Tuesday, December 2, 2008


There are 29 days left in the year and December is traditionally the toughest month of the year when it comes to eating. There are holiday parties, goodies around the office, sweet smells in the air, Christmas Eve celebrations, Christmas dinner and of course, the leftovers. Then there's New Year's Eve and for many of us, Chinese food on New Year's Day.

It comes as no surprise that the scale registers higher than it did after even Thanksgiving during such a gluttonous season. I just decided yesterday, that I'm giving myself the gift of exercise for Christmas. I made a committment to exercise every day for the rest of the year and the reasons are simple. I've lost 100 pounds and want to wrap up the year on a high note. I want to ski this winter with my daughters. I still need to lose 50-75 pounds and the momentum from an active month will propel me in that direction. Lastly, I ALWAYS feel better after I've exercised. ALWAYS!

I've fought a stomach bug and then a bad cold over the last three weeks and haven't exercised as much as usual. I worked out today, Tuesday, at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, www.bodybyboyle.com and I feel SO energized. I love the Nike slogan....."Just Do It".........you'll always feel better if you "Just Do It".

During the holiday season, make sure to follow your conscience and get in your exercise, even if you've pigged out grossly, been gluttonous and out of control. Youl feel better if you "Just Do It."

Happy Holidays!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Top Workout Songs

It's November and most people figure that the last two months of the year should be reserved for self indulgence, what with Halloween having just passed, Thanskgiving a few weeks away and the gluttonous holiday season closing in. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day used to be my Super Bowl of food. Not this year, though.

I've mentioned in the past, that I've adopted George Costanza's theory of doing the exact opposite of what I would normally do, when it comes to my health. So, I'm kicking it in and getting ready to really workout hard and eat right during the last two months of the year. That way, when January 1st rolls around, I'll already have a head start on 2009.

That being said.....Here is my list of 10 great songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s, to work out to:

Centerfold by J. Geils
Maniac by Michael Sembello
You Dropped a Bomb on Me by The Gap Band
You're My First, My Last, My Everthing by Barry White
Paradise City by Guns and Roses
Walk This Way by Aerosmith/Run DMC
Superfreak by Rick James
Smooth by Santana and Rob Thomas
Pride and Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughn
Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

Coming up next week......My five most embarassing fat guy moments and the five best things about losing weight.

Happy November!!!!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Go shopping at any mall, shopping center or even on-line and there it is: Christmas and the holidays.

Holidays are steeped in traditions surrounding food. Halloween kicks off the gluttonous 62 day stretch between October 31st and New Year's Eve. Thanksgiving rolls right in three weeks later and then it's off to the races for Christmas, Channukah, holiday parties and their respective leftovers.

I started my big weight loss adventure a little over five months ago and I've gone from 375 pounds down to 285. As the catalogs started to pile up and I began to notice the approaching holiday season, it reminded me about one of the dangers of celebrating the season: FOOD and FAT.

Most people look at January 2nd as the date when they'll get back on track with better eating and exercise. They have a lot of time until the warm weather rolls around and that security blanket gives them a false sense of hope. How many times have you asked yourself in April - "Why didn't I work out over the winter?"

This year will be different for me. I'm planning ahead to give myself the opportunity to succeed during the holidays, instead of sabbotaging myself with poor decisions. Having good food around is the only way to succeed. I've gotten into the habit of eating healthy snacks when I want to binge. I'll eat a couple of protein bars and a couple pieces of fruit. Once I'm full, I'm thrilled it wasn't two Snickers, a half bag of oreos and a pint of Ben and Jerry's. I've really struggled the last two weeks, but I feel I've gotten through the rough patch and still lost weight. Some days, I'm really hungry. I've been able to go back to the basics and they continue to be the backbone to better health. Drink lots of water, eat a lot of protein, fruits and vegetables and continue to exercise. If you do this on a regular basis, you lose the up and down sugar highs and lows that sap your energy.

Remember on Seinfeld when George Costanza starts to do the opposite of what he normally does in certain situations? Well, that's what I'm trying to do. When I'd ordinarily fall off the wagon and get away from the basics, falling into an endless cycle of bingeing, I'm now regrouping much quicker. It's the Costanza way. I'm doing the opposite of what I used to do. The old way NEVER worked. The new way does and even if I don't FEEL like doing it.....I DO. When those bingey feelings pass, I feel better physically and, especially, mentally.

