What the hell happened?
I was staring at the scale. It was staring back at me. I was scared to step on it. I didn’t want to step on it.
I knew I had gained weight and I knew the number was going to be bad. Really bad.
I just couldn’t admit to myself that maybe, just maybe, my belly was kinda big. At 5’5”, I just looked round.
It was the last day of a week-long trip to Denver, CO, where I had a great week selling and sampling two protein supplements I had created.
But something just was off. Even though my business was doing well, I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. My clothes didn’t fit me well anymore. I was wearing only baggy clothes to hide my belly.
I took a deep breath and stepped on the scale. 237.
HOLY SHIT! Holy Shit! I am officially fat. I almost had a heart attack and broke out in tears at the same time.
Less than 5 years ago, I was barely 200 pounds.
What the hell happened?
Snatching 245 pounds @ 185 pounds
Between 235-240 when I just started CrossFit
UGGHHHH, Another Diet.
I came back from Colorado and decided to call my friend and nutrition expert, Jason Ackerman.
We discussed something called Flexible Dieting. It was a concept I was familiar with and was researching more and more. I just couldn’t understand how it worked. I saw a ton of before and after pictures he posted online, but I never thought I could be one of those people ... but at this point, I saw no other options.
Jason just kept saying, “You can figure the details out as you go, but just start. You need to start, Joe.”
I couldn’t help but blurt out loud: “Alright, here we go again. Another fucking diet, Jay.”
“No, not another diet, “Jason emphatically said. “I need to be real with you, Joe. You have to change the way you think about food or you’re wasting time. You have to change your habits. This is not a hit it and quit it, this is real change you have to make.”
Man, what was this guy talking about? I came to him for advice, not a life lesson. What did my attitude have to do with anything? Like any other diet, you do it for a while, you lose weight, and then go back to doing your thing.
I didn’t really want to change. I just wanted to lose weight. Little did I know where this journey would take me.
DIETING WAS MY REAL ENEMY
I have a problem with addiction. I’m either all in or not at all on everything I do. Diets were another addiction for me. I would be consistent for 2-3 months and it would all fall apart in train wreck fashion. I would be so strict, only to be so sloppy.
It was a rollercoaster full of drama and broken promises I was addicted to.
I finally realized, food wasn’t my enemy, but dieting was.
In the next 3 years, I experimented in ways you could only possibly imagine. I ate clean and dirty. I ate processed foods, and I ate completely natural foods. I traveled, and I spent weeks in an office.
And I learned the greatest lesson I could have possibly learned:
Everything I had ever been taught about food was wrong.
I found a way to lose 40 pounds in 9 months eating pizza, hamburgers, french fries, chips, doughnuts, and cookies. Oh yea, I still drank Jameson too.
I came to four distinct conclusions:
- There is no such thing as good and bad foods.
- There is no such thing as healthy and unhealthy.
- Diets were the worst way to lose weight.
- Weight loss is often severely over complicated but was really simple.
Why I Started Strengthlete
I did it wrong my entire life. I dieted, deprived, and restricted.
I operated under hundreds of false misconceptions. I complicated the very simple over and over again.
I had a very complex and layered relationship with food that started from when I was a child. My relationship was prohibiting me from losing weight in any type of a meaningful way.
The solution wasn’t another diet, the solution was I needed to change my behavior and attitude.
That’s what I am here to teach you.
On my watch, you will learn how to lose weight and:
- Go out to dinner and order the food you want, not what you think you should be ordering.
- Not spending hours in the grocery store, kitchen, and packing foods in Tupperware.
- Learn about the food going into your belly instead of just classifying foods as “good” or “bad.”
- Enjoy yourself at a party without feeling guilty for a week.
- Take your shirt off at the beach without flinching.
- Looking at your facebook pictures and saying “yea, that’s right!”
- Flexing in every mirror you see (only if you want to).
- Buy the clothes you really want to buy and wear.
- Be the hot Dad at the kid’s birthday party.
- Feel the best you have ever felt about yourself.
Welcome to the revolution. I can’t wait to meet you.
Left: June 2015, 245 lbs
Right: July 2018, 195 lbs (and some abs peeking their head!!)