Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fat Mom Across America

Not long ago, I came across an interesting story of a man named Eric Hites, aka "Fat Guy Across America," who is riding a bike cross country to lose weight and better his life. Pretty inspiring, right? The article says he is 40 years old and weighed 560 pounds. I just can't imagine undertaking such a huge task at that age and weight! I got to thinking about what a cool journey that would be. But I can't do something like that because I'm a Mom with responsibilities and I can't just run off and leave my home and family for a year or however long this kind of thing would take. But boy is it tempting!

So I've decided I AM going to do this... at home. I have plotted out a route across America on Google Maps, from coast to coast, and I'm going to ride that route on my stationary exercise bike. Yep, it's Fat Mom Across America! This way I am committed to the ride but can do the miles without leaving home.

I'll be riding on my recumbent bike downstairs in the family room, tracking my miles, speed, and time in a notebook. I will keep track of where I am (where I would be if I was actually riding the accumulated miles on the chosen route) and take time to think about each place where I stop along the way. That way, it's not just logging over 3,000 miles. It's a virtual "trip" where I can explore the destinations and experience the ride, albeit in a limited way. This is something I *can* do, and I hope it will result in weight loss and better fitness. I'd think that riding a bike across America would result in both! I'll be sharing my riding log and how I'm doing.

Part of what inspired me to do this is wondering: can I, at 245 pounds, do the same amount of miles that Fat Guy Across America can do at 560 pounds, even with my joint issues? If he can do it, I can too, right?  I've tried to find a ride log on his site with no luck, so I am wondering how many miles per day he is doing and how far he has gotten. I can't find his official route, either; there seems to be some driving and circling around and changing routes along the way, so I decided to pick my own route instead. Apparently he's been at this for over a year now; I would love to finish my ride for my 10-year Bloggiversary next August. And I have already committed to not being obese anymore by then. This should guarantee it!

I will ride when I am energized, and I will ride when I am tired. I will ride when I feel like it and when I don't, just as I would if I were actually on the road. I want this to be more than just a 3,000 mile ride log; I want this to be a virtual trip across America to all the places on my route. I want it to be an adventure and a challenge.

My route:

Fat Mom Across America, bike route map

I will begin my ride in Long Beach, Washington. This is a place on the Pacific coast where I have been many times with my children, as we live in Washington state. We have many happy memories on Long Beach, so it is a perfect place to start my journey. I am choosing a route that is 3,035 miles long and goes through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, ending at Long Beach, New York. I wanted to ride from Pacific to Atlantic coasts, one edge of America to the other, and Long Beach WA to Long Beach NY seemed like a great way to do it!

Every week (at least), I will post details from my riding log including how far I have gone and the places I've been. I'll also post a weekly weigh in and share the changes in my eating habits.

I am 47 years old, mother of five, and I weigh 245 pounds. Tomorrow, this journey begins.
*Update: The Journey Begins


Anonymous said...

If you're not, you might want to use My Virtual Mission for this (

Deb Willbefree said...

Pretty cool. I often think of that kind of thing when I see he commercial on TV about a treadmill with a video screen that shows you where you are walking virtually.

I'm pretty sure there's an ap for that. :)

My son has a Fit Bit (I think it's a fit bit; I'll check with him tomorrow to be sure.). He and his office mates have joined together to virtually walk the Appalachian Trail. Their gizmos automatically track their miles, speed and location for them and it transfers to their computers/tablets so they can see where they've been later.

I'll ask him exactly what he's using and how to do it. (He's a computer tech for a local university and I can guarantee you that no pencils and paper are being used in their endeavor.)

One thing... The Fat Guy is 40 years old--S'up with that "at his age" comment?! Chuckle. Just hitting his prime. You, too.

The elderly one,


jirons42 said...

I am doing something similar at I am walking the Appalachian Trail which is 2202 miles. You enter your milage everyday and you see pictures from about every .2 or .3 miles along the section you walked that day. It's a great motivator.

Véronique said...

What a brilliant idea!
It will probably encourage you to focus with respect on the great things your body can do and this could lead naturally to want to nurture it instead of fighting against its tendency to get fat.
I am just a bit sad with how you name your project: Fat Mom Across America. I would go with Lyn Across America. You are much more than a fat person and much more than a mom. I know that you want to emphasize the fact that being fat and being a mom make the project more challenging, but still, you won't be a fat mom anymore when you reach Long Beach, NY. But you will still be Lyn. I wish you good luck and I'm ready to encourage you along the way.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like a nice idea. Maybe "visiting" the various cities will help motivate you to keep going. You could also work towards a 'reward' or treat at certain cities, like a massage or new outfit or something.

Don't forget, you stated you will bike even if you are tired, now you just have to do it! make sure you dont get injured again though, even if you have to slowly work your way up to riding an hour a day that's better than suddenly biking three hours a day and getting injured in the first month and not being able to continue.

I really hope you can stick to your new exercise plan this time. I've always felt the key thing that keeps you from losing weight is your lack of exercise.

401Sue said...

<3 This is great! I will follow with you.

