Tag Archives: Robbie Leffel

  • Newton Running Social Round-up: 1.11.13

    Welcome to our weekly wrap up of Newton Running mentions from around the interwebs! This will include social media as well as random articles and posts we find (about us, of course). Want to see yourself mentioned and maybe even get a link? Keep spreading the love online and who knows? Maybe you'll find yourself on this post next week!

    First up are a few posts from our Facebook page.

    Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.16.43 AM-resized-600Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.17.34 AM-resized-600Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.18.49 AM-resized-600Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.19.21 AM-resized-600Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.19.59 AM-resized-600 

    Next up are a few select tweets from super fans, running bloggers and new runners alike!

    Mile Long Legs gets into the mix!

    Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.22.28 AM-resized-600Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.24.46 AM-resized-600Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.27.29 AM-resized-600

    Newton also got some love from other places around the web. This includes iBitz using our shoes for their display as part of the booth at this year's CES in Las Vegas! iBitz is a fitness tracking app for kids that combines with a smartphone to give them a virtual pet that encourages exercise!

    Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.29.11 AM-resized-600

    Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.32.37 AM-resized-600

    if you see something that you think we should have included, let us know. Have a great weekened and keep spreading the love!!

  • How Did Robbie Lose 100 Lbs.? (Part 2)

    While I have really enjoyed the fitness aspect of getting healthy, seeing my progress and accomplishments, I must say that the food part is a daily WWIII.

    As I stated, I am a food addict.  Yes, an addict, like a crack head!  Like someone addicted to a drug must have their hit or they go crazy, I too must have my hit (at least that’s what my body tries to tell me).  Please understand, I am no doctor or scientist and I have never taken an illicit drug, so I am only speaking from my limited understanding.  I can’t tell you if it’s just my emotions or if there is an actual chemical imbalance going on.  All I can say is that the urge or the draw to eat poorly is ridiculously strong in me.  I KNOW what I should eat, but eating something high in fat, salt, or sugar just feels so good and calming to me, even if it is only for a short time.  And oftentimes, it’s a snowball effect, and things get out of control quickly, sometimes for weeks at a time.

    Here is my problem.  The actual drug addict does not need his drug of choice to live.  He may need to be weaned off that drug slowly so that addiction does not kill him, but generally speaking, an addict can be weaned from the drug and never take it again and be just fine.  A food addict cannot give up food.  We humans, as you know, must have food to live.  I have to eat something, and I have to make a decision of what I am going to eat several times a day, every day, for the rest of my life.  I am not saying I have it as bad as an actual drug addict (my withdrawal is certainly not as painful), but I feel I can relate to one. I have to constantly see my drug and make a good decision.   This has made getting healthy incredibly difficult.

    Which leads me to what people want to know, what did I eat to lose 100 lbs.?  It’s actually pretty simple.  I ate about 1200 calories a day.  The trick was that I ate the exact same food basically every single day.  I wasn’t actually writing down what I was eating and counting up calories for every meal (that process is such a hassle).  I figured out a breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner that amounted to about 1200 calories a day and ate those exact meals every single day. Here is what I started with:

    Breakfast – 375 total calories

    Half of a whole wheat bagel – 135 calories
    Peanut Butter (1tbsp) – 100 calories
    Banana (small) – 60 calories
    Skim Milk (1 cup) – 80 calories

    Lunch – 424 total calories

    Skinless Chicken Leg Quarter (about 3.5 ounces) – 138 calories
    Canned vegetable – 120 calories
    Sourdough Square Bread (1 slice, toasted) – 130 calories
    Pat of butter – 36 calories

    Snack – 140 total calories

    Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso – 140 calories

    Dinner – 260 total calories

    Bag of Popcorn – 260 calories (Boy Scout Popcorn, http://tinyurl.com/8o8tys3)

    Day Total – 1206 calories (give or take, based on actual serving sizes)

    This worked really well for me.  I was never hungry until it was about time to eat again, and I got to eat things I thought tasted pretty good.  We would make the lunch once or twice a week so I didn’t have to prepare something complicated every day.  We just packed a bunch in plastic containers in the fridge and I would grab one when I needed it.  This plan did allow for flexibility.  If I wanted to eat dessert or whatever I would just adjust my meals accordingly.  Change was rare; for the most part I really stuck to the plan.

    I followed this plan for a while and lost a lot of weight.  At some point, I decided that I could do better.  I thought I needed the food to be healthier.  I just thought I could do something with a little more balance.  This is what I eat now:

    Homemade Broccoli Chicken Alfredo- 240 calories (Sauce Recipe, used sparingly, allrecipes.com: http://tinyurl.com/9xtvtr8)

    3 M&M’s- 9 calories (I eat these slowly and savor them!)

    I eat that meal every three hours like clockwork.  Generally, we make about 20 servings at a time, paying very close attention to serving sizes, and store them in plastic containers in the fridge.  I don’t have to count calories all day and I don’t eat within about 2 hours of going to bed.  If I eat out somewhere I pull the restaurant’s nutrition information up on my phone and find something that’s about 250 calories. I also only drink Vitamin Water Zero.  It has no calories and it’s sweetened naturally with Stevia (you get used to the taste; I actually love it now!).

