About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to get down to my "running" weight without running. Look! I used to run all the time. In fact, a few summers ago, I ran 500 miles.  Not all at once because, well, I would be dead. But I did run anywhere from 3 to 10+ miles a day and, on two occasions, I ran 50 miles in one day.  On days when I was feeling particularly grumpy and hating my life and the fact that it involved tennis shoes, I would run a measly two miles. I was a lunatic. My body CRAVED running and I really couldn't go a single day without doing it.

Well, my body doesn't crave it anymore. Honestly, I think if I was given the choice between running and being locked in a port-o-potty, I would choose the can.

Now, all that said, I was in tremendously good shape when I ran.  About 11 or 12 years ago, I had gotten a little plump. Well, plump for me.  I had topped out at about 210 pounds.  I knew I needed to do something besides play softball and tennis, so I decided to rekindle my glory middle school years when I ran cross country for Daviess County Middle School.  It worked.  I dropped nearly 25 pounds over the course of a couple of years.

Here's a pic of me with my dear friend Cathy (who has since passed away). That photo was taken in the peak of my running days and I was really lean.  I was also apparently really sweaty.

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I think my lowest weight on the scale was 179.  Of course, that was a weigh-in right after I ran over three miles on the beach in the Hotel Zone of Cancun, which is basically like trying to run a 5K in the pits of Hell or the fiery surface of the blazing hot and incendiary sun.

I quit running shortly before joining Edge Body Boot Camp.  Again, I think running blows.  I have zero attention span and I get incredibly bored if I don't have someone to run with.  And that's a problem because nearly all of my friends hate to run too.  They're no help at all on that front.  So, I enrolled in Edge Body Boot Camp and Angel became my workout buddy.

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We went to Boot Camp nearly every day right after our show.  I didn't drop any weight, but I gained insane amounts of muscle.  Looking back, I probably gained a couple of pounds, but I was solid.  I mean, if you ever see me in person just stare at me.  I literally have no curves.  My body is a really sturdy, muscular rectangle.  I should be taught in Geometry.

Now, I will admit something that I think a lot of people will relate to.  The pandemic did NOTHING for my workout regiment.  After I got COVID, I became a big, lazy slug.  I felt like hammered hell for months and it took me a long time to feel like doing anything- especially getting active again.

Chad Benefield
Chad Benefield
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Thankfully, I started playing tennis again. But, I didn't stop drinking soft drinks, eating muffins, deep-throating loaves of bread and other carbohydrates and I started to notice that I was adding some poundage.

I've always said that I work out and stay active so I can eat.  That's the total truth.  My motto is "YOLO." And, quite frankly, if I play tennis for an hour, then want to eat entire box of Moonpies and chug a 2-litre of RC Cola, I should be able to do that without the guilt and a trip to Texas to see Dr. Nowzaradan.

But, I noticed recently, when my back porch light projected my shadow across my backyard, that I appeared to be on my way to looking like a pear with legs.

Exhibit A: Picture this. With legs.

Tijana Drndarski/Unsplash
Tijana Drndarski/Unsplash
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I noticed that, while I wasn't there yet, that I had the potential to look like a python who swallowed a poodle.

While I didn't spring into full panic mode, I did take a step back and say, "Chad, put down that coconut long john and step away from Coca-Cola fridge pack."  And that's exactly what I did.  I decided to completely eliminate soft drinks from my diet and I decided to cease and desist snacking.

Oh, yes!  I am a stress eater.  When I am working, I want to shovel stuff into my mouth.  Our receptionist Candace has a candy dish that I used to pillage like a Pirate of the freaking Caribbean.  And, while I will still occasionally treat myself to a peppermint, butterscotch or Werther's Original, Lassie has stopped going to the well to make sure Timmy didn't fall in it.

In just three weeks, I have lost seven pounds. I am already down to 189!

Chad Benefield
Chad Benefield
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That's not too far from my "running" weight at all. I am already starting to feel better about myself and I am already feeling fitter and faster on the tennis court.  And, yes! I am playing, rigorously, about five to six days a week.  I know that's burning calories off  too.

Now, have I been complimented?  Has anyone noticed that I am almost America's Next Top Model ready?????  NO!  In fact, a friend of mine, on Election Day, after I shared an adorable photo of myself displaying my "Go Vote" sticker, made this comment.

But, first!  Here's that adorable photo.

Chad Benefield
Chad Benefield
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He said, "Looking nice."  Excuse me? "Looking nice????"  What am I?  An end table from Ashley Home Furniture?  Nice? "Nice" is how you refer to the 87-year-old woman down the street who gives out popcorn balls for Halloween. "Nice" is how you refer to the pedicure you got after you realized you had the toenail structure of a sloth and you needed someone to grind those claws down for you.  Nice???

How about "handsome"? Or  "very GQ?" Or "The Mayor of Banana Republic"? Or "agonizingly sexy"? Or "somewhere on the George Clooney/David Beckham continuum?"  I just shed 4% of my body weight in three weeks.  I demand more than a participation trophy.

Actually, I am kidding to be dramatic, because, well, that's how I roll.  Notice I didn't say "cinnamon roll" even though that sounds agonizingly sexy and tasty too. But no soft drinks, less than 200 calories for breakfast, a light lunch and portion-controlled dinners.  I am getting down to my running weight, goshdarnit, and I refuse to run to get there.

 

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