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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Phoenix, AZ

    Younger Next Year

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    I've been riding for a year. I didn't drop a pound until I went more than once a week.
    After I read 'Younger Next Year' I decided I wasn't doing myself any favors by riding just on weekends. So, I got out there, without my husband. And I loved it. The minute I did, I started loosing inches. A couple of months and my husband said 'Please don't hit me, but your butt doesn't jiggle as much as it used to'. He tends to ride behind me. Even I like the way my butt looks!
    I don't have a scale. But all my clothes fit looser. I've lost a couple of inches off my legs, two in my waist and 2 around the bust. I probably had 25 lbs of jiggly bits. Now they are muscle. I don't care about the pounds. Just the inches. Course, I've always eaten well. No fast food, I don't drink soda, eat very little dairy and buy mostly organic.
    I just began mountain biking, last month. I definitely use more upper body for that. Glad I put 1,600 miles on my road bike first and I've been lifting those little 5 lb weights. We've got really rocky paths out here.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    New York, NY
    My weight remains pretty constant unless I am consciously trying to drop it. I have target weights for the off season, base building and my race weight (in fact, I use a great book called Race Weight by Matt Fitzgerald to help me reach my goals).

    Exercise alone only really comes into play with my weight loss when I'm putting in big training weeks and burning more calories than I consume. Of course, this is how weight loss always works, but sometimes its a challenge to eat healthily and still get all the calories in during the day that I need to keep up with my training goals.

    I've noticed that my calves are more muscular now that I'm a cyclist, but they aren't bulky.
    Last edited by DMC; 12-06-2010 at 03:37 AM.
    'You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you'll find you get what you need.' - Mick & Keith

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Wilts, UK
    I am so happy with my legs and bum after a few months of cycling. I do mainly off-road so my waist and tummy are improving too, that's also a reflection of a better diet.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Marin County CA
    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    Perhaps an even more important question is, "How does cycling change your mind?"

    I think most here would agree that we are happier when we ride our bikes. And that happiness extends to the rest of our lives when we are off our bikes. We are more relaxed and generally have a better attitude.

    Wouldn't you agree, ladies?
    And in addition to the simple "whee" factor and stress outlet mentioned, long distance cycling has really helped me learn extreme patience (critical for my job and also for parenting a teenager) and perseverance.

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.

    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2008
    northern Virginia
    I just bought two pairs of skinny jeans. I actually look good in them. So good that I don't feel guilty about walking into the Clark's store intending to buy a pair of boots, and buying two pairs instead.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oslo, Norway
    tulip, I like your thinking. It's just as important to think about what keeps us happy, sane, patient, add-admirable-trait-at-will as to how exercise affects our bodies.

    That said, what I like most about biking as exercise and especially bike commuting is the everydayness and usefulness of it. Even the days that aren't "whee!" I'm still getting from A to B on my own power and am also using my body the way I feel it was meant to be used, simple movement over time, nothing extreme.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Soquel, CA
    I have also been puzzled as to why I would do a really long ride (for me 40-50 miles), not eat all that much, and gain weight the next day. My stepson says that it is because of inflammation. After a couple of days the weight would go back to what it was before.

    I would think that with all the exercise (about 100 miles a week) and seriously watching my diet, I would lose more than I have. I have lost about 10lbs. and one size in clothes in about 1 1/2 years. But, I look better. I feel better and stronger. I am no longer huffing and puffing walking up a hill. I think - how easy is it to be walking up a steep hill and not pushing a bike. Stairs are fine. I basically feel younger. Have made new friends. And have had some great cycling vacations. My only regret is that I did not start riding sooner.

    I have been doing some experiments with food and drink while riding. I started using Nuun electrolyte tabs in my water. They do not have sugar and a bunch of calories and really seem to help while riding. I think some people eat too much while riding because they feel depleted, and the electrolytes can curb that. I do not use gels and bars because they are full of chemicals and have a lot of calories. I eat dried apricots and pretzels and some nuts. It turns out that you can get by on less of those than you think. The problems seem to get worse if you just keep riding without stopping and don't get enough chance to eat or drink something. Once you pass that point, it's hard to get out of feeling drained.

    So, I hope watching what I eat when I ride coupled with a somewhat low-carb diet will eventually help me to lose a little more weight. Calories in and out just doesn't seem to work for me. I'm sure that I am exercising more than I am eating. I keep waiting to see if I will eventually gain enough muscle to speed up my metabolism. I also do water aerobics, swimming and a little hiking to balance out the riding.
    2007 Ruby Comp/Specialized Dolce
    2004 Bike Friday Crusoe/Specialized Dolce

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    That said, what I like most about biking as exercise and especially bike commuting is the everydayness and usefulness of it. Even the days that aren't "whee!" I'm still getting from A to B on my own power and am also using my body the way I feel it was meant to be used, simple movement over time, nothing extreme.[/QUOTE]

    Love this contribution! Very 'wheeeeee' to me. Thanks.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Longmont, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by featuretile View Post
    I think some people eat too much while riding because they feel depleted, and the electrolytes can curb that. I do not use gels and bars because they are full of chemicals and have a lot of calories.
    Whut? I'm looking at the ingredients for my beloved Hammer Mtn Huckleberry, at 90 calories with the following ingredients, I fail to see the big scary chemicals in it:

    Maltodextrin, Filtered Water, Energy SmartŪ (Fruit Juice, Natural Grain Dextrins), Huckleberries, Natural Huckleberry Flavor, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (as a preservative), Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Alanine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine), Salt, Potassium Chloride.

