A Realistic Diet and Workout Plan Helped Me Lose 40 Pounds

A Realistic Diet and Workout Plan Helped Me Lose 40 Pounds


When my father passed in late 2018 after a long progression of Alzheimer’s disease, I was forced to reflect on my own health and lifestyle. I was in my late 40s and really struggling. I didn’t sleep well, with lower back pain; I felt bloated all the time. The problems seemed to be getting worse, even as I tried chiropractic adjustments, probiotics, and even a new mattress.

As a professional pilot, I was always on the road, scrambling to find whatever food was available. I didn’t want to believe that I was overweight and out of shape, but years of l lousy eating and inconsistent exercise had me tipping the scales at 205 pounds on a 5’10” frame. Being tired and lethargic all the time affected me mentally and emotionally, too.

I resolved to get back into the gym, but once there I found my old routine—from my high school days—felt stale and lacking ambition. I started researching online, which of course offered up hundreds of options. Jeremy Ethier’s videos struck me as professional and science-based, without a bunch of hype. I decided to try his comprehensive program because I wanted a specific plan that I could commit to. I wanted goals and a clear path to reach them.

To make it work, I needed a gym membership I could use anywhere; I was working out six days a week. The first two to three months nearly wrecked me—I’m not 18 anymore—but soon enough I acclimated. The harder challenge was changing my diet. A calorie counter and nutrition guide showed just how many calories I got from snacking all day, and helped me shift to nutrient-rich, lower-calorie meals. Making every calorie count while hitting a caloric deficit every day was my goal.

It was a slow, deliberate process, and I had some setbacks along the way. Shoulder surgery meant four to six weeks of recovery, during which I did my best to keep up with exercising. In just about a year I went from 205 pounds at about 26 percent body fat, down to 168 pounds at 10.5 percent body fat. I hadn’t focused as much on the weight loss as bringing down my body-fat percentage, and I ended up right where I wanted to be.

I haven’t felt this good since I was 20 years old. My outlook and nutritional habits have changed permanently; I’ve come to love and enjoy the healthier foods I am eating today. I’ve also learned to love the gym again, and appreciate the work I put in there to keep myself mobile and pliable. I like how my clothes fit; pushing 50, I’m not embarrassed about how I look.

The biggest change for me was setting a goal, committing to a plan, and then following through. For anyone looking to get started, I say find something you’re willing to stick with. Through the process you’ll learn a great deal about yourself, and come out the other side with much better way of life in every aspect—physically, mentally, and emotionally. —as told to Jesse Hicks

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