Family Status: Married
Occupation: Personal Fitness Trainer
Hometown: Manhattan, New York
Starting Weight: 305 pounds
Current Weight: 210 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 95 pounds and 10 inches off my waist!
Patrick’s Weight Loss Story!
About five summers ago I undertook a complete lifestyle change that saved my life. I joined a local triathlon group called Simpli Tri. It incorporated the balance between triathlon fitness and training with eating like a triathlete with the end result to lose weight and to do a triathlon.
I started this journey as a 45-year-old male at 5’10” and over 300 pounds. Having been an athlete in high school and college I thought this was a perfect way to lose weight and tap into my competitive juices again. God knows I couldn’t lose the weight any other way. After college life happened, I slowly gained weight to the point of ballooning to over 300 pounds.
That first summer I trained, started eating a more balanced diet and really took to the triathlon lifestyle. I did 3 triathlons that first year which were all sprints and I lost about 25 pounds. I started training all year round and the weight started falling and the sense of self-esteem shot up. The second year I did 2 more sprints and stepped up my training and did 2 Olympic distances, the NYC triathlon and St. Anthony’s (in Florida) with team in training. I lost another 25-30 more pounds.
Now, totally addicted to the sport, I started living the life of a triathlete and started looking the part a bit as well. At this point I lost about 80 pounds. After the 2008 season was over I looked forward to the winter to kick my training up yet another notch and see if I could increase my distance to a half Marathon.
December 27th, 2008 changed my life forever. As I was doing a run in Central Park, I felt something hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a feeling of feeling dizzy and light headed. I almost lost conciseness, not like dehydration or low blood sugar but something I never felt before. The next thing I know I woke up in the hospital 3 days later with my wife telling me I had a dissected ascending aorta with an aneurysm that was ready to explode!
She said that the doctors said that had I not been in the shape I was in and because I lost all that weight, I wouldn’t be here today. I often think about what if it had happened while I was doing one of my triathlons, perhaps the swim in Florida or in the Hudson River. But it didn’t happen that way. I had a lot of things go my way that day. The right jogger asking me if I was all right when I was on the ground, the right officer, ambulance driver and doctors.
I have had one more elective procedure since December 27th. My doctors have said I’m fixed now and I am truly blessed to be here. I am blessed by the unknown factors that lead to my survival and had it not been for my lifestyle change and my triathlon training, I believe I wouldn’t be here to write to you about my story.
During my recovery from my surgeries, I changed my career from a retail manager to a certified fitness trainer. I think I can be a good example for others who need to over come physical challenges. I am now around 210 pounds or so. I am presently recovering from my second surgery and I’m applying the triathlon experience and training to my rehab. My doctors have cleared me to eventually get back into the sport with my ultimate goal of doing an Ironman. But for now, I’m here staying in shape and wanting to pass it along with pride to others!
Patrick’s Weight Loss Interview!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
Through my mid 30’s into the 40’s, pretty much most of the time. As the years progressed, I became more and more depressed and unhappy with myself and my weight.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I got to the point where even my big clothing wasn’t fitting anymore. I hated looking in the mirror. I had no energy and felt extremely lethargic. I had back and knee problems. At my gym, someone introduced me to a fitness weight loss program that incorporated triathlons and learning how to eat healthy with the end result of losing weight and participating in a triathlon.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I had to change my mindset to make fitness a priority. I had to be aware of my eating habits by recording everything I was eating and adhering to a balanced diet. I allowed myself to slip up and not beat myself up about it.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Overcoming the feelings of shame and embarrassment I felt going into a group fitness program with people who were younger, fitter and looked better in spandex workout clothing. Working through the constant internal battle of wanting to give up because of the deep belief that I was fighting a losing battle that I can never succeed in this and get healthy.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
About 2 months or so.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
It’s been 5 years. I continue with my balanced diet by eating a certain amount of grams of carbs, proteins, and fat. I try to incorporate veggies and fruits. I workout 4-5 times a week balancing cardio with muscular strength and endurance, as well as flexibility and balance.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I have more energy. Emotional and physically, I feel much better. I’m happier in my skin and I have more clothing options. I look a little better in those spandex workout clothes! Most importantly, losing weight getting fit and eating healthy SAVED MY LIFE! From the results of this fitness change and life changing experience, I’ve changed careers to be a personal fitness trainer to hopefully be an example to others and pass on the importance of improved quality of health, life and functioning in everyday life.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit assisted me in giving me a source of information, ideas and motivation.
Patrick’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
I tried to eliminate 150-200 calories a day. 3500 calories is a pound. Before I knew it, I was down a pound. Find out what type of nutritional plan can work for you. YOU CAN DO IT!
Weight loss tip #2:
Be realistic with your goals. Remember if you keep it simple, you’re more apt to enjoy what you’re doing without feeling overwhelmed. YOU CAN DO IT !
Weight loss tip #3:
Get the support of your family, friends or others who may be experiencing the same journey as you. Getting the encouragement is invaluable. YOU CAN DO IT!
Weight loss tip #4:
Have fun trying to find the right exercise program for you. You could find a fitness professional who makes you feel comfortable, a friend or just read up on fitness. Utilizing those resources will help plan a well-rounded fitness and health plan. Try incorporating muscular strength, endurance, cardio and flexibility. But the bottom line is find what works for you, make it fun and change things up. YOU CAN DO IT!
Weight loss tip #5:
I try to get out of my comfort zone in regard to exercise and nutrition. I allowed myself to have setbacks, I found what I really enjoyed which made me happy. One workout at a time turned to weeks, months and now its been 5 years. So just remember, YOU CAN DO IT because many of us did do it!
Patrick’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Egg whites, sometimes turkey bacon. Whole wheat toast with jelly, water, coffee with soy or skim milk.
Turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole wheat or peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some sort of fruit, water or diet soda.
Some sort of lean protein like chicken, turkey, bison or red meat (occasionally). Whole wheat pasta or brown rice, veggies or salads.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Cliff bars, peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat, protein drinks, all sorts of nuts, fruit, low-fat ice cream.
Patrick’s Weight Loss Workouts!
1-2 weeks, I do opposing upper body muscle groups and incorporate a number of core exercises into the workout for 2-3 sets and high reps. 1-2 days a week I do opposing lower body muscle groups again incorporating core exercises for 2-3 sets with high reps.
2-4 times a week, I do 2 days of spinning or cycling outside for 50 minutes to 2 hours. 1 day, I run 30-45 minutes. 1 day, I swim for 30 minutes to 1 hour.