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Name: Jase Simmons
Age: 44
Height: 5'10"
Before Weight: 271 pounds

How I Gained It: I was the typical yo-yo dieter always looking for a quick solution rather than a life change. I tried gimmicky weight loss solutions and weight loss programs that were not sustainable. I was caught up in the vicious cycle of not seeing results, discontinuing exercise and giving up on weight loss. I officially gave up on myself and my weight for seven years after returning from my honeymoon and seeing that I had gained 14 pounds in ten days (having previously lost 41 pounds prior to our wedding).

Breaking Point: I was about to play golf with one of my financial planning clients in San Francisco. I had forgotten to bring my golf jacket. I went into the pro shop and tried on a size XXL ( I had worn a size XXL for most of the last 12 years). The jacket was too tight for me. I thought I might have accidentally grabbed an XL and took the jacket off -- it was indeed an XXL. I knew I was in trouble. I was no longer able to comfortably fit into clothes that could easily be purchased in most clothing stores. I had also reached the end of a normal seatbelt on the airplane.

How I Lost It: I first completed two weeks on the Master Cleanse. [Ed. note: Cleanses may do more harm than good.] Then, I transitioned into eating foods which were unprocessed or only minimally processed. I also put myself on an exercise regimen where I completed five hours of cardio per week on the treadmill and elliptical machines. At first, my thighs were so large they rubbed together when I was walking medium-paced on the treadmill or elliptical. I had to apply Vaseline for the first month prior to workouts to prevent chafing.

I created circuit-training workouts for myself where I would strength train three times a week for no longer than 45 minutes per session. I didn't have much strength when I started, but I was consistent. I improved each week. When I was three weeks into losing weight, I knew my self-designed program was going to work -- I had already lost almost 30 pounds.

When I was three months into losing weight, it was suggested to me that I should train for a half-marathon. I mentally felt like much more of an athlete than I physically was, however I was running on the fuel of inspiration and celebration, because I knew I was losing weight for the last time. When I was a few weeks into running, I decided that I would run a full marathon in 2011. There were many people who thought my training for a marathon was inspiring, others who thought it was only slightly possible and many who that it was foolhardy -- all were motivators for me. I had never been a runner before training, but seven and a half months into weight loss, I ran the Honolulu Marathon on December 11, 2011 in 5:15:23, finishing in 6,892nd place out of 19,078 finishers.

I weighed 194 pounds when I ran the marathon. I continue to eat the same today and will always eat unprocessed or minimally processed foods. I eat organic trail mix (walnuts, raisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds) throughout the day. I have Greek yogurt with trail mix or muesli and sweetened with a little organic sugar, agave syrup or maple syrup to taste. Lunch is typically a quinoa, broccoli or chicken salad. For dinner, I'll have grilled chicken or fish with sides of grilled vegetables. I also eat beans, whole grain bread, asparagus, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. My favorite is organic avocados.

My life is very different now that I have lost weight. I have had an article written about my weight loss in the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper. I have counseled and spoken to groups and individuals on weight loss. I keep a weight loss blog, and I have finished writing the first draft of my weight loss book that I am going to publish electronically this year. I have a 31-inch waist (I used to have a 44-inch waist). I wear size medium clothing now. I am in better shape than most people I know. Probably what surprises me the most is that I was consumed with my weight for 27 of the 43 years of my life -- and fixed my own problem in less than a year. My weight (which was a major cause for concern for so long) is no longer an issue in my life!

After Weight: 169 pounds
2012-07-09-jasesimmons.jpg

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