Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bryan Payne...his P.F.G. Story

August 1987 - 160 lbs

July 2006 - 227 lbs

May 2007 - Milton Sprint Tri - 549 out of 613
August 2008 Kentucky

November 2009 - Clearwater 70.3 World Championships
July 2010 - Lake Placid - Qualified for Kona
October 2010 - Kona - Ironman World Championships

2011 ITU Long Course Word Championships

I'm Bryan Payne and this is my P.F.G Story....

I got into triathlon in the early days. I did my first triathlon at 20 years old in 1986, it was a half Ironman. They didn't even have Olympics or Sprints back then, it was just Ironmans and Half Ironmans, so the first year I did a half Ironman and the following year I did Ironman Canada in 1987. There was only about 600 of us and it was the early days, we were scared. If we saw someone jogging or riding a day or two before the race we thought they were fools. Boy have times changed.

In 1991 I did my last Ironman. A year earlier I started my own business and focused all my energy on it and my training and Ironman dreams. For the next 16 years I worked and training not so much. In the process I went from 160 lbs to 227 lbs by 2007. 

In May of 2007 I felt crappy and had a semi-mid life crisis at 41 years old. I said to myself, "either get in shape and lose weight, or shut up and enjoy your fatness". 

I've always loved triathlons, even when I was fat I'd show up and do some Olympic races and even half Ironmans without much or any training. It wasn't pretty, I was slow but I'd finish. Actually in my mind I always thought I was an Ironman. It wasn't until someone gave me a gut check and got me thinking, "hey, it was like 15 years ago I did my last Ironman....I guess I really wasn't an Ironman. 

I decided to get back into shape and on the first day I got all dressed up in my U.S. Postal Cycling clothes and went for a ride. Once of my neighbours laughed at me. I didn't understand why until I looked at the picture I had Alice my wife take of me that day. 

That summer I raced running or triathlons almost every week. By the end of the summer, I had dropped a lot of weight and ran a sub 4 marathon in Philadelphia. My next stop was a masters swim club where I met John Barclay on the deck of the pool. He had done one sprint triathlon and he signed up for the Louisville Ironman. I went home and signed up. I now had a goal.

In the end I dropped 50 lbs and got into great shape. Better shape than I was in in my 20's. I beat my best Olympic, Half Ironman and Full Ironman times in my 40's that I set in my 20's. I also started training like a maniac and signed up with markallenonline for my coaching. In the next 5 years I went from a mid packer to qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 world championships and Ironman World Championships in Kona. Then in 2011 I was selected to represent my country, Canada, at the ITU Long Course World Championships. It's been an incredible journey for a someone that is an average athlete. In 5 years I did over 50,000 km's of swimming, biking and running and that has been the key to my success. 

The training has also been worth it. I like food, beer and cigars and without the training I'd be about 250 lbs right now. 

With all that said, I'll always be a fat guy inside and it doesn't matter how much you train it's always a constant battle to keep my weight down. Thank goodness for Ironman triathlons, there is nothing like setting a goal to do an Ironman and the fear forces you to train. The by product is keeping the weight down. 

If I can do it, anyone can do it if they set their mind to it. Good luck.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rodney Buike...his PFG story

Previously Fat Guy, aka PFG, is something I proudly call myself now.

My name is Rodney and after losing 80 lbs in 15 months and then
completing my first 70.3 Ironman I want to share my story and hopefully inspire you.

I was always an athletic kid and spent my youth skiing and mountain biking and being competitive, racing in both sports. I ski raced across Canada and the US as a member of the Manitoba Alpine Ski Team and raced in a few mountain bike series including the Canada Cup.

As is typical for a lot of people, life got busy, work interfered and every other excuse you can think of. Recently I heard a great saying that goes like this, “Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink. If you have an excuse you are just an asshole!”

Wise words to live by if you ask me :) So I went from being fit and 25 to being fat and 35 in what seemed like a blink of an eye.

