A blog about life after weight loss.

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Guest Post: Finding a hot dog stand will make you healthy!

Mike Rudd is a Sports Marketing Specialist, Author, Speaker, and Hot Dog Extraordinaire! He can be found at and his new book Hot Dogs, A Little Marketing, and A Lot of Fun can be found on Amazon HERE.


Finding a hot dog stand will make you healthy!

You heard me correct.

Finding that all elusive hot dog stand will make you the healthiest you have ever been this year.

As we roll into 2013 we can all look at the studies that have shown that dieting is a 20 million person a year, five billion dollar a year industry each and every year in America alone!

Say that aloud and feel your jaw drop when it hits your coffee table. Over and over again every year we go back to the same fads, the same gimmicks, the same wonder pills?

And why? It’s simple. We can’t stick with what we are doing the year before, we eventually cave in and we repeat the process. Year after year after year.

My proposition for you in 2013 is simple: IF you are ready to truly make a Skinny Fats transition into long term healthiness then you need to find your own hot dog stand in working out and eating right.

Let me explain.

My recent book is all about my time in college when I worked at a hot dog stand. I loved that job so much that it taught me to never work at a job that I didn’t love. Working in a career that you love makes you much more productive, creative, and valuable in that position and it makes you a happier, healthier person as a result. I call this process of finding what you love “finding your own hot dog stand.”

Well it is no different in work as it is for your health and fitness life.

Every year we are forced to stop eating food we enjoy. Start eating food we have never tried and doing workouts that either frustrate us and we quit because we aren’t good at them or they seem too complicated.

I have hit the gym or a physical activity at least 5 days a week since the summer before my sophomore year in college. Ten years and counting. It is not even a thought, exercising is like brushing my teeth after all these years.

But I made a big transition in that I found my own hot dog stand in working out.

I don’t do the EFX, I don’t do the bike (except for a summer ride or an occasional spin class), and I rarely lift weights. I don’t like to do any of that stuff so I don’t try to force myself too.

I love to run, so I run. I love to swim, so I swim. Basketball and Yoga are two of my favorites so I do them both regularly. High intensity short workouts during my lunch hour I love, so I do them!

As for diet, I’m not going to eat healthy 100% of the time. I don’t try to nor do I beat myself up about it. I eat very healthy with fun recipes and foods that I like. I’m not a huge fan of steaming broccoli every night so I let it slide out of my diet.

I would rather reward myself with a glass of red wine at night instead of a cookie so I do that.

Here’s what I am getting at and telling you:

1) Diets are fads that force us out of our comfort zone taking away things we love too quickly so we eventually break down. Find healthy alternatives you enjoy even if everyone else is telling you “that’s not the way to do it” and DO IT! Don’t listen to anyone else. Results are all that matters. My Choice: The Slow Carb Diet. Google it you will find it.

2) Same with workouts. I don’t care that the personal trainers at Urban Active told me the best way to lose fat is to walk on a treadmill at a high incline for 45 minutes. I like to get sweaty so I run 7 to 8 minute miles for 30 minutes instead. Screw it. I wouldn’t stick with walking on a boring treadmill like that and I’d go home to the TV and the couch. Workout the way you like to workout. If you hit the gym multiple times a week and eat healthy 90% of the time you will see all the results you need bottom line. My Choice: High Intensity Strength Training involving push ups, pull ups, squats, kettle ball swings. Swim, Run, Yoga, and Sports.

3) I like morning and lunch workouts…in case a friend wants to socialize over a glass of red wine after work. I don’t force night workouts because I would stop doing them. Find the time of day you are most inclined to not skip and do it. Even if people tell you there is better weight loss a different time of day. My Choice: Lunch Break. Way healthier than Wendy’s!

