March 7, 2012

How I lost 150 pounds in one year

As a little kid I was always skinny, but when my growth spurt to 6-foot-2 began around age 15 that turned into chubby and by the end of high school I was fat. After a year of college fat gave way to obese and, for the most part, that's where I stayed. I lost significant amounts of weight several times since then, including a huge loss about five years ago, but inevitably I always put it all back on and then some.

Last winter I got Chinese takeout or had Pizza Hut chicken wings delivered nearly every night, with various other fast food meals and plenty of late-night snacking mixed in. All that gorging made me the fattest I'd ever been, which was incredibly depressing and in turn led to even more gorging. I was a mess, physically and mentally, but thankfully for whatever reason something finally clicked in my brain in late February of last year.

I was 28 years old and getting fatter by the day, which seemed like a recipe for a terrible life followed by an early death. I committed to attempting another weight-loss effort, knowing that if this one failed like the rest of them I'd probably just have to make peace with always being obese. And like a true addict I couldn't just start the diet, so instead I decided to give myself one final week to gorge on all the bad stuff I could possibly think of eating.

I can even remember my last bad meal. I ordered my favorite dish, hunan chicken, from my favorite Chinese restaurant, Yangtze in St. Louis Park, and then topped it off with some donuts and ice cream. I went to bed that night miserable, knowing how long the road ahead of me would be and how unlikely it was that I'd see the end of it. I woke up the next morning, sluggish from my final binge the night before, and stepped on the scale: 355 pounds.

That was March 7, 2011. Today is March 7, 2012 and this morning the scale read 202 pounds.

I lost 153 pounds in 366 days, and I did it without stomach stapling or crazy diets or a trainer. And as "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners know, I never stopped drinking beer. Throughout my previous weight loss ups and downs I learned that the simple balance between calories consumed and calories burned is the driving force behind any lifestyle change and as a baseball stat-head the knowledge that things work on a linear scale was reassuring.

My goal early on was simple: Eat fewer than 1,250 calories per day and force myself onto an elliptical machine for at least 10 minutes. I completely cut out all the foods I loved, going cold turkey on takeout and delivery and snacks, and also focused on eating at least two meals each day instead of letting myself get so hungry that dinner became a smorgasbord. I ate oatmeal and bananas and chicken soup and Lean Cuisine microwave dinners.

And the weight came flying off, as I shed 40 pounds in the first six weeks. That was certainly a positive thing, but because I'd done that (or something close) several times before I knew it was merely the first step down that long road. In the past my undoing always stemmed from slipping up once, which seems like a harmless thing at first but eventually leads to falling completely off the wagon.

My brain has proven incapable of occasionally going off the diet, so even after losing 40 pounds if I allow myself Chinese food or a few slices of pizza I know within a week I'll be back where I started. I've now gone one full year without consuming even 2,000 calories in a day and likely haven't topped 1,500 calories in a day more than a handful of times. It's been tough, no doubt, but my mantra of "why do I need it?" has talked me out of numerous slip-ups.

Along the way I upped my elliptical machine workout to an average of 30 minutes per day and developed a routine of working out around midnight, propping my laptop up on the console so music or a movie or a live sporting event could keep me occupied. I can remember barely being able to make it 10 minutes that first day, breathing heavily and sweating and feeling like my lungs were going to explode, but if not for boredom going an hour would be easy now.

I also gradually began to incorporate different, more fulfilling foods. I still eat microwavable meals about once a day--my favorites are chicken enchiladas suiza from Smart Ones, Thai-style chicken spring rolls from Lean Cuisine, and barbeque seasoned steak with red potatoes from Healthy Choice--but about six months ago I started to cook my own chicken-and-rice concoction that has become a daily and sometimes twice-daily meal.

Here are the ingredients for the huge batch I make each week:

- 15 cups of cooked white rice (which is about five cups uncooked)
- 28 ounces of Kame oyster sauce
- 12 ounces of Hormel natural choice chicken, cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces of John Morrell diced ham
- 12 ounces of Green Giant valley fresh steamers mixed vegetables
- 32 ounces of egg beaters, scrambled
- 2 ounces of soy sauce
- 0.75 ounces of minced onions
- 0.25 ounces of ground black pepper
- 1 ounce of salt

Put it all together in a big fry pan and what you get is a variation of chicken fried rice that tastes good, isn't terrible for you, and will keep you feeling full enough to avoid going off the diet. And as someone with zero cooking ability I can assure you it's incredibly easy to make, with the added bonus that the above recipe will feed you for an entire week and needs just a few minutes in the microwave for each meal.

I use that chicken-and-rice mashup as the baseline for most meals. For lunch I'll heat up a couple scoops of it along with the aforementioned Thai-style chicken rolls or a cup of microwavable Kraft macaroni and cheese. For dinner I'll heat up a couple more scoops along with the aforementioned chicken enchiladas suiza or barbeque seasoned steak with red potatoes. Every day and every meal, with Minute Maid light orange juice or water to drink.

Nothing crazy and no tricks, just find some reasonably healthy stuff that fills you up and tastes good, and eat it every day while avoiding slip-ups. I'm not sure if that approach is the healthiest or the smartest or even sustainable for the long haul, but I do know that it, along with 30 minutes per day on an elliptical machine, allowed me to go from 355 pounds to 202 pounds in 366 days with the following progression:

March 7, 2011: 355 pounds
May 11, 2011: 305 pounds
August 12, 2011: 265 pounds
September 9, 2011: 253 pounds
October 21, 2011: 245 pounds
December 1, 2011: 235 pounds
January 27, 2012: 215 pounds
March 7, 2012: 202 pounds

I'm certainly proud of myself for losing so much weight, but I'm also incredibly embarrassed on a number of different levels. For one thing I've lost 30 or 50 or even 90 pounds before several times, often writing about it in this space, and then I've always put it back on. That sucks, plain and simple. Beyond that, the biggest key to losing 150 pounds is being incredibly obese to begin with and ... well, that's not particularly fun to talk about either.

Praise for losing weight has always seemed odd to me, because no one is ever praised for simply being thin in the first place. It's like praising a shortstop for improving his defense from horrendous to mediocre, but not praising a different shortstop for always being a good defender. I'm also not in anything resembling great shape, as I still want to lose about 20 pounds and will never be accused of being toned or muscular.

I'm not an expert, I'm not bragging, and I'll probably always be embarrassed about my struggles with weight and how I look. But what I am, for now at least, is someone who stopped his downward spiral enough to shed 153 pounds in 366 days and my hope in writing this is to encourage myself to avoid yet another backslide and perhaps to encourage others to make a change for the better.

Being fat sucks and, if you're like me, being ashamed about how you look fuels depression and then depression leads to over-eating. As happy as I am with how I look and feel now, it makes me retroactively depressed about times in my life when, looking back, people may have been embarrassed to be seen with me or not wanted to hang out with me. Or even just judged me differently because of the person I presented in public.

I'm a lazy 29-year-old guy who's been fat since high school, doesn't have great metabolism or genetics, works from home, barely leaves the house, and can't cook. If I can get on a simple diet and stick to it for a year, then literally anyone can do it and probably do it even better. Find some low-calorie foods you like enough to eat on a regular basis, learn to cook a meal or two that you enjoy, and push yourself to exercise just a little bit.

My issue has always been needing to feel full and binging, but by building a diet of low-calorie foods and a rice concoction I've managed to feel full most of the time and by going cold turkey on everything bad I've stayed binge-free. Whether it's analytical or obsessive-compulsive, knowing that burning more calories than I take in equals weight loss and establishing a consistent routine of what I eat, when I eat, how I work out, and when I work out was crucial.

I eat at approximately 10:30 am and 6:30 p.m. every day, consuming some combination of those same half-dozen or so low-calorie options for each meal, and then do the same workout around midnight. Immersing myself in those patterns kept me from slip-ups, helped me stay confident that my plan was working, and perhaps most importantly kept me from having to think too much about eating or working out in general.

