Why Listen to Me?

Honestly, because after numerous failed (or partly successful) attempts over several years at getting fit, trim and healthy – I got fed up, did a lot of reading and research, put together a serious plan, stuck to my plan, and succeeded. Another big motivator has been the fact that I literally cannot count how many people (friends, acquaintances, colleagues and co-workers, extended family, etc.) have approached me saying something along the lines of “Wow! You look great! What is your secret?” Sadly, I have not stumbled on a secret formula for success in weight loss and getting fit. What I did do is educate myself, learn from past failures, and make a solid plan to succeed.

I did this with the support of my wife Heather (big time) and family and friends of course, but in the end it came down to me making a plan, executing it and sticking to my plan. My strategy does not require any expensive equipment or personal trainers or gym memberships. I have nothing against these things. I just don’t have the time and my schedule is truly nuts. I am a very busy professional (see about Mark Bogner MD page). As an emergency physician, I work 24 hour shifts every other day for a week … then am off for a week … rinse and repeat. I average over 2000 hours a year physically in the hospital on duty. My “24 hour” shifts are really more like 28 on / 20 off when considering time to get ready, drive time (60 minutes to / from hospital) and recovery time at home before napping after a shift. I am exhausted between shifts on my “off” days, but I do get to see my family every other day on “work weeks” and every other week I am truly “off” and able to enjoy my family and other interests outside of work.

So, if I can figure out a diet and exercise plan that works with MY crazy schedule, I truly think anyone can. I am certainly not a well known or specifically trained “expert” on diet and health. That said, I am a highly experienced physician and have a very strong background in science, research and teaching.  I have learned a lot this past year.  As I said above, I have also failed on many prior attempts to lose weight and get more fit.  I think the lessons I have learned and the successful strategy that I devised and stuck with could help many people. That is why I am writing this blog. As an emergency physician, I have the honor of helping people on a daily basis. This blog, however, I view as an opportunity to help people with something truly important (health) on a much larger scale.

There are countless resources available to you that are focused on the specifics of good nutrition, various exercise strategies, useful supplements and much more.  I have provided links to many I have personally found useful and believe are based on good science.  This blog is not an attempt to re-create or compete with the extensive and often superb resources on diet and exercise already on the web. It is an attempt to share my experience and my hard earned lessons and to provide blog readers a simple strategy that works.  It is also a summary of a lot of work and research that I would like to share to save others the time I took to learn what I needed to devise my successful strategy. Hopefully this blog can also help readers to avoid some of my mistakes and to achieve success on your own journey to a healthier, slimmer, fitter self.

Everything you need is here. Read my story first … then drill into the specifics on the Nutrition and Exercise pages. I provide enough detail for anyone to make a successful plan OF YOUR OWN that will fit with your lifestyle, including all you really need to know about good nutrition (a healthy diet) and several approaches to exercise with detailed plans, tracking tools, videos to show you how to do the exercises and much more.

Who Can Benefit Most From This Blog?

I think almost anyone who wishes to lose weight and get fit can benefit from the information here. However, the people this blog will help the most (in my opinion) are people who are VERY busy, mid-career and probably “middle age” which I will loosely define for the blog’s purposes of age 35-65. Also, I think my strategy will work best for people who 1) really want to succeed and 2) were once much more fit and active and then suffered – like so many of us do – from the slow slide of middle age weight gain and decreased fitness as career and family and other demands just keep escalating – while time for taking care of oneself seems to get whittled away to nothing.

What is 50FIT500?

50FIT500 is my “mantra,” my “touchstone” and my “mental green dot.” To explain:

50 is more or less the classic “middle age” number in my view. As I write this I am 51, almost 52. “50” reminds me that although I may be “middle age” I can still be fit, trim, healthy, active and happy. True, I cannot do everything that I could at 20 or 30 (physically anyway), but with the years have also come wisdom. I figure I have another 15-20 years (if I stay fit) where I can truly enjoy life before “old age” finally starts taking bites out of me. Thus the “50” in my touchstone reminds me to enjoy life and that working to stay fit and healthy is worthwhile so I can continue enjoying life!

FIT  This part is pretty obvious. It is just emphasizing that to enjoy my life and middle years, I need to put “fitness first” on my priority list – or at least right after marriage, family and work.

500  This refers to the fact that to achieve steady weight loss of 1 pound a week a person must average a 500 calorie a day “deficit” (calories burned minus calorie intake) on average (3500 calories a week). This is explained further on the Diet & Nutrition page. It helps keep me on track when I have the munchies and decide to grab an apple instead of a bag of chips so I can stay under my calorie intake goals for the day.

50FIT500  Why do I have such a “mantra” / “touchstone” – and what do I mean “my mental green dot.”  I discuss this more on the Taking on Plateaus page, but the bottom line is that when I hit a bad plateau a few months into my plan I started looking around for ideas and motivation. I stumbled on this article in Men’s Health while up late at the hospital one night. I highly recommend that you read it. Anyway, the take away from the article for me was that this extremely successful fitness expert used “green dots” as motivators – putting them everywhere – the pantry – on the fridge – on the mirror – etc. The green dot means “Keep Going” and “Stay the Course” and “Push it Harder” and more. It is all about self motivation. I adapted this concept by using bright green “sticky notes” – and writing on them “Keep Going – 50FIT500” and posted them all over. Now 50FIT500 is posted “in my brain” and I think of 50FIT500 as my mental green dot, mantra and touchstone. I think of it every time I want to skip a workout, eat too much or eat something I should not, when I want to quit exercising early or not push myself to add weight / resistance, add reps, add intensity, etc. It helps me to keep on keeping on.

Ready to dig in and start building you own custom strategy (based on mine) to lose weight, get fit and reshape your body?  If so, keep reading.


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