Lite Your Fire Series :)

I met Brent the night of Ciro’s 40th birthday party! We got to talking and some how or another dietSNAPS was mentioned! (I think he might have seen me taking pictures of my food??) Or maybe Ciro told him about dietSNAPS? Either way…. he told me his weight loss story! I would have never guessed that he had been 60 lbs heavier! Isn’t it amazing when you meet someone and you only see them for that moment and you would have never known that they had been over weight?  Does that make sense? Anyway! I’m excited that he was willing to share his story with us!!  Thanks Brent!

First Name/Age:  Brent/30

Have you struggled with weight/body image issues throughout your life?

Actually, no.  As a teen and in my early twenties I was rail thin.  When I got out of my first long term relationship in my late twenties I realized that I had started packing on the pounds.  It had never bothered my ex so it had never bothered me.  Then I weighed myself and realized I had gained 75 pounds since we first met!  That was in 8 years.  I had really been neglecting myself.


Was there a significant event that triggered your changes?

Honestly, a friend of mine that I had always thought of as overweight stated that he was skinnier than me.  He was right!  It sounds shallow but I realized I had been looking in the mirror and seeing myself from 7 years ago.  That reality check was all I needed.


Did you have someone that inspired you to make changes?

My best friend Wade.  I expressed concerns about my weight and he sent me a pdf of an old vegetarian cookbook.  The catch to this book was that it would have one normal meal with meat etc on one page, and it’s vegetarian counterpart with the same amount of calories on the opposite page.  They were pictures on the same sized table and the vegetarian meal was always spilling off the sides of the table while the meat based meal was barely filling a plate.  I knew then that I wanted to become a vegetarian.


Did you incorporate a certain diet? Restrict calories? Or follow any certain plan?

I really love fish and shrimp.  Though Shrimp is high in cholesterol, it’s also high in good fat and good cholesterol and it essentially balances itself out.  I decided to eat only fish and vegetables.  No other meat.  I ended up avoiding most fried foods because most fried food is meat.  Fried chicken, chicken fried steak.  Fried pork chops used to be a weakness of mine but I didn’t have to worry about them anymore.


Do you exercise? If so, what type of exercise do you enjoy? Did you workout with family or friends?

I exercise now for maintenance but when I lost the weight it was strictly a dietary change that caused it.  Now for exercise I walk up the stairs at work on my break.  I try to see how many flights I can squeeze into 10 minutes and I cool off for 5 before going back to work.  I’m up to 30!  And my butt looks better too :)


When did people first notice the changes?

I remember going to a luncheon with friends and seeing someone I hadn’t run into for a while about 6 or 7 months after.  My friends hadn’t noticed even though my weight loss was drastic! (60 pounds in less than a year)


Did it take a while for your mind to adjust to the new you?

Yes and no.  I loved that I was more like my old self, but my mind couldn’t wrap around a medium sized shirt…..


How did you measure your success throughout the process? How much weight did you lose and how long have you kept it off?

I lost 60 pounds and when I quit smoking this year I gained nearly twenty back.  I’ve lost 12 of that by watching what I eat more closely and exercising more.


Do you feel like your confidence has improved?

I’ve always been a really confident guy, but yes it does indeed help.


How did your family react? Were they supportive?

My mother was not.  It was understandable.  I lost the weight so fast that she thought I was sick!  Not to mention that she thinks men should be a little husky.  Once she got used it it, she was ok.


What are your biggest tips for people that are trying to maintain their weight loss?

I say pick 2 vices and give them up entirely.  Don’t limit yourself, don’t cut back.  Drop them from your life completely.  Then, make it a point to tell people that you don’t eat/do that.  This makes you personally accountable when you give it up.  When I quit smoking, I made sure everyone knew- otherwise there was no way I wouldn’t cheat.  I have given up meat and now alcohol (this latter one is new- we’ll see how it goes), and my most horrible vice- mayonnaise- is next.  Once you stop- don’t go back- even to reward or treat yourself.  And don’t worry about your other- less serious vices.  If you can give up chocolate- then it’s ok if you want a larger steak.  Steak has protein.  Chocolate does not.


Is there anything else you want to tell us?

Sure.  If you’re s smoker- do not keep smoking to keep weight off.  Eventually this will backfire as you’ll be too tired all of the time from not being able to breathe properly and you’ll put on every pound you eat just so that your body will have something to keep itself alive.  A ‘fat’ nonsmoker is 100 times healthier than a ‘skinny’ smoker.


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About Lexy

40 years old, "stay at home mom" to 2 boys (ages 16 and 14), wife to a chiropractic kinesiologist! I love blogging and learning new ideas. I follow the Weight Watchers Points Plus program and enjoy working out. I have run 2 full 26.2 mile marathons and 3 half marathons... and many 10k and 5k's. I love taking BodyPump classes and lifting weights. Working out has always been fun for me, but I struggle with eating healthy. Blogging has introduced me to a world of healthy eaters... When I first started WW... I just wanted someone to tell me what to eat! I didn't like cooking and I am not the kind of person that can just throw things together. There are tons of ideas out there and I love finding new and fun ones that I feel like I am capable of making myself!

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