How I’m going from a really fat guy (again) to a less fat guy (again)

Well, it’s been long enough.. it’s time to fess up. I admit it. It’s true. I have been eating right and exercising again. If you followed long enough, you’d remember that back in 2011, I went on a journey to get fit…. and it worked; better than I could have dreamed.

“How I went from a really fat guy to a less fat guy”.

I was supremely disciplined in what I ate and really got into the exercise. As you’d expect, that yielded fantastic results. Naturally, over time the discipline slipped and the weight came back! Admittedly, it took 12 years for me to feel it (though, it was apparent).

I’ve had a couple of lower body injuries over the years. First, while running, then basketball, then I blew my calf out last November while walking. Physical therapy for the calf got me started moving last fall. On January 7, I committed to starting it back up… I started eating right. That means ~2000 calories per day of high protein, well balanced diet. That means finding a way to get back in the weight room and to start adding muscle back. I have been on-track and working at is since that day.

Today, while thinking about buying some new Football “Spirit Wear” I went through a few of my old sweatshirts and none of them fit. All of them were ridiculously too big. That felt great. The scale is moving; which is a terrific motivator (down 85 lbs as of this morning) but so are those things like “oh crap, when it gets cold out; I will literally have nothing to wear”

Keep fighting the good fight, my friends…. Remember, if I can do it: so can you.

Yours truly at NNHS Moms’ Practice on August 12, 2023

Wow! 2014 has just flown by!

So much has happened, so much fun, so much craziness.

I did a triathlon:

Here I am not drowning!After Finishing w/Will and Michelle











I’ll probably do some more; it was fun.  The training was tough, just what I needed and without too much running.  I like running as an activity that is part of a fitness routine; but less as “the thing that you do”.  I guess I’m just too old and fat for it 🙂

But most of all I was a cheerleader for Austin’s soccer team, the Blue Bombers!


Goals for 2013; a new year a new list!


Well, my friends, 2012 has come to a close; and its time to set some goals for 2013.  Let’s remember that a goal is supposed to be SMART.  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.  I hit every single fitness based goal in 2012, and am carrying one weight number over.  I’m finding that as my weight loss slows down, my fitness is really ramping up.  That feels amazing.


1 One-Legged Squat on each leg

The One Legged Squat


This is by far my most aggressive goal.  Frankly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it.  Lets be honest; this is something that is for people a LOT smaller than I am.  I mean, the girl in the video weighs what, 90 lbs dripping wet?   Sounds like it should be a great challenge.  I admit, I have started on this one already.  Wanting to do ONE of these, is what started me down the path of the Bulgarian Split squat to really focus on the single leg strength.    This should be measurable as well; in that I can start out doing one legged from a chair as my core strength improves; then I can push the proper one-legged squat.


Ab Work 2x per week

Now, this one should be very achievable, in that in order to do the squat mentioned above, I am going to have to do a *LOT* of core strength and thats Ab and lower back work.  I’m not looking for a six pack or anything like that, just functional strength and a LOT of it.  I’m going to need it.


Half Marathon

This is one that I have talked about off and on for the past couple of months.  I’m sure this one will get done (barring injury) in July. I have already signed up for the Chicago Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon  and will formally start that training in March.  I am planning on using the Hal Higdon Novice 2 program  to ramp up for the race.  13.1 miles is a HUGE stretch, but I realize that at this point, its mind over matter… in that if I don’t mind the pain, it don’t matter!!  Come and cheer me on, I’ll need it!


Healthy BMI

The one carry over from 2012.  I had set a goal of a healthy BMI by the end of the year 2012; and I didn’t even come close.  I started celebrating early and have been at 220-ish for several months.  Those last 30 lbs are indeed the hardest!  I’m going to do it; and have recommitted to the program for 2013.


That’s it; I can do it, and so can you.  Its an easy plan; but hard to stick with it.  JUST KEEP GOING.


My new year’s resolution:  Make one healthy eating decision every day, instead of making a bad decision.



In the interest of full disclosure:

Dear Friends:

Having looked back through my little blog here it seems that I have done a really nice job of publishing my accomplishments and proud moments.  I have done this hoping to inspire and motivate people to see what is possible and that you can do seemingly impossible things.  There is, however, another side of the story.  I have failed over and over again.  Overall, I seem to be winning the war; but I have lost many mini-battles.  I have missed many mini-goals that I have set for myself.  Yes, I’ve been successful so far.  Yes, I am very proud of how far I have come.  But please, please, please remember that its not all WINNING. Its overcoming a lot of losing and disappointment as well.  Be prepared for that.

