04 March 2007

Originally posted at my old blog geekcyclist.blogspot.com

In my last post I talked a little about NeilK being a motivator for me. I thought I would take a minute and expand on that theme and discuss what serves as motivation for me as far as my riding and health go.

I also have to be honest. There is no way I am going to get everything down in one post or in one sitting.

Clothing I am a little bit of a clothes horse by nurture (and maybe by nature, but how would I know?). Two of my first jobs out of high school were as a salesman at high end men’s clothing stores. Between just being around that environment, having to look sharp as a salesman, and the generous store discount I had amassed a fairly large wardrobe. Then over the years as I gradually put on weight I replaced a lot of the clothing with bigger sizes, but never at quite the same quality.

Finally, last year as I reached the point where my waist size was a full 12 inches bigger than the last day at my last clothing job, I realized I had progressed to buying bad department store clothing.

On the positive side, even as I gained weight I have kept a few favorite items of clothing. I have a couple of pair of slacks size 38 and 36 (I lost the hope of hitting 34 again years ago, even if it is coming back now). I have a few size large t-shirts, and a couple of bike jerseys and bib shorts that are European size XL - thats an L or smaller compared to US sizes. In fact, I had a pair of Levis with a 38 waist on last night. They were still a little tight, but in a few weeks I think I may have to replace them because they are my smallest jeans I own now.

But my biggest clothing motivator is a pair of corduroy pants my wife bought me for Christmas about 4 years ago. I had come through the fall working out pretty well, and was a solidly comfortable 38 waist. The label on the pants said 38, but they were tight and I measured them at just over 36 inches. Rather than take them back and exchange them I told her that I was committed to my weight loss and would be in them in a few weeks… oh the shame!

I am looking forward to May, when I figure I will be in them comfortably.

Food Ah, food! I love to eat, and especially to eat out. But I know that the choices I make while eating out are usually not the best. I have found that I can use food as a great motivator and there are a couple of the ways I have done that.

For example, rather than eat fast food for lunch, I will bring chili or soup or some other lunch from home for 3-4 days. Each time I stay in at work and eat what I brought I put the $5 I would have spent at Burger King in an envelope. Then, when I get that urge to get out of the office for lunch, I take the money from the envelope and go to one of the nicer local restaurants or deli’s in the downtown area. In that way I find I am saving a little money because the nicer lunch seldom costs more than $8-$12, and at the nicer places I can usually make a better choice for my meal.

I am also one of those people who rides to eat for sure. So, instead of just having a banana, I tell myself that if I go to spinning I can have a banana split after class. It’s a little mind trick, because unless I made other high calorie choices earlier I would probably have the ice cream anyway. But by doing this I get the banana, and I get a little less ice cream because the banana takes up some of the space in the bowl.

Coming Soon Two other things that motivate me are other people, both as good and bad examples, and the ‘numbers’. Explanations will have to follow in Motivation - Part 2.

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