Being thin doesn’t fix your problems

IMG_6628People who do the diet/gain weight/diet cycle are typically people who adopt restrictive, short-term diets and for they do so for the wrong reasons.

Being thin or skinny won’t fix your problems.

Health problems? It can fix certain issues like Diabetes, cholesterol, fatty liver, and putting stress on your heart, but it won’t fix emotional issues or magically make you a better liked person. It won’t pay your bills or make you a better person. It will just make you a thinner or skinnier version of the person you are now.

Being thin or skinny won’t magically raise your self esteem.

While I feel better and I am no longer embarrassed by my body, when it really comes down to it, I am still the same person with the same fears and dreams and the same social skills. I am still only as outgoing as I ever was; not any more or any less. People respond to me a little more positively in certain situations, and actually negatively in others as compared to when I was fat. It just depends. Bottom line: no real change.

Being thin or skinny won’t make you smarter, faster, wiser, or better with money.

If you struggle with money management, binge drinking or eating, or anything else, being thin or skinny doesn’t fix that (unless the struggle is running three miles; being thin makes that a bit easier to do).

People who tend to be successful at losing weight and keeping it off realize that life-long changes need to be made. You can’t quit pizza for three weeks or a month, lose weight, and then go back to eating pizza again. You will just regain the weight you lost, and according to many studies, even more. I experienced this in the past, and each time I got off a diet, I gained back more weight than I initially lost. I had to break that cycle.

You need to give up the fattening foods (I did’t say fat foods; sugar, grains, beans, soy, and dairy are the enemies here) and try to move at least three times a week. It’s not a miserable existence; I’ve been more active and more alive since I lost the weight and started exercising than I’d ever been.

Don’t lose weight for the wrong reasons. Commit to a healthy lifestyle, and I think you will be surprised at the good things that follow. Just don’t expect to become Brad Pitt, Mila Kunis, or Elon Musk from losing weight. It takes more than getting thin.

If not Paleo, then what?

There are people who are turned off by Paleo because they feel it is a trendy new diet or the diet fad of the moment. I am asked every now and then what other diets are as effective as Paleo. I recommend one alternative diet for anyone who doesn’t want to go Paleo for whatever reason: Keto. Here is a very good rundown of the Ketogenic Diet from the Keto subreddit on

Low-carb diets are essentially programs that lower carbohydrate intake below 100 grams; strict ketogenic diets are a subset of low carb diets that typically only allow < 50g of carbohydrates per day. The general recommendation of /r/keto is to start with 20g of net-carbs per day. This limit does a good job of eliminating junk foods, refined carbohydrates and any other “fattening” foods.

The full premise of a keto diet is far more than just minimizing carbs, it is a lifestyle about overall health. The diet promotes long, intense bouts of energy, an increase in healthy, delicious food and an overall better outlook on your life. It is easily sustainable with a plethora of options and often is an answer to improving health that many people struggle to comprehend at first. A Ketogenic diet is not easy and will test your willpower but transforms the way you think and understand about yourself, food, and health in general.

Throughout my own weight loss journey, I have gone into ketosis a few times. I did this intentionally with the purpose of jumping my weight loss a bit. Personally, I prefer the Paleo Diet, but the Ketogenic diet works wonders and is very safe.

For the smart among you, I’m sure you noticed that there are a lot of similarities between the Ketogenic Diet and the Paleo Diet. You’re right! However, for some people, it may be easier to do than Paleo. I’m all for people doing what’s easiest for them to raise their energy levels, lose weight, and regain their health.

So, if you want to learn more, go to this excellent resource on the Ketogenic Diet on Reddit.

Whole 30 #3 – Week 3

Our Whole30 week 3 recap by Sherry. Lots of yummy food and lots of wins all around!

Our Daily Bacon

Week 3 is always when things start to finally feel better.  On each of my Whole30’s, week 3 is when the swelling is pretty much all gone, my clothes feel looser, I’m sleeping better, and the scale is starting to cooperate again (down 7 lbs now).

This week we had E.J’s favorite meatloaf, brisket, smoked ribs, and Crock Pot Orange Chicken.  For dinner on Monday we had Crab-stuffed Tilapia, which I took to the next level by using Primal Kitchen’s Chipotle Lime Mayo and adding some crushed red pepper  to the stuffing… OMG, serious yum!

This weekend, we even had a little impromptu pool party IMG_2784where we served some Whole30-friendly summer fare that everyone really enjoyed.  E.J. grilled up some sugar-free smoked sausage from one of the smokehouses out near Weimer, TX, and my friend Anita contributed her now-famous Cucumber, Tomato, & Avocado salad, which is perfect…

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Older does not have to mean overweight and unfit

Something I’ve noticed a lot when looking through the Facebook profiles of many former service members I know is that a lot of them are overweight. These are all people who were in excellent shape in their earlier years, but today find themselves having gained a sizable amount of weight.


