My name is Andy, and this  is my story. I started out to lose weight and get fit because I was fed up and needed to make a change in my life. I found myself horribly overweight and out of shape, and realized that my daughter and wife deserved better than that from me. So, as a 330 pound man, I decided to try the impossible and start running. (Well, walking and running. A LOT more walking than running at first and then slowly worked my way up.) That, coupled with watching what I eat by counting calories has helped me to lose 130+ pounds, get myself back into shape, and completely change my life. (that’s the quick and dirty version of my story, anyway; if you want to take a look at a much more complete and detailed version, check out my very first post and introduction HERE)

I started this blog in the very beginning to keep myself accountable and honest throughout the entire process. Since I started I have trained for and raced everything from 5K, 10K, 10 Milers, and Half Marathons, and I am now slowly pushing forward, continuing the distance running and learning how to balance it all with “real life” along the way.

What you will find on this blog is a first hand account- a two and a half year snapshot of my life during this time. I am now at the end of my public weight loss efforts, but in the beginning when I was heavy into the weight loss efforts I would post close to 3 times a week, and once I hit the goals and started progressing into maintaining, racing, and product reviews, the frequency dropped to once a week or so, but all in all it’s a very consistent view of what was going on in my head and in my body during that time.

The story ends with me losing the weight, and altering the way I pretty much look at everything. This weight loss and blog have changed my entire life, and I could not be more grateful to all the readers, old and new who stop by and check out what I have had to say.

I have decided that as of June of 2014 I will not be regularly updating the blog anymore, but I am leaving it up for the sake of any other people out there who can still find some value in the chronicle of my weight loss. I will check back in from time to time, but if I can leave you with some parting words I want them to be this:

You can do it. believe me, if I can do this, you can too. I was the laziest couch potato there was, but once I hit my tipping point and decided to try it for real, I can serve as proof that hard work produces real results. One of the reasons I love running so much is because it provides me the way to surprise myself by accomplishing things that I honestly thought were impossible, even a short time beforehand. It’s an amazing feeling and I genuinely hope you get to experience it too. Hang in there, and keep at it, we’re all in this together.

I’m proud to share my story with you and hopefully it can inspire some more people out there to try, because it can be done!


Good. Bad. A little of each. And the latest (albeit late) update

Bad Andy. Bad Blogger.

Ok, so I missed last Fridays update.

It was a hectic day with a lot crammed into it and I just never got the chance to sit down and put my thoughts down. The holiday weekend was more of the same. I am nothing if not busy (and scheduled to the hilt pretty much all the time), so the post got pushed till today. I will resume my regularly scheduled Friday updates in a few short days.

Ok, so where am I at? 214. Booyaa. Down 10 from when I decided that I needed to make the move to take back control. It gives me hope that I will be meeting my goal of 20 pounds and 205 before the time’s up. Like I said before, I still expect the rate to slow and start dragging out, but I’ll take what I can get until that happens. 9 more to get there, and then to maintain it.

Now, before I break my arm patting myself on the back here, my worst fear actually did become a reality.

A little backstory. To kick this new effort all off, it took a little shove, a little slap in the face to bring me back to reality and realize that my body we bigger than I wanted it to be to the degree I needed to take action. For me, that slap in the face was the end of casual summer at my work. As I was comfy all summer in broken in jeans, totally oblivious. Not TOTALLY oblivious, I did have to pick up 2 new pairs of shorts in the next size up. But I explained that away in my head by saying that various brands of shorts and different styles run differently, so obviously it was the brand that just ran small. And things that used to fit OK started getting tight. Again, just dismissed and stuck to what fit me well. But in the horizon loomed the tragic return to business casual, a return to my dress pants and button downs. When all of a sudden it hit me that there was a very real chance that those pants were not going to fit me.

Those pants did not fit me. Efffffffff.

I’m right there in between sizes, my old pants still button, but they are equal parts passable and (just bordering on) obscene. If I am standing all day I could potentially pull it off (which is not unheard of, I do have one of those standing desks), but to sit down, it gets ugly. I decided to opt for the clothes that actually fit, so I swallowed my pride, took myself to the store and got a few pairs of pants the next size up. It’s one of those situations, where the new ones are just a bit big, I definitely need the belt to keep them in place, but they fit me well and I’m not showing everybody things only my wife needs to see. Jenn actually said to me today “you look good, you look slim and put together”. That may be the brand new clothes talking, or her making me feel good, but it’s amazing how I can look decent while wearing pants 2 inches bigger and with a belt two holes looser than what I used to wear it at.

