Lighten Up Legends – Mike’s Story

A good friend of TheFatGuy's recently made him the first "Lighten Up Legend" for the City of Charleston's Lighten Up Charleston initiative. He is excited about this recognition and hopes that anyone that takes time to read his story, starts their own journey!

Lighten Up Legends – Mike’s Story

Mike Campbell Feb 2009Mike CampbellMike Campbell Running Stoney Steps

From age 19 to almost 53 I was a eating machine housed in an obese body. Stress and addictive behavior lead to a person that was 360 pounds approaching his 53rd birthday. During the second week of February 2009 three things happened that triggered me (TheFatGuy) to start thinking about my struggle with weight and obesity.

First, attached you will find a picture of me with my wonderful wife (Polly) and God Child (Sara Jane). The picture was taken at Sara Jane’s High School where she was in a production of 42nd Street. The person you see in this picture felt horrible. I had to literally squeeze my body into the theater style seats in the auditorium. My health was a list of issues that included, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Anxiety, Sleep Issues, Migraines, Asthma, cervical vertebrae issues and Esophageal Reflux. I was on 7 medications for these issues and using a CPAP machine to breath while sleeping. I could barely scale one flight of steps and struggled just to pick up the dogs bowls off of the floor to feed them each day. I could write forever about how bad I felt and not totally capture the feelings I experienced as I sat in that theater at 360 pounds.

Second, my wife, Polly, was struggling with my weight issues that were causing that list of health issues in the paragraph above. She was worried and for good reason that my next health issues could lead to a heart attack, stroke, or worse. She was thinking ‘Just how big are you going to get’. She even told a good friend she was thinking about asking me ‘Just how big are you going to get’? Her friend suggested she put that question/statement in a letter or email rather than have a conversation with me. I think her friend knew it would not be a pleasant conversation and Polly knew it, also. Polly did not tell me about this thought until I was 2 months into my journey to health and wellness. But, the 2nd week of February 2009 I knew she was worried, upset, and concerned. After 24 years of marriage you just know these things.

Third and most critical, was ‘The Fire’ story. This major life changing event was a story my wife told me about a speaker she heard at a course she attended in February 2009. She came home from the class and said they had a guest speaker tell them a story and ask them a question. The speaker asked if you are in a burning building with the president of the US, the governor of your state, the mayor of your town, the pope, and all of your family members, who is the most important person in the fire? I asked my wife who? She said it was her, because if she could not find her way out of the fire she could not help anyone else find their way! This story stuck with me and bounced around in my head for several weeks. THE FIRE story was important.

This story above all of my health issues, above how horrible I felt, and above anything else, was the trigger to cause the chain of events that needed to happen to change my life. I woke up on March 2, 2009 knowing that I had to do a better job taking care of ME if I wanted to help anyone else in my life. I needed to find my way out of my own personal ‘Fire’. I went to my laptop first thing that morning and started a spreadsheet that still guides me today. In my very first entry I identified the fact that I needed to make this a journey and that I needed to be a better ME for the people I loved most in my life. I log my eating and exercise daily on this sheet. I saved that document as FatGuyDiary on that day to identify my major issue and to emphasize my need to log to attain success.

I lost 150 pounds in 363 days! I worked on better eating, better exercise, better life habits, and learning how to be a better healthier ME. I am off of the 7 medications I was taking in 2009, as well as, my CPAP machine. I am fitter and healthier at 56 years of age than any other time in my life. I have gone from TheFatGuy to TheFitGuy to TheBEAST! I have done this using my log, KISS (Keeping It Simple Stupid), and HAW (waking up each day being Honest with myself about what I have done well and not so well the day before, Choosing a good Attitude to make good choices, and drinking Water!)

Now I share my story on a website ( ) and volunteer with a number of obesity prevention efforts in South Carolina, to include, Eat Smart Move More SC, Eat Smart Move More Charleston Tri-County, The Lean Team, Lighten Up Charleston, and I am volunteer director of the Youth Marathon Program. Obesity, especially Childhood Obesity, is something I use my story to help change. I want to show people that if I can change my life in my mid-fifties that they can change it at any time.


