Activ Cycles is a cycling forum and blog created by Oscar Eriksson.
In 2016 Oscar had to admit something to himself. He was 32 years old, single and terribly out of shape. For Oscar, the discovery of his love for cycling solved one of these problems – you can probably guess which one…
“Although exercise might well be all the rage now, it sure wasn’t back when I was a kid. I had both the pleasure and misfortune of growing up through what was arguably the golden age of video games. My parents loved me and as we didn’t want for money, they were more than happy to buy me each and every console as it was released. I was spoilt – I know, but I was also so happy.”
A childhood spent playing video games and eating too much hearty Swedish food led to Oscar developing a serious amount of weight as a child, weight that only snowballed as he grew older. In his teenage years Oscar happily continued to play video games and found that he was doing less and less exercise. The weight continued to pile on whilst he was at Stockholm University, funnily enough he never had much call to leave his chair whilst he was studying Computer Science, so by the time he graduated in 1995 he had ballooned to a bridge-worrying 14 stone.
“The funny thing about being overweight in Sweden is I don’t remember ever being bullied. I understand that here in the UK there is quite a problem with the smaller kids picking on those that are bigger, but I never had that problem back home.”
It was only when Oscar entered the working world that realised badly out of shape he really was and how desperately needed to lose weight. Four flights of stairs took him up to his first job as a programmer for IBM, he arrived at the building on time but after struggling up the stairs he arrived for his first meeting fifteen minutes late. The huge sweat patches that had accumulated on his white shirt were testament to his struggle and it took him hours to dry off.
“I’d not physically exerted myself in so long that I took me by surprise. My first day meeting all these new people and I was a sweaty mess – it was very embarrassing. Still, it took that embarrassment for me to see myself for what I was, a young man in his twenties who had ruined his body by simply eating too much.”
Oscar bought his bike the very next day, set his alarm to 6am and began his journey to fitness. With great difficult he tore himself away from his beloved Swedish food and began eating salad – within a year he had lost 2 stone, one year after that he had dropped down to a healthy 11 stone and was taking the once-dreaded four flights up two steps at a time.