Adventures on the Slippery Slope

12.8.2010 | 11:14 am

You probably think that as a beloved celebrity superstar hall-of-fame award winning beloved cycling comedy blogging sensation, being on a diet is probably quite easy for me. “I choose to now lose weight,” you probably probably think I say, at which point my people commence to preparing food that is filling, delicious, and has no calories whatsoever. They — my people — also create and enforce an exercise plan that is the perfect blend of aerobic effort and resistance workouts, guaranteed to burn fat at a ridiculous rate, while quickly and easily increasing my muscle mass, definition, and endurance.

And you would be completely right. That’s exactly how it is.

And yet.

Even with my people doing all the hard work of dieting for me, I still find myself struggling with my diet.

No, don’t shake your head in disbelief. I assure you it is true.

I will elaborate.

Day 1

On the first day of my diet, I was the very picture of a perfect dieter. I was hungry, yes. But the hunger was satisfying, somehow. As if my stomach was telling me, “You are starting down the path toward a fast, light 2011 season.”

I ate my meals — emphasis on protein and vegetables, just enough carbs that I would have energy for my workouts — with a steely resolve. I did not even consider seconds. OK, maybe I considered them, but I would then dismiss them out of hand, haughtily.

I would find myself in front of the fridge — arriving there without consciously thinking about walking there — and would then turn away in triumph. Ha! That’s another 250 calories I will not eat today!

I was going to be the best dieter ever.

Day 2

The efforts of day 1 paid off richly with my morning weigh-in. I had lost so much weight, in a single day. Clearly, I was on the right track.

And it occurred to me, as I prepared the kids school lunches, that I had done almost too well in my diet. That, perhaps, I could cheat a little bit and still have a nice, even downward trend.

I could, for example, make myself a little sandwich while I made the kids their sandwiches. Oh, don’t worry, I’d just use the heel from the loaf, and I would go light on the peanut butter. And I’d just use one piece of bread.

Oh my. I had forgotten how delicious peanut butter on white bread is. How could I have forgotten that in just on day?

I believe I will have another.

After all, cheating on the diet in the morning gives you plenty of time to work it off. As long as you’re good the rest of the day, cheating early doesn’t really count for anything.

Day 3

Hmph. I only lost a tiny bit yesterday. But hey, I’m still moving in the right direction, so we’ll count that as a win.

I had an intense day of writing at work, and found myself downstairs, staring at the pantry often. Or, more specifically, I found myself staring at the big tub of salted cashews.

I figured nuts have lots of protein, though. And they have the good kind of fat. And the good kind of salt, presumably.

And it’s not like I’m eating more than a few. I mean, I can only fit so many in a handful. And I won’t come back.

Okay, I won’t come back this time.

Seriously, this is my last trip down for cashews.

Oh forget it, I’m just bringing the tub back upstairs with me.

This day’s screwed, diet-wise, anyway. I’ll just start fresh tomorrow.

Day 4

“What? I’ve gained weight today? How is that even possible? Well, I’ll do better today.”

And I do. Really, I do much, much better. And by dinner, I am starved.

And pretty grouchy, to tell the truth

“You know what I want to eat tonight?” I ask The Runner, grouchily, when she gets home from work, equally starved.


“Either Italian or Mexican.”

You know what? When two people are really, really hungry, it’s pretty easy for one of those people to sabotage both of those people’s diets.

By the way, we went out for Mexican. Shrimp fajitas, if you must know.

And fried ice cream with hot fudge for dessert.

Day 5

Seriously? I gained three pounds since yesterday?

That does it. I am renewing my commitment. Getting re-focused. Eye of the tiger, baby.

Day 6

Rinse and repeat.

PS: My weight today is 168.0, for a net loss of 5.2 pounds.


  1. Comment by Dan in Sac | 12.8.2010 | 11:22 am

    It’s good to know I have company in my rationalizing and roller coaster commitment.

  2. Comment by Elisabethvi | 12.8.2010 | 11:25 am

    I’m eating peanut butter and apples as I read this. (mmm…yummy)
    I just can’t figure out why I’ve only lost 1 pound…?

