Richard Ha writes:
One last holiday meal to go, and then it’s back to serious weight losing. Besides the usual holiday parties, we have had several birthday parties, a wedding and a homecoming from Iraq. I gained a lot of weight. I am now 202.7 pounds.
I’ve been coming to the conclusion that calorie intake is more effective than exercise when trying to lose weight. I’ve decided to use the plan that has worked so well for Leslie, with one modification–cutting out an occasional evening meal.
Leslie eats three normal meals and two controlled-calorie snacks in between, and that’s all. The key to her success seems to be that she does not eat anything after the evening meal–not even a grape, she says. She gets results with very little exercising. This takes more discipline than I have.
My brother Kenneth told me he has been able to maintain low body fat over the years by cutting out an occasional evening meal. He otherwise eats three large meals daily.
I hadn’t considered that, but I fasted before seeing the doctor this past Friday and it was fairly easy to do. That will give me a safety valve when I drift a little from Leslie’s routine.
My new plan is to eat 2000 calories per day broken up into three meals and two controlled-calorie snacks. If I start to gain more than a half pound or hit a plateau, I’ll cut out an entire evening meal.
Last week I wrote that Chris Seymour, the owner of Hilo Bike Hub, was going to take me, my son Brian and Rodrigo Romo on a tour of the Kulani mountain bike trails.
We were really fortunate to have Chris take us on the Kulani Trail ride Tuesday. He is a different class of bike rider from the average person. He just participated in a “from the ocean to the top of the mountain” bike ride. As in, put your toes in the ocean at Hilo Bay and then ride nonstop to the top of Mauna Kea.
He showed us how to navigate the trails on our own. It may have been 10 years since I was on those trails last, and it’s really confusing in there. It all started coming back. Now I can go back again without getting lost.
I went over the handlebars three times, Brian got lost in the forest and Rodrigo did a “face plant” on a log crossing. I had forgotten how much fun mountain biking was.
We parked at the quarry, where mountain bike riders and illegal target shooters uneasily share parking. We rode around the block and entered the “Criterium Trail.” I remember having a conversation with someone once about this trail being down range and running across the target range’s line of sight. I think we agreed that it might be below the crest of the hill. Whatever we discussed, I decided I was going to ride with my head low, just in case.
On the gravel road around the block, I came across a diagonal eucalyptus branch about 3 inches in diameter. I made sure that my front tire hit it square and not on an angle, and Chris nodded approvingly. But I was uneasy because I did not lift my front wheel enough. I was leaning too far forward and did not coordinate the front wheel lift, the power stroke and the unweighting of the back tire. Then we came upon a steep rutted downhill and I wondered if I was going too fast or too slow. The disc brakes were working really well. Too well—I was locking up my front and back wheels with one finger and a light touch.
I saw Chris and Rodrigo enter the “Criterium Trail” and they disappeared. As soon as I entered it, memories started coming back. Stay loose and hit the roots square or they’ll just suck your front wheel out from under. Why am I drifting off the trail for no reason at all? Hold the brakes, go easy on the front brake or you’re going over the handlebar. Watch out for those rocks—some look solid enough to roll over but some are loose. While I was concentrating on those things the trails drifted off to the right.
Then it occurred to me that I need to be loose on the bike. One needs to change the center of gravity on the bike so you can react quickly. This means you cannot just sit on the seat and expect to get through without something bad happening.
Uh oh. Here comes some rocks and a big root running diagonally down the trail and then the trail jogs to the left and drops off downhill real quickly, and on the bottom is a big root going straight across the trail. Information overload. I’m out of position on the bike—leaning too far forward while going downhill approaching the root. I know I need to unload the front of the bike so I can clear the root.
But too many things are going on and next thing I know I’m over the handlebar and on my back with the bike on top of me. Brian is asking me if I’m all right. I think that he is following to babysit me. I hate that.
I flip the bike on top of me one more time and make my way out of the trail, where the guys are waiting. My heart rate hit 166. I’m not exhausted, but I decide to go back to the truck so I don’t hold them back.
Soon Chris and Rodrigo ride up, looking for Brian. They can’t find him. Eventually Brian shows up and Chris suggests we ride the roads. As we ride along, Chris points out trails that Brian and Rodrigo can take, which will meet up with us further ahead.
He shows us a log crossing where there are two log obstacles to cross. The second one has a ramp up and over it. But you need to make the first log under control in order to ride up and over the ramp on the second.
Chris and Rodrigo make it over nicely the first few times. I take off, but flip over the handlebars again. Not hurt, I decide to go easy.
Rodrigo is an aggressive rider. On his fourth time over, he charges the first log and clears it easily and then gets over the second log with some speed, but his front tire falls off the plank and he crashes head first and is lying under his bike face down. Chris tells him to lay there and not to try to get up too quickly.
Rodrigo is fine. Chris says, “That’s why they call it a face plant.” Rodrigo has paid his dues. He left some skin in the Kulani Trails.
After that we head back up the road and Brian and Rodrigo duck in and out of trails and we all take the last one that ends up back at the quarry. It took 90 minutes over all. For me, it was an occasional really high heart rate and lots of cruising in between. The others spent more time in the actual trails. My heart rate spiked up over 160 five times and hit 172. I am actually in better shape than when I first tried the Kulani Trails many years ago. This will be lots of fun, especially when I reach a lower body weight.
Rodrigo is probably thinking of how he’s going to successfully ride and clear the log obstacles next time. Me? I’m thinking of how I’m going to run or carry my bike over them without losing too much time.