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Drummer Boy

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What's the lightest you've ever been and still felt healthy?

OK, obviously the answer is relative to one's size, etc. But there's a reason I ask.

At 6ft/182cm I will, without much effort, typically weigh from about 165lbs/75kg to 170lbs/77kg.
The heaviest I've ever been was 180lbs/82kg (A pint of Ben and Jerry's every night for a spell.  :win)

For me, I start to feel light when I hit 162lbs/73kg or below. That's the magic number for me. I really start to feel the benefits for running and riding below that range.

The lightest I'd ever been was 155lbs/70kg. That's my preferred marathon weight. But this past year, things changed.

I managed, without intentionally doing so, to get down to 149lbs/67kg, which is where I still am at the moment. But now people are noticing, and wondering why I'm so thin. Many people have said to me that I "look great!." Other have asked, "Are you eating?" But I feel good (ok, so I have a rare cold at the moment. It happens regardless of weight). I wouldn't want to lose any more weight, but it's been interesting. "Light" can almost be euphoric at times. I find that at this low weight I have greater control of the fluctuation of my weight than ever before. I can easily gain a few or lose a few in a matter of days. It's just a matter of food volume. I've no idea what my BMI is at the moment or my percentage of body fat by whatever scale some like to employ. I couldn't care less, honestly. I feel good, have been feeling good, and am just sort of curious about the whole process.

I've probably lost a bit of upper body muscle, but I feel could regain it fairly easily as my default body weight really does seem to be around 165lbs/75kg if I just let things take their course without too much thought being put into my diet (although I always eat on the "healthy" side anyway). If I start hitting the weights again and start eating more protein, I think I could easily gain back that muscle mass (which is my plan for the winter, actually).

Hills are unavoidable on all my rides, and I've been cruising up them with less effort than ever before this year. There's been a definite improvement in my cardio capacity but it's impossible for me to know how much that's directly related to my weight. If I gain 10 to 15 pounds and suffer more on the hills, I'l let you know.

The fun part is, I can occasionally eat whatever, and as much as, any food under the sun that I want and not pay a price for it. As I said, even if I gain a few pounds (which I usually don't after only one of these gluttonous feasts), I can easily shed them by just cutting back on portions for two days. Simple.

FWIW, I'm in my mid-40s.

Any thoughts or shared experiences?
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  • Slow Rider

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    Being low in weight doesn't have to be a problem. I'm currently 1,78 tall and 65 kg, which is almost 10 kg down from what I was over a year ago. And, like you, I feel fitter than ever before. Losing the weight was easy, I'm still young (21) and I didn't really have to try too hard. Being light is fine, the thing you want to watch out for is that you keep eating enough to make sure you have enough energy. I found out the hard way that suddenly eating a lot less might reduce your weight, but it also reduces the amount of energy you have during the day. Don't necessarily eat less, but eat healthier and skip on snacks and softdrinks while still having a good breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    On that matter, I better go eat some breakfast now, before going on my morning run ;)
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  • ram

    Being low in weight doesn't have to be a problem. I'm currently 1,78 tall and 65 kg
    Hi ram

    Quote
    On that matter, I better go eat some breakfast now, before going on my morning run
    Oh, you're not.

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  • L'arri

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    So jealous of you folks. I have no idea how much I weigh. Some things we just don't have in the house: a television and weighing scales are two of them. I'm overweight though, I know that, because I can easily see that I could be a lot leaner.

    It's interesting that you say 'feel' healthy though, when that's associated with body weight. Because that seems like a different thing to your actual weight. I heard recently that Body Dysmorphic Disorder, an individual's inability to perceive his/her proper weight for psychological reasons, was strongly prevalent in men.

    I do worry a little about cycling's obsession with power-to-weight numbers. When Thomas Dekker reports so Pragmatically that he needs to drop 4kg, when your team boss tells you to lose more weight, when it seems like weight is a key success criterion, it wouldn't surprise me if half the peloton is hung up about its body weight. Not to mention the message that puts out to youngsters.
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    krabkakes

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    My Doctor told me to stop losing weight when I got down to 225lbs/102kgm.
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    Drummer Boy

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    It's interesting that you say 'feel' healthy though, when that's associated with body weight. Because that seems like a different thing to your actual weight.

    The reason I make that distinction is because often times, a person's lowest recorded weight will be the result of an illness, time spent in the Peace Corps, or some other such thing. So it's not simply a matter of "how light have you ever been?" but the lowest amount of weight while maintaining a healthy balance.

