I single handedly fucked up a 78 pound weight loss by mixing a bunch of bullshit with a bunch of amazing shit.
Ain’t that a bitch?
The good news is that the crazy ass lessons that I learned throughout that process continue to help me to this day. But I am officially ready to spill the details on that situation.
Flashback — February 10, 2017 — Welfare Office
I had a great idea. For the umpteenth time, I was ready to start a weight loss plan. Actually, I referred to it as “de-calorizing.” I had been built like a super fluffy teddy bear since Michael Jackson was dancing with monsters on TV.
So I was no stranger to carrying a ton of extra calories.
On that cold ass day in early 2017, I was sitting in the welfare office ready to be seen by my caseworker. She had a significant purpose: approve me for food stamps!
Actually, I call food stamps the “Poverty Card” because it’s just more hilarious that way. It distracts people from the embarrassment that I was actually on food stamps!
As it turned out, I was enough of a loser at that moment that I was approved.
The Focused Beginning
The significance of that was obvious for me. I was going to be able to buy food for my weight loss strategy. I insisted that I wouldn’t use the word “diet” because that gave the impression of eating a certain way for a fixed period of time.
I wanted this to be a long term thing.
I had gotten very educated on the proper ways to eat healthy from YouTube videos, articles, my own failed plans and the fitness buffs at a job I worked previously. In that respect, I felt very confident about the methods.
When I stepped on the scale the morning of February 27, 2017, I weighed in at about the size of a small country. Naturally, that was pure humiliation, especially since only 5 U.S. states weighed more than I did.
That was the day that I began my plan. I decided not to include any exercise strategies in this program that I developed. I had already learned that food consumption is much more important to weight loss than physical activity.
Based on tons of past experiences with trying to drop weight, I knew that getting past the fourth day was crucial. Normally, I am mentally weak enough to throw in the towel on that day.
I managed to get past Day 4 which was a psychological victory for me. I also picked my starting day as February 27 as opposed to waiting for March 1 like I would normally do. That was also a mental edge that I was trying to obtain for myself.
On March 3, I decided to have my first “Fat Night.” Most people refer to it as a cheat meal, but ya know…I’m different. My very close female friend at the time went with me for the most delicious corned beef in the city.
I was super surprised that I let the night pass without adding junk food or alcohol after the meal, something I would have normally done.
By my 40th birthday on April 1st, I was flying high and staying strong on my food consumption. What bothered me the most was the fact that I was about to be forced out of the place that I was staying.
That was purely my fault, but my anger went far beyond my actions.
I could’ve moved into a shelter, but I knew that I would never be allowed to continue with my very structured eating habits being there. That’s why I took my friend up on her offer to stay with her temporarily.
May 30, 2017 — Down 41 Pounds
By the time the end of May rolled around, I had been staying consistent on my food plan for three months. That was nothing to almost anyone else, but it was far longer than I had ever pulled off in two decades of trying and failing.
The scale showed that I had lost 41 pounds in those three months and that was based on very little physical activity, and a lot of dedicated structure with my food. I typically had five meals, and my fat nights consisted of whatever indulgences that I wanted.
June 3, 2017 — The Slacking Off Begins
I was feeling so much better physically, and then I did a dumb thing. I started to slack off from the structure that I had built up and little by little, I fell back into old habits; i.e. eating whatever again.
Incidentally, this was the day that my friend that I had been staying with moved from her house and into her dad’s house. She brought me with her.
July 2017 — Help Was On The Way
By late July, I had settled in comfortably with eating whatever the fuck I wanted again. I felt twinges of guilt, but it never stopped my recklessness. Little did I know, help was on the way.
One of the top managers at a company that I had worked for previously had been in contact with me consistently. He told me that he wanted to help me change my life which was so exciting to hear.
He mentioned that my weight needed to be a priority and he recommended that I use the nutritionist/personal trainer that he used. He suggested that I utilize her for the food aspect, and that he would pay the $1,700 required to get coaching from her on my food choices.
I was so encouraged and optimistic, and above all grateful as fuck!
August 2017 — Consulting With Jenn
Her name was Jenn, a beautiful and well muscled blonde who knew her shit! She met with me at a gym to go over details of my needs and goals, then made recommendations for me. Before anything could start, she required me to get a physical.
I completed that by the end of August, and my plan was going to officially start in September.
October 2017 — Off And Running
I had been on Jenn’s eating program for a few weeks and I was also meeting with a personal trainer at the YMCA once a week. But I was a bit annoyed with my lack of progress on the scale because I expected big results in spite of my Fat Night indulgences.
That is when I asked Jenn to make my food more restrictive.
She had been very methodical with the food plan that she set up for me. She wanted it to be very simple to follow and far from drastic. That’s because she knew it would be a long road and I would need to be able to handle the challenges that came from such sustained discipline.
She hesitated, but soon granted my request to modify my plan to where I would be eating about 1600 calories per day. She told me that she only felt comfortable with that low number because I would balance it out with Fat Night.
October 2017 to February 2018 — Success!
I did remarkably well with the new, more restrictive plan. I was consuming five meals per day and much of that consisted of spinach and brown rice. I was definitely not a fan of it but it was tolerable, and amazingly, I was never hungry.
I had also been walking every weekday from October and throughout the winter months. I was very dedicated because I was often going out into the freezing cold and walking slowly on sheets of ice.
I was doing between 25 and 30 minutes of slow walking. That amounted to almost a mile per day.
The huge problem that I had during those months was the way that I conducted Fat Night. Jenn told me to have one indulgent meal as my last meal on Saturday and make sure to keep my eating window at no more than two hours.
What I actually did was go far overboard. It’s humiliating to admit, but Fat Night would typically last for 12–14 hours on Saturdays and I would often eat what amounted to three versions of dinner, tons of junk food and around 7–10 alcoholic drinks.
Beer and hard liquor mixed with sugary juices.
Miraculously, I managed to still keep steady with my weight loss, but it felt as though I should’ve been losing more.
Jenn instructed me to keep a food journal the entire time, and I hated filling out the details of Fat Night. I was as disciplined as you can possibly be throughout the week, but Saturday was a whole different ballgame.
When Jenn found out how much alcohol I was consuming along with so much processed food on Fat Night, she laid into me like a pissed off drill sergeant. I was genuinely ashamed and even a bit scared.
I began losing my resolve and dedication little by little in late February, and I kept ignoring the signals. I was sneaking snacks in small amounts. Then larger. I had no idea that I was losing my way.
March 2018 — The Bottom Falls Out
This was the end of the road for me, even though I didn’t know it at the time. I fell apart more and more, despite showing a dramatic 78 pound weight loss on the scale on March 1, 2018. I spiraled back into the horrible depths of reckless food consumption and ended up stopping my daily walking by the second week of June.
December 2020 — Reflection
These events took place almost three years ago, and I have yet to regain the locked in momentum that I had with my eating habits from 2017–18. That is the biggest lesson. Momentum should never be sacrificed. It’s incredibly significant.
But I am working my way back to where I was and beyond. I am just taking a different approach in starting with exercise. Food discipline is still an enormous challenge for me, but I will get there for sure. Today was my 54th workout in 78 days.
That’s momentum that I ain’t getting rid of!