“I had gotten to the point that I just figured, well, I’m going to be fat and happy for the rest of my life and not going to let anything bother me [but] when I was at my heaviest there were comments that were made,” said Olson, a 42-year-old Cartersville father of three. “One of the teenagers in my youth group asked his mom, ‘Why [doesn’t Randy] go on the “Biggest Loser?”’ I took my kids to the beach in 2010 and had comments on the beach [such as] ‘that guy needs to put a shirt on’ and things like that.
“I never thought that I’d be the guy that lost all the weight and kept it off and was excited about seeing himself get healthy,” he said, adding he presently is taking joy in the little things that his prior weight kept him from, like being able to comfortably fly in a coach seat and accompany his children on amusement park rides. “[Now] I want other people to get healthy. There is just a desire — I did it, you can do it if you want to do it. But you have to decide that you want to do it. I’ll encourage you as much as you want but if you don’t want it then there’s nothing I can do to force you.”
Olson’s journey started in the beginning of 2011 when he weighed 362 pounds. After implementing the nutrition program Thrive! Weight Loss into his daily routine, he completed three rounds of the 90-day P90X workout program and three rounds of P90X2 to initially lose 195 pounds. Rising early at 4:30 a.m., Olson saw results with the Beachbody DVD-guided, high intensity programs that combine cardio, resistance training, plyometrics, yoga and stretching.
Submitting his results to the workout company each month, Olson’s efforts were recognized, capturing August’s Beachbody Challenge in his age division.
Netting him $1,000, the contest also posted pictures of his weight loss progression and a Q & A about his journey. His statistics, as of Aug. 31, accompanied the piece, some of which included weight — 362 pounds before, 171.4 pounds after; waist — 58.25, 31.5; and body fat percentage — 45.3, 7. Winning the monthly challenge also has entered him into the quarterly and annual contests, which offer prizes of $5,000 and $100,000, respectively.
“He is just faithful to his goal and he has been inspiring to a lot of people,” said Cartersville resident Sylvia Hess, a friend of Olson’s, whose weight loss through Thrive! initially inspired him. “He’s always very positive and very willing to help anybody to become healthy like he is.
“And he’s always been a really good man, always [been] somebody to talk to, somebody that’s a good friend that would give you the shirt off their back. Anybody who meets Randy, even now not knowing that he’s lost [about] 198 pounds, would see him as an inspiration. [They would] look to him as someone to help them be healthy and exercise and to try to reach their goals.”
As Olson — who is in the process of building lean muscle — maintains his fitness regimen, he also is trying to help others on their weight loss journey and currently is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and Certified Thrive! Weight Loss Coach.
“I love the opportunity [to] host some free workouts,” Olson said, adding he leads a Beachbody video workout session on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the old The Church at Woodland building, 202 Ga. Highway 61 in Cartersville. “We ... open it up to anybody who wants to show up in Cartersville because I want people to realize that if I can do it at 362 pounds, anybody can do it.
“So hosting a workout once a week, inviting other people to workout, those are some of the things that really get me excited now. And working out before, would never have been exciting for me. My wife is like, ‘Who are you? What’s happened to you?’ ... [But] if I can do it, anybody can do it. It’s just getting your mindset into a place where I can do this and I’m going to do it. I truly believe and I’ve been told this from multiple people — ‘We have to have a why that’s going to get us off the sofa and then we have to have a why that’s going to keep us going on our journey.’ So once we discover our why — why do I want to get healthy — it’s not a straight shot, there’s ups and downs to the journey but it keeps us moving in the right direction.”
For more information about Olson’s journey or his free workout sessions, visit www.fattoflat.net or www.facebook.com/FAT2Flat, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.