Dwight Brandon

As a USA Track coach, regular exercise was an important part of my daily routine.  That was until I got injured in a car accident which forced me to reduce the frequency and intensity of my workouts.  Since I was now burning less calories, I should have decreased my calorie intake.  But I didn’t.  So I began piling on the weight, especially since my executive position in finance and computing required that I spend most of my day at my desk.   At 204 lbs with 38.9% of my body weight in fat, I was too busy and tired to fight back, so I just continued the mindless eating and drinking after work, until my frightening medical prognosis in 2000.

Irma’s nephew, Sean never tires of reminding me that, “My God, look at you, Dwight.  Nobody would believe your age.  But if it wasn’t for Auntie Irma, you would have been a dead man long time ago”.  And he’s so right, because 6 months after starting Irma’s Fiber & Spice program, I lost 24 lbs.  More significantly, my fat % plummeted to 18.6%.  Since every pound lost was pure fat, I looked more chiseled with no flab or loose skin.  11 years later, I have leveled off at 192 lbs, but my fat remains between 15% -15.5% which is unheard of at my age.

I’ve helped numerous people over the years, but my heaviest client was 5 ft 10, 370 lbs.  He claimed to be only interested in losing “a few pounds to be more attractive to the ladies”.  We started in September, and having reached 280 lbs within 4 months, he said he had reached his goal and felt “lean enough to start dating again”.  What can I say?

These days, I still run 2-3 days a week with 1 major 6-mile run once a week.  But I have adopted the TechnoGym or “Wave” machine for my 1 hour aerobic routines 4 days a week.  Because of Fiber & Spice, I very rarely eat out.  Nevertheless, every day,  I enjoy the most amazing food + guilt-less desserts – especially my favorites, Kir Royale sorbet, Tiramisú, and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut frozen yogurt – and gain nothing.  Especially not fat!  That’s a dream come true.

In any case, my personal prescription is to watch my intake, maintain a daily food journal and never eat more than 1 slice of whole grain bread a day.    If you succumb to injuries especially as we age and our metabolic rate slows down, it will be almost impossible to recover if we don’t start eating sensibly.  Exercise is critical, but is impossible to maintain the pace indefinitely.  This is why it becomes even more important that we take charge of our intake before things get out of hand.

Professionally, as a certified personal trainer and former USA track coach, I have coached at the international, national, club, college, high and junior high school levels.  In 1983, at the request of NCAA College All American Track Runners, I launched the Brandon Track Club (“BTC”), which holds numerous individual and team titles, including:

The 1983 outdoor Garden State Games Men’s Championship, the 1984 & 1985 New Jersey TAC Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Championship and the Pennsylvania TAC indoor championship.   The 1985 & 1986 New York State Outdoor Big MAC Championship, the 4x100m and the 4x400m relay at the TAC National USA Relay Championship, the 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m and the 1986 Sprint Medley Relay, all of which secured BTC’s title as TAC National USA Relay Champion.

In 1986, 2 runners from my BTC qualified and represented the United States Track & Field team in competitions in Germany, Italy & France where I was coach.  Between 1983 & 1992, my BTC won numerous track meets, events and awards, including at the Penn Relays.  One of our former runners still holds the record for a Penn Relays long jump event.

From 1984-1988, I ran a summer track program for elementary, junior high and high school students for the Atlantic City Recreation Department.  The team competed throughout the United States winning numerous championships.  I also sponsored an age-group championship from youth through masters.  Participants included Bill Cosby and Bert Lancaster (not the actor) and others.  From 1984-1992, I was the Head Women’s and Assistant Men’s Cross Country Indoor and Spring Track Coach at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  There, I coached and developed many NCAA Division III All-Americans.

Between 1992-2002, while working as a senior executive in corporate America, and before opening 2 Curves gyms, I did private consultations with individuals and schools to enhance their track and work out programs.  In 2003, I conducted a summer physical fitness program for Acorn High School in Brooklyn and in 2004, coached the girls’ winter and spring track team at Benjamin Baneker High School.

These days, I continue to train high school stars, one of whom won a cross country scholarship to John Hopkins in 2010.  Another will be attending Princeton on a track scholarship in the fall of 2011.

I have an MBA in Marketing, Finance & Accounting.  I was an executive at several IT, gaming & banking institutions including Alltel Information Services, and Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City & Las Vegas.

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