Family Status: Married
Hometown: Cincinanti, Ohio
Starting Weight: 277 pounds
Current Weight: 170 pounds
Current Waist Size: 30″
Gary’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I started my journey on 11/2/2013 at a weight of 277 pounds. My lowest weight was 156 pounds for a total weight loss of 121 pounds. Since then I have focused on building muscle and bulking up a bit more but have maintained a healthy weight and I’m currently at 170 pounds.
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I gained weight as an adult. I think with marriage, a slowdown in sporting activities after finishing school and changing to desk jobs caused the weight to start piling on.
What made you decide to lose weight?
My wife and I bought an elliptical machine in 2012 due to our weight problem. I used it a few times but told her that I didn’t want to just do cardio. I wanted to do resistance training as well. In late October, 2013 we just happened to be walking through Sears and we noticed a home gym with a weight set and we bought it. I put it together over the next few days and just started my journey from there.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
Diet and exercise are the obvious answers to this question but the biggest thing I had to overcome was the mental side of it. The physical part is easy and I knew what to expect, from being an athlete in school. But the mental side which consisted of making myself exercise and diet properly was the hard part.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
The most difficult thing I had to deal with was the food choices. I don’t cook much and I was very strict with my diet so I didn’t get a lot of different flavors. I’m also a picky eater so my options were limited.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
Within days. Honestly, I think I lost 10 pounds the first week and 30 pounds within the first month. My wife noticed my lack of snoring very early on as well, maybe within two weeks of starting my journey.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me roughly 6 months to reach my current weight. My goal was to run the Indy Mini Marathon which was scheduled for May 3rd, 2014. I started at 277 pounds and on the night before the marathon I took a pen and wrote down my starting weight and my current weight on my shoes. I weighed 169 pounds.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I’ve maintained the weight loss for over a year now. My focus is to continue my cardio and strength training regimen as well as following a healthy diet. My diet isn’t quite as strict now.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
Being around for my family, being able to play with my daughter without getting tired and just the feeling of being back in shape and never wanting to be out of shape again really keeps me going.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
My daily routine has changed quite a bit. It involves running 5-7 times a week as well as weight training.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
I often think about what advice I can give to others as I’m always asked how I did it. There are so many things that go into it but the biggest two factors for me were finding something that worked for me and pushing myself mentally. No matter how out of shape you are there isn’t much that you can’t already do physically if you put your mind to it. The mindset is the hardest thing to overcome.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit’s weight loss stories are very inspirational.
Gary’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Find a workout routine that works for you. If you try something and you don’t like it, then just move onto something else. There are millions of exercise programs out there to try. Find something that fits you and make it a daily routine.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Make it your own routine. Working out 1-2 times a week is better than nothing but if your diet sucks then your workouts won’t be as effective. Keep your diet in check and workout every day, or almost every day and the results will come.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Push yourself to be better every day. On day one I was ashamed to only be able to run/walk for 17 minutes and I had only made it just over a mile. I had to stop. Day two I made it 19 minutes. Day three was 20 minutes and so on. Just keep pushing yourself. On the Indy Mini Marathon day this year (my second year) I ran 13.1 miles in 90 minutes and finished in the top 500 out of 24,000 runners! It can be done.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Change it up. Once you get into a good routine your body starts to get used to it and you’ll see the weight loss slow down or “plateau”. That means it’s time for a change. Throw in something you haven’t been doing, whether it’s weight lifting, some interval training or even changing the time of day you workout.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Collect data. One of the biggest and most helpful things I found was the information I collected during my journey. I’m an Engineer so of course I’d say that but it’s the truth. I weighed myself three times a day. Once when I woke up, once after my afternoon workout and once before bed. This data collection helped me to understand the effects that the food and portions I was eating and my exercise routine were having on my progress. I made adjustments to my caloric intake and workout routine based on these things to help me even more.
Gary’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Protein bar or a flatbread with turkey sausage, egg and cheese.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Tuna, yogurt, almonds, apple slices or turkey and cheese sandwich on a flatbread with some yogurt, pistachios or a fruit cup.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
When my diet first started I ate chicken, chicken, and more chicken! I changed it up every day with different spices or sauces but that was my main dinner. I would occasionally mix in spaghetti or some breakfast foods for dinner but the main thing was chicken. In recent months, I’ve started to incorporate fish which I didn’t eat before. That has given my family some more options but if you ask my 5-year-old child, we still eat chicken too often 🙂
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Almonds, pistachios, yogurt.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I’ve been taking fish oil and a multivitamin since I started but after I hit 156 pounds and started to bulk up I began taking some protein supplements as well.
Gary’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I do resistance training 4-5 times a week. I occasionally mix in some HIIT or Tabata training as well. That gives me a good mix of cardio and weight training in short time periods when my schedule gets busy.
What do you do for cardio training?
I’m a runner. During my weight loss journey and while I’m training for events I run 30-50 miles a week. Now I run around 25 miles a week unless I have an event coming up.