Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

Commentary: But wait ... there's more

Good thing I already pointed out that this diet of mine wasn’t going to be confined to the length of this series.

Because I was cruising. Feeling great. Looking trim and approaching svelte. Ten pounds lighter and chock full of energy, I felt invincible.

Then, in a split-second, I was knocked decidedly off track and into utter vincibility.

I joined forces with Sports Editor Dan Woessner, his dad, Laverne, and SVM part-timer Patrick Petrosky to play in the Don Ebersole 3-on-3 tournament July 14 at Westwood Sports Complex.

After being edged in the first game, our motley crew built a lead in the first game in the loser’s bracket.

Perhaps drunk with confidence, I remember trying to maintain my dribble against some wet T-shirt defense. As I looked down at the ball and tried to turn the corner …WHAMMY.

A defender had stepped over to provide help, and I got the wind knocked out of me, a sensation I hadn’t felt in years. As I regathered my breath, I couldn’t help but laugh. The joke would be over soon.

The boys finished off our foe, and as I stepped out to shoot around before the next tilt, I pulled the ball up, and a lighting bolt shot through my side.

Bruised ribs. I’d been here before. And those buggers take at least a month to heal.

Aside from going to work, I’ve spent the past 2 weeks doing virtually nothing, the only proven method of rehabbing such an injury.

Full disclosure, I also just lost my grandmother. During her health’s downturn, I cheated a couple of days, somehow thinking the food and, of course, beers and whiskey, would act as a salve for my broken ribs and the heart they protect.

This past Tuesday, I learned from CGH’s Bryan Frederick, with whom I check in weekly, that I’d lost a whopping 4 pounds of lean muscle. Gosh, that happened fast. Just like that, despite losing 2 pounds in all, running my total to 12 in 5 weeks, my body-fat percentage was back at 27 percent.

Game over. Loser me. Right?


Did I want to show what’s possible with proper diet and exercise in just a couple of months? You betcha.

Was that plan destined to send something of a poor message? You’re darn tootin’.

Fad diets, be damned. I’m looking at you, 8-Minute Abs and P90X and Insanity and diet pills, all of the programs that advertise change in a short time.

Those programs be damned, because their end game is not a lifetime of health. They’re a quick fix, and more often than not will give way to failure.

Just ask Frederick. Seriously, please do. Take his class, and he’ll tell you about how he went from a 330-pound 30-year-old who had tried all the fad diets, 100 percent of which failed him. Today, the best word I can come up with for Frederick is “buff.” He’s wildly fit at 50, and he tears up when he reflects on the fact that the answers were right in front of him.

Email him at and ask about his class. Every person I have spoken with about Bryan has had their lives positively changed to some degree. That includes me, since I have a penchant for talking to myself.

I didn’t take Bryan’s class. He’s been accommodating enough to have me drop by each week, in the hopes that I could relay his message. And he’s going to keep letting me come in once a month to pick his brain after he picks my skin folds with the skin calipers.

Bryan takes his work very personally. And that’s why he understands the trappings of fad diets and failure. He was that person hinging on hopelessness, until he connected the dots.

Fitness is very personal. When we succeed, look out, world. When we fail (or bruise our ribs), it’s a challenge to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.

I love doing these series, and I hope it shows. Thus, I’m excited that this one never has to end. To think it all began with a tip that Newman pitcher Laura Turnroth has a slew of allergies. I owe her a massive debt of gratitude. She inspired me to not only take on this series, but to take a long, hard look at myself and make change.

I hope I’ve properly paid that forward. I know I stand on my soapbox a little too often sometimes. But if 90 percent of the readers either dismiss it or actively dislike it, I can live with that, so long as the other 10 percent are inspired.

On that note, thanks to those who have reached out with kind words. And XXL thanks to The Naturals who have shared their stories on videos you can find at

I know there’s a lot more Naturals out there. The beautiful think about this Internet thing is that there’s no limit on how many inspiring stories we can share.

So, the long-story-short version of this column is that, while the series ends, my journey continues. Stay tuned via my blog, Extra! Extra! After each of my visits, I’ll clue you in to how it’s going.

Do stay in touch, Naturals.

Loading more