Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mike Boyle's "Realist's Guide to Holiday Eating"

#1- EAT LESS. This is the top tip. Eat less at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Remember, we don't need 4-5 meals a day, we need 4-5 feedings a day.
#2 Plan to Fail- as above, don't eat normally if you know you are going to attend a party. Eat sparingly during the day leading up to a party.
#3- Plan to Fail Part 2- get extra workouts in. Expend more calories in anticipation of taking in more calories.
#4- Forget all the stuff about sparkling water and celery. Just decrease your intake on "party" days and up your activity.
#5- Eat protein. Protein is filling and satiating. Better to eat chicken wings than chips in the mad, mad world of holiday parties.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here are 10 things that happened to me as a fat guy

1. The chair stuck to my rear end when I interviewed with this company in 1998.
2. Two five year old boys called me Fat Albert at a Dunkin’ Donuts counter.
3. My daughter Abbey told me I needed a bra.
4. While swimming with my kids at a pool, another kid told me I was really fat.
5. I couldn’t sit in my seat at the Bruins game and had to sit in a folding chair.
6. Couldn’t fit into the racing suit at F1 Racing in Braintree.
7. The scale at the doctor’s office didn’t go high enough and they had to estimate my weight.
8. My sister in law made me sit in a different chair than the rest of the family at dinner.
9. My daughters told me I looked like Patrick the fat starfish on Sponge Bob Square Pants.
10. I’ve had to ask to be moved from a booth to a table in a restaurant because I didn’t fit.

If you’ve got any funny “fat stories’” you’d like to share on Hank’s Big Adventure, please email them to me at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hank’s Top Ten Weight Loss Tips

Ten tips for losing weight!

1. Give yourself two-four days lead time to prepare.
2. Buy and prepare some foods you know will help you succeed.
3. Get eight hours of sleep each night.
4. Once you begin, write down everything you eat.
5. Do an enjoyable physical activity.
6. Do another enjoyable activity besides exercise.
7. Drink water before every meal.
8. Pat yourself on the back after every successful meal.
9. Find some busy work to do to distract you from any urges to overeat.
10. Never let yesterday affect today. It doesn’t matter.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I know you don’t want to hear this, and believe me, I understand why.

BUT……..or should I say BUTT……….Slow is the way to go in weight loss. By slow, I mean 1-2 pounds a week. You always read it and hear it from the doctors, but let’s face it…….we want BIG results right away.

Think about this: when is the last time someone you knew lost weight quickly, changed their lifestyle and eating habits and kept the weight off? IT DOESN’T happen. That’s why they have lifetime memberships at some weight loss centers, because people DON’T change very often.

I’ve lost 124 pounds in about 15 months. The initial 75 came off quickly, but the next 49…not quite 50….have been much slower. It has frustrated me at times, but I’ll tell you the one thing I’ve noticed. In 15 months time…….SLOW by some nutty weight loss program standards……I really haven’t relapsed. I continue to eat good food, workout and lose weight. I HAVE changed my behavior. I’m not doing anything CRAZY. Drastic calorie reduction won’t work long term. Your metabolism slows down, you don’t feed the muscle that boosts metabolic rate and it just doesn’t work.

At 251 pounds, I still go to workout at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, MA. They always change my workout routine to make it fun, interesting, motivating and I STILL get results. I’ve been able to continue healthy eating and better behavior because I still have around 2,000 calories a day, satiating my body in a healthy way. If I knocked off 1,000 calories a day, I wouldn’t be able to sustain it. I never have. I’m 43 now, but it took me 42 years and some education from Mike Boyle to figure out how to lose weight.

Check out for more info about strength and conditioning. When you are ready to change your life, take it back and improve your health, call Bob Hanson at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditoning, at 781-729-1333.

You’ll be glad you did.

Monday, July 6, 2009

7/6/09 Blog

I just got back from Hawaii and one sweet trip. I walked the Kona Half Marathon on the Big Island of Hawaii on June 28 and completed one of my biggest goals yet since my big weight loss adventure began.

Just as a refresher, I’ve lost 123 pounds, from 375-252, since I began working out at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester in May of last year. If you ever decide you’d like to improve your health and with it, your overall quality of life, Mike Boyle is THE guru of strength and conditioning. He is a life changer. The pro athletes train with Mike, but your average person can, too. The nice thing………they get the same attention as the pros. Everyone is the most important person when they work out with Mike and his staff.

So……I walked a half marathon in three hours, 34 minutes, walking in honor of my mother-in-law, Janet Greenway Evans, who died from a series of strokes almost 23 years ago. I never knew her, but my wife and family struggle everyday without her.

