Cycling Myth#4 – Riding makes you fit

Okay not fit but thin. I’m currently in denial about what could be euphemistically referred to as “organic body armour“.

The mid torso blubber has made itself known through a slight tightness in the trouser and a noticeably enlarged belt hole. Loosening my belt would alleviate both these problems, but this would be an admission that cycling 70+ miles a week does not nullify the consequences of a confectionery based diet.

This is a localised problem – while I couldn’t, with any anatomical accuracy, describe the rest of my body as ‘toned’, it is a little better tuned than previously. But in direct contrast with improvements elsewhere, my rapidly expanding waistline must be a result of a high fibre diet augmented with bacon sandwiches washed down with sticky milkshakes. Quaffing sufficient beer to stun a small donkey probably isn’t helping either!

It’s all the more confusing since the pounds rapidly dropped off when I started commuting. I’d gleefully prance around our bedroom pointing to random body parts while proclaiming “look, look, you can see a rib” to my long suffering wife. However, it appears that after six months of playing with the traffic, my metabolism has upped its game leaving my body to work less hard for the same result.

I had noticed the riding was getting easier with an associated increase in all round fitness. However, I’d failed to reconcile that with any changes to an eating regime that involves intensive snacking and up to four meals a day.

Remember those children’s books, where by shuffling cardboard bodyparts, an amusing pastiche of a policeman’s helmet atop a ballet dancer’s tutu can be created? That’s happened to me – well not quite the tutu but I hope you get my drift. I have singlespeeder’s arms, road-riding lungs, commuting legs and Venessa Feltz’s midriff.

So I’m dragging myself out of denial, back on the hated situps and swapping dead pig for live yoghurt in a vain attempt to turn my “Watney’s Party Seven” into a three pack. A six pack is an aspiration not even lightly bolted to reality.

The option is to grow old gracefully, eat and drink whatever is in chomping distance, shun any further exercise and invest in a bigger pair of trousers. It was a close call and I feel this could be a very long month unless – through the power of positive thinking – I can make Weetabix taste like a crispy bacon sandwich dripping in butter.

Long month then 🙁

4 thoughts on “Cycling Myth#4 – Riding makes you fit”

  1. It’s the stress caused by worrying about what you are eating. Take my advice, stop worrying and you’ll have my “lighter than the gnome”, skinny as a rake figure…

  2. The problem with stopping worrying is this only really happens when I start drinking 😉 And you know what happens after a few beers, the magical beer kebab van looms into view. Before you know it you’ve had the “everthing special with added badger”

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