Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Weight Gains & Losses By the Year - Part II

Well, it looks like in addition to the other new features I already have planned for my new and improved blog, an integrated Discussion Forum will also be added. I really appreciate you guys taking time out to let me know how my blog can better serve you. I've posted another poll that I'd like for you to answer; as always, thanks in advance for helping me out.

OK, before continuing with Part II of this series, I wanted to share some exciting news. I've been in contact with Lyle McDonald, the author of The Rapid Fatloss Handbook, and he has agreed to let yours truly interview him! I'm pretty stoked about this interview because I've read just about all of Lyle's books, and the guy knows his stuff. If you're not familiar with him, all you have to do is Google his name, and you'll come across countless articles that he has written about topics ranging from ketogenic diets to how to get rid of stubborn fat, which you guys know that I'm still battling with.

Speaking of which, stubborn fat that is, starting next Monday (7/7/08) I will begin following the dietary protocol detailed in Lyle's Rapid Fatloss Handbook for 12 days. I'll explain the ins and outs of everything Monday of next week. As a matter of fact, I'm going to blog daily about my latest experience in attempting to further reduce my body fat percentage. However, I'm going to blog about it at my new Training Blog. I will continue to update it this week, so expect a mess if you decide to check it out before next week.

Alright, let's continue with my slow walk to weighing over 300lbs and what it took for me to lose, and most importantly, keep the weight off:

1998 - 2000: I like to think of these years as my discovering all the fascinating things about Southern California. Now, I'll be the first to admit that you either love it or hate it out here. I've had many of my friends come to visit from other parts of the country, and they were either ready to move in with me or were calling to arrange an earlier flight. So, I guess I just fell in love with all the different cultures and, of course, the cuisines that came along with them. I started dating a woman who was an OK cook, by her own admission, but man did she know where all the great restaurants were.

I'd never had Thai or Japanese food before, and when I found out that Taco Bell wasn't authentic Mexican food, I was floored! But, I think what took the cake was this Greasy Chinese joint in downtown LA that's actually a city landmark. Man, all these new dishes and let's not mention the desserts, tickled my taste buds. For some reason, I just didn't remember tasting such light and fluffy icing on cakes that actually had fresh fruit in the middle. And how could life be complete without eating pan dulce or, my favorite Mexican ginger bread, cochinitos?

As you can imagine, eating all these new foods only added to my already obese frame. As I celebrated bringing in the new millennium in Kingston, Jamaica, I had gained close to 20lbs in the two years I had lived in California. Oh, and I gained this weight while following a predominantly vegetarian diet. And for the record, it sucks being fat, but it really sucks being a fat vegetarian!
2000 - 2002: I started off 2000 weighing in at my highest weight, at that time, of 288lbs. In the back of my mind, I knew that I was quickly approaching the BIG 300, but I knew that I wouldn't let myself get that fat. So, I became desperate and consumed with trying to lose weight. You know the feeling guys, and our usual response: balls to the walls workouts! Yeah, I hit the gym and played tennis, only to hurt myself time and time again. I remember hurting my knees so badly that I actually went to the Emergency Room. I waited more than 2 hours just to have a doctor, who was around the same size as me, tell me that I needed to lose weight. Talking about the pot calling the kettle black!

Like most of you, I was desperate and tried pretty much anything that guaranteed that I would lose the weight. Whether it was Xenadrine, Ripped Fuel, Metabolite, the Lemon-Molasses Fast, Cabbage Soup Diet, taking hundreds of dollars worth of supplements I picked up from a Naturopathic Doctor, which included drinking de-ionized water with activated charcoal, I tried it. That's right, I was actually taking a scoop-full of charcoal to help cleanse the walls of my intestines, "Where all the fat is attached", he assured me. Besides making my crap look like peppered steak, I'm pretty sure it didn't work for the fat since I was still 288lbs.

Then, before I knew it, I got wind that my lady's niece had a friend who had lost a ton of weight taking prescription weight loss pills she got from a doctor in Tijuana, Mexico. She had lost more than 60lbs without doing a lot of exercise, so I was more than anxious to make a trip across the border. The Doctor's office was nice, clean, and very modern, so I felt comfortable with the information and diet suggestions he gave me. I was given a three month supply of diet pills, and made an appointment to return in 3 month's time to pick up another prescription and for him to monitor my weight loss progress.

Well, I probably went to see the good doctor a total of two times, and when 2001 rolled around I was down to 240 lbs.! I had dropped more than 40lbs following this routine. I would drink a meal replacement twice a day and eat one solid meal, which was usually lunch. After taking my second set of pills after lunch, the thought of eating literally made me nauseous. I had never experienced such a powerful appetite suppressant in my life. And, my energy levels were through the roof. I would go to the gym and stay on the elliptical machine for more than an hour at a time!

This was a great period of my life because I was smaller than I'd been since finishing graduate school. I had to go out and buy new clothes because all of my old clothes were falling off me, and I was starting to get more attention from the ladies too! I felt like a new man, but there were a couple of things that stayed with me like the proverbial albatross around my neck.

