Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The exercise bike and the weight loss project

Dave scored a free exercise bike from someone. Strangely enough it is exactly like a bike we had a few years ago, which I gave away for free on Freecycle because I didn't use it, and now I was wishing I had an exercise bike, and we get this one for free - that must be Karma. (I had already started taking it apart in this picture)

We just brought it in this afternoon, and the resistance knob didn't seem to do much. So I looked up on the net for info about it, and saw several people complaining that it goes through resistance bands and they are expensive to replace. So I was thinking, great, that explains why it was free. So after Dave left for rehearsal I had nothing else to do this evening, so I pulled the cover off to have a look.

Pretty simple. The pedals turn a big flywheel that has a drive belt going to the side of a smaller, heavier flywheel in front. That one has a nylon strap around it. The strap is tightened by turning the resistance knob using a basic bicycle-style brake cable. Except the spring between the strap and the cable was broken.

So I took the spring out and went out to the garage and started digging in my workbench. I quickly found a couple springs that might do the job. One felt about right, but was too long. So I snipped off what I needed and re-bent a loop into the end.

I came back in and put it all back together and tah-dah - it seems to work just fine now! I'm so happy that I was not only able to figure out the issue, but to find just the right doo-dad out in the garage to make a fix with. I guess I'm to that age where I've done enough projects that the leftover pieces occasionally are useful for something without yet another trip to the hardware store!

As far as the weight loss project is going, I have not lost any more weight, but I have hampered myself by overdoing it and hurting myself, which causes me to have to take a couple days off of exercising. Even though I have not seen the scale go down, I am feeling so much better than I ever expected, and I have more energy for doing stuff in general - like taking care of alpacas and cleaning up the garden, and today we cleaned up the shop and I carried many boxes of toys up to the second floor. And when I am exercising, turns out I love to run (or jog, in my case). It feels great, and I get such a rush from pushing myself!

I have also learned a lot about what I eat through journalling - and I can't believe how many calories are in some of the things that I used to enjoy. I can still enjoy some of those things, but now I need to find ways to lighten them up, or plan around them. So if I want to go burn 700 calories on a burrito bowl at Chipotle (one of my favorite things) I can still do that, but I need to make sure I also don't have a 700 calorie dinner! Really though, my problem was soda pop, mindless snacking (especially while sitting at work), and portion control - because you can have too much of even a good thing. Never again will I eat Chex Mix, with its high salt content and calories completely devoid of nutritional value - I don't even have the urge to! I'd rather eat a banana or an orange or some dried fruit or nuts, or a big spinach salad - turns out I love fresh spinach with tomatoes and cucumbers and a little Italian Dressing! Who knew?!Or a tortilla wrap with tomato, cucumber, turkey deli meat and cream cheese - yum!

So I'm happy with the project, even if my weight isn't showing it. I have no doubt it will soon, and that the new habits I'm learning, and the exercise I'm doing, is going to start paying off. I don't mind if it happens slowly. It took a while to put it on, and I think if I take it off slowly, it will stay gone, which is fine by me!



WeldrBrat said...

I'm right behind ya'!! Waiting on a new toy that's shipping to store this very moment!

Something I've been using on my salads that you might wanna try. Go to . They make Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar. They say it's a huge help with weight loss. Mixed with 1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar and a bit of a dark olive oil - very nice!!

Mer said...

First of all, I am completely impressed that you fixed the exercise bike, just like that. Very cool! And I am proud of you for sticking with it. Your efforts will show soon, I'm sure. Have you also done measurements? Sometimes inches slip off before any change on the scale...

StefRobrts said...

I am doing measurements monthly, so I just did my second set of measurements a couple days ago, and there wasn't any real change so far, but I'm being patient. I have faith the changes will come, and I'm very impressed just with the change in how I feel!

dotoner said...

I LOVE how handy you are - and I LOVE that you are taking care of yourself - inspiring :)