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Losing Weight by Riding a Bike
I Lost 320 Pounds Riding a Bike
Scott Cutshall was so fat doctors told him he'd die within six months. Then he looked out his window and saw a man riding a bicycle
ByFrank Bures
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Late one afternoon in 2002, Scott Cutshall's Grand Am rolled toward the leafy Jersey City, New Jersey, neighborhood where he, his wife and their daughter lived on the ground floor of a brownstone apartment.


The car was silent, except for a quiet refrain. "I'm a dead man," the 38-year-old Cutshall said. "I'm a dead man."


In the driver's seat sat his wife, Amy, who had asked him to see a doctor about his weight, which then hovered at 427 pounds, and would later top out at 501. In back sat three-year-old Chloe, who Cutshall cared for as best he could given how little he could move.


The news was not good. The doctor gave him six months to live without bariatric surgery. With it, the doctor said, Cutshall had a 50 percent chance of making it out of the operating room.


"I'm a dead man," said Cutshall, sobbing softly.


Over the next few years, even as he defied that dire prediction, every doctor, every authority he consulted would give him equally urgent warnings. Everyone told him the same thing: Lose weight or die. At the doctor's office that day in 2002, Cutshall had voiced the foremost question in his mind.


"Do you think I can lose the weight on my own?"


"No," the doctor had said. "At your weight, I've never heard of anyone doing it."


Cutshall had known despair before this—especially during one bad patch, when Amy had grown so frustrated at his refusal to undergo surgery that she'd taken Chloe and left. For good? For a little while? He didn't know. But while she was gone, Cutshall had followed the only path he could see out. He'd gone into the bathroom with a box cutter and carved open his wrists.


Then he'd waited. He had waited for the struggle, for the hopelessness to slip away.


But they hadn't. They were still there. He was still there. So he cut deeper. It had hurt more, but still, nothing had happened. Later the doctors would tell him that because he was so obese, his blood kept clotting and pooling inside his wrists. Being fat had saved his life...for a while.


Now, as the car stopped outside his apartment, Cutshall opened the door and reached for the ground with his foot. He pushed off the steering wheel to get himself out, but the column cracked loose under his weight. Somehow, he managed to exit and lumber up the front stairs. There, he settled back into the deep hole he'd dug for himself.


As he sat there with his family, Amy told him something he would never hear from anyone else.


"I think you can do it yourself," she said. "But you have to want to." Cutshall was always fat; it runs in his family. Growing up in Meadville, Pennsylvania, he and his older brother blew up right around puberty, no matter how much they ran, how fast they swam, or how hard they rode their bikes. Their swim coach called them Gut and Minigut.


