The Weight Loss Restaurant

A few days ago I was cooking breakfast at work when my boss came in and started chatting with me.

“You are getting skinny! I wish I had a picture of when you first started working here, you look completely different!” She exclaimed.

“Yeah, my life has changed a lot since then.” I answered.

Then she teased me. “But I wouldn’t want it getting out, a cook who loses weight is bad advertising for our business!”

We had a good laugh together.

Of course, the truth is that working in the restaurant has nothing to do with my weight loss. But the location of the restaurant has everything to do with it.

It is ten miles from where I live. Three and a half years ago, I started working at this small, family owned restaurant and commuting on my bike part of the time.

A ten mile commute really was the perfect distance. Short enough so that it was completely doable but long enough to be a commitment. It forced me into a decision-was I going embrace biking or be annoyed by the time it took out of my schedule?

For awhile, I  was frustrated that biking back and forth to work cut two hours out of my day. As I pedaled homeward, I would think about all the productive things I could be doing if I had sped home in a car.

But as I biked more and more frequently to work, my mindset underwent a shift. I realized that biking, in itself, was productive. I began enjoying my rides back and forth to work immensely and my bike and I became close friends. My motto became,

“It is impossible to waste time on a bike.”

But not only did the frequent bike rides change my mindset, they also started changing my body. I don’t have a scale at my house, but every time I had the opportunity to step on one, I was shocked by the steadily decreasing number. For the first time in my life I was losing weight without changing my eating habits.

The more miles I rode on my bike, the more miles I wanted to ride on my bike. Not for exercise, not for transportation but for the sheer joy of pedaling down the road, for the adventures. And the more active I became, the more weight I lost.

Since I started working at this restaurant in June 2012, I have lost 75 pounds.

Making friends with a bike has changed my life!

 

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On a hike with my family in the spring of 2012

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On a hike with my family this summer

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61 thoughts on “The Weight Loss Restaurant

  1. What a remarkable transformation!!! I also know how much better you feel. Isn’t it cool to be having so much fun and still be consistently getting fitter!? Who knew it could be so easy.

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  2. Awesome, Bri. Wow, 75 pounds. You’re looking great! Even with all the hill climbing that I do, I’d lose 10-15 pounds, then gain it all back in Winter months. What’s great is that you don’t even think about the weight loss, but it’s all the mindset. Major kudos to you … But yeah, cooking and losing weight … Makes you think, huh?

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      • Yeah, I agree. I just wish I was as successful as you, although keeping this lifestyle is awesome. All that’s important is how we feel about ourselves, and it sure looks like you feel good about this, as well you should.

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      • Going by the BMI index I still have to lose 25 pounds to get into the “normal” weight category, so there is still improvement that can be made. But as you point out, the important part is how we feel not getting down to an exact number on the scale.

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  3. Woooohooo! That is awesome, biking is a fun way to shed the timber and it just goes without having to think about it…my commute was until recently 90 minutes in a car that was dull dull dull

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  4. Once, before the club commence one of its morning rides, one of the members lamented that it cost him about a thousand dollars to save one pound of weight on his bike. By that logic, you’ve done 75,000 dollars. Way to go!

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  5. I am so proud of you. That’s wonderful! You have the right attitude about cycling. And, like Dan, I’m stealing “It is impossible to waste time on a bike.”. Not only are you a committed cyclist but you have a way with words too. Nice post.

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  6. PS – Bri I began cycling to lose weight. I was advised by my doctor at the time to lose weight or I would be sorry later in life. Five years of university did wonders for me. That was 40 years and 55 pounds ago. Like you, I began to lose weight without really trying, and more importantly, keeping it off. Today, cycling has nothing to do with losing weight 🙂

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  7. I assume cycling was not much fun at all when you started all this, carrying around those extra pounds. Many people would have given up quickly and never achieved the health benefits you have. Awesome!

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    • Thank you Nick! It was harder, mostly because I felt so exhausted by working on my feet all day, that used to tire me out so much! But I think the absolute hardest part of biking, when I started, was feeling the stares of people as they drove past me, I was so afraid they were laughing at the fat girl on the bike. Once I got over that fear, biking became a lot more fun!

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  8. Bri, this is such an inspiring story. Your commitment to riding your bike throughout the year and the cold winters of your climate, in itself, is an inspiration to a lot of people I’m sure. To know you’ve reaped the benefits of losing weight – and no doubt gaining better health and a whole bundle of other goodies as a result – makes it even more impressive!
    “Making friends with your bike” – I like that. Acceptance and commitment are a powerful combo – a good one to have on the menu for change 😀
    C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !

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  9. Perhaps the biggest benefit I had commuting by bie was in London when working on a BBC film across the city. Public transport took 1h30 – the car took 55min but i could have killed the first person that looked at me strange as I get wound up in traffic. Then i bought a mtb and put slick tyres on during the week. That 11mil commute eventually came down to a smidge over 30minutes … (i obsessively timed myself) I lost 5kilos in 6 weeks and best of all i resolved all the issues at work and came home and didn’t have to talk through the (boring) day with them. Space time for the mind is perhaps the key to a happier life.
    But … lastly … GOOD ON YOU

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    • Thank you 🙂
      You got down to around 30 minutes for 11 miles, on a mtb, in London? That is really impressive, no wonder why you dropped the weight!

      I also enjoy the space to think between work and home. Any issues I have been thinking about get put aside on the commute to work and any drama or problem at work gets forgotten or worked through by the time I pull in the driveway…bike commuting is awesome!

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  10. That’s absolutely amazing. I had to Google how much pounds was in stone then… english weights are different!

    That’s really impressive. Keep it up! I am so glad you have embraced cycling and have continued to enjoy it. 🙂

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  11. I’m glad you enjoy cycling and losing weight presumably became secondary? It’s good to start off your blog not on weight loss, but on the bike journey itself. 🙂

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