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Been away for awhile. Had VSG...

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Been away for awhile. Had VSG...

Old 12-18-18, 05:37 PM
  #1  
zjrog
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Been away for awhile. Had VSG...

I've been away for some time. Nowhere near my bikes. I reached a point with my weight I didn't feel safe even on the trainer, way too top heavy. Add to that, issues with my right knee failing, surgery on my right ankle 2 years ago, followed by spraining my left ankle almost as soon as I was out of the boot... Last year, I tried to lose weight, lost 40 pounds in 6 months, then my world went to crap, my Dad had cancer, and the news got worse with each visit. He passed in Sept of 2017. And I needed many months to get my head straight. But, I got back in my right mind and got into a bariatric program. Last May I was at my heaviest ever, 378. I had Vertical Sleeve Gastectomy on 22 Oct 2018, and have lost 83 pound since May, 61 of that in the last 8 weeks. I weighed 295 the otehr day for the first time in a very long time. I will always be a Clyde no matter my weight, as I am nearly 6'2"... Used to be 6'3", but breaking my back and gravity and age have let me down...

I got my bike back on the trainer and got on it the otehr day, only to discover, the shifters are gummed up. Well. 20 year old bike, never had the shifters serviced. Decided I needed new cables and chain too, the chain has been replaced a couple times. last, 7 years ago when this bike tossed me off breaking my back... Anyway, cables and chains ordered. Should be here tomorrow. Then I can get the servicing done and get some time back in the saddle. Literally and figuratively...

Hi guys, I think I'm back!!!

Post surgery, 10/26/18 on the left. 12/14/18 on the right

Last edited by zjrog; 12-18-18 at 05:47 PM. Reason: More to say
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Old 12-18-18, 06:41 PM
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Welcome back.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:08 PM
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Hello, I'm a new guy here. I'm sorry about your dad. Condolences.

My doc keeps threatening me with that surgery. That and the potential for diabetes has me kicking ass and taking names... down almost 23lbs from 350 so far (I'm 6'2"). My bike experience is 20 years old or more. I still haven't even figured out where to go buy stuff. But I have a bike arriving on Thursday and my trainer came today! I'm dying to get moving and get some variety in my workout.

So, we can encourage one another. And kick this fat thing in the ass!
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Old 12-19-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cobalt123 View Post
Hello, I'm a new guy here. I'm sorry about your dad. Condolences.

My doc keeps threatening me with that surgery. That and the potential for diabetes has me kicking ass and taking names... down almost 23lbs from 350 so far (I'm 6'2"). My bike experience is 20 years old or more. I still haven't even figured out where to go buy stuff. But I have a bike arriving on Thursday and my trainer came today! I'm dying to get moving and get some variety in my workout.

So, we can encourage one another. And kick this fat thing in the ass!
Thank you. I appreciate that.

I hated that I felt too top heavy to feel safe on my bike on the trainer. I found an older performance branded trainer that locks the rear in like most trainers, but also locks in the front droppouts and is quite sturdy. I didn't even feel safe on that on my way up to 378. I do now. Got my new cables and chain yesterday, and hope to get started cleaning the shifters tonight.

I chose to have the sleeve to avoid malabsorption issues associated with gastric bypass. Plus, I work in the desert and my 5 ounce stomach will handle more water quickly than a 1 ounce pouch. Also, if the hole from the pouch to the rerouted plumbing were to be plugged, it could be 3 to 5 hours to get to an ER... I had other reasonings as well, that my surgeon agreed with me. I already feel much etter, heart rate and blood pressure are down, I'm not diabetic, so that wasn't an issue.I breathe much easier too...

Lets kick it my friend!
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Old 12-30-18, 02:45 PM
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I looked at servicing the 20 year old RSX shifters, but disassembly is not going to happen on the bike, and the cost to have it done, maybe an upgrade to 10 or 11 speed might be worth the cost. With a 105 FD and triple crank set I ought to keep, for now. But for now, the 1998 Cannondale R200 is back in the basement. And my first real bicycle is back in service. I bought it as a bare frame in 1989. It 8s a 1986 KHS Fiero. Not entry level, but nothing fancy. I put a lot of miles under this bike with a lit of different components. I swapped in a Nishiki Prestige fork back in 1991 to replace a cheap chrome fork. 3 years ago I swapped the 27" wheels for 700c, has 700x25 tires on it now. Tektro brakes swapped to meet the reach of the 700c. The old 2x6 friction shift set was swapped for 2x10 Shimano 105 5600 set I got for cheap, snagged an Ultegra 6600 10 SPDR cluster. Bike rides nice. And will serve for now on the trainer.

