A few weeks ago I briefly talked about how my husband’s recently lost 40 lbs. It’s pretty incredible to watch him shed 40 lbs in 4 months. He’s had CRAZY discipline and mental toughness. I’ve been so impressed with his ability to stick to it, sooooo impressed. And thankful. Too bad it’s getting colder out, because I’d really appreciate if he could walk around with his shirt off, all the time. That’d be just fine with me.

A couple things:

1. This post is just his weight loss story.

2. Fake sugars make your breath smell like ass (the Dukan Diet approves fake sugars since it’s a diet purely for weight loss)

Ok, now a few words from my husband:

Hi Everyone,

After several months I have finally reached the end of what has been a grueling process. Some of you may not have been aware, but I’ve been participating in the “D” word. That’s right, I’ve been dieting. Now a days you have to explain what that means as everyone is on some kind of diet. I’ve been dieting for the classic reason, weight loss. In 2002 I put on about 30 lbs. Over the course of the next few years I added about another 10 lbs. and have stayed pretty much at the same weight ever sense.

Above: September, 2010
Below: September 2011

In April I decided that it was finally time to do something about it.

I had never really tried losing weight before then. I’ve been active, or I’ve eaten well, never both at the same time. I didn’t necessarily feel bad, at the same time I didn’t necessarily feel good. With a three month old baby and a renewed passion for soccer, I decided to pour some extra time and a lot of effort into doing something about it. It is only with the support of my wife Julia, and the understanding of our friends and family that I was able to accomplish this task in a little over 4 months.

In May, I weighed in at 204 on the home scale. My pants size varied between 34-36 depending on the brand and I wore L – XL t-shirts depending on the brand. I was able to run 3 miles in a difficult 30 minutes or bike an 11-mile loop in 43 minutes. Most importantly I had a really high triglyceride level, my score was 420 (‘normal’ is under 150).

This is a picture of us the week before the diet began (may 2011)
Right when I decided to do something about it, a book hit the market called The Dukan Diet. The diet seemed to fit my preferences for protein and meat so I went with it. It took a lot of mental toughness, but I didn’t have to count calories, I just had to stick 100% with the books guidelines. Basically, you’re allowed a specific carb each day, after that you could eat almost unlimited amounts of protein, as long as it was also low/non-fat. Later, you start to incorporate veggies every other day. And after that ‘phase’ you start to incorporate fruit, whole grains and more ‘normal’ foods.

This is the Dukan ‘pancake’ with strawberries and non fat greet yogurt on top. The pancake is essentially oat bran, nonfat greek yogurt and an egg white. The pancake itself is approved during the 2nd phase, but the addition of fruit isn’t approved until the 3rd phase.

The book prescribed 30-40 minutes walks everyday. I strayed from this significantly doing a combination of playing 90-120 minutes of soccer, P90X, Insanity and cycling. I did one of these activities 5-6 days a week opting for intensive workouts instead of moderate activity.

Looking back, my body had some pretty clear patterns. I weighed myself every morning when I woke up. At first I lost quickly (10 lbs in 10 days). And as the book predicted it tapered off to about 2 lbs a week on average. I would lose weight for 2-3 days, level off, gain a little back (.5-1 lbs) and then drop more.

It was as if my body was protest the loss, get stubborn and then give in and shed a few pounds.

I tried tracking exactly what I was eating during the loss days but found no solid correlations. However, the one thing I did discover was that drinking a lot of water always helped. The book says that 1.5 liters (50 oz.) should be about good. I have always been a water drinker and found that I needed over 3 liters or 100 oz. to stay hydrated and losing weight.

I had a physical therapist tell me once to drink half your weight in oz. per day was the way to go. Good advice!

As of my 35th birthday (2 weeks ago), I weighed in at 165 lbs. My waist had shrunk to a size 31, and my shirt size varies between mediums and smalls. I’ve easily been able to run 3 miles in 26 minutes, and I’ve biked the Back Bay loop in just over 35 minutes. Lastly, I went and had my cholesterol tested and my triglyceride score fell from 420 to 74! My doctor was very impressed and told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing.

What have I learned along the way?

First, it has to be your choice. Losing weight is difficult and takes a lot of mental and physical toughness. No one can provide that for you (sorry spouses, doctors, and authors).

Second, you have to commit 100% to what your doing. If you try to lose weight half the time you wont get any return for your effort. You have to find a program (any program that fits your life the best), and plan your activities and your food intake each and everyday, no exceptions.

Third, you will find you miss some things and not others. For example, I missed bread each and every day. However, skipping French fries was no big thing. So now that I’ve started to incorporate normal food slowly back into my diet, I’ll eat bread again, but I can and will live a full life not bothering with french fries.

Forth, having a measurable goal is key. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to get back to 165. I knew each and every day how far I had to go. That gave me concrete and measurable markers. I couldn’t make excuses or fudge the results. Whatever your goal might be, in weight loss or anything else, find a way to break it down into measurable achievable goals.

Lastly, let your passions motivate you. For me playing soccer again is what provided me with the daily motivation to lose weight. Really the weight loss ended up being a byproduct of another goal to play a full length game with guys 10 years younger than me. I’ve always enjoyed working out, but working out to support playing soccer was a whole new thing for me. I choose the P90x and Insanity workouts based on their benefits towards soccer fitness. I did leg workouts, plyometrics (jump training), and core workouts, knowing that they had the greatest benefits to sprinting, agility, jumping, and endurance.

Today, I’m only finished with the weight loss phase of my plan (there are 4 phases, I’ve complete 2 of them). I now owe 200 days to the third phase: teaching my body and mind not to put that weight back on. After that, I enter the fourth phase. Which I will hopefully never end because what I’m looking to do is live a healthy life style.

For me, living a healthy lifestyle will take a 100% commitment, 7 days a week. I will indulge from time to time, but those will be for celebrations and special occasions. Really, they will be made even more special because of the posture in which I’ll be participating in them. What I have accomplished is just one story, write your own. Inspire those around you. Be the you, you were created to be.

We took these family pictures 2 weeks ago. Waverly is 8 months old and Jon is at his goal weight of 165 lbs.