14 Pounds in 40 Days

02.14.2007 | 12:27 pm

Back in December, I announced the Banjo Brothers Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge (B7). The idea is simple: whoever improves most against their weight loss and fitness goals wins cool stuff from the fabulous Banjo Brothers. And anyone who did better than me would get what is now heralded as the most awesomely cool jersey ever made.

A lot of people entered the race, and a few weeks ago I listed some of the stuff they were betting. Pretty impressive, really.

By last week, everyone was supposed to check in with their results so far. As a cool surprise, I planned to bug the Banjo Brothers and see if they’d give a prize to the winner of this first check-in.

But then, when the results came in, I didn’t bother calling the Banjo Brothers.

Why not?

Because — as I detail in the forum — I am currently kicking every single contestant’s butt [update: monkeywebb is actually beating me, which kinda lets the wind out of my sails]. And I didn’t feel right about calling the Banjo Brothers to ask them to award a prize to the leader when that leader happens to be me.

What? You think I’m going to make $4000 bet and not crow about it a little bit if I’m the leader right out of the gate?

What’s Working
The thing is, I’m losing weight (14 pounds since the beginning of the year)and becoming much faster on my bike (3 minute improvement on my uphill time trial) through a combination of techniques I have never used before, and I’m pretty excited about how well things are working.

Here’s why things are working for me:

  • I am not dieting. SansAuto — who knows about these things — has got me doing what he calls “Intuitive Eating.” When I’m hungry, I eat something — enough so that I’m not hungry, but not enough to make me full. I eat a reasonable amount, and I wait for 15 minutes before I consider getting seconds.
  • I am continuing my love affair with the crockpot. About a month ago, I talked about how much I like cooking with the crockpot, and a bunch of you commented with awesome recipes. I have tried out several of these recipes (usually with brown rice), keeping the fat down to a minimum. I feel like I’m eating more delicious food than I ever used to, and so I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself at all. I’m eating great food that is just a lot more healthy. And it’s easy, too.
  • Thanks to SprocketBoy, I now have a new favorite breakfast / snack. A while ago, SprocketBoy posted a Muesli recipe that sounded interesting. I made up a batch and fell in love with the stuff. I now eat it for breakfast every day and usually as a snack sometime during the day. It’s delicious, it feels substantial, and it’s easy to make. (Note: Don’t make more than you can eat in about three days. After the third day, it gets pasty and starts to separate).
  • Coach Lofgran is kicking my butt. Lofgran Coaching has got increasingly intense workouts set up for me six days a week. So even through the dead of winter, I’ve been riding with not just an overarching purpose — finish the Leadville 100 in under nine hours — but with a daily objective.
  • My wife is helping. I am convinced that — provided you’re married — the single most important determining factor in any major fitness/weight loss program is whether your spouse is onboard. I have sabotaged my wife’s efforts before, not out of malice, but because I just didn’t care. She’s done the same to me. But she doesn’t want me to lose this bet any more than I do, so this time, we’re working together and seeing similar success. In fact, if she were doing the B7 challenge, she might be winning it right now.
  • I eat a grapefruit every night. Because grapefruit, as I’ve made clear before, are magical. I.e., if I’m eating a grapefruit before bed, I’m not eating a bowl of Reese’s Puffs.

PS: Today’s weight: 166.0

PPS: The Fat Cyclist jerseys have been selling really, really well. A lot better than I expected them to, in fact. They’ve sold so well that I increased the order size from 250 to 350. Even so, I’m down to fewer than 50 I can sell. I’ve still got jerseys in every size, but that won’t be true for long. What I’m trying to say is, if you want to be sure to get a Fat Cyclist jersey, you should pre-order one now.

PPPS: To everyone who has ordered a jersey: thank you. I went way out on a limb ordering this many jerseys, and am still astounded so many of you have bought them so quickly.

PPPPS: I also realize nowhere near as many of you would have bought a jersey if I didn’t have killer design. And for that, I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Twin Six, which has the most awesome jersey designs on the planet.


