Cycling/diet update, one month later

Worst day ride thru pdx

As a bit of public shaming, I'm going to do a monthly update on my progress of riding my bikes more and losing some weight. February is all good news because I've put in a lot of miles and I've lost 5 pounds.

I rode about 280 miles in just under 20 hours of riding for the month (thanks to it being the cold winter, I also won my first monthly challenge over at the We Endure MetaFilter group). I didn't watch what I ate too much, but I did pay attention to how much and when I ate. I am no longer eating anything after 6-7pm or so (I used to occasionally have a bowl of cereal, cheese and crackers, or dessert late at night) and I'm no longer eating heaping helpings of seconds and thirds at dinner until my stomach hurts (I used to do this several times a week).

So far, it feels like a pretty easy transition as it is minimal dieting but the biggest surprise is that the tons of riding I'm doing (on pace to do over 3,000 miles of riding this year if I keep it up) boils down to just five hours of riding a week. Last summer, I probably rode my bike an average of once or twice a week for an hour or so each time, and I didn't ride much more because it always seemed too difficult to schedule into my day. In the last few months I realized I made excuses or put off riding until it was too late in the day to go out, so instead I came up with a new system: schedule your exercise.

My day starts around 8-9am and I process through my email to figure out what my day is looking like. I'll check my calendar as well to see what's on tap for that day and after 30 minutes or so of work I can figure out if I should take a bike ride before lunch or a couple hours after lunch. Anything that comes up after I make the plans is fit around that ("I can't call you back as I'll be out before lunch, I'll call you later in the afternoon"). I try to ride every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and if I can squeak out a long ride on a weekend I'll do that as well.

That's my biggest surprise in taking on this new lifestyle endeavor -- doing regular exercise is not nearly as invasive to my schedule as I previously thought. It's just setting aside an hour or two 3 or 4 days a week and I'm seeing weight loss and increased endurance immediately. I also realized five hours a week isn't that much to give as even though I consider myself a casual gamer, my playstation still probably sees more than 5 hours a week of use.

So far, so good, and I think I'll be able to keep this up for a very long time.