Throw away the rules, don’t listen to the infomercials. Find your own hot dog stand in the health and fitness world and make it your plan! Take pride in that plan and stick to it. Everyone has an exercise and a healthy food they love. It may take some experimentation but go against the norm and actually gut it out and stick with it. You will gain more energy, more creativity, live longer, laugh harder, and look better. What’s not to like about getting your health in order for 2013?!?!

A big THANKS to my good friend’s Tom and Liz for having me on to guest post today, they are two wonderful people making changes in this world for the better every single day! And thanks to all of their readers for taking the time to spend part of your day with me, it’s a pleasure! Have a wonderful day and if you are looking for a way to burn a little of that holiday gift money…Hot Dogs A Little Marketing and A Lot of Fun may be just what the New Year ordered! Pick up a copy HERE today.

If you want to get all of my updates on marketing, radio, and sales you can LIKE my Facebook page or FOLLOW me on twitter. I’m also a speaker for hire; email me at if interested in a keynote or half day interactive workshop. I’d love to hear from you.

Carpe Diem!


Snack On This!

One of our favorite bands is California-based quartet Cold War Kids, a band that layers its influences to create a moody, energetic sound. Their lyrics are eloquent and often metaphoric–think an anti-Taylor Swift–and open to interpretation. My favorite Cold War Kid lyrical diamond comes from “Golden Gate Jumpers,” the melodic tale of a man saving a woman from diving from the famous San Francisco bridge to a watery grave. The song changes from a choppy, disjointed barroom-piano heavy narrative to a dreamily serene musing on the thoughts of the suicidal.

This is the song’s final lyric, the one that will haunt you if you let it:

If shark’s don’t get you first, the crabs will have their way with you.”

In the context of the song, the sharks and crabs likely represent problems and crises–if the big ones don’t drag you down, little ones can add up and torment you. Naturally, I apply the sharks and crabs metaphor to food.

We all know to avoid the sharks: big, heavy meals rich with calories and trans fats. The crabs, in this metaphor I am twisting for my own purposes, represent snacks. Eat too many snacks, or just a little of the wrong ones, and your fitness suffers.

Photo via

Photo via

If you are trying to lose weight or stay fit, snacks can be your frienemy. The conventional fitness wisdom of our time is “eat little, eat often” and this axiom makes sense. Eating little and eating often keeps your metabolism revving without leaving you feeling stuffed and slow as you might after a big meal. To steal a line from ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, if you stay hungry, you stay fit. But the margin between healthy snacking and overeating is slim–if you aren’t judicious about your choices and your portions, snacking will impede your fitness goals.

We recently made a change in the way we approach snacking at work. Like most of you, a day at the office means being shackled to a desk, so we chose our snacks based on convenience. Our snack of choice was Balance Bars because they could be stored and accessed quickly. Plus, at 15 grams of protein per bar, we thought they were a better choice than say a sleeve of crackers. However, we found ourselves with nightly sweet tooths. (Sweet teeth?) As it turns out, Balance Bars are sweeter than a One Direction pop anthem, with 17 grams of sugar per serving.


So we made a swap. We ordered Ostrims, a combination of ostrich and beef jerky. Not only does the Ostrim have fewer calories, but also more protein. As an added bonus, it is fun to resurrect your Randy “Macho Man” Savage impersonation by taking a bite and exclaiming “Oooh yeah! Snap into it!” Trust me, your co-workers will love it.

We also bought instant oatA-bowl-of-oatmealmeal. Making oatmeal at work is far from a trouble, but it does require you to leave your desk. But, oatmeal is listed as a healthy food by every publication worth reading and makes you feel full despite being a low-calorie snack.

You can master your dietary sharks and crabs, but you have to take stock of the snacks you regularly eat. Be honest about how often you snack and how much you eat when you do. Spend a minute re-examining the nutrition labels and think of ways you can do better. I suggest listening to the Cold War Kids while you do.

Weigh In: What healthy snacks do you recommend?

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Where Good Health and Weight Loss Diverge

A couple weeks ago, Liz and I got sick. We weren’t SICK sick—we didn’t have anything serious, just the annual coughs, congested chests and noses, and general lousy feeling common to cold Midwest winters.