I’ve been paying attention to my health for 14 months and with guidance, encouragement and some dedication to improving my well being, I’ve gone from struggling to walk 100 yards to completing 13.1 miles. Mike said I’d be stunned at what I could do if I committed to his program and he was 100 percent right. I can’t even explain the joy I’ve experience since losing the weight and “getting back into the game”.

Top 10 things from my trip to Hawaii

10. Didn’t need a seatbelt extender on the plane.
9. My waist didn’t spill over the armrest onto the passenger next to me.
8. Went to the pool in a bathing suit and no shirt.
7. My size 40 shorts are getting loose.
6. Went snorkeling with turtles and brilliantly colored fish.
5. Didn’t feel out of place amongst a group of fit people.
4. Walked 13.1 miles.
3. Actually starting thinking about possibly running the 13.1 miles next year
2. Completed a goal and saw it through, start to finish.
1. Raised about $10,000 for the American Stroke Association.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my effort. Each and every one of you made a difference in someone’s life.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hank’s Big Adventure Blog 6-15-09

When it comes to losing weight, you have to remember a couple of things. 1. The weight you are trying to lose is weight you want to lose for good. 2. Some days you’ll have outstanding success and others you won’t. 3. What you had to eat yesterday has ABSOLUTELY no bearing on today’s success.

I had a ground-breaking day last week that really affected how I’ve approached my week, this week. I had come off a day in which I had eaten more than I should have, felt so off the tracks and drained of energy, that I didn’t think I could have a good eating day. I was hungry, bingey and felt a lot of negativity. The previous day’s failure was dragging me down.

Driving home from work on Route 93 from Dorchester to Medford, I battled those invasive food thoughts in my head. I tried to rationalize my plan for the upcoming day. Would I let myself have a less than desired eating day…suffer emotionally from it, yet not do anything about it. OR… would I try and change direction and battle my desire to give in to the food craving I was experiencing.

Once I got to my off ramp in Medford, I immediately drove to Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester. ( When I tell you I was feeling negative, obsessive compulsive and totally out of control, I am not exaggerating at all. I’ve never done drugs, but that desire to obtain my next “high”….in my case “a food high”, was overwhelming.

Reflecting on my past 25 years of failure and the success I’ve had in losing 120 pound in the last 13 months, I knew I couldn’t revert back to past bad behaviors.

I got to the gym, got into that positive environment, and slowly felt better and better as I worked out. I felt so good about not only my decision to go, but how I felt physically, that it again taught me something. Sitting through a feeling…the need to eat or binge or consume…will pass, especially if you fight it and turn to a positive alternative.

That decision to work out made a huge difference in my week, mentally and physically. When you are down and out in our mental approach, physical success is difficult to achieve. I call it the “Costanza Theory” from Seinfeld. George, in this particular episode, decides to do everything the opposite of how he usually does things. He suddenly starts having success, indicating he’s done everything wrong in the past.

Try the “Constanza Theory”. It will work for you if you want it to!!!

Happy June!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The best thing I’ve ever done is decide I needed help with my obesity problem. I started working out at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, MA, just over a year ago.

I was always intimidated into thinking a personal trainer would be judgemental about my obesity and I didn’t want to face the music. What I found instead is…..I wasted 42 years by postponing my access to their expertise. Their success is determined by your success. The good ones care about your progress 24 hours a day.

I’ve lost 118 pounds with Mike Boyle and his staff and they’ve become not only trainers, but mentors, confidants, therapists and friends. The best professionals in the fitness industry understand the human condition. They know the brain doesn’t always operate in black and white fashion. For the first time in my life I’ve found an organization that understands the mental approach to weight loss. They know that obsessive compulsive behavior can hijack common sense and render it obsolete. So, when you choose someone to work with, they need to understand food, fitness, mental approach, support, communication, fatigue, motivation…..a whole realm of issues. Mike Boyle and his staff understand this and it’s probably why they are the best in the nation at what they do. Whether it was a conversation, encouragement, text message, email or cell phone call, Mike and his staff have always been right there to help me succeed.

42 years…….375 pounds, trouble walking 125 yards.
43 years…….257 pounds, getting ready to walk a half marathon.

