My Weight Loss Journey by Gary A. Johnson
Updated December 29, 2022
Many of you have had a front row seat watching me battle a number of obstacles in an effort to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. I started walking from National Harbor across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington, DC to Old Town Alexandria and back. I cycle around the Nation’s Capital, I purchase and eat organic and other healthy foods and yet I “yo-yo” back and forth on the scale. Why is this? In my case, there were 4 main reasons:
- I tend to be an emotional eater who eats when stressed. Guilty!
- Then there’s the issue of insufficient rest. Guilty! (Experts say getting a full 8 hours of rest is critical to losing weight).
- How about eating late at night. Guilty! (Many experts say you should not eat after dinner).
- Portion control. Guilty! (I was putting too much food on my plate).
You see, I’m what’s known as a “Foodie.” The Merriman-Webster dictionary defines a “Foodie” as someone who has an avid interest in food and the latest food fads. The Urban Dictionary defines a “Foodie” as a politically correct term for a “fat” person.
Once I addressed the four aforementioned areas where I plead “Guilty,” I made a conscious decision to change the way I eat.
Now I cycle along the trails in Central Florida.
Get up! No Excuses! Make It Happen! You Heard Me? Move Now!!!
As 2022 comes to a close, many of us start to tell the “big lie” to ourselves about what we’re going to do in the new year. Been there, done that at least a dozen times. You can do it. I‘ve been on the weight-loss roller coaster for years. I finally think I know how to ride this thing. Be sensible, honest with yourself and take your time and ask the people around you to help you if you need that extra motivation or guidance. I wish I could tell you that there was a small pillow under that orange shirt 10 months ago. That was all me. I look at that picture now and I looked sad, but I still had hope. Compare that pic to the ones taken last week and today. I put myself out there to show that it’s possible and to drag others along on this journey to improve our health and wellness. Life is precious and I have a lot of quality living to do.
C’mon! Let’s set some realistic health and wellness goals for 2023. I’m no where close to reaching my goals. I am MOTIVATED. How can I not be? I have a lot more work ahead of me and I am UP to the challenge.
Check out these pics. That is a portion control plate. I used dial how much weight I wanted to lose and place my food in the compartments. I needed that to help me with portion control. I no longer need the plate, because eating less has become a part of my current lifestyle. The face on the baby says it all. That was probably at my heaviest weight two years ago.
Cycling has become my passion. This is what I do.
Warning: Watching This 2-minute Video May Dramatically Change Your Life!
My First Colon Hydrotherapy Experience (Posted February 24, 2018)
Today I went to Herbal Infusion Health & Wellness to get my first colon hydrotherapy experience. This is part of my weight loss journey and my efforts to reverse the aging process. The owner has been suggesting that I get this therapy for 5 months. Today, I finally gave in. 15 minutes into my session I asked myself: “Dude? What took you so long to do this?”
All sessions are facilitated by a I-ACT Certified Colon Hydro therapist. The equipment is FDA approved and every effort is made to ensure that you are comfortable and your privacy and dignity are maintained at all times. The aromatherapy scents in the room helped me relax. This part of the spa uses the Libbe system. This system has a clear viewing tube that allows you to view what is being released from your colon.
My Weight Loss Journey (Posted February 4, 2018)
Photos: This is what I looked like in 2005. I weighed 235 lbs.
Hey folks, I promised full transparency. Yep, I am putting myself out here. I get emails and tweets from a lot of you who say I inspire you. Thank you. “I’m just a dude from DC with a social media platform.” For those of you who struggle with weight loss and “follow me,” I want you to know that I appreciate you. “The struggle is real.”
Nothing is more discouraging than not being able to lose weight no matter how hard you try. When I resigned from my government job in 1995, I weighed 235 lbs. I am 6 feet 4 inches tall. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) weight guidelines at that time I was “Overweight.” A few months earlier, my doctor warned me that my cholesterol ratios were too high. My health was in jeopardy. Despite the doctor’s warning, I made no changes to my lifestyle. Within months I weighed 265 lbs. and my body fat percentage was 22%.
I was trying to balance family life and a heavy travel schedule and did not take time to exercise. One evening while dining at a restaurant with my family, in-laws and friends, I started to sweat profusely. I tried to play it off as “nothing” but soon found that I wasn’t fooling anyone when my mother-in-law said: “My goodness I think he’s having a stroke.” I calmly told everyone that I was OK and attempted to leave the table to collect myself. I never made it, never fooled anyone and ended up in the emergency room of my local hospital.
Test results revealed high cholesterol and a host of other correctable conditions. After giving my family a scare, I decided to get serious about my health. I bought a gym quality treadmill and began using it. I stopped eating fast food and started using some Slim Fast products. Slowly and surely I started losing weight. I shared my story with Slim Fast and the company selected me to be a paid endorser of their products. I lost 35 lbs. in 5 months and lost 4 inches off of my waist.
Two years later, I gained the weight back and added 10 additional pounds. I now weighed 275 lbs. I decided to lose the weight again. This time I decided to use Nutrisystem. Nutrisystem ships meals directly to your home. The Nutrisystem plan is based on portion control and moderate exercise. Once I started eating one entrée per meal, I started to lose weight. Six months later, I loss 30 lbs. and kept the weight off for about a year.
Over the past 20 years, I have lost and gained over 30-60 lbs. four times. This is not a healthy way to lose weight.
In 2015, I hit my all-time high in weight — 345 lbs. I decided to lose weight the old fashion way by making healthier meal choices, eating smaller portions and exercising consistently. I cut out sugar by not drinking orange juice and replaced that with low-sodium organic vegetable juice. I also cut out sugary drinks like sweet tea and energy drinks. I NEVER drank sodas.
Here I am at Ft. Washington Park in October 2017.
I began riding my bicycle to specifically lose weight and lower my cholesterol and blood pressure. I took a cycling class years ago in college and enjoyed it. I got my bike out of the garage and started riding after work and on weekends. I began to participate in a few organized rides. I decided to start slowly and ride in my neighborhood park during the week and go to Haines Point in downtown DC on weekends. I started losing about 2 lbs. per week. Believe me, losing 2 lbs. was a great motivator.
The following photos were taken in the same spot with the same “hoodie.”
Photo on the left: Gary Johnson taken December 4, 2015. Photo on the right taken February 4, 2018.
Losing weight is one of the most difficult challenges I’ve faced. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount. I owe it myself and I owe it to my family to be healthy. Some of you have been brutally honest with me along this journey. In addition to my family, Mildred Muhammad, Kirk Caldwell and Ronnie Williams stand out. I hear you and I appreciate you.. I believe my current weight loss method will be my most successful because it’s the most practical solution to date.
People gain weight for a variety of reasons. If you’re having trouble losing weight, don’t give up. Find a method that works for you and stick to it. Don’t overdo it. Be patient and remember that “slow and steady wins the race.” Losing weight is a lifestyle choice for me. I’m a work in progress, but I am on the right path. If I can do it, believe me, you can too.
Stick with it and if you have to, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You know where to find me.
Here’s to your good health. Thank you for your support.