Alexander’s story is truly inspiring! He decided to make a change and lost 85 pounds, through a Paleo Diet and exercise. Sometimes it just takes finding the right tools.
Throughout my life, I was never what you would consider thin. I always had a weight problem. I was the chubby, short boy who was chosen last for sports. I never thought about a way to change my life because I assumed that was who I was, and I needed to live with that.
I started high school and was always busy with musical theatre rehearsal or studying. I did not think about my weight until junior year when I started playing inline hockey with St. Paul’s School. I tried to lose weight. I hired a trainer hoping that working out would help me, but I didn’t know that the key ingredient was what I was eating before and after those workouts. Going into my senior year of high school, I weighed about 185 pounds, had a waist size of 36, and wore a 44S jacket. My weight didn’t fluctuate much over that year, and I weighed about the same when I started at Tulane University.
Tulane was when everything got worse. I dreaded the upcoming years knowing the “freshman 15” would soon turn into a reality. I tried exercising but studying for my Pre-Med classes and rehearsing for my musicals became so overwhelming that I resorted to eating very unhealthily. My diet consisted of processed foods loaded with high fructose corn syrup and sugar. I became accustomed to eating pizza in the cafeteria everyday with ice-cream for dessert. The “freshman 15” soon turned into the “college 80”. By the end of my junior year at Tulane I weighed around 265 pounds. I wore a size 44 pant and a jacket size of 50S. I was extremely heavy, but did not think anything of it. I was getting cast in roles that my weight worked for, and I wasn’t playing any sports that required me to be lighter. Then in May 2014, I knew something needed to change.
Looking back at pictures, I realized that I was unhappy with who I was becoming. I felt trapped inside my body. Little things in my life become a struggle, such as walking up stairs or carrying the groceries into the house. Physical activities exhausted me, and for a 20 year old, that was unacceptable. I knew that cutting out carbs would help, so on May 26th, 2014 I decided to stop eating carbs. That same week, maybe even the next day, I heard about the Paleo diet from Mr. Clint Bravo. He and his daughter Monica were doing an interview on the radio about the diet and encouraging people to change their lives. Little did I know, that interview would change my life.
Previous to the radio interview, I didn’t even know what the Paleo diet was and yet I was embarking on the best and most rewarding adventure I could possibly think of. I jumped in with an open mind, cutting out everything I knew was bad for me. I found lists online giving me foods to eat and not eat, and I would carry them around with me wherever I went. The first week I lost a total of 15 pounds, and I wanted nothing more than to continue strictly following what was working. Soon after I started, I began to workout with a trainer. I knew that I wanted to not only lose weight but get in better shape. I started to lose less, but only because I was gaining muscle. I continued to train until my senior year started, and then it was all about eating the right foods.
Today, one year and about a month later, I am in the best shape of my life. I have lost 85 pounds and am still continuing to lose! I weigh around 180 pounds, have a waist size of 34, and wear a 42S jacket. I am more active and fit than I have ever been, and it feels great. Paleo has changed my life for the best.
Paleo is not a diet – it is a lifestyle change. Followers start to appreciate new foods and become aware of what healthy really is. Everyone is different: for some, it may take more time to see results and get accustomed to the eating habits, others may see results immediately and have no problem adhering to the new foods, but in both cases, the end result will be the same – they will be healthier. Yes, there may be road blocks, and there is strong feelings to cheat. That piece of cake after a long day of work seems justified, but don’t do it. If so, don’t dwell on the lapse, just put it aside and start again, but never give up.
The best advice I can give is to be aware. Be aware of what you are eating, but most importantly, be aware of the good that you are doing to your body. Be aware of the ways that you are benefiting from changing your eating habits, and after a while, it won’t be a struggle. It will be the way you live. You will look better, feel better, and be happier!
I am no longer that short, chubby, last child picked. I am a healthy guy full of potential with a healthy life ahead of me! Changing my life has opened up many doors that normally would be closed, and it is all thanks to Paleo. Let it change your life, and let it allow you to do things that you normally couldn’t imagine doing!