Author Topic: Starting from scratch  (Read 9849 times)

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Starting from scratch
« on: July 19, 2017, 10:17:33 pm »
I've been riding bikes for ages, but I'm still not very good at it.  And I'm really quite fat, 13 stone and five foot 5 and a half.  I got myself a heart rate monitor and it's shown me that I never really get out of the 'pace' zone - so I'm slowly fat burning when I exercise but never going into the real effort zone.  I never go above about 150bpm.

Riding on holiday the last couple of weeks showed me that I can get up hills, even long ones, but not steep ones.  And I am slooooow when I climb hills.  Soooo sloooooow.

I'm going to be 50 in January and I don't want to get all stiff and be a fat old woman who has no energy and have to use a mobility scooter.

Where shall I start?
Milk please, no sugar.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 10:23:03 pm »
Mix things up. Ride bikes long and slow sometimes and ride them short and hard sometimes. Alternate with other forms of exercise, including some form of stretching, and develop core strength. It all helps and variety keeps the enthusiasm levels up.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 10:50:53 pm »
I think LWaB's advice is good. Sometimes just do little bursts of speed or short sharp climbs for fun when you're out on a ride. Get a bIt out of breath and smile about it.

It sounds silly, but I watch the dog when she's off the lead and she races between smells. Lots of bursts of varying length. She is super fit, and has fun with it. Always inspires me as a way to keep active - I was 51 last December.

Hope it goes well.

Mike

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 10:52:45 pm »
I'm in a similar state but ten years earlier and with more knees. If I were starting again I'd invest more time in my bottom, particularly gluteus medius. Core strength is on my to-do list too.

Mixing it up and keeping it fun sounds like a good mantra.


All the best with it, Ruthie!

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 11:20:40 pm »
I think your weight needs a protracted low-intensity effort. This might be easiest when NOT cycling.

LWaB's advice seems sound re fitness.

thing1

  • aka Joth
    • TandemThings
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 01:57:57 am »
Different folks different spokes and all that, but I know several that have made a big change starting by  joining spin classes. I guess the social and group motivational aspect outweighs the grim of being in the gym. Then when they have developed a bit more "dynamic range" in available power output it's easier to take that onto the road (riding shorter and harder sometimes, and so on).

Certainly when I started training more thoughtfully, I think it took like 4 or more months of just "training to be able to workout"; just getting enough fitness to be able to raise my HR above endurance zone for any period of time etc. (For my own part I didn't use the spin-class route but had an equivalent "spend money to guilt myself into training more" approach: buying wifi scales, power meter, an indoor training cave, and ALL the sufferfest videos. )

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 07:37:36 am »
Actually, Sue (my much better half) joined a local ladies only gym and that has been really good for her.

Samuel D

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2017, 08:03:39 am »
You have the heart-rate monitor, but have you tested your maximum heart rate or just used a formula?

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2017, 08:12:28 am »
Ah yes.   Lifestyle, routine, pressures of work, life, family and self-imposed needs and wishes.

Can you do something completely different on the exercise front to introduce novelty and variety to make it interesting simply because it is different?   Recently retired friends locally have started doing a number of different fitness classes which seems to be having positive effects for them. 

I cycled more through the winter of 2016/17 than I have for a decade which made a huge and positive difference to my fitness but did bugger all for my weight loss attempts.   I even reeled in Apollo up the hill last Saturday between Manton and Wing campsite and he had at least a hundred yards on me.   Imagine what I could do with 20 less kilos.

Samuel D

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2017, 08:15:18 am »
Since climbing speed is proportional to power divided by weight: quite a lot!

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2017, 08:26:27 am »
It's hard to find the time to fit in those long hours to ride, isn't it?

I'm seriously considering spending the money on joining a gym, so I can get access to those cross-trainer thingies. There is one near work and no-impact exercise that is as time-efficient as jogging without the impact on ageing joints sounds good to me.

The main thing that puts me off is that the gym is always full of slim young people in expensive gym clothing. I'm not so slim, not fit and I'd have to buy new gym clothes to be allowed in the door! That is quite off-putting.

However, past 50 it is really easy to start losing strength and muscle mass
Quote
I don't want to get all stiff and be a fat old woman who has no energy and have to use a mobility scooter.
This should be your motivation to do something. Working out what time you have and when it is the first thing.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2017, 08:36:55 am »
I'm not sure focusing on one thing (cycling) is the best plan, it's a lifestyle change really. I got skinny by becoming more active in general (swimming every day, taking up hiking, cycling came later, and generally walking places and keeping on my feet – I don't bother really counting any of this). Of course, exercise in itself will only burn so many calories and on its own unlikely to result in significant weight loss (though being healthy and fit has so many other benefits and I think it really helps keep weight under control). Which leaves diet. I dropped all the junk and processed food, cooked quick and simple things, heavy on the veg, low on the carbs (without being obsessive about any of it). Turned out to be lot tastier than a plate of oven chips and a pie. Also, and this is a biggie, dropped snacking. A couple of biscuits or a chocolate bar can easily add a lot of useless calories. Sugary soft drinks too, probably the worst way to get unnecessary calories ever, you can achieve the same effect more cheaply by thumping yourself repeatedly in the pancreas.

