The Hike (With before and after videos)


“Let’s go on a Remembrance Day Hike to a bunker in the mountains” my wife said to me a few weeks ago.  I reluctantly agreed, but as the day drew near I was looking for something else to do, anything else really.  Yesterday morning came and I was feeling anxious, angry and scared about the hike and was looking for a way out.  We were meeting friends, and after my wife answered all of my questions and packed us up, I begrudgingly got in the van and drove us out to the Heart Creek trailhead near Canmore.

I think this was the first time that I was truly able to recognize the full spectrum of emotions that I have toward exercise.  I believe this is a positive step as I was able to look at my feelings through a different, more objective lens.  A more objective understanding doesn’t mean that I didn’t sulk through the first hour of the hike as we climbed to the mouth of the bunker however.  I found the climb difficult – pushing 400 pounds up a mountain is taxing as you might imagine.   The climb hurt, my hips and knees ached and there were fleeting thoughts of needing to go back to the van.  Maybe the kids would get cold and I could take them back and let the others continue the hike…its a mind game sometimes and yesterday my game was strong.

When we reached the bunker I felt relief.  The majority of the climbing was done, although we were only half way through our hike.  The way back was much easier for me.  I had to watch my footing but I was able to move faster and more confidently.  Knowing that we were on our way back made the second half of the hike much easier and my negative emotions subsided for the most part by the time we returned to the van; and I even felt a sense of accomplishment for working through the mind game and finishing a nice hike with my family and friends.

Click on the image for a  description of the hike. (I was totally off on the elevation change but it sure felt like more!)




And here is the video after the hike (I recorded these on seperate devices and my BlackBerry won’t let me upload directly to YouTube):

After Video on Facebook



Fear – A surprising feeling for me


I recorded this video in my car when I got home last night.  It has to do with the pictures below.

Most pictures that we see in media like this have an ‘After‘ picture beside them and these do not.  These pictures are me in the flesh, me as I am now.  One of the key facets of the FAT Project is that it is a journey and this is just the beginning.

I am proud to me, I am proud of the life I lead.  I also like being the biggest and loudest person in a room.  I no longer believe I have to be the physically biggest person to be that away – well I am starting to heal myself on that one.  Presenting Paul at 399lbs after a 3km walk in the woods.

Front shot at 400 lbs



What is this FAT Project? Time to give some details...


I thought it was time to give an outline of what is going to happen over the next few years.  At the start of the Project I weighed in at 417 pounds (measured at the medical clinic) and my goal is to become fit and healthy.  I haven’t set a target but BMI suggests that is should be around 185.  To get there I have decided to train for an Olympic triathlon at the end of 3 years (2018).  My target weight loss is 1 pound a week, a pace that I feel is reasonable.

The FAT Project Goals are:

  • to document in rigorous and honest detail the journey of a 400lb+ man to better fitness and health;
  • to inspire others on a journey to better fitness -> that ‘better’ is truly attainable; and
  • to reduce the stigma of being fat, reclaim the word and debunk myths about fat people.

Aspects of the Project:

  • I am undertaking a medically supervised approach. I have partnered with a local medical clinic and plan on capturing some meetings and interviews on film.  I will be seeing a dietician, nutritionist and a doctor, with an option of exercise and physical support.
  • The FAT Project is partnered with RoadWest Pictures, a local film production company to capture the high-quality moments and opportunities that occur during the project.
  • I am working with WildPR, to promote and engage the media for project support.
  • Seeking opportunities to partner with trainers to get physically ready for the next 3 years.
  • My wife will be doing most of the menu planning and cooking.  She will post our weekly menus and may share recipes at the #fatkitchen.
  • Many friends and colleagues have offered support on different aspects of the project, I will be taking them up on opportunities for exercise, activity and fun.

My own tasks:

  • I will Eat well to promote health and weight loss.
  • I will begin exercising more frequently and train in preparation for the triathlon in 2018.
  • I will work with the doctor to find the best medically advised path to health.
  • I will photograph everything I eat until the Project is over and share the photos on Instagram, 3-6 times a day.
  • I will share videos of my progress.
  • I will share Facebook and Twitter posts highlighting special aspects of the Project on a regular basis.
  • I will update also known as on a regular basis.
  • I will share my experience through speaking engagements and interviews about the Project.

It has begun, I am four day in…including Canadian Thanksgiving. I am feeling good, things are feeling easy right now as they have during previous weight loss experiences.  I look forward to the journey.

So yeah I did this before…down to 325 Down from 390 lbs to 325 lbs in 2008


Back in 2008, I was enrolled in a medically supervised weightloss program in Toronto at It was a great experience with Dr. David Macklin and his staff.  Over the course of 6 months, I did everything right including exercising and preparing (a little) for a Try-a-Tri Triathlon I wanted to do.

On Sept. 6, 2008 I headed to Wasaga Beach with my wife and about ten work colleagues and friends to give it a go. I came in 2nd last but wow was I proud of myself. (Check the bottom of the link…. :))

The Try-a-Tri was a 400m swim, followed by a 10km bike and a 2.5km run, it was hard and took me an hour but I finished!!!

The really interesting part of this was that this experience was the beginning of the end for me.  I had set out to run a triathlon and in my mind this fit the bill.  After this I slowly gained back weight until the launch of this project at 417.5lbs.  I will be talking more about this in later posts and videos.