Archive for category: Weight Loss (Page 35)

Biggest Loser: Pink Team

15 Jan
January 15, 2008

I get such a kick out of the pink team!  Bettie Sue and Ali are absolutely killing it, pulling off great numbers, working through emotional issues and making for great television!  : )  I think my favorite part of the episode was when Bettie Sue was crying about how she couldn’t do it, there was no way, it’s impossible, she’s too old, too tired, too weak … all the while she was doing it!  Time after time she does what she thinks is impossible … which in my opinion, is the reality for most of us that struggle with weight.  We honestly have no idea what we’re actually capable of.  We honestly believe that we are failures and give up before we even begin because it’s just not possible in our minds.  But the thing is, we can do it.  We have to make a decision in spite of what we think is impossible and then just do it, regardless of the failure we might think is inevitable … because at the end of the day, I think we’re all going to be surprised at just how much each of us is able to do.  And there are no words to describe just how empowering it is to do something you thought impossible.  The whole world opens up!

My Exercise Plan

14 Jan
January 14, 2008

One of the questions I have gotten over and over the last couple years is what my workouts are like and how and the world did I pull off two and a half hours of exercise a day at 366 pounds during the Biggest Loser?!? One component has not changed from the beginning; upper body circuit training. Three days a week I spent about half an hour doing upper body workouts on the machines at my local YMCA. The purpose behind this is to retain muscle; when you do a lot of these fad diets and just cut out food, etc., but don’t exercise, a big percentage of the weight you lose is actually muscle weight. My goal is to just lose fat so I have to push my muscles to keep them the same. Let’s face it, as fat as I was, there had to be a solid core of muscle under all that fat to propel my 366 lbs around. The cardio aspect of my workout has changed as I have upped the intensity with each week. Originally I was walking four miles in the morning, and four miles in the evening; which took about an hour each. Once that got easy, I started upping the incline on the treadmill. Eventually I got to where I was walking about 4.3 miles an hour at an incline of about four or five. When that was easy, then I started using the eliptical. Originally I could only last about ten or fifteen minutes, then I’d go back to walking for the rest of the hour. Eventually I built up to doing an hour straight on the eliptical … then I started upping the intensity. When I got to the point where I could do an hour of eliptical on a difficulty of 15 (out of 20) at about 70+ rpm, I realized I wasn’t pushing as much as I should be, so then I went back to the treadmill. I start off running until I couldn’t do that anymore, then I moved to the eliptical until I’m completely beat and then finish out the hour on the exercise bike. The key is, I wasn’t doing the whole two and a half hours at the same time; I did 60-90 minutes in the morning, and another hour in the evening. And I did what I was able to do … but constantly kept pushing myself. Generally I like to have my heart rate up around 150-170 for a workout – I’m a sweaty mess at the end!

Now a days, I’m in maintainance mode (although, at the moment I have a few leftover pounds from Christmas to deal with …).  Instead of the 10-15 hours a week of exercise, I aim for 4-6 hours.  I typically do an hour of exercise at a time, usually on the treadmill and/or the eliptical machine.  I actually prefer using my treadmill at home because I have a portable dvd player on a shelf in front of it so I can plug my headphones in and watch a movie while I exercise.  I actually find it to be one of the most relaxing hours of my day!

If I’m not watching a movie, I’m listening to my MP3 player.  My favorite workout music? Andy Hunter and David Crowder Band. I’ve been listening to their albums over and over the last couple years! And I’ll listen to the Doug Field’ Podcast whenever that comes out! I also enjoy Rob Bell sermons, and the occasional audio book. My biggest pet peeve at the gym? People watching the food network at the gym. What the heck? Don’t they see the recovering obesity survivor guy trying to work that stuff off in front of the TV? It’s just not right!