Because for a longtime fatso whose over-eating comes partly from depression thinking about your life and diet and body can be the worst thing for any weight-loss effort. So instead of thinking too much I just eat the same stuff and do the same workout I did the day before. Stick to your routine, without exceptions. No cheat days, no slip-ups because you're out with friends, no skipping a workout because you're tired.

Do it, every day, and one year later you'll have changed your life.


  1. This is extremely impressive – congrats Aaron!

    Comment by Ryan — March 7, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  2. Congrats Mr. Gleeman, and good luck getting to your goal.

    Comment by Al — March 7, 2012 @ 12:01 am

  3. Great article. Your plan is very similar to the Hacker’s diet.

    For people who work and play behind a desk all day.

    Comment by Scott — March 7, 2012 @ 12:03 am

  4. Way to be Aaron. Wonderful story, and an inspiration for all to follow.

    Comment by Onomous — March 7, 2012 @ 12:07 am

  5. Congratulations, Aaron! Absolutely fantastic.

    Comment by Tracy — March 7, 2012 @ 12:10 am

  6. I’d say this is better than a mediocre-fielding shortstop. The effort is All-Star. Congrats, Aaron, and thanks for sharing it.

    Comment by Jon Weisman — March 7, 2012 @ 12:10 am

  7. Awesome. As a fan for almost a decade I’ve enjoyed your self deprecating fat humor. Im ashamed to say I never realized the honestly and truth behind the jokes. I’m happy for you and I’ve been thankful for your blog ad sharing your lives with us

    Comment by Eric Johnson — March 7, 2012 @ 12:11 am

  8. I can’t believe the Yangtze is still open. Is David Woo’s still there on Cedar Lake Road?

    Comment by Katz — March 7, 2012 @ 12:12 am

  9. Good to read and good to see. I have lost the 50+ before following the same basic principles; “get off the couch and put down the fork”.

    Of course, there’s more to it than that. You made a big step by fending for yourself in the kitchen. Not eating anything that comes from a drive-thru window or from a delivery person is an easy way to get started.

    But I hope you do follow up. I’d like to read about the fat clothes vs the skinny clothes vs in-between. I still think there is grant money out there for someone to do a study on the noise it takes to put on shoes or get up from a chair for someone who loses 50+ pounds.

    Comment by Zachary D Manprin — March 7, 2012 @ 12:20 am

  10. congrats, it’s really impressive.

    but jim souhan must be pissed, what kind of stat-nerd blogger are you?

    Comment by alex — March 7, 2012 @ 12:26 am

  11. Found your article re-tweeted on Twitter. I’ve struggled for a long time and am currently my heaviest and have fallen into a pattern of laziness and overeating and thinking the road back is just too long. I’ll use this article to get going. Thanks and good luck.

    Comment by Jeff — March 7, 2012 @ 12:28 am

  12. An inspiring story. Aaron. Thank you sharing it, and good luck on staying the course. We love your work and want to have you with us for many years.

    Comment by John Ursu — March 7, 2012 @ 12:33 am

  13. Wow, this is fantastic.

    Comment by neil — March 7, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  14. Pshaw. How it really happened:

    Comment by Parker — March 7, 2012 @ 12:36 am

  15. Awesome. You lost 150 pounds and from that pic it looks like you got 5 years younger.

    Comment by mrgerbik03 — March 7, 2012 @ 12:44 am

  16. Outstanding job, Aaron! Inspiring.

    Comment by Carlos — March 7, 2012 @ 12:46 am

  17. great work! keep it up brother

    Comment by TS — March 7, 2012 @ 12:49 am

  18. Awesome! All you had to do was change your eating and physical habits. You are a great example that A) Change is possible, and that B) there is no silver bullet. Just change habits. It’s easier said than done, but anyone can do it. Besides the obvious societal impact, I bet you feel much better doing everyday things too. Congrats, keep up the good work, and I hope others are inspired by you.

    Comment by Michael — March 7, 2012 @ 12:52 am

  19. Congratulations. Awesome story. Maybe you should get yourself some cookIng classes as a one year reward.

    Comment by AJ — March 7, 2012 @ 12:55 am

  20. awesome. thx for sharing. been reading your blog for years.

    Comment by Chris — March 7, 2012 @ 12:58 am

  21. Congratulations, Aaron. Very impressive. Best of luck.

    Comment by Joe Kehoskie — March 7, 2012 @ 1:15 am

  22. Way to not let your previous failed attempts stop you from reaching your goal. Like the famous Babe Ruth quote, “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way”.

    Comment by Mat P. — March 7, 2012 @ 1:16 am

  23. Great to hear that you found something that works for you.

    You look happier, and hopefully the increased health will help you with your daily workload.

    Here’s to hoping the Twins don’t depress you into another downspin.

    Comment by Navorskiy — March 7, 2012 @ 1:21 am

  24. You’re awesome, Aaron. You already were awesome, but your awesomeness apparently knows no bounds.

    Not that you need advice, obviously, but have you tried brown rice? Once you get used to it, the flavor is actually much nicer, especially once you start mixing in things like fresh ginger and more vegetables. For instance if you cut up a fresh onion or two and some garlic, and sauteed them, that would make a great addition to your fried rice dish. Add a little grated ginger root to the pan and it will start tasting like restaurant food. You can also throw in a chopped red pepper. Even a can or sliced bamboo shoots or baby corn…

    I think if you keep this up you will eventually enjoy eating more fresh vegetables and fruits. I’m not an expert but I think weight watchers counts vegetables as zero points, meaning you can eat all you want without worry. Try those precut baby carrots, or slice red peppers into strips; they’re really tasty. Those boxes of prewashed lettuce and other greens are great too. And once you get to a maintenance weight, I’m sure you’ll find some fruit you like. If you can find a farmers market, those apples are a hundred times tastier than red delicious.

    I have a feeling you will become a good cook if you keep this up. You can make some really good stir fries that taste better than takeout would let you stuff yourself on vegetables; that’s an easy way to start, but the sky’s the limit.

    Sorry for the advice — probably the best thing is to not mess with your routine, and keep on with what’s working! Just know that when you start to branch out, your amazing research skills will quickly lead you to things that taste much better than what you ate before, are better for you, and are easy to make at home. What you’ve done is the hardest part. Eating healthier long term will be more fun, because you won’t have to starve yourself, and you can use your brain to make yourself happy. Good food tastes good!

    I’m glad though if posting this stuff helps you keep yourself accountable; then we can feel like we helped, by doing nothing. And yes, I would congratulate the bad fielder who worked hard and got better much more than some lazy guy who was a born athlete. Way to go.

    The only quibble I have with your post is the thought that other people were judging you as harshly as you were; I think when people saw you most just thought, hey, he’s that amazing writer guy!

    Comment by By Jiminy — March 7, 2012 @ 4:57 am

  25. Awesome. And an inspiration, since I need to lose about 100 lbs.

    Comment by Mike Whitaker — March 7, 2012 @ 5:24 am

  26. Very inspiring and congrats. I’ve been reading since Free Johan and was as happy to read of your weight loss progress as anything you’ve ever written.

    Comment by The Kid NYC — March 7, 2012 @ 5:49 am

  27. You’re an inspiration, Aaron. Congratulations.

    Comment by Michael David Smith — March 7, 2012 @ 5:59 am

  28. Sh*t… now what’s my excuse. Great job! Now I better figure out my plan.

    Comment by MC — March 7, 2012 @ 6:04 am

  29. The reason we do not praise skinny people for being skinny is it comes naturally to most of them. Some people just have better sense of when they are full or better metabolisms or just were brought up eating better foods… I think you should be proud of your weight loss because it took some hard work and you accomplished something very hard. I know, I am working on changing my eating habits much the same way you did and it is hard work.