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Cycling for me has been life changing. I am a 51 year old lawyer whose beginning weight was 235. I would give you my new weight but I have not taken the time to purchase a scale. I do have a tape measure and have lost at least 4-6 inches from my waist. Also, I am writing from a location approximately 40 miles north of Columbus, Ohio. I was surprised and delighted to learn of the Rails to trails bike paths. I have found four terrific paths. My waist was 46 and is now between 40-42. I ride sporadically. When the weather is good I ride four times a week 30 miles. Now in the fall I am only on the bike two times a week. I cross training with kettlebells. The combination of the two activities are dramatic. I was always athletic through college. My body then became fat or pudgy. Now I look and feel much better. Good luck to you.
From one excess to another (20,000 miles in one year). Whatever personality trait led Scott to weigh 500 lbs is the same trait that led him to bike 20,000 miles in a year. I agree that biking can help to lose weight along with proper eating (Fuhrman or someone similar), but I'm doing it on 40 miles a week on a tadpole trike. (It would have been a lot easier on Scott's body had he chosen to have a recumbent trike built for him.)
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What a Great story. I can Totally relate. I just turned 59 .In Jan of 2013 at 58 I stopped smoking and at 6'2" by June I had put on 50#s and weighed 240. I started to see 300 coming soon. I bought a cheap Trek to try cycling to lose some weight and get back in shape and fell in love with bike riding. I can relate to just starting out I could barley ride around the block but I just kept at it and now I have a Beautiful Specialized Road Bike that I try to ride 15 miles almost everyday and average about 350 miles a month. I'm down to 180#s and have never felt better.I know 60#s isn't anything like what this man lost but I'm so glad I found this great sport. If you want to lose weight and have the best time you can doing it go buy a bike. Roger Vista,Ca
I am a biker myself and really enjoyed biking around our town. Tambuli Seaside Living
What an amazing woman to stick by her husband! I am using the bicycle to lose weight as well and this mans story is definately inspiring!
I love to do cycling to maintain my health. Bicycling keeps heart stronger and body toned. It also helps in reducing weight. It's an effective and pleasurable way of doing workout that’s why I use my Hero Octane for schooldays commuting and weekend errands in households. And I really love riding on my stylish Hero Octane..:) obat kutil di kemaluan
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Great story. Helped me with my pursuit of happiness. Just bought my first road bike. I weigh 360. I was 400 at the first of this year. I signed up to do the Arizona Ironman this November 17th with my son. I struggle with weight. He struggles with alcoholism. I have 90 days to try to drop 70 pounds and get my butt in biking shape for a 112 mile bike ride in 7 hours. Don't know if it is possible. But I know I can do my best today. Just came across this site and I think this will help alot. How do I go from a few spin classes a week to 15 to 20 hours a week out on the road. I did a sprint triathlon last week and finished 3rd to last. In September I am doing two Olympic distance tri's and a century bike ride...or at least as much as I can do. I look forward to this journey. 8 mile hike last night. 90 minute spin class this morning. Picked up my bike an hour ago... let the torture begin.
This is a very inspiring story. Obesity is a problem that a big percentage of the population is suffering from. Jonny Bowden has a program that shows how we can all lose weight. Scott's willpower is really amazing. However, not all of us has that kind of willpower or motivation. Jonny's program takes away willpower in the equation. You should check out the reviews for Unleash Your Thin. Even the big names in nutrition agree.
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I love to do cycling to maintain my health. Bicycling keeps heart stronger and body toned. It also helps in reducing weight. It's an effective and pleasurable way of doing workout that’s why I use my Hero Octane for schooldays commuting and weekend errands in households. And I really love riding on my stylish Hero Octane..:)
I love this story. I am a T1 diabetic and have many friends that control their D with the bike. This is a truely inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.
My mom is also a diabetic. I have been trying to get her to go bike riding more often. I loved this article, it was so inspiring. There are a lot of people who want to do something amazing but few who take the action to get it done. Preventative maintenance can go a long way whether your talking about diet, exercise or any other method.
I've read this story many times and still enjoy it. :-)
Wow great story and I know just how he feels,on June 20th 2010 I got on my scale and and was a whopping 210 lbs,I wanted to loose the weight and get back in shape for my wife and daughter, so I knew that riding was my answer. The first day out I rode a whole 2 miles before I almost keeled over and died on the spot, that is when I knew it was time to get it going before it was`way to late for me. So I rode every day just like Scott did adding to it as many miles as I could each day and then the magic of riding started taking over 20 miles 40 miles 60 miles and then 100 miles a day and a slim and trim 165 lbs in 4 months and that was at 50 years of age. Scott and 100's of people like me are living proof that bike riding is the answer to becoming a healthy you. I now preach the joys of riding and just what it can do for you and your family life, a family that rides together stays together and also stays fit.I wonder if I wrote my story about getting Fit at 50 if someone would publish it,because if I can do it anyone can do it. Thanks Conydog
