John Silvester


"So, John. How much do YOU think you should weigh?"

That's how the conversation began at my annual physical last year. Ouch! Gee thanks, Doc. At the time, I hadn't given it that much thought. I'm an avid cyclist, and my climbing weight was what triggered my cycling obsession 10 years ago. Then Body Balance started offering classes at the PGA TOUR where I work, and Vicki and her staff made it sound like something I could at least try. It was a real step outside my comfort zone, but I thought it could be the perfect compliment to the more aerobic cycling stuff I was doing. I loved the classes. Looking back, pilates was very different from what I had done previously, and I had a long way to go, but the instructors never made me feel like it. The fact that it was different and challenging made me realize it was also good for me. At first, back then, I lost a bit of weight (not enough), but gained it back. I told myself it was the muscle. Yeah. That's the ticket! Yeeaaaah, no. For the couple years, I'd been hanging at about the same weight, and just told myself, "How much would you weigh if you didn't bike thousands of miles a year and take pilates classes a few times a week? You're healthier than most people your age." Ahhh, rationalization. I just kept eating pretty much what (and how much) I wanted and biking, planking and crunching. But still, I had to answer the doctor’s question, so I threw out a number. "Probably 200 pounds."

He said, "Yes, that'd be about right, but we're pretty far from that now, so maybe we don't get all the way there in a year. Just try to start trending in the right direction. Maybe try to lose 10 pounds this year." It was doctor-speak for “just start losing SOME weight.” The word “diabetes” was uttered in a semi-threatening tone.

Then in December, I got a scale. I figured I ought to get serious about that trending thing. The only way that was going to happen is if I started seeing the number every day and tried to do something about it. I knew my current method of periodically stepping on the scale at the grocery store and being happy with the fact that the needle settled in its customary spot wasn’t cutting it.

Since then, I made a concerted effort to trend in the right direction. I’ve been eating a bit less, and starches, especially potatoes and bread, have scaled way back. I added the elliptical machine in the neighborhood gym to my exercise routine of weekend cycling and weekday Pilates Barre, equipment and mat classes. Little by little, the trend started. Nobody noticed for a long time, but as we got toward summer, the comments/complements started. At the same time, I noticed I was getting a little faster on the bike. Not a lot mind you. I’m not ready for the Tour de France, but hauling less weight around makes a difference. The other difference that's far more noticeable when you weigh less is the core strength that Pilates has developed. The strength is there to stay low longer pedaling into a wind when there is less of me in the way. All the pieces of my workout are really coming together and complimenting each other. Today, less than a year since the fateful question, the goal is here. The number on the scale went from 235 to 200!

Am I done “trending”? No. For now though, I’ll be happy with helping the doc pick his jaw off the floor next month.