Losin' It  

The Challenge: Final Week

Weigh-in:  Final Week 

Weight: 334 lbs 

This is it! Week 12 is in the books. All the measurements have been taken. Let’s get right to it.

I started at 376 lbs and now weigh 334 lbs. That is 42 lbs lost. Starting chest was 55.5”, finishing at 52.5”; starting belly was 60”, finishing at 55”; starting hip was 55”, ending at 49”, for a total of 14” lost. My starting time for the obstacle course was 1:36:42, finishing time 1:06:00 for a 30.42 second improvement.

The most important thing of course is the way I feel. I have energy throughout the day. I actually get restless if I haven’t worked out. I can run in short bursts without feeling like a truck ran over me. I couldn’t go up and down the stairs at the gym without feeling like my heart would explode; recently I did 8 trips up and down at the last work out. My injured knee is strong and can take the impact of running and jumping.

When you start a program like this you have all kinds of doubts. Will I get to the end? Can I do what the want me to do? Do I have what it takes this time? Will I really lose the weight? In many ways I still feel that way. I still have just under 100 lbs to go. The real challenge is showing up every day. After 12 weeks of getting myself to the gym and watching what I eat, I can say with certainty, “I CAN.”

Let me outline what I have learned:

Just Show UP! – seriously so many things come out of just making it out of bed each day and showing up. It doesn’t matter how hard you work while you are there, the key is that you are doing something you didn’t do before. With time the intensity will improve, but you won’t have that chance if you are not there in the first place.

Try – If you think you can’t do something try it anyway. You will be surprised what you can do if you just try it first. Too many people give up before they get started. There were so many exercises I thought I could never do. I shocked myself every week with things I wouldn’t even think of trying 12 weeks ago.

Diet & Portion Control – Use that hand example I showed you from week 4. We eat way too many starchy carbs in our diet. Just reverse the proportions and you will be successful. As far as diet is concerned there are far too many books and programs out there to give you the right answer. All of them pretty much say the same thing. You know what you should or shouldn’t eat. If it’s in a box or ready in five minutes you probably shouldn’t have it. Get rid of the junk and don’t beat yourself up too much if you have a treat every now and then. Start a food log.  Just by having to record what you are eating you will think twice about putting it in your body if you know you have to write it down for someone to see later.

Set your Intent – Before every workout get your mind set up for it. If you enter a workout feeling blah with a mind-set to do the bear minimum then that is what you are going to get out of it. It’s still better than not doing anything at all, but if you can set your brain to give it all you've got you will be much better off. Before my last run of the obstacle course I did that. I know I gave everything of myself that I could and took 30 seconds off my original time.

Self-Compassion – In general, we are always our worst critics. If we are not first across the finish line, working out 2-3 time a day, somehow we tell ourselves we are not good enough. We are quick to judge and take away success the moment it happens. I lost 13 lbs. in the first weigh-in and the first thing I thought was that there was something wrong with the scale. We used different scales so that should be most of the loss. Why not just celebrate the fact you achieved something, right? The simple fact is you are always doing the best you can with what you have at that moment in time. Embrace yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for even trying in the first place.

The Scale – Use it sparingly and in combination with other tools. The scale is like a good stock, but in reverse. A stock will rise and fall, but over time the general trend is up. The scale is no different, but overtime the weight will come off. Be confident in what you do each day and the results will show. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There is more to fitness then what the scale says.

I also want to tell you about my friends over at George Richards Big & Tall Menswear. I have been going there for several years now to get my dress clothes for work and home. The single biggest thing I like about them is the level of service they provide. I have never felt like an outcast. Other stores have made me feel like I didn’t belong or that there was something wrong with me for needing 3XL sized clothes. In particular, Jeff Gyle the sales associate I normally deal with, went above and beyond this week.

At this time a new wardrobe is expensive and doesn’t make too much sense. I am not slowing down and I am training for the Try a Tri in August so anything I buy now will not fit in a few months anyway. Jeff agreed to dress me up in some outfits that fit properly so I can have some good before and after pictures. It is amazing how after just 12 weeks you can see such a big difference in the way youI look. I have included these pictures in a short gallery with this article.

