I had never imagined I would be an overweight person. During my childhood and teenage years, I was always fit. I played sports and moved around every day. You know that kid who went to soccer practice, and afterwards would go to the track to run for another hour… Yeah, that was me. Food was never an issue: I ate to my full and moved on.
It was during my college years that I started a slow climb on the scale. As my schedule changed dramatically and my stress levels increased considerably, I began to eat for comfort and had less chances to move around and burn the extra calories. During my college years, my top recorded weight was 225 lbs.
After graduating from college, I continued to gain more weight, and within 10 years I was in the 270’s. With a last climb on the scale, my 40th birthday found me weighing over 300 lbs. As of November 2014, my highest recorded weight was 316.6 lbs. It is actually possible that I weighed even more at times, and I believe I did, but 316.6 lbs is the highest number I actually saw on the scale.
I did have some short-lived attempts at losing weight in the last few years. All these attempts had two things in common:
- I wanted quick results without a concern for what I would do upon reaching my goal.
- I lost the weight by doing things that were completely unsustainable, such as starvation and exaggerated amounts of exercise.
This did yield quick results, but they were also shallow results. Every single time, these attempts ultimately resulted in gaining all the weight back, and putting on even more weight than before. These yoyo rides quickly caused me to become discouraged and stop trying altogether, thinking to myself: “Why bother? I won’t be able to keep it up anyways.”
At the beginning of November 2014, I knew I had to do something different. I was feeling sick all the time, tired, always hungry, and I feared my obesity would result in a heart attack. I could barely walk… I had sprained an ankle and limped for almost two years. The amount of weight I was carrying around had become too heavy for my knees and ankles. I also hated the way I looked. At the beginning of the month I had an idea…
I asked myself: “I wonder what would happen if I stopped eating Carbs and Sugars until Christmas?”
So I did. I cut all Carbs and Sugars out of my daily diet completely. No compromise, no excuse. The first two weeks were excruciating! After the initial two weeks, it got easier, and after a month, it actually became very easy.
By Christmas, I had lost 30 lbs. NO ONE REALLY NOTICED.
So I asked myself: “I wonder what would happen if I continued not eating Carbs and Sugars until Easter?”
So I did. During this period I began to educate myself about Carbs and Sugar, and decided that what I really wanted to keep out of my daily food intake were things like bread, pastries, pastas, pizzas, spoon sugar, starches, etc. I began to realize that some Carbs and Sugars would be fine, as long as they come from natural/raw foods: fruits, vegetables, etc. During this time I was also introduced to the work of Dr. William Davis and his book “Wheat Belly”. I read the book twice and discovered that a lot of what he wrote actually confirmed what I was discovering in my own experience. Actually, what I do is more drastic than what Dr. William suggests: he prescribes the removal of all wheat products – I removed most products that contain Carbs and Sugars.
By Easter, I had lost 55 lbs. NO ONE REALLY NOTICED.
So I asked myself: “I wonder what would happen if I continued not eating Carbs and Sugars until November?” This would be an entire calendar year.
So I did. I joined bodybuilding.com during this period and started a moderate exercise program which included basic dumbbell routines in my home, as well as occasional outdoor walking/biking.
By November 2014, I had lost 132 lbs. EVERYONE NOTICED!
Joining bodybuilding.com was one of the best things I did during this process. I did not join for the bodybuilding part. I am not interested in bulking up. I joined for the wealth of information in the field of exercise/fitness/nutrition that is available when one becomes part of this community. I started logging my food and exercise and I’ve been doing it since, almost every day. The amount of information, support, and encouragement I found by joining this community is too vast to be described in this introductory article.
Today I weighed in at 167 lbs. That is 149 lbs less than two years ago. I am sitting here typing this, and I have a difficult time finding adequate words to describe the feelings I have inside.
This is easily one of the best things I have ever done. I am a whole new person, and I feel the same way I did when I was a teenager. I have lots of energy, no body aches, I sleep very well, and I am very comfortable with how I look. I plan to live to 94 🙂
The best part however is the realization that this time around I did everything quite differently than before. The way I eat and exercise currently is not difficult for me, nor is it simply bearable – it is enjoyable!
Here’s a glimpse at my THEN-AND-NOW:
THEN: 316.6 lbs ••• NOW: 167 lbs
THEN: Pants Size 52 ••• NOW: Pants Size 30 (slim fit)
THEN: Shirt Size 20 (B&T) ••• NOW: Shirt Size 16 (slim fit)
THEN: T-Shirt Size XXXL ••• NOW: T-Shirt Size SMALL
Even my shoe size changed, from 11 1/2 to 10. Whaat?
- Shred down to 160 lbs.
- Improve my exercise routines.
- Make this change permanent by keeping my procedures sustainable and enjoyable.
- Work towards a body and mind that are healthy, fit, and balanced.
- Live to see my 94th birthday 🙂
*** Update: I was feeling too week at 167 lbs and put on some weight. The 180s were much more comfortable, but then my “bulk” went a bit too far, so I am now hovering a bit above 200 lbs. Getting back below 200 lbs and staying there will be a new goal for 2018 ***