I’ve had many people ask me what my personal experience is with releasing weight and gaining fitness. I hope my story may give you the courage to seek your own health and fitness as I share how I was blessed to find some simple solutions.

Released 50 pounds in 60 days

Starting weight: February 2006; 247 pounds
Ending weight: March 2006; 197 pounds

Total initial weight release: 50 pounds!

Current weight September 2010: 188 pounds
Current body fat: 6-8%

What motivated me to seek health

I’ve kept a list of 10 heroes since college. I followed their life and tried to do the things they did in the hope I too would gain their great qualities. Before 2005 I had lost three of these men to cancer; including my dad, Ted Wendel a great friend and spiritual adviser and Lloyd Booth, my high school basketball coach. In the fall of 2005 a fourth member of my heroes list, Todd Fithian, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I knew from Ted’s pancreatic cancer that Todd only had a 2% survival chance.

When Todd was diagnosed I was shocked into a reality check of my own health. The common thread of these four men, whom I loved, was they were all overweight or obese. I weighed  254 pounds then and according to the BMI Index, (Body Mass Index) I too was “obese.”

I started to research cancer and it’s causes. I discovered from many hours of research two health threats that are highly correlated to cancer; our food supply is depleted of vital nutrients (vitamins, amino and fatty acids and minerals) and our food and environment is highly toxic. Because I had discovered these two items I then could seek a solution. As I had faith in the scripture:  “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Mathew 7:7).” I was now asking.

My initial discovery of exceptional health

A few weeks after my discovery one of my customers was in my office and as she and I talked, she introduced me to an amazing food system called Isagenix®. She invited me to attend a presentation where I learned that Isagenix® and I believed the same thing about cancer’s causes. Their product conquers the two health threats.

One of my gifts is the ability to trust others. So after I heard the presentation, I ordered the Isagenix® 30-day system. I was amazed at how well it worked. After just the first deep cleanse day where my body had released about 20% of the toxin build up I felt awesome! I felt “clean, clear and light” are the words I used in my health journal to describe my feelings. That next day I went to the gym and ran 2 miles hard with ease.

I began to work out more and more and over the 60 days I used the Isagenix® system, I lost 50 pounds. My only regret is that I did not take a beginning photo. But as you can see from my pants, I was much slimmer.

Being healthy leads to more right answers

After losing all that weight I wanted to start to get back into some serious shape like I had in college. As a golfer for the past 30 years my strength, endurance and cardio systems were very weak. Thankfully for me, my golf course was going through major renovations and I couldn’t play. So I sought another outlet.

My business partner was training for a Team In Training (TNT) 100-mile cycling event to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I became intrigued by cycling and thought it might me a good outlet for me to get back into shape with. My partner’s husband met me at the bike shop where I purchased my first bike in April 2006.

I started to ride with TNT and absolutely fell in love with the sport. It fit my personality so well because I would get to ride up to 5-6 hours at a time in total peace and solitude. I was beginning to get the “runner’s high” from training. That is the best natural high ever. I couldn’t wait to get back on my bike and ride.

I was still using the Isagenix® maintenance program and my health was getting stronger each week. My entire attitude changed as well. Before when I was obese I was cranky, didn’t sleep well, I hurt in certain areas and my blood pressure was starting to rise. After being on the system for several weeks all that changed. I become the optimistic person I used to be. I slept much better and I was happy and smiling as well. My resting heart rate was going down with my much improved healthy blood pressure. I didn’t hurt any more either! Chronic pain sucks!

Taking endurance to the extreme

If you know me at all, you know that I believe in going 100% in every thing that I do. This perhaps is the reason the Lord has blessed me with so much abundance in my life. I’ve had success in athletics and in business. I’m blessed with so many great friends as well.

Because my brain chemistry was so much improved due to all of these health and fitness gains my confidence level was off the charts. It was in June of 2006 that the spirit lead me to read the book, Becoming an Ironman, a compilation of stories of average people who were able to complete the world’s toughest endurance event, the Ironman® triathlon. John Collins, a former Navy Seal and creator of the Ironman, described it as, “Swim 2.4 miles, ride a bike for 112 miles then run a 26.2 mile marathon and then brag the rest of your life™.” After reading the book I was overwhelmed with the spirit calling to me to do an Ironman.