    There's another mysterious component to this though, and one that I've never, ever seen addressed.
    To me there is another distinction: That of actually being "light" according to a reliable scale, and that of feeling light, even if the numbers are higher. I've experienced this so many times. It's very, very noticeable for running. Some days, I simply "feel" light, and my runs are nearly effortless. But the scale indicates that I'm actually a bit heavier than other days when I didn't feel that same lightness.

    It happens on the bike too. Usually in the first few pedal strokes. There have been times when I've felt so light on the bike, that I've gone back inside, stripped down, and weighed myself. Only to discover that I'm actually a few pounds heavier than previous days. This can occur within a range of about 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.5 kg). Those are substantials differences. I could, in reality, be 10 pounds heavier than my target weight but feel 10 pounds lighter. And I'll take feeling lighter over actually being lighter and not feeling it (which does happen) any day of the week.

    It is indeed strange. There are other elements in play here, I just don't understand what they are. And there is nothing wrong with my scale. I have verified this on a variety of scales.  :-\
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  • Anthony Moan

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    Being low in weight doesn't have to be a problem. I'm currently 1,78 tall and 65 kg, which is almost 10 kg down from what I was over a year ago. And, like you, I feel fitter than ever before. Losing the weight was easy, I'm still young (21) and I didn't really have to try too hard. Being light is fine, the thing you want to watch out for is that you keep eating enough to make sure you have enough energy. I found out the hard way that suddenly eating a lot less might reduce your weight, but it also reduces the amount of energy you have during the day. Don't necessarily eat less, but eat healthier and skip on snacks and softdrinks while still having a good breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    On that matter, I better go eat some breakfast now, before going on my morning run ;)

    Jesus dude, you are some skinny ass guy, 65kg and my height...Jesus I am 68kg and starting to look like chicken with human legs...
    How are you going uphill? I suck...you with 65 kg should be flying dude...

    Oh sorry, there is no mountains in Holland ;D
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    Anthony Moan

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    What's the lightest you've ever been and still felt healthy?

    OK, obviously the answer is relative to one's size, etc. But there's a reason I ask.

    At 6ft/182cm I will, without much effort, typically weigh from about 165lbs/75kg to 170lbs/77kg.
    The heaviest I've ever been was 180lbs/82kg (A pint of Ben and Jerry's every night for a spell.  :win)

    For me, I start to feel light when I hit 162lbs/73kg or below. That's the magic number for me. I really start to feel the benefits for running and riding below that range.

    The lightest I'd ever been was 155lbs/70kg. That's my preferred marathon weight. But this past year, things changed.

    I managed, without intentionally doing so, to get down to 149lbs/67kg, which is where I still am at the moment. But now people are noticing, and wondering why I'm so thin. Many people have said to me that I "look great!." Other have asked, "Are you eating?" But I feel good (ok, so I have a rare cold at the moment. It happens regardless of weight). I wouldn't want to lose any more weight, but it's been interesting. "Light" can almost be euphoric at times. I find that at this low weight I have greater control of the fluctuation of my weight than ever before. I can easily gain a few or lose a few in a matter of days. It's just a matter of food volume. I've no idea what my BMI is at the moment or my percentage of body fat by whatever scale some like to employ. I couldn't care less, honestly. I feel good, have been feeling good, and am just sort of curious about the whole process.

    I've probably lost a bit of upper body muscle, but I feel could regain it fairly easily as my default body weight really does seem to be around 165lbs/75kg if I just let things take their course without too much thought being put into my diet (although I always eat on the "healthy" side anyway). If I start hitting the weights again and start eating more protein, I think I could easily gain back that muscle mass (which is my plan for the winter, actually).

    Hills are unavoidable on all my rides, and I've been cruising up them with less effort than ever before this year. There's been a definite improvement in my cardio capacity but it's impossible for me to know how much that's directly related to my weight. If I gain 10 to 15 pounds and suffer more on the hills, I'l let you know.

    The fun part is, I can occasionally eat whatever, and as much as, any food under the sun that I want and not pay a price for it. As I said, even if I gain a few pounds (which I usually don't after only one of these gluttonous feasts), I can easily shed them by just cutting back on portions for two days. Simple.

    FWIW, I'm in my mid-40s.

    Any thoughts or shared experiences?

    Yes I am 40 for couple of days, and having middle age crisis ;D
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  • Slow Rider

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    Jesus dude, you are some skinny ass guy, 65kg and my height...Jesus I am 68kg and starting to look like chicken with human legs...
    How are you going uphill? I suck...you with 65 kg should be flying dude...