    Comment by sirfwalgman — March 7, 2012 @ 6:06 am

  30. Aaron- thank you for sharing the emotional side of your struggle as well as the practical side. This sounds so much like my struggles to quit smoking that its freaking me out a bit. Keep up the good work and the great writing!

    Comment by travis — March 7, 2012 @ 6:30 am

  31. Congrats, Aaron! Well done and you look terrific! You seem to have found, as I did, that healthy eating and living can be just as addictive (in a good way) as the opposite…and it feels weird or “wrong” to do otherwise anymore. Kudos. You should feel very proud of yourself!

    Comment by neal polister — March 7, 2012 @ 6:38 am

  32. Aaron, I’ve been reading your website for close to a decade now and I am thrilled for you! Congrats, keep up the good fight!

    Comment by Nate — March 7, 2012 @ 6:39 am

  33. Very, very cool.

    Comment by Tfg — March 7, 2012 @ 7:01 am

  34. Amazing story, Aaron. Congratulations!
    I take the chicken enchiladas suiza to work about once a week; they are my preferred frozen Mexican meal, also.

    Comment by AW — March 7, 2012 @ 7:11 am

  35. Congratulations Aaron :) I have followed your blog for six years and have greatly enjoyed your thoughts on the Twins and the Friday Link-o-rama. I spent most of my college life in the house and know the depression you must have dealt with. Hopefully your weightloss will lead to new and enjoyable opportunities in your life. Once again congratulations and continued success.

    Comment by GroverGopher — March 7, 2012 @ 7:14 am

  36. Sounds like an MVP year, Aaron! Your last year is equivalent to .344, 217 hits, 44 HR’s,131 RBIs and 380 total bases! Congrats!

    Comment by Steve — March 7, 2012 @ 7:25 am

  37. Well done..

    My story is 110 pounds in ten months. It started as a very strict Atkins and is now more of a paleo type diet. (And no misinformed replies on why we “need” carbs….ive kept it off for eleven years, and I promise you I know more about what low-carb eating is than most everyone!)

    Bottom line, you’re absolutely right….consume fewer calories than you need to lose the weight, and never, ever think that once you’ve reached your goal weight you can simply “stop your diet.”

    Comment by Enrico Caruso — March 7, 2012 @ 7:30 am

  38. Inspiring story, Aaron. Can’t add much to what’s already been written, other than to point out a powerful psychological principle that accounts for why so many of us fail where you have succeeded.

    It’s called “present bias.”

    The following is excerpted from a terrific article on present bias as it relates to procrastination:

    Many studies over the years have shown that we tend to have time-inconsistent preferences. When asked if we would rather have fruit or cake one week from now, we will usually say fruit. A week later when the slice of German chocolate and the apple are offered, we are statistically more likely to go for the cake.

    This is why our Netflix queues are full of great films we keep passing over for “Family Guy.” With Netflix, the choice of what to watch right now and what to watch later is like candy bars versus carrot sticks. When you are planning ahead, your better angels point to the nourishing choices, but in the moment you go for what tastes good.

    As behavioral economist Katherine Milkman has pointed out, this is why grocery stores put candy right next to the checkout.

    This is sometimes called present bias – being unable to grasp that what you want will change over time, and what you want now isn’t the same thing as you will want later. Present bias explains why you buy lettuce and bananas only to throw them out later when you forget to eat them. This is why when you are a kid you wonder why adults don’t own more toys.

    Present bias is why you’ve made the same resolution for the tenth year in a row, but this time you mean it. You are going to lose weight and forge a six-pack of abs so ripped you could deflect arrows.

    You weigh yourself. You buy a workout DVD. You order a set of weights.

    One day you have the choice between running around the block or watching a movie, and you choose the movie. Another day you are out with friends and can choose a cheeseburger or a salad. You choose the cheeseburger.

    The slips become more frequent, but you keep saying you’ll get around to it. You’ll start again on Monday, which becomes a week from Monday. Your will succumbs to a death by a thousand cuts. By the time winter comes it looks like you already know what your resolution will be the next year.

    The complete article can be found here:

    Comment by David — March 7, 2012 @ 7:33 am

  39. Longtime reader, first time commenter, but this seems like a good a time as any — great job and great post.

    Comment by eric — March 7, 2012 @ 7:35 am

  40. Congratulations! Well done!

    Comment by thrylos98 — March 7, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  41. Congrats Aaron.

    I’m down about 25 pounds over six weeks myself, using similar methods. The difference is I’m always out of the house or on the road for work, visiting family, or going out w/ friends. I’m VERY social (even though sometimes I don’t want to be). Your methods are NOT just for people who never leave the house. It is possible to use most or all of your strategies even if you’re out and about every other night.

    The challenging part is dealing with those friends, family and co-workers.

    The first night of my “diet” was at my nephew’s bday party. Kid’s bday parties are always a disaster food-wise. There’s a giant smorgasboard of unhealthy food, followed by cake and ice cream, followed by taking another few trips through the smorgasboard (all while pounding beers and whiskey cokes with your father-in-law and brother-in-law).

    The first night of my “diet,” I made only one trip through the smorgasboard, refused cake and ice cream, and limited myself to two beers. My in-law’s reaction was the perfect example of why my previous efforts at eating better always failed. Everyone sort of looked at me funny, making comments like, “What? Are you going to be a 13-year old anorexic girl now?” “Are you too good to have another beer with us?” “Since when are you trying to be all healthy?” “Are you a liberal now?”

    It was good-natured ribbing — they weren’t being mean — but I always used to eventually cave in and succumb to the temptation of more food and more booze. I’m not blaming my previous failures on others, but something clicked in my brain that night. It’s almost like I said the hell with losing weight because of my health, looks, energy level, waist size, etc. I decided to lose weight just to prove to myself that I could.

    It’s hard to eat right when you’re always on the road, or having beers and appetizers w/ co-workers, or going out with friends, or grabbing something quick to eat between jobs. But it is possible. At least it has been for me over the last six weeks.

    I don’t know if turning weight loss into a game is the correct mindset to have or not, but it’s worked for me so far. I still eat all the foods I enjoy, just far less of them. When I’m tempted to go for another helping of my wife’s spaghetti and meat sause featuring grass-fed beef from my in-law’s farm, I think about those extra pounds that will show up on the scale and might cause me to lose the internal weight-loss battle that started the night of my nephew’s bday party.

    I guess this post is just a long, rambling way to say that Aaron’s methods are not just for people who rarely leave the house. I’m rarely home, which prevents me from following a routine, and I’ve been able to use similar methods with great success. (so far).

    Comment by Ace — March 7, 2012 @ 7:51 am

  42. Way to go, Aaron!

    Comment by Jeff — March 7, 2012 @ 7:54 am

  43. Congrats on the success Aaron. I think almost everyone can relate to this in some way whether its weight or some other personal demon. Here’s to hoping you’ve conquered yours and can keep the weight off.
    Thanks for all the great content over the years (and for introducing me to HBD even though I’ve given it up for now), keep up the good work.
    I also think you and Craig should have some sort of worlds strongest blogger competition. It could be televised on the mew NBC sports talk network!

    Comment by The Original Matt — March 7, 2012 @ 7:56 am

  44. !!!!

    Comment by spoofbonser — March 7, 2012 @ 7:57 am

  45. Congrats Aaron! In our instant gratification society very few people have the discipline to do what you just did. Most people want the easy/quick solution. Keep up the good work and fantastic job on the last 12 months!

    Comment by Nick S — March 7, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  46. Congrats! I had a similar experience losing weight that sounds a lot like your strategy, but I only went from 273 to 228. Maybe your story will be motivation for me to get down another 20.

