The 5 “P”s to Success

In July of 2011 (54yrs old / 5’10/ 360lbs) I went to order a new suit and the clerk told me that he would need to order a 60 portly. With great disgust I knew I had had enough.

After 30 years of yo-yo dieting, I knew a change of life was in order. I studied healthy eating and began to walk daily. Several months into this new life I discovered the keys to success, protein (lean), patience, preparation, persistence and perspiration.

Whey protein was vitally important for it gave me the greatest fullness per calorie. Preparation, keeping the right foods available at all times. Patience and persistence, because the plateau thing is absolutely true! (It will break, be patient.) Perspiration, as exercise not only burns calories but gives a sense of accomplishment and well-being. After a year, I had lost 100lbs. and wondered if I could run. I had always admired runners especially a former boss who was a triathelete. One morning I did it! Two miles without stopping, I was hooked. In my 2nd year I have dropped an additional 65 lbs. My run times went from 12.5 minute/ mile in my 1st 5k to a recent 10k in 60 minutes! I hope this inspires others. I would be more than happy to help anyone. P.S Don’t get attached to your favorite clothes. No doubt, I should be Goodwill’s donor of the year!

-Mark Tondee


The best policy in my opinion is the old adage that if you leave it on the table and two days later it is spoiled, then it is good for. But reality is as follows. We all have different constitutions.

I feel like crap after a Big Mac and fries so I stay away from that kind of food. I feel great after my breakfast which is a salad which consists of fresh broccoli and carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, hot chilies, beets, onions and any other fresh veggies I can find at my local market. Then I add any of my favorite salad dressings. This is my breakfast and it works for me but many think I am nuts.

Every time I eat a lot of fruit, I feel the sugar highs in a bad way so I nibble only from time to time. But a chocolate bar before my weight workout and I feel great.

Rule of thumb is we runners are taking care of ourselves and we have little weight problems because of our hobby so we need to find a diet that’s right for us.

I love pasta but i can only eat it at certain times of the day. If I eat oatmeal for breakfast I am shot as I feel like my stomach has cement in it. But that same oatmeal as a night time dessert with a little fruit added and I feel great. Find out what works for you and perfect it. Try to experiment and try to follow some of the laws of the food gurus, but do not take them as God-sent laws. Enjoy food from time to time that are what you love such as hotdogs, hamburgers and fries.

The idea of drinking lots of water throughout the day is a winner so try to drink as much as you can handle. Sports drinks is your call as i am not a fan. Chocolate milk or powder protein are great for many and makes me fill like a brick wall after. Coconut water many believe is great and it does work for me especially where i live in the Philippines where this fruit is in abundance.

But let’s sum this up as you are a runner and diet is so important, yet it should allow us from time to time to indulge ourselves in the less healthy elements in our diet. The key is through trial and error to find the right diet for your energy and health, as we all have different constitutions. So find what is right for you.