My Weight Loss “Secret”

Over the last several weeks I’ve been asked by numerous people about what my secret has been to losing weight. Since I’m not expert (you should read Men’s health for that), but I can share what I’ve done.

You need to understand something about my secret, it takes awhile.

Let me explain.

In 2002 when Katie and I got married I was a nice 283 and a waise 42. This was my heaviest. Here’s a pic.

fat me 2

As always, Katie looks hot. Not sure how I conned her into marrying me.

One thing you need to understand is that I have a deep love for food and it loves me. I’m not much of a snacker, I’m an eater. So when I would eat, I would eat. A lot.

We never really did any diets because I had seen countless people lose 100 in 6 months and then put 120 back on in 3, so I wanted something that was sustainable.

In talking with my doctor, he mentioned that being healthy was the goal. That you could be skinny and be unhealthy, so the goal was health.

We started cutting out chips, soda (this is one of the best thing you stop doing and start drinking more water), cutting back on Starbucks (this has hurt the most). We do dessert once a week (at least we try to stick to that, Katie has a sweet tooth). The biggest thing we did was portion control. When we would go out to eat, I would eat my meal and half of Katie’s. Now, we share. It is healthy and economical. There are also websites that show you how many calories are in each meal at each restaurant, so when you go out to eat you are able to eat smarter.

Speaking of eating out, we do that less. Cooking at home is cheaper and a lot healthier.

What do I normally eat?

For breakfast, 2 eggs and some fruit. Lunch is a salad and dinner is something good. We still grill burgers, brats and steak. I love meat too much to not eat that, but we make vegetables the main part instead of the meat. No bread (even though I personally love carbs), it is just lighter. There are a lot of calories in bread.

Speaking of calories, I don’t count them. I actually have no idea how many I have in a day. They are too good to discriminate against. But they say that if you are an active male you should target 1800 – 2100 a day. We end each dinner with a salad. This helps with digestion. Ironically, this is how Europeans end meals and they are skinnier. Mmmm. We also eat slower. With eating more at home, we are able to enjoy our kids, company and each other.

So review, eat smaller portions, better choices of the food you eat, stop eating before you get full.

Now the exercise side.

I do something 6 days a week. Whether that is running or lifting. On the days I walk or don’t do any of the 2, I do yoga. This has been huge for my joints and helping me to recover but also to feel younger. The important thing is to do something. I’ve read that if you can do something active for 60 minutes a day several times a week you will see a difference. This is true.

This will not get you dramatic results. I’ve lost 130 pounds in 7 years, but I’ve about 100 in the last 2 years (that’s when I got hardcore about it). I went from a waist 42 to a 30 and my shirt size has gone from an XXL to a S. It is still crazy to me to write those stats.

One of the things I had to get to the heart of was why I ate, why I was overweight. The psychological part is a huge part of weight gain/loss. I remember a conversation with one of my brother-in-laws (who happens to be skinny, I married into a skinny genes family) and he made the comment, “I don’t understand how all of these overweight pastors can stand up and talk about self control when it is obvious they don’t have any.” Now, every overweight person does not have self control issues, but I did. I had to learn that I used food for stress relief and also to comfort me. Things that God, exercise and relationships could and should do.

Anyway, I could go on, but I’m running low on words.

This is what I look like now.

 

For some more great thoughts on this, check out Ed Stetzers blog, he lost a lot more weight than I did. Here’s part 1 and part 2 (the pictures are crazy).