We spent all of our energy just being functional, responsible adults. We didn’t miss any time at work and still tended to household business like cleaning and running errands. But we had no energy to exercise. Hell, we had no energy to stay awake past eight o’clock.

We weren’t eating much at all either. I suppose our taste buds got sick too, because everything we ate tasted how cardboard looks—plain. Besides, when you can’t breathe through your nose, the last thing you want to do is shut your mouth for minutes at a time while you chew food. Needless to say, cereal was on the menu several nights that week.

But a funny thing happened. We each lost about five pounds. This isn’t gloating; it’s confusion. We weren’t healthy, but we had lost weight.

I have heard people—usually women on daytime talk shows—say, “Just because you are skinny doesn’t mean you are healthy.” These women were usually overweight and masking their disappointment with bravado. I could never make this comment compute; I would always roll my eyes out of cognitive dissonance. Isn’t that like saying “Just because you are tall doesn’t mean you can reach things on high shelves”?

But I guess there is something to it. Lethargy and weakness made it difficult for us to shower, let alone get our hearts pumping, but we shed a few pounds in spite of ourselves. This unintentional weight loss is not a good thing.

Good health is about more than the numbers on the scale, it is about a feeling. We would rather have those five pounds back (and we do. Merry Christmas.) and have the energy to workout, socialize with friends, and feel like human beings. Sure, dropping weight is nice, but we would prefer to do it on our terms.

Remember this on your own fitness journey. Being healthy is more important than hitting a number. Only you can decide on the happy medium between feeling good and reaching a goal weight, and maybe you don’t have to choose at all.

But consider this: What good is a fit body if you don’t have the energy to go out and show it off?

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Thanksgiving Fitness Survival Guide

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and while everyone enjoys time with friends and family, and a couple of days off work, if you are trying to lose weight or stay fit, the annual feast can be intimidating. To help you make it through Thursday without a food coma, here is your Thanksgiving Fitness Survival Guide!

Skip the morning parade and hit the gym. Be honest; you don’t really want to spend your Thursday morning watching giant cartoon character balloons and C-list celebs tie up traffic in New York City, so why not use this time to sneak in a workout? Many gyms are open, albeit briefly, on Thanksgiving, and a little morning exercise will get your metabolism going and create a nice last-minute calorie deficiency before you belly up to the big kid table.

If you are out of town for Thanksgiving, exercising can be a bit trickier as you don’t have the familiar confines of your regular gym at your disposal. Weather permitting, you can visit your or your spouse’s old high school and jog around the track. Not only will this burn calories but also the trip down memory lane will conjure up memories for the two of you to talk about.

Snowed in? We’ve got you covered. Find a nice open area. With extended family loitering around, this task might be a touch difficult, but an empty basement or even bedroom will do. Alternate between bodyweight squats and pushups, doing three to five sets of as many reps as you can.

Turkey Day Tip: If you want to amp it up a notch, find some household items like a bottle of liquid laundry detergent to hold while you do your squats.

Eat a healthy pre-feast snack. This might seem counterintuitive to eat before you eat, but hear us out. Lots of people don’t eat all day, knowing that they have an avalanche of food in their future. The problem with this method is that your body goes into starvation mode and when it comes time for Thanksgiving dinner, you feed your face until your pants are too tight and you nod off on a recliner while your nieces and nephews draw all over your hands and face with every colored marker in the box. Trust me, I’ve been there.

If you allow yourself a nutritious snack like a bowl of fruit, a plate of veggies, or a cup of yogurt and a banana before the big show, you will be less likely to overeat. Plus, there is the snowball effect. Starting the day with healthy choices establishes momentum for more healthy choices. As an added bonus, you won’t wake up with a rainbow on your face.

