My Weight Loss JourneyAug 30, 2019
I'm a cardiologist and a certified personal trainer. Like many people I've been on multiple fitness journeys. I grew up in Ohio. Played football my entire life. And now coach football and other youth sports; soccer, golf, baseball, softball, weight lifting, strength and conditioning, and basketball. It's a fun way to volunteer and give back.
Yes, the picture on the left is real. It's probably the worst picture of myself at my heaviest weight. That picture is from January 2018. I remember not liking what I saw and deciding to make a change. I started doing 100 body weight squats per day and 100 push-ups per day. After 30 days, I was stronger, but still looked the same. Don't get me wrong, I knew exercise was not an efficient way to lose weight, I just wanted to get fit, strong, and active.
Next, I started a fad diet, keto. I lost 17-18 pounds, but my weight wouldn't go any lower. I was still overweight. I was skinny fat. With these fad diets, you lose weight by creating a gimmicky calorie deficit until your caloric needs meet your caloric intake, then you stall or your weight starts going back up because you eat more.
Not knowing any better, by October 2018 I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. I got stronger and was more fit, but I looked the same. I was a strong fat guy. My trainer eventually moved away.
So then I went on a real journey. I bought a bunch of books on weightlifting and body building. I figured that if those guys can do it and crack the code, then certainly a cardiologist could too. How hard could it be? I read 10+ books on bodybuilding and watched hundreds of YouTube videos. I even did a consultation with a coach that prepares bodybuilders for shows.
I learned a lot. I was still lifting weights like crazy and I modified my programs to match my needs. I got stronger and bigger but was still basically a strong fat guy. What's the point of being able to bench 300 pounds if you also weigh 300 pounds? I didn't like where I was going. Did more research and more searching. More books and videos. (I didn't weigh 300 pounds)
My personal trainer moved away in December 2018, so I decided to become a personal trainer myself. Mainly for the education and to help me train and coach the kids that I coach better and in a more useful way. By May of 2019, I was an NASM certified personal trainer.
February 2019 I took all of my knowledge and decided to go into a very precise calorie deficit. A true calorie deficit. I experimented with various calorie counts until I finally figured it out. Weight started coming off like crazy.
By July 2019 I had lost an additional 28 pounds, which was incredible! I hadn't weighed this low since high school. It was remarkable really. Every week I would be at a new low. I eventually ended up at 147.5 pounds. Down from 195. Lost 47 pounds on a frame and body that I never thought was really that overweight. But obviously I was.
This was definitely a battle and a struggle. It wasn't easy, but at the same time it was the easiest thing I ever did. I ate whatever I wanted, as long as it was below my calorie count! It was very liberating. I could eat whatever I wanted and still lose weight. No restrictions.
I got down to 7% body fat and was super shredded and very lean. I had finally accomplished what I had never been able to do before. I had always been an athlete and played sports even into my 40s. But now I'm lighter, faster, and stronger. Feels awesome! And I keep learning more and more.
I've always given lectures on weight loss (YouTube: DrAlo.tv). I've traveled the country speaking on weight loss, but this was very eye opening. I learned so much and could offer my patients, and the physicians that I taught, so much more now. Many of them didn't recognize me at 6 month visits.
Here I was, America's weight loss physician, lecturing on weight loss, helping others lose weight, and not being able to help myself lose the weight. But I finally did! And I did it much differently.
If I could go back and do anything differently, I would definitely not have gone into such a severe calorie deficit and would have eaten more protein. I didn't know that you should eat 1g per pound of lean body mass per day of protein. I was eating random amounts that sometimes would add up only to 70 or 80 grams a day, which is still more than most people consume. I was using whey protein shakes daily. The calorie count that seemed to work for me was about 1400 to 1500.
If I were to do it now I would have used a calorie count of 1800, which is not as severe of a deficit but would still cause weight loss for me. But I would have retained more muscle mass. Because when I got down to 147lbs I was literally skin and bones, very defined skin and bones, but didn't have very much muscle mass left. Sure when I took close up pictures in the right lighting it looked good, but I looked like a small 12-year-old boy.
So for everyone struggling with fitness, you can do it. If a 44 year cardiologist can do it, so can you!
All of my weight loss videos are on YouTube and I have published all of my lectures and talks on YouTube. I have long lectures on:
And Much more.
Check Out my online Weight Loss Masterclass as well! You won't be disappointed!
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