150 Pounds Lost: Me vs. The Fat monster
NAME : Andrew
BEFORE WEIGHT : 370
AFTER WEIGHT : 210
POUNDS LOST : 150
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
Probably when I was about five. My father was obese and I inherited his food addiction. Weight became a major issue for me in junior high school when we had to take our shirts off for gym.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
As a kid, I was an exceptional baseball player but weight slowed me down – figuratively and literally. It also destroyed my social confidence. I didn’t have the confidence to go after the girls I really liked because I was self-conscious about my weight. More generally, I was afraid to assert myself socially because to do would have been to set myself up for ridicule. It was safer for me to linger on the social sidelines. To be part of the scene, but never the center of it.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
Like my dad, who’s weight roller-coastered throughout his adult life, my weight went up and down for years. I was at about 270 when I got married in 1997. By the time my first kid was born, in 2002, I was 310. By 2012 I was 370 and I had been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus (from years binge eating and then experiencing acid reflux). I was also pre-diabetic. That was when my doctor, at an annual checkup, looked me in the eye and said “Do something about your weight or there’s a chance you may not be here this time next year.” I was 46 years old.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
A friend of mine who’d worked in health/fitness created a holistic weight loss program.
A week or two after it opened, (I was client #3) he called me up and said “I saw you walking the other day, I’m worried that you’re going to die.” He basically demanded that I join his program, and it worked.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
It took me about a month to get oriented to the three pieces of Revolution: Training, Nutrition and Weight Loss. There was diagnostic testing. I needed to buy fitness gear. I needed to figure out where to park at 5am in the Chicago loop in order to be on the training floor by 530a. I needed to get used to tracking my nutrition with MyFitnessPal, etc. About a month into the program, I stepped on the scale for my weekly weigh in and saw a 4.5 lb. loss. I looked at my trainer and said “I got this.”
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
My biggest obstacle was impatience. I’m a very impatient person. I wanted the weight to come off in three months. But as my friend (the co-founder of Revolution Weight Loss) always says, “What’s hard by the yard is a cinch by the inch.” Also, I struggled with bursts of self-hatred on “the way down.” Like, when I got under 300, instead of feeling great, I sort of felt like “Wow, you’ve lost 70 lbs. and you still look terrible.” Etc. I wanted to fast forward to being able to see my waist and my shoulders, and of course, it doesn’t work that way. Another issue (I wouldn’t quite call it an “obstacle” is that my wife, who isn’t always great at being outwardly supportive of me didn’t throw parties at my weight loss milestones, etc. She didn’t openly “cheerlead” me the way that I wanted her to. This is still an issue between us, but I’ve never let that issue affect my progress.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
Nope, never ever thought of giving up. Not for a second. I replaced my obsession with food with an obsession with healthy nutrition and training. (I’m a very obsessive/addictive person). Also, I am actively building an anti-obesity campaign around my ‘war” with fat.
Check this out:
I've been fighting with FAT my whole life. For much of it, he's held the upper hand, destroying what should have been the best parts of my childhood, and almost killing me as an adult. Then, in 2013, I took charge, joining a holistic weight loss program that has given me the power to FIGHT FAT. Scroll back a few posts to see a short movie I made about my 125+ lb. #weightlosstransformation. It appears as though I have the upper hand in my fight vs. FAT. But the fight is far from over. There are still days when I feel like he's regaining control over me. The bottom line is, MY FIGHT VS. FAT ISN'T OVER BY A LONG SHOT. That's why I need you to follow both of us. I need your support. And I want you to see how evil he really is. The horrible tactics he uses to try and KILL ME. Who knows, maybe you feel like he's trying to KILL YOU TOO. LET'S DO THIS. TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT HIS FAT ASS. #fightfat #fatmonster #letsbeatfat #weightloss #weightlossjourney #nutrition #exercise #sweat #fitfam #training #gym #commitment #progress #effort #health #selflove #love #healthymoms #healthydads #healthykids #healthyfamilies #summer #happiness #2016
What’s kept me going
I love feeling in control of my nutrition and my life.
I love when friends ask me for nutrition and training advice.
I love being able to clothes shop wherever I want vs. Casual Male (the big and tall store for men), and I love loving the way I look and feel in my clothes.
I love getting looks from the opposite sex.
I love feeling strong and athletic in the gym.
I love how proud my kids are of me.
I love my fat campaign.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
There were a couple months where I sort of bounced around within a certain range but didn’t achieve a meaningful net loss. However, there were only a few of those, and I was able to power through them. I had a really great trainer (at Revolution) during what I call the ‘heart’ of my transformation (from 300 lbs. down to 250). Most of the weight loss that’s happened under 250 has been on my own. And I have even bounced back up to 240 a few times, but that was partly about muscle gain. And it was never anything to panic about. I am in control.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It took me three years to get from 370 lbs. to 240 lbs.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Most of my victories were not on the scale.
I think the biggest one was when I kept going back to Casual Male to buy clothes at smaller sizes, until finally one day, the manager looked at me and said “I hate to lose your business, but I don’t think you need to be shopping here anymore.”
After roughly 25 years of shopping at big and tall stores, I was able to walk into the gap and fit nicely into a pair of 38 jeans.
That was pyschedelic.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
These days I eat like a healthy person because I am a healthy person.
I only eat when I’m hungry, I eat the right foods, and I don’t eat more than I need.
My diet is mostly protein and produce. Breakfast is eggs/egg whites with chicken sausage and veggies. Or oatmeal. Or a protein shake. Breakfast and dinner is a small hunk of simple grilled poultry or fish with a pile of greens. Snacks are Power Crunch protein bars, half an apple with almond butter or half a protein shake. I will always have late night cravings for sweets. My go-to late night treat is half a power crunch bar crumbled up with some Halo Top frozen dessert.
I keep things very simple. It’s just fuel. I don’t care what it tastes like.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
No comparison. I train five or six days a week for 90 minutes. I would train more if I had more time.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Know your daily calorie budget. Weight loss is math, not magic. You must consume less than you expend. Ask a doctor, dietitian or nutritonist to determine a daily calorie budget that aligns with your activity level, lifestyle and weight loss goals.
- Track!!!!!! If you don’t track your nutrition, you’ll never know where you stand in relation to your daily calorie budget. And no, you cannot do this in your head. Download MyFitnessPal or LoseIt! and Track.Every.Bite.
- Move! You must exercise. It doesn’t matter whether you walk, dance, lift, swim, etc. Find something you like and do as much of it as you can!
- Set goals. My goal was always to lose at least 1 lb. a week/4 lbs. a month.
- Establish a system of non-food rewards. Whenever I achieved my weight loss goal, I rewarded myself with a visit to Massage Envy. Find something that you love that isn’t food and use it to reward yourself for achieving your weight loss goals.