Note: One thing that really help my journey was challenging myself to walk the bleachers at a local High School football stadium near my house (Stoney Field). They became that mountain I would climb. At 360 pounds I avoided even one flight of steps. As I worked on ways to improve my weight loss and fitness I stopped at the stadium as I past one day. I walked up 17 bleachers and down 34 steps. I did this regularly till I could do 100 straight reps in under an hour. This year I made a resolution to do 150 straight reps of the bleachers and accomplished this in mid-February, doing 150 straight reps in 93 minutes. Not bad for TheFatGuy that could not scale one flight of steps in 2009!

Making Lemonade from a Bug!

The Glass is HALF FULL.... at least

When you are overcome bad a bad ‘bug’ or virus it can be very disheartening and totally disruptive. And that my friends is where TheFatGuy found himself this week. He awoke in the middle of the night Sunday night with major stomach ‘issues’ , feeling horrible, cold sweats, and fever. Not a good place to be with a long planned week ahead. It was the worst TheFatGuy has felt since starting his journey in March 2009. Not a good place to be for a guy that has gained control of his life, health, and fitness> ‘having little control over this bug that caught him completely by surprise’. From in control to out of control in the blink of an eye.

As the sun came up on Monday TheFatGuy started realizing just how sick he was and just how many meetings and obligations he had on the books. He did not even venture to his laptop for two days, now that is sick! He started looking at his schedule from his phone and worked to figure what he would do, as he felt like doing nothing. He was concerned about the negative impact this ‘bug’ would have on him and others he had committed to during this week. He knew the emails and contacts were piling up. …….

Sitting here this morning TheFatGuy  is having himself a big old glass of LEMONADE!  Yep, the ‘bug’ was no fun AT ALL ( you need not know the details), but somehow TheFatGuy was able to make lemonade out of this giant bug! He did have help from his friends, colleagues, wife, and others. Did he mention his wife, maybe he should mention her again as he is very lucky she takes such good care of him when he needs it most.

TheFatGuy found that he has some very solid relationships in place. Some emails and text messages from his phone,  as he struggled with this ‘bug’, were all he needed to let people know his situation and inability to handle any meetings or tasks at that time. People took care of meetings, changed schedules, and helped TheFatGuy…… a lot! Other parts of the LEMONADE this morning are:

  • It only lasted 72 hours! He knows many people that deal with much worse!
  • He is caught up on his emails and contacts already!
  • He is smiling on a sunny day at Starbucks!
  • He lost 8 pounds! (not a recommended reboot, but a reboot none the less!)

TheFatGuy is a fortunate guy! He has a lot to be grateful for and thankful for in his life today and always.  He knows that his glass is half full of lemonade this morning and things are looking good. That half empty feeling tried to creep in over the past few days and now……….. well, now he is drinking his lemonade!

Note to ME and YOU: Make sure your glass is half FULL…….. of LEMONADE!




Healthy and Safe Halloween for your Kids!

—————–Moving More——————

Halloween is HERE! A great way to encourage students to be safe and physically active this Halloween is to reinforce safe pedestrian behaviors. 

Tips for Youngest children:

1. Use a Sidewalk When there is a sidewalk we should always use it. If there is not a sidewalk we should always walk on the side of the street, closest to the grass or buildings.

2. Face the Traffic

3. Walk Safely – Safe Behavior When Walking Near Traffic

1. Walk, don’t run.

2. Don’t play around with friends or push.

3. Stay close to a parent, adult, or older sibling.

4. Stay away from cars and busy roads.

5. Be aware of what’s around you. Don’t let toys, phones, or anything else distract you.

4. Beware of Driveways

1) Stop at least one big step before you get to the driveway.

2) Look and listen for cars that may be parked in the driveway. If there is a person inside the car, if the back white lights are on, or if you hear cars in the driveway running, DON’T MOVE! Stop and wait until you know the car is not moving.

3) Look left, right, and left again to make sure cars aren’t entering the driveway from the street, or moving in the driveway. Drivers are often looking for other traffic and might not see you so be cautious!

4) If there is no one in the car, the lights are not on, and all directions are clear, it is safe to cross. Walk with your head up, looking for traffic as you cross.

