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Six years of pursuing a healthier lifestyle

12.16.2016
On the left... December 18, 2010 at 285 pounds. On the right taken this morning, December 18, 2016 at 189 pounds.

Six years ago today, I made the second best decision* of my entire life when I decided once and for all it was time to lose some weight and make my health a priority.

It was the week before Christmas and The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss had just been released. I loved Tim's first book, The Four Hour Workweek as it had given me a fresh perspective on business and entrepreneurship, so I was eager to hear what he had to say about diet & exercise. While we're on the subject of Tim Ferriss... I may as well plug his new book Tools of Titans. I'm about half way through it and it's absolutely excellent!

Anyway... The Four Hour Body lays out a way of eating that encourages 6 days of clean eating followed by a guilt free cheat day as well as a plan to workout for just a half hour, twice a week (thus totaling 4 hours of exercise per month hence the title of the book). Clean eating according to Tim, meant cutting out sugar, grains and processed carbs.

That cheat day was very helpful at first because I knew if I made good decisions about what I put in my mouth all week long, I could "reward myself"** with ice cream, pizza, french fries... whatever I wanted on Saturday. I was able to start my new diet the week before Christmas because I knew Christmas Day would land on a cheat day and I wasn't about to give up my mom's famous cinnamon rolls for anything!

I lost 9 pounds the first week!

3 months later I was down 50 pounds!

After the first year I had dropped 70 pounds and 6 inches off of my waist! I was a new man!

The best part was that 3 years later I was still down about 60 pounds. This "diet" had really become a lifestyle and carbs & sugar were not a regular part of my life any more. I had learned healthy new eating habits and for the first time in my life... I had control over what I put in my mouth.

Over the next year or so... I had some drama in my personal life, break ups, back and forth trips from SoCal to STL, yadda, yadda, yadda and some setbacks in my professional life (closing of The [ b ] School and the failure to get PhotogRefers off the ground) that led to some weight slowly creeping back on.

I usually had no problems sticking to my new way of eating when I was at home, but whenever I traveled, I would relax a little and just eat what was convenient or what sounded good knowing that I'd get back on track when I got home. The problem was... I was traveling all the time. Cheat days turned into cheat weeks, and I was just too busy and too stressed to keep making my health a priority.

By April of 2015 when I returned from a destination wedding in Jamaica... I realized I had gained back over half of the weight I had originally lost (+36 pounds from my lowest point of 215 pounds in December of 2011)

Here I am in Jamaica weighing 251 (photo by the resort photographer). Note... if you planning a destination wedding, don't hire the resort photographer, Hire me! Also, Ashley wanted me to let everyone know that she is 8 months pregnant in this photo. (When I asked her to proofread this post, and she saw I was using this photo... she threatened to "cut me"!)

Our Audrey was due in June of that year and I knew for the sake of my family... I needed to make my health a priority once again. As an older first time dad, I knew I had to take care of myself if I was going to be around to watch my daughter grow up. (I was 41 when Audrey was born, by contrast when my dad was 41... I was 20).

So I recommitted myself to the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, but this time I tried a slightly different approach.

This time around I was inspired by a book called Eat Bacon Don't Jog by Grant Petersen. I think Ashley bought it for me as a joke, but you know what... I love eating bacon and I f*cking hate jogging... so this book was right up my alley! (Also, our house always smells like bacon so I guess the joke is on her!)

I learned about the Ketogenic diet aka LCHF (low carb, high fat) and immediately saw the pounds start dropping off again!

I went from 251 to 215 in 3 months, then in less than 6 months, I was under 200 pounds for the first time since shortly I graduated from high school.

Although to be honest... I was a little worried that this may not be the safest option because I was consuming lots and lots of saturated fat and for my entire life... I was taught, just like everyone else, that eating fat wasn't good for me, especially in regards to heart health.

But none the less, I was losing weight, losing inches and burning stubborn belly fat so I pressed on.

