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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Getting’ Anchory: Getting’ in shape – Monster Fit Club tie-in

As I have lost over 50 pounds since this week and am celebrating my first anniversary as a Monster in March, I deemed it time to write this post. It’s going to be ridiculously personal, possibly painful and hopefully funny at times. Plus, I promised thisismynightmare, so there is no weaseling my way out of this one.

First off, yes, this is the story of how I lost as lot of weight. But let us not forget that there were over 50 pounds to lose. How did it get to that point? I’ll try to give you the short summary. I have never been a skinny kid. Now, I wasn’t really a fat kid, but I was a chubby kid and here in Holland they are interchangeable. Also everyone is crazy tall here, but that’s besides the point. If I was living in Wisconsin I would be a running back (sorry, dairy state). Not that I got picked on – I’m frickin’ adorable- but I did get the occasional comment that would stick with me. That trend continued throughout high school, where I didn’t really was in that bad of a shape physically, but mentally already wearing down. It only got worse in college, when I got less exercise, went to more parties, doing my own shopping, etc. While I was an overly self-conscious chubby kid in high school, I became what I had always dreaded: a fat guy. The problem was I had subconsciously accepted my weight, even though I absolutely hated the way I looked. I can even recall searching for shorts and finding the large sizes section and instead of seeing it as a wake-up call, I actually thought it could come in handy “if I got any bigger”. Oh hi, the obvious staring me in the face!

There had to be an event to set things in motion or I might not have gotten out of that downward spiral. After my grandmother got diagnosed with health issues partly due to her weight, my mother decided she had to lose weight to avoid the same health issues. As these problems could run in the family, it was the smart option for me to see where I was at. So I finally stepped on the scale to see how bad it had gotten. I found out I weighed 259,2 at 6”0. Yikes. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew this was bad. Following in my mother’s footsteps, I wanted to lose the weight, but of course this would not be the first time I had tried.

After I lost about seven pounds at my summer job in about a week and a half soon after the initial weigh-in, I realized I could do it. For the first time I actually saw results. If I kept pushing myself, could I keep losing the weight? I decided I had nothing to lose (except the weight, that is) and go for it. I started out that summer doing the things I liked to do, mountain biking, playing football (what you plagiarist sportsnamers call soccer) and shooting hoops. So being active at least five times a week and being more disciplined in what I ate (and being challenged to a weight loss competition with my brother), I lost about 20 lbs in two months. After that, I worked jogging and racquetball into my regimen. When I had lost about 25 lbs I started with cardio and after gradually working my way up, I had lost 44 pounds in eight months.

I felt great, getting compliments from people who hadn’t seen me in a while, clothes fit better, etc. Maybe it got to my head, I still don’t know what happened, but I started plateauing. I didn’t lose anything for two weeks. Then a month. Then two months. I started working in weight training, so I started to tone up somewhat, but still I wasn’t losing weight. For nine months. It was infuriating, putting all the work in at least five times a week and still not seeing results. Not only that, but it was a harsh reminder that I was going to have to fight this battle the rest of my life. Last December, I had even gained some weight back (maybe muscle, probably not) and weighed in at 221.1. Not bad, but still far off from where I wanted to be.

Enter Monster Fit Club.

Having people you are accountable to for your progress was great, especially since other people were only kissing my ass on how I had done and not how I was doing. At first I was moving at a decent pace, until I noticed that everyone was losing more weight than me. How could that be? A six feet overweight guy should be able to lose weight quicker than all those skinny bitches (love ya!). I decided to do more research into the matter and learned that I had been working out wrong the last year or so. Less resistance, more interval. Also I had to cut back my carbs and eat more protein. Finally, I was seeing those results again and was back in the race.

So this Monday I stepped on the scale it said 206.8. In total, I have now lost 52,4 pounds of weight, plus I did gain some muscle mass (LADIES). I’m still not quite where I want to be and the weight loss hasn’t been the solution to all my problems I thought it was when I first started out, but it is improving my quality of life. Just for that, it has all been worth it. For the moneyshot, some sweet before and after action:

My parting words of wisdom for everyone who wants to change themselves:

- Do the research: This was a big one for me, as I didn’t really know how I should eat or excise right. Learn what protein, carbs, saturated fats and unsaturated fats do to your body. Know how different kinds of exercise affect the shape and state of your body. Understand how weight training can help you lose weight. Go to fitness websites, read all the labels on your food, etc, etc, etc. The more you know, the easier it gets to make smart choices.
- Have fun with it: Working out can get hard and not eating the things you want is frustrating. But you have to make sure you do it in an encouraging environment, if you want to make it easier to stick to the program.
- Find out what works for you: I hate doing millions of repetitions and running long distances, even now, but I do love cycling, working with inclines and anything with a ball. So instead of forcing myself on the treadmill, I might go shoot some hoops or ride my MTB.
- Out with the old, in with the new: Throw away anything that doesn’t fit, so you aren’t tempted to fall back into your old lifestyle (but keep something as a reminder). Buy new clothes that might be too small now, but you will want to fit into. Wearing and rocking that sweet new shirt is very rewarding.
- Make it a competition: So this is a tip you don’t hear that often, but I find that it is hard to create realistic goals for yourself. Beating someone else –that’s a realistic goal. Plus, when you get in a competitive vibe, it helps you make the hard choices so you can crush the opposition. I started out against my brother and got great results and now that I’m competing against all the other Monsters I am achieving good results again.


  1. Great job AM! I like your advice about throwing away clothes that don't fit anymore. I haven't done that in the past so it's no wonder I end up fitting into them again.

  2. Gefeliciteerd! Het is een veel hard werk. Je ziet er geweldig!

  3. Principal EnchmanMarch 12, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Anchor, as I am currently near your former proportions (6'3", two-fiftysomething) and as someone who has always wanted to get down to around 210-220, I find this both inspirational and motivational. In the past I have found that I very quickly lose motivation, so your tips are very helpful!

  4. Thank you everyone for the positive feedback! It was pretty confronting writing it all down, but now that I see what I've done I feel much better.

    @lawblog: Your Dutch is very good, but your accent is terrible!

    @Principal Enchman: Go for it! Using the tips from Monster Fit Club, combined with my tips and having a support system that wants you to succeed, you should be able to get results. Getting into MFC action would be a good first step. And give it a month or so, because not everyone starts off losing a lot of weight, for some it is a much slower process.

  5. "I'd Hit That: Anchor Management"

  6. Anchor, this was great! Awesome advice, and you are looking dead sexy, friend! Keep it up!