The Big Day

Hey, does this suit make me look fat?

It’s a big day for me tomorrow (or today… or last week… there we go, I got it all covered whenever you read this).

July 4th, 2003. The alarm goes off at 5 AM, and I slowly make my way downstairs. 5 AM was early for me back then. Today, it’s sleeping in (I get up at 4:30).

I don’t need caffeine quite yet. The adrenaline from how far I had come in 6 months is enough to wake me up. Because 6 months earlier, I was 300 lbs (see photo to the left, and add another 30 lbs), wearing 46″ jeans and XXXL shirts.

At this point, I had lost 75 of the 105 total lbs. I was on a high. I was confident… finally.

I had never ran a race in my life at this point, but somehow, my friends convinced me to sign up for the largest 10K in the world, the Peachtree Road Race.

It was hard to believe I could finish such a feat, because on day one of my journey, I could barely complete one lap around my old high school track. Just being transparent, my one and only lap ended up with tears filling my eyes, wondering if I was capable of doing this.

As I get ready, I look back at all the hard work I had put in. I looked back at the better decisions I made, like choosing water over soda, skipping happy hour with my co-workers so I could focus on my goals, and sticking to a workout routine. I missed my breakfast of Mr. Pibb and a Honeybun at first, but I knew I HAD to make a change.

It was just six months, but I remember the victories, both large and small. I remember the

Celebrate every victory, large or small

big moment when I was in 40″ size pants. That means I was close to being out of the 40’s, which was a huge deal.

“Tom! Tom! Dude! I’m in 40″ pants!” is what I practically yelled from the dressing room at JC Penny. Yes, I called my friend Tom from the dressing room.

It had been an amazing ride, and I wasn’t even done yet.

As I arrive in Atlanta with my friends, I could feel the goosebumps. Everyone there had an insane amount of energy and people were already lining up the sidewalk cheering people on as we made our way to the starting line.

Because of my number, I had to go in a different group than my friends. I was nervous, excited and jacked up on adrenaline and caffeine. This was it. This was my big moment. This was my first event in my new life and my first race.

As I made my way through Atlanta, I simply just soaked it all in. I felt like everyone clapping and cheering was just for me. Alas, it was for the random guy handing out beer and donuts, but I still pretended it was for me.

“There’s a random guy that hands out beer and donuts at 8 in the morning?”

Yes, there is. Now stay focused.

Before I knew it, I was approaching mile 6. Before this race, the most I had ran was about 3 miles. The adrenaline and happiness of where I was took me to this moment. Mile 6 was a huge turning point. I could stop running and decide to walk the rest of the race, which was about a quarter mile, or I could run the whole thing.

I run about 3 races a year as a reminder of where I was

The decision was made.I was going to finish this thing strong. I knew it would be tough, but so was my journey so far. It’s supposed to be tough.

The irony was that as I approached the finish line, tears filled my eyes yet again. In January, the tears were filled with doubt, fear and frustrations.

This time, they were packed full of confidence and victory. It was like all of my past frustrations and doubt were finally being released.

July 4th, 2003 – that was one of the biggest days of my life. It was a big turning point because that day taught me, “Anything is possible”.

So here I am now, 105 lbs lighter and getting ready for yet another Peachtree Road Race. Honestly, July 3rd is like my second Christmas Eve. I’m like a nerd laying out my clothes the night before (including putting a pair of socks over my shoes – #truth).

So my question for you is, “What’s Your Peachtree?” What is it that drives you? What is it that makes you put things into action?

For me, I had no choice but to succeed. I enrolled in the Peachtree in March that year (it fills up in just hours). I wasn’t ready for it at that point, but I knew that would help me stay accountable.

It worked. So, how did I do it?

1. Surround yourself with family and friends for social support. If someone drags you down, cut them loose. I no longer joined social hour on Friday nights after work. It was basically beer and whining about how much life sucks anyway.

2. Celebrate each and every victory – whether it’s large or small. Did you avoid eating a piece of cake? Tell your friends and brag. It’s OK, and you should.

3. Set deadlines. I promised the world that I would drop 50 lbs by July 1st. I dropped 75 at

Ha! Look at me! I’ve been eating for like 3 hours straight. I just ate 40 sausage balls and 5 cinnamon rolls, and I’m about to eat something again. I’m big and hilarious! Hey, look at me! I created a really long caption. Hilarious I say!

that point and you know what? I BRAGGED about it.

4. Understand it’s going to be hard. I knew I would have to make sacrifices along the way. Whoever tells you that you can lose weight effortlessly is blowing smoke.

Sure, there’s more to it than that. But this should be your foundation.

So figure out what exactly is your specific Peachtree Road Race.

In other words, pick your “big day” and go after it relentlessly with all your might.