Ok, so training is going well, I’m staying active and moving my ass as much as possible. I walk twice a day at work, and try to do something every day or two, workout-wise. I’m feeling good right now, which is a plus seeing as I have the first of my two big races of the fall coming up this weekend.  It’s a marathon relay, which means that you take the 26.2 miles of the marathon and break it into 5 separate “legs”, then have a member of the team you assemble each run a portion of the whole. Well, I did assemble a team (Team #BlameAndy…not my idea, I swear) and we will be taking it on this Sunday. I’ll be running leg #1 (6 miles) solo, and then running leg 2 with my teammate and friend after that (an additional 5 miles), so 12 miles on the day and I am PUMPED. Ready as I’m going to be and looking forward to this. It’s going to be a damn good time, my team is stocked with some amazing people and great friends and I’ve been looking forward to this since mid-summer when we got the idea to make it happen. This is also a race where I am not leading a pace group or keeping an eye on another runner (which I have taken to doing lately, and I LOVE doing that), but this one is for me. I get to see what I am really still capable of and what I can do in a race when I push myself.

So it’s a week of runs, cross training on the bike and in the gym (I do a little circuit of the elliptical-stationary bike-rowing machine-stepper), stretching and foam rolling for me. Getting ready to go for Sunday.

I’ll check back in on Friday and let you know how I’m doing.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll catch you later.

Have a good one.


First update on the road back

Now that I am back, I’ve been trying to figure out what this will look like in terms of blogging, updates, how it will all work, etc.

What I’ve come to is this: I’ll be posting once a week, most likely every Friday with an update on current weight, how the week went in terms of food and exercise, and any other random thoughts going on in my head (as scary as that might be)

Ok, so first things first. Got on the scale this morning, and it read 219. Hell Yes.

I will gladly take a 5 pound jumpstart. I call it a jumpstart because I’m not going to sit here and fool myself, I am totally aware that it was just my body’s initial reaction to getting strict on the eating and getting more active again. It’s not lost on me that that was just a first step and all the rest of the pounds are going to much, much harder to get off.  That being said, I’m not going to be too proud to celebrate it either.

This was a potentially hairy first full week, day off in the middle to celebrate AJ’s birthday on the beach at the Jersey shore. Now if I have learned anything the first time around, it’s that 1- One day of eating will not undo the hard work you have put in up until that point, and 2- I will not let a family day out be pressured or stressed because I am so focused on being locked in on what I’m eating. (I made that mistake once, and after that meal- actually during that meal- vowed to myself never again) I’m not saying I’ll be mainlining biscuits and gravy, but if we are at the beach/on the boardwalk and want to stop and grab some pizza for dinner, maybe even get some ice cream or (gasp!) fudge for dessert I’m not going to think twice about it. But I managed to stay on point all week, didn’t go crazy on the off day and came out of it all heading in the right direction. I’m calling this a successful week.

As for workouts, I’m a little off but will be making it up on the weekend. What I did get in though, was spectacular. I put everything out there that I want to get serious and back to where I want to be, and the running gods repayed me for it. My 5K run on Tuesday was the fastest I have done in some time. I was able to hold down a smoking fast pace (for me). It was great, kind of miserable, but great.  …and it was super encouraging and much needed. Then after that I had an appointment to get my knee looked at by an orthopedic specialist. As he is looking at my legs during the initial exam he stops, looks at me and says “so, you’re a runner”. You bet your ass I am, doc. We got home very late from the beach on Wed night and I still had to go to work, so I ended up skipping my early morning run on Thursday. I don’t see how good it would have been on approx. 4 hours sleep anyway. Acceptable loss in my opinion. Today I was back on the horse. 2 easy paced miles and then a quick ride on the bike to keep myself loose. I run long tomorrow, aiming for 9-12 miles in a practice run for my upcoming relay race where I’ll be covering a dozen miles as I run the first 2 legs of the relay. I’m actually really looking forward to that.

I’m still adjusting to the idea of being back and being so structured. I have not had to change too much, the main thing now is that I am paying attention all the time and not cheating/ deviating from the plan. No more, “oh, I’ll just eat that and not log it”. No more late night snacking (that KILLED ME). It was all the little things that added up on me, which is kind of reassuring because in theory, if I cut out those little things I still have the underlying good habits and tendencies as a base. It’s just the practice of cutting them out that is so much harder than the theory. I’ve caught myself a few times after we get the kids down to bed and clean up the house from the day just mindlessly wandering into the kitchen, catching myself and just thinking “what the hell are you doing in here?”. For me, it really comes down to staying strong, staying mindful of what I am doing. Especially late at night when I’m tired. I am totally hardcore all day, and then for some reason I am ok in undoing it all and allowing the wheels to have the possibility of falling off the bus hours later. Let’s avoid that, shall we?

