No wait, make that 150 pounds!
I had the pleasure to interview Fred from Fat2FitFred.com, who has lost an amazing 150 pounds.
After changing his lifestyle around with healthy food choices and exercise (yes, it works) he has lost an insane amount of weight, completed 2 marathons plus many other distance races, and kept it all off since 2007. That is a very impressive achievement, so I decided to interview Fred to find out exactly how he got started, kept going and has changed his lifestyle completely.
A quick note from me before we get started. You will see throughout the interview that Freds weight loss was a mindset. Once you set your mind to achieve a goal, there are various paths that you can take. There is no one special formula or even person that will teach you how to lose 100 pounds, they key is to make the decision to be healthy and find the path that will get you there.
Not everyone likes running, and that perfectly fine. Exercise is a big part of weight loss and you need to incorporate it into your weekly routine, and there are many different forms you can do to be successful. If you have any questions regarding how to find out what works for you, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the post.
Now, let’s get started…
Lauren: First, congrats on the amazing transformation, it’s very inspirational and you look fantastic. Tell us a bit about yourself and what sparked you to make the change?
Fred: Thanks Lauren for the kind words and for this interview. As a child I grew up overweight and obese. I was athletic and I played outdoors a lot with friends, but I had horrible eating habits and really had no one to tell me to not eat certain foods. I consistently overate which was why I was an overweight person. The weight gaining continued until my early adulthood. At the time I tried different diets like the Atkins Diet, but I never put forth much effort. Eventually, my weight got up to 355 pounds and my pants size was 56 inches. I was at these high numbers at the young age of 31. Luckily my wife gave me some great news around this time and told me that we were expecting our first child. This is when I realized that at this pace, within a few years I could be 400 pounds and not around for my child. It was a quick wake up call and I knew I had to lose weight and to permanently keep it off.
This is when I realized that at this pace, within a few years I could be 400 pounds and not around for my child. It was a quick wake up call and I knew I had to lose weight and to permanently keep it off.
Lauren:I know you are a runner, and this was a huge part of your weight loss. Tell me about how you used it to help you lose the weight?
Fred: Yes, I am a runner and it did greatly help me in my weight loss. When I was growing up, I did play sports with my friends outside, but I was always the slowest and if we ever had to run far, I never participated. When I got into high school, I always found a way to skip the yearly 1 mile run test day. I didn’t play high school sports because most of the sports involved a lot of running for conditioning. So as you can see, running was something that held me back for many years. When I realized I needed to lose weight, I knew it was going to require shedding at least over 100 pounds.
My plan was to do some weight training, but to add some time on the cardio machines to burn calories quickly. I started walking on the treadmill, but eventually it turned into running when I got bored on the treadmill. At first it was a walk/run ratio, but eventually I was able to run on my own for distances I was never able to accomplish. This felt good to meet this type of accomplishment. I was able to conquer my past fears along with proving to myself that the body is capable of so much if I don’t let my mind get in the way.
Lauren:What is running to you now, has it evolved to a passion, do you compete?
Fred: I continue to use running to challenge my body and mind. When I first started running, I ran/walked a 5K in around 40 minutes. Some people might be happy with that and they should be. However, for me I have continued to work on the time over the years. At the end of April 2013 I set a new personal best when I finished in 24 minutes and 20 seconds. Will I ever win a race? No probably not. However, because I have running goals, it continues to drive me to develop different workouts so I can see improvements in my running.
When I started running, I never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of running a marathon. I now have done 2 full marathons, my 3rd one is planned later this year and I will also be running my first 50 mile race later this year. Therefore, as you can see I am using it to push my body and mind beyond what I thought it was capable of accomplishing. It also gives me time to myself to think of the past, present and future. When I am running, it is a peaceful time which I why I run by myself most of the time.
Now with all that being said…Yes it has become my passion but my family still comes first. I wake up early to get my workouts in or I stay up late after my son goes to bed to complete my running. If it is important to me, I will find the time and fit it all in.
I wake up early to get my workouts in or I stay up late after my son goes to bed to complete my running. If it is important to me, I will find the time and fit it all in.