Last week I was up .6 pound. Not that big a deal, I expected a stall. Weighed this morning and down another 3.4 pounds. 292.6 pounds. I weighed 356.6 right after surgery. 64 pounds down since 22 Oct 18. 86 pounds since May 2018...

I can easily do 15 minutes and more on bikes at the gym. But 10 minutes on this bike kills me, dripping sweat. Man, I am OUT of shape... But I have the solution in hand. I'm almost happy with the brifter location, so finally time to wrap the bars. Snagged a seat with discount from the local Performance shop. Sad to see them closing...

Wow. 64 pounds in 10 weeks...
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Old 01-23-19, 12:31 PM
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Scale Monday was 284. That is 72 pounds in 13 weeks since surgery. 94 pounds in 7 months... I finally got my KHS adjusted where I like it, time to finally wrap those bars. I'm trying to get 90 minutes a week minimum, for my cardiologist. But the stress I've been under the last 2 weeks is going against me, my wife is in a physical rehab hospital, again. Two weeks now, looking like discharge this Saturday.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:48 PM
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Well done @zjrog !

Posts like yours are inspiring to everyone, not just those with weight issues. Please keep posting your progress, there's not enough good news in the world these days

PS: Get a fan of any kind in front of you so you can ride indoors to your potential. When the body overheats, performance is cut and it feels harder than it should.
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Old 01-23-19, 02:46 PM
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Good job on your weight loss. I've noticed for me, when I'm stressed or even feeling somewhat depressed, getting on the bike or trainer for at least 30 minutes a day really helps to clear my head.

Heh, I remember looking at your KHS in a magazine when I was a teenager. Those are nice bikes and sounds like your upgrades will make it a really nice bike.
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Old 01-24-19, 01:52 PM
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hang in there & sorry for your loss! here's wishing you nothing but the best memories
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Old 01-27-19, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
hang in there & sorry for your loss! here's wishing you nothing but the best memories
Thank you. In the end, his Peace became my Comfort.
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Old 01-27-19, 01:14 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Well done @zjrog !

Posts like yours are inspiring to everyone, not just those with weight issues. Please keep posting your progress, there's not enough good news in the world these days

PS: Get a fan of any kind in front of you so you can ride indoors to your potential. When the body overheats, performance is cut and it feels harder than it should.
Thank you. Been a tough road to get here. Tough road still ahead...
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Old 01-27-19, 01:25 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
Good job on your weight loss. I've noticed for me, when I'm stressed or even feeling somewhat depressed, getting on the bike or trainer for at least 30 minutes a day really helps to clear my head.

Heh, I remember looking at your KHS in a magazine when I was a teenager. Those are nice bikes and sounds like your upgrades will make it a really nice bike.
Growing up in rural Kansas, there wasn't much in the way of cycling info in the 70s early 80s. A favorite book I had in my youth revolved around a cyclist traveling to an event with friends, and his younger brother tagged along. They stayed in hostels and such. I don't remember much more than that today. But I digress. I had a cruiser type bike I rode all over as a kid. I saw 10 speeds and thought I would like one. In 77 I think, bought a Sears Free Spirit 10 speed... I rode it like my cruiser. Dirt, gravel, so on... Anyway. I left for the Navy in 81, in 89 I saw mountain bikes and that got me back riding. Cheap road bike at first, then later that year the KHS frame...

Thank you on the weightlist. It has been an interesting journey that isn't over yet.
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Old 01-27-19, 01:28 PM
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@nomadmax A fan is a must! Bars wrapped, maybe not my best job. Need some better bar plugs...

Thank you all!
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Old 01-27-19, 02:32 PM
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@zjrog

Do you need anything else to get your indoor trainer set up the way you want it ?
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Old 01-28-19, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
@zjrog

Do you need anything else to get your indoor trainer set up the way you want it ?
I think I have it pretty well set. I wouldn/t mind if there were a bit more spring tension on the roller, but that isn't anything I can readily change. Maybe in the summer, I can look at changing the resistance unit for one with a threaded tensioner, but I can live with this for now. Ideally, a smart trainer that works with ZWIFT would be nice...
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Old 01-29-19, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
I think I have it pretty well set. I wouldn/t mind if there were a bit more spring tension on the roller, but that isn't anything I can readily change. Maybe in the summer, I can look at changing the resistance unit for one with a threaded tensioner, but I can live with this for now. Ideally, a smart trainer that works with ZWIFT would be nice...
I can't speak for everyone but I have old bars, stems and other stuff should you decide your fit isn't just right that I'd be happy to send to keep you going
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Old 01-29-19, 08:13 AM
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Losing weight and keeping it off over the long run are two different things. Congratulations on starting the journey.

