support-systems

Meet Joe: He Lost 60+lbs and Importance of a Support System


I just realized this is my 100th post!  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate being #100  than this one. 

I’d like you to meet Joe.  I had the pleasure of talking to Joe a few days after Thanksgiving.  He had sent me a message saying how he went from 334lbs to 273lbs with things he’s learned from Aesthetic Physiques.

Needless to say, I had to get him on here.  Through a couple of reschedules we finally connected and I was able to ask him a few questions.  So without further ado, I give you my conversation with Joe…

Alright, so tell us a little about yourself.

Alright, well my name’s Joe, I’m thirty years old. I’ve always been the overweight kid growing up and I’ve tried numerous times to drop some of the excess weight, so it’s always been a challenge, but this time it finally stuck a little bit with what I’ve been doing. So yeah, the biggest motivation this time around was, I got married in May, so I was trying to slim down a little bit for that.

Congratulations.

Thank you, and yeah, it’s just something that I’ve been trying to stick with now.

So what was a typical day like for you before the weight loss?

Honestly it’s not that much different from now, I go to work, I work at a desk like most people, so that was always tough, but I’ve always been active, I’ve always played sports. The only difference now is I probably go to the gym more than I did then, I’m a little more dedicated to it, but back then it was basically… go work eight hours, come home, play whatever sport was that day or go to the gym for a little bit and then just come home, have dinner, go to bed.

So what inspired you to get started, was it just the wedding?

Yeah it was partly the wedding, and partly just being sick of not being able to fit into a booth when I go out to eat, or having trouble finding clothes to wear, whatever the case is. So just kind of a mish mash of everything, and then the wedding was kind of the final motivation.

How many times have you tried to lose weight before?

Oh countless times. I remember in high school, I was on the track team, I was a shot put thrower, and I would drop twenty pounds at the beginning of every season, because all we’d do is run, and it would just always come back on after that. So I always had that little bit of motivation, but it was always too hard, or I just didn’t have the dedication to it I guess.

So what made this time stick?

Now that I’m getting older, like I said I was getting married and just thinking, I want to be around for my kids, I want to teach them how to play sports and play sports with them, and generally be more than someone who just watches from the sidelines.

Good motivation!

I thought so.

So what are you doing for your workouts now? Has it changed at all?

The workouts themselves, I don’t think they’ve changed as much as you’d think, they’re just… I’m more dedicated to keeping with them. So I know we’ve discussed this offline before but one of my jobs is I work for a social sports group, and I play sports every night. Basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, softball, whatever, but even after that, if it’s eleven at night, I’m going to the gym, working out for another hour, and generally just keeping with a strict diet where I’m not taking in more than necessary.

Well I got to say that I’m super jealous that you play all those sports regularly because I don’t have the time right now. I just miss it so much, just getting out there and running.

It’s definitely the perfect second job for me.

What was the toughest thing starting off?

The toughest thing starting off is probably sticking with a diet. One of the blog posts you wrote about was the diet you actually put your father on, the no simple carbs, all complex carbs. Once I kind of got an idea of what meals I could eat, it was just a matter of not letting a cheat day turn into a cheat week and so forth. It’s still something that I struggle with every once in a while, like I said, around the holidays it’s tough.

Yeah I’ve gone off the rails a little bit the last couple days. [It was 2 days after Thanksgiving]

Yeah I’m guilty of that too, I’m trying to kickstart it again tomorrow.

So what kind of support system have you had since you started this?

Well my wife is great, she supports me in everything. It can be difficult that she’s not on the diet so there’s two separate meals being made or some sort of cheat meal hanging around the house that I shouldn’t have, but she’s always telling me how proud she is and that’s a big motivator, and also my new brother in law, he’s my gym partner. He plays sports with me so we kind of push each other a little bit and keep each other honest.

