A Setback or A Greater Challenge

On January 8th I wrote a post entitled Let the Fun Begin. It was my first week into high intensity training. I was moving heavier weights and increasing both my run distance and speed. I was a man on a mission. How was I to know that one short week later my training would get a little off track. In the preceding  posts, A Minor Setback — Not a Roadblock and Three Weeks from the Day, I chronicled what I was looking at as a setback in my training.

This morning something happened to change that way of thinking.

I was in the gym talking with a friend of mine. I had previously told him about my recent procedure and expressed how I was grateful nothing was wrong with my heart. He asked me how getting back into the grove was going and if I was still taking it easy. I told him good, but I conveyed to him that with the half-marathon a mere twelve weeks away and the strongman only three weeks later, I was feeling a bit unsettled about how I had lost over a month of training.

That is when I got the look.

There is one thing about weightlifting and weightlifters, when you complain, and I was, as much as I hate to admit it, complaining, to another lifter words never need be spoken. Weight training is unto itself about one thing; overcoming the pull of gravity on cold, unyielding iron. It is, every single workout, a challenge.

It is a challenge to embrace.

It is a challenge to welcome.

It is a challenge to overcome.

So when my old friend gave me that look, I realized I was complaining and simultaneously we uttered, “It is just a greater challenge!”

I didn’t have to do battle with cancer. I didn’t have to deal with a traumatic accident. I didn’t have anything really bad happen to me. I had a surgical procedure to check out my heart and it showed all was good. I am blessed.

So what? I lost a few weeks training.

So what? I lost some strength.

So what? I got a little soft.

I am healthy. I am still relatively fit. I now have a greater challenge.

Life is fun.

Life is not fair.

Life is a challenge.

Bring it on!

Keep training and remember: being fit isn’t simply about living longer, it is about living better!

Lazy Limbaugh

I just listened to the part of another Rush Limbaugh anti-exercise rant. So either he is  lazy, or just plain afraid of getting hurt. Either way his excuses are pretty lame, kind of like a toddler.

Exercise, done properly, utilizing correct technique, pre and post warm up and warm down and appropriate care of the occasional minor injury is not going to cause an noticeable increase in injury.

Being out of shape, old reclining Rush would be more apt to injure himself golfing. If he would condition himself the risk of injury from his only athletic endeavor would decrease.

I will update this more later, but if Rush would like, I would be more than happy to show him how to exercise and turn his less weighty, yet equally flabby body.

Joe Leonardi

Pants that fit snug in March of 2008

Found these pants behind the door in my office. They fit snug back in March of 2008!

me and my old pants

me and my old pants 2

When to rest?

Today is Saturday May 30th and I decided to take a day off from working out. Why? Yesterday I ran three miles, time was 3 minutes slower than normal.  I got to the gym and could barely move 240 pounds in the shoulder press.  I put down the weights, showered and headed out.  One important factor about fitness is listening to your body. So how do you know it is time for a rest?

- if you are feeling fine and try to talk yourself out of going to the gym; you are proably just being lazy.

- if you are feeling tired and worn out and you are trying to talk yourself into going to the gym; you might be a little over trained. Take a day or two off and go back in with a vengence!

What is Body Remodeling

You can’t be athletic following a low carb lifestyle?

I was reading Jimmy Moore’s blog http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/, the other day. He re-posted a column by a personal trainer who was critical of the low carb lifestyle. In the column the author implied that one could not be athletic or build muscle following a low carb regime. I am well aware that there are varying thoughts on nutrition. It is NOT an exact science. However, when a self proclaimed expert wants to deride others without genuine facts and information it makes me a little irate. I hastily took some pictures to demonstrate how exactly incorrect said author is:

I do not have the conceit to believe that I am at all where I want to be. I am still about 6 months from being in the shape I am shooting for, but I invite you to check out my 340 pound photos from March of 2008. I think I have laid to rest the myth that you can’t build muscle or be athletic on a low carb lifestyle.

Also, today I am listening to Rush Limbaugh talking about losing weight. He is claiming that exercise is not necessary and that he has lost weight before. I think I remember a similar tirade about a year ago. Watching his CPAC speech on television it appears he was not successful last time. He actually made the claim that he wants to lose enough weight so it takes him a couple of years to put it back on. What this big bellied big mouth doesn’t get, is that if he not only lost weight, but became fit— he would enjoy all the stuff he currently does and not ever have to worry about losing weight again. Also if he would get fit it would help his golf game.

I doubt the rotund Mr. Limbaugh would ever read this blog, but if he does I would be more than happy to help him scream from his golde EIB microphone,  “I was Fat Then but I am Fit Now!”

Joe Leonardi


One year ago today!

