Category Archives: Introduction

1 Year of Primal: A Retrospective

Summer 2010

Summer 2010

Throughout this retrospective, I’ll be linking to pertinent milestones in my path. First, if you haven’t read it lately, get to know me as I started this.

Read More – About Me

I weighed 325lbs at my worst. Wore a 46-48″ pant and 3XL shirts. I had high blood pressure and no energy. I’d tried lots of diets with little to no success or will to stick to it. Sustainability of a diet was nil.

I started this journey the day after Memorial Day of 2012 (May 29, 2012). The weekend of Memorial Day was my friend’s bachelor party. Prior to leaving for it I weighed in at 300lbs even (May 25, 2012). After a solid weekend of drinking and not a lot of eating, I came home and weighed in at 297lbs on May 29th. We were off to the races with the Primal Blueprint. We chose the Primal Blueprint because we’d heard it was the best way to get into a primal lifestyle.

Read More – Life Changes and Moves Forward

3 days of Primal, 8 lbs down!

3 days of Primal, 8 lbs down!

I had a lot of hope with this diet, but I was concerned about sustainability. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford it or that the food would be crap or that my wife would give up on all the hard work in the kitchen or that sticking to it at work would be difficult. In the above post I outlined my goals.

  1. I want to be able to get out of the shower, look in the mirror and not go “Yecchhh…”
  2. I want to be able to run for a whole mile.
  3. I want to be able to ride a bike without flattening the tires.
  4. I want to be able to buy clothes at the mall and not from the Fatso catalogs.
  5. I want to be able to keep up with my kid as he gets bigger and faster

Here’s my updates as of today

  1. This is getting better. I’ve still got a lot of loose skin, but my gut is smaller, my tits are smaller, I’m not quite so wide and I can see my penis again. So that’s nice.
  2. On May 25th, 2013 I competed in a ‘miler’ run and finished 2nd overall!
  3. I can do this now. I weigh less now than I did when I bought the bike in 1996.
  4. I am now buying clothes at regular stores without digging through the rack for that lone pair of 40-somethings
  5. I can keep up with my 4 year old now, but he’s still got a ways to go and this will be ever evolving.

I decided very early on that I would blog about this adventure and if I was going to do it right, I needed to be honest with myself and my readers. I didn’t expect a lot of readers, but I figured I’d start with the ‘Semi Naked Truth’ Articles where I would put myself out there on display. Read More – The fat, (semi) naked truth [the post]. I knew there would be a lot of challenges on this adventure, mostly food related. It took the constant repeating of “don’t eat that, don’t eat that” to get past it, but it was working. I wrote a lot in June because everything was so new and interesting. My brain was still part fatso so I had that ability to remember how awful I ate and apply it to what I was eating now. The weight was coming off pretty steadily, to my surprise. I wasn’t really exercising all that much and I’ll admit that even now exercising is still a problem. Read More – Exercise ArticlesAfter just 3 weeks, I was already feeling significantly better. I also started asserting my dietary requirements at work. It didn’t always work, but I found one person at the company who helped me by making sure we’d have salads without grains or dairy when possible and would order appropriate food for me when I was working on special project teams on the weekend. Then it happened… in less than a month I lost 20lbs. Despite all the initial challenges I was making it work!

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A good cheat day.

I’m very lucky to have a wife that works harder at this than I do… because I can’t cook worth a damn. She is the reason this is working for me. It was working fast, too. My clothes were already fitting looser and my ‘summer of weddings’ was upon me. My first wedding was a ‘fat guy in a GIANT coat’ debacle. But it was working, by mid July of last year, with only 6 weeks or so into it, I was 55lbs down from my worst weight and 30lbs down since starting. My goal weight at the time was a lofty 205, my doctor stepped in and said I should be at 247. Little did he know that I would blow by that in short order, and then… a Whole30 for August. No weight charting, uber strict paleo… no cheating… except that we did cheat and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT… and then we tried it again and it really worked. I noticed that my appearance was getting tighter… particularly with my manboobs. Another thing that was happening quickly was that my high blood pressure was disappearing.