Your first step to better health should be choosing a health care advocate. Put yourself first….invest in you. There is not a better return on investment in the world.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 21 Hank’s Big Adventure Blog

One of the great ways to aid in your weight loss is writing all of your activities down. I know…..some of you think it’s a pain in the rear end. It is. BUT……it gives you a great reference point to see where you are succeeding and failing. ALSO….when you have a great day….write down what you did, how you felt and what made it a great day. Record your sleep, water and food intake, exercise, what you did at work, etc. See if there are additional signs that point to why you succeeded. Maybe something good happened at work to bouy your spirits.

When you have a bad day, write that down too. Also, the practice of writing things down will help you focus on the positive aspects involved with losing weight and distract you from eating. I always need a distraction mid morning and mid afternoon, typically the times that I struggle with eating and stress.

Recording what works and doesn’t and how you feel while you’re experiencing success and failure, will lead to improved weight loss over time.

Burn baby, burn. Say goodbye to fat!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hank's Blog 4/7/09

The Red Sox season is underway and you know what that means, right? Summer is right around the corner. That means warm, weather, fewer clothes and outdoor activities.

If you are overweight, I’ve got some ideas for you to put to use, so that you enjoy this spring and summer more than last year.

1. Buy a notebook
2. Buy a water bottle
3. Find a good attitude

So, here what I want you to do.

For the next week, write down everything you eat, whether it’s good, bad, ugly, fattening, whatever. Don’t lie. Be exact. It doesn’t matter how much it is. The key is to write it down. Too many of us engage in unconscious eating. Keep an accurate log of your intake. If you aren’t going to be honest with yourself don’t even do it. That would be a waste of time.

Drink at least eight ounces of water before every snack and every meal.

Enjoy any small progress you make. When you under take a weight loss program, it’s the mental approach that derails most people. It’s all between the ears. When I decided to try to lose 175 pounds, I had to prepare myself for a long journey. I knew I couldn’t do it in six months time. I’ve lost 115 pounds in 11 months and still have 60 to go. I do my best to enjoy moving better, fitting into a pair of pants or a shirt, or even being able to walk a little bit farther. Take pleasure if you get through a certain point of the day and meet your eating expectations. When the Red Sox won the World Series, they did it out by out, inning by inning, game by game. They were small steps the whole season. They didn’t win 100 games in one good week. When you put all the small successes together, you end up with a major accomplishment.

Win more of the battles than you lose and you will win the weight loss war!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Fool them in April

April 1, is April Fool’s Day, a light hearted day where you try and trick others into believing something that would usually surprise them.

This year, fool yourself. How many times have you said to yourself at various times “I wish I had done that?” Many times, after the holidays, I’d lament my lack of discipline at the table. It was always…..”The next time it will be different”.

This April fools day, kick off the month of April with a game plan to get your health on track for the warm weather months ahead. Spring is here and it’s easier to get outside. The oxygen in your system is getting refreshed, the increased daylight helps your mind and your mood, and the warm weather makes you feel better physically.

Today is Monday, March 30th. Use today and tomorrow as your organizing days. Get rid of any foods that have been tempting you or derailing your progression to better health.

Find a container and fill it with water.
Find lean protein sources like eggs, chicken, turkey, pork or lean beef, and prepare them ahead of time.
Find a notebook and find a clean page.
Find some comfortable clothes and get them ready for Wednesday.
Make sure to get 7-8 hours sleep tonight and tomorrow night.

When April Fools day begins you will be prepared for success for not only that day, but the days ahead. Do the things you KNOW are right, but HAVEN”T been able to do.

Drink water at every meal.
Make sure to eat protein at each meal.
Write down exactly what you eat and drink, along with any exercise.
Get some sort of movement going, weather it’s stretching, walking, etc.

By the end of April Fool’s Day, you’ll feel energized, more relaxed, healthier and you’ll sleep better. On Thursday, repeat these same steps. By May 1, you’ll be glad you did. Any long road or Bid Adventure begins with the first step. Without that first, small stride….the journey never begins. Fool yourself April 1 and take the first step.

Good luck.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hank’s Blog 3/19/09

Ten more reasons to consider losing weight:

Your clothes will cost less. Big clothes are more expensive.

There’s less wear and tear on you shoes.

Your food bill will be significantly less.

The furniture won’t break.

Your bed will last longer.

You’ll go up the stairs easier.

You’ll fit in an airplane seat easier.

You’ll use less water, shampoo and soap.

You’ll be able to wrap the towel around your waist after you get out of the shower.

The number one reason to consider losing weight:
You’ll fart less!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blog 3/5/09

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!!!

I know….you are sick of it, but I LOVE it!

