Tag Archives: Weight loss

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I was a skinny kid.

My mom took me to the doctor, who prescribed this yucky elixir to gain weight.

I also had to add a powder to my chocolate milk to bulk up.

They didn’t seem to work.

I recall walking home from school and getting pushed into cars by strong winds.

Lightweight John on the right, circa 1978.

It wasn’t until high school that I took fellow About Men Radio posse member Chris’s advice to eat a pint of Carvel ice cream each week. [Editor’s Note: Chris has no recollection of having done this and middle-age and lactose-intolerant Chris would strongly advise against this approach.]

I was the kid who could eat a whole pizza in one sitting. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have done it in mixed company.

I’d also finish off a whole plate of spaghetti and lose a pound or two.

I’m guessing that it wasn’t until college when I discovered the endocrine system and how my metabolism used up the fuel in my body, thus keeping me skinny.

I also rode my bicycle to and from school every day, so that was about a 10-mile workout daily.

I used to enjoy leaving the college after early classes and taking a ride throughout Yonkers and Peekskill.

One day I rode up to the Kensico Dam. That was the farthest that I biked after classes. I know that it doesn’t seem far, but you must  pedal back home as well.

So, what happened?

Well, in my senior year, my dad let me use the car.

My bike started to become a clothes rack.

Driving became the rage.

After college, I walked to work.

 While I kept on my feet at work and participated in recreational activities, I also started to put on a few pounds.

The pounds came on gradually and the next job was 50 percent field work and 50 percent office work and so the pounds accumulated.

Pedro rubs John’s belly for good luck in February 2016.

I would take the bike out once or twice a month, mostly to pedal to the health club to work out for a few hours, then pedal back home.

I guess the bike then became part of my workout routine and less of a fun activity.

 Occasionally, I’d pedal to Orchard Beach and take a quick swim.

The next job was 99 percent in the office and on one evening I was working late, and the bus stopped running after 10 p.m.

While waiting for an alternate bus, I decided to walk home. I decided that I’d walk home once a week, preferably in the daytime.

Last month, I set up my bike to my stationary bike stand and have it facing the TV in my living room.

I have a nice cushioned seat and am gradually losing the pounds.

I put them on gradually and the best way to keep them off is gradually.


Putting Fitness Back on Our Menu

Can My Doctor Just STFU About My BMI Please?

Battle of the Bulge: The Struggle to Eat Right and Exercise

Can My Doctor Just STFU About My BMI Please?


I recently had my annual physical and I was like pffffft….I’ve got this thing in the bag.

Heart? Sounded A-OK.

Lungs? All clear.

Yes, I wear my safety belt. I drink alcohol in moderation. And no, I don’t smoke.

I was sailing toward a bill of health cleaner than my mother’s kitchen when…

The doctor looked over my paperwork and saw my weight. Hmmmm, she said, for your height and weight, your BMI is high and you are very close to being obese.

For those of you who are not familiar with BMI, or body mass index, it is a conspiracy cooked up by health professionals to figure out new ways to guilt you into losing weight.

It takes into account your height and weight and then comes up with a score to determine if you are like porridge in a Goldilocks fairy tale: Underweight, overweight or just right.

But even at the news about my BMI, I was not fazed.

Then I raised the question that I should have left unasked.

So, doctor, how much weight do I need to lose? (I figured five pounds would be a reasonable answer.)

“Fifteen pounds” came her reply.

The room started to spin.

My righteous indignation started to rise.

Protests began to form on my lips.

Fifteen pounds! Now look here, I work out religiously four to five days a week, at least 30 minutes of hardcore exercise each time.

She acknowledged that was good but said the issue was probably my food intake.

Oh. That.

You mean my beloved cookies the size of Frisbees that I get at the Jefferson Diner in New Jersey?


You mean the processed snack bars that are promoted as healthy but are still loaded with a bit too much sugar and carbs? Or my less-than-optimal daily intake of vegetables?

In the Supreme Court of Calories, I want to strike a plea bargain.

BMI is an imperfect measure of body fat that was originally intended to assess the obesity rates of a population of people. Applied to individuals, one size does not fit all.

Further, it does not differentiate between fat and muscle, so if you work out with weights (which I do) you could be penalized.

An article in Men’s Health magazine makes the point that you know if you are overweight.

How do your clothes fit? Do you have trouble making it up a flight of stairs? What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Now, it is true that what you eat matters more in some ways than how much you exercise. That is an area where I do have room to improve.

So I’m resolving to try to cut back on my sweets and maybe watch my portion control a little more closely. And maybe extend my workouts a bit each day.

I figure what I have got to lose — except 15 pounds.

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Weighing in on the AMR Fitness Challenge

Note: About Men Radio member Richard Rodriguez wrote this a month ago as we prepared our AMR Fitness Challenge. We’re encouraging all men to do what they can to get themselves in better shape. Here is Rich’s first installment:

It is July 1st and I have determined this to be the start of my entry into the AMR Fitness Challenge:  Six months, lose 30 pounds and start regular exercise.

I am using the Lose It app to track my calories and exercise.

I ended my old job, which I had used as an excuse and crutch for my lack of exercise and healthy habits for the past two years.

When I had lost my job at the end of 2011, I used that time at home to be healthier and actually walked regularly and monitored my calories with the Lose It app.

I lost weight, felt better and even ran my first and only 5K.

Then I thankfully went back to work but my healthy ways went out the window.

I was driving four hours a day, gone all day, under stress at the job, and by the time I got home I was exhausted and defeated.

I didn’t want to do anything.

I probably gained 20-30 pounds and erased all the progress I made before.

I began a new job on July 5th with a shorter commute, and will have more time for my family and for taking care of myself and becoming more healthy.

I took a painful picture this morning and weighed in. I hope to begin a transformation and have a great improvement by the end of 2016.

Rich AMR

With the help and encouragement of the AMR crew, I hope all of us can reach our goals.


No More Excuses, It’s Time to Get Healthy

Longtime listeners of the podcast know that getting the entire AMR Posse to reach a consensus on anything is quite the achievement so this episode may come as a shock.

Father John, Coach Silvio, SuperDad, Mele Mel along with yours truly, El Kaiser, have unanimously agreed that getting healthy should be our top priority for the rest of the year.

The ravages of middle-age and busy lives have taken their toll but to paraphrase the manliest-man of all, our lord and savior Popeye:

We can’t stands no more!

The challenge to get into shape by 2017 has officially been thrown down and we will document our progress—or lack thereof—with regular posts on the blog at aboutmenradio.com.

Take a listen to what is motivating us and please send us your tips on how best to reach our goals or, better yet, join us in our quest for health.

It won’t be easy but you know the journey will be snarky good fun.

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