  3. Comment by Fifth Column | 12.8.2010 | 11:25 am

    Just use tons of hot sauce on everything and drink a lot of coffee. If you’re not sure how this helps in weight loss, trust me, you will figure it out soon enough…

  4. Comment by Tambo731 (Mark Tamburello) | 12.8.2010 | 11:33 am

    Your eating habbits are very similar to mine. I’m fine at work because the temptation isn’t there. When I get home, my daughter says “I want a grill cheese sandwich.” My son comes in and has some left over lazana where my friend brought over just the night before. How can I resist? Those Crank Bros Cobalt rims will have to be my motivation.

  5. Comment by Dan | 12.8.2010 | 11:36 am

    My goodness, I do see that I’m not alone in my part time commitment and rationalization of divergent eating habits. I have renewed my commitment and am following my stricter dietary standards.

    The one issue I have is like you I can suddenly appear at the refrigerator without having consciously propelled myself there. I am thinking there may be some weird space-time continuum thing going on with the concentration of food, cold and metal of the appliance, but have yet to prove the theory.

  6. Comment by AllisonH | 12.8.2010 | 11:39 am

    LOL! Okay, my adventure was not nearly so entertaining, but here was my **official** Day One (meaning I finally stopped eating everything in sight) from yesterday in which unsolicited Girl Scout cookies made an appearance!

  7. Comment by Cris | 12.8.2010 | 11:42 am

    Oh I know that feeling…. oh too well. In fact, I’m coming up on day 365 of my weight loss journey…. and while I’m 70ish pounds down, I still had that 3 months where I just maintained. I got tired. I won’t say I got lazy… but eh, some days maybe lazy is applicable.

    Last night, the cheetoh’s got me. Oh well – new day, new decisions! :)

  8. Comment by jmaes | 12.8.2010 | 11:43 am

    Glad to hear that my week wasn’t out of the ordinary ;)

    Keep up the hard work!

  9. Comment by zach | 12.8.2010 | 11:51 am

    My diet is way more intricate (burritos, occasional donutm, bagels with plain cream cheese… etc). I will not go into the gruesome rituatlistic tendencies that are routinely included, since this could be called a ‘family’ blog.

    The secret however lies in the increasing biking mileage from 50 miles a week to 160 miles last week.
    I may lose 10 lbs just from my fat (and sore) butt.

  10. Comment by Andy H | 12.8.2010 | 12:23 pm

    My “diet” is better described as an “oscillation”. I too have had good days and bad days. So bad, in fact, that I’m at the same weight as when I signed up for this thing.

    So, I have also adopted the “out-ride your mouth” approach – I’m up to 2 hours a day on the trainer. So far, I’ve managed to get back to my sign in weight. I just know that when I weigh in tomorrow morning I will have zoomed right by that weight…;)

  11. Comment by Roses | 12.8.2010 | 12:44 pm

    5 lbs?!?! I think you need to be tested for performance enhancing drugs.

  12. Comment by GenghisKhan | 12.8.2010 | 12:51 pm

    Working on day three here (yeah, late start) and I WANT FOOD! Still, gonna stick with it. Gonna with it…

  13. Comment by KeepYerBag | 12.8.2010 | 1:00 pm

    “..guaranteed to burn fat at a ridiculous weight…”

    Serious Freud.

  14. Comment by jacked | 12.8.2010 | 1:10 pm

    I’m not sure which is worse….. to start the diet and have opportunities for improvement or as I said when this little contest started and after those luscious Crank Brothers wheels appeared on the scene a week later…. “No way in hell will I make that goal at this time of year!”

    Hat’s off to those of you seriously attempting!


  15. Comment by Dan O | 12.8.2010 | 1:23 pm

    Ah, I just say screw it and embrace my winter riding slump. Sure, I’ll gain a few pounds, but it’ll burn off in the spring.

    Man, a burrito is sounding good for lunch….

  16. Pingback by Teach An Old Dog The Same Trick « A Rose By Any Other Name Blog | 12.8.2010 | 1:26 pm

    [...] the required 10 lbs for the Fat Cyclist challenge, I can still feel like a winner.  (Seriously, Fatty, 5.2 lbs already? Thank goodness it isn’t a race to see who can lose it [...]

  17. Comment by Skippy | 12.8.2010 | 1:30 pm

    Whilst Larry King is on the TV here in Austria i am busy rowing or taxc ing, the fridge is downstairs w/out goodies in it so there is little temptation to follow your habits.
    Keep thinking that i should have gorged the days before the weighin so as to be able to shed the weight and cop those wheels.
    Nearly 1200 comments last week and nearly 900 this week should be able to distract you from the fridge Fatty, bets on 100+ on this blog?

