This is not one of those “If I can do it, you can do it” stories. I lost 59 1/2 pounds in 12 weeks. I’ve always said, “I can lose weight any time I want”. See, I was a collegiate wrestler many years ago, and if I could do it then, I could do it whenever I wanted . . . piece of cake. All I needed was the right motivation.
My wife came to me in December, as I was pushing maximum holiday density, about the Get Fit Murfreesboro challenge. She explained that it was a 12-week weight loss/better health type contest in which the winner would get a cruise package. She was tired of hearing me groan about my weight and being tired all the time, and to be honest, she really wanted to go on a cruise.
Let me back up. I am 43 and lost my job of eight years as an instructor at MTSU back in July. I thought finding a job would have been quite easy. It was not. I handled my inability to find meaningful work by eating. From August to December, I gained roughly 25 pounds and was not really happy about it. The bottom hit as I was in Chicago at my family Christmas, had just bought a brand new 2X shirt to wear to the dinner party and got tired of re-buttoning it every few minutes as the buttons were giving to the pressure of my stomach; I eventually had to take it off. I felt horrible, embarrassed, upset, depressed, a failure. How could I let myself go so far?
With my wife’s encouragement, we signed up for the Get Fit Murfreesboro contest and took the initial weigh-in and measurements in stride. I was, at this time, the largest I have ever been. At 5’ 10″, I was 275 pounds. My wife and I were already members at the Murfreesboro Athletic Club and have been for years. For me it was a small price to pay so I could say, “I worked out.” I was reunited with Barry Campbell, a trainer and owner of Tri-Fit Athletics with co-owner Adam Valentine. We came up with a two-pronged attack. First, a lifestyle change to eating better, and second, more rigorous workouts more often.
With the advice of my trainers, I started eating Paleo, which in simple terms is eating like a cave man or as they would say, “if you can hunt or gather it, eat it . . . if not, don’t.” I cut out all grains and white carbs, sugars and starches. I would only eat lean meats, fruits, vegetables, seafood and some nuts. Some of you might already be thinking how horrible this would be, but it really wasn’t all that difficult. I cut out as much processed food as I could, I would eat at least 6-7 times a day, or roughly every 2 hours, and except for the first week or so it was fairly easy. Preparation was key and always having an eating and workout plan in mind every day kept me from being in bad situations. I was tempted by sweets, junk food and alcohol, but had a strong support team.
At the halfway point (6 weeks) of the contest, I was down 29 pounds and in the top 10. This gave me even more motivation to push even harder. I worked out whenever I could and didn’t feel “right” if I missed a day. I had tough days, but a dark Hershey’s kiss helped when the urge got too rough, and a small glass of red wine once a week helped me through. By the end of the 12 weeks, I was feeling great, looking good and was healthier all around. I won the contest and am in the process of booking our cruise. I really need to thank Fleet Feet Sports Murfreesboro for putting on the contest, Tri-Fit Athletics (Barry and Adam, the greatest trainers in the world), The MAC, my friends who constantly sent support and my wife and daughter for keeping me on track.
Since the final weigh-in, I have gained back 10 pounds, but am at a comfortable weight I hope to maintain for a long time.
Ed Friz plans to enjoy his cruise to the western Caribbean in November and also won a Brooks running gear package valued at $175 (shoes, shirt, shorts) and a $200 Visa card for his efforts in placing first out of over 150 participants in the Get Fit Murfreesboro challenge.