THIS Is What Commitment Looks Like!

This is what happens when you commit and use the tools you are given.  Joel has been really a STAR in this challenge, staying on track and focused on his desired goal. 

"Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar…."

Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. That sounds simple
enough. This was the first rule Lisa Ray gave us when introducing the nutrition challenge for August. The
other rules seemed simple enough too:

  • Keep a food log
  • Measure your portions
  • Do a little reading
  • Get some blood work done
  • Get measured

No problem. This will be easy.

I had decided to follow the Zone diet. I went in for measurements in early August and was told how
many blocks I should eat a day. I started measuring food.

I can do this. No problem. Simple.

Yeah, right.

The first week sucked. I was hungry all the time. I would stare at the measured portions on my plate and
think, “You’re kidding me, this isn’t even a snack.”

You see, I was the clean-up guy. You know the person in the group with hollow legs. I was the person
who would clean everyone else’s plate at the restaurant after cleaning their own. The guy who made
sure nothing was left in the bread basket. You get the idea.

Toward the end first week I had serious doubts. Then something happened. I started feeling full after
my “mini-meal”. I was sleeping better. I had more energy. “Maybe there is something to this”, I thought.

I decided to stick it out. To see what would happen.

Over the next two months, I made some other changes. I cut back on things like bread and pasta. I made
drastic cuts in my alcohol consumption. A good workout was no longer an excuse for that extra drink
before, during, and after dinner.

I started seeing other changes. My clothes were getting too big. I had to add holes to my belt. People
started commenting on my weight loss.

I kept following the Zone, leaning more and more toward Paleo choices. No corn, no grains, no beans.

My pants kept getting bigger and bigger.

The first week of October, I had blood taken again. Then I met with Lisa for a new set of measurements.
The results were amazing. I had dropped 9% body fat, from 21% to 12%. I had gone from “near
obese” to “athletic” in two months. My triglycerides dropped by 25 points. My HDL went up by 10. My
cholesterol ratios all improved.

Jump to today. I still have struggles. I still fight the urge to eat that doughnut sitting on the counter at
work. But it is easier to fight. I cave in occasionally and eat something I know I shouldn’t. I usually pay for the caving,
I feel bad physically and mentally, whether it is a few hours later or the next day.

Although they are very few and far between, I have cheat days and times when I break down and have
a piece of fresh warm bread. I have no guilt about cheating, because I know I will go right back to eating
right with my next meal.

I have to say, I am pleased with the results. And you know, looking back, it really was pretty easy.

-Joel Barnett

August 2010                                                             October 2010

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