This was supposed to be the year I lost the weight. This was supposed to be the year I got back my fitness and fastness.
And yet, here I am, on the cusp of the riding season, neither fit nor fast. This, I assert, is not my fault.
Clearly, I have been sabotaged by my enemies. I will now name them, and list their nefarious deeds.
Working from Home
Working from home is my most formidable enemy. In fact, “working from home” isn’t so much an enemy as it is an entire army of enemies, all bent on keeping me fat and comfortable. Consider:
- When you work at home, your bike commute is much shorter. In fact, one could argue that I don’t need to ride my bike from my bed to my home office at all; I could simply walk down the hall. But I am a committed bike commuter, and so have not yet ceded that battle.
- My house and my fondness for snacking while thinking are an excellent combination…for getting fat. My new job isn’t like my old job. In my old job, I ran around from conference room to conference room, having meetings. In my new job, I have very few meetings. Instead, I think a lot. Yes, I have a job that actually requires me to think about stuff. You know what’s great to eat while you’re thinking? M&Ms. Oh, and tortillas with some cheese melted on them and some slices of avocado, maybe with a dab of sour cream and then some of that Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce I like so much. That would help me think.
- My house has conspired to have a kitchen. The kitchen, in its irksome way, has food in it, all of which is already paid for. And since I own it, I may as well eat it. Right now.
- My kitchen is impossible to avoid. You can’t get to the garage without going through the kitchen. You can’t get into the family room without going through the kitchen. And the pantry is right where it’s easy to get to. Just open it up, and there’s a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips just staring at you. You know what would be good right now? Sprinkling some of those chocolate chips on an open-faced peanut butter sandwich. (Open-faced so that I only use one piece of bread—watching calories, you know.)
- I like staying home. I set the alarm nice and early every night before going to bed. Arrogantly, the alarm then wakes me up at a ridiculous time the next morning. That’s when I realize: I could just as easily sleep a little longer and still get an early start on work, then go for a ride during lunch or after work. By lunch, I’m deep into work, though, and it’s not a good time to ride. And then the kids get home from school and I’m anxious to wrap up the day so I can spend some time with them. Abracadabra: the day has elapsed and I have never stepped out of the house, much less gone on a ride.
Working on the Road
When I’m not working at home, I’m traveling, visiting customers and visiting the company headquarters. I feel compelled to point out that the only thing worse for a diet than having a kitchen constantly near is being on the road, traveling with people who have very good taste in food.
Hence, the road is also my enemy. But only in a figurative way. Which is to say, the road as a metaphor for traveling is my enemy. The road as a physical object is actually a pretty good bike enabler. To summarize: Metaphorical road, bad. Actual road, good.
Let’s move on.
The Absence of a Handy Scale
I’ve noticed something about weight loss: when you start finding reasons to not weigh yourself, you’re probably not on track. Well, when we put our house up for sale, we hid the bathroom scale (along with about 70% of our other possessions) in the garage, giving our house a clean, big, open look it never has in real life.
As I may have mentioned, our house sold almost instantly—within one day.
And yet, until this morning, I did not have the scale back in the bathroom. “Just too hard to find,” I thought.
So it wasn’t a massive surprise to discover—when I finally dug out the scale, which took all of two minutes to locate—that I am back up to 169.6 pounds.
Calling the absence of a scale my enemy may sound like a stretch, but when you think about it, it’s actually quite terrifying: My enemies are so smart and subtle they are able to wage war against me with the absence of things.
I absolutely must weigh 160 pounds or less when I do the Cascade Cream Puff on June 25. I am going to start weighing myself (and publishing my weight) again every day, and training for this race. Even though I’m moving later this month. And even though it’s hard to lose weight when working from home.
If I don’t make my goal weight, I will give away a big prize. I don’t know what it is yet, but it will be big, and it will hurt me to give away. Similarly, I will weight 150 pounds by the Leadville 100 in August, or will give away a big prize. Something non-trivial.
Because (cue inspiring, stirring music) while my enemies are strong, I am resolved to not lose this war.
Now I just need to think about what those prizes should be. And you know what would really help me think right now? A peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich, that’s what.