61 Pounds Lost: Gen Defeats the Sugar Monster
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Before:200 lbs. (91kg)
After:139 lbs. (63kg)
What was the turning point that prompted you to lose weight?
I visited a new doctor who weighed me, and it was a shock. I honestly hadn't realized I was that heavy. Photos of course were always confronting, but I could usually rationalize them away as being an unflattering angle or something.
When did you start trying to lose weight?
I started trying to lose weight in early 2009. I lost 33 pounds (15kg) in 2009, and then slowly gained some of that back. I lost most of my weight between November 2012 AND November 2013.
How did you get started?
I only used calorie counting initially, setting myself a 1500 calorie daily goal. I started seeing a personal trainer in 2012 and took a closer look at my diet, making a concerted effort to eat a lot of protein, and lower my carb and sugar intake.
What was your biggest challenge?
The sugar monster! I still succumb to sugar cravings fairly often, but not so often as to derail my efforts completely. No doubt, it has slowed me down though.
Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?
Right now actually, I'm 10 pounds (5kg) from goal. It would be easy to decide I'm happy to stay where I am -- most of my other, non-vanity related goals have been met. But I'm determined to continue because I know now that I can do this, I have the knowledge and more importantly I have the self-belief that I deserve the body and lifestyle I've always wanted.
If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?
The only plateaus I've experienced have been over the Christmas period (and into the first couple of months of 2014) when too much socializing and holidays have meant I was being less strict with my eating plan.
What’s your current exercise routine?
I saw a personal trainer three times a week for most of 2012 and 2013. I also supplemented this with my own workouts (including lots of walking.) Now I see my personal trainer once a week and I go to the gym for primarily strength-based workouts with some high intensity cardio 2-4 times a week depending on how many other commitments I have.
What’s your daily diet look like?
I'm insulin resistant, so my breakfast has to be high protein and low carb to avoid blood sugar spikes. Usually it's some form of eggs. My favorite is two eggs scrambled with two extra egg whites, feta cheese and spinach. Lunch is usually a salad, often with salmon, avocado, tomato and greens. Dinner might be a stir-fry just with lots of veggies and protein. I avoid carbs, although if someone else is cooking I'll just have a smaller serving of whatever they've made than I used to. At least once a week I'll have a ‘night off’ where I eat anything I feel like. I don't miss out!
What’s your favorite healthy snack and meal?
I love carrot sticks with cottage cheese and some protein bars. My favorite meal is a lamb curry with extra vegetables instead of rice.
How has losing weight changed your life?
It's changed my life insurmountably. There are few words that can capture the magnitude of what it's done for my confidence and self-esteem, and my body is now capable of all those physical things I used to want to do, but couldn't, such as hike long distances. It's also given me the courage to make changes in other areas of my life and make brave, bold decisions. My only regret is that I didn't do it ten years ago!
Do you have any advice for those trying to lose weight?
Start now! Research as much as you think you need to. Base your diet around lots of protein and good fats, build in regular treat nights, and embrace exercise based on lifting weights. You never regret doing a workout. Mostly, believe it's possible. Your body is not much different to anyone else's – you can trust it to respond properly to the changes you make.
I’m incredibly passionate now about the subject of nutrition and fitness, and have started my own website called G.I. Gen. I think of ‘G.I. Gen’ as the stronger, fitter, leaner version of myself, and when my willpower eludes me I sometimes think “What would G.I. Gen do?”
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