The Whole30 ended in a great success. I was nearing 50lbs lost since starting my adventure and almost 75lbs since my worst. I really started to feel it. That 50lb mark came shortly after. I was feeling fantastic, but I was still up over 40″ around my waist. I had bought some “Challenge pants” to push me. To help push me, my wife and I embarked on a Whole52 starting in October and ending at Thanksgiving. We figured we needed to prep our bodies for the onslaught of holiday feeding. 240lbs came shortly after… I was back to my high school weight… and I still had some clothes from High School to demonstrate. We did end up surviving ThanksgivingBy December, I had started posting less on here and moved primarily to facebook for my more ‘microupdates’. I left the blog for big posts like my FIRST 5K! It felt great to be able to complete this, even though I didn’t run it to it’s entirety.

The Happiest Family on Earth

The Happiest Family on Earth

Then the major goal happened. 100lbs down since my worst. I had blown past my 40″ goal pants right into a set of 36s. My wife and I reached our goal weights and part of a contract I had with her was that when she reached her goal weight, we would go to Disney World. We went, and we tried to stay paleo… for a few hours. Eventually we gave in and went full fat-American-Tourist mode to see what would happen to us. Luckily, we only packed on about 8 or 9 lbs in our extended stay (thanks to the Blizzard at home). However, when we got back and went back to a full strict paleo, I lost the weight in a few days and suffered from a fainting spell which claimed my glasses and gashed my skull. To this day we have no real answer as to why this happened. Low blood sugar is still the explanation despite me never HAVING it the entire time.

In April, I declared our Paleo Adventure over. It had become our lifestyle now and was less an adventure. However, now I’m thinking that I need to reinvigorate myself and get back on the wagon. I feel that I’ve been slipping badly and my scale is showing it. This morning I weighed in at 229lbs. That’s up 13lbs since my best weight on this. That’s a LOT. I’ve been cheating more and more. It’s time to get back on the wagon and do it right again. It’s time to go into Year 2. The Primal Empire Strikes Back!

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The fat, (semi) naked truth

One thing I always see with these blogs is a before and after shot. I find that rarely do you find someone put out just a straight ‘before’ shot. Some people will put a clothed photo of them in their ‘before’ state, but rarely do you get the full Monty. I’m going to get serious right out of the door here. I’m fat. I’m REALLY fat when I’m not wearing a shirt. I’m done being ashamed and embarrassed by what I look like. I’m fat, I know it. I want to fix it. I’ve been ashamed and embarrassed for years. I’ve done everything I can to hide my weight rather than fix it. No more hiding.

Now, the pics after the break may be considered not safe for work… if seeing a fat man from the waist up without a shirt on makes you uncomfortable, don’t click read more. If you want to see what I’m dealing with every day of my life and have been dealing with for quite some time, please read on.

This is going to be a short post. I’m not going to make any additional commentary after the break. Just let it soak in.

For those that want to see a recent shot of me with clothes on, this will have to suffice:

Continue reading

Life changes and moves forward – These are my goals.

It  occurred to me that I never posted my starting points (I’ve added this to

Starting Weight – 297lbs (5/28/12)
Stomach – 54″
Pant size – 44-46″
Chest – 53″
Total circumference at widest point (around arms at widest part of chest) – 60″

So, I’m 5 foot around. That’s a nice round number to go with my nice round physique.

I figured I should also outline my goals:

  1. I want to be able to get out of the shower, look in the mirror and not go “Yecchhh…”
  2. I want to be able to run for a whole mile.
  3. I want to be able to ride a bike without flattening the tires.
  4. I want to be able to buy clothes at the mall and not from the Fatso catalogs.
  5. I want to be able to keep up with my kid as he gets bigger and faster

I don’t really have a specific weight goal. I’ve been 6’3″ since about 8th grade and at that point I was 225lbs. The last time I saw a weight that started with a 1 was in 5th grade (6’1″). I’m a big dude… I don’t expect to get rail thin nor do I want to. I like being large, but I wish I wasn’t fat.