I think most gyms these days have a far wider range of clientele, certainly my gym and pool runs the gamut from svelte young things in lycra to gurning grannies.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 09:10:49 am »
As Ian says, it's lifestyle rather than any one thing. I really struggle with balance and moderation, and have a constitution that loses weight quickly (and you guessed it, puts it on just as quickly)

The missing piece that really helped me get some stability and reverse  years of slowly piling on the inches has been Paul McKenna's "I can make you thin", along with some NLP background I have. I'm way off perfect (as the weight graphs show) but generally happy with where I am these days. Mostly.

It's not a diet. It's a system which - if you follow, and it isn't hard as some - you will lose weight.

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2017, 09:37:29 am »
I don't know how others react to 'advice' but it really gets my goat when people start telling me that I need to lose weight.   Perhaps I do but they need to start being considerate of the feelings of others.

Perversely, when I get a lecture from somebody who can barely operate three days out of four or who has a number of avoidable issues of their own, I tend to go and eat ice cream and chocolate.

The only time that I've ever been able to effectively manage my weight is when I was running marathons.   That demonstrates to me that I need far more exercise than I have time for in my life which in itself is depressing.   There may be many more complex factors of course like my love of cake, especially when out cycling, but, I do not have the self-control to eat sensibly.    :(   

Stuff me!!!   ???   :facepalm:

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2017, 10:53:45 am »
Looking at weight loss is a distraction from the actual issues. It's perfectly possible to be 'fat and fit' as the saying says (in the several meanings of the phrase).

Loss of muscle mass (happens when you get older)
Loss of aerobic fitness (happens if you don't do aerobic exercise)

How to fit in exercise to address these problems so that we end up being fit geriatrics rather than like my FiL, unable to reach his feet to put on socks, struggling to walk to the shop without getting out of breath. That's the issue.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2017, 11:06:18 am »
Well, Ruthie, I think you are going through the same thought processes that I am. Except I'm lots older than you are.

I rarely wear a heart rate monitor. A few years ago I did so whilst riding the Essex CTC 75 mile ride. Towards the end of the ride I happened upon my nephew, who is a Doctor, who just happened to be climbing the same hill as I was, but much faster. He slowed for a conversation. I mentioned to him that throughout the ride my heart rate hadn't gone above 140. He was impressed and said that was a pretty good reading for someone of my age & adiposity. The following day I started a period of sciatica which kept me off the bike for about a month.

Bear in mind that I wasn't cycling at all when I was your age. It was when I was in my early 50s that I was diagnosed with RA and told to get some exercise. I took up cycling again (I had cycled a lot in my 20s and early 30s so I wasn't starting from scratch concerning my cycling knowledge), very slowly and gingerly. I went out early one Sunday morning and did about 10 miles. I averaged about 7mph. After a bit more practice my speed improved and I even lost some weight. I did some FNRttCs and started riding on my own for longer distances. My first Dunwich Dynamo was completed at about 7.30 am and I averaged over 13mph.

This year I did the DD averaging 9mph. There was a bit of a headwind, but not massive. But I did that off very little cycling. I just went out and rode it. I was slow but I got through it.

I think as a base you ought to just keep up your cycling. Don't beat yourself up about getting older and not being a sylph. I would love to be lighter than I am but I just don't seem to be able to lose weight consistently. Just like pretty well everyone else, I can do so for a bit but then life takes over and I put it back on again. Having said that, I am almost a stone lighter than I was this time last year, but about half a stone heavier than I was in April.

Never forget the fact that you are lovely as you are, even though your perception might say otherwise.
Homo sapiens - a creature so intelligent it knowingly sowed the seeds of its own destruction and did nothing about it.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2017, 11:13:48 am »
I would never go on a 'diet.' That suggests a temporary intervention, and anyone that goes on a diet comes off it at some point, and undoes any achievement and in the process kicks off a round of guilt because they feel they have somehow failed. It's an endless cycle, which is why I hate the entire concept of 'diet.' Plus they mostly include restrictions which made adherence difficult. Diets are set-up for failure.