  1. Comment by Rick S. | 02.14.2007 | 12:52 pm

    I got a nice little postcard in the mail yesterday from the good folks at Leadville. All of a sudden, 6 months seems right around the corner. I’m going to Costco after work to buy a wagon load of grapefruit.

  2. Comment by bradk | 02.14.2007 | 1:16 pm

    yeah, i got a nasty, nasty letter from those folks in leadville. fatty, bring me your reese’s puffs. i feel an urge to gain wome weight and stop riding my bike.

  3. Comment by fatty | 02.14.2007 | 1:18 pm

    rick s – yeah, those leadville guys rock!

    bradk – yeah, those leadville guys suck!

  4. Comment by MTB W | 02.14.2007 | 1:20 pm

    You deserve credit for your hard work and determination. And the Mrs. too! But now that you have given us your secrets, watch out! (Well, munch, munch, after the valentine candy is gone.)

  5. Comment by bikemike | 02.14.2007 | 1:53 pm

    everybody send fatty all of your left over valentine candy and even go out and buy all of the sale stuff tomorrow. we’ll see what his weight does next week. he’s not buying the candy himself, hence, no temptation. when it shows up on his doorstep, ha!
    also send it in grapefruit containers, he’ll never know.

  6. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 02.14.2007 | 2:01 pm

    Wow, good job FC. I’d better get going. I was hoping to hit my target weight by the time your challenge ended. Working at an office is the worst. Everyone brings in candy and treats to try to stave off the boredom. And when I say everyone, I mean me.

  7. Comment by the weak link | 02.14.2007 | 2:05 pm

    Well fine. Just fine. I don’t have a coach. I ain’t got no stinking Leadville. It’s too cold to ride. My trainer is broken. My cat died. My hemorhoids are flaring (let’s see, that’s enough for now). So gloat will ya? I thought we were friends.

    PS. What size jersey will you be wearing by Leadville?

  8. Comment by monkeywebb | 02.14.2007 | 2:20 pm

    “Kicking every single contestant’s butt?!!” Except for one: http://fatcyclist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=434 I’ve lost three more pounds since by cutting off all but my large tow on both feet. They don’t weigh three pounds themselves, but I couldn’t stop the bleeding and liquids weigh a lot.

    You’ve shared the gospel of the grapefruit, but I want to know your secret blood doping scheme. As soon as you do I’m sure I’ll start seeing better results in my TT, too.

    In the meantime, I will gladly treasure any Banjo Bros swag you want to share with someone who is (temporarily) beating you at your own game.

  9. Comment by Lurch | 02.14.2007 | 2:23 pm

    “La da dee, la da dah, Big Whoop” said the tortise to the hare.

  10. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 02.14.2007 | 2:36 pm

    Shameless plug-
    Anyone can have a coach Weak Link, even you.

  11. Comment by fatty | 02.14.2007 | 2:41 pm

    monkeywebb – wow, you’re right, you’re beating me. congrats, man! 15 pounds in a month is a major deal.

    weak link – i’m hoping to wear a medium. it will be my first medium-sized jersey ever. and if you watch carefully, you may be able to win an eval and a month’s worth of coaching next week.

  12. Comment by Ironmama | 02.14.2007 | 3:40 pm

    Is there a list compiled anywhere of people’s scores? I may not be beating Fatty, but I’d love to know how I compare to others who have taken up the challenge.

  13. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 02.14.2007 | 5:17 pm

    It will be satisfying to see all of this gloating of yours come back and bite you in the back.

  14. Comment by barry1021 | 02.14.2007 | 5:29 pm

    Hey Gang don’t worry

    He’s peaking too soon.


  15. Comment by regina | 02.14.2007 | 5:33 pm

    in the its a wash category, because I think you said you were going to place the order and hold the jerseys for the b7 bets, and you sent out the emails, etc, etc. you know what I am talking about. Ok if it is a wash, I will still buy the jersey your are holding for me, because, if it is a wash and we both win I will still need that small jersey. I just wanted to make sure you knew that. Also I cannot really believe your surprised they are selling so well, but it is a good read when you crow and it is a good read when your being all modest. whatever.

