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Body Mass Index (BMI) Out of the Danger Zone: Cycling for Brain & Body Makeover

RSNBiker's picture

It's Day 67 of my brain/body makeover and I'm happy to report a 20-pound weight loss as of today. Hitting my first major milestone seemed liked the perfect time to kickoff my blog on roadskater.net.

My writing today is also inspired by northinsouth's exercise challenge as he prepares for a June marathon. Go northinsouth. You can do it! First, a note about my handle. I'm a cyclist, and one of a growing number, who rides with the roadskaters. I started training with the roadskater.net team a few years ago because Roadskater is my long-time friend and cheerleader in all things related to wellness and good health. Roadskater and eebee have both encouraged me in those years when I couldn't finish a training ride or make a few laps around Country Park in Greensboro, N.C., without an inhaler.

Onto my weight-loss journey. I'm in my mid-40s and about 6 months ago I got a note from doctor following my annual check up. The numbers provided in the document were out of registration do I didn't realize until I went back to get some relief for a bad cold that my risk for heart attack and stroke was a 5.5 on a 7-point scale. That got my attention. About that time I caught Dr. Daniel Amen on public TV and listened to him talk for about an hour about his recent book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Body." I had read Amen's earlier work "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life." He's the guy who shows scans of brains affected by alcohol and drug abuse and most recently, food abuse. I didn't send in my $90 to UNC TV. I went instead to Barnes & Noble. I don't often spring for a new hard back. I prefer the library or Ed McKay's. But I had to have this book right away.

I starting looking at photos of brains wasting away due to weight gain and overeating and started working through Amen's list of super brain foods. He's got 50 on the list. He suggests picking 20. That was a Sunday night, 69 days ago. The next day I woke up, motivated to exercise, and by 2:00 p.m. I had talked myself out of going to gym. I was crashing from a morning loaded with caffeine and stress.

I started my brain/body makeover the next day, in earnest. My program consists of a strict 1560 calorie-a-day diet with a 30%/40%/30% balance of protein/carbs/fat, 30-60 minutes of cardio every day, weight training for 30 minutes three times a week (sometimes four), cycling two to three times a week for an hour, and one day for at least two to three hours.

I started feeling good by Day 3. By Day 8, I began to lose my cravings for junk-food and late-night eating. In the first week, I just focused on hitting the numbers for my calorie intake. In Week 2, I started to work on getting the most out of my calories and started working on the balance of protein/carbs/fat. By Week 3, I was in perfect balance and started climbing toward double-digit weight loss.

How did a couch potato who got winded walking up to the top of a movie theater get motivated to workout every single day (with a very occasional day off -- three in the first 40 days)? I had a lot of help. I told my friends, who have watched me fail on diet after diet and plan after plan. Two of my girlfriends are committed to weightloss in earnest and I dine with one of these friends pretty regularly, so that was a big help. I started calling people who encouraged me to overeat "triggers." In those first days, I would said "trigger" a lot. I removed the triggers from my living space a few years ago. If I want to eat something sweet, for instance, I have to bake it. You won't find chips and salsa in my house or candy in the freezer. I also cut my midnight runs to the convenience store around the corner.

The big "secret," I suppose, has been making myself and my health a priority. Roadskater asked me a few months ago, "Wouldn't it be amazing if we couldn't go a day without exercising?" I thought that was hilarious. Exercise was a drudgery. Today, I'm happy to report that I can't wait to get on my bike, get to the gym. I walk everywhere I can.

I'm taking a short vacation this weekend and I already have a guest pass to the gym where I will train this weekend and am planning a hike tomorrow and skating (yes, skating indoors) on Saturday. Before 67 days ago, thinking about a vacation would have been planning as much sleep and pool time as possible.

Who is this person who has invaded my head and my body? I don't know. I hope it's the new me. In my next posts, I'll share some of my favorite insights from Dr. Amen, Shaklee nutrition and workout strategies.

Peace out. And thank you Roadskaters for helping me get my life back!



RSNBiker's picture

BMI Danger Zone continued

This comment was intended to be part of my first blog post. I have moved Part II into the body of the post BMI Danger Zone.

eebee's picture

Powerful Post!

This post caused an avalanche of thoughts and feelings for me! First of all, many congratulations to you for doing so well so far. That is some good, solid progress. Working out sure wouldn't be a drudgery any more with those results! And way to keep going at it even after a less than optimal first day.

The way you described Dr. Amen's method makes me wonder why we're not all following it. I haven't read that book but now I want to. I'd like to see those images of the brain on caffeine - I have been wondering about that one. But if I give that up too I really won't have anything fun left. But it would be nice to break free...



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