Bob '07 and Meg '07 (Roupe) Hartman

(Adapted for Roberts' Today from the Hartmans' blog)
By Marsha Bolton Rivers ’96, NES ’04

page38-1“I have been fat my entire life,” Bob Hartman wrote in his blog, recalling above-average waistlines and weigh-ins from the seventh grade on. By the time he married Roberts classmate Meg Roupe in May 2009, Bob weighed nearly 300 pounds, just as he was settling into life at a desk job. While describing Meg as “the love of my life,” contentment eluded him.

It eluded Meg, too. They were happy with each other, but neither felt satisfied with their health. Two years into marriage, they took a trip to Disney World. Photos from that vacation motivated them to make some changes, Meg first. She signed up for Weight Watchers at Work, learned about portion control and “started seeing results immediately.”

Because Meg did most of the cooking, Bob started slimming down, too, just by virtue of their suppers together. Meg also started exercising, including a Zumba class and a Couch to 5k program, something she had started before but fizzled at after a few weeks. That fall, she ran the race. Describing her foray into running, Meg said: “I went from barely being able to run for 30 seconds without getting a side cramp to running a 5k in 31 minutes.”

page38-2Meanwhile, Bob joined the gym. A friend would be getting married in a year, and he had asked Bob to be best man in the wedding. Bob set a goal of losing 50 pounds by then. In addition to gym workouts, Bob, a very social guy, played both floor hockey and flag football once a week. “I (also) stopped eating entire large bags of candy at work in a single sitting and tried to be better about my food overall,” he recalled. All things combined, Bob hit his weight-loss goal five months early … and has kept going.

Both Bob and Meg have gone on to “bigger and better” fitness achievements: Together, they took Bootcamp classes at Flower City CrossFit. Bob began running, too, including a marathon relay. And Meg ran the Rochester Half Marathon last fall. Husband and wife have also grown “slimmer and smarter” about their dietary habits, “eating ‘cleaner’ than ever before — minimal grains and processed foods, mainly meats, eggs, vegetables and fruits,” Meg wrote.

They keep challenging themselves — they both became full-fledged members of CrossFit, having graduated from Bootcamp — and trying new things. They’ve been surprised how much they enjoy hiking, and their experimentation with the paleo diet is described on their blog, “(Not As) Big Bob: Ramblings of a recovering fat guy and his beautiful wife” (notasbigbob.wordpress.com).

While their weight loss has been significant, both Bob and Meg are now focused on growing stronger and staying fit. “I’m reminding myself daily that the scale doesn’t matter — but how my pants fit does — and I’m trying to focus on building confidence through building strength and not getting skinny,” Meg wrote.

“At this point in my journey, the pounds lost are becoming less and less important,” Bob wrote. “My goals have shifted from primarily scale oriented to more ability oriented. Who knows what my goal will be 18 months from now, because 18 months ago, I wouldn’t have even recognized myself today!”