Because everyone keeps asking...

Before and After pictures of me. Diet, haircut and new glasses too!

May 2004. c. 255 lbs, c. 14" hair.
46" chest, 42" waist.
March 2005. c. 195 lbs, much less hair.
43" chest, 35" waist.

Yes, that's the same sport-coat. I'll keep it around as a reminder if I ever feel discouraged about that last 10lbs or so (my target is 180-185, my doctor thinks I can get to 175).

What's my diet secret?

Eat less junk. Atkins? Low Carb? Hell no! Atkins is dead! Seriously, I just looked at what I ate, divided it into "food" and "junk" and cut back on, but didn't eliminate, the "junk" while striving to do better with the "food" part. Pizza once or twice a month? That's "food" if I just have a slice or two, "junk" if it's more or more often. I can allow myself a cookie after dinner, just not the whole bag. I have had some form of chocolate every single day of this diet, even if it's those little Lindt wafers that Trader Joe's sells (15 calories each!). I simply took a look at my eating habits and made new ones. My biggest sin turned out to be "crunchy" foods, like chips and whatnot: I would generally go through the whole bag in one sitting. I just don't buy them any more, except in those little, expensive bags you get with sandwiches. Fad diets that completely eliminate one whole category of foods may work in the short term, but that's not a sustainable life-long eating style, at least not for me.

Weight loss is simple, but not easy: Calories out must exceed calories in. Since I already exercise a whole lot more than the average American slug, my "calories out" was OK, I had to work on the "calories in" part.

No, really, what's your secret?

Motivation! My motivation was a knee injury. I hyper-extended the bejeebers out of the hamstring and several tendons in my right knee in January of '04, and finally went to the doctor in May of '04 (women are wondering "four months?!?!" men understand, nothing was actually torn). Both the PA at the Ortho clinic and my Physical Therapist pointed out that my joint structure just can't support a heavy body. I had a borderline-contortionist's joints with a borderline-sumo wrestler's physique, and that was a recipe for disaster. I had no choice but to lose weight if I wanted to avoid a more serious knee injury and eventual surgery (and ankle injury and surgery, and hip injury and surgery, etc.) I also added Pilates to my exercise regime to work on flexibility, and that's been great too. Knee pain simply trumped stomach rumblings, which was all the motivation I needed. The hard part is coming up, as my knee is mostly healed. I lost 45 lbs in the first 6 months and 17 in the next 6, so I'll have to see how long it takes to get rid of the last 10-15, maybe a whole year.

Oh, I also can't stomach most fast food, like McDogFood or Barf King or any of that crud. Just the smell of a Gack in the Box makes me sick. If you're addicted to that stuff, you need to buy "Super Size Me" and watch it regularly.

So, are you going to write a book and make millions?

"Eat Less and Exercise More, Lardass" just isn't faddish enough to sell. "Pay Someone to Bash Your Knee" would just get me sued. I'll just have to win the lottery like everyone else.
Update, April 2006: 180 lbs, 5 to go...

New sportcoat, alteration can only do so much, and it's fun to keep the tent around. 39-ish chest (that's a 40 regular that needed a little taking in), 33" waist. Funny thing is, back when I had a 42 waist, there was no doubt about what size pants or shorts to get, anything 42 would probably fit. Now at 33, I have to try 32, 33 (if made, it's not that common) and 34. Those are 33 Levi's, but in the same store, I got some 32 shorts that fit just fine. Strange!