When I saw the incredible photos of Jesse’s transformation a few weeks ago it totally blew me away. I wanted to give him a platform to share his experience so I interviewed him to find out how he did it. Little did I realise how much this man’s story would surprise me. I think there is an important lesson here about determination that goes beyond weight loss.
1. What was moment when you finally decided, “I’m going on a diet”?
My wife bought me a 750lb [341kg] weight limit scale and I saw how much I weighed for the first time in close to 10 years. The more important revelation, however, is that I could see how much I would lose if I were to lose any weight. I’d known I was over 500 pounds from a hospital visit a decade earlier but didn’t have access to a scale that could go that high on a weekly basis to track my progress. I have so much respect for people who can lose weight without seeing the progress. I couldn’t have done it.
2. What did you try at first and with what success?
First, I started out on a weird low carb diet variation that one of my wife’s co-workers gave her. It was on a 6 meal a day schedule with a pretty hefty carb reload every 18th meal. My wife was doing it so I decided I’d give it a shot too. I lost 10 pounds the first week and something in my brain clicked. That’s when I started doing heavy research and started forging my own path. The forums thread that saved my life is at https://lowcarb.foodisforfuel.com [Update: The link no longer works. I think the site may have been taken down.]– it’s by a guy named Sizzlechest and it explains Low Carb dieting like you’re an idiot, which I needed at the time. It’s still good, even though I know more things now.
3. Why did you switch to Leangains?
I eventually ended up using Leangains because I had problems with binging and 2 meals a day sort of allows me to binge while still staying under my caloric ceiling. If I screw up badly on my first meal, there’s still room for correction with the second. The first meal is also PWO [post-workout] so if I screw up, it’s not that big of a deal anyway. The system just fit exactly what I wanted to do so perfectly that I couldn’t not do it. It also helps me retain muscle mass while I’m cutting, which is super important when you factor in loose skin. The more muscle you have, the better loose skin looks because it has a tighter surface to stretch against.
[A very good point, often overlooked.]
4. What was the most difficult part of the whole thing?
I had full blown agoraphobia when I started, so I didn’t have any access to gyms. I actually lied to people who read my log and said it was a cost problem because I knew some of them would troll [hassle] me if they knew I wasn’t going to a gym because I was scared. It actually ended up working out pretty well though. I’ve proven you can lose a ton of weight without stepping foot into a gym. I did it all with a bench, a bar, and some plates that are still sitting in my guest room and getting used 4 times a week. I probably still could have done it without even those.
5. What things were easier than you expected?
I don’t have cravings. Ever. My overeating and binging only occurs when I’ve already eaten something. Otherwise, I never think about junk food. That’s surprising to many people. I’m in the process of trying to quantify that particular aspect of my journey.
6. What are your goals now?
I want to look into the mirror and see nothing that I want to improve. Sounds impossible right? That’s by design. Chasing perfection is like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. I just happen to be a horse that wants the exercise more than the carrot.
7. Any message to people out there reading this, perhaps in a similar situation to the one you were in 18 months ago?
I was agoraphobic, depressed, suicidal, and unemployed. I didn’t even have a license to drive again until 4 months ago because I couldn’t fit behind the wheel of any vehicles. Your life is not worse than mine was. I can almost guarantee it. It took me a year and a half to completely change my body and in another year and a half, who knows what I’ll be. It won’t be fat though. I’ll still be going in a year and a half. Where will you be? Still thinking about what diets to try? Quitting again? Just stop it. Stop weighing pros and cons and pick something. Do it now. Not tomorrow, not on New Years. There is a life – a good one – waiting for you to grab it. All you have to do is believe that the work you invest will result in your eventual happiness. That’s it. Believe in the investment in yourself.
8. You did this by yourself. Can you please share the resources you used to help you on your way? -use this opportunity to give credit to all those that helped and you think deserve it.
- Uziel – This guy just got featured by Fitocracy.com and he was one of the people who inspired me to start losing weight. He’s a badass.
- https://lowcarb.foodisforfuel.com – This is a mirror of the low carb thread on SomethingAwful.com that saved my life. Written by ‘Sizzlechest’.
- https://www.leangains.com – https://www.robbwolf.com – https://www.latestinpaleo.com/ — https://www.jimwendler.com
Thank you so much for your answers. My hat goes off to you sir.
So there you have it people. The story of the man that lost 270lbs using Leangains.
The crazy thing is, it’ll be over 300lbs in a few months. I think it’s no exaggeration to say he has, with the collective help of these people, quite literally saved his own life.
I hope you never have to find out how true those words are.
I think the main take away points from this are:
- You can do it.
- The information is out there.
- You are not alone.