I Have Enemies

05.5.2006 | 4:53 pm

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 combinationfor 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.

Those bastards.


Open War

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.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 5:28 pm

    a big surprise, like michael promised on "the office?" there’s no big surprise, is there?
    you know what would be a big surprise? if you got your weight under 160 in time for the creampuff without resorting to a skill saw and blow torch.

  2. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 5:38 pm

    At work, we recently held a contest of who could lose the most weight and body fat over a 3 month period. The purse was significant- $1,000.  I did not participate in this contest; however, I noticed that one fellow employee, went 10 days without eating anything other than a mixture of water, lemons and some syrup.  This person did not win the money but was able to drop close to 30lbs. 
    Every morning I would stroll into work with a 44oz Diet Coke (with Lime) and a sleeve of those Gem donuts sold at every gas station in the U.S. and laugh.  I am smart enough to realize I don’t have the ability to diet. 
    If I find myself a little heavy for the next big ride/race, I just fill my water bottle 3/4 of the way full and call it good.
    Rick S.

  3. Comment by rich | 05.5.2006 | 5:42 pm

    I lost 5 pounds last weekend at RAWROD, and it hasn’t creeped back yet. You simply must ride White Rim 2 times before Creampuff and you will weigh 160. However you will certainly lose your sanity and stuff your bike down one of those latrines. Next to dug’s.

  4. Comment by Stephanie | 05.5.2006 | 5:45 pm

    Here’s motivation.  you could become the next lance armstrong…. kind of

  5. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 5:58 pm

    As for prizes, you know it looked like that Paragon was just my size. . .BotchedP.S. I think you need to take the Humiliation Factor to the next level. Maybe a Fatty vs. The Fatheads race where you have to pay everyone that beats you $20.00 and then you write extensively about their cycling prowess.Maybe you could pitch Cycling News a series of articles which would esssentially be redundant with your blog, "Here’s pictures of my gelatinous torso, which I will attempt to reduce to merely semi-gelatinous over the next 30 days and I will update with pics and stats weekly." Recent analysis has shown that 63.57% of all Cyclingnews.com readers would like to lose weight. . .P.P.S  BIg Mike had good results with keeping a food diary for a week (and no I don’t mean "Dear Diary, I discovered my all-time favorite food today: Bannanas hollowed out and filled with peanut butter,  dipped in mayonaise, rolled in chocolate chips, stuffed inside a tortilla, deep fried, and served with chocolate sauce and a pizza").

  6. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 6:04 pm

    I’ve been telecommuting so long that it would be impossible for me to go back to a ‘traditional’ work environment.  I’ve been successful because I established two simple rules for myself:
    First, I work as though I am not at home:  I start work at the same time every day, and take small breaks in the morning and afternoon.  At noon I ride my exercise bike for 30 minutes then have a 30 minute lunch break.  No irregular hours, no long hours unless absoultely necessary and I get out of the house as much as I can on the weekends.
    Second, NO FOOD IN THE OFFICE.  Period.  No lunch while I’m working.  No snacks.  No hauling in goodies on those occasions I do have to put in an all-nighter or a Saturday.  Water is okay, but no food.
    Since I don’t have food in the office, I have to go to the kitchen to eat.  But, since I only take two breaks a day, I can’t go running to the fridge or the pantry every fifteen minutes.  I thought it would be tough when I started, but it’s surprisingly easy.  All it takes is a little discipline. 
    Of course this has done absolutely nothing for my weight.

  7. Comment by Susie | 05.5.2006 | 6:23 pm

    I suggest the two "prizes" be one of your bikes.  I know it sounds extreme but this might take an extreme measure to get you back on track.  If the the thought that your fixie might go to me and I will give it to my grandson or daughter-in-law isn’t enough motive, then there isn’t enough motive in the world.
    How bad do you want this??? 

  8. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 7:30 pm

    You’re still an inspiration to me, Fat Cyclist!

  9. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 7:59 pm

    watch the movie, super-size me.
    that should help. also, if you go to
    a fast food place and they ask if you
    want to super-size, just say, no thanks.
    and by the way , cancel my order.
    watch the movie, Hostel. that should
    stop anyone from eating for a month.
    i didn’t watch it, i’d be too scared. plus,
    i like to eat.
    as you can see, movies are your answer.
    so i’m sure there is some hidden messege
    from tom cruise for you  in the new mi3 movie this
    maybe dug can help staple your stomach.
    lots of luck.

