2014 so much to say, so hard to say it

I haven’t done much writing on my blog lately, the last post was about dieting September 2013, so its time to get some more blah blah written down.

Since the last post in September 2013 many things have happened and as its holiday season here in France, and I have a little time, I thought that I’d get a post written and online.

Mountain biking

As with many previous years I finished my ‘sportive year’ doing the Roc d’Azur in October 2013, it went fairly well to begin with  but had a mechanical failure in the middle of the week as my pedal broke off, this causing me to come of the bike, three times in all …. a fractured rib, fractured coccyx and a banged up knee, still finished the week, though in a ‘little pain’

Didn’t really care much about the pain as I nearly always break a rib every year when I fall of my bike,  but boy did they take some time to get better, the coccyx was a right pain in the ass . Luckily when getting back home, near Paris the weather was so shitty that it gave me a good excuse to stop biking and go to the gym instead

How to fuck up your eye or eyes  for the rest of your life

A little after the Roc d’Azur I decided to have a laser operation on my left eye, so that I wouldn’t need reading glasses when reading.

This sadly didn’t go well, and I have all the unwanted side effects that are possible, I have now a lot of difficultly getting the eye to focus on anything,  the eye sees troubled and most of the times double, I have also the impression that I have a fly in my eye, I have a dark shape zooming around as I move the eye. Apparently nothing can be done to correct these problems so am stuck with them for the rest of my life. the worst is now I need glasses so that I can drive and ride my bike safely, I gone from only needing glasses sometime to read to nearly all of the time, with a dicky eye, that is painful and tired all the time, even 10 months after the operation

I’ve written a more detailed post here :  http://wp.me/pc5vi-EFn

Biking 2014 

After a really shitty weather wise end of the year 2013 and the coccyx, knee and rib finally healed, I started to get out on the road bike to get some training in. Unlucky for me one of the first outings, on a nice dry day (so rare) in January I got hit by a large van coming in the opposite direction to me, even though I was wearing a yellow safety jacket and had a front light on and I was on my side of the road, a guy in a Renault Traffic tried to throw me off the bike by coming to close to me, his side mirror (they are big on the Traffic) crashed into my shoulder, I ripped of the whole of his mirror in the process, and somehow stayed on the bike, (I do a lot of core workouts at the gym, I think that this helped me to stay steady and not falling off)

Then he came back and threatened myself and the friend I was riding with a huge pipe spanner as he was ‘upset’ that I’d broke his mirror and he wanted me to pay for the damage, other wise ….

Finally he left us alone and drove of, I then spent the rest of the day in hospital, have Xrays and getting checked out, next day with the Police, and the rest of the week for some IRM and more Xrays, Lucky for me I’m well-built muscle wise (OK I say that myself but my doctor as well) the muscles protected my bones as otherwise my shoulder would have been broken in many places. 30cm more the left and I would have been like a fly on the windscreen

I still had three weeks of work with some physiotherapy get the shoulder mobile again and working correctly, we are now six months later and its fairly good, though certain movements I still can’t do. Of course this screwed up my biking start of the year,  7 months later and I’m still waiting on the police and French tribunal to deal with the driver, for aggression and causing an accident.

Working out – GYM 2014

Although it took a lot of time to get the shoulder and left arm working correctly again, I still worked out most days at the gym.

This year I’ve actually dropped the time at the gym to around a 1 hour workout rather than 90 mins to a 2 hour workout every time as I realised that it doesn’t make you any fitter or stronger, in fact it can actually be detrimental to your progression,

I normally workout Tuesdays Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (Saturdays when nice weather I’ll bike to the gym and home again) Sunday is for biking, either mountain biking when not muddy or road biking

Mondays and Thursdays as a rest days though often I use these to workout at home having  installed a small gym in the basement, just some weights, a step and a punching bag (I hate doing nothing at home, if I’m not working out I tend to sit in front of the TV and doing sod all)

Sundays are still my main biking days, though so so few this year, again because of the should injury and it rained, rained and rained again this year and of course nearly every weekend. As soon as I even hear  ‘pitter patter’ on the Velux I think sod the bike I’ll go to the gym and stay warm and dry.

