This one will be a tough pill to swallow

This is for those who are overweight. If you are already at your ideal weight, you should probably skip this blog post. 


I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I’m not going to say it nicely. I’m going to come right out and say what you already know: you’re fat and you need to lose weight. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you searched out this blog, and it’s why you are reading.

If you are offended, then you’re not ready to change. You are in denial, and you won’t succeed. If you don’t like that, too bad, snowflake. I’m not here to coddle you, shower you with kindness, and hold your delicate ego while you make empty gestures in an attempt to lose weight so you can say you’re working, “So hard” to lose the weight while really not doing anything that resembles work. Don’t waste my time, and more importantly, don’t waste your own.

You didn’t get fat in a day, and you won’t lose it all in a day. Or a week. Or even a month. It will take a long time, and it will take some serious effort. I’m not talking about effort in the gym. Anyone can go to a gym, and many do for years without losing weight. I’m talking about effort over your mind, over your own desires and cravings. You will have to conquer the greatest enemy you’ve ever faced: yourself.

You have to wean yourself off sugar. That means nothing with added sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and artificial sweeteners. Yes, even alcohol. If that’s too much for you, go away. You will fail, and I won’t be part of that.

You have to do it cold turkey. “Moderation” is a myth and, to be frank, complete bullshit. If you could have ever exercised moderation, you would have done so already and you wouldn’t be fat.

I don’t judge you for being fat. I was fat, and I was okay with it for a long time. Until I wasn’t. Then, I did something about it. If you’re still reading after everything I’ve said, then it seems you’re ready to do something about it too.

Feel angry? Embarrassed? Upset? USE THAT ENERGY TO DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GET HEALTHY! Go to whole30.com. Read it. Read it again. Then, DO IT. It’s simple. I didn’t say it was easy because it’s not. The first 3-7 days will be the most hellish experience you will likely ever face. But once on the other side of it, you will feel better than you probably have in your entire life, and things will change for the better.

Got questions? Need help? Want to talk? Let me know! I’m here to help. And I promise, I’m much nicer than this post makes me sound. It’s just that breaking through the shell of denial sometimes requires blunt force (hence this post).

Kinda Paleo… Kinda Eating Right…

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Pizza… my nemesis…

It’s interesting to me when I see people posting on social media that they are eating Paleo and then a few days or weeks later, I see them posting about non-Paleo foods they’re eating. I didn’t say it makes me angry or upset, because it doesn’t. I’m not disappointed or let down; it’s not my journey to judge. I don’t say anything negative. I don’t say anything at all. As I’ve said before, I’m not the Paleo Police, and what you eat is your business. Always.

It’s interesting to me because I struggled with eating non-Paleo foods, but I resisted the temptations (and boy, were there many!). I try to think about why I was successful at putting the temptations and cravings behind me when others couldn’t, and I’m not sure I have any good answers, but here are some methods I used:

  1. I put non-Paleo foods out of my diet. Completely. I never considered them because I didn’t allow myself to eat them at all. Ever. They were off-limits.
  2. I committed to Paleo completely. If it wasn’t Paleo-approved, it wasn’t on my plate or going in my mouth.
  3. I committed to success. There was no stopping me, and the last thing I was going to do is sabotage myself by eating non-Paleo foods.
  4. I wouldn’t let the scale dictate my success. I used many factors outside of the scale to include how I felt, my mobility, flexibility, how my clothes fit, and how much more awake I felt.
  5. I stayed positive and never let anything or anyone get me down. On those rare occasions when I still felt a little down, my wife would pick me up and give me the push I needed to persevere (teamwork cannot be understated).

You don’t need to be Superman or Wonder Woman to get this done. Going Paleo isn’t hard, but it does require you to use self discipline to stay away from foods that aren’t good for you. That’s why I literally broke all ties with those foods that are harmful to me and my health. Just like you cut ties with toxic people, the same must be done with foods that impact your health negatively. There’s no other way.

With all that said, I would have to say that it’s better to be kinda Paleo than not Paleo at all. At least you’re giving your body good food most of the time. Just go easy on the non-Paleo stuff, and realize that you’re sabotaging your own progress. If you’re okay with that, I’m okay with that. Just don’t tell me that you can’t achieve the same levels of success I have; you’re kidding yourself if you believe that.

The easiest way to lose weight

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This was all accomplished without exercise.

