SE | Mens Health Article July 2011
Men’s Health publishes success stories about men who have lost weight and change their lives in every issue. You can read some of their stories online here.
To give myself some extra motivation, I wrote my own and will be submitting it once phase 3 of Operation Badonkadonk is complete!
Men’s Health – July 2011
Half the Man I Used to Be
Vitals: Andy Carlson, 25, Mason City, IA
Occupation: Self Employed/Amateur Chef/Even more Amateur Writer
Height: 5’8” On a Good Day
Before: 220 lbs
After: 155 lbs
Time to Goal: 36 Weeks
We’ve all heard the story before– Former high school athlete heads off to college and emerges from a four (five) year beer and pizza binge twice the man he used to be… Literally. Booze fueled late nights, a steady died of all things fried, and a sedentary lifestyle all lead to me packing on excess weight onto my once thin frame. I entered college at 155 lbs… At my heaviest I was 241.
The Wake-Up Call
After marrying my best friend, we got our wedding pictures back and I did not know that an Asian Chris Farley had married my wife. Kidding aside, I did not like the bloated semblance of myself staring back at me in those pictures. I promised to be by my wife’s side until the day I died, and if something didn’t change that would be sooner rather than later.
I’ve always liked vegetables ever since I was a kid, so that wasn’t the problem– drenching them in cheese and salt was. Portion sizes, caloric condiments, and eating at all hours of the night were my Achilles heal– So those immediately had to go.
As a chef, I used what I learned in restaurant kitchens to slim down my home kitchen. It’s much easier and enjoyable to cook at home when you have lean meats, vegetables, and whole wheat grains prepped and ready to rock. A from scratch meal that would take 45 minutes, you can make at home in 5 to 10 just by thinking ahead and prepping your kitchen like a commercial restaurant would.
Also spice rubs and marinades are a great way to add flavor to your food without stacking up the calories. My go to marinade for chicken, lean steak, or fish is a Korean marinade (naturally). It’s very simple– Lite soy sauce, sesame seeds, fresh ginger & garlic, scallions, Sriacha, rice wine vinegar, and a drizzle of sesame oil and you’ve got a flavorful marinade that will make you feel like you’re wandering the streets of Seoul for a fraction of the calories.
After doing nothing but 12 oz curls for five years, I decided to get back in the gym. Using the Men’s Health Personal Trainer, I saw results immediately. The workouts were quick, intense, and varied enough so that it never got boring.
The last 13-weeks of my weight loss, I started training for my first triathlon…
After dropping the equivalent of a 4-year old from my frame, I decided to test myself by completing the Trinona triathlon held in my old college town Winona, MN. By completing the race, it brought me full circle with Winona– I came there fit, got fat there, came back and conquered.
Before I lost the weight– I couldn’t run a mile without vomiting, swimming was a sport that mattered once every four years, and bikes were for Chinese delivery food. Now I use all three to continue to push myself to stay fit and live an active lifestyle.
I want to be an inspiration to everyone that no matter how bad it is, it’s never too late to change. Know what you want, go get it!