  10. Comment by Jsun | 05.5.2006 | 8:16 pm

    Finally you get back to the basics of why I read your blog in the first place.  (To make myself feel superior to someone).  All of your biking prowess and the absence of failed diet-talk was really starting to get me down.  Hooray for me, you suck again. ;)
    I like the suggestions about giving up one of your bike quiver.  That’d make me think twice about the challenge.  I could make suggestions on how to make your goal, but its down to you (and then I don’t have a chance at the fixed gear).  
    I had more to write but have to get back to work, and maybe just a little more chocolate, since I will ride it off tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain too hard. mmm

  11. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 8:17 pm

    Watch out for those scales. I haven’t been riding much lately, have been answering the Siren song of the Pringles can and generaly being a pig. Stepped on the scale, and it punched me right square in the wedding tackle. Nasty. I didn’t realize the digital display could spell out such vulgarity. Maybe I should just use the freight scale at work until I can learn to control myself again.

  12. Comment by Unknown | 05.5.2006 | 8:27 pm

    <i> watch the movie, super-size me.  that should help</i>
    That is great advice.  If a fat semi-employed whiny thirty-something with huge sideburns and a smirk, getting rich as a result of blaming his obesity on a faraway corporation doesn’t make you vomit and lose 5 pounds instantly, nothing will. 
    If that fails, you could always try exercise.  I hear it helps some people.  Maybe get a bike.  Yeah, that’d be a great idea.  Try riding a bike.  Oh sure, it will be hard to ride it past the end of your block.  But if Stormcrowe could do it when he weighed more than your freaking Volkswagen, perhaps, just maybe, you might have it in you to go for a short 5 minute bike ride.
    Naaah, who am I kidding.  You should sue McDonalds, immediately.  It’s the fault of that clown dude with the red hair.  He made you keep hitting the fridge, the goofy bastid.  No guilt for you here, FC, it ain’t your fault.
    Hey, want some of this Hagen Dasz?  It’s pretty good.   

  13. Comment by regina | 05.5.2006 | 9:23 pm

    game theory says that only eminent threat is the true motivator, so the bike prize could really do it.  Though I do hate the thought of that.

  14. Comment by Matthew | 05.5.2006 | 9:48 pm

    Mmmmm…tabasco chipotle pepper sauce. The Cholula of the 21st Century…and the secret to a wicked bloody mary! Smoky goodness…do they have it in small packets for those long races yet?

  15. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 05.5.2006 | 11:01 pm

    Botched – Geez, I thought you were looking in my kitchen window when I first read the ingredients of that calorie bomb you described.  Then I noticed the mayo…
    Next time I see such an accusation I will immediately list my firstborn male-child on eBay and use the proceeds to purchase a plane ticket to your location and re-educate you.  Accusing me of mayo use is tantamount to openly accusing me of being Canadian.  You may call me short, fat or bald – but I draw the line at being called Canadian.
    I am the most un-Canadian person you are ever likely to meet.  For example, I recently posted about how I chafed off most of my manly appendage on an epic ride.  If I was a Canadian I wouldn’t have needed to ride my bike for close to 5 hours to do that damage, I could have just gone out my front door in the same flimzy attire and the same "man-bits" would have just shrivelled, frozen and dropped off from the cold.

  16. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 05.5.2006 | 11:07 pm

    Fatty – The food diary really works.  It just puts your indiscretions right there in your face.  And if your conscience doesn’t see the food diary and turn you into Lara Flynn Boyle then the next phase is the public humiliation.  Any week where you gain weight, or don’t hit your loss goal, post your weekly food list.  I’m sure your readership will then have plenty of advice to assist in makeing you curl up in the corner and cry.

