Action precedes motivation.
Where he came from:
I sat down with Paul after a Monday night workout to hear his story. I have seen a tremendous transformation in Paul’s outward appearance since he began working out with us at Franklin Wheelhouse. I wanted to know more about his weight loss journey. He began the conversation with “Well, for a long time I considered myself to be an athlete. When I was in school I played football and baseball, but I’ve never really been a gym rat. I’ve really never liked working out.” Like many of us, Paul has struggled with his weight for years. He would gain and lose weight time after time. After graduating from school and finishing his service in the military, Paul said he “stopped fighting and stopped caring.” The weight accumulated over years and years; at his heaviest, Paul weighed 319 pounds. Although he did not feel good physically, his mind made peace with the weight (or so he thought).
What changed his mindset:
On his 58th birthday in August of 2019, Paul made a decision to do something about his health. He had recently been promoted to Software Development Director at HCA and he felt like it was time to make a change. In an effort to set a goal, Paul asked himself “how much weight could I lose between now and my next birthday?” At first he thought about losing 1 pound a week. That would be about a 50 pound weight loss, but would not get him to where he wanted to be. So then he said to himself “if you can’t lose 2 pounds a week, then you’re not trying.” So he decided to set a goal to lose 100 pounds before his next birthday.
Paul said he didn’t start with any kind of a plan. He was going to just “white knuckle it”, meaning he was going to eat less and get some exercise. Once he realized he needed some form of structure and encouragement, he joined an online program called Noom and lost 7 pounds in the first week. He said he has learned a whole different way to approach food. Before he eats something, he thinks about why he wants to eat. Is he actually hungry, or is he bored or tired? When Paul prepares a meal, he understands the difference between empty calorie foods and nutrient dense foods. He is learning to enjoy the process of eating healthily. The weight started coming off. He lost 60 pounds in the first 4 months. At that point, his weight plateaued and he needed to move more. Paul commented that he really didn’t like working out, but he began increasing his daily steps. He parked in a garage at work and would walk up several flights of stairs multiple times a day. Co-workers would see him and he became sort of an urban legend. Paul said, “I was known as the guy who was always walking in the parking garage”. He got up to about 12,000 steps a day. Paul is focusing on what he calls his four pillars: food, exercise, sleep and stress reduction. Learning to think about how he treats himself and what his body really needs has helped him maintain his weight loss and stay on track with his exercise. Something clicked for him and he stuck with it.
In order to build strength and increase his cardio, Paul joined his wife Kim who had been working out at Franklin Wheelhouse after a knee replacement. Paul has been working out with us at Franklin Wheelhouse for eight months. When I asked him what is different about Franklin Wheelhouse, he said, “I like Franklin Wheelhouse because what we do is much more supportive to daily living than working out in a typical gym environment. I’m a lot stronger in my everyday life than I have been in, well, I can’t remember how long. I can lift stuff and carry stuff all day long”. Once he added the strength training into his routine, Paul dropped an additional 40 pounds in 3 1/2 months.
Many people have a hard time prioritizing regular workouts – especially with a full-time job. Not enough time or energy are always a cause for struggle. I asked Paul what has been the hardest part of the journey and he said, “Getting started has always been my struggle. Once I get there and get going, then I’m good. Once I get into the habit, I am more likely to stick with it. I am not the fiercest competitor in the world but I am hard on myself once I have made the commitment”.
Where Paul is Now:
All in all, Paul lost 100 pounds in 8 months. Since then, he has lost another 10 pounds. He says he has more that he’d like to lose but he’s stopped putting so much pressure on himself. Paul is hoping to get back on his bicycle. He would like to take part in a long bike ride like the Jack ’n Back by his next birthday.
Paul commented on the culture at Franklin Wheelhouse as well as the leadership of owner and trainer, Kelly Kanski. “I really like working out at FWH because the people are welcoming, supportive, and hilarious. And, mostly because it is a great overall workout. Kelly is very encouraging and she’s also very talented at what she does. She is a true professional and focuses on technique in order to produce the best results. You can just tell how driven she is for living the best life”. Paul appreciates that Kelly is always trying to make him do better than he did before but not comparing him to others. His biggest competition is himself. Paul has gained strength and slimmed down since he started at FWH. But what he is most encouraged about is it that the program is “really about helping you live your life better”. One of the aims of FWH is for its members to get out and participate in life.
When asked what Paul would tell someone who is interested in losing weight, he said, “I would tell them to look for the thing that works for them and try it. Set a realistic goal and stick with it. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Just get back on it the next day. You might not progress at the same rate as the next person, but that’s part of the journey.”
In conclusion, I asked Paul, “If you could describe the feelings after your transformation in 3 words what would they be?”
A note from Kelly:
What a pleasure it has been to once again watch a complete transformation. To witness the spirit of determination and to smile broadly at Paul’s success makes my job easy and gives purpose to the mission of Franklin Wheelhouse.
I am grateful FWH is a place to be known, to share story, and experience connection – especially within the realm of health and wellness. There is so much we can learn from each other!
If you have a story to tell, contact FWH at email@example.com