    Comment by RCG — March 7, 2012 @ 8:14 am

  47. You are my Jared! Can’t wait to see you on the pre-game shows!

    Comment by Mark R (Columbus) — March 7, 2012 @ 8:17 am

  48. Now you’ll need a new photo for your column header on

    Comment by Tom — March 7, 2012 @ 8:23 am

  49. Aaron, this is your greatest story yet. Looks like you’ll need to update your Twitter avatar.

    Comment by Sinking Liner — March 7, 2012 @ 8:23 am

  50. What a great article to start my day! Keep up the great work Aaron!

    Comment by Andy — March 7, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  51. Great work. Maybe you’re not looking for unsolicited advice, but if you’re bored of the elliptical, a bit of strength training is a good way to convert fat to muscle even if you’re not strictly losing weight, and it can be fun compared to the grind of an elliptical. Also, now that you’re not really heavy and your knees can handle it, you might consider some good old fashioned running, which I like because it gets me outside. is a good place to look for information.

    Comment by Jeff — March 7, 2012 @ 8:45 am

  52. Wow! That’s encouraging for me as I am also trying to stick to a non fast food diet.

    Comment by andrew — March 7, 2012 @ 8:55 am

  53. As a cardiologist, I commend you for doing what I tell all my patients to do: burn more than you eat. The benefits of aerobic exercise cannot be overstated. Congratulations!

    Comment by Martin Arrowsmith — March 7, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  54. This is the best article I have read to date. Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Mitch Clingman — March 7, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  55. Very inspirational story. I have battled with weight loss for some time as well. I am also using the burn more than you consume technique and I have seen results. I tend to allow a cheat day, but you are right, none of that. Do you still have beers on the weekends? That’s been the biggest obstacle for me up to this point…that and the need for a Chipotle to cure the hangover.

    Comment by Vince — March 7, 2012 @ 9:01 am

  56. Congrats Aaron! Another vote for Brown rice. Also try exercising in the morning as it increase your metabolism throughout the day. For dessert try Trader Joes frozen mango. No added sugar and tastes like sorbet when slightly defrosted. Might also want to swim or crosstrain so you do not overdo the elliptical motion. Could cause wear and tear on joints if you do same motion every day.

    Comment by Tap — March 7, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  57. Congratulations Aaron, I am a fat (relatively so) person myself, but I’m only 18. The binge-eating and general lack of discipline is my problem, and I think this will help to inspire me to stop it before it’s too late. Thank you very much man.

    Comment by Moe — March 7, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  58. Nice job Aaron. I’ve been working on eating healthier and working out to lower my cholesterol. I’d have to say that at 6′ 2″, I weigh about 200 lbs, and that’s a pretty healthy weight for a guy of our height.

    Keep up the good work, but don’t starve yourself to reach a number that might not be healthy for you. Eventually you’ll want to get back up to around 2,000 calories a day to make sure you aren’t starving yourself. Another reader already noted that more vegetables and fruits would be a good addition as well. Unless you are taking some sort of supplement, you are robbing your body of needed vitamins.

    Comment by D-Luxxx — March 7, 2012 @ 9:15 am

  59. Aaron,

    I dropped 55 lbs about two years ago and have kept it off. I did it different from you, but like you I’m chasing an elusive last 20 lbs that would get me back to my HS weight.

    People who lose weight get congradulated because it shows that they addressed and overcame a personal demon. Everyone has personal demons, it’s just that people who obesitie’s demons are very apperant and very public.

    Comment by Lee — March 7, 2012 @ 9:16 am

  60. Amazing, inspiring….and so honest. Thank you.

    Comment by Amy — March 7, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  61. Congratulations! This is fairly similar to me. I was about 320ish (I say ish because I think my scale was probably understating it) at my heaviest and one day I just snapped. Counted calories making sure not to exceed 2000. Got off my ass. Got down to 190 in about 14 months. I’m back up a little, but it’s just winter weight which will come off shortly. You’ll know soon, but seeing 199 is one of THE BEST THINGS EVER! Keep it up!

    Comment by Chris — March 7, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  62. Wow, super fantastic. Congratulations Aaron. Also, I think it’s supremely cool that, despite whatever insecurities you have, you’re willing to share it with people in an effort to help others with this problem. To me, that almost deserves more praise. Opening up a vein on the internet isn’t easy, but I think what you’ve done is going to help a lot of people.

    Congrats again. It’s really, really impressive that you took this upon yourself and just did it. Keep it up!

    Comment by David — March 7, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  63. Outstanding, Aaron. You look fantastic.

    I have a buddy that has gone through a very similar transformation over the last year or so. It is so wonderful to see the change. I can only imagine how excited and happy your family and friends are. Are the friends you don’t see except at the SABR convention going to recognize you in June?

    You know what else I’d like to see a picture of? The frying pan you use for your fried rice. It sounds delicious, but I can’t conceive of a pan that fits 15 cups of rice along with all of the other stuff.

    Comment by Brenden — March 7, 2012 @ 9:23 am

  64. Aaron,

    Thank you for the inspiring and provoking article. This is something I have been thinking about a lot myself lately and you have articulated so manyof my feelings. I will make a goal today to report back here a year from now. Keep it up!

    Comment by Jason — March 7, 2012 @ 9:23 am

  65. As someone else said, if you don’t want to mess with your routine at all I understand, but I would just like to point out that you may want to consider eating more than twice a day. Eating smaller, more frequent meals is much better for you and your metabolism than a couple larger meals spaced out with long stretches of not eating, especially if, as you say, you’re not blessed with a great metabolism to begin with. (It’s a matter of blood sugar and cortisol release…I’m sure you can easily find a more detailed explanation online if you’re interested.) It’s also great for the “need to feel full” problem. And since you’re lucky enough to work from home, working in a couple more meal times a day shouldn’t be that hard. Anyway, congratulations and good luck.

    Comment by Luis — March 7, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  66. I know praise is awkward to you, so here’s my take. As a naturally thin person, I inherently disliked you for being fat. Now you’re not, so we can get along. Congratulations.
    I thoroughly enjoy your writing and podcast, regardless of whether or not it deals with the Twins. What you’ve done really is awesome and I’m glad to hear so many people have become even slightly motivated by your story. Apparently you appeal to a target demographic… I wish more people I know would do this.
    I would say that I agree with a few others in that you should change your workout routine once you are comfortable. Even though an elliptical is easier on your joints than running, I think you will see even better results if you vary your workout with strength training and other forms of cardio.
    Either way, way to go. I take it for granted that I’m genetically thin, so this gives me an appreciation for what I’ve been given.

    Comment by Jon — March 7, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  67. I’m inspired. Keep it up!

    Comment by Clint — March 7, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  68. Aaron, I’ve been reading your blog since Batgirl was still writing and this may be the best thing you’ve ever written. Keep it up. The best part about losing weight (I’ve lost 40+ myself and have kept it off for 7 years) is that once you get there, it’s easier to stay there than you think, especially with exercise.

    If I can give 3 pieces of advice:
    1) Go outside. It’s great that you have the eliptical. Stay on it, but try running or biking outside. Start with 15-20 minutes. As a workout it may or may not be better than the eliptical, but it’s so much more enjoyable that it’s easier to stick with and extend, especially in the MN summer. Plus, there are girls outside.
    2) Be careful about sodium intake. A lot of the diet foods are high in sodium. You don’t want to trade one problem for another.
    3) Vegetables. Learn to cook vegetables (roasting in a bit of olive oil is ridiculously easy). Great for actually being full. Also impressive to girls you meet while exercising outside.

    In any case, what you’re doing is clearly working for you. Be proud of yourself. And maybe get some cooler glasses.

    Comment by ScottB — March 7, 2012 @ 9:49 am

  69. Congratulations… That’s very impressive… One of the most difficult thing to do in life is to conquer an addiction… It’s an ongoing battle, but you’re on the right path… And how much money have you saved, not buying all that take-out and fast food?

    Comment by es16 — March 7, 2012 @ 10:01 am

  70. Congrats Aaron. You started this hoping to lose more than the Twins won. In fact the bigger challenge–which you also amazingly beat–was to lose more in the season than the Twins. That was a close call though….

    Comment by AM. — March 7, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  71. Aaron, Great job, and very inspiring. Keep up the good work (and the terrific baseball writing)!

