Weight loss inspiration Jared Fogle shares his message with local kids - Idaho Press-Tribune

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© 2011 Idaho Press-Tribune

MIDDLETON — Jared "the Subway guy" Fogle visited Middleton Heights Elementary School Wednesday, armed with his "fat pants," stories of his one weight-loss victory, and a message for local kids.

"I was 20 years old, I was over 400 pounds and I said enough was enough," Fogle shared with the kids. "I knew I needed to change, but it was a matter of coming to grips with it and saying, 'Okay, what am I gonna do here?'" 

After countless diets failed to produce results, Fogle said he stumbled upon low-fat Subway sandwiches: one for lunch, one for dinner, and "before I knew it, the weight was coming off," he said.

Now in his 13th year as a Subway spokesman, Fogle's story still resonates.

"You never know when people are ready to change themselves," he said. "And what's gonna make them want to change."

And wanting to change is the vital first step. After that, he said, progress depends on small steps and healthy choices.

"It's about trying to empower them to make those good decisions," Fogle said. "And my goal ... is just to be more proactive."

This, he said, includes simple things like eating fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and getting enough exercise.

"These kids do not need to make drastic changes," Fogle continued. "Most of it is simply stepping away from the TV a little bit more, stepping away from the computer, thinking about what they're putting in their body. But they've got to want to do it. And that's sort of the first step."

And to those that fall into the obese category, Fogle related that "there's nothing worse than being heavy in life ... But it's even worse to be a child who's overweight. What I try to tell kids is that there's never going to be a better time in your life than the moment right now to start making a few simple changes."

Middleton Heights Principal Robin Gilbert said the kids were excited to see Jared. And what did they most want to know? His favorite sandwiches.

Fogle was quick to answer that question: sweet onion chicken teriyaki and the Subway club.

"Good choices," he said.

Fogle admitted it hasn't always been easy maintaining his 245-pound weight loss for more than a decade.

"It's brutal," he said. "I always say until they make a day where carrot stick tastes just as good as a mozzarella cheese stick, I'm gonna have to fight it.… Childhood obesity is just becoming more and more of an issue and something that a lot of these kids need to realize and deal with."

© 2011 Idaho Press-Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

15 Sep, 2011

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