I read this story about two years ago when it first came out in Bicycling mag. Scott was my inspiration to get going even though I was about 60 at the time. I always wondered what happened to him after he moved to Washington state. Since that time I've had 3 bikes: my last one a 2012 Roubaix and getting ready to ride in England with my best friend. I try to ride most days of the week. 10 mi is barely a warm up for me any more. I have re-read Scott's story at least 4 times and like it more. Keep it up, Scott, and God bless your family for loving you so much.
This was an emotianal article for me. Like with Scott, my bike represents my getting my life back. I've always been an avid athlete. I was a fit recreational mountain biker, skier and soccer player up until shortly after college. Then life took over. Work, family, orthopedic injuries ... I went almost a decade without riding or competing consistently. I gained weight like never before in my life. I didn't know it was possible. I barely recognized myself. Four years ago, I bought my first rode bike and am now in the best shape of my life thanks to my bike. My bike is the "House of Dreams Come True" ...
Great story and congratulations to Scott! My heaviest has been 298 and I bought a bike 7 years ago and It wasn't till this past summer I took it serious. I'm sitting at 258 right now and bought a indoor trainer and still take off for my rides as long as it's 32 degrees and warmer! I can totally relate to Scott's story. I love the way riding makes me feel!
Amazing story! That kind of weight loss took serious commitment. It took Scott a while to get going, but once he did, pow! Deepest respect from a fellow cyclist!
After lamenting my accumulated weight gain, I looked for something to help me lose tonnage and gain myself. I discovered bicycling. I finished the summer averaging 200 miles per week of urban/suburban biking, found a great hobby and lost 55 pounds. I long for those long rides each morning at 5:00 am and the longer weekend rides. I feel better and enjoy the endless compliments of my friends and family. I'm no longer the fat guy, I'm the "way to go" guy. I maintain with my bike on a trainer in my basement and can't wait for spring when I can hit the road again and drop another 20 to 25 pounds. it can be done!
Good job with the weight loss. I've been riding my rollers every day as well (although I've actually put 200 miles on the bike outside this week due to warmer, dry weather here in Indiana) which isn't as fun as being outside, but still is better than nothing. I also have a trainer, (fluid+mag) but find I prefer the rollers. Let's hope for an early thaw this year.
While I didn't lose as much as the author, I went from 271 pounds to 172 in ten months, a large part was due to cycling. I also joined weight watchers back in Feb. 2011, and am now a lifetime member. I started 2011 with one basic bike, and now own four road bikes, a fitness bike and a cyclocross bike, having put over 4000 miles on them last year. I enjoyed three century rides, completing the last one with an overall average speed of 17.4 mph. So far for 2012, I've put 200 miles on the bikes thanks to an unusually warm winter here. Oh, forgot to mention, I also suffer from Ankylosing Spondilitis and have two artifical hips, and if I can lose the weight, anyone can. So if you are feeling overweight, get out and ride, it's life changing.
'm sure he dug deep for that initial inspiration to get on the bike. I'm glad to see it worked out for him. I've gone from 175 to 275 in 2 years. I always keep saying "I'll start tomorrow", "Tomorrow will be different Chlamydia Antibiotics
Amazing and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it. Best of luck and/or God Bless. Whichever you prefer Scott. ;)
This article does the reader a disservice. It tries to convey the idea that the answer to a healthful weight-loss eating plan materialized for Scott, fully-formed, like some kind of vision. This offers little aid for anyone morbidly obese trying to follow in his footsteps! In truth, the basis for his eating plan is the work of Joel Fuhrman, MD, summarized in the book: "Eat To Live". I was turned onto this way of eating by reading Scott's original Blog. It has made all the difference for me as well.
My wife and I are so inspired by your story. Between the 2 of us we weigh over 600lbs. We originally purchased bikes ONLY to take our 4yr old to pre-school. My wife wanted to give up the first day. We hadn't riden bikes since high school (20 yrs ago!!). Back aches, knee aches, sore groins, and tight calves later, we find that this could be our new lease on life, a healthy life. We have had the bikes for about 1 week. We are riding about 6-10 miles per day. We are researching bike trails in our area (Glendale, AZ) and hope to increase the daily distance. Your story encourages us to not give up and keep going "1 more mile". We might decide later to relocate to a bike-friendly state like Oregon. Thanks for sharing your very personal journey. God bless you and your family!!