    Oh sorry, there is no mountains in Holland ;D

    You're telling me.. All those flat, windy, cold roads.. So dreadfully boring ;)
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  • Anthony Moan

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    You're telling me.. All those flat, windy, cold roads.. So dreadfully boring ;)
    Jesus I would die there for one month ;D
    Anyway, sometimes I would like to have flat roads more here 8)
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  • 42x16ss

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    I seem to be a very similar size to the OP. I am 181cm and normally around 70-71 kg year round. I'm only 31 though.

    When I was younger, I was racing at NRS level and got as low as 64-65 kg. I didn't hold it for too long, as I just didn't feel robust. I was flying up hills and contending in the hillier races during the year but I also had a cold or flu after every nearly every stage race and looked like a chicken with over sized quads  :)

    Unless you are racing at a high level, there's no need to be obsessed
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  • L'arri

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    Cavendish: squat kid wearing white looks fat.

    And what exactly is "fat" ? Serious question. If we thought Cavendish was looking porky last month, then perhaps we have been conditioned by the imagery of extremes, consisting only of the anathema of obesity and the palatability of super skinny as a norm.

    It irritates me, joking or not, that there could be such a facile and specious media interest in Cavendish's weight - or any other member of the present peleton - when you have this prevailing trend of low-fat lunacy.

    The body weight numbers that many of these guys are getting down to are frankly approaching dangerous levels and they're not even doing it in a natural way, if we are to believe former Cofidis DS Eric Boyer.

    CN puts out a non-story about Cavendish just because he looks something other than cheekboney and starved? What message does that send?

    When I finally got around to watching cyclo-cross this winter, I was quite surprised by the state of Kevin Pauwels (who, to be fair, has always been thin), and - most noticeably - Niels Albert. Either the skinsuits got more slimming or these guys have taken weight loss too far.

    Now I'm no expert but 'cross is cold and tough on the body and neither of these two have sparkled this season. Albert's problem may well be more mental but Pauwels has been sick a lot and, more generally, I just cannot see how having legs like Mikado sticks and no waist is good for CX performance.
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  • « Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 11:32 by L'arriviste »

    AG

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    yeah I agree Larri ...  some of these guys with such low body fat isnt healthy

    Its funny as I have been talking to Junior AG about body image.  One of her friends is ... umm ... quite solid - and already (at not even 8 yrs old) they are talking about diets, weight and body image.   Its very scary stuff
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  • KeithJamesMc

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    When I finally got around to watching cyclo-cross this winter, I was quite surprised by the state of Kevin Pauwels (who, to be fair, has always been thin), and - most noticeably - Niels Albert. Either the skinsuits got more slimming or these guys have taken weight loss too far.

    Now I'm no expert but 'cross is cold and tough on the body and neither of these two have sparkled this season. Albert's problem may well be more mental but Pauwels has been sick a lot and, more generally, I just cannot see how having legs like Mikado sticks and no waist is good for CX performance.

    I thought the same with Wiggins in the Giro - he was too slim.

    Surely that was a contributing factor for him getting colds etc?
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  • Dim

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    Ive no idea what lbs are :D

    For years i was pretty much bang on 11st 12. When first was ill ballooned up to about 13st 3. NOw im hanging around 12st 5, could do with losing a couple of pounds but nothing major, for a middle aged 5ft9 bloke.
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  • L'arri

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    I haven't measured my weight in many years. I can't even remember the last time I stood on scales.

    The bad side is when health practitioners ask me and I admit I have no idea.

    The good side is that, when I was really overweight some years ago, I cannot now really say how overweight I was.  :D
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  • Havetts

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    Mhm. I have always been around this flyweight, I am 1m82 and I weigh 62 kilograms. No matter how much I eat, drink, snack, do nothing I remain around this weight. And that frikking sucks in the polder when you have headwind and its raining and its cold. :)

    The steepest parts uphill here are the tunnel, or the roads leading up to the dykes.. Damn :D
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  • LukasCPH

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    And that frikking sucks in the polder when you have headwind and its raining and its cold. :)
    Hire me to be your personal Knees! ;)
    I'm 177 cm and 86 kg (after Christmas). Could probably lose a bit of weight, but it's great in the wind - I don't get blown anywhere. The more wind, the better. :D
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    AG

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    I had to go to the shops yesterday and buy new jeans!!  :woohoo

    and need new shorts too - so back again tomorrow   :D

    It has taken me a while longer than I hoped to lose enough weight for that - but school holidays do not allow for regular riding, so dropping excercise isnt helpful when added to a christmas diet  :fp

    Still - I have not gone back to my junkfood ways, so I am happy
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Interesting to reflect back on this now.
    This past summer I reached an all-time low in my weight: 139 lbs / 63Kg.  :o
    Height 6ft/ 182cm

    I can't say that there was any benefit to it though. What I found was that (and this was mostly while running) while my legs did feel quite supple, I actually started to lose cardio capacity. It was as if my diaphragm had contracted to the point where I was no longer able to intake as much oxygen.