Ok, enough rambling for now. Thanks for reading and I will be back soon.

Stay strong and have a good one.


I’m Back. I guess this is why “never say never” is a thing.

So here we are again…

I am about to (well, I did yesterday, truthfully) set out on a 90 day challenge with myself.

So over the past year I have been weighing in a lot higher than I would like/ am used to.

Now, it risks sounding pretentious to even say this, coming from someone who has lost 100+ pounds, but I am heavier than I want to be by an amount that makes me look to take action.

At my lowest, I was 195. (Heaviest was 330) When I look back I see that 195 was too thin for me. After years of slowly altering where I was, the weight where I am most comfortable in  (clothes wise, feeling wise, appearance wise, health and strength wise) is in the 205 range. Does not sound like a lot, but those 10 pounds make a difference.

When I weighed myself a few days ago, I was at 224. If those 10 pounds between 195 and 205 make a difference, you bet your ass the 20 between 205 and my current weight make a difference as well. And not a good one.

This just does not work for me. I’m bigger than I want to be, my clothes (that I bought 20+ pounds ago) are agreeing that this is not working. My joints are telling me it, my workouts are telling me it, how I feel overall (while still good, but there is a definite difference) is telling me it. Things need to change, and I’m at the point where I’m making it happen. Now.

So I started yesterday. I am back onto MyFitnessPal hardcore. I’m not going to cheat (which was a big part of the gain). I’m going to get more active and mix it up. I’m upping the running mileage, adding in a biking routine, and will try and also incorporate swimming as well.

90 days, starting yesterday ends on Nov 18th. This is a HUGE day for me. It’s the anniversary of basically everything in my life that is fitness and weight loss related. It was the day I reached my tipping point and decided that I needed to make changes. It’s the day  went for my first run ever. It’s the day I set my Half Marathon PR. It was the day my open letter to my daughter (easily the favorite thing I’ve ever written) was published on the Runner’s World website. Its going to be the day that put myself back to where I want to be. Its aggressive, but I want to be back to 205 on 11/18. 90 days. 3 months 12 weeks. 20 pounds.

I’m going back to the same philosophy that got me here in the first place and led me to success: I’m going to be publicly accountable. I’m just putting it out there and forcing myself to stick to it.

So how the hell did I get into the “your pants don’t quite fit” zone?

Truthfully, it’s not surprising. I got cocky. And lazy. Eating things I know I shouldn’t, at a frequency and volume I also know I shouldn’t.

Me and my goddamned Ben & Jerry’s.

I was just completely Stupid Stupid Stupid.

So I am stopping this now so that 20 up does not turn into 40 up or 80 up.

I think that I also let time get the better of me in terms of memory and remembering exactly how hard it was to lose the weight the first time. A lot of “oh, I know exactly what to do to lose xxxx pounds again. I did it once I can do it again no problem if I ever need to” (Like I told you, I got cocky. I’m not proud of it, but I will be truthful)I did not consider that this was a 5 years ago and an almost 35 year old body reacts differently than an almost 40 year old body does. Time had hazed over how strict I had to be and how closely I had to follow the plan I had laid out for myself. That haze is gone however. It’s going to take hard work to get back, but I can and will do it. While im not exactly thrilled that this happened, I am at least a little grateful, if only because it snapped my ass back into reality and reminded me that this really is a lifelong change that takes a conscious effort, and it also demonstrated just how easy it all could disappear if I let things slide.

It not like I sat on the couch and ate peanut butter cups all year- I had some medical stuff in the beginning of the year with forced me to take the entire month of January off from active workouts. So while I was totally inactive, I was eating heavier amounts than usual/ necessary and I would like to believe that my body was hanging onto the food in a different way as well. So that started me off way behind the starting line. Then as I have gotten more active, I have gotten lax in my usual strict eating routines. It’s always been a conscious decision, aware of the moment but not looking past that to the overall picture. Only when a sizeable chunk of weight was added did I stop and realize that all the little drops in the bucket ended up filling the damn bucket all the way up to the “I’m no longer ok with this” line.

It’s not all bad news doom and gloom: I have maintained a healthy 50 mile per month average from feb through now, which is higher than I have ever been used to totaling before. And I’ve felt good. Been holding down respectable paces (for me at least) and running pretty strong. I think it’s time to throw some curveballs at my body and force it to adapt again, while eating a strict diet again.

I hate having to re-lose weight that I’ve already lost once. It’s the principle of the matter. It was hard enough the first time.

But it’s time to do just that- lose the weight. Again.

Here we go.


Thanks for reading this and take it easy.