Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Weight Loss Story

As the new year approaches, thousands resolve to lose weight. It's important for me to share my story with them. I have lost 200lbs and counting, and this is how it all happened...

In February of 2003 I weighed 419 lbs. I wore the largest sizes the Big & Tall shop carried (6X shirts, 60" waist). Life was miserable. I cried a lot. I ached a lot. Fat since the age of 8, I could only imagine what a healthy me would look like.

At first it didn't seem like I ate that much more than other people I knew. It didn't seem fair that I gained weight so easily. Gaining weight was a downward spiral. The more I gained the more people rejected me. The fatter I got, the more I needed food and my couch to comfort me. Towards the end, there were times I would eat to the point of making myself sick.

I would have pursued weight loss surgery except for the fact that I had no major medical problems (yet) so I doubted my insurance would cover it. I had never tried a diet, and I didn't want to if I was going to be one of those people I'd seen who talked about their diet contstantly but never lost weight, or worse, lost weight only to gain it right back. I hoped that I would one day make a complete turnaround, have some miraculous moment from which I would never turn back. Instead, a series of events brought big changes in small steps.

First of all, I prayed a lot, every day, for a miracle.

Later, someone introduced me to a book about eating right for my blood type. In particular, avoiding wheat and dairy resonated with me not just because that was recommended for me as a type-O but also because I suspected I have lactose and gluten intolerance. As I avoided those foods, I noticed many positive changes in my health. I realized that what may be good for one person is poison for another. I felt entitled to listen to myself and start eating the healthy foods I like, and avoiding everything I didn't think was right for me.

February 2004 I again stepped on a scale and weighed in at 419 lbs. Victory! For the first year in a long time, I did not GAIN.

June 2004. A friend mentioned how she went without sugar for a year. I woke up the next morning and the first thing that came to mind was that I was ready to start, right then, not eating sugary foods until my next birthday (almost one year away). I got rid of all sugary foods. Over the next six months, I gradually dropped 40 lbs. Below is a photo of me at 380 lbs.

December 2005, halfway through a 2nd year without sugar, I felt that I had found the key to stop the weight gain and felt confident that I could be successful on a diet. I joined Weight Watchers weighing 377.6 lbs and knew I was never going back.

A year later, I weighed 220. That's 150 lbs lost in one year. Below is a month-by-month of the year 2006. What a year.

February 2007. The euphoria started to wear off as the weight loss plateaued... People started to assure me they didn't see another pound I could lose, yet when I looked in the mirror I could definately see where I had more to go. No matter how diligent I was in my diet and exercize, some weeks I just didn't see a loss of weight. I tried my hand at dating and experienced (lots) of rejection. This time, not because I was fat, but because of the person I am. Ouch. Fat had always been my buffer and now I didn't have that. It kind of all got to me. My weight has bounced around between 210 and 195 since February.

November 2007. I'm in. I'm all in. I'm going for it. I'm going to weigh 175 lbs. I don't care how saggy the extra skin gets. I don't care how long it takes. I've got a few tricks up my sleeve... but I'll wait to tell you about those as the weeks roll forward. In the meantime keep your eye on my blog and you will see some amazing things happen.


Triviales Wissen said...

WOW -- you look great!!! Congratulations on hard work that has paid off!

Mike Chapmon Longview TX said...

0926195I've tried nutri-system, weight watchers, and medication, but still weight 402 lbs. I've gotten down to 360, but the biggest problem I have is living alone. I'm going to use your story as motivation - if you did it I can too. Send me your phone number so I can talk to you and steal ideas. My ideal weight is 195-200. My email is chapmon52@sbcglobal.net. Good luck on getting down to where you finally want.

Marie Ludwig said...

Oh sweet John! You do have a great story...and about the rejection bit...Trust me, the person you are is amazing and just believe it's about timing.

I fowarded your email onto my peeps at Oprah and we will see. The show is taped on the 18th of January so you may want to have the option to take some time off in the general region.

Thanks for motivating me. You are a great man.

ika said...

how tall are you? My downside is chocolate and chips. Im not overly overweight, but i could def lose a few kgs. I used to be 15 kgs lighter and very toned, but i didn't let myself eat the things i wanted.

Jimmy Moore said...

FANTASTIC JOB, John! As a former 410-pound man who lost a whole lotta weight, I can relate to everything you have said about your own journey. Keep at it and be proud of what you have accomplished. You look amazing! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Jimmy Moore, author of "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb: My Journey From Flabby Fat To Sensationally Skinny In One Year"
BLOG: http://livinlavidalocarb.blogspot.com
PODCAST: http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com

Keith said...

Many congrats on your success so far! You're an inspiration to me, someone who has about 100 lb. to go towards his ideal weight. Please keep sharing things in your blog!

Stevens' Family said...

Congratulations John, what hard work! and what a fabulous story. You are such a great person, you were so nice to me from the first time I met you in Seattle. Thank you for your inspiration. Good luck on your journey. Let us know if there is anything we can do. -kyla stevens(dan's wife)

J D said...

Great Job Man!! My only hope it to be so successful as you are!

It's tough but I know we can do it!

Now that I am having a bad week i think to myslef how in the world did I loose 133 pounds, It's feels so unreal.

I forget it is all done by healthy eating overall.

Best of luck as you drop your last pounds.

Keep me posted.


J D said...

Congrats on your daily Loss!

4 pounds to go toward being back at 208.

Keep on doing what you are doing cause it is definatly working.

J D said...

Que paso Compadre? No more Honey Oat Bars :)

Hang in there Buddy! Todays gain is nothing, you will ultimatly loose a lot more by Friday.

Stick with the Plan Amigo!

You like my spanglish haha?

Spud said...

Amazing!!! You are truly an inspiration and your grit and determination should set examples to all of us. You are living proof that there is nothing that cannot be accomplished with appropriate time and a plan.

Congratulations, you've worked hard and earned everything that's come to you. Now enjoy it!

As far as women, that will come with time. If your story is any insight to your personality, some lucky girl is going to stumble into a goldmine.

When you are truly happy with yourself, which you have every reason to be, confidence will shine through. And that is the biggest attraction.. not cocky, there's plenty of those, but confident.. and you should be, because you're amazing.

Cheers to continued success!

Katie said...

Great Job :)

milestone28 said...

Juanny Boy!!!!! I am so proud of you. I got to watch you lose weight for a whole year and it was so inspiring. Remember, you inspired me to lose 60lbs and keep it off! You are such a blessing to everyone whose life you touch. Keep up the hard work!

Jen said...

Congrats on your weight loss. You look great. I was reading your daily weigh-in reports on the side bar. It must be so frustrating to jump up and down on the scale. Did this happen through your earlier weight loss?

J D said...

You are doing great buddy!

This years Thanksgiving gain is a thing of the past. Awesome!

Christmas here we come haha

Do you like tamales?

J D said...

Season Greetings! 205, good week for you!

Yo no quiero step on the scale esta semana,

no no


MaryJoNM said...

Very motivational, and amazing! Thank you for sharing.
You look marvelous.
Mary Jo

Anonymous said...

We have been really missing you this last week and were so glad to get your e=mail and the blogspots.
You have done a terrific job os posting your story and it is very inspiring.
I have gone to a gluten-free diet and it has made all the difference. Mother Karen

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