In closing I just want to say something I think is key about the success of this program. In other gyms, over the years, everyone tries to figure out what is wrong with you. If you didn’t lose weight that week it was because of something you did or didn’t do. In my opinion this helps foster the negative energy that leads to failure. It is well intentioned of course; they are trying to find the problem. In my experience Global Fitness Centre has gone away from that type of thinking. During the time I didn’t lose weight I was never led to feel like something was wrong with me. Everyone was full of encouragement and positivity. I was encouraged to just keep going and reassured that the results would come. Without that level of support I am not sure I would have gone through to the end. Thank you to Darcia and Global Fitness Centre, you have changed many lives for the better this past three months. I am very proud to be associated with you.


Dan is proud to be wearing clothes that he could fit into 12 weeks ago!  (Photo: Contributed)
Dan is proud to be wearing clothes that he could fit into 12 weeks ago! (Photo: Contributed)

The Challenge: Week Eleven

by - Story: 61172
Apr 2, 2011 / 5:00 am

Weigh-in Week 11:

Weight: 338 lbs.

Last week I talked about the perils of the scale. I meant every word I said, but after today’s weigh-in I have to talk about some huge milestones that have occurred. I only bring these up because I know all of the other measurements are going to show some huge improvements along with what the scale says.

Here we go. The scale says I weigh 338 lbs. My starting weight was 376 lbs. - that mean I have successfully lost over 10% of my starting weight. My target weight has been 250 lbs., but secretly I have been thinking 240 lbs. is more where I should be. That means I have 98 lbs. to go.  Ninety-eight is a two digit number not three.  I know the difference between 100 and 98 is not much, but that extra digit really plays with your mind. To lose a digit is a really big deal!

Our General Manager recently went on a trip to New York and brought back some t-shirts for the staff. He got me an XL size shirt. Typically anytime I have received a shirt at a golf tournament or contest through work or hobby clubs, XL means it’s an automatic gift to someone smaller in my family. I kept the shirt at work, thinking maybe come June or July that I would fit into it. Last week our GM noticed I hadn’t taken it home yet and seemed slightly offended so I explained the situation. I let him know that if I took it home I would lose it so I was protecting it here. He encouraged me to try it on anyway and to my amazement it fit! It was a touch tight in the belly, but comfortable all the same. I normally wear a 3-XL so that is two sizes down.

I'm not sure why I keep sharing such personal information with everyone. I am guessing that on some level it is helping me. I keep getting support from readers saying it inspires them, so why stop now? When I got home today the biggest thing that happened was some dialog I had with my 17-month-old daughter. Her Mom was getting her dressed for the day. I popped my head into the room and when she saw me she got excited. It is part of our morning routine. I rushed over to kiss her on the cheek and I looked in her eyes. In that moment I realized with all the changes I have gone through over the past three months, my little girl is not going to know a FAT daddy. What is most important is that for the first time I really believe that inside me. I have zero doubt that by this time next year I will either be at my target weight or be very close to it. She is going to look at pictures of me from the past 37 years and wonder who that guy was.

We are down to our final week in the program. For many of us this is just the beginning of our journey. Habits have set in, new goals have been set and we have shared many successes already. I need to decide if I am going to continue writing about my journey or not. Maybe I can reduce the frequency. I have really enjoyed putting down in words my thoughts, my challenges and my successes. My next article will include some before and after pictures and final thoughts of the past 12 weeks.

Get it Back – Give it Back is a FREE three month fitness and weight loss challenge for anyone wanting to rediscover their health and wellness. The selected applicants will receive a 3-month fitness membership and weekly training, nutritional advice, weekly challenges, weekly tips, all valued at over $1,800. Plus a chance to win prizes monthly and the opportunity to win the Grand Prize valued over $2,500.

Dan Boundy, Marketing Consultant for Castanet Media has accepted this challenge. Dan is 37-years-old, 6 ft. 4 in. tall and his starting weight was 373 lbs.

To read Dan's previous articles, click here.