My Mom passed away 10 years ago due to complications from diabetes that was not well controlled. That was a sobering lesson for me because I too have diabetes.

My father has dementia and no longer recognizes me; he is physically alive but not really there anymore.

Life will continually throw curve balls at you. You just have to dig in and keep swinging...it is the way it goes.

Good luck to you.

BTW, if you can afford it, get one of the newer generation trainers, maybe even a “smart” trainer. Then you can use it with Zwift, a lot more fun that way.
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Old 01-29-19, 10:03 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I can't speak for everyone but I have old bars, stems and other stuff should you decide your fit isn't just right that I'd be happy to send to keep you going
I do appreciate this offer, greatly so. I had this bike dialed in pretty good for the way I rode 20 plus years ago. It has a good comfortable reach, stem and bars. Old school steel ride, old school bars, stem and seatpost. But everything else is newer stuff, including the cartridge bearing BB... I didn't get to ride it much outside before I felt horribly uncomfortable on top of a bicycle a couple years ago. But feeling much better about myself again. Finally. I do have some MTB SPD pedals, appropriate Giro branded shoes (size 48 for my huge feet). I suffer heel strike on the chainstays, so I added pedal extenders. I chose 165mm crank arms when I bouught the FSA crankset used, where in the past I much preferred the leverage of 175/180 cranks. The 5600 series Shimano 105 set is fit, trimmed and shifting great to an Ultegra cluster and broght down with some Tektro long reach brakes for the 27" to 700C conversion Alexrims wheelset. the Tektros were a gift from another reader here, sent me two sets, used, I passed the second to a friend updating a Crescent "10" speed... As I bought this bike as a bare frame in 89, I started with just cheap chrome fork, but later snagged a Nishiki Prestige fork, stem and bars from a wrecked bike. I am still on the same bars, but have a longer stem than the Nishiki one. Really, this was afun and therapeutic build up, too bad I didn't get to enjoy it until now. Or, maybe now, I can appreciate it much much more.

A friend has nearly convinced me that I avoided riding the Cannondale R200, even on the trainer. Subconciously. As it is the bike I did crash so terribly on 7 years ago. He might be right. I do look forward to getting on my old friend, versus the crash bike. Even though I upgraded with a theardless style stem, and adapter, with new bars to match, and a new front wheel. Maybe I will feel differently later, considering whether to update it as well. I can't bring myself to consider selling or giving it away.
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Old 01-29-19, 10:12 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Losing weight and keeping it off over the long run are two different things. Congratulations on starting the journey.

My Mom passed away 10 years ago due to complications from diabetes that was not well controlled. That was a sobering lesson for me because I too have diabetes.

My father has dementia and no longer recognizes me; he is physically alive but not really there anymore.

Life will continually throw curve balls at you. You just have to dig in and keep swinging...it is the way it goes.

Good luck to you.

BTW, if you can afford it, get one of the newer generation trainers, maybe even a “smart” trainer. Then you can use it with Zwift, a lot more fun that way.
Curve balls are all I've been tossed the last few years it seems. My wife's health issues these past 11 years kind of put me in a place of not caring for myself the way I should have. But I can't care for her, if I'm not healthy myself... So, the journey begins.

Luckily, My A1C number held steady at 5.8 the last few years, It is now 5.3. And I hope to keep it there or lower. I am no longer in pre-diabetes category. I do have non-diabetic neuropathy in my feet though, and gout.

Sorry for the loss of your Mom. Lost mine 14 years ago, smoking ultimately. She had had lung reduction surgery 5 years before she passed, which was about 5 years longer than she would have had with out.
Sorry about your Dad. That is an evil thing to live with. Dementia was my Mother in law's situation. Post stroke...