5. Dress to Be Seen

The best way to be seen when it is dark outside is to wear bright-colored clothing or reflective materials and carry a flashlight. Reflective materials are shiny and become brighter when light hits them. You should put reflective materials on your clothing when it is dark outside so drivers can see you.

—————-Eating Smart—————–


  1. Give children a healthy snack before they go trick-or-treating so that they'll be less tempted to eat their sweets as they go door-to-door. Make sure your children understand that they can't eat any of their candy until you check to make sure it is safe. Get rid of homemade treats made by strangers.
  2. Allow your children to pick out a few of their favorite treats to have right after trick-or-treating. Keep the rest of their candy out of sight and allow them only one to two pieces when they ask for it.
  3. Consider trading a toy or extra allowance for your children's candy. If they are young enough, say the "Candy Fairy" will substitute a toy for the candy if they leave it out for her.
  4. Be a role model by consuming Halloween treats in moderation yourself. Also, it's a good idea to buy candy at the last minute and get rid of leftovers to avoid temptation.
  5. Let caregivers such as grandparents and babysitters know the rules on candy, which will prevent children from getting mixed messages.
  6. Think about giving out non-food treats such as stickers, toys, temporary tattoos, bubbles, small games or colored pencils. If you prefer to give out candy, choose bite-sized ones and hand out dark chocolate (it has antioxidants) or hard candy (it takes longer to eat).

Send it all to the troops, of course!

  1. Our military men and women deployed around the world always enjoy candy in their care packages, and this is the perfect time of year for shipping chocolate–the cooler weather means it's less likely to melt!
  2. Now is the time to plan how you will use Halloween to support the troops. Patriotic kids and parents can send extra Halloween candy to Soldiers' Angels, who will make sure it brightens the day of a service member far from home (please be sure to send "the good stuff,"–no crushed/melted candy or broken/torn wrappers, etc). Stores also offer big discounts on their extra Halloween candy after the 31st, a great opportunity to stock up!
  3. Halloween is a great opportunity to get your school and community involved in gathering candy for deployed heroes.
  4. To send your candy to the troops:            Soldiers' Angels
                                                                                    HALLOWEEN CARE
                                                                                    1792 E Washington Blvd
                                                                                    Pasadena, CA 91104

————-Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents———–

Take these simple steps to help your children have a fun – and safe – Halloween

  1. Children shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating. Urge your children to wait until they get home and you have had a chance to inspect the contents of their “goody bags.”
  2. To help prevent children from snacking, give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach.
  3. Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  4. Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
  5. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.


Fitness For People Who Hate Exercise- TheFatGuy Way!

If you hate reading try> Audio links for TheFatGuy's talk with Ryan and Jessica> Part1 and Part2

In February 2009 I was not exercising at all at 360 pounds, unhealthy, and totally out of shape! I struggled to bend over to pick up the dogs bowls off of the floor to feed them, so I hated the idea of exercise. When people see me now they will ask "Did you do P90X, join  a gym, go through some intense training program, ….? I just smile, sometimes laugh, and tell them at 360 pounds I just focused on  Moving More the first 6 weeks! I could not even think the word exercise the first six weeks of my journey. I thought about Moving More. I walked the dogs, took the steps every chance I could, picked up some dumbbells I had laying around, and parked further away at stores. By Day 29 I got on my bike for the first time in years. On Day 30 I walked 12 holes of golf before a blister got the best of me. On Day 34 I hiked 1.5 miles at my in-laws house in Pickens on a mountain road. I kept it simple (KISS) and JUST MOVED.

Some keys words I kept in mind:

  • Change your thinking> I sat down with one lady about a year ago to talk to her about starting her journey. At the end of 45 minutes of Q&A she proclaimed she was going to join a gym! I was astounded. I asked her several times why she was going to do that? She looked perplexed and a little upset. I said I am not trying to trick you, BUT, in listening to you the last 45 minutes you have said, 1. you do not have the money to join a gym, 2. you hate gyms, 3. you love to walk on the beach & walk your neighborhood, 4. you always use to love to dance!
  • Build on it> start with what you can do, what you want to do, and build on it. Once you start you may find yourself wanting to move more!
  • KISS> Polly has lost about 30 pounds over the last 16 months and her main exercise tool is a pedometer!
  • Variety> if you are bored change it up! But keep moving!
  • Habits> make moving more a habit by tracking your activity.