Biggest Loser: Boothbay Edition

12 Jan
January 12, 2008
bl boothbay

The following is an article that appeared in the Boothbay Register, our local newspaper.  You can see it on their site here.  The photo is the picture they ran with it in the paper.  All in all, I thought it was a great article, and within 48 hours of it appearing I’ve already had close to 30 people sign up for the next challenge.  Wow!  Anyway, here’s the article …

Boothbay Losers Lose Big
Sue Mello, Staff Reporter
     The NBC reality weight loss program, “The Biggest Loser,” pits overweight people in a competition to see who can lose the most weight. “Losers” are removed from their real lives and have the benefits of personal trainers, top-notch exercise facilities, specially prepared food, and no distractions. Being one of those survivor-type shows, contestants are also regularly voted off the show, sometimes precisely for being “too competitive.”
     Boothbay’s Matthew McNutt was one of those competitors quickly booted off the show and deprived of its benefits. However, through determination and hard work, he stuck to his diet and exercise program and succeeded in losing 176 pounds in eight months. What’s even more impressive is that McNutt has managed to keep the weight off and is now sharing his success with others.
     Last September, McNutt launched a 12-week biggest loser contest for the Boothbay region. Like the television show, contestants modified their diets, exercised regularly, met weekly for a “weigh-in,” and competed for cash prizes. Unlike the television version, no one was whisked away from their everyday world, no one was voted out of the competition, and no one’s weight was posted for the world to see. McNutt provided the expertise for eating right and exercising, and the entire group provided the emotional support and accountability needed to stick with the program
On December 15, the fourteen Boothbay losers gathered for a final weigh-in at the Boothbay Baptist Church. The hungry, but happy, participants took turns being privately weighed by McNutt before partaking in an array of healthy foods and drinks. While McNutt weighed and tallied the results, some of the losers talked about the keys to their success.
     Tom Dewey, ultimately Boothbay’s biggest loser, said that when he started the program he was not exercising or watching his diet. “Before I started, fruits and vegetables were my enemy,” he jokes. Dewey started out exercising about 20 minutes a day and now is up to about an hour per day on his Nordic ski machine. Not only has Dewey lost a lot of weight, he says he feels better and sleeps better. He keeps track of what he eats, using the Biggest Loser Calorie Counter Book provided by McNutt. He has also cut back on his carbohydrate intake, and made some key substitutions, such as water for whole milk and frozen yogurt for ice cream.
     Sisters Anne Dolloff and Kim Morton were both exercising before starting the program, but were not as careful about their eating habits. Both women say that they have become more mindful about what they eat. They also plan ahead now, making sure that they have the right kind of food available, particularly at work.
     McNutt observed that weight problems can result not only from eating the wrong foods, but also from delaying eating until one is ravenous. Hungry people frequently make poor food choices and overeat. McNutt’s losers eat regularly in moderation, and plan for healthy snacks and meals.
     Tammi Morrison cited the weekly weigh-ins and pep talks as the major key to success. She said that McNutt’s program tied together both the physical and psychological aspects of weight loss. Coming together as a group to talk about their progress, cheer each other on, and mentally prepare for challenges, such as the holidays, was the perfect recipe for success for all the participants.
     Before presenting the biggest loser personal and team awards, McNutt noted, in an oblique reference to his own “Biggest Loser” experience, “I’m really excited that every person who stuck with the program lost weight. I’ve really enjoyed hearing that beyond the weight loss, you’ve found a difference in your clothes. You’ve noticed a difference in how you feel. Even though you didn’t win the money, you have to keep reminding yourself of that.”
     Tom Dewey, who lost an amazing 63.5 pounds — 19.5 percent of his body weight, won the first prize of $275 for the biggest individual loser. Cindy Sanborn came in second, with a 10.8 percent body weight loss, and Kim Morton and Karen Nickerson tied for third, each losing 9.9 percent of her body weight. The team of Karen Nickerson and Cindy Sanborn won the first team award of $275, with a combined weight loss of 10.34 percent of their body weight. Dewey, Linda Corcoran and McNutt’s mom came in second losing 9.8 percent of their combined weight. Sanborn noted that she didn’t enter the competition to lose weight but to reduce her cholesterol and triglycerides levels. She said that she was not “one to stick with things” and was thankful for McNutt’s inspiration and program.
     McNutt plans to continue with the biggest loser challenge in Boothbay in January–for both his sake and others. He noted that studies show that about 80 percent of people who lose weight, put it back on. However, for those people who stay in a supportive group, the success rate doubles. “Permanent activity change that is associated with a group is essential. The big key is staying involved in some kind of group. Some sort of reminder, some sort of accountability is needed . . . Knowing that I had you guys to face on Saturday morning kept me from overeating. I do this, also, because I don’t want to be in that 80 percent,” McNutt concluded.
     The next challenge
     The next biggest loser 12-week challenge will begin with a three-hour kick-off and informational session on Saturday, January 19 at 9 a.m. McNutt will give an overview of the diet plan he used to lose 176 pounds in eight months. There will be weekly follow-ups on Wednesday nights from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with time for questions and answers, weekly prizes, and challenges. Participants will work in teams of three. McNutt reports that the team concept increases accountability, which is one of the greatest tools in weight loss. Money from the course registration will be split into three prizes: the female Biggest Loser, the male Biggest Loser, and the Biggest Loser team of three.
     Interested? Contact Matthew McNutt at xxx-xxxx. Registration costs $30, which includes a Biggest Loser Calorie Counter book. Pre-registration is recommended, as space is limited. Meetings will take place at Boothbay Baptist Church (across from Bet’s Fish Fry). Everyone is welcome to participate!

