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July 10, 2009

Big Nate ain't so big no more!

Well what can I say? It's been a long road but we're getting there!

Mrs. Big Nate and I decided one year ago this month that it was time to do something about our health...well, our weight to be more specific. More about this in a minute but you might wonder why do I call myself "Big Nate"?

I got the nickname Big Nate from my friend and yours, Roland. He and a few of our co-workers at the time gave me the now infamous nickname, Big Nate when I was tipping the scales around 260 lbs. The name comes from the NFL football player, Nate Newton. I don't follow NFL but apparently this guy is huge. Well, see for yourself, here he is in all his glory! I guess he also is famous for being busted a couple times for possession of large amounts of marijuana. I'm talking like 175 to 213 lbs worth. Looks like Nate Newton does everything big! But just to get the record straight, I got the nickname due to my size and not because of any type of involvement with narcotics.

Anyway, the nickname stuck and I have taken advantage of using it for my alias as writer of this blog, the Poooh Busters newsletter and as webmaster of the Poooh Busters and Canine Correction websites.

But the point of today's blog is to say that I had allowed myself to creep even further up the scales where I reached 284 lbs. I dread to think about where I would have been if my wife and I had not brought Mojo home 4 years ago. We were dedicated in walking him almost every day and I hate to think how much more I would have weighed if we had not been walking the 30 to 60 minutes every night. So for those of us who have dogs, be sure to use them to help you increase your activity levels and healthy lifestyle. They don't mind...really they don't. If fact they need it as much as we do, if not more.

As I mentioned earlier, my wife and I decided to take some serious action towards our goal to lose weight. Mojo was helping to keep us from getting completely out of hand but we needed even more to get us to our goal. We signed up for a boot camp last July and it was the best thing we ever did! It started us on the road to a healthy, active lifestyle that we are still following today. The pic of us here on the right was taken in Mexico a couple a years ago. We were well on our way to becoming the heaviest both us has ever been in our lives! I was wearing XXXL shirts and size 48 to 50 pants. I couldn't do a flight of stairs without getting winded and I pretty much refused to run for my bus. Screw it, I'll catch the next one! Mrs. Nate was into size 22 and was purchasing 3X clothing from stores like Additionelle and Pennington's.

I won't kid you, boot camp was the hardest and most physically challenging thing I ever attempted. The first day we were told to run a kilometre and time how long it takes. Right! A 284 lb, 41 year old man who has never run for anything is now going to attempt a one kilometre run as part of a fitness test. It was the longest 7 minutes, 31 seconds of my life. Well after six weeks at three nights a week, I had lost almost 30 lbs and completed my one kilometre run in five minutes, 50 seconds! After that, we joined the Running Room's Learn-to-Run clinic, where we learned to run properly and at the end of that six weeks, ran a 5 km race. I finished the five k's in just under 39 minutes. After that, we started to sign up for cardio classes, body sculpting classes, step classes, and even dusted off our bikes to go for hour long bike rides. We started eating better and eating less. It just got easier and easier the longer we kept it up.

Of course during this whole time, we were doing our nightly walks with both Mojo and Oscar to add to all the other activities we were doing. So to keep this long story from getting longer, so far we have both lost approx. 70 lbs each. It has taken a year to get here but we made it without having any heart attacks or sustaining any major injuries. We still have a ways to go yet, I would like to lose another 45 lbs to get to the doctor recommended weight of 165 lbs for my height and age. Mrs. Nate has about 30 lbs to go. But we'll get there as we have given in to the process and plan to keep our healthy lifestyle well into our senior years!

It can be done if you really want it bad enough. And your dogs will love you for it! Not to mention your loved ones will be happier knowing you might live just a little bit longer.

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