I’ll tell you why. I am back on the slopes skiing and have been having an absolute blast with my daughters. I watched from the lodge, steak and cheese in one hand, Ben and Jerry’s in the other, for far too long. Losing 110 pounds has returned me to a world I once knew and enjoyed and longed to enjoy again.

You CAN enjoy those things too.

If you are just starting out on a “get healthier” plan, I’ll offer some humble advice.

Start with the basics. Make sure you drink a lot of water, at least 64 ounces a day. Get plenty of rest. I always underestimated the sleep factor when talking about weight loss. It is imperative that the machine that is your body runs as efficiently as it should, when you are trying to get healthy. Start working out slowly and don’t over do it. If you want better gas mileage, you make sure your car is tuned up, the tires are inflated properly, the fluids topped off and you obey the speed limit.

Eat lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, stay away from too many refined flour and sugar products. When you keep your sugar intake down, your cravings will subside.

Mike Boyle, without whom I couldn’t have achieved what I have, once described taking care of your body like this: If your parents gave you a car when you were 16 and told you it was the only one you’d ever have…….you’d probably take good care of it.

Short story…..great point. For more info on Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, check out Also, check out Mike’s other great site,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blog 2/24/09

Earlier this week, I had one of those days that I’ve been fearing. I had a good breakfast, mid-morning snack and lunch. Then the wheels fell off….but only for a while. My snack of choice is usually a protein bar. I eat E.A.S. low carb, high protein bars, as well as Greens Plus high protein bars. Yesterday, I had SIX of them. IN A ROW.

I hadn’t binged like that since last April. For whatever reason….I just gave in to my urge and let myself go crazy. The upside to yesterday, though, was this. I took it easy for dinner because I wasn’t really hungry and still ended up below my allowable caloric intake for the day. (I can’t believe I just said that….I didn’t eat because I wasn’t that hungry. Since when has hunger been the only reason to eat?)

I re-grouped after plowing through the protein bars, went to the gym and didn’t eat much after that. Mentally, I ended up disappointed with my binge eating, but by the end of the day, I was in much better mental shape because I was able to stop the bad behavior. In the past, that behavior would linger for months. Honestly. And when I binged, I wouldn’t work out, either.

As an obsessive-compulsive eater, I recognize that sometimes the behavior returns. The one thing I’ve changed is being able to limit the damage by choosing better foods. If I need two or three of something, I’ll make it fruits, nuts or protein bars. That’s been a much better choice than peanut butter cups, oreo cookie ice cream or two steak and cheese subs.

Anyway, just thought I’d let you know how I’ve been coping with those tough days that used to derail me, but now allow me to gain strength by working through them.

Bring on the spring, baby.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hank’s blog for 2/18/09

I’m off to the slopes of the White Mountains for some skiing with my family. I’m very excited about it, since I’ve skied once this year and have been looking forward to this for a long time.

In my last blog I talked about my embarrassing night at the TD BankNorth Garden when I couldn’t fit in the seat and was put in the handicapped section because I was so fat.

Now, here are 10 POSITIVE things that have come with losing 110 pounds.

1. I can shop for clothes anywhere. No longer do I have to shop at in the BIG MEN section or the big and tall stores.
2. I can fit in the seats at the TD BankNorth Garden.
3. I can sit in a restaurant booth.
4. I can walk five miles.
5. My feet don’t hurt.
6. I never go to bed feeling badly about how I’ve eaten.
7. I have energy I never thought I could feel again.
8. When I sweat, it’s from working out, not just being fat.
9. I can do multiple physical activities in a day.
10.I never feel like going to sleep after I eat.

These are just some of the positive changes that have become possible by losing weight. Of course, I could not have done it without the help of Mike Boyle and Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, MA. They are the best in the world at what they do. Please check out and They have changed my life and can help you change yours. It’s amazing what being around positive forces can do for your health.

I’ll report on my ski trip when I get back next week.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Blog 2/13/09

Hi folks. I’m down to 265 pounds from my high of 375 about a year ago. I continue to work out at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester and I’ve got my eating under control. I still struggle, but I win more than I lose.

I went to the Beanpot hockey tournament with my daughter Charlotte and my dad, the great Al Morse, this past Monday. I’m happy to report that Boston University, the number one college hockey team in the country, won AGAIN, beating Northeastern 5-2. What do I have in common with the BU hockey team? We are both fortunate to be clients of Mike Boyle, the greatest in the land. Check out his websites…… and

As I wandered around the TD BankNorth Garden during the hockey game, I was reminded about a rather embarrassing event that occurred a few years ago. My dad and I went to a Bruins game and had seats up in the balcony. For those of you who’ve never sat in the balcony, the seats aren’t as big as they are in the loge section.

