Towards the end of summer, my sustained body weight was reaching a 30 year low, right around 160 lbs. I wasn't doing anything special. I traded intervals for "just riding my bike." I certainly didn't curtail eating. Research suggests interval training doesn't burn calories as effectively as steady moderate efforts. You do your hard 3-5 minute efforts, destroy your body in five of these, then you are done for the day. I've been doing a lot more mountain biking this summer and especially this fall. Without focused, intense efforts to break my body down, I can ride moderately hard for the whole ride and on most days. This undoubtedly burns more calories per week than doing a couple days with short uber hard efforts, often necessitating a rest day the next day.
I didn't hold back feasting today. Out of curiosity, I stepped on the scale. Precariously close to 170! Not quite an apples to apples comparison though. I normally weigh myself in the morning when I'm partially dehydrated, not after eating half of a turkey and pumpkin pie. The body fat is inching up too. I'm normally around 9% in the morning (dehydrated) and 7% later in the day (fully hydrated). 10% late today is clearly a bad trend.
Back at work in email chatter, Steve commented to DaveP all he needed to finish making him go batty was a Doug bobble head that repeated "What's going on?", "Do you have a soft tire?", or "Is a brake rubbing?" It just so happened that I had a Michelin Man bobble head in my office, something that was thrown in a race swag bag this summer. Yeah, that will work. A quick print of a Fat Doug picture from the web and a permanent marker completed the Fat Doug bobble head. It was perfect Steve wasn't in his office when I placed it on top of his monitor. I could almost here him go GAH! from the other side of the building when he returned. Yeah, we can have fleeting instances of fun at work.
So now Fat Doug stares back at me by my home computer as a reminder. The equation is a pretty delicate balance. When weekly volume normally burns the equivalent of two pounds of fat, a protracted period off the bike would produce a dramatic weight gain. Even a 25% reduction in volume could see a two pound gain per month. That's probably the realm I've been in the last couple months. As long as other factors don't interfere with riding and training, my weight takes care of itself. When training runs into interference, some manual intervention may be needed in the diet. Not looking forward to it.