Ten years ago I spend my 34th birthday in New York City and commemorated the occasion by having my portrait taken on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge:
Today I turned 44 and Ashley shot this portrait of me last night in front of our own local iconic landmark... the Gateway Arch (shot from the Illinois side).
While I have a few more wrinkles and a few more gray hairs, I feel like I am only getting better with age! I am stronger, leaner, healthier and happier than I've ever been.
I am married to a wonderful woman who is truly my better half and for someone who never really wanted any kids... I can't believe how much I love being Audrey's dad. She is my pride and joy and I just love her to pieces!
In the Brooklyn Bridge photo, I am wearing size 38 jeans, an XXL shirt and I am guessing I weighed around 260 pounds. (it was taken about 3 years before I reached my highest weight of 285 in December 2010 when I could barely squeeze into 40 sized jeans).
Back then, I was single, living alone in California and my health was not a priority at all.
I traveled often for work, I didn't know how to cook so I ate out or ordered in all them time.
I've struggled with my weight for most of my adult life and despite trying just about every diet known to man and working out with a personal trainer 3x a week... I was unable to lose the weight and keep it off for any substantial amount of time.
I always felt like a failure whenever any weight I lost would inevitably return.
I blamed myself for lacking discipline or for being lazy, or I'd justify it with the excuse of blaming it on my genetics... and figured there was nothing I could do about it... so I gave up.
Turns out... I was just following crappy advice.
I've since learned that just about all the "conventional wisdom" surrounding diet, nutrition, weight loss, and fitness is bogus and I am on a mission to set the record straight.
I've been low carb for almost 7 years now and I've been eating a strict ketogenic diet 95% of the time for the past 2 and a half years.
I say 95% of the time because I do indulge in junk food every now and then (especially when traveling) because I know that ultimately I am committed to the long term Keto lifestyle.
The problem is... if I eat some "carbage" on a trip, or a dinner party, or whenever... and I'll gain 5-10 pounds depending on how far off the rails I go. The weight easily comes back off once I get back on track, but I haven't many any real progress in the past 5 months... I've been losing the same 10 pounds over and over again.
These days I typically fluctuate between 185 and 195 depending on how strict I being with my low carb lifestyle. I wear size 31 jeans and a L shirt. (That's between 90 and 100 pounds down from my highest weight of 285 and 9 inches off of my waist).
Honestly... I don't even really care that much about losing any more weight.
I just continue to eat this way because it's good for me.
I still have a bit of fat around my belly and and I am more concerned with my body fat percentage than the number on the scale, but since I am coaching others in their efforts to lose weight and get fit...
I am committed to spending the entire year completely cutting sugar, grains and processed vegetable oils out of my diet.
No cheating whatsoever (not even my mom's famous cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve).
I am also going to be completely cutting out snacks. Sometimes I over indulge on "keto-friendly foods" like nuts, cheese and guacamole and often I find myself eating out of boredom... not because I am actually hungry.
I want to be a good example for those who sign up for my challenge.
I want to be an inspiration to those who feel hopeless struggling with their weight (trust me, I've been there)
I also want to get the kind of body I never thought would be possible for me (think Brad Pitt in Fight Club).
So to that end... I am also committed to stepping up my fitness routine this year.
I purposely hardly ever worked out on my journey to lose 100 pounds just to prove a point that contrary to popular belief... exercise really isn't necessary to lose weight. It can help, but 85% of weight loss is determined by what you put in your mouth (and what you don't).
This year is going to be about me "putting on my oxygen mask first" because if I can't help myself, how can I expect to help others?
Just like New Years is a time to reflect on the past year, and plan for the coming one... I do the same thing on my birthday every year. I like to think of it as a new operating system for my life, but instead of Windows 95, or Mac OS X... today marks the release of [ b ] 4.4 and I am excited!
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