People are always looking for the easiest way to do anything these days, including losing weight. We want the weight loss pill, the weight loss drink, the weight loss patch, the weight loss program, the weight loss (insert item here). Whatever it is, we want it fast, easy, and as inexpensive as possible.

The sad reality is there is no easy way to lose weight. There is a simple way to do it, but it’s not easy: eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, and soy. That’s it. If you do that and eat reasonable meals with good, whole foods, you will lose weight.

People who look for the easy and fast ways to lose weight are almost always disappointed, ultimately concluding that there is no way for them to lose weight and get healthy. They then give up entirely on losing weight and getting healthy.

There are those who try every fad diet and counting calories and they learn within a month or so that it is not sustainable in the long-term. Their ability to restrict their diet so dramatically can only last a short while before they start starving. Most of the time, people on restrictive diets don’t cut out the carbs which leads to intense cravings between meals. This makes it almost impossible to succeed long-term.

Some try to exercise the weight off, and to a certain degree, this is possible, but it is very difficult to do without making long-term substantial lifestyle changes in the food they eat. I know people who have been working out daily for over seven years, yet without a real change in their diet, they haven’t lost any real weight. They are stronger and more fit, but not lighter.

The real key to weight loss is simple and free: adopt a healthy diet.  Cut carbs (grains, legumes, soy, dairy) and eat meat and vegetables with some fruit. 90% of all weight loss is the result of improving your diet.

The Journey is Not Linear

The entire time I’ve been on this weight loss journey, my progress has not been linear. My weight bounced between 2-3 lbs all the way down. Since I weigh myself daily, in the beginning, it was distressing and disheartening. After a while, I started noticing trends based on the things I ate the day or days previously, and it helped me gain an understanding for how my body reacts to certain foods. Now, a year and a half after I started, when I see my weight spike a few pounds, I don’t get upset. I get concerned, but not upset. I know that I need to focus on the food I’m eating, and I know that I just need to stick to my plan, and the weight loss will continue.

I lost my way for a few months. Eating the almond butter and chocolate sweets after dinner and entire sweet potatoes with meats did away with my weight loss for a while. The small amounts of sugar in those items were enough to keep me from making any more progress with my weight loss. Now that I’ve eliminated them, I lost 7 lbs. Even when I go back up 2 lbs in a weekend due to a holiday meal, I’m not worried. I know that it’ll come off in a few days, and I’ll be back to my good progress.

I can remember watching the numbers going up and down and not realizing how much progress I’ve made until I logged a new weight and found I was in a new group of 10’s. My most distinct memory is when I went from the 180’s to the 170’s. I bounced quite a bit in the 180’s, but one day, I weighed 179.6 lbs, and I realized that I’d gotten out of the 180’s just fine. It was a great

If you plan on weighing daily, know that you will see the numbers go up every now and then. What you’re looking for is trends. If the scale goes up three days in a row, then you really need to look at what you’re eating and adjust. But a day or two of increase followed by a decrease? That’s normal. Now, looking at the even bigger picture, if the general trend is going lower and lower, then you’re on the right path. Use the scale as a tool, not as your single indicator of success. There are many, many non-scale factors to consider in your overall health.

Losing That Stubborn Last 10 lbs

I pre-wrote this post a week and a half ago. Since writing this, I’ve lost 6 lbs and I’m within 4 lbs of my final goal.


It’s killing me. That last 10 lbs is sticking solidly to me like a leech. I have been taking a long, hard look at my diet to find out where the extra calories may be coming from, and I think I may have isolated a few problem areas that I will begin working on this week.

Sweet potatoes. Yes, in Paleo and even in Whole30, these are allowed. However, they are still pretty high in carbs for their weight, and I do love them. I have been eating them quite a bit, and I am pretty sure I always eat too much of them. So, starting today, I’m laying off the sweet potatoes. For now.

Almond butter. So, you’re not supposed to eat desserts on Whole30 at all. Paleo allows it, but it’s supposed to be a treat. Well, I’ve kind of messed up here as I finish every meal with a small almond butter and chocolate square. I’m pretty certain that not only is this harming my weight loss, it’s a bad habit to be in. Also starting today, no more desserts.

Not enough carbs before exercise. This one seems counter-intuitive to me, but the truth is that our bodies use carbs during exercise, and depriving myself of carbs before a run actually does more harm to weight loss than help. Before my last run, I ate three pieces of dried apricot and I was amazed at how much better I felt and how much my performance increased.

