Starting cycling ?

Hi guys its been ages since I have posted.

I went off track and then I moved and actually got money for the first time, I have been so bad. 3/4 take aways a week, I used to have 1 every few weeks. Since moving 3/4 months ago I have put on about 7lbs and its needs to stop. I am the kind of person that loves outdoor activity, watersports, trekking, cycling but my passion is horses/horse riding but I am just too heavy to do that anymore havent for a few years and without it, I developed social anxiety which means I hardly go out anymore, I go to university but not often, thats pretty much it.

I want to be motivated to do those things. I have bought a bike, good lights (id prefer to ride in the dark) and a cycle computer to track rides. Does anyone have any advice as I havent ridden regularly in about 6 years. I rode my brothers bike a few weeks ago down the road and felt as if I would die ! Haha.

I want to lose enough weight to start horse riding again, I even bought a new hat and boots in anticipation.

I hope everyone else is reaching their goals. :)

18 Replies

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  • Hi Zebadee,

    Do you still need to lose approximately 8 stone, or have you lost some of that?

    It seems to me that you need to get on top of your eating first, cycling isn't going to get rid of that for you.

    Decide what kind of "diet" you wish to follow and by that I mean do you intend to count calories, or carbs, or something else. Whatever you decide, you need to ditch the takeaways :)

    I can completely empathise with social anxiety, so you need to be able to increase your exercise without an audience. I've started walking, but drive to more remote locations, where at least I won't be seen by people that know me :)

    I'm afraid I can't help with the cycling, cos I haven't done that for years and am too scared a bike would buckle under my weight :)

    I used to love horse riding, but haven't done it for over 40 years, maybe one day when I'm slim and before I have to use a zimmer :) I really hope that you get back to it, especially as you have your new hat and boots :)

    Best of luck with everything.

  • Weightloss same - starting from square 1.

    I hope more exercise will help me sleep.

    Clueless on diet really.

    Will quit the takeaways, got better things to spend money on.

    One thing that has changed from my previous posts is that I quit smoking. Yay me.

  • Great news about the smoking, that'll make you feel heaps better, healthwise and financially :)

    Right, first things first, you need to get a structured eating plan. Why not download the NHS 12 week plan, it's a good place to start if you're feeling a bit clueless. It gives you step by step instructions on how to regulate your eating and exercising.

    Start by entering your details into the BMI counter, so that you know what your healthy weight should be and how many calories you should be consuming.

    Writing things down helps to cement things in your mind, so write down a week's worth of menus, then your shopping list, then record everything you eat and drink. It sounds like a complete fag, but helps to highlight weak points and "mindless" snacking.

    Next and absolutely as important, keep posting and replying to posts, the group will keep you motivated and encouraged and make your journey easier and much more enjoyable and nobody can see you, so you don't need to feel shy :)

    Good luck Zebadee, you can do this :)

  • May be just start with walks? Funny how your stamina builds up x good luck xx

  • I cycle to work (also LOVE horse riding!) I taught my self to ride a bike 18 months ago. Here's a few things I've learnt:

    1) no one gives a miniseries what you look like...so cycle when you want!

    2) it's a low impact sport so you can actually go a fair way, just wear the right clothing to help keep you cool.

    3) make sure the bike is fitted to you correctly...if your saddle is too low you will kill your knees, handlebars at the wrong height will hurt wrists and shoulders

    4) pick a regular route with a few small hills...Ok you may not be able to cycle up them at the start (don't be afraid to get off and push) but when you can the sense of achievement is huge!

    5) have your tyre pressure a bit higher than usual...it helps the bike cope with the additional weight

    6) tighten everything up on a regular basis...thus include spokes...I sent my new bike in for a service after 6 months.

    7) wear high vis...especially if riding at night. To be honest the route I take is fairly off-road...but I nearly cycled into a random jogger who didn't see me (they were also wearing black!)

    8) Get a stand that turns your bike into a stationary bike. Mine cost about £80 but its worth it...even when it's chucking it down you can still get on your bike

    Have fun, enjoy it. :)

  • Hello, more less has fab advice and totally to the point! I'm achieving my goals, amongst quite a bit of stress.............although I'm craving, good , healthy and yummy food.

    I chose yesterday to treat myself to a fab smelling shower gel, weird I know, I love fragrances!

    Try takeaway style recipes stir fries are fab for that, check out, wedge recipes , sweet potato, and my fav celeriac ( not a big potato fan).

    I know some go cauliflower mad, using it for mash etc, not keen, although I love broccoli.

    Check lots of different foods, and see what you can create within a plan, and enjoy,

    Picture yourself slimmer and riding again.

  • nhs.uk/livewell/loseweight/...

    Definitely try the 12 week plan to give you some structure. Well done on quitting smoking. If you can do that, you can lose weight as well. Good luck.

  • Hi Zebadee sounds like a lot of good advice do far. Just a few ideas with regards to your diet like watching your calories and learning more about what you eat have you tried the my fitness pal app? It's really good and helps you to see what good or bad things are in food and can be motivating to keep within your allowance. Plus try shopping in aldi if you have one near you. they are cheap and have lots of healthy food and snacks.

