Weighting it out

I am in Calgary, just spent a sweet weekend playing disc in Edmonton but I will talk about that later.. This is more of a general interest post than an actual update. Talking about my weight, drinking, and eating habits while on the ride.

Weight

I have been asked frequently about whether I have lost a lot of weight along the way. The graph below has the answer:

Weight in lbs over the course of 4 months

Weight in lbs over the course of 4 months

Looking at the graph above is kind of an interesting glance at the trend that my weight has taken over the course of 4 months. I included the month before pre-departure because I found it to be an intriguing point of conversation. My ride started at the beginning of April somewhere around the 175 lb mark. My first data point is for the beginning of March where I had just returned from spending 3 months in Africa. The reason I was so slim had to do with the sauna like conditions, change in diet, and overall lack of exercise. Lack of exercise, should also be a notable factor in how much training I did before embarking…none.

My initial 10 lb gain, to the beginning of my trip, was more a result of my body returning to more normal conditions. From there even within my first 2 weeks of biking and playing I could feel noticeable differences in my leg muscles and overall fitness level. Therefore when I got on a scale after 2 weeks I was not surprised to be nearly 20 lbs heavier than I was when I landed.

Since that time it would appear that I have maintained a fairly consistent weight varying by a margin of about 7 lbs. My peak weigh in was when I was in Thunder Bay having fought through the colder climate of Northern Ontario. I have been trending towards being lighter in both numbers and appearance. My assumption is as the temperature has begun to increase my appetite has decreased ever so slightly and I lose a lot of water mass through out the day.

My data points should be taken with a grain of salt as the accuracy of the scales I have found along the way could be called into question. But I think they do an okay job of showing the general trends in weight.

Water

I usually drink a lot of water. Probably a normal day pre-Africa would see me crush 2-3 L of water. The thing is I no longer have normal days.

I carry 3 water bottles with me, all with about 1 L capacity. At first when it was cooler I would probably drink in the neighbourhood of 4-5 L of water in a day. Now that it is warmer I am around 7-8 L plus I usually pick up a liter of juice or a gatorade during one of my breaks on the road.

Generally I try to never have less than one liter of water with me as a back up and for the most part I fill up at gas stations and restaurants along the way. I also carry water purification tablets with me. I used them a few times in Northern Ontario when there was a significant gap in between service stations. There my motto was if it is available you better take it.

Food

I never planned on being able to eat this much. I have become a vacuum of food. I have tried to keep a slow pace because one time when I was invited to eat with the family of Nate, my MUPH teammate, in Fergus, ON I was so excited to eat the steak they had prepared that I nearly ended my trip right then and there with it lodged in my throat.

My normal day of biking will see me eat about 6 meals in a day, with one of them being in a restaurant and the rest being grocery store purchases. My grocery store necessities need to be sturdy and compact they generally include: bagels, tuna, sardines, beans, apples, cheese, red pepper, and granola bars. I try to make my one meal of the day in a restaurant breakfast because I find you get the most food for the least amount of money. Going to a restaurant also gives me a good opportunity to charge my phone, fill my water bottles, steal the jam packets, and talk to another human being.

My day by the meals would look something like this:
7:00 AM: Bagel, jam, and an apple
9:30 AM: Go to restaurant post 30-40 Km of biking
11:30 AM: 2 Granola bar water break
1:00 PM: Beat the heat fruit and bagel
3:00 PM: 2 Granola bar water break
4:30 PM: Can of tuna and cheese
7:00 PM: Can of beans, red pepper, and bagel

That is somewhat of a generalization and every day is different. But that is an idea of what a day could look like. It varies for temperature and whatever other variable I may be facing during my trip, but you get the idea.

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