My year on MFP: 120 lbs lost (pics)

Shaky44 Posts: 214 Member
When I joined MFP last year (pretty sure it was late April), I weighed 370 lbs (I am 6'1" tall). I was actually down from 395 lbs in December. I was working hard in the gym, but wasn't tracking my food intake. Joining MFP coincided with finally getting my testosterone back up to normal levels after having had testicular cancer 18 months prior. Having normal testosterone levels allowed me to have more energy to workout and, combined with eating at 2500 calories per day, the result was I started to lose 2+ lbs per week.

Once I started to lose weight, the momentum built and I have continued to lose weight, pretty much uninterrupted, for one solid year. My "secret" has been three things:

- Set a reasonable calorie goal
- Log everything you eat
- Do something active EVERY day

I have used the TDEE method of setting a calorie goal and my goal has remained 2500 per day. At the start I was losing 2 lbs per week. Now that my weight is lower, I am losing roughly 1 lb per week. My diet is fairly close to 50/25/25, although when I am being really good, my protein is higher and my fat is lower. I've never really worried too much about trying to reduce my carb intake below 50%. Also, my diet is high in sodium. I often read on these boards how high sodium diets will "slow down weight loss." This is not true. If you have a high sodium diet, you will carry more water weight, but you'll still lose weight at the same rate. I've never worried about sodium intake.

I know there is a common belief on MFP that strength training - especially lifting heavy - always trumps cardio: that's not what I've found. I think for someone seriously overweight, cardio is king. My weight loss progress has always slowed when I have tried to reduce cardio. The elliptical machine has been my best friend. It's great because it allows you to work hard with low/no impact, which I firmly believe is important for someone who is 100+ lbs overweight. I cringe every time I read someone advising someone who is morbidly obese to attempt a walking or running program: I think that's only a recipe for getting injured. I now do cardio six days a week, I lift heavy 2x/week and do circuit training 2x/week. I wish I had found this "happy medium" on strength training many months ago. I hope posting this article will help someone else in a similar situation.

I didn't really do measurement prior to starting my weight loss, although I believe I've lost almost 20 inches on my waist and 4 inches on my neck (given the changes in my pant/shirt sizes). My glucose readings under control with maximum doses of two different diabetes medications, I now take only the lowest dose of metformin and my glucose is in the non-diabetic range. To keep my blood pressure under control, I used to take max doses of three different medications, now I just take the lowest doses of two of those. Soon, I will probably be off both of those medications.

Here are the promised pics, which do a better job of telling the story than I ever could. I don't have my very first progress photo (although it is in my profile - you can see it there), but this one was taken roughly one month after joining MFP.





That's my story. I give a lot of credit to MFP, and more specifically to my supportive group of friends and those I have done weight loss challenges with on this site. Challenges are such a great opportunity to find supportive people with similar goals.

I have a very small friends list, so I probably won't take many people on after posting this. I am happy to respond to messages on here if anyone has a question they feel I can help with. If you do want to send a friend request, tell me why you think we really need to be friends :)

My plan is to finish my current challenge - the end date is July 4th - and then I'll be done with the weight loss portion of this journey. At that point, I will eat at maintenance calories and concentrate on getting stronger through a 5x5 Stronglifts program.

That's all. Thanks again to all who have helped me on here and good luck to everyone who is in the same boat I was in a year ago.


  • hmr1982
    hmr1982 Posts: 3
    you look fantastic
  • crazie4lulu
    crazie4lulu Posts: 762 Member
    Good for you!!!!!! Awesome transformation.....
  • ashleyczirok
    ashleyczirok Posts: 1 Member
    Congratulations! Amazing achievement!!
    DJLMB Posts: 43 Member
    Wow, you've lost 120lb AND about 20 years - you look so healthy now!!

    Thank you for the inspiration - I'm at 332 now and it seems almost impossible that I'll ever look like a 'normal' person again, so your photos are a great help :)
  • VoodooAborisha
    VoodooAborisha Posts: 147 Member
    WOW, great job! Good lord, yes you do look 20 years younger too. I bet you feel like it too.
  • GymAnJuice
    GymAnJuice Posts: 512 Member
    you look like a different man, congratulations, what an achievement!
  • Shaky44
    Shaky44 Posts: 214 Member
    Wow, you've lost 120lb AND about 20 years - you look so healthy now!!

    Thank you for the inspiration - I'm at 332 now and it seems almost impossible that I'll ever look like a 'normal' person again, so your photos are a great help :)
    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I used to read the Success Stories obsessively when I first joined MFP (I still do, just not as obsessively). Best of luck to you.
  • malcolmjcooper
    malcolmjcooper Posts: 79 Member
    You're doing really well I'm on a very similar jouney to you only mine is taking a little longer but still steady
    I started out at 156 kg (343 p) and Im curently at 126 (277 p) Only problem I dont have any before pictures .You are an inspiration to me thankyou :)
  • mspoopoo
    mspoopoo Posts: 500 Member
    Congratulations to you my Challenges friend. You have done an amazing job.
  • mockchoc
    mockchoc Posts: 6,573 Member
    Looking amazing, so fit and much younger too. Well done!
  • lynnemorris2301
    lynnemorris2301 Posts: 1 Member
    Wow, that's an amazing achievement, well done you look fantastic.
  • jfauci
    jfauci Posts: 531 Member
    WOW!! You look fantastic! Congratulations!!
  • justlyn1964
    justlyn1964 Posts: 10
    Congratulations on your success thus far!!! You look so much younger & fit too :-) Good job!!!
  • cathy0536
    cathy0536 Posts: 137 Member
    Congratulations Shaky, you deserve this success. It's been inspirational to be in successive challenge groups with you, you've done really well :flowerforyou: :smile:
  • Anniebotnen
    Anniebotnen Posts: 332 Member
    Holy cow, what a transformation! You look like an athlete now!
  • Livin4me1969
    Livin4me1969 Posts: 745 Member
    WOW! You look great and have done an amazing job! You should be very proud! :drinker:
  • knitapeace
    knitapeace Posts: 1,013 Member
    Well done, sir! You look so healthy and YEARS younger too!
  • randomtai
    randomtai Posts: 9,006 Member
    Great job Shaky!!! You rock!! :flowerforyou:

  • Heavyd2g
    Heavyd2g Posts: 61 Member
    Well done, very inspirational !
  • navygrrl
    navygrrl Posts: 517 Member
    Fantastic job! You look great!