Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I was fat.

No, I wasn't Chris Christie fat. But when I went home for Christmas dinner, my mom jokingly
asked, "Who invited John Daly? Where is my son?", I knew I wasn't ready to do a photo shoot
for Speedo.

With that harsh dose of reality belting me in the face by my sweet mother, I made my New Year's resolutions, which included dropping 15 pounds. That lasted for about three days as I shattered the guidelines I put down in writing to accomplish that goal. No drinking? Busted. No pizza? Who's kidding who? Working out everyday? Pfffft!

I'll admit it. My one true talent in life is my ability to eat. If I put my mind and mouth to it,
I have little doubt that I could end Joey Chestnut's reign as the hot dog eating champion. I am
that good. If it's not nailed down or moving, I eat it. Giving that up, is not easy. Neither is
trying to get to the gym every day.

I hit rock bottom on February 10 after finishing off two large pizzas and a few pitchers of beer
with some friends. I looked in the mirror and what I saw staring back at me was not pretty.
Forget about a double-chin, my chin and neck had morphed into one. My love handles were
so pronounced that if they had bolted me to an auxillary boat on the Titanic, I would have
saved six additional lives.
I tipped the scales at 238, which is great for an NFL tight end, but not good for someone
nearing 50-years old with knees that barked at him every day. Losing weight at this age isn't
easy, either. Metabolism slows to a crawl and motivation comes and goes like men go in and
out of Madonna's bedroom.

I had no choice but to go all in.

Lent was just three days away and I decided to make a lot of sacrifices. To Catholics, Lent
is a period  of six weeks where the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of
luxuries as a form of penitence. Yeah, I had been bad and could use some  self-denial.
I never denied that I was a little  plump and needed to do something extreme. So, I denied
myself of everything bad like booze, bread, butter, baked goods, and anything from Baskin
Robbins for forty days.

There would be no short cuts like stomach-staples, lap-bands, nutri-slim, nutri-fast, or diets
named after cities or famous doctors. This would be done the old-fashioned way.

I  committed to a hard-core fitness program and was on my way. Those who've read my blog
in the past know that I've battled the bulge with different types of regimes. In 2012, it was
Gorilla training with some yoga mixed in for flexibility and spiritual cleansing. I got in
shape to do half-ironman triathlons, but I never lost as much weight as I had hope to.

This time around, I took up the Forest Gump distance program. I just kept running and
running, until I didn't feel like running no mo'.  Jen-aaaay would've loved that I signed up
for half-marathons in Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn, Lake Placid, Danbury, Fairfield and Vermont,
and completed them all. Lent ended with Easter and by May, I was down to 225lbs. I felt
much better and my knees stopped barking at me so much. I still had a ways to go to where
I wanted to be, though. When  you eat a plate of pasta at this age, you can add on five
pounds pretty quickly.

Unlike Forest, I haven't stopped running. I also cut out dairy from my diet and tried to stay
away from anything with sugar in it. I continued to deny myself of booze and all the bad stuff
I listed. What did I eat? Chicken, chicken, and more chicken. When I collected enough food
stamps, I sprang for a steak once in a while, but it's mostly been chicken and protein shakes.

JUNE 16 219 LBS
I broke the 220 barrier in mid-June and that was cause for celebration. I hadn't seen a 1 after
the first 2 in a long, long time. One chin down, one to go. No booze, bread, butter, and sweets
and a whole lot of running for four months got me down to 219. My next goal was 210 pounds,
which I hadn't been since I was hanging out with Kevin Costner and talking a little baseball in
1988. Yeah, it was that long ago.

September 1 was my target day for hitting the 210 mark. I did more of the same to try to
get there. Running, running, and more running, plus I mixed in long-distance bike rides and swimming. Sugars ands sweets didn't entice me at all. I began to wonder why the heck I
even ate donuts,  bagels, and Twinkies in the first place. They are pure poison.

On September 1, I did it. I tipped the scales at 209. That's down 29 pounds since February
10. I didn't even have a double-scoop of chocolate mint chip to celebrate. I'm happy, but I'm
not done. I'd like to get down to 205 by November 1. Everything is easier when you're lighter
Running doesn't hurt as much and since I no longer have to wear a sign that says. "extra wide
load" when I bike, going up hills isn't all that tough anymore.

My pants are actually loose, and I've found that woman between the ages of 85 and 100 have
begun to flock to a slimmer me.

Yes, being lighter sure has its benefits.


  1. Wow--quite impressive, however, much younger women are likely flocking as well.

  2. This is funny & inspiring. you're awesome at any size, but I'm very happy for you! Thanks for sharing the experience! ;-)

  3. Nice work Devil! Now I will probably only be seeing your reduced backside pulling away from me in races!

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