BANGOR, Maine — Jared Fogle, alias “The Subway Guy,” was in Bangor on Friday and Saturday to promote healthy living and the Subway sandwich franchise, which was a national sponsor of the Senior League World Series played here last week.
On Friday, he made several appearances at the world series, where he distributed 250 sandwiches to players during a luncheon and threw out the ceremonial first pitch during a semifinal game at Mansfield Stadium. He also was the featured speaker at the awards banquet at the Bangor Civic Center.
On Saturday, he turned up at the Subway restaurant at the Airport Mall, where he greeted about 30 admirers.
Fogle, who hails from Indiana, was propelled to national fame in 1999 when he lost 245 pounds in one year by limiting his food intake to two Subway sandwiches a day — a 6-inch turkey sub for lunch and a footlong veggie sub for dinner. After he lost his first 100 pounds, he started walking for 30 minutes each day.
Fogle began his weight-loss odyssey at 435 pounds and now weighs a trim 190.
He has managed to keep the weight off, inspiring others to get fit through healthier habits.
“Hey, if I can do it, you can, too,” Fogle, 32, said during Saturday’s gathering.
Exercise is a large part of Fogle’s weight maintenance strategy. He’s in training for the New York City Marathon, which is set for Nov. 7.
“It’s been a surreal decade for me, to say the least,” Fogle said Saturday morning just after he pulled into the Airport Mall parking lot behind the wheel of a blue convertible Corvette belonging to Brian Hansen, owner of seven Subway shops in the Bangor area. “Subman,” the franchise’s mascot, was riding shotgun.
Troy Grass of Eddington was one of about 30 people who turned out to meet Fogle.
“Everyone has seen him on TV,” Grass said, adding that he also planned to take advantage of the “buy one, get one free” sandwich promotion the restaurant was running Saturday morning.
During Fogle’s appearance Saturday, Bangor City Councilor Gerry Palmer presented him with a framed proclamation signed by Mayor Richard Stone, as well as a key to the city, an honor Palmer said was rarely bestowed.
“Congratulations, Jared. That key will open any door in downtown Bangor anywhere across our city and will allow you free admission to any [ballpark] so you can practice your pitching.”
Also during the event, Fogle presented city officials with four customized LaCasse Bats made in Skowhegan. The bats bear the Subway insignia and are inscribed with Stone’s and Hansen’s names as well as the name of the city of Bangor, host of the Senior League World Series.
Fogle’s message to Senior League players?
“‘You guys are already on your way,’” he said he told them in an interview Saturday. “You guys are already at the top. You guys should be proud of yourselves, but also realize you have a role to play as role models for other kids your age.
“I think it’s great to see positive role models like that,” he said Saturday. “Obviously, these guys are at their top in fitness so they’re already taking that message to heart.
“Hopefully, they’ll spread that and embrace that role-model position,” he said. “We need more guys like that out there, especially with [childhood] obesity being at such high rates.”
Fogle, whose struggles with weight began when he was 8, has established the Jared Foundation to help eliminate childhood obesity so that children do not have to experience what he did. For more information, visit the foundation’s website at www.jaredfoundation.org.