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An Interview with My Fitness Pal The AncientMariner

TheAncientMariner is one of MyFitnessPal's fantastic members. He's motivated, has a positive attitude, and is an excellent addition to anyone's friend list. Today we've done an interview, just for the sake of doing something different with a blog (that would also be worthwhile!)

For the purposes of this blog interview, pretend that we are sitting on comfortable chairs in a coffeehouse and each of us have our favorite drink. I'll take a soy mocha, please.

So, first off, let's start with the name: Why did you choose it for your MFP handle? 

Sir Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote my favorite poem "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere" back in 1797. My name used to be Saffmeister, which was simply a play off of my last name, but I read the poem again and changed it to TheAncientMariner. At 32 years old, I'm far from Ancient, but I like that the poem deals with the mariner having an albatross, that he killed, hung around his neck. I equated that with the fat I'm trying to lose around my gut. At the end of the poem, the mariner is cursed to tell the tale of his deed for as long as he lives. That is why I constantly strive to motivate and push others so that they don't repeat my mistakes!

You've lost almost half the weight that your ticker shows as your goal, which is a tremendous success. What do you credit to this success? Give an example of something that inspired you to keep going.

I have been stuck at that weight for quite some time now. I have changed things and dabbled here and there, but I remained consistent with the exercise. So while my weight has majorly plateaued, my body has not. I have become more defined, toned, and have lost inches. There is still much work to be done, but overall I'm trending upwards. What keeps me motivated is not focusing on a goal. I don't focus on losing 60lbs, but rather focus on getting healthier so that I can play harder. This has made my journey honest and keeps me from suffering from the pitfalls of others, like having a cow over eating 1 donut (OMG LOL I'm gonna gain 8 pounds, Herp Derp)!

Everyone has that moment that feels like rock bottom, before they give themselves a swift kick in the rear to get moving. What was yours?

I just recently realized exactly how influential I was to all of my MFP buddies. I deleted a bunch of people that I shouldn't have, and a few I rarely heard from asked why. Then I realized that it's not about me. It's about influencing others whether they respond to you or not. I regret having deleted many of those friends who never returned, but it was a hard lesson learned and a mistake that I will not repeat again. My fuel is my friends. Even if the smallest bit of advice reaches someone, it's not for me to to know or not know as long as it has helped them. It keeps egos in check and keeps my heart honest.

I know that you've got a family and you've listed them as being inspirations. Do you involve them in your quest for health? Give us a picture of what it's like to be a dad and husband working to get more healthy.

When I first started this journey, I was ABSOLUTELY alone. There was no support except for MFP for reasons I'm not at liberty to discuss here. However, as time passed I started getting healthier, I started accepting challenges, I ran almost everyday and did 5ks regularly. Eventually, my wife jumped on board and the children were not given the option: They had to exercise if Mom and Dad were gonna be doing it. So now, the kids ride bikes for at least 30 minutes a day. My wife strength trains 3x a week and rides her bike 3x per week. We actually have energy to get out and do things. The only issue is that my oldest daughter is 10 and complains sometimes because she can't play her video games or watch TV and when we make her get out --it's an inconvenience to her. Sorry for those who believe that their snowflakes are the center of the universe but my answer to all of that is "Like I care, lol!" You're gonna move your ass like the rest of us!

You've got a time machine and plenty of fuel to get you anywhere in your past that you want, to visit yourself (don't worry, you'll still be born)-- Which earlier YOU would you visit, and what would you tell him?

I would visit myself right before starting high school and tell myself that you are handsome, funny, and smarter than you think you are. I would tell myself to get self-confident and stop putting girls on impossible pedestals because they are just as confused as you. I would tell myself to not allow anger to harden my heart and that material things don't make the man. Lastly, I would have told myself to run and actually exercise and you will be amazed at how your life turns around for you!

What's the first thing you're going to do, besides cheer, when that day comes where you weigh in at your goal weight?

Because of strength training, I fear I have too much muscle to actually get there. So I'll tell you like this: When I see the man in the mirror that I am inside, manifest FULLY outside, I'm going to go for a run AND a bike ride completely shirtless. When I'm able to do that confidently, then I know that I have most definitely arrived!

No matter the mistake, no matter the setback, no matter the risk, always love yourself. It's okay to put yourself first, but don't put someone else first at the expense of who you are and your journey. If you only focus on the end, you will miss the fluid beauty of the fight everyday! Every morning it's like watching Muhammad Ali in the ring: Strong, fluid, graceful! That person is YOU! You just have to believe it. If ever you don't believe in yourself, then believe in me who believes in you! Your drill WILL pierce the heavens! Gurren Lagann!

Thanks for watching. Hope you enjoyed the show. Now we'll go ahead and finish these coffees...

10 votes + -


TheAncientMariner wrote 75 months ago:
LOL Awesome!
MattGetsMad wrote 75 months ago:
I like this idea.
amaryllis88 wrote 75 months ago:
Great interview!! And a great read too!
Moonladee wrote 75 months ago:
Wow!!! love it!!
onemeanman wrote 75 months ago:
Well said and a great perspective...Love it!!
rainbowbuggy wrote 75 months ago:
Wow! I love this! Great job ;)
ShaunWV wrote 75 months ago:
Cool piece. I always wanted to ask TAM where the name came from, lol.

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