The ‘Jason Le Page’ files 4 – too much of a good thing.

Jason Le Page is a Downhill Mountain Biker who lives on Guernsey (one of the Channel Islands for those of you who may be geographically challenged). I’ve been coaching Jason for the best part of two years now and being a very sporting kind of chap, he has very boldly agreed to ‘Go-Live’ with his progress on a monthly basis as a matter of interest to all of you. Every month you’ll be able to log-on to the TORQ site to see how Jason’s getting on.

Jason writes:

Ever get a feeling of déjà vu?

Times are a changing, and the body mass is too! I have to confess to being not only a little slack with my update, but a little bit slack with my diet and training regime! I use the word diet loosely, because although I am not following a set plan (I don’t believe in them really, unless for medical purposes) I am trying to watch what I eat (otherwise I miss my mouth!) Too much food and a couple of flagons of ale too many and I have entered the new Mountain Bike race season, with a spare set of tyres that Michelin would be proud of! “I have put on weight” is what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way. From the heady successes at the beginning of the year I have managed to acquire about half a stone in weight, putting me back to 14 ½ stone (or 92 kilos in new money).

To counter this I have endeavoured (since the start of April) to ride my bike as much as possible and try to stuff my face with nothing but rabbit food and the occasional big fat juicy steak. Performance wise I have improved my times to and from work by about 15% (a 25 ½ min ride instead of 30+ mins) and although I’m still struggling to get up most hills, I’m finding my recovery rate has improved also. I guess I can be fat and fit, though it’ll never be an optimum situation.

I think it would be handy if I could have liposuction, but instead am asking you if you could once again remind me of the foodstuffs I should be trying to ensure are part of my diet.

Good points so far(?): I’m trying not to eat crisps and chocolate, buying Rispinos, Snack-a-Jacks and big Softies as alternatives. Fruit is gradually making a comeback!

Bad points(!): Instead of drinking spring water and herbal tea I’m a triple espresso with 2 sugars addict. Although alcohol hasn’t been totally removed from my diet, I’ve managed to cut down to about 15 units a week. Evening meals are generally around 8 oclock, though with the lighter evenings it is sometimes nearer 8.30 before we sit down to eat.

Until the next time.

A rotund rider from the Channel Islands!



Matt Hart of TORQ replies:

Well my friend, not only do you keep your readers waiting for your report, but you also disappoint us with terrible news. You’ve put on weight for the first time since we started this thing! Come on, take a deep breath, regain control of your life and aim for that sub 14 stone threshold. YOU CAN DO IT.

To answer your questions, yes eating has something to do with this weight gain, but I reckon that lack of exercise is the major causal factor. Try to do something every day (it was the swimming every lunchtime that helped you to loose weight before remember). Cycling to work is great, because it doesn’t eat into your personal time so much. A half hour cycle would probably take a similar amount of time in the car if you include parking the thing; it just helps if you’ve got a shower at the other end, or a big sink!

Walking everywhere is good too and avoiding lifts and escalators. Wash the car by hand, not at the garage ‘car wash’. Do DIY instead of paying someone to do a job. All of these things will help you to burn calories and it’s the automation of practically everything in the modern world that is notably responsible for the growth in the average person’s waistline. So be more manual and you’ll have to spend less time actually training as such.

It’s true, excessive beer drinking and a poor diet won’t help you to loose weight, but you’re right not to believe in ‘diets’ per se. You’ve got to live your life, and that means eating the things you like, but don’t have too much of the things you know are bad for you. The less sugar you have, the less you’ll crave it. The same goes for a low fat eating regimen. After a few weeks of eating low fat foods, anything with high fat levels tastes sickly and heavy; you just need to wean yourself off these things.

Finally, try to eat little and often as this encourages a faster metabolism, reduces fat storage and encourages the stomach to shrink. When people have their stomach surgically stapled, it’s so that when they eat, they fill up quickly and don’t want any more. You can do this naturally by committing yourself to eating less and often at first, and then after a few weeks your dainty stomach will only accept smaller meals.

I bet no one’s called your stomach ‘dainty’ before have they Jason?


© Jason Le Page/Matt Hart. TORQ 2002