Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 26, 2013

Rob Ford: Sometimes best personal trainer pays you

Local columnist

---- — I’ve been a chub my entire life.

I was the poster kid for terms like “husky” and “big boned” and I was indeed fat.

On our wedding day in 1983, I was at the bottom of my first yo-yo diet and tipped the scales at about 195 pounds. I probably gained five pounds on our honeymoon and I haven’t sniffed 200 since.

Our three kids were born in 1985, 1986 and 1990, respectively. With each pregnancy, I gained a sympathetic 25 pounds just in case my wife was feeling any self-consciousness about her size.

When we opened our office in 1992, we managed to locate equal distance between a bakery, a party store and three excellent restaurants. It took a couple of years to get there, but I topped out just north of 300 pounds. Seeing that number on a scale inspired me to spend the next six months working with a personal trainer. Fifty pounds were lost and I’ve managed to “float” around the 250 line on the scale for nearly five years now.

Oh, I’d like to lose more and my doctor has been more than honest with me about the long term effects of my lifestyle of girth and mirth. Any regular TV watcher can tell you that there are endless proven and unproven weight loss methods in the world, but I think I just found the best one — money.

As it turns out, I’m little more than a weight-loss prostitute — I'm best motivated by money.

We gain weight for lots of reasons. We’re stressed. We’ve got a sedentary lifestyle. We’ve stopped smoking and are filling the void. We have a table full of little kids and nobody is going to throw away that last hot dog.

Among those probably is not money, though.

We try to lose it a number of ways as well. We’ve tried crash diets, fad diets and responded to every late night TV promise. We’ve gotten a gym membership. We’ve resumed smoking. We’ve even gone drastic and tried to adopt a sensible lifestyle with daily exercise.

Have you ever lost weight for money?

Last month, in the midst of some family financial planning, we decided to acquire a larger life insurance policy on me. As part of the preliminary information, my weight was discussed.

Afterward, my insurance agent pulled my wife, Marcy, aside and told her that my premium would “substantially decrease if Rob could get down to around 240."

Say no more to this guy.

People can gain weight in lots of ways and in lots of places and those same people can lose it for lots of reasons.

Right now, for me, the loss of a few more pounds is all about the money.

It’s not that I have ignored my doctor’s friendly and firm advice about what my future holds at its current dimension.

But when somebody tells you that what you will have to pay for something would “substantially decrease” if you just manage to lose a few pounds, then yes, that’s my inspiration and I’ll give it an honest effort. Hopefully, when I show up for next year’s annual physical, I will have far less of myself to discuss with my doctor.

If that turns out to be the case, we could talk about my doctor hiring a life insurance agent.