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Tri Challenge: Evidence of a healthier, happier lifestyle
May 9th, 2011
09:30 AM ET

Tri Challenge: Evidence of a healthier, happier lifestyle

“Evidence-based medicine”

This is a common term. Physicians and other health care providers use evidence-based medicine to guide the way that we treat patients. Which medications/therapies have the proof, or evidence, that they are the most effective to treat that diagnosis?

Today I found more evidence that what I have been doing for the past several months is making a difference. I had my follow-up fitness assessment with my trainers today to gauge what kind of progress I have made. The first assessment was back in January, just before the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge started. I had already made some changes in my life – eating better and working out more regularly – and had lost about 20 pounds. I was happy with the progress that I had made, but knew that there was a long way to go.

Well, here is the evidence from the fitness assessment today. Since January 19 I have lost an additional 30 pounds, my waist has decreased 10 inches, hips 5 inches and my Body Mass Index has dropped from 34 to 29.5. My body fat, something that they didn’t even bother measuring the first time, is at 19.4% (that still sounds high to me, but apparently is quite good). My trainers were floored. Obviously the changes were visible, but to see the numbers everyone was amazed.

This whole process has been incredible, but I would have never thought that I would have this kind of change in such a short period of time. Seeing all the trainers so excited energized me. I followed my fitness assessment with a workout biking 18 miles in under an hour and followed that with a 2-mile run at 9-minute mile pace.

The NYC triathlon is three months away. Three more months to see what kind of evidence there will be when someone dedicates his life to eating healthier and making fitness a priority. Stay tuned and start to create your own evidence.


soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Stef

    I'm jealous! Great job and keep loving the tri life!

    May 9, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. bithree

    First of all – awesome job. Back in 2006, I did the same thing but with Team in Training. I went from 295 pounds in November of 2005 to 238 pounds by April of 2006 when I did my first tri – St Anthony's in Florida. I spent the next 2 years doing triathlons ...and then everything crashed and burned. I did too much, too fast and was not rounding out my fitness properly. I blew out my back because my secondary muscles were so weak and I started having classic cardio issues associated with over training and went, overnight, from doing tris to 10 months of forced bedrest.

    Sadly I am now back up to 265, completely out of shape and, with a 2 year old in hand and another on the way, I have no time and energy to get back into shape. I had tried – repeatedly – but doing it a second time seems to be exceedingly hard.

    Why say all of this? Take it as a warning – you feel awesome right now and deservedly so but you need to focus on the long term as well as the short term. Make sure you get the training in to strengthen your core, make sure you have a sustainable eating regime and not just something to get you through the race. I learned the very hard way how quickly and how hard you can crash and burn if you become too narrowly focused. I reallu wish somebody had told me then what I know now...

    Good luck in the race and with your new lifestyle!

    May 9, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Tim

    Nice job Doc! You are lookin' good and moving along well. Keep up the good work and remember to lean on the foot that you have pulled out of the pedal clip!

    May 9, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. kw

    Good job!

    To touch on Bithree's comments: Over training, number one problem with new athletes. Good points.

    To who cares: physical fitness is a life style. That means you plan around it like you do other activities in your life, this one being one of the most important, therefore time is never an issue. That is if you want to live life to your potential. You make time to improve your mind, to study right? Hell many dedicate sixteen years of their life to improve the brain, what about the system it relies on? To maintain your mobility, energy and happiness, one has to decide to make fitness a necessary part of life, no excuses. We simply must invest in our bodies or suffer the consequences.

    Fitness is not a sprint or an event. It should be an everyday part of our life. Maintaining is not easy. I got where I put my running shoes at the end of my bed and put them on every morning. A routine like shaving or brushing my teeth. Then I did something, 5 minutes to 5 hours, taking what the day's energy would give me. Pain, bumps, bruises...yeah, all part of bringing your body back to its rightful place. Good news it gets easier the more you do it, but NEVER stop doing it.

    Life is a series of choices right? Sorry there are no shortcuts. What is it about humans that makes us so lazy? If I could just eat and sleep all day without my body deteriorating...sign me up! But alas, we must fight gravity everyday, IF we want happiness. And we do want happiness. The truth is all the money, power, status, self delusion, et al., cannot buy health and the resulting happiness. This comes back to the fact that health enables us to achieve all else, great and small. The brain set atop a functioning body is an organ better able to cope, adapt, and overcome.

    Lastly, if for no other reason...cost. I'm 50, I go to the doctor once a year for the finger. I'm getting a little annoyed at paying for others who don't take care of themselves and this trend could be our economic undoing. As responsible citizens we should keep an open mind and heart (avoid the lunatic fringes), vote, volunteer, use manners, follow the rules or change them, and eat less than we burn! Take care!

    May 9, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. terridcarr

    So as I say, I wake up every morning, thankful that I have exceptional health insurance coverage I found through "Penny Health Insurance" for my family because it gives me peace of mind knowing that my family can count on me to deliver their health care needs.

    May 10, 2011 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. charles s

    Health is a journey not a destination. Unless you give exercise the highest priority, it will just disappear from your life. I have noticed that the healthiest people are the ones that exercise every day. So I have tried to change my life to include a trip to the gym every day. Some days I spend 30 minutes at the gym and some days as little as 5 minutes. Now many will say that 5 minutes is not enough and I agree but any exercise is better than none. In the last year, I have probably missed going to the gym only 4 or 5 days. It is the most important thing that I can do for my health.

    My grandfather lived to his 90s and was healthy for most of his life. The most exercise that he did was his twice a day walk to the bus stop. It does not sound like much but it enable to live to his 90s with few physical impairments. I applaud Scott for his determination but he has to be careful about too much exercising. I learned that by trying to lift too much weight and hurting tendons in my arm. I had to change my exercise program to lifting much smaller weighs with more reps. My tendons have almost healed and the tendons no longer hurt. Listen to your body, pain is not bad it is just the method that the body uses to give itself a chance to heal.

    May 10, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Debbie338

      You are so right to go to the gym even if you can't spend much time. I'm 58, in great shape, and my philosophy is "Do what you can when you can." If that means a 10-minute jog because I'm short on time and I can't make it to the gym, then that's better than sitting on my butt watching TV for 10 minutes. 🙂

      May 10, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Calaizzo (Queenie)

    I used to live for Pizza from Sals in EastVillage.

    I now enjoy working out and am proud of my new healthy lifestyle.

    May 20, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Michael Calaizzo (Queenie)

    I read a book by Steven Connnnor on working out and that was how I lost 175 pounds and got off Pizza.

    I still love Food Court at Cherry Hill Mall.

    May 20, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Michael Calaisso (Queenie)

    My lover understands my need to stay fit and he is helpful.

    May 20, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Kevin

    Great job-as I've gotten older, I have begun to realize that I am not in the shape that I think I am. I've recently started a program to fix that, and seeing your results is a powerful motivator to make the neccessary changes.

    Thanks!

    June 27, 2011 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rosalyn Corsetti

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    September 22, 2016 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.