It wasn’t until October 2008 about 8 months before I actually started exercising that a change would take place. A friend and colleague was in a mountain biking accident in that month and was left paralyzed. 8 months later another friend and colleague organized teams to participate in a 24 Hour mountain bike relay in order to raise money. Not owning a mountain bike but wanting to participate I signed up not knowing what I was getting myself into. You’ll see that is a common trend but I digress.

So in April 2009 I bought a mountain bike and started riding it. After riding I would typically come home and be hungry and order some pizza and soda and feast. Not long after that I bought a scale, something I had never owned, and was shocked to see it read 245lbs. I knew I had gotten bigger, it was obvious as I was now buying size 38 pants and size XL shirts, but it never really struck me until I saw that number. I decided that if I was going to do all that cycling I could eat a little better and maybe lose some weight. A month later and just in time for the Ride for Rob mountain bike relay I had already lost 10lbs.

I continued to ride and change what I ate. No more soda, sugary drinks, sugary snacks and more fruit, vegetables and leaner cuts of meat. The more I rode, the better I ate, the more weight I lost. By the end of the summer I had lost 50lbs and was happy. I wore a size 32 pant and medium shirt and thought this is it.

Summer came to an end and soon enough the conversation changed to what can we do to maintain this new weight. I was riding with a few friends and we all lost weight over the summer and were looking for something to motivate us to keep the weight off. We tossed around a few ideas and then the Muskoka 70.3 Ironman came up. After sharing some concerns about the swimming and running aspects we were sold after hearing “but it is on TV”. So without knowing what we were in for we signed up.

After signing up I went for a run and a swim and proceeded to panic. It took me an hour to swim 1900M and over 20 minutes to run 3KM. After the run I couldn’t walk for two days. How the hell was I going to finish a half Ironman race? After looking around at coaching and training plans online, I was referred to Mark Allen Online and signed up for an 18 week “maintenance” program. What was maintenance for most was get in shape for me. It was a long Winter of swimming in a 25M pool, running in the snow, sleet, cold and hours upon hours of riding an indoor trainer. But soon enough I started seeing progress, my body adapted to the 10-12 hours a week of workouts, my diet continued to change as I read more.

Before I knew it the 18 weeks was up but not before competing my first half marathon. I had never run more than 11KM in my life and here I was a sub-2 hour half marathon finisher. Next up was 20 of the best weeks of my life. Between the training and racing I had a blast. I loved every minute of it. I looked forward to every workout, anticipated every race and watched the fat continue to melt away. I completed my first ever triathlon, a sprint distance (750M/30KM/7.5KM) well under 2 hours and then completed a long course triathlon (2KM/55KM/13KM) in 3:35.

I was hooked. The day after the long course triathlon I signed up for Ironman Lake Placid. I continued to train and before I knew it, what seemed like a lifetime away was right around the corner and I was on my way to Muskoka for the 70.3 Ironman. You can read my race report here and see more photos here and here but it was the culmination of a major lifestyle change.

Now as I enjoy some R&R and plan for Ironman Lake Placid I look back at the changes I’ve made. I am proud to call myself a triathlete and even prouder to be a member of the PFG Tri Club.
So get out there, start easy and slowly make the changes. If I can you can too but then maybe you are just an asshole, hahaha!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Carlos Araujo....his PFG story

Back in the late 80's, early 90's (16-17 years old) I was a pretty good swimmer. I made the Brazilian National team and was selected to represent my country in the 1991 Pan-Am games, in Cuba. Cuba was the "A" race to get qualified for the 92 Oly Games in Barcelona. Everything was going perfectly, that is until a stupid training accident made me lose the sight on my left eye. But more devastating, it made me lose the chance to go to the Pan-Am games and qualify for Barcelona.

Six months later, after gaining and loosing over 40 lbs, I was back in the pool, but only managed to get 3rd in the nationals that year. After missing the cut for the Olympics I faced the reality of having another 4 years cycle ahead of me or just getting my life going. I chose the later. You see, in Brazil if you are not playing soccer, there is not a lot of support from sponsors, universities, etc.. So it was time to move on. I went to university and started working on my family business.

