Monday, 22 October 2012

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

A very wise man once said "It doesn't matter how slowly you go, as long as you don't stop." This wise man was Confucius and how fitting that Michelle Bridges actually posted this on her Facebook page and tweeted this today.  This fits perfectly with this blog post that I was putting together yesterday and today.

I have now completed 20 weeks of the 12 WBT program and not once have I bothered to do any mini-milestones.  Suppose I just never saw the point of it, but this week I decided that I was going to after speaking to others and reading what they had planned.  With my bike ride coming up next week, I set myself the challenge of riding 100kms yesterday to prove to myself that I can do it.  I wanted to know that I had passed that psychological barrier and how my body would react before I had to do it twice next weekend.  It was also a good time to get out and ride on the freeway as the Round the Bay in a Day was on as well.

I hit the freeway at 7:30am yesterday morning and jumped onto the back of a group that were moving along nicely.  It is easier riding in a group, so I thought the fact that i would be at the back and being dragged along might save me some energy for my return trip on the way home.  Only issue here is that this group was moving at approx 30kms per hour and that is a bit fast for me.  I did my best to keep up, but after 10kms or so I dropped off the back of that group.  I was disappointed but soon found some riders going more my speed at around 25 kms per hour.

After another 10kms these riders decided to stop at a rest stop leaving me on my own.  Admittedly there were hundreds, if not thousands of riders in front and behind me, so not technically on my own, but one thing I did learn is that if I am trying to go faster than I physically can I will only burn myself out and my thighs started to scream at around 30kms.  I was worried that I might have injured myself by going to hard to early.   This is when I decided to ease off the pace to prevent myself from picking up an injury and remembered that it was not a race, it is a ride.

The old children's story "The Hare & the Tortoise" seemed to pop into my mind for some reason.  There were so many people speeding past me yesterday on the freeway (and good on them for being able to ride that quickly) but I was still going to get to my destination.  Surprisingly I passed a number of them as they had picked up punctures or mechanical problems.  I also know that next weekend there will be those keen and good cyclists that will take off in the morning like the hare, others that will ride at my pace and then those that will be slower than me (the tortoise) but we will all get to Healesville in our own time.

As you can imagine, riding 100kms gives you a lot of time to think about things.  I found myself thinking about the journey this bike ride has taken me on.  When I signed up for this ride I was 150kgs with no idea how I was going to get fit enough to ride 200kms in 2 days.  Then in June I found the program that has pretty much saved my life, perhaps it was divine intervention.

I equate my mission to get back the fit and healthy person I should be and haven't been for 20 years to Aesop's fable.   There is no rabbit in this race, it is all about being the tortoise.  Slow and stead will win this weight loss race.  There is no quick fix, if there was everyone would do it and it would be easy.  You will only get to where you want to be by grinding out the results.  That means a lot of hard work, both mentally and physically over an extended period of time.  I suppose this realisation has come to me and been reinforced by the slow down in my weight loss this round.  Initially the weight fell off me very quickly, due to the fact that I had so much to lose.  It has slowed this round, but I have not gone as hard as I did last round.  The reasons for this are still being discovered and worked on also.  I am still moving forward, just like Confucius says in the above quote, but the path has been a little wavy rather than a straight line.  As much as I don't want the weight loss to slow down and I would love to be at my goal weight early next year, I am also aware that I am still learning a lot about what makes me tick.

This is the biggest thing I have taken from this program.  All the other diets don't address the biggest issue in my opinion, which is why this happens and how to combat it.  Sure they give you the food, diet plans and the ethos behind why it works, but they don't help address your demons and eliminate excuses like Michelle and her crew do.  If it wasn't for this learning and the continuous reminders that you need to have your mindset in the right place I would have been the hare running around expecting it to come all too easy and then finding myself asleep under the tree when I need to rest (aka becomes to hard).  Only problem is when the weight stopped coming off or it got to hard I would have stayed under the tree and stopped moving.  With the tools I have been given now I know it is not an easy path, it will have periods of slow weight loss and red flag days, but so long as I stay on the path and I keep moving (no afternoon nanna or hare naps) I will get there in my own time but being a lot better for the journey.

Knowledge is power and now I feel empowered to understand why things have happened in the past and how I can work towards changing them. I will not always get it right but I know that I will at least still be moving and not stopping.


  1. Well done on your ride on the weekend. The mental barriers are often the hardest ones to overcome. We all have self doubt - but isn't it great to kill that doubt!

    And next time you see a big group of riders doing 30kmph - ask to get in the middle. Being on the back is just as hard as being on the front! In the middle, you will save 30% energy!! So there is another milestone - you were doing 30kmph at the tail end of a group. Any wonder your legs were burning!!!

    1. Thanks Bec. I will remember that on Saturday.