Fred, you have a blog, what is its name and what can people expect to see or read when they visit it?
The name of my blog webite is “http://www.fat2fitfred.com” and I started it late in 2012. What they can expect to see are blog posts that include my stories, tips, guidance and knowledge that I gained during my weight loss journey. When I was on a path of losing all my weight, I learned a lot from books and through trial and error. Now it is time for me to give back and try to share the information with people who are willing to visit my website and want to hear my story. It will also include training and race recaps for the different races I do throughout the year. In the very near future, I will also be sharing weight loss stories from other people because I truly believe every person who has lost a lot of weight has a story to be told and the more that is shared, it increases the chance that other people will learn it is possible and they will apply it to their life.
In your blog you state that 7 Years Ago your son was born and you realized it was time to make some serious and changes in your life. Obviously this was a great motivator. What motivates and inspires you today to stay the course?
I know for a fact that if I no longer exercised and stopped watching what I ate, I would gain all of the weight back and then some. Therefore, the fear of going back to the overweight life scares me enough to keep going at it, day in and day out. However, what really inspires and motivates me, is the chance to break the 4 hour marathon barrier and getting as close as possible to qualifying for Boston. I know someone who just read that will chuckle, but that is exactly what drives me to keep getting fitter and faster and becoming the best runner I am capable of. Neither my obesity history nor what other people’s thoughts of a runner are will determine what I am capable of running. My half-marathon PR is 1.50, so I know what I can do if I put in the work and are able to stay injury free.
2 years ago you completed your first marathon. Congratulations. According to your blog your first race for 2013 was the ING Miami Marathon on January 27, 2013. How did that go?
My first marathon 2 years ago went great and I finished in 4.11. The complete opposite occurred at my 2nd one which took place at the ING Miami Marathon on 1/27/13. My training for that race went perfect and I was prepared to break 4 hours. However, on race day a variety of things went wrong, including: sinus infection, slight hamstring pull, bad shoes, felt dehydrated and it was hot. I made many mistakes that day and I ended up with a 5.17 finish. Now don’t get me wrong I am proud that I stuck with it and was able to finish and the time was not horrible, it just wasn’t the time I was training for. I am so glad that I went through that experience because I learned so much about myself and how strong I can be during a race that is not going perfect.
Once you have picked your goal(s) what is one of the first things you do to move toward accomplishing it?
Make a plan. Without a roadmap, I know I would get lost and frustrated. If I have a goal of doing a marathon, I download a plan, print it out and then determine what my workout/running schedule will be during those 16 weeks. I then compare it to my family calendar. I figure out if any of the training days will interfere with family obligations. If so, I move around the days so I have no excuses. I then determine what will be eliminated out of my life to make sure I have the best chance of meeting my goal. I also talk to my wife about my plan and goal so she knows what my main focus will be on but that family responsibilities will not be dropped.
What are your top five tips that you would give to people trying to loose a large amount of weight?
* Prepare your meals at home. You breakfast should be eaten at home so you control your calories and you start off your day on a good nutritional note. Your lunch should be prepared the night before and taken to work. Eating out for your lunch at work is one of the biggest reasons why people overeat and are tired during the day.
* Lay out your weekly workout schedule. If you know ahead of time what and when you will be exercising, it decreases the chance that you will have an excuse of not working out.
* Remove the negativity from your life. If you know someone who is consistently negative about a variety of topics and is heavily involved in your life, try to find a way to eliminate or decrease the amount of time you spend with them. If they “have to” to stay in your life, then add more positive people to offset their negative vibes.
* Track calories & drink a lot of water. As most people know, calories in and calories out are important in losing weight. Therefore, I do suggest people keep a food diary or use apps like Myfitnesspal to track the calories they are consuming and spending via exercise to ensure they are on track toward losing weight. Eliminate beverages that include calories and replace them with water. Water consumption has so many benefits but more importantly it helps replace some non-nutritional calories you get from soda and other sugary drinks.
* Find support. If you can not lose weight by yourself, find people in your life who also want to lose weight or join a website where there are likeminded folks who can relate to your struggles and successes during your weight loss journey.
Tell us about one myth or mistake that you have learned along your fitness and weight loss journey that you would like to share with our readers, so they can avoid it.
One myth that I never followed was removing certain foods from my life forever. Some people believe that if you want to lose weight you need to no longer eat certain foods. Now it probably will help if you do that, but if you don’t want to follow that rule, I think you still can lose weight while eating those certain foods. There was not any point in weight loss time period that I eliminated pizza or cookies entirely. Even during the weeks I lost 6-8 pounds. If I wanted to eat pizza one night a week, I did it. If I wanted to eat some cookies (sometimes too many) one night per week, I consumed them. I truly believe it is okay to treat yourself once in a while, IF you are able to limit it to one day per week and you completed your scheduled workouts.
The main mistake that I made during that time was I wish I would have aggressively added more weight lifting into my workout routines to build more muscle and burn more fat. I am attempting to do that, but it is more difficult now because I am a marathon runner which leaves very little time for the weight room.
Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
Whatever excuse(s) you are using that is preventing you from doing what you truly are capable of, is exactly that, just an excuse. There are plenty of real life examples where people are losing weight, running marathons, ultra marathons and triathlons and they are full time workers, have 1-7 children and other challenges but found ways to reach their goals. If they are getting it done, why aren’t you? What you need to do is find a way to balance your life. This means determining when you can insert an exercise routine and eliminate from your life what is not needed.
I was obese my entire life until 7 years ago and hated running during all those years. I used to call in sick to school or act injured when it was 1 mile test day. However, now I am marathon runner and will be training for my first 50 mile race later this year. Therefore, a person’s past should not limit them on what they are capable of doing. Will I ever win a race? Probably not, but I might as well become the best athlete I am capable of being; anything short of that to me would be disappointing. As Steve Prefontaine said, “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”