  16. Comment by Bob | 02.14.2007 | 5:38 pm

    Is it too late to enter the contest? I’m 5′7″, I weigh 187 pounds, and I just got the Leadville acceptance card. Gulp. I need to lose at least 20 pounds in six months.

  17. Comment by fatty | 02.14.2007 | 6:23 pm

    bob – for sure you can enter the contest. go over to the b7 forum and make your wager.

    regina – i had great hopes that during the first week the jersey was available for pre-order i would sell 40. so that it sold more than 5 times that many really did surprise me. and yeah, i’ve got all those B7 jerseys reserved, so any B7 contestant who doesn’t win their jersey will get first dibs at buying it.

    b21 – right, nothing at all to worry about. move along.

    lurch – i’ll bet you’re right, others will catch up with me to some degree as time goes on. but right now everyone is losing the easy weight. the sooner i get to those last 10 pounds, the more time i have to lose them. and the more time i have to focus on my fitness, instead of my weight.

    jet – well i for one don’t think that would be satisfying at all. however, i will in fact enjoy awarding a jersey to anyone who beats me, cuz i know that will be one fat cyclist jersey that’ll see lots of use.

  18. Comment by Neil Brennen | 02.14.2007 | 6:54 pm

    Congratulations, Fatty. Fortunately for you, I’m not a contestant, since if I were, I’d be beating your weight loss by two pounds. I hit 16 pounds lost yesterday.

  19. Comment by nikared | 02.14.2007 | 7:26 pm

    i’m down 18 pounds, but my fitness is suffering from lack of time to ride/work out. that’s ok, ‘cuz come May 12th i’ll graduate and have plenty of time to get my tt score down. good job so far, fatty.

  20. Comment by Argentius | 02.14.2007 | 7:40 pm

    Y’alls were sandbagging on the first TT. Okay, maybe not. Fatty, you don’t have a powermeter, do ya? OBVIOUSLY it would be impractical for everyone to use one, but it would be interesting to see.

    So, just hypothetically, completely, if a fairly serious roadie were buying a first mountain bike, would there be anything wrong with it being a single speed? Just hypothetically, this roadie might like to ride a fixie on the road a good bit, and would prefer the price and simplicity that an off-road SS might offer. But, since this guy might have ridden a mountain bike all of twice in his life, and has no technical skills to speak of, would he be hampering his ability to learn them on said single speed?

  21. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 02.14.2007 | 7:52 pm

    However it is still an impressive score so far fatty…

  22. Comment by LanterneRouge | 02.14.2007 | 7:55 pm

    Argentius, I’m guessing that your hypothetical lack of motor technical skills would put a damper on things.

  23. Comment by fatty | 02.14.2007 | 8:58 pm

    argentius – i for one think crossing over from a fixie road bike to a SS would be a natural transition. you’re used to the torque, and the simplicity of the SS would let you focus on the difference of riding offroad instead of fretting about all the new moving parts gears and suspension bring to the mix. plus, like you said, SS’s are cheap. plus, i’ve ridden a lot of the area you’d be riding, and the NW terrain is ideal for SS. so yeah, i vote for trying out an SS. i think you’d love it.

  24. Comment by Argentius | 02.14.2007 | 9:55 pm

    So ya know of course, I don’t ride my road fixie exclusively, or even most of the time since I got all into racing. But it’s still something I like a lot.

    If I get a rigid, singlespeed mtb, and am not a total technical badass, you don’t think it will hurt me in terms of learning to ride off-road?

    I don’t really have any intentions to race MTBs, but it might be fun to play around in some of the parks around here and to learn some technical skills to help my riding. I’ve already learned a ton just by going from pavement to gravel to hardpack to sand on my ‘crosser.

    I guess at the end of the day: Can a rigid, SS MTB do a lot that a ‘cross bike cannot? Would that equation change a lot if it had a suspension fork, or gears, or whatever?

  25. Comment by allan | 02.15.2007 | 3:41 am

    argentius-if your only rding on smooth non-technical trails I’d stick with the cross bike, but if you start riding any nasty stuff you’ll really appreciate the extra cush that the fat,squishy tires on a mtn. bike give you.

