As you may have gathered from the title of this blog, I'm a bit portly. I don't say that in the hopes you'll write, "Oh no, Wes, you're perfect!" because I know it's not true. I have more than a few pounds to lose, and I figure there's no time like the present to start adopting a more complete, focused lifestyle to lose a little weight and feel better in everyday life. In an effort to lose a bit of weight, I'm conducting Operation Thigh Gap: a complete lifestyle change to become a fitter, healthier person.
Here's the issue - I eat trash. And I mean trash. I lived off of Lucky Charms for a good portion of my adult life. I have gone as long as six months without eating a vegetable. I only recently found out what kale is. I once considered a "balanced meal" to consist of both mashed potatoes and gravy. But as I've gotten older, I've learned that eating trash doesn't encourage or accommodate feeling well, looking good, or riding bikes fast.
I'm starting small. For dinner, I've replaced frozen pizzas with breakfast burritos, complete with eggs, feta cheese, and kale. Yes. Kale. I eat at least four servings of fruit every day. I've cut out the stuff that makes me feel like a slug, like dairy milk, cheeseburgers, and sugary cereals. I've only made these small changes for the last few weeks, but I've already noticed a huge improvement. I don't feel as fatigued, I sleep better, and I've dropped weight without increasing the duration or intensity of my workouts.
Part of #operationthighgap is attaining a more complete level of fitness. For example, it's great that I can ride my bike for three hours. But if I don't have the upper body strength to beat my 6-year old niece in an arm wrestling contest, can I really consider myself "fit"? Probably not. With that in mind, I've been taking a class at Yen call Arms, Abs, and Assets. The class is a fast-paced high-intensity workout, consisting of push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and a million other variations of physical exertion that get your heart rate up and your lactic acid flowing. It's incredibly humbling to race bikes against former Olympians and National Champions at Iceman on a Saturday, and then get embarrassed by soccer moms at AAA on Tuesday. Seriously. You think you're a studly, fit human being until a lady in Lululemon destroys you by doing twice as many sit-ups as you over the course of a minute.
What makes these weekly humiliations possible is the instructor, Katie Randazzo-Erway. She's funny, upbeat, and has the uncanny ability to convince you that you can finish the set of squats, even though in reality you should have crawled into the fetal position twenty minutes ago. If you need a little inspiration to get you into building some upper body muscle, I highly recommend checking Katie's classes out.
I'll keep you updated on #operationthighgap as the winter progresses. Hopefully, I can change the name of this blog from A Chubby Cyclist to A Bronzed God. Unlikely, but I'm certainly going to give it my best shot.