“Operation Fat Ass” is Officially Up and Running

by | Nov 7, 2019 | Uncategorized | 20 comments

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  1. Homer Meeks

    Message good luck John. I need to do similar. Weight gain is sooo easy. Weight loss not so much! (Required)

  2. Suzanne Kilpela

    Fantastic! The mind is definitely your ‘secret sauce’ for your body goal! Your sharing is the ‘secret sauce’ for motivating others. Congratulations!

  3. Kevin Thompson

    One of your most relevant and inspirational (behaviorally, not spiritually?) posts. I’ll be 62 tomorrow and have told my partner that, after watching a friend train for and run last weekend’s NY Marathon (for a charity), I’m thinking about giving it another go. (I ran two in the late 80’s). She’s not too keen on it, citing potential knee (nothing yet) and back (occasional kinks) problems, but I have this over-inflated image of my own fitness and am about 40-60 on training for a marathon next year. I run 2-3 times a week for between 3-4 miles per run.

    If you’re ever looking for a running partner for a longer run, let me know. My schedule is very flexible. (You might recognize my face as I’ve seen you at restaurants and your latest book event at Hill, but then again, probably not.) If not, good luck on this journey. I would expect there is another book churning around in your head as you run!

  4. Sandor Slomovits

    Message (Required) Way to go, John! You’re doing a very good thing – and your sense of humor has not gotten flabby at all.
    If your knees continue to detect low grade radiation, try biking and cross country skiing. Far less stress on the knees and good workouts. And here’s a less ambitious goal than running a marathon, but a fun one to do as a family – walk the Bridge on Labor Day. Ten miles for the round trip and by next September your son will probably be ready to do it with you. My best to you and your family.

  5. Steven Sherlag, M’88 M Law ‘91

    Good work Bacon!! If I had to read “bacon” every time I saw my name, I’d struggle too.

    Let’s get a healthy dinner when you’re in PDX in a couple of weeks.

  6. john w minton jr

    Congratulations. You can do it. I did.


  7. David Darnton

    Message (Required)

    Ron was correct. Ignore any training schedules at this stage; just get out there at least five days a week. Buy new shoes often; don’t try to stretch out the old pair for another couple of weeks. Keep them fresh. Run on dirt, grass, and tracks as much as possible. Sleep 8 hours a night if you can. Keep it up indoors throughout the winter if it gets too cold for you outside. In the spring you can explore marathon training schedules, but for now just focus on the commitment to running. If you don’t go out and do it on days when you don’t feel like it, you’ll never have days when it feels great. If you stay with it, I guarantee you will have days when you feel great. It’s the best gift you can give to yourself and by extension to the ones you love.

  8. Mick Stewart

    Good for you and good for your family.
    Prediction: you will feel better and better as you advance.
    Caveat: mind the injuries, even the seemingly small injuries. Ron Warhurst can advise you about that.

  9. Jackie

    Message (Required)
    John, a wonderful blog, glad you are experiencing success! Enjoyed meeting you in Cleveland as did our daughter in Philly!

  10. Rick Beckett

    Message (Required)Been there. Last January 1, weighed in at 217 (I am 6′). By spring break I was down to 185. I run 10-20 miles a week, and (an old man trick) mountain bike (from 500-1000 miles a year). I turn 52 this weekend, so I am in your neighborhood of age. I love ice cream(Culver’s Concrete Mixers), pizza(Jets), and double stuff oreo’s (but can also take on Loft House sugar cookies) as well. Keep it up. Proportions has worked for me. I didn’t snack after my dinner at night as an extra push. Look into a good bike. Easier on the joints and I ride with a buddy who is 60, I have a friend who is almost 70 and just finished the “Iceman Cometh” …..(look it up) There is hope. I am holding with my weight but am ready for the holiday battle…………

  11. John W. Duerr


    Congratulations on your commitment to “Operation Fat Ass.” I would like to offer you some encouragement.

