Hey, Y’all! I am excited to announce that I’ll be partnering up with motivational speaker and author, Bryan Ganey, to put on a nutrition workshop in the Charleston area.
Bryan has lost over 400 pounds using diet and exercise alone. No surgery, no pills, no diets. He’s got an inspirational story to share and offers endless motivation to give you the push you need to start making lifestyle changes now.
Seven years ago, Bryan weighed over 500 pounds and one day he experienced a pulmonary embolism and was rushed to the hospital. His doctors told him that he would die unless he lost the weight and that the only way he could lose that much weight was through bariatric surgery. Bryan, being the strong willed person that he is, refused the surgery and took matters into his own hands. His life hasn’t been the same since. It took him three years to lose the weight but what’s even more amazing is the fact that he’s kept it off for the past three years using diet, exercise, and the right frame of mind.
Intrigued by Bryan’s story and wanting to better understand his journey, I interviewed him. He’s got some great advice that I thought would help lots of people out there so I’m sharing it here on The Fresh Beet. It’s important to remember that everyone’s weight loss journey is different. Some people have 300 pounds to lose and some have 15 pounds to lose.
If you live in Charleston and are looking for the motivation and information you need to start making a serious life change in the eating department, come join our workshop! It will be very interactive and give you the tools you need to learn how to eat well for life and experience a sustainable weight loss. Here are a few of the topics covered:
– How to build a balanced plate that favors whole foods vs. highly processed foods
– How to eat more mindfully and truly enjoy the food you eat while nourishing your body at the same time
– How to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself
– How to deal with failure and avoid throwing in the towel
– How to stay motivated and positive
We will provide you with a workbook which will be used throughout the workshop and which you can take home to help keep you focused on your goals. Hope to see you there!
Tickets are on sale now: https://bryanganey.com/
Interview with Bryan Ganey
-How long did it take you to lose almost 400 pounds?
It took me about 3 years. I never set out to lose that much weight, it just happened. I was much less focused on how much I was losing and more focused on what I could do to keep the weight off. I became excited by how long it was taking because I knew I was forming the habits and behaviors that would be necessary to keep the weight off. I knew from past experience that the initial weight loss is a great high to be on, but it’s temporary.
-What kind of advice did your Registered Dietitian give you?
Laying in my hospital bed listening to the registered dietitian, I felt like I was in health class in elementary school all over again, but it was what I needed to hear. I was very receptive to the registered dietitian because I felt like I had nothing to lose. I knew I was getting the truth, the real facts about healthy eating. She went over what a plate should look like, portion sizes, the importance of eating from all 4 food groups, etc. The student was ready, so the teacher appeared.
-Can you name some of the specific goals she helped you set?
She didn’t help me set any weight goals, it was more about eating healthy. Because of the drugs they had me on, I had to eat the same amount of Vitamin K every day. That started me on a routine that I sort of follow to this day, even though I am long since off all prescription drugs.
-How many sessions with the RD did you have before you felt confident enough to eat well on your own?
I had about 3 sessions in the hospital and then I was off and running. I referred back to those printed materials for months and months after I was released from the hospital. It became a sort of Bible for me.
-What kinds of things would help you stay motivated to continue losing weight?
My #1 goal was to stay alive. My health was the biggest motivating factor, and still is to this day. I also focused on things I would be able to do as I lost the weight. Things like ride a bicycle again, take the stairs, fit in any car, ride in an airplane and lose enough weight to fit in the CT Scan machine. One big milestone for me was when I got down to about 400 pounds and was small enough to shop at the Big and Tall store. That was a big moment for me. Up to that point, I had to have my clothes specially made, including the giant pants I was wearing the day I went into the hospital.
-What are a couple setbacks you encountered and how did you deal?
There have been so many setbacks. Sometimes I would gain weight from one week to the next for whatever reason, even though mathematically it didn’t seem possible. I remember being stuck at 350 pounds for 6 weeks. I about lost my mind. But then I had a friend of mine who is also a personal trainer remind me that the human body can only lose so much weight at one time. I had to have faith that what I was doing would carry me through. And the weight loss started back up. Another big setback was when I finally got off all of my high blood pressure medicine. 3 months later, for seemingly no reason, my blood pressure shot up and I had to go back on it. I felt so defeated like I was going to be on those pills the rest of my life. But my doctor told me that after I lost about 20 more pounds, I could get off the pills and he was right.
-Can you share what a sample day of eating looked like for you before your weight loss journey compared to what a sample day looks like for you now?
A sample day before my weight loss journey was really complete chaos. The biggest mistake I made was having no plan at all. I just ate everything. I actually looked this up once.
Breakfast – Nothing
Lunch at 5 Guys…
Bacon Cheeseburger 920 calories
Large fries 1,464 calories
Mayo, Ketchup 115 calories
Totals 2499 calories
Snack at the vending machine – 2 frosted Pop Tarts 400 calories, Bag of lays potato chips 230 calories
From 7pm until about 2 in the morning, I would eat non-stop. This could include, but not be limited to:
Large Pizza from Dominos – 2,370 calories
Pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream – Cherry Garcia was my favorite, 1,040 calories
Bag of Doritos, sometimes the whole party size over the course of the night, 2,170 calories
The total of all that is 8,709 calories, which would explain the 600 pounds.
A sample day, for now, is much more evenly distributed. Keep in mind it has taken 7 years for me to work up to being able to eat like this. I am still a volume eater:
2 servings of oatmeal
5 egg whites
Some protein like tuna or chicken breast
Mid-morning snack/Lunch/Afternoon snack
an apple, an orange, and a banana
a chicken breast
a pound of baby carrots
2 servings of oatmeal with raisins
Chicken, Turkey, Fish or black beans and rice
A steamable bag of whole green beans
2 baked potatoes
Frozen strawberries with yogurt on top
Another bowl of oatmeal
If I eat all that, I end that day at right under 3,000 calories. With the amount of exercise I do, that keeps me at my goal weight.
-What are a few of your favorite foods?
Watermelon is my favorite food. At only 9 calories an ounce, I can eat a lot of it, it fills me up and is very satisfying. I also like and eat a lot of oatmeal. I also love green beans for the same reason as watermelon: I can eat a lot of them with minimal caloric impact.
-Any words of advice/wisdom for those out there trying to lose weight?
The key to my success has been to take ownership of my weight problem/food addiction and tackle it on my own terms. Once you accept that you are overweight because of you and you alone, it will set you free. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t even mean you’ve failed at anything. It just means you’re on the wrong end of a math problem. Now that you know you have caused the situation, you begin to realize that only you have the ability to change it.
Another piece of advice is this: just start. People look at a lifestyle change through the lens of a diet and that is a complete waste of time. Temporary changes yield temporary results. Starting your weight loss journey begins with eating breakfast tomorrow morning. Maybe it won’t be perfect. Maybe the healthiest thing you have in the house isn’t the greatest. Who cares. It will likely be hundreds of calories less than what you get at the fast food drive-thru. I am convinced it is impossible to lose and maintain weight loss if the majority of your calories come from restaurants. Remember: you don’t want to borrow your weight loss, you want to own it.
Thank you for sharing Bryan!