I come from a family of men with large stomachs. My dad, brothers, uncles, cousins, and I are all predisposed to gaining weight, particularly around the midsection. Right after college was when I really started to notice that I was getting bigger. My diet was terrible and my metabolism couldn't keep up with it. I felt bad about myself, and I felt sick a lot. I suffered from the worst case of heartburn which affected my sleep, which affected my mood, which affected every other aspect of my life. I struggled with depression on and off throughout my mid to late 20's. I attributed a lot of it to my weight and self-image. I tried several different weight loss techniques and fad diets and none of them really worked for me. I loved food and I hated working out. I felt trapped, and I didn't know how to get out of my rut. I kept looking for a solution to my condition, and it wouldn't come until a few years later.
The first time I heard about the benefits of a low carb diet was in a movie called "Fat Head", which I highly recommend you check out. I grew up being taught that eating fat causes heart disease and weight gain, and that to be healthy meant eating lots of whole grains and very few animal products. "Fat Head" opened up my mind to the idea that everything I had been taught about health was wrong. After watching that documentary, I developed a huge thirst for knowledge about low carb diets. I read all kinds of books including "The Calorie Myth", "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It", and "The Primal Blueprint". I also poured through the internet looking for anything I could about the efficacy of low carb diets. I started experimented with low carb eating and had some success, but I would always fall back into my old habits. I had the knowledge I needed to lose weight, but there was still something that was keeping me from achieving my goals.
2017 was when everything changed for me. After years of trying and failing to reach my weight loss goals, something snapped in me. I was tired of being stuck in this cycle of unhappiness. I kept telling myself "I'm going to try again next week". Well next week turned into next month, and next month turned into next year, and all the while I was still unhappy with myself and things weren't getting better. It was now or never. I made a conscious decision that I was going to follow a paleo-type diet and not give up until I hit my goal. I knew it would work if I did it... So, I just did it. After four months of eating good, healthy food (and surprisingly very little exercise) I managed to lose 50 pounds! I felt great about myself, people were telling me how great I looked, and best of all my heartburn was gone. I've had my ups and downs since then, but I’m still incredibly proud of myself.
So, what changed? I had the knowledge I needed for years before I finally managed to lose the weight. I would try the diet for a while, have some success, but fall right back into my old eating habits. I learned that the idea of weight loss is easy but putting it into practice is difficult. What needed to change was my mindset. The biggest thing that always held me back was my love of junk food and pizza and carbs. After a week or two of eating a paleo type diet, I would start to miss my junk food and get depressed thinking that I had to give up my favorite foods forever. Then I would binge on those foods and ruin my diet. This time, I approached it in a different way. I told myself "this is not forever. Once you hit your weight loss goal, you can have the junk food once in a while, but you need to eat healthy at least 80 percent of the time." Once I started thinking in those terms, the whole thing became a lot easier. Having a clear goal, a positive mindset, and allowing myself to indulge once in a while were instrumental in me losing my weight.
Now I'm healthier and happier than I've ever been, and I'm ready to help others achieve their health goals. Since I lost the weight, several people in my daily life have come to me for help. I truly believe that if I can do it, then anyone can. So, join Chrissy and myself on the highway to health, with an avocado on top!