In fact, I am fully expecting to miss a goal that I set for myself.  If you recall, a month ago I told you about a contest where Michelle and I are racing to “Healthy BMI”.  Our first checkpoint is next Friday.  It looks like I’m going to be behind!  I’m trying to stay positive that I still have plenty of time to get there; but I am really disappointed that it doesn’t look like I will hit it.  Well, I probably *could* hit it; but I don’t want to starve or kill myself just to hit an arbitrary number.  I want to do it the right way!

At any rate, keep at it my friends. You won’t hit every goal and you won’t win every contest.  Just keep an eye on the prize: Long term healthy lifestyle changes and you will get there!


Dear 50 minute hills…

Dear 50 minute hills,

I’m sorry that I got through the first 15 minutes of your workout and thought you were too easy and that I wasn’t pushing myself.  I really underestimated the amount of workout that you would put me through.   I’m sorry that I thought you were a push over workout.  Looking at the lovely notecard that Michelle gave me, I thought “no way is this going to be hard.. I mean its *WALKING*”.  Yeah, well, I was wrong.. you were a good challenge.   Thank you for that.  I needed to do something different.  But yeah, now that we are all done with the workout, I wanted to let you know that I kicked your ass… but you knew that already. I spat in your challenge and pushed you over.. you know what?  I’m going to do it again.. only this time I’m going to go faster and push harder.  I OWN YOU.

Your friend,


ps – for those of you interested 50 minute hills on a treadmill looks like this:


Time Pace Incline
0 – 5 3.0 0
5 – 7 3.2 2
7 – 9 3.3 4
9 – 11 3.3 6
11 – 13 3.3 8
13 – 15 3.0 10
15 – 17 3.0 12
17 – 21 3.0 15
21 – 25 3.0 12
25 – 30 3.0 10
30 – 35 3.3 7
35 – 40 3.3 5
40 – 45 3.3 3
45 – 50 2.5 0


Before.. during… and closer to after…

I found it interesting to look at the pictures and correlate them to where I was along the way.  I didn’t really feel any different until I hit 100.. for some reason that was a magic number for me; I felt like a totally different person.  Of course, I *really* looked like a different person after I shaved my d-bag goatee 🙂

Aric through the year…

I see you over there….

Dear Fat Guy,

I see you over there on the Elliptical.  It’s ok; don’t worry, I’m not judging you.  I’m proud of you.  I know *exactly* what you are feeling right now.  I see that you are sweating like a hog; feeling like you look like a fool; embarrassed by the slow pace at which you are moving.  I know what its like to walk into the gym for the first time, and see all the “meatheads” and feeling the hot glare of their judgmental eyes.  Here’s a little secret for you:  many of those same meatheads were fat guys just like you.  They went into the gym for the first time and felt embarrassed that they didn’t know how to use any of the machines or free weights.  I know that I felt that way!

If you would just look around, instead of focusing on your feet while you workout, you would see how many people are watching you in awe.  I realize what a huge step you have made just by showing up and facing your fear.  You have begun your transformation already.  You aren’t accepting a life of passivity.  Every hard breath you take will be a bit easier than the one before.  Every step you is a little bit lighter. Each drop of sweat is shedding a little bit of your former self.  Be proud of what you are doing; and tell everyone about it!  Every push forward is a step toward a stronger, healthier you; one who knows that anything is possible.

Enjoy how hard it is now; and how much work it is.  Eventually you will look back and say to yourself “I cannot believe that I could only jog for 2 minutes at a time and felt like death”  Fitness and good food choices will be the new normal for you.  A trip out for a greasy cheeseburger will be a special treat, not an every day habit… AND YOU’LL LOVE IT.

I believe in you, and I want you to believe in you as well.  You’ve started your journey, now you just need to keep going.  Don’t stop and you will get there!


Time for some new goals!

Its about time to catch up on progress and to start thinking about setting some new goals.  I have been keeping track of my food for 302 days straight.  I have been logging everything I eat, every exercise I have done and have weighed in every single day.  If you have been paying attention to anything I have said; you would know that I’m a firm believer that keeping track of what you are eating and weighing yourself regular are key to success.  I have been using (well, more specifically, the iPhone app) to track all of my eating, weighing and exercise.  If you want to get started, this is a great way to do it.  Its free and has a very supportive community.  If you do sign up; feel free to “friend” me (turbodog14); and I will cheer you on!

So, lets recap the goals that I had set and see where I am at:

  1. Size 38″ Pants by August:  DONE!  I’m currently wearing a size 38 comfortably!
  2. Not be a liar on my driver’s license weight by end August:  DONE!  I currently weigh 224 (down 4 lbs from the 228 on my driver’s license).  Please keep in mind that I haven’t changed my height or weight on my driver’s license; ever.  So yeah, I weigh less now than I did when I was 16
  3. Run a 5K by the end of summer:  DONE!  I ran the Unlimited Performance 5K in Sycamore on June 9th (Happy Birthday Mom!).  Read about my experience HERE. In fact, I’m currently running a 5K 3 times a week; and am trying to push up to a 10K… Maybe do the Pumpkin Run in October?


