Healthy & Grateful: The Shrinking Dad’s Story

This is a guest post written by my college friend, Mike Franklin. Here are Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 of his story

I looked through some of the old pictures of a smiling guy wearing stretched out 2XL shirts and realized that while I was happy — I have a great family and honestly life really is good — that guy in the pictures wasn’t as happy as the guy in the mirror now.

To go from a 2XL shirt to a large.

From 44” waist pants to 36”.

From barely being able to run half a mile to running 10k’s.

I know now that I caught myself at a tipping point in my life. Had I made the decision to stay on the path I was on then I most likely would not have lived to see my girls graduate high school, much less get married and have kids of their own. With my new path, though, my grandkids will be more spoiled than my kids will ever be.

There is absolutely no chance I could have done this without the help of my family. My wife had to take care of the girls on weekends while I either went out for hours on my bike or disappeared downstairs to ride my stationary trainer for hours. She had to be by herself after the kids were asleep so I could go swim.



I’m grateful for my coach, Will Jones, and 4th Dimension Fitness, for the guidance and mentorship in getting me through the season and any health related questions I had. My AdvoCare supplements helping fill in the gaps where my diet fell short, and for giving me the extra boost to get through late night workouts. Also my riding partner Danny. He drug me through every hill he could to help get my legs used to climbing, and every pedal stroke paid off.

My journey is not over. I have more races in the future, and I know that I still have weight to lose. Seeing as how I am the type of person that has trouble staying on course without a goal, I have decided that I am going to do a full 140.6 Ironman in 4 years.

That goal is huge for me because that distance best suited for people that still weigh about 100 pounds less than I do. But the trick is to not get caught up in the weight at this point and focus on building the endurance. The weight will fall as the fitness goes up.

My “Secret”: Better Choices & Move Every Day

Now for my “secret”. How did I drop almost 80 pounds from September to June? I’ll let you in on the secret. Make better choices and move every day. That’s it.

Drink the 8oz can of coke instead of the 20oz, and just drink one of them. Buy the single “baby” serving of yogurt instead of the half gallon of ice cream. Cook at home more, and plan your meals for the week so you can have a menu to work from.

Lastly, drink A LOT of water. I drink around one and a half to two gallons of water a day, NOT counting what I drink during workouts. That’s my secret, though, so don’t tell anyone.

This post is part of a series of guest posts written by friend, Mike Franklin. Mike and I, and his wife Kelly, have known each other since college, when we marched together in the Spirit of Northwestern (SON) Marching Band at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Fork ’em Demons!

I admire Mike’s dedication to taking better care of his health, and I hope that his story has inspired you.

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