If you feel like you're losing control, jump in the car, drive to Whole Foods and get some water, a container of fresh fruit and some grilled chicken, turkey, beef, pork, whatever. The lean protein, fresh fruit and water will fill you up and satisfy you. HONESTLY. IT WILL.

Set your self up to succeed during the holidays and it will be the best present you could ever receive. Stock your house with good options, so you'll be able to make good choices during weak moments.

The gift of health can be yours this holiday. Jingle all they to the gym and those smaller jeans will be under the Christmas tree.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Get Together!

Book clubs, social clubs, ceramics class, neighborhood get togethers……..

People like to do things together. We have a pack mentality. People need people…..(insert your own Barbara Streisand lyrics if you like).

My friends Gary Marino and Bob DeVasto came up with the idea for a support group for fat guys. They called it The Knights of the Round Table, but now refer to it as the Knights of Excel, after Generation Excel. That’s the name of Gary’s charitable foundation set up to combat obesity.

The group gets together every Wednesday night at Bob’s office in Woburn. Anywhere from five to 10 guys come to the meetings and talk about successes, failures, thoughts, ideas, etc., about our weight loss battle. The smallness of the group brings an intimacy that may not be possible with a larger group. We do a lot of laughing and joking around, but we always meet and make it a point to go over our goals at each meeting.

I’d suggest you think about doing something similar with your neighbors and friends. We are able to pick out things that work better than others when dealing with eating and living habits, behaviors, attitudes and problems. I’ve actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. It’s also a great way to refocus your energy on your weight loss/healthy eating program. When you get together every week, you aren’t able to go on a month long food frenzy, without having to really address it. So far, so good. Give it a shot.

Fat is not your friend. Health is.

Rock on!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Set Yourself Up to Succeed!

Finding healthy places to eat is always a challenge. Think about it. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and assorted other fast food joints dominate the retail setting. It’s hard to believe we don’t have a nationally branded, healthy, fast food option.


Whole Foods is very successful as a grocery store alternative with natural, organic and healthy foods. Why not something in the fast food category?

My friend Tracy Hollander owns five 7-11 convenience stores in Boston, including one of the top ones in the country, on Charles Street in Boston. In fact, world famous lifestyle designer Joseph Abboud is a frequent customer of Tracy’s store.

I went to the 7-11 on Charles Street and did a little investigating and I’ve got some suggestions for eating on the run. When you go into a convenience store, it’s usually for ice cream, chips, candy, the newspaper and scratch tickets. Boy, have things changed. I couldn’t believe how much healthy food I found. I picked out all kinds of fruit, protein bars, lots of nuts, plenty of low fat cheeses, a multitude of waters and even low fat, lean protein meats.

It’s all about the planning and setting yourself up to succeed. Convenience stores can be your friend, not enemy, when you’re on the run. Just make sure to plan ahead. Boy, it can make or break your day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Something to focus on…

Don’t ask me why this never donned on me before, but two things that have been key to helping me lose weight have been my “Self Discipline” wrist band and positive imagery.

First the wrist band. When I started working out at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester (www.bodybyboyle.com, www.strengthcoach.com) in May, Mike gave me a black wrist band that said “self discipline” on it. You put it on your dominant hand to remind you about your goals. For instance, I am trying to lose weight and eat most food with my right hand. It’s a simple, symbolic reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish. The website, www.selfdiscipline.com offers a lot of thoughtful insight into various physical fitness challenges. When I notice the wrist band throughout the day, it’s a reminder to focus on my goals.

Positive imagery…….One of my goals is to ski with my daughters Abbey and Charlotte this winter. Last year they skied about 10 times and I was so frustrated watching, knowing I was too fat to join them on the slopes. Last week, during a particularly tough workout, I got through it by focusing on being able to ski. While I pedaled away on the bike and tried to keep going, I closed my eyes and imagined myself on the mountain with Abbey and Charlotte. Needless to say, that 10 seconds with my eyes closed got me through the workout with renewed energy.

