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Lake Placid Diet beginnings now available in a book

November 5, 2015 - Andy Flynn
This week: 413

Sept. 15: 420

Difference: -7

After completing the Lake Placid Half-Marathon in June, two episodes of gout and an ankle injury sidelined me over the summer, and I gained 20 pounds. By September, I needed major help, which came from my own experiences on the Lake Placid Diet. Luckily, I wrote them all down.

I began re-reading the Lake Placid Diet columns from the first 18 months for tips, inspiration and encouragement, and it’s working. Combined with another Fit Revolution class at the Fitness Revolution gym, those columns are helping me drop the weight. It’s a slow process, but the weight is dropping nonetheless.

At first I began reading the columns on the Lake Placid News website,, which are found in the Blogs section on the left side of the home page. With multiple clicks to find what I needed, the process was too cumbersome to be practical, so I printed out all the columns I thought would help me get back on track, and I put them in a binder. It was a huge improvement. Everything was in one place for easy reference.

Then I decided to put those columns into a small book and print out a short run through my publishing company, Hungry Bear Publishing. I printed one copy for me and 249 for other people who might find the information and stories helpful. I called the book “Lake Placid Diet: How the Olympic Village saved my life.”

It is now for sale at the Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid and the Little Super Market in Wilmington and online at and It is 264 pages and retails for $17.95. The cover shows me walking during this year’s Lake Placid Half-Marathon.


Lessons learned

Looking at those first 18 months of my weight-loss journey, I see this collection of columns as both a memoir and a self-help guide. Taking a community approach for weight loss, my initial goal was to explore resources in Lake Placid that could help me lose weight and get healthier.

I started at 470 pounds and dropped to 390 pounds in less than six months, yet I soon learned that the journey is not just about the weight. Within a year, I made enough changes to build a foundation for a healthier lifestyle, losing weight naturally without surgery or drugs, finding many resources to help me, including a fitness center, support groups and natural food stores. I began walking in local races, finishing the Lake Placid Half-Marathon twice.

In 2011, I had a near-death experience at the hospital because of my weight, which continued to get out of control until I launched the Lake Placid Diet in December 2013. I truly believe the progress I’ve made because of the Lake Placid Diet has saved my life.

Along the journey, I’ve explored my personal demons, such as food addiction, and I’ve tried to come up with solutions to the many challenges I face. I tackle one challenge at a time and solve problems. I’m most proud of my homemade sock machine, which allows me to put my socks on each day and live a normal life, at least for my feet. I still can’t bend down and put my socks on normally, and without the machine, I wouldn’t have all those finisher’s medals from walking races.

If there’s one lesson I want people to take away from reading the Lake Placid Diet, it’s this: “You are not alone.” Weight loss is an extremely personal journey, one that is typically made behind closed doors. We fight those demons inside our heads, and we rarely share our deepest feelings about how the extra weight affects us physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s why I think the Lake Placid Diet has resonated with so many people. They read my struggles, and they know they’re not alone.

One of my Fit Revolution friends, Robin Miller, recently shared her thoughts on the Lake Placid Diet.

“The ‘Lake Placid Diet’ offers me an insight into the perspective of someone who is on a similar journey,” Miller said. “It is informative, comforting and inspirational. Andy opens up in a true and honest way and brings the struggle of weight loss, exercise and thoughts on nutrition to a conscious level of thinking that has set me on a life-saving path.”

Fitness Revolution head trainer Jason McComber said the key to a successful weight-loss journey is honesty — being honest with yourself and others.

“I love the honesty of the ‘Lake Placid Diet,’” McComber said. “Andy is open, honest and accountable about his struggles and moments of weakness. Most often when it comes to weight-loss stories, we are only spoon fed the positive outcome, how a person lost 100 pounds and is doing great. We rarely get slapped in the face with the ‘I slipped,’ ‘I failed,’ ‘I was weak’ moments that we all experience. Without owning your choices, both good and bad, you can’t succeed.”


Only the beginning

Reaching a goal weight, 220 pounds for me, or another goal such as completing a half-marathon are merely stops along the journey. The journey continues whether we get there or not.

An “after” photo at my goal weight would be one of the most precious documents I’ll ever own in my life. It would be like a second birth certificate. But having that photo does not define success.

The fact is, most of us will never reach our goal weight, and there is no shame in that. Just don’t give up. Faced with reality and the odds against me, it’s important to cling to the hope that I will eventually get there. It’s what keeps me going.

What’s most important is to have a beginning. Without a beginning, there is no journey.

My experiences during the first year-and-a-half of the Lake Placid Diet are my beginning. Do these stories have all the answers? No. We’ll never have all the answers. We’re always learning, experiencing new things. I’m a much different person today than I was in week one, and I will be a different person a year from now. The Lake Placid Diet continues to evolve.

What I’ve learned above anything else is that I can’t live without this journey. It is no longer a choice; it’s as involuntary as breathing. During my low periods when I fell off the wagon, I got a taste of my old life, and I didn’t like it. I could see myself gaining all the weight back. I could see my early death. The Lake Placid Diet is keeping me alive.

I sincerely hope the Lake Placid Diet inspires you to either start your journey or continue it, whether it’s weight loss or some other challenge you’re facing in life. Create your own Lake Placid Diet, no matter where you live.


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