    Comment by AlanM — March 7, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  72. Aaron- Nice!

    Comment by Jeff Y. — March 7, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  73. Aaron, I read your site all the time, but never felt moved to comment. It’s probably because in the grand scheme of things, baseball isn’t that important. But what you’ve done, changing your life, is inspirational. I hope that your readers can see what’s possible with a plan and a lot of discipline and that you’ve inspired some of them to do the same. Congratulations!

    Comment by Steve — March 7, 2012 @ 10:34 am

  74. Congrats!

    Substitute brown rice for the white and the same # of calories will feel more filling still. Most people don’t grow up eating brown rice but it’s easy to like once you get used to it. If you soak it overnight before cooking it cooks faster and it’s easier to digest.

    Or, you know, don’t. Whatever works.

    Comment by wrong em — March 7, 2012 @ 10:34 am

  75. Great job, Aaron, and thanks for writing this!

    Comment by Drew — March 7, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  76. Congrats Aaron. Long time reader, first time commenter. The beauty of your weight loss is in its simplicity. Very impressive, keep up the good work. Go Twins.

    Comment by Travis — March 7, 2012 @ 10:39 am

  77. My husband forwarded me this link. March 2010 I was a 261lb, 5’9 woman, definitely obese and unhappy and 2 years later I’m down to 185, still another 10-15 to go at least, but I don’t want congratulations. It’s encouraging to hear what I have been telling myself from day 1 “why are they praising me for doing what I should have done a long time ago?” Regardless, way to go Aaron, now that it’s a lifestyle change I guarantee you’ll keep it off!

    Comment by Leslie — March 7, 2012 @ 10:41 am

  78. Congrat, Aaron, shows what discipline can do! I agree with many of the additional suggestions – brown rice, more meals / day, do other exercises. The lower you go in weight the more your body will fight you, and the less change you’ll see.

    Comment by Phil — March 7, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  79. Aaron, that’s great. I doubt I would have recognized you.

    I do want to warn you, though, that I projected your future weight loss (which has been very linear, Rsq of .959). If you keep up at this pace, you will disappear completely by July 23rd of next year. I wouldn’t worry unless you drop below 100 before Thanksgiving though.

    Comment by AMR — March 7, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  80. Aaron – congrats, and excellent work. The most impressive aspect is the extreme discipline your weight loss required.
    I’d really recommend meeting with a nutritionist at some point once you transition from weight-loss to day-to-day maintenance. I’m sure you have a decent working knowledge, but a nutritionist can customize a set of meal requirements for you based on your lifestyle and whatever exercise goals you wish to accomplish. It’ll be super helpful for, especially once you get sick of what you’re currently doing.

    Also . . . I can’t say this for sure, but it seems as though you have yet to discover the magic that is black bean soup. You can get a bag for a couple of bucks, soak and stew the shit out of ‘em and add in whatever flavorings/veggies/smoked meats you like. Add in some hot sauce and a little cheese (if you like), or maybe get crazy and top with a little slasa fresca and cilantro. Damn good.

    Comment by Christian — March 7, 2012 @ 11:01 am

  81. This is so cool. I know you don’t think you could ever be someone viewed as an inspiration, especially when it comes to health…but that’s exactly what you are. I actually think stories like this are even more encouraging because you are so much more relatable than someone in a magazine or on Biggest Loser.

    It’s impossible to read one person’s story like this and not feel extremely happy for them. Well done and keep us informed from time to time about changes in your plan or anything else that comes along. Congratulations!

    Comment by Rob — March 7, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  82. Could a newspaper writer say that you are in the best shape of your career this spring training?

    Comment by Mikey — March 7, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  83. Truly awesome AG! Not sure if this comment will make you (or me for that matter) feel any better than you already must, but you’ve officially lost 1 complete me q;)

    Comment by Steve L. — March 7, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  84. Congrats, Aaron!! I’m truly impressed with your mental toughness. You made the decision to get healthy and follow it through. I hope more of us are able to follow your lead and do the same, whether our challenge is weight loss or some other struggle. Thanks for sharing!!

    Comment by JessicaJo316 — March 7, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  85. Wow Aaron – Congrats on the accomplishment. It’s far from over, but you’re at a great point to look back on your accomplishments from the past year.

    Comment by Scott Stahoviak — March 7, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  86. Nice work – you look great!

    Comment by Anne — March 7, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  87. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing. Your experience gives me hope. I recently started a similar path of ‘simply’ eating less and exercising more. Dec 1st I weighed 255lbs (5’9″)and felt terrible. Today I weigh 225lbs and I’m shooting for 190lbs. Great job Aaron.

    Comment by Greg — March 7, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  88. Excellent job, Aaron!

    Comment by Bryz — March 7, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  89. Fantastic job, Aaron! Keep it up! You’re doing it for all the right reasons and I hope that others read your story and feel the urge to make a change themselves.

    Comment by Josh — March 7, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  90. You’re the opposite of lazy. Getting a well-thought product out to your readers just about every day, and adding a workout and a total lifestyle change? That’s discipline in the extreme. Courage is also somewhere on the other end of the spectrum from lazy, and you’ve got that, too. Being lazy is doing the same thing, taking the easy job, following the pack. Courage is blogging about your favorite pastime and making that your job, even though it’s an extremely risky way to try to make your living. And courage is changing long-ingrained habits through hard work and belief in yourself. That’s why you deserve praise, man — you’ve got courage and discipline to inspire us all. You made this happen — this new body, this website, this community. It’s all you, Aaron.

    Comment by Rob — March 7, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  91. Congrats Aaron! We have never met, but I am proud of you man, well done! Go get those last 20 pounds.

    I have been following the blog for several year, and the Friday Links are the first thing I do every Friday morning at work.

    Comment by Jeff S — March 7, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  92. very proud of you you look handsome and much younger you are an expert chef now as well as a ba

    UD ebal l expert one year to lose a person

    Comment by old person — March 7, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  93. Rock on, Aaron. I’m a longtime reader of you here and elsewhere, and am more pleased to hear of this particular accomplishment than of your many writing-related successes…which are awesome in their own right. Well done, and KEEP IT UP!

    Comment by FMelius — March 7, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  94. As someone who’s fought the fight (less successfully), I think what you’ve accomplished is terrific and I’m jealous of your dedication and success. Keep it going, Aaron.

    Comment by JimCrikket — March 7, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  95. My heartiest congratulations! Also thank you for you open and sincere words about your journey. May you be an inspiration to others.

    Comment by Brian — March 7, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  96. This is astonishing. Great work!

    Comment by TMW — March 7, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  97. Mazel Tav, Aaron!

    Comment by ML — March 7, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  98. A very well written account, which could be helpful to many readers

    Comment by Myron Angstman — March 7, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  99. Congratulations sir. Good work. As for a commenter above that being skinny comes naturally to “most” skinny people, no, I don’t think so. Most skinny people I know keep their calorie count down, and at least walk or something else…..

    Comment by mike wants wins — March 7, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  100. Congrats, Aaron!

    I’m in a similar situation. I never really struggled with weight through the end of high school, as I was playing soccer about 10 months a year (playing for the school and my club team in the fall, in an indoor league over the winter, and then for my travel team in the spring). But then I graduated high school and started putting on weight. I put on about 10 pounds every year. Occasionally, I would make an effort to lose weight (usually doing something like the Atkins diet) and the weight would come off until the cravings for carbs got bad enough for me to give up. And then the weight would come piling back on.

    Finally, last summer, I stepped on the scale on July 14 and saw the number 375. For some reason, that was the number I needed to see in order to make a commitment to change. I realized that if I didn’t do something soon, I was going to weight 400 pounds in a couple years. At that point, I started tracking my calories in an attempt to get things going in the right direction. And to my surprise, it was much easier than I expected. The weight started coming off, and has kept coming off. As of Sunday, March 4, I weighed in at 276. I still have quite a ways to go, but I’ve lost 99 pounds in a little under 8 months. I’m shooting for 125 total by the 1-year mark.

