Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 - Six stones lost & many miles covered

In January 2012 I decided that weighing in at a smidgen over 17 stone and not being able to walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath was not a good place to be and it was time to do something about it.

The detail of the steps I have taken over the year to get fitter and to lose weight are contained in various posts on this blog so I won't bore you with the detail again on this page. Sitting here writing this in December 2012 I find myself with a very different lifestyle and I guess I'd have to say that I have achieved the two primary objectives for the year; I am undoubtedly fitter and I have most definitely lost some weight.

How much weight have I lost? Quite a lot, six stone or 85 pounds as of the middle of December. This weight loss has been achieved through a combination of a change of diet, reduction in alcohol consumption and a progressively increasing fitness regime. In short, I now eat less food, which is nutritionally superior to my old diet and I now complete an average of 10-12 hours exercise a week.

How much fitter? Over the course of this year I have discovered that I quite like cycling and have managed to enter and finish a number of sportives, finishing in times that as a novice cyclist I consider to be fairly respectable. With the help of Simon Vincent at Total Cycling Performance ( I have managed to go from being a serial "bonker" at 20 miles to regularly completing 100k sportives and being confident enough to have a fairly comprehensive schedule of events for 2013 which includes the Dragon Ride Gran Fondo, l'etape and RideUK24 Newcastle to London. Quite remarkable for somebody who started the year as an overweight, out of condition person who probably couldn't have cycled to the chip shop - Thank you Simon and all the others who have encouraged and supported me this year.

Yep, this was a very snug fit in January 2012
What have I learnt about fitness and weight loss this year?

Losing weight is about controlling the amount and type of food you eat, sounds obvious and it is. The facts are that if a person has a lot of weight to lose, they will only lose weight at a rate that will keep them motivated to carry on by managing the volume of food they eat on a daily basis and being brave enough to face the reality of measuring progress with a tape measure and scales.

Taking exercise undoubtedly helps with weight loss but for a person with a lot of weight to lose, it is unlikely to be the only solution if a level of weight loss that is motivational is going to be achieved. To lose a pound in weight, a person need to burn approximately 3500 calories, trust me that is actually a lot of exercise and the average significantly overweight person isn't likely to want to do the level of exercise required to lose say 2-3 pounds per week. The answer lies in achieving a happy medium where exercise is increased and diet is managed to allow the consumption of sufficient food to remain healthy whilst also achieving a calorie deficit that contributes to reduction in weight.

Plans for 2013?

As I mentioned earlier I have a fairly comprehensive schedule of Sportives planned for 2013 which can be found here and it is my intention to continue to train and hopefully improve my cycling performance to a level where I am able to put in a credible performance on each of the major events.

Later in 2013 I would like to explore ways of putting something back into the sport that gives me so much satisfaction and which has been a key motivator in helping me to stay on track with losing weight and leading a healthier lifestyle. At this point in time I don't know what the options are for being able to do this, but I'm sure something suitable will come along during 2013.

Of course I mustn't forget to finish my new bike build which is being based around a LOOK 566 frame, but the details of this are best saved for another blog post sometime in the new year.

I'm in danger of rambling on now (and I do plenty of that in my normal blog posts) so I'll finish this update by thanking you for taking the time to visit (or revisit) the Pixies blog and I hope you will be able to find the time to come back again to check on my progress sometime in the future.

Dha weles diwettha



  1. Impressive stuff!
    I'm on a similar journey,having found cycling and lost 2 stone last year,
    I'm also writing a blog so you can follow my progress, or on twitter @cyclingfattofit
    I saw your list of sportives for this year, thought you might be doing the Meon Valley Riser in April, I'm going for it.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Dave, thanks for the kind comment. I'm following you on Twitter now, so no doubt we will exchange messages on there in the future. Keep up the good work with your own weight loss journey, cycling gets so much easier when a few pounds have been lost! Good luck with the Meon, hope you enjoy it.

  3. Really enjoyed finding and reading your blog, by complete coincidence I'm following a similar path to you - using this year's Etape as a target for both fitness and weight loss. I'm some way behind you - about 2/3rds of the way to my weight loss goal but should make it by July (I hope!).

    I'm based in Australia and will only get to the UK a couple of weeks before Etape, perhaps we could meet up for a post ride beer (or some pre-ride carbs)?


  4. Hi David, thanks for the kind comments about the blog, much appreciated.

    Keep focused on your weight loss target and I'm sure you will get there by July.

    Would love to catch up for a beer either when you are in the UK or in Annecy over Etape weekend. Catch up with me on Twitter (@velopixie)and we can exchange contact details etc

    All the very best for the rest of your journey and maybe see you on the road at Etape!