Just because you’re getting old doesn’t mean you have to get fat.

I was fat. Really fat. Hell, by medical standards, I was morbidly obese. That means my health was in extremely poor shape, and I was at high risk for dying from weight-related diseases or maladies. I had Diabetes, fatty liver, and my cholesterol levels were rising. I had circulation problems in my feet, and I was beginning to experience nerve damage from the Diabetes. This was completely preventable and due to me lacking the discipline to control my weight.

I turned it all around within a year. Heck, a blood test just three months after I started confirmed that my body was on its way to being healed: Diabetes and cholesterol were in normal levels and liver enzymes had returned to normal. All within three months.

So many people joke about how getting older means getting fatter. This does not have to be the case! Getting older means the opposite; we need to be MORE careful to take care of our bodies, our health, and maintain our fitness. So many people wish they could stay young, but what they don’t realize is that they can still feel young. That’s because what they miss isn’t being young, but how they felt when they were young, and that feeling was being fit and healthy.

I mistook feeling tired and being out of shape for being old when in fact, I was just unhealthy and unfit. Once I got back to a healthy weight and got fit, I surprised myself by feeling young again. Only then did I realize that the feeling I remember from my youth wasn’t anything else other than being healthy and fit. Now that I feel that way, I truly feel young again!


Don’t accept being fat. Don’t accept being unfit. Don’t accept your lack of energy and mobility as the new normal as you get older. Attack it and do something about it. The best part is all you have to do is eat right and it will come naturally.

Source: Me. I was healthy and fit, turned fat and unfit, and got back to being healthy and fit at 49. I did it and I know that you can do it, too.

New Lowest Weight Reached

It seems that every few days lately, I’m reaching a new low weight. Whole30 isn’t designed specifically to lose weight, yet it is exactly what I’m experiencing right now. What is radical to me about it this time, on my third round of doing a Whole30, is that I’m losing weight so easily.

I lost 110 lbs in a year: 20 lbs in the first month on a Whole30 and the remaining 90 lbs in 11 months on the Paleo Diet. It took me another 8 months to lose an additional 30 lbs.

In the past week, I’ve lost 3 lbs. That’s a little over 2% weight loss in one week. That’s incredible.

Don’t tell me it’s exercise; it’s not. I’m not doing any more (or less) than I normally do. Don’t tell me it’s because I’m starving myself; I’m not. I eat pretty heartily and I’m stuffed after my meals.

I know exactly what is different this week versus the week before last: Whole30. I have been eating meat and vegetables in standard portion sizes (well, except for last night where I ate a little more than usual). My body responds well to this, and rewards me with shedding excess weight.

I’m pretty solid; my body fat is relatively low for someone my age. Losing weight is hard for me because right now, it’s mostly muscle and I don’t necessarily want to lose muscle weight. I do, however, still have some areas of stored fat and extra skin that I’m happy to see going away. It’s nice to see the body adapting to my diet and fitness and shed those extra pounds.

I now weigh 162.9 lbs. That’s a new low for me. I hope to go lower, but again, I’m in the bonus area, so even if I stop here, I’m happy. I just don’t ever want to see it go past 170 lbs ever again. Ever.

A Five Paragraph Order for Weight Loss

The Five Paragraph Order is a style of organizing information about a military situation for a unit in the field. It is an element of United States Army, United States Marine Corps and United States Navy Seabees of small unit tactics, and similar order styles are used by military groups around the world. An order specifies the instruction to a unit in a structured format that makes it easy to find each specific requirement.


You are overweight. Fat, even. You are out of shape. Fit is no longer something you can be described as. If you continue down this road, you will live an uncomfortable life and possibly die from weight-related complications.


To reverse the unhealthy lifestyle and regain rudimentary fitness


  1. Research Whole30 and the Paleo Diet.
  2. Clean out your pantry and refrigerator of all non-compliant ingredients
  3. Purchase whole foods: meat, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
  4. Set a start date and do it.
  5. Complete Whole30 and transition to Paleo

Administration and Logistics

Keep a log or diary. Do not weigh yourself daily on the Whole30. Ensure you have the appropriate Whole30 compliant ingredients which are available on the outsides of every grocery store; meat, fruit, and vegetables. More difficult to find ingredients for Paleo may be found online.

Foods to avoid
  • Processed sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Alcohol
Acceptable foods
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit (within reason)
  • Nuts

Command and Signal

Continue reading about health and fitness. Continue reading about Whole30 and the Paleo Diet. Reach out to others who have adopted the same lifestyle. Online communities are welcoming and a good place to start. Reach out locally to others and encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle by showing them your successes.

I can’t lay it out any easier than this. I have set forth the mission; it is on you to carry it out. If you need more information, let me know and I will get it for you.

