Eating Clean To Lose 100 Pounds, With 100 To Go
Ken was 435 pounds, depressed, and could not walk without pain. Following a visit to his doctor where he was diagnosed with diabetes and high cholesterol, he knew it was time for a complete “paradigm shift”. After doing intense nutrition research, he began eating clean and changing his life, losing 100 pounds in the process.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
Losing significant weight in a short period of time was nothing new to me. But never had I embraced healthy, clean eating nor a physical exercise regimen. I went to the doctor, just to find out that I had just developed diabetes, and my good and bad cholesterol were poor. My electrolytes were not in balance. I have a wife of 15 years, two boys (15 and 13), and literally realized that I was slowly killing myself with lack of nutrition and consumption of fat, sugar, sodium and everything else. I watched the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead“. My scenario was very much like the truck driver that Joe Cross met in that movie. He is an inspiration.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I have never tried standard diet programs, other than starvation, simply lower calorie foods (not nutritious), and aiming for a caloric deficit. I did lose 72 lbs years ago to win a bet. At the time, I was hiking in Sedona but I “rewarded” myself with huge amounts of fast food, eating out 6-8 times a week or more.
3. Please describe how you reached your weight loss goal. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude? Did you implement any other strategies besides Calorie Count? What was the most important change?
When I started my weight loss journey, I knew that it was time for a lifestyle change, a “paradigm switch” rather than a diet. I intensely researched diet and fitness for 2-3 hours a day. I started walking. When I started at first, I could not walk two minutes without being out of breath.
I started consuming tons of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, whey protein, no red meat, pork, processed lunch meat an attempt at 30% of my total caloric consumption. I added high amounts of dietary fiber, 35-45g a day. I was going to juice, but had diabetes, thus it would have been high glycemic, so I blended my fruits and veggies into a thick shake. I added chia, flax, and wheat germ to the shakes for omega 3s and huge amounts of nutrients. Despite all of these changes, I still was able to eat clean and consume 2300-2500 calories a day.
I weighed portions out until it became second nature. The first five weeks I did not have one sweet, did not eat out or have one fast food meal, but after that added one “choice day” (I hate the word “cheat” because it insinuates that you are doing something undermining). I ate whatever I wanted on that one day a week. I became stronger and stronger, slowly! My attitude changed- I was positive, I started building a business selling the best west coast albacore tuna. For exercise, I started walking around the complex more and more, began swimming, and practicing resistance training.
The most important change was realizing that everything is choice. “They” nor “it” didn’t put me in the very overweight and unhealthy dilemma that I was in, I did. I became focused, positive, and accountable. I considered each situation an opportunity to learn or improve. I “get to” or “choose to” do or eat things instead of “have to, or “can’t eat that.” I am in control. I dictate my future, and am important to my boys and my family. Life is precious, and we just never know.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
At first, the pain was terrible. I could not stand a minute without pain. My lower back and knees were inflamed. I was great for 4 months, but slipped during the holidays (no excuse, I am accountable). As easy is it is to eat clean (because your body loves it, and gives you energy), it is also easy to crave poor food and take a step back. I did this despite me knowing exactly how poor meals are when eating out.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I saw results immediately! When I ate clean and complete for the first time, my body was in shock. I went from doing almost nothing daily to something, then more and more. Within 8 weeks of clean eating, I eliminated my diabetes, both cholesterol numbers and my electrolytes normalized. I will not give up or stop! I want to inspire others so they can follow the path to healthy living.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I have relapsed, but in the end, I have regained discipline. To not let it happen again, I can go on forums or support groups. I am mentally stronger than when I started and I can eat clean foods in place of poor foods.
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I have significantly more confidence, energy, and less pain. My wife and kids respect me significantly more. My friends are inspired and proud, and I feel good about myself. I am helping out on 4 different projects and jobs, and now work 60-70 hours a week, 7 days a week at 335 pounds. Imagine what will be possible when I am at my goal weight?
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I have gradually gone down since 8/1/12 and in the last 3 weeks I hit my first goal of 100 pounds down! The next one is 150 down by 12/6/13, and the final one is 210 down by 6/6/14. I keep my eyes on the prize, and recognize that this is for life rather than a diet.
10. What tips do you have for other dieters?
1. Make a lifestyle change. This is your life, not a diet to lose a few pounds, or even a lot! Eat healthy and please RESEARCH and utilize tools at hand: Calorie Count, Spark People, those around you that have been there. Knowledge is power and will help you make good choices for life.
2. Enjoy eating clean. Consider it an opportunity to be great, to feel better. Understand that your body will thank you for it, and that your life will be enhanced and with more longevity.
3. Don’t give up if you sway. Keep your eye on the ball – stay focused. If you make a mistake, start over again. Think big, but have realistic goals that are obtainable in short spurts. Take it one step at a time.
4. Make sure that you make time to exercise. It will keep you going in the right direction. Whether it be an intense 15 minute workout or a two a day 3 hour collective boot camp, you can do what you want. Exercise will make you feel physically and emotionally great.
5. Care for yourself and others around you. Be the inspiration. People love both motivated winners, and tough luck underdogs that build from the bottom up. Either way, you can be great!