When it comes to weight loss I am extremely compassionate. I know what it is like to feel like a failure when everyone else around you eats normally and you cannot. I know what it is like to make excuses. I know what it is like to pray a pair of pants will fit after gaining weight. I also know what it is like to be successful with losing weight.
How do you help others? That is still one of the hardest things to do. Although weight loss has a lot to do with support and others, it is still a very individual journey. As someone who has dealt with weight his whole life, I also know answers everyone gives. Eat more unprocessed foods, workout, drink water, track, and uptake of protein are just a few things everyone has heard. Every time a magazine gives “NEW SHOCKING WEIGHT LOSS TIPS” I guarantee one of those is on there.
Lately I have been getting a lot of emails asking for help. People who were in the same boat as I was. Morbidly obese and lost. I really have been thinking about how can I help. How can I really give advice that is not condescending and is truly accurate. In the last four years I have been on different plans, so I cannot say there is a “best” diet. I have done tons of workouts so I cannot say there is an “only” workout. So how did I lose over 200 pounds?
Because nothing was more important to me than losing weight.
I did a low calorie diet for two weeks before I joined Weight Watchers in 2008. I did it because I was afraid the scale did not go over 400 pounds. I realized after the fact that they go pretty high.
When I walked in every week to get myself weighed in I asked two questions….
“How much weight did I lose?”
“What is the most someone lost here?”
In 52 weeks I gained a pound only one week. Every other week was a loss. I lived and died by Weight Watchers for months. When they told me that 50 pounds was the most someone lost I said OK. Then when I lost 50 pounds, I asked what is the most someone lost in Florida on Weight Watchers. Then Florida. Then the US.
I tracked every piece of food. I memorized the way points worked. Then it got to a point when I did not think points would work for me, so I went to a more natural way to eat.
When I first started, I told my wife we were not going out to eat for four months. I asked her not to bring in any food for four months. Even though I worked around food, I was able to convince myself not to eat the food at work. When they asked me to taste a new cake I passed. When I needed to taste a sauce I passed. When a woman started to cry because she made me a special cake, I apologized. I felt bad. I still did not eat the cake.
Because all I thought about was losing weight. I would be lying to you if the scale did not motivate me. When you are over 400 pounds, you are not motivated by skinny jeans and six pack abs. No one will say “Wow, you look slimmer in those size 56 pants!” No, the scale told me that I was doing the right thing.
And everything else was not as important. I woke up thinking about going to the gym. I went to bed hungry some nights. I passed on a lot of good food. All I wanted to do was lose weight. It was the most important thing to me.
Was I selfish? Maybe at some points. When I would freak out because I could not go to the gym I was selfish. When I would get angry that a food did not have the accurate calorie count on it I was selfish. Because my life was on the line. That is what I thought. That is what I needed to think.
There were so many days I did not think it was worth it. I mean, I have a good wife and my life was good. I realized my life would never be dramatically different. Except for Jared Fogle, no one is successful ONLY from weight loss. I already felt good. Yet, I kept going.
And I still do to this day. I refuse to miss a workout. I really watch the food I eat. I do not believe in the “obesity epidemic”. When I go to the hospital there are plenty of thin people there. There is not an obese wing. I do not think that obesity is tearing up society. Maybe because I was always the fattest person in the room. Maybe because I do not truly understand what obese is. I only understand my obesity.
And that is how I can give advice or help. Because I cannot tell you what you need to do to lose weight. There are millions of programs and so many good trainers and gyms out there.
How bad do you want to lose weight? Because if you “kind of” want it you will “kind of” get results. If you are obese, having a couple of minor changes will not lead to an extreme weight loss. It takes a lot of courage and determination. People will tell you it does not. I do not believe it.
Nothing was easy about it for me. That is fine because my results are not typical. I still struggle, but I would rather struggle than lose the battle.
I do not know the best workouts or meal plan. I have said this before here. What I do know is that you have to make some sacrifices. You have to be willing to avoid certain things. And I am not going to give a stupid “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” comment. But I will say it is a good feeling when people are laughing with you instead of at you.
It is a better felling when you are laughing. Laughing because you are happy.