In the gym I do nearly everything. I’ve learnt a lot in the last 30 months or so, I don’t do big and heavy weights, am only lifting for instance 60 kilos in a Bench press and am not really trying to lift more.

I workout most muscle groups mostly in order, back front, biceps, triceps etc. More often than not though I do the workouts any order so that my body doesn’t get used to a routine, but I do all, legs, arms, trunk, abs, shoulders, back, lower back  etc, working maybe a little more on the abs section (that’s often at home in front of the TV with a 5 kilos medicine ball) as I’m oldish and the skin is a little flabby with age (56 now), sadly no matter how much you works the muscles the skin rests the same flabby and old, sniff sniff

I still use Jefit http://www.jefit.com/ which a smartphone application, and which is great as not only does it show you what to do and keep track on what I’ve done, it for instance has a report section with a pie chart so I know when I’m slacking an a certain area, or doing to much in another area.

Dieting 2014

I’ve been dieting like going to the gym for around 30 months now,

It’s not really dieting in the sense that I do not follow any particular diet, but I DO watch everything I eat, unless out on the town or invited somewhere, (you need to be able to switch of sometimes and eat what ever is on the plate and have a drink or two)

I still write down just about everything I eat using Myfitnesspal Android app,  (I can be found if you look for Minty95) I love counting calories and seeing how many carbs, fats or protein I intake per day, this is for myself and sometime just to annoy my wife 🙂 I keep my calorie intake to about 2000 per day, below what a man should intake (2500/2800 is the standard amount) but its enough for me except certain days when I go overboard on mountain biking ride for instance with the ride itself using 3000 / 4000 calories, then maybe I’ll eat more.

My wife thinks I’m crazy as I also like weighing what I eat, OK don’t get me wrong I don’t weigh everything, (yes you do, shit : stop listening to that voice in your head) mostly only things like meat, or the carbs, lentils, bread, pastas that I weigh, the rest is guessed, when I really weigh everything then its time to call in the white van with white wheels and guys in white coats.

Dieting is fairly easy and I still have a hard time wondering why people can’t lose weight, it’s just a matter of self-control and getting it right, not eating the wrong things, or rather eating the right things and often or not just cutting quantities etc.

I watched for a while the TV program called Secret Eaters where people were saying “I don’t understand, I eat well but I’m putting on weight” but they were pigging themselves eating in one meal what I would eat for a whole day, drinking gallons of fizzy drinks. I admit I’m careful what I eat, preferring chicken breasts (I’m a kinky guy and like breasts, OK … ) to pork chops or sausages. vegetables rather than chips. Again I admit I have a wonderful wife (Sophie) she loves cooking and cooking real meals with fresh and healthy food, we very rarely eat ready bought meals.

I never eat fast food, rarely eat chips or cakes, it’s just a question of getting into a certain habit and a life style, I’ll order a real burger in a restaurant if its home-made, I’ll just ask for no sauce, I’ll keep the cheese and bacon ’cause its to yummy and have a side salad instead of the chips. little things like that to keep the calorie count down

My weight is stable between 76 / 77 kilos.

Body fat has dropped from 19.5% in March 2012 (which for info is a normal ratio) to 10% and I’ve added over 3 kilos of muscle while loosing 5 kilos of weight 82 kilos minus 77 kilos

I use  Tanita scales so that I can check on my body fat, arms legs and trunk,  in other words lost around the 8 kilos of fat in total

The muscle added is of course due to going to the gym and working out, as they say in the gym “no pain, no gain”

Watching what you eat and doing some kind of sport is a great combination and the two work great together.

6 months later, 6 kilos less

This is a follow-up to my previous blog : https://minty95.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/what-a-shitty-year-for-biking-what-a-good-year-for-becoming-fitter-and-losing-weight-and-fat/I started in the previous post March 2012, but it’s now to long, so I am adding this update in a new post beginning September 2012, 6 months on.

Most of the details can be read on this previous post, this is just an update with the facts since I visited my nutritionist yesterday the 4th September 2012, showing to all that weight can be easily lost, fat can be transformed into muscle and one can have a figure that looks nice in good clothes and that you don’t have look like a heavy weight dancer.

