It happens to most everyone as we get older. We have kids, we get busy with our careers. And before we know it, we start telling our friends we could lose 30 pounds, but we don’t. What health implications do those 30 extra pounds have? You may tell yourself your blood pressure is fine, you feel ok, but it starts to add up as we get older.
How we look changes too. A lot of people look older when they are overweight: Skin starts to look unhealthy, a bit grey, maybe some acne, bags under our eyes. Our clothes probably fit a bit too tight.
And then our activities take a hit. Sometimes I notice the overweight people at a staging area, sweating bullets and out of breath as they unload their bikes. I see them back at their vehicle after a single-track ride, red faces, soaked with sweat, out of breath and ready for a nap. Those 30 extra pounds take a bite out of your seat time. If you could lose that extra weight, you would have more energy to spend on the trail. You would have more muscle mass to throw that bike around and you certainly would not have to take a rest after unloading your bike.
On May 1, 2019, I weighed in at 145 pounds at 5’2” tall. While not obese, I felt it was time to lose a few pounds. I wanted to be able to go for longer rides without becoming tired. I enlisted the help of a professional and with his guidance, eating plans and workout schedule (I added 2 more workouts to my weekly schedule) I lost 22 pounds in 5 months and gained 4 pounds of muscle. It was hard, very hard! I went monthly to my nutritionist for weigh-ins and to make sure I wasn't losing any muscle mass and to discuss my progress and, yes, my slip-ups. Beer and sushi were my vices oh, and the daily Oreo cookies. March 2020, I weigh 125 pounds. I feel great, I have no aches and pains, a resting heart rate of 52, low cholesterol, I am stronger and fitter than I was a year ago, I look great and my riding has improved exponentially.
We can all do it despite our age and gender. I'm 48 years old and no way do I look or act like I'm 48, I look more like a 30-something and I act like I'm 12 most days.
Sometimes we have the willpower but not the knowledge. Sometimes we all just need someone on our side to give us a pat on the rear to get us motivated. I remember in my 30s I weighed close to 200 pounds. My doctor kept telling me to lose weight, but she never told me how. I figured it out for the most part but did end up working with a nutritionist. Best money I ever spent on myself.
We should take care of ourselves, no one else will and we only get one body, so why not look after it! Check out Fitriders’ nutritional programs. Do something amazing for yourself.
Motivation. I've written about it before so why am I writing about it again? Because some days it seems like a monumental task to get to the gym. Any one of us has a list of excuses a mile long: it's cold out, I'm tired, I had a rough day at work, I want to sleep longer. I have said the same things out loud. It's the off season and when it's cold and dark out and the riding season is at least 6 weeks away, it seems like you have all the time in the world to get in shape. I'm having that kind of morning. Usually I'm up and at the gym by 8 am, it's now 8:30 am and I'm still in my PJs contemplating another cup of joe.
Right now, I have the luxury of going later in the day, but what about those of us who don't have the luxury of time? Go for a walk if there's not a raging snow storm out, even if there is, it could be a good adventure. Stretching is always a good option, you can even go to the mall and do some window shopping at least you will be moving. Clean the house, pushing a vacuum around will burn some calories and get the joints moving. But don't beat yourself up for being lazy, we are after all human, but make sure you continue at the gym, sometimes excuses are just easy.
The gym I currently frequent has a neat clientele. Big muscly guys, teenagers (because it's part of their school phys-ed requirement) and a few gringos. I was blessed to meet an 82 year old gringo from British Columbia that spends 3 months here in Baja every winter. She is there 3 sometimes 4 times a week. She isn't training for a marathon or kick boxing, she is there to keep out of a wheel chair. Etta told me she sees the old people, younger than she is, barely able to get out of their lawn chairs, needing help getting down the two steps out of their RVs. She doesn't want to be them. She works with her family doctor, a physiotherapist and when in BC she works with a personal trainer. Today as I sit drinking my third cup of coffee, trying to decide what to do, I think of Etta and she is my motivator. The next time I see her at the gym, I'm going to thank her. If I make it to 82, I hope to be just like her.
Karl Tettmann, Co-Founder. Avid health and fitness coach who just loves to ride.