I’ve been working on losing weight since my kid was born in 2009. I’ve cut out a lot of junk food, soda and other treats semi-successfully. I have had a few bad binges over the years, but I’ve been steady around 295-297 since he was born. My wife and I wanted our son to have all the benefits of eating healthy right from the start so we stopped allowing soda in the house unless it was a big party (eventually even stopping that), we stopped buying garbage and started shopping as much as we could at organic shops, farmer’s markets and ordering meat CSAs. At one point we were on the Schwarzbein Principle which shares some similarity with eating primal. We stuck to it for about a month but fell off for some unknown reason. Some months we were spending $500+ on dining out. It was hurting us both physically and financially. Did I mention I’m part Scottish? I’ve got a cheap streak that astounds most people. I’m a fan of the philosophy that the best way to make money is not to spend it.

Here’s me being stupid.

I’m also mostly Irish… which means I like my beer and my potatoes, which I eat and consume en masse. Even when I was “behaving” I still drank. I was a notorious binge drinker through most of my 20s. I would drink a fifth of 151proof rum at a party mixed with a litre bottle of Diet Dr Pepper sometimes as often as once a week. Eventually I stopped doing it weekly and moved it back to monthly… then quarterly. My constitution waned and it took much less alcohol to get me drunk, but still more than the average person. I wore my constitution as some sort of idiot badge of pride. I was known as Mr 151 for a while. Looking back at those times I know I had fun, but what kind of lasting damage did it cause? The weekend before I started this, I was on a bachelor party.  In a single day I drank close to an entire fifth of straight whiskey and gorged on chips and trail mix. I didn’t feel good about that.

I got my job in Boston in January of 2009 and for the first year or so I drove in to the subway with minimal walking. One day I decided I should start taking the train. I would drive the 1 mile to the train and take that instead… still no walking. Then one nice day I decided to see how long it would take me to walk to the station as it wasn’t good for my car at the time to start and stop so quickly. It took me about 20 minutes and it gave me some energy. I started walking nearly every day since. Now I do it in about 15 minutes. This was a good start for me but not great. I soon started getting fed up with waiting for the Green Line subway to take me to the train that I decided to start walking to a more reliable Orange Line subway about a half mile from my office. Then I started walking the whole way to North Station, about 2 miles away. I found that walking to North Station was great because I got to walk through Boston Common and the Public Gardens and there was a particularly challenging walk up Beacon Hill. I wasn’t always consistent with my walks though. I rarely did them in the morning because I thought I’d be sweaty before work. I’ve done that walk twice this week in the morning and not been a mess so I’ll continue with my walks if time allows (I need to get to the 735 train instead of my regular 750 train to have time to get into the office). So, if I do those 3 walks every day, I do about 5 miles a day, which is a lot for me. I’m focusing now on getting my average speed up to about 4.5mph, but it’s hard to gauge with having to stop for crosswalks. I’m also interested in starting the couch to 5K. I had started it a few weeks ago but a few late nights had me waking up too late to get into the office gym in time to do it. More excuses.

I’m hoping this blog will keep me accountable, which is why I’m hoping people subscribe to it so I have someone to answer to. I need to keep myself truthful as well. Lying about progress or eating only hurts myself. So, please spread the word and help me by pushing me in the right direction. I really do respond well to positive reinforcement.

To end on a positive up-note, my weight today is 289lbs. I’ve lost 8lbs from only 3 days of active participation in the diet and only one solid 5 mile walk day.

About me

Summer 2010

I’ve always been a fatso.

I’ve never truly been ‘fit’. Looking back, I was never ever happy with my shape or my abilities. I was a reasonably good hockey player for most of my childhood through high school, but I could never run fast or even jog for any amount of time. I only ever kept my weight down by doing training for hockey or doing boxing and kickboxing, but my diet was a disaster. I ate tons of carbs and drank barrels of soda, beer and alcohol. At my worst, I was 315lbs (22.5st). At about 6’3″, I carried my weight reasonably well. When I told people that I was 300+ they always replied “Wow, really? You don’t look it.” That was the best compliment I could receive.

