She Fell in Love With Riding During Quarantine—Now She’s Certified to Teach Indoor Cycling

Photo credit: Courtesy Sharlitha Reed
Photo credit: Courtesy Sharlitha Reed

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Name: Sharlitha Reed
Age: 32
Hometown: Rochester, New York
Occupation: Account Executive; Mid Market Sales/ Personal Trainer
Time Cycling: 20 months
Start Weight: 193 pounds
End Weight: 143 pounds

I have always been athletic, but I’ve struggled with binge eating junk food, especially at night. I am only 5’1, and at one point I was 235 pounds toward the end of my pregnancy. After I gave birth, in January 2015, my weight hovered around 200 pounds, and the extra weight I was carrying around made everything hard, especially walking up the stairs to get to my third floor apartment every day. I was tired of being winded.

I had just started a weight loss journey in January 2020 when COVID-19 shut the country down in March 2020. I knew I had to figure out a plan to continue my weight loss journey, since I would be confined to my house and couldn’t go to the gym. So I started searching the internet to determine what would be the easiest option to keep up with my health goals, and I found cycling.

I bought a stationary bike off Amazon made by Sunny Health and Fitness because it was small enough to fit in my bedroom and didn’t take up a lot of space. I was contemplating purchasing a Peloton, but had never taken a cycling class in my life before, so I opted to buy a lower cost spin bike and use the Peloton app for the guided workouts. I fell in love with cycling after my first 45-minute class with Alex Toussaint.

I trained twice a day—one hour in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening for the first month about five or six days a week. We were quarantined, so I really started to ride more for entertainment, and the Peloton app was my go to for training schedules.

During this time, I didn’t follow a specific diet. Instead, I mainly cut out alcohol and Zebra Cakes (my weakness) when I first started my weight loss journey. Anything I eat now gives me the fuel I need for the intense workouts that I generally do on a daily basis.

Now that I’m no longer in quarantine, I don’t have as much time as I did. But my current cycling schedule is two or three days a week minimum, with a 20-minute ride at a moderate resistance. I also do strength training and work on the treadmill.

Sharlitha’s Must-Have Gear

Nike Super Rep Cycle Shoes: These give smooth pedal strokes, and my feet don’t feel restricted. They are very breathable.

Scosche Heart Rate Monitor: I’ve found this to be the most accurate heart rate monitor for tracking my calories and heart rate during my cycling classes.

Nike Pro 5-Inch Shorts: I hate riding in leggings because of how much I sweat, and I hated when the material would rip after long rides. These Nike shorts are perfect, and they don’t ride up either.

Kitsch Velvet Scrunchies: I love scrunchies because they keep my hair tied up and don’t leave any creases in my hair after my rides.

Cycling has made me more confident in not only my body, but in the way I talk about fitness. I love cycling so much that I went and got certified to teach. I love motivating and inspiring others to travel down the same cycling journey that I took because of how much it helped change my life.

I have lost a total of 50 pounds thanks to cycling, and 92 pounds overall.

It wasn’t easy, and it’s honestly all about consistency. It’s about showing up on the days that you really don’t want to do anything. That’s what made me fall in love with cycling. Create your passion and push through to earn the success you seek.

We want to hear how cycling changed you! Send your story and submit your photos to us via this web form. We’ll pick one each week to highlight on the site.

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