Hometown Summerfield, North Carolina
Weight lost 105 pounds
Scott Trombley returned from his first bike ride in years-two decades, actually sweating and bleeding. He'd wrecked twice because he failed to disengage his feet from the pedals when he stopped. He had never felt happier.
At 46, he harbored no illusions regarding his situation. "To say I was a mess," he says, "was an understatement." He weighed 320 pounds because of an eating habit that had replaced a nicotine habit. (Find out: What's your ideal cycling weight?) He had coronary-artery disease and three stents in his heart, and had entered the early stages of diabetes. "My doctor said to me, 'If you don't get off your tail and lose weight, you won't see your kids graduate,'" he recalls.
He'd tried. He had dieted, and he'd walked and, when he could handle the knee pain, he'd jogged. All to no avail. On a drive after getting his third stent, Trombley passed some cyclists in brightly colored gear. "I said to my wife, 'I wish I could do that,'" he says. "She said the words that became my motto over the next few years: 'Why not do it?'" They drove to a shop where he bought a Fuji Roubaix Pro, an XXL jersey, and shorts. Looking like "an overfilled sausage casing"-once again, seeing his situation with a stark clarity-he headed out for the first ride of his new life.
Trombley began cycling every day. After two weeks of going just a few miles, he bagged 10, then 15, then 20. He rode to work-a 7-mile trek-then gradually widened the return trip until it reached 50. He joined a Saturday group ride and began competing against his times using Strava. Within eight months, he'd ridden 4,000 miles.
Related: 7 Sneaky Ways Cycling Takes Off Pounds!
Now at 215, he has reduced his blood pressure and cholesterol meds. "I feel better than I have in years," he says. He's ridden 100 miles at a clip, and his next challenge is a double century-all to prepare for his ultimate goal, to ride across America. "I met a man at a ride across North Carolina who did it when he was 65," Trombley says. "He said, 'If you can ride across the state, you can ride across the country.'" Trombley can see it clearly now.
Turn your bike into a powerful weight loss tool and Ride Your Way Lean!
What he's Learned
Set goals that are attainable, and be aggressive about seeking help when you hit a roadblock.
"At first, I focused on riding. I had such a good time on the bike, I didn't realize the side effect-I was losing weight."
Nutritionists can be really helpful. They work with you to solve problems when you're struggling with your diet. (Need some tips to get you started? Follow this guide to the Foods that Make You Fitter and Faster.)
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From "Mess" To Success on a Bike
Scott Trombley went from overweight and out of shape to lean, fit and loving life thanks to his time on the bike
Image: Charles Harris