Lauren: Tell me about the nutrition changes you made. What was your diet like before your weight loss? What are your top 3 healthy eating recommendations?
Fred: Well before my weight loss, I ate what I wanted. If I was driving by a fast food place and I was in the mood, I stopped there. If I was in the store and wanted something sweet, I picked up some candy. Before I made the changes, I never paid attention to calories, protein, carbohydrate or fat quantities. I don’t even think I knew what they all meant. I consistently overate, drank all sorts of beverages and just “enjoyed” life. When I decided to make lifestyle changes, I learned about nutrition and the amount of calories I should be consuming and what foods was “good” or “bad” for me.
- Drink Water. Most beverages have no nutritional benefits so skip them when possible.
- Eat a well balanced breakfast. Your metabolism needs to get kick started and an early breakfast does this job.
- Don’t diet, just eat real food. I don’t believe in diets, I really think you just need to know about how many calories you need and adjust from there based on your lifestyle and activities.
Lauren: So many people start and fail, what motivated you and kept you going?
Fred: Results. I put in the work in the gym and in the kitchen and results came. Honestly, if I was doing all this work and I saw no changes in my size or on the scale it would have been easy to give up. People start and fail because they follow “diets”. When it doesn’t work for them, they fall back to their old habits. Yes, learn about nutrition, but if you eat real food, don’t overeat and exercise you should be fine. If it doesn’t work at first, analyze and adjust. For example, if it worked for you last year it may no longer be right for your new body. Don’t give up, just keep experimenting.
Listen, if you want to lose 100 pounds, walking the dog for 20 minutes a day is not going to help you lose 5 lbs a week. Think about what you want and realize you will have to put in a good amount of work. 150 extra pounds did not happen overnight, so it took time to get rid of that, but since I was able to convince myself that work+discipline=results, I was able to stay motivated. I keep this lifestyle now because I love being active with my son and also seeing how my running results keep improving.
Lauren: How has this transformation changed your relationships and family life?
Fred: My wife was with me at my “biggest” weight. Therefore, it has not changed much except that I appreciate more that she was with me back then and that we have become closer as the years go by. I also definitely feel I am a nicer and more patient person because when I was eating bad food, I was “tired” most of the time and was grouchy. If I had stayed overweight I know I would not have been able to do the majority of the activities I do now with my son. I am also proud that my 7 year old son has already completed various fun runs (half mile, 1 mile and 2K distances). He is so far ahead of where I was at that age and I am able to keep up with him when he wants to play outside, sports and ride bikes. All of this is what keep me going.
Lauren: What are you goals now after this transformation in regards to exercise, healthy living and weight loss?
Fred: My personal fitness goals are to run longer distances, get faster at shorter distances and still lose more weight. I am still 200-205 pounds, so I would love to be able to lose another 20 to help me with my running and fitness goals. However, more importantly is I would love to continue to be an example for my son that eating right and being active can make you a better person all around and help you in all aspects in life now and later on. I also want to be some type of inspiration for others who are in my past similar situation and it will help them get started and become the person they are capable of being. I hope they read my story and understand it is possible and they should not settle for where they are now.
Losing 100 pounds would be overwhelming to anyone. Therefore when you have a large goal like that, you break it down into mini-goals.
Lauren: Do you have any special tips or advice for people ready to make the change and lose the fat for good?
Fred: Just start. If you never start, you will never get to where you want to be. Set goals. Big ones and little ones. I set a goal of losing 100 lbs. If I would have only focused on that, I never would have stuck with it. Losing 100 pounds would be overwhelming to anyone. Therefore when you have a large goal like that, you break it down into mini-goals. For example focus on taking off 5 or 10 pounds within a month, and then see how you did. Then set a new goal for the next month, etc. Eventually you will get to your BIG goal. Also, stop dieting, start living. It all changed for me when I stopped trying to follow a “diet” and just made sensible lifestyle changes (eating right and exercising). I include some more helpful ideas on my website in some past blogs.
Fred is an inspirational blogger who lost 150 pounds and kept it off. You can find out more about him on his blog, Fat2FitFred.com, or head on over to Facebook , Google Plus or Twitter to connect with him personally.