During the summer of 2015... I became more and more interested in nutrition and really started studying. According to all of the most recent research... it turns out that saturated fat isn't unhealthy and it is not related to heart disease at all! (Check out The Skinny on Fat and/or the Nutritional News sections of my website.)

The "science" behind the studies in the 1950's & 60's linking fat to heart disease were sketchy at best (I'd call it outright fraud... but don't get me started on conspiracy theories).

Anyway... in the last year and a half I've read dozens of books on health and nutrition, watch countless documentaries and YouTube videos, listened to hundreds of podcasts and I've literally read over 1,000 articles on the subject and I can safely say without a shadow of a doubt, that healthy fats (including saturated fats) are good for you, and that sugar, grains and processed carbs are the real culprits behind the global obesity epidemic.

As of this morning, six years to the day of me starting on my journey towards a healthier lifestyle... I am pleased to report that I am down 96 pounds and I feel absolutely fantastic! (Down 62 pounds since adopting the LCHF Lifestyle)

At 43 I am in the best shape of my entire life and it's only getting better. I'm getting stronger, leaner and more flexible each day. To me, being fit is not a destination... it's a journey... and one I plan on being on until my dying day.

This photo was taken last month by the one and only Rich Lander:

I've got news for you folks:

For the past year and a half, between 70-80% of my daily calories have come in the form of healthy fats. I eat bacon, burgers (no bun), steaks, pork chops and pork belly often. I put grass fed butter on just about everything. I also love extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocado, cheese and I cook most of my meals in coconut oil or bacon grease. The only carbs I consume come from veggies and a few nuts.

My new book, Eat Your @$$ Off will be available soon and I am making it available for FREE! I just feel this information is to valuable not to share with everyone!

And even though my free eBook is going to spell out exactly what you need to eat, and what you need to avoid to achieve Safe, Effective & Sustainable Weight Loss... know what to do, and then doing it are two entirely different things.

The LCHF Lifestyle works... IF YOU STICK WITH IT!

The whole point of the The Lazy Man's Challenge is to make sure you stick to the program! We've got an awesome, supportive, private FB group, daily motivation emails, weekly inspirational videos and you'll get access to a killer new app that helps you track your progress.

In addition to teaching you what to eat and what to avoid, proving meal plans, grocery shopping lists and stuff like that... I think the real benefit to signing up the The Challenge is "The Mental Battle Plan" where I will help you get over the biggest hurdle of them all... your own mind! Making a major life change like this is simple... but it's not easy. It's my job to help you conquer your fears and doubts, and empower you to get on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

Lastly... If you actually put up some money and invest in this program... you'll be more likely to stick with it because you don't want your money to go to waste. If you try it on your own, you can just quit anytime and no one will know and it won't have cost you anything. This program was designed to give you the best possible chance for success and I know I can help you!

Learn More About the Challenge


One more thing... (a la Steve Jobs)

While I have done tons and tons of research on my own... I am excited to announce that come January... I am going to be starting a program to become a certified health & wellness coach!

I am really looking forward to learning as much as I can, and sharing that knowledge with those who'd like to join me in a pursuit of a healthier existence.

Don't worry... I'll still be shooting weddings as photography is still my first love, but this will become my new "day job" as Ashley will be taking over our photography business (new website coming soon!)

________

*The best decision I ever made was asking Ashley to marry me. Come to think of it... if I had met Ashley before losing the 60 pounds I was down at the time, I doubt she would have said yes when I first asked for her digits; so getting on the path to fitness has been the best investment I've ever made in myself and it's paid off in more ways than one!

**I no longer "reward myself" with cheat meals. I am not a dog... I don't deserve a treat when I am a good boy. I reward myself with delicious, nutrition foods on a daily basis and every once and a while, I eat something that I know I shouldn't because sometime you just have to have a cupcake. (I'm able to do this every now and then because I am committed to the LCHF Lifestyle long term and I know that there's no chance of me slipping into my old habits.)

If you have any questions about the LCHF Lifestyle, or the Lazy Man's Challenge please ask them in our Facebook event for the challenge that is starting January 3rd .

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