizza, ride your bike 50 miles, then eat some pizza. Cyclist know how to balance food with exercise.

Unfortunately, I didn't find cycling at that point. When I began eating again, the weight began piling on. when I finally decided to do something about it (about 3 years ago) I had got up to over 390 lbs. I don't know how high I got because my scale maxed out at 390. So let's just say I was 390+.

I can say without a doubt I will never weigh 390+ again. I began losing weight simply by walking. I didn't really watch what I ate, I just took a walk every morning. At first, I couldn't walk 20 minutes without my right foot going numb. I would limp in the front door from my walks. Eventually, I began increasing my distance and before long, my diet started getting better. I quit eating fast-food and drinking pop. It seemed silly to waste my walking time by eating poorly. It took about a year, but eventually I got down under 300 lbs. Then, I went bike riding with a buddy. Our old Wal-Mart mountain bikes were junk, so we both went out and bought road bikes from bike shops. Needless to say, I had a new primary form of exercise.

Eventually my weight got down to just under 260 lbs. I rode several hundred miles in both 2004 and 2005. I had a setback last winter though as I struggled to complete my college degree while working full-time. I didn't have time to exercise or eat well, so my weight began to increase again. all the way up to the 310.6 pounds you see in my Measure of Fattiness to the right. I think God that He opened my eyes and helped me see what I was doing to myself. Luckily, I was able to nip it in the bud. I began riding my bike again this summer and the weight began dropping off. I consider my winter weight-gain as a minor setback. Yeah ... I gained some back, but I am not gonna beat myself up over it. It's all a learning experience. I'm just a slow learner!

I am determined to get my weight down to a healthy point using diet and exercise. My goal is 225 lbs. At my height and build, I am pretty sure that will be a healthy weight for me. Not only will it make me a better bike rider, but it should be pretty easy to maintain. If I set myself up for an unrealistic goal, say far under 200 pounds, I'd never be able to maintain it without starving myself. I'll get it ... just watch.



Blogger Sean Perkey said...

Hey! I followed you over from my blog and I plan to follow your progress as you go. I'll add you to my links next time I update. I'm curious about what ttype/brand of bike you have and any modifications you may have made with concern to your weight. I plan to start riding a bike as soon as I get down to around 300 lbs so I'm doing research on what I will buy when I get there that will support my weight.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Me said...

Keep rocking!!

Great to see some other folks trying to get on the good foot.


11:33 AM  
Blogger Phatty said...

Hey guys ... thanks for visiting my site!

Sean: I will post in the near future about the bikes I ride. I have 2 of them. One is a road bike and the other is a mountain bike. Just know that it is very possible for big guys to ride! I have encountered several people through the internet that ride at well over 300 lbs.

1:01 PM  

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