Needing to go into the office yesterday, I did something I used to do about 20 times a month for more than two years, but hadn’t since the beginning of May when I started working from home: I biked the 30-plus roundtrip miles to and from.

All in it was a little more than 31 miles over a combined time of 2.75 hours (14.5 miles to Westchester in 1:14; and 16.7 miles back to Silver Lake in 1:28, to be exact). And for the first time since I started dieting in July, I plugged in those numbers to the Activity Log section of Fitday.com, and put a calorie-burn estimate to what had once been such a regular exercise: 1,900! No wonder I was able to consume so much food (healthy and otherwise) and keep my body loitering around the 220-pound zone. And no wonder it only took me a couple months out of the saddle and into such a far more sedentary lifestyle to move me up to 236.

As it stands this morning, the scale told me I weigh 222.4 — my next in a continuing series of new lows. It’s a shame patience doesn’t burn calories as quickly as bicycling because overall it’s been a slower than expected journey downward. Sure, my goal is 215 by November 1, but secretly, based on my 2006 dietings when there were months that I’d shed upwards of six to eight pounds I figured I’d either be knocking on that door already — or at least on the walkway up to it.

Instead I’ve only averaged a loss of 2.72 ounces each of these last 80 days. Not that I’m complaining, just eager. That daily loss may only work out to not-quite 1.25 pounds a week, but it’s far healthier to drop it slowly and allow your body to acclimate to the difference than to surprise your body with more drastic losses.