As a reward for reaching 500 miles, I’m not going through the arduous process of uploading all of the pics from the last three days, including today(or yesterday,I guess,since it’s 1am). Yes, I know that’s kind of selfish since I have them and should upload them…I just don’t want to go through the process. They’ll probably appear in the 30 day recap I’ve decided I’d like to do.

Now, isn’t it great that my reward for 500 miles is not posting photos? Imagine if I decided my reward was 4 slices of pizza or any number of candy bars I love.

As you can see on the sidebar, I am racking up the miles. I feel great today, which bodes well for increasing the mileage. The 30 mile ride really kicked my ass. Though, riding every day for 19 days so far has reinforced why I’m doing this. It reminds me why I struggled to get below 255. I wasn’t on the bike. I wasn’t eating right. Eating right is easy when I can feel the day’s ride in my legs still, Why eat shit when I can feel how much I had to work it off?

I feel like the combination of the 500 miles and the 30 Days of Biking has put me into Phase 2 of my weight loss journey.

What’s Phase 2? Well, first, it’s nothing. I know there’s a natural inkling to start naming things during this journey, but I don’t want to sound like I’m creating a diet plan. I’m not.  I feel like something has ‘clicked’, mentally, and the first thing that came to mind was ‘phase 2’.

My first goal was to lose 15 pounds. Get from 270 to 255. I’ve been below 255 for a solid few weeks. Now, I may be approaching the 240 goal sooner than later.

I haven’t been near 270 for 2 months.

It’s been 3 months so far into this journey… and while on my bike as the temperatures begin to drop… I’m realizing things.

It’s a whole helluva lot easier to lose weight in the summer than the winter.

In the winter it’s cold, wet, and there are so many holidays and good days to eat & drink til you explode. A few people have noticed that I’m around 25 pounds lighter. It took so much sweat, anger, and redefining muscles to get that 25 pounds off. I’ve cursed out hills I ride up, I’ve cursed out the wind smacking me in the face, and I’ve cursed the occasional extra piece of bread I’ve eaten.

Sitting on a bike for an hour or two or three every day by yourself forces you to think about things. Of course a lot of time it’s mindless thinking, like how I should think about winterizing and getting oil for my chain.  When I’m starting a hill climb, I’m thinking about how awesome it’d be if my legs weren’t tired, if my belly wasn’t chubby I’d be having less trouble on the climb, if I had started biking last summer I’d be in a much better place, if I had made a better bike purchase 7 years ago maybe I wouldn’t be whining like such a baby, etc etc etc.

What I’ve really gained from all the days on the bike is the reality that it is really fucking hard to shake off weight. I don’t think you can truly understand it until you force yourself to the limits of your ability each day. I’m doing that now with the biking everyday. I’m not overextending myself(because I literally can’t afford to hurt myself), but I’m surprising myself by how far I will move myself once I’m on the bike seat.

Thus, Phase 2. I know where I am. I know what it has taken to achieve it, and I know it’s literally just the first stage. I figured out where I am, and I know how much effort I must put in to make things happen. I know how hard I must work to make my body burn fat. I know that this next stage is the biggest. It’s where the magic will happen. I will likely lose more weight in this second phase than I’ve lost in a long, long time. Well, in ever, because I’ve never lost more than I have currently. I only gained, until college. Then I flirted with weight loss.  This part of my journey I become someone who is trying to learn  more about my body, my bike, my environment, and how they all intertwine.

Well, I won’t ‘become’ that person. I am that person now. For the last three months I’ve been trying to get my weight down by pushing myself physically and limited when I ate and how much. Now I will find out what I need to be eating and what I need to do physically to optimize reaching my ultimate goal.

I feel like this epiphany is something every ‘diet plan’ includes in the first three seconds. Find that ability to take control, then take control. It took me three months! I think that’s why the diet plans never worked for me.

Reaching this conclusion now is really important. Autumn is a few days away and winter will be here in no time. In order to achieve my goals, I’ll need to carry the focus through the crappy months too. For probably the first time ever, I relish the challenge to not only maintain my weight loss, but lose more weight during the winter.

There’s nothing stopping me from reaching any of my goal between now and next summer.

Excuses don’t work when the goal is to live until I’m well into my 90’s.