Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Story - Chris "Russ" Thomas

I am a food addict.
So when you are addicted to food you can become 400+ lbs, I enjoyed eating.  I still enjoy eating but realize now the high you get from food (and it is a high) is not worth it.  To have a 15-20 minute time frame when you are happy eating and then feel bad both physically and mentally for hours after or until you get your next fix is crazy…but that is how I lived my life for a long time.  Here is my story.
In 2002, I saw my doctor and his scale went to 400 lbs, but I was bigger than that. I was off the scale; I was on blood pressure medication and cholesterol meds.  I was 30 years old. I realized at this point that I had to make changes; the food and booze in my life were out of control.  I began by working out regularly with some friends.  I was 325 lbs in 2004 when Jaime and I married.  So at this point I had lost about 100 pounds through regular exercise and a better diet, still not good, but better.

Between 2004 and 2008 my weight was constant (about 325).  I continued regular workouts but diet was still not good enough to see more change.  I considered a gastric bypass in 2008 but decided against it. What I didn’t like about this plan was that physically, I wouldn’t be able to eat as much, but emotionally, I might continue to have the urges to eat. This is why people who have these types of surgeries gain the weight back, and I didn’t want to be one of them.
 In 2009 I went to iFAST in Indy…an awesome sports training facility and found two great “health mentors”, Bill Hartman and Mike Robertson. These guys are spectacular at what they do; with their help, we were able to increase the intensity of my workouts AND improve my diet.  I lost 20 pounds in 2009 so I was 305 lbs when we returned to KC in Nov 2009.
At this point, while much healthier than I had been in a long time (had lost 120 lbs in 7 years), I still needed to “slay the dragon”; that is my crappy eating habits.  I at this point did a couple things differently (see below) and continued with high intensity workouts with college buddy, Scott Lee at Coach Rut’s Bootcamp Fitness KC.  Coach Rut is an amazing coach! I lost 20 lbs in the first 60 days (140 lbs lost if you are still tracking).  I then sat down with my wife, Jaime and training buddy, Scott and found another useful tool in the on- going battle, we set goals then shared them for accountability.  Mine were simple:
ü  Lose 10 lbs in next 60 days
ü  Lose 30 lbs in 2010
ü  Run a half marathon                     
 Sounds easy, huh? Did I mention I travel weekly for work?  And moved back to KC “the scene of the crime” where all my buddies/family are with whom I shared many of these bad habits?       
I am pleased to report I was 245 on the scale today (December 29, 2010).  I have lost 40 lbs in 2010,making my total weight loss 160+ pounds in 8 years.  This year, I ran two half marathons, started a running club and basically got a new life, while losing an entire person’s worth of weight.  Not a bad way to have a KC Homecoming in 2010!

I have mapped out some 2011 goals to continue with my success and am always looking for a new challenge.  Below are a few tips and advice I’ve gained over my continued battle. I’m hoping they can help you…
Have a Healthy Support Network- I think “healthy” is contagious.  If you read in my story the network of friends, family, coaches/trainers has been invaluable.   A special thanks to my wife Jaime and training partners Suzy Hay and Scott Lee.  You will be amazed what can happen when you surrounding yourself with positive, healthy people.
Set, Write Down, Keep, and Tell Others about your GOALS – Not only will a well-thought out goal tell you where you’re headed, but once you achieve it, you can look back and realize how well you’ve done.
Get Accountable – Pick a person you know who encourages you, but more importantly, is allowed to push you when you don’t really want to hear it, that you’re messing up on your goals. Better yet, pick a few people.
 “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”- Bill Hartman (IFAST)-  This piece is so critical; I was busting my butt at 5:00 am workouts but not seeing results, it all came down to eating less and eating quality foods, not “food like substances” (I am talking to you Pop Tart!)
Keep a Food Diary- I have done a two week food diary 4-6 times in the last 18 months.  When you start logging and measuring out your portions and food selections you can see how a diet you may think is good can really be crappy as it was in my case.
Thanks for taking the time to read. If I can be helpful, please contact me at 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

9 Tips to Finish 2010 Strong

Finish Strong!
The end of 2010 is coming, where are you at on your goals? Are you on pace to end the year strong?
Here are a few pointers that can give you your second wind!
  • Sit down and write out 10 goals you want to accomplish for the next 2 weeks (by December 31st)
  • Remember goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Challenging, and Time-Specific, and Positively-stated
  • An example might look like this: 
    • I will do a cardio workout 3 times per week for 1 hour each time, through 12/31/10 
    • I’ve decided to “Positively Stated” because most people tend to have a goal or two worded negatively… for example, “I won’t eat chocolate cake”.  Instead of this negative statement, it would be better to say, “I will eat healthy desserts”.
  • Post them on your wall or refrigerator
  • Tell someone else about your goals & ask them to keep you accountable
  • This person should be someone who is allowed to push you!
  • Check back in with them frequently
  • Enjoy your success! Celebrate it somehow. Rewards of meeting goals are just as important as setting them in the first place. But plan ahead how you will reward yourself.
  • If you were unable to attain your goal, it’s alright! You’re still a great person! Reflect back on why you were unable to meet it.  There’s a ton of information to learn here… Did you set an unrealistic goal? Was there something specific that got in your way? … More on this in a later blog post.

Good Luck! And let us know if you need a little help with writing your goals.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Groundhog Run 2011

Did you know that Kansas City is littered with cities underground? Me neither. As it turns out, there are more than 3,000 people who at work for 170 companies 110 ft. to 200 ft. below our city’s surface. The temperature inside “The Caves” stays at a comparatively warm 68-degrees Fahrenheit year-round. (Read more in - TIME

Thus sets the scene for the next Thunder Road Racing Team. The Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center (Children’s TLC) will host its 29TH Annual Groundhog Run.  This run is believed to be the only completely underground 5/10K in the US. Children’s TLC offers evidence-based therapeutic and educational services in a variety of settings to children with and without disabilities. Thunder Road Racing Team is proud to support this worthy organization. In fact, there are a handful of mental health professionals on the TRR team, who know the benefits of providing services at an early age to challenged individuals!

29th Annual Groundhog Run

Click Here or at Packet Pickup

DATE:  Sunday, January 30, 2011 (Time?)

LOCATION:  Hunt Midwest SubTropolis
8300 NE Underground Drive, Kansas City, MO 64161
This is near AmeriStar Casino
Call (816) 363-4800 For Directions

Garry Gribble’s at the Ward Parkway Shopping Center (KCMO)
Friday, January 28th from Noon – 7pm
Saturday, January 29th from 9am – 2pm

PARKING:  Ameristar Casino Parking Lot  

So far, TRR runners Kari Decker, Cara Rhoades, Suzy Hay, Stephanie & Joshua Holloway (he’s 7!) Jaime Thomas & Russ Thomas will be attending the 10k… let us know if there are other TRR’s running… especially anyone running their FIRST RACE!
Last year’s race SOLD OUT (3500 racers)! So hurry to register. 

Groundhog Run Fast Facts
  • The 10k race is part of the Mid-America Running Association (MARA) Grand Prix series
  • ChampionChip timing is used in both races to provide accurate and timely results
  • The 2009 and 2010 races have sold out with over 3,200 registered runners each year
  • The race has become one of Kansas City’s most fun corporate competitions with over 91 sponsors participating and 173 eligible teams last year
  • Exclusive Corporate Hospitality Suite provides “team only” access
  • Individual runners come from 7 surrounding states