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By Marc Edwards
My name is Marc, my background is in IT. I have been in information technology and cyber security for about 35 years, it is a sedentary job sometimes, and for the last 15 years that led to some weight issues, at my peak, I was 430 lbs, 15 years ago I was 220 lbs. that shows how sitting on my butt all day these 15 years this is where it got me.
1 year ago today I started riding my Cyrusher XF800. At that time I weighed 365lbs. I bought this bike/model because it had the capacity to support my overweight body. Today I weigh 191lbs. Between changing my diet and lifestyle and riding the XF800 almost daily, I have dropped 239 lbs (my highest weight was 430lbs in Feb 2020). As of today, I have 15,874 miles on my XF800.
My story started 18 months ago when I decided, not by choice really, but because of my health issues that I needed to lose weight. I ended having a blood clot in my leg. I ended having ultrasonic surgery to have it removed and I was told by my doctor, if I don’t do anything about my weight, I might have a heart attack or stroke in the next couple of years. After going through the blood clot I found out that I did have some medical issues that were the result of the weight gain, my thyroid was non-functional, and several other issues that put me on medication which kind of jump-started my weight loss.
Two months after I was on medication I had already lost 20 lbs. I decided to go to a weight loss clinic, talked to a dietitian and food psychologist to figure out what was happening and why I was gaining the weight. I didn’t really have a bad diet, didn’t eat fast food or fried food, but what I did do was I was eating once a day, usually a large 3000-4000 calorie meal at night before I went to bed. I didn’t eat breakfast, didn’t eat lunch, worked all day 10-12 hours a day, got home ate a big meal, went to bed. Turned out that was not about the quality of the food, but about the amount of food and its frequency.
Now I eat 6-8 oz of food every 2-3 hours. I am still eating pretty much the same food but improved its quality like switching from generic commercial brand foods to plant-based foods. The mental part of it was getting away from eating a big meal once a day and drinking coffee as my primary dietary staple for the rest of the day. Actually, I haven’t had coffee in almost 20 months now. No caffeine at all, no sodas.
I also went through some surgery, like gastric sleeve surgery which is where they remove a percentage of your stomach which also helps you to not eat as much, obviously because your stomach is smaller. Before the surgery, I had to lose another 30 lbs before they consider the surgery. Just getting my thyroid fixed, getting my diet fixed, started the weight loss. But I was told by several doctors that, no matter how much weight I lost I would always put it back on because I would always have the desire to eat a lot, that there were other things to be done in order to prevent me from eating a lot of food at one time.
The other part of the problem I had, again, was the sedentary job. I didn’t have time to exercise and I needed to figure out how to make the time, so that’s where the buy of the bike came in. I said you know what, I commute to work 25 miles, it takes me an hour to an hour and a half in a car to get to work. It is kind of ridiculous going downtown LA and taking 1 hour -1.5 hours to drive 25 miles, that means 15 miles an hour speed, and I well can get a bike and I could ride 15 miles an hour and still make it to work in the same amount of time.
When I started looking at bikes I wasn’t actually looking at e-bikes, what took me to e-bikes was the weight capacity, because of how heavy I was, I was 365 lbs. when I started looking. Most bikes have a max weight capacity of about 250 lbs. This means I would have had to lose another 115 pounds before I could even consider getting on a bike which was a very daunting task and I kind of wanted to start doing some exercise-wise right now right then.
So Google search has led me to e-bikes, and what led me to Cyrusher was the fact that they had inventory in the middle of Covid; last year there were a lot of companies that didn’t have inventory. So I purchased my Cyrusher e-bike and received it just on time after my surgery, just before doctors were gonna release me to do any kind of physical exercise, so it just worked out hand-in-hand.
The e-bike amplifying my pedal, got me to work faster than a regular bike, and that was what I was looking for. I honestly didn’t want to peddle a bike for two hours to and from work every day, that’s four hours of commuting on a bike, which I probably could do but I didn’t want to spend that much time commuting. Many people say, well what’s the point to get an e-bike, you don’t do any exercise with an e-bike… well, you still have to pedal, I’m not going to throttle 25 miles to work, I mean, I can ride a motorcycle if I want to do that.
So that’s where everything really started, I got the bike, I learned a lot about e-bikes, I didn’t know anything about them, I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 15 years old, that was 35 years ago! I went to change some parts of the bike just to make it more efficient for the bike to perform what I wanted to do. The first day I rode took me a little over an hour and a half, ran out of battery 4 miles before I got to the office, so I had to pedal that bike the last 4 miles by myself and uh… I was dead when I got to work but, it was amazing to me that everybody knew I was coming in on the bike that day because I had told people in my department that I was going to try biking to work.
They were all standing out in front of the building waiting for me to show up, and I got applause from everybody I work with. 30 people were standing out there and cheering me on because I managed to do that 25 miles, and they all knew what I was struggling with my weight, and the company has been great, I mean, my employer has been behind me a hundred percent, they keep cheering me up, complimenting me, coming up and telling me how good I look since I'm losing the weight over the last year, even now several other people at work are following suit with me and working to lose the weight themselves.
I realized within the first couple of days it was taking me the same amount of time to get to work on a bike than by car. I was not losing any time. As a matter of fact, I now get to work a lot faster than I do in my car because I found out routes, riverbeds, and bike paths that don’t have to deal with traffic, I don’t have to do stoplights, I don’t have to deal with turns and stuff, I just get on and go, and I can pedal at 25-30 miles per hour on the bike and get to work on time. Now my fastest time is 42 minutes to go 25 miles, my slowest time is 72 minutes.
I move when I’m coming: I get out in the middle of traffic and make my left turns, right turns, and I keep pace with the 35-40 mile an hour traffic that’s going up the streets around here… and um… been pulled over three times by police while riding by ebike, by either driving too fast (I was driving 30 mph in a 25 mph zone), and for not having turn signals on my bike (so now I have turn signals on my bike) because of how fast I was moving. I now get to work, you know, I feel great, I’ve put almost 13,000 miles on my electric bicycle in 11 months, I have not even put 3,000 miles on my car in the same time.
The Cyrusher bike model I bought is the XF800 because it has full suspension and I didn’t know with my size how harsh that ride was going to be, so I wanted something with full suspension. I eventually added air-shock suspension to improve it, but I think that’s pretty much the same with all things you buy, same with a car, eventually you do some modifications to entirely fit your needs. I also added 12 volts off-road lights so I am very visible at nights and avoid accidents, I mean these 12 volts lights can be seen half a mile away! So people know when I am coming.
To know more about how Marc used his Cyrusher XF800 to further lose weight, all the riverbeds he discovered, bike modifications and more about his amazing lose weight story, check out the complete interview below.
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