A NEW DAY: I feel like I’m 15 to 20 years younger. I have more energy. I am a happier person. I feel I have a better outlook on life. I think I’m a nicer person because I’m not mad at myself anymore for being so overweight and for having gotten out of control. If I was one of the seven dwarfs, they probably would have put me somewhere around the grumpy category.
THE TURNING POINT: I have two daughters. When the girls were seniors, they have a senior presentation that they go to and that’s a black-tie affair and we all get dressed up. I had to go out and rent a tuxedo. Three and a half years later along comes my younger daughter and I’d had a tuxedo hanging in my closet that was 10, 12 years old. I said, “You know, I’m not going to rent a tuxedo. I’ve got a perfectly good tuxedo hanging in my closet that all I got to do is lose some weight.” It gave me two things. It gave me — I call my tuxedo my motivator. It was an absolute taskmaster. I would try it on twice a week so that I could measure my progress. That was the thing that kind of got me started on more than anything else.
YES, YOU CAN: You have to give up that 11 o’clock hot fudge sundae followed by the peanut butter sandwich before you turn into bed, but you can do it. I actually, from time to time, will go do a little motivational speaking. It’s important to me because it made such a change in my life. I know there are people out there and I know how they feel. I know that a lot of them saying, “I don’t like it. I don’t like being overweight, but I’m too old” or “It requires too much effort” or “Oh, I can’t do it.” I would like others to know it can be done if they just make up your mind. You got to be committed. You got to be focused on doing it. I had a very good team around me and my family, my wife and others, the people that were there to make sure that I did well or my cheerleaders, guys I played golf with say, “We’re pulling for you.”
GETTING MOVING: At first I didn’t have the energy to incorporate any kind of physical training when I first started to lose the weight. After about the first 40 pounds came off, I noticed that I was having a lot more energy. So I said, “Well, I got to do something now because I’ve got all this energy.” So I started walking, and then I started putting some free weights into it. I had a small area at home, a home gym where I had one of those ski machines and ab crunching machines. But now I work out for 40 to 50 minutes every day, and sometimes I’ll take a second walk in the afternoon or evening.
BETTER WITH AGE: My blood pressure was something like 150/110 and so I’d go to the doctor’s office or the little mini clinic at CVS and they take the blood pressure and I can see their eyes getting big like “This guy has got a problem going on.” Now it’s around 115/70 or 80 or something like that.
TOOLS OF MY SUCCESS: Home exercise equipment. A tuxedo that served as motivation. A supportive family.