  17. Comment by Alscabals | 05.5.2006 | 11:38 pm

    (chuckle) Hallelujah! I found a fellow fleshy wannabe cyclist! I enjoyed your your humor….I also can totally identify with the "how to diet and still stay fat." I just got a beautiful road bike last summer…and have rarely used it :(  There are no real organized cycle groups for um….beginners. (shhhh…) The only people I see cycling are beautiful …. muscly…..cool bike teflon-fireproof-invinsible-yet breathable Lance like bike apparel….who glide past with determination………..yes, no change of contact. (Unless I trip them) (Which after reading  your bike snob info I’m rather inclined…..) No, jk, anyway, glad to know all us semi-committed cyclist are too busy blogging to ride…..yeah………………

  18. Comment by barry1021 | 05.6.2006 | 12:36 am

    Susie and botched have a point FC. If you are going to start your whiinin’ about the extra baggage on your frame and put us through this again, then the something "BIG" that you give away has to be "BIG" to you. Sure MSFT office is a nifty prize (if the winner actually  gets it of course), but from a guy that probably has a stack of them next to his gummy bear stash in the closet, its not that meaningful. There has been a suggestion of one of your bikes, and that is fine if the winner is your size. If not, I think a top of the line Serotta would give you proper motivation, and certainly raise the interest level of your devoted blogettes. Just a thought.

  19. Comment by Unknown | 05.6.2006 | 2:21 am

    Dear Choleric Cholesteoma,
    I’d be pretty thrilled to win your Reese’s jersey, if you promised to wash the hell out of it.

  20. Comment by Unknown | 05.6.2006 | 3:34 am

    Oh my gracious.. I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

    Listen here Fat Cyclist.. thanks to your thoughtless comment about the
    aforementioned nector of the Gods, you have become my enemy as well! In
    an effort to curb my evening appetite, I have since sworn off the
    oh-so-delicious delicacy.

    Until now, in fact, it had become a memory. Something from the past
    (like lunch). But you’ve gone and done it. You had to bring it up! Well
    sir… this means war.

    … see if you can find your scale now …

  21. Comment by Carl | 05.6.2006 | 4:27 am

    Y’know what worked for me once?  Food poisoning.  Quick way to drop 10 lbs, all the yaking is a great ab workout too!  Granted it was accidental, but you might be able to force it…

  22. Comment by evencastles | 05.6.2006 | 5:07 am

    Greetings from Shanghai.

  23. Comment by Unknown | 05.6.2006 | 1:38 pm

    Big Mike, don’t worry, no one will ever accuse you of being Canadian after eating that concoction. We up here in the great white north would never be caught eating that. We always put whipped cream on it first! yum yum
     The cold up here helps keep us slim…think of all the calories we burn trying to stay warm by shivering.

  24. Comment by Walter | 05.6.2006 | 6:58 pm

    "game theory says that only eminent threat is the true motivator"
    I think I gotta cast my vote with r) on this one, though the public humiliation angle has some potential, too…
    Unlike some of your truly greedy readership who are pushing for a whole bike as a prize, I’d settle for mere parts of a bike like, say, a killer wheelset, or maybe one of those Powertap or SRM things… ;-)
    More seriously, there’s apparently some research that suggests that the exercise piece is more important than watching what you eat in terms of your weight: http://www.webmdhealth.com/nl/nl.aspx?id=20260219&s=303&p=chol050406. 
    Final thought: since muscle weighs more than fat, isn’t it possible that you’re just gaining muscle from all that hard thinking? ;-)

  25. Comment by Unknown | 05.6.2006 | 7:39 pm


  26. Comment by Unknown | 05.7.2006 | 2:00 am

    Hey Fatty that’s pretty aggresive to be a 150 by August.  I have a different problem.  Every winter I get to my good hockey weight of 195. Then in spring I wonder if I should just gain another five and race clydesdale or lose 35 so I can be competitive.  Usually I end up only losing 10 pounds over the riding season, then I have to gain it back for the wnter.  I use a lot of cookies and candy corn to put the winter bulk back on.

  27. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 05.7.2006 | 8:21 am

    Hi (no name) – I question why you need to be heavier to play hockey.  According to the most basic of physics you would be better off lighter.  Momentum is the product of velocity and mass.  So yes, your momentum would be slightly less if you lost weight… except that in weighing less you would be able to accelerate faster and probably also have a higher top speed, therefore less weigh but higher speed equals the same momentum and the same "hit" quality.  Plus if you’re moving faster, you’re harder to hit in an offensive play.

  28. Comment by Tyson | 05.7.2006 | 5:14 pm

    Hey Big Mike in Oz,
    For the record:
    1. Its +25 C in my corner of Canada today, so no frost bite worries. Global warming is working really well for us up here.
    2. Mayonaise is good, dammit.  Especially with French Fries. Second only to cheese and gravy.
    3. If you had ever been body checked by a 240 lbs hockey player charging down the ice at 30 Km/h, you would know why we wants to gain weight for hockey. ;)
    Tyson in Canada.