    Years ago velonews suggested that some sponsors give me wheels and tyres to test as i rode the Pro tours, but now i am seriously looking for help to do the 24hr ski race in jan 2011. I have the skis but need help with waxing and collecting the loot for the Charities.

    Sad to see Big C collected Eliz. E. yesterday R.I.P.

  18. Comment by Mayhemnsuz | 12.8.2010 | 3:17 pm

    I just ate one cup of vegetarian pad thai for lunch (and a banana). And somehow managed to put the rest of it back in the fridge. And I know that I will start hearing the siren song of lime and peanut very shortly.

  19. Comment by fult23 | 12.8.2010 | 3:21 pm

    One of the reasons I had such a poor showing this week was because I slipped up on an evening home with my kids. We had popcorn during the movie, McDonald’s becasue I failed to prep anything for a rush dinner, and finally Oreo’s with whole milk (as is the tradition when Daddy is watching the kids,double stuf of course). When I woke up the next morning, I had gained 5 pounds!!! I failed to lose any weight the rest of the weekend and by Monday I had lost exactly zero weight. Now I am back down again, but I have a work party on Friday, 2 parties and a beer tasting on Saturday, followed by another gettogether on Monday. Things are not looking good! Thankfully this whole weight loss challenge at least has me thinking about what I am doing. Now, if I can just follow through?!

  20. Comment by km | 12.8.2010 | 3:38 pm

    5.2lbs. I’d scoff at you except I’ve only been stuck at 4.6.lbs lost for the past two days. I’m stuck! My problem is after dinner snacking. Curse you cereal !!! Why must you be so delicious and easy to prepare???!!!

  21. Comment by Sandy | 12.8.2010 | 4:02 pm

    You men are making me mad. How can you cheat like that and still lose 4 or 5 lbs in a week? I exercise everyday & go to bed hungry every night only to see 2.4 lbs lost in a week.

  22. Comment by Dan | 12.8.2010 | 4:02 pm

    I’ve been eating clean for the last ten days with the exception of Saturday when I ate about half of a tub of cashews. The next morning I was four pounds up.

  23. Comment by Sara | 12.8.2010 | 4:08 pm

    Wow. Why must women’s bodies go into “survival mode” at the mere mention of eating fewer calories?! (don’t answer, I know that one)

    I’ve been using the Livestrong My Plate website to figure out how many calories I’m allowed due to my weight, age, etc. and then religiously writing everything down.

    Get this: I’m allowed 909 calories for the entire day. If I exercise, I get more, but then again, 909 will only allow me to lose 2 lbs per week and in order to make it to 10, I need to lose more than that.

    What I wouldn’t give for a bowl of cereal…

    I will say this, though, I’m getting used to eating fewer calories and it’s working. I’ve lost over 3 lbs so far. And fainting from hunger prevents you from going anywhere near the fridge.

  24. Comment by AngieG | 12.8.2010 | 4:11 pm

    Off topic-When will you be setting up the Livestrong Teams? I’m chomping at the bit!! :-)

    MattC and I have plans for Team Fatty Davis (the team formerly known as Fatty San Jose)

  25. Comment by abel | 12.8.2010 | 4:18 pm

    My worst moment last week: after *watching* serious athletes tear it up at the chicago cross cup, I went and had a gyro. I had lost 3 pounds, felt pumped by all the cowbells and hollering…sure, gyros and fries are just the thing. It made total sense somehow.

  26. Comment by Sara | 12.8.2010 | 5:55 pm

    White bread, a tub of cashews and FRIED ice cream w/hot fudge and you LOST 5.2 lbs? That’s just not right! :)

  27. Comment by oilcanreacer | 12.8.2010 | 6:03 pm

    drink more water my friend.

  28. Comment by Arienna | 12.8.2010 | 6:23 pm

    I’m with you Sara.. I average about 1200 calories a day to lose 2 lbs a week… I’m hoping extra time on the trainer will make up for that extra couple lbs.

    And if you’re having trouble with hunger, have you tried soup? A cup or two of soup is low calorie (depending on which kind) and very filling. It just makes you feel warm and full and happy! :) I have a Campbell’s classic tomato cup thing (you just pop it in the microwave and then sip, very handy) which is just 140 calories, plus a sandwich (2 slices of low cal wheat bread – 80 calories, 6 slices of deli chicken – 50 calories, one slice of colby jack cheese – 50 calories, a few shreds of lettuce – 4?) for lunch and it fills me up and keeps me going in the middle of the day, for just 360 calories.