Sleep. I need more of it. They say 8-10 hours a night is the best for weight loss, and when I was losing 10+ lbs per month, I was very careful to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. I’ve allowed that to get down to 7 hours a night, and I’m certain that it’s affected my ability to lose weight. Tonight, I will go to bed at 9 pm and get the most sleep I can.

Not enough food. I come back to this one a lot because it’s my biggest sin regarding weight loss. Conventional wisdom is CICO: Calories In vs Calories Out. Well, this is true, but the deficit cannot be too big or the body goes into conservation mode. I think I keep kicking into conservation mode since my meals have tended to be rather small. That’s something I’ve begun changing in the past two weeks, but without the aforementioned four items, it hasn’t been enough.

Portion size. I’m not a real big offender in this area, but I’ve not been very consistent in keeping portion sizes appropriate. Whether I eat too much or too little, I need to settle on a better size and stick to it.

It’s not that my final goal is unrealistic. Heck, according to BMI, I’m still overweight. According to the military height and weight standards, I’m hovering at the maximum allowable weight. The only measures I’m in the good range in are body fat percentage and clothing sizes. Getting down to 165 lbs is a much healthier weight for me and will allow me a little more wiggle room than I have now.


So, it seems that this plan worked. I’m now within 4 lbs of my final goal, and I’m not struggling, suffering, or being otherwise in any discomfort. The food I’m eating is the same as I’ve been eating for the past 18 months with the exception of the sweet potato and the chocolate/almond butter desserts. 

I can’t exercise because I have no time!

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I was talking to a co-worker today about her exercise regimen she started a few weeks back, and she admitted to me that it lasted a whole day. “I just don’t have time to do it,” she told me. She really wants to, she says, but she just can’t find the time to get a workout in.

That’s a poor excuse.

I make exercise a priority. I place it higher than eating, drinking, or even work. As much as my boss wouldn’t like that, it’s true. My health is far more important for me to maintain for the long-term. For the short-term? I’m a better employee if I’m healthy, and staying healthy is accomplished through diet and exercise.

I read an article a year or two back that was about an entrepreneur who talked about how he put his exercise schedule in his calendar and didn’t cancel workout sessions for anything. He would rather miss a business opportunity than a workout. It seemed silly to me at the time, but I get it. I totally get it. Business opportunities rarely come and go with one meeting. If they can’t meet at 1 pm, they can likely meet at 2 pm. My workouts are about 30 minutes long with 30 minutes of recovery time (cool-down, shower, get dressed). That’s an hour. I exercise three times a week. That’s a tiny three hours a week.

Ask yourself this question: is it worth investing a little of your time in yourself and your health/fitness? If you’re sitting on the couch, could you be exercising? Too tired? Too bad! There’s time enough for relaxing and resting later. Get out there and move. Even if it’s just a walk or some push ups. Do something and get moving!

“I don’t have time” is BS. We all have time. We need to learn to use our time wisely or manage it better. We all have the same amount of time. Nobody gets 25 hours in a day. Carve out the time for exercise and manage your time better.

Success and Failure in Losing Weight

I’ve done both. I’ve failed many times to successfully lose weight, and in my last great attempt, I’ve been successful. I’ve been keeping off my weight for nearly a year now, and it’s been a lot easier than I ever thought it could have been possible. What is the difference today versus all the other times I tried to lose weight? Diet.

I don’t mean diet in the modern sense: a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. I mean diet in the traditional (and proper) sense: the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats. So, what is it specifically that allowed me to be successful this time? I no longer eat anything with sugar or added artificial sweeteners, grains, dairy, soy, or legumes.

The Paleo Diet. Whole 30. Those two programs are what got me to where I am today: 140 lbs lighter and fit.

I’ve met lots of people who have all the determination necessary to be successful at losing weight, but they are going about it all wrong. I know a guy who has been walking every day in my neighborhood for over five years. He walks about 8 miles a day. Amount of weight lost in the past five years? About 20 lbs. What does he eat for breakfast? Oatmeal. Lunch? Salad and a whole wheat sandwich. Dinner? Rice and Beans with chicken breast. Can you imagine eating that for five years and getting only 20 lbs worth of weight loss? No wonder he thinks it’s impossible for him to lose weight. I lost 6 times as much weight in 1/5 the time with diet alone.

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I alone am the captain of my health.

Sometimes, the difference between success and failure isn’t the amount of effort, but the type of effort. Do the research and eat good food. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.