My weight goal … 🤨

Remember?

I just have 2 cycling goals for the month: increase my FTP by 5%; and lose 5 pounds. Simple. Right?

I got the scales out today. Surprise! I thought 5 pounds would get me back to my optimum cycling weight of 142 pounds. Well, it’s more like 8 pounds I need to lose. I haven’t been this heavy in a few years. Less cycling, the colder weather, and more eating are the culprits.

Eight pounds is too much to lose in a month with the volume of training I do. It just means it will take me 2 months – a pound a week – ready for summer cycling.

I mentioned previously, I do not plan to radically change my diet. I am vegan, and my meals are all homemade using fresh ingredients including a lot of vegetables and fruits. I only drink black coffee, and water. No pop. No alcohol. I don’t like sweets, or candy. I practice a 16/8 intermittent eating schedule, frequently training fully fasted.

The only thing I need to change is how much I eat.

This is the plan:

1 – Keep the scales out, and weigh myself everyday after each workout. Otherwise, I may not stay as focused on the goal. I do this when I am at Camp PedalWORKS, and find it is a daily reminder making me plan meals, and grocery shopping, more carefully.

2 – Eliminate second helpings at dinner. I have already started doing this. I quickly realized I didn’t need more food. I once heard a dietician say that a serving only needs to be the size of your fist. This seems like a good idea. One trick is to drink a glass of water the hour before dinner to fill the stomach beforehand. This way you are not hungry when you sit down to eat. Another trick is to eat slowly, making certain to fully chew every mouthful. This gives your senses time to realize your stomach is in fact full, and doesn’t need more food.

3 – Eliminate Fresh Baked Goods. There is a baker in the house, and every week there is a batch of fresh muffins, chocolate chip cookies, and scones that need to be eaten. Not by me so much, but they are a temptation. I like the muffins. I’ll leave the cookies, and scones for others.

4 – Eliminate late night snacks. I don’t do this much. If I eat anything it is a piece of bread with peanut butter. I don’t need this, but will keep a glass of water handy in case I get a craving.

5 – Eliminate afternoon cafe stops. Instead, snack on an apple while walking, and have coffee at home. I think I was doing this more for the social contact than the coffee and muffin. Since COVID, I don’t see many people, and would look forward to chatting with the baristas. I’ll find others on the walk to chat with.

This plan seems easy to follow. I’m not having to give a lot up. When I am alone at Camp PedalWORKS, I am more disciplined about food. It’s easier. I just have myself to shop, and cook for. It’s more complicated here. Other mouths. Other preferences. Other goals. We are not all on the same page.

Maybe this plan is not as simple as it sounds.

No. It is.

I simply need to be a little more disciplined about the food.

Thoughts on Main Street …

Every day, well most days, I stop at one of the local cafes for a coffee and muffin, and more often than not, it is the Continental2 cafe on Main Street. I prefer the coffee there, and the outdoor, heated seating on the adjacent side street.

Yesterday, all of the outdoor seating was occupied. Where did all these people come from? Don’t they know this is my happy place? My place to rest my wear legs, and collect my thoughts. There was a table and chair available around the corner on Main Street. Main Street is just that. It’s a main artery in the city used by vehicles of all sorts. Cars. Buses. Trucks. And, a lot of them as they race noisily to wherever they are going.

I don’t spend a lot of time on Main Street. I walk, and bike, in the parks, and on the side streets. I’m seldom on busy streets, and yet there I was sitting curb side on one of the busiest streets in the city. You have to understand. I cherish peace and quiet. I walk, bike, and drive an EV, modes of transport that make little, or no noise, and don’t pollute. So, sitting curb side on this busy street was invasive. Intolerable. Disgusting. And, awakening.

Until you sit curb side on one of these streets, you don’t appreciate how noisy, and dirty they have become. But what can be done? How has this happened? Who is responsible? I know. These are rhetorical questions. Or, are they? The answer is we are responsible. Collectively, we have enabled this to happen, and collectively we can make it better. We need to embrace quieter, cleaner modes of transport. We need to keep vehicular traffic on the periphery of urban centres. We need to encourage more green space in urban areas, places where residents can safely walk and play. Higher urban density is not the answer, and that can only happen when there is a fast, reliable, and comprehensive, environment friendly, public transport system to support more decentralized planning. I say these things, and yet I live in the heart of an urban area that is growing out of control, where low-rise condominium developments pepper the skyline.

This is not the first time I have had these thoughts. When I spend time at Camp PedalWORKS, I appreciate both the solitude, and the rural pace of life. Life there is the antithesis of Main Street. It’s quiet. There is a lot of wildlife. There is no hurry. There is no noise (except the birds). And, there is no pollution. So, the question becomes, is there a compromise, a way to make urban life more rural like?

I think there is. Ironically, COVID has shown us how. To prevent the spread of COVID, many were asked to work from home. Many businesses discovered this was not only possible, but preferable. Employees were more productive, and there was a reduced need for corporate office space. And, as a result, there was also less commuting, fewer cars on the road, less pollution, less traffic noise. So, the work from home model tackles several problems simultaneously. It slows global warming by reducing traffic volumes, and consequently, carbon emissions. It reduces urban density because people will be able to live farther from urban centres. And, it enables planners to embrace more decentralized models.

But this will be a difficult transition. Today I sat on Main Street again. It was busy, noisy, and dirty. Once again we are in the midst of a partial lockdown as the second wave of COVID spreads across the country. Where were all of these vehicles going? I understand the delivery trucks. Our grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential services need supplies. I understand the dump trucks. There are many construction sites, many of which will house essential services, need equipment and materials. And, I understand the buses, people need to go to work, and shop for food. But what about all of the cars. If more people are working from home, why are traffic volumes as high as they were before the pandemic. This change is difficult.

This transition may be impossible. It will only happen when there is universal political will. So far, there has been a lot of talk. It is easy to say what needs to be done, but it’s quite another getting it done. The first step, whenever possible, is to get people, all over the world, out of their cars walking, cycling, and riding public transit. Working from home can help do this. The next step is to invest globally in green technologies including electrical vehicles. This does not have to take long. Look what Elon Musk has done with Tesla in a few short years. The internal combustion car manufacturers could make this transition much more quickly than they are planning.

We have pulled together to combat COVID. This is a global pandemic, and throughout the world people are, for the most part, following public health guidelines to reduce the spread. Some countries and jurisdictions better than others. And, the previous generation united to stop Germany during WW II. So, why can’t this generation pull together to combat climate change, one of the biggest challenges we face today? Well, that’s the problem. Not everyone believes it is a threat. There are alternative facts. Look what Trump has done. He has consistently spread falsehoods about COVID, climate change, and the US election results.

Two of the world’s major polluters affecting climate change are the internal combustion engine, and the meat and dairy farming industry.

So, what can be done? More importantly, what can I do?

I can set an example for my facility and friends. I can walk the talk. I can walk, cycle, or use public transit whenever possible. And, when I do need to travel, I can drive an electric vehicle.

I can convert fully to a vegan diet. I have been vegetarian for years, but I can easily eliminate the cheese and egg products I occasionally eat. There are excellent substitutes available that I actually prefer.

And, I can openly discuss why I have chosen this lifestyle with my family and friends, so they understand how these choices impact both my health and the environment, enabling them to make informed decisions for themselves, and their families.

This is what I can do. We can all do this.

Will I ever be able to enjoy a coffee on Main Street?