  29. Comment by dpcowboy | 12.8.2010 | 6:46 pm

    I figured out that I can eat nearly anything I want just as long as I:
    -avoid alcohol (no fun)
    -avoid dairy and all of its evil derivatives (just about any dessert besides pie) (no fun)
    -ride 12 hours or 200 miles a week (whatever comes first)

    It’s a good diet, but I am so used to headaches in the morning and tiramisu at night, life doesn’t seem quite the same.

  30. Comment by becky | 12.8.2010 | 7:31 pm

    I’m having a little problem with egg nog and pecan sandies. Oh yeah, and microbrew too, but not necessarily in that order.

  31. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.8.2010 | 8:13 pm

    OK, I am upsetting my wife by making hash browns and eggs for breakfast, and drinking a beer while I make dinner. In my defense, I get 13 MTB miles in daily on the mountain, and I have suspended the doughnuts and snacks. But c’mon, shrimp fajitas, fried ice cream, and HOT FUDGE!!!. Time to ramp this up. I suggest all us ‘Friends of Fatty” send him some holiday cookies, a kind of handicap, like in horse racing. We can send them US Postal Service, General Delivery, and then it is up to Fatty to pick them up…or not.

  32. Comment by AndyH | 12.8.2010 | 8:39 pm

    Avoiding alcohol is also key for me. Some days are better than others…;)

  33. Comment by Guig | 12.8.2010 | 9:02 pm

    What Sandy, Sara and Arienna said. Ugh. Not cheating… hardly losing.

  34. Comment by BIKING JIM | 12.8.2010 | 9:02 pm

    THIS IS HARD, I dont know if I can blame the holidays, Im down approx 3 pounds(now 232lbs) and temptation is a !@#$%. CUPCAKES AND DONUTS AND COOKIES OH MY!- Thanks for the support- BIKING JIM

  35. Comment by Nic Grillo | 12.8.2010 | 9:24 pm

    Having a calorie counter app on my phone has helped a lot. Like today, when I was at Del Taco (a bit burned out on subway)… Since I was third in line at the drive through, I had time to look up something that might fit into my 1800 calorie a day diet. Scrolling down the list, I decided the 1100 calorie Macho Combo Burrito was probably not going to be a good fit, nor would the 400 calorie fried jalapeno rings, or the 570cal chili fries for that matter. Man, this is tough! Thanks My Fitness Pal!

  36. Comment by Tom | 12.8.2010 | 9:40 pm

    Visualize then Actualize! Think small/be small!

  37. Comment by AllisonH | 12.8.2010 | 11:35 pm

    Turns out that when your body is used to getting a bajillion calories a day and you go down to like 1600 instead, you’re really hungry. Even when you make excellent high fiber and high protein choices.

    Whine, whine, whine. The baby on the bus says: wah, wah, wah.

    Just ignore me, I am staying on the computer in hopes of avoiding the kitchen and pantry.

  38. Comment by Yahoo!Rob | 12.9.2010 | 1:51 am

    Ugg – had to travel to Taiwan this week. The team here has stuffed me every night – and to make matters worse, it’s not even food that I would normally consider eating (intestine soup, blood pudding, etc….). I’m back where I started, but it’s all in the name of good international relations!!

  39. Comment by Scott | 12.9.2010 | 4:18 am

    Don’t know how you are doing that Fatty? I’m on the steamed vegetables most nights and am barely keeping up with you as regards weight loss. The thought of some mexican food is probably enough to make me put on weight. Spending plenty of time on the bike at the gym…santa hopefully bringing me a trainer! Keep up the good work.

  40. Comment by Arienna | 12.9.2010 | 4:36 am

    Holy cow. I got up on my scale today feeling a little nervy ’cause I’d drunk a cider and eaten a pot pie (the most delicious and least diety of all foods) last night, as well as… possibly indulged in… an entire bag of chips. o_o

    158. 3 lbs to go. D: I want me a fat cyclist jersey!

  41. Comment by MaineMTB | 12.9.2010 | 7:39 am

    Just sprinkle a little clenbuterol on that PB&J- you’ll be at Tour weight in no time!