The scale says I’m down from 375 to 303 pounds and I can’t wait to get into the 200s. It’s been a long time in the 300s.

Email me anytime at hmorse@wror.com.

Sweat on!!!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Plateau……..a region of little or no change in a graphic representation. One of the toughest parts of losing weight is when you begin to plateau. You hit that period of time when you just don't seem to lose. It’s actually tougher than cutting back your eating habits because it usually occurs after you’ve done all the right things. You’re eating well, exercising, drinking lots of water……and not losing any pounds.

I hit such a plateau about 10 days ago. I’d been a good boy with my eating, got my workouts at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in and even did plenty of walking. When I jumped on the scale I expected a big drop, but only saw a half pound reduction. I was *&^%#$^&. It was raining F bombs as I hopped off the scale. I then had a very angry workout. I really wanted to bag the whole workout and go home, but I realized that that is what I’ve always done, in the past. I’m kind of like George Costanza on Seinfeld, right now. I’m doing the opposite of what I used to do, because those behaviors never succeeded. I kep in mind that my weight has gone from 375 pounds to 309 and I didn't want to regress in any way.

Instead, I fought through my walking, stretching and weight lifting…..very begrudgingly…..but, boy, am I glad I did. I’ve worked too hard to let myself down. I continued to eat right, exercise and keep the positive attitude.. Two days later I was down 3 ½ pounds. Don’t ask me why I lost a half pound in eight days, then 3 ½ pounds in two days, but it always works out. Stick to the plan. That’s the lesson I learned. Think big picture. If you drop out of the race, you’ll never cross the finish line.

I’m down to 309 and trying to break 300 by Labor Day. I’ve got some work to do.

Thanks for following along. Any questions, please email me at hmorse@wror.com.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Got Sleep?

Sleep. S-L-E-E-P!!!! I never realized how important proper sleep is when it comes to losing weight.

I’ve recently been making an extra effort to get better sleep. When you’re trying to lose weight, I’ve realized how much easier it is to be well rested. I get fewer cravings, I feel better physically when I work out or walk, and I’m less irritable. My family likes it, too. I’m in a better mood, less grouchy and I eat less. It’s a homerun.

I’m down to 318 pounds. I was 375 when I started my journey of improving my health. Like I’ve mentioned, if it weren’t for Mike Boyle and his staff, I’d probably still be eating two ice creams every day, steak and cheese subs, cheese cake and napping three hours a day. I’m proud to say I don’t need a nap anymore to get me through the day. I’m shocked, to be honest.

It feels really terrific to be sweating from working out, when three months ago I’d sweat just lugging my Shrek-like body around. I’m still fat, but not as fat as I was…….and that feels great.

Mike’s website, www.bodybyboyle.com, is an exceptional place to learn more about Mike, his staff and their fitness philosophy. Also check out Mike’s other site, www.strengthcoach.com. That is the most in-depth website of its kind in the world. I go to both of them on a regular basis and I’ve increased my knowledge of health and wellness tenfold.

Thanks for following along on my Big Adventure. Please join me. If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to email me at hmorse@wror.com.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Are you emotionally ready?

Nine weeks. It's been nine weeks since I had my last ice cream. It was May 1st, right after I'd gotten together with Mike Boyle and his wife Cyndy at a concert. A week later I began working out with Mike at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, www.bodybyboyle.com. I've eaten better than I have in 20 years and I've lost over 40 pounds.

Now, you don't have to deny yourself ice cream or anything else. It's just that I've decided to stick to my high protein, low carb, "Lean and Green" eating program. It's all common sense eating and increased exercise. Lean chicken, turkey and pork....some occasional red meat.....lot of fruits and vegetables.....and lots of water. I'm going to MBSC three times a week and on the off days I do some walking and stretching.

Weight loss is 99 percent mental and it took me a long time to get into the right mental frame of mind to do it. You have to be emotionally ready to attack the weight loss and I was finally able to start. Mike has helped me get back on track and I couldn't be more grateful. The support he and his staff have given me have enabled me to get over any humps or weaknesses. To be put back on the path to better health has been an enormous boost, mentally and physically. The power of being around positive people in the health business is something I'd never really thought about. I can't believe what a difference it makes. Don't ask me why I'd never thought about it before. The positive feelings are contagious. To have a healthy living advocate is something you can't put a price on and something I don't take for granted.