    With regards to the cycling check with your local council - they very often run free or low cost cycling courses which teach you about road safety and can build your confidence on a bike. I did one and it was great! They also do cycle clubs which could help with your social anxiety. Hope this helps and good luck with it all.

  • Cycling - fantastic. As someone has mentioned before make sure your bike fits you right. I had mine done recently and I thought "oh my god, it's too high" as when I came to a step I am literally putting my tip toes on the floor but when I am in the saddle and riding - it's correct.

    Good luck :-)

  • Cycling, amazing. Has worked wonders for me.

    Find a good bikeshop, they should not be condescending. Cheap bike for starters but pay to change to a comfortable seat. Aim to not go very far at first or you might get very sore.

    Google a lot for example Oxford has a great organisation called broken Spoke which gives free lessons in bike maintenance and also a women only bike club that meets once a month and does an easy flat 9mile bike ride for beginners -free. They also have a monthly night ride.

  • I started the NHS fitness plan and had not cycled for a long time aswell. I started out riding for 30 minutes each day on a flat route then moved onto 45 mins and finally 60 mins per day. I chose to ride around Dorney lake which is about 3 miles but it has bridges which are inclines so you have to work harder. I cycled there and back too so in all I was doing 7 miles a day. After 12 weeks I had a totally different figure. I lost 6" from my waist and 2 Stone in weight. I enjoyed the cycling too. If you get a mileometer that helps to see how far you are travelling and makes it more interesting. Check out the Sustrans website and see if there are some good off road cycle ways where you can exercise safely. Good luck to you. If I can do it you certainly can x

  • I really recommend the cycling too. But when you start any new form of exercise it will make you sore to begin with. Cycling can give me lower back pain and tight calfs - I recommend looking up some leg stretches for after your first few rides, and especially if you cycle a long way. Re night-cycling - wear light colours if you can. I wear a high vis safety belt over my coat. I also have a high-vis trouser clip and try to find other ways to make sure I'm visible too. If by dark you mean off-road, you might want to get a strong beam to go on the front of your bike so you can see where you're going properly. I also recommend recording where you cycle, as it can be quite satisfying to look at the routes you did afterwards, and add up all the kms etc. I use the endomondo app on my phone. I like looking at the map after I get home - can be quite funny on journeys where I got a bit lost...

    - I just saw you've got a cycle computer - happy playing - just build up gradually, short rides to begin with, make sure it stays fun :)

  • "Do you still need to lose approximately 8 stone, or have you lost some of that?

    It seems to me that you need to get on top of your eating first, cycling isn't going to get rid of that for you." by moreless

    What I assume this was meant to mean was Cycling is an excellent form of exercise but you need to control your diet to lose weight and not just exercise. I got back on a bike after 35 years. I cant walk due to back pain, I have 8 stone to lose too. I joined a group cycling for health and it is an amazing activity for strengthening muscles to get you back into shape. You do not need to hide the fact that you ride a bike. I cycle around a bike park for an hour, no roads just free space and good exercise and you go at your own pace.

  • That's precisely what I meant Kate, sorry if my reply was a bit ambiguous :)

  • Hi you guys have been great, I am aware of road safety I took some when I was younger. I dont have any hi- vis yet, I am planning on getting some, I have ordered a set of bike lights which have strong beams and I have 2 so I should be okay for light. My bike came today, I didn't spend much on it but its brand new so I am happy. I am good at bike maintenance, I used to ride loads when I was younger and fix my own bikes.

    I seem to have very weak ankles which makes walking for extended periods difficult. I plan on riding along a national cycle route which leads into countryside, mostly farm traffic, its about 2 miles there and back, I walk the dogs up there sometimes. I figured that would be a good starting point. And I can go further out as I wish.

    I have my fitness pal, I should use it more often, I have a lidl round the corner, I should make use of their cheapness on fruit and veg. I am an incredibly picky eater. I don't eat like onions, peppers as well as many other things so its hard to find recipes that I like, I enjoy cooking and good at it, but clueless on what to cook, so I usually end up with macaroni cheese or canned foods...

    Thanks for all the replies, you have all been great!

  • So glad to hear you've got your shiny new bike, you'll be out burning up the miles in no time :)

    About your food, don't feel that recipes have to be hard and fast, if you don't like an ingredient, leave it out and maybe substitute one that you do like. If you enjoy cooking, this should be fairly easy to do.

    All the best to you - Tour de France here you come :)

  • Haha, thank you for the encouragement. I may go for a quick spin this afternoon.

    I hve no money at the moment so I won't be shopping til next week.

    I find this will be the perfect time to start as for the first time I have full control over what I eat, so it is my own fault to sort out.

  • Good for you, no waiting for darkness, pound those pedals and be proud :)

    You'll smash it, just keep logging onto this site for motivation and to keep us updated with your progress.

    All the very best of luck to you :)

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