  42. Comment by Andrew | 12.9.2010 | 8:47 am

    This must be a universal pattern in dieting. I was so good the first week. This week, however, is a complete bear. With a massive project sitting on my shoulders and getting little sleep, I have virtually no will-power when faced with high-carb or high-sugar deliciousness.

    One thing I’ve found is that drinking a quart of water before each meal has helped a lot.

    But, goodness, I’m getting tired of it.

  43. Comment by becky | 12.9.2010 | 8:57 am

    Ok This makes no sense at all. After the cookies, egg nog and beer, I am 3 pounds down. I was going to hit a trail with the dog but it is 4 degrees outside. I just walk the trail but it is hilly and keep my bike legs strong in the winter.I will probably need to eat more because the extreme cold will burn a lot of calories. I just keep telling myself that.

  44. Comment by Alison | 12.9.2010 | 10:39 am

    Just stumbled on Fatty’s weight loss challenge (why oh why was I not reading his blog lately?!?). Ok, so I’m in. 168.4. Now, I’m going to go running right now. Gonna quit surfing the web and go… right… now. Yep…here I go. Also must pretend that I do not have cashews in my pantry, which I regrettably love to eat with tollhouse chocolate chips. An even distribution in the palm of my hand is a glorious mix of sweet and salty…never mind. Going running now.

  45. Comment by Gumby | 12.9.2010 | 10:40 am

    Wow. Froze my #$@! off riding to work this morning. 19 degreees F! Normally I don’t ride if it is below freezing, but this weight loss thing has me riding when I normally would be done. Thankfully the ride home is forecast to be a balmy 42.


  46. Comment by Barb | 12.9.2010 | 10:56 am

    Fatty, how do you cheat & lose? I have been moderately good and finally lost a pound. My hubby lost 6 so far. Spin classes together plus he runs and I do pilates. Off to ski for three days and hopefully evade the beer bros.

  47. Comment by Jeff L. | 12.9.2010 | 11:08 am

    Oh, Fatty, you and I are so alike. I am having the same struggle. My most recent undoing happened yesterday while wrapping presents that I had to get into the mail. I couldn’t find a box for a particular item. Then I visited the pantry for a light snack and saw the perfect sized box…a See’s Candy Molasses Chips box. The problem was that it had six pieces left in it. I managed to empty two pieces into a plastic bag before devouring the other four pieces. At least the present got wrapped.

  48. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 12.9.2010 | 11:26 am

    Registration for Tour of the California Alps (aka Death Ride) opens at 10:00 this morning. First 3000 get in!

  49. Comment by Lenny | 12.9.2010 | 11:28 am

    Awesome tips, thank you very much!!!

  50. Comment by JB | 12.9.2010 | 12:20 pm

    I have been eating those huge honeycrisp apples that have been at the grocery lately. They do fill you up for not too many calories.
    Work is what saves me….not too much temptation here and when there is, my co-workers give me the stink eye when I drift back to the break room.
    Could not do this and work at home like some of you do. I would snack-it-up if I had the home work schedule.
    Gotta survive a friend’s bday lunch party today

  51. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 12.10.2010 | 1:21 pm

    I was swallowed up by a tradeshow this week but finally weighed in this morning and I’m still right where I started – 170. Sigh. Tradeshows are tough places to lose weight – though you’d think with all the stress and schlepping around it would be easy. Alas, poor food choices won the day.

  52. Comment by Gee Li | 12.10.2010 | 1:30 pm

    Oh my stars, this is a fantastic idea. Been meaning to get some motivation to get up and running. Weighed in at 155.4lbs this morning. Let’s see what it’ll take to get me back to racing weight.

  53. Comment by Nathan | 12.11.2010 | 11:36 am

    yay… scale was under 160 today!!!! Progress for sure. My wife found out what I was doing and threw away a bunch of cookies that she had made. She said that they didn’t turn out right, but I’m pretty sure she was just subtly helping me out. (She ate one and said gross…. I had already eaten 4 and was going for more)

  54. Comment by Alyson | 12.14.2010 | 3:38 am

    Fatty, you have to read “I’m with Fatty” by Edward Ugel!! It is so funny and so informative!:-)

    At first I thought you had written a book, and I had missed it….how could this be possible?? But then I remembered this was You I was thinking about, and there was no ways You would have written a book, and not promoted it to the Highest degree EVERYWHERE!:-)

    But seriously, he has your sense of humor…you could be brothers…’cept he doesn’t have your killer legs and he has hair.


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