I am watching the smart trainers. Not a question of affordability. More a question of "worth" at present. I'm not about to spend that sort of money for something that will collect more dust than my sweat... I'm telling myself to wait till next Autumn (I do not like the term "Fall"!)... See how I fare through the Spring indoors and if I can get over my fear of hills outdoors.
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Old 02-03-19, 06:20 AM
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Congratulations on all your progress! I know even with the VSG, it's still hard work to keep up with the good habits of diet and exercise over the long haul. One thing you might consider at some point for indoor training is something like this Schwinn 270 recumbent bike trainer. It is comfortable, stable, and sturdy as hell - rated for 300lb but I am sure will easily do more - I was 295lb when I first got it. It uses magnetic resistance for smooth, quiet load, and has a decent variety of program options. I have one and quite like it, I think I paid about $525 and consider it a great value (and no I don't own stock in Schwinn ;-))
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Old 02-04-19, 06:11 AM
  #21  
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@YankeeRider, I gave a lot of consideration to a recumbent. There is a lot of merit to the form factor. I may still get one, but for my wife. She can't step across even women's frame bicycles anymore. I use one (True brand) at my cardiologist mandated cardiac rehab gym. I also use one (Life Fitness brand). I find the effort required for the same amount of time between the two, is more difficult on a real bicycle on the trainer. I measure that in how long before the neuropathy (non diabetic) in my feet becomes a factor, or my palms cramping on the handlebars. But primarily, the work my body puts into it. On the recumbent, I just don't seem to get as "sweaty". I feel the bike on the trainer gives me a better shot to improve more than just my legs for riding outdoors. Legs, rear end, hands, and posture.

The recumbent was instrumental in my knee replacement recovery. And in my thoracic fusion surgery. And to a large degree, my cardiac recovery. Prior to surgery, my resting heart rate was 105 or so. Currently in the upper 60s low 70s. And medicated, my BP was still around 145/80... In the cardiac gym, they routinely are recording 100/68 at the finish of my gym time... Unmedicated...

I will always use a recumbent at the gym.
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Old 02-04-19, 06:15 AM
  #22  
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My weekly weigh in was yesterday. Had a very slow couple of weeks as far as weight loss. I have been feeling more energetic of late though. More steps per day. More time active. I'm going to be changing those daily goals quite soon.

Anyway. The stats. 280 pounds. Heaviest was 378. 356 the day of surgery. That is 76 lost since surgery. 98 total.

To say I'm amazed is an understatement...
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Old 02-04-19, 07:03 AM
  #23  
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@zjrog - one might argue that the position of the recumbent is *too* comfortable the way you're supported I suppose. I am mixing about equal amounts of walking and riding on that indoor recumbent trainer. On colder days, I ride inside on the recumbent bike and on warmer days I walk outside either on the sidewalks or (before the snow and ice made them treacherous) on carriage roads and foot trails down at the park. I get more of a cardio and quad workout on the recumbent, but more help on dynamic balance from walking, plus the walking is supposed to be good for your spine. I wouldn't want to ride a recumbent on the street - we have a lot of cars on our town streets and I feel safer, more visible to drivers up higher and I think I can see better too.
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Old 02-04-19, 10:39 AM
  #24  
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@YankeeRider, too comfortable might be the best description. There might be some perception issues as well. I believe the recumbent is certainly better than doing nothing at all. Walking for me is tough, stibilty issues with a bad ankle, and the opposite leg knee failing, makes outdoor walking not much fun. I do use a treadmill to get moving, but just can't get a level of effort to seriosuly "work" given the joint issues. The knee willbe replaced this year. The ankle will see some physical therapy very soon, and hoping no surgery is needed.

For the record. I am seriously considering a recumbent trike purchase. Hate the prices though. Given my many physical issues, it may yet be my best option in the future.
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Old 02-04-19, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
@YankeeRider, too comfortable might be the best description. There might be some perception issues as well. I believe the recumbent is certainly better than doing nothing at all. Walking for me is tough, stibilty issues with a bad ankle, and the opposite leg knee failing, makes outdoor walking not much fun. I do use a treadmill to get moving, but just can't get a level of effort to seriosuly "work" given the joint issues. The knee willbe replaced this year. The ankle will see some physical therapy very soon, and hoping no surgery is needed.

For the record. I am seriously considering a recumbent trike purchase. Hate the prices though. Given my many physical issues, it may yet be my best option in the future.
You are dealing with a lot - I admire your drive, and nice that your efforts are bringing you success too. Stay strong, man!
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