About three months ago, I got an instant message from my friend Saint up in Massachusetts who works as a programmer for a computer software company. That morning, he told me that he stepped on the scale and finally decided that he had put on too much weight. It was time for a change. Beginning that day, I’ve been working closely with Saint to develop a better diet, a free workout plan (he doesn’t have a gym membership or any weights), and a lifestyle that provides him with more energy and a healthier life. Since then, he’s been so successful that I asked him to answer a few questions about his life then and now:
Describe a typical day before you decided to change things up. What did you weigh?
Saint: 236 pounds. A typical day for me would always begin with me waking up late for work. I have an hour and half commute so i need to leave the house around 7:30AM. I was usually waking up late because of my awful sleep habits: not only would I play Everquest II til all hours of the night, but my snoring/lack of getting oxygen while sleeping kept me always tired too.
As I arrived at work I just sat down, with out eating breakfast at all. I’d probably grab a Cherry Coke around 10-10:30 and be starving when I got to lunch which was generally a large sub with a side of cream of broccoli soup or a personal pizza. I’d have another Coke or one of those frozen Starbucks’s Coffees you can buy. Around 3PM, I would grab another coke to give me enough energy to last until the end of the work day at 5.
Driving home from work was be atrocious; I’d be falling asleep the whole time and call people to stay awake, usually having to stop at a fast food place to curb my appetite. I would get home and have a huge dinner. I can’t tell you what i was eating, because I never paid attention. I do know that it was usually a lot of pasta or a lot of meat, and I would eat as fast as I could because i was starving.
“I don’t eat till I’m full, I eat till I hate my self” -Louis ck. Perfect description.
After dinner, i would grab a soda or something around 6:30 and jump on EverQuest. While playing, I would grab snacks or caffeine to keep me awake and keep playing. Around 10 my sister would get home from Starbucks (where she works) with the food that wasn’t eaten…which usually would just go right to my face: usually two Chocolate fudge, chocolate muffins with cream cheese in the middle. MMMMMMMMM. Around midnight I’d take a break from the game to make myself a chicken quesadilla or some sort of microwavable food. At 1AM I’d hop off the computer and head to bed.
Yeah, that’s not exactly gonna keep the weight down… Let’s talk about your motivation: what put your over the edge and why did you decide to make the change? Everybody knows one of the hardest parts about getting into shape is admitting to yourself that it’s something you need to do. How did it happen?
Saint: My motivation to make the change was after 3 months of averaging over 80 hours a week playing EverQuest II. I stepped the scale on a weekly basis and watched it go up and up and up. After finding out from my girlfriend that we were going on vacation in March, I stepped on the scale one day and finally decided that I had to make a change. Hell, my clothes weren’t even fitting anymore. I just had enough of it, and needed to start living better.
I’m glad it happened. I know we talked about it a few months before that, but until you got to that point where you were ready to make a change, there wasn’t anything I could do. To say you’ve made a change is an understatement: you’re a different person. Describe a typical day now, and now what do you weigh?
Saint: I’m down to 212 lbs (and counting!)[editor’s note: Since the first publishing of this article, Saint lost another 9 lbs in the next 3 weeks, bringing his weight down to 203!]. The changes to my daily routine that I made are not as hard as you think. Instead of soda I drink water, about 5 – 6 bottles a day. Instead of coffee, I have been drinking Green Tea. I eat breakfast (Egg White Frittata Sandwich ), LOADED with good proteins. [NF Note: Saint deciding to eat breakfast every day was one of the biggest changes he made] My lunch is a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato. My dinners have been any thing with pork or chicken. Every day I try to either play basketball or go for a run, and then do push ups, crunches on other days. I have changed over to Left 4 Dead rather than EQII for the last couple months mainly because I didn’t have enough time to get raid gear and do multiple 6 hour long quests. Honestly, it dawned on me that I was leveling up my character to no end. It never ends and you get pretty much nothing out of it. I figured I’d rather level up in real life while saving the world…from a zombie apocalypse.
What are your goals moving forward?
Saint: My goal moving forward is to get down to 199. Back when I started my weight loss, cracking the 200 barrier sounded like a far-off dream. Now that I’m down to 203, 199 is RIGHT THERE. As I lose the weight, my goals are to start building some muscles and look like Kratos from God of War, Daniel Craig in Casino Royal, or Ryan Reynolds (how freaking ripped is this guy!?). Yeah those might sound like crazy goals, but 199 sounded crazy to me too just a few months ago, and look a me now. A healthy lifestyle isn’t nearly as bad as it seems. I still pig out on Saturdays and just continue on my way. Every day when I look at my spinach and egg whites and Tabasco sauce, I just say “this is what I do now” and keep on trucking. It’s amazing. I now have more energy, my clothes fit (or are too big), and I feel better about my life. Things can only get better.
What’s the one thing you think that had the most impact on your weight loss?
Saint: The thing I think contributed the most to my transformation was encouragement and positive support from my friends and family. My closest friends were all rooting for me and giving me advice, so once I let them know I was getting healthy and back in shape, I didn’t want to let any of them down. Also, I can’t tell you how great it felt each week to step on the scale and watch the number go down and down.
We’ll keep checking in with Saint over the next few months as he continues to transform himself into a new person. Also, Saint has some before pictures of himself, but his camera broke so once he gets it fixed we’ll be getting those posted as well. There you go guys, a true success-story in the making. As I posted in yesterday’s blog, step 1, is deciding that you want to get in shape. Step 2 is doing something about it.