Yeah that’s good. It’s a huge help when your wife supports you, because I hear a lot of stories of significant others, boyfriend, girlfriend, they just say “I don’t want a diet, I don’t want any part of that, do what you want to do.” And the person ends up failing.  That’s huge that your wife helps you. How’d you get past the tough times in the beginning?

Really just knowing that if I falter and mess up, it’s really not the end of the world. Just get right back to it, stick with it. Just don’t be too hard on yourself, I’ve definitely tried to keep up with the willpower, which I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job for the most part, but I always just kind of take a second thought and say, do I really need to eat this, or should I be skipping this workout. Any question, any doubt that I have, I just take a second to think about. Even if it’s something I don’t feel like doing, like heading into the gym at eleven at night, I’ll do it if I absolutely have to. I always feel better after.

I’ve got to give you credit. Everything you’ve said so far is on point. You couldn’t be in a better spot right now to set yourself up for success, and I’m not just saying that, it’s like everything that I’ve been trying to write lately, to come out for the new year, is everything you’re saying. So you’re on a fantastic path.

Well I appreciate that. Sometimes I wonder when I hit that little plateau or it gets tough, I sit there and go, is it worth it or should I just stop at a drive thru somewhere, drown my sorrows, but I definitely appreciate that.

No you’re on the right track man, you are. Setting yourself up for future success.

Thank you.

How are you tracking your progress, and how often?

Well I started off at a sheet… just a piece of paper on the mirror in the bedroom, and I just had some columns with weight, my waist measurement, my chest measurement, my arm measurement. Just to kind of track where I was going, and I did that for a couple months, and after a while, I didn’t even care what the numbers were. I still weigh myself once a week at the gym, usually on Fridays, but everything else, I don’t even need to. I know that my clothes are falling off me, just anything like that, I can feel it. Walking around when I’m on the basketball court, running, jumping, I just feel it and I know there’s a difference from before, so the numbers don’t even matter to me anymore at this point.

That’s good! What was your goal in beginning? Was it to get down to the 260?

Originally, well I’ll put it this way. In February when I started working at it, I weighed in at 334 pounds, and my goal was to be at 290 for the wedding. On wedding day, as I was getting ready, I weighed in and I was 286, which I was very happy with, and then I said why stop here, so I said I want to be at 260 by my honeymoon, which is coming up in 22 days, or Friday, as of Friday, I was at 273, so I’m fluctuating a little bit. I don’t know if the lifting more has a little bit to do with that, but I think I’m confident I can get there.

Hey, you’ve done a hell of a job so far, no reason why you can’t. So besides dropping a lot of weight, what else has changed about you? Confidence, anything?

I probably have more confidence when I play sports. I’ve always felt that being a step slower than everyone else or shorter than everyone, I had to have a perfect technique to compete, and now I can feel that I don’t get as winded when I’m running up and down the court, I can actually get up to spike the ball when I want to at volleyball, I don’t know, there’s a little bit more confidence on the courts that way. Not to mention the gains at the gym, even in the last few weeks, lifting, I’ve put on quite a bit of weight, and setting PR’s in just about everything that I’m doing.

So what does a typical day look like for you, it hasn’t changed at all?

No it hasn’t really changed. Like I said before, there was always sports after work or the gym, now there’s both, just about every day, but now it’s like that every day. It’s not like, oh I don’t really feel like going so I might as well skip it. It’s like well we’ve got to go regardless so we might as well do it, work our ass off at it.

Good. So what does the future look like for you? Any new goals, things you haven’t done before that you want to do?

I was actually just talking to my brother-in-law yesterday at the gym, and I said, by this time next year, I’d like to be able to touch the rim. Before I couldn’t even touch the net, now I can actually get the backboard. So I’d like to be able to touch the rim, that’s one goal, and I don’t know, I think once I hit the honeymoon, if I hit that goal, I’ll formulate another one from there.

Where are you going on your honeymoon?

We’re taking an Eastern Caribbean cruise over Christmas, so I’m excited.

How many days?

Ten days.

You’ll come back nice and tan to this cold-ass freaking weather.