I am an obsessive compulsive eater. When I started on my program I decided that I'd be obsessive compulsive about healthy eating and exercise. I've read a lot, watched a lot of videos and researched any questions I've had. It has given me something to do besides eat and after two months I've gotten to the point where it's becoming a common habit. Eating properly, exercising and trying to improve my health has replaced my obsessions and compulsions involving food. I still battle with it on a regular basis, but the further away from those behaviors, the less I'm inclined to fall back into their unhealthy patterns. There will always be weak moments, but I am able to lean back on how good I feel when I do the right things. That helps me get through any struggles.

You can do it. I have 130 pounds to lose, but the first 40 plus is gone. I've got to run. I've got a workout to do. I'm enjoying the ride. Please join me and enjoy it, too.

Email me with any questions at hmorse@wror.com

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stay Positive!

The fight against fat continues for me and I’m winning, so far. It’s going to be a long battle, so I’ve conditioned myself to be happy with feeling better and progressing all the time. I continue to do the right thing in terms of diet and exercise, so even if I don’t see it on the scale, I don’t get derailed. Falling off the food wagon will only hinder my progress. I’m down to 340 pounds and considering I was 375 pounds in March, I feel great. I walked four miles recently and six weeks ago when I started working out at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, www.bodybyboyle.com, I didn’t think I’d be able to get this far, this quick.

One of the huge differences with working out at a place like Mike’s is the positive vibe that you get from being around positive people. People who keep themselves in good shape tend to be very positive thinkers and it is certainly contagious. When you see healthy, fit people having fun and using that energy to positively enhance their bodies, it really inspires you. If you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll eventually end up at your destination.

Let’s face it, losing weight and working out can be hard. At the end of the day, however, once you’ve rewarded yourself by treating your body well, it’s amazing how much positive mental energy you derive from it. It’s what is keeping me going. I’ve had some really tough days, but I now try and put myself into position to succeed. I’ll make good food choices by going into Whole Foods or any other supermarket and buying things that are good for me and I like. The other day I bought a half a pound of turkey, a big bottle of water and a fruit cup. It was so satisfying to know I ate healthy and satisfied myself at the same time. That’s always been a challenge for me. If I at one thing that wasn’t good for me, the obsessive compulsive behavior would begin and I’d have to put away as much junk as I could eat. I’ve gone over a month without an ice cream, but I know I can have a low fat, soft serve soon and it won’t derail me, like it would in the past. The positive thinking, positive energy and overall better health I am experiencing make improving my health more rewarding than a pint of Haagen Daaz.

Keep it going folks. I have a lot more weight to lose than most, but I’m on the right path. Please check out my new video and thanks for all the support. You can do it. We can do it together.

Hanky Shmank.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Less Doughy- More Dough!

I'm into the 340s. I went to the doctor yesterday. When I weighed in back on March 7th I was 372 pounds. Yesterday, I was a svelte.....ok....still round.....345 pounds. I'm less round than I was a few months back, though

I've been working out with Mike Boyle at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, www.bodybyboyle.com, I've been working out with Mike for just over a month and I'm down 23 pounds since my first visit May 8. I can't believe some of the things I've been doing. I had a great workout on Wednesday and felt so good that I went for a four mile walk later that afternoon. I move and feel better everyday and I can even reach some spots in the shower that I couldn't reach over the winter. I won't tell you what they are.

Honest to God, I feel like less of a big load than I was over the winter. I'm less tired......my clothes fit better....and my grocery bill is way down. The way I look at it is, I'm saving money on food.......walking more than before and saving money on gas.......which means more in my pocket. Less of me and more in my wallet. It's a win-win. I'm saving dough all around.

Speaking of dough, today, Friday, June 6, 2008, is National Doughnut Day. Honestly. The Salvation Army started it in 1938 as a fundraiser as the country recovered from The Depression. Doughnuts now depress me. Doughnuts turned me into the Doughboy.

Check out my new video next week.

Walk on...rock on........Hanky Shmank

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Going Strong!

