Waiting and Preparing – Day 5

Not much to report today. Feeling excited to get started but also a bit anxious.

I have been doing more reading about the Oklahoma Freewheel. This year’s route looks to be a very scenic interesting one, starting in Hollis (in far Southwest Oklahoma), then westward through the Wichita Mountains, then east to Ada, McAlester (ooo… it would be fun to eat at Pete’s Place in Krebs, it being so close!), then Poteau and then finally to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

They haven’t published the final route yet but they have announced the stopping points, so here is my rough approximation of the route…

2015 OK Free Wheel map


If this ends up being the route, the tour will be 405 miles, which is approximately 57 miles per day (with some days being more and some days being less).

Waiting and Preparing – Day 3

Yesterday was a good day. I got in my 10 miles on the bike which was nice. Other than the wind, the weather was very nice and warm.

During the next ten days (before the contest starts), I’ve decided to focus on exercise in the hopes that this will rev up my metabolism before the dieting starts, but also start transitioning into the diet I need to be eating.

It is tricky for sure. In the past my efforts at dieting (minimal success with Weight Watchers, better with Atkins) have unraveled at the points where I felt deprived. It is definitely a mental game, but I am programmed well to move into food hoarding and overeating mode if I think I’m being deprived, so I’m trying to work around that by focusing on what I will be eating MORE of, rather than what I will be eating less of. So, I’m focusing on eating more vegetables, and finding ways to eat and cook them that will be more interesting that I’ve eaten in the past. I’ve decided that I’m not going to stress about bargain shopping when it comes to veggies during these two months, but rather focus on getting the most tasty and healthy produce possible and try to save money in other ways (such as the free bowls I’ll be getting from Genghis Grill in the competition!).

So now to the grocery store!

Yippee!!!! I am a finalist!

I just got off the phone with the folks at Genghis Grill! I am going to be a finalist in the Genghis Grill Health Kwest challenge representing the Oklahoma City store (NW Penn & Memorial road).


I’m pretty excited about this opportunity. It officially starts February 9 (when I’ll start getting my free bowls) but I’m preparing now, starting up my exercise plans, stocking up on healthy groceries, etc.

Thanks again to all of my friends and family who cheered me on social media. I am definitely convinced that your messages of support on Facebook made the difference in them picking me.

Waiting and preparing – Day 2

Still waiting to hear from Genghis Grill to find out if I made the cut for the finals of the Health Kwest contest.

In the mean time, here are some more thoughts on my preparations and plans for both the contest but also my training schedule to do the Oklahoma Freewheel tour this summer…

Bicycle training: I’ve been doing some research on how to prepare for a 7 day long-distance bike tour. The Oklahoma Freewheel website has some tips, including a very helpful link to a training schedule created by the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure (PDF download). The challenge is that this schedule is geared towards someone who is training to ride a one-day long ride, not for someone who would be doing a long ride for seven days in a row.

So here’s my thoughts right on a possible schedule, but I’m hoping that some more experienced cyclists (especially Freewheel veterans) might have some ideas on what I should do differently.

Week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Weekly Total
1-Jan-25 0 10 0 10 3 10 10 43
2-Feb-01 3 12 3 12 3 12 12 57
3-Feb-08 3 14 3 14 3 14 14 65
4-Feb-15 3 16 3 16 3 16 16 73
5-Feb-22 3 18 3 18 3 18 18 81
6-Mar-01 3 20 3 20 3 20 20 89
7-Mar-08 3 22 3 22 3 22 22 97
8-Mar-15 3 24 3 24 3 24 24 105
9-Mar-22 3 26 3 26 3 26 26 113
10-Mar-29 3 28 3 28 3 28 28 121
11-Apr-05 3 30 3 30 3 30 30 129
12-Apr-12 3 32 3 32 3 32 32 137
13-Apr-19 3 34 3 34 3 34 34 145
14-Apr-26 3 36 3 36 3 36 36 153
15-May-03 3 38 3 38 3 38 38 161
16-May-10 3 40 3 40 3 40 40 169
17-May-17 3 42 3 42 3 42 42 177
18-May-25 3 44 3 44 3 44 44 185
19-May-31 3 46 3 46 3 46 46 193
TOUR! 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 420

Mental preparation: I met with my counselor yesterday and discussed my plans for my plans for this training program and the contest. He was very encouraging but urged me to consider what techniques I will use to control anxiety and other issues, since I (like most people) have used food as a soothing/coping mechanism, and that this will be an essential element of me being successful in this program.

