A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more

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Some Thoughts on Life as it is for me Today

Staying Active

I can’t really say why. I can’t even say when. All I know is that I have a commitment to staying fit and lean that I never had in my life before and I am surprising myself with the depth of this commitment.

I was in meetings much of the day Monday, much of the day today, and stuck in my hotel room yesterday due to the effects of the hurricane. What did I do? I went to the fitness center in the hotel all three days. I did 20 minutes on the stationary bike on Monday. I did 25 minutes on both the elliptical and the stationary yesterday and today. I am sitting here typing this and wondering if I should go downstairs and do 25 on the treadmill…

Thoughts and Explanations

Commitment… That is why this has worked. Commitment. Commitment to the plan. Commitment to exercise and fitness. I don’t know where this came from. I never had it before. There are people who will tell you that I scoffed at the people who worked so hard at staying fit. I scoffed at exercise and eating right.

Now I watch everything I eat, record everything, and carefully select the foods looking at the nutrition and the health benefits. It was my habit to drink five to six cans of Diet Coke a day. Now I never drink soda of any type. I never consume artificial sweeteners and rarely have refined sugar. I eat a nearly vegetarian diet with only some fish or poultry where once I had red meats in large quantities. Vegetables were a small part of my meals. Now they are the center of my meals.

I look for the opportunity to work out, booking hotels based on the quality of the fitness center. At one time it was the type of restaurants in the hotel and if they had free beer with the meal. I spend my evenings on the exercise equipment instead of eat large meals or snacking on chips and dip.

All this is so surprising to me but I am enjoying it so much. I look good, I feel good and I know that I am doing everything I can to add years to my life.

I didn’t expect this to be so much fun.

There is a joy in seeing this change in oneself. It is hard to explain. It is almost as if I am seeing it in someone else. It is as though I am an observer to a great change in a long struggling friend. To think that I was so different just a few months ago; not even a year has gone by since I started this Journey. It is not the physical I am speaking of here. It is the total change: the change in attitude and the change in priorities as well as the changes in the physical and emotional me. If you could see the “inner me” it would be every bit as dramatic a change as the physical; perhaps more so.

I speak so often of the Journey. It has been a Journey to be sure. I have traveled some very difficult paths. This is, as I have said, a never-ending Journey. There will be more discoveries. There will be more changes, outward and within. The changes within are even more important to this journey than the changes anyone can see. I had to reinvent me. I have had to confront the issues that had made my life what it was. Insecurities, anger, volatility, drowning it all with food and succumbing to the frustrations and finding me immobilized, emotionally and physically.

The Journey continues. Every day I discover something new. Sometimes it is wonderful. Sometimes it is painful. It always moves me forward.

Now for something Different

The last three days have been difficult. I am separated from my family as I start my new job and a hurricane came through, knocking out the power to my home town and leaving my family in the dark and the cold for 48 hours. Being unable to go to them was hard.

The struggles of my family and our neighbors are so minor, no television, no phone, now hot food… On the Television we all saw images of terrible destruction. This is my home state. This is not something that happens in New Jersey. It happens in southern states on the gulf or the Atlantic but not up here. Hurricanes are bad rain storms by the time they make it here. Not this time. This time we were slammed.

Few in New Jersey are unaffected. 75% or more of the state lost power. In my home county 90% lost power. In the south of the state entire towns are devastated, entire communities wiped away.

Such destruction, such hardship puts so much in perspective.

No matter our personal struggles, we are all a part of a larger community and everyone needs help from time to time. If you can help, please do.




The Challenge

I am sitting in a hotel. Work is closed today and tomorrow due to the Hurricane. The weather is horrible and getting worse by the minute. Stuck in the hotel. Not much to do; bored silly.

The challenge is to not fill the time with food. The temptations are powerful. I was smart enough to buy some microwave food to have in the hotel room in case the restaurants are closed. It sits there tempting me.

So far so good.

I went to the fitness center and did 30 minutes on the stationary bike and texted with my son while pedaling. Then I rested for a bit and walked to the Chinese restaurant that is in the strip mall next to the hotel. Not bad food and I kept the amount within reason. Now I am writing this post.

What I will do with the rest of the night is the question. The challenge would have undone me a year ago. I think, I hope, I am up to it now.

There is always a reason to fall back to old habits, bad practices, and unhealthy choices. Eating from boredom, stress, anger, sadness, joy… There is always an excuse available. The challenge here is not taking the excuse, the easy way out. The challenge is to resist and stay with the plan that has proven so successful. That is what I keep telling myself as I sit here. Resist, stay on plan, stick with what works. What is difficult is to not rationalize and start eating. So I keep reminding myself that I got here by sticking with the plan at all times. Today at a plant-wide meeting I ate very lightly, avoided the delicious looking cakes and pasta salads, and ate half of a turkey wrap and a couple of pickle spears. I was satisfied, not full, and that is a key for me. I have to remember that walking away from the table stuffed to the gills is not the goal. Proper nutrition, being satisfied, not feeling full. This is what I want from my meals.


I am so surprised at my desire to exercise. I was never really into exercise. Yes, I am a cyclist again and was really into cycling as a young man. I was never interested in exercise for exercise sake. Sitting on a stationary bike? PLEASE, SPARE ME. Now? Now I pick my hotels based on their fitness center. I spent a half hour on the stationary bike as I mentioned, and I will probably go to again tonight and work on the elliptical. And the amazing thing is that I enjoy it. I look forward to it. Go figure.

I guess it can honestly be said that you can change if you really desire to change. I did. I think I have.