Struggling to get my stuff together (a confession)

Great and courageous post.

I’m in no position to give advice but have suffered with motivations in the past. Often this has stemmed from my obsession with comparing myself to others and my past self. I don’t try to be the rider I was 5 years ago, copy the riding patterns of friends in a bid to ‘keep up’ etc. I’m trying to be the best I can be today - part of that is eating as well as I can today and doing the ride on my plan. I trust that the process may lead me to the future version of myself which I strive for. I think is what Amber calls ‘process goals’.


This is one struggle I don’t have. I’m a “good athlete” when it comes to sports like martial arts, but SUCK compared to others on the bike (especially the hills). That said I love cycling for the peace and beauty of it and what I can do with my body.

I had a strong season despite the pain. What I do is “compete with myself” using stats like improvement in power numbers. What was unique about this season was I was probably the best cardio shape of my life. There was time I rode with buddy against his ebike (he wasn’t much of a cyclist but I crushed it) and I had an amazing day of sprinting and recovering, sprinting and recovering over and over. I am still bottom 10% in Fondos, etc. but I still likely better than the couch potato’s that can’t do a 122 km uphill at 225lbs. Reality is I’m probably more a “sprinter” in my stats but do endurance events.

I suggest you do is track your metrics and use that as your motivation. When I see my 5 sec to 20 min all going up I know I am heading in the right direction.

Oh and I occasionally “throw away the TR rule book” and open up the throttle to see what my body can do (every 6 weeks or so).

That said the end of the season was rough and I was limping to walk and didn’t even noticed I grunted in pain anymore until the wife pointed it out. I just dream of what I’d be like without being overweight and plagued with injuries. I had a bad fall (multiple broken ribs and a surgery to put in a plate), the next season a hernia surgery, then the next season 2 seasons hip issues and potentially a 2nd hernia (yet confirmed).

Cycling has been something I’ve used for mental health and I’m frustrated with my body and the medical system…and frankly aging is frustrating too (although there are older guys way better shape than me).

I am not sitting on my ass though (not a quitter nor do I spend time feeling sorry). I’ve:

  • rested the hip for 6 weeks and now doing daily rehab on hip and back
  • daily walks
  • booked a nutritionist through work (today)
  • calling around for a reference for a good counselor (today)
  • antidepressants (several years)
  • getting the treadmill fixed (probably shouldn’t be smoking right?)
  • talking to you guys for ideas

So I don’t really have a presence on here, but I think we walk in similar shoes. Hopefully this will help.

I am 51 yo, 5ft 11 in, weigh 209, bi-lateral hip replacement about 10 years ago, full time job, stress from kids, work, etc. Last year I realized that I really let myself go and I needed to do something about it. Started TR in August. I walk several miles a day, use an elliptical and I blew the dust off the weights.

  • First things first, acknowledge the things that you have done and are doing to control things. A friend of mine will remind me that I am lapping all of the folks sitting on the couch.
  • Consult your physician and make a plan. Once you start doing things, like walking a mile a day, isometric workouts, etc., it will lead to other gains. Start with things that work with your rehab and schedule.
  • Recognize that this isn’t a “one and done”. You are going to make mistakes and you aren’t always going to eat properly (I love Orange Slices). Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity. Just take it a day at a time and pick yourself up.
  • Look at using an App to record what you are eating. It is a place to start and it will help you control your intake.

I think PusherMan has a good point about that a change in Mindset will likely help. Remember this is a struggle and you are an athlete. If this was easy, everyone would do it.

Good Luck!

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Do you ride outside much? Are there any “epic rides” near you that you can put on the calendar for inspiration?

I’ve found that spending time on the bike outside in nature is probably the most rewarding thing about cycling. And having an “epic ride” to look forward to is something that inspires me for months beforehand.

Do you have an opportunity to travel to an epic cycling destination? If you can get something scheduled, that could be another kick of inspiration to get you out of the funk you’re in.

I hope your hip heals up to allow you to get back in the bike. Stay strong my friend :muscle:

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This is something I can really relate to. I’ve said it often enough on this forum and I’ll say it again. I don’t own a bike for TR. I own a bike for adventure. I ride my bike for pleasure and escapism. Yes, I race my bike and I train for those events but, they are NOT the reason I ride a bike.

I think it’s times like these when @ambermalika rings in my ears. You have to be kind to yourself first. Beating yourself up will achieve very little. Respect yourself and love the bike for the opportunities it can open.

Full disclosure. I ate a huge curry last night. My wife has roped me into a ZWIFT race with her Tri group at 7am. I’m not feeling particularly athletic right now! :rofl: Truth be told, I don’t care. I love me a curry and with everything else going on right now, I decided that I was having that curry. The scales will laugh at me but my mind loves me.

I totally agree with this. I live in a breathtaking city (Vancouver, BC). I try very hard to be out a min 2x a week even during rainy phases.: I do lots of local races. A few in other parts of BC.

This year (even during Covid) I did the “triple crown” in Vancouver…

that’s a hard day …if you want a hard day!! !