To achieving YOUR big day,
Mikey, CTT

Leave A Reply (28 comments so far)


  1. Deb
    5 years ago

    That’s awesome Mike. It’s good to be reminded to remember that turning point.


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      I appreciate that Deb. I still reflect on it to this day.


  2. Shawna K
    5 years ago

    Big Mike, you’re one BIG inspiration. Thanks for sharing.


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      You bet Shawna :)


  3. Danny
    5 years ago

    Kick ass man. Everyone likes to convince themselves that some magic pill or potion is gonna do it. It’s really pretty simple. Do what you CAN today, and do BETTER tomorrow.


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      Well said Danny – “Do what you can today, and do better tomorrow”. I like that.


  4. B
    5 years ago

    Great post. Congrats on for life transformation dude.


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      Thanks a lot B! I appreciate it man :)


  5. James
    5 years ago

    Bedros referred me here. Great read! LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing positive results like this, very motivational.


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      Thank you James! I appreciate the feedback!


  6. Sara Dean
    5 years ago

    LOVE this Mike! Merry Christmas & Happy Peachtree to you! Thank you for being a daily source of inspiration (and humor) to me. Cheers, my friend!


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      Sara, you rock! Thank you very much :)


  7. A.C.
    5 years ago

    I am exactly where you were when you made your mind up to do something about your weight and health. your story is very inspiring. i am trying to mentaly prepare myself to do the same. wish me luck.a.c.


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      You can do it A.C. Trust me. If I can do this, anyone can.


  8. Kat C
    5 years ago

    You rock. I’m trying hard to get to my “big day” too…hope the race went well in all this heat :)


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      Thank you Kat! I’m really excited. I’m planning on having my cheat meal tomorrow, too. Awesome day.


  9. Jill
    5 years ago

    It’s great to hear from someone who has been where I am now. This post is very inspirational.

    The solution to the problem is simple, but not easy. I love it when someone who has been here gives their tips on how they made the journey. I know not all tips work for all people, but it’s nice when you can get ideas from others.

    My goal is to do a Tough Mudder this fall…right now everyone thinks I’m crazy, but it has lit a fire under my butt to stay motivated and work towards my goals.

    Thanks for the great post, Mikey! :)


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      Thank you Jill – I had some people think I was crazy for skipping the cake every time it was someone’s birthday at the office when I was in the corporate world. But after a while, it gets easier and easier as you get in the zone.

      Good luck with your Tough Mudder – you’re going to nail it!


  10. Shari Aldrich
    5 years ago

    Hey Mike
    Great blog post from last week… Your story is very inspirational indeed – thanks for sharing. I also had an ah-ha moment years ago, and your story inspires me to share it with my readers. I best get writing! Cheers!


    • Mikey
      5 years ago

      Thank you Shari! I’m glad I can inspire you. I appreciate the feedback and I’ll see you in September :)


  11. Anoushka Moore
    4 years ago

    As a former 215 lb woman I can relate ! Now turned my life around lost the weight and I am a group ex instructor and looking a healthy 12% body fat. I hated exercise hated the gym loved dinners (I still love dinners) if I can do it anyone can! Xxxx


    • Mikey
      4 years ago

      Fantastic Anoushka! Congrats on your success and it’s awesome you’re paying it forward!
      Mikey


  12. Mark Fields
    4 years ago

    Any thought mudder race coming for 2014???
    I would love get dirt with great company…
    Well done Mike!!! You are still my inspiration: Lost 35 pounds already. And aiming for a less than 15% BF… still on the way.
    Cheers!


    • Mikey
      4 years ago

      Great work Mark! I’m glad you found it inspiring. Tough Mudder… probably not :)

      Keep working hard – you inspire me with your success!
      Mikey


  13. Mike
    4 years ago

    Mike, I’ve been following you for probably a year or so when I bought your first finisher program. You are an inspiration to all, in shape and out. I’ve referred patients to your site for inspiration and a plan. I’m a physician in a sleep clinic and I see many overweight to morbidly obese people who feel they just can’t do it. Keep up the great work.


    • Mikey
      4 years ago

      Mike, thanks so much. That is exactly why I share my story. It was uncomfortable at first to share the details, but the feedback has been worth it.

      Thanks so much,
      Mikey


  14. Jimmy
    4 years ago

    Thanks for the motivational story. And thanks for the Freedom Metabolic Workout and Freedom Finisher. I know it took some extra time to list the warm-up, workout, and finisher with pictures and descriptions, but I really appreciate that. For someone who is nearly 50 and sits in front of computer 9+ hours a day, I absolutely need to warm-up. Period. The pictures and descriptions are extremely helpful and convenient. Thanks, you deserve a freedom pancake!


    • Mikey
      4 years ago

      You are very welcome Jimmy! I wanted to share some great content with you because I really appreciate anyone that listens to me :)

      Mikey

      P.S. I had pancakes today!

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