    A lot of dried fruits have scary crap sprayed on them, or they're processed with a ton of coconut oil. Good stuff (really, really is tons of articles about it, makes good cookies), but it packs a wallop!

    The key is doing it right and that varies from person to person. Sitting on the "I don't eat while I ride" high horse just makes you look kinda silly. Cycling is an endurance sport and endurance requires fuel. You wouldn't go on a road trip expecting to get there on only what you put in the tank that morning, right?

    The level of exertion on the ride will determine what your body uses as fuel, stored fats or carbohydrates. Okay, so say you keep your rides fairly sedate, body is rockin' on fat and the birds are singing in trees. Problem is, your body needs carbs to access stored fats as energy.

    It's also possible for your body to cannibalize muscle tissue (if you give it no choice) and use that to get the job done. So much for those sexy toned legs. Mmmmm, zombie body. Ask me about braaaaaaaains!!! Aaaghhh grrrrr mmmmmmphhh!!!

    Since there's no real way of knowing where you body switches gears from fat to carb burning, and since it needs carbs to burn fat (also the inverse is true from my understanding) there's probably little harm in downing a gel every 45-60 minutes.

    Certainly there are people who over-do it, and it's not good for you nor will it feel good to try and replace everything you use while on the ride. Mmmm, puke-n-pedal, no thanks.

    On longer rides 3+ hours or so I will probably bring a Larabar or something of that nature. My tummy wants something in it, or there will be war. For the most part though, gels are usually sufficient. I can't stomach Perpetuem otherwise I'd rock that, prolly cheaper.

    In the long run, not eating on rides of 1+ hour in length will probably do you more harm than good. Number one, you're asking your body to perform on fumes. I could see that messing with your metabolism the same way that it does people who try and starve themselves skinny. Your metabolism slows because your body doesn't know how many miles there are to the next gas station. Second, if you lightly fuel yourself along the way, you're less likely to come back into the house and devour half the 'fridge. I started to take gels to the pool because masters swimming was the same night as wing specials at Buffalo Wild Wings.

    Like anything it's about balance. I factor in my bike food into my total calories. I've never tried to replace all I burn, but I have made myself miserable by not replacing anything. At the time, I thought it was all part of the game, once I started eating right I realized how much better I felt. I have this manorexic riding buddy who went 45m on half a water bottle, no grub, while I stopped at a gas station. It scares me to ride with him, lest he fall over. He won't listen to reason though.

    Now, that said, will I eat a Snickers bar at the Hygiene store when I'm less than 10 downhill miles from home? Was it a long ride? Yeah, yeah I probably will because sometimes that's what it's about. Will I brave one more hill interval to get to the coffee shop for an Almond Joy latte, yes, yes I will.

    Anyway, enough of my nonsense, here's a great article from Hammer addressing feeding follies:

    Last edited by smurfalicious; 12-07-2010 at 07:37 PM.
    "True, but if you throw your panties into the middle of the peloton, someone's likely to get hurt."

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Dublin, Ireland
    It's really nice to see such a positive post about cycling and body image - I'm new to cycling, but some of the comments about how much to eat really resonated with me.

    I just wanted to echo some of the points raised by smurfalicious - I was a fairly serious rower (crew in the US?) while I was in college, and would have been training hard 5-8 times a week, but I was carrying a fair few extra pounds which never budged. And the reason was that I wasn't eating enough - I didn't feel particularly hungry after rowing, so I didn't eat any more than usual.

    It wasn't until my final year, when I rowed only socially, that I actually lost the weight - and that was when I dramatically decreased my energy output without decreasing my intake, completely counterintuitive!

    So take care of yourself, and see what works for you. My best friend swears by eating whenever she's feeling hungry, but for me, I sometimes need to eat when I don't.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I still weigh way more than I should; can't say I've lost any weight. I'm wearing pants three sizes smaller than I used to, though, pants I wore when thirty pounds lighter. I used to be a pear; now I've realized I've become more apple-shaped (and I'm not especially happy with that, BTW, though do like wearing the smaller pants!).

    But I don't ride for fitness (hahahahahahahaha!! The idea of me riding for fitness is funny!), and I don't ride for weight loss (good thing, because I haven't lost weight).

    I ride to feel better. I feel better physically and emotionally when I can ride.

    Plus, it's fun!

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    I like riding

    I start riding when I was a 4 grade primary school student. I think this is good for toning legs, it is also useful for me. But the waist also fat

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Bothell area, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    I would strongly urge you to get engaged in a variety of activites in addition to cycling: walking (or running) hiking, kayaking, Pilates, yoga, strength training. Especially if you're worried about whole-body muscle development, it's good to balance cycling with other pursuits. Balance and flexibility are also important.
    This is a bit after-the-fact, but I second this comment. I spent the last year commuting 40 miles/day by bike and was too tired to do any other activities. Now I'm having to go to PT to deal with back pain that developed as my core strength decreased. Biking is a great way to get out and burn some calories, but you definitely need more variety than just biking to be healthy.
    Almost a Bike Blog:

    Never give up. Never surrender.



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