Yeah I don’t want to come back!

So do you have any advice for people starting off?

Advice… if you mess up, it’s not the end of the world, just make sure you hit it hard the next day and try to find some kind of support, if you’re feeling bad about it or you’re not having a good week, whether it’s working out or eating, there’s someone there that can lift your spirits and say hey it’s okay, tomorrow is another day, it’s going to be fine, and just support you the whole way through.

Yeah that is really good advice, because without a support system, you’re kind of fighting against yourself.

You really are.

Do you have any go to healthy meals?

Go to healthy meals, being at the gym so late most days, my new thing is just to come home and grab some frozen spinach and a frozen turkey burger and cook that up. I’ll make one for dinner, one for lunch the next day, and go from there.

Are you doing any meal prep?

I’ve tried to, it just doesn’t really work for me, I don’t know. I’m one of those people that when I cook, it’s one of those spur of the moment, whatever hits me, so I open the fridge and just freelance.

So this whole time you’ve been dieting, what’s the most epic cheat meal you’ve had?

Oh geez… I want to say it was my birthday in June, my wife took me up to Foxwoods Casino at the buffet, and we must have sat there for two hours, just eating anything and everything that was there.

That place is so good! So good. People who aren’t from around here don’t know, but it’s so good. So is there anything else you want to put in the post, anything else that you’d like anybody to know about you?

Um… no, just like I said, whatever difficulties you’re facing, tomorrow’s another day, stick with it. As long as you’re committed to it, you’ll get through it.

Alright, good advice. Joe, I really appreciate this.

No problem, thank you.

WHY JOE IS A SUCCESS

Joe is a success because rather than relying on motivation, he set up systems. 

HE HAD A GOAL WITH A DEADLINE

Rather than saying I want to lose weight, Joe stepped it up a notch and said “I want to be 290 by the wedding” then “I want to be 260 by the honeymoon”.  By making the goal specific he has something to shoot for and it helps him push through plateaus.

HE HAS A SUPPORT SYSTEM

Like Joe said, those little words of encouragement from his wife help him when things get tough.  Never underestimate a kind word.  He also has a workout partner for accountability and to help push him in the gym. 

HE FORGIVES HIMSELF

Unless you’re a masochist you are going to cheat on your diet.  There is way too much delicious temptation out there.  Rather than going off the rails for weeks, he is able to recognize it and right the ship. 

HE TRACKED HIS PROGRESS

Tracking progress through waist measurements, weight lifted or weight loss is going to be a big help when things get tough.  To see where you started to where you are now it a good way to get through the tough times.  Take a picture or take measurements like Joe did.  Don’t rely on memory, get physical proof.

HE QUESTIONS HIS INITIAL INSTINCT

Especially in the beginning when temptation is at its highest, take a second to think about what you are doing.  Do you really need that extra plate of food?  Can you afford to skip that workout?  And like Joe said “I always feel better after”.

MY 2 CENTS

Helping people like Joe is the reason I started Aesthetic Physiques. 

His story is similar to a lot of people out there.  He works at a desk and he’s been overweight his entire life.  Rather than giving the lame ass excuses of “it’s genetics” or “I don’t have time” he chose to do something about his situation. 

[Just a side note, I thought I was busy then I tried scheduling this interview with Joe.  I’m surprised he has time to go to the bathroom during the day.  The man does not stop!]

Joe was able to find the site from someone sharing one of my posts on Facebook.  Help the other Joe’s out there who might not know about Aesthetic Physiques yet and share posts.  A simple click can change someone’s life.

Before I close this out, I just want to thank Joe again for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to me.  You put yourself in a great place to succeed.  Your story will inspire more people than you think.  Congrats!

YOUR TURN

Joe sent a weight loss goal.  What goal do you have and how will you start it today?

Any comments/questions for Joe?

 

If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it on Facebook or Twitter.  2 out of 3 people are obese today, let’s start a change.

 

Dave