The obligatory self-case study

If you just stumbled upon this post, this is a self-case-study from my Absolute Beginner's Guide to Working Out. Even if you've read that, it's boring. So excuse me for that.

Here it goes.

I was athletic during high school and the one year I went to college. When I started putting my salary before my physical health, one went up as the other went down. Soon, I was topping 370 pounds (from 220 during high school / college). True, not all of that was fat... But certainly, enough of it was that I was visibly unhealthy.

I made attempts during the years to lose weight and work out. And those attempts went in fits and starts - a few weeks here, a couple months there. I made a pretty drastic change in my diet by cutting out any form of corn syrup, which resulted in a steady decline in weight over a period of years. Then, last year, I decided I wanted to play some football again. And, unlike the other iterations of wanting to be in shape, I decided this was GOING to happen.

That was the change. I decided being in shape enough to play football was worth the concessions I'd have to make in the rest of my life. I began getting up at 4:00AM to work out - every single day. I began reading up and talking to trainers about the best ways to build strength while losing fat, without sacrificing overall weight (being heavy [not fat heavy] in football is a big plus). I educated myself in ways I'd never done before. I dedicated myself to the pursuit of physical fitness.

And you know what? Nothing else in my life was sacrificed, except for the types of food I ate and the amount of television I watched. I had plenty of time to work my 50 hours a week. I was going to the gym with my wife, which turned out to be a far more fun use of our time than sitting and watching television.

When I started in July of last year, I was 29% body fat and weighed 315 lbs. Today, I am 21% body fat and weigh 310 lbs - and I am the strongest and most fit I've ever been in my life.

Ta daa.

Here's a little before-after action for you:

June 6, 2002 - 375 lbs, 38% body fat:

March 11, 2008: 307lbs, 19% body fat:

I'll have to get a June 2008 one at some point.


In September 2009, I decided I'd do something retarded for someone my size: I decided to run a marathon. I used the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon as a "training goal" and set my sites on the Disney Full Marathon on January 10, 2010. I finished it in 5 hours, 45 minutes, and in the process dropped from an average weight of 290 lbs to about 250 lbs. I wear a size 38 pant now, and feel better than I ever have.

And the secret? It wasn't the marathon that did it. The VAST majority of my weight loss happened in the initial training stages, when I was running 2 miles one day, 3 miles the next. Within a month and a half, I was down nearly 30 lbs. The final 20 came between the Thanksgiving half and the Disney full.