Audio added to site!

07 Jan
January 7, 2008


I finally added some audio to my audio page!  Just click here to find where I’ll be posting various audio delights from time to time.  The two I added today were a radio interview I did shortly after the finale, and a message on perseverance.  The message, titled “Run the Race,” is actually pretty special to me because while it was delivered to my church, the actual audience was the 36 at home contestants of season three.  We were about half way through the eight months of our diet plan and it was becoming pretty apparent that a lot of us were feeling burnt out, frustrated, weary, whatever … the reality was, it was getting hard.  So my message, while speaking about spiritual perseverance and what the Bible has to say about it, very much used weight loss as a practical example of the spiritual principles of perseverance.  So, if you are in any kind of weight loss plan or lifestyle change, give it a listen – maybe there will be something in there to encourage you!


Biggest Loser Books

06 Jan
January 6, 2008


Well, I’m excited!  I’ve got a TON of Biggest Loser books on the way!  I’m kicking off two weight loss challenges in a couple weeks and I just ordered the materials … which turns out, is a lot of books!

Here are the numbers ….

30 of the Biggest Loser Fitness book

70 of the Biggest Loser Cookbook (with a picture of me in it!)

75 of the Biggest Loser Calorie Counter Guide (essential to any diet plan)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to their arrival!  It’s fun, but also essential to my keeping the weight off.  Every contestant that has managed to maintain the weight loss has done so by having some sort of permanent change in their life, whether it’s by becoming a trainer, leading weight loss groups, or joining some sort of sports team/activity.  For me, it’s the weight loss groups and speaking that keep me focused.

Diet Soda … causes weight gain?

04 Jan
January 4, 2008


I’ve read some recent articles about Diet Soda causing weight gain … which is mostly an explosive tag line to get people to read the article.  Every writer out there has to concede that in actuality, while it’s not healthy for you – diet soda doesn’t actually put on the pounds.  But for some individuals, it does make them more likely to overeat other things that do pack on the pounds.  In other words, for a certain percentage of people, when they’re standing at the register at Taco Bell (oops … now I’m hungry) or in other such food decision moments, they feel like it’s okay to have that extra burrito, or that double whopper or whatever because they’re making up for it by having a diet soda instead of a regular soda.

Here’s the reality: diet soda is not good for you.  It does nothing to make you a healthier person.  In fact, from things I’ve read, it’s most likely a negative influence on your health.  But it won’t put fat on you.  So here’s the deal, I drink diet soda.  I love it.  In fact, for me it’s how I satisfy my junk food cravings about 95% of the time.  And I think that’s the key; it’s not just one part of my junk food eatings, it IS my junk food most of the time (yes, I occasionally make a run for the border and grab a spicy chicken burrito).  So I’m satisfying my junk food urges without adding any calories to my eating.  So, if you can drink diet soda while keeping your other junk food cravings in check, then go for it!  Otherwise, you might need to cut it out of your system all together!

By the way, the reason this is all on my mind?  I picked up half a dozen cases of Diet Mountain Dew Code Red in Pennsylvania!  Woo-hoo!  You can’t get this stuff in Maine … a tragedy, I know … but thank goodness I have in-laws outside of Philly!  I have an excuse to stock up every half a year or so!  So here I sit, blogging about diet soda while sipping my Diet Mountain Dew Code Red.

