Cycling to Lose Weight: Getting in Shape While Having Fun

By Angie Perez

I enjoy bicycling, but it never occurred to me that cycling to lose weight would work so quickly and be this much fun. See how my wake-up call at the doctor’s office led to a slimmer me.

I was out of breath; puffing my way sometimes as I walked. My pants were getting tighter and my shirts were getting too snug. I called my doctor back in July with concerns that my thyroid may be off. I had gained so much weight and wasn’t sure why. I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, cooked my own meals, and thought I was being careful of my fat consumption. I entered his office with great concern.

My primary health care physician asked all the right questions: How are you sleeping, eating and feeling? Are you exercising? What is your family history with thyroid? I answered his questions as best I could but, I was convinced that a blood test was all I needed to prove I was right. I never weighed this much in my life!

The blood work was ordered and as I waited for the results to be emailed I distracted myself by flipping through a magazine I receive each month about bicycles and the riders who love them. Thumbing through the pages I read an article on cycling and health that inspired me. The article talked about a regimen that would take about six weeks but it would be worth the while to begin. Why not, I thought.

Soon enough though, the results of my blood work were emailed and I was…wrong! My thyroid was fine. Bottom line: I was 20 pounds overweight! “How could this happen?” I thought. I was eating healthy food and walking. In looking at the results, my doctor warned me I was well on my way to taking a statin drug to avoid a possible stroke and even diabetes because my triglyceride levels were a bit high. Yikes! What had I done? Diabetes. Stroke. Dang! And I thought it was my thyroid! That was it. Enough is enough!

I began exercising. I started walking 2 miles every other day. I slowly moved into running and Zumba (a Latin dance aerobic exercise that is a ton of fun). The more I worked out, the better I began to feel. Then my husband surprised me with the idea of road biking, cycling to lose weight. He, too, had read the article about a six week regimen to road biking. So, it began! We were on our way to bicycling to lose weight and gain better health.

We live in an area where you have no reason to be idle! With a state park under a mile from my home, and vineyards to ride to, we were off and riding! We pulled out the mountain bikes and hit the park. Approval from my doctor and with an inhaler in my new bike shirt pocket, I began the climb up the mountain to better health.

It has been over six weeks since I’ve been cycling to lose weight. I have lost more than 10 pounds and I am riding upwards to 25-30 miles on my new, well-earned road bike almost every day. Today, I plan on heading out to one of my challenging rides. It has an elevation of about 900 feet (working up to higher elevations), but with the right equipment and the training in my legs, I know I will get to the top! And in a couple of weeks we’ll do the GranFondo with Levi Leiphiemer and the 7,500 other riders that have chosen to support their health and community.

My old friends, thyroid, high cholesterol, diabetes and overweight are always chasing me as I ride, but I think they’re losing steam as they puff along trying to catch me! Who would have guessed that bicycling to lose weight could be this much fun!

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