  29. Comment by barry1021 | 05.7.2006 | 5:43 pm

    As one of the readers who suggested a complete bike as the big prize, I deeply deeply resent being called greedy. While you suggest a mere top of the line wheelset, if you had one sensitive bone in your body you would know that FC, being the perfectionist, anal, computer nerd he is, would AGONIZE over which set to give to the deserving fan. He would need to know the exact specs of the winner’s bike and do three months research on the topic. (Actually he would SAY he was doing three month’s research and hope the winner actually forgets about it, but that’s another story.)
    By suggesting a complete bike, I am saving FC his most precious resource–time. He could dump any ol’ Serotta  (57cm) on my front porch for example, and it would be fine with me.
    It’s just because I care.

  30. Comment by Hughes | 05.7.2006 | 6:29 pm

    Great blog. Fat Cyclist. I have been reading your blog for a while, and I never thought about answering back, but this time it it the spot. I am an executive chef and I worked for a company (club med) who moved the staff worldwide every six months. I had the same problems in the last 8 years (while I worked for the company). Now that I have a regular job in mexico city, I started to commute everyday, and I have to force myself to do it. But going back to it really is like riding a bike.
    Your blog is really good and fun, especialy all the parts about the racing.
    Thanks for the humor and the comments.

  31. Comment by Zed | 05.8.2006 | 6:15 pm

    I have no valuable advice for this weight loss you’re seeking, Fatty, at least no more valuable than the last advice I gave: avoid anything buttery, creamy or oily (yes, peanut butter is oily) and instead eat fruits, veggies, bread, etc etc. Stop eating cereal, dial down your consumption of cheese, drink milk and eat high-protein foods only after a ride, ride at consistent times three to six sessions per week, always for more than an hour, prep for your rides by sticking to the aforementioned carbs and fruits.
    Just the same ‘ol advice.
    Think you could talk Dahon into giving you a bike to give away?

  32. Comment by Andrew | 05.8.2006 | 8:42 pm

    Hey FC,
    I always enjoy your blog. I read it most everyday. I know you’re moving and all, but when you don’t post, it really chaps my hide.

  33. Comment by Yokota Fritz | 05.8.2006 | 8:53 pm

    I’ve been shuttling between Colorado and California for over a month
    now. I also didn’t have access to my bathroom scale and until last
    weekend. I was shocked (shocked!) to discover that I gained two entire pounds during my travels!!! I’m up to 158 lbs!!

    My house as been on the market for three weeks and hasn’t sold yet, so
    screw you. I have no sympathy for your weight problems right now. Nya
    nya nya. So there.

    Oh, and there’s something strangely paradoxical about signing on to Microsoft Passport from my current employer. Then again, I’m in the group selling x86-64 based boxes that run (among other things) Windows.

  34. Comment by Unknown | 05.8.2006 | 9:17 pm

    Hey FC.Your trackbacks are not working. I posted on my blog about returning to riding and weight on May 4, and tried to link to you last night, but no go.So far as the prize goes, "big" and "hurt to give" is general. I hope you are not considering a bag of liposuction remains?… Yuck!I hope you are not that desperate.How bout an all you can click shopping trip to Performance, Colorado Cyclist or Excel Sports?

  35. Comment by Zed | 05.9.2006 | 3:50 pm

    You know, the funniest thing I got from these comments was that article linked by Walter. I can’t believe it took a huge scientific study, chimps and monkeys, probably a barrel of grant money, etc, just to tell us that couch-potato-ing causes obesity and not the other way around. Classic irony.

  36. Comment by jim | 05.9.2006 | 6:39 pm

    Forget prizes for weight loss.  We all know you can do that.  Give me a BIG HONKIN PRIZE if you fail to finish sub 9 hours at Leadville.  You’ve been trying to do that now for years.  Maybe all you need is the motivation of losing something valuable.
    Whadaya Think?

  37. Comment by ...And The Little Minion | 05.11.2006 | 6:46 pm

    Your blog is sure making me hungry… and not for the carrots that I packed in my lunch. Dumb carrots.


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