    I also don’t plan a cheat day anymore.  I would just gorge myself on that day, feel terrible after, and gain several pounds back.  It’s so not worth it.  I just cheat every now and then, when it seems appropriate, like at a birthday party.  Sometimes I will treat myself to a good meal, like a burger, when I feel like I’ve been doing really well.

    By the way, I generally don’t eat the calories I burn when I run.  Meaning, I don’t say, “Hey, I burned 800 calories running today, so I can go eat 3 slices of pizza”!  I hear a lot of people saying they do that and I think they are just crazy.  They are just cheating themselves and canceling out their hard work.  I will, however, do it on days when I treat myself.  I generally won’t cheat unless I have run for that day.  99% of the time, when I say I ate 1200 calories, I ate 1200 calories.  I didn’t eat 2000 and ran off 800.  If you are just maintaining your weight, eating your burned calories is a brilliant idea.  For those trying to lose weight, it makes no sense.

    When I changed my plan the weight began to just fall off!  The more balanced meal really kept my metabolism working all day long.  When I started my plan, initially, I did feel hungry, and even had a headache the first couple of days (withdrawal?).  My body soon adjusted and I felt fantastic.  Eating healthy and running regularly enabled me to lose 100 lbs.  The keys for me were sticking with it long enough for my body to adjust, which took several weeks before I saw significant, consistent weight loss and paying close attention to actual serving sizes (we used a food scale).

    The sad part is that I am still an addict.  I still fall off the wagon more often than I would like to confess.  I still battle with food on a constant basis every day.  And that is the kicker….I AM A FOOD ADDICT AND I LOST 100LBS!!!  I got through it.  I did it and am still doing it!  I may always have this turbulent relationship with food, but I made the decision that food will not own me and food will not decide who I am going to be.  And addiction isn’t always bad; I’m addicted to running now, too!

    This is what I’m looking at every three hours (minus 3 M&M’s, of course). It’s yummy!

    Robbie's other posts:

    Goodbye Limits: Meet Robbie
    How Did Robbie Lose 100 Lbs.? (Part 1)

  • How Did Robbie Lose 100 Lbs.? (Part 1)

    When you lose 100lbs it’s pretty easy to guess the number one question you get asked. It’s always, “So how’d you do it?” Here’s how (Part 1).

    #1 Start Small

    As I said, I failed at every diet known to man, from Atkins and Weight Watchers to the all fruit and veggies diet, so I was determined to make this time different. Instead of jumping into a plan cold turkey I would break it up into more manageable parts. I decided to just focus on fitness and not worry about food just yet. My goal was to make fitness a part of my life, something that was second nature to me. Once I was able to stay active on a regular basis, then I would focus on eating properly. I also did not try to do too much when I initially got on the treadmill. My running buddy Bryce gave me a parameter of spending a minimum of 60 minutes on the treadmill. So I made that my goal, no matter how slow I had to walk to make it happen. I think I started out walking about 2mph the first few times we went and I was exhausted when I was done.

    This photo was taken at Planet Fitness in Newport News, VA. It’s blurry because I was on a treadmill at the time. I think it is the only photo taken of me actually working out while I was losing the 100lbs.


    #2 Challenge Yourself

    Even though I couldn’t do much in the beginning, I still wanted to be challenged. Bryce would encourage me to up the speed of the treadmill by .2 or .3mph for the last minute or two of my workout. Most of the time, I followed his suggestion, although I can’t say I didn’t complain about it a time or two! ☺ A lot of times I would work out alone but I would always make sure that I pushed myself just a little. I knew Bryce was going to ask how it went and I didn’t want him to think I was slacking off (accountability is a great motivator!). I kept track of the time, distance, and calories burned for each of my workouts and I would aim to do just a little better each time, assuming my body felt up to it. If I was overly tired or sore I would not push it because I did not want to risk an injury. Injuries are the worst and they should be avoided like the plague (more on that in a few weeks)!

    #3 Follow Through

    The biggest failure I made in every diet I tried was that I did not give it enough time to work. I would give it a few weeks and if I didn’t see the results I thought I should see I gave up. I decided this time that I was going to continue this no matter what. It was actually pretty easy to do since my goal here was not to lose weight but to make fitness a part of my life. I kept going to the gym; I kept working out. I am a normal person. I work 40+ hours a week and I have a wife and two kids. I’m not wealthy, so I can’t afford a chef or maid. I make time several days a week for me to get my work out in. Yes, that means that sometimes I have to get up at 4am in the morning to get my run in (that’s rare, but I’ve done it). It’s about doing what you know is important. This is important to me, and to my wife and kids, so I made sure that I followed through and stuck with it long enough to actually see results.

