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Jul 16, 201510:28 AMOpen Mic

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Getting thin is a lot harder than getting fat

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Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2015 Get Fit Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 21. This week, IB checks in with Ben Cowan, president of Full Scale Promotions LLC, who is competing in the individual challenge.

Before we get into my new routine, let’s start with some background on how my journey to getting fat happened.

When I graduated high school, I was 6’1” and 185 pounds. Over the course of the next three years, I grew three more inches to get to 6’4” tall. With the height change and subsequent shift in my bone structure, I put on a quick 30 pounds and at the age of 22 was hovering around 220-225 pounds consistently.  Then the biggest weight mistake of my life happened.  I had just turned 24 and I thought it was a good idea to “bulk” up for an upcoming hockey tournament I was going to play in. I hired a trainer, six days a week, and started the process. Consuming close to 6,000 calories a day through protein shakes and eating “healthy” portions of anything I could get my hands on, I quickly put on 35 pounds of pure muscle.  Now at 260ish and just plain beefy, I played in the tournament, which was awesome since I got to go up against Craig Ludwig (former NHL player) and held my own. Well, not really, but it’s my memory so we’ll leave it at that.  However, with the tournament over I was on the road to being fat.

When you work out hard, gain muscle, and have a consistent way to burn off fat, it’s FANTASTIC. However, the second you stop working out and continue to eat the same way — well good luck with that. The muscle soon turned to fat and I kept on going with my great routine of eating huge meals. Remember what your parents said, about how you have to eat everything on your plate? Well, I listened, and I not only ate what was on my plate but usually a helping from someone else’s plate, too. 

Over the last eight years I accumulated an extra 85 pounds of unwanted weight. I tried different workout routines with friends — we did P90X for 90 days, during which I lost 30 pounds before putting it back on; we did some Cross Fit training and the same scenario happened again. I would lose weight but every time we stopped the program it came back on faster than I’d lost it. Part of the problem was I didn’t know how to eat.

 The fittest executive Get Fit Challenge sparked my interest, so I applied and luckily I was chosen. I started the competition at 303 pounds, which is crazy since I never thought I could actually let myself get to that magical 300 mark. I was wearing a size 44 pant and XXL shirts that were getting pretty tight; I tried my ass off to not look in the mirror. For some of you who knew me in the past, you’d think that’s the craziest part of this whole thing since I used to be a prima donna about my looks who had to have every single strand of hair perfect.



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