Because I’m going through it once again this spring, and because it’s not happening as fast as I’d like – again – I wanted to talk about weight loss tonight. Here are some observations I’ve made since I started losing weight way back at 77 kg (note: I realize my weight loss has not been very dramatic, especially when compared to some of the people out there in the internet, but I think the principles remain the same. So there.).
I don’t know if you chalk this kind of thing up to ‘metabolism’, but it’s certainly true in my experience. Unfortunately for the person who has a hard time losing weight, the inverse is usually not the case – I should know, I’m a natural-born porker.
Losing weight takes time and persistence
It goes without saying, I guess, but I would suppose that many people fail at weight loss because they simply don’t see the results they had hoped to soon enough. I find that I need to be consistently on the bike (and taking it easy on the butter and chips) for 4 to 8 weeks before I see some real dimensional change. That’s a long time to wait if you aren’t sure of the results.
Fat burning is a paradoxical business
Coach Rob told me long ago about the ‘burning log’ of fat, which needs kindling, obviously, to get it going. That ‘kindling’ is glycogen, which is supplied by food and stores you have someplace in your body. But here’s the rub. That log starts burning very quickly for athletes, but is slow to catch fire for people who are fat/out of shape. The paradox of this, if true (and it is, I’m sure – keep reading), is that an overweight/out of shape rider will need to be on the bike far longer each session before they start burning fat. It doesn’t seem fair.
Your fat-burning machine is Fabian Cancellara, not Andre Griepel.
And finally the good news. If you do make it through those 2 months or so of diligent training, you will be rewarded with impressive results…and quick. I find that happens in April or May for me. The machine may not be lightening fast off the blocks, but once it warms up, it’s hard to stop.
It’s not (all) about the bike
This one is possibly the hardest for some people to come to grips with, mainly because they like beer, pizza, chips…and butter. They really like butter. Anyway, you need to change your diet to lose that weight. Period. Okay, you’ll probably lose weight by exercising a lot, but you’ll plateau and you probably won’t like where you get stuck. Then again, if it means butter and beer, that plateau could be a good compromise.
That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure I’m missing about a thousand things. I do find it fascinating, though, how awesomely simple and ridiculously difficult this subject can prove to be. Now I have to get back to coaxing my machine to find its inner Griepel – I’ve got races coming up.