Weight Loss Journey

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read about my weight loss journey. My goal is to spread the word about nutrition and fitness in hopes to help and inspire others who are looking to make a life change of their own. Feel free to reach out to me anytime, I’ll be happy to help guide you in your journey and give you the support and tools to help succeed.

The Beginning

Exercise. It’s one of those things you often go through life thinking about, telling yourself I’ll get to it, maybe next week or it doesn’t work for me so you continue the same old lifestyle. Looking back over the past 5 years, that describes me. I found myself in a place where I was overweight and unhappy. Twenty years ago, when I was younger I was very active. I would run 3.5 miles, seven days a week and lifted weights on a daily basis. I found myself getting wrapped up in “life” and my priorities changed, becoming wrapped up with the moment and short-term. I lost my long-term vision and I began to gain weight. For the next 25 years I struggled internally, knowing I needed to make the change to become healthy, eat clean and exercise and I would go through times where I did. It never stuck and I fell back into old habits.

Weight loss was always something that I thought about, but it’s something I never really had the motivation to follow through on.

A Diet and Marathon Training?

I’ve never dieted or even thought about trying a weight loss program before. But, I have managed to be semi-active throughout the years, running in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Michigan and now Columbus, Ohio.

In April 2008 I started training for the Green Mountain Marathon in Vermont, which takes place in October. During the 6 months I training, I continued to eat poorly but I did manage to get my physical abilities up to par. I finished in 5 hours and 27 minutes. However, I never ran again for at least a year and a half after completing that marathon, WHY? Because I wasn’t mentally ready to take the change and or the commitment to staying fit. Looking back, I’m surprised I finished.

From 2008-2012 I ran on and off for weeks at a time. But, it was either cold or I didn’t have enough time, the reasons were endless. In in 2013 I found myself wearing size 44 pants (which were getting to tight), XXL shirts (which were also getting to tight), I was on blood pressure medicine and I couldn’t walk from the garage into the house and be sweating.

The Journey

January 2013

In January 2013 a co-worker told me about a mutual acquaintance who recently lost over 100 pounds using a Fitbit to track his activity and MyFitnessPal to track his food and the idea intrigued me.

2013-02-13 17.30.11

February – 281.6lbs, down 14lbs

On Jan 24th, 2013 I decided it was time, I was mentally ready to make a positive change in my life. I purchased a Fitbit One and set my weight-loss goal for a 80 pound weight loss by October 2013.

Once, I got my Fitbit I started to track my calories and keep them under 2000 per day using the Myfitness Pal app on my iPhone. This was a huge challenge as I was used to consuming around 5000-6000 calories per day. Think about it, a restaurant meal or home cooked meal can range from 1500-2000 calories and if you do that two or three times a day it adds up really quick.

For the first two weeks I didn’t do any exercise I just focused on keeping my calories under 2000, I didn’t watch my sugar intake, protein or carbohydrates. I simply kept my calories under 2000.

Total weight loss from January 24th – 31st was 9.7lbs.

February 2013

By February 13th, I was down 14 pounds without much effort and I continued to monitor my calorie intake using the Fitbit and MyFitnessPal to record my food intake.

Total weight loss from February 1 – 28th was 8.4lbs.

March 2013

During the month of March I decided to add exercise to my daily routine. I wanted to ensure I was building muscle and toning so when I dropped the weight I wouldn’t have skin that was baggy.

My challenge adding an exercise routine into the mix was I traveled 6-8 hours per day in my car. I  drove around the state of Ohio visiting customers. For those that are in the sales industry, you can probably relate to how bored you get in the car and I found myself eating gummy bears, Coke, Mountain Dew, Starbucks Latte’s, Candy Bars as I drove around to customer sites. While traveling I would often eat at least two of my meals “on the road”, and it was usually a fast food restaurant and I never made the right choices.

Years ago, my wife had convinced me to attend a body pump class at a local gym in Michigan. I only lasted 10 minutes and I had to leave the class. It was actually pretty humiliating. In March 2013 my wife convinced me to try again and pursued me to try Body Pump, so I purchased Les Mills Pump DVD set from BeachBody, it came with the DVD’s, the weights and a 90 day program, it was perfect.

47 days, down 25lbs & Les Mills Body Pump Day One
47 days, down 25lbs & Less Mills Body Pump Day One

I’ll be the first person to admit, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to stick to the calorie reduction, let alone adding exercise to the mix with my schedule. However, I managed to find time late in the evenings to complete my workouts, most days between 8pm to 10pm. I remember thinking, I don’t want to workout tonight. Then thinking, go do it you will feel better and I always did.

