My favorite threads in that "other forum" are the ones where people encourage one another to stick to their exercise and diet plans and report about their successes. I'd like to start that here, since I've heard that so many of us are overweight. Here's my story:
At 5'7" the most I ever weighed was 178 lbs. That was about nine years ago. Then I discovered cycling. First it was mountain biking. I went to a weekend training camp and came home committed to getting a new bike. It would become my "two-wheeled exercise plan" and I determined to drop the weight of the bike from my frame.
And it worked. In about a year I lost 25 lbs. I rode the bike to work (only a couple of miles at the time) and took every opportunity to ride before or after work and on weekends. I started riding with the local bike club and bought a used road bike. The club's moderate rides were hard for me, but I refused to give up and found myself getting stronger and fitter.
But over the years I gained most of the weight back. All that riding allowed me to be undisciplined with my eating. Some of the weight gain was muscle, so at 172 I was at least in good shape--or so I thought.
Last November was a rude awakening. On my first visit to a new doctor (a cyclist himself) he decided to run a few blood tests. Everthing was nominal and pretty darn good for a man of 55 years, except for a LDL of 164. Doc said all the cycling probably kept things from being worse. After asking me about what I was routinely eating, he gave me 5 months to bring my LDL below 130 through dietary change alone. "No red meat" was the first thing he said. "Eat more fish instead." "Read the labels. Watch out for saturated fat." And so it went.
"I can do this," I thought. I'm not a picky eater, and I like fish--especially salmon. There's plenty of tasty food out there that's on the plan. So I got on the low-fat bandwagon and stuck pretty closely to the guidelines. Even eating out at Disneyland, I stuck to the healthier choices on the menu.
The result: my LDL dropped to 127 by the April test, and by summer my weight had dropped to about 160. Fellow riders in the club started to notice my weight loss (It's hard to conceal much in bike clothes.), and my ability to climb improved. I'm now approaching 155.
And it gets better. A week ago I completed a 102 mile ride (with 4700' of elevation gain) in under 6.5 hours of rolling time at an average speed of 15.9 mph. That was the day after a "warm-up" ride of 27 miles and 3000'. I'm hopelessly hooked on cycling. I ride between 6000-7000 miles/year, and I feel better than ever. My only regret is that I hadn't discovered cycling (and the people I ride with) sooner!
So what's your diet/exercise plan? Have you found the one you can stick to day after day, year after year, and never tire of it? Share it here. Maybe your story will encourage someone else to get off the couch and get moving.