I freakin’ did it.

Left: somewhere around 280 pounds, Bermuda, Summer of 2014. Right: 199 pounds, Boston, March 2016.

Left: somewhere around 280 pounds, Bermuda, Summer of 2014. Right: 199 pounds, Boston, March 2016.

I hit my goal weight this morning.  199.8 pounds, or a little over 80 pounds lighter than I was when I started this quest at the beginning of last year.  Let me reiterate: I just lost 80 pounds.  Not through some whack crash dieting plan, or surgery, or starving myself.  I lost it with science and a quiet, simmering rage.  And bacon.

It started, as Science must, with an observation and a question: I feel like shit when I eat foods loaded with gluten.  They make me bloated, tired, and depressed.  Sometimes they give me IBS.  When I follow a gluten free diet, I feel much better.  I don’t have celiac disease, so what the hell is going on?  Along the way I’ve learned things about myself that continue to amaze me — like that I enjoy running, that I can deadlift 300 lbs, and I can do an unassisted pull-up.  That I can eat bacon and eggs for breakfast every day and watch myself get healthier.  I’ve had a few false starts, taken some bad advice that came with good intentions, and regrouped, sorted it all out, and learned more about myself each time.  I have seen more doctors in the past year than a reasonable (healthy) person would consider sane.

I’ve sought out experts in diet, medicine, and fitness, taken their advice, sorted fact from bullshit, and formed a new way to live.  I meticulously track what I eat, how many calories and carbs it contains, and how effective my exercise is.  The result is that I have fixed every lingering health problem on my chart, from sleep apnea to IBS to hormonal imbalances, and finally rid myself of the plague of obesity that has been a source of unhappiness in my life for the last 20 years.

I’m in the best shape of my life.  I have realized the promise of the person that I was supposed to become.  And the quiet, simmering rage?  The rage is what nurtures the flame of willpower that keeps me going.  It’s looking at the food pyramid and USDA diet guidelines and saying “fuck that.”  It’s the fleeting looks of judgement from strangers.  It’s the physicians that I came to because I knew something in my body was deeply wrong who didn’t take the time to understand and then talked me out of following the right path.  It’s the dogma that has made us a country that is 68% obese.  But mostly, it’s the regret of decades wasted in a body that was not mine.  Of wishing that I could have done this long ago.

But I’m here now.  I did it, and today I will celebrate.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  And I now have a new goal: to become a good father.  My daughter will be born in a month.

Let’s do this.


Since I am always happy to talk about this stuff, here’s Alex’s list of things that are not bullshit:
Eating fewer than 150 grams of carbohydrates per day.  
A diet high in fat and protein.
Exercising 5 times a week.
MyFitnesspal (want to know what I’ve been eating?  Here’s my complete food diary for the past year)
My gym: Solid Body Fitness.  Danielle, Jason, and Thomas, I love you guys.
My nutritionist: Caitlin Crews
Nerd Fitness
The Keto Calculator
Vitamin D3.  But not Vitamin D2, D2 is bullshit.  There’s a difference.
The Wahoo Tickr X

And if you have read this far, you are clearly interested, so here’s Alex’s Winning Formula For Weight Loss™:
Every morning, eat 3 eggs, 3-5 strips of bacon, and a banana.  Wash it down with black coffee, a Multivitamin That Is Not Bullshit, some Vitamin D3, and probiotics.  Hit the gym (or go for a run, or a hike).
For lunch, eat something with a low glycemic load high in fiber and reasonably high in protein.  Most of your carbs for the day should come here.  Fat doesn’t matter.  1 cup of cooked quinoa, a bunch of veggies, half an avocado, and some chicken is the platonic ideal.  On the road?  Eat a bunch of chicken salad and some potato chips.  Are you near a Whole Foods?  Hit their salad bar and start assembling.  The quinoa is in the burrito section.
If you get hungry in the middle of the afternoon: eat an RXBar:
For dinner: eat whatever protein makes you happy.  You like steak?  Eat steak.  Octopus?  Boom.  Chicken?  Roast that bad boy whole like a boss and dive in.  Add some veggies or salad and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Measure everything out correctly and you should arrive at or near a diet that contains 2,300 calories, 100 or so grams of carbs, and a whole lot of fat and protein.  My macros are normally around 50% fat, 25% protein, 25% carbs.  Get some sleep, wake up tomorrow, and do it again.
You can do it.



Comments are closed.