    This is the first time in probably 15 years that I feel like it’s actually possible for me to weigh something approximating a “normal” weight again.

    Comment by Kevin — March 7, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  101. Congrats Aaron. Keep up the good work. I’m right behind you. I was 270 about 3 months ago and found out that if I wanted more life insurance, it was gonna cost me… a lot. That woke me up. Since then I’ve lost 30 lbs and I”ve started training for a 10K. I’m hoping to build it up to a marathon in 3 years. Can’t wait to see where you are in another year!

    Comment by Joe — March 7, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  102. Congrats Aaron! As someone who has lost 58 lbs over the last year, I completely understand just about everything you touched on. Keep up the good work!

    It’s amazing to me how many fad diets there are, yet weight loss always comes down to simply burning more calories than you take in daily. I’m glad that there are people in the world like you that acknowledge that as the way to go about weight loss.

    Comment by Anonymous Matt — March 7, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

  103. Congrats, brother. My story is pretty much identical, but I hit that 40 pound mark and went right back to pizza, tacos and beer on a regular rotation. One year later, I’ve put it all back on plus some. I’m trying to get my shit together again, and what you said definitely hits home. The cycle of overeating leading to depression leading to overeating affects me in the same way. I plan to re-read this post every morning to keep myself focused on what the end result can be. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Matt Hollinger — March 7, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  104. Time to change the Twitter cartoon to a more svelte version??

    Comment by Brendan — March 7, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  105. Good job Aaron! Congrats on sticking to it for the year, and don”t stop now. Find ways to improve your overall health. More protein, less carbohydrates, and always take the long way.

    Comment by JA — March 7, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

  106. Just wow. I’ve been a follower of this site and now the podcast for some time, but had no idea you were devoting yourself to this level. What you said about not feeling like you deserve congratulations for simply reversing a status brought on by horrible habits has some truth to it. It also completely ignores the fact easy access (and cheaper access) to high caloric foods is a serious problem in this country, and it takes IMMENSE willpower to do what you did. I hope that whatever residual depression you feel about how things were in the past will gradually fade, and be replaced by the benefits derived from your “new life”.

    Heartfelt congratulations, Aaron, and best of luck for keeping it up in year 2!

    Comment by Jeff H — March 7, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  107. Congrats Gleeman! If my Bert Blyleven California math is correct you beat the Twins win total by 87!

    Comment by bennewitz87 — March 7, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  108. congrats. fuckin awesome

    Comment by sam — March 7, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

  109. Aaron, congrats on your success. What you’ve done is not easy, and requires tremendous dedication and determination.

    With regard to:

    “I’m not sure if that approach is the healthiest or the smartest or even sustainable for the long haul.”

    To be frank, it probably isn’t. But, If you’d like to learn how you could make it so (and maintain all of your great results) I’ll offer you a two-hour Metabolic Flexiblity course that I teach, on me.

    My good friend Mike T. Nelson, PhDc, has done extensive research in this area, and his work provides the foundation for how I teach fat loss & performance nutrition. He recently contributed to a fantastic article in Men’s Health that covers the basics. Give it a read:

    Comment by David Dellanave — March 7, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  110. Aaron;

    I’m on the same sort of journey. We are abot the same height. So far, I am down from 305 to 258. A long way to go yet. The solution for me (so far) has been a lot like yours.

    Something my doctor said to me made the difference. He said “There are no miracle diets. Take in fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight”. Said another way, you have to do it. No book or pill is going to solve it.

    I am a decent cook, and my diet was actually pretty good when I cooked, but all too often I did the fast food thing. For me, I started by staying away from drive-ups. Unfortunately I like my cooking a little too much. My solution to take smaller portions for the first round, relieving the anxiety by reminding myself that I can take seconds if I really want to. After I finished the first I changed the question from “Am I full” to “Am I still hungry” before I took seconds. That’s one problem with restaurants and take-out. The portions are too big, and we have a bias towards eating what’s in front of us.

    Exercise is still a problem for me. I am lots older than you and have unrelated mobility problems, so elipticals are out. However, it is now my habit to take the dog out for as much of a walk as I can manage. I do some yoga to stretch and lift some small weights to break the boredom and still feel like I’m doing something good for myself.

    I am donating my old clothes as I shrink out of them. Keeping them would let the thought into my head that I might go back.

    So, I think you are right on. It’s all about habits. Find your own way to develop better habits and the pounds come off.

    Comment by John P. — March 7, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

  111. I’ve been reading your website for a few years now and I remember watching the fat-o-meter… I’m 34 and have a similiar history as yours with weight, so I’m very inspired by your story Aaron. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

    Comment by Adam — March 7, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  112. Congratulations Aaron on a new you and probably an all new wardrobe you’ve now had to purchase!

    Comment by Patrick — March 7, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

  113. Good job, man. Not everyone has the strength of will to change their life like this, and you deserve all the praise you’ve been getting.

    Comment by Wombat-socho — March 7, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  114. Welcome to the world of beautiful people!

    Comment by Martha — March 7, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

  115. Inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Scott — March 7, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

  116. Wow. That’s amazing, congratulations.that is inspirational. Damn, I bet you have never been more happy to go out and get some new pants. Keep it up!

    Comment by Michael — March 7, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

  117. Congrats.
    My favorite part, you didnt stop drinking beer.
    You gotta enjoy life a little bit

    Comment by ds — March 7, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

  118. I’m wanting to lose 25 pounds over the next six weeks before a trip to Florida, and 50 total by the end of summer. You just inspired me to do what it takes go get there. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Comment by Steve — March 7, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  119. I know we’ve had our differences, and I’ve made fun of your nerdiness over the years, but I find this transformation absolutely awesome! I posted a link to your site on reddit’s fitness section, I hope you enjoy the extra site traffic ;)

    Comment by Brooklyn Twins Fan — March 7, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

  120. Aaron,

    I sincerely congratulate you for changing your life. Take the time to feel good about what you’ve done. You’re a hell of a good baseball analyst, and you’ve made a great change to your lifestyle. Don’t sell yourself short.

    Comment by Nihilist in Golf Pants — March 7, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

  121. Do people you haven’t seen in awhile not recognize you? Because you look like a completely different person. Do you recognize yourself?

    Great story, and as with all your baseball work, very well written. Congratulations and good luck.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — March 7, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  122. Congrats on your accomplishment, Aaron. I see your point about being embarrassed and, subsequently, feeling strange about receiving praise. But it really takes a lot of will power and strength to completely change your life the way you did. You should be proud.

    Now here’s a suggestion: Your chicken fried rice recipe sounds delicious. I want to try it out. What about starting a(nother) blog or even just a Tumblr page with good articles to read or good, easy recipes for dopes like us who aren’t exactly skilled in the kitchen?

    You run it and take suggestions from us.

    “Baseball fans trying to get healthy”

    Not poetic, but you get the point …

    Again, congrats, Aaron. Good luck in your upcoming journey …

    Comment by S A C — March 7, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  123. My most sincere congratulations, Aaron, on a wonderful accomplishment! You are an inspiration. Your web site is the first place I go every day to get my Twins fix, and I hope you never stop bringing enlightenmnet and entertainment to baseball fans near and far.

    Comment by JR Cigar — March 7, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  124. I’ve told anyone who’ll listen today about this post. No matter what your size or shape, this is inspiring to anyone!

    Comment by Bearsketball — March 8, 2012 @ 12:17 am

  125. Very inspiring.

    Comment by Chuck — March 8, 2012 @ 6:57 am

  126. Great job Aaron! I hope you’ve encouraged others to do the same.

    Comment by Jason — March 8, 2012 @ 7:28 am

  127. Great to hear Aaron. I am in the process of losing weight from my high of 248. I hit the 202 mark on March 6th as well. I started the weight loss in August after one of the kids I coach asked if I would do the Truffle Shuffle for him. The interesting thing about this is that I used essentially the same routine you used. Low Calories and exercise. I keep being “advised” by my coworkers that I should do something else and I would see better results. It’s great to hear about other people using this revolutionary technique of losing weight.

