Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taking stock

Now that CACTASS is a mere…..13 days away, according to the Watch of Doom, I thought it might be a good idea to step back for a brief moment and see where things stand, so that you, the little people as I affectionately call you, can see what it takes to train to cycle in the Alps. For 10 days straight. After having one surgery after another throughout much of the year leading up to the trip. So, without further ado….

Part one- The Diet

I tried. I really did. I did my damndest to stick to Stillmans, even though it made no sense whatsoever, especially with the parts about no fruit and no Cheez-Its. But I was determined, made even more so by the thought of lugging the equivalent of 10 frozen hams up the Alps.

According to, I averaged 984 calories a day. I don’t know what my daily deficit was when you factor in all the cycling, but suffice it to say it was vast. Vast. I stuck to 100 calories per hour during my rides, I cut out all the foods normal people eat, like cheese, and I went to bed hungry. And for all that, I lost…….(drum roll please)…..

3 pounds. Yes, 3 fricking pounds in a month. And even that’s iffy, since my weight fluctuates from day to day, depending on whether or not I overdo it on the squash or other veggies the night before.

Luckily, alert reader Deanna reminded me of the wonderful diets we stumbled upon when reading the other little book that I found along with the Stillmans plan. “10 Pounds in 10 Days!” this one promised. The one that seemed the most appealing initially was the Bacon and Eggs diet, where you could eat all the bacon and eggs you wanted, as long as they were in equal measure. So, 4 pieces of bacon? 4 eggs. 12 pieces of bacon? Yep, you guessed it, 12 eggs. Deanna didn’t think this made sense, but when I pointed out how easy it was to eat a pound of bacon at one sitting and yet how hard it would be to eat the equivalent number of eggs, she saw the light.

Then there was the strawberries and cream diet, which consisted of…..strawberries and cream. Nothing more, nothing less. I had visions of starting out the day with Bacon and Eggs, then segueing into Strawberries and Cream, and perhaps ending up with Steak and Bacon ala Atkins, but then….then…I found the perfect diet.

Wine and eggs.

I quote:

“For your first meal, prepare an egg any way you want, and open a bottle of wine. Have a glass with your egg. Enjoy!”

“Time for lunch! This consists of 2 eggs, prepared any way you like, and 2 glasses of wine. Bottoms up!”

“You’ve been good all day, so it’s time to partake of dinner – which consists of 2 eggs, prepared any way you like, and yes, polish off that bottle of wine! You deserve it!”

I swear I’m not making this up. This was my and Deanna’s personal favorite, for obvious reasons.

I gauge how successful my diet is by seeing how many times I get The Look from various people. Based on this alone, the diet isn’t working out too well. The other day I made it up to the Madison area to do some riding on the IMWI course, the Verona loop to be exact. And right there where the Cross Plains aid station will be is a great little bike and coffee shop, called the Excruciating Climb or something. Oh yeah, the Uphill Grind, that’s it. I stop in there during my ride to pick up an icy cold beverage, and then I make the mistake of telling the very nice shop owner that I’m “looking for matching jerseys for me and my friend, for our trips to the Alps in August.” And yes, I get The Look, the one that says “Ride the Alps? My friend, don’t you have to be in a shape other than round in order to make it up an Alp?” Then to add insult to injury, this nice man obviously figures me for a newbie cyclist and starts explaining to me what arm and knee warmers are and how to use them, in case it gets cold up in the Alps. Sigh. I want to tell him - my good man, don’t you know who I am? Does the name Tasha the Triathlon Goddess not ring a bell??

The other thing that comes to mind on a regular basis is this: “Yes I’m fat and seemingly out of shape but I’ve been cycling my ass off every day and eating on average 1,000 calories a day but thanks to the cancer drug FatSurly (aka Tamoxifen) I can’t lose a SINGLE FUCKING POUND thank you very much so I’m sorry if I don’t fit your vision of the type of cyclist who can and should be cycling the Alps but hey, guess where I’ll be on August 14th, and you probably won’t?”

I wonder if that would fit on the back of a jersey.

I have to admit, I did have the idea of stopping the Tamoxifen for a while. Yes, it’s true. Gave it serious consideration. A couple of months, what could it hurt?

Then last week I went for my mammogram, and while they usually take a lot of films, this time I kept going back out to the waiting room while my doctor looked at them, then got called back in for more films. Not just once or twice, but four times. Four. And I could see on the film where they had circled an area and were honing in on that, where there was some kind of spot. Or smudge. Something. And I thought – no. Not again. Not all this shit starting over. Please, just let it not be The Cancer again, and I’ll be as fat and surly as I need to be, for as long as I need to be. Bring it on, really. Whee, fat! Yay!

In the end, when I saw my doctor and asked what all that was about, she made some mention about how it was a “new technician, who wasn’t sure how she needed to do the films” or some such malarkey, which in the back of my mind I was skeptical about, because it was my doctor who kept asking for more films. But you know, I decided to accept it, because I do trust my doctors.

And I have to note, that while this weight is going to make it damn hard to make it up an Alp, if FatSurly keeps the cancer at bay, I’ll take it and be happy. I won’t say I’ll shut up about it, because hell, I need to have something to write about in my little blog here that’s sweeping the nation. But in case there was any doubt - even though I complain about shit, because that's the little schtick I have going on here, I’m happy to be alive. Truly. Life is good. Being alive is a glorious and wonderful thing, and every day I appreciate that I'm here. And I’ll do what I need to do to keep it that way.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some eggs to boil and a bottle of wine to open…


RP said...

I will leave the eggs and just have the wine for my 3 squares/day.

JoJo said...

I am soooo familiar with The Look! All week in Lake Placid I had people noticing my wristband and giving me The Look - like she's really going to do the IM? Carrying all that weight? How's she going to get herself up those hills??? And sure enough, all day out on the IMLP course, I had spectators and competitors alike giving me The Look. So all I can say is a big TAKE THAT! to them. Yes, that's right, we may not be all slim and gracefull and sh*&, but we never give up. So go attack your Alp and I want to see a photo of you at the summit looking down on all the naysayers! You go girl!

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

I've tried low calorie and several free online diet sites. The only thing that has ever worked for me is WeightWatchers online. I think it's because I'm a sucker for a token economy. Every time I log in I think of Skinner's Pigeons. Love the old ads, by the way.