To be honest the title is a little deceiving as I’ve lost 5.7 kilos since March, replaced 2.1 kilos of it by muscle (that’s the gym) and 3.6 kilos off the scales, as but it didn’t ring quite right in the title so I cheated a little and round it off to 6 kilos … (though if I take into account my weight beginning January 2012, I was 80.2 kilos, making it 7.1 kilos in all)

I wanted to say that in being careful what you eat, not even following  a ‘named’ diet, no Weight Watchers, no Jenny Craig, no Dash diet, no raw food diet, just plain sensible eating you can lose weight.

Fresh foods, mostly organic when possible, home cooking (thanks to my wife), less booze, things like : little or rather no white bread, replacing it with wholemeal bread, no sauces made with full fat cream, more vegetables, no snacking or when I snack, its dried mixed nuts, rather than crisps, cheese at lunch and rarely in the evenings, no sodas, not even the ‘light’ ones, in fact I rarely eat ‘light’ foods as I belive that they are bad for you, I’d rather eat a normal yoghurt that a light one for instance. So many things that can be done ,without having the impression of not being allowed or going without.

What I have noticed is that after a while certain things that you do without even noticing, like eating a slice of bread with you meal, well now I not only rarely do it but I don’t even miss it, Rather than a pie or cake (before with cream) for dessert, replace it with a compote (stewed fruit) now I find this more natural and even better.

I still do not and do not believe in counting calories and therefore have no idea how many calories I take in, it’s obviously less than I need, as it’s the secret to losing weight. (input les than output)

Participating in a sport, and at least twice a week : As I said sensible and healthy eating and working out a little.

2012 : March to September


  • March 6th : I weighed 78,8 kilos : 12,28 stones.
  • September 4th 2012 I now weigh 75.2 kilos : 11,81 stones
  • A weight loss of 3.6 kilos : 7.9 pounds


  • March 6th : My weight mass was 15,8 kilos : 2.78 stones.
  • September 4th 2012, this is now only 10.1 kilos : 1.59 stones
  • A fat loss of 5.70 kilos : 12.56 pounds


  • March 6th : My muscle weight was 63.0 kilos : 10,03 stones.
  • September 4th 2012, this is now 65.1 kilos : 10,25 stones
  • A muscle gain of 2.10 kilos : 4.6 pounds
  • The muscle gain is due to sport, there is no secret here, you need to get off your backside and run, bike, get to the gym : Just do something.

The perfect marriage : this is being sensible in what you are eating and doing a sport. The two together are like a perfect marriage.

Your health will be better, you will feel better, look better, not only do I physically feel and look better but also in ‘my head’ I feel better.

As Spock once said live long and prosperous (he just forgot to add eat well and do some sport)

I’ve added my weight and  body fat readings showing where  the weight loss and the fat loss has gone, proving that anyone can do this.

Date   March 6 September 4
Weight 78,8 75,2 -3,6 Kilos
BMI calcul standard 25,2 24,0
W (kg) / [H (m) x H (m)]
Scales, Tanita
% body fat 20,0 13,4 -6,6 %
fat body mass 15,8 10,1 -5,7 Kilos
lean body mass 63,0 65,1 2,1 Kilos
M. Hydrique 46,2 47,7 1,5 Kilos
Right leg
% body Fat 19,7 14,5 -5,2 %
fat body mass 2,5 1,8 -0,7 Kilos
lean body mass 10,1 10,4 0,3 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 9,6 9,9 0,3 Kilos
Left leg
% body Fat 19,4 14,8 -4,6 %
fat body mass 2,4 1,8 -0,6 Kilos
lean body mass 10,0 10,1 0,1 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 9,5 9,6 0,1 Kilos
Right arm
% body Fat 16,9 13,6 -3,3 %
fat body mass 0,7 0,6 -0,1 Kilos
lean body mass 3,7 3,8 0,1 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 3,4 3,6 0,2 Kilos
Left arm
% body Fat 17,1 14,1 -3,0 %
fat body mass 0,8 0,6 -0,2 Kilos
lean body mass 3,6 3,8 0,2 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 3,5 3,6 0,1 Kilos
% body Fat 20,9 12,6 -8,3 %
fat body mass 9,4 5,3 -4,1 Kilos
lean body mass 35,6 37,0 1,4 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 34,2 35,5 1,3 Kilos
Weight loss (scales) -3,6 Kilos
Fat loss -5,7 Kilos
Lean body mass 2,1 Kilos

