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How I Became Homer's Twin

When I retired from the army in 2003 I stopped all forms of exercise. I disliked doing physical training (PT) every morning and I especially hated running in groups. When you run in the Army, everyone runs the same pace, the same distance, and even has to stay in step (which I was terrible at and would step on the heel of the person in front of me).

So when I retired, no more exercise, but lots more beer, burgers, pizza, and wings. In 4 months I became fat. My cholesterol was already high before I retired so I was on the down hill slide to being obese and unhealthy. I became worried when people started saying "Bruce Phillips - Homer Simpson: Separated at Birth?"

Nature and Nurture to the Rescue

In the early fall of 2003, I started walking on my lunch hour. I'm fortunate to work in a place with walking trails nearby that meander through several parks in the area. It is very pretty, especially in the fall. Walking on the trails gave me a relaxing break from the office.

After a few weeks of walking but not really losing any weight, my wife and I joined Weight Watchers. She did not really need to lose much weight, but she encouraged me to give it a try. Weight watchers' "points" system helped me reign in my over eating. Doing the program as couple made it easier to plan meals and stick to it.

I began to lose some weight and as I did so I also started jogging 2 miles or so on my lunch hour (2 miles gave me 2 extra points a day!).. I found I really enjoyed running on my own, at my own pace, and for whatever distance I felt like.

Enter the Sandman

Late in 2003, I purchased an iPod. This little music player has been one of the top 5 things I've ever bought. For the last three years, I've used the iPod almost every day. I have all my music on it and also audio books.

I started listening to songs on the iPod while running and it was Nirvana. The music helped pump up my energy so I went farther and faster. By the Spring of 2004 I was getting into shape and was losing weight!

At first, I used my iPod only for listening to music, but then I realized that it is even better to follow my favorite sports matches and marathons, from the comfort of my home. I also started using it to place bets on my favorite athletes and teams, via online betting sites.

Sports betting is easy enough to get started with some basic knowledge, but sometimes it can be tricky. On I found a useful piece of advice, to first read the terms and conditions before signing up for any free bet. All newcomers to the betting world need to understand how free bets work because free bet deal isn’t free money. Yes, all these things I can do on my iPod, and I am even thinking to purchase armbands to keep my iPod in place while working out.

Making My Goal

By the late Spring of 2004, I had lost over 35 pounds and was able to run 6 miles in under an hour. I was not the fastest runner by far, but I felt great. I weighed less then when I joined the Army in 1979.

Starting in the summer of 2004, I began to enter some local 10k races and in the fall I ran my first half-marathon, the Gobbler Grind in Overland Park (suburb of Kansas City) Kansas.

Since then I've run several half-marathons and three marathons. I enjoy running and all the benefits it brings. My weight remains down, my cholesterol is normal, and I feel good.