    I was a runner during my 30’s and 40’s and maintained a healthy weight of 150 pounds. But by the time I reached 55, your age, my 5′ 7″ frame had ballooned to 220 due to a pancreatic condition. The condition was corrected surgically, but the obesity remained. I returned to running and, over time, the excess pounds went away.

    Today, at 72 and old enough to be Teddy’s grandfather, I’m 150 pounds. I still run nearly every day.

    Your goals are within reach. Good luck.

  12. Jolene Heiney

    …..John….Great read….I have not seen you in a while…. Congratulations on the weight loss and 20 miles a week…I couldn’t run 20 feet…..You have a beautiful family and even though I’ve been there for it all..I don’t know how Teddy is 4 ,already…The new kitties are too stinking cute!….Good luck at the Marathon…..Jolene

  13. Bob Treadway

    John U.,

    I started my program at age 39 in 1978. I had gained too much weight and just wanted to fit into my clothes. I had stopped smoking and was gaining too much. I didn’t start with the marathon, but with five milers and then 10 K’s My first marathon was Cleveland in 1979. In time, I would run 15 marathons ending at age 55.

    I now “run” seventeen miles a week (2-4 a day with one day off) and participate in the annual Burns Park 5K in May. I am now 80 years old.
    I wish you well in your efforts. Y might want to read Peter Sagal’s book “The Incomplete Book of Running.”

  14. Phil Hemenway

    Hi John,

    Great story. I did my last marathon at 46 years of age in Columbus. Cross the finish line by all means possible, there is no other option. Walking is acceptable, just cross the line.

    You will be surprised by the inspiration you get from fellow runners and spectators.

    My first marathon in Detroit (’99) I was running(suffering) into a headwind down Woodward in sleeting rain, mile 20 or so. There were a couple of female college students running in front of me and I surfed off one of the pair encouraging her weaker running mate. I pretended it was me she was talking to. No matter, it helped me through the next six miles. After you see the banner it is all downhill from there. You (and your son) will float on endless pride when you place your finishers medal on Teddy’s neck. A picture for the family album.

    You. Will. Finish.

  15. Nancy Durance

    Way to go!!! ? You are on the right track! Sugar is my weakness too. Exercise is the key! Love my Fitbit for encouragement & tracking both diet & exercise!

  16. Gabby Ring

    Proud of you for getting out there Prof Bacon! The hardest part is getting out of bed and out the door. Excited to see your progress and keep up with your training! Also Iet me know if you want to run together! I’ll run anywhere at any pace

  17. Greg

    Go for it John! You might inspire a few of your senior hockey buddies.


  18. Karl price

    John keep it up you are an inspiration for me. I lost 44 lbs 3 years ago but gained 25 back , it has to come off, I agree sugar is bad my Achilles heel also, I’m going to start trying lose again, thanks

  19. Madeline Trimby

    Congratulations on your progress! I’m not into running or marathons, but do have two suggestions of really helpful books for losing weight and keeping it off:
    WHEAT BELLY by William Davis. MD–which suggests eliminating wheat (i.e. especially breads)–mainly because of all the genetic engineering that wheat has undergone. (And so many of our foods include wheat–as the first thing listed on the package–even foods that you wouldn’t think would contain wheat.) Lots of other suggestions in the book, too.
    ALWAYS HUNGRY? by David Ludwig, MD–about conquering your cravings, retraining you fat cells, and losing weight permanently. I learned about that book when we had a speaker from UM at our Wolverine Caucus several months ago. They use it in their work and as a way to potentially avoid Type 2 diabetes. People who follow his suggestions have not only lost weight, but inches off their waist.
    Best wishes on reaching your goals!

  20. Ross Childs Your name (Required)

    Your latest blog was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Helen and I read it while we were in Ann Arbor for the Minnesota series.
    Tough losses.
    RossMessage (Required)


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