People ask me who my weight loss inspirations are. Sure, I respect so many people in the weight loss industry.

No one helped me out like Jody Genessey .

Two years ago I lost 221 pounds in a year. I changed everything about my life. What I ate, how I moved, how I felt. Like most weight loss success stories, I wanted to get my name out there.

I was a member of Weight Watchers, although I really did not believe in the program. I submitted my story to them numerous times. Once in a while I would get a “Thank you bu no thank you” but most of the time I was ignored. Looking back, I do not blame WW. I wrote about the stupidity of diets numerous times. Yet, at the time, I did not understand.

Every month I would pick up a copy of WW and look at the success stories. I would get upset because I was not one of them.

Then one month I saw Jody.

Jody lost 170 pounds. He was a dad like I was so close to being. He worked out. I read his success story over and over again. I wondered what he did to get into WW that I did not do.

So I Googled his name, and realized he was a writer. What I did not think I would see is the post that would change me forever.

Everyone will struggle. Yet, when you are successful you do not believe that you will struggle. You laugh at the world. You have everything figured out. You have defeated all the odds.

When I read his article, I got scared. I wrote about it.

I knew that he was in a “Weight Loss Hurricane”. Most of us go through it.

So I started working out harder, up to two hours a day. I was not going to be Jody. I could not be him.

But I started eating a little more. It is funny when your workouts are phenomenal, yet you can see you are gaining weight.

Then, in December of 2010, my wife bought me an incredibly thoughtful present. She got me a “The Anti-Jared” hoodie which was made special for me by a designer in California.

Trouble is, it did not fit.

At 261 pounds, I was lost. I worked out, yet I ate. I had muscle, yet I had fat, a lot of it. I ate more than I should have. Much more.

Yet, at 261 pounds, I could tie my shoes. I could wipe my a**. I could put on a seat belt. I could hug my wife and I could play with my son.

But I knew I was not my best. Most weight losses end at the 23rd mile of a marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles.

So I tried to get different companies to sponsor my weight loss. I got laughter.

I tried to talk about it, but fitness and health bloggers attacked me with advice.

It is hard when you get knocked down. You hear that everyone gets knocked down in weight loss. Hell, most of us have been knocked down numerous times.

Who has the courage to get back up?

I am not 261 anymore. Not even close. I still work out every day. I make a conscious effort to watch what I eat. I do not count my calories every day, but I know what I put in my body.

I put on the sweatshirt my wife gave me today. It fit fine. A little loose actually.

I am so blessed that I inspire many of you who come to my blog every so often, but I am not Oprah. Oprah seems to inspire so many people, but not herself. I am the one with the problem here. I am the one who has to wake up at 3:45 am to work out.

I was going to write a book called “The Comeback” but that is not my style. I tried to, but just couldn’t. I like short off the cuff stories.

Next week, we are going to start at the beginning of 2011, and I am going to go over my year.

So if you are are struggling, just know we all struggle. This is not a cliche Facebook status. Know that courage is not getting knocked down, but getting up. Looking at food and workouts and going at them.

So welcome to The Anti-Jared. My name is Tony.

Let me show you what a food addict can accomplish.


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