Have you ever failed?
What diet works the best?
Why is this time different?
What obstacles did you overcome this time?

I get asked these questions a lot.

Rightfully so, because those are the same questions I would ask someone who has lost 200 pounds.

I am no expert, but I have been on “diets” for 20 years of my life. Let me see if I can answer them. This is coming from the perspective of a guy who was 420 pounds!

Have you ever failed?

I have never had a diet that failed. I was the one that failed the diet.

I always did well on “diets”. When I was on diets, I did them to a T. I would read the book, and do everything it asked.

On my diets, I have lost up to 90 pounds (Went from 310 to 220).

I have been on them all. Atkins, Zone, Deal a Meal, Susan Powter, Low Calorie, Etc.

Here was my flaw, I would get cocky. I would lose weight, and then think I could do whatever I wanted. I would “create my own diet”. You know, be strict for three days, then a holiday comes up, and eat whatever I wanted. After the holiday, I would go back and eat well for a day, then get strict, then weigh myself at 6am with no clothes on and pray that I lost weight.

When I was over 400 pounds, I came to the realization that I had to change my life. I have failed on diets for 20 years. 20 years! I needed to do something that I could live with for the rest of my life, not just something to have in convenience.

What diet works the best?

Everyone is different.

All of them work, but it depends on where you are in life. I am doing a “South Beach Core Zone kind of lifestyle.” Really, I just do not eat many processed foods, and I make sure the majority of what I eat are fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and fat free dairy.

Remember, I was 420 pounds and needed to lose over 200 pounds. What works for me might not work for you. I can live without pizza or cake. It has been 15 months, and I am not craving it at all while working around it over 60 hours a day.

For the most part, if you have up to 100 pounds to lose, I think Weight Watchers and South beach are the best ways to go. Weight Watchers gives people a variety of foods, while working on portion sizes. South Beach focuses on better foods to eat. it is really a preference.

I will say that if you have over 100 pounds to lose, you might want to consider changing the way you eat for life. Just an opinion.

Now, I will tell you, I am not on a diet.

This is the way I live, period!

I put it in writing because I want to see this in five years while I am still eating this way. I do not want to wake up over 400 pounds and wonder if I am going to die. That will never happen to me again!

Why is this time different?

My wife and baby.

I have spent so many years being selfish, eating what I wanted even though I knew I was killing myself. I am not a normal eater. I have known this for 20 years.

I want to grow old with my wife and I want my “soon to be” son to look up to me, the same way I look up to my dad. I think I finally woke up and realized that life to me is better than food. It is more than willpower, it is family power.

What obstacles did you overcome this time?

In my fourth week, I was doing awesome. I was counting my points, eating smaller portions, and weight was melting off. My wife was thrilled! Heck, I was thrilled. Then a thought came through my mind:

“I will not be able to do this for the rest of my life!”

I was right! I could just see that the portions would get bigger. I would “save” points only to eat huge meals and then I would forget to write things down and fool myself. I knew I would lose weight, but I did not think I would keep it off.

Then, I read about “Core” which is basically South Beach. It was a new way of eating for me, one I really never considered.

I tried it and loved it. I would eat fruits and vegetables like crazy. The pounds still came off, and then my health got better.

I also read a book by a woman named Tanya Zuckerbrot called “The F Factor Diet”. I know now that Fiber is the hot diet thing, but the book showed me how 35 grams of fiber a day will keep you feeling more full. The book was right, it helped!

With what I have learned, I am confident the weight will stay off!

Today was a weird day for me.

It was a day off, I worked out at 5am, ate some eggs and fruit, then some cottage cheese and broccoli. Then I ran some errands and got a lot accomplished, which included bringing my wife lunch. Then it dawned on me.

15 months ago, on my day off, all I would do it sleep and play video games. My wife would ask me to do things, but I never had the energy to do them.

You know, I am not perfect, but I am getting more normal every day.

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