Move forward 17 years. I was then 33, married for 7 years, living in Canada for 5 years, and weighting "around" 250 lbs, working 60-70 hours/week and not too happy about my lifestyle. That's when a good friend of mine mentioned about a triathlon he did. After quitting my 7-7 job, the very first thing I did was to call him and ask for more information about tris, as I have then decided that I would qualify for Kona. No, I didn't have a bike, or running shoes or a wetsuit, but hey, I was a good swimmer back in the old days (at least I thought I could still swim), and that's a start, right?

Completed my first try-a-tri (400m swim; 10km bike; 2.5 km run) in just under 1 hour! I finished in 198 out of 227 overall, 50 out of 52 in my AG! And that's all it took to get me hooked. For the first year doing try-a-tris I didn't train any running, as I was way too heavy and didn't want to risk any injury. So bike, swim and elliptical it was. In 2007 I did 3 try-a-tris and 1 Sprint triathlon (750m; 30km; 7.5km) and had to walk over 50% of time in all of them...Good times indeed... LOL!

Glad to say that today my run is a little bit better and I am 65 lbs lighter. That helped me to complete my first IM last year (France) and improve my time this year in Lake Placid by almost 3 hours. Kona is still a far-way goal, but not as far as it was in 2007!

Here's to all PFGs, but more important, here's to all FUTURE PFGs! From the Ironman mantra: "Anything is possible"


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Matt Oravec...His PFG Story

I have a long PFG story. Wanted to submit it with pics for your PFG blog... BUT in a nut shell. I was a fat ass growing up. Got tired of being made fun of in school, had zero self esteem, and would make fun of myself before the others did so that it didn't hurt as much when they made their comments.

Up until 11th grade I was overweight. The spring of my 10th grade year I went out for the track distance team. I got cut. They had NEVER cut 1 kid from track in the existence of the program. I was FURIOUS, HUMILIATED, and honestly HURT. I was the laughing stock of the entire track team because he announced me being cut in front of the whole team (100 + kids).

The track coach was also the XC coach. I trained all spring and all summer, running out of rage and fury and pure revenge. Started losing weight that summer, and my endurance was forced upon my large frame. I tried out for XC over summer and ended up being the #3 guy on the varsity team. (After making fun of my coach and telling him that I was the father of his daughter for 2 years, (he was an ex marine) he came after me one day swinging and I laid him out... one of the greatest days of my life, revenge is oh so sweet).

I have gone back to being a fat guy several times. I get stressed and lazy and let it go, it comes back fast, and each time it hurts more. The last time was this past winter. I was plowing snow in my truck and my size 38 pants (the largest I have ever owned) would not fit, I had to unbutton and unzip the pants to sit in my truck.

I told my wife Heather, I am officially done being a fatty. We got serious about working out and I have my fitness back. I was right around 245lbs +/- in January. I am 190lbs now. I lost the weight in 3 months and like you B I hope to never go back to that person that I was. Because I was not happy about myself then.

My motivation for being a PFG, happiness. I wanted a life that I would enjoy, I wanted my joints to stop hurting, I wanted to be able to go for a run and not be tired like I used to be able to. I wanted to enjoy life and not get told that I can't do excursions on vacations because I weigh too much.

Everyone has a story, everyone has been shaped by events in their life. I have learned that kids are assholes and that through them being assholes, they shape who you become. I am proud to say that I am far better off because they made fun of me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Johan Stemmet - a PFG Story

Johan lost 38kg / 83 lbs and this past weekend just set a PB at Ironman South Africa with a 10:10:13
and you can get his 2010 IMSA race Report at http://tri-stemmet.blogspot.com/2010/04/ironman-south-africa-2010-race-report.html
This is what 38kg look like
What does 38kg or 83.7lbs look like? Almost Two bags of Tile Adhesive or two of these kayaks at 19kg's each.

With Ironman South Africa less than 7 days away, one tend to think back a lot during the week leading up to IM at
what you've done the last couple of weeks or even a year to take on one of the greatest one day challenges there is.