    Weird. And even though I was tipping the scale at a ridiculously low number, I never once took on the appearance of the freak-show that pro cycling has become. There is something very, very wrong with the current crop of skeletal victors.  :-x
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  • esafosfina

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    Jesus... as you'll probably know, I was never the lightest of riders... I won the Worlds at about 78kg, and kept it at 75-78kg for ages... but when I made my 'comeback in 1998-2000 I got down to 68kg. I was flying on the climbs, but my power on the velodrome suffered. I 'bulked' to 73kg and the power came back whilst still being able to climb well. I'd give my left nut to get ANYWHERE near that now!  :lol
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  • "Sturgess, don't you dare get off that bike" - Sean Kelly, Nokere, 1989.

    Vespertine

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    I am 6ft 1 and for a while was a true manorexic whilst still riding as much as ever. I too got down to 63kg's, but had total dysmorphia and thought I looked just fine when I even had friends in tears telling me that they were worried about me. I used to chew and then take food out of mouth, the lot.

    It all reached a bit of a head when I woke up in my cycling kit with a paramedic standing over me. Fast Forward about five years and I am sitting pretty at about 73kg, but with a very similar body fat percentage.

    I am still obsessive about food, but it took a long time for me to learn, working with a nutritionist. I never eat a full "meal" as such, and just graze, but I graze about once an hour at least.

    In the dark days I simply would not and could not believe that putting on any weight would help my riding at all.

    These days, if I drop by half a Kilo I lose power. I do still have to remind myself to eat though. 63kg for 6ft 1, was no good at all.

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  • Vespertine

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    Jesus... as you'll probably know, I was never the lightest of riders... I won the Worlds at about 78kg, and kept it at 75-78kg for ages... but when I made my 'comeback in 1998-2000 I got down to 68kg. I was flying on the climbs, but my power on the velodrome suffered. I 'bulked' to 73kg and the power came back whilst still being able to climb well. I'd give my left nut to get ANYWHERE near that now!  :lol

    I don't know, who are you, sounds very impressive ... is everyone laughing at me now?
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  • esafosfina

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    No, no-one's laughing at you Vespertine mate! I'm not given to big noting myself, and even if I was, the VR collective would rightly put me back in my box ffs!  :D Google: Sturgess, professional pursuit world championship...  ;)
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  • KeithJamesMc

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    No, no-one's laughing at you Vespertine mate! I'm not given to big noting myself, and even if I was, the VR collective would rightly put me back in my box ffs!  :D Google: Sturgess, professional pursuit world championship...  ;)

    Forget Google, buy the book "Race against Time" and read all about the best supporting role Esofina played in the glory days of British Time Trialling ;)
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  • Vespertine

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    Blimey, well I am impressed. Although with one month to go until my second marriage ... the last line of the Wikipedia entry made my stomach sink :(
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  • AG

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    you getting married Vespertine?

    congrats !!!   :daotec

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  • AG

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    No, no-one's laughing at you Vespertine mate! I'm not given to big noting myself, and even if I was, the VR collective would rightly put me back in my box ffs!  :D Google: Sturgess, professional pursuit world championship...  ;)

    and we love you esa ...  <3
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  • Vespertine

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    you getting married Vespertine?

    congrats !!!   :daotec

    THANKS AG!!!

    Although I am absolutely bricking it ... the first did not end well ... memory serves or destroys I suppose and I am determined to let it serve ...

    Fingers crossed I have picked a winner this time round :)

    Thank you very much for the congrats!!

    We are having a very London wedding, married in Westminster and a reception at The Groucho...

    How painfully hip :)
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  • Vespertine

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    Forget Google, buy the book "Race against Time" and read all about the best supporting role Esofina played in the glory days of British Time Trialling ;)

    Thanks Keith, I thought I had read every cycling book going, but I have either forgotten this one or not read it, I hope it is "Kindled" so I can get it NOW.

    Then come over all bashful whenever Esofina posts  ;)
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