The Story Of My Best Friend – 2nd Innings

Read about the 1st Innings here:

The Woes Continue..
After my initial fight with weight, bringing it down to 76kilos from 92kilos, I had started to think about the best way to keep it there. That is when buying a cycle and cycling to work came to my mind. After mulling over it for a while and after innumerable trips to various bike shops, I bought my first bicycle, a Hero Hawk. Initially, I cycled to work and slowly started long rides during weekends. Cycling helped me maintain the weight at 76 for the next two years. That journey is well documented here on my blog.

But after I came back to Hyderabad from VT, I was not active for a while. I blame it on the general laziness, changing of jobs and trying to sort out the left knee which I busted while running in VT. Also, I was being pampered by the family after almost an year of being away from them. As a result, the weight shot to 82-83 kilos.
In December 2010, with a new job, I landed in Bangalore weighing around 82kilos and being mostly unfit. The bronchitis attacks that were all too frequent in my past unfit life seemed to be sneaking in again. I began to panic and wanted to get back in shape. After taking a month or two to get settled in the new place in Bangalore, I started exploring the routes in Bangalore and began to ride with friends here. Although it was not as much as I would like, it did help me get the weight slowly down to 78 from 82 by June. But as they say, the losing the initial 5 kilos is always the easy part. The target of 72 kilos that I wanted to reach for a while, looked elusive.
I’ve always been a weekend warrior. I commute to office on my cycle almost everyday but used to get out for longer rides only on weekends. Although it helped me stay in decent shape and help me keep my weight more or less constant, while I kept doing that, it was not enough for that next step in weight loss that I wanted to take. It was simple. Commute(8km one way) was not enough of a workout and one or two days of workout per week in the form of weekend rides was not cutting it.

I wanted to see progress in terms of both my fitness and weight lost. I knew I can do it as I have done it in the past. I just had to go back to basics and make sure that I do some sort of workout everyday and watch what I put in my mouth. Knowing and doing are worlds apart.

A New Wind..
This new found determination coincided with my registration to take part in TFN being accepted. Now, I had no option but to get out on the road and ride. This acted as a big motivator for me to wake up every day and get out of the door.

Initially, it was tough. Dedicating a couple of hours on a weekday, with the prospect of getting out of the door well before dawn, sweating it out on the road, rushing back home, rushing to get ready for office and rushing out to office, seemed a BIG hassle. I never thought that I would do it. Looking back it was more of a mental block than practical issues, may be. Because, once you decide that you need to do something and start doing it, you’d always find a way around the issues that will crop up or those that you imagined would crop up.

I started with biking only on a couple of weekdays in addition to the weekends. Typically it was Tuesdays and Thursdays. Some days I had company and on other days it was a solo spin into the morning breeze. Some days were better than the others but I was determined not to miss any ride day. Rain or shine was the guiding principle. In the process I discovered that the Bulldog actually loves riding in rain.

In July, most of the riding was alone and mostly at my slow and steady pace. Once in a while, I rode in the company of some beginner friends. In August and September however, the rides with other more experienced biking friends began to happen with an occasional ride that redlined my heart rate. Riding with them has not only kept me from being bored but also helped improve my biking in many ways.

The Results..
As the rides became regular and as the miles kept piling on, I began to see improvement in my fitness. While previously, I had to move around gingerly with a sore body for the entire day after a long ride on a weekend, I now see no effects of it even as soon as an hour after the ride. I’ve observed that with improved fitness, I’m recovering quickly even from hard rides.

Monthly Mileage for the year so far..Source DailyMile

July mileage was 1329 km. Up from 522 in June. August a bit better at 1915 km while September continued the trend with 2022 km. In fact, the total mileage of the first six months was 3464 km while that of the past three months was 5266 km. 1802 km more than the first six months.  

Quite predictably, as the miles began to pile up, I began to see improvement in my weight loss goals as well. Although I began tracking and logging weight from early February, I only got to see proper movement in the weight scale after I began to move. Since July.

Lost nearly 10 kilos since mid of June with only about 3 kilos of that being muscle mass and fat % coming down by about 6%.   

Weight over time.. You could see that it started moving only after July when I started moving πŸ™‚

Updating the post: Since many have asked how I got the fat% and other details, I thought it made sense to update it here. I bought a TANITA UM-073 Body Fat and Water Monitor in late Jan’11 to motivate myself to lose weight. Little did I remember that monitoring it alone does not help lose weight and that I have to do something about it. πŸ™‚

What Next..?
I have surpassed my target of 72 kilos and I’m not complaining. I know I will not be able to keep up the mileage for long and I don’t intend to do so as well. It will only be till December. But I also know that I will keep riding regularly and continue my Yoga and may be running to keep the weight from going back past my target(around 72kgs). The lesson that I need to remember is to keep doing some sort of workout every day and watch what I put in my mouth. I know I will be alright as long as I remember and follow it. 

Thank you…!
I thank many of my ride partners who rode with me, slowed down for me at times, pushed me for better at other times, gave me useful tips, encouraged me, motivated me during these past three months and continue to do so. I also thank many who have offered me encouragement and guided me with the intent to see me do well.

Most importantly, I thank my dear wife who not only puts up with my craziness but also encourages me and takes care of me. And of course my trusted work horse, the Bulldog.

The weight saga continues… and like life, its a journey.

17 thoughts on “The Story Of My Best Friend – 2nd Innings

  1. Dude… I took a luk @ doze numbers, and I started staggerin :-). Can't even think of approachin that 1k plus mileage in ma life, totally :-). Gud article. I hv shared it with a few friends of mine too . Purpose – weight reduction πŸ™‚

  2. Congrats on blowing past your target weight! Of course, for those of us on DM, the fact that you have been racking up the miles is no news. You're going to finish well in the TFN community challenge πŸ™‚

  3. Congrats Venky. The last time i was inspired by somebody's weight loss report was from Bharani shivkumar ( chennai ). This time it was your report. Ultimately it all boils down to determination, consistency and watching ones progress to measure success. I am 34 year old and i am @ 67 kgs since 3 years but as you say knowing and doing are world's apart. I know what to tell my near and dear ones but can't make them do. It is such reports with facts and stats that might inspire masses to get up and do it. Keep them coming and see you this thursday on siva's road πŸ™‚

  4. Gr8 Post Venky. Nice to read your progress. Wow…Your Daily Mile stats are amazing. I am struggling to do 1/10th of it. Have a nice time and GOOD LUCK for your future rides… Many more miles to ride before you sleep..

  5. I am confused between Mach 2, hero hawk nu age one of the common factor is low price i want your suggestion on this ,i want to cycle to office daily.Since you have used Hawk i want your feedback

  6. @Shiv, the new Mach looks great and looks a bit better than the current Hawk. I would suggest to go for it if it is a good fit for your height. All the best.
    @Kishan: Thank you. πŸ™‚

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