This is Paul Cataldo, the owner of Antonio’s Italian Restaurant in Elkhart.
Paul has gotten skinnier in the last three months. So have a number of his staff and customers.
For the second year, the restaurant did a Biggest Loser contest. Many of the people who work at the pizza and Italian food restaurant at 1105 Goshen Ave., Elkhart, participated. Relatives or significant others also jumped in. And a few regular customers did too. I was one of those. Twenty-three people entered and 22 finished on the day before Easter. The group lost a combined 473 pounds.
Why did I commit to weighing in on a weekly basis from January to March?
To try to lose some weight.
To be held accountable.
And it worked.
Knowing that you’re going to step on a scale on a given day of the week, tell someone else whether you gained or lost, and have to pay a small penalty if you gained is a great incentive.
My goal was to lose weight – whatever amount – every week. I didn’t quite do that, but got close enough to lose some weight.
Based on the percentage of body weight lost, Tyler Clements won for the second straight year. He lost 44.5 pounds, 20.2 percent of his body weight. Collin Jarvis lost 48.2 pounds, 18.2 percent. Jake Clemets lost 17.7 percent with 41.8 pounds of loss.
But what was cool was watching Steve Kruse get skinny. Kruse, the owner of Kruse Farm Supply, is growing organic food, including amazing greens, and working out with Lori Harris at Boot Camp Team Training. He got Cataldo to join the workouts too.
Kruse, who is in his 50s, lost 35.1 pounds, 16.2 percent of body weight. Cataldo lost 18.1 pounds, 9 percent of his body weight.
The other guy I saw change was Dave Kaminski, who lost 33 pounds/15 percent.
It’s not easy to work around food and alcohol and lose weight. People gave up pasta and sweets and limited alcohol. They had to buy new clothes at the end. And they all got a little healthier.
The other cool thing was seeing how Cataldo served healthier food to those who wanted it. He made barbecue salmon (shown below) and salads. And people talked about how they were working to lose weight.
Clements won and is working to keep off the weight. The rest of us are too, but I can tell you that since the contest is over, it’s easier to give in to the sugar and alcohol that we want, not to mention more white bread and pasta than we need.
I officially lost 21.1 pounds, 8 percent of my body weight. It was probably a few pounds less than that in reality, given that I ate a big meal before the first weigh-in and wore a heavy sweater. But took off enough pounds for clothes to fit more comfortably, for running to be easier.
I ran the Goshen First Fridays 5k last week in 24:46, which was nearly a personal record. Roy Pickler who was on the actual “Biggest Loser” show, was running too.
I love running, though this big body wasn’t necessarily designed for speed. The weather wasn’t ideal for running much of the winter, but it’s slowly getting better. Running in California and Florida was a lot more fun.
Why run? To be healthier, to burn stress, to burn calories. (By the way, this post on Deadspin about a running playlist had me laughing out loud. But maybe it was just me.)
In part, I eat for a living. And I love good food. But I’m also trying to eat mindfully, to eat in moderation.
Losing weight can be simple: Take in fewer calories than you burn. But it’s hard too.
So, I’ll keep running as long as the knees allow me. And I’ll keep eating too, though I would like to lose more weight. Running a half marathon in a few weeks could help, as running the Holy Half did on March 23.
Rachel Terlep, the Truth’s excellent Notre Dame beat writer, is also training for a half marathon. You can donate to her cause. I’m not running for one – other than my health and sanity.