I could not deny the voice inside of me beckoning me to become an Ironman. I had never did a triathlon before. I did not know how to swim and after college never ran. My only experience in the event was riding a bike for about two months. Yet my faith in my ability was strong. I knew in my heart that if those average people could do an Ironman, then so could I if I did what I needed to do and had faith that the Lord would do what He needed to do.

I started to talk with my wife and ask for her support. She is such a great person. She knew that my focus would change and that our time together and my family time would be decreased.

I then asked others that I knew who had completed an Ironman what they thought. My good friend Brent Phillips who knew me pretty well gave me the greatest answer to the question, “Do you think I can do it?”, when he replied, “It doesn’t matter what I think. Do you think you can do it?”

After spending a couple of days wrestling with that very question, I came to the conclusion that yes, I did believe I could do it.

I started to look on-line how to enroll in an Ironman. I found out that most Ironman are filled up a year in advance. Yet here it was July 2006 and Ironman Arizona scheduled for April 15, 2007 was still open. It is probably good that I didn’t know the reason Arizona was still open or I might not have registered. So on July 4, 2006, I paid my registration fee and now I would attempt Ironman Arizona the next year.


Ironman Arizona April 15, 2007

I began to train after doing a lot of research into what I needed to do. I taught myself to swim from a book a friend and Ironman finisher had given me. It took me about three weeks of doing the swim drills before I could actually swim. I started to run and bike almost everyday. I ran two marathons in preparation, the Las Vegas Marathon in December 2006 and the Los Angeles Marathon in March 2007.

I dedicated my first Ironman to Scott Fifthian. He was still alive when I made the decision to listen to the spirit and follow Father’s will. Scott passed away before he could see me finish. My hat I wore in the picture, has Scott’s name on it.

On the day of the race I began to learn why Ironman Arizona was not popular with the athletes; hot and windy. It was in the mid 90s and very windy that day. I was so nervous as the race started at 7am but that soon went away during the swim.

I stayed focused all day and overcoming a few obstacles, I finished at 10:55 pm! After racing for 15:55:36 I was an Ironman!

My Incredible Journey

Since I exercised faith in the Lord, He has blessed my life beyond my wildest dreams. He brought Isagenix® into my life. He lead me to understand health and fitness and gave me an abundant supply of happiness, peace of mind and freedom. I’ve been fortunate to have finished seven total Ironman triathlons (Arizona 2007, Coeur d’Alene 2008, Florida 2008, Coeur d’Alene 2009, Arizona 2009, St. George 2010 and Wisconsin 2010). My goal is to finish at least 25. While I’m happy to be able to participate in Ironman, I’m most grateful for the many doors it has opened for me to meet some great people.

My career has taken a turn as well. In addition to my investment adviser business, I’m also helping others achieve health and fitness as a nutrition coach. I use Isagenix as a corner stone of my practice. Everyday more and more people are brought into my life. They are all so important to me. I love them all.

It is not ironic to me that cancer in others that I loved, saved my life. While I wished these four heroes were still with me, especially my dad, they are with me all the time as I honor their life by serving others.

God bless you if you took the time to read my humble story. If anything in my story has sparked something in you to try and achieve something great, please contact me. I would love to get to know you and your story. It would be my great honor to serve you as well. I’m just trying to pay my good fortune forward.

With love in my heart for you,

Michael Lantz
The World’s Greatest Best Friend™

About the Author Michael Lantz (Big Papa)

The Wellness Warrior™; Health & Leadership/Business Coach, Speaker, Blogger, Author, Ironman Triathlete Helping others live with more health and joy, paying for their dreams and make a difference in the world! Learn more: http://HealthIsAHabit.live


  1. Michael Lantz without a doubt has become my Worlds greatest best friend and cleanse coach too. never have I met another human that cares so much about peoples lives , health and spiritual life too. he is a man you never ever will ever forget. You want to follow Jesus so you can hang in eternity with this guy too. HAHA You are an awesome man and friend Michael Lantz oh and cousin too! From your cuz Shelly Lantz honored to share the same last name with you and Suzanne.

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