The truth is I’m pretty fat. I’ve got a huge gut, a FUPA and big man titties… it sucks. Running remains difficult simply due to the pendular motion of my boobs. I’ve got fat upper thighs that rub together a bit when I walk. The only thing I’m lucky to have avoided is a loose turkey neck and flabby underarms. Right now I weigh about 295lbs though, my doctor’s scale says I weigh 285. I don’t have that in my house to check constantly, so I’ll have to go with my home scale which says 295.

My health problems have varied over the years. I’m currently on 2.5mg of Lisinopril for my high blood pressure. I’m lucky that I only need that one medication, but I do suffer from multiple other health issues: joint pain, occasional hemorrhoids, asthma, psoriasis, eczema, and a bunch of other things that I’m forgetting. The high blood pressure is the show stopper though. I’ve had high blood pressure since about 1996. I’ve tried controlling it with many different medications. Propranalol was the beginning of the end for my healthy weight. As a beta blocker, it made me very lethargic and lazy. Once I finished high school, I stopped playing sports and my weight just ballooned from about 225 to 260. At one point, I started seeing a nutritionist and got involved with boxing and cardio kickboxing and my weight dropped to about 230. Though, as fate would have it, my gym closed after the owner died of a sudden heart attack and I was sidelined again. At this point, my weight slowly barreled into the 300s.

I have a pretty sedentary job. I sit behind a desk all day. I leave my house around 7am, walk a mile to the train, commute for an hour, get to work, leave around 615pm, walk back to the train and get home around 730pm every night. I’ve had a sedentary job pretty much always. My current work has free lunch, a stocked pantry and all the crap food your heart could desire. Wanna sit down and eat a gallon bucket of Goldfish? We’ve got about 5 of them. Want to eat 40 granola bars? Go right ahead, there’s plenty for everyone. Now, on the plus side of things they do offer HEALTHY alternatives. Mixed nuts (no peanuts), fresh fruit every morning, greek yogurt, tons of water choices and a salad option at nearly every meal. However, with all the chips and candy around, it can be difficult to keep your hands out of it when you’re feeling run down, depressed or just having a craving.

My family life is in a constant state of health changes and dietary trials. My wife has also been battling with weight for some time, but that’s her story. But she’s one to try nearly anything to lose weight. She was even featured on the Martha Stewart Show while taking one of their cleanses. She’s had some success in weight loss, but continues to deal with plateaus. I try to go with whatever she is doing for weight loss stuff. We even tried one of those apple juice cleanses where all we got to eat was apple juice and some sort of powder for 2 weeks. I honestly can’t even remember all the different things we’ve tried because it’s all just a blur of “eat this, not that”. We’ve tried Weight Watchers, calorie counting, no-fat, all-fat, certain carbs, no carbs, all carbs… you name it, I’m pretty sure we’ve tried it with little to no lasting results. We want to lose weight and be healthy so that our 3 year old isn’t running circles around us. We’re raising a kid the way we wish we were raised. He drinks water, he eats most of his vegetables, he eats some meat and he still breastfeeds occasionally.

I’m of the mind set that as long as you eat somewhat right and exercise, you’ll lose weight. Unfortunately, my exercise could use a boost. I walk between 1 and 5 miles a day depending on the weather and what time I get out of the house or work. I have a hard time finding time to exercise. I prefer doing it in the morning, but so does my wife, so sometimes we were at odds for who goes when. I’ve lately been interested in running and jogging. I’m getting better at it, but my weight still holds me back.

Now we’re going to try the Primal Blueprint. I’m enjoying the idea of eating this way. I’m sure there will be some challenges.

I think that’s where I should leave off with this. I hope to start the 21 day challenge soon and update this ‘about me’ section.

-Jared

Starting Weight – 297lbs

 

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