You might say not a huge weight loss, but then I wasn’t really in the need to lose weight anyway, for those that are in need and really are overwieght, the same applies, for me the nice things is that losing weight slowy means that your body gets used to it, people who lose too much too fast normally put it back on as the body doesn’t get time to ajust to the weight loss.

PS I’m not used to stones and pounds, as we use kilos here in France, so if any errors please let me know

2012 a bad year for biking. a great year for losing body fat and getting fitter

Less biking … Oh no 

Less body fat … Oh yes

Less weight … Oh yes

Less BMI … Oh yes

Normally my sporting activities are biking, biking and more biking, either mountain biking or road riding on a singlespeed, last year 2011, I managed to top the 5000 kms. This year its a different matter. (only 1350 kms from January to mid July, so about 60% down on last year)


Firstly we had a very cold winter here in France, snow and ice for quite a while, so little or no chance to get on my bikes, eventually this weather disappeared, only to be replaced by rain, rain and more rain.

I’ve started this page the 13th of July, and again it’s raining, and its been raining every day of this week …

Before the end of the 2011, Olive and myself decided to join a Gym, to do some fitness training on top of the biking, as normally during the winter months we bike less, boy was it a good idea, instead of choosing between the road, trails or gym, it came down to gym, gym and more gym. OK sometimes the excuses Oh look its raining, hic drizzling …. let’s go to the gym (warm and dry) are true, but this year, the rain has been real and this trails have been pure mud baths and the road is just not fun while riding through puddles. (for example friends that rode two bike rides this month, ‘I wasn’t present’, abandoned them both because of the bad weather, normally they never do that)

Also as the gym is less than one kilometre from my office, so it’s easy to go to, its warm, it’s dry, I can have a shower and get home before lunch or diner, clean,  and I don’t get, “you’re not coming in to the house like that, strip of outside” …

So gym this year has become a must, in fact it’s taken over completely from biking, my doctor, my nutritionist and of course my wife all say that I do too much, as I’m now at the club four to fives days a week, and on the bike once a week, and if I’m not on the bike then its five, six and sometimes seven times a week.


All this has actually came together quite nicely, I needed or rather wanted to lose some weight this year, as I tipped the scales at 80.2 kilos the 2nd of January 2012, even if it did drop slightly the following weeks and into February. I’m 54 and measure 1m 77, so while not fat, I had a little too much flesh on me for my liking. This is where the nutritionist came in, so beginning of March 2012 I went to see her, asking her to help me lose some weight.

1rst visit to my nutritionist : 6th March : So I left her office with a list of what to eat and not to eat, and since then I’ve changed my eating habits completly, I’m not on a diet as such, I am aware that diets are not the answer, I don’t count calories either  I just needed a kick in the behind to change my habits, to change certain foods. For exemple :  little or none white bread, cow products replaced by goat, more vegetables, more fish, little or no pizzas, burger & chips etc., more stewed fruits (compotes)  rather than cakes or pies, cut down on the snacks between meals ( bye bye biscuits and crisps), to know when to stop eating and not ask for seconds, we stopped buying ready made meals  (too much salt,  sugar, coloring, additives and crap in them), I’m lucky as my wife loves to cook so this part was not a problem.

While at the nutritionist’s I got my BMI checked, this was all new to me, My global body BMI ( Body Mass Index ) was 25.2% (weight / height * height) , this is OK for my age but it shouldn’t be more, and my body fat percentage 20% (Calculated using some Tanita professional scales) again for my age this was OK, but it shouldn’t be more, so upon leaving. I bought a couple of fitness magazines to read up on BMI, how to reduce it and read up on body fat percentage and on the general health / fitness side as well.