    One early spring day, the weather seemed to be pretty nice. The longest I had run without stopping was 3 miles, but those were mostly run on a treadmill (which is easier). That day I ran a PR (personal best) 4 miles. It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t very fast (10:50 pace), but that day I fell in love with running (and haven’t stepped on a treadmill since). Running became a part of who I am. From this point on I would have a new identity…I was a runner. I felt like a superhero. I felt like I could take on the world.

    Today, I run all the time, several times a week. When I don’t run for several days, for whatever reason, I miss it and I feel like my Newtons are giving me the evil eye every time I walk by. In fact, I am currently training for my first half marathon on November 3rd and my first full marathon next year on March 17th! Since I began, I’ve logged 583 miles over 200 workouts. I never thought I would call myself a runner. I never thought I would say that I loved running, but I do. I know there are people out there right now who are saying the same thing, that there is no way they would ever be able to run. And yet here I am. I was that guy and now I am a runner. Believe it when I say, if I (a food addict who weighed over 300lbs) can do it…you can do it!

  • Goodbye Limits: Meet Robbie

    Over the course of 60 Days of Better, we'll be following two people who decided to seek Better in their own lives. Their journeys are very different and very inspiring and along the way, Newton became a part of helping them find Better. 

    My name is Robbie Leffel. I am a 35 year old husband and father of 2. In a nutshell, I’m a food addict that lost 100 pounds. Here’s my story.

    When I was a kid, I was the skinny one. When I hit my teens I fell in love with the snack machine (Honey Buns!) and gained a little weight. Once I arrived at college and realized that I could eat whatever I wanted I really started to get big. It was also around that time that I began to suffer from severe migraine headaches. By the time I was 21, my headaches had increased in severity and frequency, so much so I began missing a lot of school and work. I was also becoming less and less active spending a lot of time in bed trying to get over the headaches. This led me to gain even more weight and over the next decade I ballooned to a seriously unhealthy 336lbs.

    All the way through my 20’s and the beginning of my 30’s I was committed to getting healthy, but there were a few road blocks to deal with. Obviously, the headaches were killing me, but what was really adding insult to injury was that I had become a food addict. I was and still am an emotional eater. When I eat foods that are high in sugar, fat, or salt I just feel good, at least temporarily. If I was having a bad day I would turn to food. If I had a headache (which was always) I would eat hoping it would help the headache somehow (crazy, I know). If my wife made me mad I would eat. If my team lost I would eat (which wasn’t very often! Go Duke!). I’m an emotional guy, so all I did was eat.

    So I would find a new diet to try and I would buy all the food and start going to the gym, doing all the things I knew I was supposed to do. However, every time I would find a way to sabotage the diet. I would lose a few pounds, so I would get cocky and careless and gradually add more food to my diet, or I would slack off going to the gym. The weight loss would stop and I would say, “See, this diet doesn’t really work either.” I would repeat this cycle over and over again. I always wanted to lose weight, but it was just too hard fighting with my addiction and the headaches.

    Then one day I was looking for another diet to “try” (I tried them all). I purchased a book by the Biggest Loser trainer, Jillian Michaels. I could not tell you anything the book said other than this one thing…HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IS POISON AND YOU SHOULD NEVER, EVER EAT IT. That little nugget forever changed my life. I don’t think I even finished the book. I ran to the kitchen to see if I could find any HFCS. To my shock, HFCS was in just about everything I was eating. I looked online at restaurants and it was there too. I was cautiously optimistic that this is what had been causing my headaches. I instantly became a food label Nazi and tracked everything that I ate, making sure that I wasn’t eating any HFCS. To my massive relief (understatement!) the headaches went away. Before, I was having 4-5 migraine headaches every week. Now, I will have one about 3 times a year, and that is probably because I ate something accidently that had HFCS in it. (As a side note, just because the FDA approves it and Coca-Cola and McDonald’s serves it does not mean that it is safe to consume!)

    Armed with a new lease on life and one of my major obstacles out of the way, I committed myself to getting healthy for real. I began my own little program, of running and a super simple diet, which I came up with that I thought fit me and who I was and what I needed. After about a year I had lost 100lbs. I had become a new man. I’m happier than I have ever been and I have so much confidence. I am able to keep up with my kids and enjoy life the way you are supposed to.

    I’ve certainly come a long way, but I’ve still got a long way to go. My initial goal was to see 299lbs on the scale, then get to that 100lb mark. I realize weight is just a number. My actual goal is to just be healthy and fit, tracking my weight is just a means to an end. My next goal is to get below 200, to see 199lbs on the scale. I have no doubt that I will get there. In fact, I am officially setting a goal for myself and you are my witness. By the end of Newton’s “60 Days of Better” I will reach my goal of 199lbs. I think I can do it. I’ve got on my Newtons and I am motivated to make a better me. Is anybody with me?!

4 Item(s)