Eat pilgrim portions. Fight the impulse to stack turkey on top of turkey, build a mountain of mashed potatoes, and scoop helping after heaving helping of stuffing on your plate. Take a cue from the times of the first Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims and Indians didn’t have the luxury of riding horseback to Wal-Mart or any other grocery superstore to buy in bulk. Take just enough to satisfy you, not stuff you. When it comes to turkey, one serving is 2-3 ounces, about the weight of a deck of cards. For your sides, use the eye test. You know how much is too much. Once you have cleaned your plate…

…Play the waiting game. After you have finished your reasonably sized plate, wait a while. Watch some football. Help clean. Talk to your great Aunt Gert about her hip replacement. Give your body some time to digest instead of immediately filling your plate again. If you are still hungry after 15 minutes or so, go ahead and eat a little more, but commit to eating less food than you put on your first plate.

Draft Your Dessert. We are not going to tell you to skip dessert, we aren’t. As a matter of fact, we are looking forward to dessert the most. Treat your dessert choice like you are drafting a fantasy football team—take the best player available. If you are dying for a slice of pumpkin pie, have one. If cookies are more your thing, by all means, eat one. But here’s the catch. Your fantasy dessert draft has only one round. Pick the treat you like the best and eat one helping of it. Leave the rest alone. They might taste fantastic and give you the sugar-rush you need to avoid a Thanksgiving nap, but they won’t be worth the time it takes to burn off the calories on Black Friday.

You can do this. If you follow these guidelines, Turkey Day will just be a speed bump on your fitness journey, not a complete detour. Make healthy choices so you don’t have to put a bigger pair of pants on your Christmas wish list.

Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sprinting to 2013

In six weeks, 2012 will be over and Baby New Year will be wearing a sash that reads “2013.” This time of year, many folks put their fitness into cruise control, using the convenient excuse of the holidays to relax their gym routines and stop watching what they eat. But why not enter the New Year with some momentum? It’s not too late to set some achievable fitness goals and reach them before New Year’s Day. Unless of course, you follow the Mayan calendar and believe the whole ship is going down on December 21. In that case, eat up.

But I digress.

Hear are my end of the year fitness benchmarks and my current progress in reaching them.

Do 200 pushups in five sets. Full disclosure: I got a head start on this one. I set this goal for myself about three weeks ago after I read a Men’s Health interview with actor Joel McHale. He told the magazine he does 200 pushups a day, and light bulb went off in my brain. I had to try to meet that mark. I chose five sets arbitrarily, for the most part. I figured five is an easy number to remember and would make the exercise challenging. I am sure if I removed the five-set cap, I would have hit the mark by the end of the first week, but where is the fun in that?

The great thing about pushups, besides what they do for your chest, back, and arms, is you can do them anywhere. No equipment is necessary; all you need is a little space. My current number to beat is 180.

Start 2013 at 180lbs or less. I have less than four pounds to go to reach this goal, but as any weight-cutting wrestler will tell you, the last few pounds are the toughest. To help me get there, I am drinking less alcohol, eating more vegetables, recommitting to cardio, and closing the kitchen after dinner. At present, I am devising a strategy to get through holiday parties and meals without packing on the pounds. Of course, I will share it with you once it’s ready.

Finish Oil by Upton Sinclair. This is obviously a mental health goal, but a health goal nonetheless. Reading activates parts of your brain you don’t normally use, and personally I find I am more creative if I read regularly. At over 500 pages, Sinclair’s treatise on the conflict between idealism and pragmatism is a daunting task. I was rolling right along until things picked up a bit at work and I lacked the mental stamina, but I am trying to carve out at least 30 minutes on most days to finish the novel before year’s end. Expect a “Brain Food” review once I close the book for good.


Carpe diem, everyone. It’s not too late to run a 5K or try to beat your one-rep max on the bench press. Don’t quit on this year, don’t quit on yourself.

Now, time for you to weigh in. What fitness goals do you have for the end of the year? Do you have any suggestions to help me reach mine?