Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Battling the bulge

    OK, time to admit it, I have a problem. Food. I 'm a gourmand. And I have the appetite of someone who has grown up as a very large bloke, so when I say I can eat a lot, I mean I can eat a hell of a lot.
    Fortunately I'm very active, I walk places rather than taking the bus and sitting down isn't really my thing. Thus my eating habits haven't affected my outward appearance too much, when you're my size you can hide a lot of padding without it showing.
    But here's the problem. I used to have a half hour brisk walk to work, then I worked somewhere up a hill where I could go for long walks at lunchtime. For the last couple of years though I've worked about five minutes walk from home and I simply haven't had the exercise I once did. So despite efforts to eat less - and move more - I've been slowly putting on weight. Not excessively, but my BMI is now above the range in which it should sit. I have to do something quickly, for were I to go on HRT my new endocrine balance would only make the problem worse.
    So what's to be done? I've bought a new bike. Work has an interest free cycle loan scheme to help me afford it, so I've selected with care: my new bike is a Brompton folding bike customised to my size.
    It might seem odd to buy a folding bike, but I see it as enabling. When folded it it about the size of a medium sized suitcase, so not only can I store it indoors where it won't deteriorate, I can also throw it in the back of the car, take it on a train, or put it in a hotel room. Suddenly the range of places a bike can go with me has increased exponentially.
    Of course, merely having a bike is no use unless you ride it. So I've decided that I must do at least one long distance ride a week, and the easiest way to do that is to ride the twenty miles each way to my parents place and back  Fortunately for me I don't live in a hilly part of the country.
    So a few weeks of Brompton ownership, and so far I've managed it. Twenty miles in two hours and ten minutes. The Brompton is no toy so it's not a challenge to ride, I simply don't yet have the legs to do it any faster.
    Sadly my weight remains unchanged. These things take time.


  1. I love my Brompton, the only problem is the train time tables (and my morning routine) have changed making it harder to actually try using it to get to work!

    As you say, it's no toy. It's a real bike, geared so that it rides like a normal bike. In fact I can get quite some speed on it when I'm in a hurry!

    Maybe when the weather clears up a bit I should get it serviced (I have 160 euros of bike vouchers to use, so I may as well keep my hands clean!) and see about using it again.



    (And yes it does take too long doesn't it? Keep at it!)

  2. Jenny, your commute must now take about one minute fifteen seconds!

    My brother in law uses his every day on his commute to London, I tried it and it has correct bicycle geometry and rides like a dream. Sort of jealous since my Dahon is a brute on comparison...

    5:2 diet! You have not been reading my blog, try it and ride the bike and you will fade away...

  3. I've never heard of a Brompton cycle but I have led such a sheltered life..LOL. I can see the benefits of owning one though. Owning any bicycle has got to be a good thing but you need to ride regularly else do other exercises as well. Maybe Caroline's 5:2 diet regime may work for you too? With me it's my tummy, it's an on-going battle trying to keep it down. Best of luck with your proposed riding distance that your bum can stand being on the saddle that long.

    Shirley Anne x

  4. As important as exercise is (and of course, being fit is always a good thing) it doesn't always lead to weight loss. Remember, if you decide to go on the 5:2 diet or any other, let your doctor know about it. Have some baseline blood tests done and have them checked as you go to make sure your metabolism changes are healthy too!
    Good luck Jenny and enjoy the scenery on your rides!

  5. I too have a brompton and it is very handy. The trouble is that you can end up really hungry if you overdo it....

    Recently I have developed a more pig-headed attitude to lunchtimes and am deliberately taking a 40-minute walk, even if there is nothing much I need from the shops. If nothing else it helps me unwind a bit.

  6. Jenny, I do a lot of walking and I live in an area of very steep hills (like nearly straight up), so that's how I do it. I'm not sure how I could ride a bike around my area, but there are some very athletic folks who seem to do so.

    The biggest problem I've had with bikes are the seats. I've never been able to find one that feels comfortable.

    20 miles? Wow!! Good for you!!


  7. So I'm not alone as a Brompton rider :)

    Certainly worth the effort, very pleased to have an employer cycle loan scheme to make it possible.

    The waistline, I've discussed the 5:2 diet with a colleague who's done it to great effect. Worth a try, I think.