As a measurement of fitness, the scale can be very demotivating!  (Photo: Contributed)
As a measurement of fitness, the scale can be very demotivating! (Photo: Contributed)

The Challenge: Week Ten

by - Story: 60995
Mar 25, 2011 / 5:00 am

Weigh-in Week 10:

Weight: 344 lbs

We are down to the last couple weeks of training as part of the Global Fitness Get it Back-Give it Back Challenge. It has been a very interesting journey. I feel I am running out of things to talk about. I have gone through so much in the past three months. I do feel much stronger physically, mentally and emotionally.


While I have your attention I would like to talk in more detail about “THE SCALE”.  In my personal journey it has been more of an enemy then a friend. The scale has been demotivating more than it has been motivating. I also have a couple of team members that feel the same. When you experience a "flat" week or even a small gain it is devastating to you. Each week you focus and work hard work every day. You are hoping to be rewarded and sometimes that scale just doesn’t help you out. So why do we use it? I am getting tired of seeing people upset after weeks of hard work. We need to make a change in the way we measure success.

I think we use it, because it is easy. It takes no time at all to step on the scale to get a number. We can either celebrate or not. It does give us an overall idea of how things are working. However it does not give us the most accurate picture of what this hard work is doing. There are also many reasons why you won’t see weight loss from week to week.

Here are a few of the reasons I have been told weight loss week to week may not happen:

  • Muscle weighs more than Fat

It makes sense right? As you workout you are building muscle, so as you burn away the fat, the extra muscle can overtake the loss in overall weight. Initially this may be true, but as you progress over months of exercise you would hope the ratio of fat burning to muscle gain will sort itself out

  • You are in Starvation Mode

This dates back to caveman days. Your body was used to going several days without food so in order to survive it had to store any excess food. In today’s world, food is readily accessible to us but our bodies respond the same way. If we are used to taking in 3500 calories per day and suddenly restrict it to 1500 the body says, "Hold on, we need to do something about this."  The body stores that energy in case it needs it later on, but later on doesn’t come.

  • Not enough Rest

Going from no workouts each week to five or more throws your body off. Again it triggers a survival response and your body wants to hold on to whatever it can.

  • Stress

Changes in life - financial, emotional and physical stresses - play a huge role in whether or not your body lets go of its stores. Stress is probably the single biggest factor in the body holding on to weight. The chemicals that stress releases wreak havoc on the body and can prevent weight loss.

These are the big ones, but I am sure there are many more reasons to explain why there is no loss on the scale. My question is, if there are so many variables in what can affect the scale, then why do we depend on it so much to determine success or failure? If we don’t see the loss then we have a much harder task to stay motivated and show up every day. No wonder society has such a hard time staying fit. It is much easier to give up when you don’t see results. Why put in all that effort if you are not going to be rewarded right? We all know that is not the answer, but I am hopeful if we can take the pressure off the importance of the scale we will have an easier time keeping people motivated.

What if we focussed on the following?

Inches lost

In the weeks I didn’t show a loss on the scale I had a loss in inches. My clothes fit better and clearly all the hard work was doing something

Blood Pressure

Another quick measurement you can take, even at the local pharmacy. This is a staple in vital stats which all health professionals need to access your overall health. Isn’t a change in blood pressure a better indicator of how well you are doing?

Fitness Test

How many push-ups can you do? How many crunches? Can you stretch further then you did when you started? Can you run instead of walk? How long can you run? Can you lift your own body weight? Seeing improvements in all these areas seem more important than a number on a scale to me.

Blood work

We know we need to reduce our cholesterol and sucrose levels to reduce the risk of disease right? After a couple of weeks of regular exercise you can see these numbers decrease. One of the big reasons to get fit is to reduce the risk of heart attacks and diabetes right?

Body Fat Test

I can’t wait to see what changes have happened in my overall body fat. I had a body fat % of 38. If that came down to 36 that in itself would have huge effects to my overall health.

Perceived Overall Health

How do you feel? Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? Can you get rid of your sleep apnea mask? Can you walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath? The scale won’t tell you these improvements either.

Percentage of Body Weight Lost

If you start at 350 lbs, 5% is 17.5 lbs.  If you start at 150 lbs, 5% is 7.5 lbs. Can you really compare the two numbers? It is the same success overall but it’s a ten pound difference. Is there a way to step on a scale and have it show your percentage lost instead of the actual number lost? Dr. Oz tells us that a 5% weight loss has significant benefits to our overall health.