Recent research suggests that people who are happiest with their, health, wellness and physical appearance accumulate 5-7 hours of exercise each week.


Examples of ways to MOVE MORE:

Team Sports

Jessica and Ryan with 969 The Wolf love Team sports, especially their kickball team! It's a great way to meet people, socialize, exercise, and find an excuse to drink beer. Most large cities are rife with intramural adult soccer, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and softball leagues. Also there are a fair number of kickball and dodge ball leagues, which can be lots of fun. Rugby is also a great sport if you are serious about beer and learning to swear like a sailor.


Team sports keep you motivated, because people depend on your presence to play the game. Team camaraderie can be a great motivating factor, and other players can give you tips. Plus, team fees are usually much cheaper than a gym membership.


Depending on where you live, sports can be seasonal, so you may need to pick up more than one in order to stay exercising year-round. Also, games are often only once a week, so you'll need to practice in between to stay fit.

Canoeing/Kayaking/Paddle Board

If you have a love of the water and want to find a way to spend more time outdoors, consider a paddle sport. You don't have to buy equipment because there are plenty of places in the Charleston area you can rent equipment to  give it a try.


Canoeing and kayaking make for good upper-body and ab workouts while allowing you to see some lovely sites.


If you are prone to motion sickness, a day at sea on a kayak will only help you lose weight through losing your lunch. Also, purchasing and storing equipment can be a challenge for some people. Keep and eye out for used equipment online and in the print ads.

Roller Derby

If some activities seem a little too tame, you might want to consider careening around a track on roller skates while other people try to knock you over. Roller derby has enjoyed something of a renaissance of late, and although you don't have to be a tattooed mega babe to try out for your local league, it's a good place to hang out with tattooed mega-babes. Roller derby is an intense cardio workout, but you don't have time to think much about it as you dodge your teammates and the flying fists of your opponents. And its big in Charleston, Columbia, and other areas now!


Like other team sports, roller derby is full of social events. Also, having cheering crowds attending your exercise regimen can be a real thrill.


Social events take up a great deal of time, to say nothing of the league meetings. Derby is not for the shy.

Boxing, Fencing/Sword Play, LARPingRock Climbing, Walking, Rock Climbing, Martial Arts, Yoga, Dance


TheFatGuy has had several conversations in the last 24 hours that brought him back to that fat guy, TheFatGuy, of February 2009. He was 360 pounds of a walking time bomb. With 7 different medications and numerous health issues, he was Hopeless! TheFatGuy saw no hope that he would EVER turn the tide on his ever growing weight, health problems, and how bad he felt. He had dug his hole and was prepared to accept the fact that he would NEVER climb out of it.

The stories TheFatGuy has heard over the last 24 hours hit very close to home. He will not identify individuals but will give you an overview of the stories he was told about people that had friends that were, let's say, in trouble. That trouble all radiated out from being obese and not being able to deal with it, not knowing how to deal with it, and ultimately, accepting the weight! The problems included, several heart attacks, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, diabetes, and the list goes on. One thing that was a theme through each story was at least one very concerned friend/loved one that felt helpless, a person in what appeared to be a helpless hopeless situation, and a desperation to find an answer to help a friend/loved one.

The HOPELESS feeling does not belong to just the person with the weight and health issues. It belongs to loved ones and friends. Polly, TheFatGuy's loving wife, will attest to that fact. She felt HOPELESS and scared as TheFatGuy struggled with life. She watched as TheFatGuy dug his hole so deep he had no obvious ladder or rope to climb out of it. As hard as she tried she could not find a way to help TheFatGuy. She would not enable his behavior but she could not seem to do anything to really get him to help himself. THANK GOD she relayed 'The Fire Story' to TheFatGuy . The story that changed his life. The rope that he used to climb out of his hole.

TheFatGuy is often asked 'how do I help someone out of this seemingly hopeless situation?' It is a tough question with no easy answer. Some people would have you think it is easy, TheFatGuy knows different. TheFatGuy tries to give some direction/advice:

  • The person needs to know they need to start the journey for themselves. Tell them The Fire Story. They need to know that they have to help themselves first so they can be around to help others they love and want in their lives.
  • Do not enable their behavior and try to be there when the person is ready to change. You may become a valuable support system when they are ready to start their journey.  
  • Let them know you know a 56 year old guy that turned his life around. Give them the website, , to prove it to them. He is healthier and fitter now than in his 20s.
  • Offer to go out on some healthy outings with the person. A nice walk/hike, dance, yoga, or other healthy activity. You might start steering the ship in the right direction.
  • Even if the person seems to have given up on themselves, try to have the strength not to give up on them (pray for it). This is a tough one. Polly never gave up in TheFatGuy, even though it became very maddening for her. TheFatGuy is a lucky man.
  • When starting, encourage the person to apply KISS. When it comes to the journey, Keep It Simple. Start the journey and find the simplest path to take. It is a hard journey, so it needs to be simple

TheFatGuy cannot promise that any of this will work, but he hopes it helps. He was able to overcome his HOPELESS state and he knows others can do the same.

Note to ME and YOU: Do not enable. Do not give up. Pray for strength

TheFatGuy TheFitGuy TheBEAST


Empty, Numb, Thankful, Blessed!

Empty, Numb, Thankful, Blessed are not four words that you see connected very often, if at all. These are the four words that come to mind as I write for/to you today. This past weekend we lost a very special person to a stroke. Her name was Jeanne Schmidt, the Director of Camp Kemo. Jeanne's husband and daughters are experiencing a sudden and great loss. Her family and the Camp Kemo family are experiencing a great loss.

The empty and numb feelings come from losing someone that had such a profound impact on MY life and on the lives of all she touched. She had so much to give all of us and gave of herself constantly. That is gone now. Gone in an instant! As we all try to make sense of it, we turn to God and pray he shows us the way and makes sense of it for us. For, Jeanne is one of those people that is not replaced in our life. When someone like Jeanne leaves you the void is tremendous and leaves you feeling sucker punched. It leaves you wondering who will fill the void? Or, will the void be filled? Can it be filled?

With the emptiness and numbness beginning to overwhelm me I turned to what I always need to turn to with God's help and that is counting my Blessings and being Thankful. It is hard at a time like this but necessary. So I am thankful for:

  • Having known Jeanne and working closely with her these past 13 years on something that is near and dear to my heart, Camp Kemo.
  • seeing Camp Kemo and people through Jeanne's eyes. (so special)
  • Jeanne's infectious smile, voice, and laugh. (I can still see and hear her when I close my eyes)
  • all of the other people Jeanne brought into my life that make it so full, so special.
  • Jeanne's ability to make Camp Kemo even more special to me than it already was when I met her.
  • seeing her TRUE concern for all people
  • And the most fulfilling and maddening of all was Jeanne's wanting everyone to be happy! I would try but always accepted the fact that 'you can't make everyone happy'! Well, Jeanne did not know this or accept this as fact! She did not just work to make 115 campers happy each year. She worked to make every one of 50 counselors happy by doing things like making sure EACH, yes each, counselor had their favorite snacks in the counselor snack room. She worked to make sure ALL of the nurses were happy which worked for me since I am married to a nurse. She even wanted to make, now get this, all of the doctors happy! Imagine that, making ALL of the doctors happy. I am thinking if there are 2 doctors in a room and you make one happy, you are doing something special. NOPE, Jeanne wanted all of the doctors happy. Anyway, if you had anything to do with Camp Kemo, Jeanne was going to work to make you happy, make you feel part of the Camp Kemo Family, and smile every step of the way. She did this from the time she got up each day to the time she turned in at night. I know because I was there with her trying to figure out how to make everyone happy. She would question me constantly, is so & so doing OK, do we need to get this for that person, can you start a list of all of the people we need to make happy today! As much as it drove me crazy, I LOVED IT! I LOVED JEANNE!
  • Having had even one Jeanne Schmidt in my life is something to be Thankful for and feel Blessed!

This list could go on for quite some time, as did the receiving line at the funeral home last night. A 2 hour line existed from 4 PM until I left at almost 9 PM. All people touched by Jeanne, Ralph, and there family. A Testament to God's reach through one very special person. A person that I have been all to fortunate to have in my life. I am Thankful and Blessed!

Note to ME and YOU: If you are fortunate enough to have someone like Jeanne Schmidt in your life, cherish her, learn from her, love her, and thank her. She will definitely enhance your journey through life!



PS    Watch over us, Jeanne!

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

TheFatGuy's last blog was " Childhood Obesity is an Epidemic! SO, join TheFatGuy to get kids MOVING MORE!!"  TheFatGuy's passion for fighting this epidemic and his Youth Marathon Program were the focus of this piece. Since this month is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, he wanted to give you some facts, figures and thoughts to 'digest' when thinking about this growing problem with 'our' kids.

Again, I will ask, What causes childhood obesity? And again the answer is Childhood obesity is the result of eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity.

Now let's take emotion out of it and the fact that we are sentencing many of our kids to a life that will involve many physical, mental, health related, and emotional problems. Some will die! SO what are some facts you should know:

  • In Georgia some studies were done and the findings were:

    • 1 Million kids are overweight or obese (almost 40%)
    • Georgia has the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the US
    • They discovered that 75 percent of parents with obese children were not aware that their children were overweight
    •  50 percent of parents didn’t realize that childhood obesity was a problem to begin with!
    • The cost of obesity  is estimated to be $2.4 Billion per year
  • In South Carolina the facts are:

    • In 2009, South Carolina had the 14th worst overweight or obesity rate in the nation.
    • Nearly one third of high school students (31%) in South Carolina are overweight or obese.
    • If current trends continue, one out of three children born in the year 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes primarily due to poor diet and lack of physical activity.
    • 85.3 percent of S.C. high school students had not eaten fruits and vegetables five or more times per day within the 7 days prior to being surveyed.
    • In 2003, obesity-related medical expenditures for adults in South Carolina total over $1 billion, with over half of the costs being financed by Medicaid and Medicare. FYI> it's 2012 NOW! Could be twice this figure.
  • Overall facts:

    • Complications of obesity include, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma, poor self-esteem, depression, Type 2 diabetes, and a growing list…………….
    • as high as 80% of obese/overweight children WILL BE obese/overweight adults.
    • In the past four decades childhood obesity has increased more than fourfold among those ages 6 to 11. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight.
    • On a typical day 80% of youth drink sugar drinks
    • Children 8—18 years of age spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including TV, computers, video games, cell phones, and movies
  • What can we do as parents, teachers, caring adults:

TheFatGuy does not want to see any child growing into his 54"waist pants from 2009 that housed a wealth of health issues. DO YOU?

Note to ME and YOU: Do something small, do something big, but do something to help turn the tide on Childhood Obesity!


Childhood Obesity is an Epidemic! SO, join TheFatGuy to get kids MOVING MORE!!

First, let me apologize for neglecting my blog over parts of this summer. My mother-in-law has been quite ill and had to be hospitalized recently. Polly and I have gone back and forth to the upstate most of the summer, as well as, handled other life events. ALL of this has served to reinforce the need for TheFatGuy to take care of ME so I can be the best ME for the people I love and care about in my life.

As most of you know by now, TheFatGuy is passionate about fighting obesity and passionate about helping our youth have the opportunity to live happy healthy productive lives. So it only stands to reason that I am gravely concerned about The Childhood Obesity Epidemic! I have volunteered with Youth Programs for most of my life and left a 28 year career to head a youth serving organization for 3 1/2 years. I am also TheFatGuy that knows what it is like to be, well fat! Extremely FAT/OBESE!

While watching my own weight bounce around for 33 years of my adult life, I also have watched many children I care deeply about struggle with obesity and the issues that come with it. Obesity is a national issue housed in millions of personal struggles and stories. My own struggle peaked in February of 2009 at 360 pounds and very tight 54" waist pants. Those pants not only held 360 pounds they held a multitude of health issues. The issues included, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, asthma, migraines, sleep issues, back/neck issues, and more. After losing 150 pounds over the next year  I came off of 7 different medications and am now in the best shape of my life. Anyone that thinks weight does not cause health issues is fooling themselves. You only have to look at the health I have regained at 56 years of age to see what proper weight with a good diet and exercise can do for your health.

WHAT CAUSES CHILDHOOD OBESITY? It is quite simple, Childhood obesity is the result of eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity. We can debate who takes the blame but the equation is simple: too many calories in and not enough used through MOVING MORE.

MY QUESTION TO ALL OF YOU: Do you want our children growing into my size 54" pants and accumulating all of the health and life issues that come with those pants? My wish for you and the children in your life is that you find your journey to health and fitness and that you help the children in your life develop healthy lifestyle habits.

MOVE MORE: I have one tool that can help you start a child's journey today. You can participate in the Youth Marathon Program that is part of the Charleston Marathon. Basically, a child/teenager walks or runs 25 miles between now and  January, on the afternoon of January 18th all of the children come out to do their final 1.2 miles with us at the Marathon finish line in North Charleston where they will receive a Marathon medal and shirt based on the race guidelines. IT IS ALL FREE for our kids! To get more info about the Youth Marathon program you can go to and click on Charleston Youth Marathon Program on the left side of the page.

Fight Childhood Obesity in September (National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month) and year round. Don't let our children grow into my size 54" pants. Have them take a step in the right direction with our Youth Marathon Program.

Mike Campbell, TheFatGuyTheFitGuyTheBEAST               

Volunteer Director of the Charleston Youth Marathon Program

Youth Marathon Program Basic Information:

  • Join us at Burke Middle High School on January 18, 2012 as we watch hundreds of our community children run on portions of the official Charleston Marathon course.
  • Registration will begin at 2:00 p.m. Run begins at 3:30 p.m.
  • We will have a family fun area with refreshments, local sports characters, bounce house and more!
  • Each child that participates receives a commemorative medal and a Charleston Youth Marathon T-shirt.

The Charleston Youth Marathon Program was developed for the benefit of our community children in the Charleston area. The goal of our program is to:

  • Educate parents and children about the benefits of physical fitness
  • Encourage children to participate in a physical activity on a daily basis
  • Help children make smart choices to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle now and into adulthood


  • The Charleston Marathon Youth Marathon is open to all children ages 7-17 years old who are in good health.
  • The Youth Marathon is a modified marathon, which means your child can run or walk 25 miles prior to race day, and then complete the final 1.2 miles on January 18, 2013.
  • Once a child is registered they can log back into their online account to complete their training log each time they walk/run. You can also print out a copy of the 2013 Charleston Youth Marathon Log below and manually log miles. Each child must log 25 miles by race day in order to participate in the final 1.2 mile leg of the Charleston Youth Marathon.
  • The Youth Marathon is free and every participant will receive an official Charleston Youth Marathon Medal and Charleston Youth Marathon t-shirt when they turn in their logged miles. Every youth that registers online will have access to sponsor promotions and coupons that we will have online.

Champions come in all shapes and sizes:

  • In schools we have had a custodial staff person run the program, PE teachers, nurses, volunteers (parents)
  • Parents and families have picked up the program
  • Kids have focused on getting the program moving

What kind of impact can I have?

As TheFatGuy wrote 'Shameless Self-Promotion', his last blog, a question came to mind. The question was: What kind of impact can I have? If TheFatGuy is to Shamelessly Self-Promote, he needed to know what kind of impact he was going to have with what he was promoting. If he was not going to promote selling a used car clunker to someone, what was he selling?

First, 'what kind of impact can I have' is a very big question. It can be almost overwhelming if you start to think about it too long. What kind of impact does the president have, the governor have, the pope have,  Bill Gates have,……..?  What kind of impact does TheFatGuy have? Ask yourself, what kind of impact do I have?

Second, let's start with the basics in asking this question. Let's look at what kind of impact TheFatGuy had on himself. For the first 32 years of his adult life TheFatGuy did a lot right helping organizations and individuals attain success. What he did not impact well was his own physical health and well-being. He had a total disregard for taking care of his health and fitness on a regular basis. The impact this had was dramatic to the point of negatively impacting his quality of life, his life expectancy, his relationship with his wife, and the list goes on. So, what kind of impact did TheFatGuy have on himself pre-March 2009? Not a really good impact that seemed to diminish over the years.