At this time I was going to the gym about two or three times a week, mostly using the rowing, or elliptic machines for cardio, with some weight machines, little by little I started going more often, as at the same time I noticed that scales were indicating that I was losing if little some weight. In my head I want to get my weight down to about 75 kilos, a weight that I hadn’t been at for at least the last thirty years.

2nd visit to my nutritionist : 23rd April A quick jump to two months later, end of April : and back to the nutritionist, I learnt then that she thought that I was wasting her time at the first visit and that when I came for this second visit that the results would be the same, boy was she wrong …

Weight was down by about a 1.2 kilos, now at 77,6 kilos, I had reduced my BMI to 24.8 BUT my body fat percentage had dropped to 18% global, I had lost 1.8 kilos of fat and replaced it all with muscle. I came out of her office with such a big such a big smile on my face.

With this news it was and still is easy to keep on going, the gym sessions as I stated earlier are now four to five times  a week, all after work. Three sometimes four times a week and every Saturday morning, For the Saturday session I do 30 mins to one hour of cardio training then I do a ‘Body Balance’ session, which is a mixture of Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, in the week the sessions last from one to two hours with weights and cardio.

I do mostly  weight workouts finishing with nearly always 30 to 50 mins cardio), I’m no Schwarzenegger (and don’t intend to be), so not too many heavy weights, just enough to try to keep the flabby bits less flabby, my pecs are now firmer and flatter, triceps and biceps are far firmer as is the rest of my body. This is where losing body fat also helps, it sculpts the body as well. I work on everything, trying to change the muscle groups every day, a little on the arms, some on the lower and upper legs, the back and shoulders, my abs, though even if my belly has shrunken down, they still can’t be seen. I nearly always finish with at least 30 mins of cardio training at the end, either rowing, elliptic or bike.

Track Everything :

I keep a journal of my workouts using Jefit pro on my phone, synced to their website, I note the training done, the number of reps, the weight or the time, and as I’m alway a little in excess of what I do, I also keep a log of what I eat, is this just to annoy my wife and to show-of  to the nutritionist and my doctor ? I’m not 100% sure …. 🙂 but it helps me keep things in perspective. Below is shown a typical couple of days of eating :

Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Tomatoes
Steak grilled, potatoes sauté, vegetables
Fresh fruit
1 piece of white bread with cheese
2 glasses of red wine
Snack 2 small Italian cakes
Dîner Coleslaw
Chicken and rice
Stewed fruit
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Grapefruit
1 slice of ham with peas
Yoghurt (cow)
Snack Yoghurt (goat’s)
Small handful of mixed nuts
Dîner Green pepper et half an avocado
1 slice of ham with sauté potatoes
3 glasses of red wine
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Grapefruit
Breast of chicken with green beans
Stewed fruit
Snack Stewed fruit
Dîner Grison meat
Porc chop with  gratin de courgettes
Home made stewed fruit
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Wholemeal bread with breast of chicken
Yoghurt (goat’s) and stewed fruit
Dîner Tomatoes and mozzeralla
Grilled steak with green beans
Yoghurt (goat’s) et melon

OK I know it’s half French half English, sorry.

I cheat sometimes :

I still eat certain products that I shouldn’t, like the Italian cakes brought back from my holiday in Sicily for instance, or the home-made macaroons, but this keeps life from being boring and monotone and anyway if you stick 100% to a real diet, you will crack one day, so from time to time I let off steam and eat certain foods that I shouldn’t. I still eat chocolate and other things that I shouldn’t,  though fast foods, pizzas etc. are nearly 100% banned.

You may notice that most ‘cow’ products have been replaced by goats or sheep products, so most of the yoghurt or cheese that I eat are either sheep or goats products, “Ewe cheese = fromage de brebis”, that most of bread intake which has been reduced is now whole grain bread or similar, little white bread these days. Nearly all vegetables are steamed or grilled, and nearly all are fresh from the market or the garden and organic where possible.

Still some wine with some of my meals, normally limited to one or two glasses per meal, before it would have been half a bottle …..