I am sure if we thought more we could find even more ways to measure success. The reason we don’t is because this society is obsessed with the scale. Why shouldn’t we be? All the “lost weight” shows that use of the scale is the final measuring tool. Certain sports use it all the time. Fighters separate each other based on weight. Many trainers use the BMI to determine where you should be based on your height and weight. In order to keep people motivated to change their habits shouldn’t we find a better way show results? I think it would make a world of difference.

Some of the highlights of my journey so far have been adding notches to my belt. I have already put three on and I am about to add another. I have set up an appointment with my mother-in-law to take in all my dress pants for work. I am getting clothes out of the closet I haven’t worn in years. I normally wear a 3XL t-shirt. I put on a XL shirt today that didn’t seem too bad. I have climbed Knox Mountain three times in the past week and plan on doing it a few more times before this is over. I am going to do the Try-a -Tri in August. I am completing more tasks now that I couldn’t do in the first few weeks. I haven’t even reached 10% weight loss yet. These are the lasting successes that are going to keep me going long after this program is finished.

We need to push our trainers and health care professionals to help us measure what is important. We need to tell our friends and family to stop asking “how much weight have you lost?” Get your doctor to take your blood pressure and order the blood work you need. Get your trainer to set up an obstacle course or other form of fitness test. Get access to someone that can use body fat callipers and test your percent of body fat. One of the keys to keeping us motivated is to see results. If the scale can be easily affected, then we need to use other measurements to keep us charged up.

Above all else before you get discouraged about not losing on the scale make sure you take these other measurements. If you are watching what you eat and exercising regularly at least three times per week I can guarantee you will see improvements in these other areas.

Dan Boundy, Marketing Consultant for Castanet Media has accepted this challenge. Dan is 37-years-old, 6 ft. 4 in. tall and his starting weight was 373 lbs.

To read Dan's previous articles, click here.


Dan is being rewarded with a loss in inches and weight!  (Photo: Contributed)
Dan is being rewarded with a loss in inches and weight! (Photo: Contributed)

The Challenge: Week Nine

by - Story: 60842
Mar 17, 2011 / 5:00 am

Weigh-in Week 9
Weight: 345 lbs.

When you are "flat" with week to week weight loss the tendency is to hyper analyze what is going on. Was it that bag of popcorn you had at the movies, or the rum and coke with your friends Saturday night that have derailed you for the week? Did I work out enough? Maybe I didn’t work out hard enough? Parts of you feel like just giving up. How many more things do you need to change each week to make that scale work in your favour? The fact of the matter is, I don’t think anyone really knows for sure. The body is a very complex thing. I don’t believe there is ever one thing that can explain it all. It is not simple math of calories in and calories out. It is not just reducing stress in your life or whether or not your body is in starvation mode. It is not the GI Diet or Paleo Diet or South Beach Diet or whatever else is out there that that will make the difference.

What I do believe is that if you are watching what you eat and you are working out and you are keeping a positive attitude, eventually all those things won’t matter. With a consistent daily effort, over time, your body will have no choice but to respond to your hard work. Patience, determination and consistency are all you really need to reach your goals.

Today was weigh-in day. I am currently at 31 lbs weight lost in nine weeks of training. Finally the scale has rewarded me with some numbers. I have lost four inches from my belly and four inches from my hips. I have to find a seamstress to take in my dress pants for work and hopefully my dress shirts as well. Most importantly I am feeling strong and healthy. I am completing more tasks each day then ever before. I am running, skipping rope and doing push ups on my toes instead of my knees. I have even walked up and biked up Knox Mountain in the past five days.

One thing I have learned about myself is this - if I think I CAN’T do something TRY it first then decide if you can’t or not. Nine times out of ten you CAN do it. It might not look the same as how other people do it, you might not be the fastest and it might not be perfect, but it CAN be done.

