walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In (on Thursday); A Few More Thoughts on Weight

In a comment on my last entry, Apertome noted that I might be a little too paranoid about my weight :)  After thinking about it a bit, I've decided he might be right.

Now, this isn't to say I don't still think I could stand to lose a few pounds.  Excepting, perhaps, my legs (I figure I must have some pretty solid leg bones; something has to hold all that muscle together!), I'm pretty fine-boned.  Meanwhile, my body distributes fat pretty evenly -- so instead of developing a hefty gut or turning pear-shaped, I just sort of expand, bit by bit, in all my dimensions.  Thus, between being small-boned and distributing fat evenly, I tend to look relatively slim even when I have a bunch of superfluous fat hanging around.

That being said, though, I do think my conception of 'normal' may be a little skewed.  Until a few years ago, 'normal' for me meant 135 pounds or less.  I can look back at pictures of myself from when I was my current height and only 120 pounds and see that I was actually a bit too far on the side of 'scrawny' -- I feel less sure about pictures from when I weighed 135.

Moreover, where racing is concerned, I suppose one needs to consider health as well as weight: bike racing is all about weight-to-power ratio, so the challenge is figuring out at what weight your body reaches its optimum balance.  I figure that rather than setting an agressive goal (like 135 pounds) and working towards it without further consideration, it might be wiser to set an absolute floor (that is, to say, "I will weigh no less than 135 pounds, because I think that would be unhealthy for me") and to set 'check points' along the way.  Then, at each check point, one can ask one's self, "Do I feel healthier than I did at the last checkpoint, or less healthy?  Do I have more energy, or less energy?  Am I actually faster at this weight, or have I reached a point at which my body has nothing left to lose but muscle?"

Likewise, I think it's important for me to bear in mind that there's more to my life than bikes and bike racing -- so if the changes I'm making in an effort to make myself a more efficient cyclist begin to make the rest of my life less fun or less happy, I really need to take that into account.

It's entirely possible that I'll reach a weight of 160 pounds, decide that's where I need to be, and stop.  After a post-mono uptick to 178, I'm now sitting at 172.4 -- which is the lowest I've been since I started weighing in again.  I am definitely feeling a bit better, and I am starting to like the way I look a bit more.

The challenge, for me, will be not getting caught up in the sense of achievement that comes with losing weight.  There are other, better things to achieve in day-to-day life.  Ultimately, weight loss should be considered part of the means to optimal health (a phrase that will mean different things for different people), and making it an end in itself is probably not terribly healthy.

In other news, I am greatly enjoying the cooler weather (Yay!  Sweater Weather!) and noticing, as I always do, how good it feels to be out on the bike when it's cool.  I'm planning to purchase a new wheelset for Swift (who currently has Quicksilver's wheels) that will take a 35mm tire for winter riding, or at least a new rear wheel (it may be possible to fit a 35mm tire on his current wheels -- the tires on there now are 28s -- but the rear has some serious issues and needs to be replaced).  I think a basic, inexpensive aluminum wheel should do the trick.  I will probably also add a new rear cluster, since I'm running Swift as a 1x7 setup right now with a 12-21 range in back -- not ideal for hauling 50 pounds of groceries!  Likewise, I'm still thinking about popping QS's crankset on Swift, since Swift's is heavy and worn-out and QS is probably about ready to retire.

Between now and then, I need to retrieve my clipless/flat pedals from our friend JL, who lent me the awesome mountain bike I rode for a while this fall, so I will feel happier riding Swift (I now feel really weird going clipless-less, LOL!).  I think I will also snag a set of north-road style bars and drop 'em in; that will make a much nicer ride for DD and, I hope, provide room for a front basket that won't interfere with the brake levers and so forth.

In other, other news, I made a really easy sausage, asparagus, and cheese quiche the other night, and it's awesome!  I think it's great bike fuel, and since it's high in protein and low in carbs, it keeps you feeling full for a while.  Perhaps most importantly, two quiches (one to eat for dinner, one to freeze) used up 12 of the 28 CSA eggs that were hanging around in our fridge :D

I'll try to post a recipe (and pix) here in the next couple of days.

Current Weight: 172.4
Distance to Mid-Point Goal (160 lbs): 12.4 pounds!  OMG!

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