Let’s talk fitness for a moment.

Not about the bullshit new year resolutions that you won’t keep. More like new lifestyle resolutions.

I was the chubby kid in grade school, and I got made fun of. “Baby fat” isn’t cool past age 3.

I was sporting the dadbod in my late 30s, looking 5 months pregnant and having a muffin-top. Undefined arms, bird legs, and a belly. Like most men.

I was buying jeans with a waist size 2-3 inches larger than what I should have been wearing.

I was poking new holes in my old belts to upsize them, because I felt shame shopping for a larger size.

I remember having lower back pains. I remember my knees and my feet would have aches and pop/crack. I used these aches as convenient excuses not to exercise.

“I must be getting old. These pains are normal.”

Bullshit. Total bullshit.

I remember one day I was late for a business meeting, and I had to ride up a moving escalator. To save time, I started walking up that escalator.

It made me winded. I lost my fucking breath walking up a moving escalator.

When I was fat, I had much lower self-esteem. Even when I faked like I was confident. I remember what it felt like to be confident in earlier years, so it was easy to fake, in my later years.

I felt like everyone was staring at my pot belly, even though it was probably just in my head.

I hated tucking in my dress shirts and polos, which was required at work. It just showed my belly curvature more. More embarrassing.

I remember turning down invites to go to the beach. I remember keeping my shirt on at pool and lake parties.

I have very few photos of myself from that era. I was good at hiding from the camera, and digital photos are easy to delete.

At 40, I decided to say “FUCK THIS” and started going back to the gym. Now at 47, I’m the strongest I’ve ever been.

Zero aches. Zero pains. Zero excuses.

When I see someone fat now, I don’t hate them. I understand them. I empathize with them.

Outside of those with uncontrollable medical reasons, the rest have no excuses.

Lack of knowledge is a weak excuse for anyone that owns a smartphone. They could literally Google “Why am I fat?” and spend days in that rabbit-hole of info.

I look at what they are doing about it. How they got there isn’t the actual problem. That part is done. What are they doing to address it today?

When I see a fat person at the grocery store with a shopping cart full of 2-liter Coke bottles and sugary snacks… come on!

When I see a fat person at the gym, trying to get better, I admire them. I admire them even more than the ripped people there. I’ve been that person. I know the courage it took to show up.

If this message hit you, what will you decide to do about it?

Will you keep making excuses, or will you rise up and lead by example? Will you perspire in order to inspire others?

Will you be able to write your own before and after story?

I hope so.🧡

-Tony