But not often do one think back more than a year ago and realize how your life has changed. As I said before I believe and I think a lot of people will agree you don't train for an Ironman but you start to live an Ironman lifestyle and the training just comes with the lifestyle.

Now to get back to the heading, what does 38kg or 83.7lbs look like. You may wanna ask why the question, well that's the amount of body weight I lost since I started my journey towards living an Ironman lifestyle (which will hopefully be number 5 this weekend).

This is what I looked like in 2003, weighing a massive 116kg or 255lbs. After looking at this photo on our trip to Germany in 2003 I realized that is not the person I wanna be for the rest of my life and need to do something.

The road to "recovery" all started in 2003 when I just couldn't take it living in this huge overweight body. I had high cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar and the doctor told me I must start living healthy. Being a very active sportsman (Wrestling and Judo) for more than 16 years I took a 10 year sabbatical from sport and gained more than half my body weight as I was at 74kg when I stopped being an active sportman.

Hard to believe but from this, an active wrestler (photo was taken just after I won the National title in 1988) to this a beer drinking, take away freak. At one stage I had KFC EVERY day of my life. It was my standard lunch order at the KFC across the dealership

Then the loooong and hard road started to get back into shape. At that stage I only wanted to loose some weight and didn't realize that it was the first step towards a new lifestyle.

At first I started walking, shuffling and then it became a slow jog which later but very later became a run. I can still remember how for months I just could not run more than 30 minutes. Whatever I tried I just bonked at 30 minutes. One day I decided to push to 40 minutes and had to walk for a minute and run for a minute but I got there. It was if I broke that barrier and from there on I increased the kms gradualy but very slowly.

To think nowadays my Friday night easy run is a 40 minute run and I hardly break a sweat. It is just an easy run I do before the weekends big mileage.

One of my first road races in 2004, of which I was part of a relay team and my part of the relay was a massive 5km at that stage.

I then started doing some 10km races which became 21km races and I ended up doing my first marathon in 2005.

I sort of got bored by only running and started looking for a new challenge and was introduced to cycling as we know it. Cycling was nothing new to me but in the commute form not the sports equivalent. From Grade 1 to Grade 12, during my whole school career I biked to school and back home. The bike was also my transport mode to my friends, sport practise and any or every function there was.

After completing my first ultra marathon and cycling the odd race here and there a friend introduced me to Triathlon and as they say the rest is history.

Amazing to think back at my first sprint distance triathlon where I swam the whole 600 meters breast stroke and had to hang on to the life guards surf board from time to time and suffered like crazy on the run to where I am today. With some luck but also very hard training I was able to compete at the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii last year

Anybody can complete an Ironman and start living an Ironman lifestyle, it just take some time to get there but most importantly you must enjoy it!

Ps: I am now weighing 78kg or 171.6lbs, not where I wanted to be as my race weight is 76kg but I will get there some day.

Pss: Below is some pictures out of my passport from the different visas I needed over the years. It starts at 2003 to 2007. I always get the funny look at Customs when I present my passport.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

P.F.G. Triathlon Club - Tough to Join

The P.F.G. Triathlon Club has no meetings, no structure, no dues, no nothing. P.F.G Triathlon Club is a movement. It's people who have lost weight and got in shape by doing triathlons.

I see the P.F.G Triathlon Club as globally grassroots. Just in my little corner of the world of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, I've met many other P.F.G's I never knew existed and in many cases we've become occasional training buddies. Nothing structured or formal. Just a, "what are you doing this weekend?".

Not to mention the other P.F.G.'s I've met from around the world through blogs and twitter. It seems there is lots of P.F.G's and lots of people on their way to being P.F.G's. Each of us have pretty much the same story and we motivate and inspire each other without even knowing it.

It could be successfully argued that P.F.G Triathlon Club is one of the hardest clubs in the world to join. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears and self discipline, self control and self abuse to qualify for membership.

You can purchase P.F.G. Triathlon Club merchandise on CafePress at http://www.cafepress.ca/pfgtriclub.