Posted by: fizzhogg | March 9, 2013

A Message From Off the Bike

Y’all better sit down for this one…

So, I’ve been nursing the bulged discs this year. Physical therapy and taking it easy — meaning, no riding. Or at least not much. At all. As of this writing – March 9th – I have ridden 52 miles this entire year. With no ride over 18 miles.

As you all know, I crapped out last year. Quick recap — in 2010 I started riding, started eating a little better, and dropped nearly 40 pounds. In 2011, I rode more, but ate more, and I gained some weight, lost some weight, and ended the year in pretty much the same place I started. In 2012, I rode more, ate a lot more and ended the year UP in weight.

I came into 2013 depressed. I could not control my eating, could not get on the bike enough… and just when I thought I had grabbed on to a good, positive mindset to attack the year, I blew my back out. The only thing worse than not riding is wanting to ride and not being able to — ask Aaron if you don’t believe me.

Now, here is where it starts to get weird…

So, this year began in a bad mental state. I knew from the experience of the 3 years of this project that despite my efforts, I could not eat better (as I preach) on a consistent basis. It seemed as though my exercise informed my eating. I only ate better when I was exercising regularly — getting those endorphins and whatnot, and all the positive energy that comes from exercising.

Obviously, I was dreading this whole back injury thing and the next several weeks… how bad would I fall? How fat would I get?

I know there are a lot of you reading this that don’t struggle with these issues. But I also know there’s some of you out there who are saying, “I know EXACTLY how you feel.” Well, for you folks, get ready for some good news.

With only a handful of short rides this year, and no other exercise whatsoever, this morning I weigh exactly ten pounds LESS than I did mid-January.

10 pounds.

I am three tiny pounds away from returning to that magic 200.

Here’s what happened…

I got inspired. I got motivated. Now, what exactly inspired me is too personal to share here. But just know that I was able to find something to motivate me enough to do the one thing I have never been able to do…

Stop eating.

Let me rephrase. Because not eating is as unhealthy as overeating. What I am talking about is — I stopped eating garbage. Fries and fried anything; chips and crisps; ice cream; pizza; double cheeseburgers… mmm, getting hungry? Yeah, I used to feel the same way. But around the first week in February, I had a personal epiphany and just quit cold turkey. When I went to restaurants where I’d normally order an app of fried delights, then consume a burger smothered in cheese or massive order of pasta, I ordered fish or a salad.

And it sucked. At first. But I got through it by taking a page from AA…

One Day At A Time.

Alcoholism is an addiction, like heroin or coke, or food. I am a food addict. I eat to self-medicate. I eat to comfort myself. I eat to hide.

But when I found my private inspiration, I just went one day at a time… ONE MEAL AT A TIME. I told myself, “Just get through this meal without eating crap, or eating too much.” And one meal led to two, then to three, and so on.

Now, I’m going to mention it again — this was not always easy. I had god days, and I had some really, really tough days. Especially late at night, in front of the TV, when my body was used to consuming a myriad of garbage. But I just kept repeating that mantra…

Just get through this one meal… through this one day. 

And after about ten days of this, it got SO MUCH easier. Because I was seeing immediate results. My clothes, my face in the mirror. Holy di2, Batman! I was losing weight OFF THE BIKE!

I searched out sushi and breakfast bars and salads and fruit. I forgot how awesome fruit is! See, once you stop eating garbage, you lose the taste for it rather quickly.

Yesterday, I was cleared to ride again. And I cannot wait to get back on The Goat and ride like I never have before. Because this time it is different.

Instead of using the bike to motivate my lifestyle, I changed my lifestyle to motivate my riding. I didn’t NEED the exercise of riding. What I NEEDED was to change my lifestyle. The way I lived off the bike. Because, even if we ride as much as Jens, it is still a tiny percentage of our daily lives.

So, to you fellow Hill Slugs, battling the whispering Jabberwock of delicious treats… You. Can. Win. It will not be easy. At all. But YOU CAN DO IT.

What you must do is find that epiphany. Find that lighthouse, that golden chalice, that beautiful woman or man waiting for you, that, that, whatever it is… you must find the motivation first. FInd SOMETHING that you can latch onto, that you can use as a carrot or goal or whatever, and then begin…

One meal at a time.

One day at a time.

It will suck at first. Your dark self will try to convince you that you’ve been great for three days, you can cheat just this one time… that one bite of pizza won’t be a big deal… it is a HUGE deal. Don’t do it.

Don’t set a time goal. Don’t say you will try for a week or a month. Just do it one meal at a time. One day at a time.

And it will work. And once your lifestyle changes, then your desire for riding or any exercising will increase exponentially. Right now, my mindset is — “If I’m losing like this without riding, what is going to happen when I start riding again?!?”

I can’t wait.

Remember folks…

You are better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can.

One meal at a time

One day at a time

Ride your bike

Change your life


  1. If you could see me, I’m jumping up and down in my bedroom shouting Woohoo! That one day at a time is good stuff eh?

  2. That was very inspiring! I understand completely how you feel. It isn’t easy eating the right stuff. I still struggle with that, and have gained a little bit over the last few months. I hope to lose it soon now that I’m riding again, however slowly. Hope you heal up and get back on the bike soon.

  3. Good for you! There is no “journey” to healthy living there is only an infinite series of “right nows” where you can make different choices. Do the right thing now and try to do the same next time and eventually the “new way” becomes just “the way”. I also drift in and out of compliance, but you can’t beat yourself up over it, like you said one meal at a time.

  4. Grasshopper, I believe you have hit upon a great truism of life. I suspect one day you will not even need to weigh yourself for confirmation that you’re living a healthier lifestyle. The weight will simply drop on its own with little fretting on your part. You will be focused on bigger things. No go ride your bike – not to lose weight but to have fun!

    • This is the comment of the year so far. And maybe of the entire history of this blog.

  5. It seems that you and I are similar in almost every respect when it comes to food my old mate. Hang tough!

  6. congratulations!!! keep up the good work and the positive energy.
    If I’ve learned nothing else in the past year, it’s that positive thinking makes all the difference.

    glad all is well 🙂

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