Juin 2012 : 3rd visit to my nutritionist : Weight is 77,4 kilos, My global BMI is now 24.7 (this will change little as it just a standard calculation, but my body fat percentage is down to 16.2%, this is by far the most important aspect for me., I’ve bought some semi pro scales to check on this when at home http://www.tanita.co.uk/index.php?id=22&L=0&tx_f03showxtcommerceproducts_pi1[showUid]=536&cHash=9d9f98071f, my weight is down to 76 – 77 kilos, my eating habits have now completely changed and have now become just a normal way of life.

I don’t ‘deprive’ myself, I still like to drink, mostly red wine, but sometimes a beer or two,  earlier this month in Sicily for a week’s holiday, though I watched what I ate and tried to choose between certain foods, I let myself live and ate well , drinking and eating what I felt like.

All in all I feel great, I’m as fit as the last couple of years, even with less biking this year, in fact I’ve never felt better, my body feels ‘drier’ ‘firmer’, not easy to describe (that’s the body fat percentage going down by almost 4%), I walk and stand better, I feel less ‘slobby’ (Ok I know that’s not in the dictionary). I just feel so good.

Dropped my jeans down a size, from 32 to a 30/31 waist, I feel good in tight T-Shirts or slim fit shirts, also I look better in the mirror, well for me anyway. I miss the biking but again the weather is just to bad, yesterday, the 12 of July, jumped on the singlespeed to go to work, it rained all the way home …

Weight & BMI and body fat percentage  chart from March 2012 to June 2012.

Measurements taken with professional Tanita scales, and so are exact.


6th of March

23rd of April

19th of June





IMC / BMI calcul standard BMI = Weight (kg) / [Height (m) x Height (m)]





% body Fat



16,2 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Body water




Jambe droite / right leg

% Fat



15,0 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Jambe gauche / left leg

% Fat



15,9 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Bras droit .right arm

% Fat



15,4 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Bras gauche / left arm

% Fat




fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Tronc / trunk

% Fat




fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




This all goes to show that with some effort, everybody can lose weight and if they want can get fitter,  all without stupid diets or fads, that promise the world but often do more damage than good. I don’t count calories or anything stupid like that as that is probably the biggest waste of time and error around. I am just more careful about what I eat, what I have noticed is that people, including myself before, eat more than they really need, this I am now watching, saying no to seconds unless I really feel the need to eat more.

Friends :

The other day we had friends around for diner, a normal meal barbecued grilled steaks on, potatoes and greens, my friend asked me to pass her the bread, which I did and then I set the bread basket back down, she made a remark “maybe your wife would like some ….. ” I replied “no she is like me she doesn’t eat bread as there are potatoes with the meal” , ‘too many carbs when eating them both’ (you’ve guessed it, my wife also watch’s her weight) the worst thing is that my friend is overweight and try to watch her weight as well. A easy mistake that can easily be corrected in eating habits, you don’t need bread at table if other high carb foods are served, its one or the other but not both.

Eat correctly with fresh, healthy natural foods, learn to eat less and become slimmer, train and become fitter, put them both together, it’s even better.

Update 09 August : Weight is now steady between 75 and 76 kilos, My Tanita scales are showing me that my body fat is less that 14% which is just perfect, in fact better than I hoped for, but my next rendez-vous with my nutritionist isn’t until September and only then will I believe the readings as she has professional Tanita scales. This means that since January I’ve lost 5 kilos and another 3 kilos of fat that have been replaced my muscle, around 8 kilos in all, 10% of my original January body weight.

As I’m doing more and more training, four to five times a week (sometimes six) plus the biking on Sunday, in the gym, certain sessions are up to three hours (rather than between one or two hours) and the biking is nearly always three hours if not four, so I’ve started  taking a protein shake before and after the training sessions, (Impact Whey from http://www.myprotein.com) until I see the nutritionist and get her advice on upping my intake levels a little if need be, as I’m aware that I train a little too much, but I’ve always been like that, before the gym it was the same with the biking, well according to my wife anyway 🙂

Update 05 September : Just back from the nutritionist, my results are far better than I hoped for, weight 75.2kilos and body fat down to 13.4%, as this post is rather long, I’ve started a new one at : http://wp.me/pc5vi-ui