The Weighting Game: All or Nothing
Feb 6: 184.2lbs
2015 is going to be a different year for me, not only as an athlete, but as a person. Things seem to be in a different alignment than they have in years past. Just a little over one week ago, I realized this, and it all came together after one conversation in particular. Over the weekend of February 6th-8th, our Herbalife p/b Marc Pro – Strava annual team training camp was held in El Dorado Hills, CA. Team camp is always a joy, an awesome time to hang out with your teammates, see how everyone is riding, get to know your sponsors, accumulate all kinds of new gear, and better yet – get to know your management.
Day 1 of team camp was about seeing how we were all riding as individuals. We each completed a 30 minute individual time trial effort in the pouring rain to determine our fitness. This was nothing short of a suffer-fest. (https://www.strava.com/activities/251274266) Later that evening, after a couple of sponsor presentations, Bruce Hendler of Athleticamps came by to perform a body fat analysis test on all of the riders – something that he had done at our December Mini Camp as well. I’ve always been afraid of these things… Why, might you ask? Because I’ve always been self-conscious about my weight, being a “fat guy”, and basically not pushing the limit of healthy body fat levels. After this test, it was brought to my attention that my body fat percentage had not decreased since December at all, in fact, it may have even gone up.
Holy smokes…. Here I am, riding and training as hard as I can, and all of my fitness is going to be masked by weight that ruins the “Golden Ratio” of cycling. (watts/kg) Team Director Phil Mooney even had improvement, and that guy barely trains. Upon discovery of his improvement, and my lack thereof, he decided to have a talk with me. The conversation went something like this: “Ok, look. I was just like you were at one point. Going pretty well, doing great at local races, just cruising along at 90%, not really doing shit actually. I’m not going to have this conversation with you to give you an eating disorder, but that’s basically what I’m about to do. If you want to make a career out this, and you want to move to any level higher than this, you are going to have to commit yourself and go all in. You’re basically gonna have to just give it 100%, everything you have. Think about it. You train well, and you make a lot of power on the bike, now imagine if you could lose 6% of your body weight. That’s more improvement than most people will ever have the chance to make, and all you have to do is give it your all. This won’t be easy, I’m not telling you that it will be even close. But just think about it.”
Well, a couple days later, it occurred to me that I was going to do it. I was going to commit 100%. This is something that I’ve never done before, something that I could never let myself do out of fear. I’m pretty much taking a leap of faith here and trusting that I will succeed. There’s always been excuses: I don’t want to have obligations and pressure from pro level teams, I’ll never be able to get an education if I try to make it in cycling, I could do it – but I just don’t want to. The bottom line is, I want to, and I have always wanted to, so I am going to give 100%. This doesn’t mean that I am quitting school, quitting my job, and relying on my parents’ to take up all of my expenses while I give cycling a go. Phil brought up a great point – “If you can’t do this while balancing all of those things, then you are never going to make it as a pro. They are going to expect you to get exponentially better when you get on, and that’s when you worry about scaling back.”
So this blog is going to take you along for my journey of 100%. I am going to show you how I lose weight, what I am eating, what my training looks like, and how I live. Best of all, you will be helping to hold me accountable as a reader, checking in to see where my weight is, what recipes I am posting, and how my progress looks. Over the past 10 days, I have taken my calories into great consideration, and by eating veggies and lean meat, and cutting out most of the grain products I used to eat, and I have lost a little over 3lbs. Stay tuned for the first weekly post with recipes and more!
– Matt Chat