Weight loss update, more on my quest to not be a Person of Walmart

Started the memorial day weekend well, took a couple extra days off, and haven’t wasted them.

I had a serious plateau at 220 and 219 #’s.  I was stuck there for almost week and half.  Nothing is more depressing than counting every calorie you consume, and every erg you expend in exercise to not see any movement of the scale.  Last time I did this, I had several plateaus and I know I was able to work through them, so I stuck with it (to be fair, my birthday was in the middle of this and I had a major splurge day. Gordon Birsch Czech Pilsner. Yummy.

Fortunately, I finally broke through my plateau, and I dropped almost overnight to 216#’s.  Back on the track of 3#’s a week of weight loss (that is fast enough that my diet tracker chastises me for losing too fast).

The real plus is that about a month ago, I got back on the bicycle.  There are some great loops near my house, and I have been exploring.  I have a couple of 25 mile loops, which equates to about 1700 calories burned in an hour and 40 minutes.

My ride – 2002 Lemond Buenos Aires

Since I regaled people with the drama about failing wheels, and buying a new wheelset, I thought I would spend a little time talking about my current road bike.

The Lemond Buenos Aires, a reynolds 853 steel frame that remains a joy to ride
The Lemond Buenos Aires, a reynolds 853 steel frame that remains a joy to ride

It is a 2002 vintage Lemond Buenos Aires. Made by Trek, is is a steel tube framed bike with a carbon fork. I bought it in 2002 for ~ $1200 new (I don’t recall the actual price). It was the most expensive road bike I have ever owned, but I have greatly enjoyed it. The frame has a comfortable geometry well suited for a hobbyist rider. It is neither a twitchy race bike, nor a special purpose bike (read up on what makes a good “triathalon” bike), it has served me well.  It came with a mixed component set (more on that later) that was mostly Shimano Ultegra, and the Trek made Bontrager wheels.

I always figured that the wheels would be the weakest link in the bike, and I was not much wrong. However, while they lasted they stayed remarkably true, and needed very little maintenance. Of course, over 11 years I probably put 6,000 + miles on it (as logged on my cycle computer) including many miles climbing hills and racing down the other side. Add into that fact that I have been north of 200#’s for most of the time I have ridden it, it is not surprising that there were hairline stress fractures on the wheels.

As I mentioned, I am not surprised that I had to change the wheels, but more amazed at how long they lasted. I put a lot of good, hard miles on them, and they were the lowest maintenance road wheels I have ever owned.  But the mixed components of the Shimano group was the first failure.  The outward facing components were all proper Ultegra, shifters, brakes, crankset (the hubs were the Ritchey hubs built into the Bontrager wheels). But the one “hidden” component, the bottom bracket, was the economizing point. It came with the bottom end Tiara bottom bracket that after 3 years or so developed a really annoying “click”, particularly when you were pressing hard on the pedals.  I ended up replacing it with an ultegra bottom bracket, and it has been glass smooth ever since.

I was a bit concerned about whether I spent too much to get it back on the road.  After all, a 11 year old bike that was originally only $1,200 new, adding $500 of wheels to the bike seemed a bit risky. However, a little searching and reading on the web, and apparently that era Lemonds are well regarded, and the Buenos AIres in particular which has the Reynolds 853 stainless tube set are prized for the comfortable, ride, and how well it handles.  Apparently “good to nice” condition versions still fetch up to $500 on the secondary market. Clearly, I have a good frame, and now with the new wheels, I am good to go for another decade.

While I can’t help but drool at the higher end bikes at the shop, all the carbon, and exotics, for my needs and purposes (to ride and stay in shape), I think my Lemond Buenos Aires will keep me riding in style.

Weight Loss Update

Two weeks ago, I lamented the need to get back on the horse and lose some weight. Of course, I know the formula, and I have tools to help me with my endeavor. But it is difficult to train the body to accept the new status quo.

For the stats:

Starting Weight: 232#

Today’s weigh in: 225#

Total lost – 7#

Not a bad first two weeks, but a lot more to go (my goal is 190#). In the last two weeks, I haven’t cooked anything extraordinary. We had visitors, so I made Pizza (by request) and had only one piece. I have been quite good about not snacking between meals, and not eating dessert. Lots of Lean Cuisine (good for portion control and balance, but big bad on the Sodium content. A willing trade).

By my tracking tool, the “Perfect Diet Tracker”, I am allocated about 2100 calories a day, and I consistently am eating about 1400 – 1500 a day. I am hungry, but not starving.

Exercise is the tough one. I can’t run anymore (last time I lost weight, and for years after, I did about 5m of running at lunch every day. Now the Plantar Fasciitis prevents that), so I walk when I can at work. Good for about 3.3 miles, it does burn some calories, and it gets me off my butt. This last weekend I brushed the dust off my bicycle, and put on about 36 miles.  Felt good (legs are a little stiff today, but I am seriously saddle sore), but need to keep the habit up.

There was a facebook status a week or so ago, one of those funny e-cards that said: “I know the feeling of skinny.  It feels hungry”. That sums it up exactly.