It happens to me twice a year. When the weather turns cold, I gain weight. When the weather warms up, I gain weight. I’m not quite sure why it works that way, but I am sure that it is damn annoying. It’s especially hard to accept in the spring after I have been doing this all winter with slices of pizza.
Springish weather has arrived early in Chicagoland this year (thank God), so I’m trying to get a jump on that weight gain as the seasons change. I don’t ever remember cycling in February before, but I made it out 4 times on my bike last month on my way to a planned 500 miles this season. How far did I get?
I purposely broke one of mine on January 2nd. The weight of carrying it around all year seemed unbearable to me. I resolved to do something each day to personally or professionally improve myself or the world. I’m not talking about a daily shave or shower here, although my family would heartily endorse a resolution dedicated to my personal hygiene. No, I wanted to make a real difference. I responded to that resolution by doing nothing at all on January 2nd.
I felt better once that was out of the way, but I am still trying each day to follow that resolution. However, if I get to the end of the day, and haven’t done much of anything, well …
I’m okay with that, because I broke the resolution back on January 2nd. Yes, it is twisted logic, but it works for my twisted mind.
I made another resolution, and I barely kept that one going yesterday.
If you recall, I got a totally free Apple Watch that I must wear in exchange for a company using the data from the watch to study my brain. Yep, you read that correctly – my brain. I absolutely got the better end of that deal.
It’s worked out okay so far. I had no idea how many people wear Apple Watches until I started wearing one and noticing others wearing the same. I feel like I’m sort of in a club now, like a biker gang. You know how bikers signal each other when they pass?
Well. I’ve started signaling to other Apple Watch wearers. I think this signal is subtle, but effective. Take a look.
My exercise, health, and weight loss posts are generally my most viewed posts, so why would I wait until the middle of November to report on how I did in October? I guess it’s basically because I don’t care that much about what happened. There, I said it, and it feels good. I made my goal weight over the summer. When I sit in those special chairs at the pharmacy that take my pulse, measure my blood pressure, weigh me, and check my Body Mass Index, I no longer get the flashing warning to stand up before I break the chair. I’m now in maintenance mode.
Maintenance mode is not very exciting, and I don’t have much to report. I may have been able to lose more weight in early October as the weather was quite good to start the month. I probably could have left my pool up and swam until mid-October, but I didn’t. I walked and biked as usual, but my steps do show a slight seasonal reduction.
And that is because good mental health is key to good physical health. In the middle of October, the weather took a nasty turn for the worse, as did my mental health. I deal with SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I had to adjust my supplements and start doing this a lot.
The last time I updated you on my efforts to reach my weight loss goal of 20 pounds (for those of you still living in medieval times, that comes out to 1.43 stones), I had fallen short in September. I was stuck at 17 pounds at the end of September after really working out hard that month. With cooler weather coming, I faced the prospect of no more swimming workouts in the convenience of our backyard pool. I am simply not up for a nice winter swim as some are.
Canadians, eh? And I cannot handle this exercise below freezing …
I had slipped into a summer exercise routine that felt as comfortable as my fat pants with the stretch waistband after about 20 wearings without a washing. I would get up early and take a long solo walk or bike ride. Most days I would stop at one of the many wild berry patches I had scouted and pick fresh mulberries, raspberries, or blackberries for my consumption that day. After work, I would walk the dog and swim some laps in our little pool. Then the weather started to change. We had a stretch of rain and cold. No cycling for a week. I took down the pool before it turned into an above ground ice skating rink. So much for my swimming workouts. I immediately started to gain back the weight I had lost. My quest for a 20 lb. weight loss seemed unattainable.
But then, one man inspired and motivated me to try and make that weight loss happen. Who, you ask? I’m pretty sure I heard someone ask. Come on, raise your hand if it was you asking. Nobody, huh? Regardless, that man is …
Back when I started my career, I worked for a company that ran a “Go For 10!” promotion. They were a smaller company in their industry, and they wanted to push sales to get into the top 10. So, Go For 10! They failed. In fact, they may have fallen further down the ranks, and I was a part of it. Great story, right?
But I do have a chance to lose 20 pounds! I’m going for 20 pounds lost! By the end of August, I had officially lost 17 pounds of winter tubbiness and am currently trending toward 18 lost pounds of lard. How? COVID lead to underemployment which lead to less money which lead to me to walking and biking while contemplating my dilemma which lead me to notice things growing which lead me to eating those growing things. Here’s my harvest of European plums today …
They kind of look like sweet, juicy red seedless grapes. They’re not. NOT AT ALL. They taste nothing like grapes. They are edible but tart. I will eat them, but it’s not like there’s a chance I’m going to overeat. The real key to the weight loss has been in taking steps to better health, literally. Take a look at this pic.
I needed a break this morning. I have been cycling hard every morning to get in shape so I can deliver to my precinct via bike the Democratic voting guides once they get printed. Democratic leadership wanted to wait to print the guides until after Biden picked a VP. They really could have printed them months earlier. The ticket could have been Biden & ‘A Bit of Moss on the Side of a Tree in the Depths of a Forest’ and Democrats would still have voted for him. I do like the addition of Senator Kamala Harris as VP. Speaking of addition, I think Biden + Harris = 93. See what I did there?
Back to cycling, I felt I needed a day off. I decided to take a shorter, slower cycle to check on a blackberry patch that should have been just about spent. It was, although by slowing down I was able to spot a few stragglers that I picked for the freezer. It’s been a good berry-picking season.
I cycled a bit further and came upon a field of these beauties …
Ever since I hung up my running shoes earlier this year and settled on walking and biking (once I fixed my bike) as my exercises for the future, I have noticed my fellow exercisers more. I no longer have to try and avoid people as I run so they don’t see my jiggling fat. I walk. I wave. I engage them in conversation … well, some of them. Here’s how I rank them from unfriendly to the friendliest.
#10 – Serious Cyclists
They are the absolute worst, wearing their fancy cycling clothes and teardrop-shaped aerodynamic bike helmets. There’s me with my teardrop-shaped body trying to give them a wave or nod, but they are always too busy going 100 miles per hour to acknowledge me back. Oh, was that a tree branch I accidentally left on the path?
I like to exercise first thing in the morning, and most of this summer I have been walking in the mornings. After Charlottesville, I have preferred biking more than walking recently. We live in a hilly area, so there are lots of downhill stretches where I can coast downhill at 20+ mph. Going at faster speeds, I feel the wind in my face and I imagine that the wind is blowing the stench of racism, bigotry and hatred off of me that I absorbed from watching the Charlottesville coverage. Of course, once the downhill stretch is done, there are long uphill climbs that leave me winded with burning legs. Standing on the pedals to inch my bike forward uphill reminds me that our struggle against racism, bigotry and hatred is real and hard work. Cycling has been good therapy for me post-Charlottesville. If only we could bike to change what happened in Charlottesville.