Les Mills Body Pump is a great beginner workout because it starts slow, the trainers do an exceptional job explaining and you can go at your own pace. When you become more advanced you can stick with the hard longer more intensive workouts or simply move on to another program.

Total weight-loss from March 1 – 31st was 14.8lbs.

April 2013
Les Mills Body Pump Completed
Les Mills Body Pump Completed, Down 72lbs

I continued Les Mills Pump throughout the month of April all while maintaining my calorie intake. I also started running on cardio days and continued to push myself both mentally and physically.

Total weight loss from April 1 – 30th was 12.7lbs.

May 2013

Les Mills Pump wrapped up and I continued to maintain my calorie intake of less than 2000 per day. After the 90 days, I was pretty happy with my results. At this point in my journey I’m addicted to exercise and eating healthy.

After I completed Body Pump in late May, I was torn between Les Mills Combat or P90x. My job was changing and I would be spending more time traveling with overnight hotel room stays, so the idea of Les Mills Combat really appealed to me. I could workout in my hotel room, no weights required. However, I decided that P90x would be the routine of choice this time around.

My initial thought was I can travel,  do the exercises with the bands in my hotel room and this held true for the most part. However, I do feel that dumbbells are more effective when doing p90X but that’s just my personal opinion.

Total weight loss from May 1 – 31st was 10.8lbs.

June 2013
July 4th 2012 vs July 4th 2013, I'm down 74lbs
July 4th 2012 vs July 4th 2013, I’m down 74lbs

During the month of June I started p90x and continued to maintain my running schedule. I made some modifications to the p90x routine, which fit my lifestyle and that is one of the benefits of P90x. It’s completely flexible if you stick to the core routines and add in your cardio in other ways.

I choose to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I also changed my calorie intake from 2000 to 2200 per day, p90x required me to eat more.

Total weight loss from June 1 – 30th was 10.7lbs.

July 2013

On July 4th, 2013 I decided to compare myself to the previous year and I was stunned when I put the pictures side by side. My pant size dropped to a 38, my shirt size went to a XL and I was feeling great.

I continued keeping my calorie intake around 2200 per day, continue p90x and running.

Total weight loss from July 1 – 31st was 9.2lbs.

August 2013
2013-08-24 10.36.20
7 Months into the journey, down 85lbs

In June 2013, a co-worker suggested we do a Tough Mudder, he had previously completed one and I was looking for a race to compete in. On August 24, 2013 I completed the Tough Mudder in Pittsburgh, PA and it was a complete breeze to complete all the obstacles. I signed up for another one on November 2nd, 2013 in central Florida.

One thing I found really appealing about the Tough Mudder is the fact its a group effort and people are there to help others complete the obstacles, you are not competing for time or a prize. It’s a true challenge and if you are up for it, I’m fairly confident if you can run 6 miles without stopping you can complete a Tough Mudder.

I also continued to keep my calorie intake around 2200 per day and continued p90x and running throughout the month.

Total weight loss from August 1 – 31st was 9.3lbs.

September 2013
96.4lbs Lost, size 44 pants.
96.4lbs Lost, size 44 pants

I continued to maintain my calorie intake, running and p90x was wrapping up. At this point, I was just past 8 months into my journey and I have lost a total of 97.3lbs. The best part I’ve done this 100% naturally with hard work and dedication, because I was mentally ready to make that life change.

Total weight loss from September 1 – 31st was 2.7lbs.

October 2013

On October 12th, I officially weighed in at 195lbs which made my total weight-loss 100lbs since January 24th. I continue to keep my calorie intake around 2200-2400 per day and I continued running, doing a dumbbell workout along with Cardio Attack and Cardio Abs.

My weight-loss has tapered off during the past couple months and I’m really starting to see the tone and definition in my body. It’s a hard mental challenge to not be upset when the scale doesn’t show change, but I can see it visibly in the mirror and the way my clothes fit. When you hit this point in your journey it’s important to realize the scale doesn’t matter. How you feel and the change you see in your body and clothes will tell the story for you.

Total weight loss from October 1 – 31st was 1.4lbs.

November 2013

In November I ran the Tough Mudder in central Florida and that was a huge success completing the course in 2 hours and 15 minutes. I started Insanity as well.

Total weight loss from November 1 – 30th was 2.2lbs

December 2013

December was an interesting month with the holidays and the temptations of the sweets. I continued my Insanity workouts during the month of December and used the holidays as a way to “re-feed” and ate pretty much what I wanted from December 23rd to Dec 30th. Doing a refeed kicked my metabolism back into gear and my weight loss started up again. I think my metabolism needed a kickstart since I was in a calorie deficit for nearly 11 months at this point.

Total weight loss from December 1 – 31st was 8lbs