SW: Unsure (244lbs when i finally decided to weigh myself Jan 21)
GW: 180lbs then evaluate from there.
Before and After pictures + Happy Scale tracking (I’m not a great photographer, and don’t have much of a fashion sense haha)
TL;DR at the bottom
So I’m not totally comfortable posting pictures of myself on the internet, even social media with family, but I told myself when I hit 50lbs lost, I was going to share it with anyone who would listen. The amount of pride I’ve felt lately over accomplishing this goal is unbelievable. I never thought I’d be able to get this far while feeling so good about the process, and the future.
The first two photos are from a maternity shoot with my wife and oldest daughter in the summer of 2019. I saw myself in these photos after and was completely disgusted. The disgust didn’t last though, but it was definitely the first time I thought “this could be my turning point”.
It took until December of 2019, when I ordered some clothes that I expected to be a little big, but would shrink in the wash to fit me, only for them to arrive and for me to not even come close to being able to fit into them comfortably. This was probably two weeks before Xmas, and that was the point where I decided to start in a small way by not going back for seconds or having dessert even at the family events going on. All i kept thinking about was being too crippled from the weight + my existing arthritis in my lower back to walk my two beautiful daughters down the aisle some day, or to bike ride with them, or enjoy sports with them, etc.
By the time January hit, I was feeling a bit better about myself, but not much and knew I had to do more. This turned into me signing up for a gym membership and tracking my intake with Myfitnesspal starting Jan 21, 2020. That was also the first day I decided to weigh myself, as I was terrified of seeing the number on the scale before that.
So I ended up weighing in at 244lbs. 30lbs heavier than the previous heaviest point of my life where I for some reason didn’t think I’d ever possibly get bigger than. I was disgusted, but the fact that I had already made a small change seemed to have mentally prepared me to be disappointed, because even though it was small, I was already making changes, so I told myself every day “this sucks, but it’s the biggest I’m ever going to be, because from here on our I’m on the right path”.
Then Covid happened and I was terrified I’d fall off the wagon with the gym closed, but I managed to make the best of a terrible situation and learn how to cook for myself. So the majority of my weight loss has been accomplished in the kitchen, as my lifestyle since the pandemic has been about as sedentary as I’ve ever been with all my work and school moving to online.
So as of yesterday, I’m down 50lbs, and went on a 45 minute bike ride with my wife and kids with the two children being towed behind me, and didn’t once feel like I was unable to continue.
How I did it:
It was all CICO tracked via Myfitnesspal.
I had a protein goal and a calorie goal that I aimed for every day and did my best to hit. The protein goal was 150g, and the calories were 1900 at first, and 1700 starting around Feb of this year. I fell short of the protein quite a few times, but only went over my calories a handful of times, and rarely ever felt like I wanted to.
As I said before, my weight loss was 99% diet. I had failed on many attempts at losing weight in the past because it felt unsustainable, so this time I attempted to eat things I enjoyed while moderating my intake of the worst things, and finding healthier substitutes for others. An example of this is the many protein donut/cake/muffin recipes that have allowed me to indulge in some sweets while also being able to hit my daily goals. Almost all of my go to recipes either came directly from, or were my own twist on recipes provided by the youtube channels I followed throughout my journey.
It was difficult at first, as I ended taking over the cooking for myself, my wife, and our oldest, but eventually I got the hang of preparing 2-3 different meals for breakfast lunch and dinner since my wife isn’t a fan of some of the lower calorie alternatives I use now, and anyone with a toddler understands that feeding them only what you’re having is near impossible. However subbing in cauliflower rice, or lower calorie noodles for stir fry and pastas was definitely an easy change to make that required minimal effort.
For weigh ins, I would weigh myself every day before breakfast, and enter the weight into happyscale. I tried not to pay too much attention to daily fluctuations, and found that happyscale was great at keeping me looking at the longer term numbers rather than the changes day to day.
If I had to pick my biggest game changers to get my eating in order, I would say:
Unsweetened cashew milk
Who helped make it feel possible:
I really have to mention the Youtube channels and fitness personalities that made this all possible. It may sound silly, but I really don’t think I would have been able to get to this point without being able to find content that helped me learn about fitness, as well as entertain me, and teach me how to make more macro friendly alternatives to some of my favorites. I know they’ll likely never see this, but I cannot thank these people enough for giving me the tools and motivation to help myself turn things around. I’ve never felt this good about myself, which is not only rewarding physically, but even mentally I feel like a brand new person.
ObesttoBeast – This channel was the first one I really got into, and I think it may have been the most important one for me mentally. Seeing this down to earth, humble guy who I honestly felt like i could relate to, share his experiences and provide guidance in the form of his videos was the start of mentally preparing myself for the journey ahead. While our stats may not have been similar, for some reason I felt like our outlook and personalities based on what I could gather from his videos were very in line, and made his videos really appealing to me on an emotional level. Any time I wasn’t sure I’d be able to achieve my goals, I’d pull up an obesetobeast video and manage to get back into the right headspace. This channel was the perfect way for me to start my journey into fitness on youtube.
Joe Delaney – Another channel I found early, and found myself binge watching as much content as I could for motivation and ideas. Some of the first lower calorie and higher protein recipes I tried were from his videos. Oddly enough I first discovered the channel when I was growing my hair out and looking for hair related youtube content, only to end up with this guys abs burnt into my computer monitor from all the videos I had in such a short amount of time.
Greg Doucette – His anabolic kitchen recipes combined with his hilarious personality and honesty about fitness, and even the PED side of the industry were incredibly interesting to me, and kept me coming back for more. The recipes were all absolutely amazing, and one day when I can afford it, I hope I can buy myself his cookbook. If it’s even half the quality of what he puts on youtube, I know it’ll be another huge game changer, especially when I start looking to start building up my body with muscle after I’ve lost enough weight.
Jeff Nippard – His ELI5 way of scientifically explaining fitness to someone who had no clue like myself was instrumental in helping me understand my fitness journey, make better choices, and ultimately every video I watched managed to motivate me to get a little more serious about my fitness. Watching a video before I would head out to the gym pre covid was always just the kick start I needed to have a great session, despite being a complete beginner.
Will Tennyson – This guy is the perfect mix of entertaining and informative. His videos are always good for a laugh, and he sneaks in some excellent recipes and ideas throughout. He also recently started collaborating with Greg Doucette, and the back and forth videos they’ve made so far have been some of my favourite to watch for many reasons.
And of course, a huge Thank you to this community, as well as the volumeeating and 1200isplenty subreddits for proving tons of support and ideas throughout the last half a year.
CICO with a protein goal and not worrying about other macros, and various online communities have helped me hit my first major milestone in my health journey. 99% of it was diet, making learning to cook + tracking with myfitnesspal easily the biggest factors in my success which feels more sustainable than any other weight loss attempt I’ve had in the past.
Thanks to anyone who read to this point. If I forgot anything, or there are any questions anyone has, I’d love to be a help in any way I can.
My journey is far from over, but I’m really happy to be able to share my progress to this point.