How I Lost 70 Pounds
One year ago, I was taking a high blood pressure pill everyday and was a borderline diabetic (type 2). I also had what is called a “fatty liver,” which is deposits of fat accumulating on the liver, which will lead to liver shutdown. I weighed 293 pounds. If I didn’t change my lifestyle I was going to die, go blind or impotent (worse than death).
I lost 70 pounds in one year without following any diet.
I ignored all the diet advice from my friends, experts and the media. I’ve never been a good “rule follower,” I have to make my own rules. I was not going to give up carbs, sweets, or go “gluten-free,” whatever the hell that is. I definitely was not going to stop eating late at night.
What I did do was cut back on the sodas. I didn’t need 4-5 sodas a day. I bought one Sprite, drinking a third of it, saving the rest for the next few days. I started drinking lots of water (150 ounces a day). I cut back on Zucchini-Walnut muffins at Starbucks, which had over 400 calories each! How the hell could a muffin have that many calories? WTF?
I also cut back on burgers and fries, which I was eating almost everyday. Instead, I started treating myself to an In-and-Out burger with fries and soda, once a week. I love Ruffles potato chips, the Sour Cream kind, yum! But I found if I picked the chips up and carried them around the store, my “craving” was satisfied and I would put them back.
For breakfast and lunch, I would eat bananas or apples. For dinner, I had a baked potato (with butter!), macaroni, and a raw carrot or two. I bought one Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pint a week and ate a little every night. If I were at Starbucks, I would have their marshmallow dream-bar, about 210 calories.
I started exercising on the elliptical machine at my gym 7 nights a week for 50 minutes. I started at a low level: level 5. At first, I would literally stop after 10 minutes, take a break, do ten more minutes, take a break, etc. At the time, I was probably the fattest person at my gym, but I was one of the most committed.
To my great shock, I started losing weight just from the change in diet, which I think accounts for 60-70% of weight loss. After a year of this, I was down to 220. Suddenly friends and people, I didn’t even know, were telling me how much weight I lost. Some people at the gym even asked me: “What’s your secret?” Umm, doing what I want?
Today, I do the same routine at the gym. I am up to level 10 now, but have to stop every 15-20 minutes to give myself a breather. I still enjoy popcorn with too much butter at the movies, but I don’t drink a soda, I always get water. I never went for “diet soda” or “diet anything.” If I can’t have the real deal, what’s the point?
My blood pressure is normal (no more pills), my glucose level is perfect and my triglycerides are down to 142. They used to be 500. I still want to lose 20 more pounds and get down to 200. I am not a health nut, I am not gluten-free and will eat Ben and Jerry’s until the day I die, which, hopefully won’t be for a long time.
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About Michael Allen Michael Allen started his career in Washington D.C. as a video editor or WRC TV-4 and NBC Nightly News. After moving to Los Angeles, Michael worked as a video editor and news writer for KNBC News. He segued into entertainment and wrote for five animated TV series on MTV, Nickelodeon and Fox Family. Then he served as a managing editor for a West Los Angeles publication and freelance writer for numerous magazines.