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

Five Years on the Journey and No Closer to the End


Happy Anniversary

fat mark

August 14, 2011 310 Pounds

It was five years ago today.

I struggled to sit up in bed, getting my 300+ pounds moving in an upward trajectory was not easy.  I sat there and pondered getting up to walk to the bathroom.  Pushed myself to standing and turned to Missus and told her that I was starting that day to get healthy.

I was 50 years old and I felt much older.  I felt weak all the time.  Tired and out of breath all the time. I took my two blood pressure meds every morning.  I got winded on the flight and a half from the first floor of our home to the second.

Bending over to tie my shoes was exhausting because I couldn’t breathe when bent over

310 with Santa

It’s bad when Santa thinks you are chubby…..

like that. I had any number of adaptations to my size. All of which only slightly mitigated the difficulties caused by a 48-inch waist and 52-inch chest.

Finally, on December 27, 2011, I reached the breaking point. I finally had enough of being
fat, being physically unfit and being tired all the time.

I finally got tired of waiting to have the heart attack and decided it was time to start living.

Trust me, I am not being overly dramatic here.

Considering the Reasons

Over the five years since I started on my Journey I have thought about this many times,

thought about it deeply and in detail and I have come to the conclusion that I had simply accepted that I would have a heart attack one day and it would take my life and I would be the latest member of the family to succumb to the family curse of heart disease.  Having accepted that, I gave myself permission to eat like a ravenous hog and to eat anything I desired.  And I desired a lot.

On December 27, 2011 I made a different decision.  I decided I would fight against the family curse.  I would do what my father and his father and his grandfather before him didn’t do.

I would eat right, I would eat less and I would move more.

I still don’t know what triggered it that morning. I know that a few days before, on Christmas Eve, I had caught my reflection in a floor to ceiling window and I was aghast at what I saw, but that had happened before and it never triggered such a life-change before.

Whatever it was that happened in my head that morning in late December, it stuck.  I started to walk, to eat less, to eat right.  I learned to cut out snacking, decrease portion size, stay away from fast food, watch my calories and balance my diet.

I had many issues to work through. I still didn’t know what caused me to be the family


At the Start Line at 6:40 AM and ready to ride. Trim. Fit. Ready.  200 Pounds, Summer of 2013

member who got fat, why I used food as comfort and security, why I needed food from an emotional level. All of that self exploration and discovery was ahead of me as I sat on that bed that December morning. I had made the decision. I was going to lose the weight. I was going to live a healthier lifestyle. I didn’t know where the Journey would take me. That was many painful lessons to come.

Progress was rapid.

By March I was back on my bike for short rides.  I gave up red meat in April. By June I was riding 50 miles at a clip. In November I gave up poultry.

And I kept walking and riding and hiking. In October of 2012 I bought a new bike, in November I climbed a mountain with PGB and MT and there is a picture of me exultant at the top.

And I have kept doing it.

I kept walking right through a torn meniscus in the summer of 2012.  I couldn’t ride but I could walk.

I kept riding (foolishly) through a broken clavicle in 2014.

Through the holidays and cookouts, parties and celebrations I kept eating right and I ate less even when confronted with favorite foods.

Where I am Now.

Yes, I have gained a bit of the weight back.  35+ pounds. It is coming off again.  I look at 12359861_10153295089061593_7166576622616161929_nthat as a step back, not a failure.  I am beating the odds.  The Odds say I should have gained back ALL of the weight I have lost.  I lost 120 from my absolute peak.  I have gained back 35.  I think that is a victory all by itself but I am not sitting back and basking in the glory. I understand the risk.

I still do not eat red meat or poultry.  I do eat some fish.  My preference is to stay with a vegetarian diet but sometimes fish enters the equation.  When at a restaurant with friends and no true vegetarian dish is on the menu and faced with making a dinner of vegetable side dishes or a piece of fish, I will have the fish.


May, 2016 with my friend & riding partner, NI.  I am about 245 pounds here, nearly five years into the Journey.



Last year I only rode about 1200 miles on my bike.  Next year I am aiming for 4,500.  I may not get there but I have set the goal and I am determined to give it all I have.

I also plan to get back to 210 pounds.  I am certain I will do that.

I am determined to continue to, Eat right, Eat less, Move more.

I will continue to write this blog.

I am 55 years old now.  I started this Journey at 50.  I said then that this was an effort to get lean and fit for a lifetime.  Not for the High School Reunion or a nephew’s wedding.  Not so I would look good on the beach (that ship sailed a long time ago).  This is to stay alive as long as I possibly can.

And there are no dramatics there.  Just fact.

Thank you for joining me on the Journey.  Your encouragement has kept me going more often than I can tell you.



5 thoughts on “Five Years on the Journey and No Closer to the End

  1. Dear Mark,

    You are a true inspiration to many people.


  2. I. Love. This. Post.

    You are an amazing and honest man about the process. I have followed you for years and it has taken until recently for the lesson to actually stick. I am not as diligent as you–but for the first time I can actually see myself thinner again. For the first time ever. Since I was anorexic and bulemic in HS and college. I want to join you on this journey–but I am suffering from rotator cuff surgery and was finally released to just ride an upright bike. That is all I am allowed to do. Please do keep posting. They are so inspirational to me (and to others I am sure). You look amazing. Keep it up!

  3. FYI–I love how you say “and no closer to the end”. That made a huge impact on me.

  4. Thank you Sandra. I find your blog inspirational as well.

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