I have spent the past couple of weeks trying to think of some new fitness and weight loss goals.  I am trying to focus on short and medium term goals.  I’ve found that trying to set a long term goal and to put date parameters around it is very difficult when it comes to my own personal weight loss journey.  I would rather set an aggressive short/medium term goal and really push for it.

  1. Drop another pants size by December 31: and with that finally buy a few pairs of pants
  2. Achieve a “Healthy” BMIby December 31 (more on this below).
  3. Finish a 10K by December 31st


Once I hit my driver’s license weight a few weeks ago, I really stagnated for a couple of weeks and it was really frustrating.  I realize that the stagnation was a result of being lazy about food.  I was still working out and running hard; but I just wasn’t as disciplined as I usually am about food.  Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t start pigging out; I just was not a precision eater, like I have been for the past 302 days.  I went up by 5 lbs in that short time.  I found that if I want to see where the “end” of this journey is, I am going to have to stay focused and to have concrete goals.  The good news is that when I hit 228; I went from “Obese” to “Overweight” on the BMI chart for my height.  That was sobering.  I think I look pretty damn good, but even according to my doctor; I’m still overweight.  In fact, when I went to visit him last week he was very impressed with how I have done and how far I have come, but mentioned that if today was the first day that I had ever met him he would encourage me to eat right and exercise to drop a few pounds.

At my height and body frame, the top end of the “Normal” BMI weight range is 195.  I’m pretty sure that I haven’t weight under 200 lbs  since Junior High.  That is completely insane!   So, in order to hit an insane goal; I need some insane motivation!   With the help of my lovely wife, we have set up a little wager.  We are both going to strive for “Healthy” BMI. The actual number to lose to get to a  healthy BMI is a little higher for Michelle; so we adjusted the final weight number for her to make it more fair. So, the first person to hit their magic number (mine is 195, hers is @%&$!) by December 31st is the winner.  The stakes are high.  The winner gets to decide on a weekend get away for us… either the winner plans it, or the winner can make the other person plan it.  It is entirely up to the winner how to handle it.  I’m thinking that it might be fun to go to the NFL Pro Bowl in January…    In order to make sure that we are keeping pace with the required weight loss (which comes out to around 1.5 lbs per week); we have set up check points every 7-ish weeks.  If you hit your number for the check-in you get a mini-prize.  The winner of the check point gets an additional prize as well.

That should keep things interesting and motivated until the end of the year!    What is your motivation to keep going?

I have said it many times:  If I can do this, so can you!!  Get started and just keep going!!!

A “New” Me!

So, as I have been doing since October 17th, 2011; I went to the gym last night for my thrice weekly workout.  I see basically the same set of people every night that I go.  I like to refer to myself as the “formerly fat guy”.  There is the “girl who wears too much make up”, the “staffer who won’t stop hitting on every girl that walks by”, the “used to be a fat girl, but now is smokin hot”, and then there is the collection that I like to refer to as the “Meatheads”.


The Meatheads are a special group of dudes who wear their under armor shirts a little too tight; and their shorts a little too short and like to warm up with bicep curls.. then max out with bicep curls and cool down with more bicep curls.  Now, don’t get me wrong; they are all put together the right way; muscles on top of muscles and obviously they have been at this for a while.  Their work really pays off.  I can’t help but laugh when I see them flexing in the mirror while trying to look like they are just stretching.  I’d be lying if I weren’t just a little envious of their physiques.


Last night was slightly different for me.  You see, last week I decided to shave my goatee.  I haven’t been without facial hair in probably close to 16 years.  Michelle has only seen me without facial hair once; when I accidentally shaved it off before a friend’s wedding (OOOOOOPS).   I think that maybe I was hiding behind the facial hair.  I’m not sure why, I just always felt comfortable with it, and thats “who I was”.   I think the shaving was more symbolic of my metamorphosis into something new.  I’m creating a new life for myself and at the center of that is being healthy.  Why hide behind the d-bag goatee anymore!  Who knows, maybe I will grow it back.. just so my kids will recognize me again!  HA!  So, when I got to the gym and went to work on the dumbbells one of the meatheads came over to me and said “Hey, you shaved, it looks great. You look 10 years younger”.  So, I was totally in aww that one of the meatheads recognized me and complimented on how I looked.  That was pretty cool.    I then realized that if that meathead was writing a blog; maybe I was one of his “guys” that he would refer to with quotes around a description to be funny.


What should my “nickname” be?  I’m partial to “formerly really fat guy”.. but I’m open minded..


Anyhow:  This is what I look like now: