Story 10

Making Me Feel Wanted
and Losing a Ton of Weight

Illustration by Vince “Pixar” Palko at AdToons

Before journeying down this crazy road called F3, I was out of shape, lazy, sluggish, and irritable. I never wanted to work out, and I never thought I really needed to. About 6 months prior to joining F3, my 5-year-old nephew looked at me one day and said “you’re fat.” That was all, just one sentence as plain as saying the sky is blue. “You’re fat.” I laughed at first and thought “you dumb kid, you don’t know”! 

The next morning for kicks, I hopped on the scale and to my disappointment I weighed more than I thought I was! 272 lbs.! My heart sank. I knew I was bigger, but the heaviest I’ve ever been was in the 250’s. I instantly thought to myself that my nephew was right! I decided to start getting on the elliptical and eating healthy. It worked, and after a short 6 months I was down close to 50 lbs, and I felt great. I enjoyed working out on the elliptical, and I would watch Netflix and workout for around 60 minutes a day. 

During this time, I was losing weight like crazy, however; I noticed I was not nearly as strong as I used to be. I lost a ton of muscle in this time frame. I tried to lift weights but with lifting and elliptical there was not enough time in the day. I then tried to do Beach Body and some of their total body workouts. They were interesting and challenging, but I found myself giving up on them and not following through. The guy on the TV would try to push me, but he wasn’t physically in the room so I wasn’t going to listen to him.

About this time a friend of mine told me he was going to try this new workout group. He said they meet outside, it’s free and open to all men. I thought I’d give it a try. It was on a Saturday morning at 7 AM. We both went not knowing what to expect but instantly became hooked. I was drawn to the physical aspect and how this group looked like something from Beach Body or from a practice from highs school sports. The guys were chummy and joking around. It was good group of guys, and at the end of the 60 minutes, they had everyone circle up and talk about what was on their hearts and minds. Guys were talking about anything from prayer requests for cancer victims to being better fathers and husbands. The intriguing thing was that they were extremely open and honest. I was immediately drawn to the vulnerability that they were showing. I thought that I would never be this open to strangers about my struggles in life.

After a few days and weeks of continuing to come out the workouts something changed. I was part of the group, and guys were calling and texting me asking if I was going to be there the next morning. It made me feel wanted, and it reminded of my days in college with the camaraderie. The group welcomed me with open arms and became family. I continued to lose weight and to date I am down 70 lbs. It is a crazy transformation. Granted, I lost most of the weight on the elliptical but my strength is back. I have definition in my arms, chest, legs, and body. That is because of F3. F3 has been the total body workout that I constantly need every day. 

So here I am 8 months later still joining my brothers every morning at 5:30 AM for a workout and a bonding experience that I cannot get anywhere else. I have developed lasting friendships that go beyond the aspect of physical activity or a workout group. This group is life changing and lifesaving. People laugh at the term “male community,” but if you don’t have it, you are lost. F3 has changed my attitude on life, my patience with my kids and family, and my physical fitness. I could never get up at 4:30 and go outside in -15 degree weather to work out before the rest of  the world got out of bed. But through my brothers, their support, and F3, I am there every day in the gloom.

Jared “Mailman” Malone

Check out other #Miracle stories.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.