Post-March 2009 TheFatGuy has had a very good impact on himself. He has traveled a very positive journey. He has put things in place along the way to help him toward success in his health and fitness levels. He has learned to best take care of himself so he can be the best person to help others in his life. By putting systems and structure into place he has transformed his life, retooled his body, and dramatically improved his health. By looking in the mirror, owning his issues, and committing to himself, he has made a tremendous impact on his life. What can of impact can you have on you? You can make any impact you want to make on you if TheFatGuy can transform his life in his mid-50s!

Lastly, what kind of impact can I have outside of TheFatGuy's personal journey? This is a question that is important to him and should be to you. TheFatGuy considers he is in a much better place to help his family, friends, and community now as opposed to 2009. He is a much better person in health, fitness, mind, and soul. He has been in a much better place to positively impact his family during some trying times over the past 2 years. He has been able to utilize his journey to impact a number of obesity related organizations. Bottom line is, the impact TheFatGuy is having now compared to 2009 is much more significant because he is a much better tool to have a significant impact in all areas of his life.

What kind of impact can I have 'on my own life'? What kind of impact can I have 'on others in my life'? Do I have the right tools to have a positive impact in my life and others in my life?

Note to ME and YOU: Find the right path and tools to best impact YOU and then spread it to the world around YOU!


Shameless Self-Promotion


The phrase ‘Shameless Self-Promotion’ has been something TheFatGuy took offense to over the years. He would hear these words and think ‘used car salesman’.  He would think promoting oneself at the cost of those around you. Shameless self-promotion took on a very negative connotation for TheFatGuy.  He was always the one promoting others, organizations, and causes; he thought rarely of promoting himself for anything. He became very good at being the champion for other people, organizations, and causes.

TheFatGuy always enjoys seeing others do well. He likes to help people learn, grow, and find their way in life.  And he’s very good at it. He has helped many people attain supervisory or management roles. He has helped people find their way toward a career or calling outside of his organization or area of control. If he saw someone that was working hard to be successful in life, he liked nothing better than to help them on their way, cheer them on, and promote their hard work and talents to others. It’s something he did well, still embraces now, and, hopefully, will always have as part of his life.

To TheFatGuy, there is nothing better than helping other individuals or organizations be successful. There is almost no better feeling in life than knowing you have helped someone else on their journey through life. The payment for this investment is seeing the success blossom and thrive; ultimately seeing the person you have helped, invest themselves in helping another. That, to TheFatGuy, is part of the riches he gets in this life.

As good as TheFatGuy found he was at helping others be success, he fell woefully short in helping himself! He was excellent at shamelessly promoting other people, causes, and organizations. He was horrible at shamelessly promoting himself ……………………. to himself! Until March 2009, TheFatGuy lost sight of taking care of himself. He lost sight of taking care of himself, so he could be the best person possible to help others.

So, on March 2, 2009, TheFatGuy started his journey and started shamelessly promoting his needs and wants to the person who could help him most at that time> HIMSELF! He started putting his needs at the front of the line, because, quite frankly, if he did not start working on his needs he would not be able to help others and may not be around much longer to help others. He has continued over the past 3 years to work on what he needs to be successful in his life.

What he has done has worked well for him and, hopefully, some others along the way. TheFatGuy shares his story whenever he can. He likes to let people know he has made a tremendous change in his life in his mid-fifties (losing 150 lbs. and getting in the BEST SHAPE of HIS LIFE!) and that will hopefully help others know they can change their lives in a big way at any time. He feels it is a message worthy of shameless self-promotion!

As he shamelessly self-promotes, TheFatGuy does not want to sell you a used clunker, he wants to sell you the fact that you can change your life for the better at any time. He wants you to know that nothing is impossible to any individual if they fully commit, have faith, develop the path, and always work toward the journey they want to travel. After all, you control the choices each day, you just need to shamelessly promote yourself to yourself! Hey, you can do it……………… YES, I CAN!

Note to ME and YOU: Put yourself at the head of the line when you are trying to make a significant change in your life! Keep promoting yourself to yourself until you believe in YOU and what YOU want to do!

TheFatGuy, TheFitGuy, TheBEAST