“This has completely and utterly changed my life. I can’t say ‘thank you’ often enough!”
My story has been a long time coming.
I should have shared it sooner.
But I was afraid.
I was embarrassed.
And frankly, I don’t think I had near the strength of character, nor the courage of conviction needed to tell people the truth…
The Truth is that I have struggled with my weight for almost all of my adult life.
The Truth is that in 2009, I had ballooned out to my heaviest weight of 278 pounds.
The Truth is that during that period of my life, my chest hurt, my feet ached, and the only thing heavier than my body, was my heart…
But if I’ve learned anything in my 47 years, it’s that the truth of “right now” doesn’t have to be the truth of “tomorrow” or even the next day. You don’t have to settle. You don’t have to just “buck up” and accept it.
You can change it. It can be better. I can be better…
Today, the Truth is very different than it used to be.
The Truth is that somehow through the grace of God, I have managed to lose 114 pounds.
The Truth is that I now weigh 164 pounds, the same weight that I weighed in college.
The Truth is I now have a new life, and a very promising future to look forward to.
Which leads me to the most difficult part of sharing my story…
Just the thought of posting “Before and After” pictures makes me break out in hives, but it’s finally time to tell the truth. The whole truth. And not just the bits that make me look good.
I do this also, because I owe a debt.
I am indebted to every one of those brave souls who posted “Before and After” pictures of themselves before me. I used those pictures. I used those stories. I used that determination to fix my own life.
So, to those people who put their embarrassment aside and fought the good fight,
I pay it forward that others might come after me…
So this is the first picture of me in the “Before” stage. I’m not sure of the exact date, but I’m guessing March of 2009. I remember this moment vividly as it was all I could do to move to the center of the boat as to not capsize.
Here is basically the same shot, but from a side profile.
This picture is The Absolute Worst Shot of me that I could find and had not yet burned… I find it a cruel, but fitting irony that in this picture, I am in jail. However, I’m in jail not only by myself, but I have locked up my kids right along with me… Looking at this picture always brings back to a time I prefer to forget, but the power of this picture is simply undeniable.
OK. Let’s move on shall we?
I had a friend take a few pictures of me a few months ago. This is just me in my favorite jeans and a T-shirt.
Same shot, same jeans, same T-shirt from the side profile.
Lastly, this is most recent picture of me and my daughter. This was taken right before attending our first “Western Themed” Father/Daughter dance. My new found health ensures that we will have many more moments just like this…
I want to take a moment to post some stats and briefly detail how I got from there to here:
Height 5′ 7″
Starting Weight 278
Current Weight 164 (-114)
“Life is too short to eat bad food…”
This is my favorite mantra regarding food.
In my daily life, I eat a Real Whole Unprocessed Food diet that focuses on Quality, not quantity.
I don’t diet. I don’t focus on cutting calories and what I can’t eat. Instead, I focus on eating MORE of the foods that my body needs and understands. To put it another way, I simply eat the foods that lead me to health, and stay away from non-foods that take me away from health.
In the real world, that basically translates to a diet consisting of quality meats, whole food fats, and non-starchy vegetables. If you’ve read The Calorie Myth or The Smarter Science of Slim, you are already well familiar with this approach.
And although I base so much of my style of eating on the SANE approach, I do want to emphasize that so much of your success will be depend on your ability to tailor this approach to YOU and your specific lifestyle.
The SANE lifestyle provided me a great foundation on which I was able to build my house upon. However, it is not Jonathan Bailor’s house. It is MY house. I get to choose the style of house I want. Any decisions like the color of my house or the furniture I buy, are completely up to me…
SANE-ity is merely a foundation on which to build your perfect way of living and thriving. To make it work, and more importantly, to make it sustainable, it is imperative that you take what you have learned, then build upon it to customize “Your House” into “Your HOME.”
My attitude toward exercise and health in general is that it doesn’t need to be hard. People see the Biggest Loser and think “OMG! I can’t do that! I don’t have time to work out 4 hours a day!” And what I’m trying to convince people is that you don’t have to. I absolutely believe that good health should be simple and uncomplicated. It doesn’t need to be hard. It doesn’t need to be extreme. You don’t have to wake up at 4 am every morning to show up at a boot camp and have some drill sergeant yell at you for an hour. It’s just not necessary.
The approach I use toward exercise is “Maximum results, Minimal time, with Minimal stress on the body,” or the concept of Minimum Effective Dose. The goal is to achieve the best results you can in the shortest amount of time, while still being able to minimize the stress you put on your body. By taking this strategy, I ensure that I stay injury free, and my body gets the necessary inputs it requires to stay strong and healthy for the rest of my life.
So what that looks like in the real world is three 20 minute weight training sessions a week. During each of those sessions, I modify as many movements as I can to focus only on the eccentric part of the exercise.
Lastly, I do one 10 minute sprint session a week. Nothing fancy here. Every Saturday morning, my oldest son Nash and I race each other up and down the street. The competition brings out the best in us, and depending how we feel, we’ll do to 4-6 “races” totaling 10 minutes of exercise time.
After that, any exercise I do is just for fun, whether it be playing basketball, playing tag with my kids, or hiking with my buddies. I make sure I truly enjoy any activity I get involved in. If it ain’t fun, I ain’t doing it.
I don’t want to make this section an afterthought.
Sleep and Stress Management are huge pieces to my success. I make every effort to get 8 hours of sleep a night. I also take every precaution to minimize the stress in my life. It took me a little bit of time, but I’ve learned to no longer sweat the small stuff that used to bog me down.
Focus on the things that are truly important in your life and let go of the things that just don’t matter…
So, ladies and gentlemen, that is my life in Technicolour… I want to end this without being preachy or the need to be profound so let me just say this,
Losing 114 pounds is certainly a big change. But the real change happened, not in my muscles, nor in my abs. It happened in my heart…
If you ever find yourself in a situation like mine whether it’s weight loss or anything else, and you can’t imagine where to begin,
Start by putting Belief in your heart. Belief that you can do this. Belief that you are worth the time and the effort.
Let it take root. Care for it. Water it. And it WILL grow.