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Naturally Thin
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Updated January 22, 2016 | By Bob Fugett

Naturally Thin

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The reason this chapter about body weight is at the end of Cycling Performance Simplified, whereas most training books present this aspect right away (often as the central focus), is because the truth is so simple it really need not be restated.

Besides, if you are only cycling to get thin, it is exactly the same as needing the promise of Heaven in order to be a decent human being.

Actually, it is closer to needing the promise of chocolate to enjoy having sex with your clothes off.

There are plenty of books that will help you with stuff like that, but this is not one of them.

I will only mention this:

A while back I worked like a dog on my bike (55 miles a day minimum), recorded my weight, calories, and percentages of fat, protein, and carbohydrate for every morsel of food that went into my mouth, and all that time I was struggling to constantly improve my tracking of every aspect of my nutritive life.

It was brutal, and I did it for an extended period of time.

I eventually achieved what some were calling my high-school weight.

Immediately people started telling me I was naturally thin.

Another part of this story came from a time when I was not so thin and somebody was telling Mary about the wonderful great new diet they were on (after having failed with numerous other fad diets over the years) and how this new diet involved eating specific food types at specific times of day then rubbing some metal beads behind their ears.

In particular they were expected to eat almost nothing before noon.

Mary railed, "Wait a minute! Look at me. I'm under 120 lbs, and I often eat almost my entire food intake before noon."

"Yeah, but you are only thin because you exercise so much."

Mary was so shocked she failed to mention how she did not exercise nearly as much as the person who was describing their new diet, nor how Mary was using a nutrition database I developed for my own use.

It provided fast automated entry of very complex data which was immediately filtered into a convenient simplified report.

The database allowed Mary to record meals without massive mental effort.

Without having to think about it she could quickly enter meal items (auto-filled with one or two keystrokes), and thus she was freed up to ponder the effect of everything she ate.

Mary also might have said, "Excuse me, but my husband Bob is with me on every ride, and he works harder than me on every hill. He exercises just as much as I do or more, but he is still a fat, fat, fat fuck. How do you explain that?"

Well, I can explain my weight... and yours as well.

Body weight is a direct function of the amount of calories you eat versus the amount of calories you burn.

Compared to Mary, I was eating lots more foods that were fat dense (therefore calorie rich) topped off with sugar (so even more calorie rich), and I often did it compulsively without thought while writing, or programming, or doing some other panic ridden activity which seemed absolutely essential at the time.

As for the sugar, it was in and/or on just about everything I ate—including hamburgers.

Some people like to call sugar "carbs" in order to help sell you on the idea that if you will just not eat the bread served before a meal, you are free to gorge down the rest of it consisting of three weeks worth of fatty, salted, sugary sludge put on a few pretty plates and called a serving.

The trouble is bread and sugars actually are carbs, so it is easy for people to get fooled by that sort of nonsense.

Brown rice, whole wheat grain, broccoli, spinach, and green beans are also carbs, but you can't let that get in the way of your misunderstanding nutrition.

Now, get real folks!

You are fat because you eat too much of the wrong stuff, plus your gargantuan overweight body has been a long term project, and it is going to take time to remedy.

You are not going to get into that bathing suit in the next three weeks no matter what diet you go on.

Perhaps part of your problem is the wretched stigma society places on overweight people keeping you constantly nervous and hungry.

I myself have a strong distaste for fatties but have learned it is not all their fault.

Being fat does not mean you are a bad person.

It merely means you are an ignorant sedentary sloth.

Of course, that is not your fault.

You are only a sloth because you have been sedentary so long you can't move anymore even if you try.

You have only been sedentary because you are ignorant of the rabidly horrid effect inaction has on your health.

And you are only ignorant of that fact because nobody has ever told you the simple truth (how bad your lifestyle is for you) in a way that might convince you. 

In fact virtually every product advertisement you are using to get your information has a strong interest in keeping you stupid and sedentary.

Let me fix that right now.

A sedentary lifestyle is the absolute worst thing for you.

No matter how much they promise you if you will just sit in a car half your day coming to work, then spend the rest of the day sitting around munching snacks waiting to get back in your car and drive home to plop on your couch and consume advertising, and no matter how much they try to convince you that you have absolutely no alternative, and that you are doing the right thing (important work), and for the minor cost of wasting your time commuting you are sure to be rewarded (eventually) with riches beyond imagining... well, forget it.

You are killing yourself, and almost every single one of your supposed major physical ailments can be traced back to your fat-assed scared to shit daily routine.


Now that you know this, you are no longer ignorant, and you can start fixing your sedentary slothful lifestyle.

Maybe someday you can enjoy the final insult of being called naturally thin.

Here's how: find an exercise that you really enjoy (maybe cycling), and pay attention to what you eat.

Make both of these activities (moving around and eating better) your inalterable habit, and if you fail or have a lapse then just come back to it and keep trying again, and again, and again.

Make a checklist with only two items on it: 1) move more, 2) eat better.

Review it daily, and every day in which you merely think about one of these items check it off.

Try for two checkmarks a day.

If you go further than just thinking about one of the items and actually do something about it (anything) add a plus sign (+) to the checkmark.

Just keep doing that for a number of years and it will be impossible to fail.

It has been said before, but let me say it once more, "Dieting doesn't work. Exercise doesn't work. Only exercise and diet works."

Wasn't that simple?

Now don't forget to read a bunch of books about nutrition and training after you finish this book which is only about improving your cycling performance.

There are certainly a lot of good books on health and exercise to help you figure out that careful eating and vigorous exercise are a necessity for good health.

Any reputable exercise or diet program is going to make you feel better immediately, so start on one now (doesn't matter which) while making sure to enjoy as many books on the topic as you can, but the moment one of them promises you a shortcut to easy weight loss and effortless vibrant health, slam it shut and move on to the next.

A great general exercise book is Egoscue 1992 (see: help file), and you can tell it is a great book as soon as you get to page 79 paragraph 2 where it says, "A workout lasting about an hour each day should be sufficient."

No quick fix there, not to mention you had to get to page 79 to read about it.

Maybe the best book on diet is Kleiner 1998: Power Eating: build muscle, gain energy, lose fat, and it is one of the most thoroughly researched books on the subject ever written.

Cycling Performance Simplified (the book you are reading now) is about achieving high level cycling performance; and, like any true excellence, achieving cycling competence takes time, so this book is about the slow way to get really fast.

Taking off weight during the process is just a side effect.

By the way, during the writing of this book I managed to get my weight back down to below my high-school weight, so all the losers in the world have once again started calling me naturally thin.

Now that you have satisfied your curiosity by reading this chapter first, get back to the beginning and read the book for real.

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