Happy 2017: Size 42 to Size 38 … and working to a 36!

Ben and Ivy 9/2015

Ben and Ivy 9/2015

One year ago today, I weighed 237 pounds, wore a size 42 trousers, loved eating and drinking beer, and said of myself, I’m 6 feet tall and “I am a big guy.”   

Today, I weigh 198 pounds, wear size 38 (sometimes 36) trousers, still love eating … and still say “I am a big guy” – and now that means something different. 

I’ve always eaten a lot. I never really watched what I ate. My wife and I did a lot of takeout during the week and went out to dinner on the weekends.  With this eating habit my weight always went up and down 20 pounds.

I have always bicycled, as I hate, hate running. Cycling is the only exercise I do for pleasure, especially on the weekends when I have more time to be outside. During the week I would take spin classes at work.  Still, I’ve never done enough cardio.  I’ve always done more weights. 

Ben and Briana 1/2016

Ben and Briana 1/2016

With our move to CT we joined NYSC and I started spinning with Briana eight years ago. My wife came into NYSC for a free class one night and met Briana. Briana told my wife she taught spin and was a personal trainer. My wife said, I bet you know my husband. She described me as a “big teddy bear” and Briana said “OF COURSE I KNOW BEN!”  My wife asked Briana if she would be willing to train the two of us on Sundays before and after spin. This is where my journey began. 

Ben 7/2016

Ben 7/2016

Over a year ago, I gained ten more pounds than I usually carried, and I started to think more about my weight.  My pants went from a size 40 to a size 42, and then the 42s got tight.  I looked at pictures of myself and I was not happy.  I made a New Year’s decision to do something.  I made a date with Briana to talk about it, she started to give me some good ideas, and we made a resolution – I would focus on losing 15 pounds.  Just that.  Nothing more.

Briana calls it “Ben’s Aha! Moment.  He came to me with a plan.  Every decision he made, he questioned, to make sure it was realistic.  He knew that every week we were going to talk about it.”

I decided to, 

·      weigh myself once a week, every week and keep a weight diary

·      allow myself two “cheat” meals a week

·      reduce portion sizes and focus on healthy, low density food

·      cut out almost all refined sugar

I found I enjoyed losing the weight.   When I achieved my 15-pound goal, I decided not to set a goal again, just to keep doing what I was doing, finding more little ways to cut back.  I finally gave up my BIG bowl of cereal I would have on weekends.  I learned to eat healthy at restaurants.  I didn’t miss dessert.  I got a Peloton to cycle at home – I love it and use it almost every night.  Often, I just have a nutrition bar and some fruit for dinner as I generally have a large breakfast and lunch. Briana taught me “eat during the day, not at night!”

I realized, “Bad habits are your worst enemy.  Good habits are your best friend.”

I found a lot of guys around my age (47) were doing similar things, and we provided positive reinforcement for each other.   I think we talk more about fitness and diet than our wives do!

It’s been all Briana and me, learning to eat right every day.  I want my health numbers to be good, my clothes to fit and my wife to think I look attractive.

Ben and Ivy 12/2016

Ben and Ivy 12/2016

For 2017, I would like to,

·      possibly meditate, learning to become more mindful

·      move up to a C+ level rider on the Peloton from C

·      eat more of a plant-based diet, and never order meat in a restaurant, only fowl and fish

·      drink more water


Says Briana, “Ben now gets it!”