Thursday, January 12, 2012

The secret to losing weight!

This picture is the day I failed my fitness test. And I know how dumb the pose is,  I didn't chose that. I was  270lbs  on this day which was much lower than shortly before. You will also notice the Flaming Lips wrist band I'm still wearing. 
Before I started my weight loss journey, about 3 years ago, I was literally the complete opposite of the person I am now. If you would have told me then that I would ever have ran a Marathon or finished a Triathlon (of any distance) or even considered training for an IRONMAN, I would have probably just puked at the thought. I remember saying, somewhat jokingly, that I based my life after The Dude. The Dude being The Big Lebowski. I wanted to be lazy and just sit. I was addicted to playing World of Warcraft like it was crack. Back then I would get off of work, go home, grab my smokes and ashtray, computer and then sit on the couch from 5:30 to about midnight playing WoW (World of Warcraft). I would hold off going to the bathroom until it hurt too much to hold. I would order out almost every night, usually pizza. And it was always a large potato alfredo pizza with an order of Italian fries. Wow, it's good stuff. If I didn't have the cash to order out, I would cook. This is sad to admit but I would cook up some Hamburger Helper. I would tell myself that half was for dinner and half was for leftovers, only it never came in halves. That's an entire box of the Hamburger Helper stuff and 1lb of beef, I ate that all in one sitting. And to top it off, it didn't even fill me up. I never ate anything by the serving, only by the package. I was on a fast road to heart disease and severe health problems.

So how does someone with this lifestyle of massively overeating, smoking and complete inactivity get to be a marathon finisher, a triathlete and an Ironman in training? By figuring out what it is that it takes to be healthy. I have talked about the Aha moment before and how it can snap you out of some bad habits. Well that's true, but you also have to keep that Aha and hold on to it for dear life. 

When people want to talk about weight loss I feel that 100% of the time they are genuine. They really do want to lose weight. I remember how it feels to look around and realize you are the fattest person in the room, at the party, in the building or that you know... It's not fun and in all of those days of gluttonous glory I wanted it to be different. Several times I would tell people I had started to workout and eat right. Looking back on that, I had absolutely no idea what those two things were. We used to eat a box of mac and cheese with fish sticks and we honestly thought it was healthy. Or we would bake diced potatoes in a a vat of butter and consider it healthy because it was vegetables. I don't think we were alone in this train of thought either. I would say that most of our country is under the same impression. But let me tell you, eating healthy and working out is not something you can consider a diet. It's not something you can do until you hit that goal weight and then go back to the way things were. It's going to be a life long commitment.

This is the day I passed my fitness test and weighed 248lbs. Body fat was 35%, today around 15%. The week of Ironman, I will post pictures in these poses to compare. I need to redeem this but I want you to see what I was.

Let me back track just a bit. When I used to ask someone who had lost weight how they did it, I wanted to hear them say, "take this pill" or "it's easy". Guess what, no one ever said that. I remember someone in high school that was overweight getting in shape. I asked him what he did and he told me he ran. I thought to myself, "DAMNIT!" That seemed to be a going trend though. Anyone who had lost weight had done some actual work for it. I was just never ready to hear that.

Finally, a short time after our daughter was born I caught a glimpse of a man that worked in the restaurant next to my work. His name was Kevin and he was skinny as hell. I remember him being fairly big, not like me but definitely in poor shape. But this day he looked all sorts of svelt. So I asked him or someone I worked with what he had done. They responded with Farrell's Xtreme Bodyshaping. I thought about it for a while and asked for a membership for Christmas, it can be a bit pricey, especially to a new dad still holding on to expensive habits.

Without being an infomercial on Farrell's (Altoona location) I will just say that the place is amazing. The people are great, everything about it was exactly what a fat dirt bag like myself needed. We made friends and learned a lot about healthy living and also who we were. The confidence we gained through this program sling shotted both Nicole and I into our future. We continued with FXB for a year, and I even tried my hand at a tad bit of instructing. But the true test was when I felt I was able to let go of FXB. It was my comfort zone and my home away from home. But I wanted to see what I had in me so I continued on to where I am today.

Now let me just plain out tell you the secret to weight loss. To lose weight you first have to realize that you are not going on a diet. Diet sounds temporary and what you are going to do is FOREVER. You have to be ready to sacrifice a lot of what you know to get what you don't know. And let me tell you, it is soooo worth it. Now that doesn't mean you can never enjoy a donut or cookie, trust me, I tear that shit up. But I only do it once in a while. If you are ready for this just try giving yourself one day a week where you can eat whatever you want. Every other day count your calories and your nutrient levels. Use something like Every time I have kept track of what I eat I lose weight like nobodies business. And after you can let it go, turn that free day into a cheat meal. If you track your calories all week, including on a free day, you will see that your calorie deficit takes a huge hit on free day. So you can keep that to a minimum by turning day into meal.

Second, you have to keep moving. Go walk every day, run, swim, ride a bike go to a fitness class. Just keep moving because it burns calories and gets your metabolism moving. If you are like me and lack motivation for this get into a class like Farrell's or most gyms have free classes with membership. When I was told I needed a doctors note to workout at Farrells, I bought a kettlebell and video. I worked out at home and lost 25lbs in just 10 weeks. It is possible to do it on your own, just a bit more challenging and a little less fun. You can also google something like Tabata workout or Crossfit workout. Do something like that, they are short and hardcore.

And lastly, don't beat yourself up for not being perfect. If you are anything like me in your weight loss journey you will seriously consider going to the toilet to expel the candy bar you just ate that was not on a free day. Or beating yourself up because you only finished 8 of 10 hill climbs, like today. You have to be able to understand that you will not always do it perfect but that tomorrow you will go to better.

Since I don't proof anything I ever write, I hope that all makes sense. And if you reached this part of my blog then you have surely benefited greatly from my wisdom. In that case you owe me a donation, please go to to make a donation. Or better yet, if you are wanting to get started in fitness, sign up for Ironglut! It will be a good ass kicking that will show you what a workout is and break the ice for you. Once you realize that everyone at the gym looks as silly as you, it makes it easier to go. I avoided it for a long time for that reason. Anyways, thanks for reading and you really don't have to donate but it would be nice.

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