How I lost 72 lbs. in less than a year

People ask me how I lost so much weight, so fast. The first 20 lbs. weren't really noticeable. That's what I call my "startup weight," the mass I put on quickly when I transitioned three years ago from a commuter job that had me walking at least a mile a day to living seven days a week out of my home office.Ā 

The next 50 lbs. were more impressive. "It's like a whole piece of you is gone!" remarked a coworker recently. 72 lbs. is my seven year old son and one of our cats. It's a hell of a lot of weight.

Skinny people ask me how I did it, which always seems weird, because I've still got a ways to go to really be where I want to be. But I'm in the best shape I've been - better in a lot of ways - since I was 21. I hit my 2014 goal here in May. The weight has just started to pour off - 25 lbs. in just the last eight weeks. And there's been a healthy pattern to it that's not been all that hard.Ā 

I started strength training at the YMCA about a year ago. I tried TRX classes but they were always full and I also hurt my shoulder because the range of motion was too free. I switched to gravity classes and go 2-3 times a week for 45 minutes. It's aerobic in intensity.

I changed my diet. First I just cut back on things like queso dip. Then I did the master cleanse. Now, I did it for only three days, but it got me through a barrier - I lost six lbs. and kept them off. More than that, it killed my food cravings and boredom snacking. Once you know you don't really have to eat throughout a day, it's easier to not pick up whatever's in the kitchen whenever you take a break. The master cleanse also gave me the break I needed to start a clean vegetarian diet. I'm not strictly vegetarian, but I've eaten less than a pound of meat in the past several months. I also started gardening and eating omeletes filled with fresh vegetables. (Yes, I eat lots of eggs and cheese.)

Saltwater flushes. They are gross, and yes, once I puked up half the drink. But having done four in the past several months, I'll swear by the light and empty feeling that results and stays with you as long as you move forward with lighter foods. The drawback with the master cleanse is you get a bit more irritable - your skin starts looking great, but if you're under too much stress, pick a better time. I've only done 30 hours since my first three day juice fast for that reason.

I've stopped drinking alone, or at least replaced the 12-pack for one 20 oz. when I buy beer at the supermarket. Expensive bourbon also helps - you drink it a lot slower than anything that needs ice.

I started running again, and that's when things really started to change fast. I run 10 or more miles a week, and it took a few months to get up to the four mile mark, then the six mile mark. My first Tough Mudder (a 10.2 mile course) was in April and gave me a great goal for my training and weigh goals. I wanted to run it at 250 lbs. (I started this journey at 292 lbs.) and hit 245.Ā 

This week I weighed in between 218.2 and 211.8. My next goals are 210 by my birthday in mid July, 190 (if I can do it without losing my newfound muscle mass) by the end of the 2014 and running the LA Marathon in March.

The pictures will dog me online for a long, long time. Also, if you're an overweight, balding dude, shaving that dome is a good move.

July 2013 > March 2014 > May 2014

Adriel Hampton, hiking, May 2014

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