Notice that the title proclaims "the fun way", not "the easy way", as so many diet/exercise/fitness/dance/workout modalities do. Losing weight is NOT easy! But it can be fun, and the most fun way I know is riding the bicycle. I have included before and after photos for your perusal as testimony to this method: IT WORKS! Why do I say it is fun? Let me count the ways. Number one, losing weight is good for your health, no doubt about that. Next, riding bikes triggers all sorts of good results, such as increased metabolism, so that you continue to burn calories long after you have gotten of the bike for the day. It increases your stamina and endurance for all the other things you want to do during your day. If you are like me at all, there are simply not enough hours in the day to do/accomplish all the things we want to or need to do. Of course, your appearance will improve. For me, one of the biggest thrills was being able to get into jeans that I had not worn for many years....if you've lost weight, you can relate to what I am saying here. Is that enough? Oh, the compliments you will get are great for your ego and eggs you on to bigger and bigger goals to reach. All of this adds up to alot of FUN!
Step 1: What I Looked Like Before
I had ridden a bike off and on in recent years, but got discouraged after a few minor injuries. After a few years off the bike, my weight had gotten up to around 215 lbs. I am short, but this was simply too much weight to be carrying around. So in August of last year, 2011, I made up my mind to start riding again with the view of losing as much weight as I could.
Step 2: What It Takes in Between
I honestly believe that the bicycle is responsible for approximately 90% of my weight loss. In order to lose weight I, and you, must consider and implement nutrition changes. Simply put, I had to give up the cake, doughnuts, candy bars, hot cakes with butter and syrup every morning, and so on. In fact, I read an expert that proclaimed that "weight loss is 80 per cent nutrition and 20 percent exercise." Not sure I agree with that statement, but that is beside the issue. After I had ridden for a month or so, and started noticing a difference, I joined a gym to become savvy in resistance or weight training. This helped a good deal as well. At the gym, I would do spinning for 30 minutes to one hour, and believe me, that is a workout! In addition to the above, I walk the dog twice a day and that adds up to 2 to 4 miles of walking per day. I can miss a day of riding now and then (some "experts" recommend a day of rest/recovery), can forgo the gym, and the spinning, but I dare not even consider not walking the dog! Keeps me in line that way.
Step 3: Some Advice From One Who Has Done It!
If you want to lose weight, no matter what your age, position, inclinations, etc., you must work at it! And it is not easy, but it can be fun as I have described. Yes, it takes discipline and dedication, but it is worth it. Just the development of discipline is worth it, let alone the weight loss that occurs. I believe the simplest way to most things is the best way. Just get on and ride. To start with, if you haven't ridden for awhile, it will be difficult, and even a little painful. When I first returned to the bike, I had a hard time even going around the block, or a quarter of a mile. That became my first goal. To become comfortable with that distance. It took a couple of weeks, but soon I was taking longer and longer rides. Today, I ride for an hour a day, most days, and my average distance is 12 to 15 miles. Every now and then, I double my ride to 30 miles. For me that is a good regimen to maintain my weight loss and get the enjoyment and fun I now crave! I am 70 now, and hope to ride well into my 80's! Absolutely do not want to fall prey to all those nasty, inflammatory, obesity, and vile diseases that take out so many of elderly people. A WORD OF ADVICE ON MY PROGRAM: IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS AND HAVE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST CONCERN REGARDING HEALTH ISSUES, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR!
Step 4: The Best Things in Life Are Free (Or, Can Cost Very Little)
How much does it cost to get into bicycling? As much as you want to spend! Looking at top end bicylcles, I see prices of up to $15,000! And I'm sure you could spend more if you wanted too. For my weight loss special, I had been riding a hybrid, comfort bike I had for years. It was in good shape, and would certainly do the job. But as fate would have it, at a garage sale one day, I ran across a 20 year old Trek 700. I was intrigued, so took a test ride, and it just seemed to fit better...long story short, the guy wanted $30 for it! So that became my bike of choice. I had to spend a hundred and a half to get new tires, tubes, get it cleaned and tuned up., but I am still riding it today, and it is an excellent exercise bicycle.
Step 5: Some After Photos
So enough of the talk! To reiterate: there is no EASY way to lose weight. But it can be done and it can be fun. As the old adage goes, you simply have to take the first step. I love riding today, and I love having lost all that life threatening weight. If you decide to do it, you will be amazed as I am. Good luck! And if you will excuse me, I need to go for a bike ride!
Finalist in the