“How did you lose your weight?” “How have you kept it off for so long?!” These are the two biggest questions I’m asked online and amongst my friends & colleagues. This is not a humble brag, but sometimes I forget how amazing of an accomplishment it is do have done both. Statistically, it is a rare breed to lose over 50 pounds and even rarer to keep it off over 3 years. (Something close to 85% of people who lose weight, regain it back.) So I decided to start a blog series entitled “How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For 25+ Years.”
How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For 25+ Years
Now I have tangentially covered this topic on the Confessions of an Obese Child podcast “How Did I Lose My Weight” and the Occult Health News episode “Weight Watchers Wants You To Regain Your Weight.” The aim of this series is to cover some general points on how I did it and give you tips on how to lose weight and maintain that weight loss.
In the event you are new to this site, I was a morbidly overweight child and adolescent. At my apex, I weighed about 285 lbs. at age 16. I wore a size 54 waist. I lost my weight the senior year of high school in about 6 months. No gastric bypass…I lost it naturally.
In some ways that was the “easy” part. Keeping it off has been immensely harder. Why? It is the same reason fad diets don’t work long-term. You have to make long-term changes to every facet of your life and do the deep work via counseling and journaling to figure out why you turned to food as your crutch in the first place.
For me, I became a binge/emotional eater because I had a rage-aholic and alcoholic father and a aloof, non-maternal, depressed mother. I wasn’t getting nurturance on any level so I turned to the easiest vice a 6-year-old could turn to: food. I gained weight and then the incessant “Fat Albert” comments fueled the eating and self-loathing.
Being Fat Is Worth Than…
Let’s get back on topic. Now on one level it is quite easy to lose weight and to keep it off. On another level, it is virtually impossible. If it was so easy we wouldn’t have an American population that is 70% overweight and 40% morbidly obese. Child obesity and Type II diabetes wouldn’t be on the rise. We wouldn’t be boasting a shorter life expectancy than the previous generation, the first time in American history we can say this with infamy.
We are obsessed with weight. A Yale study showed that young girls would rather lose a limb, go blind, become an alcoholic, and even exchange 10 years of their life if they could magically be thin their whole life. No surprise that eating disorders in both sexes are on the rise. Even in the “eat clean” world of keto, paleo, vegan, there is a skyrocketing rise of orthorexia, an obsession with eating properly and avoiding foods with toxins. That’s pretty much all of them as any devoted reader of this site knows.
Click HERE to listen to my own experiences with Orthorexia.
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and all the weight loss fads popular now, like Whole30, are making millions off of this inherent fear of weight gain. On the flip side, workout facilities, like CrossFit, Orange Theory, and conventional gyms are making millions off of us too.
We know for sure that the weight loss companies don’t want you to keep your weight off. The Weight Watchers COO even mentioned that recently. Their business plan is dependent on you regaining your weight. They dissemble their true intention to you at all of their meetings.
Great article from Slate revealing the fact they want you to regain it.
Simple Rules Gone Awry
We don’t need weight loss companies or trainers or wellness coaches to tell us how to lose weight. We ALL know how to do it. It’s pretty simple right?
- Exercise More
- Lift Weights
- Eat little to no processed foods
- Eat more vegetables
- Eat no fast food
- Eat clean, organic meats
- Limit the carbs
- Sleep better
- Keep Stress down
- Avoid plastics, parabens, and other hormone disruptors
That is it! It is no secret for which you have to spend half of your paycheck. To lose weight and to keep it off, you have to eat less crap or move your body more. You don’t need me to tell you this.
The problem is that we all know the aforementioned rules but we continue to gain weight. Why? Because we aren’t following these rules. We continue to:
- Do Little to No exercise
- We aren’t lifting weights
- We are still eating too many processed middle-of-the-supermarket foods
- We aren’t eating enough vegetables
- We are consuming too much refined sugar
- We are consuming too much carbs
- We are not getting enough sleep
- We are not implementing steps to minimize our stress.
- We continue to use plastics and expose ourselves to hormone disruptors which cause us to store fat.
It is as simple as that.
Jesus Knows Best
Jesus has that great line when his favored apostles fall asleep at the Garden of Gethsemane after he asked them to stay awake just a few hours, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Man, that Jesus was a veritable Buddha! How deep and accurate is that observation from the Son of God?
We KNOW what we need to do to optimize our health, but it’s a question of implementing it. It’s a question of willpower and work ethic. Dieticians, doctors, trainers, and wellness coaches would all go out-of-business if everyone did what they SHOULD do to ameliorate their health. These professionals are more than willing to dispense free advice on how to lose weight because they know full well most people WON’T do it and they will continue to take advantage of your “weak flesh.”
Gregory’s Tip I
Here’s the first tip on How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For 25+ Years: Part I. So what invaluable knowledge may I impart to you that will cause you to listen and follow the aforementioned bullet points? Honestly, there is nothing I can say that will impel you to lose weight. My parents took me to various dietician as an adolescent and I continue to binge eat in secrecy. Why? I wasn’t ready. You need to be ready…
What does it take to be ready? Sometimes, it takes looking in the mirror naked or seeing a recent picture of you. Or maybe somebody telling you that you need to lose weight or maybe somebody dumped you because of your weight.
(Listen to Confessions episode “Fat Rolls, Loose Skin, & Body Sham“ to learn about my experience with overcoming these issues. Newsflash…I still haven’t.)
How did I know I was finally ready? In short, a new PE coach told me that I was going to die young if I didn’t lose weight. He pushed me to exercise harder in gym class. I lost a few pounds and that gave the momentum to continue. I didn’t want to be fat any longer. The idea of never kissing a girl and being ostracized the rest of my life finally propelled me to make a temporary change.
But after, I lost the weight the disordered eating didn’t go away. It was still there. I just subsumed for a few months. Now I had to grapple with the paralyzing fear that I might gain my weight back and my “Flowers for Algernon” euphoric period would be snatched from me. I also still viewed myself as a “fat person in a skinny person’s body.” I still thought I was fat and worthless.
My point is this. You need to come to your own epiphany. You need to be ready to get on the journey. Once you do so, you know what you need to do. (It is listed above.) The realization of what we need to eat isn’t hard to figure out. It is implementing it that is exceedingly hard.
Tip I: Have the epiphany. Hit rock bottom. When that comes to you, then you are ready for the ups-and-downs of the weight loss and maintenance journey. The second tip is YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO EAT AND WHAT TO DO TO LOSE WEIGHT. You don’t necessarily need to pay Weight Watchers or hire a dietician to do it.
We are all wired inherently to know how to lose weight. Come to terms with these two things. Once you do so, read the second, third, fourth excerpts of How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For 25+ Years.
I’m a certified Paleo-inspired Wellness Coach. If you are in need of one-on-one assistance, contact me. Click HERE to see my history and prices. I can tell you that no health coach or trainer knows first-hand how to lose and maintain weight as long as a quarter-of-a-century.