My Weight Loss Story

It’s been awhile since I’ve written “Bodies-in-Balance. Last spring, I took some time off to recharge because I kind of felt like I’d been running out of things to say. I also wanted the time to take care of a couple of other things, one of which was quite a surprise.

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time helping others lose weight and get in shape, and I’ve always been pretty active myself. Somehow, I took my eye off the ball personally.

I’d been kidding myself that I was “bulking up.” My clothing covered it pretty well, and I was still pretty active, but when the shirt came off, my abs had come up missing and I was getting those “handles” on the sides. Kathy tells me she knew that, but she didn’t want to embarrass me. Great.

The final straw came when preparing for the Illini Half-Marathon last spring. It was just harder running those longer distances. In fact, I was surprised at how much harder it had gotten. I went back and checked my records from a couple years ago, and it turns out that I was carrying an extra 25 lbs of fat. No wonder it was harder!

After the race, I decided to do something about it. I was supposed to be the “fitness guy” with all the answers, so this should be easy, right? It wasn’t—at least at the start. I decided right away to get some extra workouts going (I call these “bonus” workouts).

For me, my “bonus” workout was the exercise bike at night for an hour, watching the news shows I’d recorded, or a morning walk for 2 or even 3 miles. Sometimes I did both. I also turned it up in the gym with more intensity, more variety, and longer workouts.

On the weekend, I’d ride the bike for 2 hours, or go and do a 3-4 mi run followed by an hour on the bike. Sometimes I even got in a third workout, if I had a chance. That fat just doesn’t come off by itself—you’ve got to burn it off!

The other big thing I changed was watching my portions, and getting off the cookies and chips. It was amazing how much I’d been overeating. I started eating sandwiches on 1 piece of bread, instead of two. I also started eating more rye bread.

I cut down to a low fat yogurt, and cut my ice tea consumption way back too. Occasionally, I’d have a treat like a donut, or chips, but basically, I watched it pretty closely for 3 months.

Little by little, it started coming off—at first, just a half pound a week. Then it went to two pounds, three pounds, and a couple times, even four pounds a week.

Before the race, my weight was 194.4 lbs and 17.0% fat. By the end of July, I was down to 174.2 lbs and 12.0%. At last look, I was 169.2 lbs and 9.9% fat. Man, I feel better. It’s so much easier to move and I found my abs too.

Going through this experience myself made me realize we needed to bring back the Biggest Loser program so we can help others get back on track, too. As a result, “Biggest Loser 14” starts Monday, September 19th. We’ll meet from 6-7 pm for 12 weeks (13 sessions).

This is the first time for Monday nights. Hopefully, it will give people a chance to get their week off to a great start. Participants don’t have to be members, but they probably should have a fitness membership somewhere, or at the least, access to equipment at home.

Feel free to email me with questions at tomdolanfitness@gmail.com . I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle with “Biggest Loser 14” and with the article too!

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