    Comment by Adam — March 8, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  128. Awesome job Aaron. keep up the good work.

    Comment by Tom Thumb — March 8, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  129. wow! Awesome job Aaron. “Throughout my previous weight loss ups and downs I learned that the simple balance between calories consumed and calories burned is the driving force behind any lifestyle change and as a baseball stat-head the knowledge that things work on a linear scale was reassuring” I call this the KISS principle. Burn more than you eat. Congrats Aaron. I like the humility but you should be so proud.

    Comment by Large Canine — March 8, 2012 @ 8:55 am

  130. Aaron – really great story. A huge inspiration!

    Comment by themoundie — March 8, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  131. Nice work, Aaron! I’ll be using some of your tips : )

    Comment by Jen — March 8, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  132. First off, I love the blog,tweets and everything else you come up with. You are an incredibly talented writer. I think we would have been friends if we grew up together. It’s because of my adoration for you and your work that I’m a bit concerned.
    I have often been told that running your body at 1,250-1500 calories in very unhealthy. I am hoping to spark a debate about this. Maybe it depends upon activity etc. I guess I don’t know. I just want to make sure that what you are doing is actually focused on the main goal, which is to live a long and healthy life.
    I really do congratulate you on your accomplishment. I love your work. I just want to make sure that you are healthy and doing this the right way.
    *The rest of the blog can now take me to task*

    Comment by Jason — March 8, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  133. Congrats! I am a long time reader who is also trying to get into shape. This is one of those nice sportswriter writing about non-sports topics that makes the other articles seem better from now on.

    Comment by brant — March 8, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  134. Congratulations on the great accomplishment, but also thanks for writing up the story. I hope you stretch your formidable writing muscles in additional directions, for the edification of us all.

    Comment by Eric — March 8, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  135. Congrats, Cousin Aaron! If not for the achievement, then for your dream and determination. Cheers to a healthier you!

    Comment by Julia — March 8, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  136. try brown rice. cant tell a difference and way more fiber. congrats. I have a similiar issue with alcohol.

    Comment by jack — March 8, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

  137. congratulations, aaron…not for the weight loss but for GETTING HEALTHIER!! .. you never know when life is going to offer you your greatest rewards so by being healthy you have put yourself in a position to accept and embrace those rewards…
    my life at age 60 changed dramatically this summer when my friend of 20 years told me that her feelings for me are changing..she is the best person i know and one year from that glorious day (july 29) we will be getting married

    good luck and work hard

    Comment by stevethumb — March 9, 2012 @ 9:29 am

  138. Awesome story, congrats on the changes you’ve made. Going to keep it bookmarked as something to refer back to on days when I’m having a hard time making the right choices.

    Comment by Pat — March 9, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  139. Nice!!!!

    Comment by Jon g — March 9, 2012 @ 2:45 pm


    Comment by MATT — March 9, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  141. Admit it. Your real inspiration was to make sure that Jonah Hill could still play you in the movie version of your life story.

    Comment by Algonad — March 9, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

  142. Congratulations. I am especially impressed by your willingness to find root issues. I’m thankful you succeeded.

    Comment by Wade Mobley — March 10, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  143. Don’t be embarrassed as everyone has struggled with something in life. You conquered something that was significant and hard. You should be proud. I hope you find that eating more healthy and living a more active life becomes addicting and satisfying. For me personally I no longer crave or want unhealthy food. My brain knows I feel a hell of a lot better eating real quality food and the idea of eating junk (other than a pizza once a week) is disgusting to be honest with you.

    I think you will eventually get to that point where you no longer even want the other food. Hang in!

    Comment by AaronK — March 11, 2012 @ 8:27 am

  144. Very nice job.

    Very well written piece.

    Keep it up.

    Comment by Ken — March 11, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  145. Great to hear that story, make over weight people know they can do it..

    Comment by Chad — March 24, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  146. You should consider brown rice! I like the brown rice from Trader Joe’s personally.

    Comment by Andrew P. — April 14, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  147. Just think what would happen if you did that p90x workout….

    Comment by Stan Francisco — April 27, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  148. Have you noticed more money in your pocket as well? I’d think saving money would provide additional motivation.

    Comment by Stan Francisco — April 27, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  149. Wow, and congrats! That is wonderful news. And I was wondering how the weight purge was going. I’ve been away a long while. I remember reading about the 40 pound loss in six weeks, thinking WTF, and praying for you that you didn’t kill yourself with the drastic pace.

    As I’m sure countless others have shared: Keep it off this time! Losing weight gets harder with each passing year. Just try to lose that much at age 50 with even more commitments and a crappy (or even crappier) metabolism and less resolve due to stresses you never knew about or thought would exist in your life. I seem to be putting on five to ten pounds every year for five year spurts. But now it’s been six years since I could last commit myself to daily nutrition and exercise.

    Comment by Dr. Nick Riviera — May 2, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  150. As someone who realized she had to watch her diet and exercise regimes in college for entirely different reasons, I have to say that it’s changing the lifestyle that is the important and hardest part.

    Whatever it is for each person that hits that mental switch, it’s a very very very big deal and you have obviously touched on something that speaks to all of us. Haven’t seen this many comments in a long time.

    You did something good here and congrats hardly says enough.

    Comment by CapitalBabs — May 22, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  151. I lost 42 lbs doing P90X. It is hard to stay motivated but even if you only do one or two excersizes per week and then a couple of ab workouts you are sure to at least lose a few belt sizes. Cheers

    Comment by Mitch Clingman — June 4, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  152. Here’s the $64 question: once you get to your target weight, how are you going to adjust your diet? Are you going to stay on what your eating, but just eat more of it? Are you going to work out less? Are you going to incorporate different foods into your diet? Are you going to allow yourself a binge once a week?

    I ask because losing weight can become an obsession of its own, where the constant thrill of success trips and dulls the dopamine sensor in the same way food used to. I am curious how you have thought that through and what your strategy will be?

    Comment by Chuck Hildebrandt — June 11, 2012 @ 8:14 am

  153. Aaron-

    Congratulations, you’ve done a fantastic job! I am reading Chris Jaffe’s SABR recap, which provided me an update on your status.

    While I never was anywhere near your max weight, I did take of 45 pounds once — and I put it back on. Chuck’s comment just before mine hit home: once I quit getting the thrill of losing, I slipped. So good luck on what I think is the harder part of the journey.

    Comment by Glenn — July 2, 2012 @ 10:42 am

  154. Congratulations Aaron, this is pretty amazing. I also read Chris’s SABR recap and followed the link here.

    I have to echo the others here who say that what you have done deserves praise. The reason many of us find weight-loss stories interesting is that we all have areas of our lives where we would like to make a change, and we find stories of people who have made that kind of change inspiring. I’ve always been skinny, but I wish I had the kind of self discipline that you have displayed over the last year.

    Comment by Dave in NYC — July 2, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  155. cutting out those fatty foods is number 1.

    it’s incredibly difficult to avoid fatty foods even when you’re picking up those “fat-free” labels which are still very fatening.

    research is everything. eating natural non-processed foods helps. lots of water, and lean meat.

    surround yourself with healthy foods.

    when you crave something fatty, eat a lot of healthy foods until your craving goes away. nobody craves fatty foods when they’re full.

    Comment by someone — July 3, 2012 @ 5:37 am

  156. I am totally inspired and followed a similar routine before only to gain what I lost back but this time I’m focused and there IS NO STOPPING MEEE!!!

    Comment by Chynah — July 3, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  157. Hey Aaron. Very, very inspiring post. Finally a weight loss story I can relate to, as I’m also around 6′ 2″ and 350 pounds, and I’ve also decided to just stick to calorie counting and sport.

