All of this started around 2010. It started as a New Year’s Resolution. That’s right…I was a resolutioner.
One Summer afternoon I remember running around with my kids outside. It was a beautiful day and we were enjoying the warm, sunny weather. Playing tag among other things. And even now when I recall my words, it hurts my heart…
“Hey guys, you ready to go inside and find a tv show?”
They weren’t tired, of course. And the damage wasn’t immediate for me. It was later. Looking at myself in the mirror and realizing what I was. A former Marine that had finally gotten near 300 pounds. Embarrassing to admit, but true.
On New Year’s Eve, I made the resolution and began at a gym free of judgement. I went daily. I worked through a circuit course and got on a treadmill. Grabbed a tootsie roll on the way out every day. Earned it!
No real changes.
I then joined CrossFit. I remember walking in and asking, “I get that this is good for you little guys, but what about a big guy like me?”
I started. I lost 40 or 45 pounds in that first 4 months. Finally! My answer!
Then I stalled. I was strict paleo, but no more weight was leaving. I added a protein shake after the workout. I added a handful of nuts before the workout. Had never heard of Keto, but I was that back then I believe.
Then I gained back to around 270, which is where I would yoyo around for years. Decide to just try adding carbs before and after. Gained weight and strength. So frustrating.
The truth is I tried most everything. I did the Wild Diet. I did Primal. Paleo. I liked Paleo the most because I felt really good on it. Just good. Not sore or achy. Just good!
I tried just macro counting and everything else in between. Fasting, more fat, all of it! It was always lose and gain. Lose and gain.
Then back in April, I saw a transformation challenge hosted by WZA and RP. I had tried RP once before, but just never was fully invested I suppose. But for this challenge, I decided I was going to win it.
Yeah, me and the thousands of others. But what the Hell. I was going all in. It started on my son’s birthday and ended the day after my daughter left at the end of summer.
I went all in. Hard. I had some beat up old weights in the back yard and I went at it every day. My food was lean protein with Ezekiel bread or sweet potato and hot sauce. Plus ALL the veggies. For my body, paleo was the right medication. RP was the prescription and dosage.
I went off plan once per phase. That was it. And it was not always fun.
We went to amusement parks, I took them to get ice cream, we had a blast. But I stood firm on my templates.
And when we hit the final weigh in, I was down from 267 to 238. I lost 29 pounds during the contest period. I lost for a little while after while trying to stop losing, and ended where I am today, which is around 235. That was 3 months ago!
But that is the best part of this story. What was lacking in all those approaches was the exit strategy. How long should you lose? Should you stop? What SHOULD you do if you gain?
RP answers that by giving you maintenance and a new base of calories. I was apprehensive at first because I don’t want to count forever. But truthfully? It is easy. And you really don’t. You get to that new base and realize you can grab a burger this week. That you know what your meal size should probably be. What portions look like. You can do your base diet intuitively because you gave yourself some time to realize what a portion looks like by numbers.
My weight has gone up a few since then. But I am still wearing a brand-new pair of jeans that are a 36” waist. And that is down from a 42.
Look, you can do battle with weight all your life. But if there is no exit strategy, you are in trouble. For me, that was the gift RP gave me. I way to sustain for life. Or at least until January, when I start cut #2.
My kids were amazed by it and wanted in, and RP released a book on nutrition for adolescents I am very thankful for. For kids, it is a different ball game. Luckily, RP is science-based and covered this as well.
I guess through all of this rambling, it boils down to one concept. I have a diet that is sustainable for life and wherever I am. Whatever my workout. Whatever I am doing. I am happy, healthy, and leaner than I have been in quite literally 20 years. And I am pretty damn pumped about it.