I have been on a path since late 2012 that, if I have my way, I will be on for the rest of my life. I retired in early 2012 at the age of 57. I have no idea what I weighed other than I was extremely obese and heading towards even worse health and (probably) a death much earlier than my genetics would dictate. After retiring, I sat around an additional eight months gaining even more weight. Although I don’t know for certain, I think I topped out at around 365 lbs. on my 5’ 10” frame. Pretty much my day was eating and sleeping with small bits of activity thrown into the mix. In October 2012, I began to Alternate Day Fast (ADF). This meant I did not eat for approximately 40 hours, followed by eating 2 or 3 meals in an 8-hour window. I had tried many other diets that just did not work for me. At the time, this seemed very “off the wall” to me but I was getting desparate and I decided to try it. Other than cutting out desserts and sugary things and trying to cut down on my portion sizes, I didn’t really change my diet. By October of 2013, I had lost 155 lbs. Within 4 months of starting I had reversed my prediabetes, high blood pressure, and my sleep apnea. I also no longer snored, which was remarkable since most nights I sounded like a jet airplane at take-off and could be heard on the other end of the house. My doctor was happy and a bit amazed. I was able to start exercising and added walking and bicycling. I wanted to lose more but plateaued and could not seem to break it. Exercise was toning my body, but not getting me where I wanted to be. I was able to maintain my weight through 2016 but in 2017 I went back to bad eating habits and began to gain back. By the end of 2017 I had regained over half my weight and was getting desperate, seeing it all slip away. Even though I had unsuccessfully tried several times in 2017 to stem the weight gain tide, I was unable to generate the will and effort to do so. I decided on January 2nd, 2018 to try one more time. The bargain I made with myself was that this was the last time. If unsuccessful again, I was going to have to learn how to be a happy fat man for whatever time I had remaining. Of course, my preference was to get my weight back down. I started back to my original plan, eating every other day, and by April of 2018 was down about 40 pounds. Then I hit the dreaded plateau once again. The next few months were hard and my weight loss during that time was about 2 pounds. With my first weight plateau in 2013, I had tried increasing my eating to assure my body I wasn’t trying to starve it, hoping that it would respond by releasing more weight. That didn’t work. This time I added a day to one of my 40-hour fast days, turning that fast into 64 hours while continuing to alternate eating and fasting the rest of the week. That did the trick and I began to lose again.
In September of 2018 I was introduced to the concepts of the Ketogenic diet and began adapting that along with my fasting. By February of this year I was between 170 and 175 pounds which was my secret dream back in 2012 when I started. I have been able to maintain that weight since then. I still fast and eat keto. I find both very satisfying and the health benefits continue. Also, I am rarely hungry. As I maintain my weight, I have experimented with my diet, adding some foods I considered less desirable while losing weight but now can tolerate in moderation as long as I do not lose sight of my long-term weight goal. In the past, I always considered dieting short-term goal. Once weight loss was achieved, I went on to the next thing. I now realize that (at least for me) that was a trap (yo-yo weight) and I must treat this as a way of life. When I consider where I was then and where I am now, I can never imagine going back. Luckily this is not a problem since I really do not miss the sugars, carbohydrates, processed foods, junk food and all of the other unhealthy things I ate and did. Once I got over the physical and mental addictions they caused, the cravings went away. I now eat (and amazingly) enjoy whole foods that before I would not have touched. My Mother would be amazed. Many of the people I have gotten information about how to do what I have done have encouraged folks to share their stories. Much of what I have done runs contrary to the official dietary and health direction given by the mainstream. All I can say is that I was unsuccessful following the official dogma but feel extremely successful and hopeful for the future doing what I am doing now. If this raises any questions for you, please feel free to let me know. The two pictures show me near to my heaviest, just before retirement and today (10/25/2019).