    Congratulations, I only have one question. Do you have any problems with excess skin after this relatively fast weight loss? That’s one of my main concerns regarding weight loss…

    Comment by John Joe — August 28, 2012 @ 4:00 am

  158. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Greg Mech — September 9, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

  159. I am literally in the same boat I’m 26 years old and started off at 364. I’m 2 weeks into my weight loss goal and I’m down to 355. I am going to start walking now that my eating habit is changed and my body is use to it. This story is an extra boost of inspiration and confidence I need to help me get through this and achieve my goals, thanks for sharing

    Comment by Roland — September 18, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  160. I did the exact thing you did in almost the exact same way. Except I’ve gained 70 pounds back in a year. I’ve read the (unsolicited) advice posted here, so I’ll throw in my two cents: do not change anything.

    Comment by Ginger — October 15, 2012 @ 4:46 am

  161. Cool website buddy I am gona suggest this to all my list of contacts.

    Comment by HCG diet — November 21, 2012 @ 6:17 am

  162. Sorry for the bad news, but I did the same thing and you WILL gain the weight back. Reason, you never learned how to eat properly, and once you go back to regular foods, the deficit you put your body in will begin storing more fat because it will not know when the next time it will get any. I did far more than elliptical excercise, really got into incredible shape, muscles, the whole 9, but it disappeared fast as soon as I got off my extreme diet. Just giving you a look into the future.

    Comment by Michael — January 4, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  163. I loved reading your testimony; thanks for writing this entry. It provides me with relivant advise on how to try to shed this excess weight myself. I’m 37 and have been carrying an extra 110#’s for a decade now! My goal of shedding that over the course of year seems tangible – like you said, be prepared and dont expect to upset your entire lifestyle; make it work for you – I LOVE IT!

    Comment by Jen — January 5, 2013 @ 10:21 am

  164. This is so motovating thank u so much i randomly looked at it and ifs march 7 2013 i need to start now so inspiring

    Comment by LOve — March 7, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

  165. Aaron. I am 355 pounds and I am 15 years old. You inspire me so much. This is so hard trying to keep away from the foods I love. Maybe we can chat and you can help me out.

    Comment by Brianna — April 7, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

  166. I have now LOST 62lbs in 13 WEEKS!!!!
    I have a long way to go though. I had not weighed myself in years, stepped on the scale to see 420.1lbs. I am 6’4″ and weighed 420.1 lbs just 13 short weeks ago. Your story has helped to keep me going as I am always online reading about other peoples progression and comparing to my own. I guess I have become obsessing about it. I now weigh 358 and can walk longer and further than I have been able to in the past 5 years. I am 33 years old and can not believe I ever let myself get this far out of control. I still slip up, this weekend for the final four I had pizza wings and beer and I keep beating myself up for it. But I can’t quit. I must keep going. I need to do this for me. I need to to this for my wife. I need to do this for my kids. This is the hardest thing I have ever done and I worry I won’t be able to make it all the way :( Wish me luck…

    Comment by Steve — April 8, 2013 @ 8:32 am

  167. Aaron like you I Lost 140 Lbs several years ago using a similar method. Found the weight and started to RELEASE it a couple weeks ago. I used a a system called Burn the Fat Build the muscle. I found it to be the most balanced form of lifestyle change out there combining Nutrition with Pschcology and excercise. The best and most significant part of the puzzle was a S.M.A.R.T. goal setting program from the start. I feel that once I achieved all my goals the first time I stopped working my goal system which caused the slip along with a pretty severe back injury I used as an excuse for a long time. Please look into setting up a goal setting system for yourself so you can stay focused and continue to release body fat and build muscle. real about terms like NLP to stay focused. I know is sounds corny but I read all my goals to myself every morning when I wake and every night before I sleep. My 90 Day goal being most important. It is basically brainwashing your subconscious to keep on track and keep achieving. You know about hitting walls and plateaus. So at this point for you make the goals fun and more exercise and conditioning based. Like running a 6 k or doing a pull up or physical activities you have never done. I I KNOW HOW HARD YOU WORKED TO GET IT OFF. I put it back on. I swore I never would. I kept it off for about 2 years. But I stopped the goals. then I got injured and then I was over 300 again. Not to give the guy a plug but the book that inspired me was by Tom Venuto. It is more Tony Robins then it is a diet. Tons of good overall life changing info. By the way you can eat anything you want and almost as much if you hit a goal and earn a cheat meal. I lost the same
    weight and got to pig out and enjoy many many meals. I’m Italian a Chef and love food. So it can be done.

    You can contact me if you want. I would like to chat if your ok with it.

    Comment by Paul — June 25, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

  168. Sounds fimiliar , I am 40 and will start today to go from 350 to 200.
    I have not been at 200 since high school.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Comment by js8710 — July 17, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

  169. wow im the same size you started at and I need a change. the hardest part ids finding what to eat, but I need to do it for my health and ultimately for my life. This really inspired me to change and do something about my weight..Thanks

    Comment by curtis — July 23, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

  170. This may seem silly, but do you have a recipe for the chicken fried rice? Do you cook the chicken separately?

    Comment by Haystacks — August 17, 2013 @ 11:30 am

  171. I would like to know how much you weigh today? And I just want to add my biggest problem is that all my friends and family are too supportive. They say, I love you the way your are. I think you look great. They forget that I can’t walk, have High Blood pressure, a thyroid condition, and am just plain FAT! I hate my clothes, the fact that getting around is really uncomfortable. I broke the driver seat in my car all because I’m so fat. I am 170 lbs overweight, and I’m going to try why you recommend. Because I need to do something.

    thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Not the Only one — September 5, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

  172. I know this was written about 2 yeras or so ago. But, I’m inspired, right here, right now. Thank you.

    Comment by Alexis — October 4, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

  173. I’m currently in the same position you were in 2011.. terribly embarrassed about my weight/how I look.. I’ve been trying to find the motivation to make the change but I’ve been looking everywhere but inside myself. Then I found your article and saw that it is possible if you put your everything into it. Thanks, Aaron!

    Comment by Summer — October 11, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  174. Great job! I’ve lost 226lbs in nearly two years so I know how much effort that it takes to accomplish the feat you have undertaken. I’m going to Vegas to run the marathon next weekend. Two years ago I wouldn’t have even thought about walking a block let alone running a marathon.

    Comment by vegaskev — November 4, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

  175. I have a similar story and this is inspiring to me, since I since gained about 30 pounds back. Keep up the great work!

    Comment by Hamiltank — February 3, 2014 @ 10:58 am

  176. Since I ran across this page, i have been so inspired, I started counting calories and using my fitbit to track my intake vs calories burned and I have already lost 15 lbs this month. I am so glad I found your page, it was the inspiration I was waiting for. I totally book marked it, I check back and reread for more inspiration! Thank you for posting your journey on here!!

    Comment by Debbie — February 6, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

  177. I am starting this tomorrow. I weigh 250, I hope to get to 150. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Comment by Sel — March 9, 2014 @ 5:37 pm

  178. Wow, you sound exactly like me. I am going to print this off as an inspiration! Thanks so very much for sharing.

    Comment by Chrissy — May 20, 2014 @ 10:06 pm

  179. I am 20 years old and 375. I have always been struggling with weight I am a woman and also 6 feet 3 inches tall.. I lost 25 lbs but just put it right back on, Your story has truly inspired me to not give up. I can do this!

    Comment by RachelLynn — May 30, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  180. Great work! Keep it up. I lost 190lbs in the last 12 months and it is inspirational to see other people sticking with it and losing a lot of weight too! So hard to find anything real about losing a lot as opposed to the millions of people who will help you lose that first forty pounds!

    Comment by RobH — June 19, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

  181. I was looking for some interesting post on losing weight,. I am really impressed with your post as I got to learn too much from this. THanks for sharing it

    Comment by Ethnic Food — June 30, 2014 @ 12:58 am

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