Who am I kidding … I’m chugging that liquid gold!  Sure, I could string it out for months on end, but let’s be real here: I’ll have a lot more fun finishing all 72 cans off in three days.

My article at SYM!

02 Jan
January 2, 2008
 Hey everyone … the following is an article I wrote for the Simply Youth Ministry website … click the link to get the whole thing!
my spiritual health and my physical healthmy spiritual health and my physical health
Two years ago I became too heavy for the doctor’s scale to even register my weight – apparently the scale designers don’t think people over 350 …

Biggest Loser memories

01 Jan
January 1, 2008
bl2 finale

 I was just flipping channels and happened across the Bravo channel … which is running a marathon of Biggest Loser season two today!  I only watched a few minutes, but it was strange – I hadn’t seen that season since I originally watched it … back then I was wishing it could be me, having no idea that only a few months later I would be winging my way out to the ranch for my turn!  It was fun seeing Dr. Jeff, Matt, Seth, Mark and others who inspired me to finally get healthy.  In particular, Dr. Jeff’s story was the one that finally pushed me over the edge to apply for the show – his desire to lose weight for his patients really resonated with my desire to lose weight for the teens I work with as a youth pastor.

I am kinda looking forward to the season two finale – I might turn back to Bravo for that.  While we were working out at home, the producers had sent all of the 36 at home contestants a copy of the season two finale for inspiration.  I literally watched it a couple times a week for the first couple months, and then every couple weeks until the finale.  Seeing their transformations and the excitement on their faces as they weighed in at their finale kept me motivated to push through to my finale!  Anyway, I had loaned my copy to someone around the time of my finale and they managed to lose it so I haven’t seen it since … might be fun to rewatch something that was so inspiring to me during my transformation!

Boothbay's Biggest Loser Challenge winner!

19 Dec
December 19, 2007

Wow!  What a final weigh in!  For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been leading a twelve week “Boothbay’s Biggest Loser” challenge here that just wrapped up this last Saturday.  Basically, I charged people $25 (I’m not trying to make $$$ of this; I’m trying to share what I learned through the Biggest Loser), which was split three ways:  to cover the cost of everyone getting a copy of the Biggest Loser Calorie Counter book (essential for any weight loss plan, check the link below), half of what remained would go to the individual with the greatest percentage weight loss ($275), and the other half would go to the team with the greatest combined percentage of weight loss.

Well, 30 people signed up (awesome!!!), and the results are in!  Tom Dewey, a local man who took the challenge to heart, managed to drop close to 65 lbs in just twelve weeks for a 19.5% weight loss which easily won him the title and the $275!  Absolutely amazing!!!  He pulled it off by counting calories, journaling his eating, switching to a healthy diet and regular exercise.  True Biggest Loser style weight loss!  No gimmicks in that!  Two women won the team prize; Karen and Cindy weighed in with a combined 11% (I might have the number off by a fraction or so; don’t have the results right in front of me) weight loss.  I was excited they took the prize because they were actually the other two people with the highest percentages of weight loss in the group!  Most exciting for me, though, was the fact that every single person who started the challenge weighed in lighter than when they began, many significantly so!

In January we’ll be starting another twelve week challenge (towards the end of the month, once the holidays settle down a bit).  It’s exciting because so many people have been wanting to get in on the next one!  There’s even a church in the neighboring community that plans on launching one as well (I’ll attend their first meeting to lay out the plan and answer questions, and their final weigh in, as well as be in regular contact with the group leaders through the challenge)!  Should be fun!

In other news, I’ve been enjoying speaking at different organizations in our great state of Maine!  Last week I was at Central Maine Power’s health conference; before that I was at the Dept. of Transportations’s health conference, and in a couple weeks I’ll be at the University of Maine.  On top of that I’ve been speaking at churches, working on my articles for the Journal of Student Ministries, and even bouncing around some ideas for church resources.  Hey, if I don’t stay enmeshed in weight loss and maintanance culture … I’ll forget to keep the weight off!  That, and it’s something I am completely passionate about now a days!