  26. Comment by RubyBlue | 02.15.2007 | 5:34 am

    First time poster here but I just have to say how much I love your blog Fatty-found it 2 years ago when I first started riding. I read it every day. My co-workers often wonder what I am snickering at. But since they haven’t gotten on a bike since it had training wheels, they can’t appreciate your humor. My favorite fake news item of all time “Davitamon Lotto wishes they were dead.” Classic.

    I too must give thumbs up to the Coach over at Lofgran Coaching. I attended a newbie cycling clinic last year and was much priviledged to ride with him. He was so incredibly patient, kind and helpful. If I wasn’t so pathetically poor, I would definitely get him to coach me for all the centuries I have planned for this summer. But alas, I am pathetically poor right now.

    Twin Six jersies – please stop teasing me and get the womens jerseys in already. I have been drooling over The Betty since I first linked to you from Fatty’s site. I can’t wait until March!!!

  27. Comment by fatty | 02.15.2007 | 5:49 am

    argentius – i’d get a susp. fork for that SS initially, but otherwise, yes — i think a SS would be a fine bike to start mountain biking with. and i’d say that while an expert cross cyclist could probably handle a good mountain bike trail on his cross bike, the different geometry, wheels, brakes and tires of an mtb are going to make offroad riding a much nicer experience.

    rubyblue – thanks for delurking, and thanks for the kind words! i’m afraid a women-specific fat cyclist jersey isn’t going to happen for at least the short term, though; i haven’t received even close to enough demand to make me think i could sell 250 of them (the minimum order w/ twin six). sorry!

  28. Comment by MTB W | 02.15.2007 | 5:56 am

    Argentius, I have never ridden a SS, but (to add my 1 1/2 cents) I would try a MTB with suspension before going rigid. I think it will help while you build up skills riding over rough stuff and not be so bone jarring for you. Starting with a hardtail, it can be easier later on to switch out the front fork to go rigid.

  29. Comment by MTB W | 02.15.2007 | 5:59 am

    Fatty, didn’t get your comment until after I posted mine. I guess we were on the same page.

  30. Comment by Argentius | 02.15.2007 | 8:55 am

    250 is a friggin’ MASSIVE minimum, but I guess 66 is mostly a commercial company and not a “custom clothing designer,” you just have the hookup and stuff.

  31. Comment by SyracuseStu | 02.15.2007 | 9:01 am

    Argentius- in my opinion, rigid is a good way to start on a bike. I’ll probably get jeers for saying that. But I am a big believer that the fastest way to gain riding skill off-road is to be forced to ride smooth, pick good lines and learn to soak up bumps with your body. Suspension is great for taking the sting out of riding and allowing you to keep your speed up so you clear trails faster…but it can also be a band-aid for bad riding style. Screw up on a rigid bike and you’ll know it…and we learn from our mistakes, right?

    Now I’ll tell you, I live in the northeast…so I’m not experienced with big-hits, drop offs and fancy human built teeter-totters and such. Suspension may be a necessity in those sorts of areas. But when you are dealing with rocks and roots…a good line and good riding skill on a rigid bike is all you need.

    Plus…you’ll never blow out a fork seal or change the oil on a rigid steel fork!

  32. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 02.15.2007 | 9:03 am

    Hey what a coincidence, fatty, I’m not dieting either!

    Those nice folks at Leadville sent me a $250.00 check.

    BradK, lets find some amazing race to do right around Leadville. Something way better than that stupid Leadville stupid race.

  33. Comment by Jose | 02.15.2007 | 10:42 am

    Bothched I am in, let me know where and when, I’ll start working on my wife’s Okay. How about durango?

  34. Comment by Sprocketboy | 02.16.2007 | 11:51 am

    This is a very impressive result, O Fatty, but the fact that you ascribe this spectacular weight loss partly to my muesli is shattering since I myself have only managed to drop five pounds so far. But the contest is young and I can only hope that you will go back to the original concept of adding fudge and chocolate sauce to the muesli. As for me, I guess I need a) a supporting wife and b) grapefruit.

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