Daily Archives: April 28, 2011

Gut Instinct: Belly Up to the Bike

Look at me riding a bike! Photo: Jenene Chesbrough

Like a bear chunking up before a winter slumber, I spent the last several months filling my furry hide with fattening foods such as Defonte’s roast beef–and-mozzarella heroes, homemade cheese-vegetable chowder and, in moments of hungover weakness, General Tso’s chicken.

Yet gaining blubber was not my stated goal. Typically, I can withstand a caloric onslaught—and not turn into a stumpy Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man—thanks to my rigorous exercise regimen. I’m an avid cyclist, regularly cranking out 70 or 80 miles a week. This fosters a caloric equilibrium: food enters my mouth, and the calories leave via my thick, pumping thighs. It’s a system that’s kept my stomach in check for much of the past 32 years. But this frigid, snowy, rainy, neverending winter has kept me from bicycling.

I’ve tumbled from my dietary tightrope, and my belly expanded like one of those toy dinosaurs dipped in water. Continue reading