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Do you ride MTB? I’ve heard BC has a few good MTB trails :wink:

And that’s where you’re wrong. I’ve done that with both white and brown sugar, directly from the bag. I’ve squirted honey right into my gullet. I’ve made pancakes simply as a socially acceptable delivery vehicle for either real maple syrup or the dyed corn syrup version. No, its not methamphetamine or cocaine, but if you look moderately hard, you’ll find articles saying that “sweet-tooth” isn’t merely because it “tastes nice.”

Nah I road bike mostly and occasionally hybrid for simple trails, but yes spectacular MTB trails here. I’m 50 and not that graceful, so I try to limit breaking anymore bones!

Really lucky place to live. Plus you can bike year round without snow (except maybe 5-10 days a year).

There is also world class MTB in Whistler which is 90 min drive. Google the bike park in Whistler…amazing!

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Probably too long, but hope this helps -

So, I think I get what you’re going thru. I started cycling when I was 14 because my friends had bikes and one of my brothers was cycling as a sport.

So, got a bike, and on the day I got cycling shoes, went out for a training ride and was hit by a car. Lost sense of smell, right side paralyzed, in a coma for 8 days, and so on. My first think I asked when I came to in the hospital after being told what happened, “how’s the bike?” My life plan involved cycling and think I had a reasonable shot at it. This event was a big glitch.

I get home, a while later I get another bike and ride for maybe a year and take a break. Cut to the 30s when I ended up with some health issues. After some surgeries for this,I started cycling again and of course, got hit by a few more cars, the last causing lasting problems with my right foot / ankle and hip. I ignore things until I couldn’t and then did four surgeries and at that point, cycling and running are done - not possible. I felt lost.

Cut forward a couple of years and thanks to an amazing PT,I got a recumbent bike (trike actually). I’d guess I’ve had more than a dozen PT. I’ve seen surgeons all over the southeast. In total had more than 10 surgeries of all sorts, but this PT’s help and suggestion allows me to ride, and this makes me feel OK again. It makes a huge difference and IMO TR helps with this too. Plan the work, work the plan - they make it pretty simple. Sure, you’ve got to do the workouts, but may be something worth looking into. For me, the angle of my hips is such that there isn’t much pain or pressure on my hip or back and my lack of dorsiflexion in my ankle is minimized.

My health issues require a less than optimal diet and so I know the whole diet and struggles and limitations around diet.

Riding can do all sorts of positive things. Helps you loose weight, helps you find reasons to view life in positive way, gets you to feel good about yourself, keeps you busy / focused. While you may not feel motivated, you just need to take a step forward and keep going forward without really thinking about it (do I want to do this, make this effort, etc. You just do it). Don’t worry about bad days that will happen, just remember how you felt when you were able to ride and that you enjoyed it.

Know that are other folks out there who have gotten knocked down or around and while they had to spend time away from cycling, they are eventually able to find a way back.

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Any updates from OP?

I would recommend OP to a mental health professional rather than a training plan. Seems like a lifestyle mindset issue. Hope you’re doing better OP

I know there are a ton of responses already, but I am too lazy to read through them.

One of the things I did to lose weight a long time ago (I am down 60 pounds from my peak) was NOT going on a diet. I would still go get a cheeseburger and fries when I went out. But instead of getting a double, I made it a single. Or instead of getting large fries, I got a medium or small. I just did small changes. In my head it wasn’t a diet, and they were easy to do. Did I lose much weight cutting out a couple hundred calories a day? No, I didn’t. But tiny changes over MONTHS here and there are easy to stick to. It doesn’t feel like diet because you are not on a diet.

“Going on a diet” is the worst thing I hear from people. You don’t go on a diet, you CHANGE your diet.

Tiny changes to my life lead me to where I am now. Strangers only know me for who I am now, or when they met me. Coworkers do the “I wish I had your energy”. Well, I wasn’t always like this. I used to work my ass off in the military as a mechanic (engine room would routinely hit 200*) then went into HVACR work where I am carrying a ton of tools up to rooftops in desert heat for 60 hours a week, and ate like crap. I didn’t do any exercise except work. When I decided to do a “bucket list marathon” I started out not even being able to “run” for a mile (running was basically 15 minute mile, not the running I can do now). I am 40 pounds lighter now than when I did that marathon and I can run a 50k on a trail with no training now faster than I did that marathon. I do hate it when people see me now and assume I was always like this. I worked my ass off to earn what I have now over a decades worth of work now, and I still have to fight for it.

I did spend years trying to get out of the work stress cycle. but a bad marriage always forced me back in. I always had to go back to doing HVACR work because I needed the money. I did leave the marriage and most of my stress went away. Actually, I would almost say I have zero stress now, because I can just walk away from any job any time.


This x1000.

You can also do simple things like skipping cheese on your sandwiches, using lower-calorie condiments (skip creamy dressings, for example), just eating smaller portions, etc.

A big one is eliminating liquid calories…a can of soda is ~150 calories. A glass of juice can be similar or more. Don’t get me started on the calories that come with most coffee drinks. When I really want to focus on dropping some lbs, I drop almost all liquid calories. Seltzer water replaces sodas, black coffee only (which is how I prefer my coffee anyway), etc. At most I will allow myself one alcoholic drink at night, which can be ~200 calories. But eliminating liquid calories can save you HUNDREDS of calories / day.