Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle spoke at Alston Middle

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Michael Quirk/Journal Scene Jared Fogle displays his famous pair of jeans on stage at Alston.

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Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle paid a visit to Alston Middle School to speak about the Fit For Life 15 Day Challenge.

Students have been participating in the challenge through their school with motivation from “Fit Buddy” Jessica Chandler of 96.9 The Wolf. They log their fruits, vegetables, and water intake every day with the goal being a half plate of fruits and veggies daily. There is also a chart for walk/run, play/sports, and screen time (TV, video games and computer excluding homework) with a target of one hour of activity each day.

“I want kids to realize they are creating lifelong habits,” said Fogle. “Our whole program is proactive. We want the kids with bad habits to develop good ones and the kids with good habits to keep them intact.”

By Fogle’s sophomore year at Indiana University he tipped the scales at over 425 pounds. At one point he was drinking 15-16 sodas each day. His activities were limited as he could not fit at a school desk, an airplane seat or in a seat at the movie theater.

He said that looking at himself in the mirror while brushing his teeth prompted him to make a change. He began eating six-inch sandwiches from the local Bloomington, Ind. Subway with limited cheese, sauces on the side, loaded with veggies and a water to drink. Still too heavy to exercise, he simply cut out junk foods and ate and drank “responsibly.” Within three months he had lost 94 pounds. and was able to begin exercising. When he graduated he had lost 240 pounds.

After his friend wrote an article about Fogle’s weight loss in the campus newspaper, media outlets across the country picked up the story. He appeared on Larry King Live and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Subway invited him out to Los Angeles for a test commercial shoot and he has been their spokesman for the last 15 years.

The signature jeans that he wore before his weight loss are featured prominently in many of the commercials. He brings them to every school he visits and he drew a loud reaction from the students when he displayed them on stage.

“When I was your age if someone showed me these pants and said ‘You’ll have to wear these one day’ I would have laughed in their face,” he said. “My goal is for you to never have to wear pants like these.”

Fogle has traveled to six continents and all 50 states. Traveling over 200 days per year takes a toll on his body and has made keeping the weight off very difficult.

“It’s brutal,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s not an exact science and sometimes your weight will fluctuate but you have to start every day anew.”

While on the road he tries to run on the hotel treadmill and take stairs when he can, and at home he spends an hour per day at the gym.

With a lifetime supply of free Subway, he said he eats there a few times per week. He said when eating out it is important to “think outside the box” and order chicken grilled, order sauces and dressings on the side, drink lots of water and to avoid deep-fried foods, a frightening proposition for Southerners.

“In the South, rich food is so engrained in the culture. Nowhere else in the country has to deal with that,” he said. “It’s part of the culture but you have to use moderation, something that’s hard to get accustomed to.”

According to the American Heart Association, 68 percent of adults and 33 percent of children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese. Fogle said taking the first steps are the hardest.

“You want to talk to a doctor or a nutritionist because everybody’s body is different. The first thing you want to do though is to admit you have a problem. You have to want to change.”

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