It’s unfortunate that Zwift racing requires a height and weight control procedure. But given the crazy stories we have experienced over the past months I am not sure there is another alternative.
A few weeks ago I was saying there is nothing more creative than a Zwifter finding excuses for having done poorly in a race. But I was wrong and forgot that the most creative plans have always been created to cheat: from robbing banks to performance-enhancing drugs to, yes, lying about your weight or height on Zwift.
(If you have the patience and enough time to waste to read until the end, you will understand why weight is no small topic for me.)
Since starting the Zwift Racing League, I’ve planned my training and food intake like a boxing champion, just to be sure I will “make weight”.
I light a candle each single Friday morning, praying I will not have to go through the infamous video in which you have to tape yourself calibrating the scale, showing the date, stepping up the scale, and measuring your height.
All those riders look sooooooo miserable going through the process.
First of all because I don’t know a single person in this world who would look sexy in bib shorts… George Clooney or Brad Pitt would look as pathetic as Mr. Bean or Sheldon Cooper in bibs.
If bib shorts were the norm, I would have serious doubts about the survival of the human race, as it would dramatically affect our collective libido and therefore the worldwide birth rate. Thankfully, my wife committed to spending the rest of her life with me before she ever saw me wearing them.
Second, because we all look vulnerable in those videos. We are suspects. I can’t prevent myself from seeing similarities between those videos and the mugshots of guys arrested by the police. Again, no one looks nice and sexy in those. If you don’t believe me ask Hugh Grant… (call it jealousy if you want, I am into destroying handsome actors today.)
Even if some of the “lucky ones” are trying to make it fun, if you have to go through the weigh-in process you should plan to lose at least part of your dignity.
In my case it would make no difference, as I have no dignity left since the day I publicly acknowledged I like cauliflower. Plain, steam-cooked cauliflower. The following day 127 people unfriended me on Facebook and my IRL friends started whispering to each other when I entered the room. And since then, my wife has never looked at me with the same blend of love and admiration. Even my dog no longer comes to the door to welcome me with wagging tail.
I have to get something of my chest.
So if my cauliflower addiction was not too much for you to take and, be it by compassion or temerity, you are still with me now, I have a more personal story to share.
My ZwiftPower profile shows 78kg (172 pounds) today. It has been pretty stable for the last six months, varying one kilo up or down. However, that has not always been the case.
In May 2019, my weight was 143kg (315 pounds) and there was nothing I hated more in the world than my scale. Over the years I have been fighting against it, alternating miracle diet periods where I would lose 20kg with rebounds in which I would gain 30kg. And I never stopped exercising. I was even proud of being the super-obese guy still running half-marathons!
Call it denial, but because of those periods where I was losing weight and because I never stopped exercising, I was fooling myself believing I was in control. When confronted with my problem I was passive-aggressive, rejecting any advice or support, even from my close relatives, the people I loved and trusted the most.
One event dramatically changed my perspective: my wife videotaped me in the middle of the night having an episode of sleep apnea where I was not breathing. She was still shaking when she showed me the video and explained how, for a moment, she thought I was dead.
To make a long story short, the following day we arranged all the tests which confirmed I had a chronic moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. I will spare you the details of all the possible complications of sleep apnea. What is important is that three months later, May 10th 2019, l had gastric bypass surgery.
Many say they were born again the day of their gastric bypass surgery. I am more of the belief I was given the opportunity to push the reset button of my body and make the choice to embrace a healthier and happier life.
And you can bet that I am going to make the most out of it. Even if it involves recording myself in bib shorts, stepping onto a scale and, posting it on Facebook.