Take Pity On Wendy

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Over the past 12hrs I’ve had quite a few people alerting me to this article written by Wendy Hargreaves in the Herald Sun yesterday.  It’s a great day for fishing Wendy, but the fish aren’t biting. Not here anyway.

One of the things I love about the internet and our culture is that anyone, including me, can express their opinions to thousands of people about topics you know very little about.  If credentials were a requirement I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. Apparently you don’t need to be  “in the know” or have a little thing called “experience” to write an opinion column for a newspaper like the Herald Sun.

When confronted with deep insecurities it’s human nature to lash out and project those feelings onto others.  It’s a very good reflection on one’s own self-esteem.  The level of a person’s reaction to hearing this harsh reality is usually proportional to how true it is.  It didn’t take much of a search on the internet to understand where your insecurities reside Wendy:

I’m a yo-yo dieter from way back. Down 10 kilos, then up 12. Down five kilos, then up seven. It’s a constant battle.

I’ve tried all sorts of diets over the years and I’ve lost plenty of weight – from my wallet.

I admit it. I’ve been stupid. I parted with all that cash and I’m still overweight.

I don’t bring this up to be childish or stoop to your level in your Lycra Losers article Wendy.  I bring this up to understand the motivation behind your article.  Judging by the level of maturity displayed I’ll treat your article as if it were written by an 8 year old.  What 8 year old means by  “arrogant road hogs, neon nuff nuffs, lycra losers, poncey prats, complete tossers” or “It’s not that I hate them. How could I hate somebody that stupid?”  is that you admire us, wish to be like us, and even like us.

So, next time you get angry with a trio of wobbly backsides blocking the road in all their fluorescent glory, don’t get angry.

Have pity on these poor deluded souls.

Don’t have pity on us Wendy.  We’ll be just fine.  We’re passionate about life and cycling has a great deal to do with that.  We’re fit and healthy and have an outlet for our energy.   However, I do pity you Wendy.  I’m not being facetious by saying that having a problem with your weight and self esteem is a serious matter.  It’s an issue that will chip away at you for your whole life until you get it under control.

I’ve tried them all: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Light and Easy, Atkins, Ketosystem and Body for Life. You name it, I’ve had a crack.

Each of the diets worked and gave me inspiration, but they were never long-term solutions. In the end I had to come up with my plan – exercising for most days and cutting out starchy carbohydrates after dark. Spuds, pasta and sugar at night are my downfall, it seems.

It’s hard work, being healthy. And it’s boring. I often fall off the wagon.

Doing a physical activity that you’re passionate about such as cycling does not make it seem like hard work.  In fact, it’s pretty damn enjoyable and the hard work is deeply satisfying.  There is no such thing as falling off the wagon.  Plus we can eat whatever we like without any guilt whatsoever.  Everyone except for you seems to be enjoying themselves and unfortunately you’re missing the party.  Instead you’re spending your weekends writing blogs about how much of a better place the world will be if middle-aged men wore plain baggy cycling clothing.  How unfortunate for you.

It all comes down to commitment. When you make a healthy choice, you feel better and your self-esteem grows.

Instead of lashing out on the way cyclists in lycra trying to get a rise out of everyone I will personally invite you to go for a ride and show you first hand how great of a sport it is.  I’m not talking about one of your rides that you use to get to and from work.   I’m talking about a “what you missed this morning” type of ride.  We’ll both pull a sickie and have some fun.  A ride where we’re out on the open road, the sun is rising through the trees and there’s not a car in sight.  Even better when you’re sharing it with your mates.

If you could get past your sentiment “Think about it fellas. You’re not Lance Armstrong. You’re not even an athlete. You’re a dolt” you could be one of those fortunate ones who has conquered their battle with weightloss and live a long enjoyable life.  Sure you might look like an dolt at first, but eventually you’ll stop caring about what others think and you’ll be out there loving it. Despite what you might think, those “audible groans of disgust at my clear lack of cycling style” are in your own head and lay within your own insecurities.

I know it’s a lot easier for me to hop on a bike than it is for you.  I promise we’ll go as slow or as fast as you want and it won’t hurt a bit.  You can even wear whatever you like and I won’t judge you on it.  I guarantee you’ll be hooked and perhaps you’ll find your way through those crash diet fads and never need to worry about your weight again.


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