C. London said...

You can't find a log on his site because he's not actually going anywhere. He was selling books and key fobs to fund his trip but has now run out of other people's money. I think a ride across America is a good idea but you might want to look elsewhere for inspiration.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! It will give your workouts more meaning and mini goals of hitting state lines, etc. I love the idea of learning about the stops along the way. When you make it to Nebraska, be sure and wave to me, I am just outside of Omaha:) ----Joan

Lyn said...

Thanks everyone! I am super excited to do this. Deb, lol, I think we heavier folks tend to feel older than our age (as you may know) and so 40 can feel like 60 with all the aches and pains! I think it would be SO much easier, for me at least, to do something like this at 25 when I had boundless energy and great health. I have been achey and sore lately because I have been eating sugar here and there. It's not worth it... the sugar has gone in the trash.

I am having a light breakfast and then will be heading to Long Beach to get started on my trip! Update coming later :)

Gina said...

Huzzah! What a great idea! Happy vitual trails.

Anonymous said...

I wish you the very best on your journey to weight loss. I just wish you had chosen someone more inspirational. Eric is a professional con-man, and he's blown through over $20K in donations and not lost a single pound in over a year, barely riding. He's now back at home, living in his parent's home, selling off their stuff, pretending to write a children's book and selling links from his bike rather than getting a job, going to the gym and riding his bike. He is the LAST person on earth you should emulate.

I really hope you become the anti-Eric and show HIM how it's really done. :) Good luck!

16 blessings'mom said...

This is a fantastic idea!!! I actually drove across America in January, from central NY state to San Francisco. We left on a Sunday morning, and arrived on Thursday by noon! We drove all the way across Nebraska, and it was beautiful! We drove while the sun set, and never have I experienced such beauty. We drove my son's car to him, then flew back. Anyway, this is a great idea, I love it! It makes me happy that you're re-energized for has been so hot and dry here on the east coast, we have no air conditioning, the daily temps are in the high 80's, low 90's. Even when I get in the pool, I just feel like floating, ha. I worked out on Monday, happened...every day, too hot, too busy, so many excuses. Thank you for writing, thank you for hanging in there, you don't realize how motivating you are, because we can RELATE, are so real:)


Lyn said...

divataunia and C London~

yeah, I am seeing some of that saddening information on his Facebook and some more recent news articles. I guess he was on Dr Phil as well. I was trying to figure out his route but there is a lot of changing from northern states to southern states and then driving an RV and "making up" miles and right now he is just back home for over a month, so it is not really what I imagined... a straight shot actually biking across the land. Well, I hope he finishes and becomes healthy. At least his idea inspired me to do something good for myself! I had my first ride this morning and it was fun; I feel inspired to get back on the bike to "get a little farther" later today, even if it's just a mile or so down the road. I'll have an update later today. :)

Enz said...

There's an app called world walking or you can also join up using that you can sign up for a specific walk and if you have a fit bit it will synch with the app to show how far you've walked - I know fitbit doesn't work with bikes so you can also add your mileage manually that way as well.

Deb Willbefree said...

I asked Billy about his virtual hike on the Appalachian Trail. Yes, he and his group use FitBits.

The program they use is thru their health insurance and is called something like "A Healthier U" (A BC/BS product), but originates with WebMD. He thinks you may be able to log into WebMD/travel and join up w/out an insurance sponsor. If walking, as other have noted, the fitbit automatically records and sends your info, then you get pictures and info about where you walked. If biking, you have to enter manually.

From reader comments here, it looks like you've been given several other ideas that do about the same thing.


P.S. When I was 40, I weighed 252 pounds. I don't remember how exactly I felt then as far as having an "at that age" mentality, but I do know, looking back, that at that age, I was many times more able than I am now to do physical things. Like they say, "I wish I knew then what I know now."

And so it goes.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a cool idea to make your exercise a big "puzzle" of pieces that you want to complete towards a larger goal.

And, I'm slightly concerned that you think this will "guarantee" you escaping obesity. I know for me, exercise is great for my health and overall fitness, but doesn't move the scale much. In fact, it often makes me hungrier and some weeks seems to even slow the scale down. I know studies say exercise doesn't make people hungrier, but for me, at times it does.

Do you think this "big plan" might be something that takes some focus off of your eating plan, since it has been challenging to find something that works and you can stick with? I just know that I often throw myself into something else when the thing I really need to be doing is frustrating or I don't like it... it's a form of procrastination for me.

I think you'll see great fitness improvements from biking more! I hope the mapping is a motivator to you. Maybe getting some success in this area will be an encouragement to tackle other tough areas.

Rebecca Troxel said...

I wear my fit it on my ankle and it tracks just fine.

Adrienne said...

Wow, just checked out your progress pics, AWESOME JOB!

I love this idea and even though Eric's journey may be questionable, it's awesome that you were inspired by it to take a journey of your own.

Great job, Lyn, and I'll be here cheering you on :)

Lyn said...

Thanks all for the comments!

Anon, yes! It actually does take the focus off food, but I think that is a good thing for me. NOT focusing on food and the scale is actually a welcome relief. It doesn't mean I will be eating junk, though; so far, I am inspired to be my healthiest and eat things that will fuel my body for the rides.


Thank you! It was hard work losing 103 pounds; sadly, if you check my latest progress pics you will see I have regained quite a bit. Hopefully this journey will be a key in my re-losing those pounds and posting weight loss pictures along the way. :)