He raises a very good point. I will be giving some thought to this in the coming weeks but I am hopeful that the physical activity will be helpful, as I’ve often had good results in improving my mental state by exercising, but especially cycling.

Waiting and Preparing – Day 1

Today was a hard day because I’m waiting to see if I have made the cut to make it to the finals of Genghis Grill Health Kwest.

I am trying to stay positive and focused on my goals (maximizing by health and happiness by losing weight and getting in better shape) and to remember that I will be pursuing these goals, contest or not. But, this contest would make it so much easier!

For now though I’m working on putting together some proactive steps to get ready for my start date (February 9) for this 60 day challenge:

  1. Make a list of veggies and fruit that I plan to keep stocked during the challenge. The list I have right now is:
    1. Tomatoes – both fresh and canned
    2. Bell Peppers
    3. Spicier chile peppers – fresh, but also some canned green chile peppers for when I’m in a hurry
    4. Onions
    5. Garlic
    6. Collard Greens, chard, mustard and other greens for cooking
    7. Spinach, lettuce and other greens for fresh eating
    8. Carrots
    9. Celery
    10. Green beans and snow peas
    11. Dried beans (and probably some canned ones for days when I have to cook in a hurry)
    12. Cucumbers
    13. Apples
    14. Pears
    15. Oranges
    16. Pineapple (when I can find them on sale at Aldi)
    17. Strawberries
    18. Avocados – yes I know they are higher calorie but they are very satisfying and have good heart-healthy oils
  2. Check out the freezer and make sure we have a good selection of grassfed meats to cook during the challenge — I am going to work on eating less (but better quality) meats during the challenge).
  3. Stock up on some other basic staples that will help me when I’m tempted to snack on bad stuff – fruits and veggies of course, but also some almonds, sunflower seeds and small amounts of cheese.
  4. Work on a weekly schedule for bike riding and weight training
  5. Decide on a good routine for my weight training
  6. Decide on my target daily carb counts and calorie counts – of course being ready to adjust these as the program continues
  7. Take a good “before” picture.
  8. Do some research on the methods of training to get ready for the Oklahoma Freewheel in June. I’m assuming that I need to start planning some longer rides to get ready, so maybe schedule a couple of weekends during the challenge to go on longer rides.

Entries close tonight… now the waiting

I’ve started this blog to tell my story – the story of how I will get in shape and hopefully make my life healthier, happier, and filled with more bicycling.

So, the spark for this is that I’m entering a contest by Genghis Grill (the awesome mongolian-style build-your-own stirfry place), in which 92 folks (one from each store) are competing for a chance to win $10,000.

Want to make bad eating habits ancient history? Health Kwest lets you dig in while watching the weight retreat. In its first four years, Health Kwest contestants lost almost 5,000 pounds by eating a different Genghis Grill bowl every day for 60 days.

Join alongside these intrepid leaders and build your own bowl from over 80 delicious, fresh and healthy ingredients and you could win $10,000 and a healthier lifestyle.

Certainly it would be awesome to win the $10,000 (I already know what I would do with the money – I would buy a top of the line Pedicab to drive in Oklahoma City), but even making the cut for the finals would be a wonderful thing, since it would mean that I would have 60 FREE wonderful healthy meals to jump start my weight loss and fitness plans.

The entries for the first round close tonight and I understand they are picking the finalists based on social media response, so please, please go to http://bit.ly/1wZREFh and post a message of support or share it on social media. Thanks!