March 1 2008 340lbs  Feb 28, 2009 206 pounds

March 1 2008 340lbs Feb 28, 2009 206 pounds

One year ago today was the first day in years that I stepped on a scale. The reading: 340 pounds. It was that day I made the decision that fat was no way to live. Of course, the next couple of days were spent splurging: The last Pizza, the last French Fries, The last Pasta, that last Dusty Road Sundae at Blue Ribbon. They weren’t really the last, but for a while I would touch none of my old fattening friends. Four days later on March 5th I reactivated my membership at Danko’s All American Fitness Center and the next day March 6th a very fat, unfit and embarrassed rotund figure walked back in the gym and with renewed passion and fire began an odyssey from Fat Then to Fit Now.




This morning for the first time in a long time I saw “Live with Regis and Kelly.” I was very impressed with the lean and fit physique Kelly Ripa has developed. It made me think back to the beginning of my journey earlier this year.

I stared my body remodeling odyssey back in March and yes that is this past March 2008.  I tipped the scale and an obscene 340 pounds, I wore a size 56 jacket and size 54 pants and barely fit into either.

As of today, December 18, 2008, I weigh 207 pounds,  wear a size 44 jacket and 36 pants. That is 133 pounds, 14 jacket sizes and 16 pants sizes gone.

Around the end of March I began running. I started with 2 laps around the high school track.  It was a difficult  1/2 mile jog, actually it was probably not even a trot. I was going so slow that I would get lapped by those who were walking.

Today I ran 2 miles, 8 laps in under 22 minutes. I’m not setting any land speed records, but I am almost down to a 10 minute mile and at age 44 and after almost 3 years of inactivity I think I am doing pretty good.

I have revised my goal from 185 pounds to 200 pounds. Since my ultimate goal is to remodel my body I had to take many things into consideration and 200 is a good weight for me. If I think I need to drop a few more once I get there I will.

Losing weight is easy, remodeling your body takes work. I could have simply lost the weight and still had a pear shape. It is more important for overall health and appearance to do it right. So, remember stay focused. I did you can do it. I am looking to start my new business venture either at the end of January or mid February at the latest. I will help you achieve your dream physique.


Questions, Questions, Questions

{What I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.}

Questions, Questions, Questions:

I have had plenty of questions over the years. Here are a few, with my answers.

Q. How many years do you think losing all that weight will add to your life?

A. I don’t know and I don’t care.  I did not get back in shape to live longer, I did it to live better.

Q.  Did you have surgery?

No. No drugs, no surgery, no gimmicks.

Q. What was your motivation?

A. Plain and simple I was tired of being fat.  Unless you have been obese you really don’t understand the self-imposed limitations on your life.  Can you imagine going into a restaurant or diner and praying that a table is open, because you can not fit in a booth. Or walking up a flight of stairs and stopping half way to catch your breath? How about taking a flight somewhere and wondering if you are going to to spill over into the next seat and  inconvenience the poor person next to you, or worse yet be forced to purchase an extra seat?  Obese people who say that they are happy the way they are, are full of it.  Take it from me, I was morbidly obese, I was fat, as I have stated I made Shamu look svelte — I was not happy.

Q. What is the secret?

A. There is no secret just:

Desire! Determination! Discipline!

Q. If there is no secret then why have a weight loss business?

A. To motivate others who share my past problem conquer theirs and to help others have a better quality of life and perhaps in the process SAVE a few lives.

Q. Is Fat Then Fit Now, part of your practice? Do you accept insurance?

A. No to both. Fat Then Fit Now is a motivational entity designed to get people started and succeed in regaining health and developing fitness. It is recommended that anyone utilizing Fat Then Fit Now have a thorough medical examination prior to beginning.

Q. Which web-site for information do you visit the most often.

A. Jimmy Moore’s site is the gold standard for low carb information on the web. If the research has been done, Jimmy has posted it on his site. His in-depth interviews are available on his podcasts.

Q. When do you plan to start the online version of Fat Then Fit Now?

A. I am planning  a relaunch of www.FatThenFitNow.com for January,  however I have taken on a clients at my office, as my schedule permits. Anyone interested can contact me via e-mail FatThenFitNow@me.com

Q. Will you accept children as well as adults as clients?

A. This is one I have not decided yet. Children are obese at an alarming rate, more concerning is the prevalence of type II diabetes in children today. Type II diabetes is commonly referred to as Adult Onset, however, now it is showing up more and more in the younger population. There is a need, but as of now, I am still just considering adding those under 18 years old.

Q. How do you feel that the current Surgeon General of the United States is overweight?

A. I don’t like it. I think we need to set examples. I have the same opinion about celebrities like Kevin Smith and politicians who don’t have the discipline to control themselves.

Q. You seem to be unyielding at times; Why?

A. Because, excuses and excuse makers are enablers. We have a serious problem, one that can’t be solved by being weak.

Q. When are you going to write a book?

A. I did and it is available in e-book and paper back versions, you can find the links at www.FatThenFitNow.com