My team suggested we walk up Knox Mountain instead of our weekly walk around City Park. Immediately I thought there was no way I could do that, but I knew enough to try. We just stuck to the paved road and went from the bottom right up to the top of the hill. There were some really steeps parts and my legs and lungs were burning, but I just kept one foot in front of the other and eventually we were at the top. The trip down was worse as I could feel the pain in my shins and knees. You are fighting gravity on your way down and that hill is very steep in parts.

The second time I climbed the hill with the team I thought I would ride my bike up instead. I thought that at least on the way down I wouldn’t be killing my knees and shins. What a surprise that was. I think walking is much easier! My team quickly got ahead of me and then I was alone in no time. My bike has a great climbing gear. You are very slow, but you can peddle at almost any incline. The challenge wasn’t my ability to do it, it was the ability to push myself to do it. All I wanted to do was turn around and coast down the hill or come up with some excuses like my knees and shins were burning, or I shouldn’t have tried in the first place. However, I would know I had quit and given up. Many times during my life I have quit when it gets tough. It’s time for a new way of living. If you always do what you have done, you will always get what you have got.

The self-talk started and the "bad Dan" made an appearance. "You can’t do it, why are you doing this to yourself? Just turn around and the pain will go away. It hurts, make it stop. You are not a jock, stop trying to be someone you are not." These are some of the many things I say to myself when it gets hard.

What "bad Dan" wasn’t ready for was the new "Strong Dan" that is emerging. Here is what he had to say, "Just get to the next corner and take a quick break. Bring your heart rate down a bit and then decide if you want to go back or not. Hey, your legs don’t hurt, but your heart rate is up let’s just slow it down a touch. Oooh your heart is strong but now your legs are hurting a bit, let’s just walk it out for a bit. You walked up this hill on Saturday, at the very least you can do that again. You got this man, don’t stop, YOU are worth it. You always quit, why don’t you try to finish this time for a change and see what happens?"

By the time the rest of my team had made it to the top and had started down the hill again I had reached the final switch-back and only had a couple of hundred yards to go. I couldn’t breathe and I was exhausted. They asked me if I wanted to turn around and I said, “Nope, I got this far I should finish it up.” So I did. I got back on my bike put it in the low gear and finished off what I started.

I just want to finish with some words from a close friend of mine. He was on our high school basketball team and has always been involved is sports and has an athletic mind. I asked him what his self-talk is when things get tough. "When you are playing basketball in the 4th quarter and your legs are burning and you can’t breathe, what gets you to run down the other end of the court and make a basket?"

The one thing he said that struck home was that athletes are finishers. Whether it is a ball game, 100 meter dash or 5000 meter swim, it’s all about getting to the finish line or hearing that buzzer go off at the end of the game. So then pain doesn’t really matter. Finishing the task does and nothing gets in the way of that.

He also finished with the following that I just had to share. This is the kind of support I am getting from readers, family and friends.

"So in affirmation of my firm belief in the greatest man I've ever known: Dan Boundy, I believe in you, I love you in every regard, you are worth it, you can do this I know you can! You're more stubborn than you think, so get out there and be an ox and push through.  Stick to your plan, don't deviate, be relentless. You are not a victim, you a winner. Winners don't quit. Winners finish the race. Strive to only eat the healthiest options available. Eat to survive only, don't eat for pleasure.  Love what you're doing, burn the bridges, burn the boats, no turning back." 

Bah! It still chokes me up reading it! Thanks Wayne! The past nine weeks have been a game changer for me. I am confident I will never see 376 lbs again. I am even more confident that by the time I do the Try a Tri in August I will be under 275 lbs. Who knows, I might even be out there training some other 376 lb man to repeat my story.

Get it Back – Give it Back is a FREE three month fitness and weight loss challenge for anyone wanting to rediscover their health and wellness. The selected applicants will receive a 3-month fitness membership and weekly training, nutritional advice, weekly challenges, weekly tips, all valued at over $1,800. Plus a chance to win prizes monthly and the opportunity to win the Grand Prize valued over $2,500.

Dan Boundy, Marketing Consultant for Castanet Media has accepted this challenge. Dan is 37-years-old, 6 ft. 4 in. tall and his starting weight was 373 lbs.

To read Dan's previous articles, click here.

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