I’m into fitness. No, really.


I debated writing this. I mean, I’m sure as hell not an expert on the subject. But I figured it might not only inspire somebody, but also motivate me to keep going. So what am I talking about?

Dancing …

In all seriousness, fitness …

OK, OK, I’d spoken with Shana about writing a fitness blog. After all, many of the things I’m doing these days to get back in shape are tips from her. I also figured that if I write about it publicly, I have no choice but to finish what I started last year.

One of the things that inspired me to write this is a story I’m working on for the December edition of “The Ichabod,” the alumni magazine I’m responsible for writing, editing, budgeting and cutting down the trees to make paper to print on. It’s about a man who lost 140 pounds.

One of his quotes really hit home. “When you’re that overweight, people treat you like you don’t exist.” It’s true. Being obese sucks. It’s not healthy, you’re always tired, people make fun of you, your chances with the ladies are not good. These are just facts.

Weight has been a struggle all my life. I’ve been in good shape (most of college) at times, but for the most part, not so much. After several attempts, though, it finally hit home that to be healthy, I had to change my lifestyle. And that doesn’t mean becoming a sandwich-pimping hack …

As mentioned in a previous blog, I’m not sure what my weight topped out at. My father swears it sailed over the 300-pound mark. Looking back at photos from 2009 … he might be right. …

September 2009

When I moved back here in spring 2010, I’d finally had enough. I was convinced that being healthy – and let’s be honest, looking good – is a lifestyle change. It’s not, “Well, I’ll do this for a few months and get down to where I want, then I’m done.” It simply doesn’t work that way.


I did not embrace eating the way you should early on. Of course, I had no choice eating a shitload of vegetables because my father, who I lived with for five months last year, insists on eating 36 pounds of fresh veggies from his garden with every dinner.

What I did buy into was working out. And, by buying in, I mean going all in …

The first month or so flat-out sucked. I could not run from my dad’s house to the corner, all of two-tenths of a mile. I did manage to run/walk (almost entirely walk) about 2 miles a day the first part of the summer of 2010.

I also started lifting weights and doing a lot of situps (about 200 a day at first). About a month into that regiment, dad and I started playing basketball … in July and August. If you know anything about Webb family basketball games, they are not for the faint of heart (30-second mark) …

By the time the summer ended, and I’d moved to Topeka, the weight had dropped from a high of 300-plus in late 2009 to about 250.

The workouts slowed after the move to Topeka. The eating wasn’t much better than before. Still too much junk food, still too much pop. The eating didn’t change for awhile  longer, actually, but I did throw myself into working out in January 2011. Why?

Of course, I wanted to be in better shape, but a lot of it had to do with my girlfriend. I wanted to look good for myself, but I REALLY wanted to look good for her because, frankly, she’s ridiculously hot.

So, after a rigorous regiment of running, Tae-Bo and weights, the muscles started popping up a bit. The weight, however, did not change much, partly because the eating did not change much …

And then, after months of hearing Shana talk about giving up dairy and soda and eating the right way, I finally, well, had no choice (I should say, though, that not once did she say “Don’t eat that,” or even look at me when I was eating something I shouldn’t. Having a supportive girlfriend has been extremely important).

I moved in with her in July. I’m not into hiding food anymore, that’s like lying, so I finally bought in to the healthy eating lifestyle.

That was July 15. Out went pop, cheese, Taco Bell, McDonalds (it just occurred to me that I’ve gone a month without franchise food!), in came vegetables, fruit, water … the stuff our bodies are meant to eat. As of Aug. 16, I’ m in the 220s. That’s about 40 pounds shy of my goal weight, and about 75 pounds removed from a pretty pathetic existence.

So, on with the fitness part of the blog. Here’s what I’ve eaten today:

Breakfast: Banana, tea, graham crackers

Lunch: Tortilla chips, humus, cantaloupe, water

Dinner: Dairy-free chicken enchiladas, dairy-free nachos

And the workout regiment: 3-mile run, 30 minutes of upper-body weight lifting, 500 situps (yes, 500).

You’re probably thinking, “Man, that would suck!” It really doesn’t. Once you change your habits and settle into a routine, it becomes second nature. We still enjoy good foods. For example, we went to B.B.’s in Kansas City over the weekend for barbecue and treated ourselves to a huge-ass cherry limeade from Sonic on Sunday. But that’s moderation. Those were treats.

What I don’t deviate from is the workout. Do it every day, and you’ll be surprised how awesome you feel, how much more energy you have … and how much better you look …

August 2011


10 thoughts on “I’m into fitness. No, really.

  1. Ernie, can you ask Shana to take a photo of you? I think we would like to see you through her eyes!
    This really hits home for me. Moving toward happiness started the process of getting in shape, and now that being fit actually looks like an attainable goal, I’m stepping it up a little. Also, I feel a little sheepish admitting this, but the truth is, when I’m tempted to eat something really grody, I find myself thinking, “but I want to look cute for the boy!”
    And be healthy and happy and energetic, of course.

    • Ernie Webb III

      Yes, I can do that. I need to do a better job in general of getting photos taken as I progress. It’s important to get healthy for yourself, but it sure as hell helps to have somebody hot to motivate you! One of the things I do when I think about eating something “bad” is think about my workouts. For example, if I drink that can of dr. Pepper (150 calories), that’s probably almost one half of my 3-mile run or half of the time I punish myself in the weight room. The hell with that.

    • Ernie Webb III

      I know, it’s not easy to cut out at first. The problem with dairy, especially non-organic, is they pump a lot of hormones in the animals and it really screws with your system. You can get all the calcium you need with the greens in salads. Trust me, I love cheese. I’ll offer some alternatives in another blog, and I’ll get you a recipe for dairy-free enchiladas and alfredo.

  2. All good to hear. I can get into the running, which sounds like fun to me (I realize I’m biased and many would disagree). But you have my respect on the situps and the lifting. That sounds too much like work.

    • Ernie Webb III

      It is work, but I worked myself into obesity, so I have to put the time in. Now that I’m out of obesity closing on the home stretch, I don’t mind the work.

  3. Donna Hinkle

    EB, the bonus is the weight loss. Eating healthy and exercising are good for all bodies at any weight. Your lifetime commitment is what is the greatest message for me cause as you said now you will sustain rather than yoyoing. I need to find your resolve. I eat loads of fruits and veggies (with your dad on that score) but I also like dairy and portion size is too large. I’m busy and walking a lot more and take steps instead of elevators. Took me years to realize I didn’t need to pay for a weight loss program or pay a gym to do what good common sense tells us we should do. Good for “Vivian Leigh” for keeping you inspired without being judgmental. I think I’ll try less dairy and smaller portions (for more than a day at a time).

    • Ernie Webb III

      You can do it! And, yes, my “Vivian” is something special. My weight was not an issue when we started hanging out (still isn’t :)). She saw a good man … I think it’s unfortunate a lot of folks are so judgmental. They’re missing out.

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