WHOA………………I can’t believe I’ve been back on the straight and narrow for a month. I haven’t had one ice cream…..okay I had one…..I’ve only had one ice cream since May 1st. At one point a few months back, I didn’t think I could go two hours without eating something filled with sugar.

I just finished up my 10th workout in three weeks at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, http://www.bodybyboyle.com/ and I’m just getting ready to play nine holes of golf.
I cannot believe that I’m passing up my precious nap for a physical activity. I really feel good despite the fact that I’m 351 pounds. Three weeks ago I was 368 and back in March I was 375. I can’t tell you what it is like to have an expert like Mike guiding me. He’s one of the best in the world, as humble as they come and a terrific human being. You’re always fortunate to have a friend like Mike in life.

At this point, it’s one foot in front of the other with forward progress always my goal. I really do feel a little better everyday, as corny as it sounds. I’m back into my size 50 pants (at one point I was in 54s) and I’m down from a 4x to a 3x in shirts. Now I realize most of you could camp out in my clothes if they came with poles, but it does feel good to progress.

Before you start any exercising, make sure to check with your doctor. Honestly.

Couple of hints once you start walking:

Start slow, don’t over do it, feel better taking little steps and got to Costco or BJs for a big container of Vaseline, because some of those parts that rub together can really hurt.

But, it’s a good hurt.

Any questions, send me an email at hmorse@wror.com

Less fat than last week…….Hanky Shmank

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hank's BIG Advenure

As a sports fan growing up in sports crazed Greater Boston, I always dreamed I’d play for the Bruins and the Red Sox. Like a lot of kids, I dreamed of taking a drop pass at the top of the right circle and blasting home a goal against the Montreal Canadians. I dreamed of stepping up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park wearing a Red Sox jersey and blasting a walk off homerun against the Yankees. I never dreamed, however, that I’d look more like the late, great John Candy. He was one of the funniest men I’d ever seen, a huge hockey fan and a terrific human being. But he wasn’t an athlete. When someone told me I looked like him, it definitely made me think about my girth. Like Dewey Oxberger, his character in the movie "Stripes", likes to say………"My doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression ……and a few too many pizzas."

Too many pizzas, peanut butter cups, chocolate bars and doughnuts have taken it’s toll. I’ve gotten stuck in chairs, had to sit in the handicapped section at the Boston Garden because I was too fat for the seats and had to pass up amusement rides because of my extra wide size. I’m sick of not being able to ski with my kids, ride my bike and show off my abs at the beach. OK, I never had abs.

Anyway, after a recent trip to the doctor, he remarked that I looked like I was having a baby. Maybe it was the man boobs that gave it away.

Luckily, I ran into my old friend Mike Boyle, who is one of the world’s most respected strength and conditioning coaches. He’s been the strength and conditioning coach for the Boston Bruins, the 1998 gold medal winning women’s U.S. Olympic hockey team, and the nationally acclaimed Boston University hockey team that won the national championship with Mike on their staff. Mike’s work with Cam Neely is the reason the Bruins’ great number 8 is in the Hall of Fame.
Mike invited me to his gym in Winchester, Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. Check out his website at www.bodybyboyle.com. Mike convinced me that better eating and a commitment to exercise could be fun, invigorating and exciting. I’ve been working out there for a few weeks and I cannot tell you how much better I feel. I swear to God. I’ve been walking, riding a bike, stretching, lifting weights, doing work with rubber bands…….WOW. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. I’m having a BLAST. Everyday I move a little bit better. My thighs have stopped chafing, my man boobs bounce less, I’m feeling muscles I didn’t think existed any longer and my really fat clothes are getting looser.
The great thing about working out with Mike and his staff is that it’s a totally un-intimidating environment. They work with world class athletes every day, but they don’t care if you look like Humpty Dumpty. It is all about health with Mike and the folks at his gym. I am just as important to them as one of their NHL stars. That makes a HUGE difference.

If you want to feel better, join me on my journey. I’ve got well over 100 pounds to lose, but I’m going to enjoy all the little steps along the way. There’s just way too much fun to have and I love fun. I’ll be on the slopes next winter, not watching my belly slope down to my knees.

Let’s Go. Let the fun begin!
Rock the house, y’all!