I was too fat to fit in the seat. I couldn’t completely fit my large frame into the seat. I was spilling over on both sides, trying the fold my arms and position my legs to find a comfortable spot. It didn’t happen. I went down to customer service and had to request a a stand alone seat. They gave us two seats in the handicapped section. I was humiliated that I was SO FAT and felt worse for my father, who was supposed to be enjoying the game……not worrying about his monstrous offspring fitting into the seat.

This past Monday…..not only did my team win the game…….I fit perfectly comfortably into the seat…my dad on my left, my daughter Charlotte on my right. Just one of the benefits of losing weight.

My blog next week will be a top 10 list of good things that have happened to me since I began losing weight. I’m down about 110 pounds, but still need to lose more. If you ever have any questions, please send me an email at

Monday, January 26, 2009

January 26, 2009

Hi folks…..we’re almost one-twelfth of the way through the year and have you made your commitment to improving your health? Before you drop some expletives in my direction (who like’s to be questioned by a fat guy?), let me share my weekend.

Friday night, I deejayed a school function for my daughters, where they and their friends got up and sang on stage, danced with their friends, goofed off a lot and had a blast.

Saturday morning, I jumped into the frigid Atlantic at Wollaston Beach in Quincy as part of the John Hancock Birthday Plunge, to raise money for Interfaith Social Services. ISS serves needy families and individuals on the South Shore. Saturday night, I emceed an auction/fundraiser for a three month old baby girl, whose mother died during childbirth last October. You can go to the website , if you’d like to donate to her fund.

My point is this: Family and friends are so important, life is short and you have to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way in life. I was fortunate that, despite my lifetime of fatness, I didn’t have any serious illnesses. I did lose a gallbladder, though. Luckily for me, Mike Boyle offered to help me lose weight and the one thing I’ve done right during the last decade was take him up on his offer and take advantage of the help he offered. I’ve lost about 105 pounds……I tip the scale at 270….and I’ve got a long way to go. My wife, my daughters, my friends….they are all very important to me. YOU are important to your family and friends. Put yourself first, for one. Spend the money on your fitness NOW….not when your relegated to some long term care facility with disabling physical limitations.

When I first started working out, I used to visualize skiing with my daughters, whenever I’d be struggling on the treadmill, or doubting myself. Last winter, while Abbey and Charlotte skied, I sat on my size 54s in the lodge, lamenting how I’d let myself balloon to 375 pounds.

Yesterday, I skied at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton on a glorious, sunny winter day. The girls both brought a friend. The girls glided down the mountain with their friends, I wiped a tear from my eye as I got to the top of the lift, and felt like Bobby Orr soaring through the air as I made my way down the mountain to the lodge.

I want to thank Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester for helping me attain one of my many goals. If I can do it, you can too.

Go get ‘em……TODAY!!!!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year! & Back to the Basics!

Here we are in the new year, 2009, and I’m into my ninth month of my “Big Adventure”.
I’ve been trying to get myself back into shape since last May, when I started working out with Mike Boyle at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester,

I’ve lost 103 pounds. I’m down from 375 to 272 and I feel a million times better. Maybe more than a million times. But…I’m still 272 and need to lose 50-75 pounds more. I’ve been approximately the same weight since Thanksgiving. Why? Well, I’m still eating well, but haven’t been as strict as I had been when I first began losing weight. I haven’t been quite as diligent about my exercise, although I’m still exercising going to Boyle’s on a regular basis.

So, looking forward to the next phase of improving my health, I decided to look back. I went back to my first blog on May 22, 2008 and read it over. Back to basics is always the way to go when you struggle with anything.

So, for the New Year, here are my suggestions, mostly culled from discussions with the great Mike Boyle.

Drink lots of water, eat lean protein at every meal and absolutely get enough sleep. Sleep is HUGE in the weight loss battle. Also, cut down on refined flour and sugar products. You’d be amazed at what eliminating pasta and bread will do for your weight loss. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Make sure you exercise at least three or four times a week. It revs up your metabolism, oxygenates your blood and can even fight depression.

Of course, check with your doctor before you do anything. Even at 375 pounds, I made sure to go to the doctor on a regular basis. I knew he’d tell me I was fat, but I wanted to know if anything way wrong.

Mike said something to me when I began working out with him. If your parents gave you a new car when you were 16 and told you it was the only car you would ever have……..then you’d probably take good care of it.

Happy New Year. If you ever have any questions, you can always email me at