Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Del Mar Stretch in Photos

Today, I’m taking you on a photo tour of the Del Mar stretch: Four miles of road many cyclists use to train because traffic is minimal. And, the poet in me likes being surrounded by nature instead of the usual urban fare served up alongside roads.

This is Eunuch, an Orbea Alma Silver and my baby. When it came time to buying a bike, I knew I wanted something powerful and light. With a carbon fiber frame and Shimano XT components, Eunuch was–is–the bike of my dreams.

At the beginning of the ride, I passed this guy. Don’t know his name, but he’s beautiful to look at nonetheless. I hope he’s there to meet me at the beginning and end of my rides for many years to come.

As I pedaled along, my eyes were drawn to a red spot among branches. I neared the tree and discovered it was my favorite bird: the cardinal. I smiled. There were usually only grackles and sparrows bickering on power lines and fences to liven up the monte canvas. But today, there was one dot of red amongst all the black and brown feathers and grey sky.

At about two and a half miles, I approached the part of the ride I dread: the Del Mar Hill. This hill will get your heart pumping and the calories burning. No matter how hard I try, I can never pass my husband on this hill, and today was no exception. But I still chugged along, breathing, “Push, push, push,” as I climbed. Near the top, this creature was tucked into a hole in the fence.

I’d never seen her before. Maybe another cyclist needed motivation to reach the top, and he/she placed this monkey as a sign that the end was near and to just. Keep. Pushing. And I did. I pushed and pushed and pushed and conquered.

After the top, I had a little over a mile to finish the stretch, then turn around and ride it back. Believe me, the view from the top of the hill was welcomed much more than the view from the bottom.

I’ve always said the ride down the Del Mar Hill is the closest to flying I’ll ever get, and today’s ride cemented that belief. My ship whipped around me as I bent down and let gravity do its thing.

I had a surprise waiting for me at the end of the stretch. The longhorn was still there, but he had a friend with him.

They weren’t willing to let me take a full-on face shot, and I wasn’t willing to wait around for them to be willing. My stomach grumbled. I was hungry! And there’s nothing like a good breakfast to motivate you to finish the ride, load up the bikes, and head on home!

Tomorrow, I’ll hit the off-road trails, something I think Eunuch enjoys much more than the Del Mar stretch. After all, that’s what he was built for. Deep in my soul, in my bones, I believe I was built to run, and slowly, with Eunuch’s help, I’m getting there.


Weigh-In: Fourth Week

I am dead tired. Long day, long week, but I have to stay up and post the results of this morning’s weigh-in. I lost two pounds. Not one, but two, and it’s “that time of the month.” You ladies get me. This was not an easy feat, but I did it, and I’m proud. Now it’s a new week, and I’m aiming for another pound. That’s all I can do–keep that one pound in sight. Seventy-six is too many to think about, but one? I can do Β one. πŸ™‚

Good night, my dear readers.

When Obsessing About the Scale Isn’t Enough

Many women and men view the scale as a frenemy: A friend when the weight’s coming off, and an enemy when the weight’s packing on. The scale has made me cry, laugh, clap my hands, and/or want to hide under my blanket for days with only Cheetos and cans of Coke to keep me company.

But sometimes, we find other “things” to obsess about that don’t involve the scale. What’s one of my weight obsessions? I often wonder if I’m too fat for my car. I drive a 2007 VW Beetle Convertible, not my dream car, but pretty darn close to it, and every time I put the key in the ignition, I tell myself, “I can’t possibly look cute sitting in the driver’s seat at over 200 pounds. This car begs for a petite gal in a strapless sundress with collarbones that can carve diamonds and thighs that don’t touch.” Again, that is something I’d never tell another person, but myself? I’m fair game.

It’s a good thing, though, that I don’t tell myself I’m too fat to cycle. Believe me, it can be intimidating when you’re surrounded by fit cyclists in Lycra shorts and fitted jerseys. It can be disheartening when you have the same shorts and jerseys hanging in your closet, reason being, they don’t fit anymore, but they are just too darn expensive to give up.

But I know cycling will help me return to a healthier lifestyle. And the writer in me loves being able to smell freshly rained on grass and watch dragonflies mate while I work on my cadence. My husband also likes my rear in cycling shorts, so that helps boost the ego. πŸ˜‰

And that girl in the VW Beetle? The one that thinks she’s not cute in the driver’s seat at over 200 pounds? Deep down, she knows that to be successful in weight loss, she needs to love herself no matter the number on the scale or the view on the other side of the windshield. She also knows that she can’t fall in love with herself overnight. Slowly, she’s working on it. πŸ™‚

Any random thoughts you have about your weight that goes beyond the scale? Take a load off in the comments section!

Team Cheese Additional

For a few months, Jude and I discussed starting a cycling team. We even threw a few names around. The Pedal Pushers. Pyscho Cyclers. Then one day, while we waited in line at the drive-thru for Dairy Queen, I scanned a promotional sign the employees had tacked on a fence for the latest burger. In small letters off to the side were the words: “Cheese Additional.”

“That’s it,” I told my husband. “Team Cheese Additional.”

“What?” His eyebrows shot up. “Why?”