I did cut back on snacking, when I do it's nuts and dried fruit, and removed the lunchtime sandwich and crisps (which can be the better part of half your days calories in one go). Normal breakfast (cereal or toast), fruit for lunch, and a big tea heavy on the veg and light on the carbs. I am still allowed all the beer I want (I figure it's sensible to keep at least one vice). Combined with 50 lengths of the pool and a general push to be active the weight came off and I felt immeasurably better. I never counted calories or had a target and weighed myself once-a-month (any more and you start fretting over measurement noise). Anyway, it worked. I do get righteously pissed off when people claim it was 'easy' for me, because it wasn't, and I'd pile the weight back on. But I've found a diet and activity level I'm really happy with – I eat and drink far better than before and enjoy my active hobbies, so there's no risk of recidivism.

On the downside, I had to get a new passport.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2017, 11:36:40 am »
Quote
I would never go on a 'diet.' That suggests a temporary intervention

I think this is important.  what we go on is a lifestyle change.  My wife is finding that as a woman even walking 5-7 miles per day she has to watch her energy intake like a hawk.  She has gone gluten free in the last couple of years which has helped as we have no carbs in the house.  We also now make her portions a lot smaller than mine.

home made soup for lunch is filling and very low calorie.

Exercise needs to be fitted into your lifestyle.  Where and when can you add exercise without changing your life and job dramatically?

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2017, 11:52:26 am »
Quote
I would never go on a 'diet.' That suggests a temporary intervention

I think this is important.  what we go on is a lifestyle change.  My wife is finding that as a woman even walking 5-7 miles per day she has to watch her energy intake like a hawk.  She has gone gluten free in the last couple of years which has helped as we have no carbs in the house.  We also now make her portions a lot smaller than mine.

home made soup for lunch is filling and very low calorie.

Exercise needs to be fitted into your lifestyle.  Where and when can you add exercise without changing your life and job dramatically?

That's a good question.  The only place I can find to fit more exercise in is first thing in the morning, so by getting up at 0530 instead of 0630 there's definitely some wriggle room there.  But oh god that is so hard because I love my bed, especially in the morning.  I love it so much.  I love my warm toasty toes wriggling around under the warm soft duvet and cuddling into the warmth.  So a way of leaving that behind would be good.  The first thing I do in the morning is make a coffee and say my prayers while I drink the coffee, because my relationship with God is the most important thing.  (After the morning coffee  :demon:).  I managed to motivate myself into getting up earlier to say my prayers, so really I need that extra bit of motivation to get up early to exercise.

I'm a big believer in balance, and on balance, my friend Zita (she died on Friday so she's on my mind), who used a mobility scooter and was massively fat, was a bit of a role model for me.  She was a deeply spiritual person, with a hilarious dry sense of humour and a repertoire of dirty looks that could freeze lava, and stuff like that (character, spirituality, personality, integrity) also require attention, and so being fat isn't the end of the world to me.  It's more about being able to live a full life and express myself, and not be too limited by my body as I get older.  I express myself by being part of my community, and by doing loads of stuff, and that's what I want to hold on to.  And riding a bike as well, which is really good for my soul.
Milk please, no sugar.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2017, 11:53:55 am »
Looking at weight loss is a distraction from the actual issues. It's perfectly possible to be 'fat and fit' as the saying says (in the several meanings of the phrase).

As you get older this is much less true- carrying extra weight wears your joints. Having more fat changes the balance of your hormones. Just being bigger reduces your mobility.

As a woman it's particularly important to make sure you're doing some weightbearing exercise to maintain bone density.

Don't worry about it Ruthie- I'm 50 next year, too. And fatter and shorter than you.

Fancy a ride on Sunday?
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - a Pacific bike ride
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2017, 12:05:25 pm »
The first thing I do in the morning is make a coffee and say my prayers while I drink the coffee, because my relationship with God is the most important thing.  (After the morning coffee  :demon:). 

Ruthie, meet this sign on my wall


zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2017, 12:09:05 pm »
decide and sign up for a big challenge (e.g. ironman, pbp etc.), start preparing for it and you will get fitter and leaner in the process. weight depends much more on the food we consume, exercising makes and keeps you fit.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2017, 12:10:29 pm »

Fancy a ride on Sunday?

I do but they're making me go to work.  All day. 
Milk please, no sugar.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2017, 12:13:46 pm »

Never forget the fact that you are lovely as you are, even though your perception might say otherwise.


 :-*

You're lovely too, Peter  :-*

You are most talented with the hugs.
Milk please, no sugar.

Re: Starting from scratch
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2017, 01:08:47 pm »
Ruthie, I hesitate to pour cold water on your enthusiasm but I suspect that getting up an hour earlier is not possible on a longterm basis.

However If you commute could you leave the car halfway to work and walk halfway or get off the bus two stops sooner, use a Brompton and the bus or your car and a Brompton?

I find that if I can convert part of my day into exercise within the same time frame I am much better at succeeding.  my wife, who is a minister now walks and prays instead of sitting and praying (you do not need to keep your eyes shut to pray!)

My short commute takes no longer than sitting in the car in the queue but gets me 15km extra per day.