First, I knew that I could not continue to take pills for the rest of my life, no matter how easy they made it for me not to eat and, therefore, lose weight. Second, I hated the fact that I was soft and had hardly any muscle definition. This sucked because I really wanted to walk around shirtless, but there was no way I would do that with the man boobs I was sporting. Well, everything eventually came to a head when I found out that the pills I had been taking were basically speed! It was no wonder I was like the energizer bunny in the gym . . . I guess I was in my own Requiem for a Dream.

I stopped taking the weight loss pills towards the end of 2001, and the weight gain that ensued even surprised me. No, I wasn't surprised that I was regaining my weight since I went from eating one meal a day back to my usual three a day, with plenty of snacking in between. What surprised me was the rate in which I regained the weight, and the extra weight that also tagged along.

When it was all said and done, I ended 2002 weighing in at 310 lbs.! Honestly fellas, I'm sure that I weighed more than this, but I got off the scale once it hit 310. I could not believe that I had re-gained all of my lost weight plus 20lbs more.

2002 was a good year for me professionally and personally, since I was in a new relationship; however, these things could not overshadow the fact that I had allowed myself to reach a weight I swore I'd never get to. Well, not only did I get to the forbidden weight, I kicked down its door!
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Guys, I'm going to blog about my five year weight loss journey, one year at a time in upcoming posts. So, stay tuned for the rest of this series over the next couple of weeks ...


matt said...

I look forward to reading the rest of these posts!

I myself had a similar story to this post: last fall, September, I weighed 320 lbs. I am 6'5" with a large skeletal structure so I don't look like a *total* lardass, but it's still pretty damn bad. Anyway I started exercising every day (cardio + weights) and doing Weight Watchers, no more than that, no pills or anything... the weight came off pretty well, I was down to 290 by December. I bought new pants and felt great.

But then I graduated from college, moved, and got a job (where I sit in front of a computer, plenty of snacks near by...). This totally broke my routine, and the most disgraceful part is that I live now *literally* right next door to a perfectly good gym of which I am a member... the number of weeks that have gone by without me darkening their doorstep once is probably greater than I'd like to admit.

I fell back into old eating habits and gradually gained and gained... here I am 8 months later and back to my original 320.

I'm now investigating the paleo-diet, HIIT and body-weight strength training like you recommend. I just got Neanderthin from my library.

Could you recommend one or more books which would have a training regimen for a beginner to body-weight training or HIIT? Which exercises do you think are best? I see you recommend Power to the People, are there any others?

Thanks so much for your advice & for maintaining this blog.


Johnny Mag said...

Hey Matt -

I know how you feel. I just started my serious journey back to 200 (now at 240) last week after reading this blog. I'm eating 2200 calories and working out 5 times/wk with weights/cardio for an hour. I've only lost 3 lbs but its a start. The discipline to stick to my calorie limit was harder than I thought so I end up reading Muata's blog when I need a jolt of self-control.

Good luck, bud.


Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Matt and J, thanks for your comments.

Guys, our stories are not that out of the ordinary. We went from being active to sedentary, and we started to eat more, out of boredom many times, and gained weight. I just wished that we could lose the weight as easy as we pile it on--that's just one unfair reality of the body's makeup!

Matt, here's a free PDF that has exactly what you're looking for. Let me know if you have any questions. I like Pavel's books; however, I can't endorse him because of shady business practices that were shared with me. I'm not into gossiping, but let's just say that there was a story about him using a "hollow" KB in one photo!!!

matt said...

Thanks for that PDF, it's perfect.

Anonymous said...

Hey I wanted to publicly thank you for giving the opportunity to
believe in myself again. This past new year's I stumbled on your blog
when doing some follow up reading on "Good calories, Bad Calories" by
Gary Taubes. Your posting for that day just resonated with me.

You wrote how I was telling myself that things would be different
because I had signed up for a gym membership a month earlier than New
Years but then had not even bothered to go to the gym. Yep that was me.

Your personal e-mails and advise kept me focused and I think it was the
right amount of motivation to help me get over my lazy ass. Even at the
age of 46 I am learning new things about myself, one thing that I
learned is I have a negative internal dialogue that keeps running
through my head. This is causing problems in my marriage.

Anyways I am also writing to let you know I am about 4 pounds from
reaching my goal of losing 49 pounds. I even brought that down to 2
pounds but I gave myself some latitude and am paying the price by
seeing my weight go up. I promise that by the end of July I will be at

with respect and gratitude

Ernie from Chicago

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Ernie, I'm speechless my friend! Also, I think you're being a bit too generous with how much help I gave you. Sending you an email here and there is very minor compared to the determination and desire you have to reach a goal that you set for yourself! I'm so proud of you bro, and you're going to be the next guy that I'm going to spotlight in my Weight Loss Stories of Inspiration