There is a great blog out there called Fat Cyclist. I’d urge all cyclists to read it because it’s so clearly the work of a man who cares deeply for his riding. Of course like all good blogs it’s become a commercial success too, with everything from the inevitable self-published compilation book to the rather less common cycle jersey and figure-huging shorts. Say what? They can’t look good on a fat cyclist can they?
Aye, well there’s the rub. The “fat” cyclist’s own figures show that he started weighing 183lbs in American-speak or 83kg (a smidgen over 13 stone). Now, to be honest, that isn’t that fat in any serious sense. It might be fat compared to other cyclists (the gold standard, Bradley Wiggins, weighs 69kg / 150lbs / 10.9st for his 1.9m (6ft 3) according to wikipedia), but in comparison with overweight people looking for a little inspiration
Assuming “Fat” has the average US male height of 1.78m (5ft10) – and he looks taller in his pictures – that gives him a BMI of 26.1 – a smidgen over the 18.5-25 “normal weight” range (and Wiggins at 18.7, for what it’s worth). He was down to 169.2lbs / 76.75kg (24.1 BMI with the same assumption) in well under 2 months.
What’s my point? Well what about real fatties? With over 34% of the US population clinically obese (BMI over 30) and the UK average BMI at 29 – just under the obesity line – “Fat” is already a lightweight when he starts. He’s not fooling anyone.
Now my BMI is a rather more depressing 36.3 – 180cm (5ft 11) against a fairly shocking 116.6kg (257lbs, 18.4st) and I’ve barely touched my bike for a year to boot (blaming the rain a lot has been depressingly easy in 2012, the second-wettest year on record) so my levels of fitness are what you might expect. Here begins, I hope, a story of redemption that began when I found I couldn’t fit into the suit I was meant to be a best-ish (is it still best if you’re sharing the role?) man in.
The wedding is this weekend. There’s not much I can do about that. But I can attempt to be good a little longer. Let’s see how I do.