Fittest Loser writer: Don't let your weight speed out of control

  • After losing weight, Dick Quagliano felt good putting on business attire to interview for the new job he landed.

    After losing weight, Dick Quagliano felt good putting on business attire to interview for the new job he landed. Courtesy of Dick Quagliano

By Dick Quagliano
Posted4/26/2020 7:00 AM

The pedal is to the floor now.

With just a couple of weeks remaining in the Fittest Loser, my journey has taken more turns than the 24-hour race at Le Mans.


It is not that this voyage has been difficult, but the unexpected challenges along the way could have easily derailed me.

Like all of us, the twist from the COVID-19 outbreak has changed our lives. Each day, we have faced new uncertainties. And those daily routines are most likely not to be back to normal for some time.

I was speaking recently with Frank Mirandola, who is the activities director and assistant principal at Prospect High School. "There are no rules of the game right now," he told me. "It is an infinite game that is challenging and with no defined guidelines."

Lots of tight curves here.

That's why this Fittest Loser Challenge has been a blessing to me. It has given me something else important to focus on.

The workouts Josh Steckler, owner of Push Fitness in Schaumburg, has sent me have been grueling at times. But frankly, I look forward to them every Monday and Wednesday.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

On the other days I do yoga, go for long walks with my wife, Debi, or walk and run on the treadmill.

I still have yet to be hungry, thanks to the nutrition plan Josh had me begin back in mid-February. In the last two months, I have eaten more fruit and vegetables than I most likely consumed in all of 2019.

And that's a good thing. I am liking them more and more each day.

Josh is tweaking the plan a bit in the final weeks of this competition. He is taking the dairy out of my diet during this span, which is just fine because I just have a little cheese each day.

After losing my job a week ago, it appeared I would have plenty of extra time to work out. I then hit a long straightaway.

I began to go through my closet and realized the clothes I had put off to the side a long time ago actually fit again. It felt great!

The result of that feeling is a newfound confidence in myself because when you look good, you feel good. That paid even more dividends when I went on a job interview and landed a great job with a terrific company.


I'll be working in the same industry I have been in for the last 27 years. It was quite exciting to be back to work -- something I am hopeful will be the case for those out there who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

The week picked up and the speed of the good news increased. My youngest son, Anthony, who will be completing his Ph.D. program at the end of this month, called with exciting news.

"Boomer," as he has been called since a young age, had been trying to get into med school. He had been turned down in two previous attempts. He was on his third round of applications this year.

He had interviewed at two med schools that were interested and he's been waiting anxiously for a response. He hit the checkered flag when Nova Southeastern of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, accepted him.

Everyone had champagne except for me. I toasted with iced tea, which is just fine. Dad has goals, too, and I am down 40 pounds thus far.

As I have written in the past, you need to keep going. Drive cautiously through those curves, but never give up hope.

Be safe.

• Dick Quagliano coached youth football for 32 seasons and has been a freelance high school sports writer for more than 40 years, the last seven with the Daily Herald. In addition, he maintains a full-time day job as a packaging salesman. He and his wife, Debi, have two adult sons, Michael and Anthony.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.