It’s the food and not the exercise that allowed me to lose weight

bigejwine20142017Look at that picture. I mean really look at it. Those are the same person. That’s me.

What separates them besides 2 years of time? About 130 lbs.

130 lbs

I have now lost over 144 lbs in less that two years through diet, and I don’t mean some sort of starvation or deny yourself food diet. I eat well every day, I am not hungry between means, and I don’t have to take any pills, powders, shakes, or subscribe to any programs or pay any money to anyone. I didn’t have surgery or any other procedure. I did one simple thing: I CHANGED WHAT I PUT INTO MY MOUTH.

It doesn’t matter how much you work out, how much you walk, what your workout plan is, or that you hit the gym twice in a day. Unless you change your diet long-term, you will not lose weight.

Weight loss is 90% diet and 10% exercise. I know this is true because I lost 90% of my weight before I started running. Since I started running, I have only lost about 15 lbs. I used to weigh 312 lbs. I now weigh 164 lbs.

I gave up processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains, legumes, dairy, and soy. I may still have food with trace amounts of these things in them from time to time, but for the most part, I no longer eat foods that contain those ingredients. Why? Because they act like poison to my body. When I eat those ingredients, my body swells and I gain weight very quickly. There’s a reason pigs and cattle are fed grain to fatten up; it works.

If you want to lose weight, stop eating whole wheat or oatmeal. It’s not doing you any favors. Look into Whole30. Look into the Paleo Diet. They work. I’m living proof, and so is my wife, my son, and nearly all of my friends. We’ve all adopted Paleo, and we’re all losing weight. It’s not rocket science; it’s actually older than science itself.

Can harsh words help someone get healthy?

This is a good question. We all respond differently to not only the messages we are sent, but the method by which those messages are sent. Some people just don’t like being told the truth in a concise and clear way while others abhor being coddled and having things sugarcoated. I am the former; I like my information straight and to the point. That’s why I present it that way; no coddling or sugarcoating.

I read a quote today that said something like, “Rarely are harsh words helpful.” I disagree. I vehemently disagree. Some people only respond to harsh words. My son, as a little boy, shut down anytime I raised my voice or yelled at him. As a parent, one of the non-violent ways to get through to a kid is through a booming voice, only my son would literally just shut down.  I had to present information to him gently so he could absorb it. My daughter, on the other hand, only learned through the booming voice. My grandmother taught me that kids are all very different, and it takes different methods to get through to each. You need to find out what their method is and stick to it. Adults are no different.

If you don’t like straight talk and concise language, then this site is not for you. If you, like me, respond well to direct, clear, and brutally honest information, then welcome! Please look around, browse some blog entries, and enjoy!

Sure, some of what I have to say is not very politically correct. I use the word fat a lot instead of its more friendly euphemism overweight. If we can’t call ourselves out for what we are, then we have little chance of fixing ourselves.

I wish people would have been more blunt with me in the past. Would it have hurt my feelings? The Hungarians say that behind every joke or harsh word is a grain of truth. Well, by calling me fat, it would have been more than a grain of truth; more like a heaping truckload. It was’t until my cousin, a PA, flat out told me that I was going to die soon if I didn’t change my health. She didn’t sugarcoat things, and she laid it all out for me on main street. It changed my life. Had she not done that, there’s a good chance I would either still be very fat today, or dead.

There is a time and place for being politically correct, and a time to tell it like it is. If you are overweight and unhealthy, the time for being nice is done. It’s time for you to get with it, lose the weight, get healthy, and save your life.

It’s going to be hard at first and you’ll want to quit but don’t.


That motivator in the picture right there is Michael Eckert, Marine Sgt. He holds the Guinness World Record for most pull-ups in 60 seconds. A video of him doing “Air Rowing” recently went viral, and he did an AmA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. In the AmA, he was asked, “What’s the best fitness advice you’d give someone working on getting in shape?” His answer: “It’s going to be hard at first and you’ll want to quit but don’t.”

This is probably the most important and basic piece of information anyone can give regarding starting a diet or a fitness plan. It’s going to be hard. You will want to quit. Don’t.

We give ourselves excuses all the time for why we should take the easy route and quit. Whether it’s during a run, in the middle of repetitions on a bench press, or starting a diet, it’s always hard in the beginning. Another quote of Sgt Eckert’s in the AmA applies here: “Remember the guy who quit? No one does.” Everyone knows you started something. Be known as the one who finished it, too.

I set out to lose weight, get healthy and fit, and weigh 165 lbs. I did it. It took me 20 months, but I did it. I am now in maintenance mode for my weight (although I’ll take any additional weight loss my body gives me!) and I strive to become more fit, albeit slowly. It was hard in the beginning, but I didn’t quit. That’s great advice right there.