“Because if you want the cheese, you gotta work for it,” I told him. Just like that, a dream was born, and a goal was set. We would begin training, both in the gym and on the road, for the local race from Zapata to Laredo, held annually in June.

Today was an exciting day for our little team. We put down the 50% deposit so Pactimo could begin designing our jerseys.Β The picture at the top of my blog is actually from our team logo and will be proudly showcased on the front of our jerseys.

Even though our team is only three members strong, we rely on each other for support and training advice. And, as we train more, others will see we are serious, and maybe, just maybe, Team Additional will grow. I. Am. Stoked!

How a Spinning Bike Saved a Character’s Life

As a writer, sometimes you find yourself needing some downtime to think. To break through writer’s block. To warp time and consider the many different paths a character can take. Before, when I needed this time, I slipped on my running shoes and wound my way down Shiloh, hitched a left on McPherson, and continued to Bob Bullock Loop, only to backtrack at the stoplight.

But since I don’t run anymore (I’m working on it), I turned to food to help me concentrate. Ah, who am I kidding? I mindlessly ate while I sat at my computer, fingers tapping away at keys, Cheetos staining the white letters.

Not today. Today, my latest work-in-progress _The Pound_ was spread on my bed. One character, Paloma, seemed, well, stuck. I didn’t know what to do with her. I didn’t want to cut her, but she was not helping to advance the plot. I found my hands itching to hold something while I worked through my character problem. Maybe Thin Mints? Maybe that bag of Funyuns Hubby brought home yesterday?

So, what did I give my hands to hold onto? The bars of my Spinner Fit. That’s right. I hopped on my Spinner and rode. Here’s proof (and notice how I said, “No,” to those Girl Scout cookies on the table πŸ˜› ):

Did I figure out what to do with Paloma? That’s the beauty of first drafts. She can stay, and, if need be, I can cut her out of the second. So, Paloma, you’re safe. πŸ™‚


Yes, I’m a Sonic the Hedgehog fan. I aim to be as fast as he is one day. One can dream. LOL

But It’s Too Cold to Cycle!

The ice on the hoods of our Jeep and VW would have been pretty any other day, but not today. Today, I had the Tamale Bike Tour. My husband draped an arm around my shoulders and asked if I was up for it. I nodded. I’d already paid my twenty bucks. Might as well try, right? So, I loaded up my bike and said to myself, “It’s only fifteen miles.”

At around 8:40 AM, various riders assembled at the intersection of Mines Road and Toll Road 255. The die-hard cyclists gathered at the front. They were going to do the 40 mile ride. I hung in the back, with the other cyclists slated for the 15 mile tour. This was my first time back on my Orbea since November, so there was no way I was tackling 40 miles.

Dickerson, one of the race’s sponsors, blew the airhorn, and the die-hards were off. A few minutes later, so were we. I was the only one on a mountain bike, so I brought up the rear.

The cold slid through the ventilation in my cycling shoes, cut through my gloves, and nibbled at my nose, but I knew that if I could get through the first few miles, my body would warm up, thereby making the ride a bit more enjoyable. By that time, all the other cyclist were well ahead of me. I rode by myself for the entire fifteen miles, and I didn’t mind. My mantra has been the same since I first started exercising: “Dream on.” I sang Aerosmith’s ditty over and over, sometimes in my head, sometimes out loud.

My husband waited, camera in hand, to welcome me at the finish line. He greeted me and with those words I knew he was going to say but still wanted to hear anyway: “I’m proud of you.” I smiled and said, “It was nothing,” when it was really everything. I was the heaviest cyclist out there, but I was out there. I burned 840 calories in weather that normally would have kept me in bed. And I now have a base to begin tracking personal records, or PRs. Let the races begin!

Too Early for a Plateau

Today was weigh-in day, and I have no news to report, good or bad. That’s right–my weight was exactly the same as it was last week.

So, I left Aqui Es, unlocked the door to my apartment, threw off my hoodie, and laid down on my bed. Although I’ve been on my weight loss journey since August, when I began at a little over 250 pounds, I derailed around Thanksgiving and didn’t return to the straight and narrow until New Year’s, so I shouldn’t be plateauing this early in the trip.

I brought up my food log spread sheet. After a bit of analyzing, I narrowed down a few plateau culprits. I’m not a nutritionist or doctor, so these are only guesses as to what happened.

Culprit #1: Three days out of seven, I had not only my usual Coke, but a Diet Coke as well. This will be the easy to remedy.

Culprit #2: There was no variety in my meals. Shake for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and cereal for dinner. With as much experience as I have losing weight, I should know by now to mix up the menu.

Culprit #3: Shakes, sandwiches, and cereal could not possibly comprise the 1900 calories I needed for the day. Where were the rest of the calories coming from? Dare I admit? Sigh. I will. Those darn Girl Scout cookies. It seems I was so concerned on watching my intake of Thin Mints that I was popping three servings of Lemonades a day. That’s 450 empty calories! This also should be easy to remedy.

Time to reassess, Ladies and Gents. Girl Scout cookies must be limited to one serving. One soft drink per day. And I need to spice up my diet.

What’s the plan for this week? Work to lose one pound. That’s it. Just one pound. I want to see the scale moving down again. I will not give up.