Weight loss

Sue Reynolds triathlete | Sue Reynolds Weight Loss – Biking

Ten years ago, Sue Reynolds' weight stopped her from doing mundane things like fitting into a restaurant stand and putting on her own shoes– –Her husband Brian had to help her. She tried to get into the stable on a public toilet or even roll over in bed. Reynolds, then 56, weighed 335 pounds.

She hadn't always been "pathologically obese" the words a doctor jotted down on her card after an appointment. After getting married and having children, she worked for a non-profit organization she founded. She was passionate about work and often dug all night, fueled by cookies and M & Ms. Decades of sleepless nights with sugar caught up with her.

"I had bad habits for good reason," she told Bicycling. "Many people have an image of overweight people – that they are irresponsible or sad about something and eat their worries. This stereotype is unfair."

One day she stood in the kitchen and said to herself: "Enough." Though she had tried and even had various diets over the years She lost up to 60 pounds and kept putting on weight.

This time it was different. This time was for her. "I was just fed up with not being able to do the things I wanted to do," she said. "That spoke to me so strongly."

Around the same time, Reynolds was taking her first walk – about 100 yards – to a neighbor's driveway and back with Brian by her side. It felt like she was carrying someone else on her body. Then she let herself fall sweaty but excited on the couch. "To date, one of the hardest things I've ever done," Reynolds said. “I was so delighted and happy and proud of myself to take this first step. That was really the key. "

Reynolds kept walking, adding a little space each day until she could do three miles. But the next two years didn't always go smoothly. Reynolds dropped to 269 pounds by counting calories and walking, but then took back much of the weight. She took 11 months off to eat healthily before it starts again in April 2012.

This year she signed up a Meltdown Bootcamp class with a friend that included core strength exercises and cardio as well as a bi-weekly nutrition plan To weigh. (With her first, She weighed 304 pounds.) She downloaded the Run 5K app and added small running intervals to her walks. She took spin classes and aqua aerobics, and did a few extra laps in the pool after doing aqua aerobics.

As she exercised and lost weight, she realized that the exercises she was doing made up the three parts of the triathlon. It didn't take long before she could swim 30 lengths, ride her spin bike 12 miles, and run / run three miles. (A sprint triathlon is a 750-meter swim, a 20-km bike, and a 5-km run.)

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"I would be in my spin class and in the back of my mind I'd be like, 'I'm preparing for a triathlon, ha ha," she said. "It was fun to dream about. I never thought I would But the lesson she learned is one that any runner or cyclist with a race date circled in the calendar knows well: “If you make sense of the workout,” Reynolds said, “it's a lot more fun. "

In July 2013, at the age of 59, she signed up for her first triathlon, in Indianapolis. She didn't tell anyone but her husband. Even though she'd lost more than 100 pounds – she'd dropped to 226 – by the time she stood at the water's edge, she was reluctant to take off her cover-up and didn't want people to see her in a bathing suit. There she used two mantras that have helped her during her weight loss and athletic journey: Go away, pride. Go away, fear.

Sue Reynolds favorite gear

Cervelo S3 Disc Ultegra R8020 road bike

Competitivecyclist.com

$ 5,000.00

Newton Running Fate 5

Garmin Forerunner 945

Precision hydration tablets

Precision hydration tablets

"I realized how much pride got in my way between something I want to achieve and what I want to achieve or not," Reynolds said. “I built this wall in this first race. I would be on one side of the wall and pride on the other. "She's scared too, she said. Would she have a heart attack? Break a leg? Fear had to go to the other side of the mental wall too.

Reynolds' dog paddled parts of the swim, and she sat on an icebox, ate a sandwich, and brushed her hair on the first transition. She was dead last. And she was addicted.

Sue Reynolds

Courtesy Sue Reynolds

When she got home, she signed up for someone else. She also looked for "triathlon coaches" and discovered Brant Bahler, who lived in her hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. He was 27, half her age, younger than her two sons, and to his credit he didn't flinch when she showed up to meet him.

"She tried to describe that she was older and overweight," Bahler told Bicycling. "That was never really a problem for me. I get people where they are and get them where they want to be."

She continued to attend events under Bahler's guidance, but was usually the only one in her age group. The next summer, she went to see US citizens in Milwaukee to see how she could hold up against women her age. She finished 29th out of 44 women in her age group and had an experience in the water when she accidentally swam over a competitor, showing that she was having a competitive streak that she never knew was there.

"I freaked out," she said of the race during the swim section. “I told my coach I thought we had a problem. He laughed and said, "Sue, this is a good thing. Don't push anyone down on the street. It's okay in sports. That doesn't mean you're a bad person."

By 2015, she had gone from 20 minutes of training five days a week to 10 hours of training six days a week. It was down to 144 pounds. For the first time she qualified for Team USA and attended the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico, where she finished 11th.

Her best year was 2017 when she finished sixth on Worlds and Top American. She also reached her current weight of 135 pounds. And finally she thoroughly convinced herself of being an athlete.

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When it comes to her food, Reynolds agrees with what she eats daily. She eats a lot of yogurt, oatmeal, whole grain bread, fruits and vegetables. She also allows herself one "fraudulent meal" each week, which is usually waffles with maple syrup.

If she deviates from her plan, she moves on. "I'll just restart," she said. “I'm going back to the plan. I am not beating myself up. "

Her aspirations as an elite athlete motivate her to stay on track. She always thought, "For every five pounds I lose, it will be easier to run. w, every five pounds I put on it will be harder to run, ”she said.

The love for sweets never goes away, she said. But it's easier to turn away now. "The targets are so strong," she said.

Sue Reynolds

Courtesy Sue Reynolds

During the coronavirus, Reynolds, who retired last year, is dedicated to working on her technique. Her motorcycle has always been her strongest event – she's confident and quad-dominant – while her run was her weakest, though that was the discipline that brought her to the sport. She works to activate and build her glutes to shorten her 5km time.

Reynolds also published a book earlier this year, The Athlete Inside, which describes her weight loss Travel and its development as an international competitor. Proceeds from the book, available from Amazon and Barnes & ble, will go to the USA Triathlon Foundation to support triathletes with disabilities and low vision.

Her trainer feels that at 66 she is getting stronger. "She will be a different athlete at the end (of the pandemic)," he said. "She's an amateur and that's for fun, but she's still grinding and trying to get better every day and every year."


Sarah Lorge Butler is a Eugene, Oregon based writer and editor. Their stories about the sport, its trends and fascinating people have appeared in Runner & # 39; s World since 2005.

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